2018 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.

un par de tenis
Posts: 5
Joined: Tue Dec 26, 2017 12:39 pm

Re: 2018 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby un par de tenis » Tue Dec 26, 2017 12:58 pm

I have a pretty crappy GPA and just as bad GRE results, but I have good research experience and great rec letters and a strong SOP, which will hopefully help me out. I didn't apply to many highly ranked schools, so hopefully I'll land somewhere.

Undergrad Institution: Big state school, which has a good physics department with lots of internationally known research going on
Major(s): Physics
Minor(s): Mechanical Engineering
GPA in Major: ~3.0
Overall GPA: 2.9 (Have been performing a bit better in recent semesters)
Length of Degree: 5 years
Position in Class: Average to below average
Type of Student: Domestic white male

GRE Scores :
Q: 154 (55%)
V: 158 (80%)
W: 3.5 (42%)
P: 520 (11%)

Yeah, I really bombed the GRE. If schools didn't require the PGRE I just didn't submit it.



Research Experience: 4 years working on scientific balloon payloads. Designed, constructed, and tested electrical and mechanical subsystems of payloads, and analyzed data and produced scientific reports of findings. Have worked on payloads that were investigations into cosmic rays, UV radiation, the 2017 solar eclipse, and gamma ray emissions from thunderstorms. Have given 4 poster presentations and 1 talk. Have progressed to the student team leader of this group. Also have one year of experience assisting a PhD candidate with their work on using UAVs for remote sensing.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Deans list for two semesters, Scholarship from my schools engineering department, Eagle Scout

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Member of AGU (presented a poster at 2017 fall meeting) and AIAA (traveled with my local chapter to DC to promote awareness of aerospace issues to congress). I also assist my department with scientific outreach to local schools and youth groups.

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: Worked in customer service for a year, to get those "soft skills" :lol:

Special Bonus Points: I have connections with professors at a fair number of the schools that I applied to. My recommenders are also the dean of my schools college of science, the director of my state's space grant, and the associate chair of my department, so hopefully that will help. Also, for one of my ballooning projects I helped to write and submit a proposal to NASA, which after a competitive selection process they awarded us with $200,000 to conduct our project. Many of the schools I'm applying to are active with scientific ballooning, so my vast experience in that area should help. Also have experience with training and mentoring new students to my research group, as well as extensive experience in technical writing and presentations.

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: I'm hoping my strong engineering background will give me an edge.

Applying to Where:

Most of the places I'm applying to are for atmospheric or space physics, but some of them are for materials science, which I'm also really interested in.


Northern Arizona, MS Applied Physics ACCEPTED 2/6 via phone. $13.5k TAship, tuition waiver, health insurance
New Mexico Tech, PhD Atmospheric Physics ACCEPTED 2/15 via email. Waitlisted for funding
Southeastern Louisiana, MS Integrated Science and Technology ACCEPTED 4/26 via email.
Montana State, PhD Physics REJECTED 3/13 via email to check website
Stevens Tech, PhD Physics REJECTED 3/14 via email to check website
Chicago, MS Physical Sciences REJECTED 4/13 via email to check website
Louisiana Tech, MS Applied Physics
Appalachian State, MS Engineering Physics
North Dakota, MS Space Studies
LSU, PhD Physics
VCU, MS Applied Physics
Washington St. Louis, Physics Bridge Program


Update 2/8: This first acceptance makes me really relieved. I know parts of my application aren't very strong, so the fact that I'll have somewhere to go for sure has left me feeling pretty good.

4/26 Probably final update: I will be Attending NAU. Their program aligns with my interests pretty well, it's a great location, and plus they were the only ones to give me money haha. So far I've only heard back from six schools and I'm happy with going 3/6 out of those schools. I guess due to the nature of most of the programs I've applied to I'm not surprised that I haven't heard back from half of them yet, but that doesn't matter now.

If anything my profile is proof that you can get in SOMEWHERE and have a few options even if your numbers are less than stellar.
Last edited by un par de tenis on Thu Apr 26, 2018 2:55 pm, edited 15 times in total.

guesswho
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Dec 28, 2017 7:21 am

Re: 2018 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby guesswho » Thu Dec 28, 2017 7:24 am

Undergrad Institution: Medium state school
Major(s): Computer Science
Minor(s): Physics
GPA in Major: 3.66 (Physics GPA 3.84)
Overall GPA: 3.71
Length of Degree: 5 years due to transferring schools
Position in Class: Don't really know, top half certainly
Type of Student: Domestic white female

GRE Scores :
Q: 166 (91%)
V: 168 (98%)
W: 5.0 (93%)
P: 700 (50%)



Research Experience:
Two REUs in Computer Science (one at home institute, one at small state school)
One REU in Physics
Two semesters of astrophysics research at home institute
One semester of particle physics research at home institute (ongoing)

My first REU in CS resulted in poster presentation, my second resulted in a conference talk and the paper being published in the conference proceedings, no physics publications

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: National Merit Scholar, Departmental CS honors program (the honors coursework for this dropped my major GPA a bit), honors college member, a couple of state merit scholarships

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Supplemental Instruction Leader for introductory physics classes for two semesters

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: pretty engaged in the leadership of my honors college and our National Merit program

Special Bonus Points: grad class in Computer Science, mad programming skills which people seem to appreciate, pretty strong recommendation letters (one from an institute I am applying to)

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

Applying to Where: All for experimental particle/HEP

Carnegie Mellon University - Physics - ACCEPTED 2/10 via email
Indiana University - Physics - ACCEPTED 1/15 via email - WILL ATTEND (and very excited!)
UC Berkeley – Physics - Rejected 2/23 via website
University of Washington - Physics - Rejected 3/20 via email
UMass Amherst - Physics - ACCEPTED 1/31 via email
UC Davis - Physics - ACCEPTED 2/15 via email
Cornell - Physics - Rejected 2/12 via email
Notre Dame - Physics - ACCEPTED 1/25 via email
University of Pittsburgh - Physics - ACCEPTED 1/25 via email to check website
University of Virginia - Physics - ACCEPTED 3/2 via email to check website
Last edited by guesswho on Sun Apr 01, 2018 4:02 pm, edited 17 times in total.

tt589112
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Dec 28, 2017 2:11 pm

Re: 2018 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby tt589112 » Thu Dec 28, 2017 2:52 pm

tt589112 wrote:Undergrad Institution: Small liberal arts school. No reputation in physics
Major(s):Physics, Math
Minor(s):N/A
GPA in Major:3.99
Overall GPA:3.99
Length of Degree: 4 years
Position in Class: Top
Type of Student: Domestic White Male (From super rural area if that helps)

GRE Scores :
Q:162
V:159
W:4.5
P:820


Research Experience:
Analytical Chemistry (SERS) for one semester
3 REU's (home institution, BYU, CU Boulder) in AMO, Quantum Information, and Computational Biophysics respectively.
Computational Neuroscience (Application of network models to epilepsy prediction)
Honor's thesis (Application of Lie algebraic techniques to solving quantum dynamics problems in quantum information)
3 Conference Presentations, and 2 Papers in the work (first author).

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: (Within your school or outside?)
2 Math Awards
Best Undergraduate talk at APS section meeting
AAPM Undergraduate Research Grant Runner Up
Small departmental scholarship

Pertinent Activities or Jobs:
TA for Intro Physics, Introductory Analysis. Chemistry and Math tutor for 4 years. ACS chapter vice president.
Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help:

Special Bonus Points: (Such as connections, grad classes, famous recommenders, female or minority status etc...)
I took a lot of post-secondary classes, so I was able to take almost all physics and math classes as an under graduate. At this point I have taken almost 40, so that looks good. I have 5 people I'm pretty confident will write very good rec letters with a few of them being outstanding, and 4 of them are from institutions other than my own, so that may stand out. I also grew up on a farm in a very small town and have "disadvantaged" status with a lot of applications, so that may help as well.
Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter:

Applying to Where:
My interest is in the computation and modeling side of biophysics/medicine. That being the case, I applied to a wide range of programs that are strongly represented in that area such as medical physics, biomedical engineering, etc. The Physics departments I applied to have people doing really good work in these areas.
School
Harvard (Biophysics)REJECTED
MIT (Biophysics)REJECTED
Michigan (Biophysics) (JAN.2: ACCEPTED for Ph.D via email)
Boston U (Physics)(FEB.19: ACCEPTED for Ph.D via email)
CU Boulder (Physics)
Northeastern(Physics)(FEB.7: ACCEPTED for Ph.D via email)
Duke (Medical Physics)REJECTED
UMass Lowell (Medical Physics)
UChicago (Medical Physics)(JAN.19: Invited To Interview for Ph.D via email)
MD Anderson (Medical Physics)
Boston U (Biomedical Engineering)(FEB.2: ACCEPTED for Ph.D via email)
Northeastern U (Biomedical Engineering)
University of Utah (Biomedical Engineering) (DEC. 19: ACCEPTED for Ph.D via email)
Yale (Computational Neuroscience)
REJECTED
Last edited by tt589112 on Tue Feb 20, 2018 2:40 pm, edited 4 times in total.

jbxyz
Posts: 2
Joined: Fri Nov 24, 2017 6:07 pm

Re: 2018 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby jbxyz » Thu Dec 28, 2017 3:13 pm

Undergrad Institution: Top 20 public University - well known for its football team
Major(s): Physics, Math
Minor(s): Computer Science, Philosophy
GPA in Major: 4.0
Overall GPA: 3.94
Length of Degree: 4 yr B.S.
Position in Class:
Type of Student: Domestic white male

GRE Scores :
Q: 166 (91%)
V: 165 (96%)
W: 4.5 (82%)
P: 900 (84%)

I took the pGRE my Junior year and got a 650, so I am pretty stoked about the score I got the second time. The resource that helped the most by far was Conquering the Physics GRE by Kahn and Anderson.

Research Experience: 5 distinct research projects in the following fields: solid-state chemistry, solid-state physics, computer science, computational geometry, computational theoretical nuclear physics. No pubs.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: A few honors societies and small awards but nothing notable.

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: VP of SPS for one semester. REU in nuclear physics at Michigan State. Attended a conference in nuclear physics (CEU program).

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: One of my research projects (computer science) was one that I initiated. Took a lot of classes for fun, which is where the philosophy minor came in.

Special Bonus Points: All good letters. Feeling good about my odds at MSU because of my REU connection.

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: Read a textbook in my spare time to find my interest in Quantum Computing (Quantum Computation and Quantum Information by Nielsen and Chuang, for those also interested).

Applying to Where: Since MSU has the best nuclear physics program, I picked most of the other schools on this list because of their research opportunities related to Quantum Information Science. All theoretical programs.

Michigan State (REU school) - Nuclear | Accepted 1/19~ University Fellowship ($30k!)
Notre Dame - Nuclear | Accepted 2/2 ~ grad assistantship: $22k stipend + tuition + insurance
MITRejected
CaltechRejected 3/7 email
Berkeley Rejected 2/23 email to check web
UCSB Rejected 2/27 email to check web
Yale Rejected 2/7 (email to check web)
U MarylandRejected 2/13 email
U Wisconsin/Madison | Accepted 1/30 ~ $22k TA + $6k fellowship
USC Dornsife
UC DavisRejected 3/8
Waterloo | Contacted by professor 2/12 and invited to visit
Last edited by jbxyz on Thu Mar 08, 2018 10:36 am, edited 8 times in total.

schidan
Posts: 2
Joined: Thu Dec 28, 2017 6:48 pm

Re: 2018 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby schidan » Thu Dec 28, 2017 7:21 pm

Undergrad Institution: Tech school (USA), good reputation in neighboring states, more research in applied physics
Major(s): Physics, Electrical Engineering
Minor(s):
GPA in Major: 3.87
Overall GPA: 3.87
Length of Degree: 4 years
Position in Class: top 5%
Type of Student: International, male

GRE Scores : revised
Q: 166 (91%)
V: 161 (88%)
W: 4.0 (60%)
P: 960 (91%)

TOEFL: (R: , L: , S: , W: ) Waived

Research Experience: Three years of part-time (including 3 months of full-time) research in CMT, with 1 publication in Phys. Rev. B, and one conference publication (both second author). Currently drafting a paper (first author) with collaborators from MSU, and working on another research to be published next spring. Will have 4 publications by the time I graduate.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Undergraduate Summer Research Fellowship, 4 year Merit Scholarship, inducted to EE national honor society

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: TA for Math and EE departments (2+ years)

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: Presented research to one Physics prof. at Harvard (not applying to his group though) and he was talking about a possible collaboration

Special Bonus Points: Excellent recommendations overall; one recommendation from Associate Chair of Research at MSU.

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: Taken all graduate Physics courses offered in the department (all As except one B)

Applying to Where:
(CMT = condensed matter theory)
Princeton - Physics - CMT
Harvard - Physics - CMT
Stanford - Physics - CMT
MIT - Physics - CMT
U Maryland - Physics - CMT
CU Boulder - Physics - CMT
Purdue - Physics - CMT
UI Urbana-Champaign - Physics - CMT

dialatone
Posts: 4
Joined: Sat Dec 30, 2017 3:15 am

Re: 2018 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby dialatone » Sat Dec 30, 2017 3:30 am

Undergrad Institution: Caltech
Major(s): Physics
Minor(s):
GPA in Major: 3.76
Overall GPA: 3.55 (both before fall grades, which were ~4.1)
Length of Degree: 4+1 years (took ~ 1 year off after sophomore year for health things)
Position in Class:
Type of Student: Domestic white male

GRE Scores :
Q: 168
V: 169
W: 5.0
P: 990

Research Experience: 3 summers at my school, 1 summer at UCLA. First project was in experimental/applied physics, which ended up not really being my thing. Second project was really mathy which again wasn't quite my strength, and I was also fairly ill during that summer. So I didn't publish papers / ask for letters from either of these.

Third summer was experimental/theoretical biophysics. This resulted in a paper (2nd author of ~7) which we were submitting this fall. Rec letter #1 from PI (who I also had for a class).

Most recent summer was condensed matter theory. Started out on one project which ended up not working as we'd hoped halfway through the summer. Switched to something else which we finished up into a nice arXiv paper (2nd author of 2). Currently revising to submit to some different journals. It's a pretty weird paper lol. Rec letter #2 from PI (also had for class and have known in various contexts since I was a freshman).

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: None of note lol. I listed summer research funding (3 were technically 'fellowships'...) and one institutional scholarship I got.

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: (Such as tutor, TA, SPS officer etc...) TA since sophomore year for a physics lab class. Had a lead position the year I took off for health. Rec letter #3 from prof who supervises this, who I interacted with a lot over the years.

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help:

Special Bonus Points: (Such as connections, grad classes, famous recommenders, female or minority status etc...)
Many grad classes (~10), including stat mech, string theory, and quantum computation. Took QFT sophomore year (an eternity ago xD).

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

Transcript is very inconsistent hahaha. Includes a D+ in an intro geology class sophomore year and a C in junior electrodynamics (Jacksonnnnn). But mostly A's.

I got some good feedback while writing my SOP, so it ended up strong. Only had to change first paragraph (+list of profs of interest in second paragraph) for each school, and less than I had expected which was nice.

My CV looks aesthetic. (Thanks LaTeX!)

I didn't contact any faculty prior to applying -- from talking with several people it seemed to not make a difference for theory. Also, my fall grades weren't available until pretty late (~Jan 21) so several schools may not have seen them, unfortunately.

Applying to Where:

All for CMT (and AMO theory for schools that have it), in the Physics department. Research interests are generally in quantum dynamics. I picked schools based on the criteria: (1) had at least 3 faculty I wanted to work with and (2) was somewhere I was willing to live for 5-6 years.

This ended up with quite a few, which I feel is necessary because my profile has some notable flaws (some bad grades, no papers published yet, research experience doesn't quite line up with proposed area of interest). But, I think I have some strengths too; overall I expected results to be quite random, and to get into 1 or 2 top-choice schools.

All my apps were submitted within a week of Dec 15.

UCSB (Feb. 27: rejected :( :( :( )
Harvard (Feb. 24: rejected :( )
Berkeley (Feb. 21: ACCEPTED!! with 35k stipend) -- will visit open house Mar 14-16 --- quick update: okay so funding at UC is kinda weird. GSI (TA) is 21k standardized across the UC system, for fall+spring. The department adds a 6.4k supplement for the first year, a summer research stipend of 7k, and a moving cost supplement of 1k. (Sok 35 all together). Once you get a research group and become a GSR, your advisor supplements the pay back up to this level. But if you don't get an advisor right after your first year, you'll get just ~26k from GSI, which is pretty low for the area. -- WILL ATTEND!!


Stanford (Feb. 23: rejected )
MIT (Feb. 13: rejected -- they didn't want me for undergrad either lol)
Princeton (Feb. 14: rejected )
UChicago (Feb. 1: rejected -- salty I turned them down for undergrad :p )
UMD (Feb. 12: ACCEPTED with 5-yr 36k JQI fellowship!! ) -- will visit Apr 1-4
Boulder (Mar. 8: rejected. Wish I could have visited, but glad this part of the process is finally over! )

Yale (Feb. 6: rejected )
Caltech (Mar. 7: rejected. I guess this is goodbye then :( )
UCSD (Feb. 2: ACCEPTED with 25k stipend + 8.5k first year award) -- will visit open house Apr 4-6
Boston (Jan. 24: ACCEPTED with 34k stipend ) -- will visit open house Mar 21-23
UIUC (Feb. 8: ACCEPTED with 23k stipend ) -- declined on Feb. 21. It is a fantastic school, but I decided the location just isn't for me given the other options I have at this point. I would have loved to visit, but I wanted the offer to go to someone else.
Last edited by dialatone on Wed Apr 11, 2018 10:06 pm, edited 11 times in total.

QuantumCondor
Posts: 1
Joined: Sat Dec 30, 2017 2:52 pm

Re: 2018 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby QuantumCondor » Sat Dec 30, 2017 3:14 pm

I hope this helps someone in the future get a good grasp of where this type of profile belongs! Anyway here we go:
-----------------------
Undergrad Institution: Big state school, moderate reputation in physics
Major(s): Physics and Mathematics
Minor(s): Astrophysics
GPA in Major: 3.98
Overall GPA: 3.89
Length of Degree: 4 years
Position in Class: near top
Type of Student: Domestic white male

GRE Scores :
Q: 170
V: 167
W: 4.0
P: 900


Research Experience: 3.5 years research, 2 in CME for two different professors, then 1.5 in computational HEP research at my home university. Also did a 3 month internship at CERN over last summer working on development for an upcoming computational physics toolkit. 2 publications, one for each of the HEP projects

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Lots of department and university scholarships, and one of 6 honors physics seniors. Also a Goldwater Honorable Mention

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: SPS officer for a year

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: Marching band for 3 years?

Special Bonus Points: My advisor is the chair of a pretty big national physics organization

Miscellaneous: I'm interested in science policy advocacy, and I really went for that angle in all my statements of purpose.

Applying to Where: Applying for HEP-ex Ph.D everywhere

Berkeley
UCSB (Jan. 31: ACCEPTED for Ph.D via email, $31k Fellowship + TA)
UChicago (Feb 1: Rejected via email to check website)
Stanford
Cornell (Feb 12: Rejected via email)
Michigan
Princeton (Feb 14: Rejected via email)

NSF GRFP
--------------------------------
Last edited by QuantumCondor on Wed Feb 21, 2018 7:41 pm, edited 10 times in total.

Sypherous
Posts: 1
Joined: Sun Dec 31, 2017 1:36 am

Re: 2018 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby Sypherous » Sun Dec 31, 2017 2:27 am

Undergrad Institution: Large state school, good reputation in both astro and physics
Major(s): Astronomy, Physics
Minor(s):
GPA in Major: 3.81 (astro), 3.64 (physics)
Overall GPA: 3.60 (turns out I suck at math :roll: )
Length of Degree: 3.5 years
Position in Class: Not sure. My school doesn't make this info readily available
Type of Student: Domestic, wonder-bread white male

GRE Scores: revised
Q: 156 (62%) :| (again, math)
V: 158 (80%)
W: 4.5 (82%)
P: 760 (62%)

Research Experience: ~3.5 years research experience (started 1 month into freshman year through until graduation) in three groups: stellar astronomy (~3 years) which led to 2 pubs (one as first author, one as third; both published in ApJ), machine learning with stellar archaeology (~9 months) which has a pub in prep as second author, and a white dwarf project (~1 year) which led to a research poster. Overall two posters and two forum talks.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Few departmental awards here and there, but nothing out of the ordinary

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: TA/Grader for one undergrad astro class

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: More of a blessing and a curse, but my research advisor left the university mid project to pursue a professorship elsewhere, so it took a fellow undergrad and myself a year longer to finish the project independently and get a paper out. I made sure to stress the independent research component and resulting pub in my SOP.

Special Bonus Points: I feel like the two recs from my research advisors will be strong (the third not so much, but they were just on sabbatical at Stanford so maybe that helps my app there?). One also said he'd "reach out" to his friends at some of the universities, whatever that means.

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: For some apps I talked about my screenplay, short film and acting work (look for me as a background actor in the upcoming "Alita: Battle Angel"), which I'm hoping makes me somewhat diverse. Realistically it probably doesn't, but it makes me feel slightly less inadequate compared to all of y'all talented folk

Applying to Where: Mostly all for theory black hole/relativistic computation or dark matter/neutrino phenomenology research, despite having no prior experience in these fields :oops: Super ambitious list but a guy can dream, right?

Yale -- Astronomy 2/7: Rejected via email to check website :(
Harvard -- Astronomy 2/12: Rejected via email to check website
Princeton -- Astrophysical Sciences 1/31: Rejected via email
Stanford -- Physics 2/23: Rejected via email
Caltech -- Astrophysics 1/30: Rejected via email
Cornell -- Astronomy 2/20: Rejected via email
UCLA -- Astronomy 3/2: Rejected via email to check website
Northwestern -- Astronomy 3/21: Waitlisted via email
Duke -- Physics 2/27: Rejected via email to check website
Maryland -- Astronomy 1/26: On short list, 2/6: Interview 2/15: Rejected via email
UIUC -- Astronomy 1/28: Invited for Skype interview; 1/31: Interview 2/13: ACCEPTED for Ph.D. via email!
Michigan -- Astronomy & Astrophysics 2/8: Rejected via email. Getting really concerned...
Arizona -- Astronomy & Astrophysics 2/1: Rejected via email. 7% acceptance rate for 293 apps
UC Santa Barbara -- Physics (Emphasis in Astrophysics) 2/27: Rejected via email to check website
Last edited by Sypherous on Thu Mar 22, 2018 3:52 pm, edited 18 times in total.

Tyronst
Posts: 3
Joined: Sat Oct 28, 2017 7:52 pm

Re: 2018 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby Tyronst » Mon Jan 01, 2018 4:56 am

Undergrad Institution: University of Colorado - Boulder
Majors: Physics
Minors: Applied Math (1 course short of a second major), Astronomy
GPA(s): 3.235 Overall, 3.164 Major, 3.5 in APPM
Length of Degree: 3 years (4 supposedly, but I'll finish in 3)
Position in Class: Highly unflattering, ~60%?
Type of Student: International Male

GRE Scores
Quant: 160
Verbal: 160
Analytical: 5
Physics: 990

Research Experience:
Two years on a computational Plasma physics project (First author paper in the works)
Six months on a cosmology project with a fairly big name in the field. Obtained major results. Possible paper in ~1,2 months

Lots of independent computational projects including a parallelized FEM elastic deformation code, a GPU based real-time simulation of a Black Hole, a merchant AI model (which led to a single author paper), a simulation of stellar nucleosynthesis upto Iron for use as a teaching tool, a fast turing-complete scripting language for video games, a game engine for 2D isometric video games.

3 Summer projects (one in high-school) on Geophysics and Cosmology respectively

Publications
Single author paper on modelling historical economic processes with applications to video games

Awards:
I've been let into the honours program! (sarcastic gasp)

Special Bonus Points:
1. I have a single author pub to my name, albeit in APPM as opposed to Physics
2. 2 solid research recos and one very solid course reco each in APPM and Physics
3. 2+ Years working as a part time System Admin for the CU Supercomputer. Hopefully a brownie point for the computational folks
4. I was a TA for one physics class (dunno if it really matters)
5. Took 3 grad classes, Geophysics, General Relativity and Computational Plasma Physics and 5 grad classes that had an undergrad course number (Plasma Physics, QFT, Parallel Algorithms, Advanced Computer Graphics, Modelling in APPM). Got As or A-s in all of them.

Applying to:

Dream Schools
Princeton - (Astrophysics) - Theoretical Astrophysics (Rejected 1/31 via email) Eh, was a long shot anyway
Columbia - (Physics) - Theoretical Astrophysics (Rejected 2/28 via email)
University of Michigan - (Physics) - Computational Cosmology (Rejected 2/08 via email) Yeah, this was a bit of a reach too
University of Maryland - (Applied Math) - Nonlinear Dynamics (Rejected 4/20 via email)
University of Chicago - (Applied Math) - Turbulence and Astrophysical Hydrodynamics (Rejected 3/21 via email)
Michigan State University - (CMSE) - Computational Astrophysics and Nonlinear Dynamics (Accepted 04/22 via email: $17k Stipend + Health Insurance + Full tuition waiver) Will Attend!

Intermediate Schools
Yale - (Physics) - Theoretical Astrophysics (Rejected 2/07 via email)
SUNY Stony Brook - (Physics) - Cosmology (Accepted 02/17 via email) Declined Sweet baby Jesus, that couldn't have come sooner
Rutgers - (Physics) - Theoretical and Computational Astrophysics (Rejected 4/14 via email)
UIUC - (Physics) - Theoretical Astrophysics (Rejected 2/16 via email)

Safety Schools: (To be perfectly honest, I will be ecstatic to get one of these)
Michigan State University - (Physics) - Computational Astrophysics (Rejected 4/15 via email)
University of Virginia - (Astronomy) - Theoretical Astrophysics (Rejected 2/19 via email)

My low grades plus international status might bite me, but we'll see. I have a single author publication with two first authors (potentially) on the way. That ought to count for something

Debrief: Man that was harrowing. Short lesson: GPA is everything, GRE will turn a few heads -- especially if you're not female or underrepresented or both. Follow up on all your admissions schools to make sure that they look at your file and don't list just physics or astrophysics if you're interested in computational methods. Indicate interest in physics applied to EE or other fields (that's what got me into CMSE).
Last edited by Tyronst on Tue Apr 24, 2018 11:21 pm, edited 10 times in total.

Rejected
Posts: 3
Joined: Mon Jan 01, 2018 11:50 pm

Re: 2018 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby Rejected » Tue Jan 02, 2018 12:08 am

Undergrad Institution: State School, 10K students - fairly well known in physics
Majors: Physics and Math
Minors: None
GPA(s): 3.98 Overall (4.00 Physics, 3.98 Math)
Length of Degree: 4 years
Position in Class: Not told, but likely 1%
Type of Student: Domestic male, African American

GRE Scores : revised
Q: 166 (91%)
V: 166 (97%)
W: 3.5
P: Did not take

Research Experience: 8 research experiences over 3.5 years (7 labs). One domestic REU and two I (international) REU programs.

Publications/Presentations: Approx. 6 publications, approx. 6 posters (domestic and international), approx. 4 oral presentations (also domestic and international).

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: A number of internal awards for top students in college and department. A prestigious national award for research, 2-3 awards for research/presentations.

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Undergraduate TA, worked extensively for the department in other domains.

Applying to Where:

Columbia - (Applied Physics) - (Late February: ACCEPTED for Ph.D via email ~ $40k stipend + tuition + insurance)
MIT - (Applied Physics) - (Late January: ACCEPTED for Ph.D via email ~ $35k stipend + tuition + insurance)
Harvard - (Applied Physics) - (Early February: ACCEPTED for Ph.D via email ~ $36k stipend + tuition + insurance)
Rice University - (Applied Physics) - (Early February: ACCEPTED for Ph.D via phone ~ no funding details)
Cambridge - (Physics) - (Late December: ACCEPTED via email ~ no funding details)
Last edited by Rejected on Tue Feb 27, 2018 6:09 pm, edited 7 times in total.

winston.churchill
Posts: 3
Joined: Thu Sep 21, 2017 6:44 pm

Re: 2018 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby winston.churchill » Wed Jan 03, 2018 8:15 am

Undergrad Institution: unknown internationally but very well-regarded in my country.
Major(s): Physics.
GPA in Major: 4.0
Overall GPA: 3.99
Length of Degree: 4 years
Position in Class: top
Type of Student: International male

GRE Scores :
Q: 160 (76%) :( I can't do elementary school arithmetic
V: 154 (65%) :(
W: 4 (60%)
P: 990 (94%) 8)

TOEFL: (R:30 , L:26 , S:24 , W:27 ) 107

Research Experience:
One summer in CERN with the Underlying Event group in ALICE (resulted in a report submitted to CERN document server)
One semester in my university doing high energy phenomenology (will continue to spring and maybe will result in a publication)
A couple of local conferences

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: full scholarship from a local foundation, second place in undergraduate conference, provost's honor awards

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Junior teaching assistant for two semesters (physics laboratory and tutorial)

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: sometimes I have a good luck :D :D

Special Bonus Points: did independent study of QFT with my advisor and learned a couple of high energy phenomenology tools, recommendations saying more than "he did well in class" statements, mentioned specific professors whom research aligns with my interests in SOP

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter:
Applying to high energy experiment, phenomenology, and nuclear physics

Applying to Where:

University of Arizona ACCEPTED in mid Dec by email, it's definitely an early admission DECLINED
University of Colorado Boulder REJECTED 8 March by notification to check website, I don't care
Ohio State University ACCEPTED 26 Feb by email WILL ATTEND!!
University of Chicago REJECTED 1 Feb by notification to check website
Carnegie Mellon University ACCEPTED 20 Feb by email DECLINED
Cornell University REJECTED 16 Feb by email
Columbia University REJECTED 1 March by notification to check website (very expected)
Bonn-Cologne Graduate School of Physics and Astronomy (BCGS) Invited to interview 12 Jan ACCEPTED with funding 9 March DECLINED
Last edited by winston.churchill on Sat Apr 14, 2018 9:02 am, edited 19 times in total.

AlexR
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Jan 04, 2018 9:10 pm

Re: 2018 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby AlexR » Thu Jan 04, 2018 9:26 pm

Undergrad Institution: Small liberal arts school.
Major(s): Physics and Math (double)
Minor(s): none
GPA in Major: We don't have letter grades
Overall GPA: n/a
Length of Degree: 4 year
Position in Class: Top, but that's not saying that much
Type of Student: Domestic white male

GRE Scores : (revised or old version?)
Q: 170 (97%) :)
V: 165 (96%) :?:
W: 4.0 (60%)
P: 890 (83%) :D


TOEFL: (R: , L: , S: , W: ) n/a

Research Experience: Senior Thesis, summer research at my school, and several independent study projects which are like research. Lots of seminars presented at my school.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Just some scholarships.

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: A good deal of TA experience in my 3rd and 4th years.

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: For what it's worth I was a big science fair winner in high school and such, and graduated with an AA at 16 before starting at my present school.

Special Bonus Points: Advanced classes in E&M II, Quantum II, QFT, General Relativity, Differential Geometry. Plus the senior thesis.

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

Applying to Where:

PhD:
Caltech
Harvard
Columbia
U of Michigan (Feb. 7: REJECTED)
Illinois
Duke
U of Florida (Feb. 12: ACCEPTED for Ph.D via email - support package details forthcoming - under consideration for fellowship award)
Georgia Tech
U of North Carolina
Indiana U (Feb. 5: ACCEPTED for Ph.D via email - $18k Living Stipend + $5k Cash Bonus + Tuition and Insurance)

Masters:
Oxford
Perimiter Institute

NSF GRFP
Last edited by AlexR on Mon Feb 12, 2018 3:53 pm, edited 8 times in total.

mangianj
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Jan 11, 2018 12:10 am

Re: 2018 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby mangianj » Thu Jan 11, 2018 12:33 am

Undergrad Institution: Small liberal arts college in Wisconsin. No astronomy department, reputable physics department.
Major(s):Physics
Minor(s):Mathematics
GPA in Major:3.90
Overall GPA:3.84
Length of Degree: 4 years
Position in Class: Top/near top
Type of Student: Domestic, white male

GRE Scores : revised
Q: 165/89%
V: 151/52%
W: 4.5/82%
P: 730/56%


Research Experience: 2 research projects. One at my institution. One at top tier astronomy school in California.
1) Computational Astrophysics project simulating the formation of planetary systems. 3 months
2) Observational Astronomy working on data analysis of galactic center images. 1 year
Presented project two at the 231st AAS Meeting in January 2018.


Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Dean's List for two years.

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Lab TA for 3 years. Grader for 3 years. Tutor for 1 year. Vice President (1 year) and President (1 year) of the local SPS chapter. Founding member of Women in Physics organization.

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: None

Special Bonus Points: Worked for one of the most well known astrophysicists in the country.

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

Applying to Where:
Accepted Waitlisted Rejected Interview

UCLA - Astronomy: Rejected; Unofficial from REU advisor
U Washington - Astronomy: 2/7 Rejected via email
Arizona - Astronomy: 2/7 Rejected via email
Ohio State - Astronomy: 2/9 Rejected via email
Illinois-Urbana Champaign - Astronomy: Accepted via email 2/13! Teaching assistantship ~ 22K
1/28 Interview with the head of the graduate admissions committee.
Indiana - Astronomy Waitlisted via email 2/8
Ann Arbor - Astronomy - 2/2 Rejected via email
Minnesota - Astronomy
UW-Madison - Astronomy
UNC - Astronomy
Cornell - Astronomy - 2/20 Rejected via email
Columbia - Astronomy: 2/9 Rejected; email to check website
Maryland-College Park: Astronomy 2/2 Rejected via email
Last edited by mangianj on Tue Feb 20, 2018 8:54 pm, edited 5 times in total.

Oblivion
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Jan 11, 2018 10:42 am

Re: 2018 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby Oblivion » Thu Jan 11, 2018 11:58 am

Undergrad Institution: big state, great in physics and engineering
Major(s): Physics, Math
GPA in Physics: 3.5
Overall GPA: Community College: 3.89, University: 3.30, combined: 3.62
Length of Degree: 2 years at community college, then ~2.5 years at university
Type of Student: Domestic male from very rural area, first in family to pursue graduate school.

GRE Scores : revised
Q: 163, 84%
V: 158, 80%
W: 3.5, 42%
P: 700, 50%


Research Experience: At home institution: two semesters on a project dealing with physics of spintronics primarily lit searching, then two semesters on an engineering design team. After graduation, full-time 9 months as a research intern and 3+ months sort term employee at Oak Ridge National Laboratory all on a project dealing with organic and printed electronics. No pubs yet, multiple to be written this coming spring and summer.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Award for top graduating student from community college. Coca Cola Bronze Scholar.

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Tutored math, physics, chemistry for 2 years at community college.

Applying to Where: all are PhD programs

Cornell - Applied Physics Rejected Mar 28th
Columbia - Applied Physics Rejected April 17th
Johns Hopkins - Materials Science Rejected April 17th
CU Boulder - Physics (Applied Physics) Rejected Mar 8th
CU Boulder - Materials Science Rejected Mar 23rd
U Michigan - Applied Physics Rejected Mar 7th
Northwestern - Applied Physics Rejected April 6th
U Minnesota - Physics Rejected Jan 22nd
Carnegie Mellon - Applied Physics Rejected Mar 15th
Rice - Applied Physics Rejected April 18th
Colorado School of Mines - Applied Physics ACCEPTED over phone on April 25th!!!
U Rochester - Physics Rejected Feb 15th
U Oregon - Physics Rejected Mar 15th
Last edited by Oblivion on Wed Apr 25, 2018 4:27 pm, edited 5 times in total.

beaverbullu6
Posts: 5
Joined: Tue Dec 05, 2017 11:02 am

Re: 2018 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby beaverbullu6 » Fri Jan 12, 2018 6:54 am

Undergrad Institution: Known University in country (not for physics though)
Degree : BSc
Major(s): Physics, Math , Chem
Minor(s):
GPA in Major: 85/100
Overall GPA: 81/100
Length of Degree: 3 years
Position in Class: Irrelevant

Postgrad Institution: Used to have a good reputation for math, physics; not anymore. Is obscure now.
Degree : MSc
Major(s): Physics
Minor(s):
GPA in Major: 8.1/10
Overall GPA: 8.2/10
Length of Degree: 2 years
Position in Class: Irrelevant

Type of Student: International male

GRE Scores : Took in Oct/Nov 2017
Q: 161 (78%) :oops:
V: 153 (61%)
W: 3.0 (18%) :oops:
P: 860 (78%)


TOEFL: 105/120
R: 27
L: 28
S: 22 :oops:
W: 28


Research Experience: Two months of full time research at a well know Institute, in the area of soft condensed matter/ computation with applications in biomimetics. No publications.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions:

Pertinent Activities or Jobs:

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help:

Special Bonus Points: None

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

Applying to Where: Specified interest in biological physics/ soft matter in all.

CU Boulder - Physics (March 8: Rejected via email/website)
Carnegie Mellon - Physics (March 16: Rejected via email/website)
Purdue - Physics (March 2: Rejected via website)
WashU St Louis - Physics (March 8: Rejected via email/website)
Brandeis - Physics (April 10: Rejected via email/website)
University of Oregon - Physics (April 13: Rejected via email)
UMass Amherst - Physics (March 23: Rejected via website)


Well, that was rather disappointing. Perhaps my limited research experience was not enough.
Last edited by beaverbullu6 on Sun Apr 22, 2018 9:18 am, edited 4 times in total.

ab25
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Jan 01, 2018 5:21 pm

Re: 2018 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby ab25 » Fri Jan 12, 2018 6:05 pm

Undergrad Institution: Big state school (Indiana University) with a good reputation in physics.
Major(s): Physics
Minor(s): Mathematics
GPA in Major: 3.65
Overall GPA: 3.8
Length of Degree: 3 years
Position in Class: Unknown, but probably above average with a 3.8 gpa.
Type of Student: US citizen, white, male

GRE Scores : Revised
Q: 159 (73%) :)
V: 165 (96%) :D
W: 4.5 (82%) :)
P: 570 (22%) :x :shock: RIP--applying to 2 schools that don't require the PGRE, and an additional 2 schools that don't accept the PGRE so hopefully this doesn't ruin my chances of admission. My advice to everyone is to begin studying early on--I started studying in July through October but I wasn't able to get my score where I wanted it it to be. I personally didn't find the Conquering the Physics GRE book to be helpful, but most people I know (including people on here) highly recommend it.


TOEFL: Not taking


Research Experience: I have 2 years of research experience in gravitational physics with 1 lab/professor but no publications/posters. I've contributed to several short-range gravity experiments during this time.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Dean's list for multiple semesters.

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Besides being a research assistant (paid), I was also the treasurer of a Finnish studies association on campus for a semester.

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: N/a

Special Bonus Points: If I get into my dream school Northwestern, its most likely because I'm doing work on a short-range gravity experiment in which a professor at Northwestern is the PI--I also have a LOR from 2 professors collaborating with this PI, and a researcher employed by him currently. For Indiana University, I explicitly mentioned in my personal statement that I would continue researching with the same lab/professor, so this may help--plus I have 2 LOR from professor's at IU, including the physicist I'm currently doing research with. Idk if this matters, but I am a first generation college student also.

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: In a few applications, I wrote a diversity statement that highlighted how fighting some personal struggles have made me into a better researcher--I heard conflicting opinions about doing this, so I didn't include it in all applications.

Applying to Where:

Northwestern University - Physics - Experimental Gravitational Physics (Phd) (Rejected via Email on March 1)
Indiana University - Physics - Experimental Gravitational Physics (PhD)
University of Jyväskylä - Physics - Nuclear and Particle Physics (Msc) :wink: Finland! (Interview Request on March 9. Interviewer hinted that my chance of getting accepted was high :D )
Louisiana State University - Physics - Theoretical Gravitational Physics (Phd)
Penn State University - Physics - Theoretical Gravitational Physics (PhD)
Ohio State University - Physics - Experimental Astroparticle Physics (Phd) (Rejected via Email on March 5)
University of Virginia - Physics - Experimental Nuclear Physics (Phd)
University of Arizona - Physics - Experimental Gravitational Physics (PhD)
Florida State University - Physics - Experimental Nuclear Physics (Phd) (Accepted via email February 2: TA: $20,900/year then RA: $23,900/year + $1,000/year Dean's Doctoral Scholarship)
Last edited by ab25 on Mon Mar 12, 2018 7:02 pm, edited 3 times in total.

AJumbleOfNeurons
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Jan 12, 2018 8:01 pm

Re: 2018 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby AJumbleOfNeurons » Fri Jan 12, 2018 8:31 pm

Undergrad Institution: Large Canadian school, not well known in physics. Somewhat well known for its quantum information, well known for Neuroscience.
Graduate Institution: Same as undergraduate, will have a MSc in Physics.
Major(s): Physics & Mathematics. Half finished neuroscience degree.
Minor(s):
GPA in Major: 3.92 in Physics, 4.0 in Math
Overall GPA: 3.95
Length of Degree: 4 years
Position in Class: Near top (suspect I'm second.)
Type of Student: Canadian Male

GRE Scores : revised scores.
Q: 170 (97%)
V: 170 (99%)
W: 6.0 (99%)
P: 970 (92%)
940 on my first pGRE attempt -- sadly I couldn't quite squeak the 990. Very pleased with my general GRE scores :D

TOEFL: Exempt -- native language is English.


Research Experience:
Five years of research experience (started in highschool).
  • In high-school developed experiment control software for an entangled photon generation system, and a quantum key distribution system for researchers at my undergraduate institution. Resulted in a publication and a technical note (5th author on both or something like that) on quantum key distribution. One conference presentation.
  • Spent two summers, one fall-winter term doing research in a medical imaging lab, specializing in MRI and near-infrared spectroscopy. Four conference presentations, three papers (1st author on a review paper, third author on others).
  • Spent a summer, and then a fall-winter semester writing a physics honours thesis on neuronal avalanches and statistical mechanics. Developed extensive numerical simulations on highly parallelized computing clusters. Currently extending this project into a Masters' thesis, which I am aiming to finish in one year. Hoping to have two publications out before summer, however these sadly won't appear on my applications.



Awards/Honors/Recognitions:
  • Dean's list every year
  • Scholarships and research awards totalling >50k (Canadian).


Pertinent Activities or Jobs:
  • TA for the physics department. Developed tutorials for our statistical mechanics course (3rd year undergraduate course)

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help:
  • Extensively involved in campus culture, on the leadership for several clubs on campus
  • Strongly involved in outreach. Give talks at local science centre, to students interested in research, hosted an 'interdisciplinary research forum', speak at local highschools, volunteered to teach a particle physics 'masterclass' to highschool students
  • Involved in an engineering club on campus developing a solar car
  • Went on two exchanges to Norway, once to launch a scientific sounding rocket
  • Went on a house building mission trip in second year?
  • Taught Physics AP at my highschool when I was a highschool student?

Special Bonus Points: (Such as connections, grad classes, famous recommenders, female or minority status etc...)
  • Since I'm a master's student this year, I have taken four grad courses (Advanced medical imaging, Advanced QM, Advanced Classical, Stochastic Processes), A+ in all of them. During my undergraduate degree, took two others (General relativity which went poorly: C, and module theory in abstract algebra: A).
  • Started my program in neuroscience (deemed it insufficiently useful), and switched out in my third year. Still finished a math and physics degrees in four years total.


Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter:
  • Two withdrawals during my undergrad (neuroscience courses), when my Dad was diagnosed with cancer / broke his hip. Was involved in his home care.
  • C in General Relativity :(. Mitigated somewhat because I took this before special relativity. Or any field theory courses. I've since used GR to great success on a few term papers and projects.
Mention both of these in 'mitigating circumstances' for schools that have such a section as part of the application.

Applying to Where:
Canadian institutions:
University of Britsh Columbia - Physics - CMT (Jan. 11: ACCEPTED for Ph.D via email + $12.8k Fellowship + $9.8k/8 month TA).
Feb. 2: Offered 1 year (renewable) QuEST fellowship, increasing stipend to 30k/year.

University of Toronto - Physics - CMT (Jan. 22: ACCEPTED for Ph.D via email indicating I should check the website. Faculty of Arts & Science Graduate Admissions Award: 26.1k/yr+fees for first year, further funding contingent on finding a supervisor within my first year.)
University of Waterloo - Physics - CMT (Jan. 17: ACCEPTED for Ph.D via email from department head. Funding TBA. They are flying me out in a week or two. Jan. 25: Official acceptance letter available on QUEST, 27,100.00 CAD/year, for up to four years.)

American institutions:
Harvard - Physics - CMT
MIT - Physics - CMT (Feb 1. REJECTED for Ph.D. via website.)
University of Chicago - Physics - CMT (Feb 1. ACCEPTED for Ph.D. via email acceptance and to check website for details. One year fellowship has been granted, estimated at ~$30,000. Other support is from research fellowships & TAing, claiming to offer a similar stipend in later years.)
University of Cornell - Physics - CMT (Jan 26. ACCEPTED for Ph.D. via email acceptance and to check website for details. One year fellowship has been granted, estimated at ~$30,466. Other support is from research fellowships & TAing, amount to be determined.)
University of Pennsylvania - Physics - CMT
UC Davis - Physics - Complexity science/CMT (Feb 12. ACCEPTED for Ph.D. via email acceptance. Nominated for a three year fellowship, (@27k/year), with a guaranteed 21.25k/year minimum as a mix of TAing / RAing.)
University of Michigan - Physics - CMT. (Feb 1. ACCEPTED for Ph.D. via email. Five years fully funded ($30598.56 / year), with full tuition waiver, and health + dental insurance. Offered a fellowship for 2018-2019.
Last edited by AJumbleOfNeurons on Sun Feb 18, 2018 9:37 pm, edited 9 times in total.

ys743
Posts: 1
Joined: Sat Jan 13, 2018 11:53 pm

Re: 2018 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby ys743 » Sun Jan 14, 2018 12:17 am

Undergrad Institution: Freshman, Sophomore: Big State University, Good Physics Dep. Junior, senior: Ivy with equally good Physics Dep
Major(s):Engineering Physics
Minor(s):Mathematics
GPA in Major:Institution 1: 3.96 Institution 2: 4.04
Overall GPA: Institution 1: 3.96 Institution 2: 4.04
Length of Degree: 2+2
Position in Class:top or near top
Type of Student: International Male

GRE Scores :
Q:170
V:158
W:4.5
P:980


TOEFL: (R:29 , L:27 , S:23 , W:27 ) (only submitted to MIT, cuz I'm too lazy to ask for a letter)


Research Experience: Condensed Matter Theory at Inst 1, Condensed matter experiment at Inst 2, Accelerator at a national lab

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: some minor scholarships

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Grader, Proctor, TA

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help:None

Special Bonus Points: Grad QM, Grad EM, Grad Solid State, Grad course in complex oxide

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

Applying to Where:

Harvard - Physics -Condensed matter exp (Feb 9: ACCEPTED for Ph.D via email, $3,060/m)
MIT - Physics -Condensed matter exp (interview on Jan 17) (Feb 9: ACCEPTED for Ph.D via email, first year fellowship $3,160/m) will attend!
Princeton - Physics -Condensed matter exp (Feb 9: ACCEPTED for Ph.D via email, stipend $35,000/yr)
Caltech - Physics -Condensed matter exp (Feb 6: ACCEPTED for Ph.D via email, $34,000/yr)
Berkeley - Physics -Condensed matter exp (Feb 22: ACCEPTED for Ph.D via email)
Stanford - Applied Physics -Condensed matter exp )(Feb : 27 REJECTED)
UChicago - Physics -Condensed matter theory(Feb 1: REJECTED. Whatever, I can attend UChicago anyway)
UChicago - Molecular Engineering - Quantum Info (Jan. 12: ACCEPTED for Ph.D via website $33k TA stipend + 4k fellowship/yr for first 3 years)
UIUC - Physics - Condensed matter exp(Mar 1: ACCEPTED for Ph.D via email, $22,900/11m)
UCSB - Physics - Condensed matter exp (Feb 8: ACCEPTED for Ph.D via email, $31,000/yr)
UMich - Physics - Condensed matter exp (Jan. 29: ACCEPTED for Ph.D via email, Physics Department Fellowship, $2,500/m)
JHU - Physics - Condensed matter exp(Feb 16: ACCEPTED for Ph.D via email, $33,333/yr)
Maryland - Physics - Condensed matter exp (Feb 12: ACCEPTED for Ph.D via email, Dean's Fellowship $10,000 on top of stipend)
Yale - Applied Physics - Condensed matter exp, Quantum Info(interview on Feb 6)(Feb 12: REJECTED. ......Meh)
UCSD - Physics - Condensed matter exp(Jan. 31: ACCEPTED for Ph.D via email)
Last edited by ys743 on Tue Apr 17, 2018 4:33 pm, edited 21 times in total.

thomasNDSU
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue Jan 16, 2018 3:03 pm

Re: 2018 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby thomasNDSU » Tue Jan 16, 2018 3:38 pm

Undergrad Institution: NDSU. Super small.
Major(s): Math and Physics
Minor(s):
GPA in Major: 3.92
Overall GPA: 3.92
Length of Degree: 4
Position in Class: School doesn't give this out.
Type of Student: Domestic white male

GRE Scores : Revised? I took it in 2017
Q: 169 (96%)
V: 157 (76%) :?
W: 5.0 (93%)
P: 880 (82%) :(


TOEFL: (R: , L: , S: , W: ) N/A


Research Experience:
3 Years computational fluid mechanics with a well-respected member of the field. One paper in review in PRE 1st of 2 authors.
1 REU at UC Davis doing computational condensed matter physics (strongly correlated electrons). One paper in review in PRL 2nd of 5 authors and one paper in drafting stages that will be submitted to PRB.
Summer research assistant in ME department (nothing really came of it)
Several posters and oral presentations at regional undergraduate research symposiums.
Accepted to give a talk at Match Meeting, plans to give talks at two other APS conferences.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions:
2x Physics achievement awards at NDSU
Dean's list every year

Pertinent Activities or Jobs:
lab TA for 4 physics lab sections
Learning assistant for 4 different math and physics courses

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help:
Eagle Scout and Assistant Scoutmaster for Boy Scout troop
Led Bible studies on campus and taught Sunday School at local church (probably won't help but will show I'm involved in community)
Participated in several physics outreach events
Member of Ambassador program that met with incoming freshmen and encouraged them to join College of Science and Math

Special Bonus Points:
REU advisor wrote personal emails to faculty members he knew at institutions I applied to. :D :D :!:
REU and NDSU research advisors are both well-known in the field.
2 papers in review, one being written
Graduate level Math methods course

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter:
nothing

Applying to Where:
All applications are for physics. In my statements I focused a lot on computational and theoretical condensed matter:

Princeton (Feb. 14: Rejected via email RIP hopes and dreams)
MIT (Feb. 13: Rejected via website)
Illinois UC (Feb 9: ACCEPTED for Ph.D via email + $23K 11-month TA)
Harvard (Feb. 21: Rejected via website)
Stanford (Feb. 33: Rejected via email)
Columbia
Michigan (Feb 1: ACCEPTED for Ph.D via email + $30k quarter time TA with department fellowship)
Boston U
Stony Brook (Feb. 21: Rejected via email)
Rutgers (Feb 1: ACCEPTED for Ph.D via email + $28K 10-month TA + $4000 fellowship)
UMASS Amherst (Jan. 24: ACCEPTED for Ph.D via email + Summer 2018 RA + Funding forthcoming)
Wisconsin (Jan. 31: ACCEPTED for Ph.D via email + $20K 9-month TA + $3000 fellowship)
Last edited by thomasNDSU on Sat Feb 24, 2018 9:04 pm, edited 12 times in total.

Goosegirl
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Jan 17, 2018 4:59 pm

Re: 2018 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby Goosegirl » Wed Jan 17, 2018 5:23 pm

Undergrad Institution: Medium State School
Major(s):Physics, Computer Science
Minor(s):N/A
GPA in Major:3.73
Overall GPA:3.89
Length of Degree: 4 years
Position in Class: near top
Type of Student: Domestic White Female

GRE Scores :
Q:170
V:164
W:4.5
P:860


Research Experience:
5 summers and winters of experience at well regarded labs, however, in Computer Science.
2 conference papers
An independent study in Particle Physics

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: (Within your school or outside?)
2 Physics Awards
1 school academic award

Pertinent Activities or Jobs:

3 Summers internship at Government lab.
2 Summers internship at major Silicon Valley company.
3 years TA for Computer Science

Special Bonus Points: (Such as connections, grad classes, famous recommenders, female or minority status etc...)
Taking 5-6 CSE/Math/Physics classes a semester, some of which were cross-listed grad classes. Includes:
Numerical Analysis (included advanced material), Machine Learning, Data Intensive Computing, etc.
Visited UW before applying and met some professors who seemed interested in my background.

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

Applying to Where:
Mainly interested in Computational Physics, undecided between Condensed Matter and Particle Physics.

School
Caltech (Physics) -
Princeton (Physics) -
Stanford (Physics) -
Cornell (Physics) -
University of Washington (Physics) - (JAN. 17: ACCEPTED for Ph.D via email)
Michigan (Physics) -
CU Boulder (Physics) -
Illinois UC (Physics) - (JAN. 27: ACCEPTED for Ph.D via email)- 23 k 11 months TA
University of Texas at Austin (Physics) -
Note: applied late to Texas
Last edited by Goosegirl on Sat Feb 03, 2018 2:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Link
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Jan 18, 2018 3:37 pm

Re: 2018 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby Link » Thu Jan 18, 2018 4:10 pm

Undergrad Institution: Medium State School
Major(s): Physics
Minor(s): Mathematics
GPA in Major: 4.0
Overall GPA: 4.0
Length of Degree: 4 years
Position in Class: near top
Type of Student: domestic white male

GRE Scores : Revised (taken Fall 2017)
Q: 170 (97%)
V: 167 (98%)
W: 5.5 (98%)
P: 970 (92%)

TOEFL: N/A

Research Experience:
2 years of research in theoretical nonlinear dynamics and statistical mechanics at my home institution with respected professor in the field. I am first author of a publication currently in preparation for journal submission, co-authored with my advisor.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions:
full 4-year scholarship to my home institution
member of my school's honors college
3 departmental scholarships
1 school award for academics
dean's list

Pertinent Activities or Jobs:
volunteering as an event supervisor for local science olympiad
volunteering as an outreach assistant to a specific program through our department at a local high school
volunteering as a physics tutor through our local SPS chapter
serving as a representative for our department at school open houses, etc.
volunteering to do physics demonstrations at local schools through our SPS chapter
working as a summer tutor in physics, mathematics, and computer science at a local community college
serving as an undergraduate teaching assistant in my school's mathematics department (Calculus II)

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help:
extracurricular coursework in computer science
independent study in introductory quantum field theory

Special Bonus Points:
not really...

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

Applying to Where:

All schools are for physics, noting an interest in theoretical condensed matter and/or computational physics.

Cornell - ACCEPTED on 1/29 via e-mail. TA for $26,426/academic year + 1-year fellowship for $30,466. - WILL ATTEND
Princeton - REJECTED on 2/14 via e-mail.
Harvard - REJECTED on 2/21 via e-mail to check website.
MIT - REJECTED on 2/13 via website (no e-mail).
Illinois UC - REJECTED on 3/24 via e-mail.
Stony Brook - ACCEPTED on 1/25 via e-mail. TA for $23,000/academic year + 5-year fellowship for additional $10,000/year. - DECLINED
Penn State - ACCEPTED on on 2/5 via e-mail to check website. TA for $21,555/academic year + one-time fellowship for $5,000. - DECLINED
Ohio State - ACCEPTED on 1/25 via website (e-mail on 1/28). TA for $25,728/academic year + 3-year fellowship for $32,000/year. - DECLINED
Carnegie Mellon - ACCEPTED on 1/29 via e-mail. TA for $21,600/academic year. - DECLINED
University of Rochester - ACCEPTED on 1/26 via e-mail. TA for $20,808/academic year. - DECLINED
University at Buffalo - ACCEPTED on 1/30 via e-mail. TA for $16,500/academic year + fellowship for additional $7,500/year. - DECLINED

NSF GRFP - AWARDED on 4/3.
Last edited by Link on Wed Apr 04, 2018 10:09 pm, edited 14 times in total.

RUYI101
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Jan 19, 2018 4:46 am

Re: 2018 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby RUYI101 » Fri Jan 19, 2018 5:12 am

Undergrad Institution: Top 10 University in Physics in China. However, no reputation around the world.
Major(s):Physics
Minor(s):
GPA in Major:86.2/100
Overall GPA:
Length of Degree: 4 years
Position in Class:
Type of Student: Chinese male

GRE Scores :revised
Q:167 So ashamed
V: 156
W: 4.0
P: 940(89%) Sooo ashamed...


TOEFL: (R:29 , L:24 , S:22 , W:23 first time )(R:30 , L:26 , S:20 , W:26 last time )


Research Experience: Nuclear Physics in Nuclear structure and Nuclear shape 1 year at Institute of Theoretical Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences (best theoretical physics institute in China); Axion EFT with Prof. from OSU, half a year. Thesis with Prof. at my school, the intersection between CMP and HEP.


Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Scholarship at my school

Pertinent Activities or Jobs:

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help:

Special Bonus Points: Graduate course QFT1, Group Theory and AQM.

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

Applying to Where:(some for General Physics and some for HEP-th)
19 in US
Two Master
Brown University - Physics - Master
Rutgers University - Physics - Master

Lots of PhD
Stony Brook University - Physics - HEP-th
NYU - Physics - HEP-th
Northwestern University - Physics - physics
Boston University - Physics - physics
UMD - Physics - Physics
Virginia Tech - Physics - HEP-th- ACCEPTED Feb. 6 via. email with TA/RA fellowship. Specific funding details forthcoming
UMass - Physics - HEP-th
UMiami - Physics - physics
UCI - Physics - physics
Brandeis University - Physics - HEP-th
Ohio State University - Physics - HEP-th
Northeastern University - Physics - HEP-th
tYale University - Physics - physics
W&M College - Physics - HEP-th
University of Alabama - Physics - physics invited to interview 1/17;interview 1/26;Informed by PI Feb. 4, Waiting List
University of Pittsburgh - Physics - HEP-th
University of Kentucky - Physics - HEP-th

One in UK
University College London - Physics - Master-ACCEPTED with con offer Feb. 3

In order to be admitted by some college, I may apply for other schools in Europe and in Japan.
Last edited by RUYI101 on Tue Feb 06, 2018 7:39 pm, edited 2 times in total.

darthcaedus222
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue Jan 16, 2018 3:01 pm

Re: 2018 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby darthcaedus222 » Fri Jan 19, 2018 1:12 pm

Undergrad Institution: Public state university (U.S.), very small physics department
Major(s): B.S. in Physics and Mathematics, currently working towards an M.S. in Physics at my undergraduate institution as part of an accelerated program.
Minor(s): N/A
GPA in Major: Around 3.85, but nearly all of my upper-level physics undergrad courses were taken at the graduate level (got an A in all of those) and are not included in this GPA.
Overall GPA: 3.93 undergrad (final), 4.00 grad
Length of Degree: 3 years for undergrad + 1 year to finish my Master’s (with graduate coursework and research during my time as an undergraduate)
Position in Class: School doesn’t give this out.
Type of Student: Domestic asian male

GRE Scores : I took it in 2017, so I’m guessing revised.
Q: 169 (96th percentile)
V: 150 (48th percentile) ...
W: 4.0 (60th percentile) Eh.
P: 850 (77th percentile) Better than I was expecting.

TOEFL: N/A

Research Experience:
1. Three and a half years at my school, theoretical soft condensed matter physics. Orally presented at the APS March Meeting 2017 (will present this coming March too) and gave oral and poster presentations at several other symposiums. Currently working on two publications.
2. 10-week summer internship at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, theoretical astrophysics. I gave a poster presentation at the end.
3. 10-week summer computational physics research at Los Alamos National Laboratory as part of a workshop, poster/oral presentations and final report written.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions:
Dean’s List 4/6 semesters, Physics Achievement Award twice at my school, university-wise mathematics competition Champion (twice), spoke at a college awards ceremony, various merit-based scholarships.

Pertinent Activities or Jobs:
Physics TA for 5 semesters (6 courses overall), SPS and College Ambassador member for a year and vice president of each for a year as well.

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help:
Participated in several physics outreach events and helped out with Science Olympiad events
Met with prospective students and encouraged them to join the university as part of College Ambassadors
Assisted in recording an occultation by an asteroid in 2014

Special Bonus Points:
Being a Master’s student, I’ve taken many graduate-level courses, and written a lot of informal reports on and presented my research, with 2 publications being written.

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter:
I know 4 programming languages, LaTeX, and Beamer.

Applying to Where: All of the following are Ph.D. programs.

University of Hawai`i at Manoa - Astronomy - Exoplanets, stars (Feb. 18: Rejected via email) Their program really interested me, but I actually possibly understand why I got rejected, or at least a major reason behind it.
Northwestern University - Applied Physics - Theoretical soft matter physics and biophysics (Jan. 31: ACCEPTED for Ph.D via email (!!!) -- 12 month stipend) WILL ATTEND, Decision submitted Mar. 29
Stanford University - Physics - Theoretical astrophysics and cosmology (Feb. 23: Rejected via email)
Purdue University - Physics and Astronomy - Theoretical condensed matter physics and biophysics (Jan. 26: ACCEPTED for Ph.D via email -- 9 month TA) DECLINED Mar. 29
University of California, Merced - Physics - Soft condensed matter physics, biophysics (Feb. 2: ACCEPTED for Ph.D via email) DECLINED Mar. 28
University of Toronto - Astronomy and Astrophysics - Exoplanets, stars, galaxy dynamics (Mar. 27: Rejected via email, after inquiring to the department)
University of California, Davis - Physics - Theoretical condensed matter physics Application withdrawn 3/15/18
North Dakota State University - Physics - Theoretical soft matter physics (Feb. 24: ACCEPTED for Ph.D via email) DECLINED Mar. 29
University of Minnesota - Astronomy - Computational astronomy Mar. 16: Waitlisted via email, asked if I am still interested) Application withdrawn 3/25/18
University of Utah - Physics and Astronomy - Chemical Physics or astronomy/astrophysics (theoretical) Application withdrawn 3/27/18
MIT - Department of Physics - Theoretical Astrophysics (Feb. 14: Rejected via website (logged in to check))

Thoughts and Reflection

I have to admit, the fact that the first three decisions I got were admissions made me a bit too overconfident in a couple of my other applications. Most of my initial predictions were accurate, however. If I were to have done this application process again, I definitely would have not applied to a couple of the universities that I did and added one or two more places that I would have had a (possibly) better chance of getting into. All it really takes is one acceptance to take away a large amount of the stress though, at least in my opinion. I felt that completing 11 applications really burned me out, but it was a good number to actually apply to. I was honestly a bit surprised that I didn't get into any astronomy programs I applied to, but most of the programs I applied to were extremely competitive, and my lack of research in the field had to have hindered my application.

Advice to Future Applicants

Below are some points of advice I'd like to give to future applicants, though I'll skip over the stuff that everyone says because you've probably already seen it several times.

The Physics GRE: In my opinion, getting Conquering the Physics GRE is a must. I took a practice test in the summer of 2017 and did not do well at all, but after getting the book in August and going through the practice problems and the sections, I was able to identify my weaker points. The practice tests in the book are extremely helpful as well, and definitely prepared me for the actual exam in October 2017.

Personal Statements: Have someone proofread your personal statement, if possible, and make sure you have no typos. I don't really have much else to say here because overall I probably could have improved my personal statements more than I did, in some way. Be sure to actually read and respond to the prompts of each university though: some of them ask different questions than others!

Overall, just make sure to continue taking care of yourself during the application process, and start searching for schools and (if possible) preparing application materials early. Best of luck!
Last edited by darthcaedus222 on Thu Mar 29, 2018 9:14 pm, edited 32 times in total.

legendre
Posts: 1
Joined: Sat Jan 20, 2018 12:24 am

Re: 2018 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby legendre » Sat Jan 20, 2018 3:05 am

Undergrad Institution: State school, unknown in physics
Major(s): Physics
Minor(s):
GPA in Major: 4.0
Overall GPA: 4.0
Length of Degree: 4 years
Position in Class: Top, I assume
Type of Student: Domestic white female

GRE Scores :
Q: 169 (96%)
V: 163 (93%)
W: 4.0 (60%)
P: 760 (62%)


Research Experience:
1 year in theoretical soft condensed matter, 1 publication, 1 talk to department
1 year in computational fluid dynamics, 1 poster
1 more year in theoretical soft condensed matter, senior project
2 REUs in astronomy, 1 in planetary science with poster at AAS, other in galactic/dark matter

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Astronaut Scholarship, 2 university-wide scholarships, 2 physics department scholarships, a few others unrelated to physics, Dean's list

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Officer in local SPS for 2 years, member of 2 department committees, learning assistant for intro physics course

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help:

Special Bonus Points: Lots of theory and computational experience to make up for lack of astro courses/research in undergrad

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

Applying to Where: expressed interest in theoretical and computational astrophysics for all

Harvard - Astronomy Rejected 2/12 via email to check website (lol)
Cornell - Astronomy Waitlisted 2/21 Accepted! 4/13 via email. I can't believe it :D WILL ATTEND!
University of Washington - Astronomy Interview request 1/16 via email, Skype interview 1/26, Waitlisted 2/6 via email Rejected 4/11 via email
University of Colorado-Boulder - Astrophysical and Planetary Sciences Accepted! 2/2 via email to check website Declined
University of Hawaii-Manoa - Astronomy Accepted! 2/17 via email Declined
Dartmouth - Physics and Astronomy Withdrawn 4/14 I never heard from them.
University of Minnesota - Astrophysics Withdrawn 4/14 I never heard from them, either.
University of Oregon - Physics Accepted! 2/7 via email Declined

Some thoughts (especially relating to astronomy):
- pGRE score is not as important for astronomy programs. A lot of schools don’t even want those scores anymore. Maybe don’t completely bomb it if possible, but don’t stress over it too much. Your research and letters will get you a lot farther than any test score will.
- You can get into a program doing research that wasn’t really available to you in undergrad. My school had no astronomy, but I took a couple astro courses from a different university, participated in astro REUs, and made sure the research I did at my home university would at least teach me some applicable skills. You just have to show you’re serious and not pursuing something on a whim because you think it sounds cool.
- I see a lot of people advising to email professors before applying. I didn’t do this and still had a very successful outcome. I don’t think it would hurt to do it, but it doesn’t appear to be necessary. The only extra contact I had with any school was with Cornell once I was waitlisted, and it was just a couple brief emails to let them know that I was very interested in their program. Maybe that helped.
- Everyone says this, but apply to a wide range of schools. You might be able to get in somewhere you thought you had no shot at, or one of your safety schools could surprise you with an amazing program when you visit.
- This applies to everything to an extent, but especially in astronomy, school rankings tend to be limited and somewhat unreliable. Don't get too wrapped up in reputation, just find places with good people and cool research where you know you can thrive. That's where you'll succeed, and that's what makes a good grad program. Also, if you're looking into astronomy, don't discount physics programs. A lot of physics departments have a little group of astronomers lurking about that could be a really good match for you.

Overall, I was extremely happy with my results and so fortunate to end up getting into my top choice right at the end. I didn’t expect so many acceptances, and I certainly didn’t expect to escape the purgatory that is the grad school waitlist. I don’t really have any advice for the stress of waiting because I know no advice I heard made any difference to me when I was in the midst of it all. It’s hard and scary, but you’ll survive. The worst possible outcome is you don’t go this year, you learn more and improve your resume, and you try again next year. It’s really not the end of the world.

Best of luck to all future applicants! You got this :D
Last edited by legendre on Sun Apr 15, 2018 12:29 am, edited 16 times in total.

betastar
Posts: 1
Joined: Sat Jan 20, 2018 11:35 am

Re: 2018 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby betastar » Sat Jan 20, 2018 11:46 am

Undergrad Institution: Foreign technical (heard of IITs?) (*meh* reputation)
Major(s): Engineering Physics(Honors), Electrical Engineering
Minor(s): -
GPA in Major: Only overall GPA
Overall GPA: 8.58/10 [GPA was never my game]
Length of Degree: 4 years(I'm in my final year)
Position in Class: Near top(there are 9 of us)
Type of Student: International, Indian

GRE Scores :
Q: 163 (80 %ile) :mrgreen: :mrgreen:
V: 158 (82 %ile)
W: 4 (60 %ile) *this is not my forte*
P: 920 (87 %ile)


TOEFL: (R:27 , L:29 , S:27 , W:26 ) 109


Research Experience:
Two years of research experience(picked up super late) at my home institute on Data-analysis centered Astrophysics.
- First author publication in EPJP co-authored by my guide.
- Second First author published in A&C (co-authored by my guide).
One Summer internship at a radio observatory following which I was invited into the prof's research group(where I interned) which I gadly accepted.
- My work currently consists of managing data and doing analysis.
- Attended and was a resource person in a bootcamp/workshop on Pulsar Timing(I wrote installation guide and provided tech support).
I will be attending a Deep learning workshop in Astronomy coming Feb and will be presenting my first poster there.
Two remote projects, one from Germany and one from Chennai.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions:
Only one: I was awarded an "Academic Excellence award" in my third year; I didn't mention it in any of my application. My GPA's are not starry.

Pertinent Activities or Jobs:
TA for a grad course on data analysis which I took one year in advance. The prof is my guide.

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help:
Doing what is called "Double Majors" in Electrical which is equivalent as a second degree. Also doing honors in Physics(though really doubtful if I can complete it).

Special Bonus Points:
Have done a lot of grad courses here. The prof who gave me my internship is from a premier research instutition.

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter:
I have a lot of extra-curricular activities attached to my resume.

Applying to Where:

Power set of {"Radio Telescope Instrumentation", "Data Analysis","Pulsars"} (minus the empty set, though, :P )

Dreams are meant to be broken
Caltech - Astro 1/31 Rejection. Dream is broken.
Harvard - Astro 2/12 Rejection.
Yale - Astro 2/8 Rejection.
UC Berkeley - Astro 2/9 Rejection.
Hope for the best
U British Columbia - Astro 2/2 Rejection.
McGill U - Physics
It's in my reach
UW, Seattle- Astro 2/8 Rejection.
NYU - Physics
Johns Hopkins U - Astro
Cornell U - Astro 2/19 Rejection.
Carnegie Mellon U - Physics
I can still dream
U Texas Rio Grande Valley - Phyics Offered

After rejection thoughts:
  1. All you need is one acceptance.
  2. Giving up any time is giving up too soon. Never give up.
  3. Something will work out.
Last edited by betastar on Mon Mar 05, 2018 5:10 am, edited 3 times in total.

ytterbug
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Jan 19, 2018 11:46 pm

Re: 2018 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby ytterbug » Sat Jan 20, 2018 2:38 pm

Undergrad Institution:
Mid-teir state school
One summer of upper level undergrad courses at a top 10 (leading to certificate in Comp. Sci)
Major(s):
Applied Physics, Applied Math
Minor(s):
Electronics
GPA in Major:
3.95
Overall GPA:
3.97
Length of Degree:
3 years (typically 4)
Position in Class:
not ranked, but probably top or near
Type of Student:
Domestic male
GRE Scores :
Q: 162 (91%)
V: 165 (89%)
W: 4 (60%) not too worried since this is pretty standard
P: 850 (77%)

Research Experience: 2.5 years at my home inst. doing mostly independent experimental work, building hardware for lab (AMO). Also, 1 summer at a national lab doing unrelated labview programming.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions:
One small astrophysics award, standard academic stuff (Dean's list, etc.)

Pertinent Activities or Jobs:
TA'd one semester of intro math

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help:
Polished senior thesis on topic of application
A nice website hosting my work
2 publications (2nd author on pub in popular science journal, 2nd author on pub in my uni's undergrad research journal, neither in AMO)
A number of presentations in AMO, one at an APS conference

Special Bonus Points
Strong letters of rec (1 from PI @ home inst., 1 from mentor at national lab, 1 from professor with which I've had 2 classes and class high score in both, frequently argued with him, etc.)
graduate quantum and Fourier analysis classes
Knowledge in lots of relevant programming languages and softwares (LabView, Solidworks, Matlab, etc)

Applying to Where: AMO, mostly q-computing with a few in precision measurement or more general AMO depending on what the school has

Northwestern Submitted 17 Dec (Invited to and completed interview 26 Jan) (Accepted 30 Jan via email - 32k/yr fellowship and 1 year tuition)
Colorado, Boulder Submitted 15 Dec (Accepted 6 Feb via email - 3k fellowship and promise of 30-37k RA/TA-ship)
MIT Submitted 15 Dec (Rejected via website, no notification)
Harvard Submitted 15 Dec (Rejected 21 Feb via website)
Berkeley Submitted 15 Dec (Rejected 23 Feb via website)
Maryland, College Park Submitted 15 Dec (Rejected 13 Feb via email)
CalTech Submitted 15 Dec
U Chicago Submitted 15 Dec (Rejected 1 Feb via website)
UCLA Submitted 15 Dec ("Recommended for admission" 9 Feb via email - 15k fellowship, w/ estimated 19k TA/RAship, included tuition and health insurance)(official acceptance 16 Feb via website)
Stanford Submitted 15 Dec (Rejected 27 Feb via website)
Oxford Submitted 3 Jan
Yale Submitted 17 Dec (Rejected 7 Feb via website)

Fellowships
NSF GRFP Submitted 27 Oct
Last edited by ytterbug on Tue Feb 27, 2018 7:57 pm, edited 12 times in total.

floder01
Posts: 1
Joined: Sat Jan 20, 2018 12:58 pm

Re: 2018 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby floder01 » Sat Jan 20, 2018 8:31 pm

Undergrad Institution: Small, midwestern liberal arts school with a small but well-funded and well-equipped physics department.
Major(s): Physics and Math
Minor(s): none
GPA in Major: 3.91 in physics and 4.0 in math
Overall GPA: 3.97
Length of Degree: 4 years
Position in Class: I've no idea, but I'm guessing from my GPA that I am towards the top.
Type of Student: Domestic straight white male (groundbreaking)

GRE Scores : General GRE as of Oct. 2017 and PGRE as of Sep. 2017 (I took both only once)
Q:165 (89%)
V:164 (94%)
W:5 (93%)
P:760 (62%)

Research Experience: Three summers for a total of six months of paid research in my undergraduate institution. This was astronomy research done within the physics department. I studied variable stars in a particular cluster, and my work dealt with variable star detection and data extraction using programs written in IDL. I've presented two posters and one slide show presentation at various research conferences. I didn't do any REUs, but I developed a close relationship with my research advisor which hopefully has resulted in a good recommendation from him.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: I have academic scholarships from within my undergraduate institution, have made the Dean's list every semester, but have not pursued any other big, fancy scholarships from elsewhere. I'm also in the physics honor society Sigma Pi Sigma and the math honor society Pi Mu Epsilon. Also an Eagle Scout, if that counts for anything anymore.

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: I was a group mentor for a high school math modeling workshop at my college, and I graded math homework for the math department for seven semesters.

Special Bonus Points: Two of the schools I'm applying to were the schools at which two of my physics professors got their doctorates, and these professors have written reference letters for me for those two schools: UW-Madison and Northwestern. More generally, since I go to a small school with a small physics department, I've developed close relationships with all my professors, so hopefully my reference letters will be strong.

Applying to Where: Only six schools for me, but I'm not shooting for tier 1 schools, and I'd be happy staying at a less competitive school in the midwest, so it seemed to be the right choice for me.

University of Iowa - Physics - Astronomy Track - Jan. 30: ACCEPTED for Ph.D via website/email, 19K TA position April 3: Declined
University of Wisconsin Madison - Physics - April 3: REJECTED for Ph.D via email after I reached out to them
University of Minnesota Twin Cities - Physics - Jan. 23: ACCEPTED for Ph.D via website, 19.5K TA position, 4.3K summer research Will attend!
University of Washington - Astronomy - Feb. 7: REJECTED for Ph.D via website/email
University of Colorado Boulder - Astrophysical and Planetary science - Feb. 16: REJECTED for Ph.D via website/email
Northwestern University - Physics - Astronomy PhD - March 21: WAIT-LISTED for Ph.D via email April 11: REJECTED via email

I've seen a lot of very impressive applications on this forum, so I mainly posted this on here to show what is attainable for more typical applicants who didn't do 3 REUs, get a 990 on the PGRE, and co-author a dozen papers with the ghost of Enrico Fermi, God rest his soul.

Overall not entirely surprised by the results. I really enjoyed my Minnesota visit and am incredibly happy to be going there. Not surprised at all to get rejected by Boulder and Washington, and I was pleasantly surprised to see that I was at least waitlisted at Northwestern. No idea what happened with UW-Madison, though. I thought my chances were higher there.
Last edited by floder01 on Wed Apr 11, 2018 3:42 pm, edited 6 times in total.

astro96822
Posts: 1
Joined: Sun Jan 21, 2018 12:24 pm

Re: 2018 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby astro96822 » Sun Jan 21, 2018 12:46 pm

Undergrad Institution: ivy
Major(s): astrophysics
Minor(s):
GPA in Major: 4.05
Overall GPA: 3.94
Length of Degree: 3 years (graduating early)
Position in Class: n/a
Type of Student: international male

GRE Scores :
Q: 170 (97%)
V: 166 (97%)
W: 4 (60%)
P: 920 (87%)



Research Experience: Two summers in extragalactic astronomy at home institution; one using numerical simulations and the other one in observation. For the latter, one poster at the AAS meeting and one 1st author paper in prep.

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: president of astronomy club in high school (not sure if this counts...)

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help:

Special Bonus Points: one grad class in sophomore year with good grade. extensive experience with amateur instruments.

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

Applying to Where: expressed interest in observational extragalactic astronomy/exoplanet and instrumentation

UC Berkeley - Astronomy - interview 01/11 (02/02: ACCEPTED via phone) $37497 TA/stipend
Caltech - Astronomy - interview (01/19: ACCEPTED via phone) $34500 standard stipend
U of Chicago - Astronomy (02/12: ACCEPTED via phone) $33100/yr TA+RA; $8000/yr Neubauer Scholarship
UC Santa Cruz - Astronomy (02/15: Rejected via email)
Princeton - Astronomy - interview 01/11 - (01/31: Rejected via email)
Last edited by astro96822 on Sat Jun 02, 2018 11:31 pm, edited 13 times in total.

frostedflakes
Posts: 3
Joined: Sat Jan 06, 2018 12:49 am

Re: 2018 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby frostedflakes » Mon Jan 22, 2018 10:59 am

Undergrad Institution: ivy
Major(s): Astrophysics and Physics
Minor(s): None
GPA in Major: 3.89
Overall GPA: 3.90
Length of Degree: 3.5 years
Position in Class: no idea
Type of Student: domestic mixed female

GRE Scores : (revised)
Q: 169 (97%)
V: 168 (98%)
W: 4.5 (82%)
P: 700 (50%) :)


Research Experience: 1 REU, 2 years at home inst (w/ a summer), a semester part-time at another inst.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: GPA awards and a minority in physics award

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: jobs, but not pertinent. Co-pres of astro club.

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help:

Special Bonus Points: who knows?

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

Applying to Where:

Applying everywhere for astronomical instrumentation. Applying to astronomy/astrophysics departments unless otherwise specified.

U of Arizona- Accepted 1/25 via phone
Caltech- Interview 1/16 - Accepted 1/19 via phone
U Chicago- Accepted 2/9 via phone
Harvard- Rejected 2/12 via website
Johns Hopkins- Physics - Accepted 2/16 via email
MIT- Physics - Interview 1/15 - Accepted 2/9 via email -- Will Attend
Stanford- Physics - Accepted 2/22 via email
UC Berkeley- Interview 1/5 - Accepted 2/3 via phone
UC Santa Cruz- Interview 2/2 - Accepted 2/8 via email
UCLA- Accepted 2/1 via phone

Notes: I'm a little shy about posting on here, but I found this forum super useful for my application process and wanted to contribute. Also, I wanted to show that the PGRE isn't everything (at least not in astro).
Last edited by frostedflakes on Sun Apr 15, 2018 2:56 pm, edited 14 times in total.

aziraphale
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Jan 22, 2018 5:32 pm

Re: 2018 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby aziraphale » Mon Jan 22, 2018 5:46 pm

Undergrad Institution: Top 10 state school
Major(s): Astrophysics and Physics
Minor(s): Creative Writing
GPA in Major: 3.81
Overall GPA: 3.7
Length of Degree: 4.5 years
Position in Class: no idea
Type of Student: domestic mixed male

GRE Scores :
Q: 160 (76%)
V: 167 (98%)
W: 5.5 (98%)
P: 690 (48%)


Research Experience: 2 REUs, 2.5 years at home institution (w/ a summer).

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: GPA awards, 2 Chambliss hon mentions from AAS, one scholarship prize from home institution.

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: writer/editorial board for local newspaper (prob not strictly relevant).

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: Lots of outreach within department.

Special Bonus Points: One letter writer is fairly well known in subfield.

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: Taught a class in home dept for a few years, have been a TA.

Applying to Where:

All schools listed are Astronomy/Astrophysics programs.

U of Arizona-
Caltech- Rejected by email (1/30)
Harvard-
UC Santa Cruz- Interview request (1/31) --> Accepted via Email 2/8.
UCLA-Accepted via phone call! 1/31.
Univ. Washington- Interview request 1/16. --> Waitlisted 2/6
Univ. Michigan- Accepted via Email (!!) 1/23.
UT Austin- Interview request 1/22. --> Accepted via phone call! 2/2
Yale- Accepted via Email (!!) 1/29.

Notes: Good luck everyone!
Last edited by aziraphale on Thu Feb 08, 2018 7:19 pm, edited 5 times in total.

histoscienology
Posts: 5
Joined: Tue Nov 14, 2017 12:24 pm

Re: 2018 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby histoscienology » Mon Jan 22, 2018 9:42 pm

Undergrad Institution: big state. Good reputation in CMT/CME.
Major(s): Engineerin Physics
Minor(s): None
GPA in Major: 3.93
Overall GPA: 3.93
Length of Degree: 2.5 years
Position in Class: no idea
Type of Student:international female

GRE Scores : (revised)
Q: 180 (97%)
V: 155
W: 4.0
P: 920

Research Experience: 1 year in physical chemistry; 1 summer internship on quantum optics in Germany; currently working on quantum optics at home institution; 2 conference presentations, 1 undergrad poster, 1 conference paper submitted

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: DAAD scholarship, various scholar/GPA awards.

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: nah.

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help:

Special Bonus Points:

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

Applying to Where:

Caltech accepted Feb 13, March 22-23 visit
U Chicago- interview after contacting Dec 26 - accepted Feb 1, 30k/year, March, 3 visit
Harvard- interview Jan, 31 accepted Feb 9, 18k fellowship, April 2-3 visit
Stanford- accepted Feb 6, 10k/quater, March 13-14 visit
UC Berkeley- accepted Feb 7
Princeton- interview Jan 10 accepted Feb 7, first-year fellowship, March1-2 visit
UIUC- accepted Jan 20, 23k/year+fellowship nomination
UMD accepted Feb 12, 5k fellowship
Yale accepted Feb 7, 34k/year
Rochester accepted Jan 26, 27k/year, Feb, 23 visit

Feb 7 I am speechless already. I'm just recalling when I got rejections everywhere when I was applying for undergrad and only UIUC accepted me.
Last edited by histoscienology on Tue Feb 13, 2018 4:39 pm, edited 8 times in total.

liuyuhang599
Posts: 2
Joined: Sun Jan 14, 2018 7:51 pm

Re: 2018 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby liuyuhang599 » Tue Jan 23, 2018 8:31 am

Undergrad Institution: Top 10 University in China, no reputation in physics
Master Institution: Top University in Sweden, good reputation in physics
Major(s): Physics
Minor(s):
GPA in Major: undergraduate 3.8/4 graduate 4.9/5
Overall GPA: undergraduate 3.4/4 graduate 4.9/5
Length of Degree: undergrad 4 years, grad 2 years
Position in Class: undergrad 3/17, grad no idea
Type of Student: International Chinese male

GRE Scores : (revised or old version?)
Q: 170(97%)
V: 154(65%) :oops:
W: 4.0
P:970(92%)


TOEFL:106 (R:29 , L:28 , S:23 , W:26 )


Research Experience: 1 paper in opto-electronic materials (but not the 1st author), 1 year research in computational physics, 1 paper in preparation.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Scholarships from my university

Pertinent Activities or Jobs:

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help:

Special Bonus Points: Visiting a professor in UCI before submitting application

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

Applying to Where:

UCI - Physics - Condensed matter theory (Mar. 23: Rejected via email)
UCLA - Physics - AMO
UCSD - Physics - Condensed matter (March. 17: Rejected via email)
Caltech - Phyics - Quantum Information (March. 07: Rejected via email)
USC - EE - Quantum Information
UCR - EE - Quantum electronics (Feb. 22: ACCEPTED for Ph.D via email and website)
Last edited by liuyuhang599 on Fri Mar 23, 2018 1:42 pm, edited 5 times in total.

prwells
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue Jan 23, 2018 12:57 pm

Re: 2018 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby prwells » Tue Jan 23, 2018 1:10 pm

Undergrad Institution: Small, fairly well-ranked liberal arts institution. No particular physics reputation
Major(s): Physics
Minor(s): Computer Science
GPA in Major: 3.98/4
Overall GPA: 3.78/4
Length of Degree: 4 years
Position in Class: Towards the top
Type of Student: Domestic white male

GRE Scores : Revised (taken in the later half of 2017)
Q: 167
V: 164
W: 5.5
P: 870


TOEFL: Not required


Research Experience: Have been working with a professor since fall 2017 in his research on Quantum Gravity. Primary contribution is coding (comp-sci minor coming in handy!). No publications.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Nothing particularly exciting

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Two years of work as a lab TA for undergraduate introductory physics course, including lots of grading. Extensive tutoring experience in both physics and math.

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: 8)

Special Bonus Points: The professor I research with and who is providing a letter of rec just finished his post-doc at Stanford last year.

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: Nothing to think of

Applying to Where:

Applying to all for high energy theory and cosmology.

Caltech - Physics
Stanford - Physics - REJECTED Feb. 23 via. email. Not super surprised by this. Happy with the options I already have.
UCSB - Physics
UCLA - Physics
USC - Physics - ACCEPTED Feb. 8 via. email. $32k/year TA/RA fellowship
UC Davis - Physics - ACCEPTED Feb. 14 via. email. $27k/year TA/RA fellowship + $5,000 external fellowship
UC Irvine - Physics - ACCEPTED Feb. 2 via. email with TA/RA fellowship. Specific funding details forthcoming
UC Riverside - Physics
Last edited by prwells on Fri Feb 23, 2018 2:09 pm, edited 8 times in total.

alphaorionis
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Feb 16, 2017 1:33 am

Re: 2018 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby alphaorionis » Wed Jan 24, 2018 7:20 pm

Undergrad Institution: Private R1
Major(s): Physics and Astronomy
Minor(s): Mathematics
GPA in Major: 3.97
Overall GPA: 3.96
Length of Degree: 4 years
Position in Class: Near top
Type of Student: Domestic white male

GRE Scores : Revised
Q: 165 (89%)
V: 158 (80%)
W: 5.5 (98%)
P: 890 (83%)


Research Experience: 4 projects over 3.5 years including 3 summers, all at home institution with same Prof in high-energy astroparticle physics. One poster at AAS and a few talks at local research symposiums/conferences. Two ICRC proceedings, no publications (yet ;)). Writing a senior thesis on a data-driven astronomy project.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Goldwater scholarship, University award for student group programming, deans list all semesters, a few internal scholarships, Sigma Pi Sigma.

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: President of our Astronomy Club for 2 years, physics tutor, SPS officer 1 year, observatory tour guide, TA for 7 classes, peer adviser.

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: Revived old observing projects in our advanced lab course that hadn't been attempted in years, did a lot of science (mostly astro) outreach with local schools, kids + families, very active in department.

Special Bonus Points: took grad GR and grad data science, my recommenders know me very well and I've worked with each of them quite a bit (I think this was one of the biggest things that helped me), I talked with some of the schools I applied to at the winter AAS meeting.

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: I'm applying everywhere for observational data-driven astronomy, especially exoplanet.

Applying to Where:

Fellowships

NSF GRFP - AWARDED $34k/year + $12k/year to institution (max 3 years)

Grad schools

Caltech - Astrophysics - Jan 12 invited to interview - Jan 16 Skype interview - Jan 19 ACCEPTED via phone! --- WILL ATTEND
Harvard - Astronomy - Feb 12 REJECTED via email to check website
UCLA - Astronomy - Jan 31 ACCEPTED via phone
UC Santa Cruz - Astronomy & Astrophysics - Feb 15 REJECTED via email
U. Arizona - Astronomy & Astrophysics - Jan 25 ACCEPTED via phone
U. Florida - Astronomy - Feb 1 ACCEPTED via email
U. Hawaii - Astronomy - Feb 16 ACCEPTED via email
Yale - Astronomy - Feb 7 REJECTED via email to check website

Final reflections/advice: I'm blown away at how well things have gone. I'm happy I put myself out there in my applications and got a decent mix of acceptances and rejections, and actually hit my dream school. Advice to future applicants: spread out your applications across your reach, maybe, probably, and safety schools, I'd say absolutely no fewer than 6 schools in total since applications can be so variable year to year. PGRE - do as many practice exams as you can and time yourself. Retake the exam as needed (I improved ~20 percentiles from Sept to Oct) and get the general GRE done in the summer if possible, that thing is just a nuisance. Revise your statements constantly and don't be afraid to throw it out completely and start over. Get friends/professors/trusted others to give you constructive advice, but remember in the end your statement is YOURS. Apply for fellowships like NSF, if anything to practice working on your applications. My statements for NSF helped tremendously when it came time to thinking of what to write for my SOPs.

Lastly, two things that aren't critical to getting into grad school (exhibit A: me)
1. REUs (at other institutions). I spent all 3 summers at my home institution doing research after going 0/20 overall with REU applications. You certainly need research experience if you want to go to grad school, since grad school is basically apprenticeship style training to be a research scientist, but if you get shut out of REUs its not the end of the world.
2. Publications. I don't have any; the closest I have is a conference proceeding for ICRC that I wrote and another I was coauthor in. If you don't have publications, make sure your letter writers can comment on your potential to be an impactful researcher, but proof of impact isn't necessary at this stage. You're still an undergraduate student, breathe.
Last edited by alphaorionis on Tue Apr 03, 2018 10:19 am, edited 13 times in total.

MrBrown
Posts: 2
Joined: Thu Jan 25, 2018 11:20 am

Re: 2018 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby MrBrown » Thu Jan 25, 2018 12:03 pm

Undergrad Institution: International School, Strong in physics
Major(s): Physics/Astrophysics
Minor(s): -
GPA in Major: 3.62
Overall GPA: 3.62
Length of Degree: 4 years
Position in Class: Not Applicable
Type of Student: International, Male

GRE Scores : (revised )
Q: 159 (73%) :cry:
V: 156 (73%)
W: 3.5 (42%) :cry:
P: 850 (77%) (Sept, 2017) (My first trial with the test)


TOEFL: (R: 30 , L: 30 , S: 23 :cry: , W: 27 , 110 )


Research Experience: Worked on two course projects in high energy astrophysics using HEASOFT. I will do my senior thesis project this semester in Extragalactic Astronomy and Observational cosmology

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Scholarship, which covers most of my undergraduate tuition fees.
Provost's Honors Rol Award

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: I will work as a TA in astrophysics course this spring semester.

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: I did couple of stargazing trips. I attended an advanced physics summer school. I have an experience with the different types of telescopes.

Special Bonus Points: NONE :cry:

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

Applying to Where:

Chicago - Astronomy - Cosmology (Feb. 26: Rejected via email notification to check website)
Johns Hopkins - Physics & Astronomy - Cosmology (Mar. 20: Rejected via email)
Cornell - Astronomy - Cosmology (Feb. 20: Rejected via email)
Duke - Physics - Cosmology (Feb. 27: Rejected via email notification to check website)
Ohio State - Astronomy - Cosmology (Feb. 9: Rejected via email)
U. of Arizona - Astronomy - Cosmology (Feb. 12: Rejected via email)
U. of Virginia - Astronomy - Cosmology (Feb. 19: Rejected via email notification to check website)
UC Santa Cruz - Astronomy - Cosmology (Feb. 15: Rejected via email)
Carnegie Mellon - Physics - Cosmology (Mar. 16: Rejected via email)
U. of Rochester - Physics - Computational Astrophysics (Feb. 15: Rejected via email notification to check website)
U. of Notre Dame - Physics - Computational Astrophysics (Mar. 29: Rejected via email )
North Carolina State U - Physics - Theoretical Astrophysics (Jan. 26: ACCEPTED for Ph.D via website ) -- WILL ATTEND
Lehigh University - Physics - High Energy Astrophysics (Apr. 20: Rejected via email notification to check the website)
RPI - Physics - Cosmology (Feb. 1: Rejected via email notification to check the website)
Rochester Institute of Technology - AST Ph.D. (Mar. 19: Rejected via email notification to check website)
Dartmouth College - Physics & Astronomy - Cosmology (Mar. 29: Waiting list) (Apr. 26: Rejected via email notification to check website)
New Mexico State U - Astronomy - Cosmology (Feb. 20: Waiting list) (Apr. 23: Rejected via email)
Bonne-Cologne MSc Honors Branch - Astrophysics (Feb. 2: Rejected via email notification)
Bonne-Cologne MSc (NO FUNDING) - Astrophysics (Apr. 30: ACCEPTED for MSc via email )
Last edited by MrBrown on Mon Apr 30, 2018 4:54 pm, edited 24 times in total.

littlephysicslover
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Jan 26, 2018 12:39 am

Re: 2018 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby littlephysicslover » Fri Jan 26, 2018 1:04 am

I have been lurking here for 2 years. There are very few international profiles, especially considering that the majority of applicants are international. So here's my small contribution. Hope you find it useful.

Undergrad Institution: Unknown school from India. No reputation in Physics
Major(s): Physics
GPA in Major: ~3.0
Overall GPA: ~3.0
Length of Degree: 3 years
Position in Class: top 10% (yes we have massive marks deflation)

Graduate Institution: Highly ranked school in the UK. Very good rep in Physics.
Major(s): Particle Physics
GPA in Major: ~3.55
Overall GPA: ~3.55
Length of Degree: 1 year
Position in Class: Unknown

Type of Student: International Indian Male

GRE Scores : (Revised)
Q: 167 (92nd percentile)
V: 162 (91st percentile)
W: 4.0 (60th percentile)
P: 850 (77th percentile)


TOEFL: (R: 30 , L: 30 , S: 27 , W: 29 )


Research Experience: Six month dissertation in HEP-th.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Merit Prize in grad institution

Special Bonus Points: I am hoping for two good recommendations, from my dissertation supervisor and my undergrad professor.

Applying to Where: All in HEP-th / HEP-ex

Michigan, Ann Arbor - Rejected on 02/08 via email
Colorado, Boulder - Rejected on 03/08 via email notification to check website
Duke University - Rejected on 02/27 via email notification to check website
Stony Brook - Accepted on 02/21 via email to the unfunded Masters program - Declined
UC Davis
Carnegie Mellon - Rejected on 03/16 via email
UC RIverside
University of Florida
Massachusetts, Amherst - Invited to Skype Interview on 02/12 - Accepted on 02/16 via email! $21k/9 month TA + $7.5k possible summer RA
University of Virginia - Rejected on 02/19 via email notification to check website
University of Pittsburgh - Waitlisted on 03/16 via email notification to check website
North Carolina State
Perimeter (PSI program)
University of Oklahoma - Accepted on 01/25 via email! Initial TA for $1600 per month - Declined

EDIT 02/15:
So I just had the interview with a professor at UMass Amherst. He wanted to know why I am switching to experimental HEP, when my thesis and studies have been focused on theoretical HEP. Also asked me a few questions on what exactly I wanted to do in the field. I guess I should have described all this in my SOP. Anyway, the professor was satisfied with my answers and will be recommending me for admission. Fingers crossed!!
Last edited by littlephysicslover on Thu Mar 22, 2018 6:38 am, edited 23 times in total.

abhi2017
Posts: 3
Joined: Wed Dec 21, 2016 4:54 pm

Re: 2018 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby abhi2017 » Fri Jan 26, 2018 8:32 am

Undergrad Institution: country's best institute, good reputation in physics
Major(s): Physics
Minor(s):
GPA in Major: 3.7
Overall GPA: 3.67
Length of Degree: 5 years
Position in Class: officially no such distinction
Type of Student: International

GRE Scores : revised
Q: 163 (84 %ile)
V: 153 (61 %ile)
W: 3.5 (42 %ile)
P: 920 (87 %ile)


TOEFL: (R: 28, L: 27 , S: 23 , W: 28 )


Research Experience: Currently working as research fellow in computational nonlinear dynamics, manuscript in preparation (first author). One astrobiology project through BMSIS YSP program. Two long projects (BS thesis + MS thesis in computational and observational astronomy respectively), MS thesis Manuscript (First author) submitted and under review. Several short projects in astronomy, nonlinear dynamics, nuclear physics. My interest is in extragalactic and galactic astronomy, star formation, radio astronomy.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Institute Scholarship, Govt. scholarship

Pertinent Activities or Jobs:

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: presently physics tutor for our own initiative, online teaching startup.

Special Bonus Points: paper submitted, one recommender from US institute, other two are very good in their respective field, have written strong letters.

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: Polished SOP for each institute.

Applying to Where: All observational astronomy, nonlinear dynamics (some places, especially where no separate astronomy department)

IMPRS-LMU -Astrophysics - Feb 20: Accepted for PhD at MPA via email + €18848 (Net) (1st year), €20460 (Net) (2nd, 3rd year) fellowship, very happy - WILL ATTEND !!!
IMPRS-HD - Astronomy - Feb 21: waitlisted after enquiry
U of Arizona - Astronomy - Feb 2: Rejected via email
Ohio State - Astronomy - Feb 9: Rejected via website
UCSC - Astronomy - Feb 16: Rejected via email
CMU - Physics - Astrophysics - Mar 16: Rejected via email
McGill- Physics - Astrophysics - Feb 11: Unofficially Rejected, talked to one of the profs
CU Boulder - Astrophysics - Feb 17: Rejected via website
ANU - Astrophysics - Jan 28: Rejected via email
Yale - Astronomy - Feb 8: Rejected via email to check website
Boston University - Astronomy - Feb 12: Unofficially Rejected, talked to the director of grad admissions
U of Pittsburgh - Physics - Astrophysics - Feb 27: Accepted for PhD via email + $27675 yearly stipend + $4443 health insurance - Declined 3/1
U of Washington - Astronomy - Feb 8: Rejected via email
U of Wisconsin - Milwaukee - Physics - Astrophysics Feb 21: waitlisted via email - withdrawn 2/23
West Virginia University - Physics- Astrophysics

Why several rejections from US: Its very surprising. US universities don't give any feedback so no idea where my application went wrong. I know many people having similar or even weaker profile than me getting same places where I had (Fall 2017) or have applied. So I can only give one suggestion to the future applicant that don't just think, that if you're good (which you think) you'll get. You need good contacts otherwise just wait for rejections. Its really very annoying. They charge hefty amount in the name of application fee and don't even give feedback. At max you are going to review 200-250 applications over the duration of 2 months, and still you don't have any useful/specific feedback, I am not entirely sure if they even read everyone's application. I invested a lot of money and time, it was not worth for me. Anyway, I got my first choice, Max Planck, so I am very happy.
Last edited by abhi2017 on Sat Mar 17, 2018 1:46 am, edited 28 times in total.

JellyJam
Posts: 5
Joined: Sat Jan 27, 2018 4:41 pm

Re: 2018 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby JellyJam » Sat Jan 27, 2018 4:55 pm

Undergrad Institution: Top 20 R1 School, Not known for physics
Major(s): Applied Physics & Computer Science
Minor(s): N/A
GPA in Major: 4.00
Overall GPA: 3.95
Length of Degree: 4 Years
Position in Class: N/A
Type of Student: Domestic White Male

GRE Scores :
Q: 166 (91%)
V: 162 (91%)
W: 5.5 (98%)
P: 890 (83%)

Research Experience: 4 years of relevant Soft-CME research. First author publication coming later this year. Presented at 2017 & 2018 March Meeting.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Sigma Pi Sigma, Phi Beta Kappa, Dean's Achievement Scholarship

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: TA an intro physics course; Wrote intro physics lab manuals for my department. President of local chapter of SPS. Volunteered at the local elementary school's science club for several years.

Special Bonus Points: Good LoR. Current PI has a lot of friends at UChicago.

Applying to Where:
My field of interest is experimental soft condensed matter (hence my username). All programs applied to have this in some form or another.

Cornell - Physics- CME Feb. 12: ACCEPTED for Ph.D via email $34k TA :!:
UChicago - Physics- CME Feb. 01: ACCEPTED for Ph.D via email $33k Sachs Fellowship :!:
UCSB - Physics- CME Feb. 04: ACCEPTED for Ph.D via email $31k TA :!:
Columbia - Physics- CME Feb. 28 : Rejected via email
UMichigan - Physics- CME Feb. 02: ACCEPTED for Ph.D via email $31k TA
UMaryland - Physics- CME Feb. 12: ACCEPTED for Ph.D via email $29k Fellowship
UT Austin - Physics- CME Jan. 31: Invited for Open House Withdrew Appllication
UPenn - Physics- CME Mar. 24: Rejected via email
Johns Hopkins - Physics- CME Feb. 15: ACCEPTED for Ph.D via email
Northwestern - Physics- CME Jan. 12: Interview Request Jan. 26: ACCEPTED for Ph.D via email $32k TA
Georgia Tech - Physics- CME Feb 08: ACCEPTED for Ph.D via email $32k Presidential Fellowship
NYU - Physics- CME Jan. 28: ACCEPTED for Ph.D via email $29k MacCracken Award for 9 months plus additional 11k for summer research

Harvard SEAS -Applied Physics- CME Jan. 23: Interview Request Feb 08: ACCEPTED for Ph.D via email $36k Fellowship Will Attend :!:
CalTech - Applied Physics- CME Mar. 22: Rejected via email
MIT - Mechanical Engineering- CME Feb. 21: Waitlisted via Email Mar. 23: Rejected via email

EDIT 1: I am actually surprised by the UChicago result, especially given the huge number of highly qualified applicants who were rejected. Word going around is that this year's admissions cycle was tighter than usual due to over-acceptances from last year.

Based on my admission, it seems that UChicago cares more about your supporting documents rather than your raw scores. I know that my application had a very strong LoR from a recent UChicago alumni and a (in my opinion) very strong statement of purpose. Seems these two were the winning combination.

Also, I want to take this moment to point out that this is my second year applying to physics grad school. Last year I was outright rejected by all the programs I applied to (including UChicago) because of an abysmal PGRE score of 700. If you have a similar outcome this year, don't lose hope. Study hard and remain resilient.
Last edited by JellyJam on Thu Aug 09, 2018 3:04 pm, edited 52 times in total.

starpanda
Posts: 2
Joined: Thu Feb 16, 2017 1:01 pm

Re: 2018 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby starpanda » Sun Jan 28, 2018 4:03 pm

Undergrad Institution: Big state school, well known for condensed matter
Major(s): Physics
Minor(s): Mathematics, another minor in a very separate field
GPA in Major: 3.99
Overall GPA: 3.98
Length of Degree: 4 years
Position in Class: No idea, near top maybe
Type of Student: Domestic white female

GRE Scores :
Q: 166 (91%)
V: 168 (98%)
W: 5.0 (93%)
P: 860 (79%)

Research Experience: Several years of HEP research with professor at my school. One REU at a large UC school. Another REU at a VERY VERY well known research lab. A couple posters at several conferences, one of which was international.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Dean's list, lol. Several department awards. Goldwater honorable mention.

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: President of the local women in physics club. Lots of volunteering and outreach related to the club.

Special Bonus Points: Woman in physics, I guess? Really wonderful rec letters; I'm very grateful.

Applying to Where:
All for HEP-ex PhD programs

Chicago - ACCEPTED on 2/1 via website
Columbia - REJECTED on 2/28 via website
Cornell - ACCEPTED on 1/29 via email
Harvard - ACCEPTED on 2/9 via email
Michigan, Ann Arbor - ACCEPTED on 1/26 via email
MIT - ACCEPTED on 2/9 via email
Stanford - ACCEPTED on 2/22 via email WILL ATTEND!
UC Berkeley - ACCEPTED on 2/22 via email
UC Santa Barbara - ACCEPTED on 1/31 via website

Edit 1/31: I didn't expect these to come in so fast and so early! It's overwhelming.
Edit 2/1: wowowow omg
Edit 2/9: holy sh*t | Additional Edit 2/9: AHHHHHH
Edit 2/22: I have a VERY hard decision ahead of me :shock: | Additional edit 2/22: This is getting ridiculous :shock: I thought I would get into maybe 3
Edit 2/28: The waiting game is finally over...
Edit 4/15: It took a whole lot of soul searching, but the decision is finally made :D
Last edited by starpanda on Sun Apr 15, 2018 5:08 pm, edited 9 times in total.

user1379857
Posts: 1
Joined: Sat Jan 27, 2018 9:34 pm

Re: 2018 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby user1379857 » Mon Jan 29, 2018 6:09 pm

Undergrad Institution: Columbia
Major(s): Physics / Math
Minor(s): None
GPA in Major: a bit over 4 (A+ is worth 4.33)
Overall GPA: 4
Length of Degree: 4 years
Position in Class: near top I imagine
Type of Student: Domestic White Male

GRE Scores :
Q: 165 (89%)
V: 162 (91%)
W: 5 (93%)
P: 950 (90%)

TOEFL: N/A


Research Experience: I did three different research projects with my three summers. My first summer I did astrophysics research that resulted in a first author paper. Sadly, I've since had a lot of trouble getting this paper published. My second summer I did a math REU at my school that didn't result in much. My third summer I worked with a theoretical physics professor on some dS/CFT stuff.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Won a nice math prize in my school in junior year. Also a "Rabi scholar."

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Nope. Very socially irresponsible.

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help:

Special Bonus Points: Took a lot of math and physics classes. While applying, I had already taken or was taking grad stat mech and grad qft I + II. I also took a grad math course in geometry. I also took some good non-grad classes like algebraic topology.

Tip: I just want to say that getting enough sleep the night before the physics GRE is extremely important, especially if you're like me and are never even awake at 8am. The first time I took the physics GRE I got 890 (83%) and I was pretty sad. The thing is that even though I went to bed early enough, I couldn't fall asleep until late because I went to bed too late the nights before. Before taking the GRE again, I prepared taking practice tests in the early morning and made sure to go to bed at a reasonable hour leading up to the test. With essentially no extra studying, my score shot up from 83% to 90%. I didn't even feel tired the first time I took the test, but I guess I was.

Applying to Where:

All for high energy theory because I'm a dreamer.
Stanford - Physics- HEPth - (Feb. 22: ACCEPTED for Ph.D via email) Declined Apr. 14
Harvard - Physics- HEPth - (Feb. 9: ACCEPTED for Ph.D via email) WILL ATTEND
Princeton - Physics- HEPth - (Feb. 14: Rejected via email)
MIT - Physics- HEPth - (Feb. 15: Rejected, had to check the website, no email)
Berkeley - Physics- HEPth - (Feb. 22: ACCEPTED for Ph.D. Received email to check website) Declined Apr. 14
Caltech - Physics- HEPth - (March 7: Rejected via email)
Cornell - Physics- HEPth - (Jan. 26: ACCEPTED for Ph.D via email) Declined Feb. 24
UCLA - Physics- HEPth - (Feb. 6: ACCEPTED for Ph.D via email) Declined Apr. 9
UMich - Physics- HEPth - (Jan. 29: ACCEPTED for Ph.D via email) Declined Mar. 23
UPenn - Physics- HEPth - Interview request on Jan. 18 (Jan. 30: ACCEPTED for Ph.D via email) Declined Mar. 23
Rutgers - Physics- HEPth - (Feb. 1: ACCEPTED for Ph.D via email) Declined Feb. 24
Stony Brook - Physics- HEPth - (Jan. 23: ACCEPTED for Ph.D via email) Declined Feb. 25

NSF GRFP - Awarded!
Last edited by user1379857 on Thu Apr 19, 2018 12:45 am, edited 15 times in total.

era986
Posts: 3
Joined: Tue Nov 07, 2017 6:31 pm

Re: 2018 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby era986 » Mon Jan 29, 2018 9:50 pm

Undergrad Institution: Good university in China...but unknown for physics
Major(s):physics
Minor(s):
GPA in Major:3.7/4
Overall GPA:3.7/4
Length of Degree: 4 year bachelor
Position in Class: near top
Type of Student: international male

GRE Scores :
Q:170
V:156
W:3.5
P:990

TOEFL:104 (S:22)

Research Experience: 1 year research on black hole thermodynamics at home university, no publication;
half year research on AdS/CFT at UCSB, 1 paper put on arXiv, 1 paper in preparation

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: 1 national scholarship

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: no...

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help:no...

Special Bonus Points: the recommendation from the US professor can be strong, but other two recommendations from my home university are moderate

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: grad courses: QFT and GR

Applying to Where:
US:
Stanford (Feb 24: Rejected via email)
UCSB (Jan 30: Accepted via email to check website, $32k/year as TA)
UIUC (Mar 2: Rejected via email)
UPenn
UT Austin
Stony Brook (Feb 20: Apply for PhD but accepted as master)
UC Davis
UMich (Feb 8: Rejected via email)
Brown (Feb 16: Accepted via email to check website, $28k/year as TA)
TAMU

Canada:
UBC (Feb 2: Rejected via email)
McGill
Last edited by era986 on Wed Mar 07, 2018 12:26 am, edited 7 times in total.

bfeynman
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Jan 29, 2018 10:10 pm

Re: 2018 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby bfeynman » Mon Jan 29, 2018 10:56 pm

Undergrad Institution: Top-10 Brazilian, unknown
Major(s): Physics
Minor(s):
GPA in Major:
Overall GPA: 4.86/5.00
Length of Degree: 4 years and a half (first 2 on engineering)
Position in Class: Top
Type of Student: International Male, no minority

GRE Scores : Revised
Q: 167/92%
V: 154/65%
W: 3.5/42%
P: 990/94%


TOEFL: 108 (R: 29 , L: 29, S: 24, W: 26)


Research Experience: All in my school:
six months on engineering department, doing things related to structural analysis
1 year mostly computational work in atomic and molecular physics (resulted in a poster presentation)
1 year study based project on QFT and the Hawking effect
Currently working on noncommutative geometry and applications to field theory (might lead to a publication in the near future)
Working on a senior thesis on the microscopic origin of black hole thermodynamics within string theory.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Nope

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: A few TA on calculus/basic physics

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: Nope

Special Bonus Points: A few advanced, grad level courses (GR, Advanced QFT, 4/5 pure math classes)

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: All of my non-basic physics/math formal education fits into the two last years of undergrad (didn't know i liked math/physics until i was inside college). Maybe this will hurt me a little. I believe my LOR's are very strong, 2 of them coming from research advisors, and the other from a theory prof. which knows me quite well. In my SOP's i stated flexibility, basically would work with anything that involves interesting math, but HET is my primary choice.

Applying to Where: All for Hep-th

Princeton (Feb. 14: REJECTED)
Harvard (Feb. 21: REJECTED)
MIT (Feb. 13: REJECTED)
Stanford (Feb. 23: REJECTED)
Caltech
Chicago (Feb. 02: REJECTED)
Berkeley (Feb. 23: REJECTED)
Upenn
Umichigan (Feb. 07: REJECTED)
Stony Brook (Jan. 25: ACCEPTED)
Rutgers
Brown
TAMU
Last edited by bfeynman on Mon Feb 26, 2018 11:34 am, edited 6 times in total.

schidan
Posts: 2
Joined: Thu Dec 28, 2017 6:48 pm

Re: 2018 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby schidan » Tue Jan 30, 2018 3:36 am

schidan wrote:Undergrad Institution: Tech school (USA), good reputation in neighboring states, more research in applied physics
Major(s): Physics, Electrical Engineering
Minor(s):
GPA in Major: 3.87
Overall GPA: 3.87
Length of Degree: 4 years
Position in Class: top 5%
Type of Student: International, male

GRE Scores : revised
Q: 166 (91%)
V: 161 (88%)
W: 4.0 (60%)
P: 960 (91%)

TOEFL: (R: , L: , S: , W: ) Waived

Research Experience: Three years of part-time (including 3 months of full-time) research in CMT, with 1 publication in Phys. Rev. B, and one conference publication (both second author). Currently drafting a paper (first author) with collaborators from MSU, and working on another research to be published next spring. Will have 4 publications by the time I graduate.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Undergraduate Summer Research Fellowship, 4 year Merit Scholarship, inducted to EE national honor society

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: TA for Math and EE departments (2+ years)

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: Presented research to one Physics prof. at Harvard (not applying to his group though) and he was talking about a possible collaboration

Special Bonus Points: Excellent recommendations overall; one recommendation from Associate Chair of Research at MSU.

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: Taken all graduate Physics courses offered in the department (all As except one B)

Applying to Where:
(CMT = condensed matter theory)
Princeton - Physics - CMT
Harvard - Physics - CMT
Stanford - Physics - CMT
MIT - Physics - CMT
U Maryland - Physics - CMT
CU Boulder - Physics - CMT
Purdue - Physics - CMT (Jan. 26: ACCEPTED for Ph.D via email + $20k/month half-TA)
UI Urbana-Champaign - Physics - CMT

bahar.physics
Posts: 16
Joined: Tue Nov 17, 2009 12:38 pm

Re: 2018 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby bahar.physics » Tue Jan 30, 2018 5:57 pm

____________________________________
Undergrad Institution: Not so famous in Iran, but I passed entrance examination to get there.
Major(s):physics- Solid State Physics
GPA in Major: 3.55
Length of Degree: 5
Position in Class: 10 from 55 stu
Type of Student: international female

GRE Scores :
Q: 158 (69%)
V: 150 (48%)
W: 3.5 (4.2%)
P: 670 (44%)


IELTS: (R:6.5 , L: 7, S: 6.5 , W:6.5 )


Research Experience: 1 year research experience on Graphene-computationally. Coauthor of 1 publication (Elsevier-impactf:1.6)


Pertinent Activities or Jobs: 2 years being lab assistant in two distinct universities+ 1 term being teaching assisstant at my university+ Tutoring high school and undergrad students for math and physics

Applying to Where:

All for CMP-PhD direct (except memorial for master)

University of Massachusetts- Amherst REJECTED finally via webiste 3/22 Without being in the waitlist, I am depressed :(

University of South CarolinaACCEPTED 3/21 via email from physics dep, $17,250 for 9 months per month TAship + tuition fee waiver Decline

Case Western Reserve University Invited to interview 3/7ACCEPTED via an email 3/9 unofficially from the physics department and I am waiting for the official letter

University of Utah3/28 Admissions round cancelled for fall 2018 because of the PhD student suicide bye bye Dina Pesin :(

Wesleyan UniversityACCEPTED via an email 3/16 (my birthday) unofficially from the physics department + mentioning my future advisor. Admission letter received 3/20, TAship $2,755.50 stipend each month,a financial package that will include tuition remission, a stipend, and a contribution toward mandatory health insurance

Binghamton University Waitlist upon email inquiry4/4

university of Mississippi

Texas Tech University ACCEPTED 2/14 via email , $15,531 TAship for one year

Montana State University ACCEPTED 2/6 via email to check website, full funding garantee+ $1600 per month for one year TAship+ $130 per month

Canada
Memorial University

I hope my choices are rational.
Last edited by bahar.physics on Wed Apr 04, 2018 5:22 am, edited 20 times in total.

IcedCoffee
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Jan 31, 2018 4:20 pm

Re: 2018 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby IcedCoffee » Wed Jan 31, 2018 4:59 pm

Undergrad Institution: ivy
Major(s): Physics
Minor(s): Maybe computer science
GPA in Major: 3.86
Overall GPA: 3.86
Length of Degree: 4 years
Position in Class: near top
Type of Student: International male

GRE Scores :
Q: 168 (94%)
V: 155 (69%)
W: 4.0 (60%)
P: 990 (94%)


TOEFL: (R: , L: , S: , W: ) Exempt


Research Experience: Exoplanet, Inflation (theory), dark matter direct detection (experiment) and CMB. No publications.
One first author in prep, but did not mention in the applications.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Some Physics Department awards.

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: N/A

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: N/A

Special Bonus Points: One very famous recommender.

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

Applying to Where:
Applying for observational cosmology/dark matter.

UPenn - Physics (Jan 29: ACCEPTED for Ph.D via email)
Stanford - Physics (Feb. 23: Rejected via email)
Berkeley - Physics (Feb. 23: Rejected via website)
Johns Hopkins - Physics (Mar. 20: Rejected via email)
Michigan - Physics (Feb. 1: ACCEPTED for Ph.D via email)
Brown - Physics (Mar. 1: Waitlisted via email)
UCSD - Physics (Jan. 31: ACCEPTED for Ph.D via email)
Caltech - Astrophysics (Jan. 30: Rejected via email)
Cornell - Astronomy (Feb. 19: Rejected via email)
Chicago - Astronomy (Feb. 21: Waitlisted via email to check website)
Last edited by IcedCoffee on Sun Mar 25, 2018 1:17 am, edited 4 times in total.

salphylsci
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Feb 01, 2018 3:50 am

Re: 2018 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby salphylsci » Thu Feb 01, 2018 4:06 am

Undergrad Institution: small private liberal arts college, not known for physics
Major(s): BS Physics, BS Math, BS Chemistry
Minor(s): none
GPA in Major: 3.99
Overall GPA: 3.82
Length of Degree: 4 years
Position in Class: Don’t know, but somewhere near the top
Type of Student: Domestic white male

GRE Scores:
Q: 170 (97%)
V: 165 (96%)
W: 3.0 (18%) :(
P: 940 (89%) (Sept-2017)

Research Experience:
One conference talk and three poster presentations
School is too small to do research
Research with my professor at ORNL and LLNL for two summers and a couple weeks during school year (Particle experimental)
No publications yet

Awards/Honors/Recognitions:
PhysCon Reporter Award (2016)
Math Scholarship (2 years-Top student in physics, math, or engineering)

Pertinent Activities or Jobs:
Teaching Assistant (2 years-general physics lab)
Tutor (1 year-for Calculus, Statistics, Real Analysis, General Physics, Physics with Calculus, and Physical Chemistry)

Special Bonus Points: I guess it would be finishing three science majors in 4 years, taking 27 units some semesters

Applying to Where: All in Physics-Experimental AMO
Accepted Waitlisted Rejected

Stanford - Physics-Experimental (Rejected Feb 23)
Caltech- Physics-Experimental Rejected March 7
MIT- Physics-Experimental (Rejected via website Feb 15)
UCSB- Physics-Experimental (Feb 8 accepted for PhD via email, with 31k funding) will be attending!
Berkeley- Physics-Experimental (Rejected Feb 23)
UCLA- Physics-Experimental Rejected Mar 2
Boulder- Physics-ExperimentalAccepted Feb 28 with 30-37k funding declined
UCSD- Physics-Experimental Rejected 3/16
UCSC- Physics-Experimental waitlisted
UCI- Physics-Experimental
UCDavis- Physics-Experimental Accepted Feb 26 declined
Last edited by salphylsci on Thu Mar 22, 2018 1:20 am, edited 9 times in total.

astrophys2018
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Feb 01, 2018 4:45 am

Re: 2018 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby astrophys2018 » Thu Feb 01, 2018 5:23 am

Undergrad Institution: Small private university known for physics; Top 10 Physics/Astronomy
Major(s): Astrophysics
Minor(s): Planetary Science
GPA in Major: 3.4
Overall GPA: 3.47
Length of Degree: 4 years
Position in Class: Unknown (average?)
Type of Student: Domestic hispanic/white male

GRE Scores : October 2017
Q: 163 (84%)
V: 161 (88%)
W: 4.0 (60%)
P: 630 (35%) *And this was my second time taking it...*


TOEFL: N/A


Research Experience: 4 summers and 1 semester of research. No publications. 3 conference presentations.
- Pre-college program at my university in which I did biophysics research (not my area of focus now)
- Summer at my university in exoplanet detection
- Summer at an observatory in galaxy evolution
- Summer abroad at a prominent institution studying evolution of the intergalactic medium
- Semester at my university in exoplanet detection again

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellow

Pertinent Activities or Jobs:
Engineers Without Borders - Co-President
Latino Association - Secretary
NCAA Cross Country runner
Private math tutor
Various work-study jobs on campus

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

Special Bonus Points: Minority student; several grad-level classes; strong letters from research advisors

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: First in family to pursue education beyond a Bachelor's degree

Applying to Where:
All for Astronomy/Astrophysics (except where noted) with a focus on planet formation, evolution, and detection
*I expected to get rejected from most places, but I didn't expect it would literally be almost everywhere*

Penn State - (Jan. 29: Rejected via email)
Caltech - (Jan. 30: Rejected via email)
Princeton - (Jan. 31: Rejected via email)
UCLA - (Jan. 31: ACCEPTED for Ph.D via phone call/email + $32k Fellowship/TA) Will be attending!
University of Arizona - (Feb. 7: Rejected via email)
Columbia - (Feb. 8: Rejected via website)
University of Michigan - (Feb. 9: Rejected via email)
UC Berkeley - (Feb. 9: Rejected via email)
Harvard - (Feb. 12: Rejected via website)
UC Santa Cruz - (Feb. 15: Rejected via email)
University of Chicago - (Feb. 26: Rejected via email)
MIT - Planetary Science - (Mar. 23: Rejected via email, but I had to email them twice before receiving my official notice)

Thoughts: Honestly, this is a massive disappointment. Other than having a higher GPA and GRE score, I don't know what else I could have done substantially better at. People like to say that scores don't matter much, but it looks like that's a bit of a lie in my case. Makes it feel like I've suffered these past few years at my university for nothing. I should have just gone somewhere easier. I probably would have enjoyed college more and even had better luck with graduate admissions.

Note for future applicants: Do well in classes and on the PGRE, I guess? Also, if you want to study exoplanets, for the love of god don't over-emphasize this in your application. It's way too competitive. You'll have better luck focusing on another area that you have experience in and switching once you get into grad schools.
Last edited by astrophys2018 on Fri Mar 23, 2018 10:15 am, edited 11 times in total.

plaidscientist
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Feb 01, 2018 4:28 pm

Re: 2018 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby plaidscientist » Thu Feb 01, 2018 4:37 pm

Undergrad Instituton: Good private school, doesn’t have much of a reputation in physics
Major(s): Physics and Math
GPA in Major: Physics: 3.86, Math: 3.85
Minors(s):
Overall GPA: 3.84
Length of Degree: 4 years
Position in Class: dunno
Type of Student: Domestic white female

GRE Scores:
Q: 160 (76%)
V: 155 (69%)
W: 5 (93%)
P: 740 (58%)

Research Experience:
- 6 months of observational astronomy
- 1 REU in atmospheric sciences (radar)
- 1 REU in experimental plasma physics
- 1+ year of research in solar plasma physics at a well known astrophysical institution
- Presented at AAS and APS DPP

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Dean’s list

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: I spent a couple of months working on a project in scientific outreach to help the blind and visually impaired community experience astronomical events. SPS president and student ambassador for the physics department.

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: Female. Currently taking grad quantum. Really like programming and have experience in parallel processing and machine learning.

Special Bonus Points: I met with a couple of potential advisors from 8 of the schools that I am applying to. I am also applying to both schools where I did my REUs. One of my recommenders is well known in the field.

Applying to Where:
Plasma:

UCLA - Physics | ACCEPTED! 2/01 (unofficial) via email
Princeton - Astrophysical Sciences | Interviewed 1/15 on short list, Rejected 1/31 via email
MIT - Nuclear Science and Engineering | ACCEPTED! 2/06 via email
Univ. of Wisconsin - Physics | ACCEPTED! 1/30 via email
Dartmouth - Physics | ACCEPTED! 2/09 via email
CU Boulder - Physics | ACCEPTED! 2/07 via email
Univ. of Chicago - Astronomy | Rejected 2/26 via email to check website

Computational/Theoretical Astrophysics:
Columbia - Astronomy | ACCEPTED! 2/20 via email
Caltech - Astronomy | Rejected 1/30 via email
Cornell - Astronomy | ACCEPTED! 2/09 via email
UIUC - Physics | Rejected 3/19 via email

NSF GRFP - Awarded! 4/03
Last edited by plaidscientist on Wed Apr 04, 2018 4:45 pm, edited 15 times in total.

physics101
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Dec 20, 2017 8:18 pm

Re: 2018 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby physics101 » Thu Feb 01, 2018 10:03 pm

Undergrad Institution: Some Indian college
Major(s):Physics
Minor(s):None
GPA in Major: Undergraduate 7.5/10 :shock: , Graduate(masters):8.3/10 8)
Overall GPA:
Length of Degree: 3+2
Position in Class: Near top in bachelor's and top in master's degree
Type of Student:International/Male

GRE Scores : revised
Q:155(59%)
V:152(56%)
W:3.5(42%)
P:630 (35%) :x


TOEFL:104 (R:27 , L:28 , S:24 , W:25 )


Research Experience:At my school during master's. Nanotechnology.
Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Got few scholarships during my master's program from school

Pertinent Activities or Jobs:

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help:

Special Bonus Points:Attended couple of Astrophysics summer schools.
Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter:

Applying to Where:Astrophysics and Atmospheric Physics

Toronto - Astronomy-(Apr. 25: Rejected via email to check website)
Western Ontario - Astronomy -
Queen's - Astronomy - (Mar. 08: Rejected via email to check website)
McMaster - Astronomy- (Apr. 13: Rejected via email)
York University - Atmospheric-
McGill - Atmospheric -
Last edited by physics101 on Wed Apr 25, 2018 9:57 pm, edited 2 times in total.

texasbama
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Feb 02, 2018 5:33 am

Re: 2018 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby texasbama » Fri Feb 02, 2018 6:06 am

I'm posting so that other students may get a sense of what happens when you're a good candidate with a bad PGRE score. I opted to not submit my score to any program that didn't require it.

Undergrad Institution: Public school
Major(s): Physics, Mathematics
GPA in Major: 3.98
Overall GPA: 3.98
Length of Degree: 4 yrs
Position in Class: Top
Type of Student: Domestic white woman

GRE Scores :
Q: 165
V: 165
W: 5
P: 660

Research Experience: One first-author paper, one second-author paper. One second-author paper being drafted at time of applying. Four years of research at home institution. One summer at NIST. Two summers in international REUs.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Goldwater, Fulbright.

Applying to Where:
Accepted Rejected Waitlist Interview

Schools that received my PGRE score:
UChicago - Physics - AMO (Feb 01: ACCEPTED for Ph.D. via website/email)
MIT - Physics - AMO (Feb 09: ACCEPTED for Ph.D. via email)
Harvard - Physics - AMO (Feb 09: ACCEPTED for Ph.D. via email)
CU Boulder - Physics - AMO (Feb 02: ACCEPTED for Ph.D. via website/email)
Stanford - Applied Physics - AMO (Feb 06: ACCEPTED for Ph.D. via email + $43,000 full-funding for five years + $12,000 one-time sum + extra $6,000/year for five years) - WILL ATTEND!
Columbia - Applied Physics - AMO (Feb 12: ACCEPTED for Ph.D. via email)

Schools that did not receive my PGRE score:
Princeton - Applied Physics - AMO (Jan 05: Interview Feb 07: ACCEPTED for Ph.D. via email)
Yale - Applied Physics - AMO (Jan 30: Interview) (Feb 12: ACCEPTED for Ph.D. via website/email)
Cornell - Applied Physics - AMO (Feb 05: ACCEPTED for Ph.D. via email)
Caltech - Applied Physics - AMO (Feb 13: ACCEPTED for Ph.D. via email)

NSF GRF Awarded

Take-aways:
-- I drafted the list of schools that I would be applying to before I knew my PGRE score and did not change that list after receiving my score. I am really glad that I did that, as I might not have applied to MIT, Harvard, Stanford, etc. otherwise.

-- My research interests were very, very specific and I believe that this helped my application quite a bit.

-- I believe that my low PGRE score may have hurt my fellowship opportunities at some schools.

-- I did quite a lot of outreach but did not mention this in my personal statement; this space was used to convince the school that I would be a great fit research-wise. I left tales of my outreach for internal diversity statements / rec letters.

-- The PGRE caused me great despair for many months of my life as I was sure that it would end up limiting my opportunities. Many institutions are moving away from a make-or-break approach with standardized testing (at least for under-represented applicants). The test is non-predictive for long-term research success; it's a much better predictor of race and gender. Hopefully we'll see a full phasing-out in the coming years.

-- Good luck to everyone and know that by April 15th your life will be okay again. : )
Last edited by texasbama on Fri Apr 27, 2018 10:01 am, edited 12 times in total.




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