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.

User avatar
sergioyapa
Posts: 6
Joined: Wed Feb 22, 2017 11:00 pm

2018 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby sergioyapa » Fri Jun 23, 2017 4:00 pm

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

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

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

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


[b]TOEFL[/b]: ([b]R[/b]: , [b]L[/b]: , [b]S[/b]: , [b]W[/b]: )


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

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

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

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

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

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

[b]Applying to Where[/b]:

[u]School[/u] - Department - Research Interest [color=#4000BF](Feb. 28: WILL ATTEND for Ph.D. Accepted via website/email + $Xk Fellowship + $XXk/X month TA)[/color]
[u]School[/u] - Department - Research Interest [color=#00BF00](Feb. 14: ACCEPTED for Ph.D via website/email + $Xk Fellowship + $XXk/X month TA)[/color]
[u]School[/u] - Department - Research Interest [color=#FF0000](Feb. 23: Rejected via website/email)[/color]
Last edited by quizivex on Sat Sep 23, 2017 1:49 am, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: sticky'd

yeshuamo
Posts: 4
Joined: Thu Jul 02, 2015 6:50 pm

Re: 2018 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby yeshuamo » Sun Sep 17, 2017 7:44 pm

Undergrad Institution: Current bachelor's: Large state school, OK physics, spectacular astronomy. First bachelor's: top-30 large private university.
Major(s): Physics. First degree: Business and English.
Minor(s): Math.
GPA in Major:
Overall GPA: 3.72, magna cum laude (Latest degree), 3.47 (First degree)
Length of Degree: (Are you graduating after 3, 4, or 5 years?) 2.5 + 4 for the first bachelor's
Position in Class: ~90%
Type of Student: Domestic white female

GRE Scores :
Q: 161 (88%)
V: 164 (87%)
W: 5.5 (98%) (yes mom, you read that right)
P: attempt 1: 580 (24%), attempt 2: 670 (44%)


Research Experience:
2+ years with the same professor in Cosmology (my entire time I've been in school for physics)
1 year in computational astrophysics (concurrent with the above while it lasted)
1 year + in experimental biophysics (hello) (concurrent with the two projects above)
1 REU in computational radio astronomy
1 REU in cosmology (computational and instrumentation)

1 publication in prep :eyeroll:
4 posters
5 talks

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: 2 merit-based awards in science/physics, 1 award for scholarship and character from a national lab, best undergraduate poster, 4.0 GPA congratulatory kudos, departmental award from my literature department during my first degree

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Officer in two physics minority engagement clubs, I've done a bunch of outreach, volunteered at a cancer hospital for a year, have volunteered as an observer for a cosmological survey for a significant number of nights

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: Fluent in Russian, which comes in handy more often than I'd expected. I take acting and improv classes and actively work on my public speaking skills, so my talks generally receive praise. I have a massive amount of writing experience compared to most applicants. Oh, and two years of full-time work experience (as a writer).

Special Bonus Points: two grad classes (1 was ultra-relevant to my grad school interest, completed with an A; the other is one of those courses physics grad students take in their first year. Grade TBD). Female. I have 6 eager recommenders and have encountered a number of cosmologists hearing good things about me from other scientists before meeting me, so I have little doubt that LORs will be my biggest strength. A few faculty at the schools I'm applying to have mentioned "putting in a word on my behalf" to the admissions committee.

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter:
Not sure how much impact this can have, but I am a preceptor for calculus-based physics, worked as a math and language arts tutor at public inner city schools for two years. I also mention that I am good at graphic design in my CV, which should be evident from my talk slides in the portfolio that some schools accept.

Applying to Where:

Harvard - Astronomy - Cosmology Rejection via email to check website 2/12
Princeton - Astronomy - Computational Cosmology Rejection via email 1/31
Yale - Astronomy - Cosmology Unofficial acceptance via email 1/29, official acceptance via email to check website 1/31. $34,500 + $4,000 for bringing NSF money with me + an additional named fellowship. Will attend :)
Chicago - Astronomy - Cosmology Rejection via email to check website 2/27
UC Berkeley - Astronomy - Cosmology Invited to interview 1/3 Rejection via email 2/9
Stanford - Physics - Cosmology Rejection via email 2/23
Ohio State - Astronomy - Cosmology Waitlisted 2/7 Email asking if I wanted to be taken off the wait list 4/1 - declined.
Pittsburg - Physics - Cosmology Accepted via email to check website 2/14. 9-month TA $18.5K. Happy Valentine's. Let's face it, grad school is my girlfriend.
Carnegie Mellon - Physics - Computational Astrophysics Accepted via email 2/9. $21.5K 9-month / $29K 12-month TA.
UC Santa Cruz - Astronomy - Cosmology Rejection via email 2/15
Michigan - Physics - Computational Cosmology Accepted 2/6, $30.5K, 4 semester RA fellowship, $2000 first year bonus. Received two extra fellowship offers after I declined a spot in their program. Something happened there.
Durham University (UK) - MSc in Physics - Cosmology Invited to interview 1/23 Recommended for admission 2/1. Official offer 2/13.

Fulbright U.K. Physics Shortlisted and invited to interview 1/30 Awarded!! 4/9
NSF GRFP Awarded! 4/2
DOE CSGF Not awarded 4/12 Can't get them all :D

Post-decision thoughts: The fact that I got about as many acceptances as rejections, in my view, shows that I picked the right range of schools. I reached a little, had one safety that I would be more than happy to attend, and am happy with the result.

As far as fellowships go, I participated in the proposal prep workshops that my school offered for the NSF and had a research advisor comment on it after a couple of grad students commented on my first drafts. I also had input /comments (albeit not much) from a prospective advisor at one of the schools, which I listed as my prospective institution in the GRFP application. FWIW, that school didn't accept me :lol:

As far as Fulbright, I thought of applying for it three weeks before my school's internal deadline, which is very little time and don't recommend rushing this application. I had to track down one of my recommenders while he was on a trip in a remote location. What was good, though, was that I emailed a professor abroad with an email outlining my general idea, asking questions about details of the science, and with the subject line along the lines of "Fulbright fellowship to work you on <subject>". The exchange I had with that advisor went a long way in making my application strong.

I found that famous professors respond within an hour when I emailed them with the subject line "<blank> fellowship to work on <blank>". In the body of the email, I'd supplement my project idea and request for whatever I needed from the professor with a short list of the people I had worked with. It was pretty darn effective when the project idea was specific.

Finally, if you've had the fortune of being awarded both the NSF GRFP and an international 1 or 2-year fellowship like Fulbright, Rhodes, Churchill, etc., you can keep both *if you ask the NSF coordinating official at your PhD institution to put you on reserve before accepting the GRFP*. This requires them to enroll you in a special way that isn't a regular enrollment deferral. I believe they also need to get NSF approval, but that doesn't take long.
Last edited by yeshuamo on Thu Apr 19, 2018 3:19 pm, edited 29 times in total.

911876gev
Posts: 12
Joined: Wed Sep 20, 2017 12:02 pm

Re: 2018 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby 911876gev » Wed Sep 20, 2017 12:32 pm

Undergrad Institution: large university known for physics
Major(s): Physics
GPA in Major: 3.89
Overall GPA: 3.92
Length of Degree: 2 + 2 (transfer)
Type of Student: Domestic white female

GRE Scores : Took regular GRE one time after doing the 2 online practices (July), took physics GRE one time after doing past exams (September)
Q: 167 (92%)
V: 164 (94%)
W: 5 (93%)
P: 820 (72%)

Research Experience:
1.5+ years (neutrino, hardware and software)
1 year (collider, software)
No publications yet (working on a paper to be submitted in a few months), several conference talks, a poster
From the feedback I have gotten (so far) I think my contributions have been useful. The software I've written is being used by the collaborations and the hardware is also in use.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: A few recent awards at an international summer school, a few merit scholarships.

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: research and informally mentoring younger students.

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: worked on-site at my current experiment for 1 month in the summer

Special Bonus Points: I have taken 5 grad classes in the subjects i'm interested in working on. I like both hardware and software work. Two of my recommenders are past research supervisors on different experiments. I also am a female who transferred from a teaching college and is an Americorps alum.

Applying to Where:
(All for experimental cosmology/particle)
Accepted Rejected Waitlist Interview
Duke: Accepted 1/19 via email to check website with all funding details available. Notified of fellowship nomination 1/25 Declined 4/8
Harvard: 1/17 Interview request via email from PI Accepted 2/9 via phone call, funding details to come. Declined 4/8
Carnegie Mellon: Accepted 2/9 via email, funding details to come. Declined 3/5
UPenn: Accepted (unofficially) 1/29 via email from PI, funding details to come. Declined 3/5
UChicago: Accepted 2/1 via email with Nambu fellowship Declined 4/8
Princeton: 2/6 Not really an interview, but PI sent me a positive message and we chatted about his research Accepted 2/9 via email, funding details to come. WILL ATTEND

Recommendations for future students:

I have learned a lot from reading this website, and so I'm going to work hard to transmit knowledge to the future students here. The hardest things about the application (for me) were: pGRE, where to apply, how many schools to apply to, and Personal Statement.

-pGRE: I studied for about 2-3 weeks and only took the test once (September) but if I were you, I'd take the pGRE in April of your Junior year to get a sense for it, and then study regularly through the summer. The practice exams are good indicators of the real test. I think that the test is fair, useful and intuitive. It's also fun. But you have to confidently move throughout the 100 multiple-choice questions in a short amount of time. The best way to practice is under test conditions.

-where to apply: I was lucky to have several friends/mentors who recommended me a lot of good projects to work on. So I first looked for projects I want to work on, and then made a list of schools working on those projects. In my case, the projects are experiments.

-how many schools to apply to: I did not apply to very many schools as you can see (only six). But for the schools I did apply to, I spent about a week researching each school and making contact with professors via email and Skype. It is a question of application quality vs. quantity... you will be quite busy Senior Fall with courses and research, so it will be hard for you to balance this.

- Personal Statement: I recommend a work-focused statement. I wrote a short beginning paragraph which summarized my goals and motivations. The statement was then sectioned into headers: "Research", "Academics" etc... and I wrote a paragraph for each of my main projects. The sentences were about what I contributed to each project. The final paragraphs were specific to each school: which projects I was interested in joining and why, the contributions I was hoping to make, etc. I liked this version better than a personal essay because it directly discussed the technical problems I hope to solve. However, such a statement might be more like everybody else's.

- Overall thoughts: First, I'm pretty advantaged in this process because I'm a white female US citizen experimentalist. This means that my relatively low pGRE score (72%) didn't stop my application from being considered at any school I applied to. Ultimately I could afford to gamble and use the time I could be studying for pGRE (and save money and time it costs to re-take the test) to work on my research. Beyond this initial advantage, I think what made my application competitive at even the top schools was 1) that I took the experiments I was applying for seriously. I researched them like it was my job until I thought up good questions and brainstormed initial solutions to current problems. Also, 2) I was not shy about talking with professors and discussing the current issues about their projects with them.
Last edited by 911876gev on Sun Apr 08, 2018 1:41 pm, edited 39 times in total.

neurotal
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Sep 20, 2017 1:12 am

Re: 2018 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby neurotal » Wed Sep 20, 2017 6:19 pm

Undergrad Institution: Huge midwestern R1 school, top 50 school in physics
Major(s): Honors Physics
Minor(s): History, Astronomy
GPA in Major: 3.54 with a slight upward trend
Overall GPA: 3.61
Length of Degree: 4
Position in Class: Slightly above average amongst my honors classmates.
Type of Student: White American male

GRE Scores : (revised or old version?)
Q: 162
V: 165
W: 5
P: 640 (Apr. 2017), 750 (Sep. 2017)


TOEFL: N/A


Research Experience: 1.5 years measuring decay rates of radioactive isotopes looking for solar influences. Lab group is mainly concerned looking for DM. 1 paper, stuck in internal review by collaboration.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Small research award that I did nothing with.

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Spent a year teaching Physics I labs with high marks from organizers.

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: ?

Special Bonus Points: Have taken honors coursework, I guess.

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: Nothing exciting.

Applying to Where: We'll see...
Last edited by neurotal on Fri Oct 13, 2017 9:39 am, edited 1 time in total.

albuser
Posts: 3
Joined: Sun May 15, 2016 2:50 pm

Re: 2018 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby albuser » Sat Sep 30, 2017 3:20 pm

Undergrad Institution: State tech school - top 30 in physics
Major(s): Physics
Minor(s): Mathematics
GPA in Major: 4.0
Overall GPA: 3.95
Length of Degree: 3 years
Position in Class: Top
Type of Student: Domestic white male

GRE Scores :
Q: 170 (97%)
V: 166 (97%)
W: 4.0 (60%)
P: 950 (90%)

Research Experience: One year spent working on computational astrophysics at home institution - two poster presentations at national conferences. REU at Cornell in experimental condensed matter physics. Currently doing research in condensed matter theory at home institution working on unconventional superconductivity, expecting publication soon.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Silver Medal in University Physics Competition, departmental scholarship, travel grant for conference.

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: President of SPS chapter for one year, TA for one semester (Diff Eq).

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: Hoping to attend the Boulder School in 2018 if that counts for anything.

Special Bonus Points: Some connections at various places through advisors and past instructors. Two of my letter writers are well-known in condensed matter and generally well accomplished. Grad coursework in QM, stat mech, algebraic topology, and differential geometry.

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: Graduating early for financial reasons and due to lack of activity in my area of interest at undergraduate institution. Despite my GRE writing score I actually do know how to communicate effectively and have well-written personal statements.

Applying to Where: All for CMT - QPT, Holographic Duality, Topological Order

Stanford - Physics (Feb. 23: Rejected via email)
Harvard - Physics (Feb. 21: Rejected via website)
MIT - Physics (Feb. 13: Rejected via website)
UIUC - Physics (Feb. 9: ACCEPTED for Ph.D via email + ~$23k TA)
Princeton - Physics (Feb. 14: Rejected via email)
Caltech - Physics (Feb. 6: ACCEPTED for Ph.D via email + ~$34k TA/Fellowship) WILL ATTEND
Cornell - Physics (Jan. 29: ACCEPTED for Ph.D via website/email + ~$30.5k Fellowship)
U Chicago - Physics (Feb. 1: Rejected via website/email)
UMD - Physics (Feb. 12: ACCEPTED for Ph.D via email + $36k Research Fellowship at JQI)

Overall I feel I could've done better, but extremely grateful for the offers I received.

Advice to future applicants:
The market for hard condensed matter theorists is saturated. I would compare it to the state of string theory applicants 20 years ago. Switch to soft matter if you know what's good for you. My application to Caltech was tailored towards the quantum information angle, which is likely why I was admitted. Theory in general is difficult to get into, but if you want to do strongly correlated electron systems, holography in condensed matter, or topological order you'd better have extremely good qualifications.

Don't graduate early unless you have to. Use the extra time to develop connections, conduct more research (get published if you can), and APPLY FOR EXTERNAL FUNDING. Take graduate QFT if you can. I don't think a slightly higher GRE score would have helped me, nor a slightly higher overall GPA. If you want to be a theorist you should know the material and the current avenues of research like the back of your hand. Read recent publications and prove that you are capable of working at that level. That's about your only shot at getting into the top schools, particularly if you're a male theorist from a less than top ten university like I am. And seriously, having your own guaranteed funding source is like an automatic pass to any school you want to go to.

I didn't contact any prospective advisors before being admitted, but I'm not convinced that makes any difference.

All in all I guess I did pretty well for a junior

Best of luck to all future applicants!
Last edited by albuser on Sun Apr 22, 2018 10:19 pm, edited 37 times in total.

lizphys
Posts: 3
Joined: Mon Jul 17, 2017 11:59 am

Re: 2018 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby lizphys » Sat Sep 30, 2017 7:58 pm

Undergrad Institution: Large public school, Top 5 Physics/Astrophysics
Major(s):Physics and Astrophysics
Minor(s):
GPA in Major: 3.1 Physics, 4.0 Astrophysics
Overall GPA:3.3
Length of Degree: 3 years(graduating early)
Position in Class: top of the middle(lol)
Type of Student: domestic white female

GRE Scores : (revised or old version?)
Q:162
V:165
W:4
P:literal dogshit-40%




Research Experience: Lead author on theoretical astro paper, worked on it for 2 years with one professor and a postdoc.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: nope

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: researcher/project engineer for an R&D aerospace company
Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: I'm in a fairly selective honor society. Also I was in a sorority, and have a few years physics teaching experience.

Special Bonus Points: I'm a girl and my 3 recommenders range from famous to very well respected

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: nope i am a very average person. i just like space a lot.

Applying to Where:

UT Austin
University of Washington
Harvard
Columbia
UC Santa Cruz
UC San Diego
Penn State
Colorado Boulder
U of Maryland
Yale
Oklahoma University
Last edited by lizphys on Sat Jan 06, 2018 8:55 pm, edited 2 times in total.

User avatar
sam1608
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Jan 27, 2016 4:24 am

Re: 2018 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby sam1608 » Sun Oct 01, 2017 1:15 pm

Undergrad Institution: No reputation in physics (India)
Degree: Bachelor of Engineering
Major: Electronics & Communication
Length of Degree: 4 years
Overall GPA: 7.80/10
Position in Class: Dunno (honestly, didn't care)

Post Graduate Institution: No reputation in physics/astro (India)
Degree: Master of Science
Major: Physics
Length of Degree: 2 years
Overall GPA: 9.38/10
Position in Class: Top

Type of Student: International Male

GRE Scores (Revised): 307 (June, 2014)
Q: 157 (66 %ile)
V: 150 (48 %ile)
W: 3.5 (42 %ile)
P: 700 (50 %ile) (Oct, 2015)


TOEFL (iBT): (R: 28, L: 30, S: 28, W: 28, Total: 114)


Research Experience:
  • Poster presentation at an international conference (observational astronomy).
  • Project at an international astronomy school/workshop (observational astronomy).
  • 10 months in theoretical astrophysics, working on magnetars; a paper in progress.
  • AstroSat data analysis workshop (UV & X-ray).


Awards/Honors/Recognitions:
  • Merit scholarship (PG).
  • Best dissertation award at a dissertation based course in astronomy & astrophysics.
  • That's all folks!

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: -

Special Bonus Points: Yea, I wish... :roll:

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter:
  • Have taken up a lot (>30) of MOOCs on Coursera and edX.
  • Took up a 100-hr dissertation based course in astronomy & astrophysics.

Applying to Where: (All for astronomy/astrophysics PhD unless otherwise specified)

Rochester Institute of Technology (March 23: Rejected via email to check website)
Florida Institute of Technology (Feb. 14: Accepted via website; waitlisted for funding :?) - Declined
Indiana University (Feb. 8: Rejected via email)
University of Massachusetts, Amherst (March 2: Rejected via email)
University of Iowa (April 11: Accepted off waitlist via email from PoI, Half-time TA $19k for 9 months + Possible $4k RA for 2 months summer - Will Attend)
Texas A&M University (April 11: Rejected via website)
University of Utah (March 29: Admissions round cancelled for 2018)
University of Maryland, Baltimore County (Applied Physics) (April 21: Rejected via email)
University of Western Ontario (July 12: No status change; Assuming rejected)
Wesleyan University (MA) (March 14: Rejected via email to check website)
Vanderbilt University (March 19: Rejected via email to check website)
University of Missouri (Physics) (May 18: Rejected via email)
Swinburne University (March 5: Rejected via email)
Aix-Marseille Université (Master-Space Program) (March 20: Accepted via email) - Declined
York University (MSc) (July 12: No status change; Assuming rejected)
KU Leuven (Master of Astronomy & Astrophysics) (March 27: Accepted via email) - Declined
University of Western Australia (Master of Physics) (Feb. 27: Accepted via email) - Declined
San Diego State University (MS Astronomy) - Withdrawn
Leiden University (MSc Astronomy) (July 10: Accepted via email) - Declined
Queen's University (MSc Physics) (March 29: Rejected via email to check website)
Ball State University (MS Physics) (March 19: Accepted via email) - Declined
l'Observatoire de Paris (Master of Astronomy & Astrophysics) - Withdrawn
Australian National University (Master of Astronomy & Astrophysics - Advanced) (April 20: Accepted via email)
Last edited by sam1608 on Thu Jul 12, 2018 7:46 am, edited 56 times in total.

confromotron
Posts: 2
Joined: Sun Oct 01, 2017 2:44 pm

Re: 2018 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby confromotron » Sun Oct 01, 2017 3:17 pm

Undergrad Institution: Big State school, ranked ~15 for physics
Major(s): Doubling in Physics and Anstronomy
GPA in Major: 3.72
Overall GPA: 3.65
Length of Degree: 4 years
Position in Class: No clue
Type of Student: Domestic asian

GRE Scores : Taking in October
Q: 163 (84%)
V: 160 (86%)
W: 3.5 (42%)
P: 900 (84%)





Research Experience:
- About 1.5 years in a condensed matter lab using atomic force microscopes. Helped to ease the probe making process, which we did by hand since we had the AFM running a unique set-up. Measured some cool ferroelectrics.
- About 8 months doing antenna modeling at an engineering lab affiliated with my school. Used some simulation software, and lots of Python.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: University Honors a couple times (basically earning 3.5+ in a semester)

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Just the research positions I held.

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: None

Special Bonus Points:
-Condensed matter lab professor is well known, won a couple prestigious awards.
-All letter writers are established researchers for 15+ years. (Not sure if this is special, or bonus)

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter:
-Got a paper coming out from the condensed matter lab I worked at
-The engineering lab position I held was invite only
-Looked into quantum information myself and found a strong interest in the subject. Ideally I want to study the application of quantum materials in quantum computers. (No bias towards theory or experiment)

Applying to Where:

UT Austin - Physics - Condensed Matter - ADMITTED
UIUC - Physics - Quantum Information - ADMITTED
Caltech - Physics - Quantum Information REJECTED
Berkeley - Physics - Condensed Matter REJECTED
Stanford - Physics - Condensed Matter REJECTED
Princeton - Applied Physics - Materials Science REJECTED
UCSB - Physics REJECTED
Waterloo - Quantum Information REJECTED
University of Maryland- College Park - Physics - Quantum Information REJECTED
Rutgers - Physics ADMITTED
Oxford - Condensed Matter Physics REJECTED
Last edited by confromotron on Thu Apr 12, 2018 12:38 pm, edited 5 times in total.

Byzantium1453
Posts: 12
Joined: Sun May 07, 2017 9:21 pm

Re: 2018 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby Byzantium1453 » Sun Oct 01, 2017 4:56 pm

Undergrad Institution: Flagship State University, top 20 in physics
Major(s): Physics
Minor(s): None
GPA in Major: 3.5, significant downward track. I had a rough junior year.
Overall GPA: 3.4
Length of Degree: 4 years
Position in Class: average, maybe a bit lower
Type of Student: bog standard domestic white male

GRE Scores :
Q:164 (87%)
V: 170 (99%)
W: 6 (99%), I'm not illiterate!
P: 830 (74%)

Research Experience: Have worked at the same AMO/Quantum information lab for over three years , worked there for three summers and during the school year. The PI's are the departmental chair and another respected scientist. It's a new lab, and I've been here since the beginning so I have done everything from designing circuits, to optics, to programming, to plumbing.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: No

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: None that I can think of at the moment

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: not really relevant but was in Honors Humanities program and wrote a book

Special Bonus Points: took a grad level stat mech class last semester, and am taking another grad level course this semester.

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

Applying to Where?:

All for AMO experiment

Accept Waitlist Reject

Super-Reach
Stanford - Rejected by email Feb 23 :cry:
UIUC - Jan 23 - ADMITTED! - 11 month TA - 22,715 stipend - Fellowship - WILL ATTEND

Reach
University of Michigan Ann Arbor - Rejected by email Feb 9 :cry:
Univeristy of Colorado Boulder - Rejected by email telling me to check website Mar 8 :cry:
UCLA - Rejected by email telling me to check website Mar 3 :cry:
University of Wisconsin Madison - Jan 31 - ADMITTED! - 9 month TA / Summer RA- 26,382 stipend - 3000 Fellowship
University of Washington Seattle - Rejected by email Mar 20 :cry:
SUNY Stony Brook - Jan 29 - ADMITTED! - 11 month TA - 28,000 stipend
Penn State - Feb 6 - ADMITTED! - 9 month TA - 21,555 + 7,000 fellowship
Ohio State - Feb 26 - ADMITTED! - 25,728 stipend

Match
University of Arizona - Feb 19 - ADMITTED! - 9,200 per semester
University of Virginia - Mar 1 - ADMITTED! - 25,600 stipend
University of Rochester- Jan 31 - ADMITTED! - 9 month TA - 20,808 TA stipend - 1,156 bimonthly research stipend
UCF - Feb 14 ADMITTED!

Some Thoughts:
Even with a low GPA you can get into top-tier universities, provided you have research experience. I was extremely worried that I wouldn't get accepted anywhere because of my low grades my junior year. That's why I applied to so many schools. If I were to do it over again, knowing what I knew now, I would only apply to the top half of my list.
Last edited by Byzantium1453 on Sat May 05, 2018 3:24 pm, edited 20 times in total.

JAY
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Sep 19, 2017 10:28 am

Re: 2018 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby JAY » Mon Oct 02, 2017 5:36 pm

Undergrad Institution: Medium-sized Public University, Not known for physics
Major(s): Physics
Minor(s): Mathematics
GPA in Major: 3.80
Overall GPA: 3.78
Length of Degree: 4 years
Position in Class: Top third
Type of Student: Domestic male

GRE Scores:
Q: 164 (87%)
V: 161 (88%)
W: 4.5 (82%)
P: 620 (33%)


Research Experience: 1.5 years of research, with a submitted paper for publication and 1 conference talk. My experience is in a field outside that of which I'm applying to study in graduate school.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Various merit-based scholarships and honor societies

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: I did an REU at a fairly well-known university. Also, officer in school's physics club.

Special Bonus Points: I was able to meet with the professor who I'd like to work under at one of my top-choice universities.

Applying to Where: Accepted Interview/Wait-list Rejected
All for Plasma Physics, unless otherwise noted

~ University of Michigan: Nuclear Engineering - Feb. 9 (2/9): Invite for visit - Mar. 23 (3/23): Accepted via email, $30k TA/RA Will Attend!
~ University of Iowa: Physics - Feb. 13 (2/13): Accepted via email, $19k TA - Declined
~ City University of New York: Material Sciences - Feb. 8 (2/8): Interview - Feb. 28 (2/28): Accepted via website, $30k scholarship - Declined
~ University of Saskatchewan (Canada): Physics - Feb. 27 (2/27): Interview - Mar. 12 (3/12): Accepted via email - Declined
~ University of Alaska, Fairbanks: Physics - Feb. 12 (2/12): Accepted via email - Declined
~ University of Wisconsin, Madison: Physics - Feb. 19 (2/19): Rejected upon inquiry of status
~ University of Washington: Aeronautics & Astronautics - Mar. 28 (3/28): Rejected via email
~ University of Colorado, Boulder: Physics - Mar. 8 (3/8): Rejected via website
~ Columbia University: Applied Physics - Apr. 17 (4/17): Rejected via email
~ University of Rochester: Physics - Feb. 15 (2/15): Rejected via website
~ UC San Diego: Physics - Mar. 17 (3/17): Rejected via email

~ 2/25 Update: It seems true that admission decisions come in waves (as opposed to particles). If anyone else feels like they've been waiting a while, take solace in knowing that you are not alone. The process seems long, but I think we'd all prefer committees take careful consideration into each applicant. That being said, waiting isn't easy! Hoping for a speedy finish of this admit season with lots of green text for everyone.
Last edited by JAY on Tue Apr 17, 2018 11:22 am, edited 53 times in total.

Supratik Sarkar
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Oct 04, 2017 11:47 am

Re: 2018 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby Supratik Sarkar » Wed Oct 04, 2017 1:12 pm

Undergrad Institution: 10th best Indian university in QS ranking. No known reputation.
Department: Electronics and Telecommunication Engineering
GPA: 9.2/10
Length of Degree: 4 years
Position in Class: No clue.
Type of Student: Male

GRE Scores : Will give PGRE in October
P:


TOEFL: Not given


Research Experience:
3 summer research internships-
1. On Quantum Statistics in an institute of repute,
2. On Deep Learning in an institute of repute,
3. On Quantum Optics and Quantum Information Theory in Paris, France in one of the top labs of Europe. May result in a publication.
1 project on Quantum Dots at home university.
Lot of experience in robotics and coding.
No publications yet.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: No
Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Convener of the university Science and Robotics Society.

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: Top 0.1% in Biology in India among all Higher Secondary examination givers. Don't know if that counts.

Special Bonus Points: I don't know if these count -> One recommender very well respected, Internship in France...
Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: Strong interest in Quantum Optics, Quantum Computation and Information Theory.

Applying to Where:

I will be applying to Canada and Europe. Only a few of these univs need PGRE.
Univ of Waterloo - IQC - Physics - Quantum Information
Univ of Toronto - Physics
Ottawa - Physics
McGill - Physics
TU Delft - Applied Physics
ENS Paris - Physics
Ecole Polytechniue - Physics
LMU - Physics
KU Leuven - Applied Physics
TU Munich - Physics
Gottingen - Physics
Europhotonics

finesagan
Posts: 1
Joined: Sun Jul 05, 2015 3:04 am

Re: 2018 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby finesagan » Thu Oct 05, 2017 10:40 pm

Undergrad Institution: Small state school
Major(s): Physics & Math
Minor(s):N/A
GPA in Major: 4.0
Overall GPA: 4.0
Length of Degree: 4 years
Position in Class: top-ish
Type of Student: white domestic male

GRE Scores :
Q: 165
V: 159
W: 3.5
P: 850


Research Experience:
1 semester, I researched a combinatorial game based on numerical semi-groups.
1 semester, I classified, enumerated and proved some general results about comminiscule Coxeter groups.
2 years, I have worked on various projects dealing with colloidal functionalization, mono-layer production, actuation and propulsion of micro-scale structures and many body interactions of colloidal particles.
1 summer, I did an REU in theoretical soft matter physics analyzing floppy modes of elastic lattices (surprisingly complex and relies heavily on algebraic geometry).

Sadly, I have no publications out, but one is in preparation. In total I have given 3 talks and 1 poster presentation.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Goldwater honorable mention, a couple math and physics scholarships within my university, and the usual honors (Sigma Pi Sigma, Phi Kappa Phi, Deans, etc.).

Pertinent Activities or Jobs:
I tutor students in Calculus, Proof Writing, Mechanics and Electromagnetism.
I have been or am the T.A. for Quantum Mechanics I and II.
Finally, I am the president of our university's SPS chapter.

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help:
I participated in a summer school in algebraic geometry the summer of my sophmore year. Not sure what this will mean when I apply to physics graduate school.

Special Bonus Points: I've done a lot of outreach outside of SPS. I've taken 6 graduate math courses (my school does not have a graduate physics department :cry: ), and plan to graduate with a total of 9. I've done credited independent studies in differential geometry (with a view towards GR), particle physics and quantum field theory (if anything I hope this shows my initiative).

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter:
Bilingual? Winning smile?

Applying to Where:
All for CME/CMT
REACH:
UCSB - rejected
Yale - rejected on 2/7/17
UPenn - rejected
U Chicago - rejected on 2/1/17
Cornell - rejected
UIUC - rejected
CU Boulder - accepted on 2/7/17 (WILL ATTEND!)

Less REACH:
University of Michigan - accepted on 2/1/17
University of Washington - accepted on 1/22/17
UCSD - accepted on 1/31/17
NYU - accepted on 2/7/17
Pennsylvania State University - accepted on 2/7/17

Least REACH: (will withdraw all soon)
Boston University - accepted on 2/7/17
University of Oregon - accepted on 2/7/17
UC Riverside - accepted

Reflection: Maybe if I had better test scores or more publications I would've fared better, but whatever. I'm beyond happy going to CU Boulder. I wish everyone on here the best of luck in their future endeavors (especially TheKevatron and puggerina).
Last edited by finesagan on Mon Apr 16, 2018 1:10 am, edited 20 times in total.

yougivemeahadron
Posts: 3
Joined: Fri Oct 06, 2017 6:06 pm

Re: 2018 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby yougivemeahadron » Fri Oct 06, 2017 6:47 pm

Undergrad Institution: medium state university w/ no grad program
Major(s): Physics
Minor(s): Math
GPA in Major: 3.99
Overall GPA: 3.99
Length of Degree: 4
Position in Class: Top
Type of Student: Domestic White Male

GRE Scores :
Q: 169 (96%)
V: 157 (76%)
W: 4 (60%)
P: 810 (71%)

Research Experience:
One year of experimental biophysics -- one nth author publication
Two and a half years (including summers) of AMO -- two nth author publications
One poster presentation
One talk

Awards/Honors/Recognitions:
Dean's List every semester
Other school specific stuff idk

Pertinent Activities or Jobs:
Private tutor for two years
TA for two years
Physics Club VP
SPS President
OSA Treasurer
Supplemental Instruction Leader

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help:
I applied to professors with research specific to my publications

Special Bonus Points:
First generation I guess

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter:
sop was v specific.

Applying to Where:
Stanford - Physics - AMO (Feb. 23: Rejected via email)
U Chicago - Physics - AMO (Feb. 1: Rejected via email)
Berkeley - Physics - AMO (Feb. 23: Rejected via email)
Cornell - Applied Physics- AMO (Mar. 28: Rejected via email)
CU Boulder - Physics - AMO (Feb. 9: ACCEPTED for Ph.D via email to check website + $3k Fellowship + $30-$37k TA/RA)
Michigan - Physics - AMO (Feb. 7: Rejected via email)
Northwestern - Physics - AMO (Feb. 28: Waitlisted. Called and asked.) (March 8: Rejected via email)
Last edited by yougivemeahadron on Wed Mar 28, 2018 2:38 pm, edited 32 times in total.

pistachion
Posts: 6
Joined: Tue Aug 22, 2017 2:35 pm

Re: 2018 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby pistachion » Mon Oct 09, 2017 2:52 pm

Undergrad Institution: small private liberal arts
Major(s): physics and mathematics
Minor(s): ~
GPA in Major: 4.0
Overall GPA: 4.0
Length of Degree: 4
Position in Class: top
Type of Student: domestic, asian american

GRE Scores :
Q: 166 (91%)
V: 164 (94%)
W: 4.5 (82%)
P: 890 (83%)



Research Experience:

1. Summer after sophomore year + spring of junior year: Application of AdS/CFT correspondence to chiral phase transition in QCD. Second author (out of two) paper in Phys. Rev. D, and posters at APS DNP Fall 2016 and 2017 meetings. Have made some progress towards second paper. Update: second paper submitted to PRC and up on arXiv in time for last two applications (UW and Stony Brook)

2. Summer after junior year + fall of senior year (will continue into spring): Inflationary leptogenesis in Chern-Simons modified gravity. No paper, but worked closely with PI who is applying for NSF funding and wants to publish in this area. Scheduled to give a talk at a regional conference. Will become honors thesis in physics.

3. Fall of senior year (will continue into spring): Representation theory of diagram algebras. This is research with a math professor going towards an honors thesis in math. Will present poster at JMM.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Goldwater honorable mention (2017), dean's list, internal scholarships, summer research fellowships, travel grants for APS conferences.

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Precepted linear algebra, object oriented programming, math and politics, and abstract algebra. Graded for quantum mechanics. Am a mentor through a program at my school created to help women and minority students in stem fields.

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help:

Special Bonus Points:

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: Unfortunately I haven't taken any grad classes because my school is so small. But, I will have done ~5 independent studies (either research or self-study or both) by the time I graduate. I've tried to incorporate mathematical aspects of physics into final projects and things in math classes (e.g. fibre bundles for my topology project). I want to communicate that I have maxed out the opportunities available to me at my school. I have done research with my three recommenders so they know how I work.

Applying to Where: All for Hep-th (particle cosmology or nuclear theory)

UT Austin (May 3: Rejected via website.)
UW Seattle (Mar. 20: Rejected via email. Expected because of how late I was in hearing back, but somewhat surprising given my two publications in nuclear theory)
MIT (Feb. 13: Rejected via website.)
UChicago (Feb. 1: Rejected via email to check website. Expected, especially seeing thegradcafe results)
UC Berkeley (Feb. 23: Rejected via email to check website)
UMD (Feb. 12: Waitlisted)
University of Minnesota (Jan. 22: ACCEPTED for Ph.D via website, three-year $25k College of
Science and Engineering Graduate Fellowship!)
WILL ATTEND
UW Madison (Jan. 30: ACCEPTED for Ph.D via email, $6k fellowship + $20k for 9 month TA) Declined
UM Ann Arbor (Jan. 29: ACCEPTED for Ph.D via email, $25k for department fellowship + quarter-time TA. will receive $2k one-time fellowship if i enroll) Declined
Stony Brook (Jan. 25: ACCEPTED for Ph.D via email, $23k for 9 month TA) Declined
Last edited by pistachion on Thu May 03, 2018 11:38 am, edited 23 times in total.

xuning
Posts: 13
Joined: Sat Oct 14, 2017 10:04 pm

Re: 2018 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby xuning » Sat Oct 14, 2017 10:32 pm

Undergrad Institution: Large private school. good reputation in physics.
Major(s):physics
Minor(s):
GPA in Major:4.0
Overall GPA:3.98
Length of Degree: 4 yrs
Position in Class: probably near the top. We don't rank.
Type of Student: international female

GRE Scores :
Q: 170 (97%)
V: 165 (96%)
W: 4 (60%)
P: 990 (94%)


Research Experience: 4 semesters and 2 summers in the same lab. One first author paper, one poster.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: one poster award and one research grant. The research grant is for <10 people in the college.

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: TA for 4 different physics classes. SPS officer.

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: A CS project.

Special Bonus Points: first-generation.

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: lots of event management experience. Mentor in some programs.

Applying to Where:
Harvard - Physics Feb.9 Accepted
Princeton - Physics Feb.9 Accepted
MIT - Physics Jan. 13: Interview request Feb.9 Accepted
Caltech - Physics Jan. 21: Interview request Feb.6 Accepted
Stanford - Physics Feb.22 Accepted
Berkeley - Physics Feb.22 Accepted
UChicago - Astro Feb.9 Accepted
Michigan - Physics Feb.1 Accepted
Johns Hopkins - Physics Feb.16 Accepted
Upenn - Physics Jan. 10: Interview request Jan.29 Accepted
UIUC - Physics Jan.19 Accepted
UCSD - Physics Jan.31 Accepted
Last edited by xuning on Thu Feb 22, 2018 11:09 pm, edited 38 times in total.

sumotongs
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Jul 18, 2017 4:05 am

Re: 2018 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby sumotongs » Mon Oct 16, 2017 1:23 am

Undergrad Institution: Well known South Asian university, OK reputation in Physics
Major(s): Engineering Physics
Minor(s): --
GPA in Major:3.2
Overall GPA:3.2
Length of Degree: 4 years
Position in Class: Near top
Type of Student: International male

GRE Scores :
Q: 170 (97%)
V: 164 (94%)
W: 3.5 (42%)
P: 930 (88%)


TOEFL: 118 (R:30 , L:30 , S:30 , W:28 )


Research Experience:
1) 2 years of research in theoretical interdisciplinary physics leading to one publication (1st author out of 2) in Phys Rev E.
2) 1 year- theoretical condensed matter physics, submitted a paper (under review).
3) 2 years- mathematical physics, no publication.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: 2 external undergraduate research fellowships.

Pertinent Activities or Jobs:--

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help:--

Special Bonus Points:--

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

Applying to Where:
TCMP (theoretical condensed matter physics)
MIT- TCMP (Feb. 13: Rejected via website, no email)
Harvard- TCMPRejected via email
UC Berkeley- TCMPRejected via email
University of Chicago- TCMP (Feb. 01: Rejected via website, no email)
University of Illinois, Urbana Champaign- TCMPRejected via email
University of Maryland, College Park- TCMP (Feb. 13: Rejected via email, no change in status on website.)
Cornell University- TCMP (Feb. 12: Rejected via email, no change in status on website.)
Princeton University- TCMP (Feb. 14: Rejected via email, no change in status on website.)
Boston University- TCMPRejected via email
Notre Dame- Theory (no preference) (Feb. 02: ACCEPTED for Ph.D via email; TA/RA $22.3k/9 month + Health Insurace+ $500 one time moving supplement.)
Last edited by sumotongs on Tue Mar 27, 2018 7:58 pm, edited 11 times in total.

fznfire
Posts: 11
Joined: Fri Feb 24, 2012 12:53 am

Re: 2018 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby fznfire » Mon Oct 23, 2017 11:03 am

Undergrad Institution: Liberal Arts
Master's Institution: Liberal Arts
Major(s):Physics and Mathematics (undergrad); Astronomy with planetary science conc. (Masters)

GPA in Major: 4.00 (Undergrad); 3.75
Overall GPA: 4.00 (Undergrad); 3.86
Length of Degree: 4+2
Position in Class: above average.
Type of Student: International

GRE Scores :
Q: 170 (97%). (Wanted a perfect score in Q for GRE after failing to do so in SAT. Worked hard to make this score perfect.)
V: 158 (80%)
W: 4.0 (60%) :oops:
P: 860 (79%)

TOEFL: Exempted.


Research Experience:
Luckily found three planets at the end of this summer in K2. Paper accepted for AJ. Have a idea for a second paper. Hope to get it out before I graduate but not before the application.

Worked with a large group at Princeton. Was included as co-author in 4 papers. Also took a year off after graduation to work at the telescope in Chile. Good exposure to life as an instrumentalist.

Undergraduate research and thesis focused on cold plasma. The work led to publication of 3 papers. Some of my experimental work is still being modeled, and probably can lead to a fourth paper.

Short term projects at CERN, and in AMO. But not much panned out of them.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions:
Co-valedictorian of my class. 8)
Authored 3 first/second author paper, 5 Nth author paper (although not always in the relevant field)

Pertinent Activities or Jobs:
Active in SPS. Was elected local SPS president for two years.

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help:
None

Special Bonus Points: Developed connection to some places. Know some of the potential advisors personally.

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

Applying to Where :

California Institute of Technology -- Accepted to PS department with funding 34K per year. -- Application Withdrawn
MIT- EAPS -- Accepted to EAPS department with 37K per year funding. -- Attending
Yale University -- Accepted to astronomy program with 34.55K per year funding. -- Application Withdrawn
University of Colorado Accepted to astronomy program. -- Application Withdrawn
Boston University-- Accepted to astronomy program with 33.9K per year funding. -- Application Withdrawn
University of Texas, Austin- Accepted to astronomy program. -- Application WIthdrawn
University of Arizona - LPI-Accepted on Feb 05. -- Application WIthdrawn
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
IMPRS -- Applied -- Interview on January 8 -- Application withdrawn
McGill University -- Application withdrawn
Lehigh University -- Application withdrawn
Vanderbilt University-- Application withdrawn
University of California, Berkeley -- Application withdrawn
University of Michigan -- Application withdrawn
UMD --Invitation to interview on January 26th-- Application withdrawn
University of Toronto -- Application withdrawn
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
University of Washington -- Invitation to interview on January 22th-- Rejected
University of California, Santa Cruz -- Invitation to interview on Feb 1st-- Rejected
Princeton University -- Rejected on Feb 2nd
Harvard University -- Rejected
Cornell University -- Rejected -- No one working on exoplanets here. I applied because of great PS department. In hindsight should not have applied here.
University of Chicago -- Waitlisted
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I applied to 21 places, and paid application fee upto $125 at some places (should not have had applied to Berkeley probably as I withdrew even before the results were in). It was expensive. But for me it was worth it. I never dreamt that I would get into so many great programs. I would have been happy at many of these places, but with the luxury I had been given, I have decided to attend MIT. I never dreamt of getting into MIT, if I had applied to a fewer places MIT probably would not have made my list. My prof. at MIT told that I was selected because of my unique background, and strong recommendations. Also, I found having a Master's did overall boost my chance for application. And publication is perhaps the single most important factor in the application process, and I got very lucky in that regards. But it did teach me many important lessons.
Last edited by fznfire on Mon Mar 19, 2018 9:02 pm, edited 37 times in total.

milogoestogradschool
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Oct 25, 2017 3:38 pm

Re: 2018 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby milogoestogradschool » Thu Oct 26, 2017 9:10 am

Undergrad Institution: Small state school with little to no physics reputation.
Major(s): Physics
Minor(s):
GPA in Major: 3.98/4.0
Overall GPA: 3.85/4.0
Length of Degree: 4.5
Position in Class: Top 1
Type of Student: White Domestic Male

GRE Scores : Revised
Q: 164 (87%)
V: 159 (83%)
W: 4.0 (60%)
P: 750 (60%)

Research Experience:
-Small projects at home institution in an attempt to start up a now research-scale biophysics lab.
-2 years doing single molecule biophysics research at a nearby R1 university. Culminated to honors thesis.

Awards/Honors/Recognition:
-Two competitive research grants from home institution.
-Handful of smaller semester research grants.
-Departmental honors in physics.
-Physics valedictorian award.

Pertinent Activities or Jobs:
-Introductory physics tutor for 2 semesters.
-Introductory physics TA for 1 semester.
-Vice president of SPS chapter.

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: Presented research at APS and Harvard NCRC.

Special Bonus Points: One writer is fairly well known in the field.

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: Didn't start physics until third year of undergrad. Took a year off and am currently working as an optical engineer. Don't know if those help or hurt my application.


Applying to Where: Experimental Biophysics // Experimental Condensed Matter everywhere.


Yale University - Physics (Feb. 7: REJECTED via website/email)
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor - Physics: (March 28: Waitlisted via email) - Declined
Michigan State University - Physics: (Jan. 29: ACCEPTED for Ph.D via email + $27k TA) - Declined
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill - Physics: (Jan. 16: ACCEPTED for Ph.D via email + $24k TA) - WILL ATTEND!
University of Massachusetts, Amherst - Physics: (Feb. 5: ACCEPTED for Ph.D via email + $28k TA.) - Declined
Iowa State University - Physics: (Feb. 28: ACCEPTED for Ph.D via email + $24k TA) - Declined
University of Notre Dame - Physics: (March 28: Waitlisted via email) - Declined
Lehigh University - Physics: (Feb. 14: ACCEPTED for Ph.D via email + $29k TA) - Declined
University of Maine - Physics: (Feb. 14: ACCEPTED for Ph.D via email + $21k TA) - Declined

Final Thoughts:
I didn't expect so many offers, very happy with how thing turned out. Like everyone else on the forum, I have to recommend Conquering the Physics GRE - Kahn and Anderson. I added over 200 points and 40% to my score using a combination of that text and older exams. I never made it into the elusive 990 club, but you can evidently still get into some solid programs without that membership. This was a stressful and expensive process, but I am beyond excited to be attending UNC this fall. Good luck to those who are still waiting and congratulations to everyone else with green text in their profiles!
Last edited by milogoestogradschool on Mon Apr 09, 2018 11:54 pm, edited 23 times in total.

straightwhitemale
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Oct 26, 2017 3:54 pm

Re: 2018 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby straightwhitemale » Thu Oct 26, 2017 4:11 pm

Undergrad Institution: Small liberal arts state school, not a big physics rep
Major(s): Physics & Chemistry
Minor(s): Mathematics
GPA in Major: 3.832
Overall GPA: 3.887
Length of Degree: 4.5
Position in Class: Near the top
Type of Student: see username

GRE Scores : revised
Q: 164 (87%)
V: 160 (86%)
W: 5.5 (98%)
P: 790 (67%)


TOEFL: N/A


Research Experience: 2 REUs. One in nuclear physics (UMass Dartmouth), one in high energy physics (Duke). No publications. Presented at DNP conference (HI, 2014) and multiple research symposiums at school

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: 2 REUs, Departmental Honors, Deans list

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Physics Tutor, Chemistry TA, Optical Engineer

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: Scholar Athlete

Special Bonus Points: Auditing graduate classes

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: not much else

Applying to Where:

UC Santa Cruz - Physics - High Energy - (Feb. 20: Rejected via email)
UC Davis - Physics - High Energy
UC Los Angeles - Physics - High Energy - (Mar. 1: Rejected via email notification)
UC Irvine - Physics - High Energy
UC Riverside - Physics - High Energy - (Feb. 15: ACCEPTED for Ph.D via email + $25k Fellowship + $7k/term TA)
UC San Diego - Physics - High Energy - (Mar. 17: Rejected via email notification)
University of Southern California - Physics - High Energy - (Mar. 22: Rejected via email notification)
Texas A&M - Physics - High Energy - (Mar. 2: WILL ATTEND for Ph.D. Accepted via email + $2k Fellowship + $1850k/month TA (9 mo))
Baylor - Physics - High Energy - (Invited to interview 2/6) - (Mar. 1: ACCEPTED for Ph.D via email + $12k/semester TA + $8k fellowship)
University of Florida - Physics - Chemical Physics - (Feb. 23: ACCEPTED for Ph.D via email + $25k TA)
Last edited by straightwhitemale on Wed Mar 28, 2018 11:14 am, edited 8 times in total.

CanIHasPHDPlz
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Oct 27, 2017 10:52 am

Re: 2018 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby CanIHasPHDPlz » Fri Oct 27, 2017 11:09 am

Undergrad Institution: Midwest Liberal arts school known mostly for its Business and Engineering
Major(s): Physics, Math
Minor(s): None
GPA in Major: Physics (4.0), Math (3.89)
Overall GPA: 3.97
Length of Degree: 4 years
Position in Class: No idea. Probably near top.
Type of Student: Domestic straight white male.

GRE Scores :
Q: 165 (89%)
V: 162 (91%)
W: 3.5 (42%) :roll:
P: 840 (76%) (Conquering the Physics GRE by Khan and Anderson is an absolute MUST)


Research Experience: 18 months in a biophysics lab. 1 conference. 2 publications with 1 more on its way. 2/3 as first author.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: A few scholarships. Nothing fancy.

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Was a UA for one semester for a Psychology professor.

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: Not that I can think of.

Special Bonus Points: One of my recommenders is a Michigan alumnus. We'll see if that makes any difference.

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

Applying to Where: (Expressing interest in HEP/condensed matter, especially with a computational focus)

Waitlisted ACCEPTED Rejected

Approximate order of interest:
Indiana Jan 6: ACCEPTED ($18,333 10 month TA + $5000 first year bonus [does not included summertime work {negotiable with professor}]) - WILL ATTEND
Penn State No Response :\
Michigan Feb 7: Rejected (I guess that letter didn't make a difference)
Wisconsin Jan 31: ACCEPTED ($26,832 12 month TA/RA [TA for 9 months, RA for 3 months {June-August}]) - Declined
Texas A&M No Response :\
Case Western Phone Interview (2/27) - Declined
William & Mary No Response :\
(Last Updated: 03/29)

Thoughts: Was surprised by the Wisconsin acceptance. It didn't feel like a very good fit to me.
Very pleased with the Indiana acceptance. I went for an "incognito" visit the weekend after I got accepted and everyone was very nice and helpful and the campus is beautiful (the student union building is AMAZING). I think that me and one of the condensed matter professors have mutual interest in each other. There's an official physics open house in March. I'm planning on going to that and if everything goes well, I'll probably accept this offer unless something crazy happens with Penn State.

Final Thoughts: Very Pleased to be attending IU. Was kind of surprised/disappointed with the lack of response from some of the schools...
But, who cares! I'm happy with the way that things worked out.

Everyone else: Best of Luck in making final decisions in the next ~2 weeks!
Last edited by CanIHasPHDPlz on Thu Mar 29, 2018 5:20 pm, edited 14 times in total.

scarman
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Oct 30, 2017 11:26 pm

Re: 2018 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby scarman » Mon Oct 30, 2017 11:39 pm

Undergrad Institution: Large state school, ~ #20 in physics
Major(s): Physics, Mathematics, Astronomy
GPA in Major:
3.81 Physics (All As and A-s, nothing lower)
3.50 Math (proof-based courses killed me. I got Bs in both real analysis and abstract algebra)
~3.7 Astro (it depends on how you calculate it since so many physics classes count towards the major)
Overall GPA: 3.77
Length of Degree: 5 years
Position in Class: N/A
Type of Student: Domestic Native American/White Mix, Male

GRE Scores:
Q: 164 (87%) (physics programs don't care if you can find the 2000th term in a sequence given a pattern of 3 numbers)
V: 158 (80%) :oops: (slow reader)
W: 4.5 (82%) :oops: (didn't leave any time to proof-read)
P: 890 (83%) :lol: (literally took this 3 times - first 680, then 740, then this. Conquering by Khan, Anderson is a must!)


Research Experience:
(at time of application not including spring semester)
- 2.5+ years in CME (in superconducting quantum computing), 1st LoR
- 1.5+ years in computational cosmology (seemingly non-intersecting, I know, I just like it), 2nd LoR
- 1 REU at top 10 program in CME (also superconducting quantum computing), 3rd LoR
- 1 first-author cosmology publication in preparation (at time of application processes, still mentioned it)
- 1 cosmology poster presented at AAS

Awards/Honors/Recognitions:
None really, I didn't seize the opportunities to apply for a lot of them.

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: NOTE: Only putting on what's going on my application, lots of people seem to include stuff that admissions committees don't even know about.

- One 2-year part-time job as a science blogger for an environmental science company, which I guess counts as a science education and communication bonus.
- One 1-year paid writing position for a college-prep company aimed at gender and racial minorities, so education + diversity points I guess.
- President of physics club for one year, outreach coordinator for another.
- Been a tutor through the physics club since Freshman year.

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

Special Bonus Points:
- Strong letters (all about research - no "they did well in my class" stuff)
- Strong SoP (life experience that I get to emphasize)
- Taken almost every physics elective offered (solid-state, atomic, optics, electronics, even a quantum information course)
- 3 grad classes (GR, a group theory course offered through the physics dept, one astro course on radiative processes), spring semester not included
- Also emailed the crap out of people I want to work with, had several great skype and phone conversations. One guy at MIT even invited me out to meet him and his group, so that was pretty exciting. Made the most of it and talked to as many people (both at Harvard and MIT) as I could while I was there.

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter:
- I studied abroad for a semester, idk if that has any affect.
- Also mentioned the people I met with/talked with over the phone in my SoP, but that's a given.

Applying to Where:
- Mostly CME, high emphasis on superconductivity, strongly-correlated materials, and/or quantum computing (QC). Some computational cosmology (CC) and/or experimental cosmology (EC) programs.

NSF GRFP : Not Awarded. :evil: Super salty about this considering I got 4 "Excellent"s and 2 "Very good"s with absolutely glowing comments... How in the world am I supposed to improve if all the comments said I was fantastic? It's a frickin lottery.

-----------------------vv Physics vv------------------------

Stanford - Physics - CME (showing sub-interest in AMO) : ADMITTED! (via email, February 22) Amazing 2 yr SGF through physics AND the E.D.G.E. fellowship (!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) holy crap they want me - WILL ATTEND!!!
Princeton - Physics - CME, QC : ADMITTED! (via email, February 9), Fellowships provide support to first year grad students ~ $29,000/9mo + RA ~ $7,000/3mo, so total ~ $36,000 for the first year. If I get the NSF fellowship, they'll add another $4k to make it $40,000 (!!!) - Declined
UC Santa Barbara - Physics - CME, QC (showing sub-interest in AMO) : ADMITTED! (via email to check website, February 8 ) TA ~ $31,000/yr + benefits - Declined
Urbana-Champaign - Physics - CME : ADMITTED! (via email, January 18) TA ~ $23,000/11 months + fellowship, $4,000/yr for 4 years - Declined
Yale - Physics - CME, QC : ADMITTED! (via email to check website, February 7) TA/RA ~ $34,500/yr - Declined
Berkeley - Physics - CME, QC : ADMITTED! (via email to check website, February 21) GSI + Stipend ~ $35,000/year + benefits - Declined. Really liked their program but I got a much better financial offer at Stanford and the area turned me and my wife off.
Maryland/JQI - Physics - CME, QC : ADMITTED! (via email, February 12) TA/RA (no amount specified) + $5,000/2yrs Dean's fellowship AND $15,000/3yrs CNAM fellowship (!!!) - Declined
UCLA - Physics - CME (showing sub-interest in AMO) : ADMITTED! (via email unofficially on January 24, official offer on February 16), TA/RA ~ $25,000/yr + benefits + Eugene V. Cota-Robles Fellowship - Declined
Michigan - Ann Arbor - Physics - CME : ADMITTED (via email, January 27 at like 2am their time lol), ~ $30,500/yr (unspecified TA/RA) + benefits - Declined
Northwestern - Physics - CME, AMO : ADMITTED (via email, January 26), TA ~ $32,000/yr + benefits - Declined
CU Boulder - Physics - CME : ADMITTED (via email to check website, February 28 ) ~ $30-37,000/yr + benefits - Declined
Minnesota - Twin Cities - Physics - CME (showing sub-interest in CMT) : ADMITTED! (via website, January 22) TA ~ $26,000/yr + benefits - Declined

MIT- Physics - CME, QC (showing sub-interest in CC) : REJECTED (via website, February 13). Got into applied physics program so not really upset. What matters is your advisor anyways! :wink:
Harvard - Physics - CME (sub-interest in EC) : REJECTED (via email to check website, February 21). Don't know why it took them so long to send rejections considering acceptances were sent out 2 weeks ago. It's not like we didn't know lol
Caltech - Physics - CME, QC : REJECTED (via email, March 7) Wouldn't have attended anyways at this point, just good to hear back. Congrats to those admitted!
Cornell - Physics - CME (showing sub-interest in EC) : REJECTED (via email, February 23) lol
UChicago - Physics - CME, QC : REJECTED (via email to check website, February 1). Semi-surprised by this, since my REU was there this past summer.

TO ALL MY FELLOW UCHICAGO REJECTS: Do not feel bad at all. They were really tight on admissions this year. When I talked to the chair this past summer, he said they had an extraordinarily large retention last year and were going to send out a lot fewer acceptances this year. There are plenty of perfect applicants that got rejected. I estimate that their acceptance rate this year will be < 9% due to rejecting overqualified candidates (why accept you and take the risk of having you attend if you have an excellent chance of admission to a higher ranked school?). It's just a bad year!

-----------------------vv Astro vv------------------------

UC Santa Cruz - Astro - CC, EC : Made short list and interview request (via email, January 31), scheduled for February 2. ADMITTED! (via email, February 8 ) RA ~ $33,000/yr + $4,000 fellowship/yr for 2 years (!!!) - Declined
UC San Diego - Astro (applied through physics department, technically physics PhD) - CC, EC : ADMITTED! (via email, February 1), financials TBA - Declined

UChicago - Astro - CC, EC : REJECTED (via website, March 2) one of my friends is on the waitlist and REALLY wants to go so I'm actually kind of happy about this... I can already go to UChicago through IME
Harvard - Astro - CC, EC : REJECTED (via email to check website, February 12). Not even slightly surprised :wink:

-----------------------vv Applied Physics vv------------------------

MIT - EECS (Applied physics route) - QC, CME : ADMITTED! (via email, February 7) RA ~ $41,000/yr + benefits + 9 mo Lemelson Fellowship (!!!) - Declined. This one was hard to turn down but I don't want to do engineering, at least not yet.
UChicago - Institute for Molecular Engineering - (solid-state) quantum computing : ADMITTED! (via email to check website, January 12) RA ~ $33,500/yr + benefits - Declined


IMPORTANT TAKE-AWAYS AND ADVICE TO FUTURE APPLICANTS:
(to be added after I get more acceptances/rejections)
Last edited by scarman on Wed Apr 11, 2018 11:12 am, edited 92 times in total.

masterwindu
Posts: 5
Joined: Fri Jun 02, 2017 5:27 pm

Re: 2018 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby masterwindu » Tue Oct 31, 2017 12:39 pm

Undergrad Institution: UK university
Major(s): Theoretical Physics
GPA in Major: 89%
Length of Degree: 4
Position in Class: Top
Type of Student: International male

GRE Scores : (revised)
Q: 164
V: 162
W: 4
P: 990

Research Experience: One numerical project, working on Topological CMP for my final year project

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Internal prizes for academic achievements

Applying to Where:

All for CMT

Caltech Rejected (Mar 8 ) (Nice email)
Princeton Rejected (Feb 14) (Happy Valentine's)
Chicago Rejected (Feb 1)
Illinois at Urbana Champaign Rejected (Mar 4)
UC Santa Babara Rejected (Feb 28)
Maryland Rejected (Feb 13)
Penn State Accepted (Feb 9)
Boston Accepted (Feb 13)
PSI Rejected (Mar 28)
Home institution Withdrawn (Feb 26)
Last edited by masterwindu on Fri Mar 30, 2018 1:44 pm, edited 32 times in total.

medphys761
Posts: 4
Joined: Fri Nov 10, 2017 9:05 pm

Re: 2018 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby medphys761 » Fri Nov 10, 2017 9:21 pm

Undergrad Institution: Public University, average for physics
Major(s): Physics
Minor(s): None
GPA in Major: 3.7 / 4.0
Overall GPA: 3.73/ 4.0
Length of Degree: 4 years
Position in Class: Near top
Type of Student: Domestic white female

GRE Scores :
Q: 168 (94%)
V: 164 (94%)
W: 6.0 (99%)
P: 760 (62%) Up from 630 in Sept.

TOEFL: Not Taking

Research Experience: Started research first semester freshmen year on experimental particle physics with the ATLAS group at my university. Spent a summer at CERN, completed a visualization software project that is currently available for use by ATLAS physicists, and gave a poster presentation at APS April Meeting.

Sophomore year started working with a medical physicist on research outside my university. Will be submitting a paper (first author out of 4) for publication this month but won't be anywhere near publication by application time. Project is about 90% all my original work so I'm hoping my letter writer can attest to my research ability. Also trying to get another medical physics paper on ArXiv before applications are due.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: About 5 small scholarships and research fellowships but nothing national

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Bio 1 TA, tutored high school physics and college physics 1 and 2 for two semesters

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: My GPA in later classes are much higher. Only 1 B past modern physics and it was a B+

Special Bonus Points: I feel that I have 3 really strong letter writers; all can talk about research I've done

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

Applying to Where:
Almost all for CAMPEP approved medical physics. I've noticed that there's not much representation for medical physics on here so I hope this helps! :D
University of Wisconsin, Madison - Medical Physics Invited to Open House / Interview 01/11 Accepted 02/23 Will Accept!
UCLA - Medical Physics Invited to Open House / Interview 01/14 Accepted 03/04
U Chicago - Medical Physics Invited to Open House / Interview 01/24 Accepted 03/05
University of Minnesota - Medical Physics Rejected 04/10/18
Wayne State - Medical Physics Invited to Open House / Interview Declined
Purdue - Medical Physics Waitlisted - Declined
UC Berkeley - Bioengineering Invited to Open House / Interview 01/11 Accepted 03/06
Last edited by medphys761 on Thu Apr 19, 2018 1:27 pm, edited 14 times in total.

brucewayne
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Nov 25, 2016 8:51 am

Re: 2018 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby brucewayne » Sun Nov 12, 2017 7:36 am

______________________________________________
Undergrad Institution: Masters from largely Engineering Institute (well known in my country)
Major(s): Physics
Minor(s): N/A
GPA in Major:
Overall GPA: 7.89/10
Length of Degree: 4 years
Position in Class: Average
Type of Student: International Male

GRE Scores : revised
Q: 153 (61%)
V: 166 (91%)
W: 3 (18%) :(
P: 840 (76%)


TOEFL: 112 (R: 29, L: 29, S: 26, W: 28)


Research Experience: 6 months Masters Thesis and One Year Project Assistant in same lab. Applications are all to the same research topic focusing on Experimental implementation of Quantum Information.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: None

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: None other than the research experience.

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: None (At least none that I'm putting on my application)

Special Bonus Points: A strong recommendation letter I guess.

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: The Project I worked on probably let me develop some of the exact independent skills necessary for the work that I will probably do during my PhD.

Applying to Where:
All for experimental CMP

UCSB : Rejected 27 Feb (email to check website)
UCB : Rejected 24 Feb (email to check website)
Yale : Rejected 7 Feb (email to check website)
University of Chicago : Rejected 1 Feb (email to check website)
Northwestern University : Rejected 28 Feb (email to check website)
MIT : Rejected 13 Feb (website)
Washington University in St.Louis
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Last edited by brucewayne on Thu Mar 01, 2018 8:27 pm, edited 9 times in total.

msdecaro
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Nov 21, 2017 12:19 am

Re: 2018 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby msdecaro » Tue Nov 21, 2017 5:28 pm

Deleted.
Last edited by msdecaro on Tue Apr 03, 2018 3:44 pm, edited 30 times in total.

Schroedingers2c
Posts: 6
Joined: Wed Aug 30, 2017 7:15 am

Re: 2018 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby Schroedingers2c » Wed Nov 22, 2017 12:57 pm

Undergrad Institution: Capital state uni in my (European) country - exceptional in experimental quantum optics, and also quite good in quantum information
Major(s): BSc. Physics, BSc. Mathematics
Minor(s):
GPA in Major: 3.95 in Physics, 3.95 in Mathematics
Overall GPA: 3.95
Length of Degree: Each 3 years, due to different start date in total 4 years.
Position in Class: Top 5-ish
Type of Student: International, Male

GRE Scores:
Q: 159
V: 159
W: 4.5
P: 780 (with less than 1 week of preparation, due to several reasons, I'm quite okay with that)

TOEFL: 110

Research Experience:
Two undergraduate research projects, one about the mathematical framework in quantum mechanics and one about a recently proposed internal clock formulation of quantum mechanics.
A talk about Information as a foundational principle in physics.
A talk about my project on the mathematical framework of quantum mechanics.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions:
3x recipient of the University Merit Scholarship (always ranking 1.-6. among all physics undergraduate students).
Represented my country in the international final of a competition in theoretical physics, where about 20 countries participated.
Nominated for an exchange semester and the associated scholarship.

Pertinent Activities or Jobs:
Two semesters of tutoring undergraduate students in the freshmen physics tutorials covering Classical Mechanics, Electrodynamics, Thermodynamics and some basic quantum physics. Occasionally tutoring younger students or high school students.

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help:
Got an A on a quantum optics lab course.
I am doing two graduate level classes this semester, one on quantum foundations and one on quantum information theory.
Was part of a huge analogue mars mission involving 19 nations. Did not much physics related, but it taught me a lot in how to handle big projects and leadership. Also, I was involved in actual research.

Special Bonus Points:
One of my referees is well known in the field I apply to and he knows (and they know him) several faculty members I'm interested in working with.
I've read quite some papers of several people I am interested in working with and will write personalised SOPs.

Applying to Where: Quantum Computing/Information Theory

Rejected Waitlisted Accepted
------------------------------------------------------
UCSB (Feb. 28: Rejected via e-mail to check website)
U Maryland (Feb. 13: Rejected via e-mail)
Yale (Feb. 7: Rejected via e-mail to check website)
U Chicago (Feb. 2: Rejected via e-mail to check website)
U Southern California (Mar. 22: Rejected via e-mail)
U Waterloo (MSc.) WITHDREW APPLICATION
Perimeter Institute (Mar. 28: Rejected via e-mail)
U Calgary (MSc.) (Mar. 21: Waitlisted via e-mail) (Apr. 9: Contacted by Professor who has interest, goes to Oxford in fall - what a coincidence) WITHDREW APPLICATION
U Oxford (MSc.) (Mar. 19: Accepted via e-mail) WILL ATTEND
Imperial College (Interview on March 6th) (Mar. 14: Waitlisted via e-mail) (Apr. 9: Rejected via e-mail)
------------------------------------------------------

Good Luck to everyone!

EDIT: Okay, the "expected" rejections are all out now. I'm curious what's next!
Last edited by Schroedingers2c on Fri May 04, 2018 7:14 am, edited 72 times in total.

zhutchens1
Posts: 6
Joined: Sun Apr 09, 2017 8:41 am

Re: 2018 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby zhutchens1 » Wed Nov 22, 2017 4:03 pm

Undergrad Institution: Small liberal arts college. Some national recognition for undergraduate physics education but not for research.
Major(s): Physics
Minor(s): Mathematics
GPA in Major: 3.9
Overall GPA: 3.8
Length of Degree: 2 Years -- transferred from a two-year community college program
Position in Class: Top
Type of Student: Domestic white male

GRE Scores : Revised
Q: 160 (76%)
V: 153 (61%)
W: 4.5 (82%)
P: 670 (44%)

Research Experience: One REU in physics education research (PER). One year doing stellar astrophysics research at my home institution, which resulted in a first-author publication and attendance of a small, international, specialized conference in astrophysics. I've given 5 presentations (poster/talks) at national and regional meetings.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Dean's List every Semester, Presidential Scholarship, Alumni Association Scholarship

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Two years of experience as a supplemental instruction leader for intro physics classes. Was a private tutor for a high school student who worked on a robotics/electronics project.

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: Not really.

Special Bonus Points: One of my recommenders is extremely well-known in PER. I'm also a community college graduate, which some committees might view favorably, especially for the amount I have done in my two years at university.

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

Applying to Where:

UNC Chapel Hill - Astrophysics - (Jan. 16: ACCEPTED for Ph.D via email + $1990/month TA) - WILL ATTEND!
University of Arizona - Astrophysics - (Feb. 7: Rejected via email)
Michigan State University - Physics - Physics Education Research - (Apr. 15: Rejected via email)
Univ. of Wisconsin, Milwaukee - Astrophysics
Texas A&M University-Commerce - Physics and Astronomy - (Dec. 20: ACCEPTED provisionally for M.S.)
University of Toronto - Astrophysics
Georgia Tech - Physics and Astronomy - Astrophysics/PER - (Mar. 1: Rejected via email)
Penn State - Astrophysics - (Jan. 29: Rejected via email)
Indiana University, Bloomington - Astrophysics - (Jan. 27: ACCEPTED for Ph.D via email + $29k/9 month TA + summer RA)
Stony Brook State University - Astrophysics - (Feb. 21: ACCEPTED for M.A. via email)
New Mexico Tech - Astrophysics - (Feb. 6: ACCEPTED for Ph.D via email + $21k/9 month TA)
Last edited by zhutchens1 on Sun Apr 15, 2018 10:01 am, edited 18 times in total.

Ilikepulsars
Posts: 2
Joined: Fri Nov 24, 2017 2:14 pm

Re: 2018 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby Ilikepulsars » Fri Nov 24, 2017 2:47 pm

Undergrad Institution: mid- to large-size public research university in the Midwest, small but good physics program, known for astrophysics research
Major(s): Physics (Astronomy Emphasis)
Minor(s): Math
GPA in Major: 3.907
Overall GPA: 3.633
Length of Degree: 4 years
Position in Class: Unsure, either top or near top for physics
Type of Student: White male, domestic

GRE Scores : Revised
Q: 164 (87%)
V: 165 (96%)
W: 4.0 (60%)
P: 830 (74%) from Oct. '17, up from a 770/64% in Sep. '17


TOEFL: N/A

Research Experience: 3 years of undergraduate research experience at my undergrad institution, including 1.5 years in a leadership role. 2 REUs with mediocre 'results'. One conference presentation, attended AAS meeting.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Two minor scholarships, one for good performance in a physics class. Dean's list for two semesters.

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Physics tutoring & some outreach experience.

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: Took an intro to general relativity course. All A's in physics and astronomy courses excluding a B in Physics I.

Special Bonus Points: Two of my recommenders are well known in the field I want to go into. All three should be really good letters though.

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

Applying to Where:

School - Department - Specialization/Research Interest
Accepted Rejected

USA (all Ph.D. programs):
Physics Departments:
Purdue University - Physics - Astrophysics (Jan. 26: ACCEPTED for Ph.D via email + $20,150/9 month TA)
University of New Mexico - Physics & Astronomy - Astrophysics (Jan. 25: ACCEPTED for Ph.D via email + $17,136/9 month TA)
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee - Physics - Astrophysics (Jan. 19: ACCEPTED for Ph.D via email + $19,500/9 month TA + $2,016/summer 2019 TA)
West Virginia University - Physics & Astronomy - Astrophysics (Feb. 1: ACCEPTED for Ph.D via email + $27k/yr fellowship - WILL ATTEND!

Astronomy Departments:
Columbia University - Astronomy - Astrophysics (Feb. 9: Rejected via email to check website)
Cornell University - Astronomy - Astrophysics (Feb. 19: Rejected via email)
Ohio State University - Astronomy - Astrophysics (Feb. 9: Rejected via website)
Pennsylvania State University - Astronomy - Astrophysics (Jan. 29: Rejected via email)
University of Arizona - Astronomy - Astrophysics (Feb. 5: Rejected via email)
University of Colorado Boulder - Astrophysical & Planetary Sciences - Astrophysics (Feb. 16: Rejected via email to check website)
University of Maryland, College Park - Astronomy - Astrophysics (Feb. 2: Rejected via email)
University of Virginia - Astronomy - Astrophysics (Feb. 19: Rejected via email to check website)

Canada:
McGill University - Physics, M.Sc. - Astrophysics (Mar. 11: ACCEPTED for M.Sc. via email + 23.2k CAD/12 month TA)
University of British Columbia - Physics & Astronomy, M.Sc. - Astrophysics (Feb. 1: Rejected via email)

Netherlands:
Universiteit Leiden - Astronomy, M.Sc. - Astronomy Research (Mar. 2: ACCEPTED for M.Sc. via email + €11k/yr scholarship + tuition waived apart from €2k/yr fee
Last edited by Ilikepulsars on Mon Mar 26, 2018 3:34 pm, edited 37 times in total.

dmForDM
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Nov 24, 2017 2:42 pm

Re: 2018 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby dmForDM » Fri Nov 24, 2017 3:05 pm

Undergrad Institution: Small top 20 LAC
Major(s): Physics
Minor(s): N/A
GPA in Major: 3.73
Overall GPA: 3.78
Length of Degree: 4 years
Position in Class: In the top few in physics, not sure overall
Type of Student: Domestic white male

GRE Scores :
Q: 167 (92%)
V: 164 (94%)
W: 4.5 (82%)
P: 820 (72%) (Same score in September and October.. at least I'm consistent!)


Research Experience: 1 summer of data analysis related to planetary science, 1 semester of HEP theory. No publications. I've given a poster presentation and a talk at small conferences. My work has been presented at larger conferences, though not by me.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: The regulars: dean's list every semester, Sigma Pi Sigma, honors program :roll:

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Tutor for introductory physics, E&M, and introductory computer science courses. I also TA labs and grade homework.

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: Physics club president? We brought a really cool speaker to campus this year.

Special Bonus Points: One of my recommenders knows someone I want to work with at one of my top choices. Not sure how much this will help, but it can't hurt!

Applying to Where:
(All for High Energy Theory)

Boston University -- Jan 24 - Accepted via email from potential advisor!! (Wow. This first acceptance feels good!)
UCSC -- Feb 22 - Accepted! Noticed change in status after randomly checking the portal

UT-Austin -- Feb 1 - Invited to Open House

Yale -- Feb 7 - Rejected via email to check status through portal (First rejection! Woo!)
University of Michigan - Ann Arbor -- Feb 8 - Rejected via email (This one is a bit of a bummer)
Cornell -- Feb 16 - Rejected via email
Stanford -- Feb 23 - Rejected via email
UC Berkeley -- Feb 23 - Rejected via email to check website (Expected, but this one still hurts the most)
UCSB -- Feb 27 - Rejected via email to check website
Columbia -- Feb 28 - Rejected via email to check website

University of Washington - Decided to not apply

My prediction: Rejected from Berkeley, Santa Barbara, Stanford, and Columbia. I'll get into exactly one of Yale, Cornell, U-Michigan, and Santa Cruz and denied from the rest. I'll be accepted to BU and Austin. We'll see though.
Edit: Looks like I can make it as a clairvoyant if the physics career doesn't work out ;)

I realize this list is a bit ambitious. But I'm happy to take a year off and get some more research experience if things don't pan out this time around, so I'm aiming high! I wish everyone the best of luck with the application process. We'll get through this!

Concluding Thoughts:
The final outcome is exactly what I expected. I think my application was strong enough that it was worth trying for some of the top-10 programs, but my non-stellar PGRE score and limited research experience held me back. Applying for Hep-Th didn't help my chances either. Overall, I'm thrilled with my options; The Weinberg theory group at Austin and the Santa Cruz Institute for Particle Physics are both packed with people I'm very excited to work with. Looks like I'll have a difficult choice to make after I'm done with visits..

If you got accepted somewhere you're stoked about, congratulations!! If you didn't, don't stress. I know it's easy for me to write, but there's always next year (or the year after that!) It's also important to remember that there's more to life than just studying physics! Keep things in a healthy perspective! Peace <3
Last edited by dmForDM on Wed Feb 28, 2018 4:20 pm, edited 16 times in total.

User avatar
Dewgale
Posts: 4
Joined: Sat Oct 15, 2016 12:26 am

Re: 2018 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby Dewgale » Fri Nov 24, 2017 4:41 pm

Undergrad Institution: Canadian Public University, no real reputation as far as I know
Major(s): Physics
Minor(s):
GPA in Major: 4.382/4.5 (approximately 3.895/4 )
Overall GPA: 4.152/4.5 (approx 3.691/4)
Length of Degree: 4
Position in Class: Top/Near Top
Type of Student: International White Male

GRE Scores : (revised or old version?)
Q: 166 (91%)
V: 167 (98%)
W: 4.5 (81%)
P: 800 (69%) :?


Research Experience: Two years at my university doing research into the AdS/CFT correspondence. Two papers in the works where I'll either be first or second author, and I have given 9 talks about my work in the last 15 months.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Dean's List: Student of Highest Distinction, Bronze: University Physics Competition 2015,2016 (Int''l), Honourable Mention, internal poster competition

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: private tutor (I own a tutoring company), TA, marker. I ran a coding camp for indigenous inner-city youth this past summer.

Special Bonus Points: I took General Relativity in my third year, and my supervisor knows quite a few people at various universities.

Applying to Where:
All schools are for HEP-th/Theoretical Cosmology

Canada
McGill - Interviewed - ACCEPTED! $23.2k/yr + MSI Fellowship (1/3 of funding + $1k/yr top-up)(January 22nd)
Victoria - Interviewed
Simon Fraser - ACCEPTED! $24k/year stipend + Graduate Dean's Entrance Scholarship ($4k/yr topup). (January 15th)


USA
MIT - REJECTED February 13th
Princeton - REJECTED February 14th
Stanford
CalTech

UK
Oxford

Good luck everybody!
Last edited by Dewgale on Thu Feb 15, 2018 1:01 pm, edited 5 times in total.

astrocytosis
Posts: 1
Joined: Sat Nov 25, 2017 12:19 am

Re: 2018 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby astrocytosis » Sat Nov 25, 2017 1:07 am

Undergrad Institution: Small highly ranked liberal arts college in New England. Good reputation overall, but no particular reputation in physics.
Major(s): Physics
Minor(s): Jewish Studies
GPA in Major: 3.49
Overall GPA: 3.41 (this is above average for my institution--we have a grade deflation policy)
Length of Degree: 4 years
Position in Class: Probably a little above average, though not by much (average GPA at graduation is around 3.3)
Type of Student: White domestic female

GRE Scores :
Q: 160 (I was advised this score won't matter very much--hope that's true)
V: 170
W: Don't remember and don't care. It was high though.
P: 600 / 28th %ile (this one really hurt my feelings, especially in light of how many hours I spent studying... :cry: )


TOEFL: N/A

Research Experience: One advanced lab course in which I earned an A + two semester-long independent projects with faculty members + one summer of full-time research at another institution that turned into a senior thesis. Most of my projects were based in simulations and computational modeling, with some imaging and laser optics techniques for flavor. I have experience with Mathematica, MATLAB and Python.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Nah.

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: I tutor for the physics department.

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: I'm presenting my summer research at the APS March meeting in LA next semester.

Special Bonus Points: I'm very good with words--I write great personal statements. I have strong rec letters as a result of going to a small college and spending a lot of time with the same professors. I'm a woman, fwiw.

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: My transcript shows an upward trend--had a rough first year and half (in part due to medical factors), but have been getting As and a few Bs ever since. My main interest is in computational physics and specifically nonlinear dynamics. I'm also interested in neuroscience and biophysics, which is reflected on my transcript. I have other interests but I'm focusing on those two for the purposes of writing applications.

Almost ragequit this whole situation over my PGRE score, but ultimately my ego can't handle giving up, so we're gonna see how this goes.

Applying to Where:

SUNY Buffalo - Physics - Nonlinear dynamics
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign - Physics - Nonlinear dynamics REJECTED 3/01 - the most applications they've ever received, apparently
UMD - Physics - Nonlinear dynamics REJECTED 2/13 by email (this is the most disappointing news so far as it was the best fit for my research interests)
University of Iowa - Physics - Nonlinear dynamics
Duke University - Physics - Nonlinear dynamics REJECTED 2/27 - feeling very grateful to RPI at the moment
University of Michigan at Ann Arbour - Physics - Complex systems REJECTED 2/07
Cornell - Physics - Biophysics, relativity & gravitation REJECTED 2/12
Ohio State - Physics - Biophysics
SUNY Stony Brook - Physics - Computational physics REJECTED 2/19
RPI - Physics - Stochastic dynamics ACCEPTED 2/09 (first acceptance!!!) $23k TA stipend
Carnegie Mellon - Physics - Computational physics
Harvard - Physics - Nonlinear dynamics REJECTED 2/16
Last edited by astrocytosis on Thu Mar 01, 2018 9:13 pm, edited 11 times in total.

camarasi
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue Nov 28, 2017 6:16 pm

Re: 2018 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby camarasi » Tue Nov 28, 2017 6:30 pm

These posts have contributed to much anxiety over the years, my turn to reciprocate.

Undergrad Institution: Small private midwestern liberal arts school - no rep in physics
Major(s): Physics, Mathematics
Minor(s): N/A
GPA in Major: 4.0
Overall GPA: 3.977
Length of Degree: 4
Position in Class: top/near top
Type of Student: International male

Revised GRE Scores :
Q: 157 (66%) :shock:
V: 159 (83%)
W: 4 (60%)
P: 970 (92%)

Research Experience:
Two years (including summers) working with same professor on spin physics experiment. Tons of ROOT/C++ for analysis. Two posters at national conferences, presentations at local colloquia/conferences.

Summer internship at national lab on precision neutron physics: helped design, build, and test apparatus. One poster at national conference, another at regional conference + local talks.

Senior year theoretical research project on finite size effects in Bose-Einstein condensation (maybe paper in the spring?). Talks at colloquia.

Not physics, but mathematics capstone project on combinatorial Fibonacci identities.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Presidential scholarship, Dean's list.

Pertinent Activities or Jobs:
Tutor in physics, mathematics and CS.
Intro physics grader.
Local SPS president.

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: None

Special Bonus Points: Primary advisor has connections at 2 schools I'm applying to.

Applying to Where:

Caltech - Physics - Nuclear-Ex, HEP-Ex, HEP-Th Mar. 7: Rejected via email
MIT - Physics - HEP-Ex, CMP-Th Feb. 13: Rejected via website
Stanford - Physics - HEP-Ex, HEP-Th, CMP-Th Feb. 23: Rejected via email
Boulder - Physics - HEP-Th, CMP-Th, HEP-Ex Mar. 8: Rejected via website after request for application status
UCSB - Physics - HEP-Ex, HEP-Th, CMP-Th Feb. 27: Rejected via email to check website
U of Michigan - Physics - HEP-Ex, HEP-Th, CMP-Th Feb. 1: ACCEPTED for Ph.D via email ~ $30,500/yr + Dept. Fellowship for 1st yr!
UPenn - Physics - HEP-Ex, HEP-Th, CMP-Th
OSU - Physics - Cold atom-Th, HEP-Th, CMP-Th Mar. 5: Rejected via email
Kentucky - Physics - HEP-Th, CMP-Th, HEP-Ex Mar. 4: ACCEPTED for Ph.D via email ~ $17,300/yr + $3000 First year fellowship +
$3000/summer

NotreDame - Physics - HEP-Th, CMP-Th, HEP-Ex Feb. 15: ACCEPTED for Ph.D via email ~ $22,300/yr
Last edited by camarasi on Thu Mar 08, 2018 1:49 pm, edited 8 times in total.

PugzRule1
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Nov 27, 2017 9:11 pm

Re: 2018 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby PugzRule1 » Tue Nov 28, 2017 10:01 pm

Undergrad Institution: Medium State School. No Graduate Program. Little to no reputation in Physics
Major(s): Physics
Minor(s):Math
GPA in Major:3.8
Overall GPA:3.8
Length of Degree: 4
Position in Class: N/A
Type of Student: Hispanic Undocumented.I am uncertain whether I am considered an international student or domestic.
GRE Scores :
Q:160
V:158
W:3.5
P:830




Research Experience: 2.5 years of research with same professor. No publications.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: A handful of departmental honors.

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: TA, Tutor, Recitation since sophomore year.

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: No

Special Bonus Points: I am a first generation hispanic student.

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: I put a lot of work into crafting a good SOP. I expect letters of recommendation to be good.

Applying to Where:

University of Chicago - Physics - AMO --- Rejected Via Email 2/1 </3
Northwestern - Applied Physics - AMO ---
Michigan - Applied Physics --- Rejected Via Email 3/7
Colorado - Physics - AMO ---Rejected Email to check application portal 3/8
Wisconsin Madison - Physics - AMO
Lehigh - Physics - AMO
Washington University StL - Physics --- Rejected via Email to check portal 3/8
University of Illinois Chicago -Physics ---Accepted! 2/20 via. Email 18K for TA for 2 yrs w/ RA afterwards
Last edited by PugzRule1 on Wed Mar 14, 2018 1:32 pm, edited 6 times in total.

john_ck
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Nov 30, 2017 11:09 pm

Re: 2018 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby john_ck » Thu Nov 30, 2017 11:26 pm

Undergrad Institution: Small liberal arts
Major(s): Physics
Minor(s): Mathematics
GPA in Major: 3.98
Overall GPA: 3.92
Length of Degree: 4
Position in Class: Top
Type of Student: Domestic white male

GRE Scores :
Q: 167 (92nd %ile)
V: 165 (96th %ile)
W: 4.5 (82nd %ile)
P: 860 (79th %ile)

Research Experience: 1 year research at undergrad school including summer research internship. No publications (yet...soon) but 3 conferences.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Departmental award, summa cum laude, honors program

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: 2 years of ta work

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: -

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: Should be good letters of rec?

Applying to Where:

University of Illinois Urbana Champaign - Physics - CME -Rejected
Columbia - Physics - CME -Rejected
Michigan - Applied Physics -Rejected
Maryland - Physics - CME -Rejected
UPenn - Physics - CME -Rejected
Johns Hopkins - Physics - CME -Rejected
CU Boulder - Physics - CME -Rejected
Cornell - Physics - CME - Rejected

Washington - Physics - CME - Accepted 1/22!
Case Western - CME - Accepted! - declined
Ohio State - CME - Accepted!

Applied to many reach schools, with Ohio State and UW being ~ match ones. As a result, the large amounts of rejections are not too disheartening. The rejections hurt, but nothing will beat that feeling when the first acceptance, UW, popped up on my screen. Such a rush of joy, and payoff for the hard work to this point (of course, its nothing compared to what is to come). Coming from a small liberal arts, I am super excited to be attending one of these great, large universities for the next step in my physics career!
Last edited by john_ck on Mon Apr 09, 2018 7:43 pm, edited 9 times in total.

Caustic
Posts: 3
Joined: Mon Nov 13, 2017 9:45 am

Re: 2018 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby Caustic » Fri Dec 01, 2017 9:06 am

Undergrad Institution: International middle-sized Engineering/Scientific University 20±10 worldwide for physics?
Major(s): Physics
Minor(s): None
GPA in Major: 73%
Overall GPA: 73%
Length of Degree: 3 years
Position in Class: top 10% apparently

Master Institution: UK large Engineering/Scientific University 10±10 worldwide for physics?
Major(s): Physics
Minor(s): None
GPA in Major: 65%
Overall GPA: 65%
Length of Degree: 2 years
Position in Class: probably quite low :(


Type of Student: International white male (+1000 privilege)

GRE Scores :
Q: 169
V: 170
W: 5.0
P: 930 (89%)


TOEFL: 117 (R: 30, L: 30, S: 29, W: 28)


Research Experience: two internships at CERN (but short and focused on software), one at a large European Public research institute (LHC data analysis :) ) and one summer internship in a theory group at a university. Master's thesis obviously (yearlong).

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Selected for exchange program, and the scholarship associated.
Pertinent Activities or Jobs:

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help:

Special Bonus Points: One of my research supervisors just became a scholar in one of the universities I am applying to (he's a reference as well
Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: Good statement of purpose

Applying to Where:

Princeton - Astrophysics
Berkeley - Physics
MIT - Physics
Harvard - Physics
Stanford - Physics
Princeton - Physics

Reissner
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Oct 04, 2017 12:45 am

Re: 2018 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby Reissner » Sun Dec 03, 2017 6:24 am

Undergrad Institution: Large state school
Major(s): Physics
Minor(s): Math and Chemistry
GPA in Major:3.98
Overall GPA: 3.99
Length of Degree: 4 years
Position in Class: Idk, top?
Type of Student: Domestic white female

GRE Scores :
Q: 167 (92%)
V: 158 (80%)
W: 4.5 (82%)
P: <700 (October), I did pretty bad on this test, wish I had the chance to take it again. Part of it is that my curriculum is just not setup well for this test, like I'm learning stuff now that was on the test and I'll be learning stuff next term that came up a lot on the test.

Research Experience:
2 years at current university in experimental biophysics including:
• 1 summer scholarship program (sophomore summer)
• 1 university grant to work during this fall and winter term
1 REU at another university in experimental biophysics (junior summer)

1 first author publication (from summer REU)
Working towards a publication with research at my university. I don’t know that we’ll submit the paper in time, but my PI mentioned talking about it in his recommendation letter. He’s aiming for a very high profile journal and I’d likely be first or second author.

4 posters: one at a conference hosted by my university, second one as part of my REU, third and fourth are very big national conferences that will happen this winter.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Lots of small scholarships from my university (does this even matter?). The two research scholarships/grants I got from my university were pretty competitive and required a written research proposal to apply. Member of Sigma Pi Sigma (physics honor society) and Pi Mu Epsilon (mathematics honor society).

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Besides research, I worked as an undergrad TA one term for a general physics course and I’ve been working for the college of science at my university for 1 ½ years now. There’s a good amount of physics and science outreach that goes along with this job. Also I've been involved in Society of Physics Students and Sigma Pi Sigma leadership for the last two years (current President and Vice President). We set up a mentorship program within our department and have put on a lot of workshops.

Applying to Where: for all I am applying for experimental biophysics research, some for physics Ph.D.s and some for biophysics Ph.D.s

Accepted Waitlist Rejected Interview

UC San Diego- Physics-Rejected
Ohio State- Physics-Accepted and received 2 year university fellowship plus $3,000 research bonus! - declined offer
Carnegie Mellon- Physics-Rejected
Purdue University- Physics-Rejected
University of Michigan- Physics-Accepted! Received the physics department fellowship and a quarter time TA -declined offer
UIUC-Biophysics and Quantitative Biology-Invited for Interview Weekend-Withdrew my application
Ohio State- Biophysics-Accepted and received 2 year university fellowship plus $3,000 research bonus! -declined offer
University of Michigan- Biophysics-Accepted! -declined offer
University of Chicago- Biophysics-Invited for Interview Weekend-Accepted! -declined offer
UC Berkeley- Biophysics-Invited for Interview Weekend -Rejected after Interview
UCSF- Biophysics-Invited for Interview Weekend -Rejected after Interview
Princeton- Quantitative and Computational Biology-Invited for Interview Weekend-Accepted! -Will Attend
University of Washington- Biological Physics, Structure, and Design-Invited for Interview Weekend-Accepted! -declined offer

At this point I have submitted and paid for all of my graduate school application expenses. I ended up only paying $1,130 (that includes tests, sending test scores, and applications fees) and only having to pay 5 application fees since I got a lot of fee waivers through the BTAA Free App and from doing an REU last summer.

(5/15) Update: Well I kind of forgot about this for awhile, but just to recap I ended up getting 7 offers and in the end I was making the decision between University of Michigan (both programs), University of Chicago, and Princeton University. It was a pretty difficult decision but I decided to leave physics and pursue the quant. bio program at Princeton. In the end I decided to weigh my decision most heavily on quality of research rather than the exact name of my Ph.D. And honestly, I'm super happy with my decision and am so excited to start my graduate career at Princeton in the fall.

I wanted to add though, for people in future years, that this process was tough and it was long but you will get through it. I had three scenarios come up during the application season that sucked (and I'm sharing them because maybe you have them too and now you know you aren't allow): getting my PGRE scores back, getting rejected after an interview, and declining offers to schools I had interviewed at and really liked. After I got my PGRE scores back I almost gave up applying to graduate school this year but then I decided to push myself to still apply to some of the physics programs I was going to apply to and I also branched out and looked at programs that still had my field of research (biophysics) but didn't require the PGRE. Looking back on it, I am so glad I did this because not only did I get into a pretty good physics program (which just goes to show that the PGREs aren't everything), but I ended up going into a biophysics/quant. bio program instead of physics. Now as for the rejection after an interview, it sucks but just understand that if you have a couple of interviews then odds are you'll get at least one acceptance (I got 3/5 acceptances from interviews) and that you are good enough (if multiple schools thought you were good enough to interview then you are good enough to go there, it just might be a really competitive year with low funding so less acceptances). Finally, declining offers to places you like is hard, it feels like breaking up with someone. And it's also something you may feel like you can't talk about because your peers may not have multiple offers, so just know that other people also go through this and it's okay to feel sad about declining an offer. For me, I let myself feel sad for about a day and then I just focused on how excited I was about the program I accepted.
Last edited by Reissner on Tue May 15, 2018 6:56 pm, edited 14 times in total.

User avatar
weasel_lord
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Dec 11, 2017 8:46 pm

Re: 2018 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby weasel_lord » Mon Dec 11, 2017 9:26 pm

Thanks for running this useful site! I hope this post helps someone navigate what is not an easy process. feel free to contact me.

Having said that, I can also say that my resentment for the ETS, GRE, ETC is quite strong :evil:

I often wonder if anyone on a selection committee has explored this page... gets my paranoia going...

Undergrad Institution: small liberal arts college, exceptional math, geology, below average physics.
W/some standout faculty doing cosmology and gravity.
Major(s): Physics
Minor(s): Math
GPA in Major: 3.7
Overall GPA: 3.6

Length of Degree:B.a.
-1 year at first school studying film, 2.7 GPA, and being an idiot.
Dropout - > transfer
-3 years to finish after that. some gaps in core physics curriculum...
-Have had 3 years off since graduation

Position in Class: near top. (small pond)
Type of Student: Domestic white male weasel (polecat-ferret hybrid)

GRE Scores :
Q: 167 (92nd) 06/2017
V: 167 (98th) 11/2017
W: 4.5 (82nd) 11/2017
P: 700 (50th) (2017, new scoring format) Well, if you're goanna be average, at least do it with precision EH?!

- may the ETS burn in a towering inferno, amen. If only it was a pull-up competition or a music trivia test.


Research Experience:
No publications, posters, conferences, never did an REU. weak. spent every summer in the outdoors instead of reseraching...
-Geophysics work, in the field and with computational modeling., (not publication quality)
-peripheral role in a Gravitational time dilation experiment with atomic clocks on mountains, (not one of the authors)
-an unfruitful observing run watching AGN on a mountaintop observatory. (insufficient observing time)
-Gave a public talk about Gravitational Waves, compact binaries, etc.


Awards/Honors/Recognitions:LOL!

Pertinent Activities or Jobs:
- Math and Physics tutor at school, after graduating did some in-home tutoring for money.
- solar installer, basic electrical work with renewables and off-grid energy systems.

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help:Elite level alpine climbing, sponsorships, grants, first-ascents, competitions, traveling internationally, 1000hrs/year training. Edited and designed publications. Visual artist, sold woodwork. Music, have built an analog synth, Had a public radio show. Lots of volunteer work. Really into hard sci-fi. like probably too much.

Instead of all these things I could have gotten some legit research experience or done well on the PGRE... but I wouldn't take it back. Got climbing grants for the two summers I could have done an REU. I feel like a whole human being...

Special Bonus Points: From the middle of nowhere? recommender who knows me well, did nobel-winning work with the Supernova Cosmology Project. A non-academic recommender who is a world-famous alpinist (definite risk, I don't think anyone cares about climbing but this person is a great writer). Another reccomender who doesnt know me as well and probably went lukewarm on their letter. (what are ya goanna do?)

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter:
-Lots of coding skill: Python, Java, HTML, C. good at Mathematica
-experience building and repairing computers and phones.
-Have visited CERN as a tourist.

I have a diverse set of interests at the expense of academics: I haven't had my priorities settled enough to become a competitive applicant. Writing skill? maybe at a disadvantage with the bad transcript pre-transfer. had to do all of undergrad physics in 3 years. Graduated 12/2015 and took two years off doing non-academic things, working solar, and traveling to climb. Will have to re-learn how to student. Ready to work REALLY hard in any case.


Applying to Where: shotgun tactics. all PhD

Gen Physics
Oregon - Physics - Gravity (March 13: ACCEPTED for Ph.D via website/email. Visited) Will Attend!
Mines - Physics - Renewable Energy Materials (April, ACCEPTED for Ph.D, unofficial offer over the phone.)
CU Boulder - Physics - Renewable Energy Materials (Rejected via website/email)
U of Utah - Physics - Gravity and Cosmology (No acceptances due to tragedy/toxic departmental culture/legal investigation. :shock: )
CSU Ft. Collins - astroparticle (Rejected via website/email) surprising.
MSU Bozeman - Physics - Gravitational Waves and compact objects (Rejected via website/email) :x dissapointing
UC Riverside - - buffering... Withdrawn.
UC Davis - - (Rejected via website/email) not much of a surprise, but took frustratingly long to find out...
Washington - Physics - (Rejected via website/email)
Wisconsin Madison - Physics - buffering...

Astro/Planetary
UC Santa Cruz - surfing - (Rejected via website/email) prompt and definitive...
NAU - Astronomy - Observational astro or planetary geoscience - Waitlist for 3 mo ( then rejected)
Boulder - planetary geoscience (Rejected via website/email)
NMSU - planetary geoscience Waitlisted early on
Wyoming - Observational Astronomy - Buffering... Withdrawn.
Minnesota - Cosmology - Buffering...
Washington - Astro (Rejected via website/email) prompt

Geo
U Arizona Tucson - Geophysics - (Rejected via website/email) not sure why I did this.

Intl. Really wanted to become an honorary Canadian, but oh well...
Calgary - Astrophysics - (Rejected via website/email) - applied directly for Phd not realizing that that's not how they operate. had to switch the application to a masters, and quickly realized that they wouldn't have funded me. rejected anyway so no matter.
McGill - Physics - Buffering... my chances are nill
U Alberta Edmonton - Physics - Buffering...

Just psyched for NASA to take that James Webb Space Telescope and put it where the sun don't shine. :shock: The Lagrange point of course.


FOR FUTURE APPLICANTS:

-A word of advice: Get your applications in early. Most schools are not going to be totally transparent about their process, and a rolling admissions system may be more common than people think, especially at smaller programs.

-Have lots of people proof-read your essays. It gets exhausting but people will give great advice. I had 7 plus kind folks read mine. The best edits I got were from friends who just started PhD programs, math, bio, whatever, and that had recently been through this process. Having professors, parents, or others read is less helpful since the specific demands and tone of a SOP is not going to be as fresh in their memories. Unless of course they've recently been on an admissions committee, in which case they are the ultimate resource for you. Even if you're a good writer, this process will tax you and make you get tunnel vision, missing obvious errors for no good reason. This is what friends are for.

-ALSO, if you're like me and have too many interests, narrow it down enough to sound like you have a plan in your essays. focus on one thing you really want to do. If you get admitted for that you can always explore other topics. The world favors those who have a plan... those who dabble (while they may sound cool at parties) will be left behind.

I don't have much evidence to support this, but I have the suspicion that cold-emailing professors before admission can cut both ways. In many cases they have to wade through tons of spam from applicants, and if their patience for the whole thing is running low then it may only unfairly serve to mark you as over-eager, warranting a negative response. If you've established communication by some other means, like at an REU or through a mutual contact, then great job, that will go a long way. If you want to email them cold, then make it brief, state your interests, and ask if they are taking new advisees.

If you're not trying to do H.E.T. at some big-shot place, the physics GRE doesn't matter. Connections, reccomendations, and research experience do. My dream is to work with LIGO, and that seems like a possibility now! Having managed to overcome some staggering academic failures and unusual past lives, I feel lucky to get admitted anywhere, and really glad to put this whole strange ordeal behind me and actually go to school!

And remember, this website has a certain selection bias. Only wierdos who want to talk about themselves are going to post here so take it with a grain of salt. The people you don't hear about may be better examples. Don't let anything discourage you, especially not the limited sampling of successes and failures that you'll see here. You have nothing to lose except application fees! All the hard work writing is just good practice at being a normal person who doesn't speak in math. And if you really want to do science it won't be the last exhaustive experience in hoop jumping you have to go through.
Last edited by weasel_lord on Mon Apr 16, 2018 5:25 pm, edited 72 times in total.

iamaphysicist1
Posts: 1
Joined: Sun Apr 23, 2017 9:51 am

Re: 2018 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby iamaphysicist1 » Tue Dec 12, 2017 9:25 am

Grad Institution: Masters from a not so highly reputed university (but well known in my country)
Major(s): Physics
Minor(s): N/A
GPA in Major:
Overall GPA: 67.7/100 (around 3.3/ 4.0)
Length of Degree: 2 years
Position in Class: Top 5 out of 60 students

Undergrad Institution: B.Sc. from a not so highly reputed university (but well known in my country)
Major(s): Physics
Minor(s): N/A
GPA in Major:
Overall GPA: 64.3/100 (around 3.2/4.0)
Length of Degree: 3 years
Position in Class: N/A

Type of Student: International Male

GRE Scores : revised
Q: 161(78%) :cry:
V: 150 (47%) :cry:
W: 3.5 (42%)
Pgre: 760 (62%) :roll:

TOEFL: 106 (R: 29, L: 26, S: 24, W: 27) :P

Research Experience: One year Masters thesis about transition metal complexes. Published a paper in a local journal and another paper (peer reviewed) is going to be published in a highly reputed national science journal.

Awards/Honors: None

Related Activities or Jobs: A-level physics teacher in a highly reputed school of my country.

Special Bonus Points: Two strong recommendation letters from my professors. Third letter is (I think) not that great and not going to help.

Applying to Where:

(for experimental condensed matter physics)
Some universities ranked by US news with the ranking from 70th to 131st.
Georgia Tech - sure about the rejection from here but who knows :D .

Additional Comments: Applying for PhD in physics costs a lot of your money, time, and effort. It makes you restless and you can not help it. I was hoping for the PGRE score far better (at least 850) than that I got. It was my first attempt and I had got some days for preparation. I did what I could. Not going to pay for any other standardized tests. These tests suck. The research papers are not that great but I have done my best even though the resources were very limited. I am doing very well in the field of teaching and one of my professors has told me that he has mentioned this in the recommendation letter. Hope that strengthens my application.

Not sure about trying for the universities with higher ranking (in the range of 30-50). Still have some time before the international deadline. Any suggestions ?

physphys95
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Dec 13, 2017 12:26 pm

Re: 2018 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby physphys95 » Wed Dec 13, 2017 1:13 pm

Undergrad Institution: Large Canadian university, no physics reputation
Graduate Institution: Top UK university with strong reputation (masters recently started)
Major(s): Biological Physics, Theoretical Physics (masters)
Minor(s):
GPA in Major: 3.98
Overall GPA:3.95
Length of Degree: 4 years, 1 year
Position in Class: Top
Type of Student: International white male

GRE Scores: taken twice (July & Sept, 2017)
Q: 168 (94%), 163 (84% - oops)
V: 156 (73%), 158 (80%)
W: 4.0 (60%), 4.5 (82%)
P: 900 (84%)


Research Experience: Research in engineering, biophysics, and laser physics - all done in undergrad institution. Overall, contributed to 8 conference presentations, for which I was main-contributor to 5, presented 4, and 3 of these were recognized with awards. Have a large non-peer-reviewed publication (~100 pages) in noise analysis, a manuscript recently submitted for peer review (2nd author), a conference paper (first author), and a journal publication (6th author). Also soon to start a dissertation in theoretical biology at my graduate university.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Numerous top GPA awards in physics, two governmental funding awards for undergraduate research, two institutional 1st-place presentations and a 3rd place presentation at a national conference.

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Have significant teaching experience: science tutoring ~4 years, TA for intro physics ~1 year, taught leadership training ~3 years, was head of large tutoring program ~ 1 year.

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: Have received a number of awards for volunteer contributions

Special Bonus Points: Two of my recommendation letters are exceptionally strong (told so by supervisors). Prior to university, had numerous success in arts and athletics at a rather high level.

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: Uncertain regarding PhD research area (can't seem to decide).

Applying to Where:

Cambridge - Physics - CMT - Jan. 29: ACCEPTED via website (email Jan 30th)
Harvard - SEAS - Applied Physics - Feb. 16: Rejected via email to check website
Stanford - Physics - Feb. 23: Rejected via email
MIT - Physics - Feb. 13: Rejected via website
Berkeley - Physics - Feb. 23: Rejected via email to check website
Princeton - Physics - Feb. 14: Rejected via email
Yale - Physics - Feb. 7: Rejected via email to check website
Cornell - Physics - Feb. 12: ACCEPTED via email 28.8k Stipend - tuition waiver + Health Insurance
Columbia - Physics -
Caltech - Physics -
Illinois - Physics - Jan. 23: ACCEPTED via email 22.7k Stipend - tuition waiver - fellowship nomination
Chicago - Physics - Feb. 1: Rejected via email to check website
Michigan - Physics - Feb. 7: Rejected via email
Last edited by physphys95 on Sat Feb 24, 2018 6:44 am, edited 18 times in total.

summer95
Posts: 2
Joined: Sun Sep 10, 2017 5:47 pm

Re: 2018 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby summer95 » Wed Dec 13, 2017 5:46 pm

Undergrad Institution:Big state university good physics
Major(s): Physics
Minor(s): Math
GPA in Major: 3.9
Overall GPA: 3.91
Length of Degree: 4+2/3 years
Position in Class: near the top
Type of Student: Domestic female

GRE Scores : (revised or old version?)
Q: 163
V: 162
W: 4.5
P: 820 (72%)


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


Research Experience: 2 years at my school particle physics. No publications. 1 conference talk. 1 REU at important :wink: international laboratory particle physics. No publications. A few internal talks.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Just dean's honors.

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Physics tutor

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: Some other teaching experience besides physics tutor, some outreach activities.

Special Bonus Points: female 8)

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

Applying to Where:

Stanford - Physics - Experimental Particle
Cornell - Physics - Experimental Particle
NYU - Physics - Experimental Particle
u michigan - Physics - Experimental Particle
u maryland - Physics - Experimental Particle
uc berkeley - Physics - Experimental Particle
uw - Physics - Experimental Particle
bu - Physics - Experimental Particle
indiana unviersity - Physics - Experimental Particle

physics boi
Posts: 3
Joined: Thu Oct 19, 2017 6:40 pm

Re: 2018 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby physics boi » Thu Dec 14, 2017 12:05 am

Undergrad/Grad Institution: Canadian university, decent reputation in physics
BSc Major(s): Math + Physics
GPA in BSc Major: 3.87/4.00
Overall BSc GPA: 3.83/4.00
Overall MSc GPA: 3.93/4.00
Length of Degree: 4 years BSc, 2 years MSc
Position in Class: 85-90th percentile (estimate based on pGRE, GPA etc.)
Type of Student: International male, visible minority

GRE Scores :
Q: 162 (81%)
V: 162 (91%)
W: 4.0 (60%)
P: 930 (88%)

Research Experience:
-one USRA (Canadian REU) in mathematical physics, no publication
-one summer internship in hep-th at a well-known theoretical physics institute; one publication in PLB
-my MSc project (funded by USRA + CGS-M) in hep-lat; two publications in JHEP. thesis is more or less finished
--in each paper my work formed a significant part of the project (but I'm not 1st author as such because of HEP alphabetical convention)
-now switching gears to a CMT project. also playing around with some hep-ph software for one-loop SM calculations

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: several GPA-based scholarships, three summer research awards, graduated with first-class honors, MSc recruitment scholarship, several gov't MSc funding awards + institutional fellowship

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: TA for 1.5 years, several tutoring/outreach activities

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: 1 national conference talk + 2 institutional talks on my research. attended workshop related to first USRA + a summer school for MSc research.

Special Bonus Points: 1 guaranteed strong letter (according to letter writer). 2 letter writers have connections to some schools I applied to. strong and focused SoP according to one of my letter writers and another faculty member. did well in grad-level classes on QM, EM and QFT and math methods

Applying to Where: all for CMT
MIT Feb. 13: Rejected via website (no email)
Caltech Mar. 7: Rejected via email
Harvard Feb. 21: Rejected via email to check website
Princeton Feb. 14: Rejected via email
Stanford Feb. 23: Rejected via email to check website
Cornell Feb. 12: Rejected via email
Chicago Feb. 01: Rejected via email to check website
UC Berkeley Feb. 23: Rejected via email to check website
UC Santa Barbara Feb. 27: Rejected via email to check website
Toronto Jan. 23: Accepted for Ph.D via email to check website + 31000 CAD funding guaranteed. WILL ATTEND
Waterloo Mar. 25: Accepted for Ph.D via email

Welp. Don't switch fields in the middle of your research career.

Awards:
NSERC CGS-D/PGSD
Last edited by physics boi on Mon Mar 26, 2018 10:58 pm, edited 11 times in total.

bonjarlow
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Dec 14, 2017 2:47 am

Re: 2018 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby bonjarlow » Thu Dec 14, 2017 3:02 am

Undergrad/Grad Institution: Small state school
BS Major(s): Physics
GPA in BS Major: 3.7 ish I think
Overall BS GPA: 3.71/4.00
Length of Degree: 4 years
Position in Class: top (I only graduated with one other person lol)
Type of Student: White domestic male

GRE Scores :
Q: 161 (78%)
V: 161 (88%)
W: 4.5 (82%)
P: 720 (54%)

Research Experience:
One internship (SULI) at Jefferson Lab. Studied new DAQ module, no publication

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Deans list w/ 4.0 my final semester, 1 GPA based award all 4 years

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Physics tutor for a bit. Did Science olympiad judging, elementary school physics demos and stuff

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: not really

Special Bonus Points: 1 awesome recommendation from internship mentor. Upward GPA trend. Applying to experimental particle/astroparticle/nuclear, so I have good experience with the hardware/software from JLab. 1 poster session

Applying to Where:

Maybe a stretch:

Wisconsin-Madison
Michigan (Feb. 8: Rejected via email)
Duke

Within reach I think:

U of Rochester
Boston U Jan. 24: ACCEPTED for Ph.D via email w/ $33,990 stipend for 8 month TA and 4 month TA/RA

Safety:

Drexel
Last edited by bonjarlow on Thu Feb 08, 2018 7:31 pm, edited 3 times in total.

Meninja
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Dec 14, 2017 12:27 pm

Re: 2018 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby Meninja » Thu Dec 14, 2017 12:47 pm

Undergrad Institution: Large State School - Top 20 in Physics
Major(s): Honors Physics and AstroPhysics double
Minor(s): Math Certificate (like a minor in other schools)
GPA in Major: 3.89 (4.00)
Overall GPA: 3.78 (4.00)
Length of Degree: 3 years after transferring from tech college (8 years total :oops: )
Position in Class: No official rank, but at least top 15% based on honors offered
Type of Student: Domestic white female

GRE Scores : (revised or old version?)
Q: 159 & 161 (not great, struggled a lot on this one, its been a long time since Ive done this type of math)
V: 162
W: 4.0 & 5.5
P: 760 (Oct 2017) (Move than doubled my original score, thanks Conquering the Physics GRE - Still the weakest part of my app :( )




Research Experience:

Worked at Big Physics Lab for 3 years undergrad research - Completed junior year and senior year honors research projects, couple posters at various confrences, no papers (they are in the making :( ) .

Summer internship at Ivy league national lab - poster and internally published paper.


Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Just Dean's list many semesters, not many opportunities for this field at my school

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Worked as a tutor for 5 years at my tech college. Volunteer tutored ESL students while at University

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: Have much real life experience, was training to be a professional athlete and open my own small business when decided to do physics, so hoping an interesting story and diverse background get some extra points.

Special Bonus Points: Couple of my recommenders are very well known in their fields, although I am jumping fields for grad school so don't know how much that will help. Took a lot of my classes with Honors which looks good. Worked at some of the best labs for the field that I work in.

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

Applying to Where: All for Physics - AMO except a couple that have good Plasma Programs. I know I have a wide range but I had no idea where I could get in, and I had the ability to apply to many, so I just tried to span the whole spectrum...


UIUC - Physics - AMO - ACCEPTED: 1/23 - 23K / 11mo - Fellowships TBA- Declined
Stony Brook ( SUNY) - Physics - AMO -ACCEPTED: 1/25 - 28K / yr - Declined
Rochester - Physics - AMO & Plasma- ACCEPTED: 1/29 - 28K / yr - Declined
UW Madison - Physics - AMO- ACCEPTED: 1/30 - 26K / yr + 3 Fellowships - Accepted
CU Boulder - Physics - AMO - Interview - ACCEPTED: 2/21 - 30-37K/yr + 3K fellowship [color=#4040FF]- Declined
Ohio State - Physics - AMO - ACCEPTED: 2/26 - 25,700/yr - Declined

(I suspect my GRE score and jumping of research fields may be hurting me a bit here... but whats done is done, didn't know I hated plasma until I had done it, and took the GRE before taking Quantum or Optics)

U of Chicago - Physics - AMO - REJECTED 2/1 - Email (Unsurprised)
Ann Arbor - Physics - AMO - REJECTED 2/8 - Email - Little surprised
Maryland - College Park - Physics - AMO - REJECTED 2/13 - Email - Hurt a little, not a lot
MIT - Physics - AMO & Plasma - REJECTED 2/13 - Website - LOL, would've judged them if they hadn't
Harvard - Physics - AMO - REJECTED 2/21 - I knew it was a long shot but still made me sad a bit
Stanford - Physics - AMO REJECTED 2/26
Columbia - Physics - AMO REJECTED 2/28 - Home run on the Ivy Leagues! That's OK, Boulder took me...
Northwestern - Physics - AMO
CalTech - Physics - AMO

Comments: I think that the GRE score doesn't matter too much if you are shooting for middle tier schools, it matters a bit more if you are shooting top tier and don't have a lot of papers etc. I wish I had done research in the field that I wanted to do grad studies in but idk if that would've helped me too much. In the end I I got into my top choices in labs and programs through networking and emailing with the professors, etc. I think that that went a long way. It still seems a bit random to me who gets in where. The biggest take-away I have is that I am very grateful for the number of schools that I applied to and I am SO glad I didn't take people's advice about only applying to a couple (especially since I wasn't the strongest candidate in certain areas).
Last edited by Meninja on Sun Mar 25, 2018 5:26 pm, edited 18 times in total.

User avatar
space orca
Posts: 7
Joined: Mon May 15, 2017 7:10 pm

Re: 2018 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby space orca » Sun Dec 17, 2017 3:37 pm

Undergrad Institution: Large State School, top 50 physics program
Major(s): Physics and Astrophysics
Minor(s):
GPA in Major:
Overall GPA: 3.66
Length of Degree: 4
Position in Class:
Type of Student: Domestic asian male

GRE Scores :
Q: 164 (87%)
V: 158 (80%)
W: 4.5 (82%)
P: 670 (44%)


Research Experience:
1 year radio astronomy - Germany , current (1 year) astroparticle theory, no publication, regional aps poster
Awards/Honors/Recognitions:
small research scholarship (nasa space grant)
Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help:
good amount science outreach involvement?
Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter:

Applying to Where:


U Chicago - Physics ; neutrino exp - Rejected - (Feb 1) Email to check website :(
Yale - Physics ; neutrino exp - Rejected- (Feb 7) Email to check website
U Maryland - Physics ; neutrino exp - Rejected - (Feb 13) Email :(
MIT - Physics ; neutrino exp - Rejected - (Feb 13) Website
UC Berkeley - Physics ; neutrino exp - Rejected (Feb 23) Email to check website
UCLA - Physics ; neutrino exp/astro-part theory - Rejected (Mar 2) Email to check website :(
NYU - Physics ; astro-part theory - Rejected (Mar 5) Email to check website
UCSD - Physics ; Astro-part theory - Rejected (Mar 17) Email
U Washington - Physics; neutrino exp / Astroparticle theory - Rejected (Mar 20) Email
Boston U - Physics; neutrino exp - Rejected (Mar 22) Email
Arizona State - Physics ; astroparticle theory - Accepted (Feb 9) Email Declined
Ohio State - Physics ; neutrino exp / Astro-part theory - Accepted (Feb 26) Email :) Will Attend
Tufts U - Physics; HepTh/neutrino exp - Waitlisted (Mar 26) Email to check website Declined
Rice U
U Wisc, Madison


March 18: More rejections (and lack of decisions this late) than I expected; I underestimated how heavily the PGRE is weighted. Nevertheless, I am quite happy with the results. OSU was one of the few schools that I applied to that does radio neutrino astronomy (my main interest) so I am quite excited to join their program. Their mascot is a nut so +2 cool points for originality.

March 20: Exciting news for Fall 2018 and forwards test takers: There's a new edition of Conquering!
http://www.cambridge.org/gb/academic/su ... GAqIJTy.97
Last edited by space orca on Wed Mar 28, 2018 12:34 pm, edited 39 times in total.

cocacolapolabear
Posts: 1
Joined: Sun Dec 10, 2017 12:11 am

Re: 2018 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby cocacolapolabear » Mon Dec 18, 2017 12:02 pm

Undergrad Institution: Large State School, Good reputation in physics
Major(s): Nuclear Engineering
Minor(s): Physics
GPA in Major: 4.00
Overall GPA: 3.97
Length of Degree: 4 years
Position in Class: Top of class
Type of Student: Domestic, white, male

GRE Scores : revised
Q: 168 (94th%)
V: 166 (97th%)
W: 5.5 (98th%)
P: 960 (91st%)


TOEFL: N/A


Research Experience: Three years research experience at my school doing monte carlo simulations for a nuclear nonproliferation lab. Also did some plasma physics simulations for laser wakefield acceleration for one semester. Two internships at national labs (LANL, PPPL).

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: 2nd best poster at a conference, a few departmental scholarships, a few national scholarships related to nuclear engineering.

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: President of engineering club in my department, on the executive board of two other clubs.

Special Bonus Points: Two grad classes in plasma physics, a very good letter of rec from one of my internships.

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: I haven't published anything, but I plan to in the near future and mentioned this on applications.

Applying to Where:

Looking to do computational plasma physics, but open to experiment as well.

MIT - Nuclear Engineering- Plasma Physics - Accepted by Email on 1/26
U of Michigan - Nuclear Engineering- Plasma Physics - Accepted by Email on 2/1
U of Wisconsin - Nuclear Engineering- Plasma Physics - Invited for Visit and "Recommended for Admission" on 1/23
UIUC - Nuclear Engineering- Plasma Physics - Accepted by Email on 2/8, unofficial acceptance earlier by professors
U of Maryland - Physics - Plasma Physics - Accepted by Email on 2/12
Princeton - Physics - Plasma Physics - Emailed for interview on 1/15, Wait listed on 2/15
UCLA - Physics - Plasma Physics - Accepted by Phone on 1/29
Last edited by cocacolapolabear on Thu Feb 15, 2018 1:19 pm, edited 6 times in total.

mrcrazyface
Posts: 1
Joined: Sun Apr 24, 2016 9:57 pm

Re: 2018 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby mrcrazyface » Tue Dec 19, 2017 7:14 pm

Undergrad Institution: Big State School (top 30 U.S. News physics/chemistry)
Major(s): Chemical Physics
Minor(s): Bioinformatics
GPA in Major: 3.86
Overall GPA: 3.82
Length of Degree: 4
Position in Class: Near Top?
Type of Student: Domestic White-Hummus Male

GRE Scores :
Q: 78% :(
V: 93%
W: 93%
P: 50% :( :(

Research Experience: 3 years in biophysics lab at home university resulting in one first author paper (in submission), 1 summer at Harvard doing bioinformatics, 1 summer at Caltech doing more biophysics. I've presented my research at all sorts of conferences.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Graduated summa cum laude, member of my school's honors program for 3 years, many other miscellaneous accolades for good grades/good research.

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: I occasionally tutor chemistry privately, but I didn't even bother to include that in my apps. I also did some volunteer work in my 3rd year, I included that in my personal statement if the school asked for one.

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: One grad class in quantum chemistry. I play a mean Mercy.

Special Bonus Points: My recommenders are all well known, and as far as I can tell they are all planning on writing pretty awesome letters of recommendation.

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: Everyone says I'm a good academic writer, I'm hoping that bodes well for my SOP.

Applying to Where:
I'm applying to 1 Physics program, 3 Biophysics programs, and 5 Chemistry programs. In all cases I'm doing theory/computation. All PhD.

Princeton - Physics - Biophysics
Harvard - Biophysics - Theory
Stanford - Biophysics - Theory
UMichigan - Biophysics - Theory (Dec. 21: ACCEPTED. )
Caltech - Chemistry - Theory
MIT - Chemistry - Theory (Dec. 19: ACCEPTED. WOOOOOHOOOOO)
UCLA - Chemistry - Theory (Jan. 17: ACCEPTED.)
Yale - Chemistry - Theory (Jab. 17: ACCEPTED.)
Columbia - Chemistry - Theory
Last edited by mrcrazyface on Fri Jan 19, 2018 3:04 pm, edited 6 times in total.

dangeorge
Posts: 3
Joined: Tue Aug 22, 2017 7:11 pm

Re: 2018 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby dangeorge » Wed Dec 20, 2017 12:33 pm

Undergrad Institution: Large state school in the US... Good reputation in Physics, better reputation in Astronomy
Major(s): Physics
Minor(s): Mathematics
GPA in Major: 3.53
Overall GPA: 3.40
Length of Degree: 3.5
Position in Class: uhh.. above median?
Type of Student: International

GRE Scores : revised
Q: 159 :shock:
V: 153 :roll:
W: 4
P: 780


Research Experience: Gravitational-wave research for ~1.5 years, writing two papers (first author)

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Some scholarship for good grades

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Started research internship in gravitational-wave physics Feb 2018

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help:

Special Bonus Points: famous rec letter writers? one from a different university

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

Applying to Where:


UM - Gravitational-Waves: Rejected Feb 9
Cornell - Numerical relativity: Rejected Feb 12 (surprise, surprise...)
UMD - GW: Rejected Feb 13
Georgia Tech - GW: Rejected March 1
AEI - GW, NR: Rejected March 2
Northwestern - GW: Rejected March 8
UWM-Milwaukee - GW: Rejected April 3
Penn State - GW: Rejected April 3

Syracuse University - GW: Waitlisted and withdrawn Feb 22
University of Mississippi - GW: Interviews Feb 8

University of Florida - gravitational-waves: Accepted!!!! Feb 19
Last edited by dangeorge on Tue Apr 03, 2018 12:38 pm, edited 6 times in total.

gradschoolshopper22
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Nov 29, 2017 12:19 am

Re: 2018 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby gradschoolshopper22 » Wed Dec 20, 2017 2:49 pm

Undergrad Institution: private research institution; ranks just inside U.S. Top 100 overall; solid physics department but its reputation is nonexistent
Major(s): Physics w/ concentration in Astrophysics
Minor(s): Mathematics
GPA in Major: 3.74
Overall GPA: 3.65
Length of Degree: 5
Position in Class: top 3-5 in major, your guess is as good as mine as far as university-wide goes
Type of Student: domestic white male

GRE Scores :
Q: 165 (89%)
V: 154 (65%)
W: 4.5 (82%)
P: 770 (64%)

Research Experience: 21 months full-time and 18 months part-time research experience ranging from computational astronomy, experimental cosmology, astroparticle physics, and something less physics-related; two scientific talks given at APS conferences, three poster presentations (two at APS conferences)

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: three awards within Physics department, some travel grants, and a few other not relevant awards

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Physics Tutor for the last 3 years; ex-President and ex-Vice President of SPS club

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: Good emphasis on community service elsewhere, and have done a good job at reaching out to professors from most of my schools

Special Bonus Points: two Physics grad classes (A- in each), letter of recommendation from three research advisors, one of which is at a school I am applying to

Applying to Where:

Boston University - Astronomy Rejected (4/3) via email
Columbia University - Astronomy: Rejected (2/9) via website
New York University - Physics Rejected (3/5) via website
University of Pennsylvania - Physics and Astronomy: ACCEPTED! (1/29) via email ($30,176/year + 100% health insurance; 1 year of TA-ing; optional paid work for upcoming summer)
University of Maryland - Astronomy: (1/26 Request for Skype Interview scheduled for 2/6); Rejected (2/15) via email
Pennsylvania State University - Astronomy and Astrophysics: Rejected (1/29) via email
Cornell University - Astronomy: Rejected (2/20) via email
University of Colorado Boulder - Astrophysical and Planetary Sciences: Rejected (2/16) via website
Stony Brook University - Physics and Astronomy: Accepted (2/19) into Master program (with promise of being admitted into PhD program after two years) via email (unfunded); Declined (2/20) via email
Dartmouth College - Physics and Astronomy: ACCEPTED! (2/9) via email ($29,652/year + 100% health insurance)
Rutgers University - Physics and Astronomy
Princeton University - Astrophysical Sciences: Rejected (1/31) via email
Last edited by gradschoolshopper22 on Tue Apr 03, 2018 11:51 am, edited 17 times in total.

TheKevatron
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Dec 21, 2017 1:55 am

Re: 2018 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby TheKevatron » Thu Dec 21, 2017 2:24 am

Undergrad Institution: Small Liberal Arts School (not known for physics)
Major(s): Physics & Astronomy, Mathematics
Minor(s): Astrophysics
GPA in Major: 4.00 (Physics), 3.88 (Math)
Overall GPA: 3.97
Length of Degree: 4 years
Position in Class: Top
Type of Student: Domestic Male

GRE Scores :
Q: 168 (94%)
V: 161 (88%)
W: 4.5 (82%)
P: 810 (71%)

Research Experience:
- NSF Research Assistant since October 2016. Will result in a paper this spring.
- REU working on the detection and characterization of trans-Neptunian objects. Will result in a paper this winter.
- 2 Summers of research at my home institution, studying astronomical source detection and cosmic structure.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions:
- President's List.
- Various departmental honors.

Pertinent Activities or Jobs:
- Physics tutor for three years.
- TA for three classes.

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help:
- I received a scholarship for an international data science program aimed at graduate students.

Special Bonus Points:
- Recommenders are from three different institutions, and three different projects.

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter:
- First generation college student.

Applying to Where:

All for Physics/Astronomy - Cosmology

University of Michigan -
University of Arizona -
Caltech -
Stanford -
Harvard -
Ohio State -
Yale -
University of Pennsylvania -
University of Washington -
University of Colorado Boulder -
University of Wisconsin-Madison -
University of Florida -
UMass Amherst -

puggerina
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Dec 21, 2017 2:17 am

Re: 2018 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby puggerina » Thu Dec 21, 2017 3:08 am

Undergrad Institution: Mid-size public university (not known for physics)
Major(s): Physics and Applied Math
Minor(s): N/A
GPA in Major: 3.74 (physics) 3.77 (math)
Overall GPA: 3.82
Length of Degree: 4
Position in Class: Average+
Type of Student: Domestic white female

GRE Scores :
Q: 165 (89%)
V: 161 (88%)
W: 4.5 (82%)
P: 600 (28%)


Research Experience:
-4 years doing applied math things
-3.5 years doing computational materials science
-1 REU doing condensed matter experiment

Awards/Honors/Recognitions:
-A few university-wide/department-wide scholarships

Pertinent Activities or Jobs:
-President of women in physics club
-Lots of outreach experience
-TA for non-major physics lab

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help:

Special Bonus Points:

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

Good letters and a connection at UMich

Applying to Where: (All for CME PhD programs, in no particular order)

UC Berkeley - 2/23: Rejected via email to check website
U of Maryland - 2/13: Rejected via email
U of Arizona - 2/1: ACCEPTED via email, $9K stipend per semester TA Declined
UW Seattle - 3/21: Waitlisted Withdrawn
U of Southern California - 1/22: Interview w/ PI, 3/22: Rejected via email
U of Michigan - 2/9: ACCEPTED via email, $30K stipend for 12 mo. 1/4 time TA
Michigan State - 1/29: ACCEPTED via email, $27K stipend for 9 mo. TA Declined
U of Minnesota - (Didn't send PGRE) 1/22: ACCEPTED via website (email notification on 1/23), $25.9K stipend for 9 mo. TA and summer research
UW Madison - Withdrawn
UI Urbana-Champaign - 3/19: Rejected via email
U of Delaware - Withdrawn
Brown - 3/1: Rejected via email
U of Denver - (Didn't send PGRE) Withdrawn
UMass Amherst - 2/14: ACCEPTED via email Declined
Last edited by puggerina on Tue Mar 27, 2018 2:11 pm, edited 20 times in total.




Return to “Prospective Physics Graduate Student Topics”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests