DIRE NEED OF ADVICE

  • 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.

VT
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DIRE NEED OF ADVICE

Postby VT » Fri Nov 09, 2007 12:52 pm

Hello all,
Last edited by VT on Sun Nov 25, 2007 8:17 pm, edited 2 times in total.

vicente
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Postby vicente » Fri Nov 09, 2007 1:36 pm

Yes you will be considered an international student but the fact that you went to a U.S. school for undergraduate should put you above most other international students except maybe Canadians. But you will still be greatly disadvantaged compared to domestic students due to the funding issue. There are much fewer sources of government funding for people without permanent residence in the U.S. and the graduate school and department will have to pay for you out of their own pockets.

Despite that I think you still have a chance. The GRE isn't really that important unless you do really poorly like below average (< 600) in which case warning lights will go off in their heads, or if you do really good (990, unless you're from China/India). They know that people mess up sometimes. Good recommendation letters and having a publication is much more important to their eyes.

Investigate which schools discriminate most heavily against international applicants. I know from personal experience that the UCs discriminate a lot. It's not really their fault though, since if they have to put up all the cash for the stipend, they might as well get someone better than the average American student.

You should put at least one tier-1 school in your application.

VT
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Postby VT » Fri Nov 09, 2007 2:20 pm

Thanks a lot vicente for your suggestion.
Of the tier 1, which one do you think should I consider to apply? I will really appreciate your help.
Thanks.
i do not know how I messed up my GRE, Oct GRE was so freakin easy, plug and chug for 60 questions... I was so confident that I was thinking i would get somewhere around 880. Prolly it was my bad day, a bad luck and i must have messed up STUPID calculation because I did most of the calculation in my freaking HEAD, I hate my head! I had two # 2 pencils, a big thick scratch paper, and still I chose to do calculation in my head, shitty head! I multiplied all numbers and messed up in a simple test. I feel really so upset.
i wish the admission commitee would understand this. I am so UPSET about it.
Any other suggestions for schools will be MUCH appreciated.

VT
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Postby VT » Fri Nov 09, 2007 4:32 pm

:cry:
Last edited by VT on Sun Jan 27, 2008 5:56 pm, edited 2 times in total.

tnoviell
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Postby tnoviell » Fri Nov 09, 2007 6:38 pm

Your GRE score isn't low, first off. It may be low with respect to getting into some top tier universities, but by no means are you going to get rejected from graduate schools solely based on a GRE score that actually isn't bad.

If I were you, I'd do alot of research into what schools are your "dream" schools, some schools you feel you have a good shot in, and some schools you know you will get into. If you feel unsure of how your GRE scores are, call the offices and see if it really makes a difference.

Honestly, you may be international, but you went to an American school, and as previously stated, your only problem may be funding - but that can be looked into easy enough.

Just do your own research - google things and check stuff out, and spend a weekend doing that.

vicente
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Postby vicente » Fri Nov 09, 2007 8:23 pm

According to Yale itself, last year it admitted someone with a Physics subject score of 590. Yes, 590.

I would not let the GRE deter you from applying to top schools if everything else in your application is top-notch.

A department would be foolish to reject someone with good grades, stellar recommendations and research work just because they had a bad day on GRE day.

I got an 880 on my subject test, my research experience is nowhere near as good as yours, are you saying that I can get into Harvard now but you can't? In fact I'm not applying there because I don't have any published articles and I'm not one of the top 2 in my graduating class, things that are much more important than the GRE.

VT
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Postby VT » Fri Nov 09, 2007 9:49 pm

Thanks a lot vicente for your encouraging words!!
My only problem is why I had to have such a worst day on the test day!!
I am desperately waiting for the month of March when we all will be hearing from Universities.
I will try my best.
good luck to you. You shud definitely try Harvard. GRE scores do not come without knowing actual Physics. This is how I take std tests.
Thanks for your kind words. I really appreciate it.

VT
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Postby VT » Sat Nov 10, 2007 1:16 pm

thanx for sharing your thoughts!
Last edited by VT on Sun Jan 27, 2008 5:56 pm, edited 3 times in total.

VT
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Postby VT » Sun Nov 11, 2007 9:59 am

Any other thought!! :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry:

tnoviell
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Postby tnoviell » Sun Nov 11, 2007 10:03 am

Make sure that you apply to at least one school where you know, without a shadow of a doubt, that you will be accepted there.

VT
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Postby VT » Sun Nov 11, 2007 5:12 pm

Is any of the above good for that matter? Thanks for your input ,
tnoviell !!




Ps# Gre forum is so quiet!
Last edited by VT on Mon Nov 12, 2007 7:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.

tnoviell
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Postby tnoviell » Sun Nov 11, 2007 5:24 pm

I have no idea. Make sure to cross connect your credentials with the school's statistics. Graduate school hunting should involve your own personal research on what is a good fit for you. There are many quality schools here in the US, and I would encourage you to make sure the area is nice, the people are good, and you have the capability of making some friends to help you survive the nightmare that is grad school. I think if you do your own research into which schools are a fit for you, you will make a better and more informed decision.

VT
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Postby VT » Sun Nov 11, 2007 6:09 pm

I have been spending so much of my time lately finding a grad school that matches the area of my interest that if my college were to offer a credit for my work then I would definitely earn one unit with straight A for my independent study in finding a good gradaute school for me. Seriously, this business would have been so easy had I scored above 850!
Thanks for your suggestion. I appreciate it. I will work more on it.
Last edited by VT on Tue Nov 13, 2007 12:32 pm, edited 2 times in total.

VT
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Postby VT » Mon Nov 12, 2007 7:43 pm

:(

VT
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Postby VT » Tue Nov 13, 2007 12:31 pm

I asked Rutgers if my Physics GRE was okay, and a lady replied me back with this-
"Your scores are fine. However, you may want to retake Physics GRE"

720 is below the cut off for Rutgers, I guess. :(

Whats the moral of this story?

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will
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Postby will » Tue Nov 13, 2007 4:35 pm

"Your scores are fine. However, you may want to retake Physics GRE"

If that's exactly what she said, I'd think maybe your scores are high enough to get your application looked at, but maybe not as competitive as the other applications that work their way in. I know in some programs they aren't allowed to tell you what their cutoff really is, so they "strongly suggest" retaking tests if your scores aren't above that threshold, but if she said your scores are fine then your scores are probably fine.

vicente
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Postby vicente » Tue Nov 13, 2007 9:02 pm

And I thought I worried too much...

Did you not read what I said about Yale accepting someone with a 590?

schmit.paul
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Postby schmit.paul » Tue Nov 13, 2007 11:21 pm

A really good friend of mine from my undergraduate institution (large state university) got into Brown, UCLA, Yale, and Washington with a GRE score around the low 700's. He's a Mexican citizen with a degree from a US institution. You need to stop worrying and look at your situation more pragmatically before you run yourself into the ground. Your US degree will help immensely, and condensed matter has a lot more funding than something like high energy theory or mathematical physics, so you'll be in a large pool. If your independent research is good, you may get noticed by someone at a top tier. It would be helpful to send extremely concise emails to a few senior faculty at your top schools to get their opinion, but don't write them an essay, they don't have much time to give to students that haven't been admitted yet. However, if you describe your work in a couple sentences and your credentials in another, you can gauge your chances (and perhaps even elicit some interest). You have a good shot to get into several good programs, so don't lose focus and screw up the tone of your application out of self-deprecation. If you truly had a bad day when you took the GRE Physics, then give them every reason to believe you by NOT obsessing about it in your application. Communicate that you know what you are talking about!

And you need to add the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champagne (UIUC) to your list, they are one of the best schools for condensed matter, and a very large program at that. My friend got into the program with GRE scores in the mid-700's.

VT
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Postby VT » Wed Nov 14, 2007 12:40 pm

@ schmit.paul
Thanks a lot for your suggestion. I really appreciate it.

@ vicente,
I checked Yale's profile and even emailed them. So the score was not a problem there as long as I have good research experience.
Ok, no worries now!
Thanks a lot for all your inputs, and very encouraging words.
Cheers!
:)

schmit.paul
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Postby schmit.paul » Wed Nov 14, 2007 3:56 pm

btw. no way is Rutgers THAT selective. the admissions lady doesn't know what she's talking about. gradschoolshopper says their mean percentage on GRE Physics is 75%, so you're presumably right in the heart of the bell curve

VT
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Postby VT » Sun Nov 18, 2007 2:28 pm

I am having a "CV problem" in gradaute application! I don know in which FORMAT I shud write!
Any suggestions from you guys who have started out your application!
Thanx

tnoviell
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Postby tnoviell » Sun Nov 18, 2007 2:55 pm

No one ever taught you have to write a resume/CV?

Google is your friend, VT.

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quizivex
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Postby quizivex » Sun Nov 18, 2007 5:16 pm

I was hoping to be able to get through applications without having to make a CV, but it doesn't seem possible. Some apps do not offer a spot for activities/publications/awards and such, so we must make a CV to get that stuff in. I don't like that many of the apps are generic forms used througout some entire "Graduate school of arts and sciences," so we get a lot of worthless/inappropriate questions that I don't know how to answer...

For instance, "Are you applying for fellowships at Stanford?" Well, physics grad students are supposed to be considered for fellowships along with admission. So I don't know whether to click yes or no :(

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grae313
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Postby grae313 » Sun Nov 18, 2007 6:17 pm

you are supposed to say, "yes." That is the button that says, "yes, I want to be considered for the fellowships you offer to incoming graduate students in my department." You only click no if you can pay for yourself independently already.

MSU_fizz
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Postby MSU_fizz » Sun Nov 25, 2007 3:28 pm

You should apply to Michigan State. For international students, research experience is one of the biggest things that can separate you from the pack. I would include a copy of your publication with your ap.

MSU_fizz
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Fellowships

Postby MSU_fizz » Sun Nov 25, 2007 3:29 pm

Fellowships are often only for domestic students. Stipends are for all graduate students.




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