do you think i can be accepted to these california unis?

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moshecohen
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Joined: Mon Nov 19, 2007 11:00 am

do you think i can be accepted to these california unis?

Postby moshecohen » Mon Nov 19, 2007 11:35 am

hi.

i'm an international student applying to graduate school in the u.s.

my problem is that my gre subject test score is not so hot: 800 (76%)

my background is the following:

i have 2 average recommendation letters and one good one.
my bachelor degree g.p.a is 88 (out of a 100 scale) and my g.p.a in the important courses is 96 (out of 100).
i have done research in the form of a summer project but have no publications.
i do have experience in lecturing as i volunteered as a lecturer on popular science in my city.

the universities i am applying to are:

1)caltech
2)berkeley
3)stanford
4)santa barbara
5)san diego

do you think i can be accepted to these universities with such an average gre score?

vicente
Posts: 195
Joined: Sun Oct 07, 2007 12:24 am

Postby vicente » Mon Nov 19, 2007 11:58 am

The UCs accept very few international graduate students. You have to be really really good to get into one of them. This is probably because the government provides most of their student funding. Even more so for the UCs you picked, which are all top 20 programs.

Caltech and Stanford are also hard to get into, but that's because everyone applies to them due to their high quality.

I would recommend that you choose some "safeties". Why are you only applying to schools in California?

Also, are you from an English-speaking country? If not, what is your TOEFL score like?

moshecohen
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Joined: Mon Nov 19, 2007 11:00 am

Postby moshecohen » Mon Nov 19, 2007 2:41 pm

i did the ielts test, not the toefl. and i got 7.5 (the required grade is 7.0 out of a 9.0 scale)

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grae313
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Postby grae313 » Mon Nov 19, 2007 3:44 pm

Honestly, I would not expect you to get into any of those universities. Like Vicente said, the UC's in particular accept a much smaller number of international students than the private universities, and the private universities don't accept that many in the first place. I've seen plenty of international students with 990 on the physics GRE get rejected, and most that are accepted have a score above 900. If 90% and above compares to an A in an american university, your grades are good but not incredible, and your research is good but not excellent. You really have to be the best of the best to get into a top 5 school as an international student. You might have an OK chance at san diego. Pick some more second tier schools. Don't worry, they are still excellent and there are many famous professors doing excellent research who are not at a top ten school. Stay away from the upper-tier UC's and compare your gre score with the average gre score of the students admitted at http://www.gradschoolshopper.com. As an international students, you'll want to have a physics gre higher than the posted average.

Here's some examples of what I'm talking about:
http://www.applycorner.com/graduatescho ... p?uid=1120

First in his class in hong kong with a gpa of 3.6, 760/510/4/990 quant/verbal/writing/subject. Rejected from Princeton, Cornell, Stanford, CalTech, UCSB, MIT, UCB, UCSD, UIUC, accepted to University of Maryland. He writes well in English.

http://www.applycorner.com/graduatescho ... p?uid=2088

3.3 gpa, 3 years of research experience, 2 conferences, 780/570/4/870 Q/V/W/Subject, rejected from Berkeley, CalTech, and MIT



This is all just my opinion and I'm just another student like you. Keep reading things online, research grad schools as much as possible, look at the rankings and the statistics, read what the physics programs say about admissions on their websites, talk to as many people as possible who know what they are talking about, and you may form a different opinion. Maybe your summer research is really compelling, and I'm sure your lecturing experience will help, but you need more than good grades to make up for you GRE score and only one summer of research without a publication.

brothermalcolm
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Joined: Wed Nov 07, 2007 5:27 pm

Postby brothermalcolm » Thu Nov 29, 2007 6:31 pm

Since we're at the verge of discussing good safety schools, how would you go about picking one? As a matter of fact, when I click randomly at a school out of the top 30 usnews rankings, what I find is equally tough admission rates (in some cases even worse!). Examples: virginia tech, boston uni,

Also it seems like I should remove UC Davis from my idea of a safety school since I am international.

Another thing is, I find it hard to use the stats from like gradschoolshopper or from school websites. They never break it down to requirements for internationals vs US citizens. People say things like you need to be top 2% to get anywhere. I can meet alot of averages with my scores, but I'm nowhere near top 2%.

gen: 530/790/?
sub: 780
gpa: I estimate it to be 67%tile of my class (around 140 people)
rec letters: should be fine
reasearch: one summer in experiment/data analysis

vicente
Posts: 195
Joined: Sun Oct 07, 2007 12:24 am

Postby vicente » Thu Nov 29, 2007 9:11 pm

I also wish graduate schools would publish statistics for international students besides statistics for all students. The only stats I've been able to find for international students specifically have been for U Colorado and UT Austin.

The AIP website has a PDF that lists the percentage of graduate students that are international. You have to search for it in the Statistics page. UC Davis is 10% international students, UC Santa Cruz is 12%, compared to Indiana University Bloomington that is 82% or Stanford with 44%. I don't really see the point in international students applying to these schools, because if they are at a high enough caliber to get into these schools, they would already be getting into better ranked private and public schools outside California and getting better paid.

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grae313
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Postby grae313 » Thu Nov 29, 2007 9:28 pm

vicente, could you post the link to this website? Thanks.

vicente
Posts: 195
Joined: Sun Oct 07, 2007 12:24 am

Postby vicente » Thu Nov 29, 2007 9:45 pm

http://www.aip.org/statistics/trends/gradtrends.html

Go to "2006 Roster of Physics Departments"

brothermalcolm
Posts: 22
Joined: Wed Nov 07, 2007 5:27 pm

Postby brothermalcolm » Sat Dec 01, 2007 3:57 pm

@vicente
thanks for pointing out and posting the link to those useful stats

It does seem to make no sense for an international student to apply to UC's based on these stats, unless you're absolutely top notch. I am guessing it is a similar case with other big state schools; the simply cant offer much funding for international students.

gotta rethink my list of schools now. ..

vicente
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Postby vicente » Sat Dec 01, 2007 5:48 pm

Purdue and Indiana University don't seem to discriminate against international students, despite being state schools. Maybe the state of Indiana doesn't care?

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quizivex
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Postby quizivex » Sat Dec 01, 2007 8:58 pm

I think the fact that Indiana has "India" in it might account for their nondiscrimination :D




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