rounds or waves?

  • 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.

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rounds or waves?

Postby braindrain » Sun Feb 25, 2007 12:21 pm

OK, can someone please explain rounds or waves in this fun admissions game? With e-mail its easy to send out all the acceptances at once and be done and overaccept enough to account for the people turning them down. But, some people are expecting a round 2? When and which schools did you hear about that for? There seems to be no indication on gradschoolcafe of this? And if it did occur, it certainly won't be as many people as the first wave?

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Postby dan1234 » Sun Feb 25, 2007 12:38 pm

If there's a specific school that you have in mind, I would definitely recommend just to call the physics office. In my experience, this usually gets good responses.


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Postby nb » Sun Feb 25, 2007 5:13 pm

I think that they do not read most of the application files

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Postby dbl » Sun Feb 25, 2007 6:34 pm

Here's what I know about this from a professor at a top astro school. I assume other schools are similar. The first round consists purely of numerical rankings. The best people they get by numbers are immediately offered admissions. These are the people with 990 gre's, 4.0 gpas, a few publications and the like. Then they actually dig in to the applications and find the best ones. However, remember that this takes time. Each of the committee members spends about 1/2 hour on each application. Some schools filter (the ones that get hundreds) but many will read every application. The school I know about gets about 100 astro applications and they read every one. Its time consuming, and this is why there are two waves.

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Postby braindrain » Sun Feb 25, 2007 6:47 pm

But, how come it doesn't look like there are any second waves from thegradcafe postings? Did they all get heart attacks and stop posting or was the first wave a tsunami? :) (sorry, I know that was in bad taste - i'm holding my head down in shame) :)

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Postby artist » Sun Feb 25, 2007 6:49 pm

Well if there's not another round of acceptances, there must be one of rejections, because I haven't heard from 4 of the 6 schools I applied to.

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Postby braindrain » Sun Feb 25, 2007 6:55 pm

I just imagine they are making paper airplanes out of our essays and wearing paper hats made out of other parts of our applications while they fly the paper airplanes across the room and THAT is why its taking so long. If your essay is aerodynamically better, you are in! :)

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