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PhysicsQuestions990
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Joined: Mon Oct 07, 2019 12:33 am

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Post by PhysicsQuestions990 » Sun Nov 29, 2020 1:42 am

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HubbleBubble
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Joined: Tue Jul 07, 2020 7:06 am

Re: Is my list insane? Some feedback would be *greatly* appreciated

Post by HubbleBubble » Mon Nov 30, 2020 7:58 am

Right so with 2 first author papers in the observational subject you want to pursue with a good GPA from a top school, citizenship and other papers/posters as well... I am quite certain you’d get into more than one of those “Reaches” and “Targets.” Research is the key in this process and you got it, and that reflects double in your rec letters.

But with COVID for all we know things might be very f*ed so that I don’t think anyone can begrudge you for applying to so many. It is your dream on the line, so if you want to be cautious you go ahead, wouldn’t surprise me if some of those schools end up taking just 1-2 students. If it does turn out to be a more normal application cycle, you can’t visit a dozen schools in normal times even, so out of courtesy please remember to promptly withdraw from any school you are sure you won’t attend. With such a great CV, I mean that NYU spot will mean the world to someone else.

I think what you will really need help on is deciding. I am biased and am feeling the urge to sell my school haha. I would advise against the physics programs; MIT sounds great on paper but everyone I know who went/is there regrets it. Do you want to do one of the hardest quals in the world, and in physics rather than astronomy? I chose because of atmosphere/community and was pretty happy, and between your Target and Reaches the name of the degree is all fine, maybe there is some extra value to “Harvard” or “Caltech,” but at that level I think it is about equal. So contact a bunch of people there and try to parse out how they really feel, especially about the prof you want to work for. Be sure to look at specialties and specific professors - to start you might look at which advisers have trained the most Hubble fellows in exoplanets and extragalactic astro.

PM me in the spring if all goes well and I can pitch you mine.

PhysicsQuestions990
Posts: 8
Joined: Mon Oct 07, 2019 12:33 am

Re: Is my list insane? Some feedback would be *greatly* appreciated

Post by PhysicsQuestions990 » Tue Dec 01, 2020 2:23 am

Thank you for your thoughtful response, really appreciate you putting some of my nerves to rest. Fingers cross! Will be sure to reach out if things go well :) Here's to hoping...



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