2015 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.

DivineHorseCloud
Posts: 16
Joined: Sun Jul 06, 2014 10:07 pm

2015 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby DivineHorseCloud » Sun Jul 06, 2014 10:08 pm

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
______________________________________________

Catria
Posts: 353
Joined: Fri Oct 26, 2012 4:14 pm

Re: 2015 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby Catria » Sat Aug 23, 2014 8:22 pm

Undergrad Institution: Big Canadian public school, best known for astronomy
Major(s): Physics and mathematics
Minor(s): none
GPA in Major: 3.84 physics, 3.57 mathematics
Overall GPA: 3.67 undergrad, 3.80 masters
Length of Degree: Undergrad 3.5 years, grad 2 years
Position in Class: Near top
Type of Student: International male

GRE Scores : Revised
Q: 167 (95%)
V: 162 (89%)
W: 4.0 (54%)
P: 910 (86%)

TOEFL Total: 110

Research Experience: 1 year in theoretical particle cosmology, no publications (most likely won't be submitted in time)

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Dean's list (all undergraduate semesters)

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: TA for group theory in physics, departmental assembly member for two years

Special Bonus Points: Graduate coursework in QFT, general relativity, standard model, recommender connections at some schools (UPenn, WUSTL, Tufts, Dartmouth, and a few more I could have missed)

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: Graduated in 3.5 years because of CEGEP in the undergraduate way; GPA on 4.3 scale

Applying to Where (all for theoretical particle cosmology):

UPenn - Physics and astronomy Rejected 3/18 :(
Princeton - Astrophysical sciences Rejected 2/6
UChicago - Astronomy and astrophysics Rejected 2/9 (goodbye top-10 schools)
Minnesota-Twin Cities - Physics Accepted 1/29 $24,440 TA+ $2,500 for moving expenses; ATTENDING!
Columbia - Physics Rejected 3/27
Tufts - Physics and astronomy Rejected 3/6
Michigan - Physics Rejected 2/11; no Holy Grail of cheap real estate for me :(
Carnegie Mellon - Physics Waitlisted 2/23 and Rejected 4/15
Dartmouth - Physics and astronomy Rejected 2/27
Washington University in St. Louis - Physics Waitlisted 2/24 and Rejected 4/15
Notre Dame - Physics Accepted 2/18 $21,000 TA Declined
Vanderbilt - Physics and astronomy Rejected 3/13

Perhaps I trusted PhysicsGRE.com a little bit too much at the high end of my list...
Last edited by Catria on Wed Apr 15, 2015 12:24 pm, edited 33 times in total.

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

Re: 2015 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby flobadobadie » Fri Aug 29, 2014 7:46 pm

Undergrad Institution: Cambridge University
Subject: Physics
Class: First/2:1
Length of Degree: 4 yrs
Position in Class: Top half
Type of Student: International male

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

Research Experience: One paper published in Physical Review D, one paper published in conference proceedings, both with one other author. 12 months in Particle Phenomenology at Cambridge, 6 months in quantum integrable systems at Surrey University. Wasn't some prof's data collecting lackey.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Not any that make sense to AdComms

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Private tutor

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: Can hold breath for 2.5 minutes. I like soft ice-cream.

Applying to Where (All for HEP-th):

US

MIT 2/18 Rejected
Caltech 2/23 Rejected
Harvard 2/27 Rejected
Princeton 2/19 Rejected
Stanford 2/17 Rejected
Cornell 2/17 Rejected
Chicago 3/3 Rejected
Columbia 3/27 Rejected
Michigan 2/11 Rejected
UPenn 4/6 Rejected
Stony Brook 2/19 Waitlisted 4/10 Rejected
Brown 2/25 Waitlisted 4/7 Rejected
Duke 2/26 Offer
New York 2/27 Rejected
Rochester 2/20 Offer
Northeastern 3/31 Rejected
USC
Brandeis 1/31 Invited to Open House for interview 3/5 Offer

Non-US

Durham
Edinburgh 3/27 Rejected
Imperial
KCL
Liverpool 2/19 Invited to interview 4/8 Rejected
Oxford 3/11 Rejected
QMUL 4/10 Rejected
Southampton 2/27 Invited to interview 1/31 Rejected
Swansea 3/9 Invited to interview Unable to attend, rejected
Trinity College Dublin
Waterloo
Amsterdam 4/8 Rejected
Last edited by flobadobadie on Fri Apr 10, 2015 6:27 pm, edited 21 times in total.

glueball
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Apr 09, 2014 7:35 pm

Re: 2015 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby glueball » Mon Sep 22, 2014 11:45 pm

Taking a break on applications, so now seems like as good a time as any to post my profile.

Undergrad Institution: Big state school with a solid physics reputation
Major(s): Physics, Math
Minor(s):
GPA in Major: 3.93
Overall GPA: 3.94
Length of Degree: 4 years
Position in Class: Top
Type of Student: Domestic white male

GRE Scores : revised
Q: 167
V: 166
W: 4.0
P: 910

Research Experience: Going on 4 years in an experimental particle physics group. Spent a summer at CERN. No publications, but quite a few talks, including one at the April APS meeting.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: School math award, Dean's List, etc.

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: TA for a summer

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: Nope

Special Bonus Points: Two of my letters are from research advisors who were very happy with my work. They also both have connections at various places I'm applying. I've also done well in a couple of grad classes.

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: I'm very specific about my interests in my SoP. We'll see if this helps or hurts.

Applying to Where (All for HEPex):

MIT Accepted 2/14 via email - $2838/month fellowship for first year - Will Attend!
Chicago Accepted 1/30 via email to check status - $2550/month TAship - Declined
UCSB Rejected 2/24 via email to check status
UCSD Accepted 1/30 via unofficial email from HEPex group - Declined
Berkeley Accepted 2/23 via email - Funding information to come - Declined
Cornell Accepted 2/10 via email - $27k/9 months half-time TAship - Declined
Michigan Accepted 1/14 via email - $2371.38/month partial fellowship with quarter-time TAship - Declined
UCLA Accepted 2/11 via email - $38k TA+Fellowship for first year - Declined
Wisconsin Accepted 1/23 via email - Funding information to come - Declined
Maryland Accepted 2/10 via email - Funding information to come - Declined
Penn Accepted 2/6 via email - $29k/year stipend - Declined

NSF GRFP Awarded 3/30 via email
Last edited by glueball on Thu Apr 16, 2015 11:35 pm, edited 16 times in total.

zhuk
Posts: 14
Joined: Mon Apr 28, 2014 4:45 pm

Re: 2015 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby zhuk » Sat Sep 27, 2014 6:03 pm

______________________________________________
Undergrad Institution: UC Berkeley
Major(s):Physics
Minor(s):
GPA in Major: 3.3 (UG) 3.85 (MS at a State School)
Overall GPA: 3.3/3.85
Length of Degree: Geeez, my undergrad was 8 years ago, now my Master's is taking.... 4years!
Position in Class: (No numbers needed, but are you top? near top? average? struggling?)
Type of Student: (Domestic/International, male/female, minority?)

GRE Scores : revised %
Q:90
V:89
W:85
P: 67 (780)



Research Experience: 2 years experimental nanofabrication, photonics, microwaves. 3 Conference papers, 1 Journal

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: 1 tiny one

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: been teaching physics for 8 years

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: ?

Special Bonus Points: I am old! Not sure if that's a negative or positive, and I am done worrying about it



Applying to Where:

UC Berkeley - Applied Science and Technology - Rejected
Stanford - Applied Physics-f.u. rejected
UC Davis - CME - Accepted!
UC Irvine - CME-Accepted! Yay! Mom, look at me! 16,500 in TA/RA I think
UW - CME-Rejected
UNM - CME - Accepted 1/28 about 16K funding
UCLA - Mechanical Engineering (wild card!) - Accepted!

Wish me luck!
______________________________________________
Last edited by zhuk on Mon Aug 03, 2015 12:04 pm, edited 4 times in total.

gsbphy
Posts: 5
Joined: Sat Sep 27, 2014 7:36 pm

Re: 2015 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby gsbphy » Sat Sep 27, 2014 8:05 pm

Undergrad Institution: UC Davis
Major(s): Physics, Mathematics
Physics: 3.96
Math: 3.85
Overall GPA: 3.86
Length of Degree: 4 years
Position in Class: Near top
Type of Student: Domestic, male, minority

GRE Scores : revised
Q:(90%) 165
V:(92%) 163
W:(56%) 4
P:(76%) 830

Research Experience:
Two years in experimental nuclear group, two years in mathematical physics group, several talks, no publications.

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

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: (Such as tutor, TA, SPS officer etc...)
Physics Club Tutor for one quarter.

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help:
Was a "Learning Assistant" for an intro physics class.

Special Bonus Points: (Such as connections, grad classes, famous recommenders, female or minority status etc...)
Graduate course in differential topology with an A. Minority status.

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

Applying to Where:

Theoretical Astro
Caltech Rejected Feb 23 via email
Cornell Admitted Feb 16 - TA $26.9K/9mos + 1 Year Fellowship! Will Attend!
Princeton Rejected Feb 19 via email
Stanford Rejected Feb 17 via email
UIUC Admitted Jan 14 - TA $21.7K/11mos -> Fellowship! Feb 4 - $25k/12mos
UC Berkeley Rejected March 12 via email
UC Santa Barbara Rejected Feb 24 via email
UC Santa Cruz Admitted Feb 20 - TA $19.2K/9mos + $7K Fellowship!
Penn State Did not apply.
SUNY Stony Brook Admitted Feb 1 - TA $21K/9mos
NYU Rejected Feb 27 via email
Last edited by gsbphy on Thu Mar 12, 2015 2:32 pm, edited 28 times in total.

bubaizhanshen
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Oct 22, 2014 3:32 pm

Re: 2015 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby bubaizhanshen » Wed Oct 22, 2014 3:45 pm

Undergrad Institution: rank about 40-60 according to us news.
Major(s): physics
Minor(s):
GPA in Major: ~3.8
Overall GPA: ~3.8
Length of Degree: 4 year
Position in Class: near top?
Type of Student: international male

GRE Scores : (revised or old version?)
average

TOEFL Total: nope

Research Experience: 2 to 3 years. no publication. no presentation.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: dean list?

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: tutor for about a year, ta for another year.

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: did better in higher level class than lower one.

Special Bonus Points: I think my professors have good impression on me..

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter:
none
Applying to Where:
all CMT.
Rejected:
Stanford applied physics
Caltech applied physics
Cornell physics
mit physics
UC Berkeley physics
duke physics
northwest applied physics

Accepted:
Rice University
Last edited by bubaizhanshen on Thu Apr 16, 2015 2:33 pm, edited 2 times in total.

ClassyClimber
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Oct 27, 2014 7:32 pm

Re: 2015 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby ClassyClimber » Mon Oct 27, 2014 8:14 pm

Undergrad Institution: CU-Boulder
Major(s): Physics (Cum Laude) and English
Minor(s): None
GPA in Major: 3.3/3.7
Overall GPA: 3.4
Length of Degree: 4 years
Position in Class: Upper average
Type of Student: White male, socio-economically advantaged

GRE Scores :
Q: 162 (83%ile)
V: 160 (84%ile)
W: 4.5 (80%ile)
P: 750 (62%ile), 790 (69%ile) :D (I know a lot of you are ~900 PGRE super geniuses, but I'm stoked by that 790)

Research Experience: 1.5 Years condensed matter, wrote an honors thesis for CM, .5 Years physics education research, hoping to be published for PER in Phys. Rev.-PER this November

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Graduated with honors in physics

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Numerous Medical Physics shadowing sessions in various sub-disciplines, volunteered then worked in a management position for a PER outreach program, tutoring position for physics

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: I have a weird double major? Not quite sure if english is a boon or a hinderance... might just be neutral


Applying to Where:

Department: Medical Physics/Physics, Specialization: Radiation Therapy

University of Victoria -Rejected 3/14
University of Wisconsin -Rejected 2/20, getting disheartened... :(
MdAnderson-Rejected 3/14
University of Kentucky-Invited to Interview! (1/22)
Louisiana State University -Rejected 2/14 (lack of funds)

Department: Physics, Specialization: Biophysics

University of Oregon-Rejected 3/14
Last edited by ClassyClimber on Sat Mar 14, 2015 7:50 pm, edited 4 times in total.

aquirdturtle
Posts: 7
Joined: Mon Sep 01, 2014 6:43 pm

Re: 2015 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby aquirdturtle » Tue Oct 28, 2014 10:15 am

Undergrad Institution: Large State school, Ranked ~50 in physics
Major(s): Physics
Minor(s): Mathematics
GPA in Major: 4.00
Overall GPA: 4.00
Length of Degree: 4
Position in Class: At the top (kinda have to be...)
Type of Student: Domestic White Male, socioeconomically advantaged

GRE Scores (revised, Updated in November):
Q: 170 (98%)
V: 166 (96%)
W: 5 (93%)
P: 990 (94%)

Research Experience:
- Currently in 3rd year of UG research at my home institution in Condensed matter theory. I had a publication in progress (i.e. being written) at the time of applications with myself as first author, but it didn't get submitted for publication until January after deadlines. I presented my work at 1 conference, one small event.
- REU in experimental condensed matter physics (Cornell), 1 publication with myself as second author, one conference preceedings.
- REU in experimental AMO physics (Michigan), no publications expected, uniquely selected from REU students to present my research at CUR national REU symposium.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: (Within your school or outside?)
- Goldwater Honorable Mention
- Won a competitive departmental essay prize
- Various Honors scholarships
- Various departmental scholarships

Pertinent Activities or Jobs:
- Tutored students from an interdisciplinary science class for a semester.
- On the leadership team founding an interdisciplinary undergraduate research club.

Special Bonus Points: (Such as connections, grad classes, famous recommenders, female or minority status etc...)
- Taking 2 grad physics classes now, will take 3 in spring
- I'm lucky enough to be able to solicit 4 letters, 1 from UGR at home institution, one from each REU, another from professor I've taken ~4 small classes with, and done a study abroad with.
- I take a lot of credits, Almost double the average some semesters, despite having only 1 major & 1 minor.
- Took a non-standard interdisciplinary introductory science sequence, instead of the normal "fundamentals of physics" class-type. Also did some other non-physics stuff, like organic chemistry & a nanoscience study abroad (only 2 weeks long).

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter:
- I'm not really committed to any field of physics yet, or even experimental Vs. theoretical, I just like all of physics too much :roll:. Leaning toward experimental AMO. Hope this doesn't count against me. :?
- I've played trumpet in at least one music ensemble every semester of undergrad.

Applying to Where:

All regular physics programs, all AMO physics as my primary interest

Stanford: ACCEPTED! 2/12.
MIT: REJECTED. 2/18.
Harvard: REJECTED. 3/2.
Cal-Tech: ACCEPTED! 2/12.
Berkeley: ACCEPTED! 2/25.
Chicago: ACCEPTED! 1/30.
Cornell: ACCEPTED! 2/10.
U Michigan: ACCEPTED! 1/14.
Yale: ACCEPTED! 2/26.
UC Boulder: ACCEPTED! 1/29.
U Maryland: ACCEPTED! 2/10.

NSF Fellowship: REJECTED, 4/1. E/VG, VG/VG, F/P. I think that the wide disparity of the score here is something of a testament to how much of a shot in the dark these things can be. That last guy must just not have had his morning coffee.
NDSEG Fellowship: REJECTED, 4/1.
Hertz Fellowship: REJECTED, 1st round

Reflections: I obviously have nothing to complain about, but in all honesty I was somewhat surprised to not get into Harvard or MIT. I have several theories as to why this happened, but the most probable was that my letters weren't as good as they could have been. In particular, my first REU at Cornell was my first exposure to experimental physics at all, and I probably wasn't particularly impressive a student throughout the summer. If you try something like that, make sure you know what you are doing going in so that you can be as productive as possible. Evidently, if you are coming from a sub-top-20 undergraduate institution, you really, really need every advantage to get into these places. I am also suspicious, particularly with MIT, that the schools were turned off by my lack of firm commitment to AMO physics. They might prefer that students know exactly what they want to do. I'm only speculating of course. Anyway, I'm quite happy with my many offers. Good luck to future applicants!
Last edited by aquirdturtle on Wed Apr 08, 2015 9:39 am, edited 14 times in total.

blahblah
Posts: 4
Joined: Mon Oct 27, 2014 12:10 am

Re: 2015 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby blahblah » Sat Nov 01, 2014 2:28 pm

Undergrad Institution: Well-known research institution (MIT)
Major(s): Physics
Minor(s): n/a
GPA in Major: 3.3
Overall GPA: 3.3
Length of Degree: 8 semesters (over 5.5 years)
Position in Class: not ranked, probably about average GPA
Type of Student: domestic white male

GRE Scores :
Q: 170
V: 168
W: 4
P: 870

Research Experience: 2 years in astro at a national lab (1 pub), 1 year detector work at school (1 pub), 1.5 years on [ATLAS/CMS] at school, including 1 summer at CERN, will spend 9 months between graduation and grad school working at CERN. Wrote senior thesis on [ATLAS/CMS] work.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: ~6 semesters of research funding through school

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: lab assistant for advanced physics lab, grader for various intro classes, TA for a "physics for non-physicists" class

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: I've taken my school's 2nd year graduate-level class in hep-ex.

Special Bonus Points: My advisor/group have lots of connections within ATLAS/CMS communities, including at the places I'm applying.

Applying to Where: (all in hep-ex)

Berkeley: rejected
Caltech: accepted 2/12
Harvard: rejected
U-Maryland: rejected 2/18
U-Mass Amherst: accepted 2/10, declined
MIT: rejected 2/18
Northwestern: interview 1/23, accepted 2/11
Princeton: rejected 2/19
Stanford: rejected 2/17

Did I sweep my grad applications? Not at all, but I'm happy -- I got into three very good places I'd be more than happy to attend by playing to my own strengths (which do not include the coursework hamster wheel).
Last edited by blahblah on Tue Mar 24, 2015 12:50 am, edited 13 times in total.

seanspins211
Posts: 2
Joined: Thu Oct 30, 2014 10:25 pm

Re: 2015 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby seanspins211 » Tue Nov 04, 2014 8:27 pm

Undergrad Institution: Big state school, ranked in 80s for physics grad program in US
Major(s):Physics, Applied Mathematics
Minor(s): none
GPA in Major:3.98, 4.0
Overall GPA:3.98
Length of Degree: 5 years (I have an AS, and 3 1/2 years at current school, with one semester of retaking courses that did not articulate.)
Position in Class: Among the top
Type of Student: Domestic white male

GRE Scores : new
Q: 170 (98%)
V: 160 (84%)
W: 4.0 (56%)
P: Sept '14: 810 (73%), Oct '14: 880 (83%)

Research Experience: 2 years (and ongoing) research at undergraduate institution; theoretical condensed matter; one publication (APL), 2nd of 4 authors.


Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Goldwater scholar (golden ticket??? we shall see); two in-house scholarships (one math, one physics) both won twice; SAME scholarship; Great Lakes Scholarship; Phi Beta Kappa; Sigma Pi Sigma.

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Physics tutor (volunteer), SPS president

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help:

Special Bonus Points: 3 grad classes in physics (completed with As); 1 grad class in math ( with A); Main recommender known in field, weakest recommendation letter from well-known physicist; College Ambassador to Physics and Mathematics Depts.

Applied for NSF GRFP
Applied for Hertz Foundation Fellowship: rejected, no interview

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: Nontraditional student (plus or minus???);

Applying to Where:
UMD, College Park - Physics - Spintronics and QC - Interviewed 2/9, 2/10 Accepted, guaranteed 23.7K first year, 25.2K second year, with 10K fellowship split among first two years
SUNY Stony Brook - Physics - AMO, Quantum Electronics-Accepted 1/22, 21K 1st year TAship, +5K minimum for Summer work (optional), -1,400 yearly mandatory student fees
Cornell-Physics-Condensed Matter-2/25 Rejected
CUNY Grad Center-Physics-QC/QI-Withdrawn (Ultra-safety school)
UC Santa Barbara - Physics - QC/QI-2/24 Rejected
UC San Diego-Physics-Condensed Matter-Accepted 1/26, 18.5K TA, 14K Award, 8K Summer Fellowship
UC Davis-Physics-Complexity Science-Accepted 2/13 18.5K TA, 5K Fellowship, 5K summer support, -800 student fees
UC Berkeley--Physics-QC/QI
UC Riverside-Physics-Condensed Matter
UC Santa Cruz-Physics-Condensed Matter-2/20 Accepted, TA 19.3K, 6K fellowship
Caltech--Physics-Condensed Matter-Rejected 2/23
Yale-Physics-QC/QI-Rejected 2/16
U of Chicago-Physics-QC/QI (late submission)-3/3 Rejected

__________________________________________
Last edited by seanspins211 on Tue Mar 03, 2015 4:58 pm, edited 14 times in total.

User avatar
Sats
Posts: 50
Joined: Wed May 21, 2014 8:51 pm

Re: 2015 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby Sats » Wed Nov 05, 2014 8:41 pm

Undergrad Institution: U Arizona (Top 40 US World News - 2014)
Major(s): Physics, Mathematics, French
Minor(s): N/A
GPA in Major: 3.3 Physics, 3.5 Math, 4.0 French
Overall GPA: 3.6
Length of Degree: 4 years
Position in Class: Slightly above average
Type of Student: Domestic white male

GRE Scores :
Q: 164 (89%)
V: 159 (81%)
W: 4.5 (80%)
P: 640 (38%)

Research Experience: Studied CLS limit setting for a semester, then moved on to FIR filtering programming for the current semester. No publications, but total research time is around a year.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Deans list for 3 semesters

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Software Engineering Intern for a summer learning Javascript, Node.js, and general large networking problems.

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: Deans List 3 semesters.

Special Bonus Points: 3 majors in 4 years I feel is a plus.

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: I'm semi-fluent in french.

Applying to Where:

---Experimental Nuclear---
George Washington - Accepted 02/18 via email. $23,000 + TA/Fellowship
William and Mary - Rejected 04/15 after I emailed
Notre Dame - Rejected 03/03 after I emailed. Was told "maybe" I'd be on the waitlist. EDIT: April 3 official rejection
Michigan State - Rejected 03/11 via website
UMass Amherst - Accepted 04/15 via email. $18,810 + TA (Waitlisted 03/04 via email Was told I was on the "high wait list" after email.)
Duke - Rejected 02/11 via email to check site
U Indiana Bloomington - Rejected 04/16 via email (Waitlisted 02/23 via email)
Brown - Rejected 02/20 via email to check site

---Physics Masters---
McGill - Rejected 03/30 via email
U British Columbia - Rejected 03/10 via email

---M1 Physics---
Université Paris-Sud - Accepted 03/12 via email. Will Attend



It seems like the app process is finally over. Mine was kinda weird. Got into my safety, my top, and one dead center. I hope that this shows other people with low GPA's or GRE's that there's still places out there for you, just don't go shooting for those upper tier schools (I'm lookin' at you, Brown and Duke). Hopefully I will be able to update soon what I decide to do.
Ended up picking PSUD. If anyone else has international aspirations, at least know that europe "can" be more accomodating, depending on your skill set.
Last edited by Sats on Wed Apr 29, 2015 1:53 pm, edited 21 times in total.

User avatar
Aether73
Posts: 27
Joined: Wed Jun 19, 2013 10:52 pm

Re: 2015 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby Aether73 » Thu Nov 06, 2014 7:25 pm

Undergrad Institution: Big State, well known in physics.
Major(s): (Engineering) Physics.
Minor(s): Math.
GPA in Major: 3.9, 4.00 in Math.
Overall GPA: ~3.8.
Length of Degree: 4 years, transfer student.
Position in Class: Near top.
Type of Student: Domestic white male.

GRE Scores : (revised)
Q: 165 (90 % rank).
V: 167 (97 % rank).
W: 4.0 (56 % rank).
P: 960 (91% rank).

Research Experience: At my school - HEP experiment 2 years, HEP phenomenology 1 summer. Very small amount of CMT research. One HEP phenomenology publication in progress, but won't be published by application deadlines.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: One in-school scholarship, awarded by department. Dean's list many semesters. Tau Beta Pi.

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Professional slacker.

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: I once swam alongside dolphins.

Special Bonus Points: 2 grad physics classes.

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

Applying to Where: Primarily in theory - CMT, HET, Mathematical Physics.

Caltech - Rejected
Columbia - Applied
Cornell - Applied
Harvard - Applied
MIT - Rejected
Princeton - Accepted, will attend
Stanford - Rejected
Rutgers - Accepted
UC Berkeley - Applied
UCSB - Rejected
UChicago - Applied
U Michigan - Accepted
Yale - Rejected
Last edited by Aether73 on Wed Feb 25, 2015 7:07 pm, edited 10 times in total.

djh101
Posts: 97
Joined: Tue Jul 15, 2014 4:08 pm

Re: 2015 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby djh101 » Thu Nov 06, 2014 8:58 pm

Undergrad Institution: UCLA
Major(s): Chemistry
GPA in Major: 3.56
Overall GPA: 3.62 (3.75 upper division)
Length of Degree: 4 years, transfer student
Position in Class: Above average (just shy of cum laude)
Type of Student: Domestic White Male (first generation and transfer student)

GRE Scores :
Q: 164 (88%)
V: 160 (84%)
W: 4.5 (80%)
P: 910 (86%)

Research Experience: Over a year in a geochemistry lab including employment as a lab assistant after graduation. One semester of upper division research which ended in a poster presentation.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: N/A

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: I've had a web design hobby since middle school so have a pretty solid coding background. I also run a small science website (http://onlinesciencetools.com) that I started as a sophomore. As mentioned, I worked in a lab assistant for a brief period of time in the lab I was a part of during undergrad. I also read a lot outside of school and have a math background significantly stronger than my transcripts represent (of course, I'm not sure how much that will count for since I only have my word to show for it).

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: My grades improved significantly my second (senior) year at UCLA with almost all As and A+s in math, physics, and physical chemistry.

Special Bonus Points: All of my letters should be pretty strong and I believe my statements of purposes are pretty solid. Although I left my interests somewhat broad (most areas related to quantum computing interest me), they were also fairly detailed and focused and well tailored to each school.

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: Although I majored in chemistry, I've taken a handful of upper division physics courses and have taken all the core physics (quantum, classical mechanics, E&M, and thermo), although nothing advanced like plasma or nuclear.

Applying to Where: Quantum Computing & Information, AMO, and Solid state, ordered by US News ranking
MIT - Physics - Theoretical Quantum Information/Experimental Quantum Information/AMO - Rejected 2/18/2015
Caltech - Physics - Experimental Quantum Information/Theoretical Quantum Information/Experimental AMO - Rejected 2/23/2015
U. Michigan - Physics - Rejected 2/11/2015
U. Colorado, Boulder - Physics - Experimental AMO - Rejected 3/11/2015
U. Washington - Physics - Quantum Information/Experimental AMO/Experimental Nuclear (accidental) - Waitlisted 3/9/2015 & Rejected 4/6/2015
U. Oregon - Physics - Quantum Information/AMO/Condensed Matter - Accepted 2/1/2015 + $17,800 (9 months) TA + $2k Bonus
USC - Physics - Quantum Information - Accepted 2/4/2015 + $20,600 (9 months) TA + 1 Year Fellowship - WILL ATTEND!
Colorado State - Physics - AMO/Condensed Matter/Theoretical - Accepted 1/16/2015 + $16,800 (9 months) TA
U. New Mexico - Physics - Quantum Information/AMO - Accepted 1/16/2015 + $15,600 (10 months) TA
Last edited by djh101 on Sun Apr 12, 2015 10:12 pm, edited 24 times in total.

DomesticChinese
Posts: 3
Joined: Sat Nov 08, 2014 1:19 am

Re: 2015 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby DomesticChinese » Sat Nov 08, 2014 2:19 am

Thank you to the OP for providing a template to vomit all my anxieties out on
______________________________________________
Undergrad Institution: Big State School, not well-known for physics - ranked 60ish on U.S. News (if that is an accurate metric for ranking schools in the first place...)
Major(s): Physics
Minor(s): Astronomy, Math
GPA in Major: 3.91
Overall GPA: 3.93
Length of Degree: 3 years
Position in Class: No. 2 (out of 60-ish) :evil:
Type of Student: Domestic Asian male (interesting how little domestic Asians there are that post here...)

GRE Scores :
(revised)
Q: 166
V: 152 (...eh)
W: TBD
P: 910 (86%)

Research Experience: A year of HEP research on analyzing and constructing calibration equations from beam data obtained at QWeak. Another year of CME research on micromechanical exfoliation properties of metal dichalcogenides and the characterization of such materials through optical microscopy and STM. Expected paper by next semester which I will most likely be the first author.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Scholarships within the physics department and Honors (which probably has no bearing whatsoever in the application process...)

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: None really. I tutor my friends in freshman physics often, but I don't do it for pay or anything to consider it a part-time job or "pertinent activity."

Special Bonus Points: Currently taking a graduate mathematical methods course and will be taking graduate courses in solid state physics (second semester; first semester is an undergrad/grad course) and quantum mechanics. Also taking math classes in complex analysis for fun and engineering courses in semiconductor devices.

I don't know if this is a bonus point at all, but I'm on a track to graduate in three years. I guess it isn't bad to take graduate courses in your third year of undergrad, no? At the same time though, I basically lost a summer of applying to an REU and one whole year of research at my university :/ Mixed bag, I guess.

Although I'm a minority, I have no idea how many "domestic Asian male" applicants apply and what the general statistic is for scores and such for that particular pool. So I have minority status, but once again, I have no idea how I stand up to other domestic Asians or even international Asians if all odds are against me.

Lastly, one of my letter writers (whom is also the professor teaching the solid state physics course) did his post-doc at Berkeley, so he has a ton of connections to the Condensed Matter Experimental folks there. Luckily, Berkeley happens to be my top choice :D
My other letter writers will be the professor I did HEP-Ex research for and another professor who I've had for all my courses and labs in for astrophysics.

Applying to Where:

I'm applying to CME, sooooo yeah. No need to regurgitate CME for 15 schools.

The Works:

UC Berkeley
Harvard
MIT
Stanford
Princeton
Columbia
Cornell
U. Ill. Urbana-Champaign - Accepted 1/25 - $22.2k/11 months TA
UC Santa Barbara

Low Priority

U. Michigan - Ann Arbor
U. Washington - Accepted 1/14 - $1956/mo. TA + 5k scholarship
Last edited by DomesticChinese on Sun Jan 25, 2015 4:57 pm, edited 4 times in total.

Datzr
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Sep 19, 2014 8:47 pm

Re: 2015 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby Datzr » Sun Nov 09, 2014 12:54 am

Undergrad Institution: Top 50 in US
Major(s): Physics
Minor(s): Math, CS
GPA in Major: 4.00
Overall GPA: 4.00
Length of Degree: 4
Position in Class: Probably top
Type of Student: International male

GRE Scores :
Q: 168
V: 166
W: 4.0
P: 990

TOEFL Total: 116

Research Experience: Worked with 3 different research groups. One in CME and two in CMT. Have a handful of conference presentations and four publications, three of which are first author in CMT (mostly numerical stuff).

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Just some research/academic awards within school, none outside.

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: None.

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: None.

Special Bonus Points: Some connections with professors at various schools. A couple graduate classes.

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

Applying to Where:

All CMT:
Princeton - Accepted 2/19. 26k + 3k prize.
UIUC - Accepted 2/17. 22k.
Harvard - Rejected 3/2.
MIT - Rejected 2/18.
Caltech - Accepted 2/12. 32k.
Stanford - Accepted 2/12. 35k.
Berkeley - Rejected 3/12.
Santa Barbara - Rejected 2/24.
Rutgers - Accepted 2/6. 29k + 15k Presidential fellowship for 5 years (!!).
BU - Accepted 3/6. 31k.

Well that's it folks. I think it went pretty well, especially given how competitive theory is now. Best of luck to future applicants!
Last edited by Datzr on Thu Mar 12, 2015 1:33 pm, edited 11 times in total.

Ancalimë
Posts: 4
Joined: Mon Nov 17, 2014 10:53 pm

Re: 2015 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby Ancalimë » Mon Nov 17, 2014 11:17 pm

Undergrad Institution: Medium-sized private US research university, top 30 for Physics
Major(s): Physics
Minor(s): Mathematics
GPA in Major: 3.89
Overall GPA: 3.95
Length of Degree: 4 years
Position in Class: Top 10%
Type of Student: International white male

GRE Scores : revised
Q: 170 (98%)
V: 161 (87%)
W: 4.5 (80%)
P: 990 (94%)


Research Experience: A little over 12 months at my institution, currently working on a senior thesis in HEP-ex (previously worked in CME and had a Medical Physics internship). No publications.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Departmental & university awards, former Physics Olympiad winner and double medalist at IJSO.

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Vast experience in teaching as TA + tutoring. I really like teaching!

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: Trained classical singer, Expert-level chess player, club-level table tennis player.

Special Bonus Points: Nope.

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: Learned calculus when I was in 8th grade. Have been doing college-level Physics for almost 10 years now in various contexts.

Applying to Where: All HEP-ex with a secondary interest in CME.

Princeton - Rejected 2/19
Harvard - Rejected 3/2
Stanford - Rejected 2/17
Yale - Rejected 2/16
Columbia - Rejected 3/27
UMD - Rejected 2/16
UCBoulder - Accepted 3/2 - $17.3k/9 months TA + $1k initial "signing bonus"
UIUC - Accepted 1/30 - $22.2k/11 months TA
UW Seattle - Accepted 2/11 - $21.6k/11 months TA + $2.5k initial "signing bonus" DECLINED

Notes & observations: Grades and test scores are not everything. This is not undergrad anymore, where you have to show the committee that you are a well-rounded individual with a balanced set of skills. Grad school is really the time of your life when you become the best at a VERY SPECIFIC skillset. The top schools will gladly admit people with a ton of research experience and some publications (not necessary, but usually a deciding factor when judging two similar applicants), although some of them have not seen the sunlight in 4 years! I was expecting more positive responses from the elite schools I applied to, not in small part due to my stellar undergraduate record. However, looking back, I should have spent more time trying to do research, if not during the school year, then at least during the summer. Moreover, I am not sure if my letters of recommendation were very strong, a concern I expressed as early as I made an account here. So, to conclude (from importance of item to the overall application):

- get good grades in your upper-division Physics courses (especially important if you studied Physics at a renowned university)
- Physics GRE. You should absolutely study for this exam. A month should be enough, but some people might find that is not enough. Grab "Conquering the Physics GRE", easily the best resource on the market.
- Have meaningful research experience. I cannot stress this enough. While having publications helps, it is not necessary. On the other hand, you need to show that you have learned techniques which are translatable to graduate school. Drilling holes and melting tubes doesn't count...
- Letters of rec, General GRE (don't be an analphabet! :mrgreen: ), overall GPA, personal statement. Don't ever lie!
______________________________________________
Last edited by Ancalimë on Fri Mar 27, 2015 2:36 pm, edited 18 times in total.

dragoonWho
Posts: 1
Joined: Sat Nov 22, 2014 2:57 pm

Re: 2015 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby dragoonWho » Sat Nov 22, 2014 3:12 pm

Undergrad Institution: UMD, ranked fairly high in astro and physics
Major(s): Physics, Astronomy
GPA in Major: 3.77
Overall GPA: 3.85
Length of Degree: 3 years + 1 transfer from community college
Position in Class: top 25%
Type of Student: Domestic white male

GRE Scores:
Q: 167/94%
V: 168/98%
W: 5.0/93%
P: 660/43%

Research Experience: 2 years of research in High Energy Physics, no publications yet. Collaboration on CERN Cosmic Muon Solenoid presentations and simulations.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: 3 departmental scholarships

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Research assistant in high energy physics group. Volunteer at observatory.

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: Unfinished paper on blazars in progress, hopes of publication as an ApJ note. Comp Sci minor from previous degree.

Special Bonus Points: Recommender from Higgs-Boson discovery team

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: Previous BA in Psychology

Applying to Where: (Focusing on Planetary Science departments)

AZ State - Geological Sciences - accepted 3/27 - $15k/9 mo. TA/RA + $5k summer + tuition - 1.4k fees
Caltech - Geological and Planetary Sciences - rejected 2/25
MIT - Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences - rejected 3/11
Purdue - Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences - invited to Grad EXPO 2/27 - rejected 3/24
Stony Brook - Geosciences - accepted 2/5 - $34k/12 mo. TA+RA + $4k relocation + tuition + $4.5k travel allowance
UArizona - Planetary Sciences - Skype interview 1/20 - rejected 2/4
UCDavis - Earth and Planetary Sciences - phone interview 1/27 - accepted 2/8 - $17.4k/9 mo. TA+RA + $12k summer + tuition
UCLA - Earth, Planetary, and Space Sciences - unofficial email indicating likely acceptance 1/23 - accepted 1/28 - $30k/12 mo. RA + tuition + $14k scholarship
UCSC - Earth & Planetary Sciences - informal email indicating acceptance 2/2 - accepted 3/9 - $18.7k/9 mo. TA+RA + $12k summer + tuition + $2.5k scholarship WILL ATTEND
UColorado - Astrophysical & Planetary Sciences - accepted 1/30 - $17.4k/9 mo. TA/RA + $11.7k summer RA + tuition - $1k fees + $2k fellowship
UHawaii - Geology & Geophysics - phone interview 3/4, acceptance indicated - accepted 3/10 - One year fellowship $28k; next years RA $2k/ mo. + $7k/mo. of summer ($32k/yr.) + tuition
UMaryland - Astronomy - waitlisted 2/3 - interview 3/11 - rejected 4/14


Reflection: If you want to do planetary science, PGRE doesn't matter, as many schools don't even ask for it. It seems my strong letters of recommendation, GPA, GRE, and laboratory research went a long way to getting me accepted, even though I have no publications. My statements were mostly talking about my time in labs and computer experience, in addition to mentioning professors at the school I was applying to as people who researched topics similar to my interests. Many professors at (accepted) schools I visited commented that they loved my computer programming experience, so I'd recommend prospective grads start learning Python and C++. I think my record shows that you can be an upper tier student with almost no professional output yet and still get in if you apply to enough schools.
Last edited by dragoonWho on Tue Jul 28, 2015 11:50 am, edited 42 times in total.

taritus
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Nov 24, 2014 9:29 pm

Re: 2015 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby taritus » Mon Nov 24, 2014 9:41 pm

Undergrad Institution: Big state school, quickly rising reputation in CM
Major(s): Chemical Engineering
Minor(s): Physics
GPA in Major: 3.93
GPA in Physics: 4.0
Overall GPA: 3.83
Length of Degree: 4 years
Position in Class: Near top
Type of Student: Domestic white male

GRE Scores : (revised or old version?)
Q: 167 (94%ile)
V: 162 (89%ile)
W: 4.5 (80%ile)
P: 830 (76%ile)

Research Experience: 2.5 years with big name in CM at university, summer internship in polymers

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Honors College,

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Course grader

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help:

Special Bonus Points: Working as only undergraduate for a pretty big name in the field.

Applying to Where:

MIT
CalTech
Penn State
Berkeley
University of Texas, Austin - Accepted; No word on funding yet.
Rice University (Physics and Astronomy) - Accepted 1/19/15; $28,500 for TA position.
University of Illinois - Accepted 2/13/15, $22,264 for 9mo TA Position + 2mo Research or TA.
Last edited by taritus on Sun Feb 15, 2015 7:41 pm, edited 4 times in total.

User avatar
RonaldoMcDonaldo
Posts: 35
Joined: Sat Nov 29, 2014 12:20 am

Re: 2015 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby RonaldoMcDonaldo » Sat Nov 29, 2014 12:27 am

Undergrad Institution: Liberal Arts College
Graduate Institution: State School, 50-100 rank in physics
Major(s): Physics
Minor(s): Math
GPA in Major: 3.65
Overall GPA: 3.5
Graduate GPA: 3.8
Type of Student: Domestic

GRE Scores :
Q: 162 (83%)
V: 162 (89%)
W: 5.0 (93%)
P: 740 (60%)

Research Experience: Molecular modeling at Undergrad. 1-2 semesters HEP-EX research. 2-3 semesters of condensed matter research.

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Head TA 2 years. Aerospace engineer, 2 years.

Applying to Where:
UCLA - Physics - AMO
UC Irvine - Physics - Condensed Matter - Accepted 2/3, $16,500/year
UC Riverside - Physics - Condensed Matter
UC Santa Cruz - Physics - Condensed Matter
University of Oregon - Physics - AMO
Colorado State University - Physics - AMO
Last edited by RonaldoMcDonaldo on Wed Feb 04, 2015 10:22 am, edited 7 times in total.

seeyouauntie
Posts: 24
Joined: Mon Nov 24, 2014 8:17 am

Re: 2015 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby seeyouauntie » Sun Nov 30, 2014 4:31 pm

Undergrad Institution: Medium size public university
Major: Physics
Minor: Math
GPA in Major: 4.0
Overall GPA: 3.6
Length of Degree: 3 years (one year early)
Position in Class: top
Type of Student: domestic, male

GRE Scores
Q: 159
V: 159
W: 4
P: 800


Research Experience: 1 year of research in tribology (basically friction between surfaces in relative motion). Resulted in a paper that has been accepted for publication in the American Journal of Physics (2nd author)

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: TA for two years, lab instructor for intro physics classes(algebra and calculus based)

Additional information: Very good letters of recommendation, two from the other coauthors of the paper.

Applying to Where: All experimental particle physics (HEP-Ex)

UT Austin- Rejected on May 6th, first communication since December 1st. Really bad about ignoring people.
Texas A&M (TAMU) - Accepted 2/18
Rice - Rejected 3/9
Last edited by seeyouauntie on Wed May 06, 2015 9:56 pm, edited 9 times in total.

danielfaraday
Posts: 5
Joined: Sun Nov 30, 2014 8:56 pm

Re: 2015 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby danielfaraday » Sun Nov 30, 2014 9:08 pm

Undergrad Institution: state school, rank ~70 in physics
Majors: Physics, Biomedical Engineering
Minors: Philosophy, Bioelectrical Engineering, Electrical & Computer Engineering
Overall GPA: 3.625 / 4.0
Length of Degree: 4 years
Position in Class: not sure, probably in the upper 25%
Type of Student: domestic male

GRE Scores :
Q: 166
V: 156
W: 5.0
P: 750

Research Experience: 1 year in plasma physics with a publication and a presentation at a conference. design engineer for a small company. lab assistant in a bioengineering lab.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: university honors program, dean's list, scholarships, etc.

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: double degree in physics with honors and biomedical engineering (completed in 4 years)

Applying to Where:

UC Irvine - Medical Physics Accepted 2/3 via email
Dartmouth - Plasma and Space Physics Accepted 3/6 via email
UT Austin - Biophysics Open House Invitation 1/28 Accepted 3/2 via email Will Attend!
UMass Amherst - Biophysics Accepted 2/19 via email
Notre Dame - Condensed Matter Physics and Biophysics Accepted 3/2 via email
Duke - Medical Physics Open House Invitation 2/3 Waitlisted 3/25 Rejected 4/1 - email to check website
UC Berkeley - Biophysics Rejected 1/14 - email to check website
UC Santa Barbara - Biophysics Rejected 2/24 - email to check website
UC San Diego - Biological Physics Rejected 3/10 via email
Last edited by danielfaraday on Mon Apr 13, 2015 5:04 pm, edited 22 times in total.

bcardwell
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Nov 05, 2014 5:12 pm

Re: 2015 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby bcardwell » Wed Dec 03, 2014 3:29 pm

Undergrad Institution: Small Liberal Arts - no physics reputation
Major(s): Physics
Minor(s): Math
GPA in Major: 3.2 (3.9 over last 2 years)
Overall GPA: 3.1 (3.9 over last 2 years)
Length of Degree: 8 Years (took some time off in the middle)
Position in Class: Unknown
Type of Student: Domestic Male

GRE Scores :
Q: 166 - 92%
V: 170 - 99%
W: 4.5 - 80%
P: 750 - 62%


Research Experience: No publications. Cool summer research project at my school the last two summers. Two SULI appointments in HEP Ex.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Nothing significant. Won a computer programming competition.

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Physics intro lab assistant

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help:

Special Bonus Points: Some ATLAS connections through my SULI supervisor.

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

All Physics - HEP Ex.

U Chicago - Rejected
U Illinois - Rejected
U Michigan - Rejected 2/11
Yale - Rejected 2/16
Columbia - Rejected
U Wisconsin - Rejected 2/2
Ohio State - Accepted 2/10 - 25k / year - Will Attend!
Michigan State - Accepted 1/16 - 25k / year - Declined
UC Irvine - Waitlisted 2/12 - Declined
UC Davis - No response
UC Santa Cruz - Rejected 2/20
Boston U - Rejected
U Illinois Chicago - No response
U Oklahoma - Accepted 2/7 - 19k / year - Declined
Last edited by bcardwell on Thu Apr 09, 2015 4:22 pm, edited 9 times in total.

Landau54
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Dec 08, 2014 1:29 am

Re: 2015 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby Landau54 » Mon Dec 08, 2014 1:45 am

Undergrad Institution: University of Montana
Major(s): Physics-Computer Science
Minor(s): none
GPA in Major: 2.84
Overall GPA: 2.86
Length of Degree: 5
Position in Class: unknown
Type of Student: domestic, male, white

GRE Scores:
Q: 162 (83%)
V: 163 (92%)
W: 3.0 (15%)
P: 800 (71%)

In my SOPs I expressed interest primarily in Condensed Matter research groups. I did about one year of research in a computational chemistry group, with one published paper. I have been out of school for approximately ten years. My old Physics GRE score was 600 (36%). I'm hoping the improved score will make a difference. Wish me luck!

Applying to Where:
University of Minnesota-Twin Cities - rejected 2/13 via website
University of California-Irvine - rejected via email near the end of the first week of April
University of Oregon - rejected 3/11 via email
Case Western Reserve University - rejected 2/24 via email to check website
Montana State University - accepted 3/20 via email to check website!!!!! :D
Last edited by Landau54 on Wed Apr 22, 2015 6:55 pm, edited 12 times in total.

physgeek123
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Dec 10, 2014 6:13 am

Re: 2015 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby physgeek123 » Wed Dec 10, 2014 6:24 am

Undergrad Institution: Upcoming international institute with some reputation in Physics
Major(s):Physics
Minor(s):
GPA in Major: 3.8(scaled from 10 point to 4 point)
Overall GPA: 3.7(scaled from 10 point to 4 point)
Length of Degree: 5
Position in Class: Top 1%
Type of Student: International, male
GRE Scores : (revised)
Q:167(94%ile)
V:164(93%ile)
W:4.5(80%ile)
P:990(94%ile)


TOEFL Total: 110

Research Experience: 4 years of research experience. 3 publications. hep-th.

Applying to Where:(All physics dept, hep-th)

Princeton - Accepted on 19 Feb via e-mail - 28k per year(Fellowship) - Will be attending!
Stanford - Rejected on 17 Feb via e-mail.
MIT - Rejected on 19 Feb via e-mail.
Caltech - Rejected on 24 Feb via e-mail.
Cornell - Rejected on 26 Feb via e-mail.
U Chicago - Rejected on 13 Mar via e-mail to check website.
UC Berkeley - Rejected on 04 Mar via e-mail to check website.
Harvard - Rejected on 02 Mar via website.
Michigan Ann Arbor - Accepted on 05 Feb via e-mail - 24k per year with TA - Declined.
Rutgers - Application withdrawn.
UCSB - Rejected on 25 Feb via e-mail to check website.
UCLA - Rejected on 27 Feb via e-mail to check website.
U Maryland College Park - Accepted on 10 Feb via e-mail - 22.3k per year(Fellowship) - Declined.
Brown - Accepted on 11 Feb via e-mail - 31.6k per year(Fellowship) - Declined.
______________________________________________
Last edited by physgeek123 on Fri Mar 13, 2015 12:49 am, edited 10 times in total.

moon
Posts: 14
Joined: Sat Dec 13, 2014 6:52 pm

Re: 2015 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby moon » Sat Dec 13, 2014 7:28 pm

Undergrad Institution: UCSC
Major(s): Physics/Math
Minor(s):
GPA in Major:3.33
Overall GPA:3.33
Length of Degree: 3 years (transfer student)
Position in Class: near top
Type of Student: white guy

GRE Scores : current version
Q: 169
V: 158
W: not in yet
P: 580 (25%)


Research Experience:
-A few months with an electronics lab within my school working on silicon detectors for ATLAS;
-almost a year doing particle theory/analysis for a professor, coding experience

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: nope

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: private tutor since past summer - present. tutoring small kids (7-9 yrs) and peers in intro physics.

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: I transferred to UC with only 1 of the physics intro classes taken. I had to talk with a lot of profs to play catch up that year, took some math classes and eventually declared the major after a year of working around bureaucratic hurdles.

Special Bonus Points: strong letters (I think?)

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

Applying to Where:

Stanford - HEP/Gravity - Rejected
Brown University - HEP/Gravity - Rejected
UCSC - HEP/Gravity - Rejected
UCSB - HEP/Gravity - Rejected
UCSD - HEP/Gravity - Rejected
University of Chicago - HEP/Gravity - Rejected

Don't think I'll get in this year. Terrible pgre, average gpa, but I have to try to apply anyways, right? Anyways, my backup is to find an internship physics position over the year after I graduate, and retake the pgre. Let me know if you guys/gals think I have a shot.
Last edited by moon on Tue Aug 04, 2015 12:51 am, edited 1 time in total.

drb128
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Oct 29, 2014 2:46 pm

Re: 2015 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby drb128 » Sun Dec 14, 2014 3:16 pm

I found these profiles to be extremely helpful throughout my school selection process, I think this is a great resource for people, so here we go:

Undergrad Institution: Tiny liberal arts school, no reputation for physics
Major(s): Physics-Astronomy
Minor(s):
GPA in Major: 3.93
Overall GPA: 3.91
Length of Degree: 4
Position in Class: Near top, not sure
Type of Student: Domestic white male

GRE Scores : revised
Q: 162 (83%)
V: 165 (95%)
W: 4.5 (80%)
P: Fall of Junior year: 840 (77%), Fall of Senior year: 890 (84%)

Research Experience:
One year doing optics research on the thermo-optic properties of LIGO coatings with a professor at my home institution.
One summer REU with a well known prof. in the field of computational astrophysics/cosmology, went very well, resulted in my being a co-author on a paper currently being submitted to a high-profile journal
This year I've been working with a prof. at my home institution on some computational work involving the direct detection of dark matter, may result in a thesis next semester.


Awards/Honors/Recognitions: "Academic Distinction" every year, don't think that really means anything

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Been tutoring physics, asto, and calc for 3 years, TA-ing astro labs for 2 years, and I also helped a prof. develop and run a course designed to introduce physics students to computational modeling.

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help:

Special Bonus Points: one of my recommenders knows people at many of the places I'm applying and has dropped my name around a couple of the dpt.'s. Also went to the AAS and talked with people on admissions committees at several of the institutions I've applied to. Edit: I think this was a huge factor in my application, definitely go to conferences and schmooze if you can.

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: Probably not

Applying to Where:
all with an interest in computational / theoretical astrophysics/cosmology
UCSD - Physics - Rejected 3/10
UC Berkeley - Physics assumed rejection
UW Madison - Physics Accepted 1/23
UW Seattle - Astronomy - Interview 2/18 - Waitlisted 2/27
UT Austin - Astronomy - Accepted 1/16, $28,000 fellowship + $2000 one-time payment
UC Boulder - Astronomy - Accepted 1/27
Caltech - Astronomy - Rejected
Stanford - Physics - Rejected
Harvard - Astronomy - Rejected via website
U of Arizona - Astronomy - Accepted 1/20, $30,176
U of Chicago - Astronomy - Accepted 1/26, $30,600
UC Santa Cruz - Physics - Interview granted on 1/22, notified via email. - Accepted 2/6
UC Davis - Physics
Last edited by drb128 on Tue Mar 10, 2015 5:10 pm, edited 16 times in total.

wompwomp
Posts: 38
Joined: Fri Sep 26, 2014 10:00 pm

Re: 2015 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby wompwomp » Sun Dec 14, 2014 10:34 pm

Undergrad Institution: Reputed liberal arts institution
Major(s): Physics
Minor(s): (Not an official minor, but lots of math classes)
GPA in Major: 3.55
Overall GPA: 3.65
Length of Degree: 4 yrs
Position in Class: Above average
Type of Student: International

GRE Scores : Revised
Q: 166
V: 165
W: 4.5
P: 890

Research Experience: 1 yr astrophysics, 1 yr cold atom physics, 2 yrs computational chemistry. Two publications as the third author (one high-profile), and one as the second author.

Applying to Where:

Columbia - Applied Math - R
Cornell - Physics - Biophysics/CMT - R
Stanford - Computational Science - R
UT Austin - Computational Science - R
UCSD - Physics - CMT - R
Brown - Applied Math - R
Yale - Applied Math - R
UMD - Applied Math - R
University of Washington -Applied Math - R
UIUC - Applied Math - R
Rice - Applied Math - R
UC Davis - Applied Math - R
Boston U - Physics - R
SUNY Stony Brook - Physics - R
Last edited by wompwomp on Thu Aug 13, 2015 12:02 am, edited 4 times in total.

waka_waka
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Dec 15, 2014 6:57 am

Re: 2015 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby waka_waka » Mon Dec 15, 2014 7:13 am

Undergrad Institution: Big State, Engineering School, Okay Physics Rep.
Major(s): Physics
Minor(s): Math, Computer Science
GPA in Major: 3.7
Overall GPA: 3.7
Length of Degree: 4 years
Position in Class: Near Top
Type of Student: Domestic, Male, White

GRE Scores : revised
Q: 167 (94%)
V: 165 (95%)
W: 3.5 (38%)
P: 700 (52%)

Research Experience: 3 years with high energy experiment group, summer at CERN, 1 APS presentation, UG thesis, no publications

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: graduating with honors, deans list, 1st place poster presentation

Pertinent Activities or Jobs:

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help:

Special Bonus Points: particle physics grad class, lots of computer science experience, good letters from 3 profs. from 3 different universities

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

Applying to Where:

UCSB - High Energy Experiment
UCLA - High Energy Experiment
UCSD - High Energy Experiment
Cornell - High Energy Experiment
U Wisconsin - High Energy Experiment - Accepted
Northeastern - High Energy Experiment
Rutgers - High Energy Experiment
Ohio State - High Energy Experiment - Did not apply
UC Davis - High Energy Experiment - Accepted
U Iowa - High Energy Experiment - Did not apply
U Florida - High Energy Experiment - Did not apply

_____________________________________
Last edited by waka_waka on Tue Feb 17, 2015 12:17 am, edited 1 time in total.

rplestid
Posts: 6
Joined: Sun Dec 16, 2012 2:03 pm

Re: 2015 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby rplestid » Mon Dec 15, 2014 5:22 pm

Undergrad Institution: Midsized top 10-15 Canadian university
Overall Reputation in Physics [\b] Was ranked 5th best in undergrad program in Canada, small overachieving faculty (Two Herzberg medal winners, 3 canada research chairs among 6 faculty) so fairly good but not off the charts.
[b]Major(s)
: Theoretical Physic
Minor(s): none (common at Institution)
GPA in Major: 88.7/100
Overall GPA: 84.5/100
Length of Degree: 4 years
Position in Class: Very close to top

Grad Institution: Midsized top 5 Canadian university + Perimeter
Overall Reputation in Physics [\b] Fairly good
[b]Major(s)
: Particle Pheno
Minor(s): none (common at Institution)
GPA in Major: 10.6/12
Overall GPA: 10.6/12
Length of Degree: 2 years
Position in Class: No clue
Type of Student: International from Canada

GRE Scores :
Q: 162
V: 159
W: 4
P:880

Research Experience: Two summers undergrad research, one in climate modelling, one in applied math/ condensed matter experiment, undergrad thesis in numerical relativity, master's degree including research in High Energy Phenomenology and model building.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: NSERC USRA, CGCS undergrad internship, Entrance scholarship for both grad school and undergrad, OGS, OGF (ontario grad scholarships)

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Have tutored a lot, TAed first year physics and graduate QFT.

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: scored 18 on the Putnam highest score in a while at my school

Special Bonus Points: Recomenders all have ivy league connections, had some minimal contact with faculty who encouraged me to apply,

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: B in grad school that was at a summer school, very specific in my research interests in my SOP I made sure to find professors that interested me and committed to crafting my applications around those research interests.

Applying to Where:

Princeton - Physics- Particle Phenomenology Rejected by email feb 19th
Columbial -Physics - Stat-mech/Condensed matter
Harvardl -Physics- Condensed matter/AMO Reje3cted via email march 2nd
MIT - Physics- HEP theory Rejected Feb 18th email
Santa Barbara - Physics- Strongly Correlated systems in CM Rejected Feb 24th email
Berkeley - Physics- Strongly Correlated systems in CM Reje3cted via email march 4th
Stanford - Physics- Topological states of matter Rejected Feb 17th Email
Caltech - Physics- Formal QFT and High energy Reje3cted via email feb 23rd
Chicago - Physics- Dahm Tanh Son/Micheal Levin so CMT kind of Reje3cted via email march 4th
McGill - Physics- High Energy Phenomenology
Yale - Physics- Topological quantum computing Rejected feb 16th email
Maryland - Physics- Topological CM with applications Rejected Feb 20th
Michigan - Physics- Particle Phenomenology Rejected Feb 12th Email
Toronto - Math- Applied Math/Mathematical Physics
NYU - Courant institute- Applied Math/Mathematical Physics
Last edited by rplestid on Wed Mar 04, 2015 5:58 pm, edited 6 times in total.

gordo3000
Posts: 3
Joined: Wed Nov 12, 2014 10:58 pm

Re: 2015 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby gordo3000 » Mon Dec 15, 2014 7:30 pm

Undergrad Institution: Davidson College (top liberal arts school, good PhD placement for physics majors, famous for tough grading and low GPAs)
Major(s): Economics
Minor(s): N/A (no physics minor offered, took every course for a major except electronics, Junior Lab, and modern physics, which I replaced with QM, Stat Mech, Astro, and Optics)
GPA in Major: 3.52 (3.8 in Physics)
Overall GPA: 3.6
Length of Degree: 4 year
Position in Class: top 25%
Type of Student: domestic, minority, south asian, male

GRE Scores : revised
Q:170 (98%)
V:169 (99%)
W: 5.5 (98%)
P: 970 (92%)


Research Experience: No publications. 1 summer during school of biophysics research. During my working years, 2 major projects that are similar to quantitative finance research

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: several honors societies (econ, math, physics, overall)

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: 2006 -2014 worked on wall street as a trader. Summers of 2011 and 2013 ran summer intern training and evaluation for NY and London GRC and in 2013 started a new program for analyst continuing education. Summer intern training involved extensive classroom lecturing (3 groups, each getting about 40 hours of lecture time)

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: various things from my working years, including a couple of stellar recommendations

Special Bonus Points: none, but am willing to be transgender for this application process if that will help ;-)

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: 8 years of work experience giving me work experience in 3 countries. Am reasonably bilingual (Japanese). Married with a kid. Have experience hiring and overseeing others, running projects, recruiting, training, starting a new business line.

Applying to Where:

UC Davis - Physics - HEP and Cosmology
UC Irvine - Physics - HEP and Cosmology
UCLA - Physics - HEP and Cosmology
UC Berkeley - Physics - HEP and Cosmology
Stanford - Physics - HEP and Cosmology - Thank you, but you suck so... REJECTED
UC Boulder - Physics - HEP and Cosmology
UMD College Park - Physics - HEP and Cosmology
Harvard - Physics - HEP and Cosmology

School choice broadly influenced by family concerns. research interests are quite broad, especially since my time working showed me how varied the paths can be if you keep an open mind. In 8 years in an industry that prides itself on specialization, I ended up all over the place.
Last edited by gordo3000 on Wed Feb 18, 2015 2:26 am, edited 1 time in total.

observationalist
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue Dec 16, 2014 11:19 pm

Re: 2015 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby observationalist » Tue Dec 16, 2014 11:38 pm

Undergrad Institution: Big State School
Major(s): Physics (Astrophysics Concentration)
Minor(s): Math
GPA in Major: 3.9/4.0
Overall GPA: 3.78/4.0
Length of Degree: 4 years
Position in Class: Near top
Type of Student: Domestic white male

GRE Scores : Revised
Q: 160 (78%)
V: 163 (92%)
W: 4.5 (80%)
P: 620 (33%)


Research Experience: 3 years working with my undergraduate thesis advisor - galaxy evolution, first-author publication on the way (not in time for apps); REU with a collaborator - also in galaxy evolution, another first-author publication in the works (again, not quite in time).

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Several departmental awards

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Student ambassador for the department

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: 4 year varsity athlete, Divison 1

Special Bonus Points: I've done very well with networking. From my undergrad and REU advisors, I have good connections at a lot of top institutions. Because of this, I've been able to get in touch with quite a few potential advisors.

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: Applied for the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship

Applying to Where: (all extragalactic astronomy)

Harvard - Rejected - 3/2
Boston U - Accepted - 1/30
Cornell - Rejected - 2/13
Ohio State - Waitlisted -1/11
UT Austin - Phone Interview - 1/28 - Accepted - 1/29
Arizona - Rejected - 1/21
UW Madison - Waitlisted - 3/12
UC Irvine -
Michigan - Accepted - 2/8 - Will attend!
Penn State - Waitlisted - 1/29
Minnesota - Rejected - 3/10
CU Boulder - Rejected - 2/13
Wyoming - Accepted - 1/30
Last edited by observationalist on Tue Mar 24, 2015 4:38 pm, edited 9 times in total.

PathIntegrals92
Posts: 190
Joined: Tue Oct 07, 2014 12:42 pm

Re: 2015 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby PathIntegrals92 » Wed Dec 17, 2014 2:44 pm

This will get updated once I get the admission results back!
Undergrad Institution: Small LAC (many graduate and get admitted to top colleges for experiment, but idk how to judge reputation).
Major(s): Physics
Minor(s):
PA in MajorG: 3.5ish
Overall GPA: 3.5ish
Length of Degree: 4
Position in Class: cum laude (idk what percent that corresponds to.) Honors in major too.
Type of Student: Domestic

GRE Scores : (revised or old version?)
Q: 74%
V:50%
W:56%
P: 700 (52%) *this is the score i am submitting, I have taken it multiple times*


Research Experience: Hep-th at undergrad , hep-th at a top school. Despite the lack of publications, I think I did well. My advisors were happy and I know they will write my strong recommendation letters.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Honors in major, graduated cum laude, a couple of fellowships for summer research.

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Tutor, SPS President.

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help:

Special Bonus Points: My profs have pretty good connections for hep-th, but I am not applying for it. Soo IDK what to put here.


Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: Grades have been inconsistent. I don't do well on timed exams, but otherwise I have taken many advanced courses and went for breadth.


Applying to Where: For physics, All for CME/CMT...interest in HEP-th might have been obvious from research experience+I talked about problems I am interested in

Purdue University - Jan 22

Ohio State University- Jan 23
University of California Los Angeles - Feb 27 Rejected via email. Oh well =)

UIUC - Late March

USC - May (snail mail, I don't know the exact date because I went on vacation)

Penn State - mid March

*I had other application acceptances, but they were not for physics and some were job applications. The choice was very hard to make between grad school and job, but that's life. Decisions are tough. I hope future applicants will also have a variety of options to choose from, but in the end you can only pick one.*



Disregard this advice if you want to do experiment (below)

If I could have done things differently, I would have signed up for September AND October test. Physics gre scores matter a lot for theory. If you lurked around this forum, you already know that. However, how much it matters depends on the school you went to. From my experience, it matters a lot if you didn't go to a topish school for undergrad (in physics). I would have given myself more options if I had a higher pgre score. Obviously grades matter too and they matter the most (compared to pgre), but they look at trends, level of the class etc.

I don't want to claim being a bad test taker, because I tend to do well on exams that do not have a time pressure on them. Depending on the subject and my comfort in the material, I would do well even with time pressure. For whatever reason, I effed up on the physics gre. On practice exams I was doing much much better. Soo much better that I was confident going into the exam.... sucks SO my advice is to do GREAT on the practice test so you will do GOOD on the real thing. Don't aim for GOOD on practice test or otherwise the real one might just be okay ( like me).

Also don't lose confidence in physics if you have a sucky physics gre score (unless if you don't know your physics). I was well prepared for the content of the exam, but who knows maybe something equivalent to stage fright crept in.

Publications are a great thing to have if you gpa/pgre are sort of on the mediocre range... Because research experience/recommendation letters matter the most in the end. very strong recommendation letters are a must! So form a good relationship with your research mentors and work hard!
It's tough to get publications at a small LAC, but even at other schools it depends on the prof and really good timing.


I do not regret applying to the schools I did, in fact, it was a good range in my opinion (if you take into account ALL applications and not just physics). NEVER just aim too high or too low... aim for places you can thrive in and be happy living in. If getting a post doc and being a faculty matters to you then work hard to get into a school that will take you on that path. For the record, most schools do... but it all depends on you.
Last edited by PathIntegrals92 on Fri Aug 07, 2015 11:23 am, edited 5 times in total.

kalaxjeo
Posts: 2
Joined: Sat Sep 27, 2014 2:03 pm

Re: 2015 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby kalaxjeo » Wed Dec 17, 2014 10:14 pm

Undergrad Institution: Big 10 school, top 20 in physics
Major(s): Physics and Mathematics
Minor(s):
GPA in Major: 3.79
Overall GPA: 3.81
Length of Degree: 3
Position in Class: Near top
Type of Student: Domestic white male (gay if it helps?)

GRE Scores : revised
Q: 168
V: 165
W: 4.5
P: 920


Research Experience: 1 year math research experience with publication + 1 math REU with publication; working since August 2013 in a low-energy particle physics lab; spent 2 weeks at Fermilab

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: A few scholarships at my school, one fellowship from physics department

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Graded math papers for two semesters, taught high school students math over the summer

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: I am 19

Special Bonus Points:

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

Applying to Where:
Caltech - Physics - Experimental Quantum Information, Experimental AMO, Quantum Information Theory--Accepted 2/12
MIT - Physics - particle astroph., QIS, AMO--Rejected 2/18
Univ. Washington - Physics - Exp Nuclear, AMO, Qinf - Accepted 1/22--TA + 5K scholarship--($1956/mo)
Univ. Colorado Boulder - Physics - AMO--Accepted 2/16
Harvard - Physics - Astroparticle physics and AMO--Rejected
UCLA - Physics - Astroparticle physics and AMO--Accepted 2/11
UCB - Physics - Exp Astroph, then AMO--Accepted 2/20
UCSB - Physics - Particle astrophysics--Rejected 2/24
Univ. Maryland - Physics - Astroparticle physics--Accepted 2/10
UC Davis - Physics - Astroparticle physics/unspecified--Accepted 2/13
Brown - Physics - Astroparticle physics and Condensed Matter--Accepted with full fellowship 2/11--declined
Stanford - Physics - Astroparticle physics (LZ)--Accepted 2/12--WILL ATTEND
Yale - Physics - Astroparticle physics--Accepted 2/26
Last edited by kalaxjeo on Mon Jun 01, 2015 1:37 pm, edited 5 times in total.

HHunch
Posts: 1
Joined: Sat Dec 20, 2014 1:16 pm

Re: 2015 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby HHunch » Sat Dec 20, 2014 1:31 pm

Undergrad Institution: Medium sized, private, domestic... Known more for engineering than physics
Major(s):Physics / Mathematics
Minor(s):
GPA in Major: 3.97 (Physics)
Overall GPA:3.93
Length of Degree: 5 year program
Position in Class: Not listed on application
Type of Student: Domestic, Pacific Islander, Male

GRE Scores : (revised)
Q:169 (97%)
V:163 (92%)
W:4.5 (80%)
P:880 (83%)

Research Experience: Summer after freshman year in my school's neutrino group, separate 6 months with that same group junior year (with poster presentation at conference), 6 months with DifEQ group in my school's math department (with co-authored publication), 6 months doing nuclear physics research at National Lab (with poster presentation at conference)

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Goldwater Scholarship, National Merit Scholarship, and some departmental scholarships

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: SPS President, math tutor, physics tutor

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: Did well in two grad classes (GR and Standard Model), Lots of physics outreach in the community

Special Bonus Points: My advisor has connections at some of the schools where I'm applying (Yale,Stanford, and Indiana)

Applying to Where:
(all physics for HEP-ex)

UC Berkeley - Accepted via email to check website - 2/4
Harvard - Rejected via website - 3/2
MIT - Accepted via email - 2/16 - declined
Stanford - Accepted via unofficial phone call - 2/4 - official email - 2/12 - declined
U Indiana - Accepted via email - 1/27 - declined
U Wisconsin - Accepted via email - 1/23 - declined
Yale - Accepted via email to check website - 2/26

NSF GRFP - Rejected - 3/31
Hertz Fellowship - Rejected, 1st round
Last edited by HHunch on Sun Apr 05, 2015 5:13 pm, edited 14 times in total.

uhurulol
Posts: 79
Joined: Wed Aug 27, 2014 12:38 am

Re: 2015 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby uhurulol » Tue Dec 23, 2014 1:40 am

Undergrad Institution: State University, no rep for physics
Undergraduate Major(s): Physics
GPA in Major: 3.22
Overall GPA: 3.11
Type of Student: Domestic White Male

GRE Scores:
Q: 155 (60%)
V: 155 (67%)
W: 3.5 (38%)
P: 500 (9%) (obligatory :oops:)

Research Experience:

Two years on a significant astro instrumentation project funded by a huge NSF grant. Advisor of this project is my primary recommendor, and he will write me a stellar letter. The research itself is highly notable and should look really great on my application. Publication pending in a reputable journal.

I also just recently started some research with another notable Yale professor doing observational stellar astronomy -- the details of which she doesn't really want me to discuss, as we're fighting time on this project. If we're successful, this will provide significant evidence toward a recent theory about a specific Milky Way satellite, and that will lead to another publication on which I will be the second author. This advisor is my second recommendor.

Pertinent Activities or Jobs:

Tutored physics to the youngins' at my school, did generic lab work/repair work for the physics department. Presentations regarding my research for the Physics Club, and I've represented the Physics department at a number of university events.

Other Information:

Major coursework such as E&M, Classical and Quantum came way later in my studies than they should have. Also worked 30+ hours a week (plus research) for most of my college career.

Applying to Where:

None of the schools I'm applying to, aside from Georgia State, will receive my PGRE score.

University of Arizona - Lunar and Planetary Lab - Rejected 2/10
Caltech - Planetary Sciences - Rejected 2/25
Florida Tech - Space Sciences & Physics - Rejected 2/26
University of New Hampshire - Physics & Astronomy - Rejected 2/26
Clemson - Astrophysics - Rejected 2/27
University of Iowa - Physics & Astronomy - Rejected 3/4
University of Oklahoma - Physics & Astronomy - Rejected 3/29
Georgia State University - Astronomy (PGRE sent) - Waitlisted 3/24 - Rejected 4/8
Wesleyan University - Astronomy - Waitlisted 3/31 (#2 on list) - Rejected 4/16
University of Pittsburgh - Physics & Astronomy - Waitlisted mid-March - Rejected 4/24
San Francisco State University - Physics (Astronomy Track) - Accepted 4/16, part-time TA ~10k/year +4k work/study
Southern Connecticut State University - Applied Physics

Looking grim, but there's always next year!
Last edited by uhurulol on Mon Apr 27, 2015 11:37 am, edited 24 times in total.

physicsisphun
Posts: 15
Joined: Mon Oct 27, 2014 12:57 am

Re: 2015 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby physicsisphun » Wed Dec 24, 2014 3:07 pm

Undergrad Institution: Small tech school known for engineering
Major(s): Physics
Minor(s): Master's in Applied Mathematics concurrently
GPA in Major: 4.0
Overall GPA: 4.0
Length of Degree: 4
Position in Class: top
Type of Student: just a domestic white guy

GRE Scores : revised
Q: 165 90%
V: 167 97%
W: 5.5 98%
P: 840 77%

Research Experience: 3 summers
2 at own school working in AMO phyiscs, 1 international poster presentation result
1 REU at top school in astrophysics/high energy laser stuff

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Dean's List, Member national SPS honors society, small scholarship

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: tutor and course grader for junior and senior year

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help:

Special Bonus Points: 1 letter of rec from professor who worked at UIUC (my top choice) i dont think this counts for much

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

Applying to Where:

ALL CMT - qauntum hall, and/or topological invariants

Harvard Rejected via website 3/2
UIUC - Rejected via email 3/6
UCSB - Rejected via Email to check website 2/24
UMD - Rejected via website 2/16
UCSD - Rejected via email 3/9
Boston U - Never heard anything? Rejected via email 4/22 - A little late
Rice - Accepted via Phone 1/16 - 28k for first year Declined
Penn State - Accepted via Email - 27.7k for first year RA **UPDATE** Received University Fellowship. Now Receiving 31k. WILL ATTEND
U Chicago - Rejected via email 3/3
Columbia - Rejected via email 3/27
UC Boulder - Rejected via email 3/11
U Mich Ann Arbor - Rejected via email 2/11

All in all, I still have no idea how this process works. I probably should have started earlier on my personal statement and studied for the PGRE much harder. (I glanced over Conquering the physics GRE and took a practice exam.) Maybe gotten one of those papers published. Good luck.
Last edited by physicsisphun on Wed Apr 22, 2015 2:17 am, edited 14 times in total.

jagjitsinghsidhu192
Posts: 9
Joined: Sat Dec 27, 2014 10:05 pm

Re: 2015 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby jagjitsinghsidhu192 » Mon Dec 29, 2014 5:15 pm

Undergrad Institution: Western Michigan University [actually decent quality physics (both classes and research), but nothing spectacular]

Major: Physics
Minor(s): Astronomy and Mathematics
GPA in Major:4.00
Overall GPA:3.98
Length of Degree: 3.5
Position in Class:Either 1st or 2nd in all physics classes
Type of Student: International male

GRE Scores : Revised
Q: 170 (98%)
V: 162 (89%)
W: 5.0 (93%)
P: 920 (88%) - Oct 2014


Research Experience: Just an independent study for my astronomy minor on active galactic nuclei (AGN) and the iron problem with AGN (spectra indicates too much iron compared to expected amounts from theoretical modelling)

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Scholarship from western michigan university. Dean's list. Honors college member.
So, basically nothing that actually matters.

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Graded Physics II: Electricity and Magnetism in Spring '14. Supplemental Instruction (fancy term for tutor) for Fall '14. Grading Introduction to Astrophysics in Spring '15 (side note: Incredibly excited about grading an upper level course).

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: Not really.

Special Bonus Points:
1. Had an english professor, who was on my honors thesis committee and is generally very fond of me and also very confident of my abilities to write, write letters for universities that allowed more than 3 recommenders. Could provide no help in swaying admissions committees whatsoever, or could help.
2. having department chair write letters for me (I will be grading for him in Intro to Astro next semester having done very well in it last spring).
3. Also, my letter writers seem to generally know someone at quite a few places i will be applying, however I know this will probably mean little in the context of admissions.
4. Taking Nuclear and Particle Physics (one class) next semester, which is essentially a grad class

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

Talked about study abroad experience in Italy last summer (2014), which was about art and Renaissance history type stuff within the context of philosophy and science history type frameworks on SOP. Again, might be of no help, or it might help sway admissions committees.

Applying to Where: All schools are Theoretical cosmology type stuff, a.k.a hep theory except chicago which is astrophysics, but with a preference to hep theory physics.

OSU - wait listed via email on 2/19/15 -> Asked to be removed from waitlist 4/2/15
NYU - Rejected via email on 2/27/15
MIT - Rejected via email on 2/18/15
Caltech - Rejected via email on 2/23/15
Chicago - Rejected via email on 2/9/15
Notre Dame -Rejected via email on 3/3/15 - Finished first round of admissions, they will draw up a wait-list in early april and will notify me then if I'm on it -> Asked to be removed from pre-waitlist waitlist 4/2/15
Princeton - Rejected via email on 2/19/15
Harvard - Rejected via email on 3/2/15
Case Western - Accepted via email on 3/5/15 with TA of $24000 for 12 months ---> WILL ATTEND
Columbia - Rejected via email on 3/27/15
Perimeter Institute (perimeter Scholars international) - Rejected via email on 4/6/15

Guess I know where I'm going.
Last edited by jagjitsinghsidhu192 on Thu Apr 09, 2015 7:16 pm, edited 15 times in total.

gradapp2015
Posts: 26
Joined: Thu Dec 25, 2014 4:38 pm

Re: 2015 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby gradapp2015 » Wed Dec 31, 2014 6:05 pm

Undergrad Institution: Liberal art college, extremely strong physics reputation (Harvey Mudd)
Major(s): Physics
Minor(s): None
GPA in Major: 4.0+
Overall GPA: 4.0+
Length of Degree: 4 years
Position in Class: Near, if not the, top
Type of Student: Domestic, white, male

GRE Scores : (revised or old version?)
Q: 169
V: 164
W: 5.5
P: 900 (hope this doesn't hurt me too much!)

Research Experience: 1 REU in quantum optics; 1 semester with theorist; 2 years in experimental quantum optics. No publications, 1 conference presentation

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Goldwater Scholarship; Phi Beta Kappa at HMC

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: TA for introductory and advanced courses

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: Goldwater?

Special Bonus Points: Unfortunately, white male status will be a disadvantage for me... but I did receive several A+'s in advanced (~grad level) courses

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: Nope? Goldwater Scholarship is supposed to be a 'gold star' so let's see how much that helps...

Applying to Where:
Harvard - physics - AMO
MIT - physics - AMO
Berkeley - physics - AMO
Stanford - physics - AMO - Accepted 2/12
CalTech - physics - AMO - Accepted 2/13
Maryland, College Park - phyics - AMO - Accepted 2/10 with fellowship
CU Boulder - physics - AMO - Accepted 2/1 with $5k signing bonus
Rice - physics - AMO - Rejected 2/7 lololol
UCSD - physics - AMO
Kansas (home state, what can I say?) - physics - AMO - Accepted 1/17
University of Michigan - physics - AMO - Accepted 1/16
Stony Brook - physics - AMO - Accepted 1/18
Last edited by gradapp2015 on Mon Feb 16, 2015 10:51 am, edited 2 times in total.

AstroMSC
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Jan 01, 2015 6:29 pm

Re: 2015 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby AstroMSC » Thu Jan 01, 2015 6:51 pm

Undergrad Institution: Service Academy
Major(s): Astrophysics
Minor(s): German
GPA in Major: 3.44
Overall GPA: 3.40
Length of Degree: 4
Position in Class: top 25%, sort of irrelevant since it includes military performance and stuff
Type of student: male

GRE Scores : new version
Q: 170 (98%)
V: 158 (78%)
W: 4.5 (56%)
P: 580 (25%)....no time to study with my military commitments, wished I had taken it when I was still in school, not 5 years later without studying. Weakest part of my application

Research Experience: Very limited while undergrad but I tried to have my recommenders highlight it

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: physics honor society, Foreign language honor society, various military awards

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: The biggest thing I'm selling myself on is being qualified by the department of energy as the chief engineer officer for nuclear powered ship

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: I was a division 1 swimmer and also qualified navy diver with spec ops training....not sure if it helps but I'm using it.

Special Bonus Points: Basically the military thing, I've got strong lors from professors and my commanding officer. Trying to sell myself on deployment and leadership experience and also extensive maintenence experience coordinating with government contractors.

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: I think putting everything in the resume format really helped sell myself. My personal statement is a little long but I really tried to show how my experiences prepared me for grad work in a unique way and that I have a passion for the subject. I'm really banking on schools reading what I wrote because, when evaluated strictly off numbers, I look pretty weak.

Applying to Where: All schools are for astrophysics/astronomy. I'm mostly interested in galactic evolution and low mass bodies, particularly brown dwarfs

UC Berkeley Rejected via email 2/19
USSD
UCSB phone interview 1/28Rejected via check email status 2/23
Cal TechRejected via email 2/17
Oklahoma Accepted via phone call 2/6
Notre Dame
Kansas
MissouriAccepted via email 2/20
Deleware
Last edited by AstroMSC on Fri Feb 27, 2015 1:33 pm, edited 6 times in total.

Cosmos1
Posts: 10
Joined: Wed Aug 27, 2014 4:52 pm

Re: 2015 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby Cosmos1 » Sat Jan 03, 2015 4:02 am

Undergrad Institution: Small Liberal Arts School (fairly well-known, very small physics department)
Major(s): Physics, Music
Minor(s): Mathematics
GPA in Major: 4.00
Overall GPA: 4.00
Length of Degree: 4 Years (two degrees - B.S. and B.A.)
Position in Class: Top
Type of Student: White Domestic Male

GRE Scores: Revised
Q: 164
V: 159
W: 4.0
P: 630


Research Experience: One summer at undergraduate school working with scanning tunneling microscopy. Led to poster and oral presentations at my school. Few weeks using university telescope to track Galilean moons.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Dean's List, Named Scholarship, Music Scholarship, Summa Cum Laude (Expected)

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Physics and Math Tutor (2 years), Grader for Differential Equations (2 semesters)

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: Completed two degrees in four years

Special Bonus Points: Have close relationship with professors so am expecting strong letters of recommendation

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

Applying to Where:

Research Interest: Observational Cosmology

University of California - Berkeley - Astronomy - Rejected 2/19 Email
Johns Hopkins University - Physics and Astronomy - Rejected 4/9 Email
Carnegie Mellon University - Physics - Rejected 4/1 Email
University of California - Santa Cruz - Astronomy and Astrophysics - Rejected 2/20 Email
Cornell University - Astronomy - Rejected 2/13 Email
University of Washington - Astronomy - Rejected 3/7 Email
University of Colorado - Boulder - Astrophysics and Planetary Sciences - Rejected 2/13 Email
Yale University - Astronomy - Rejected 2/23 Email to check website
University of Texas - Austin - Astronomy - Rejected 2/5 Email to check website
University of California - Los Angeles - Astronomy and Astrophysics - Rejected 2/5 Email to check website
University of Hawaii - Manoa - Astronomy - Rejected 3/2 Mail
Columbia University - Astronomy - Rejected 2/26 Email to check website
University of Chicago - Astronomy and Astrophysics - Rejected 2/9 Email to check website
Ohio State University - Astronomy - Rejected 1/12 Email
University of Arizona - Astronomy - Rejected 1/23 Email
University of Toledo - Physics and Astronomy - Accepted 2/12 Email

Other schools with decent astronomy programs that I had on my long list but decided not to apply to:
Stanford University
University of California - San Diego,
University of California - Santa Barbara
University of Pennsylvania
University of Southern California
University of Wisconsin - Madison
University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee
University of Illinois - Urbana-Champaign
West Virginia University
Rutgers
Boston University
University of Maryland
University of Michigan - Ann Arbor
University of Virginia
University of Wyoming
Last edited by Cosmos1 on Sun Apr 12, 2015 2:57 pm, edited 19 times in total.

shep23
Posts: 50
Joined: Thu Oct 30, 2014 11:18 pm

Re: 2015 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby shep23 » Mon Jan 05, 2015 2:12 am

Undergrad Institution: Big State School, not sure about rank, but it's solid. Maybe top 50?
Major(s): Astronomy-Physics
Minor(s):
GPA in Major: 3.66
Overall GPA: 3.66 (weird coincidence)
Length of Degree: 4 years
Position in Class: Not sure...near lower top probably
Type of Student: Domestic white male

GRE Scores : (revised or old version?)
Q: 170 (98%)
V: 162 (89%)
W: 5.0 (93%)
P: 990 (94%)...shocked on this. averaged around an 800 on practice tests. Strongly recommend using "Conquering the Physics GRE" to study



Research Experience: 2 summers (1 full time, 1 part time), and 2 semesters, for 2 total projects. First was an xray astronomy project that, while valuable, didn't get very far as I lacked computer experience. 2nd project was a much more involved star formation project. Will result in 1 Nth author paper and 1 first author paper (in that order), and I plan on presenting at conferences. No publications/posters at time of application though.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: All at school. Best was a school-wide scholarship I applied for and won. Other than that I was in a Greek Honor Society, got a top 20% of class award, and of course a few Dean's Lists

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Tutor for ESOL kids in math and science for 2 years. TA for 2 semesters. Lab Assistant for 1 summer. Volunteered at a local observatory for ~30 hours 1 summer

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: Who knows

Special Bonus Points: Strong letters, a few grad classes (even though I'm pretty sure they don't care about that)

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

Applying to Where (All Observational Astronomy):

Ohio State: WAITLISTED via email 1/4 - Withdrew application
Caltech: Rejected via email 2/17
Princeton: Rejected via email 2/6
Columbia: Rejected via email to check website 2/26
Yale: Rejected via email to check website 2/23
UT-Austin: Interview request via email 1/20 - Skype Interview 1/23 - Accepted via email 1/29! $30K from TAship and fellowships
U Colorado-Boulder: Rejected via email 2/13
Penn St: Accepted via phone call 1/24 - Received fellowship totaling 33k for first year
U Maryland: Interview request via email 2/13 - Skype Interview 2/16 - Accepted 4/13 - 27K TA + 5K fellowship WILL ATTEND
Johns Hopkins: Rejected via email 4/10
U Virginia: WAITLISTED via email 2/24 - Withdrew Application 3/29
U Chicago: Rejected via email to check website 2/9
U Michigan : Rejected via email 3/13

I had strong test scores but not a great research profile, so I applied to many top 30 schools figuring that if I have a ~10% chance of getting into one, then by applying to many my odds would be a lot better. Fortunately, it worked. I got a healthy amount of rejections, but my acceptances gave me some leeway to choose where I thought I would be happiest. While UT-Austin is perhaps a more highly regarded program, UMD just happens to be a better fit for me. Hopefully my profile will help future applicants.

ADVICE: If you want to maximize your chances of getting into school, start research early. But it's okay to have a balanced life and not research until 3rd year because you can still get into school. If you are domestic like me, it might be smart to focus your applications towards upper level public schools, as I fared a lot better with them.
Last edited by shep23 on Thu Apr 16, 2015 12:33 am, edited 22 times in total.

tfarex
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue Jan 06, 2015 2:28 pm

Re: 2015 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby tfarex » Tue Jan 06, 2015 2:59 pm

:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:
Undergrad Institution: Big state school, not very good for Physics though (top 50-60 according to stuff I've seen online)
Major(s): Electrical Engineering, Physics, Applied Mathematics
Minor(s):
GPA in Major: 4.0
Overall GPA: 4.0
Length of Degree: 5.5 years
Position in Class: top or #1
Type of Student: US White Male. Anybody else struggle with those diversity statements? hahaha

GRE Scores :
Q: 162 (83%) (why did you guys all do so well on this? Quick, withdraw your applications so I have a chance please : ) )
V: 159 (81%)
W: 4 (56%)
P: 900 (85%)

:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

Research Experience: 1 year working in a clean room - co-authored article published in conference proceedings. 1 year working on solar cell measurement equipment (designed amplifiers). One summer internship for a company that fabricates GaN HEMTs where I worked on modleing the FETs and designed an X-band power amplifier. 1 year working Bayesian model calibration techniques - presented research at a small math conference - no publications though.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Nope

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: lolol

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: Ummmm I'm diamond in league of legends :D. Hello ladies. I don't mention this in the application. But they'll know. They will know...

Special Bonus Points: 0

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

:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

Applying to Where:

ALL ARE FOR CME... but my SOP indicates a lot of interest in theory. Idk what I'm doing. : (

According to googling best us physics schools:
top 10
MIT 2/18 :'(
Berkeley 3/12 :'(
Cornell 3/10, the usual package, somebody else probably typed it out 8) Going here. Good work, team.
UIUC 1/28, 9-month TA position followed by 2-month RA position, $22,264 8) Declined
UCSB 2/24 :'(

:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

Top 20
Columbia 3/27
UMD 2/10, the usual package, somebody else probably typed it out Declined
Boulder 2/9, $17000 - $20,000 for TA or RA Declined
Wisconsin 1/23, the usual package, somebody else probably typed it out Declined

:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

Top 30
Penn State 2/17, $24,765 TA Declined
UMN 1/28, 9-month stipend of $18330 Declined
Rutgers 2/23, $25,969 TA Declined
UCI 2/3, TA - $5500 per 11 week quarte Declined

:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

I also applied my undergrad school as a safety (nobody here seems to list their undergrads, so I won't name it... else you guys will come beat me up for having poor general GRE scores) Accepted here too. Declined

:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:
Last edited by tfarex on Wed Apr 01, 2015 1:16 am, edited 19 times in total.

alphabeta
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Jan 08, 2015 4:03 am

Re: 2015 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby alphabeta » Thu Jan 08, 2015 4:20 am

Undergrad Institution: small private, in Silicon Valley
Major(s): Physics
Minor(s): Math
GPA in Major: 3.83
Overall GPA: 3.83
Length of Degree: 4
Position in Class:
Type of Student: DWM

GRE Scores : Revised
Q: 154
V: 165
W: 4.0
P: 860

Research Experience: 4 years (2 full time). Aerospace technician, then as a research assistant working primarily in the nanofab labs. 3 papers, 1 as first author.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: a few small ones

Applying to Where: (all physics; experimental condensed matter)

UC Berkeley Accepted! 2/24 via email. $29K/yr. Will attend!
U Maryland Accepted! 2/10 via email. $36K/yr
Cornell Accepted! 2/10 via email. $31K/yr + 1yr fellowship
U Chicago Rejected 3/3 via email.
Yale Accepted! 2/26 via email. $32K/yr
UC Santa Barbara Accepted! 1/27 via email. $27K/yr
Stanford Rejected 2/17 via email.
Last edited by alphabeta on Fri May 01, 2015 2:49 am, edited 5 times in total.

bilbillbillbilll
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Jan 09, 2015 4:22 am

Re: 2015 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby bilbillbillbilll » Fri Jan 09, 2015 4:34 am

Undergrad Institution: small liberal arts school, no real physics reputation
Major(s): biochemistry/physics double major
Minor(s):Neuroscience
GPA in Physics: 3.96
Overall GPA: 3.80
Length of Degree: 4 years overall, started physics in my second year
Position in Class: don't really know
Type of Student: domestic, male, not minority

GRE Scores (Percentiles) : (revised)
Q:170 (98%)
V:169 (99%)
W:3.5 (38%)
P:770 (66%)


Research Experience: 1 REU, senior capstone experience at my school

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: does Dean's List count?

Special Bonus Points: I feel like my personal statement is pretty good, for the UCLA one, one of my recomenders is an alum
Also l'm scared because l feel completely unprepared for grad school

Applying to Where:
(all Physics - Condensed Matter)

UCI--------------------------------accepted by email 2/3-------------------------------offer declined 4/6
William and Mary----------------accepted by phone 2/5------------------------------offer declined 3/27
UMD-------------------------------rejected by website 2/18
Florida State---------------------accepted by email 2/19 -----------------------------offer accepted 4/6
UCLA------------------------------rejected by email to check website 2/27
Penn State------------------------rejected by email 3/5
Boulder---------------------------rejected by email 3/11
UIUC-------------------------------rejected by email 3/16
Colorado School of Mines----------------------------------------------------------------withdrawn 3/17
Rutgers----------------------------rejected by email 3/20
Hopkins---------------------------rejected by email 4/10
Last edited by bilbillbillbilll on Sat Apr 11, 2015 6:35 pm, edited 21 times in total.

SKH1991
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Jan 09, 2015 4:44 pm

Re: 2015 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby SKH1991 » Fri Jan 09, 2015 5:15 pm

Undergrad Institution: The best in the country
Major(s):Physics
Minor(s):
GPA in Major:3.3
Overall GPA:3.1
Length of Degree: 4 years and a half
Position in Class: around average
Type of Student: International female

GRE Scores : revised
Q:166 (92%)
V:160 (84%)
W:3.5 (38%)
P: 790 (69%)


TOEFL Total: 108/120

Research Experience: - A course project in Astrophysics relating light curve of binary stars
- A summer school for Astronomy
- B.Sc. project in observational cosmology-dark matter (MATLAB coding)

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: ?!

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: - High school teacher for Astronomy and Physics for three years
- Private tutoring in Physics and math

Special Bonus Points: - A probably good recommendation, let's see!!!
- Have taken 3 grad courses if it counts!

Applying to Where:

MIT- Earth, atmosphere and Planetary Sciences - Planetary Sciences
Penn State- Astronomy and Astrophysics - Planetary sciences and Astrobiology ---> rejected via Email 1/30 :'-(
U Washington- Astronomy - Planetary sciences and Astrobiology
UMD College Park- Astronomy- Planetary Sciences ---> rejected via Email 2/3 :'-(
Lehigh University- Physics and astronomy- Exoplanets
U Florida- Astronomy- Exoplanets ---> waitlisted via Email 2/25
U Virginia- Astronomy- Exoplanets ---> waitlisted via Email 3/2
Georgia state- Astronomy- Exoplanets
Western Ontario - Astronomy(MS)- Planetary Sciences
Last edited by SKH1991 on Mon Mar 02, 2015 1:02 pm, edited 3 times in total.

CobaltTundra
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Jan 12, 2015 4:29 am

Re: 2015 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby CobaltTundra » Mon Jan 12, 2015 4:59 am

Undergrad Institution: Small Public Ivy, somewhat reputable in physics.
Major(s): Physics
Minor(s): Chemistry
GPA in Major: 3.79/4.00
Overall GPA: 3.70/4.00
Length of Degree: 4 years
Position in Class: Above Average (I think?)
Type of Student: Classic Domestic White Male

GRE Scores: Revised Version
Q: 163 (86%)
V: 160 (84%)
W: 4.5 (80%)
P: 600 (29%) :cry:

Research Experience: Two and a half years of simulation work in the Experimental Nuclear & Particle Physics group at my undergraduate institution. I also participated in an REU at my undergraduate institution and presented research at the 2013 Division of Nuclear Physics conference. I was a DAAD RISE scholar last summer (basically an REU-like program for North American science majors in Germany) and participated in Experimental Astrophysics research with a focus on cosmic-rays. Again, most of my research experience there was simulation.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: James Monroe Scholar (a school thing), Dean's List, Phi Beta Kappa (I was awarded this after I filled out my applications. I only informed UNC-Chapel Hill of my induction since I was on their waiting list).

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Tutored and volunteered for SPS

Special Bonus Points: My recommendations are pretty solid, and cover both the nuclear and astro fields. I contacted a potential advisor at UChicago about cosmic-ray research and we had a Skype meeting. He knows one of my recommenders, so there's possible brownie points in that *crosses fingers*.

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter:
I'm semi-fluent in German....so that might be a good thing?

Applying to Where:

All of the following are for experimental research...

University of Chicago - Physics (Nuclear) -> Rejected by e-mail (3/3)
University of Chicago - Astronomy & Astrophysics (Cosmic-Ray) -> Rejected by e-mail (2/9)
Michigan State University - Physics (Nuclear) -> Rejected by e-mail (3/12)
Duke University - Physics (Nuclear) -> Rejected by e-mail (2/11)
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill - Physics (Nuclear) -> Wait-listed by e-mail (2/14) -> *ACCEPTED!!!* by e-mail (4/1) [TA Assistantship, $22,881/yr] -> WILL ATTEND!!!
North Carolina State University - Physics (Nuclear) -> Withdrew application (4/13)
University of Delaware - Physics (Cosmic-Ray/Space) -> Withdrew application (4/13)
University of South Carolina - Physics (Nuclear) -> Accepted by e-mail! (3/13) [TA Assistantship, $17,250/9 months] -> Declined Offer

Takeaway Message: The Physics GRE Exam is a terrible indicator of future success in physics...even ETS has admitted this. Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately for you), the Physics GRE Exam is objectively the most important subject GRE exam out there. If you're not at least in the 50th percentile, there's a rare chance you'll end up in the top 10. That being said, a low score will not completely ruin your chances at attending a decent school. With a 29%, I never dreamed that I'd be accepted by a school like UNC-Chapel Hill, and yet I'll be going there next fall and possibly this summer!!!

Bottom line, study study STUDY for that Physics GRE. It sucks, but it'll open so many more doors. And of course, get into research early. It wasn't just luck that UNC was able to set aside my PGRE score...I had the research experience they wanted. Keep up your grades, get involved with research, and give studying for the PGRE at least a month (and not a couple days like I did :S).
Last edited by CobaltTundra on Mon Apr 13, 2015 8:23 pm, edited 14 times in total.

modikin
Posts: 3
Joined: Tue Jan 13, 2015 3:25 pm

Re: 2015 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby modikin » Tue Jan 13, 2015 5:16 pm

Undergrad Institution: Jesuit Liberal Arts - Considered top masters level university in midwest for multiple years
Major(s): Mathematics, Physics
Minor(s): n/a
GPA in Major: 3.94(math) 3.87 (physics)
Overall GPA:3.78
Length of Degree: 4 years
Position in Class: top physics major, unsure and don't care about overall class... lot of premeds with 4.0 bio degrees and no problem solving skills

Grad Institution (masters): Same Jesuit Liberal Arts University
Major: Physics
GPA: 4.00
Length of Degree: 2 years (thesis track)

Type of Student: Domestic White Male (sad)

GRE Scores : (revised or old version?)
Q: 168
V: 167
W: 4.5
P: 820


Research Experience:
4 years molecular biophys
2 years AMO
1 REU in dark matter
1 year dark matter phenomonology (figured out the prof is totally uninterested in physics research... still brags about being a theorist)

Awards/Honors/Recognitions:
Got an REU
Was a Goldwater applicant for my school (told by advisors it wasn't worth mentioning because i didn't win or get honorable mention)
Misc. awards for being best student and researcher in both math and physics

Pertinent Activities or Jobs:
Tutored physics 6 years
tutored calc/linear/DEs 4 years
TA'd a lot of upper division math courses
TA for physics department as grad student
Good amount of paid research
SPS Physics Club secretary

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help:

Jazz Guitarist

Special Bonus Points:
My grad advisor worked at JQI as a postdoc. Met a several people from Maryland (though not exactly in fields I'm intending to PhD in)) at DAMOP in Madison.

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter:
Programming for some while, all self taught. Includes C/C++, FPGA board programming, Labview, ROOT

I have switched fields a few times... kinda worried about that looking poorly. I just like physics, but in todays age that seems like a death sentence... :/

Applying to Where: all for quantum computing except for UCSF which is for two-body problem considerations. Listed in no particular order of preference (although cali is kinda where i want to go)

UCSF - Biophysics - Nanobots - REJECTED 1/12 Form Email, Ce le vie... San Fran... :(
Stanford - Applied Physics - QElectronics - rejected; hard work down the drain :(
UC Santa Barbara - Physics - QC - rejected
UChicago - molecular engineering - QC -Asked if I wanted to be on the waitlisted by email 2/12/15, I said yes
Yale - applied physics - QC - pending
UMaryland college park - physics - QC- rejected due to personal incompetence combined with a we don't bother to email that we never received your GRE scores. Grad coordinator said he was sorry but there is nothing he could do to get my application considered at that point... so much for having ins at that school.
Wisconsin Madison - physics - QC - Accepted! $20,088 per year (assuming I find summer work) and 5k+5k first year fellowships
UT Austin - physics - QElectronics - pending (mostly b/c gf wants to go here... QC is basically one prof.)


So far it looks real bad. Going in I though my application was a lot stronger than it apparently was. Or maybe it just is a case of bad lots. Liked Madison, but seriously considering a gap year or something because its geographic location is a significant detractor for my significant other ("allergic" to the cold).
Last edited by modikin on Wed Feb 25, 2015 12:25 am, edited 11 times in total.

Leanas
Posts: 6
Joined: Wed Jan 14, 2015 8:02 pm

Re: 2015 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby Leanas » Wed Jan 14, 2015 8:35 pm

Undergrad Institution: Big State Top Ten in Physics, Top 5 in CM
Major(s): Physics
Minor(s):
GPA in Major:3.69
Overall GPA:3.78
Length of Degree: 3 years
Position in Class: Near top.
Type of Student: Domestic White Female

GRE Scores : (revised or old version?)
Q: 168
V: 158
W: 4.0
P: 830 (76%)



Research Experience: 2 years CME at my school- past year has been full time, one paper under review 2nd author (There's only been one week in my entire two years where our system was working well enough to take data :'( )

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: A few. Mostly for being a female and doing well.

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: TA for two years.

Special Bonus Points: Female. Also I only applied where my advisor knew people. My advisor gets personal calls when his undergraduates apply to Cornell. Two strong letters from well established people. I've participated on an experiment at a National Lab.


Applying to Where:

All Condensed Matter Experiment but my SOP states I'm willing to do biophysics and CMT.

Stanford - Physics - REJECTED! 2/17 Can't win 'em all. Congrats to those who got in :)
Berkeley - Physics - Rejected
Santa Barbara - Physics - Accepted 2/3 - TA 26,748 Declined. I really wanted to go here but I don't want to sacrifice my standard of living. Plus I have a boyfriend coming with and it's a bit harder for him to find a job around this area.
MIT - Physics - Rejected 2/18 I wasn't going to apply here initially since there wasn't anyone I was excited about working with, but my boyfriend wanted to move to Boston. Gotta tell him the bad news.
Cornell - AEP - Accepted 2/12 - Unknown Source 24,658 for nine months. Declined. Too depressing. Great opportunity, but I'll get caught in a rut if I go here.
Columbia - Physics - Rejected.
Rutgers - Physics - Accepted 2/6 TA + Excellence + Torrey Fellowship ~29K for 10 months + 1700-4000 if TA/GSR Summer Declined.
Maryland College Park - Physics - Accepted 2/10, Offer Letter to come -> Offer letter came:
For people who want info about what kind of pay is here, 22.7k for first year, 25.2k for second year, 29k once advanced to candidacy. Living around here is kind of expensive. Commuters have to move their cars when big games happen. I received an RA offer and two fellowships which amount to 5k/year for five years. There's also national labs around which students frequently work in.
Stonybrook - Physics - Decided against applying once I got admitted to another school (I really don't want to live on long island)
Johns Hopkins - Physics - Accepted 1/22 - TA 25k for 9 months. Research over summer is an additional 8333. Possibly more funding after Open House in Feb. Declined.
Boulder - Physics - Accepted 2/18 - TA 17.4k for 9 months. RA full year should be around ~25k. 6k signing bonus. Declined. A bit sad because I like CO.
San Diego - Physics - Recommended for Admission 1/23 - Physics Excellence Award + Summer Research Fellowship. Received offer letter 2/21. Wow that took awhile.
TA: 18,538 + Excellence: 14,000 over one year + Summer Fellowship: 8,000 = 40,538 for the first year. But it looks like it goes down to somewhere around 25.5k as a 50% GSR appointment. You can do 100% GSR appointments during the summer (makes it ~31k), although I don't know how common that is.

Washington - Physics - Accepted 1/14 - TAship + 5000 -> Distributed as 1956/month + 2500 by 9/30 Declined 2/4. I hope someone gets in and can attend visiting weekend!


Some thoughts:

Ultimately, I think going somewhere you're going to be happy is really important so long as it doesn't hurt you in the long run. You're going to graduate school for the next five years of your life. This isn't something you just force yourself through to get past it. You need to be happy and enjoy what you're doing so you can succeed, even if that means not going to the highest ranked school you got accepted to. Focus on putting yourself in an environment where you will succeed. At the same time, have an idea with what you want to do after grad school and look at job placement rates, who's coming to career fairs, and linkedin data. Make sure you aren't wasting your time. Being able to learn enough programming to land a shitty job is going to be worth more than completing a PhD at some no name university unless you obtain usable skills in the process.
Last edited by Leanas on Mon Apr 06, 2015 3:16 pm, edited 13 times in total.

PhysicsIsCool
Posts: 31
Joined: Wed Jan 14, 2015 9:01 pm

Re: 2015 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby PhysicsIsCool » Wed Jan 14, 2015 9:30 pm

Undergrad Institution: Small, private, liberal arts university
Major(s): Physics
Minor(s): Chemistry
GPA in Major: 4.0
Overall GPA: 3.93
Length of Degree: 4 years
Position in Class: Top or near the top (in a small program though)
Type of Student: Domestic white female

GRE Scores:
Q: 167 (94%)
V: 157 (74%)
W: 3.5 (38%)
P: 880 (Sept. test, 83%); 780 (Oct. test, 67%)

Research Experience: Summer 2013 REU at UIUC in the physics department--experimental condensed matter physics research (superconductivity). Continued working at UIUC after my summer internship until April 2014. Summer 2014 REU at Yale University in the applied physics department--materials science research (ferroelectrics and complex oxides); presented research at the 2014 Leadership Alliance National Symposium. Now working at my home institution since August--AMO research.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Physics scholarship from my home institution, 2013-14. SPIE Optics and Photonics Education Scholarship, 2014-15. Goldwater scholar, 2014-15.

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: TA since May of my sophomore year (teacher's assistant for various labs including first-year mechanics and electricity and magnetism; scientific imaging; sound, music, and hearing; and intermediate experimental methods). Physics tutor since my sophomore year (for first-year calculus- and algebra-based physics courses).

Special Bonus Points: One well-known recommender.

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: Founding member of the student chapter of SPIE at my university; secretary and then co-president of the Society of Physics Students at my university; member of APS.

Applying to Where:

(research interest for all: condensed matter/materials physics)

Harvard - Applied Physics - Rejected 03/03/15
Cornell - Applied Physics - Accepted 02/12/15 - TA or RA (24.7k per 9 months)
UIUC - Physics - Accepted 01/25 - 22.2k/11 months
CU Boulder - Physics - Accepted 02/09 - TA or RA (17.4k or 20.5k per 9 months), 6k signing bonus - Increased 6k to 10k signing bonus with the possibility of receiving one during my second year as well
Stanford - Applied Physics - Rejected 02/02/15 </3
UC Berkeley - Physics - Accepted 02/20/15 - Offered first-year TA + summer research $29.9k, $1k for moving expenses - offered $1.5k extra per year during NSF Fellowship, also likely that research advisor will "top off" the stipend - will attend!
UC Davis - Materials Science - Accepted 01/17/15 - at least $27.5k/year
Northwestern - Materials Science - Accepted! 02/11/15 - 28.9k first-year fellowship, 1.5k for moving expenses

NSF Graduate Research Fellowship awarded 04/01/15 - $34k/yr for 3 years
Last edited by PhysicsIsCool on Thu Apr 16, 2015 3:56 pm, edited 16 times in total.




Return to “Prospective Physics Graduate Student Topics”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests