2017 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.

metapuff
Posts: 9
Joined: Sat Aug 22, 2015 11:28 am

2017 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby metapuff » Sat Sep 10, 2016 11:15 am

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[b]Applying to Where[/b]:

[u]School[/u] - Department - Research Interest
[u]School[/u] - Department - Research Interest
[u]School[/u] - Department - Research Interest
Last edited by quizivex on Sat Sep 24, 2016 6:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Sticky the profile thread.

cleverphysicsname
Posts: 1
Joined: Sun Sep 11, 2016 8:59 am

Re: 2017 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby cleverphysicsname » Sun Sep 11, 2016 11:04 am

Undergrad Institution: Average size state school, known for engineering
Major(s): Physics / Mathematics
GPA in Major: 3.5
Overall GPA: 3.4
Length of Degree: 4 years
Position in Class: >50%
Type of Student: Domestic white male

GRE Scores
Q: 162 (82%)
V: 155 (68%)
W: 4.0 (59%)
P: 700 (51%)


Research Experience: Two years on the same particle experiment. Work led to several presentations for the group. My name is on two published papers which both have 50+ authors. Might have a third by the time applications are sent out.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: I got a physics scholarship, and am planning on graduating with departmental honors.

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Nationally certified physics tutor for 2 semesters.

Special Bonus Points: Got a good grade in a grad level physics class. I’m also a first generation college student. Probably neither of those matter and I won’t mention them anywhere.

Applying to: Waitlisted Rejected Accepted

Texas A&M - High Energy Exp
Oregon State – Neutrino Exp
New Mexico – Neutrino Exp
New Mexico State – Neutrino Exp
Colorado State – Neutrino Exp
Utah – Cosmic Ray Exp
Arizona – High Energy Exp
Arizona State – Instrumentation
Colorado – Neutrino Exp
UC Santa Cruz – High Energy Exp

Good luck everyone!
Last edited by cleverphysicsname on Fri Nov 25, 2016 10:52 am, edited 1 time in total.

queenbee
Posts: 4
Joined: Mon Sep 12, 2016 10:29 am

Re: 2017 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby queenbee » Mon Sep 12, 2016 10:46 am

I decided to fill this out in an effort to cope with my freaking out about this whole process.

My background: I graduated in 2009 and have been in the workforce in mostly non-technical positions for the past 7.5 years. I am so bored and unchallenged, and I really miss physics. I am still not 100% sure that getting my PhD is the right path (omg the lost earnings), but I am seriously enough interested that I want to start going through the process. I've been studying for the PGRE for about 2 months now, and that's obviously been very stressful since I am basically re-teaching myself all my undergrad work.

Undergrad Institution: Undergrad-only institution, no real physics rep that I am aware of (~4000 students total, ~30 in Physics each year) ((hm, I was on my alma mater's physics dept website the other day and saw they are claiming a #8 ranking for physics from someone))
Major(s): Astrophysics
Minor(s): Spanish Language Studies
GPA in Major: 4.0
Overall GPA: 3.92
Length of Degree: 4 years
Position in Class: near top
Type of Student: white domestic female

GRE Scores :
Q: 170 (97%) (2016)
V: 170 (99%) (2016)
W: 4.0 (59%) (2016)
P: 820 (74%) (2016)

Research Experience: Basically none. I did one semester of a research elective and had my name on an extremely minor paper (not even sure it counts as a paper).

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Phi Kappa Phi

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: President of the Astronomy Club for 2 years, had one astronomy tutee, and did do some technical training and work in a semi-related field after graduating (nuclear engineering and operations)

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: Sadly, no

Special Bonus Points: Not sure that being a woman should be considered bonus points, but I am one. Also a former Navy officer, but not sure if that would matter.

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: I'm old (29)!

Applying to Where:

My main interest is in planetary astronomy (exoplanets) but I'm not 100% set on that. This list is a bit in flux--I know I'm shooting high and trying to figure out where I have a real chance.

Caltech - Geological and Planetary Sciences
MIT - Physics
UC Berkeley - Astrophysics
University of Chicago - Astronomy and Astrophysics
University of Washington - Astronomy
University of Hawai'i - Manoa - Astronomy
University of Texas - Austin - Astronomy
Last edited by queenbee on Thu Nov 03, 2016 6:10 pm, edited 4 times in total.

milkywayguy
Posts: 5
Joined: Tue Sep 06, 2016 5:34 pm

Re: 2017 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby milkywayguy » Mon Sep 12, 2016 11:21 pm

Undergrad Institution: Big state school in California, known for Engineering, Astronomy program has been very successful over the last 5 years!
Major(s): Physics
Minor(s): N/A
GPA in Major: 4.00
Overall GPA: 4.00
Length of Degree: 4 yrs
Position in Class: Top
Type of Student: International Male

GRE Scores : (revised )
Q: 161
V: 159
W: TBD
P: 970, 93%


Research Experience: Been working as a collaborator for the Milky Way Project https://www.zooniverse.org/projects/povich/milky-way-project, a citizen science initiative for the past year. I resurrected this international collaboration with my mentor's help and we are relaunching it this week. I developed a data reduction pipeline to aggregate all the clicks made by the volunteers in order to produce a catalog of interesting astrophysical phenomena. My mentor mentioned that this process was done by a University of Oxford post-doc prior to him leaving for a data science job at Google. We couldn't run his code effectively so I developed my own pipeline to handle this task. A first author publication is being prepared and I am expecting a couple of Nth author papers to come out of this in the next couple of years.
I've also concurrently conducted Physics Education Research (PER) with a different mentor. My project was on understanding how lower-division students enrolled in calculus-based physics courses tackled continuous charge distributions. Another first author paper, based on this research, is being prepared for publication.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Departmental Scholarship, President's list, Dean's list, etc..

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Worked as a Learning Assistant for 2 quarters (lower div physics). Currently employed as a Student assistant at the College of Science advising center and as a student ambassador for the university. I will also be working as a grader during my senior year for lower-div/upper-div physics courses.

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: Worked on two research projects concurrently! I also helped revive the Milky Way Project :)

Special Bonus Points: The Astronomy professors in my department have good connections with many universities (Harvard, Caltech, University of Wisconsin, Penn State, etc)

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

Applying to Where:

Harvard - Astronomy
Caltech- Astronomy
Penn State- Astronomy
University of Arizona- Astronomy
University of Washington- Astronomy
Ohio State University- Astronomy
John Hopkins- Astronomy
Yale- Astronomy
[u]University of California - Berkeley/u]- Astronomy
Last edited by milkywayguy on Fri Nov 18, 2016 1:17 am, edited 1 time in total.

abck_maths
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Dec 21, 2015 12:39 am

Re: 2017 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby abck_maths » Mon Sep 12, 2016 11:43 pm

Undergrad Institution: Foreign University.
Major(s): Physics
Minor(s): Statistics, Math
GPA in Major: 3.5 (expected)
Overall GPA:3.7 (expected)
Length of Degree: 4 years
Position in Class: Top 1%
Type of Student: International Male

GRE Scores : Revised
Q: 170 (97th percentile)
V: 155 (68th percentile)
W: 3.5 (42nd percentile)
P: October 29


TOEFL Total: November

Research Experience:
- Senior Project report on Quantum/ Computational Physics ( 6 months). Professor is pushing for publication. Let's see what happens.
- Three months basic research, survey experience (not related to Physics). Wrote a report.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Nothing significant.

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Math tutor for school kids.

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help:

Special Bonus Points:
- Okay recommendations.
- Computer Skills: LaTEx, Mathematica, Python, GIS

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter:
- I write science articles for some science blogs.

Applying to Where:

UMass, Lowell - Physics
Boston College - Physics

sabreitweiser
Posts: 3
Joined: Thu Nov 20, 2014 4:52 am

Re: 2017 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby sabreitweiser » Fri Sep 16, 2016 2:20 pm

Undergrad Institution: Top 10 Private
Major(s): Math, Physics
Minor(s):
GPA in Major: 3.19
Overall GPA: 3.29
Length of Degree: 4
Position in Class: Middle
Type of Student: Domestic white male

Masters Institution: Top 30 Private
Major(s): Physics
Overall GPA: 3.67
Length of Degree: 1.5

GRE Scores :
Q: 170 (November 2014)
V: 167
W: 5.0
P: 960 (April 2014)

Research Experience: Working on spectroscopic experiments and simulations of condensed matter systems (~9 months) at masters institution. One or two n-th author papers in the works; new project might yield first or second author, but unlikely to come out in time to affect applications.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions:

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: TA (2 undergraduate courses, 1 graduate(!) course)
Worked for a while as a software engineer between undergrad and masters (unsure if this helps?)

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: Some math stuff from undergrad, doubt it will make a difference (study abroad program, reading program)

Special Bonus Points: I expect a pretty strong LOR from my current advisor

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: Clearly, I messed up undergrad; no research experience and low GPA precluded most PhD programs. Worked for a while in industry as a software engineer before deciding to go back to school, so if nothing else I have great technical skills. My strong GRE got me into a good master's insitution, and I think I've managed to make the most of it so far. I'm unsure how my "non-traditional" background is going to play out, so I'm applying to a wide spectrum of schools and see what I get.

Applying to Where: (All in CME/AMO Experiment)

Stanford
Caltech
UCSB
Princeton
Hopkins
UC Boulder
UCLA

(more to come)
Last edited by sabreitweiser on Fri Oct 28, 2016 12:02 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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

Re: 2017 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby danielfaraday » Fri Sep 16, 2016 9:33 pm

Undergrad Institution: state school, rank ~70 in physics
Majors: Physics, Biomedical Engineering
Minors: Philosophy, Bioelectrical Engineering, Electrical & Computer Engineering
Overall GPA: 3.6 / 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 (91%)
V: 156 (72%)
W: 5.0 (93%)
P: Sept 2014 - 750 (62%)
Sept 2016 - 800 (70%)

Research Experience: Two years of undergraduate research in plasma physics (1 publication). Currently working as a Research Technician at top ranked medical school (3 abstract submissions, 1 poster, 1 publication in progress). Miscellaneous research odd jobs in Biomedical Engineering and HEP-EX.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Received an award for my undergraduate research at my graduation. University honors program, dean's list, scholarships, etc.

Miscellaneous: I am applying as a transfer student. I am currently on a Leave of Absence from a PhD program in physics. The school wasn't right for me, so I am considering other options. Hopefully, admission committees won't think less of my application. But...my grad gpa wasn't that great either.

Applying to Where:
Carnegie Mellon - Applied Physics - Submitted 11/30
Cornell - Applied Physics - Submitted 12/1
Duke - Medical Physics - Submitted 11/27
Johns Hopkins - Physics - Submitted 11/29
Northeastern - Physics - Submitted 12/1
Penn - Physics - Submitted 11/28
UNC Chapel Hill - Physics - Submitted 11/28
Vanderbilt - Physics - Submitted 12/1
Virginia - Physics - Submitted 12/1
Yale - Applied Physics - Submitted 11/29
Last edited by danielfaraday on Fri Dec 02, 2016 9:14 am, edited 13 times in total.

metapuff
Posts: 9
Joined: Sat Aug 22, 2015 11:28 am

Re: 2017 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby metapuff » Fri Sep 16, 2016 10:36 pm

First, thanks to everyone who posted in these threads in previous years. Can't believe it's my turn!

Undergrad Institution: Big state, meh reputation in physics
Major(s): Physics and math
Minor(s): Nada
GPA in Major: 4.00
Overall GPA: 4.00
Length of Degree: (Are you graduating after 3, 4, or 5 years?) 4 years
Position in Class: (No numbers needed, but are you top? near top? average? struggling?) O(top)
Type of Student: (Domestic/International, male/female, minority?) Domestic white male

GRE Scores :
Q: 170
V: 167
W: 4.5
P: 990 (October 2015)


Research Experience: (At your school or elsewhere? What field? How much time? Any publications (Mth author out of N?) or conference talks etc...) In chronological order: One summer doing computational cosmology, two semesters working on some cool gravitational lensing stuff, a summer working on topological superconductors, and about a year doing things related to TQFT. Seven papers / submitted papers: one in cosmology, two in gravitational lensing, one in superconductivity, and three in TQFT-related things. Six are first author, one is second author, and one of the TQFT ones is by myself. Two TQFT-related papers in prep, which may or may not be finished in time. Also worked on some algebraic geometry stuff for a semester, if that counts for anything.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: (Within your school or outside?) A few local scholarships and the Goldwater

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: (Such as tutor, TA, SPS officer etc...) Ha!

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: A few talks at my school, a talk at an APS meeting, and posters at a few conferences.

Special Bonus Points: (Such as connections, grad classes, famous recommenders, female or minority status etc...) O(10) grad classes in math and physics, plus a supervised independent study on representation theory in particle physics. Attended a really kickass summer school on topological quantum matter and learned a ton from that. Also took a month off of school during fall of my senior year to hang out at the KITP (totally worth it).

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: Am applying for theory but haven't taken a QFT class, since my school is weird and doesn't offer it very often. Went through most of Peskin and Schroeder, Fradkin, and Wen's books on my own though — might mention this on a few SOPs. Also did a bit of lecturing for a study group on category theory in physics.

Applying to Where: All for topological CMT stuff, but also interested in quantum information, some hep-th, and algebraic topology / abstract nonsense. In no particular order,

MIT -
Yale -
UCSD -
Caltech -
Stanford -
Harvard -
Boulder -
UCSB -
Princeton -
Chicago -

Also, applying for

NSF GRFP -
Hertz - got a first round interview -
NDSEG -
Last edited by metapuff on Mon Dec 05, 2016 11:35 am, edited 5 times in total.

theladybug
Posts: 8
Joined: Sun Sep 18, 2016 9:26 pm

Re: 2017 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby theladybug » Sun Sep 18, 2016 9:47 pm

Undergrad Institution: Big state school, not much reputation for anything but football and institutionalized racism
Major(s): Physics and math
Minor(s): German and Russian
GPA in Major: 3.86
Overall GPA: 3.99
Length of Degree: 4 years
Position in Class: Not sure, probably near the top but not very top
Type of Student: Domestic white female

GRE Scores :
Q: 169 (97%)
V: 168 (98%)
W: 4.5 (82%)
P: 990 (94%) (this forum was invaluable for study material recommendations; I got like 20 questions right on my first practice test and was convinced I would fail the PGRE and have to do my PhD in nuclear engineering instead)


Research Experience: Two years HEPex at my school, no publication. Three summer internships at universities/national labs: one in materials science, one in nuclear physics, one in plasma physics. Got a minor authorship on a conference paper out of one of them. Presented a few posters at conferences in student sessions.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Full tuition merit scholarship at my school, Dean's List or better every semester, won an award for best student poster at my plasma internship.

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Three semesters as an undergraduate TA. Apparently I'm pretty good at that.

Special Bonus Points: Well, I'm a girl (and gay, but I'm only mentioning that on apps that want a diversity statement). I just went to a conference in the field I want to study in, so hopefully I made a good impression. My poster didn't win anything but I talked to a lot of professors, and got some interest from WVU and the Max Planck Institute. Friendly with professors at two schools I'm applying to (they helped me with my Fulbright application). My reference writers seem to think I'm awesome.

Applying to Where:
Fellowships:
Fulbright Open Research/Study at Max-Planck-Institut für Plasmaphysik in Greifswald

Grad schools:
Princeton - Plasma physics
UCLA - Plasma physics
MIT - Plasma physics
MIT - Nuclear engineering
Wisconsin - Plasma physics
Wisconsin - Nuclear engineering
Columbia - Plasma physics
UT Austin - Plasma physics
UC Irvine - Plasma physics
Auburn U. - Plasma physics
West Virginia University - Plasma physics
Max-Planck-Institut für Plasmaphysik in Greifswald - Plasma physics
Last edited by theladybug on Thu Dec 01, 2016 11:06 pm, edited 16 times in total.

tooterfish
Posts: 6
Joined: Mon May 16, 2016 12:05 am

Re: 2017 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby tooterfish » Sun Sep 18, 2016 11:22 pm

Undergrad Institution: State university.
Major(s): MS Physics, unrelated (i.e. not-STEM) undergraduate degree
GPA in Major: 3.98
Overall GPA: 3.98
Length of Degree: 4 yrs (The MS program is 2 years, but transitioning from an unrelated undergrad demanded a lot of prereqs!)
Position in Class: Top
Type of Student: Domestic male

GRE Scores :
Q: 170 (97%)
V: 170 (99%)
W: 4.5 (82%)
P: 990 (94%)

Research Experience:
Year and half experience working with optical media, both experiment and simulation.
I'm listed as a contributing author on a paper that is undergoing submission.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: (Within your school or outside?)
-Two prestigious scholarships, outside school. Won it twice.
-Awarded a selective spot in a two-week conference on high performance computing in the sciences
-Awarded first place in our campus research and poster presentation event

Pertinent Activities or Jobs:
-Five years of tutoring experience.
-TA grader for upper level phys courses

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help:
tbd

Special Bonus Points:
uh?

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter:
I participate in some student organizations.

Applying to Where:
This is the tentative list. Applying for Physics programs, leaning towards CMT, but I'm flexible.

MIT
Princeton
Harvard
CalTech
UC Berkeley
Stanford
Cornell
Urbana-Champaign
Columbia
U Michigan
U Maryland
U Penn
Johns Hopkins
Boulder
UCLA
U Washington
UC San Diego
Brown
Last edited by tooterfish on Sat Nov 26, 2016 2:46 am, edited 1 time in total.

Zopy
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Sep 19, 2016 10:52 pm

Re: 2017 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby Zopy » Mon Sep 19, 2016 11:13 pm

I've been lurking on these forums for the past couple of years. It's been more than helpful in my preparations for going to grad school. Now that it's my turn to apply, I'm excited to the return the favor! :D

Undergrad Institution: Big state university. Good engineering program, but not too well-known for physics
Major(s): Physics & Mathematics
Minor(s): University-specific research minor
GPA in Major: 4.0
Overall GPA: 4.0
Length of Degree: 4 Years
Position in Class: No numbers, but probably near the top
Type of Student: Domestic white male

GRE Scores :
Q: 168 (95th)
V: 155 (68th)
W: 4.0 (59th)
P: April 2016: 660 ; September 2016: 740; October 2016: 820 (74th)

Research Experience: 3 years of HEP-ex research with the same faculty adviser. No proper publications, but my name is on a couple internal analysis notes and other official reports/papers. Along with this, I spent the summer of 2015 doing an REU for HEP-ex, and this past summer (2016) I had a non-REU research position doing quality control on components for particle detectors.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Received a full-tuition scholarship from my school. President's List every semester so far. Was awarded "Outstanding First-Year Physics Student." Had a small monetary award for my physics grades during my freshman year as well.

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: I've been working as an undergrad TA for the past 3 years. For my sophomore and junior years, I assisted with entry-level mechanics and electromagnetics courses (both algebra-based and calculus-based, as well as honors and non-honors). This year, I'm assisting with our junior-level electromagnetics course.

I've presented my research at a university-wide conference two years in a row. During my REU, I did a poster presentation at an end-of-summer symposium, as well as an oral presentation a week prior. I've also done a poster presentation at a regional APS meeting, and am planning to do so again later this semester.

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: I'm in the executive cabinet of my university's Student Government Association.

Special Bonus Points: I've made some pretty good connections during the summers of 2015 and 2016, so that should definitely help. My research adviser seems to have a lot of connections at various universities, but I'm not 100% sure where.

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

Applying to Where:

All for HEP-ex except where otherwise noted
Princeton
Cornell
MIT
CU Boulder
Rutgers
Brown
Virginia Tech - (Neutrino Physics)
Florida
Oregon
Virginia
Stony Brook
Michigan State
Baylor


These are exciting and nerve-wracking times! Best of luck to everyone over the next couple months! :mrgreen:
Last edited by Zopy on Tue Nov 29, 2016 5:05 pm, edited 5 times in total.

muonneutrino
Posts: 7
Joined: Tue Aug 23, 2016 9:41 pm

Re: 2017 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby muonneutrino » Tue Sep 20, 2016 11:24 pm

Undergrad Institution: Top 20 or 30 public school
Major(s): Physics (main) and mathematics
Minor(s): Astrophysics
GPA in Major: 3.96
Overall GPA: 3.85
Length of Degree: 4 years
Position in Class: Not sure, probably above average
Type of Student: Domestic white male, gay (not sure if that helps)

GRE Scores : (revised)
Q: 168
V: 170
W: 4.0
P:

Research Experience: 2.5 years in astroparticle physics at home institution (mostly computer work, no presentations or publications but will have an honors thesis). I also spent a month in New York helping build a prototype telescope.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Various school scholarships, offered departmental scholarship (declined for complicated reasons), Dean's list 5/6 semesters, invited into Sigma Pi Sigma

Pertinent Activities or Jobs:

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help:

Special Bonus Points: Taking graduate quantum senior year

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

Applying to Where: Expressing interest in HEP-ex and HEP-th, with emphasis on experiment
Princeton - Physics
Stanford - Physics
UCSB - Physics
Columbia - Physics
Chicago - Physics
Boston- Physics
University of British Columbia - Physics
Maryland - Physics
Washington - Physics
Minnesota - Physics

ndrach
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Sep 27, 2016 7:27 pm

Re: 2017 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby ndrach » Tue Sep 27, 2016 8:19 pm

Undergrad Institution: Large liberal arts school in Boston, not a great reputation in physics but has a few professors doing good condensed matter research
Major(s): Physics
Minor(s): Math
GPA in Major: 3.0
Overall GPA: 3.1
Length of Degree: 4
Position in Class: average
Type of Student: domestic hispanic male

GRE Scores : (revised)
Q: 166 (91%)
V: 166 (97%)
W: 5 (93%)
P: 820 (74%) (Up from a 620 (33%) 2 years ago, so I'm pretty happy about this)


Research Experience: During college: 0.5 years in a condensed matter lab at undergrad institution working on the development of novel thermoelectric materials. 1.5 years in another condensed matter lab working on plasmonics in nanostructures, led to a poster at a New England APS meeting and a Senior Honors Thesis.

After College: I've been working full time for the past 1.5 years in a radiology lab at an Ivy League school working on hyperpolarized MRI. So far I have one 1st Author paper in a medical physics journal as well as 2 co-authorships on other papers, Im hoping to get another 1st author paper out in the next month or two before applications go out. I've also had 3 posters and one talk at international conferences, I'll have submitted 2-3 more abstracts for posters/talks by the time applications go out but wont hear back about them until ~February. Also had a handful of posters at internal conferences but I figure those don't count for much.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Not much, 2 undergraduate research fellowships (just an award to get research funded), and a couple of semesters on the dean's list

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Currently volunteering as a TA for an introductory physics class for post-bacc students.

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: None that I can think of

Special Bonus Points: Should have 3 pretty good letters, Hoping that having >1 year experience working full time as a researcher will give me a bit of a boost.

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

Applying to Where: Haven't completely narrowed down the list yet but will update later

Harvard - Physics - Biophysics Experiment
Caltech - Physics - Biophysics Experiment
UC Berkeley - Physics - Biophysics Experiment
UC Santa Barbara - Physics - Biophysics Experiment
University of Pennsylvania - Physics - Biophysics Experiment
University of Wisconsin - Madison - Physics - AMO
University of Colorado - Boulder - Physics - Biophysics Experiment
Brown - Physics - Condensed Matter Experiment
Washington University in St. Louis - Physics - Biophysics Experiment
UC Irvine - Physics - Biophysics Experiment
Tufts - Physics - Biophysics Experiment
Northeastern University - Physics - Nanophysics
Last edited by ndrach on Sun Nov 27, 2016 11:39 pm, edited 2 times in total.

LQSU
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Sep 12, 2016 2:24 am

Re: 2017 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby LQSU » Wed Sep 28, 2016 2:32 am

Undergrad Institution: fast-rising Asian young top university; not famous for science in general.
Major(s): pure physics; pure math (second major)
Minor(s):
GPA in Major: 3.94 (scaled)
Overall GPA: 3.93 (scaled)
Length of Degree: 4 years
Position in Class: top
Type of Student: international

GRE Scores : (revised)
Q: 170 (97%)
V: 163 (92%)
W: 3.5 (42%, unexpected)
P:


TOEFL Total:

Research Experience: Started research immersion since freshman year. Real research experience in QMC in spin systems during the junior year with one first-author PRB publication. Final year project on Kondo lattice model in the senior year with a first-author PRB publication. Two years of research on many-body theory as a research assistant in a 2D material center from another university. Two first-author papers to be uploaded onto arXiv before applications. (The drafts have been prepared by myself long time ago but my supervisor wants to write them on his own.) Poster presentation on a local physics conference.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Research scholarship. Consecutive dean's lists.

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Research assistant for two years after graduation.

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help:

Special Bonus Points: The director of our center is quite well-known. Hope that he can write a recommendation letter for me.

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: I am interested in both math and physics. I have learned a lot of advanced math topics on my own. Half year exchange experience at a public university in the US.

Applying to Where:

I shall apply for about 18 universities in the US. Topological phases in CMT and applicationS of string theory to CMT.

Pending Waitlisted Rejected Accepted

Princeton - physics
MIT - physics
Harvard - physics
Stanford - physics
Berkeley - physics
Caltech - physics
UIUC - physics
UCSB - physics
Cornell - physics
Chicago - physics
Maryland - physics
UCSD - physics
Michigan - physics
U Penn - physics
Penn State - physics
Texas-Austin - physics
John Hopkins - physics
UCLA - physics

BigCatM17
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue May 03, 2016 4:08 pm

Re: 2017 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby BigCatM17 » Tue Oct 04, 2016 12:52 am

Undergrad Institution: Public Ivy and top 15 in physics for 7 semesters, one semester abroad at top Dutch university for astrophysics
Major(s): Physics and Astronomy
GPA in Major: 3.65, 3.78
Overall GPA: 3.65
Length of Degree: 4 years
Position in Class: Top 10%
Type of Student: Domestic white male

GRE Scores : (revised version)
Q: 167 (93%)
V: 161 (88%)
W: 5.0 (93%)
P: 860 (80%)

Research Experience: Cosmology for one summer (astro-ph), Exoplanets for one semester (astro), Star formation models for one semester that we will be submitting for publication, writing a thesis (and hopefully an additional paper) on gravitational collapse using wave turbulence formulation (hep-th, gr), presented thesis findings as a poster at a big conference.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: University Honors 6x (was not at home university for one semester), Sigma Pi Sigma

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Undergrad TA for summer school, helped develop Modern Physics lab, Grader

Special Bonus Points: Recommenders are solid (one was part of AAS council, other has been on the faculty of several schools on my list.) Took one graduate class (theoretical mechanics.)

Applying to Where (primarily theoretical astrophysics):

Princeton Astrophysical Sciences -
Harvard Astronomy -
Caltech Astronomy -
Berkeley Physics -
Columbia Physics -
Yale Physics -
Cornell Physics -
UCSB Physics -
Maryland Physics -
Arizona Physics -
Georgia Tech Physics -
LSU Physics -
Last edited by BigCatM17 on Thu Dec 01, 2016 8:19 pm, edited 16 times in total.

alecpw
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Oct 14, 2016 3:54 pm

Re: 2017 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby alecpw » Fri Oct 14, 2016 4:05 pm

Undergrad Institution: Large State University, Top 20
Major(s): Physics, Astronomy, Math
Minor(s): n/a
GPA in Major: 3.89
Overall GPA: 3.85
Length of Degree: 4 years
Position in Class: Top 20%
Type of Student: Domestic white male

GRE Scores : (revised)
Q: 164 (94th)
V: 165 (87th)
W: 5.0 (93rd)
P: tbd

Research Experience: (At your school or elsewhere? What field? How much time? Any publications (Mth author out of N?) or conference talks etc...) 1.5 years doing astronomy research on white dwarf stars, getting data to validate pulsation mode models. Half a year working in an CM lab. No publications

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Academic honors things for ranking in class, etc.

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Was in math honors program for first year of college until the entire program was phased out

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help:

Special Bonus Points: Taking graduate class now, will likely take graduate relativity next semester

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: VP of LGBT fraternity on campus

Applying to Where: will update later
Last edited by alecpw on Mon Oct 24, 2016 9:01 pm, edited 3 times in total.

tattooedphysicist
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue Oct 18, 2016 8:44 pm

Re: 2017 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby tattooedphysicist » Tue Oct 18, 2016 9:33 pm

Undergrad Institution: State school satellite campus, basically unknown for physics
Major(s): Physics, Pure and Applied
Minor(s): Astrophysics, Mathematics
GPA in Major: 4.0
Overall GPA: 4.0
Length of Degree: 3 years
Position in Class: top
Type of Student: domestic minority female, adult student (over 30)

GRE Scores : new version
Q: 166
V: 167
W: 5.5
P: 910

Research Experience:
(1) Home institution - observational astronomy of blazars - resulted in poster presentation at home institute research symposium
(2) REU - quantum optics - resulted in award-winning poster presentation at APS April Meeting
(3) REU - solar modeling - resulted in poster presentation (not sure if AAS or other, but a professional conference this year), first author paper in prep, and honors senior thesis continuing the project
(4) Home institution - acoustics - modeling dissonance curves, should result in a poster presentation at CUWiP in Jan (if I can finish...)

Awards/Honors/Recognitions:
APS April Meeting - Undergraduate Research Presentation Award (for REU poster)
Society of Physics Students - big merit scholarship
Home institution - Academic Athlete award for two years (for 4.0, includes a scholarship), Dean's List all semester (includes scholarship), several other merit scholarships
Home department - two merit scholarships, for multiple years running

Pertinent Activities or Jobs:
SPS president and national council member (2 years)
Tutor (3 years)
Graded briefly...

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help:
I've given two invited talks at well known schools, but on science & society topics.
I'm a grown up, so I have a work history and life experience that led me to take this whole school thing pretty seriously.

Special Bonus Points: I'm a female minority student...

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: I used to be a touring musician, so that could swing either way...

Applying to Where:

Stanford - Physics - CISM, but I look forward to getting to shop around a bit
UC Berkeley - Astronomy - CISM, computational astro
UC Santa Cruz - Astronomy & Astrophysics - TASC
CU Boulder - Astrophysical and Planetary Science - CISM, computational astro
Montana State U - Physics - Solar, corona dynamics
Louisiana State U - Physics - LIGO
University of Maryland - Astronomy - CRESST, Space & Plasma group
Cornell - Physics - Theoretical EPP or astro, but you get to shop around here, too
MIT - Physics - Kavli Institute is an astro dream...
Harvard - Physics - Theoretical High Energy or astro

uwlaxphysics
Posts: 1
Joined: Sun Oct 09, 2016 10:32 am

Re: 2017 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby uwlaxphysics » Sat Oct 22, 2016 11:58 am

Undergrad Institution: Small midwest state school with no graduate program. Known for graduating lots of undergrad physics students.
Major(s): Physics and Math
Minor(s):
GPA in Major: 4.0, 3.87
Overall GPA: 3.78
Length of Degree: 5 years
Position in Class: Top (or close?)
Type of Student: Domestic male

GRE Scores :
Q: 163 (85%)
V: 156 (72%)
W: 4.0 (59%)
P: 820 (74%)


Research Experience:
3 years of research in computational astrophysics at current school that will accumulate into a paper by the end of the year (hopefully by the end of this semester if I don't get too bogged down with graduate school applications). This research was funded over a summer by an awarded space grant and has led to two poster presentations. Last summer I interned at a national lab in high energy density physics (HEDP). That research has accumulated in a paper that is currently in review.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Dean's List, local scholarships

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: 3 time TA for two intro lab courses and a physics for future elementary school teachers course. Physics tutor for the past 2.5 years.

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: Physics club president (SPS chapter)

Special Bonus Points: My summer research advisor did his PhD at Rochester so I believe I will have a strong connection there.

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: I'm applying with a more general research scope in mind. I don't have a specific research interest (as you'll see in my scattered research topics below). That's why I'm applying to large programs that do a variety of interesting things. However, I am drawn towards theory projects since I like computational work (first principle simulations).

Applying to Where:

Waitlisted, Accepted, Rejected

Cornell - Physics - Theory Astrophysics, Exp HEDP
Michigan - Physics - Theory Astrophysics, Theory HEDP, Exp Nuclear
Maryland - Physics - Nonlinear systems, Plasma, AMO
Colorado - Boulder - Physics - Astrophysics, CM
Ohio State - Physics - Exp HEDP, Theory CM, Exp Nuclear
Carnegie Mellon - Physics - Computational physics - Astro
Rochester - Physics - HEDP, Astrophysics (plasma)
UMass - Amherst - Physics - Theory CM, Exp Nuclear/Particle
NC State - Physics - Comp Astrophysics, Theory&Exp Nuclear Astrophysics
Last edited by uwlaxphysics on Fri Nov 25, 2016 12:38 pm, edited 4 times in total.

StopScatterTime
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Oct 26, 2016 9:25 pm

Re: 2017 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby StopScatterTime » Wed Oct 26, 2016 9:40 pm

Undergrad Institution: Large State School
Major(s): Physics / Mathematics
Minor(s): None
GPA in Major: 4.0
Overall GPA: 3.94
Length of Degree: 4 years
Position in Class: Top
Type of Student: Domestic White Male

GRE Scores : (revised)
Q: 163
V: 162
W: 4
P: 990

Research Experience: (At your school or elsewhere? What field? How much time? Any publications (Mth author out of N?) or conference talks etc...)
In the summer of my freshman year, I did research in graph theory and presented it at a conference. I also worked for two years in a high energy experiment lab and will have a publication by the time I graduate along with two presentations. I have been in a nuclear theory group for 6 months.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: (Within your school or outside?)
Several department scholarships.

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: (Such as tutor, TA, SPS officer etc...)
Sigma Pi Sigma President
Tutor for upper level classical mechanics

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help:
3rd place in local math competition.

Special Bonus Points: (Such as connections, grad classes, famous recommenders, female or minority status etc...)
I have taken grad courses on particle physics, nuclear physics, computational physics, quantum field theory and differential topology.

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter:
Applying for an NSF Fellowship.

Applying to Where:

UC Berkeley - hep-th
U Chicago - hep-th
U Michigan - hep-th
U Maryland - nuclear-th
U Washington - nuclear-th
Cambridge - hep-th
CalTech - hep-th
Harvard - hep-th
MIT - hep-th
Princeton - hep-th

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

Re: 2017 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby moon » Sat Oct 29, 2016 5:59 pm

Undergrad Institution: UC
Majors: Physics & Mathematics
GPA in Major: 3.30
Overall GPA: 3.30
Length of Degree: 3 years
Position in Class: average
Type of Student: Domestic white male

GRE Scores : (will retake)
Q: 158 (70%)
V:160 (85%)
W:3.5 (42%)
P: 790 (69%) oct 29 score incoming

Research Experience:
- 0.5 years in semiconductor/HEP-ex
- 1.25 years in an HEP-th simulation

Awards/Honors/Recognitions:
- Dean's List one quarter, so basically none

Pertinent Activities or Jobs:
- 1 year tutoring intro physics and math.
- Independent data science coursework through coursera.
- Independent study on QFT, QG, and various topics in Algebra.
- 2 years @at big tech company: software QA, vehicle physics analysis, C++ experience

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help:
- Senior Thesis in HEP-th

Special Bonus Points:
- good letters

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter:
- my GPA declined over my last year at college, but I was going to leverage that by also pointing out that I've taken the GRE 4 times, each time increasing my score

Applying for HEP-th/ex mostly, but some CMT/CME & GR/Mathematical Physics

Stanford
USC
Yale
Brown
UC Los Angeles
UC Davis
Penn State
Texas A&M
UC Irvine
U Minnesota - CMT/CME
Georgia Tech - AMO, CMT
UW Milwaukee
Arizona State University

asmull
Posts: 1
Joined: Sat Nov 05, 2016 3:01 pm

Re: 2017 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby asmull » Fri Nov 11, 2016 5:39 pm

Undergrad Institution: Biggish state school, not particularly lauded for Electrical Engineering or physics
Major(s): Electrical Engineering (B.S. and M.S. with Thesis)
Minor(s): Physics
GPA in Major: 3.97 B.S./ 3.98 M.S.
Overall GPA: 3.97 B.S./ 3.98 M.S.
Length of Degree: 6 years for both degrees
Position in Class: Top of my class for undergrad
Type of Student: Domestic white male

GRE Scores : revised
Q: 168 (95%)
V: 169 (99%)
W: 5.0 (93%)
P: 990 (94%)




Research Experience: Around 2 years of research in computational elecromagnetics. Currently have a paper submitted after its second revision, on it as second author. Conference talks at URSI and IEEE Antennas and Propogation Society. Additionally, one summer in the research program at MIT Lincoln Laboratory.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Magna cum laude, university honors scholar, undergraduate research award, several scholarships.

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: 3 semesters as a TA teaching labs, 1 semester as a course instructor for a class of ~170 students.

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help:

Special Bonus Points: Hoping my grad degree helps out a little bit. Strong letters or recommendation, including a Stanford alum. Only problem is, they are from electrical engineering faculty.

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: Again, my undergraduate and M.S. are not in physics. I'm hoping this is not held against me, but it's making me very anxious.

Applying to Where:

MIT - Physics, AMO/Quantum Information
MIT - EECS, AMO/Quantum Information
Berkeley - Physics, AMO
Stanford - Applied Physics, AMO
CU Boulder - Physics, AMO
University of Washington - Physics, AMO
University of Wisconsin Madison - Physics, Plasma Physics/Fusion
University of Wisconsin Madison - Electrical Engineering, Plasma Physics/Fusion
University of Wisconsin Madison - Nuclear Engineering, Plasma Physics/Fusion (you get 3 apps for 1 fee, so why not?)
Georgia Tech - Physics, Quantum Information
UT Austin - Physics, AMO
University of Arizona - Optical Sciences, Quantum Information
Oregon State - Electrical Engineering, RF electronics (in case I can't get in anywhere else)
Last edited by asmull on Fri Nov 25, 2016 12:25 pm, edited 2 times in total.

quantz
Posts: 3
Joined: Wed Nov 16, 2016 7:52 pm

Re: 2017 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby quantz » Wed Nov 16, 2016 8:04 pm

Undergrad Institution: UT Austin
Major(s): Physics, Electrical Engineering
GPA in Major: 4.0
Overall GPA: 3.99
Length of Degree: 4
Position in Class: top? We don't get rankings.
Type of Student: domestic male

GRE Scores :
Q: 166
V: 162
W: 4.0
P: 870

Research Experience: Two years working on thin film research in an AMO lab. No publications.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Various scholarships

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Spent two summers as an intern at an electrical engineering company

Special Bonus Points: Advisor/recommender is very well known

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: Study Abroad in India working for Xilinx. Also, a section leader in the marching band.

Applying to Where:
Condensed matter, quantum information

UCSB - Physics
Yale - Physics
UC Berkeley - Physics
Caltech - Physics
Illinois - Physics
Stanford - Physics
Chicago - Physics
MIT - Physics
Waterloo - Physics
Princeton - Physics
UT Austin - Physics


Note to all: I was a bit worried when looking through previous posts and seeing how a lot of people who posted had almost perfect test scores and many were rejected from top schools. There is a bias here. People who have great scores and research experience are more likely to post. Don't let that discourage you, and remember that application committees will look at you as a whole.
Last edited by quantz on Thu Dec 01, 2016 11:31 pm, edited 4 times in total.

Tygrum
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue Nov 22, 2016 7:46 pm

Re: 2017 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby Tygrum » Tue Nov 22, 2016 8:02 pm

Undergrad Institution: Extremely selective Near-Ivy. ~25 in physics
Major(s): Physics
Overall GPA: 3.47
GPA in Major: 3.51
Junior/Senior GPA: 3.68
Length of Degree: 4 years
Position in Class: Average
Type of Student: White Male

GRE Scores :
Q: 167 (93%)
V: 162 (90%)
W: 3.5 (42%)
P: Sept- 780 (67%), Oct- 790 (69%)

Research Experience: 6 months full-time theoretical biophysics research (~50hrs/wk). 2 publications - 1 2nd author, 1 1st author - both in the well respected biophysics journals

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Dean's List

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Tutor for physics and math at undergrad institution

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: Very involved in redesigning the undergrad curriculum

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: My recent grades are much better than my older grades

Applying to Where:

Cornell - Biophysics
Cornell Medical - Biophysics
UC Berkeley - Biophysics
University of Chicago - Biophysics
Vanderbilt - Biophysics
Johns Hopkins - Biophysics
Columbia - Biophysics
University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign - Physics - Biophysics
University of Maryland, College Park - Physics - Biophysics

Note: I thought there were too many 4.0, 990, 3 years research + 2 REU students on here, so I figured I would throw my stats up on the board. My expectation is not to get in anywhere, but I will be very pleased if I do. I hope that I can squeeze in with the biophysics niche at a great school, but if not I have other plans. Good luck everyone!
Last edited by Tygrum on Fri Nov 25, 2016 3:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.

unurbat erdenemunkh
Posts: 2
Joined: Sun Sep 20, 2015 3:35 pm

Re: 2017 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby unurbat erdenemunkh » Thu Nov 24, 2016 7:37 am

Undergrad Institution: Small Liberal Art College in MA. Not known for Physics
Major(s): Physics
Overall GPA: 3.61/4
GPA in Major: 3.92/4
Length of Degree: 4 years
Position in Class: Top 10
Type of Student: International Male

GRE Scores :
Q: 161(79%)
V: 152 (52 %)
W: 3.5 (42%)
P: Sept- 650 (40%), Oct- TBA (hope it is around at least 800. ( I am just horrible at taking any test from ETS)

Research Experience: 2 and half years for experimental condensed Matter Physics research - 1st author for a paper in Physics Review Letter. 1 - conference poster

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Highest Honors for Senior Thesis, international student scholarship, 2 - awards, few leadership activities including Resident Advisor.

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Worked as an Assistant Physicist for 3 years for accelerator/Beam physics

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: Very involved in redesigning the undergrad curriculum

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: Right after finishing undergraduate, I decided to work for three years, so I might be bit old as compare to student who are just graduating. However, I worked on accelerator/ beam physics job. I hope it will be helpful

Applying to Where:

Stanford Applied Physics - Experimental Condensed Matter Physics
Cornell - Biophysics - Experimental Condensed Matter Physics
Johns Hopkins - Biophysics - Experimental Condensed Matter Physics
UCLA - Experimental Condensed Matter Physics
UC Berkeley - Experimental Condensed Matter Physics
UC Davis - Experimental Condensed Matter Physics
MCGill - Experimental Condensed Matter Physics
Boston University - Experimental Condensed Matter Physics
Caltech Applied Physics - Experimental Condensed Matter Physics
Urbana-Champaign - - Experimental Condensed Matter Physics
Columbia University, - Experimental Condensed Matter Physics

Note: As you can see from the application, my test scores are a not that great, so I am really not sure what are my chances. Shall I get more safety schools? What is my real chance for my dream schools? Best of luck everyone! I hope all of you get into your dream school!

opelton
Posts: 8
Joined: Sat Sep 17, 2016 3:47 pm

Re: 2017 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby opelton » Fri Nov 25, 2016 4:04 am

Undergrad Institution: Big private school, ranked ~50 ish
Major(s): Physics
Minor(s): Math
Overall GPA:3.89
Length of Degree: Graduating in 7 years (took 3 years off for volunteer work)
Position in Class: close to top
Type of Student: Domestic white male

GRE Scores : revised
Q: 163
V: 165
W:
P: 820

Research Experience: SULI internship studying condensed matter, 2 years in condensed matter group at my school, 1 year in molecular biology lab. 5 publications (one 1st author, but not accepted yet)

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: a few standard things, deans list, a few scholarships, etc.

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: TA'd for three different physics classes

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: Fluent in a difficult 2nd language.

Applying to Where:

Washington U (St.Louis) -Biophysics
Johns Hopkins University -Biophysics
Columbia -Biophysics
Stanford -Biophysics
U Chicago -Biophysics
UCSD -Biophysics
Harvard -Biophysics
Yale -Biophysics
U Pittsburg -Biophysics
Princeton -Biophysics

AlexisPrel
Posts: 21
Joined: Sun Aug 31, 2014 9:26 pm

Re: 2017 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby AlexisPrel » Fri Nov 25, 2016 4:30 pm

Undergrad Institution: French public university, with a rather good reputation in physics.
Major(s): Bs. in Physics, Ms. in Physics and Materials
GPA in Major: ca. 85% in bachelor, 80% in master
Overall GPA: 90% in bachelor, 80% in master
Length of Degree: 3 yr Bsc. + 2 yr Msc.
Position in Class: Top
Type of Student: International male, not minority.

GRE Scores : revised
Q: 166 (91%)
V: 161 (87%)
W: 3.5 (40%) (was tempted to retake but well).
P: 810 (72%)

TOEFL Total: 110 (but only 22 in speaking, which is sometimes below requirements. I contacted the programs and made sure this would not be a problem before applying, turns out those minima aren't that strict in general ... ;) )

Research Experience: 3 summer internships including one abroad. The two most recent are in my field of research.
I mentionned in SOP that my 5 months long master thesis will take place during next spring, and is traditionally when European students sign their first publication(s).

Awards/Honors/Recognitions:
Got various scolarships to study abroad, once each from French Embassies in USA and Belgium and twice from EU.
Graduated with high honors from my bachelor and high school.

Pertinent Activities or Jobs:
Animated a workshop about physics in a primary school;
Taught personal lessons in mathematics to high school students (I mention my interest in teaching in my SOP);

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help:
Got involved in the creation of a FabLab at my home institution ;

Special Bonus Points:
One of my recommender had me for three different classes at a graduate level and knows me very well. Another was the internship supervisor I got along best with. The last one has known me for 2 years. I expect very positive recommendations from all of them.

Very specific research interests that I have been consistent with through my education, such that my elective courses and internships are quite adapted to the kind of research I am applying to.

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter:
1 semester abroad during bachelor at UCONN and 1 year abroad during master at UAntwerpen.
Research interest is really at the boundary between physics, chemistry, MSE and EE, and I happened to have worked with people from each of those background, so I mention this in my SOP hoping that counts.

I specifically mention the professors I want to work with in my statements.

Applying to Where:

Requires or recommends PGRE
Harvard - Chemistry- Research Interest - Solar cells understanding -
MIT - Physics- Photonics -
Northwestern University - Applied Physics - Solar cells understanding -

No subject test asked
CMU - MSE - Computational physics applied to solar cells -
MIT - MSE - Solar cells fabrication -
UMich Ann Arbor - MSE - Solar cells fabrication -

I know that I apply to rather strong schools given my profile, but it should be quite easy for me to get accepted somewhere in Europe, such that I am not interested in crossing an ocean if not for a very specific research group.

gts5073
Posts: 1
Joined: Sat Nov 26, 2016 1:03 am

Re: 2017 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby gts5073 » Sat Nov 26, 2016 1:21 am

Undergrad Institution: Large state school with a well regarded program
Major(s): Physics
Minor(s): Math, Materials Science
GPA in Major: 3.98
Overall GPA: 3.97
Length of Degree: 4 years
Position in Class: Top
Type of Student: White Domestic Male

GRE Scores : (revised)
Q: 165 - 89%
V: 164 - 94%
W: 5.0 - 93%
P: 920 - 87%


Research Experience: Condensed matter experiment research at home institution since Freshman year. 3 summers of full time research including 2 REUs - one at my home institution and one at a top 5 Materials Science department.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Various departmental awards, Goldwater Honorable Mention

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Learning assistant for one semester sophomore year.

Applying to Where:

MIT - Physics - CME
MIT - Materials Science - CME
MIT - EE - CME
UChicago - Molecular Engineering - CME
Cornell - Physics - CME
UC Berkeley - Physics - CME
Stanford - Applied Physics - CME
UC Santa Barbara - Materials Science - CME
Princeton - Physics - CME
Yale - Applied Physics - CME
Minnesota - Physics - CME
Wisconsin - Physics - CME

violinasb
Posts: 1
Joined: Sat Nov 26, 2016 2:10 am

Re: 2017 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby violinasb » Sat Nov 26, 2016 2:38 am

Undergrad Institution: State School, Top 25 in Physics
Major(s): Physics, Spanish
Minor(s): Math, Violin Performance
GPA in Major: 4.0
Overall GPA: 4.0
Length of Degree: 4 years
Position in Class: Top
Type of Student: Domestic female

GRE Scores :
Q: 168 (95th %)
V: 165 (95th %)
W: 4.5 (82nd %)
P: 920 (87th %)
It's a literal miracle that I did so well on the PGRE. My advice is to take as many of the official practice tests as possible but focus on the newer versions. And Conquering the Physics GRE by Kahn/Anderson is a lifesaver.

Research Experience:
Three and a half years working with a professor at my school in the Auger Collaboration on ultra high energy cosmic rays. 3 conference talks, one collaboration meeting, senior thesis in the works
One semester working on Auger when I studied abroad in Spain
One and a half years working in the LIGO stochastic group. I started through an International REU in Australia and then an REU at Caltech. One short author list and 2 full collaboration list papers in the works

Awards/Honors/Recognitions:
Goldwater Scholar (and honorable mention the previous year)
Astronaut Scholar
NASA Space Grant for Women in Science and Engineering Research
Phi Beta Kappa, Phi Kappa Phi, Sigma Pi Sigma (Physics honor society)
Scholarships and awards for good grades at my school/ from my department

Pertinent Activities or Jobs:
Learning assistant (like a volunteer undergraduate teaching assistant) for Intro Mechanics and Intro to Quantum
Physics outreach work in Spain

Special Bonus Points:
Well connected in LIGO with a recommendation letter from a very well-known collaboration member
Female and first generation American

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter:
Not sure how my Spanish double major and Violin performance minor will factor into things, if at all

Applying to Where:
Fellowships:
Fulbright Open Research/Study at Monash University in Melbourne Australia for gravitational waves
Churchill and Gates-Cambridge Fellowships for Maths Part III
NSF GRFP for gravitational waves
Paul and Daisy Soros Fellowship for New Americans (like the NSF but open to any field)

Grad Schools: Physics Department for gravitational wave data analysis/theory for all. The plan is to defer for one year if I get accepted to any of the fellowships.
Caltech
MIT
U Florida
Columbia
Cornell
U Maryland
U Minnesota
Penn State
UT Austin
UC Santa Barbara
U Chicago
Princeton
Northwestern
Last edited by violinasb on Sun Dec 04, 2016 5:36 pm, edited 2 times in total.

muon
Posts: 1
Joined: Sun Nov 27, 2016 10:03 am

Re: 2017 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby muon » Sun Nov 27, 2016 10:20 am

Undergrad Institution: Caltech
Major(s): Physics
Minor(s): Computer Science
GPA in Major:3.4
Overall GPA:3.5 (:/ but my school is reasonably well known for grade deflation. We'll see how much this hurts.)
Length of Degree:4 years
Position in Class: Not tracked, but probably upper interquartile by GPA (IIRC average physics GPA is 3.4)
Type of Student: Domestic male

GRE Scores : revised
Q: 170 (97%)
V: 167 (98%)
W: 4.5 (82%)
P: 970 (93%)
My score jumped up almost 200 points (from first attempt, with no studying) from about a week of semi-intensive studying right before taking the test. Just memorize/cache as much stuff as you can and it'll probably improve your score by at least 100 points. Conquering the physics gre is a good resource, but the practice tests aren't great or similar to the actual PGRE. I would recommend using every available past PGRE test and making flashcards for random things you can memorize.

Research Experience:
1 year geophysics research with well-known mentor, resulted in poster presentation at AGU and a first author publication in Geophysical Research Letters.
1 summer particle physics with well-known mentor, resulted in first author CMS analysis note (not quite same level as a journal article, but hopefully it helps).
1 summer software development for SLAC, technical repository I can link to but no publication.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions:
Undergraduate research award
A few awards/honors from high school that are sufficiently prestigious that I'll include them (Davidson, ISEF, JSHS)
Didn't think to apply to a lot of scholarships, missed the boat on Goldwater :/

Pertinent Activities or Jobs:
Tutor for basically every class.
TA for an introductory CS class.

Special Bonus Points:
Two recommendations from very well-known professors in their respective fields.
Minority points - LGBT
Lots of graduate physics and CS classes, including a quantum computing course that is well known (linked to a lot by other courses).

Applying to Where:

Stanford - Applied physics, Quantum information
UC Berkeley - Physics, Quantum information
MIT - Physics, Quantum information
Waterloo - Physics, Quantum information
Harvard - Physics, Quantum information
Princeton - Physics, Quantum information
Yale - Physics, Quantum information
Columbia - Physics, Quantum information
UCSD - Physics, Quantum information
UCSB - Physics, Quantum information
USC - Physics, Quantum information
UChicago - Physics, Quantum information
UColorado Boulder - Physics, Quantum information

unurbat erdenemunkh
Posts: 2
Joined: Sun Sep 20, 2015 3:35 pm

Re: 2017 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby unurbat erdenemunkh » Tue Nov 29, 2016 7:54 am

asds wrote:Undergrad Institution: Small Liberal Art College in MA. Not known for Physics
Major(s): Physics
Overall GPA: 3.61/4
GPA in Major: 3.92/4
Length of Degree: 4 years
Position in Class: Top 10
Type of Student: International Male

GRE Scores :
Q: 161(79%)
V: 152 (52 %)
W: 3.5 (42%)
P: Oct- 770 (65%). ( I am just horrible at taking any test from ETS)

Research Experience: 2 and half years for experimental condensed Matter Physics research - 1st author for a paper in Physics Review Letter. 1 - conference poster

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Highest Honors for Senior Thesis, international student scholarship, 2 - awards, few leadership activities including Resident Advisor.

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Worked as an Assistant Physicist for 3 years for accelerator/Beam physics

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: Very involved in redesigning the undergrad curriculum

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: Right after finishing undergraduate, I decided to work for three years, so I might be bit old as compare to student who are just graduating. However, I worked on accelerator/ beam physics job. I hope it will be helpful

Applying to Where:

Stanford Applied Physics - Experimental Condensed Matter Physics
Cornell - Biophysics - Experimental Condensed Matter Physics
Johns Hopkins - Biophysics - Experimental Condensed Matter Physics
UCLA - Experimental Condensed Matter Physics
UC Berkeley - Experimental Condensed Matter Physics
UC Davis - Experimental Condensed Matter Physics
MCGill - Experimental Condensed Matter Physics
Boston University - Experimental Condensed Matter Physics
Caltech Applied Physics - Experimental Condensed Matter Physics
Urbana-Champaign - - Experimental Condensed Matter Physics
Columbia University, - Experimental Condensed Matter Physics

Note: As you can see from the application, my test scores are a not that great, so I am really not sure what are my chances. Shall I get more safety schools? What is my real chance for my dream schools? Best of luck everyone! I hope all of you get into your dream school!

the notorious higgs
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue Nov 29, 2016 3:56 pm

Re: 2017 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby the notorious higgs » Tue Nov 29, 2016 4:18 pm

Undergrad Institution: University of Washington
Major(s): Physics
Minor(s): Mathematics, Political science
GPA in Major: 3.94
Overall GPA: 3.88
Length of Degree: 4 years
Position in Class: topish
Type of Student: Domestic male, Asian/white

GRE Scores :
Q: 170 (98%)
V: 164 (94%)
W: 5 (93%)
P: 960 (92%)


Research Experience:
1.5 years particle experiment, neutrino detection stuff for SNO+
1.5 years astrophysics, gravitational lensing simulation
1 year particle experiment, neutrino detection stuff for COHERENT
2 summers at NASA, one at GSFC (exoplanet detection) and one at MSFC (xray astronomy)
one coathor publication in SPIE
poster coathor at SPIE
one conference presentation at Carnigie institute of washington
3 intern poster presentations for NASA

Awards/Honors/Recognitions:
Physics honors
magna cum laude
sigma pi sigma
dean's list every quarter as full time student
best poster in science at NASA MSFC poster presentation

Pertinent Activities or Jobs:
worked in a nuclear physics lab as hourly for 2 years
worked as a TA for a year at UW
currently spending my gap year working for NASA on exoplanet research

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help:

Special Bonus Points:
I know like fifty physics puns

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter:
I applied to, Stanford, Berkeley, Princeton, UMD, UC boulder, UCSB, Chicago last year and was rejected from all of them, I had an 840 PGRE that year, and has 1 year less experience at NASA, and didn't have my second or third research experience at UW, didn't have my conference presentation eitehr, had not actually graduated etc. Last year I also was applying to PT exclusively. Anyway hopefully my app is stronger this year

Applying to Where:

Princeton - PHYS - HEPEx
Harvard - PHYS - not specified
Stanford - PHYS - HEPEx
Berkeley - PHYS - HEPEx
UCSB - PHYS - HEPEx
UC Boulder - PHYS - thoery generic
Chicago - PHYS - HEP generic
Maryland - PHYS - Experiment generic
Cornell - PHYS - not specified
Caltech - PHYS - Cos-Ex

Manet225
Posts: 1
Joined: Sun Dec 04, 2016 5:43 pm

Re: 2017 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby Manet225 » Sun Dec 04, 2016 6:11 pm

Undergrad Institution: Liberal Arts College, strong Astronomy department
Major(s): Astronomy, Physics, English
Minor(s): None
GPA in Major: 3.66
Overall GPA: 3.59
Length of Degree: 3.5 years
Position in Class: Better than average
Type of Student: Indian International Male

GRE Scores :
Q: 166 (91st %ile)
V: 167 (98th %ile)
W: 4.0 (59th %ile)
P: 690 (49th %ile)

Research Experience: Started early. 3 summer projects: 1 at home institution, 1 at Space Telescope Science Institute, 1 Caltech SURF.
1 publication. Writing a thesis that developed out of 5 semesters of astronomy research working with Kepler/K2 data, data from a 24" telescope on campus, and spectra from Keck and VLT. 2 semesters in a molecular spectroscopy lab.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: None

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Student Director of 24" telescope observing program since sophomore year (observer since freshman fall). TA for a Special Relativity course and Observational Astronomy course. Ran office hours, lab sessions, graded homework. Department Peer Advisor for Physics and Astronomy.

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: Graduating early?

Special Bonus Points: (Assumed) Strong rec letters from advisors for each summer project. Possibly strong connections because of my Caltech research advisor.

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: Presented at 1 conference, will present at another conference in January.

Applying to Where:

Caltech - Geological & Planetary Sciences - Exoplanets
MIT - Earth & Planetary Sciences - Exoplanets
UWashington - Astronomy - Exoplanets
Harvard - Astronomy - Exoplanets
Princeton - Astronomy - Exoplanets
Cornell - Astronomy - Exoplanets
CU Boulder - Astrophysical & Planetary Sciences - Exoplanets
Pennsylvania State - Astronomy - Exoplanets
UC Santa Cruz - Astronomy - Exoplanets
UC Los Angeles - Astronomy - Exoplanets
UChicago - Astronomy - Exoplanets

xpxihbar
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Dec 05, 2016 5:58 pm

Re: 2017 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby xpxihbar » Wed Dec 07, 2016 11:14 am

UG Institution:State school okay physics program
Majors:: physics and math
GPA::4.0/4.0
Profile:: domestic white female

Tests
V:163 (93%)
Q:162 (82%)
PGRE: 720 (55%)

Research: Decent amount. 2+ years plus an REU

Applying
Columbia
Harvard
Stanford
Rutgers
U Michigan
OSU:
UPenn:
NYU
UIUC

janghun
Posts: 8
Joined: Mon Apr 07, 2014 9:36 am

Re: 2017 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby janghun » Thu Dec 08, 2016 3:27 am

Undergrad Institution: A private university in South Korea
Major(s): Physics
Minor(s):
GPA in Major: 3.95/4.0 (undergrad)
Overall GPA: 3.61/4.0 (undergrad), 4.0/4.0 (master's degree)
Length of Degree: 3.5 years(B.S. in Physics, early graduation), 1.5 years(M.S. in Physics, Particle physics theory, early graduation)
Position in Class: a nearly top
Type of Student: International asian male

GRE Scores:
Q: 166 (91%)
V: 144 (23%)
W: 3.5 (42%)
P: 990 (94%, PHYSICS)

TOEFL Total: 77 (Reading 26, Listening 15, Speaking 15, Writing 21) (very low) :cry:

Research Experience: HEP theory (Particle Phenomenology) -undergrad's research 3 years, grad's research 1.5 years.; one SCI paper as 2nd author of 3; one paper in preparation.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Two honors, many scholarships.

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: TA 1.5 years, 4 summer and winter schools for theoretical physics (including particle physics)

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: To fulfill military duty in my country, I have worked for Air Force as an Officer for about 3.5 years (Final Rank : First Lieutenant). Currently, I work for the Korean Physical Society as an editor of JKPS(Journal of the Korean Physical Society) which is a SCI journal and covers all-round fields of physics, ranging from condensed matter physics to high energy physics.

Special Bonus Points: I guess all the letters of recommendation will be very strong.

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: Exceptionally, I participated in a particle theory lab as a freshman. Also, I have earned credits of all the core subjects in physics as a sophomore, such as QM, EM, SM, end so on. So I have special research experiences for about 4.5 years. At that time, I studied QFT and Particle phenomenology with my advisor through one-on-one seminars.


Applying to Where: All Physics PhD program, High Energy Physics, Condensed Matter Physics, Biophysics (theory & Experiment)

Dream schools
New York University (NYU)
Universityof Colorado at Boulder (CU Boulder)
University of Minnesota at Twin Cities
Ohio State University at Columbus (OSU)
Indiana University at Bloomington (IUB)
University of Rochester

Well...
Purdue University at West Lafayette
Texas A&M University at College station (TAMU)
University of Arizona at Tuscon
Michigan State University (MSU)
University of Virginia (UVa)
Syracuse University

Safety schools
The City University of New York (CUNY) - Graduate Center
University of Kentucky at Lexington
University of Cincinnati

corebake
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Dec 08, 2016 10:08 am

Re: 2017 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby corebake » Thu Dec 08, 2016 10:23 am

Undergrad Institution: Small liberal arts college
Major(s): Physics, Mathematics
Minor(s): none
GPA in Major: 4.0
Overall GPA: 4.0
Length of Degree: 4 years
Position in Class: top
Type of Student: international male

GRE Scores :
Q: 170 (97%)
V: 162 (90%)
W: 4 (59%)
P: 880 (83%)

Research Experience: 1 summer in Germany, 1 summer at my home institution in the lab that I've been a part of for the last 3 years, both in experimental AMO. No publications but two poster presentations at national conferences. I'm currently working on a full-year thesis that is the continuation of my summer project.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Some departmental awards a grants to support research, but nothing outside my school.

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: 3 years tutoring/TAing undergrad math plus some grading and TAing in physics

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: I have taken every junior and senior level physics course available at my institution

Special Bonus Points: I'm pretty close with my advisor who's known me for over 3 years, so his rec. letter should be strong.

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: Eh, nothing too noteworthy

Applying to Where:

Physics - Experimental AMO
Harvard
MIT
UCSB
Berkeley
Boulder
Stanford

Applied Math - Scientific Computing/Physical Applied Math
NYU
Boulder
Brown
Columbia
Caltech

Go big or go home!

CosmologicalRedshift
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Oct 24, 2016 5:16 pm

Re: 2017 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby CosmologicalRedshift » Sat Dec 10, 2016 1:48 am

Undergrad Institution: Medium sized state school with no reputation for physics
Major(s): Physics
Minor(s): Mathematics and Astronomy
GPA in Major: 3.9
Overall GPA: 3.9
Length of Degree: 4 years
Position in Class: Top/Near Top
Type of Student: Domestic Male

GRE Scores : (revised or old version?)
Q: 165 (89%)
V: 156 (72%)
W: TBD
P: 770 (65%)



Research Experience: One REU program working on particle and cosmology theory. 3 years at my school: astronomy and planetary science (observational and modeling). Independent studies on differential geometry for two quarters, general relativity for two years, and abstract algebra for two quarters.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Sigma Pi Sigma, Science Honors, etc.

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Tutor for physics and mathematics for 3 years

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help:

Special Bonus Points: One recommender has good connections, as well as knowing both of my other recommendors for most of my undergraduate career. I have worked with all of my recommendors on research.

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

Applying to Where: All for particle/cosmology theory

Princeton - Astrophysical Sciences
Chicago - Astronomy
UPenn - Physics and Astronomy
Columbia - Physics
Pittsburgh - Physics and Astronomy
UC Irvine - Physics and Astronomy
NYU - Physics and Astronomy
Northwestern - Physics and Astronomy
William & Mary - Physics
Delaware - Physics and Astronomy




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