2019 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.

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Nishikata
Posts: 93
Joined: Sun Sep 23, 2018 6:37 am

Re: 2019 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby Nishikata » Wed Jan 02, 2019 8:54 pm

Undergrad Institution: Well-reputed university in Asia.
Major(s): Physics
Minor(s): Nanoscience, Engineering Materials
GPA in Major:4.71/5
Overall GPA:4.65/5
Length of Degree: 4 years
Position in Class: top
Type of Student: International Asian Male

GRE Scores : (revised)
Q: 168 (94%)
V: 160 (86%)
W: 4.0 (59%)
P: 980 (93%)


TOEFL: 107 (R: 30 , L:27 , S:23 , W:27 )


Research Experience

Three research projects, total 15 months full-time work: 1 theoretical project on graphene, and 1 experimental project on LAO/STO at my institution, plus 1 experimental project on manganese oxides at Chemistry Dept of an overseas institution. The graphene project resulted in a collaborative publication in Nat.Comms with a UC Berkeley professor. Got co-first author.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Dean’s List, Outstanding Undergraduate Researcher Prize

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: 3 years as process integration engineer in a semiconductor company, bonded to work as part of financing my undergrad degree.

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help:

Physics Club President. Helped organizing major olympiad during my tenure.
Resident Cluster Leader at my dormitory.

Special Bonus Points:
Took grad class Adv. Solid State Physics and completed with top grade, had the lecturer as my letter writer.

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter:
The publication got accepted recently, so I have been working on this publication during these 3 years instead of merely working in a loosely related occupation to grad school physics.

Applying to Where:

All to Dept. of Physics:
Harvard - CMT (Feb. 25: Rejected via email)
MIT – CMT/CME/AMO (Feb. 12: Rejected via email)
Princeton – CMT/CME (Feb. 12: Rejected via email)
Stanford – CMT (Feb. 20: Rejected via email)
Columbia – CMT (Mar. 6: Rejected via email)
Caltech – CMT/CME (Feb. 25: Rejected via email)
Illinois – CMT (Mar. 8: Rejected via email)
Oxford – MSc at Mathematical and Theoretical Physics – CMT (Mar 20: Rejected via email)
Yale – CMT (Feb. 13: Rejected via email)
Berkeley – CMT (Feb. 15: Rejected via email)
University of Tokyo – CMT Masters - Mar 12: unofficial approval from POI by email.
Freie Universitat Berlin – CMT Masters - Mar 21: unofficial approval from POI by email.

Mar. 8 update: I will not be able to do my PhD in the US this year. Time to consider other places.
Mar 12 update: Tokyo's admission requires an approval from POI before the official application window starts. So happy to get one after being rejected by a few of them.
Mar 20 update: Oxford rejected me for a second time. Okay.
Mar 21 update: Germany comes into the picture.
Last edited by Nishikata on Thu Mar 21, 2019 2:10 am, edited 14 times in total.

krappyram
Posts: 3
Joined: Thu Nov 08, 2018 11:12 pm

Re: 2019 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby krappyram » Thu Jan 03, 2019 12:22 am

Undergrad Institution: University of Michigan
Major(s): Physics, German
Minor(s): Computer Science
GPA in Major: 2.96 Physics, 3.71 German
Overall GPA: 3.11
Length of Degree: 5 years
Position in Class: Average/Below Average (Physics)
Type of Student: Domestic white male

GRE Scores : (revised)
Q: 155 (58%)
V: 158 (80%)
W: 4.0 (59%)
P: 790 (66%)


TOEFL: N/A


Research Experience: 1 year in observational cosmology, a summer in astronomy, and 1 year in HEPEX. A paper from HEPEX is in the process of being written.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: University Honors (1 semester), and a study abroad award.

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Taking an online machine learning course, focused on AI in my comp science minor. Have been helping a lab in some augmented reality programming projects.

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: N/A

Special Bonus Points: Have a website where I blog about some Machine Learning and AI programs/algorithms. I also had a semester abroad.

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: Nothing off the top of my head...I explain away my grades as having difficulty managing time and early uncertainty in career path/major.

Applying to Where: Physics/Astronomy, all in Computational Astrophysics or HEPEX.
Note: I applied last year with lower PGRE (660, 41%) and without the HEPEX research. Didn't get into any top 40 schools.

PhD:
Reach
Michigan State University - Physics - Comp Astrophysics (Mar. 25 REJECTED via email to website)
Purdue University - Physics - Comp Astrophysics (Jan. 29: ACCEPTED via email + $2000/month TA + Possible Fellowship) - Declined
University of Florida - Physics/Astronomy - HEPEX/Comp Astrophysics (Apr. 10: REJECTED via email)


"Match"
Texas A&M - Physics - Comp Astrophysics (Mar. 26 REJECTED via website)
Vanderbilt - Physics - Comp Astrophysics (Apr. 13 REJECTED via email to website)
University of Southern California - Physics - Comp Astrophysics (Mar. 18 WAITLIST via email) (Apr. 2 ACCEPTED via email + $32k/year + Fellowship) - Will Attend
Rochester Institute of Technology - Physics - Comp Astrophysics
Syracuse - Physics - Comp Astrophysics (Apr. 17 WAITLIST via email asking if I'm still interested in their program) - Withdrawn
City University of New York - Physics - Comp Astrophysics
Louisiana State University - Physics - Comp Astrophysics
Kansas University - Physics - HEPEX (Mar. 23 WAITLIST via informal email from Professor)
Drexel University - Physics - Comp Astrophysics (one letter of rec was waived...) (Feb. 27 WAITLIST via email to website) - Withdrawn

"Safety"
University of Texas at Dallas - Physics - Comp Astrophysics (Feb. 5: ACCEPTED via email + $1900/month TA) - Declined
Clemson University - Physics - Comp Astrophysics (Feb. 13: REJECTED via email to website)

Master's Degrees:
Indiana University - Physics - Comp Astrophysics (Apr. 10: REJECTED via email)
University of Pittsburgh - Physics - Comp Astrophysics (Mar. 20 WAITLIST via email to website) - Withdrawn
University of Connecticut - Physics - Comp Astrophysics (Mar. 15 WAITLIST via email) (Apr. 18: REJECTED via email)
Washington State University - Physics - Comp Astrophysics (Feb. 1: ACCEPTED via email + $1800/month TA) - Declined


School - Department - Research Interest (Feb. 28: WILL ATTEND for Ph.D. Accepted via website/email + $Xk Fellowship + $XXk/X month TA)
School - Department - Research Interest (Feb. 14: ACCEPTED for Ph.D via website/email + $Xk Fellowship + $XXk/X month TA)
School - Department - Research Interest (Feb. 23: Rejected via website/email)[/quote]
Last edited by krappyram on Fri Apr 19, 2019 11:55 am, edited 24 times in total.

mangoloid
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Nov 16, 2018 6:14 pm

Re: 2019 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby mangoloid » Thu Jan 03, 2019 4:39 pm

Undergrad Institution: UC with a good physics rep
Major(s): Physics
Minor(s):
GPA in Major: 3.35
Overall GPA[: 3.35
Length of Degree] 3
Position in Class: not sure...
Type of Student: Domestic Asian Male

GRE Scores:
Q: 162 (80th)
V: 159 (83rd)
W: 4.5 (82th)
P: 730 (55th) :evil:


TOEFL Total:

Research Experience: 8 months in Exp. Cosmology Lab, 1 conference proceeding. 3 mos. full time in materials lab

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Dean’s list for two quarters :D

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Physics department study room fellow for quarter, Online tutor for 2 years, Volunteer for 3 years, board of directors for a property management org. for 6 mos...

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: Strong upward trend, As in QM series, graduated in 3 years,

Special Bonus Points: (Such as connections, grad classes, famous recommenders, female or minority status etc...) Advisor might have some connections

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: sitting in on CM courses

Applying to Where:
UCSB - MSE - Feb 8th: Accepted Recommended for admission to M.S. by email
UChicago - Molecular Engineering - Rejected 1/23 by email to check website
Penn State - CME - Rejected 3/18 by email
UC Irvine- CME - Rejected 4/14 by email
Rutgers - CME - Feb 11th: Accepted recommended for admission to PhD by email
UCSC - CME - Feb 20th: Accepted recommended for admission to PhD by email
NYU - CME - Feb 6th: Accepted recommended for admission to PhD by email Will Attend! $29,254 for 9mos. + $10,500 for first summer
UC Riverside - CME -
USC - CME - Withdrawn
Last edited by mangoloid on Tue Apr 16, 2019 2:41 pm, edited 7 times in total.

linktothepast
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Jan 03, 2019 8:40 pm

Re: 2019 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby linktothepast » Thu Jan 03, 2019 9:14 pm

Undergrad Institution: Mid-Size State University
Major(s): Physics, Mathematics
Minor(s): Computer Science
GPA in Major: 4.0
Overall GPA: 3.97
Length of Degree: 4 years
Position in Class: Top
Type of Student: Domestic Asian Male

GRE Scores :
Q: 168 (94%)
V: 159 (83%)
W: 4.0 (59%)
P: 950 (90%)

Research Experience:
~1.5 years computational math research at my school
~1.5 years theoretical atomic physics research at my school
1 REU in computational condensed matter physics

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Will graduate in honors program. Selected as outstanding junior math student.

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Have been working as physics tutor for past 5 semesters. Was a LA for one Intro Mechanics course.

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: 4 posters (one poster presented at a national conference). 1 talk at my university.

Special Bonus Points: I have done research with all three of my letter writers and they should all be very positive.

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

Applying to Where: All for CM/AMO Theory

MIT - Physics (Feb. 12: Rejected via email)
Harvard - Physics (Feb. 25: Rejected via email)
Princeton - Physics (Feb. 12: Rejected via email)
Yale - Physics (Feb. 13: Rejected via email)
Cornell - Physics (Feb. 25: Rejected via email)
UMD - Physics (Feb. 14: Rejected via email)
UIUC - Physics (Mar. 26: Rejected via email)
UT Austin - Physics (Apr. 9: Rejected via email)
Rutgers - Physics (Apr. 17: Rejected via email)
University of Delaware - Physics (Mar. 06: ACCEPTED for Ph.D via email + 5 year fellowship $32,000/yr) Declined
Lehigh - Physics (Feb. 08: ACCEPTED for Ph.D via email + 3 year fellowship $34,000/year) Declined

Update:

Ultimately, I decided to take a year off and apply to schools again next year. Although I received acceptances, I am now realizing that my choice of graduate school will define my future career, so I should go to the best school I can possibly get into. My statements of purpose could be more well defined as I probably sounded like I didn't really know what I wanted to study in graduate school. Additionally, I have no publications or significant research accomplishments which I can hopefully get in my year off. I will be continuing my undergraduate research while taking more time to find schools that are a better fit for me. This will also give me an opportunity to better define what exactly I'm interested in studying in graduate school and why I want to get my PhD. I thought my PGRE score would matter more, but I guess it doesn't. Research seems to be the most important factor by far and it is hard to stand out when coming from a school with little to no physics reputation. I have learned the hard way that I am not cut out for top 10 schools and I should adjust my selection of schools accordingly. Hopefully I'll have better luck next year.
Last edited by linktothepast on Wed Apr 17, 2019 10:39 am, edited 8 times in total.

darklurker
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Jan 09, 2019 9:56 pm

Re: 2019 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby darklurker » Wed Jan 09, 2019 10:18 pm

Undergrad Institution: top school in Canada, good reputation in physics
Major(s): Physics, Mathematics
Minor(s): N/A
GPA in Major: really didn't take any non core classes
Overall GPA: 3.67
Length of Degree: 4
Position in Class: consistently slightly above average
Type of Student: Domestic white female

GRE Scores : revised
Q: 165 (88%) :oops:
V: 161 (88%)
W: 4.0 (59%)
P: 800 (68%) (applying to astro so hopefully wont negatively affect)


TOEFL: N/A


Research Experience: All in astro: 1 summer project and 2 semester research thesis at home institution. 1 summer project at NASA. One 1st author publication (not a fancy journal) and one 2nd author ApJ on the way. One poster presentation at a national undergrad conference, one oral presentation at AAS

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: A couple scholarships and research stipends, an award for my poster presentation.

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: graded assignments for an undergrad class. Editor for a research journal. Took class notes for students with disabilities.

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: Nope!

Special Bonus Points: I'm female and I'm doing research for a pretty famous scientist currently (but they aren't one of my letter writers). My letters should be strong, a few connections between my writers and the schools I am applying too.

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: One grad level astro course

Applying to Where:

Harvard (a girl can dream right?) - Astro - (Feb. 12: Rejected via email to check website)
Caltech - Astronomy - (Jan. 29: Rejected via email) kind of surprised given some connections I had but c'est la vie
MIT -Physics - Astro- (Feb. 12: Rejected via email)
Yale University - Astro - (Jan. 31: Rejected via email to check website) Not surprised lol
Columbia - Astro - (Feb. 1: Rejected via email to check website)
University of Michigan - Astro - (Feb. 7: Rejected via email)
University of British Columbia (Masters) - Astronomy - (Jan. 9: ACCEPTED for M.Sc. via email + $15k RA + $10k TA)
McGill University (Masters) - Astro - unoffically waitlisted, talked to potential supervisor
University of Toronto - Astro - Skype Interview Feb. 19 (Feb. 19: (unofficially) ACCEPTED for Direct Entry PhD via email) WILL ATTEND


Best of luck everybody! Happy to finally contribute to this forum, it both helped me and caused me so much anxiety during my undergrad years.

EDIT: Feb 12 - YIKES

School - Department - Research Interest (Feb. 28: WILL ATTEND for Ph.D. Accepted via website/email + $Xk Fellowship + $XXk/X month TA)
School - Department - Research Interest (Feb. 14: ACCEPTED for Ph.D via website/email + $Xk Fellowship + $XXk/X month TA)
School - Department - Research Interest (Feb. 23: Rejected via website/email)
Last edited by darklurker on Wed Feb 20, 2019 1:11 am, edited 8 times in total.

Phyzch
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2019 7:33 am

Re: 2019 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby Phyzch » Wed Jan 09, 2019 10:43 pm

Undergrad Institution: top school in China, PKU. good reputation in physics, but not sure if it is well known in US
Major(s): Physics
Minor(s): N/A
GPA in Major: 3.71
Overall GPA: 3.68
Length of Degree: 4
Position in Class: around 30% I assume
Type of Student: Asian Male

GRE General: Verbal 155, Q: 170, AW: 3.5
PGRE: 990
Toefl: 107 (29L,30R, 26W, 22S :? )

Research Experience: All in Biophysics. first last half year from sophomore to junior in PKU(quit without recommendation letter, I have to say the professor is not kind enough, a little mean.), deep learning techniques applied to cryoEM. second, junior to senior year, some topics about nonlinear dynamics and statistical physics. third, from August,2018 to now, with a US professor affiliated to PKU about free energy, stochastic physics and biophysics.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: two scholarship.

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: None.

Special Bonus Points: Letter of recommendation come from professor who direct my last two REU, they seem to be very satisfied about my performance. But it seems to me that US faculties quite underestimate the recommendation from Chinese professor, even from top University(compared with US and Europe), really bad news for me.

Applying to Where:
All orientation in biophysics and statistical physic theory if not specified
Yale physics (Feburary 14, Rejected )
Cornell physics(Feburary 20, Rejected via email)
UPenn physics (soft matter)
Michigan physics (February 12, Rejected via email )
UIUC physics(February 21 Accepted via email) (Will Attend!)
UCSB physics
University of Maryland physics (also mentioned nonlinear physics) (Feburary 14, Accepted, $5k fellowship) (Really a good relief for me)
UCSD physics
CU Boulder physics (chemical physics, soft matter) Feburary 19,Rejected Never thought that. I assume it as safety school, now I know I am too arrogant.

Feburary 20: After rejected by Cornell, I am a little disappointed about the result of my application. After some fight about my vanity, I told myself that Maryland is good enough for me to become a great scientists if I work hard, I will have great platform there. I believe I will succeed there. (When I am saying this, I definitely have no hope for other school I apply to. I even doubt I get this offer by luck, since as I know most of my classmates have done undergraduate exchange research in US top universities to prepare for their application.)

Feburary 21: A good day! I get the offer from UIUC. This is the very best school which I want to get in when I begin my application! I guess that's it!
Hope everyone have great offer! :D
Last edited by Phyzch on Tue Feb 26, 2019 11:22 am, edited 9 times in total.

physicseob
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Jan 09, 2019 11:35 pm

Re: 2019 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby physicseob » Thu Jan 10, 2019 12:01 am

Undergrad Institution: Well-reputed University in Asia
Major(s): Physics
Minor(s): None
GPA in Major: 3.93
Overall GPA: 3.86
Length of Degree: 4 years
Position in Class: TOP
Type of Student: International Asian Male

GRE Scores : Revised
Q: 170
V: 152
W: 3.0
P: 800

TOEFL: 90 [ R: 26, L: 24, S: 19, W: 21 ]

Research Experience:
Undergraduate Student Researcher at school [ A semester ]
Research Internship at Government Institute in my country [ A year ]

Awards/Honors/Recognitions:
Dean's List [1st rank in Department of Physics]
Summa cum laude [1st rank in all College of Sciences]

Pertinent Activities or Jobs:
A Oral Presentation
A 1st Author Submitted Publication

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help:
President of Physics Club
Member of Astronomy Club

Special Bonus Points:
Took graduate class, Electromagnetism, in advance

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter:
I'm interested in CME

Applying to Where:
University of Illinois, Urbana Champaign - Physics - CME (Mar. 09: Rejected via e-mail)
University of California, Santa Barbara - Physics - CME (Feb. 27: Rejected via e-mail)
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor - Physics - CME (Feb. 07: Rejected via e-mail)
University of Maryland, College Park - Physics - CME (Feb. 14: Rejected via e-mail)
University of California, Los Angeles - Physics - CME (Mar. 26: Rejected via e-mail)
University of California, San Diego - Physics - CME (Mar. 13: Rejected via e-mail)
University of Washington, Seattle - Physics - CME (Mar. 16: Rejected via e-mail)
The Ohio State University, Columbus - Physics - CME (Mar. 28: Rejected via e-mail)
Pennsylvania State University, University Park - Physics - CME (Mar. 16: Rejected via e-mail)
Carnegie Mellon University - Physics - CME (Feb. 22: Rejected via e-mail)

It's harder than expectation :cry:
Last edited by physicseob on Wed Mar 27, 2019 11:57 pm, edited 15 times in total.

ShowMeYourMoves
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Jan 10, 2019 6:35 am

Re: 2019 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby ShowMeYourMoves » Thu Jan 10, 2019 7:56 am

Undergrad Institution: State school, no reputation in physics (usnews rank ~70)
Major(s): Physics
Minor(s): None
GPA in Major: 3.74
Overall GPA: 3.7
Length of Degree: 5 years
Position in Class: Top 4 out of about 15
Type of Student: Domestic white male

GRE Scores :
Q: 158 (68%) :cry:
V: 154 (65%)
W: 4
P: 640 (36%) :cry: :cry: :cry:


Research Experience:
- 1 summer + 1 semester in computational condensed matter group. Did some coding and presented a poster.
- 2 summers + part time for 2 semesters in material science lab working on OLEDs.
- 1 semester (post-bacc) internship in nuclear physics at national lab. Poster presented and paper submitted to arXiv
- Currently doing another internship at a national lab in quantum materials.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions:
- Mini-grant that funded one of my summer research projects
- Fellowship for funding the other summer research project
- Endowment I received for GPA my sophomore year when I was a chemE major prior to switching to physics (provided through school alumni)
- About 5 scholarships for GPA (each lasted several years, allowing me to fund myself until graduation)

All the above awards/scholarships were through my school.


Pertinent Activities or Jobs: 1 semester physics tutor

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: I'm worried about B's in my atomic physics, thermal physics, and optics courses. Also, during my junior year I took some abstract math courses and got B's

Applying to Where:

Indiana University - Physics - Condensed Matter Experiment - 1/31: Unofficial acceptance via Email, roughly $17,000/yr
University of Michigan - Applied Physics - Condensed Matter/Quantum Information - 2/14: Acceptance via Email, fully funded and received a fellowship through the graduate school. - Will attend

UMD College Park - Physics - Quantum Information/Condensed Matter Experiment - 2/14: Rejection via Email - Expected.
CU Boulder - Physics - Quantum Information/Condensed Matter Experiment - 2/18: Rejection via Email to check website - Expected.
University of Washington - Physics - Quantum Information/Condensed Matter Experiment - 3/15: Rejection via Email - Expected.
Penn State University - Physics - Condensed Matter Experiment - 3/15: Rejection via Email Was hoping to get in, not too disappointed though because of my other acceptances.
Stony Brook University - Physics - Condensed Matter Experiment - 4/9: Rejection via Email

Boston University - Physics - Condensed Matter Experiment - No response as of 4/17.

Thoughts: I was accepted to my top choice and rejected from pretty much everywhere else. This is unsurprising because I put significantly more effort into my Michigan application than the rest. Despite low GRE scores, I think I was accepted because I had a few research experiences under my belt and my statement of purpose was probably one of my best pieces of writing (I heavily emphasized my interest in applied physics and technology as opposed to more fundamental physics research). Also, Michigan is big on OLED and renewable energy research, which I have some background in.
Last edited by ShowMeYourMoves on Wed Apr 17, 2019 10:15 am, edited 23 times in total.

absoluterest
Posts: 6
Joined: Wed Aug 16, 2017 1:44 am

Re: 2019 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby absoluterest » Thu Jan 10, 2019 11:54 pm

Undergrad Institution: One of the best engineering colleges in my country. Not as famous for physics, but quite a few alumni went on to join great schools.
Major(s): Physics (integrated Master's degree, no intermediate Bachelor's)
GPA in Major: 9.1/10
Overall GPA: 8.88/10
Length of Degree: 4 years
Position in Class: Top five in my class of 70
Type of Student: International male

GRE Scores :
Q: 170 (97th percentile)
V: 161 (88th percentile)
W: 4.5 (82nd percentile)
P: 910 (86th percentile)


TOEFL: (R: 30/30, L: 29/30, S: 30/30, W: 26/30)


Research Experience: Master's thesis on integrable systems (6 months) and post-grad research assistantship on partition functions of supersymmetric gauge theories (6 months, ongoing) in two of the best institutes for physics in my country - these projects gave me a lot of exposure to advanced mathematics as well; a project in my university (4 months) on quantum chaos and OTOCs; a remote internship (long-drawn-out) on computational astrophysics with a professor from another country back in my third year. I'm interested in string theory, gauge/gravity duality, AdS/CFT integrability, and topics of mathematical physics like T-duality (mirror symmetry) and Hitchin functionals.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Got a government scholarship for my higher education because of my secondary school performance. Nothing phenomenal after that.

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: None.

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: Nope.

Special Bonus Points: Did a very small project with a CMT legend in one of the institutes, who's unfortunately not a recommender. Took QFT and GR classes in my university and audited them in the institute in which I'm currently working (GR taught by a string theory legend, but probably doesn't count).

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: Have a C from a lab course (which I hated, but this is my fault) and a couple of Bs, but the fact that I've done well in courses that directly matter to my interests should hopefully see me through.

Applying to Where: Applying only for HEP-th.

Reach:

UT Austin - Rejected via Website on April 9 (What a horrendously long wait)
Stony Brook - Rejected via E-mail on February 25 (I sent an email to the graduate program coordinator who informed me)
Penn State (reach for string theory) - Accepted via E-mail on February 8 - $22K TA stipend for first year + $3K fellowship + $4K support for summer (I just saw this since it was lost in my inbox)
U. Pennsylvania (don't know if that's much of a reach for HEP-th) - Rejected via Website on March 19 (Got an email to check status on website)
U. British Columbia (Master's) (borderline reach; I really want to get in here) - Rejected via E-mail on February 16 (I sent an email to the graduate program coordinator who informed me; I'm quite gutted since this was my top choice)

SISSA (International School for Advanced Studies) - Invited to write the written examination; didn't attend
Queen Mary University of London

Match:

Duke University - Rejected via E-mail on February 25 (Email to check website)
UC Davis
U. Michigan, Ann-Arbor - Rejected via E-mail on February 15 (I've heard that there's little to no HEP-th funding this year; I wish I knew that before I applied)
U. Wisconsin, Madison - Rejected via Website on January 30 (UWM doesn't have a big string theory group, so I'm not surprised)
U. Southern California - Rejected via E-mail on February 22
Texas A&M

Safety:
Brown University - Rejected via Website on February 25 (Got an email to check status on website)
Last edited by absoluterest on Wed Apr 10, 2019 12:32 am, edited 14 times in total.

scytoo
Posts: 12
Joined: Wed Dec 05, 2018 7:26 am

Re: 2019 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby scytoo » Fri Jan 11, 2019 11:01 am

I posted this elsewhere, but it should probably go here for record too.

Undergrad Institution: International, small with very few faculty, but well-respected enough for astrophysics
Major(s): Physics, Applied Mathematics
Minor(s): N/A
GPA in Major: 4.0
Overall GPA: 4.0
Length of Degree: 3 years BSc, 1 year Honours
Position in Class: Top
Type of Student: International (for Oxbridge), white female

GRE Scores : N/A (not applying US)

TOEFL: N/A

Research Experience: 2 months with alma mater in first year in astrophysics, first-author publication in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, and two poster presentations (one national, one international, only undergrad to attend). 3 months with national lab in second year for astrophysics. 12 months full-time with alma mater in astrophysics, leading to a 140-page thesis, possible first-author publication. 8 months with alma mater, after graduating, in cosmology (ongoing).

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: 3 scholarships for science (all within university), all university awards for physics and mathematics (about 6 of them), Dean's Roll, travel awards for conferences, award for best astrophysics thesis, university medal.

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Peer and private tutor for 4 years, marker for 2 years, public speaker for astrophysics for 3 years, state representative for astrophysics in schools for 2 years, tour guide and student information leader for Open Days etc for 4 years.

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: An astronomy festival I annually present at was recently awarded $10mil to build a planetarium in my tiny hometown. Ambassador for schools, so I do a lot of travelling and presenting in astrophysics, plus interviews and news articles about those events. Should come up if they Google me, along with my website. Have done all graduate coursework available, A+ in all.

Special Bonus Points: My primary research supervisor attended both Cambridge and Oxford, one as a graduate student and the other as a post-doc. I grew up in poverty in my state, so my outreach work is directly tied to engaging disadvantaged communities. I've already contacted all of my proposed supervisors, and finalised projects.

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

Applying to Where (All for astronomy/astrophysics PhD):
Cambridge (UK) - Invited to interview 23 Jan. Accepted 30 Jan, pending funding. Offered Gates-Cambridge scholarship!Will Attend!
Oxford (UK) - Invited to interview 15 Feb. Accepted 8 Mar, pending funding. Declined 31 Mar
ANU (Aus) - Accepted 6 Dec for $30k RTP stipend at Ursula Hall. Declined 10 Jan.
Home institution (Aus) - Accepted 18 Jan for $30k RTP stipend and co-tutelle in UK.

Edit: Looks like I have some good options on the table, although I'll have to wait for news on funding before I can narrow it down!

Final edit: Cambridge it is!
Last edited by scytoo on Tue Apr 16, 2019 8:48 pm, edited 9 times in total.

amb
Posts: 1
Joined: Sat Jan 12, 2019 9:56 pm

Re: 2019 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby amb » Sat Jan 12, 2019 10:20 pm

Undergrad Institution: big state school, decent reputation I think
Major(s): Physics, Math, Astronomy
Minor(s): Computer Science
GPA in Major: 3.7
Overall GPA: 3.25
Length of Degree: 4 years
Position in Class: no idea, average?
Type of Student: Domestic Female

GRE Scores :
Q: 156
V: 158
W: 4.0
P: -


TOEFL: -


Research Experience:
- 0.5 years physics research at my university (some talk of a paper but I'm not sure if that's actually happening)
- 2 years astronomy research at my university
- REU in particle physics w/ poster presentation

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: 1 physics department award at my university

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: some minor tutoring

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: Attended U Michigan Astro Fall Preview

Special Bonus Points: 2 grad astro classes, female, one relatively well-known recommender

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: first-gen immigrant, really strong upward trend in grades, 3.6 gpa in last 2 years

Applying to Where:

University of Washington - Astronomy - (Feb. 6: Rejected via email)
Ohio State University - Astronomy - (Rejected via email)
University of Michigan - Astronomy - (Feb. 7: Rejected via email)
University of Texas at Austin - Astronomy - (Feb. 5: Rejected via email)
Michigan State University - Astronomy - (Rejected via email)
University of Toronto - Astronomy - no response
Northwestern University - Astronomy - (Feb. 20: Rejected via email)
University of Florida - Astronomy - (Waitlisted via email)
University of California Santa Cruz - Astronomy - (Rejected via email)
University of Chicago - Astronomy - (Feb. 13: Rejected via email)
University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign - Astronomy - (Rejected via email)
University of West Virginia - Astronomy -
University of Victoria - Astronomy - interview request Jan. 18 - Feb. 19: ACCEPTED for MSc via email + $24,600 Fellowship
New Mexico State University - Astronomy - interview request Feb. 8 - ACCEPTED for PhD via email
University of Copenhagen - Physics -
University of Massachusetts - Astronomy - (Feb. 8: Rejected via email)
Last edited by amb on Tue Apr 16, 2019 12:57 pm, edited 12 times in total.

abhispace
Posts: 3
Joined: Sat Nov 24, 2018 4:44 pm

Re: 2019 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby abhispace » Sat Jan 12, 2019 11:13 pm

Undergrad Institution: Large State School (average reputation in Physics)
Major(s): Physics; Astronomy
Minor(s):
GPA in Major: 2.5 :|
Overall GPA: 2.7
Length of Degree: 4 years with double major
Position in Class: Towards the lower end
Type of Student: International male

Master's Institution: Small Private International School (no reputation in Physics)
Major(s): Physics
GPA in Major: 7.76/10
Overall GPA: 7.76/10
Length of Degree: 2 years
Position in Class: Towards the top

GRE Scores : Revised
Q: 165 (88%)
V: 163 (93%)
W: 4.5 (82%)
P: 910 (85%; Oct 2018) :D


TOEFL: (R: 30, L: 30, S: 28, W: 27)


Research Experience: Undergrad Institution: 2 years on Solar Plasma Physics (couple of posters but presented by the post docs in the group); 1.5 years on Cosmology. Master's Institution: 0.5 years on Molecular Dynamics simulations (my thesis; presented and published at a conference)

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Full tuition waiver for undergrad; Class representative during Masters

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Founded the Physics society at my Masters Institution

Applying to Where: Dept.: Physics unless otherwise stated; Research Interest: Astrophysics/Biophysics/AMO/Condensed Matter

University of Arizona -
Louisiana State University -
Colorado State University -
Mississippi State -

UT Dallas - Physics - Astrophysics, Condensed Matter ( Feb 6: ACCEPTED for Ph.D via email + $1900 per month TA) :D
UC Merced - ( Feb 8: ACCEPTED for Ph.D via email to check website + $28k GTA/GRA :: WILL ATTEND) :D :D
University of Chicago - Feb 8: Rejected via email to check website
University of Maryland, Baltimore County - Feb 10: Waitlisted :!:
Georgia Institute of Technology - Feb 26: Rejected via email to check website
University of Rochester - Mar 08: Rejected via email to check website
Columbia University - Mar 08: Rejected via email to check website
Georgia State University - Astronomy Department - Mar 16: Rejected via email to check website
UT San Antonio - Mar 16: Waitlisted via email
Geroge Washington University - Mar 20: Rejected via email to check website
Wesleyan University - Mar 20: Interview request through email. Declined


Edit - Mar 08: The dominoes are falling! I am just glad to have offers from a couple of programs. I did not have a lot of confidence in my applications, given my undergrad GPA. To those who are in similar boat -> take note that your Masters performance and your research experience when coupled with an impressive Physics GRE score can outweigh your low undergrad GPA. At 27, I am one of the older applicants, but your age does not matter to an extent if you have other positive elements in your resume.

Edit - Mar 26:
This whole process was very nerve-racking.

To those with sub-optimal GPA: make sure everything else on your resume is so great that the admissions committee have to think twice before they reject you. Maybe get a Masters if you can afford it. I could because in my home country, it is relatively cheaper than in the US.
To those who have other deficiencies: one deficiency is not difficult to overcome given other parts of your resume shine through.

Btw, my SOP was 4 pages long. I had to tell them all about what I offer them and why I had a bad undergrad GPA. I think that some schools may not have read through my SOP due to its length. Anything shorter would not have given them all the information to make an informed decision and most likely would have led to a rejection. In fact the extra length of my SOP probably helped me in my acceptances - specially schools that do not receive a large number of applicants.

List of universities: apply to a range of universities and make sure to have maybe five places where you think you should surely get in. Add other universities after you have made this "safety net". Also apply by location. In my experience, geography matters a lot. Better exposure to job opportunities outside academia is essential because most of us will probably not make it to a post-doc or two.

International candidates: Your Physics GRE is probably the most important part of your application. Make sure to do well. Then you must also show them at least acceptable English proficiency - try to get at least a 160 on the verbal section and a 4.0 on the writing section. If you get these scores in the general GRE, TOEFL will take care of itself.

Also, I wish I had known about this website during my undergrad days. I found it out just last year, after I had finished my Masters. If you are reading this, make sure to share this great website with fellow students at your program wherever you are.
Last edited by abhispace on Tue Mar 26, 2019 4:59 am, edited 14 times in total.

Sphayu
Posts: 2
Joined: Thu Jan 10, 2019 9:09 am

Re: 2019 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby Sphayu » Mon Jan 14, 2019 3:07 pm

Undergrad Institution: Liberal arts, no physics grad program
Major(s): Physics
Minor(s): Applied maths
GPA in Major: 4.00
Overall GPA: 3.98
Length of Degree: 4 yr
Position in Class: Top
Type of Student: Domestic female

GRE Scores : Revised
Q: 170 (97%)
V: 165 (95%)
W: 6.0 (99%)
P: 970 (92%)


Research Experience: Two external experimental summer REUs (NSF programs.) One in optics, one in nuclear and particle physics (neither at top-tier facilities, for stupid reasons. Probably my Achilles heel here.)

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Within school: merit recognitions for grades, full-scholarshipo STEM recognition for females, an APS-recognized research award for one undergraduate research project, and a linguistic scholarship.

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Tutor, TA both for three years. Presidents of the minorities in STEM club and of SPS. Sigma pi sigma and Phi beta kappa member.

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: Perhaps my advisor (and one of my recommenders) will mention an area of health issue but I didn't want to write a martyrdom story, but a record of overcoming difficulty is something they may like to see.

Special Bonus Points: I just emailed people whose work I was interested in and they were enthusiastic to hear that I'd read one or more of their papers and liked their work. Hopefully that pushes my application along.

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

Applying to Where: all Ph.D. programs.

MIT - Physics - Experimental Nuclear/Particle
Harvard - Physics - Experimental Nuclear/Particle
UT Austin - Physics - Experimental Particle
U Chicago - Physics - Experimental Nuclear/Particle
Rice University - Physics - Experimental Particle
Michigan State - Physics - Experimental Nuclear
UM Ann Arbor - Physics - Experimental Nuclear/Particle
Notre Dame - Physics - Experimental Nuclear
Texas A&M University - Physics - Experimental Nuclear
UTSA - Physics - Experimental Applied Nuclear
Umass Lowell - Physics - Experimental Nuclear

Fellowships:
DOE NNSA SSGF:
NSF:

abcd
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue Jan 15, 2019 11:41 am

Re: 2019 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby abcd » Tue Jan 15, 2019 11:50 am

Undergrad Institution: Top liberal arts school but not known for physics
Major(s): Physics
Minor(s): Math
GPA in Major: 3.5
Overall GPA: 3.6
Length of Degree: 4 years
Position in Class: average?
Type of Student: Domestic white female

GRE Scores :
Q: 166 (90%)
V: 162 (91%)
W: 4.5 (82%)
P: 630 (34%) ughh

TOEFL: N/A

Research Experience: Currently working on a year long seniors honors project, did 1 REU the summer before senior year and did 1 summer of research at another university that wasn't part of a program, just me doing research there. This is really as much research as one can hope to have coming out of my liberal arts college.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: All-Academic in my sports league but that's it..

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Grader and TA for intro physics

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: Captain of varsity team, they probably don't care about this though

Special Bonus Points:

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

Applying to Where:

MIT - Rejected via email 2/12
University of Colorado Boulder - Rejected via email to check website 2/18
University of Wisconsin Madison - Rejected via website 1/30
Carnegie Mellon - Accepted via email 1/29, 30K TA stipend, Will attend!
Boston University - Accepted via email 2/1, 35K TA stipend, declined offer
Boston College - Invited to interview 1/17, Accepted via email to check website 1/28, 30K TA stipend, declined offer
Brown University - Rejected via email to check website 2/25
University of Washington - Rejected via email 3/15
Northeastern - Accepted via email to check website 4/17, declined offer
Last edited by abcd on Thu Apr 18, 2019 9:54 pm, edited 10 times in total.

ayk
Posts: 6
Joined: Sun Aug 14, 2016 7:53 pm

Re: 2019 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby ayk » Wed Jan 16, 2019 5:50 pm

Undergrad Institution: International, one of the top institutions in my country (one can say that)
Major(s): Physics
Minor(s):
Overall GPA: 3.68 ( for now)
Length of Degree: 1 year(preparation school) + 6 years(undergrad.)
Position in Class: near top I think
Type of Student: International male

GRE Scores :
Q: 166 (90%)
V: 145 (27%)
W: 2.5 (7%)
P: 810 (70%)

IELTS:7.5 L:7.5 R:9.0 W:6.5 S:7.0

Research Experience:

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: High Honor Roll for two semesters

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: TA(undergrad. student assistant) for 2 years

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help:

Special Bonus Points: I am 25 :?

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: first one attends college in the family

Applying to Where: Cosmology, astrophysics ... /Theoretical.

Columbia University -Astronomy PhD
University of Illinois at Chicago -Physics Master
Northeastern University -Physics PhD
City University of New York (CUNY) - Graduate Center -Physics PhD
New York University (NYU) -Physics PhD


I think I'm gonna apply some other schools too. That's all for the time being

starReach
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Jan 16, 2019 10:50 pm

Re: 2019 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby starReach » Wed Jan 16, 2019 11:23 pm

Undergrad Institution: Big state school, good undergraduate astrophysics program
Major(s): Astronomy and Physics
GPA in Major: 3.8
Overall GPA: 3.9
Length of Degree: 4
Position in Class: top
Type of Student: domestic white female

GRE Scores :
Q: 158 (71%)
V: 160 (85%)
W: 4.0 (59%)
P: 560 (17%) :oops: knew I'd do bad but not THIS bad

Research Experience: 3 small astronomy research projects plus an astronomy REU and an independent project which led to a first-author paper. Conference poster

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Poster award plus a couple academic awards from school

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: One semester teaching astronomy class, lots of outreach volunteering and work

Special Bonus Points: had some solid connections to two of the schools I applied to, am generally a good writer
only two schools actually required that I send PGRE!


Applying to Where:

Caltech - Astronomy - interview Jan. 29: rejected via email
Harvard - Astronomy - Feb. 4: ACCEPTED for Ph.D via phone
University of Arizona - Astronomy - Jan. 29: ACCEPTED for Ph.D via phone
University of Hawaii - Astronomy - Jan. 23: ACCEPTED for Ph.D via email Declined
University of Washington - Astronomy - interview Feb 12: ACCEPTED for Ph.D via phone
UCLA - Astronomy - Feb 15: ACCEPTED for Ph.D via email Declined
Ohio State - Astronomy - interview Jan. 16: ACCEPTED for Ph.D via email
Penn State - Astronomy - Jan. 25: waitlisted
UC Santa Cruz - Astronomy - interview Feb 28.: rejected via email
Arizona State - Astronomy -
University of Texas - Astronomy - interviewJan. 28: ACCEPTED for Ph.D via phone
New Mexico State - Astronomy - interview, very unofficial acceptance Declined
Last edited by starReach on Thu Mar 14, 2019 7:02 pm, edited 10 times in total.

ryanm123
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Jan 17, 2019 4:24 pm

Re: 2019 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby ryanm123 » Thu Jan 17, 2019 4:38 pm

Undergrad Institution: SUNY Stony Brook
Major(s): Physics and Mathematics
Minor(s): None
GPA in Major: 3.88
Overall GPA: 3.86
Length of Degree: 3.5
Position in Class: near top
Type of Student: DMW, part Native American

GRE Scores : (revised or old version?)
Q: 160 (74%)
V: 159 (83%)
W: 4.5 (82%)
P: 770 (62%) :cry:


Research Experience: At my school for 2.5 years continuously in CME and spectroscopy. One co-authored publication and two upcoming co-authored publications. No conference talks.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Dean's list every semester, expected summa cumme laude.

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Physics tutor for a semester.

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: Strong background in community service.

Special Bonus Points: One grad course in lasers and one well-known recommender in string theory.

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

Applying to Where: All CME and Physics
MIT Feb. 12: REJECTED via email (its okay, I heard their program isnt that great anyways :shock: )
Stanford Feb. 20: REJECTED via email
Cal Tech REJECTED via email
Harvard REJECTED via email
Berkley Feb. 15: REJECTED via email
Santa Barbara REJECTED via email
Yale Feb. 13: ACCEPTED for Ph.D via email + $35,250 TA + $1k bonus Will attend
Boulder Jan. 29: ACCEPTED for Ph.D via email + TA stipend + $3k fellowship( more details to come)
Maryland Feb. 14: REJECTED via email (Happy Valentine's Day)
Johns Hopkins WAITLISTED but declined via email
UCLA Jan. 25: ACCEPTED for Ph.D via email (more details to come)
San Diego REJECTED via email
Boston U Feb. 11: ACCEPTED for Ph.D via email + $23,340 TA + $11,670 summer + $1,000 bonus
University of Virginia Jan. 25: ACCEPTED for Ph.D via email + $35,600 Stipend (no TA)
Duke Jan.18: ACCEPTED for Ph.D via email + $31,800 Stipend TA
Georgia Tech Feb. 11: ACCEPTED for Ph.D via email + $32,552 TA stipend

This process was very hard. I was flipping coins and I haven't slept in a month. Here is my advice for future prospective graduate students.

The graduate school rankings are important to some degree. If you want to stay in academia then going to Harvard, Berkeley and Stanford are a must if you are accepted. If you get into them the school names speak for themselves. Just look at where faculty are from on department websites. Outside of the top five or six schools the rankings are kinda BS. Certain schools will specialize in certain fields and the specific department you are interested in may be very strong but not highly ranked. What is important is the specific professor and that you like the work they do.

If you don't know where to begin when applying to schools, then look go down the list of rankings but look at each department's webpage. Go to each school and count how many groups do the work you are interested in. Check their quality by looking at publications and see what you are interested in. There is no good into getting into a top 20 school (whatever that biased ranking means) but then finding out that they don't have what you are looking for. This is what happened to me at UCLA. I loved the location and I wanted to be in California but there were only three experimental condensed matter groups even though it is ranked as a top 20 school.

I chose Yale because it had experimental condensed matter groups which also did theory. This is what I am looking for. I am not thrilled about New Haven, CT. I still don't feel happy about my decision because California has always been my dream, but I had to sacrifice the location for the physics. Maybe you'll see me on this forum in another year if I don't like it. But lets hope that everything goes well. I chose the school for the ivy name as well.

Overall, I never wish this process on my worst enemy. I am lucky that I had choices, but the process was still very hard. There's also pseudo randomness in the acceptances. I can't see how I got into some schools over others. I'll give a quick summary of the schools I visited if anyone else is looking for opinions on which schools to apply to in the future.

Yale - good quantum computing and I really like the applied physics program.
CU Boulder - an AMO dream of endless labs, Nobel laureates, and NIST and JILA are right on campus.
UCLA - good plasma and HEP.
Georgia Tech - Truthfully, I wasn't impressed. But astronomy seems cool here.
Duke - good meta material condensed matter research. I didn't go to the open house so I can't say much, just visited on another day.
Last edited by ryanm123 on Sun Apr 14, 2019 11:29 pm, edited 21 times in total.

mrh
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Jan 17, 2019 6:29 pm

Re: 2019 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby mrh » Thu Jan 17, 2019 6:54 pm

Undergrad Institution: liberal arts, small physics department
Major(s): Biological Physics
Minor(s): Bioinformatics
GPA in Major: 3.56
Overall GPA: 3.46
Length of Degree: 5 years with first two at a community college
Position in Class: above average
Type of Student: Domestic male

Graduate Institution: liberal arts, same as undergrad
Major(s): MS in Physics
GPA in Major: 3.90

GRE Scores :
Q: 155, 58%
V: 158, 80%
W: 4, 59%
P: 700, 49%

Research Experience: 3 years at my home institution doing cellular biophysics. 1 publication in prep, 5 posters, 2 talks, Master's thesis in progress

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Handful of various departmental scholarships for physics GPA, dean's list

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: 2 years as a graduate teaching assistant in physics. Graded/proctored exams. Twice weekly physics tutor in the department

Special Bonus Points: Have a strong record of performance in graduate physics coursework, significant research experience in my intended field (biophysics)

Applying to Where: All Ph.D. programs

Northwestern - Physics - Experimental Biophysics
U of Arizona - Physics - Experimental Biophysics
Georgetown - Physics - Experimental Biophysics
Virginia Tech - Physics - Experimental Biophysics Feb. 1: ACCEPTED via email from physics department, ~$19,000/yr TA
U of Washington - Physics - Experimental Biophysics
Case Western - Structural Biology and Biophysics - Experimental Biophysics Invited to interview on Jan. 18 Feb. 22: ACCEPTED via email from graduate school, funding info to come
George Washington U - Physics - Experimental Biophysics Feb. 12: ACCEPTED via email from graduate school, funding info to come
Notre Dame - Physics - Experimental Biophysics Feb. 7: ACCEPTED via email from physics department, ~$23,000/yr TA :D :shock: :D
U of Maine - Physics - Experimental Biophysics Feb. 6: ACCEPTED via email from physics department, ~$21,000/yr TA

School - Department - Research Interest (Feb. 28: WILL ATTEND for Ph.D. Accepted via website/email + $Xk Fellowship + $XXk/X month TA)
School - Department - Research Interest (Feb. 14: ACCEPTED for Ph.D via website/email + $Xk Fellowship + $XXk/X month TA)
School - Department - Research Interest (Feb. 23: Rejected via website/email)
Last edited by mrh on Fri Feb 22, 2019 6:18 pm, edited 7 times in total.

XO
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Jan 17, 2019 8:31 pm

Re: 2019 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby XO » Thu Jan 17, 2019 8:54 pm

Undergrad Institution: Medium liberal arts school, no physics reputation
Major(s):Physics
Minor(s):
GPA in Major: 3.97
Overall GPA: 3.97
Length of Degree: 3.5 (but since high school, 5.5)
Position in Class: no idea
Type of Student: Domestic female

GRE Scores :
Q: 161 (77%) (disappointed in this, averaged ~90% in 4 practice exams)
V: 161 (88%)
W: 5 (92%)
P: 740 (57%) :)


TOEFL: N/A


Research Experience: 3 years of research experience in a materials science lab (not through my school). I was full time during the summer and part time during the semesters. Resulted in one 1st author paper (low impact journal, but it was highlighted for that issue) and 2 Nth author papers. Poster presentations at 6 local conferences and 2 large international ones. Coauthor on 12 other presentations.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Graduated Summa cum laude, dean's list all semesters, sigma pi sigma, won best poster a couple of times at local conferences, my article was chosen and highlighted in a journal.

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Other than my research job, I was a chemistry and physics TA for three semesters

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: I studied abroad twice?

Special Bonus Points:Nope

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: I took an independent study in the area I was interested in (medical physics), and shadowed a medical physicist. Was able to talk about both in my personal statements. Also, I had a two year gap four years ago during which I completely withdrew from two semesters.

Hopefully this adds to the medical physics representation on this site :D

Applying to Where:

UWMadison - medical physics PhD -Jan 15: Invited to interview //Accepted with full support, $28,000 stipend // Declined
UChicago - medical physics PhD- Jan 17: Invited to interview//Accepted with full support, ~$32,000 stipend--WILL ACCEPT!! :D
UFlorida - medical physics MS -Accepted 2/5 // Declined
UTexas San Antonio - medical physics DMP - Interview // Declined
UPenn - medical physics MS Invited to interview 2/23 // Declined
Wayne State University - medical physics PhD Jan 17: Invited to interview// Accepted // Declined
Louisiana State University - medical physics PhD -Invited to interview// Accepted with full support, $26,000 stipend // Declined
UCincinnati - medical physics DMP
Cleveland State University - medical physics MS -Accepted 2/3 // Declined
UMass Lowell - medical physics PhD//Invited to interview// Declined
University of Kentucky - medical physics MS - Invited to interview // Declined
Last edited by XO on Tue Mar 19, 2019 9:48 pm, edited 3 times in total.

melrows
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Jan 18, 2019 5:40 pm

Re: 2019 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby melrows » Fri Jan 18, 2019 6:02 pm

Undergrad Institution: Big state school, top 50 in the US in physics
Major(s): Physics, Astronomy
Minor(s): Planetary Science
GPA in Major: 3.75 Physics, 3.84 Astronomy
Overall GPA: 3.87
Length of Degree: 4 year
Position in Class: near top
Type of Student: domestic white female, postbac

GRE Scores : revised
Q: 163 (82%)
V: 163 (92%)
W: 5.0 (93%)
P: 690 (47%) :/

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

Research Experience: 1 year in astronomy but not my desired subfield for grad school, done at my university including full time over the summer. Presented at AAS, 2 papers in progress but not first author. Have 4.5 years full or almost full time experience in social science research/data analysis from previous degree and career

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Several academic and leadership awards and scholarships during my first degree at a different university, 1 academic scholarship/award at current university

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: math tutor, officer in women's astronomy outreach group, worked full time in social science research my first 2 years at current university, and part time since then

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: Prior degree in psychology and family science, prior nonrelated research, student athlete/all american

Special Bonus Points: 2 letter writers had connections at 2 places I applied to, female in astronomy

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

Applying to Where: All astronomy departments with exoplanets as a focus

Ohio State 1/3: interview via skype. Jan 16: ACCEPTED via email submitted for fellowship consideration
Michigan REJECTED via email 2/7.
University of Colorado Boulder ACCEPTED via email to check website 2/1 Very surprised at this! :D
University of Texas Austin interview via skype 1/22, ACCEPTED via phone call 1/28
Columbia University interview via skype 1/21 REJECTED via email to check website 2/1. Upset, but grateful to at least get an interview.
University of Florida Withdrew my application due to offers from schools higher on my list.
Penn State ACCEPTED via email 1/26, $29,500/ year TA/summer research stipend, submitted for fellowship consideration
University of California Santa Cruz REJECTED via email 2/28
Arizona State Withdrew application due to offers from schools higher on my list
Vanderbilt () - I'm assuming rejected because someone on gradcafe emailed admissions and they said that Astrophysics had already emailed out acceptances.
University of Central Florida - Physics dept, planetary science track Withdrew my application due to offers from schools higher on my list.
Last edited by melrows on Fri Mar 22, 2019 10:35 am, edited 4 times in total.

aghostfish
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Jan 18, 2019 9:29 pm

Re: 2019 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby aghostfish » Fri Jan 18, 2019 9:59 pm

Undergrad Institution: Top 10 in the UK University
Major(s):Physics (MPhys)
Minor(s): N/A
GPA in Major:3.85
Overall GPA:3.85
Length of Degree: 4 years
Position in Class: Not a clue, not measured
Type of Student: International (UK student)

GRE Scores : Revised I think? (Did it all on a PC)
Q: 167 (91%)
V: 159 (83%)
W: 4.5 (82%)
P: 880 (81%)


TOEFL: Waived


Research Experience: Spent a year in the US as part of study abroad, during which I spent a year working on an independent research project on the cloaking of optical fibres. This work went towards an honours thesis and was also presented at a university level conference. After that I got a paid summer internship at my home institution developing a method of thermometery for low temperature experiments. This work was presented at a small national conference. At the time of application I was working on my masters project on the effect of aerogel on superfluid He-4. I have also completed a literature review on superfluids as part of my degree.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: The only official recognition I got was a certificate of excellence in undergraduate research at my study abroad institution.

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: None related to physics, some basic customer facing roles in past years which I didn't mention on my application.

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: I had an active part as a cultural ambassador during my study abroad, however this was a very minor part of my application.

Special Bonus Points: I have taken graduate level courses as part of my masters in semiconductors, quantum transport, advanced magnetism and low temperature physics. However I didn't have any grades for these when applying. My masters supervisor and people I work with in the lab are very well known in low temperature physics (apparently it's a small circle), this should help when applying to University of Florida and Cornell. The people I work with as part of my masters project know people at Florida and Cornell personally, two of which wrote my letters of recommendation. I did contact a potential supervisor at Florida and at Cornell, both seemed very interested due to my work with superfluids, the one at Cornell especially so.

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: None come to mind.

Applying to Where:

School - UNC Chapel Hill - CME (Accepted Jan. 18: for Ph.D. Accepted via website/email + $22.5k/11 month TA)
School - Cornell University - CME
School - CU Boulder- CME/AMO
School - Duke University - CME (Accepted Jan. 23: for Ph.D. Accepted via website/email + $31.8k/2 semesters TA)
School - University of Florida - CME

All of my applications were tailored to the specific university and why the work I did fits well with what they do and what I hope to do. In my limited experience, I think this is what is most likely to get you an acceptance. I have been told applying is like a lottery and that may be true. Applying and the wait was very stressful but getting that first acceptance was a huge relief. I'd be happy to answer any questions anyone has for me.
Last edited by aghostfish on Thu Jan 24, 2019 7:24 am, edited 2 times in total.

chenkers
Posts: 1
Joined: Sat Jan 19, 2019 5:26 pm

Re: 2019 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby chenkers » Sat Jan 19, 2019 5:37 pm

Undergrad Institution: Small Northeast Liberal Arts School (no physics rep)
Major(s):Biophysics, Philosophy
Minor(s): Mathematics
GPA in Major:3.85
Overall GPA:3.84
Length of Degree: 4 years
Position in Class: Not measured
Type of Student: US

GRE Scores :
Q: 167 (91%)
V: 164 (94%)
W: 5.0 (92%)
P: 670 (43%)


Research Experience: Done different projects over three years at my home institute. One summer REU in CMT. All research was highly computational.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Dean's List every semester

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Physics tutor for three years at my school.

Special Bonus Points: Probably none

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

Applying to Where: (all for HEP-th or Nuclear/Particle)

School - Temple- Accepted 1/19, $24,000 12 month TA
School - Penn
School - CU Boulder- Rejected 2/18
School - University of Minnesota- Rejected 1/22
School - Lehigh- Accepted 2/8, $29,340 12 month TA
School - Rennselear Polytechnical- Accepted 1/24
School - Brown
School - UIUC
School - Penn State
School - Boston University
School - Northeastern
Last edited by chenkers on Sun Feb 24, 2019 9:24 pm, edited 4 times in total.

chihiro
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2019 5:28 pm

Re: 2019 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby chihiro » Mon Jan 21, 2019 5:29 pm

Undergrad Institution: top brazilian university
Major(s): Physics
Minor(s): -
GPA in Major: 9.1/10 (I did not have to convert to scale of 4)
Overall GPA: -
Length of Degree: 4 years
Position in Class: near top
Type of Student: International female

GRE Scores : Revised
Q:163
V:155
W: 3
P: 850

TOEFL: 100 (R: 28, L: 29 , S: 21 , W: 22 )

Research Experience: Three years of research experience at my university with an advisor on the topic Nuclear Magnetic Resonance. Plus a side project on 2D Electrodynamics that it is going to be published this month. Three presentations on national events and one international.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: I won two times a prize for the best presentation on two events I participated. And in the international one I was ranked among 3% of the best presentations presented.


Applying to Where:

University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign - Physics Department - CME/Biophysics (ACCEPTED via website/email on Feb. 04) - DECLINED on Mar. 29
Brandeis University - Physics Department - CME/Biophysics (ACCEPTED via website/email on Mar. 13) - DECLINED on Mar. 29
University of Michigan - Biophysics Department - NMR (ACCEPTED via website/email on Dec. 21)
Brown University - Physics Department - CME/Biophysics (ACCEPTED via email on Jan. 15)
USC - Physics Department - CME/Biophysics (ACCEPTED via website/email on Feb. 12)
UNC - Physics Department - CME/Biophysics (ACCEPTED via website/email on Jan. 18)
Maryland, College Park - Chemical Physics Department - NMR (ACCEPTED via website/email on Feb. 08)
Ohio State University - Chemical Physics Department - NMR (ACCEPTED via website/email on Jan. 21)
Columbia - Chemical Physics Department - NMR (REJECTED via website/email on Feb. 13)
Harvard - Biophysics Department - NMR (REJECTED via website/email on Feb. 06)
Purdue University - Physics Department - CME/Biophysics (REJECTED via website/email on Mar. 25)
Last edited by chihiro on Fri Mar 29, 2019 1:17 pm, edited 7 times in total.

ramreddy96
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Jan 22, 2019 5:30 am

Re: 2019 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby ramreddy96 » Tue Jan 22, 2019 5:39 am

Undergrad Institution: A Top Indian University
Major(s): Physics
Minor(s): Math for computing
GPA in Major: Physics: 9.13/10
Overall GPA: 8.88/10
Length of Degree: 5 years
Position in Class: near top
Type of Student: foreign

GRE Scores :
Q: 169
V: 161
W: 4.0
P: 910

Research Experience: Two projects in HEP Phenomenology. working on HEP theory/pheno project for masters thesis

Special Bonus Points: Good recommendation letters

Applying to Where: (All HEP Theory and Pheno)

University of Michigan -Rejected via website
University of Rochester -Accepted via Email 2/14 TA 22.5k/9 months + RA
University of Texas at Austin -Accepted via Email 3/25 TA/RA USD 28k, WILL ATTEND
University of Colorado at Boulder -Rejected via website
University of Minnesota -Rejected via website 1/23
Ohio State University
University of Florida -Accepted via Email 2/11 TA/RA USD 25k
Northwestern University -Rejected via Email
Last edited by ramreddy96 on Mon Apr 15, 2019 6:53 am, edited 4 times in total.

andydandy
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue Jan 22, 2019 2:46 pm

Re: 2019 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby andydandy » Tue Jan 22, 2019 3:45 pm

Undergrad Institution: Large state school, tier one research, decent physics reputation
Major(s): Physics
Minor(s): Math
GPA in Major: 3.644/4.0 (upper level physics/math)
Overall GPA: 3.704/4.0
Length of Degree: 3 years
Position in Class: Probably near the top
Type of Student: Domestic white male

GRE Scores:
Q: 162 (80%)
V: 149 (42%)
W: 4.0 (59%)
P: 570 (21%)

***I'm an average guy, didn't study at all for these exams, and only took them once. I even sat down with a Rice professor and he told me they don't look at the regular GRE and are only worried about the physics GRE if less that 10 percentile. He did say they would be more impactful on ivy league schools, but dat aint me***



Research Experience: 8 months of research in particle physics focusing on detectors and still continuing. Our university collaborates with LHC so I got a very in depth view of how they operate and do research. 1 REU poster. I decided to graduate in 3 years which is the better choice financially, but wish I had a little more time doing research.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Academic excellence, private scholarship based on merit and essay

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: TA for introductory physics 2 during my last two semesters, private tutor

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help:

Special Bonus Points: 1 professor with significant contributions in neutrino detections, 1 is a distinguished and award winning math professor, the other guy just liked me and had a connection at one of the schools I am applying to lol

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: Just solid work ethic and the fact that I'm a 20 year old applicant. I worked up to 3 jobs at a time during the semester, one being at 4am every day. I also worked pretty hard on my statement of purposes, started writing them the summer and had multiple professors revise and edit them for me. I explained how my occupational circumstances didn't leave me much time to study and mentioned professors I emailed or talked to in person.

Applying to Where:
CU Boulder - Physics PhD - Experimental Particle
UIUC - Physics PhD - Experimental Particle
UC Irvine - Physics PhD - Experimental Particle
UT - Physics PhD - Experimental Particle
Rice - Physics PhD - Experimental Particle
Northeastern - Physics PhD - Experimental Particle
Oregon - Physics PhD - Experimental Particle
Mines - Applied Physics PhD - Experimental Nuclear
Clemson - Physics PhD - Experimental Particle - (1/25) invited to interview via email
University of Houston - Physics PhD - Experimental Particle
Last edited by andydandy on Fri Jan 25, 2019 6:26 pm, edited 2 times in total.

chris314
Posts: 14
Joined: Tue Feb 06, 2018 8:44 pm

Re: 2019 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby chris314 » Tue Jan 22, 2019 10:15 pm

Undergrad Institution: Big liberal arts college in state, not well known for physics, does not offer a PhD
Major(s): Physics
Minor(s):
GPA in Major: 3.2
Overall GPA: 3.2
Length of Degree: 6 BS / 3 MS (went to school part time)
Position in Class: Average
Type of Student: Domestic hispanic male

GRE Scores :
Q: 158 (80%)
V: 159 (73%)
W: 4.0 (60%)
P: 610 (31%)




Research Experience: 5 month NASA internship with dark matter, summer with the Navy resulted in 2nd author publication on microwave absorbing materials, 1 year graduate level research at my university with collaboration at UC Berkeley and experiments performed at LBNL, 1 summer of graduate level research at another university right before application

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Dean's List for GPA twice

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Tutor

Special Bonus Points: 3.6 GPA for last 4 semesters of graduate program

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: I doubt it, but I am from California which is why I applied to most UC's

Applying to Where:

Auburn University - CME (Mar. 18: ACCEPTED for Ph.D via email + $24,270/year TA + $500 signing bonus)
CUNY Graduate Center - CME
Florida International University - CME
Florida State University - CME Apr 1: Waitlisted
Michigan Technological University - CME (Mar. 9: ACCEPTED for Ph.D via email)
Oregon State University - CME (Mar 11: Rejected via email)
Portland State University - CME (Mar 24: Rejected via email)
Temple University - CME
University of California Irvine - CME (Jan. 30: ACCEPTED for Ph.D via email + $7k/quarter TA + guaranteed housing)
University of California Los Angeles - CME (Mar 26: Rejected via email)
University of California Merced - CME (Jan. 31: ACCEPTED for Ph.D via email + $28k/year TA)
University of California Riverside - CME (Mar 28: Rejected via email)
University of California San Diego - CME (Mar 13: Rejected via email)
University of California Santa Cruz - CME (Feb 28: Rejected via email)
University of New Mexico - CME (Feb. 22: ACCEPTED for Ph.D in Optical Science and Engineering (not Physics) via email + $17,136/year not including summer)
University of Oregon - CME Mar 11: Waitlisted
University of Pittsburgh - CME Mar 20: Waitlisted
West Virginia University - CME (Mar. 4: ACCEPTED for Ph.D via email + $24.5k/year TA )
Last edited by chris314 on Thu Apr 18, 2019 2:06 am, edited 13 times in total.

alxcbrn
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Jan 23, 2019 1:14 am

Re: 2019 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby alxcbrn » Wed Jan 23, 2019 1:58 am

Undergrad Institution: Mid-size private school, "Hidden Gem" Physics reputation (BONUS: Paul Dirac taught here :D )
Major(s): Mechanical Engineering and Applied Physics
Minor(s): N/A ( I almost did Math, but was one course short )
GPA in Major: 4.00
Overall GPA: 4.00
Length of Degree: 4 years
Position in Class:Not known but probably near the top
Type of Student: Domestic male; sort of a minority but did not stress on application

GRE Scores : revised version
Q: 168 (94%)
V: 163 (93%)
W: 6.0 (99%) :o Surprise!
P: 780 (62%) :mrgreen: That's what happens when you are "Applied" Physics vs. just Physics


Research Experience: Research all performed at my school, about 3.5 years in a Biophysics lab. No publications but in the very final stages of putting out a first author publication to a pretty good journal. Project was almost entirely independent of my P.I. , which was apparently stressed in my letter of recommendation. Gave lots of conference talks (and a few poster presentations), including one in Iceland my Junior year :D

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Summa Cum Laude, President of the Astronomy Club, a few "somethings list" here and there but I haven't really kept track. I have one hell of a senior design project for my Mechanical Engineering degree.

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: I was a TA for one engineering class, but I did not mention this on any of my applications.

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: I had a senior design project which was completely focused on ice core drilling, which is sort of related to the field of study I applied for (Geophysics). Wherever the document "Supplemental Materials" was asked for in my applications; I put my final report for this course in that section.

Special Bonus Points: No real bonus points; I e-mailed professors I was interested in working with ahead of time and tried to take the hardest possible physics and engineering courses (and as many graduate courses) as I could while I was at my University. I got one hell of a recommendation letter from my advisor in my research lab

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: So I applied for two completely different types of programs: Geophysics and Medical Physics. This might sound like a bad idea from the onset (like spreading myself a bit too thin), but actually I do really have a passion for both of these fields and have some level of background in either subject. I made two separate personal statements to this end: and revised both statements so extensively that by the end (when the applications were ready to be submitted), I had a pretty good understanding of what I wanted to do in graduate school in either field, with good detail. I also sort of followed the philosophy of "if I apply to more schools, I'm more likely to get in", rather than " if I apply to a few schools and spend more time making good applications, I'm more likely to get in ".

Applying to Where:

CalTech - Geophysics (Jan. 22: Accepted for Ph.D. Accepted via email + $35k Fellowship, 3/7 WILL ATTEND
Stanford -Geophysics - Glaciology (Jan 14: Invited to attend interview on Campus)REJECTED (March 3rd) :roll:
UCLA - Physics and Biology in Medicine - Radiation Therapy (Jan 15: Invited to attend interview on Campus), WITHDRAWN, WILL NOT ATTEND
University of Miami - Medical Physics (Jan. 30: Accepted for PhD. Had to check website + 2 Year Fellowship (29k per year) plus A number of smaller stipends), WILL NOT ATTEND
Oxford University -Radiation Biology - (Jan 21: Invited to attend interview)UPDATE: Interview went quite well ...[/color] (Feb. 8: Accepted for MSc. Accepted via email +$14,777 stipend + $7500 home and EU fees), Update: Funding withdrawn?!?!?! Okay, well, not going here... :roll:
National University of Ireland Galway - Medical Physics - Radiation Therapy(Jan 18: Invited to attend interview) UPDATE: Interview went quite well ...(Jan. 30: Accepted for MSc. Accepted via email WILL NOT ATTEND)
Berkeley - Geophysics REJECTED March 21
RPI -Physics -(Jan. 22: Accepted for Ph.D. Accepted via email, Awaiting further Funding Information), WILL NOT ATTEND
Lund University - Physics
University of Copenhagen - Medical Physics (Mar 27: Accepted for MSc. Accepted via email, Tuition Waiver + $13200 per year stipend ), WILL NOT ATTEND
University of British Columbia, Okanagen - Medical Physics
University of Victoria - Medical Physics (Mar 5: Invited to attend interview on Campus), Declined Interview
McGill University - Medical Physics (Jan. 22: Accepted for MSc. Accepted via email, Awaiting further Funding Information), WILL NOT ATTEND
Harvard -Geophysics REJECTED February 22 :roll:
Princeton -Geophysics- (Jan 23: Invited to attend "Quick Chat" with professor in the department) (Feb. 8: Accepted for Ph.D. Accepted via email, 29K Stipend+6k First two-year bonus+ 8k summer fellowship),
University of Wisconsin -Atmospheric Sciences (Jan. 22: Accepted for Ph.D. Accepted via email, Awaiting further Funding Information), WILL NOT ATTEND

Overall thoughts?:

The application process to graduate school was a very long and, sometimes, very tiresome process. In total I probably dedicated about $1500 and many, many hours of my time filling out applications, editing essays, studying for the GRE, flying all over the country, and finally, thinking about my final decision. In all, the offer from Caltech seemed to make the most financial and logistical sense, plus, Its hard for me to get past the 'cool' factor of Caltech and the fact that JPL is right across the corner. In all, I would say all that work was well worth it, but I hope I won't have to do it again for a while.

Good luck to everyone else starting their PhD this fall! :D

By the way, if you'd like to see my new research webpage, check it out here:
https://icephysics.com/
Last edited by alxcbrn on Thu Mar 28, 2019 7:41 pm, edited 12 times in total.

a08599505
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Jan 23, 2019 3:33 am

Re: 2019 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby a08599505 » Wed Jan 23, 2019 4:08 am

Undergrad Institution: Big State university, not particularly renowned for Physics
Major(s): Physics
Minor(s): -
GPA in Major: 4.2/4.3
Overall GPA: 4.2/4.3
Position in Class: near top
Type of Student: female, international

GRE Scores :
Q: 166 (90%)
V: 165 (96%)
W: 5
P: 840 (75%)


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


Research Experience: 2 summers at school (one in experimental HEP, another in CME), DAAD-Rise fellow (quantum optics), 8 months in HEP theory

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: three scolarships/awards of excellence within school, multiple student research awards, Dean's list, two awards for best talk/poster presentation

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: TA experience in four different physics undergraduate courses, research experience in other fields (sociology and medical research), decent amount of volunteering work (student asociation, homework help in elementary schools...)


Special Bonus Points: decent bagage and experience in machine learning, very good letters from people who know faculty in many of the places where I applied.

Applying to Where:

UBC - Physics - HEP theory or exp. (Jan. 11: ACCEPTED for MSc via email) WILL NOT ATTEND
Queen's - Physics - Particle Astrophysics theory or exp. (Jan. 16: ACCEPTED for MSc via email) WILL NOT ATTEND

Harvard - Physics - HEP exp. (Feb. 14: ACCEPTED for Phd via email, Purcell basic fellowship (31000$), open house April 1-2)
MIT - Physics - HEP exp. (Feb. 12: ACCEPTED for Phd via email, unofficial)
UC Berkeley - Physics - HEP exp. or theory (Feb. 13: ACCEPTED for Phd via email, 36000$ stipend, open house March 14-15)
U Chicago - Physics - HEP exp. or theory (Feb. 7: ACCEPTED for Phd via email, 34000$ stipend, open house March 1st)
Stanford - Physics - HEP exp. or theory (Feb. 20: ACCEPTED for Phd via email, open house March 12-13)
Princeton - Physics - HEP exp. or theory (Feb. 12: REJECTED)

Durham - Physics - MSc theoretical Physics
Edinburgh - Physics - MSc theoretical Physics (Mar. 6: ACCEPTED via email to check portal)
King's - Physics - MSc Physics WITHDRAWN
Perimeter - Physics - PSI (Feb. 23 - Interview) WITHDRAWN
University of Zurich - Physics - HEP MSc WITHDRAWN

A few thoughts:

0) I did not mention this in my applications, but I almost dropped out of my degree because of mental health issues. I'm better now, but it made me lose my momentum. I used to have huge plans and ambition and ended up having no confidence in my chances of making it in grad school. 6 months ago, I didn't even want to apply to US universities because I thought it would be useless, but one of my supervisors pushed me. Ended up rushing the PGRE, GRE and TOEFL back to back, the same week as my mid-terms, at the last minute and without studying. I still have a hard time believing how positive the outcome was. Moral of the story: No matter what people say around you or online, no matter what that annoying, judgy, voice in your head tells you, go all-in. You have nothing to loose.

1) People told me that applying to Stanford and. al with a 840 PGRE was useless. Rubbish.

2) People told me that taking an extra year to complete my degree would ruin my chances. Double Rubbish. It allowed me to get extra research exp., to have all of my grades in my transcript in time for applications, to take some time to take care of myself and even to squeeze in a little extra volunteering work, all of which I believe helped my case.

3) I believe the most important part of your application are your recommendation letters. I was told by multiple people that this was the most impressive part of my application. All three of my letters were from people with whom I worked closely and on a daily basis, and who knew me very well. A recommendation letter from someone who can vouch for the quality of your research work is worth infinitely more than a letter from a renowned person who doesn't know you very well.

4) Personnalize your application to the uni you are applying to. Mention specific names of researchers whose work you find interesting and link their research interests to your skills, even if you have not contacted them before applying. Explain why you applied to that specific program: relate the dept. to a personnal story, like a talk given by a faculty which you attended or someone you know who studied there. If it sounds like the dpt you are applying to is just another one on your list, you will be just another average applicant on theirs.

5) Have a coherent story. Even if you don't really know what you want to do for your graduate studies, make it sound like you know where you are headed and like you have a plan. Most unis will require a researcher or a member of the selection commitee to vouch for you in order to make it in. If it seems like you are unsure about your future field, you become a risky investment. In most places, it is pretty easy to change direction once you are in.

6) If you are applying in exp. physics, people with skills in ML/AI are actively sought after. A graduate or online ML course is a good investment.
Last edited by a08599505 on Wed Mar 06, 2019 1:54 pm, edited 10 times in total.

oobydooby
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Jan 23, 2019 2:01 pm

Re: 2019 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby oobydooby » Wed Jan 23, 2019 2:23 pm

Undergrad Institution: Big state school, not particularly known for physics
Major(s): Physics, Astronomy
Minor(s): Philosophy
GPA in Major: 3.90
Overall GPA: 3.76
Length of Degree: 4 yrs
Position in Class: unsure
Type of Student: Domestic white male

GRE Scores :
Q: 160, 74% :( can't do middle school math
V: 166, 97%
W: 4.0, 59%
P: 740, 57% hopefully this doesn't hurt too much at astronomy programs requiring it (only half)


TOEFL: n/a


Research Experience: 5 semesters of research at my school, 1 REU at national observatory, 3 presentations, 1 poster at AAS, one 1st or 2nd author paper (in prep :( )

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Typical school scholarships, one departmental scholarship, one research grant award from university, honors program

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Currently working as undergrad TA for the 6th time

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: black belt

Special Bonus Points: Have good connection at one of ivy league schools. 2 of my letters should be strong.

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: My overall GPA is lower because I got Bs in all math classes freshman year, but I had a chronic illness at that time which I mentioned. Hopefully this won't hurt at astronomy programs, although I did get As in upper level math courses.

Applying to Where: All for astronomy with focus in extragalactic astronomy, particularly galaxy evolution

Yale Rejected via website 1/31
Dartmouth 2/18: ACCEPTED for PhD via email. 30k stipend + health insurance. I'm thrilled!
Columbia Rejected via website 2/1
UCLA
Washington - Seattle Rejected via email 2/1
Cornell Rejected via email 2/21
Boulder Rejected via website 2/4
Wisconsin
Virginia Waitlisted 2/12
Texas Rejected via email 2/14
Michigan Rejected via email 2/7
UCSD
Tufts Invited to interview 2/14
Leiden 2/18: ACCEPTED for MS via Email. No $$ though
Last edited by oobydooby on Fri Feb 22, 2019 2:01 pm, edited 15 times in total.

peter3721
Posts: 2
Joined: Thu Jan 24, 2019 4:00 am

Re: 2019 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby peter3721 » Thu Jan 24, 2019 4:21 am

Undergrad Institution: Top 10 public school in the U.S., top 20 in physics
Major(s): Physics & Mathematics
Minor(s): N/A
GPA in Major: 3.9/4.0
Overall GPA: 3.8/4.0
Length of Degree: 4 years
Position in Class: near top
Type of Student: international male

GRE Scores : revised
Q: 168, 94%
V: 150, 47% :(
W: 3.5, 41%
P: 840, 75%


TOEFL: N/A


Research Experience: Experimental - AMO (1 semesters + 1 summer,) CM (summer REU), theoretical - applied math/mathematical modeling (1 semester + 1 summer). 1 poster at a medium size AMO conference.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Typical school honors

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Math & Physics Tutor

Special Bonus Points: Letters are from professors whom I did research with and know me well

Applying to Where: mostly experimental AMO

Harvard - eAMO (Feb. 26: Rejected via email to check website)
Yale - eAMO (Feb. 14: Rejected via email to check website)
Berkeley - eAMO (Feb. 15: Rejected via email to check website)
UCLA - eAMO/eCM
CU-Boulder- eAMO (Feb. 19: Rejected via email to check website)
UMD- eAMO (Feb. 14: Rejected via email to check website)
UPenn- eCM
UChicago - IME - eAMO/QI (Jan. 23: Rejected via email to check website)
Duke- eAMO/eCM (Feb. 25: Rejected via email to check website)
Cornell- eCM (Feb. 21: Rejected via email to check website)
Michigan-Ann Arbor- eAMO (Feb. 7: Rejected via email to check website)
Northwestern- eAMO
Purdue- eAMO
Rice- eAMO - Waitlisted Mar. 28
Georgia Tech- eAMO (Feb. 26: Rejected via email to check website)
Illinois- eAMO
Oxford- Atomic and Laser Physics DPhil -(Feb. 15: invited to interview)- Accepted, Mar 19
Last edited by peter3721 on Thu Mar 28, 2019 8:58 pm, edited 12 times in total.

kot95
Posts: 2
Joined: Fri Dec 16, 2016 3:53 am

Re: 2019 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby kot95 » Thu Jan 24, 2019 3:38 pm

Undergrad Institution: State Uni
Master Institution: International
Major(s): Physics (Astrophysics) BS, Astronomy MS
Overall GPA: 3.3 BS, ~B+/A- MS (different scaling)
Length of Degree: 4 BS, 2 MS
Type of Student: Minority male

GRE Scores :
Q: 154 (55%)
V: 154 (64%)
W: 3.0(17%)

Research Experience:
1 year research on galaxies
3 months research on AGN
summer REU
1 year research project on Exoplanet detection
~4 months research project on Milky Way structure

Pertinent Activities or Jobs:
Grader for lower division courses
Paid research position

Special Bonus Points:
Letter writers are all very well known in the field
Two papers to be published in coming months
Tons of observing time/experience

Applying to Where:
Astronomy programs

Texas A&M- Astronomy- (Feb. 11: ACCEPTED for Ph.D via email + $2k Fellowship + $2k/month TA)
New Mexico State-Astronomy-Feb 8: Interview request (Feb. 18: ACCEPTED for Ph.D via email + $7.5k Fellowship + $23k TA/RA)
University of Florida-Astronomy Mar 11 ACCEPTED for Ph.D via email + $18k/9 month TA)
Arizona State University-Astrophysics
Cal Tech-Astrophysics-Jan 30: Rejected via email
Georgia State University-Astronomy-Feb 9: Interview request (Feb. 27: ACCEPTED for Ph.D via email + $21k/9 month TA)
Last edited by kot95 on Tue Mar 12, 2019 6:16 am, edited 14 times in total.

nazek01
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2019 5:16 pm

Re: 2019 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby nazek01 » Thu Jan 24, 2019 9:10 pm

Undergrad Institution: Large state school, no physics reputation
Major(s): Physics & Astrophysics
Minor(s): Computer Science & Math
GPA in Major: 4.0/4.0
Overall GPA: 3.96/4.0
Length of Degree: 4 yrs
Position in Class: near top
Type of Student: Domestic white male

GRE Scores : Took each once in 2018
Q: 170 (96%)
V: 164 (94%)
W: 4 (59%)
P: 860 (78%)

TOEFL: N/A

Research Experience: REU 1 summer (10 weeks) in particle physics at National Lab. No publications. Three poster presentations.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: My school - 4 yr full ride honors college fellowship, physics dept awards x 2, several honors college awards.

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Physics & Astronomy dept tutor x 3 yrs. Calc-based TA x 1 semester. SPS chapter president x 1 yr. SPS chapter treasurer x 1 yr. National SPS AZC x 1 yr. Honor society (PKP) student VP x 2 yrs. Astronomy club VP & certified in telescope/observatory training program.

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: My age is 17 (help or hindrance?)

Special Bonus Points: 1 computational science grad class (no graduate physics at my school)

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: Took every elective my dept offers. No connections, no publications, no communication with researchers at grad programs.

Applying to Where: Several ultra-reach schools. All theoretical physics - mostly computational, HEP, or condensed matter

University of Toronto - (Mar. 1: REJECTED via email to check website)
Perimeter Institute (PSI) - (Apr. 16: REJECTED via email)
University of Waterloo -
Princeton - (Feb. 12: REJECTED via email, as expected)
Cornell - (Feb. 19: REJECTED via email)
Ohio State - (Mar. 19: REJECTED via email)
Northeastern - (Feb. 1: ACCEPTED for PhD via email/website + $24k/9 month TA, open house Mar 16) First response is an acceptance! WILL ATTEND
University of Washington - (Mar. 15: REJECTED via email)
UIUC - (Mar. 21: REJECTED via email)
Virginia Tech - (Feb. 13: ACCEPTED via email, $1820/mo for 9 mo TA, later upgraded to RA w increased stipend) DIFFICULT TO DECLINE BUT WILL NOT ATTEND
University of Alaska, Fairbanks - (Feb. 6: ACCEPTED for MS via email + $20k/9 month TA) WILL NOT ATTEND
University of South Dakota - (Feb. 13: ACCEPTED for PhD via email + $2500/mo for 9 month TA) WILL NOT ATTEND
Last edited by nazek01 on Wed Apr 17, 2019 1:15 am, edited 13 times in total.

quiqui
Posts: 2
Joined: Sun Dec 23, 2018 7:01 pm

Re: 2019 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby quiqui » Thu Jan 24, 2019 10:22 pm

Undergrad Institution: Large school in Canada, top in STEM
Major(s): Engineering Physics
Overall GPA: 3.84
Length of Degree: 5 years (4 years classes + 1 year research as part of engineering co-op)
Position in Class: Top
Type of Student: International asian female

GRE Scores :
Q: 168
V: 157
W: 4.0
P: 890
Not as great as I was hoping for...

Research Experience:
- internship in large-scale dark matter experiment in US
- independent study project in computational particle physics at my school
- internship in computational nonlinear optics in Montreal
- 1 academic year in experimental AMO (undergraduate thesis work) in the US

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: small fellowships/scholarships for each research experience, 1 NSERC USRA, Dean's List

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: TA for 2 engineering design courses in senior year, 1 internship working on laser R&D in industry

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: my undergrad program is often (a) either unheard of, or (b) known to be extremely difficult

Special Bonus Points: 2 grad classes, 1 in electromagnetism and 1 in quantum optics. Recommenders come from top US schools, so I'm definitely expecting my recommendation letters to be the strongest part of my application.

Applying to Where: (all experiment)

US:

MIT - Physics - AMO
Harvard - Physics - AMO (Interview 1/19)
Berkeley - Physics - AMO
UC Boulder - Physics - AMO/CMP
Stanford - Applied Physics - AMO/CMP (1/25: ACCEPTED for Ph.D via email)
UChicago - Physics - AMO/CMP
Yale - Applied Physics - CMP (Interview 1/20)
UCSB - Physics - CMP (1/24: ACCEPTED for Ph.D via email)
Princeton - EE - CMP (Interview 1/18)
Columbia - Physics - Photonics

Non-US:

Waterloo - EE - Quantum Information (1/11: ACCEPTED for Ph.D via email)
ENS - Physics (Masters) - Solid state
ETH Zurich - Physics - AMO
Last edited by quiqui on Sat Jan 26, 2019 4:50 pm, edited 2 times in total.

eyeRenai
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Jan 25, 2019 1:50 pm

Re: 2019 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby eyeRenai » Fri Jan 25, 2019 2:22 pm

Undergrad Institution: Big State school in US, top 20.
Major(s): Astronomy, Physics
Minor(s): Mathematics
GPA in Major: 4.0 in Astronomy, >3.9 in Physics
Overall GPA: 3.941
Length of Degree: 4 years
Position in Class: top 5%
Type of Student: domestic Indian male

GRE Scores :
Q: 168
V: 160
W: 4/6
P: Taken twice in fall 2018. First received 790, then 860.

TOEFL: Didn't take

Research Experience:
I did 2 years of research in one lab, working on radio based, ultra-high energy neutrino detectors. First year was on hardware, involving soldering, machining, cable-making, and integration to prepare the stations for deployment in Antarctica. The second year, I worked on applying genetic algorithms to evolve ideal antennas for these detectors. I first evolved gain and phase patterns using thirteen spherical harmonic coefficients. Now, I work with others to evolve the physical antenna parameters using antenna and in-ice neutrino simulations. Got one biology publication from my heavy biology research the summer after freshman year, and one physics paper in hardware. Over the past summer, I got paid to to work with three other students to bring a machine learning class to our department, and there I learned a lot about writing CNNs, AEs, VAE,s as well as many ML techniques. Attended TeVPa and APS, and plan to present our group's efforts at APS April in Denver this semester.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions:
Always in honors program and on dean's list.
Won a decent number of departmental scholarships and one college scholarship to pursue research over summers.

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: (Such as tutor, TA, SPS officer etc...)
Tutored Differential Equations for one semester.
Joined SPS, but I never attend these days!

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help:
None really.

Special Bonus Points: (Such as connections, grad classes, famous recommenders, female or minority status etc...)
My research mentor and I know a professor who might end up working in one of the top 5 universities on my list, and could MAYBE bring me to her research group. Otherwise, being an Indian male doesn't exactly bring bonus points in physics!

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter:
I did work on a number of workshops that brought women highschool students to our department every day for a week and taught them physics.

Applying to Where:
Every place I am applying to will be for Computational Astro, or for Experimental Astro. Also 16 Schools in total :oops:

Princeton - Physics (Feb 7. ACCEPTED for Ph.D in Physics via email :D, $29.9k/9 month + $6.8k guaranteed summer research )
Harvard - Physics
Stanford - Physics
UW Madison - Physics (Jan 25. ACCEPTED for Ph.D in Physics via email, $23k/9 month + 5k signing TA position)
Cornell - Physics (Feb 12. ACCEPTED for Ph.D in Physics via email, $29,681/9 month TA + possible ~$6k summer)
U Washington - Physics
U Penn - Physics
Penn State - Physics
Ohio State - Physics
U C Berkeley - Physics (Feb 15. REJECTED for Ph.D in Physics via email update on application that showed me the letter after logging in)
U C Santa Barbara - Physics (Week of Jan 15, two INTERVIEWS with both professors I mentioned in my essay)
Caltech - Physics
U Texas, Austin - Astronomy
MIT - Physics (Feb 12. REJECTED for Ph.D in Physics via email)
U Maryland - Physics (Feb 13. ACCEPTED for Ph.D in Physics via email, $25,077.45/9 month (undecided TA or RA) + $10k Dean's Fellowship over first two years
U Chicago - Physics (Feb 7. REJECTED for Ph.D in Physics via email update on application that showed me the letter after logging in)
Last edited by eyeRenai on Tue Feb 19, 2019 5:00 pm, edited 8 times in total.

K_Phys
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Jan 25, 2019 6:37 pm

Re: 2019 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby K_Phys » Fri Jan 25, 2019 7:26 pm

Undergrad Institution: LARGE state school - Well known in physics
Major(s): Physics
Minor(s): Math
GPA in Major: ~3.7 Not reported, but this is what I calculated for the post
Overall GPA: ~3.6
Length of Degree: 4 years
Position in Class: Not reported, I estimate top quarter to top ten percent
Type of Student: Domestic male

GRE Scores :
Q: 168
V: 158
W: 4.0
P: 810


TOEFL: N/A


Research Experience:
2.5 years (including 3 summers) in an experimental CM lab at home institution doing super/semiconductor synthesis and measurements. Traveled to NIST (Gaithersburg) for a couple weeks to do a neutron scattering experiment. Resulted in a talk at a research symposium and a paper in PNAS.

6 months in AMO group at home institution. AFM and Raman scattering experiments on organic and novel materials. No papers, but great experience!

Awards/Honors/Recognitions:
Nominated for student employee of the year in my second year, didn't include on my app

Pertinent Activities or Jobs:
Research Assistant

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help:
Grad class on superfluids and superconductors

Special Bonus Points:
Will update

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter:
Not related to physics at all, but I was a chairperson for a 1100 member organization on campus. I reviewed 1000 applicants (each chairperson was responsible for 1000) in around a 5 week period while taking upper level classes and doing research.

Applying to Where:
All experiment in no particular order

Cornell - Physics - CM
Colorado-Boulder - Physics - AMO
Illinois Urbana-Champaign - Physics - CM
University of Washington - Physics - CM
Maryland - College Park - Physics - CM
Michigan - Physics - CM
Rice - Physics - AMO (Jan. 24: ACCEPTED for Ph.D via website/email)
Yale - Applied Physics - CM/AMO
Columbia - Physics - CM
UChicago - Physics - CM
UC San Diego - Physics - CM
Notre Dame - Physics - CM

sippingjuice
Posts: 4
Joined: Fri Oct 05, 2018 6:39 pm

Re: 2019 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby sippingjuice » Fri Jan 25, 2019 7:42 pm

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Last edited by sippingjuice on Fri Jan 25, 2019 10:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.

ChunnyD
Posts: 3
Joined: Fri Jan 25, 2019 1:50 pm

Re: 2019 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby ChunnyD » Fri Jan 25, 2019 8:13 pm

Undergrad Institution: Ivy League school, Good applied physics program
Major(s): Physics (Intensive)
Minor(s): None
GPA in Major: 3.86
Overall GPA: 3.84
Length of Degree: 4 years
Position in Class: Not considered at the university
Type of Student: Domestic male Chinese

GRE Scores : GRE in February 2018, pGRE in September 2018
Q: 169/96%
V: 167/98%
W: 6/99%
P: 830/73%

Research Experience: Three summers of research experience.
Freshman year: Astrophysics data analysis, using supervised machine learning and regression analysis for the classification of satellite galaxies. Submitted Github page along with application. At our school.
Sophomore year: Participated in cold atom experiments, being part of a professors first year at our university. Set up optics experiments, designed an objective lens, conducted electrical wiring and safety device implementation, as well as machining and data collection for the creation of a MOT.
Junior year: Working in superconducting quantum computing, with three subprojects: On a quantum annealing potential analysis, on a multipolar modular cavity attenuator, and on a shot noise source.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: 3rd place at school's research competition; awarded several fellowships for summer research, awarded traveler grant to SPS PhysCon

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Planetarium host at school planetarium, worked as TA/RA for astrophysics summer program, was SPS officer, was editor of school's scientific magazine, was design aide at school's maker center, worked as tutor for intro physics course.

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: Attended USEQIP 2018; I'm a friendly person!

Special Bonus Points: Taken a number of classes specialized in quantum computing, and a few grad classes (solid state, noise and amplification, microwave engineering). Recommender is well known in the field, as many of the professor's labs who I am applying for were formerly postdocs in this lab.

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

Applying to Where:

UChicago - Physics - SCQC- (Feb 7: ACCEPTED - 25.5k/9 month + 8.5k summer + insurance)
Princeton - Electrical Engineering - SCQC (Jan 21: Skype Interview) (Feb 8: ACCEPTED - First Year Fellowship - 29.9k/9 months + 8k summer)
UC Berkeley - Physics - SCQC (Feb 15: REJECTED)
UWisconsin - Madison - Physics - SCQC (Jan 25: ACCEPTED - 22k/9 month + 5k signing)
MIT - Physics (Feb 12: REJECTED) (why do they always reject me for everything i've applied for :C )
Harvard - Physics (Feb 25: REJECTED)
UMaryland - Physics (Feb 13: ACCEPTED - Full Financial Support + 2.5k Dean's Scholarship)
UColorado - Boulder - Physics (Feb 18: REJECTED)
UTexas - Austin - Physics
UC - Santa Barbara - Physics (Feb 26: REJECTED)
Last edited by ChunnyD on Tue Feb 26, 2019 3:12 pm, edited 12 times in total.

the_entangled_one
Posts: 1
Joined: Sun Jan 27, 2019 1:16 am

Re: 2019 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby the_entangled_one » Sun Jan 27, 2019 1:39 am

Undergrad Institution: University of California, Santa Cruz
Major(s): Physics / Computational Mathematics
Minor(s): NA
GPA in Major: 3.90 combined (higher in Physics than Math by a little)
Overall GPA: 3.90
Length of Degree: 4 years
Position in Class: Top
Type of Student: Domestic White Male

GRE Scores : (revised or old version?)
Q: 163
V: 168
W: 4.0
P: 690 (Low Physics GRE Scores are NOT the end of the world! There is still hope! Good letters of rec, good research experience, and publications are the key! :D :D :D )


Research Experience: Research in the fields of planetary astronomy (1 last author publication), stellar astronomy(1 second author publication), biophysics/mathematics(1 1st author publication and 1 poster presentation), bioengineering (payed internship for 2 years), and condensed matter physics. Have been involved in this research since Freshman year.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions:
Regent Scholarship (Highest academic award in UC System)
Dean's Honors (every quarter)
Undergraduate Research Award
Ronald H. Ruby Memorial Scholarship
Should graduate Magna Cum Laude

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Payed Undergraduate Researcher at the Genomics Institute

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: Eagle Scout / Black Belt

Special Bonus Points: The professor I research under at UCSC knows a member of the Duke faculty well and recommended me to him personally. I got an A+ in a graduate level algorithms course. I have a letter of recommendation from 3 different researchers who are each famous in their field (one in biochemistry, one in condensed matter, and one in bioengineering)

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: I was very explicit in my interest in quantum computation (except for in my application to The Rockefeller University).

Applying to Where:

Duke University - Physics - Quantum Information (Jan. 18: ACCEPTED for Ph.D. via email + $31k/year TA for 5 years)
University of California - Santa Barbara - Physics - Condensed Matter Experiment (Feb. 6: ACCEPTED for Ph.D via email + $32k/year TA for 5 years
University of Colorado - Boulder - Physics - Quantum Information (Jan. 29 ACCEPTED for Ph.D. via email + $35k/year TA for 2 years + $3,000 fellowship for 1 year)
University of Wisconsin - Madison - Physics - Quantum Information (Jan. 25: ACCEPTED for Ph.D via email + $25.5k/year TA for 3 years + $5,000 fellowship for 1 year)
Cambridge University - Part III Applied Mathematics - NA - (Jan. 11: ACCEPTED for MASt via email)
Oxford University - Mathematical Modeling and Scientific Computing - NA - (Jan. 16: REJECTED for Masters)
Last edited by the_entangled_one on Wed Feb 06, 2019 3:02 pm, edited 4 times in total.

hepster
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Jan 28, 2019 8:06 am

Re: 2019 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby hepster » Mon Jan 28, 2019 8:46 am

Undergrad Institution: west coast liberal arts college - reputed for its physics program
Major(s): Physics
GPA in Major: Physics and Math:[/b] 3.50 (good GPA for my school)
Overall GPA: 3.25
Length of Degree: 4 years (finished in 3, since I started as a transfer student w/ 2 yrs. in basically unknown college in home country)
Position in Class: Not sure, near the top (for physics)
Type of Student: International (South East Asian) Male

Masters Institution: Reputed European science school
Major(s): Physics(concentrating on HEP topics)
GPA in Major: NA
Length of Degree: 1.5 years
Position in Class: Not sure

GRE Scores:
Q: 156 (61%)
V: 161(88%)
W: 4.5 (82%)
P: Fall 2018: 710 (51%) (All in all, a terrible test-taker, c'est la vie! :| )

Research Experience (5+ years of research experience):
a) Long-term research project in heavy ion collisions (w/ third author publication in Phys. Rev. C) with LHC group in home-country
b) Summer project at BNL/SUNY Stony Brook in detector simulations
c) Caltech SURF and CERN Summer student
d) Undergraduate thesis (year-long) in hep-ph (w/ 1x first author publication in JHEP)
e) Semester-long MSc project in hep-ex (w/ upcoming first author paper)
f) Upcoming MSc. thesis project affiliated with a reputed LHC group at current inst.
g) 4 other recent projects (independent of academics) with hep-th/ph/ex folks in the US/Europe/CERN [leading to 1x first author publications in JHEP, 1x first author preprint pending submission, 1x third author preprint submitted to a journal, 1x upcoming first author paper for Phys. Rev.]

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Fellowship from Science Academy of home-country, prestigious research fellowship from undergrad college and further research grants from physics department, CERN&Caltech studentships, talks at conference(s) relevant to my subfield of hep

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: TA/RA/Grader at undergrad inst.

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: Not much more beyond papers+conference talks and posters

Special Bonus Points: Good research output for current career stage (which hopefully offsets terrible test-scores?), graduate level/MSc courses at reputed European science school, good letters of rec from well-known researchers including head of current inst. and past professors/research collaborators, 3 years of experience with machine learning applications for HEP with publications to back it up; also familiar with/to profs. in grad school departments applying to because of research output/conference presence/contact prior to applying

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: Details of further ongoing research projects with hep theory/exp folks in my subfield, and worked for inclusivity in science classrooms in undergrad inst.

Applying to Where: (all for hep-ex PhD)

U. Chicago: Offer received ($34k per year total financial offer); received email with link to check online application system
MIT: Rejected (Feb 12) (always a reach, only a little disappointed!)
UC Berkeley:
Caltech:
U. Michigan: Rejected (Feb 12) (a little surprising since my weakness was the pGRE and they don't require it...) :?
Cornell:
ETH:
U. Zurich:
EPFL:
U. Hamburg: Offer received after interview+research talk (standard German PhD salary)
Oxford:
Imperial:
U. Amsterdam:

I'm unsure how competitive I actually am for top American schools, having previously applied and got rejected with a slightly lower pGRE score (always been a bad test-taker) and a couple less research experiences. Confident about at least getting interview calls for European schools!
Last edited by hepster on Tue Feb 12, 2019 6:02 pm, edited 5 times in total.

Good_Noodle
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Jan 28, 2019 7:41 pm

Re: 2019 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby Good_Noodle » Mon Jan 28, 2019 8:21 pm

Undergrad Institution: Big state school, known for nuclear physics
Major(s): Physics
Minor(s): None
GPA in Major: 3.0
Overall GPA: 3.2
Length of Degree: 4 years
Position in Class: Unknown
Type of Student: Domestic white female

GRE Scores :
Q: 159 (72%)
V: 156 (73%)
W: 3.0 (18%)
P: 500 (9%), 560 (18%) (Disappointing, obviously the GRE is not my strong point)


TOEFL: N/A


Research Experience: 3 years of research experience with a professor at my school in experimental HEP (my field of interest for grad school). I worked on detector upgrades at analysis for the ATLAS detector, which is a large particle detector at the Large Hadron Collider. I helped write an internal note for the detector upgrade. I did two department meeting presentations on this topic at my school. I also did a talk on this at an undergraduate conference.

Summer internship at Fermilab working on accelerator physics. I did a talk and poster presentation at the end of the internship.

Another summer internship at Argonne National Laboratory working on the Muon g-2 experiment. Did a talk at the end of the internship.

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: I worked at a planetarium during my freshman/sophomore years doing computer maintenance and helping edit planetarium shows. I was a member of SPS and my school's Academic Competition club.

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: I'm good at programming in C++ and Python, and have experience writing my own software for physics analysis. I also know how to use ROOT.

Special Bonus Points: During the winter break of my sophomore year I got to go to CERN for two weeks to work on the ATLAS detector upgrades. I have strong letters of recommendation. I also have a slight upward trend in my GPA.

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

Applying to Where: All Experimental HEP, no particular order

Northern Illinois University Mar. 4 Accepted still no funding information :|
UCSC Feb. 28 Rejected via email
SUNY Albany Mar 1. Accepted for Physics PhD 18.9K/9mo stipend + Tuition Waiver
SUNY Stony Brook
SUNY Buffalo Feb. 25 Accepted but offered no funding-Will Not Attend
University of Victoria Feb. 4 Accepted for MSc - Possible RAship + 24K guaranteed funding
University of Oregon Mar. 12 Rejected via email
University of Minnesota - Jan. 22 Rejected via email to check status
University of Indiana
University of Washington Mar. 15 Rejected via email (expected this lol)
Wayne State University Mar. 1 Invited to interview
Last edited by Good_Noodle on Fri Mar 15, 2019 6:16 pm, edited 12 times in total.

physics101
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Dec 20, 2017 8:18 pm

Re: 2019 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby physics101 » Wed Jan 30, 2019 12:25 am

Undergrad Institution: Liberal arts college in India
Major(s): Physics
Minor(s):
GPA in Major:
Overall GPA:8.3/10 in M.Sc :) , 7.5/10 in B.Sc :roll:
Length of Degree: 3+2 years
Position in Class: M.Sc: Top, B.Sc: around 4th
Type of Student: International (Sri Lankan) male


GRE Scores : revised
Q: 158 (68%) :?
V: 159 (83%) :D
W: 4.0 (59%) :)
P: 780 (64%) :?


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


Research Experience: Master's project in Nanotechnology. Nothing related to the field that I am applying. :cry:

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Few scholarships and award for highest GPA in class

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Attended a couple of schools in astronomy. (IIA and TIFR in India)


Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help:

Special Bonus Points:

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

Applying to Where:

Research Interests: Astrophysics/Cosmology/Gravitation

PhD- USA
MIchigan State University - (Feb. 22: Rejected via email)
North Carolina State University -(Jan. 23: ACCEPTED for Ph.D via email - Tution & Health Insurance + $18k/9month TA + $5K during summer)
University of Rochester - (Mar. 06: Rejected via email to check website)
Dartmouth College -
West Virginia University -
Montana State University - (Mar. 09: Rejected via email to check website)
Ohio University - (Feb. 20: ACCEPTED for Ph.D via email - $9,801/semester TA + $5K during summer)

M.Sc-Canada

York University -
University of Victoria - (Mar. 15: Rejected via email)
University of Guelph -
Last edited by physics101 on Fri Mar 15, 2019 8:47 pm, edited 6 times in total.

jagluljoy
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Sep 22, 2017 9:45 pm

Re: 2019 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby jagluljoy » Wed Jan 30, 2019 4:32 pm

Undergrad Institution: Best Engineering University in Bangladesh
Major(s): B.Sc. in Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Major: Electronics
Minor(s): Communication
GPA in Major: 3.74/4.00
Overall GPA: 3.74/4.00
Length of Degree: 4 years
Position in Class: Near Top
Type of Student: International Asian Male

GRE Scores : (revised)
Q:170
V:153 (3 verbal sections and at the last section I lost it! :cry: )
W:6.0 :D
P:950 (percentile: 90th)


TOEFL: 113 (R: 30, L: 30, S: 23, W: 30)


Research Experience: My research experience is of 2 years and it's mainly in condensed matter. No publications.
Multi-valued logic circuit design using Memristor MOS hybrid architecture (for the period of one year), Automated multi-lane Vehicle Speed Detection System using Image Processing from feeds obtained from the Traffic surveillance camera (for the period of six months), ECG based smart identification system using digital signal processing, (for the period of six months)

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Dean's list awards. National Mathematics and Physics Olympiad Medalist

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Lecturer in a private university for 8 months. Courses conducted: Engineering Electromagnetics, Solid State Physics, Semiconductor Device Theory, Computer Programming, Computer Programming Laboratory, Electrical Circuit Laboratory, Electronic Circuit Laboratory.

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: Strong programming skill. Essay writer and debater. An athlete in high school.

Special Bonus Points: Took courses that are relevant for developing upper-level physics basics and mentioned those particular relevant courses with different names in CV. 4 recommenders, two of whom are my advisors and all strong LORs.

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: Anyone with EEE or non-traditional background, mention in your CV the relevant physics courses those you took in your undergrad. You should also mention why you are interested in doing research in physics in your SOP and how being an EE graduate might supplement your higher studies.

Applying to Where:

University of Minnesota at Twin Cities - Physics - High Energy Physics (Jan. 22: Rejected via email to check website.
University of Wisconsin at Madison - Physics - High Energy Physics (Jan. 25: ACCEPTED for Ph.D via email + $22k/9 month TA!) WILL ATTEND!
University of Rochester - Physics - High Energy Physics (Feb. 18: ACCEPTED for Ph.D via email + $28.5k/12 month RA/TA support for 5 years!) DECLINED!
Purdue University - Physics - Condensed Matter Physics (Feb. 26: ACCEPTED for Ph.D via email + $20.5k/9 month TA) DECLINED!
Last edited by jagluljoy on Tue Feb 26, 2019 7:36 pm, edited 5 times in total.

Bry793
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Jan 30, 2019 11:04 pm

Re: 2019 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby Bry793 » Thu Jan 31, 2019 12:19 am

Undergrad Institution: Engineering school with a very small physics department, not much of a reputation at all in physics
Major(s): Physics
Minor(s): Philosophy
GPA in Major: ~3.4
Overall GPA: 3.56
Length of Degree: 4 years
Position in Class: Our school doesn't calculate, but I'm probably average for physics majors as far as academics.
Type of Student: Domestic white female

GRE Scores : (revised)
Q: 162 (80%)
V: 168 (98%)
W: 5.5 (98%)
P: 590 (25%) :oops: (Didn't send to any schools that didn't absolutely REQUIRE it)


Research Experience: About 3.5 years (including summers) doing theoretical research on black holes, general relativity, hawking radiation, holography, and currently quantum gravity. My school has an undergraduate thesis requirement so I think that gives me a leg up.
1 poster presentation at a regional conference, publication in JURP expected soon but no publications yet.
Worked with the same two professors for the entire time, one of them wrote one of my recommendation letters.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Summer research fellowship awarded by my university, Dean's list, merit scholarship all 4 years

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Extensive teaching and tutoring experience in math and physics (2 years) lecturing, tutoring, reviewing, grading, etc. Also tutor privately. I've worked around 20 hours per week for my entire undergraduate education, which I noted in most applications.

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: 3 graduate classes (two quantum and math methods in physics)

Special Bonus Points: Grew up very impoverished and I've written about it in every personal statement/challenges question, female, first generation college student, one of my recommenders and my thesis advisor is very well-known in quantum information theory (not my field though :cry:), another recommender is the head of our physics department who I am very close to.

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: undergraduate thesis, my school has 7 week classes instead of semesters.

Info that might hurt me: Didn't send my PGRE score to any schools that highly recommended it, so they might not be too happy about that.

Applying to Where: (all for Ph.D. except perimeter institute)

Required PGRE (reach):
Harvard - Physics - HET/String theory (Feb. 25: REJECTED via email to check status)
CU Boulder - Physics - Gravitation (Feb. 18: REJECTED via email to check status)
UC Santa Barbara - Physics - Gravity and Relativity (Feb. 26: REJECTED via email to check status)
University of Chicago - Physics - General Relativity (Feb. 7: REJECTED via email to check status)
Stanford - Physics - Theoretical Physics (general) (Feb. 20: REJECTED via email)
SUNY Stony Brook - Physics - HET/String theory
Arizona State - Physics - Theoretical Cosmology, particle, and astrophysics (April 3: REJECTED after emailing to check status)
UCLA - Physics - Theoretical Elementary Particle physics (Mar. 26: REJECTED via email to check status)

Only recommended PGRE/did not require PGRE:
Perimeter Institute PSI Master's program - Physics - Quantum Gravity (April 9: REJECTED via email)
Georgia Tech - Physics - Quantum Gravity (April 9: ACCEPTED from waitlist for Ph.D. + $27k/9 month TA)
University of Michigan - Physics - Theoretical Astrophysics (Feb. 15: REJECTED via email)
UC Davis - Physics - Fields, Strings, & Gravity (Mar. 2: REJECTED via email)
Washington State - Physics - Theoretical Astrophysics (Jan. 24: ACCEPTED for Ph.D. via email + $17k/9 month RA)
Lehigh - Physics - Cosmology and String Theory April 5: WAITLISTED after emailing to check status
Tufts - Physics - Cosmology and Relativity April 8: WAITLISTED via email
Brandeis - Physics - High Energy and Gravitational Theory
Brown - Physics - High Energy Theory (Jan. 25: REJECTED via email to check status)
Last edited by Bry793 on Tue Apr 09, 2019 2:20 pm, edited 10 times in total.

WuLei24
Posts: 6
Joined: Thu Jan 31, 2019 10:59 am

Re: 2019 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby WuLei24 » Thu Jan 31, 2019 12:49 pm

Undergrad Institution: Small liberal arts school in the midwest, little reputation in physics
Major(s): Physics (BA), Chemistry (BA), and Mathematics (BA)
Minor(s): None
GPA in Major: 4.0
Overall GPA: 3.98
Length of Degree: 4
Position in Class: Probably top 1 because there are only 3 physics majors remaining in my class...
Type of Student: International Asian male

GRE Scores : (revised)
Q: 170 (96%)
V: 162 (92%)
W: 5.0 (92%)
P: 980 (93%)


TOEFL: waived


Research Experience: Two summers (full time, at a state university) plus a semester (part time, at home institution) of AMO physics research.
Summer after sophomore year: Coherent control using a pulse shaping system, with spatial light modulator being the pulse shaper. Leads to no publication and a seminar presentation at home institution.
Summer after junior year + 1st semester of senior year: Strong-field induced bond rearrangement. Continue working on this as my senior thesis project. I am in charge of the primary data analysis. Results in a poster session at regional SPS meeting. A paper (1st author out of ~20) has just been submitted in February. A contributed talk has just been submitted to DAMOP 2019.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Dean's list, some departmental awards, Thomas D. Rossing Scholarship, math competitions such as MAA-NCS Team Competition and Putnam Exam. Will graduate summa cum laude with distinction in physics as well as departmental honors in mathematics.

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Physics and math tutor, physics and chemistry lab TA, both since sophomore year.

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: None

Special Bonus Points: One of my recommenders is well-known in AMO physics, I suppose.

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: I apply to some schools where my recommenders have studied or taught. Do not think that would give me any substantial advantage. I participated in the NS3 nuclear science summer school at Michigan State University. In addition to AMO physics, I showed my interest in nuclear physics in some applications.

Applying to Where: (in the order of application deadline...)

University of British Columbia (MS) - Physics - AMO and Nuclear
University of Toronto (MS) - Physics - AMO - Mar. 5: Rejected via email to check website
University of Colorado Boulder - Physics - AMO - Feb. 18: Rejected via email to check website
University of Virginia - Physics - AMO and Nuclear - Jan. 25: ACCEPTED via email + $30.6k/9 months Fellowship
Harvard University - Physics - AMO - Feb. 25: Rejected via email to check website
Purdue University - Physics - AMO - Jan. 30: ACCEPTED via email + $18k/9 months TA
Cornell University - Applied Physics - AMO - Feb. 11: ACCEPTED via email + $27k/9 months TA
University of Washington - Physics - AMO and Nuclear - Mar. 15: Rejected via email
Kansas State University - Physics - AMO - Feb. 4: ACCEPTED via email + $18k/9 months TA - Declined
University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign - Physics - AMO and Nuclear
Rice University - Applied Physics - AMO - Feb. 21: ACCEPTED via email to check website + $31k/9 months RA
University of Michigan Ann Arbor - Applied Physics - AMO - Feb. 14: ACCEPTED via email + $2.6k/month fellowship for first year
Columbia University (MS) - Applied Physics and Applied Mathematics - AMO - Mar. 5: ACCEPTED via email to check website + no funding - Declined
Last edited by WuLei24 on Thu Mar 21, 2019 2:06 pm, edited 9 times in total.

athena123
Posts: 2
Joined: Thu Jan 31, 2019 2:22 pm

Re: 2019 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby athena123 » Thu Jan 31, 2019 2:37 pm

Undergrad Institution: Top science institute in the country
Major(s): Physics (Masters)
Minor(s): Math
GPA : 9.02/10
Length of Degree: 5 years
Type of Student: International Female

GRE Scores :
Q: 163 (83rd percentile)
V: 162 (91st percentile)
W: 4.5 (82nd percentile)
P: 750 (59th percentile)

Not a good test taker under pressure.

Research Experience: 4 summer internships, 2 with reputable groups in Germany (relevant to the field I am applying in - also the PIs of these internships were my referees). 2 semester long master thesis work.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: 1 conference talk, 1 seminar talk at the German university.

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: TA for two grad level courses in physics.

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: Very active in student bodies and extra curricular activities, volunteer activities for mentally challenged children. Since I am completing my masters, I have taken 4 semesters of grad level courses.

Special Bonus Points: None

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter:
1.Health problems that affected my academics but I did bounce back, as evident from my performance in the transcripts.
2. I have research experience in four different fields, 1 theoretical/computational, 1 purely computational and 2 experimental - presented it as an advantage in SOP.

Applying to Where:
Vaguely, "applied physics". I stated clearly in my SOP that I need time to decide. I know this might have worked against my favor, but I am genuinely confused about my research interests. I did point out two or three groups and their relevant publication that caught my attention.

Yale - Applied physics dept- Rejected on 11 Feb
Cornell - Applied physics dept
UPenn - Physics and Astronomy
University of Michigan - Physics and Astronomy - Rejected on 6th Feb
Georgia Tech - Physics and Astronomy - Rejected on 25th Feb

Carnegie Mellon University - Physics and Astronomy- Accepted on 13th Feb with "atleast 2.5k per month"- more details yet to come
Boston University - Physics and Astronomy
University of Maryland - Physics - rejected on 15 Feb
Last edited by athena123 on Tue Feb 26, 2019 3:34 pm, edited 4 times in total.

JSBach1801
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Jan 31, 2019 6:18 pm

Re: 2019 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby JSBach1801 » Thu Jan 31, 2019 6:50 pm

______________________________________________
Undergrad Institution: Middle of the road state school in Arkansas (8K-9K enrollment) - known more for Applied Science and Engineering
Major(s): Physics, but I have an Art related MFA and BS from 10 years ago (working on a career change)
Minor(s): Mathematics
GPA in Major: 4.00 (All Math and Physics courses)
Overall GPA: 3.10 (most of this comes from past degree, 4.0 since back in school as of 2015)
Length of Degree: 4 year degree program
Position in Class: Near the top, only about 15 or so undergrad Physics majors
Type of Student: 31 Year Old Domestic White Male

GRE Scores : Revised
Q: 157
V: 161
W: 4.0
P: 610, (only took this once and less than a few weeks to prep, wasn't sure about Grad school until late in the game)

Research Experience: Currently working on a grant fund materials project for one of my Professors, was able to bring more money via another grant to the project, however less than a year of overall lab experience, working towards a publication for late Spring.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Several scholarships for academic performance, Chancellor's list, etc.

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Some tutoring in the Math Center for a few semesters, also I am a part time student with a full time (non-science) job, I included this on my CV in the hopes that it showcased maturity as I have held a full time job for many years while also excelling in the classroom.

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: I did present twice to the Physics Department faculty and students on QM subjects for an advanced independent study QM course I took.

Special Bonus Points: I do think I had very strong (stronger than average) recommendation letters, but this is just a hunch, no data to back it up

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: Again, my age, former degrees, employment status, I am certainly a non-traditional student.

Applying to Where:


Johns Hopkins University - Physics
UMass - Amherst - Physics
Northeastern - Physics - (Feb. 01: REJECTED via email to check online portal) :cry:
Boston University - Physics
Utah State University - Physics - (Feb. 25: ACCEPTED for Ph.D via website/email + Tuition + 15K/8 Month TA + Optional 4-5K Summer TA/RA) :D
UMass - Lowell - Physics
U of Connecticut - Physics - (Feb. 11: ACCEPTED for Ph.D via website/email + Tuition + $24k/9 Month TA) :D
U of New Hampshire - Physics - (Jan. 30: ACCEPTED for Ph.D via website/email + Tuition + $19.5k/9 Month TA + Possible Summer TA as well, would bring to 28K) :D
U of Kentucky - Physics - One of my Recommendation writers is a Physics PhD alum
U of Delaware - Physics
Last edited by JSBach1801 on Tue Feb 26, 2019 11:53 am, edited 5 times in total.

cpac
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Feb 01, 2019 11:05 am

Re: 2019 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby cpac » Fri Feb 01, 2019 11:32 am

Undergrad Institution: Big PA State School
Major: Physics
Minor: Computer Science
GPA in Major: 3.70
Overall GPA: 3.75
Length of Degree: 4 years
Position in Class: Near top
Type of Student: White domestic male

GRE Scores:
Q: 158
V: 154
W: 4
P: 640

Research Experience: Three years of back to back research from sophomore year to senior year working with three different professors
1) Nanoscience chemistry lab researching quantum dots
2) Computational physics lab doing density functional theory
3) Quantum optics group doing AMO research

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: TA for upper level statistical mechanics course

Awards/Honors/Recognition: Dean's list for several semesters

Miscellaneous Accomplishments: Poster presentation on AMO research and a paper being written for publication (but not published at time of applying)

Applying to Where:

Reach:
1) Brown University: (February 25: Rejected)
2) Carnegie Mellon University: (February 20: Waitlisted)
3) University of Pittsburgh: (February 28: Accepted for Ph.D via email + 28K of Support )

Fair:
4) University of Oregon
5) University of Rochester
6) Emory University (February 14: Accepted for Ph.D via email + 31K of Support for Biophysics )

Safety:
7) Drexel University (January 30: Accepted for Ph.D via email + 24K of Support for Condensed Matter )
8 ) University of Utah
Last edited by cpac on Sun Mar 03, 2019 2:35 pm, edited 7 times in total.

lob_124
Posts: 8
Joined: Fri Feb 01, 2019 2:14 pm

Re: 2019 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby lob_124 » Fri Feb 01, 2019 2:33 pm

Undergrad Institution: UMass Amherst (~50th in Physics)
Major(s): Physics, Computer Science, Math
Minor(s): N/A
GPA in Major: 4.0/4.0
Overall GPA: 3.994/4.0
Length of Degree: 4.5 years
Position in Class: Top
Type of Student: Domestic White Male

GRE Scores : (revised)
Q: 167 (91%)
V: 163 (93%)
W: 5.5 (98%)
P: 980 (93%)

Research Experience
-Experimental project in condensed matter/fluid dynamics (3+ years - 1 APS talk, publication in progress)
-Theoretical Project in general relativity (2+ years - publication in progress)
-Theoretical Project in Quantum CM as part of NSF REU (8 months - APS talk upcoming in March)

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Goldwater nominee (Fall 2017), Alumni Scholar Award, "Honors with greatest distinction" graduate, Several awards for achievement in CS courses

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: TA for mid-level Computational Physics course

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: N/A

Special Bonus Points:
Took graduate electrodynamics course and received an A
3 very strong letters from each of my research advisors
Visited Princeton as a Sophomore and talked with a few faculty, and mentioned this in my SOP (not sure how helpful this was, given I was a sophomore and didn't know a whole lot at the time!)

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter:
Publications weren't in in time to be listed on applications, but my letter writers did talk about how they were incoming and what I accomplished
Wrote my honors thesis about my theoretical GR project
Skyped with potential advisors at Princeton and UCSB about their work

Applying to Where:
All to Dept. of Physics , PhD, with focus in Gravity Theory/CM Theory:
Princeton - REJECTED via email 2/12/19 (this stung...)
Stanford - REJECTED via email 2/20/19 :(
UC Santa Barbara - REJECTED via email to check application 2/26/19
Harvard - REJECTED via email to check application 2/25/19
Caltech - ACCEPTED via email 2/01/19 - $35k/yr (Fellowship first term, TA'ship subsequent terms ) - WILL ATTEND
University of Illinois ​Urbana-​Champaign - ACCEPTED via email 2/20/19 - $23,298/11 months TA'ship + summer support Declined 4/10
UC Berkeley - REJECTED via email to check application 2/15/19
Penn State - ACCEPTED via email 2/06/19 - $30k University Graduate Fellowship + $4k summer support + health insurance Declined 4/10
Cornell - ACCEPTED via email to check application 2/07/19 - $31,380/9 month Graduate Fellowship (can defer for later) Declined 4/10
University of Maryland - REJECTED via email 2/14/19
University of Michigan - ACCEPTED via email 2/06/19 - $2,635.30 per month stipend, health/dental insurance Declined 4/3
UC Davis - ACCEPTED via email 2/19/19 - 2 year Dean's Distinguished Grad Fellowship ($30k/yr) Declined 4/3
RPI - Withdrawn 2/20/19

2/1- I was a little uneasy about not having a published paper yet (and taking an extra semester), but I still got accepted to one of my top choices. Huge relief, and I'm super stoked!

2/15 - Tough second week. Two rejections, and it seems the first round offers for UCSB, Harvard, UIUC, and Berkeley have already gone out. Back down to Earth, I guess...

2/26 - Well, that's that. Multiple years in the making, and just like that it's over.
Truthfully, this played out pretty much exactly as I expected - rejected by most of the elite schools I applied to (but a few acceptances based on the number I applied to), and accepted by almost all the schools in the middle/bottom of my list. I spent a lot of time over the last couple years researching and preparing for this process, and it was nice to see it bear some fruit. I'm saddened by some of the rejections (especially those top three...), but ultimately I have some great offers from fantastic schools, and I'm thrilled with the results. Can't wait to do visits next month.

4/10 - Caltech it is!! Ultimately I felt they had by far the most research options, and the setting in Pasadena blows the other options away. I'm relieved to be done with the decision process, and can finally just get excited!

Takeaways/Advice for future applicants
Some thoughts/observations I have they may help others:
  • You don't need to come from an elite undergrad to go to an elite grad program.
    You need great grades, strong research experience/LORs, and strong GRE scores regardless of where you come from. If you've got these things, where you did them won't be of huge importance.
  • Taking extra time to finish your degree can be helpful.
    Provided you have proportional extra accomplishments. In my case, I was able to get an REU with the extra summer and fit in a graduate course, so taking an extra semester greatly boosted my application.
  • You don't need a published paper to get into an elite school.
    This was my #1 concern about my applicant profile, as it was really the only thing I was missing. It turns out my fears were fairly justified (I was rejected from 4 of my top 5 choices), and publications really are important for most of those cream of the crop schools (especially for theory). Fortunately, it didn't keep me out completely, which was a relief. So it is possible, but definitely better to be published if you're shooting high.
  • You don't need to reach out to faculty.
    I didn't reach out to anyone at any of the places I was accepted to and, incidentally, I was rejected from the only two places I did talk to people at. If you're able to reach out and make a meaningful connection to a professor where you're applying, that will definitely go a long way, but it's by no means necessary.
  • Check the applicant numbers/acceptance rates on schools.
    I didn't do this until after I got my results, but a search on gradschoolshopper.com or petersons.com reveals that the big-name schools I got into (Caltech, Cornell, UIUC) all have higher acceptance rates (but still low, around ~20%) and fewer applicants than the schools I got rejected from. In retrospect, this would've been a nice gauge to base my expectations on, though I doubt it would've changed my list.
  • Apply to a lot of schools.
    If you can afford it, apply to a lot of schools. This process is inherently pseudorandom, and in my opinion it's best to throw a lot of darts at once and hope one lands on the board.


Well, that ended up being longer than I intended. Hope this helps someone in the future!
Last edited by lob_124 on Thu Apr 11, 2019 11:06 am, edited 25 times in total.

vlee
Posts: 1
Joined: Sat Jan 26, 2019 4:17 am

Re: 2019 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby vlee » Fri Feb 01, 2019 6:34 pm

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Last edited by vlee on Sun Mar 17, 2019 5:44 am, edited 4 times in total.

quarksanand
Posts: 1
Joined: Sat Feb 02, 2019 2:18 am

Re: 2019 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Postby quarksanand » Sat Feb 02, 2019 2:43 am

Undergrad Institution: Top Indian Engineering College
Major(s): Engineering Physics
Minor(s): Electrical Engineering
GPA in Major: 9.63/10.00
Overall GPA: 9.59/10.00
Length of Degree: 4 years
Position in Class: Department Rank 1
Type of Student: International | Male
GRE Scores: revised
Q: 170
V: 152
W: 4
P: 990


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


Research Experience: CERN ATLAS Detector Instrumentation (3 months) | CERN Accelerator School | IHEP China - Charm Quark Physics Group ( 1.5 years) | Internship at National Institute (2 months) | One paper to be published | ATLAS Public Plots | 2 Conference Presentations

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: CERN Summer Student | Associate Member of IHEP China | DAAD-WISE Scholar | SN BOSE Scholar | Institute Merit Award | INMO, RMO Awardee

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: Volunteer work

Special Bonus Points: LoRs - 2 from CERN | 1 from my country | 1 from a supervisor who completed his Ph.D. at Oxford University

Applying to Where:

Ph.D. Positions:

MIT: Physics - HEP Experimental: Rejected via e-mail, Feb 13th 2019
Stanford: Physics - HEP Experimental: Rejected via e-mail, Feb 20th 2019
Caltech: Physics - HEP Experimental: Rejected via e-mail, Feb 26th 2019
Harvard: Physics - HEP Experimental: Rejected via website, Feb 25th 2019
Princeton: Physics - HEP Experimental: Rejected via e-mail, Feb 13th 2019
Cornell: Physics - HEP Experimental: Rejected via e-mail, Mar 1st 2019
UC Berkeley: Physics - HEP Experimental: Rejected via e-mail, Feb 16th 2019
UC Santa Barbara: Physics - HEP Experimental: Rejected via e-mail, Mar 1st 2019
Yale: Physics - HEP Experimental: Rejected via e-mail, Feb 13th 2019
University of Maryland: Physics - HEP Experimental: Accepted via e-mail with additional Dean's Fellowship of 10000$, Feb 14th 2019
University of Michigan: Physics - HEP Experimental: Rejected via e-mail, Feb 13th 2019

Master's Position:

MIT: Nuclear Science and Engineering: Rejected via e-mail, Feb 6th 2019
ETH Zurich & Ecole Polytechnique Paris (Joint): HEP: Accepted via e-mail with no update on ESOP yet, Feb 26th 2019
Last edited by quarksanand on Sun Mar 03, 2019 11:14 am, edited 13 times in total.




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