2014 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

  • This has become our largest and most active forum because the physics GRE is just one aspect of getting accepted into a graduate physics program.
  • There are applications, personal statements, letters of recommendation, visiting schools, anxiety of waiting for acceptances, deciding between schools, finding out where others are going, etc.

stengah
Posts: 20
Joined: Thu Apr 05, 2012 4:07 am

2014 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby stengah » Fri Aug 23, 2013 7:15 am

This is the most useful resource PhysicsGRE has to offer. If you have used this information in the past or are currently using it to help decide upon schools, I highly suggest you help out and post your own profile once you have applied to schools. Future members of this forum will find it very useful! Don't be shy!

Copy and paste the template below in your reply to keep the formatting.

______________________________________________
[b]Undergrad Institution[/b]: (School or type of school, such as big state, lib arts, ivy, technical, foreign (what country?)... Overall Reputation in Physics?)
[b]Major(s)[/b]:
[b]Minor(s)[/b]:
[b]GPA in Major[/b]:
[b]Overall GPA[/b]:
[b]Length of Degree[/b]: (Are you graduating after 3, 4, or 5 years?)
[b]Position in Class[/b]: (No numbers needed, but are you top? near top? average? struggling?)
[b]Type of Student[/b]: (Domestic/International, male/female, minority?)

[b]GRE Scores [/b]: (revised or old version?)
[b]Q[/b]:
[b]V[/b]:
[b]W[/b]:
[b]P[/b]:


[b]TOEFL Total[/b]: (if applicable, otherwise delete this)

[b]Research Experience[/b]: (At your school or elsewhere? What field? How much time? Any publications (Mth author out of N?) or conference talks etc...)

[b]Awards/Honors/Recognitions[/b]: (Within your school or outside?)

[b]Pertinent Activities or Jobs[/b]: (Such as tutor, TA, SPS officer etc...)

[b]Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help[/b]:

[b]Special Bonus Points[/b]: (Such as connections, grad classes, famous recommenders, female or minority status etc...)

[b]Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter[/b]:

[b]Applying to Where[/b]:

[u]School[/u] - Department - Research Interest
[u]School[/u] - Department - Research Interest
[u]School[/u] - Department - Research Interest
______________________________________________

Thanks to quizivex for the template from previous years.

stengah
Posts: 20
Joined: Thu Apr 05, 2012 4:07 am

Re: 2014 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby stengah » Fri Aug 23, 2013 8:09 am

Undergrad Institution: Unknown state but decent astro department
Major(s): Physics and Astronomy
Minor(s): Math
GPA in Major: 4.0
Overall GPA: 3.9
Length of Degree: 4
Position in Class: top
Type of Student: domestic white male

GRE Scores :
Q: 163 (87%)
V: 161 (87%)
W: 3.5 (35%)
P: 740 (62%)

Research Experience: Several projects in both physics and astro

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: A few department scholarships/awards

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Tutored math and physics, SPS officer

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: Went on an observing run in Chile

Special Bonus Points: Met some professors/postdocs/grad students from some schools at AAS.

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: Not really.

Applying to Where:

Arizona - Astronomy Wait-listed after email inquiry 2/12 Rejected 4/12
UC Santa Cruz - Astronomy and Astrophysics Rejected 2/26
Michigan - Astronomy Short-listed and invited for Skype interview 1/31 Wait-listed 2/15 Accepted 2/21
Washington - Astronomy Wait-listed 2/21 Rejected 4/10
UIUC - Astronomy Invited for Skype interview 1/30 Accepted 2/7
UCLA - Astronomy and Astrophysics Accepted 2/4
Rutgers - Physics and Astronomy Accepted 2/21
Harvard - Astronomy Rejected 2/25
Wisconsin - Astronomy Accepted 1/28
Yale - Astronomy Accepted 1/27
Columbia - Astronomy Wait-listed 2/18 Accepted 4/10
UT Austin - Astronomy Accepted 2/4
Ohio State - Astronomy Rejected 2/25

Notes: If you are applying to astronomy departments, definitely try to go to the AAS meeting in January. You get to talk to grad students and faculty as well as see them present their research.
Last edited by stengah on Sat Apr 12, 2014 7:04 pm, edited 21 times in total.

arunaryan
Posts: 15
Joined: Sun Sep 01, 2013 7:07 pm

Re: 2014 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby arunaryan » Mon Sep 16, 2013 8:43 pm

Undergrad Institution: Unknown Indian university.
Major(s):Civil Engineering
Minor(s): Environmental engineering
GPA in Major: 77%
Overall GPA: 77%
Length of Degree: 4 years
Position in Class: around top
Graduate Institution: Large state school, decent for physics (~40th ranked)
Major(s):Physics
GPA in Major: 3.7
Overall GPA: 3.6
Length of Degree:2 years
Position in Class: top 10%
Type of Student: international, Asian male

GRE Scores : revised
Q:166 (93%)
V: 156 (70%)
W: 3.0 (14%)
P: 860 (80%) , taking again in oct.

Research Experience: 1.5 years on CDMS dark matter search collaboration, worked in data analysis and detector fabrication. One publication in PRL and one in PR-D, both not first author.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Department scholarship

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: TA for upper division E&M class, APS member

Special Bonus Points: Part of large collaboration, know a few professors very well.

Applying to Where:

University of Washington, Seattle --> HExp, Neutrino physics --> rejected :cry:
University of Colorado, Boulder --> AMO Exp, CM Exp --> rejected :cry:
Brown University --> HExp --> rejected :cry:
Duke University --> HExp, Nuclear Expt --> rejected
University of Minnesota, Minneapolis --> HExp --> rejected :cry:
Ohio State University --> HExp --> rejected
Texas A&M Univesity, college station --> Nuclear Exp/Theory
Last edited by arunaryan on Tue Mar 11, 2014 4:06 pm, edited 6 times in total.

McLovin
Posts: 22
Joined: Fri Nov 16, 2012 2:28 am

Re: 2014 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby McLovin » Mon Sep 23, 2013 1:59 pm

Undergrad Institution: Israeli university.
Major(s): BS Physics, BS Computer science, MS physics.
Minor(s):
GPA in Major: 3.2, 3.0, 3.4.
Overall GPA:
Length of Degree: 4 + 2
Position in Class: No official ranking, probably average.
Type of Student: International male.
GRE Scores :
Q: 168
V: 153
W: 3.0
P: 810
TOEFL Total: 104 (R. 29 L. 28 W. 27 S. 20)

Research Experience: Couple of undergrad projects in CS and physics (with my current advisor). Masters thesis resulting in a published Phys. Rev. (first author), J. Chem Phys (co-author), 2 submitted papers (1 first author, 1 co-author) ,and 4 conference contributions (2 talks and 2 posters, all as first author).

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: First year scholarship during undergrad. A competitive 4-year Ph.D. fellowship (on research excellence).

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: 4 semesters of TA (mechanics and E&M for non-physics majors). Currently teaching an advanced core course for physics majors.

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help:

Special Bonus Points:

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: Graduated a dual BS program. Started the Ph.D. at my current institution.

Applying to Where: All for computational optical/molecular/plasma physics.

Princeton - Plasma physics program Waitlisted 2/12 Rejected 4/14
UT Austin - Physics Accepted 3/10 - 16.5K/9m TA
Columbia - Applied physics Rejected 5/5
Michigan - Applied physics Rejected 2/27
Maryland - Physics Rejected 2/9
Boulder - Physics Rejected 2/19
Yale - Applied physics Rejected 3/3
Ohio State - Physics Accepted 2/17 - 16k/9m TA
Northwestern - Applied physics Accepted 2/14 - 28k RA.
Stony Brook - Physics Accepted to MS program 3/13
Rice - Physics Rejected 4/1
Rochester - Physics Accepted 2/12 - 25k TA/RA
Arizona - Physics Rejected 4/29
Last edited by McLovin on Mon May 05, 2014 11:01 am, edited 35 times in total.

delsub
Posts: 98
Joined: Thu Jun 24, 2010 12:17 am

Re: 2014 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby delsub » Sat Sep 28, 2013 12:26 am

Undergrad Institution: Foreign, Engineering college
Currently: Doing MS Physics, small Texas University near Dallas, decent Physics dept
Major(s): Astronomy
Minor(s): Physics
GPA in Major: 3.5
Overall GPA:
Length of Degree: 2 years
Position in Class: ~top
Type of Student: foreign male, in USA already

GRE Scores : (old version?)
Q: 800
V: 620
W: 4.5
P: aiming for 700+

Research Experience: some computational Physics, Data reduction of WD Binary candidates for type Ia SNae

Awards/Honors/Recognition: Won college wide Research award for the above

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Tutored Mechanics Lab, grader also

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help:

Special Bonus Points: Applying to colleges that have faculty known to my adviser

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter:

Applying to Where:

For Sporing 2014 -

U South Carolina - Astronomy
GWU - Astronomy - admitted with GTA - but from Fall 2014.
UM Lowell - Astronomy
Baylor - Astronomy
U Missourie - Astronomy
UT San Antonio - Astronomy

Will Appply to some more for Fall 2014 after getting P GRE scores.

Question:

Do you guys think I have a chance with this CV - is 700 (I see myself getting between 650-750) an acceptable score? I am applying to mid level colleges with mid-to-good Observational Astronomy research/faculty. Also Applying to colleges based in cities or near one (sick of boon docks). Suggestions for more colleges welcome, if you know any phys departments that accept students in Spring for PhD.
Last edited by delsub on Sat Oct 19, 2013 10:43 pm, edited 2 times in total.

TomServo
Posts: 33
Joined: Sun Mar 31, 2013 9:55 pm

Re: 2014 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby TomServo » Sat Oct 19, 2013 9:15 pm

Undergrad Institution: State flagship, in top 25 in physics
Major(s): Engineering physics
Minor(s): Computer science concentration
GPA in Major: 3.9
Overall GPA: 3.8-3.9
Length of Degree: 4.5 years
Position in Class: In 90th percentile I'd say, judging by test scores/grades
Type of Student: As white male American as they come

GRE Scores : revised
Q: 164 (89%)
V: 168 (98%)
W: 5.0 (95%)
P: 700 (54%)

Research Experience: One Summer research scholarship at home institution, in solid state experiment. Poster presentation. No publications. Am doing another year-long research project in same lab.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Research scholarship from school. Two memorial scholarships (alumni endowments) about 3k, one state scholarship for ~5k

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Tutoring math/physics, both for pay and as a volunteer. Physics demonstrations at science museum. Gave a few talks to incoming freshmen on research participation. Significant programming experience in C++, C#, OOP methods.

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: I mentor the children of refugees. I doubt I'll mention this, one shouldn't try to capitalize on good deeds.

Special Bonus Points: ???

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: I'm 31, more mature than the average undergrad, and am serious about this.

Applying to Where:

U. Texas Austin - Physics - Gravity and relativity Rejected. Not surprised.
Penn State - Physics - Gravity and relativity Rejected
U Florida - Physics - Gravity and relativity/mathematical physics Rejected. Gravity is tough to get into I'd say...
UT Dallas - Physics - Gravity and relativity Accepted, TA/RA $1800/mo. tuition covered
UNC Chapel Hill - Physics - Gravity and relativity Rejected on April 9th
Baylor - Physics - Gravity and relativity Accepted, Presidential Fellowship + health insurance, will attend!
UT Brownsville - Physics - Gravity and relativity Program canceled apparently

Advice: Research the schools you're applying to. Research the profs you want to work with and mention them in your SOP. State your research interests but realize some areas (like gravity theory) are hard to get into. Spend a few months preparing for the PGRE. I was unable to study for health reasons and got a 700 where I know I could do 900+.

Having the right advisor is much more important than the ranking of the school.
Last edited by TomServo on Wed Apr 09, 2014 2:25 pm, edited 17 times in total.

Arbitrary
Posts: 39
Joined: Wed Oct 23, 2013 7:05 am

Re: 2014 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby Arbitrary » Wed Oct 23, 2013 7:52 am

Undergrad Institution: Large University in Israel
Major(s): Physics B.Sc., Physics M.Sc.
GPA: B.Sc. magna cum laude (GPA 87/100), M.Sc. summa cum laude (GPA 95/100)
Length of Degree: B.Sc. - 3, M.Sc. - 2
Position in Class: Not too shabby
Type of Student: International male

GRE Scores :
Q: 168 (96%)
V: 166 (96%)
W: 4.0 (54%)
P: 980 (93%)

TOEFL Total: 116

Research Experience: Master thesis in condensed matter theory. 7 years experience at a research institute as a junior researcher. Participation in a multinational R&D project. One publication at a no-name conference proceedings. One publication pending at a half respectable journal.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Graduated with honors on both degrees.

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Research position for 7 years. Supervised highschool physics projects. Tutored for a rather brief period.

Special Bonus Points: Broad background in condensed matter, including relevant research. Much experience in computer modeling of physical systems and numerical methods.


Applying to Where:

Condensed Matter Theory
U Chicago - Accepted 1/16 with TA 27.5-30k - Will Attend!
U Michigan - Accepted 2/11 with TA 28k - Declined

Princeton - Rejected 2/14
Stanford - Rejected 2/24
Cornell - Rejected 2/17
MIT - Rejected 2/18
Caltech - Rejected 3/11

UCSB - No longer interested

Here's my advice to future applicants, particularly internationals:
COME PREPARED!
I had only decided to apply to universities in the US two months before the final PGRE date this year. This had thankfully not damaged my PGRE score, but much of my application must have looked half baked to the decision committees at the very top schools. Specifically, despite my very substantial research experience (over 7 years, including extensive research in CMT), I have failed to publish anything of value in peer reviewed journals. Though most of my research could not be published due to proprietaries of sorts, I could publish at least a few papers if not for my utter laziness. Sure, my recommendations were all by researchers I worked with, and they were very strong, but they still didn't worth much as I did not have the papers to back them.
Frankly, despite my satisfying scores and statistics (and my M.Sc) , I should consider myself extremely fortunate to be admitted to a top 10 school for CMT.
Last edited by Arbitrary on Tue Mar 11, 2014 11:29 am, edited 13 times in total.

fortheglory
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Oct 30, 2013 2:31 pm

Re: 2014 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby fortheglory » Wed Oct 30, 2013 7:16 pm

Undergrad Institution: Big State School, well known for physics
Minor(s):Mathematics
GPA in Major: 3.95
Overall GPA:3.92
Length of Degree: 4
Position in Class: Top 5
Type of Student: Domestic Male

GRE Scores : Revised
Q: 167 95%
V: 156 76%
W: 5.0 93%
P: 830 77% / 880 83%




Research Experience: At my school, one REU on topological insulators, continued with professor to work on my honors thesis. Experience in exfoliation as well as other characterization and fabrication equipment.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Honors Scholarship in Physics

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Tutor for introductory calculus for 3 years

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help:

Special Bonus Points: Research advisor has connections at many of the places I am applying to. My advisor has recommended me to a faculty member at another school.

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: Extensive experience with nanofabrication.

Applying to Where: All schools are Physics - CME

Princeton Rejected 2/13
MIT rejected 2/18
Stanford Accepted 2/24. TA/RA possibilities. ~$37K in salary+stipend.
Cal Berkeley
UPenn Accepted 2/17 RA with specific professor via email. ~$29k and summer opportunity.
University of Maryland Accepted 1/28 via email. TA/RA + Dean's Fellowship = $27k
UC Irvine Accepted 1/27 via email. TA/RA (my choice) + Regents Fellowship = $23k
UChicago Rejected 2/5
Johns Hopkins Accepted 1/27 via email. Financials TBA
University Colorado-Boulder Accepted 2/17 via email. TA or RA $17k TA plus summer research stipend.
Last edited by fortheglory on Mon Feb 24, 2014 2:19 pm, edited 8 times in total.

AbnormalAlias
Posts: 6
Joined: Sat Oct 26, 2013 10:28 pm

Re: 2014 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby AbnormalAlias » Thu Oct 31, 2013 10:11 pm

Comment on the form - anyone else think there should be a line for whether you're going for MSc or PhD? I just stuck one in myself

Undergrad Institution: New Zealand, top or 2nd top in country for physics (first BEC in southern hemisphere woo),
Major(s): Physics
Minor(s): None (did some chemistry)
GPA in Major: 3.08
Overall GPA: 3.00 (yeah, I know. We don't really use GPAs here, if calculated based on % grades I get 80.4% if that makes any difference)
Length of Degree: 4 years
Position in Class: Average to below average
Type of Student: International(ish, see additional info) white male
Type of Degree Applied For: MSc

GRE Scores :
P: 800 (72%)

Research Experience: One ten week summer project in atomic physics, and one final year project in Fourier optics/beam shaping with applications in atomic physics (both at my school), no publications or talks.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: One 'good grades' bursary for $500

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Nope.

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: Not that I can think of

Special Bonus Points: My supervisor used to work for Nobel winner Bill Phillips? Bit of a stretch...

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: Born and raised in NZ but have Canadian citizenship through a parent

Applying to Where: Not decided yet, so I'll just list the ones I'm thinking of (all physics depts, all experimental):

Univ. of Toronto - AMO/Ultracold atoms
Simon Fraser Univ. - BEC or quantum computation, not sure
Univ. Ottawa - Quantum photonics
Univ. Waterloo - Optics/photonics
Univ. Guelph - AMO
Univ. York - AMO/borderline HEP (antihydrogen spectroscopy)
Univ. Manitoba - AMO/borderline nuclear stuff
Univ. Windsor - AMO

UPDATE: Ended up applying to York & SFU
York: Accepted
Last edited by AbnormalAlias on Tue Mar 18, 2014 5:24 am, edited 2 times in total.

torch000
Posts: 15
Joined: Sun Nov 17, 2013 11:24 am

Re: 2014 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby torch000 » Mon Nov 18, 2013 1:30 am

Undergrad Institution: Top 50 in Physics State University
Major(s): Physics
Minor(s): Math
GPA in Major: 3.9
Overall GPA: 3.9
Length of Degree: 3
Position in Class: Near Top
Type of Student: Domestic non minority

GRE Scores : Revised
Q: 155 (70%)
V: 156 (61%)
W: 4.0 (54%)
P: 580 (26%)

Research Experience: No publications.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Dean's List

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Undergraduate Research

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: US Military Veteran

Special Bonus Points:

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: Graduated in 3 years, had to register for PGRE and GRE last minute and only had one week to study for PGRE. Currently taking QM course and haven't taken Stat. Mech or my specialty courses yet, so I had to skip a good portion of my PGRE questions.

Applying to Where:
UNC at Chapel Hill - Nuclear Physics/Astroparticles Accepted Declined
Tufts University -CME Accepted Declined
Louisiana State University - Gravitational Physics Accepted Declined
Northeastern University -CME Accepted Declined
University of Connecticut -CME Accepted Declined
University of New Hampshire -CME Accepted Declined
University of Florida - Gravitational Waves Accepted Declined

Brown - Waitlisted ->>> Accepted Will be Attending.
Ohio State University -CME Waitlisted ->>> Rejected
Georgia Tech -Num. Rel. Waitlisted

UC Davis - CME Rejected
UC Santa Cruz - CME Rejected
UC Irvine - CME Rejected
UC Riverside - CME Rejected

So, I definitely feel like I am very fortunate to have as many acceptances as I do. I was clearly not planning
on getting too many offers as the amount of schools I applied to was so numerous.
Last edited by torch000 on Wed Apr 16, 2014 10:28 am, edited 21 times in total.

Squeeeal
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Nov 22, 2013 9:24 pm

Re: 2014 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby Squeeeal » Fri Nov 22, 2013 9:37 pm

Last year's profiles helped me a bit, so here is mine for the future applicants :)

Undergrad Institution:One of Top British Schools
Major(s): Physics with Theory
Overall GPA: 83%
Length of Degree: 3 years
Position in Class: Near Top

Graduate Institution:Masters at a Top British School
Major(s): Applied Mathematics / Theoretical Physics
Length of Degree: 1 year

Type of Student: Domestic male (I was born and raised in US but did my undergrad degree in England because why not?)

GRE Scores : Revised
Q:170 (98%)
V:160 (83%)
W:5.0 (94%)
P: 940 (90%)

Research Experience: 3 internships (2 at universities, 1 in industry), BSc Final Project resulting in publication

Applying to Where: I expressed an main interest in HEP-th, but often stated that I would also be interested in Gravitation/CMT at departments which are notable in these fields.

Will post schools in the spring once I have heard from them :)


___________________________________________

AEP
Posts: 27
Joined: Mon May 27, 2013 6:18 pm

Re: 2014 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby AEP » Sun Nov 24, 2013 10:48 pm

Undergrad Institution: top 2014
GPA in Major:~4
Overall GPA:~4
Length of Degree: 4
Position in Class:
Type of Student: male

GRE Scores : (revised or old version?)
Q:170
P:970

Applying to Where: Quantum information
Stanford
Harvard
UChicago
Caltech
Princeton
MIT
Yale

UCSB
Cornell
UCB
Take home message: GPA and test scores are important.
Good luck, class of 2015.
Thanks to quizivex for the template from previous years.
Last edited by AEP on Wed Mar 12, 2014 7:46 am, edited 12 times in total.

r4ve
Posts: 16
Joined: Wed Nov 13, 2013 1:18 pm

Re: 2014 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby r4ve » Tue Nov 26, 2013 4:06 pm

Undergrad Institution: Ivy
Major(s): Physics
Minor(s): Math
GPA in Major: ~4.0
Overall GPA: ~3.9
Length of Degree: 4
Position in Class: NA
Type of Student: male

GRE Scores :
Q: 170 (98)
V: 157 (73)
W: 5 (93)
P: 800 (72)

Research Experience: at school, various projects in condensed matter with 3 different groups

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: just making the deans list

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: tutored a lot of ap and sat science and math subjects, ta for calc and physics for a year during my senior year, in ksea

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: none

Special Bonus Points: maybe famous recommender.. i dont know if this would be bonus points but after graduating (5/2013), i took the summer to do more research and retake the physics gre

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: none

Applying to Where: CME/Quantum Optics

Columbia - Applied Physics - Accepted 1/21 via email. Financial information TBA
UCLA - Physics - Accepted 1/26 via email. 28k fellowship + TA/RA
UCSD - Physics - Accepted 1/27 via postal mail. 31k + 8k summer fellowship
Yale - Applied Physics - Interview 1/28 via Skype Accepted 2/12 via email. Fellowship information TBA
BU - Physics - Accepted 1/31 via email. 20k + 10k summer fellowship
Stanford - Applied Physics - Accepted 2/4 via email. RA 2,936 per month Will Attend
Cornell - Applied Physics - Accepted 2/12 via email. 24k 9-month stipend + insurance
Brown - Physics - Accepted 2/14 via website. 23k + 2.5k for first four summers
UC Berkeley - Physics - Accepted 2/14 via email. Financial information TBA
CMU - Physics - Accepted 3/6 via email. Financial information TBA

MIT - Physics - Rejected 2/18 via email.
Harvard - Applied Physics - Rejected 3/12 via website.

Stony Brook - Physics - Accepted to Masters Program 3/13 via email.

Reflections...

i was shocked when i got my first acceptance from columbia. Because of my pgre (despite having retook it, it wasn't as high as i hoped), i thought i'd be lucky to get into brown. but i guess they are very important in the end, as the boston powerhouses saw through the facade of my LORs, statement of purpose, etc. and stony brook.. apparently i was as qualified to be admitted to PhD but they just didnt have enough money. boohoo

in the end, i still hold firm to the belief that connections and networking can go a long way. your grades can be stellar, pgre may be average to stellar, but without the right professors saying the right things in their letters, it can still be hard to accepted to top programs. so my advice for future applicants is: get involved in research deeply, both in an academic and interpersonal level (get to know the professor as he/she will hold a big portion of your potential to be accepted into phd programs). study for the pgres and take them seriously. like legit like youve never taken anything seriously before.
Last edited by r4ve on Wed Apr 16, 2014 9:29 pm, edited 22 times in total.

photomagnetic
Posts: 44
Joined: Sat Sep 21, 2013 6:13 pm

Re: 2014 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby photomagnetic » Fri Dec 06, 2013 7:22 am

b]Undergrad Institution[/b]: well known in eu but its not a great one global wise (1100th according to some webbies)
Major(s):physics, pure physics module
Minor(s):
GPA in Major:3.00 undergrad (yea i messed it up)- Msc 4.00 (i heavily rely on this)
Overall GPA:2.75
Length of Degree: underg 5, msc 2.5
Position in Class: top 10
Type of Student: international male

GRE Scores :revised
Q:157
V:140 :l
W:3 :l
P: 620 sep, 890 oct


TOEFL Total: 92 ibt ( i still want to find the girl who made lots of noise during the exam grrrr)

Research Experience: did a biology internship in a state university for fun, semi-experimental hybrid solar cells, galaxy clusters, supernova remnants, space weather,space physics

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: scholarship from the greatest national science facility in the country. pretty big deal here.

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: 1 year ta, now ra, also private tutoring, volunteer tutoring for the poor children

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: a proceeding and a poster were published at an international space physics conference. i also gave a speech there.


Special Bonus Points: i love physics? and i die for it?, semi-strong lors. 2 of them well known in eu/japan.

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter:

Applying to Where:
astrophysics(experimental cosmo)
biophysics, bioelectronics




1. uni of new mexico rejected
2 Uni. of California Riverside rejected this was surprising i guess it is true that californian schools hate interns.
4 Uni of Iowa rejected
5 Uni of Rochester rejected
6 Uni of Florida waitlisted, called them to remove me from the waitlist
7 Florida Intern. rejected
8 Oregon State uni rejected
9 Uni of minnesota rejected
10 RPI accepted i declined this
11 Washington State rejected
12 Uni of Massachusetts, Amherts accepted, 19k ta+ 2k department fellowship+summer stipend
13 Colorado State rejected
14 Iowa State rejected
15 Uni of New hempshire rejected
16 Virginia Tech rejected
17 Florida State
20 Uni. of Ohio rejected

still no words from other places
Last edited by photomagnetic on Thu Apr 24, 2014 6:21 pm, edited 7 times in total.

omidsameie
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Nov 27, 2013 8:30 am

Re: 2014 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby omidsameie » Sat Dec 07, 2013 4:49 pm

Undergrad Institution: a big university in the country
Major(s): Physics
Minor(s): None
GPA in Major: around 3
Overall GPA: around 3
M.SC. GPA: 3.53
Length of Degree: B.SC. 4 Year / M.SC. 2 Year
Position in Class: B.SC Middle/ M.SC. Top
Type of Student: white male, International

GRE Scores:
Q: 161(82%)
V: 151(49%)
W: 3(14%) :cry:
P: 870

TOEFL Total: 87 (R=22,L=23,S=23,W=19 :evil: )

Research Experience: 1.5 Full research in Early universe Cosmology, Inflation,HEP at the most prominent research institute in country and Region

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Just top of the class in M.SC. and some other which does not seem count heavily.

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: TA/RA/Tutor

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help:

Special Bonus Points: Probably Strong Recommendations

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter:

Applying to Where: All HEP, Early Universe Cosmology
America:
JHU:rejected, 05/03
UMN:waitlisted
NYU:rejected, 05/03
Penn State:Rejected, 04/03
UC at Santa Cruz:Rejected, 21/02
UC at Riverside: Accepted,28/02, $3K fellowship stipend + $17.6K TA + 5.4K summer
Buffalo:Accepted,26/02, no funding for first year
CWRU:Rejected, 17/02
UNM:Accepted, 04/03, 15196 for 9 month, possible TA/RA position for summer
UTD: accepted, 17/02, 1800/month TA
Syracuse:waitlisted
Europe:
IMPRS:Rejected
ICTP:
GRAPPA: Rejected
AIP: Rejected ______________________________________________
Last edited by omidsameie on Sat Mar 29, 2014 11:45 am, edited 13 times in total.

Alv
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Dec 09, 2013 8:48 am

Re: 2014 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby Alv » Mon Dec 09, 2013 9:12 am

Undergrad Institution: Oxbridge
Major(s):Physics
Minor(s):N/A
GPA in Major: 82%

Length of Degree: 4 years
Position in Class: near top
Type of Student: White/Hispanic - As a Spaniard I can never decide between the two

GRE Scores :
Q: 166 93%
V: 162 89%
W: 4.0 54%
P: 910 87%


TOEFL Total: I'm not actually a native speaker, but luckily they don't ask for this to UK graduates.

Research Experience: 2 months on Quantum Optics Theory. First author in a publication just submitted (will not be accepted on time I'm afraid).

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Some small College Scholarships within my school, a couple of semi-big prizes in my home country (I'm EU but not from the UK).

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: I went to a great Uni at a country different than mine, I hope that matters as an international applicant. Given how hard it is to do the PGRE in the UK I am assuming they don't get too many applicants from there.

Special Bonus Points: My recommendations are (I hope) my strong point, I wouldn't be the first nor the second one they put in one of the top places. Also my Master's project is quite state-of-the-art and directly related to what I am applying to.

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: Nah, I just hope my not so great GRE scores do not hurt me a lot (910 is definitely not enough for top HET). I did not prepare them seriously and did not sleep the night before the physics one (I was travelling to get there - It was in the most remote place in England).

Applying to Where:

Princeton - Physics - HEP Theory Rejected 02/14
Harvard - Physics - HEP Theory Rejected 03/04
Caltech - Physics -HEP Theory/Cosmology Rejected 03/11
UCSB - Physics -HEP Theory/Cosmology Rejected 03/11

PSI - Accepted 03/04 - Declined
Cambridge Part III - Accepted 03/20
Imperial - Quantum Gravity - Interview 02/21 Rejected 03/08
Kings College London - HEP theory/Cosmo Rejected 03/21
UCL - Quantum foundations/Quantum gravity - Accepted 02/22 - Will attend!

Update: Not that I wouldn't have been rejected otherwise, but it looks like HET in the US is going through some tough times funding-wise, so beware, prospective applicants! http://www.math.columbia.edu/~woit/wordpress/?p=6701
Last edited by Alv on Fri Mar 21, 2014 3:36 pm, edited 9 times in total.

turbina
Posts: 5
Joined: Mon Dec 16, 2013 2:23 pm

Re: 2014 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby turbina » Tue Dec 17, 2013 12:34 pm

Long time lurker, first time poster. Hope this is helpful for people who, like me, have less than stellar profiles.
______________________________________________
Undergrad Institution: Public university in Spain
Major(s): Physics
Minor(s):
GPA in Major: 7/10
Overall GPA: 7/10
Length of Degree: 5 years on paper, it took me 6 (to put in into perspective, only one person in my class graduated in 5 years, and only two of us did it in 6, the rest are taking 7 or longer)
Position in Class: Near top
Type of Student: International female, hispanic (I don't know if that's considered a "minority", but most applications ask explicitly, so I guess it matters for some reason)

GRE Scores : Revised
Q: 165 (91%)
V: 165 (95%)
W: 4.0 (54%)
P: 790 (71%)


TOEFL Total: 117 (30 R, 30 L, 28 S, 29 W)

Research Experience: One summer at a university in London with a research scholarship (we don't have REUs or anything like that) in Quantum Information theory. No publication.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Several scholarships through my undergraduate career

Pertinent Activities or Jobs:

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: I can run a sub 4 hour marathon? I know it's kind of silly and not really an accomplishment, but it might show discipline and commitment, so when applications ask about extracurricular activities or things like that I mention it.

Special Bonus Points: My supervisor in London gave me a few names of professors to get in touch with and I've had positive feedback. I haven't taken any graduate classes per se, but my undergraduate included classes such as Quantum Field Theory or General Relativity which sometimes I've seen referred to as graduate level, I don't know. Also female and hispanic (does that really help?)

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter:

Applying to Where: A bunch of places because I'm scared I won't get accepted anywhere. Some are way out of my league and I know I'm throwing away my money but hey, I want to hear it from them. All for Quantum Information/Computation or AMO (related to QI/QC):

Florida International University - withdrawn
University of Maryland Baltimore County - accepted 2/7 via email, $23,100 TA for 12 months - declined
University of Central Florida - withdrawn
Oklahoma State - withdrawn
Tulane -withdrawn
University of New Mexico - accepted 1/29 via email, $15,196 TA for 9 months + possibility of TA/RA during summer - declined
Louisiana State - accepted 2/5 via email, $22,000 for 12 months graduate assistantship - declined
Dartmouth - accepted 2/11 via email from potential advisor, Dartmouth fellowship $27,720 for 12 months - declined
Colorado State University Fort Collins - I sent the pre-application and they're supposed to tell you whether they recommend you send the official application; I never heard anything back (so I'm assuming unofficial rejection) but I'm not interested anymore
University of Southern California - accepted 4/10 via email, $30,000 merit award for first year - WILL ATTEND!
University of Rochester - rejected 2/13
Texas A&M - withdrawn
Georgia Tech - accepted 3/18 via email to check website, $24,060 TA for 12 months - declined
Pennsylvania State - withdrawn - unofficially accepted - professor I'd mentioned in application emailed me after withdrawing to tell me I was selected for admission and ask me to reconsider - declined
University of Maryland College Park - rejected 2/9
Caltech - rejected 3/11

Takeaway for future applicants
I'm really happy with how things turned out. I was pretty anxious about applying, due in part to the advice that I had read on this forum (for instance that people with GPAs like mine don't usually get accepted anywhere...). That's why I applied to 16 schools. Then I started getting offers and withdrew a few. My GPA is terrible by American standards (between 2.8 and 3.1 depending on how you convert it), my PGRE was nothing to write home about, and I only have a few weeks of research experience, yet I still managed to get into several places, including a couple that are ranked in the top 30 (not that I think ranking is incredibly meaningful, but I've seen people saying that some higher ranked schools have unofficial cutoffs for GPA or PGRE, and that they don't look at the rest of the application if you don't meet those). Of course I can't speak for all schools, but the ones that accepted me must look at other things like LORs or SOP. So I'd like to encourage future applicants who might not feel very confident about their profiles, or think they're not good enough. Don't take it too seriously when people seem overly pessimistic, apply to schools that are good fits for you, and there's probably no need to spend the time and money it takes to send 16 applications!
Last edited by turbina on Sat Apr 12, 2014 2:18 pm, edited 11 times in total.

Margse
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Dec 19, 2013 4:13 am

Re: 2014 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby Margse » Thu Dec 19, 2013 4:44 am

Undergrad Institution: European. Master's from a respected but not prestigious school, Bachelor's from a less known one.
Major(s): Theoretical physics
Minor(s): Mathematics
GPA in Major: 4.9/5.00
Overall GPA: 4.8/5.00
Length of Degree: 3+2 years (Bologna type)
Position in Class: Unknown
Type of Student: European white male

GRE Scores :
Q: 168 - 96%
V: 165 - 95%
W: 4.5 - 78%
P: 990 - 94%


TOEFL Total: 118

Research Experience: One semester and a summer of experimental AMO, one summer in CERN, a master's thesis that has no original research. One unrefereed publication from the CERN summer with ~100 coauthors.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: -

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: TA on a freshman course.

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: -

Special Bonus Points: A lot of master's courses, also in math.

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: -

Applying to Where:
All physics, all theory, all with a mix of HET/CMT/QIT.
Listed in alphabetical order, not preferential.

Caltech - Rejected 3/10
Harvard - Rejected 2/28
MIT - Rejected 2/18
Stanford - Rejected 2/24
Stony Brook - Accepted 3/12
UC Berkeley - Rejected 2/25
UCLA - Rejected 3/5
UC Santa Barbara - Rejected 3/11
UI Urbana-Champaign - Accepted 2/12
Waterloo - Accepted 1/11 Will attend! I will practically be student at the Perimeter Institute.


PS. In retrospect, dissapointed that all the elite schools rejected me, I thought I would have gotten into one or two of them, but delighted to go to Perimeter to work in a very interesting group on a topic already familiar to me. PI sounds like a fantastic environment and thanks to the more European style degree structure I should graduate 1-2 year faster than I would have in the US because I already have a master's.
Last edited by Margse on Thu Mar 20, 2014 5:55 pm, edited 11 times in total.

Johnivan
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Dec 20, 2013 12:16 am

Re: 2014 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby Johnivan » Fri Dec 20, 2013 12:53 am

Undergrad Institution: National University of Singapore (Why doesn't anyone actually "name" their school? :P )
Major(s): Physics (with specialization in Astrophysics)
Minor(s): N/A
GPA in Major: 4.48/5.00
Overall GPA: 4.45/5.00 (1st Class = 4.50! :cry: )
Length of Degree:3 Years + 1 Year Honours
Position in Class: Probably within top 20%...
Type of Student: Malaysian Chinese Male

GRE Scores : revised
Q: 167 (95%)
V: 153 (58%)
W: 3.5 (35%)
P: 870 (82%)

TOEFL Total: 112

Research Experience: 3 research projects in school modules (Big Bang, Perpendum & Dark Energy). Each of them are a semester long. No publications... :(

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Dean's List (x1), Bronze Medal for University Physics Competition 2012, 2 Undergraduate Scholarship (1 from Malaysia & 1 from Singapore concurrently)

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Worked as lab demonstrator for a semester, was president of physics society, was organizing committee for departmental annual outreach programme for 3 consecutive years...

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: Not sure if member of Sigma Pi Sigma Honours Society helps...

Special Bonus Points: N/A

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: N/A

Applying to Where:

Code: Select all

Chicago               : Physics     - Astrophysics Theory / Cosmology / GR        - Rejected (6 Feb)
Cornell               : Physics     - Theoretical Physics                         - Rejected (7 Feb)
Yale                  : Physics     - Theoretical & Computational Cosmology       - Rejected (11 Feb)
Michigan              : Physics     - Dark Matter Detection                       - Rejected (14 Feb)
UC Berkeley           : Physics     - Dark Matter Detection                       - Rejected (25 Feb)
UC Los Angeles        : Physics     - Astrophysics / Nuclear Physics Experiment   - Rejected (5 Mar)
Northwestern          : Phy & Astro - Astrophysics Theory                         - Rejected (7 Mar)
Columbia              : Physics     - Dark Matter Detection                       - Rejected (11 Mar)
Toronto               : Physics     - Astrophysics / Subatomic Physics            - Rejected (18 Mar)
Pennsylvania          : Phy & Astro - High Energy Physics Theory                  - Rejected (21 Mar)
Imperial              : Physics     - Astrophysics / High Energy Physics          - Rejected (18 Jun)

Nat. Uni. of Singapore: Physics     - Particle / Medical Physics                  - Accepted (3 Apr)
Edinburgh             : Physics     - Dark Matter Detection                       - Accepted (11 Apr)
Uni. College London   : Phy & Astro - Astrophysics / Cosmology & Particle Physics - Accepted (20 May) - will go! :D



Analysis:
All US schools come with final decisions. When you get rejected, then that's all, no more negotiations. Normally if it takes you too long to get a reply, it probably means you're rejected. I got rejected by Toronto not only for the PhD course, but also the Masters. For Imperial, I was notified that I was rejected some time in April when I asked them. The reason was that they require a Master's degree first, and I do not qualify for it.

NUS called me up for an interview some time in February. I was told that if I would consider another field, I might get a higher chance of getting in. So after some negotiation and an interview with a prof, I was given a condensed matter theory project (although I have taken zero amount of solid state modules). I really think that my acceptance here is based on relationship, as I know the graduate committee personally, and he likes me as a good student.

Edinburgh had wanted to give me an offer, but they hesitated since they weren't able to provide me funding (sad life of international students). They only gave me the offer after I said that I was shortlisted for funding from my home government.

Conclusion:
In summary, I was rejected by all US schools and the only Canadian school I applied. Possible reasons might be due to low GRE scores (as a foreign student), lack of research background, and also the government shutdown earlier that year. I was initially rejected by UCL, but I managed to get funding from the Malaysian government to study there. Thus, I will be going to UCL!

Personal note: receiving multiple rejection letters within 3 weeks, is a very very very depressing thing. Be mentally and emotionally prepared for the worst!

Note to international students: Firstly, don't overestimate your qualifications. I have a good second upper, but I have zero chance of getting into even the top 23rd US school in the world. I have a classmate with a good first class honours, but the best school he could get is into Maryland, so don't expect too much. Secondly, don't underestimate your chances in the UK Universities. Sometimes they reject you because they do not have funding from their own university. If you are able to prove that you can get funding from your own home government, your application might be reconsidered again. Best wishes to all! :)
Last edited by Johnivan on Thu Jul 03, 2014 9:31 pm, edited 17 times in total.

gor
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue Dec 24, 2013 5:15 pm

Re: 2014 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby gor » Tue Dec 24, 2013 5:52 pm

Soon.
Last edited by gor on Tue Jan 07, 2014 8:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Nuclear_Noob
Posts: 5
Joined: Sat Dec 07, 2013 11:59 pm

Re: 2014 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby Nuclear_Noob » Tue Dec 31, 2013 8:05 pm

Undergrad Institution: Big state school, well known in condensed matter physics
Major: Physics
Minor: Mathematics
GPA in Major: 4.0
Overall GPA: 3.96
Length of Degree: 4 years (2 as an official undergraduate)
Position in Class: Dunno, top 20% probably.
Type of Student: Domestic white male. Diversity statements are a lot of fun.

GRE Scores : Revised
Q: 164 :oops: Can't take standardized math tests to save my life.
V: 170
W: 4.5
P: 940


Research Experience: 2 years in experimental condensed matter, fairly well known advisor.
2 UROPs and a paper in the digital conservancy, honors thesis in the works. An REU at Duke University
in experimental nuclear physics, resulting in a poster at the DNP October meeting. Experimental class
project in quantum optics, giving a talk at NCUR in April.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Not much, trivial scholarships for grades and research.

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Vice-president of SPS - outstanding student chapter.

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: Can't think of anything offhand....

Special Bonus Points: Applying at 19 - I started college at 16 as a high school student. Taking two semesters of grad
quantum, aced the first semester, taking grad E&M. Five graduate math and physics courses by the time I graduate. All three
recommendation letters are for research, at least two of them are hopefully good.

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: Nope.

Applying to Where: All in experimental physics:

Maryland - Physics - Quantum Optics - Accepted with Fellowship
Duke - Physics - Quantum Optics - Accepted with Research Fellowship
MIT - Physics - Optics and AMO physics - Rejected
U Illinois Urbana-Champaign - Physics - Condensed Matter - Accepted

Cornell - Applied Physics - Quantum Optics - Accepted with Research Fellowship. Will attend!!
Berkeley - Physics - Optics and AMO - Rejected
Caltech - Physics - Optics and AMO - Rejected
Chicago - Physics - Condensed Matter - Accepted with Research Fellowship


Feel like I might have been too ambitious... guess I'll find out.

EDIT, lessons learned:

If you're applying for top places, make sure your advisor knows people there and say you want to work with them.
When everyone has perfect scores and grades and aced half the grad curriculum, connections are everything.
______________________________________________
Last edited by Nuclear_Noob on Sun Apr 13, 2014 11:53 am, edited 7 times in total.

jihoon
Posts: 3
Joined: Tue Nov 12, 2013 2:55 am

Re: 2014 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby jihoon » Thu Jan 02, 2014 4:09 am

Undergrad Institution: Big state school. Grad physics program top tier in nation.
Major(s):Physics
GPA in Major:3.85
Overall GPA:3.87
Length of Degree: 2.5 years
Position in Class: top 10%?
Type of Student: International Male
GRE Scores : (revised )
Q:170/170
V:165/170
W:4/6
P:990/990(94%)

Research Experience: 1.5 years of research experience. Two papers coauthored(3rd author I think) submitted.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Some 'you got good marks' prize

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Grader for lower division honors sequence for 1.5semester

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help:

Special Bonus Points: (Such as connections, grad classes, famous recommenders, female or minority status etc...)


Applying to Where: Reseach Interest: Condensed Matter
Department: Physics

UC Berkeley Rejected via e-mail 2/20.
UCSB rejected via website 3/11
UCLA Admission Recommended 2/23 via e-mail.
Princeton Rejected 2/15 via e-mail.
Harvard
MIT Rejected 2/19 via E-mail.
Columbia Waitlisted via E-mail 2/27
Cornell Accepted via E-mail 2/6. 26k TA+ possible summer work option .
UChicago Rejected 2/5 via website.
UIUC rejected via E-mail 3/28

Reflections:
GPA and PGRE scores are important, but you might need something more... publications, rec letters, and fellowships/grants.

Don't be worried if you don't get a 1st author paper on nature or something though. I believe most undergrads don't have a nature 1st author paper on some fancy relaxation process of Graphene. Of course, if you do, then you can send it to MIT and get an admission offer.

Try to get rec letters from a professor that is in the field you are interested in. I believe the more specific the fields are, the better it is. (I.E. when applying to Harvard Quantum electronics, try to get a rec letter from a professor who works in the field and is well known so that they would know who your prof is in person.)

Also, get fellowships/grants beforehand- schools won't have to worry about funding when they admit you.

Good luck everyone!
______________________________________________

Thanks to quizivex for the template from previous years.
Last edited by jihoon on Mon Mar 31, 2014 4:10 am, edited 6 times in total.

SonicSemae
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Sep 23, 2013 10:38 pm

Re: 2014 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby SonicSemae » Fri Jan 03, 2014 7:09 pm

Undergrad Institution: Top 20 liberal arts school, no reputation for physics
Major(s): Physics
Minor(s): Our school doesn't really do minors, but based on my classes I could have "minored" in music, math, or comp sci
GPA in Major: 3.2
Overall GPA: 3.3
Length of Degree: 4 years
Position in Class: Probably not high up, but above average
Type of Student: Domestic white male

GRE Scores : (revised)
Q: 161 (81%)
V: 157 (75%)
W: 4.0 (54%)
P: 550 (19%) (I REALLY suck at standardized tests)

Research Experience: Did an REU in nuclear physics this summer and presented at DNP this fall, also collaborating on a CM experiment for my senior thesis

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Noooope. Our school doesn't have a dean's list and no SPS chapter.

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Physics tutor and lab assistant for two years

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: Also nope.

Special Bonus Points: My recommenders all know me very well and are writing very personal recommendations

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: Very dedicated to several community oriented causes

Applying to Where:
I'll update this list as I hear back from schools!

Cornell - Accelerator Physics - Rejected on 2/5/14 via email
UW Madison - Plasma Exp - Rejected on 2/6/14 via email
CU Boulder - Plasma Exp - Rejected on 2/25/14 via email
UW Seattle - Nuclear Exp - Rejected on 2/27/14 via email
Texas A&M University - Nuclear Exp - Accepted on 3/6/14 via email - Offered TA and small fellowship
Indiana University Bloomington - Nuclear Exp - Rejected on 3/7/14 via email after inquiry
Michigan State University - Nuclear Exp - Rejected on 3/28/14 via email
Last edited by SonicSemae on Sat Mar 29, 2014 11:59 am, edited 14 times in total.

flobadobadie
Posts: 29
Joined: Thu Dec 05, 2013 10:20 am

Re: 2014 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby flobadobadie » Sat Jan 04, 2014 8:24 pm

Let my profile be a warning for those applying from the UK to HEP-th.
1) Grades. Good is not good enough, they want the best.
2) Research experience. Get it where and whenever you can. Summer projects. Push to publish.
3) HEP-th. Not going to warn people against applying for it. Don't let anyone ever tell you what you can't do.

Undergrad Institution: University of Cambridge
Subject: Physics
Grades : First, high 2.1, high 2.1
Length of Degree: 4 years
Position in Class: Middle
Type of Student: International

GRE Scores :
Q: 170
V: 165
W: 4.0
P: 980

Research Experience: Two years lab work. Master's thesis in particle phenomenology

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: One for getting first class results in first year.

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Two summers of programming experience

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: Don't think so

Special Bonus Points: No

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: No publications. It's unusual for someone from the UK to have any at this point.

Applying to Where (Will add as hear back):

Chicago - Physics - HEP Th. Rejected 1/27
Cambridge DAMTP - Physics - HEP Th. Rejected 1/28
Cornell - Physics - HEP Th. Rejected 2/7
Princeton - Physics - HEP Th. Rejected 2/14
MIT - Physics - HEP Th. Rejected 2/18
Stanford - Physics - HEP Th. Rejected 2/24
Berkeley - Physics - HEP Th. Rejected 2/25
Harvard - Physics - HEP Th. Rejected 2/28
Caltech - Physics - HEP Th. Rejected 3/11
Durham - Physics - HEP Th. Rejected 4/24
Imperial - Physics - HEP Th. Rejected 5/16
Oxford - Physics - HEP Th. Rejected 5/29
Amsterdam - Physics - HEP Th. Rejected 6/11
Last edited by flobadobadie on Tue Sep 09, 2014 5:49 pm, edited 9 times in total.

Monkerest
Posts: 12
Joined: Wed Oct 09, 2013 11:19 pm

Re: 2014 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby Monkerest » Sun Jan 05, 2014 5:20 pm

Undergrad Institution: Small liberal arts, relatively unknown.
Major(s): Physics, Art
GPA in Major: 3.5
Overall GPA: 3.5
Length of Degree: 5 years
Position in Class: More average than top, I would assume (unknown)
Type of Student: Domestic white dude.

GRE Scores : Revised
Q: 169 / 97%
V: 166 / 96%
W: 4.0 / 54% :(
P: 680 / 49% :(


Research Experience: 1.75 years R&D (much more on the side of applied physics)

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Nothing special... Deans list 5 semesters.

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Tutored a middle school kid in basic physics, graded homework for a semester, but really the above.

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: Nope.

Special Bonus Points: I'm just a special person is all.

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: Pretty sure my letters of recommendation reflected solid personal relationships and great faith in my abilities.

Applying to Where:

University of Michigan - Physics - CME - REJECTED
Duke University - Physics - CME - ACCEPTED
University of Minnesota - Physics - CME/Cosmology - ACCEPTED
University of Arizona - Physics - AMO - ACCEPTED - DECLINED
University of Texas at Austin - Physics - AMO - 4 e-mails, and 6 phone calls later, REJECTED. They literally would never have contacted me because they had forgotten about my application, and had to confer amongst themselves after I called before getting back to me. The final response was something along the lines of, "Well, it doesn't look like you're on our list, so you probably won't get an offer of admission." This was in late March.
UC Santa Cruz - Physics - CM/Neurophysics - REJECTED
UC Berkeley - Physics - CM/nanophysics - REJECTED (this was my pipe dream school)
NYU - Physics - CM - REJECTED
Johns Hopkins University - Physics - CM - REJECTED
University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill - Physics - CM Withdrew
Vanderbilt University - Physics - CM Withdrew
Brown University - Physics - CM - REJECTED after e-mailing to request application status
______________________________________________
Last edited by Monkerest on Wed Mar 26, 2014 8:52 pm, edited 19 times in total.

Low
Posts: 5
Joined: Thu Feb 07, 2013 10:56 pm

Re: 2014 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby Low » Wed Jan 08, 2014 4:30 pm

Undergrad Institution: Small liberal arts college, no physics reputation
Major(s): Liberal Arts
GPA in Major: 3.76
Length of Degree: 4
Position in Class: N/A (school does not publish)
Type of Student: Domestic, male

Graduate Institution: Ivy
Graduate Major: MA in Physics and Philosophy
Graduate GPU: 3.74

GRE Scores : old version
Q: 800 (93%)
V: 610 (84%)
W: 5.5 (97%)
P: 840 (78%)

Research Experience: 1 year in computational/theoretical astrophysics/cosmology at a government lab (somewhat dated now)

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Neither undergrad nor grad offer honors or awards.

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: TA as an undergrad. Worked post undergrad for a few years in computation.

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: Have received a major conference award in computation and a couple of federal grants (not in physics).

Special Bonus Points: Lots of grad classes. All recommenders are relatively well known.

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: I have a non-traditional background and I'm an older applicant.

Applying to Where: Mostly in theoretical & computational Cosmology/High-energy Physics

The results so far... (will add as they come in)

U. of Rochester - Astrophysics/HEP/Cosmo - Accepted 1/23 - offer declined 4/9
U. of Chicago - GR/Cosmo - Rejected 2/6
Penn State - GR/Cosmo - Accepted 2/7 - research fellowship 3/6 - will attend 4/9
U. of Maryland - College Park - GR/Cosmo - Rejected 2/9
Princeton - HEP/Cosmo - Rejected 2/14
U. of Michigan - Ann Arbor - GR/Cosmo - Rejected 2/27
UCSD - GR/Cosmo - Rejected 3/1
Columbia University - HEP/Cosmo - Rejected 3/10
UCSB - GR/Cosmo - Rejected 3/11
U. Pennsylvania - GR/Cosmo - Rejected 3/20
SUNY - Stony Brook - GR/Cosmo - Rejected 3/28
NYU - HEP/GR/Cosmo - Wait listed 4/1 (after e-mail for status update) - withdrawn 4/14

As of 4/14, still haven't heard from the following (assumed waitlisted):

Rutgers - HEP/Cosmo - withdrawn 4/14
Last edited by Low on Mon Apr 14, 2014 1:34 pm, edited 13 times in total.

User avatar
Parmenides
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Jan 10, 2014 3:31 pm

Re: 2014 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby Parmenides » Fri Jan 10, 2014 4:23 pm

(Edit on 7/17/2014) I'm happy to finally to be participating in this great website! Here we go:

Undergrad Institution: Medium-sized state school with little reputation for physics
Major(s): Physics & Mathematics
Minor(s): None (was music at one time)
GPA in Major: ~3.5
Overall GPA: 3.63 (Cum laude)
Length of Degree: 4.5 years (music courses ate up some time)
Position in Class: Near-top
Type of Student: White male, domestic

GRE Scores : Revised
Q: 155 - 61% :?
V: 158 - 78%
W: 4.5 - 78%
P: 550 - 19% :lol: (I have retaken both GRE tests with little success…other than empty application merit, I refuse to believe they count for anything)


TOEFL Total: N/A

Research Experience: One year in experimental materials physics; learned a variety of laboratory methods such as FTIR and DMA. Two years in theoretical soft-matter physics; spent a lot of time working with LAMMPS (molecular dynamics). One first-author publication on non-equilibrium phase transition theory and poster presentation at a conference in Sydney, Australia. Was a speaker at an undergraduate mathematics conference on modular forms and their applications to string theory and black hole information. REU participant for 1 year (home institution).

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Graduated with honors; received a variety of department/university scholarships (few hundred dollars here, a thousand there) in both physics and music. Dean's list for two semesters (and *just* missed it on two other occasions :x ).

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Tutored physics for one semester and calculus for one semester. Was a paid undergrad assistant.

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: Won the student concerto competition at the school of music, open to both undergrads and graduates (has to count for something).

Special Bonus Points: One of my recommenders is a well-known soft matter theorist.

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: Hmm…I consider my personal statements to be well-written. Got As in my advanced mathematics courses (partial diff EQ, differential geometry, advanced calc).

Applying to Where:

Yale - Physics - Condensed Matter (Theory) Rejected by Email
U of I Urbana - Physics - Condensed Matter or Astrophysics Rejected by Email
Carnegie Mellon - Physics - Condensed Matter or Astrophysics Rejected by Email
Indiana University - Physics - Nuclear Astrophysics Rejected by Email
Washington University (St. Louis) - Physics - Condensed Matter or Astrophysics Waitlisted on 04/09/14 …but at that point I had already decided to not take my chances and accepted FSU's offer.
Florida State - Physics - Condensed Matter or Nuclear Astrophysics Accepted on 2/20/14 at $21,900/year + $1000 Scholarship for 1st semester! WILL ATTEND!

Looks like I pulled through (with scratches)! I hope this gives hope to those who hate standardized tests...make it big in your research, grades, and networking, and you don't really have to worry about going to a good school : )
Last edited by Parmenides on Thu Jul 17, 2014 2:31 pm, edited 3 times in total.

kap09c
Posts: 23
Joined: Sat Jul 06, 2013 10:59 pm

Re: 2014 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby kap09c » Sat Jan 11, 2014 9:17 pm

Undergrad Institution: Big state school, OK physics rep
Major(s): Physics, Applied Math
Minor(s): Chemistry
GPA in Major: Physics :3.82 /Math: 3.96
Overall GPA:3.66
Length of Degree: 5 (did 2.5 years of chemistry before switching to phys/math)
Position in Class: a prof told me I was considered top 2 out of about 50
Type of Student: Domestic/Female/Half Puerto Rican

GRE Scores : revised
Q: 159 (75%) :cry:
V: 158 (78%)
W: 4.0 (54%) :x wtf
P: 780 - dude, I cant exam for crap, and I am at peace with it



Research Experience:
1) photochemistry - 1 year - no pubs - chem dep
2) nonlinear dynamics - 1 year and on going - 2 manuscripts - math dep (prof took off so no recent work on it)
- first project was athe non linear Schrodinger and I did a large portion of the work +manuscript in preparation (might get 1st author)
- second project on bose einstein condensations, multiple talks on my work as well as awards + manuscript in preparation (will be first author)
3) Computational biophysics - 1 summer - no pubs
4) On going theoretical work on HTSC


Awards/Honors/Recognition: graduating with honors etc. nsf travel award, honors thesis award, huge school scholarship for research, in SPS/PME, featured university student, poster presentation award

Pertinent Activities or Jobs:
I am the historian of PME, I am involved in a lot of outreach and I have recently started my own organization for organizing campus-wide outreach events

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: University has a profile of me and my work on a number of websites and it is the first result when you google my name. Also have videos up of my lectures, etc.

Special Bonus Points: I'm female + hispanic + first generation. Audited two graduate courses and using them in my current work. I have connections to three of my schools. Two know me personally from conferences and the other is the almamatter of one of my advisors and I am applying to work with his advisor

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: started college at 16, have a lot of programming skills listed, a lot of outreach again.

Applying to Where:

Failures:
Harvard - Physics Department - CM/TP - Rejected
Duke - Mathematics Department - Applied - Rejected
Stanford - Physics Department - CM/TP - Rejected

UCSB - Physics Department - CM/TP - Rejected
Columbia - Physics Department - CM/TP -Rejected
Yale - Physics Department - CM/TP -Rejected
Perimeter Institute - Masters Program - Rejected

Success:
Stony Brook - Physics Department - CM/TP - Accepted! 25.5 k + fellowship CMT _ Almost attended
New York University - Physics Department - CM/TP- Accepted! Two fellowships ->45k ....total disbelief. Definitely considering
Old Dominion U - CMT/Nuc - Accepted


Grants:
NSF GRFP -CMT - VG/VG, E/E, VG/E Awarded! 32k/year for 3 years + tuition + travel ops + supercomputer access.

Let's be real here for a second: the Non-Ivy -> Ivy/top10 transition in theory is damn near impossible. In addition to that, physics is getting more competitive: only two students from my year made it into graduate school despite the good physics rep my university has. Last year a lot of uni's over admitted and now the entire graduate ecosystem is a mess. People who should have gone on to Stanford, etc. this year ended up in lower ranked schools, displacing the students who would have been accepted there, etc. I'm grateful for the offers I did get considering my physics GRE and the fact that I got a B+ in Thermo/StatMech. I clearly have promise as demonstrated by my NSF award and I will likely use it to my advantage to get into a better Ph.D. program down the road. Future non-Ivys .... please work hard and do better than I did on the GRE and make sure that you have a publication to lean on in admissions. I think those were my two major drawbacks this season


~~~~~~~~~BUT WAIT~~~~~~~~~~~~~
After winning my NSF GRFP award I asked a few schools for reconsideration. While almost all of them ignored me or had a policy against it:

UCSB - Physics Department - CMT - ACCEPTED! Not only do I have guaranteed support beyond my NSF grant plus an additional fellowship, but my PI of choice soon emailed me and offered me a position in the fall. LIFE. IS. SO. GOOD WILL ATTEND!!!!

There is hope after all for non IVY students!!!!! TOP 5 GUYS!!!!
______________________________________________
Last edited by kap09c on Sun Apr 13, 2014 10:48 am, edited 21 times in total.

davidthedavid
Posts: 5
Joined: Thu Jan 09, 2014 3:38 pm

Re: 2014 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby davidthedavid » Tue Jan 14, 2014 2:31 am

Undergrad Institution: Public college in New York; no physics reputation
Major(s): physics and computational mathematics
Minor(s): parallel and distributed computing
GPA in Major: 3.98
Overall GPA: 3.98
Length of Degree: 4 (I think)
Position in Class: top (department is tiny though, only ~10ish majors)
Type of Student: Domestic white male

GRE Scores : (revised)
Q: 164 [probably will retake for higher quantitative]
V: 168
W: 5.0
P: [not taken yet]

Research Experience: Computational biophysics. One first-author publication, possibly 2 second-author publications.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Silly scholarship thing in physics department, not much else..

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Tutor in "learning center" of college.

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: Graduate of Ivy League university for my first degree (switching fields...)

Special Bonus Points: nope

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: Transitioning from music to science (pianist and piano teacher right now)

Applying to Where:

will decide after getting PGRE score..

kathiravangg
Posts: 17
Joined: Mon Nov 18, 2013 12:19 pm

Re: 2014 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby kathiravangg » Tue Jan 14, 2014 7:17 am

Undergrad Institution: Less famous engineering college in India; no reputation for Physics; graduated in 2011 but applying for Fall 14.
Major(s): Electrical and Electronics Engineering
Minor(s): No concept of minor
GPA in Major: Not applicable
Overall GPA: 77% (no GPA system)
Length of Degree: 4 years
Position in Class: Top 10 in terms of grades; Topper in terms of Physics subject knowledge 8)
Type of Student: International Male - India

GRE Scores : Revised (Nov 2013)
Q: 164 89%
V: 158 78%
W: 4.5 78%
P: 820 75% (Oct 2013)


TOEFL Total: 113 (R 30 L 27 S 27 W 29)

Research Experience: studied Thermodynamics and Stat Mech as a Summer Student at IMSc during junior year (http://www.imsc.res.in)

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: None

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Part of a local club that conducts Physics lectures by eminent professors in India for students; did observational astronomy course, dealing with telescopic observations of simple celestial bodies.

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: None

Special Bonus Points: None

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: Have been working in an Information Technology company since graduation for almost 3 years now; job not relevant to physics

Applying to Where:

Univ of Pittsburgh - Physics - - Rejected; email to check website on 04/08
North Carolina State Univ - Physics - Accepted after Skype Interview on 04/10 - $16800/ 9 months + Summer support 4k; fees per year 2k
Case Western Reserve Univ - Physics - - Rejected; informed so upon email inquiry on 02/24
Univ of Tennessee, Knoxville - Physics - Accepted via email on 03/03 with TA 20k+Tuition waiver+Health Insurance but $1k per sem fee
Colorado State Univ - Physics - - Rejected; informed so upon email inquiry on 02/26
Lousiana State Univ - Physics - No response till 04/10 - applied via email - To Future applicants: email applications are not given due consideration! Too bad ! EDIT: got a rejection email on 04/22
Univ of Kansas - Physics - Accepted via email on 01/15 with TA 18k
Univ of Cincinnatti - Physics - No response till 04/10 - app fee and recos - what a waste of time ! EDIT: Got an email asking if I was still interested on 04/16
Univ of Wisconsin, Milwaukee - Physics - Accepted via email on 02/17 with TA 20k
Last edited by kathiravangg on Wed Apr 23, 2014 2:51 am, edited 12 times in total.

shangtsail
Posts: 3
Joined: Thu Jul 05, 2012 1:58 pm

Re: 2014 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby shangtsail » Wed Jan 15, 2014 4:05 pm

Undergrad Institution: Bachelors: ~#150 international; Masters: Cambridge
Major(s): Mathematics
Minor(s): Physics
GPA in Major: 4.0
Overall GPA: 4.0
Length of Degree: 3+1
Position in Class: Home university: top; UK: don't know yet
Type of Student: International female

GRE Scores : revised
Q: 168
V: 162
W: 4.5
P: 990


Research Experience: during an exchange in the US (2 quarters, theory+exp); CERN (2 months, exp); other universities (2 months, theory); home university (half a year, theory).

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Quite a lot from the universities I've attended.

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: TA for 2 first year physics classes in my third year.

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: Help organise an undergraduate women in physics conference? University exchanges? Accepted into Cambridge for Masters with financial support?

Special Bonus Points: Very good recommendation letters, I believe.


Applying to Where:

Harvard - Physics - HEP-th - Accepted 02/13 - Attending.
MIT - Physics - HEP-th - Rejected 02/18
Berkeley - Physics - HEP-th - Accepted 02/14
Caltech - Physics - HEP-th - Rejected 03/11
Stanford - Physics - HEP-th - Rejected 02/24
Last edited by shangtsail on Mon Apr 28, 2014 4:02 pm, edited 8 times in total.

xcorat
Posts: 1
Joined: Sat Nov 23, 2013 12:42 am

Re: 2014 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby xcorat » Thu Jan 16, 2014 12:14 am

Undergrad Institution: top 10 US
Major(s): Engineering Physics
GPA in Major: 3.7
Overall GPA: 3.68
Length of Degree: 4
Type of Student: Domestic

GRE Scores : revised
Q: 167 (95%)
V: 158 (78%)
W: 3.5 (35%) :(
P: 990 (94%)

Research Experience: 1.5years in particle physics group doing not as physicsy work. 1 yr AMO.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: honors?

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Worked on a particle group for a year after graduating

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help:

Special Bonus Points: 1 grad class(A-) and couple of emails to professors in schools I'm applying to from my supervisor

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter:

Applying to Where:

UC Berkeley - Physics - Particle/Nuclear Exp - Accepted on 02/15 via email. No other info yet.
UCLA - Physics - Particle/Nuclear Exp - Accepted on 02/01 via email. 15k Fellowship + 17k TA/GSR = 32k First year.
UCSB - Physics - Particle/Nuclear Exp
UCI - Physics - Particle/Nuclear Exp - Accepted on 01/30 via email. (Something like 5900$*3(quarters) + 10k fellowship.)
U Washington - Physics - Particle/Nuclear Exp - Accepted on 01/13 via email! that was fast. (~18k TA + 5k fellowship for first year)
Yale - Physics - Particle/Nuclear Exp - Accepted on 02/14 via email. No other info yet.
Cornell - Physics - Particle/Nuclear Exp - Accepted 02/06 via e-mail to check the website, $26.2k/9mo + summer TA/RA options
Last edited by xcorat on Tue Feb 18, 2014 12:21 pm, edited 6 times in total.

kcommeford
Posts: 2
Joined: Sun Jan 13, 2013 12:52 am

Re: 2014 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby kcommeford » Thu Jan 16, 2014 10:57 pm

______________________________________________
Undergrad Institution: Small engineering school
Major(s): Engineering Physics
Minor(s): MS Applied Physics
GPA in Major: 3.54 Undergrad, 3.01 Grad ( :shock: )
Overall GPA: ^same^
Length of Degree: 4 years undergrad, 1 grad
Position in Class: no idea
Type of Student: White female

GRE Scores : (revised or old version?)
Q: 161
V: 156
W: 4
P: 630 :shock: ouch. In my defense, I was out of school for 3 years. I don't remember anything, even after studying for months.

Research Experience: Summer in PER, senior thesis in CM (1st author PRA), Summer in Valencia (Spain) led to 2nd author in Computational Mathematics Journal (Brazilian), a few poster sessions, Masters thesis in CM

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Award for outstanding undergrad research

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: TA intro E&M for 2 years, did Teach for America for 2 years, now tutoring

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: I taught high school for a while?

Special Bonus Points: I'm a lady. And I "gave back" to the community with TFA

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: nope. I was an awesome undergrad student, but got lazy slash apathetic in grad school the first time because I wasn't really sure that's what I wanted to be doing. Now I know it is.

Applying to Where:

University of Texas - Physics - Neutrinos and PER- Finally rejected on 3/31 after email inquiry
University of Minnesota - Physics - Neutrinos and PER- still no word
University of Indiana - Physics - Neutrinos and PER- Rejected 3/7 via email
Drexel University - Physics - Neutrinos and PER- Accepted 2/24 via email Will attend! After a visit (that they paid for) this department could not be more awesome. I'm stoked.
Bryn Mawr - Physics - Open- Accepted 2/25 via snail mail
Last edited by kcommeford on Wed Apr 09, 2014 11:43 pm, edited 4 times in total.

Robin Goodfellow
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Jan 17, 2014 2:08 pm

Re: 2014 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby Robin Goodfellow » Fri Jan 17, 2014 2:13 pm

Undergrad Institution: Small liberal arts college
Major(s): Physics
Minor(s):
GPA in Major: N/A - my school doesn't do grades
Overall GPA:
Length of Degree: 4 years
Position in Class: N/A - no grades and tiny school
Type of Student: Domestic female

GRE Scores : (revised or old version?)
Q: 168 (97%)
V: 167 (98%)
W: 4.5 (78%)
P: 670 (47% - all of you people who are dissatisfied with scores in the 800+ range are killing me)

Research Experience: Worked in a well-funded lab at my school over the summer of my junior year, turned this research into undergraduate honors thesis.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: A few merit-based scholarships in undergrad, but I doubt that the graduate committees care much.

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Physics and Chemistry TA, Research Assistantship (see above), Robotics TA at a summer camp, some computer programming experience (Java and Python)

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: I'm well-rounded and good at writing?

Special Bonus Points: At least two of my recommendations should be really strong - going to a tiny school means that you get really well acquainted with your professors. I'm a female, which may help my application - but I would resent anyone who implied that I got into a school only because of my gender.

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: Like I said, my school is tiny and gives narrative evaluations instead of grades. I'm not sure if this will help my application (we're a good school, just weird, and send a lot of students to graduate programs) or hurt it (the fact that I don't have grades and did poorly on the PGRE could be an issue).

Three of my five schools don't require the Physics GRE (Rochester, RIT, and UBC).

Applying to Where:

UW Madison - Physics - Quantum Computing - 2/6 Rejected by email (bummer, but probably not the best fit anyway)
UNC Chapel Hill - Physics - Biomedical - Rejected 3/20 with an email to check the website
University of Rochester - Optics - Biomedical - 2/24 Rejected from Ph.D. but offered M.S. with a 50% tuition waiver
Rochester Institute of Technology - Imaging Science - Biomedical/Historical Document - 2/24 Accepted with $20,000 TA for the first 9 months and possible summer stipend
University of British Columbia - Physics - Biomedical
Last edited by Robin Goodfellow on Mon Mar 24, 2014 11:51 pm, edited 4 times in total.

XC423
Posts: 12
Joined: Sat Jan 18, 2014 5:06 am

Re: 2014 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby XC423 » Sat Jan 18, 2014 5:54 am

Undergrad Institution: Small Unknown Liberal Arts School
Major(s): Physics and Mathematics
Minor(s): nope
GPA in Major: 3.98
Overall GPA: 3.95
Length of Degree: 4 years
Position in Class: Top 5%
Type of Student: White American Male

Post-Grad Institution: Oxbridge University
Major(s): Physics
Length of Degree: 1 year
Position in Class: no idea

GRE Scores: (I didn't study for the general test because I heard it was nowhere near as important as the subject test)
Q: 163
V: 160
W: 4.0
P: 690 (2012); 840 (2013)


Research Experience: 1 summer at a National Lab working with a professor on High Energy experiment. 1 year working on the AdS/CFT correspondence that lead to a publication in PRD. Currently doing research in optics/biophysics.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Goldwater Honorable Mention, Novartis Scholarship, Phi Beta Kappa, Pi Mu Epsilon, Sigma Pi Sigma, AAPT Teaching Award, Lots of math and physics awards from my college.

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Three years as a Learning Assistant for general physics (I had office hours, helped in lecture, and lead problem solving sessions), math tutor, editor of physics department's newsletter.

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: I was on my college Cross-Country and Track and Field teams for three years.

Special Bonus Points: Took one graduate QM class as an undergraduate.

Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: this is my second time applying for PhD's. Made contacts with professors from UPenn and CU-Boulder.

Applying to Where: all for physics

Stanford - Rejected via email on 2/24
UCSB - Rejected via email on 3/11
University of Pennsylvania
CU-Boulder - Accepted via email on 2/10 YAY!! Was really hoping for this one!! :D
University of Washington - Accepted via email on 1/24 (with TA + Scholarship)
SUNY Stony Brook - Accepted via email on 1/17 (with TA + summer $25,500)
UC Davis - Accepted via email on 2/5
UMass Amherst - Accepted via email on 2/2 offer declined
Tufts - Accepted via email on 2/22 offer declined
SUNY Buffalo - Accepted via email on 2/11 offer declined
Last edited by XC423 on Thu Mar 13, 2014 10:44 am, edited 11 times in total.

skpgre
Posts: 8
Joined: Sat Nov 30, 2013 2:59 am

Re: 2014 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby skpgre » Sat Jan 18, 2014 8:05 pm

Undergrad Institution: Highly ranked LAC
Major(s): Physics (with a TON of math classes)
GPA in Major: ~3.6
Overall GPA: ~3.65
Length of Degree: 4
Position in Class: Above average
Type of Student: International

GRE Scores :
Q: 166
V: 165
W: 4.5
P: 700 :evil:

Research Experience: Year-long astrophysics research. Undergrad thesis on AMO project - led to a 3rd authorship in a Nature paper. Year-long work experience in computational chemistry/biology - 2nd author in a J. Chem. Phys. paper.
Poster presentation at an APS conference.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions:

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Physics TA for a couple of years.

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help:

Special Bonus Points:

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter:

Applying to Where:

Yale - Physics - CMT - Rejected
UIUC - Physics - CMT - Rejected
UPenn - Physics - CMT
Penn State - Physics - CMT
Columbia - Physics - AMO

Uh, yeah, right...
Last edited by skpgre on Wed Feb 19, 2014 3:30 pm, edited 2 times in total.

thaumazo
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Jan 22, 2014 1:45 pm

Re: 2014 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby thaumazo » Wed Jan 22, 2014 2:14 pm

Undergrad Institution: Strong US research university. Well-known physics program
Major(s): Physics
Minor(s):
GPA in Major: 3.9
Overall GPA: 3.9
Length of Degree: 4yr
Position in Class: Near top
Type of Student: domestic white male

GRE Scores : 2013
Q: 170 / 98%
V: 169 / 99%
W: 5.0 / 93%
P: 920 / 88%


Research Experience: 5 semesters at school (1 in field of interest), 2 summers (1 in Germany, 1 staying at my school, but in field of interest). 4th of 6 authors on astro instrumentation paper (conference proceedings). Presented poster at AAS 2014 winter meeting. None of my research has actually been in the specific subfield I'm interested in.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Received competitive fellowship to do summer research in Germany after sophomore year

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: volunteer outreach teacher

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help:

Special Bonus Points: N/A

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: Didn't apply to fellowships this cycle. 2 research recommendation letters, 1 from academic professor of a small upper level astro class.

Applying to Where:

Arizona - Astronomy - Computational astro fluid dynamics + planetary systems
Boulder - Astrophysical + Planetary Sciences - Computational astro fluid dynamics -- Accepted 1/30, $2210/month
Harvard - Astronomy - Computational astro fluid dynamics + MHD -- phone interview 1/27
Princeton - Astrophysics - Computational astro fluid dynamics + atmospheres + MHD -- waitlist 1/23
University of Virginia - Astronomy - Computational astro fluid dynamics + planetary systems + MHD
University of Michigan - Astronomy - Computational astrophysics + protoplanetary systems
Ohio State - Astronomy - Computational astro + galactic formation - waitlist via email, 1/20
UC Berkeley - Astronomy - computational astro fluid dynamics
UC Santa Cruz - Astronomy + Astrophysics - computational astro fluid dynamics + stellar/planetary formation -- skype interview 1/27
Last edited by thaumazo on Wed Feb 05, 2014 5:49 pm, edited 2 times in total.

physics4life
Posts: 5
Joined: Tue Mar 05, 2013 1:38 am

Re: 2014 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby physics4life » Thu Jan 23, 2014 8:28 pm

Undergrad Institution: Small liberal arts school in the middle of nowhere
Major(s): Physics and a completely unrelated creative major :P
Minor(s):
GPA in Major: 3.3 or so (Physics)
Overall GPA: 3.5
Length of Degree: 4 years
Position in Class: no idea
Type of Student: white domestic female

GRE Scores : revised
Q: high 150s
V: mid 150s
W: 4
P: high 500s :(



Research Experience: over a year of research with a professor at my school. did a poster talk at my school.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: stuff for my GPA, stuff for the arts

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: tutored in my physics department my senior year

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help:

Special Bonus Points: female applicant.

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: I think my statement of purpose is pretty damn good, but then again maybe everyone does. I'm not afraid of humanities courses and I think that makes me a well rounded person? (not sure if that even matters) Also I know some programming but every physics major should, right?

Applying to Where:

I'm applying for astrophysics. I will share as I hear.

University of Minnesota - rejected 1/28
University of New Mexico - rejected 1/29
UW Madison- rejected 3/5 Astronomy 3/6 Physics
Boulder- rejected APS and Physics Departments
UNH- Accepted for PhD with funding!
New Mexico Tech- rejected
Tufts- rejected
Drexel- long listed

Even if you have a low score for the physics GRE, you can still get in somewhere!
Last edited by physics4life on Wed Mar 05, 2014 9:50 pm, edited 7 times in total.

dabibbler
Posts: 2
Joined: Fri Jan 24, 2014 12:18 am

Re: 2014 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby dabibbler » Fri Jan 24, 2014 12:28 am

Undergrad Institution: Big state school, ranked decently for physics
Major(s): Physics, Materials Science & Engineering
GPA in Major: 4.0
Overall GPA: 3.99
Length of Degree: 4 years
Type of Student: Domestic white male

GRE Scores :
Q: 170
V: 161
W: 5.5
P: 870

Research Experience: Two summer projects (one international research experience, one REU) and ~1 year research experience at home institution. One published paper, two professional presentations (one prior, one upcoming)

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Dean's List and various internal scholarships

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: TA for honors general chemistry (1 semester), Tutor in physics, calculus, engineering (1.5 years experience)

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: Got an interview for the Hertz Fellowship, included this piece of information in all applications. Did not move on to second interview.

Special Bonus Points: One grad class in materials thermodynamics

Applying to Where:
(all CME)
Michigan - Physics - Accepted 1/23 via e-mail as part of early admission program, $27.9k/year GSI+Fellowship with GSRA support for Summer 2014 declined offer
UIUC - Physics – Accepted 2/9 via e-mail, $21.7k/11mo TA declined offer
Ohio State - Physics – Accepted 2/7 via e-mail, $27k first-year fellowship + $3k scholarship, then $24.5k for TA second year declined offer
Penn State - Physics – Accepted 2/7 via e-mail, $18.2k + $5k first-year fellowship + $6.4k summer stipend declined offer
Cornell - Physics – Accepted 2/4 via e-mail to check the website, $25.6k/9mo + summer TA/RA options Attending!
Princeton - Physics – Rejected 2/14 via e-mail
UC Berkeley - Physics – Rejected 2/25 via e-mail
Stanford - Applied Physics - Accepted 2/4 via e-mail, $35.2k/year (!) RA declined offer
Harvard - Applied Physics – Rejected 3/12 via website
Last edited by dabibbler on Mon Apr 07, 2014 10:42 pm, edited 11 times in total.

residue
Posts: 5
Joined: Thu Jul 18, 2013 12:28 am

Re: 2014 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby residue » Fri Jan 24, 2014 7:04 pm

Undergrad Institution: US State School
Major(s): Physics, Math
GPA in Major: 3.8 Upper Division
Overall GPA: 3.55
Length of Degree: 4 years
Type of Student: Domestic white male

GRE Scores :
Q: 162
V: 159
W: 5.0
P: 770

Research Experience: two years in Superconductivity lab; lots of machining,programming

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Dean's List, departmental scholarships,Sigma Pi Sigma

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: intro physics TA, intern for local hands-on physics group that travels to local public schools, tutor

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: Nothing spectacular..

Special Bonus Points: Took a high-performance computing course, graduate linear algebra, grad solid-state

Applying to Where:
(all CMT, mentioned computational interest)

Minnesota, accepted 01/21 (email in spam folder) $18k/9mth TA plus 6k summer option ATTENDING!
Carnegie Mellon
UIUC, rejected 3/14
UC San Diego, rejected 3/1
UC Santa Barbara, rejected 3/11
Tennessee, accepted 2/25
Iowa State, accepted 02/04, 17k TA in addition to fellowship
Boston, didn't finish application..
Maryland, rejected 02/09 via email
Washington, rejected 02/27
Last edited by residue on Sun Apr 27, 2014 7:59 pm, edited 12 times in total.

rosicky7
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Jan 24, 2014 1:19 pm

Re: 2014 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby rosicky7 » Sat Jan 25, 2014 5:12 am

Undergrad Institution: Asian university
Major(s): Mathematics, Physics
Minor(s): Astronomy
GPA in Major: ~3.7
Overall GPA: ~3.6
Length of Degree: 3 yrs BSc + 2 yrs Master
Position in Class: Not ranked
Type of Student: International male

GRE Scores : (revised)
Q: 163 (87%)
V: 155 (66%)
W: 4 (55%)
P: 990 (94%)


Research Experience: 1 summer in cosmic ray experiment, no paper; senior thesis in exoplanets,1 1st-authored paper on ApJ; master thesis in high energy astrophysics, 3 co-authored papers submitted

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: an undergrad admission scholarship, some dean's lists, some departmental awards

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: TA for undergrad physics and astronomy courses

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help:

Special Bonus Points: recommender has connections at some schools

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: study abroad at UCLA for 2 quarters, got 4.0 GPA, could provide calibration factor for GPA

Applying to Where:

Boston U - Astro
Carnegie Mellon - Physics shortlisted for interview 21/3 via email, declined
Columbia - Physics accepted 10/2 via email
Johns Hopkins - Phys and Astro accepted 31/1 via email
Penn State - Astro accepted 25/1 via email
Princeton - Astro rejected 24/1 via email
UC Berkeley - Physics rejected 26/2 via email
UCSD - Physics accepted 24/1 via email
UChicago - Astro accepted 4/2 via phone call
UIUC - Astro
UPenn - Phys and Astro rejected 21/3 via email
Last edited by rosicky7 on Sat Jan 17, 2015 4:41 pm, edited 14 times in total.

tamaghna
Posts: 14
Joined: Thu Aug 15, 2013 4:27 pm

Re: 2014 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby tamaghna » Sat Jan 25, 2014 10:20 am

Grad+Undegrad (integrated Masters) Institution: IIT Kanpur, Probably top 3 in Physics in India
Major(s): Physics
GPA in Major: 9.4/10.0
Overall GPA: 9.3/10.0
Length of Degree: 5 years
Position in dept: 4th out of 22 odd students (top 2% or so get admitted i think)

Type of Student: International male

GRE Scores :
Q: 170 (98%)
V: 167 (97%)
W: 4 (54%)
P: 920 (88%)

TOEFL Total: 116

Research Experience :
Computational Astro- Abstract submitted and now accepted in small conference, not first author
Nonlinear Dyamics- First author in JMP
Superconductivity 1- DAAD sponsored summer intern in Germany, no result, integrated into Supercond 2
Superconductivity 2- 2 semester master's project at home insti, one semester over
Superconductivity 3- Summer project that i'm still working on in the winter, last phase
Reading Project- Related to strongly correlated materials and superconductivity

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: One fellowship, Delegate at Asian Science Camp, one "scholar"ship that isnt anything financial, dean's list two years

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: I teach in a non-profit group (social work)

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: 11 advanced graduate courses (including the ones i audited)

Special Bonus Points: I expect my LORs to be strong. They are from people I've done research under and one of them said he had written me "(his) strongest recommendation"

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: i've been told my SOP is above average... but then so are many others' :)

Applying to Condmat Theory at:

U Illinois Urbana Champaign
Yale Rejected via email on 12/2
Harvard Rejected via website on 3/3
MIT Rejected via email on 19/2
U Maryland Rejected via email on 9/2
U Chicago Rejected via email on 6/2
Columbia
U Texas
Boston U
U Minnesota
U Wisconsin accepted via email on 25/1
Penn State accepted via email on 22/2
U Penn
Ohio State accepted via email on 18/2
Last edited by tamaghna on Mon Mar 03, 2014 7:27 am, edited 5 times in total.

ozone
Posts: 3
Joined: Wed Jan 09, 2013 10:18 pm

Re: 2014 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby ozone » Sat Jan 25, 2014 8:12 pm

Undergrad Institution: "New Ivy" Private School
Major(s): Physics
GPA in Major: 3.92
Overall GPA: ~3.8
Length of Degree: 4 years
Position in Class: near top
Type of Student:Domestic Male

GRE Scores : (revised)
Q: 164 (89%)
V: 162 (89%)
W: 5 (92%)
P: 760 (65%)

Research Experience:
Limited research. I did co-author one publication that was published in Science.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions:
None

Pertinent Activities or Jobs:
One Summer REU

I will fill in all schools as I hear back from them. I will be posting full information for future applicants after the admissions cycle completes.
Applying to Where:

University of Wisconsin Madison (Physics) - Acceptance via email 01/23, 20k Ta/ 12 Mo.
University of Texas at Austin (UT Austin) (Physics) - Invited to Open House on 2/13
University of Santa Barbara (UCSB) (Physics) - Acceptance via email, Up to 27.5K
Cornell University - Rejected on 2/6 via email
University of Colorado at Boulder (Astrophysics Dept.) - Acceptance via email on 2/6 Up to 31K
UCLA (Physics) - Acceptance via email on 2/8, Up to 44K
University of Maryland at College Park (Physics) - Rejected on 2/9 via email to check webpage
UIUC (Physics) - Rejected on 2/22 via email
Penn State University (Physics) - Acceptance via email on 2/22 Up to 28K
Last edited by ozone on Sun Feb 23, 2014 2:55 pm, edited 13 times in total.

bogolyubov
Posts: 1
Joined: Sun Jan 26, 2014 9:38 am

Re: 2014 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby bogolyubov » Sun Jan 26, 2014 9:51 am

Undergrad Institution: big state school, not so well-known for physics
Major(s): Physics
Minor(s): Mathematics
GPA in Major: 3.8
Overall GPA: 3.6
Length of Degree: 4
Position in Class: top 75%
Type of Student: Domestic white male

GRE Scores : (revised)
Q: 157 - 69%
V: 162 - 89%
W: 4 - 54%
P: 970 - 92%

Research Experience: 1.5 years cond mat experiment, .5 years cond mat theory; one publication in Optics Letters as 2nd author of 5, one summer REU

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Outstanding senior award, presidents lists, summa cum laude, minor department scholarships

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: teaching assistant for undergrad math phys and quantum mechanics courses

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: nope

Special Bonus Points: graduate classes in classical mechanics and mathematical physics

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: I took a year off after graduation, and haven't been doing much with it.

Applying to Where:

All applications are for condensed matter theory.

Cornell - rejected by email
Michigan Ann Arbor - (waiting)
Columbia - (waiting)
UC Berkeley - (waiting)
CU Boulder - (waiting)
UBC - (waiting)
U Washington - (waiting)
SUNY Stony Brook - (waiting)
UCSB - (waiting)
U Maryland College Park - (waiting)
Chicago - rejected on website
Last edited by bogolyubov on Thu Feb 06, 2014 2:35 am, edited 1 time in total.

tannerbk
Posts: 1
Joined: Sun Jan 26, 2014 2:44 pm

Re: 2014 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby tannerbk » Sun Jan 26, 2014 8:55 pm

These posts were perhaps the most useful resource to me when I was deciding what schools to apply to. Now that I'm finished, I thought I would post mine.

Big State School: Top 5 in Physics
Major: Physics
Minor: None
GPA in Major: 3.6
Overall GPA: 3.6
Length of Degree: 4 years
Position in Class: ~top quarter
Type of Student: white male

GRE Scores : revised
Q: 162 (84%)
V: 161 (87%)
W: 4.5 (78%)
P: 800 (73%)

Research Experience: I did two year of research for a neutrino physics group under a professor at my school. Much of the time was spent working at a national lab. I worked on both hardware and similation side. No publication. Completed a seniors thesis.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Multiple scholarships awarded for my research from my school. Presented a poster on my research at the 2013 Department of Nuclear Physics meeting. Will graduate with honors.

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: None

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help:

Special Bonus Points: My upper division physics GPA was good ~ 3.8-3.9, while my lower division physics GPA suffered ~ 3.0. I believe grad schools like the upward trend... All three of my recommendations came from very well regarded professors in neutrino physics.

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: None

Applying to Where: All applications for experimental particle physics. My main interests are neutrino and dark matter physics.

Top 20:
U Penn - Accepted 1/23 via email, 29k a year. Will attend
U Chicago - Accepted 2/2 via email, 30k a year. Robert A. Millikan Fellowship for Research and Teaching.
MIT - Rejected 2/18 via email.
Columbia - Rejected 3/7 via email.
UCLA - Accepted 2/8 via email.
U Washington - Rejected 2/27 via email.

Top 40:
Stony Brook - Accepted 2/11 via email, ~25k a year.
BU - Accepted 1/31 via email, ~20k a year.
Duke - Accepted 1/27 via email.
Penn State - Accepted 2/7 via email. ~28k a year.
Last edited by tannerbk on Fri Jun 27, 2014 1:39 am, edited 17 times in total.

ShigaIntern
Posts: 1
Joined: Sun Jan 26, 2014 10:17 pm

Re: 2014 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby ShigaIntern » Sun Jan 26, 2014 10:31 pm

Undergrad Institution: University of Cincinnati (# 102 in physics according to US News survey based ranking, 2014)
Major(s):Chemical Engineering, Physics
Minor(s):
GPA in Major:3.95
Overall GPA:3.95
Length of Degree: Chemical Engineering-5years. Went back additional 1 year to finish Physics.
Position in Class: Nearly top
Type of Student: Domestic white male

GRE Scores : Revised Version
Q: 161 (81%)
V:159 (81%)
W: 5.5 (97%)
P: 800 (72%)

Research Experience: Research while on international co-op in Japan for Chem Eng degree. AY-REU on biomedical project. Working on GR related stuff for physics capstone, did independent study and such.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: University Scholarship. Physics Departmental Scholarship.

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Physics lab TA 3 semesters. Tutor in physics learning center. Two 4-month co-ops at companies for Chem Eng degree and international internship in Japan.

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help:

Special Bonus Points: Fairly reputable recommenders I think.

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: Foreign language experience: Japanese JLPT Level 2.

Applying to Where:

(Note: wherever possible I put undecided for research focus. If I had to list it, I picked Particle/High Energy Theory, Astrophys/Cosmology, Condensed Matter Theory. Who really knows at this point anyway?)

Top 20:
U Washington - Physics Accepted 1/24 via email! ~20k TA + 4k department scholarship for 1st year. $300 to visit + free lodging
U Wisconsin-Madison - Physics Accepted 1/23 via email! ~20k min TA + 1k Van Vleck Fellowship. ~$550 to visit + free lodging
Chicago - Physics Rejected 2/6 via email to check website.
Michigan-Ann Arbor - Physics Rejected 2/13 via email.


Top 40:
OSU - Physics Accepted 1/26 checked app status online. 26k Fowler Fellowship 1 year + paid visit
SUNY-Stony Brook - Physics
Boston Univ - Physics Accepted 2/12 via email! Details to follow
Carnegie Mellon - Physics
Last edited by ShigaIntern on Sun Feb 16, 2014 10:52 pm, edited 9 times in total.

DathosPachy
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Jan 27, 2014 12:38 pm

Re: 2014 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby DathosPachy » Mon Jan 27, 2014 1:12 pm

Undergrad Institution: Big state school, not known for physics
Major(s): Physics BS, Math BA
Minor(s): None
GPA in Major: 3.5
Overall GPA: 3.7
Length of Degree: 4 years
Position in Class: Near top of class
Type of Student: White male domestic

GRE Scores : (revised)
Q: 164 (89th percentile)
V: 165 (95th percentile)
W: 5.5 (97th percentile)
P: 850 (79th percentile)

Research Experience: ~1 year in solid state (elements of experiment and theory), ~1 year with a student satellite engineering project, ~1 year with a cosmologist doing data mining with SDSS, 1 summer REU on a large, well-known astronomy collaboration (continuing that work for senior honors thesis)

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: 4-year full ride, Honors College, Phi Beta Kappa, Sigma Pi Sigma, Dean's List

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: tutoring experience, Science Olympiad event writing/supervising

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: very involved with educational outreach and corporate relations for student conference on space exploration

Special Bonus Points: top performance in grad QM course as a Junior, met people at AAS, I'm a very good writer

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: recommendation from one well-known solid state experimentalist, my advisor who is pretty well-published, and my REU supervisor, who really like how I worked; lots of upper-level, math-based physics electives

Applying to Where: Astronomy Ph.D. programs (all concentrations are extragalactic, unless otherwise noted)

UW Seattle - Astronomy - Extragalactic/LSST/Data - waitlisted 2/21 by email - withdrawn
Arizona - Astronomy - Extragalactic/LSST/Data - rejected 2/14 by email/website
Penn State - Astronomy and Astrophysics - Extragalactic/HET/Astrostatistics - accepted 1/25 by phone and email - $25k + tuition + $4k fellowship first year - withdrawn
Cornell - Astronomy - rejected 2/7 by email
UT Austin - Astronomy - Extragalactic/HET - waitlisted 2/18 by email - withdrawn
Wisconsin - Madison - Astronomy - accepted 1/28 by phone, $22.5k/year + tuition - Will attend
Minnesota - Astrophysics - accepted 1/28 by email - "full support" (somewhere around $17k TA position + tuition + summer support) - withdrawn
Cambridge (MASt, with Gates Cambridge) - Astrophysics - all offers have been made, taking this as denial
Chicago - Astronomy - rejected 2/6 by email/website
Last edited by DathosPachy on Sat Apr 12, 2014 1:03 pm, edited 13 times in total.

catharsis
Posts: 15
Joined: Tue Jan 28, 2014 9:45 am

Re: 2014 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby catharsis » Tue Jan 28, 2014 10:07 am

Undergrad Institution: Ivy
Major(s): Physics
GPA in Major: ~3.8 (hand calculated, not submitted)
Overall GPA: 3.72
Length of Degree: 4 years
Position in Class: Above average
Type of Student: White Domestic Female

GRE Scores :
Q: 166 (93%)
V: 163 (91%)
W: 5.0 (93%)
Note: My only preparation was one practice exam
P: 690 (52%) :!:
Note: Major Junior year illness, see below

Research Experience:

- 3.5 years at home institution including 2 full-time summers doing instrumentation design in experimental astrophysics (one side project in coding a data reduction program)
- One poster presentation on work to be presented Summer 2014, no publications (and so goes instrumentation work...)
- Planned to do a LIGO SURF REU at Caltech during my Junior year summer but illness kept me from attending. I completed a project plan with my Caltech mentors in preparation for the internship and noted this in my statements.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions:

- Annual departmental award for excellence in undergraduate research in Astronomy (my Junior year)
- Dean's list most semesters (throughout undergrad)

Pertinent Activities or Jobs:

- Undergraduate teaching assistant in physics
- Physics tutor
- Various outreach initiatives with Astronomy department and SPS
Note: I stressed an aptitude for and interest in teaching in my SOP


Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help:

- Four leadership positions in a national co-ed, co-disciplinary honors fraternity (not in greek system, my Freshman and Sophomore years)
- Some independent advocacy for disabled students on campus (my Freshman year)

Special Bonus Points:

- Female
- Two semesters of graduate level QFT with letter from my first semester QFT instructor, a hep-th prof
- Additional graduate class in hep-th second semester Senior year
- Course in GR tied in nicely with interest in gravitational wave detection and letter from my major advisor who is in gravity theory
Note: Astronomy concentration within Physics major, related elective laboratory course, and work within Astronomy department gave me a good general knowledge of Astronomy which was illustrated in SOP
Note: I highlighted my leadership and interpersonal skills in my SOP. I also mentioned a burgeoning interest in theory, which Rutgers mentioned they liked
Note: I only got straight As (I include A-s in that, though) since my Sophomore year, which is a nice upward trend on my transcript

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter:

Illness: This was a doozy. From end of second semester Junior year through to the start of my Senior year, I was fighting bronchitis and then pneumonia as a severe asthmatic. I was unable to stand up for longer than 1-2 minutes from June-July, and in August before my Senior year it took me two weeks of physical training to be able to walk normally again. I never imagined I could be that sick. I had to take incompletes in three courses and missed my summer internship at Caltech. Because I needed to make up finals, see ~9 different doctors and 4 different specialists, and get so much rest while completing graduate courses, GREs, and 13 applications, my PGRE score took a major hit. I thought it would ruin me, but I still got into a top-5 university which was a big surprise to me. I did not illustrate the severity of my illness in my SOP like I am here, but I did submit a brief and concise statement of illness along with my SOP and had a Dean from the college write a letter on my behalf. I hoped the schools could connect the dots and realize my PGRE was lower than it would have been. Just now in February I'm beginning to regain the health I had before the illness -- if I could give any advice to those reading this forum in the future, it's to please take care of yourself and realize how critical health is to your career. I pushed through far too much (aka, using my nebulizer in the bathroom 2x/day between classes), when I should have just taken three weeks off and healed properly. It would have saved everything in the long run. While I did learn a great lesson from this, and I still did very well this application season, I believe I could have done even better if I kept up my health and was able to boost my PGRE by ~150 points where it belongs. That said, I was shocked how little it matters if the rest of your work and the familiarity of your undergrad institution is up to par. So if your PGRE is low, regardless of circumstance, apply widely, apply confidently, and see what happens. You might be surprised. I know I was.

Applying to Where:

Primary interest: Experimental Cosmology/Astrophysics

Brown - Physics - Accepted 2/24 via email, $30k/year - Declined 4/1
Caltech - Physics - Accepted 2/20 via email, $30k/year GRA - Will attend!
Chicago - Physics - Accepted 1/31 via email to check website, $30k/year Robert A. Millikan Fellowship for Research and Teaching - Declined 4/7
Harvard - Physics - Rejected 3/1 via website
Johns Hopkins - Physics & Astronomy - Accepted 1/27 via email, $23k/9mo TA + $2,000 Donald E. Kerr, Sir. and Barbara Kerr Stanley Fellowship - Declined 4/7
Maryland, College Park - Physics - Accepted 1/28 via email, RA/TA + Dean's Fellowship $27k first year, $29k second year - Declined 4/7
Milwaukee - Physics - Accepted 2/17 via email, Fellowship + Research Excellence Award $20.5k/year - Declined 3/3
MIT - Physics - Rejected 2/18 via email
Penn State - Physics - Accepted 2/18 via email with fellowship $29.5k/year - Declined 4/7
Princeton - Physics - Rejected 2/14 via email
Rutgers - Physics & Astronomy - Accepted 2/21 via email, $26k/10mo TA - Declined 4/7
Stanford - Physics - Rejected 2/24 via email
UPenn - Physics & Astronomy - Accepted 1/24 via email, TA $29k/year + opportunity for Summer 2014 research position - Declined 4/4

NSF GRFP - Awarded 4/1!

A last comment is that because of my illness I was forced to do a "depth" and not "breadth" course in my undergraduate research. I think the fact that I was doing independent graduate level work at my home institution with a professor who very much liked me was helpful both in my SOP and via his recommendation letter. So, I would say that if you're doing good work in your field, don't worry too much if you don't have a variety of experiences in research.

Last last comment for those who are starting this process next year: I never in a million years had the confidence or the perfect scores displayed in these profiles, but I just kept truckin' along and seeing what would happen. And I did better than I ever imagined when I was on the other side of things. So hang in there, class of 2015 :)
Last edited by catharsis on Mon Apr 07, 2014 4:28 pm, edited 33 times in total.

alexkuz
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Jan 28, 2014 8:09 pm

Re: 2014 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby alexkuz » Tue Jan 28, 2014 8:16 pm

Undergrad Institution:
Major(s): Physics
Minor(s):
GPA in Major:
Overall GPA:
Length of Degree: 4 years
Position in Class: Above average
Type of Student: International male

GRE Scores : revised
Q:
V:
W:
P:


Research Experience: 2 years in optics/solid state experiments

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: School stuff/nothing great

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Nope..

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help:

Special Bonus Points:

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: n/a

Applying to Where:

Primary interest: AMO-ex, CME

Caltech
Chicago - Accepted 1/16 via email
Cornell
CU Boulder
Harvard
Maryland
MIT - Accepted 2/5 via email
Stanford - Rejected 2/4 via email.
UC Berkeley - Rejected 2/25 via website
Last edited by alexkuz on Mon Apr 14, 2014 11:26 pm, edited 10 times in total.

kev12592
Posts: 17
Joined: Sat May 18, 2013 2:16 pm

Re: 2014 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby kev12592 » Wed Jan 29, 2014 3:52 pm

Undergrad Institution: Big State, top 40 in physics
Major(s): Physics and Mathematics
Minor(s): N/A
GPA in Major: 3.96
Overall GPA: 3.93
Length of Degree: 4 years
Position in Class: Near top
Type of Student: Domestic Male

GRE Scores : revised
Q: 161
V: 161
W: 4.0
P: 800


Research Experience: 3 years (2 summers) experience at my school in medium energy experiment. 1 REU working on neutrino experiment. 1 publication (4th author) and a talk at the 2013 April APS meeting.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Some scholarships and awards given at my school, but nothing special.

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Math grader this year. Some tutoring experience.

Applying to Where:

All high energy/medium energy experiment.

Carnegie Mellon University - physics - Accepted 2/8 via email, 28k per year
UC Berkeley - physics - Rejected 2/25 via website
UC Irvine - physics - Accepted 1/24 via email, 34k per year Will Attend
UC Santa Barbara - physics - Rejected
University of Chicago - physics - Rejected 2/5 via website
UMass, Amherst - physics - Accepted 2/6 via email
University of Minnesota - physics - Accepted 1/22 via email, 25k per year
University of North Carolina - physics - Accepted 2/4 via email, 23k per year
University of Pennsylvania - physics - Rejected
University of Rochester - physics - Accepted 1/29 via email, 25k per year
University of Washington - physics - Rejected
Last edited by kev12592 on Tue Apr 08, 2014 12:44 am, edited 7 times in total.




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