Profile evaluation

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Posts: 4
Joined: Sat Nov 20, 2021 10:12 pm

Profile evaluation

Post by plsgetintophd » Sat Nov 20, 2021 10:24 pm

Hello everyone, I am a little bit stressed because it feels like my profile is weaker than others, so it would be great if someone can tell me objectively where I stand.

Undergrad Institution: Boston University
Major(s): Physics
Minor: Computer Engineering
GPA in Major: 3.72/4.00
Overall GPA: 3.74/4.00
Length of Degree: 4 years
Type of Student: Domestic, African American

GRE Scores: will not take the GREs.

Research Experience:
1. 2 years doing Space physics research, presented at 4 different conferences at various intuitions, first author publication currently being written (not sure if it will make it before the application cycle deadline).
2. Currently as a senior started working on a HEP research, Analysis (CMS).

1. 3 years dean list

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter:
Might write about moving to the united states during highschool.

I am interested in HEP- experimental.

My current school list:


still hard to get into:
Boston University
University of Michigan
University California Santa Barbra

easier ish??:
University of California-Irvine

Thanks in advance!

Posts: 58
Joined: Fri Sep 18, 2020 6:33 am

Re: Profile evaluation

Post by gaugeinvariance » Sun Nov 21, 2021 3:09 pm

Indeed your profile look a bit weak
I suggest you to look for some more safety schools
good luck

Posts: 140
Joined: Sat Jun 08, 2019 1:10 pm

Re: Profile evaluation

Post by geekusprimus » Sun Nov 21, 2021 3:23 pm

A 3.72 GPA isn't stellar, but it's not going to shut as many doors as you think, particularly if some of those poorer grades occurred during COVID lockdown or early on in your degree. I would be much more worried about your shots if you were below a 3.5. Two years of research (before applying) with four conference presentations and an in-prep first-author paper are all really good. Working on a new project in a different field is also good, as it shows breadth and gives you another potential letter writer.

I'd actually say you have a pretty good list. I'd say UB and Northeastern are solid safeties, and both UC Irvine and Boston University are probably closer to matches for you. I don't think Brown will be as much of a reach as you think. It's a tough school to get into, but I'd place it closer to Michigan and Santa Barbara in terms of difficulty. As for your other reaches, go for it. I played the application process pretty safe, and I actually wish I'd applied to a few more tough schools. The worst thing that can happen is they don't accept you.

Also, I hate to bring it up, but in light of gaugeinvariance's comments, there's a well-known hierarchy for demographic preference in admissions for many schools in the US. Generally speaking, domestic students have better shots than international students (particularly those from India or China, as they tend to make up the bulk of international applicants). For domestic applicants, white and Asian students tend to have a somewhat harder time getting in than applicants who are Hispanic, African American, or from another underrepresented minority. Women tend to have a somewhat easier time than men. Sometimes being a first-generation college student helps, too. The strength of this advantage fluctuates depending on the school and their affirmative action policies, but looking at past admissions profiles on this forum suggests that it's typically one that helps applicants who would be on the edge rather than ones who would usually get flat-out rejected.

Posts: 58
Joined: Fri Sep 18, 2020 6:33 am

Re: Profile evaluation

Post by gaugeinvariance » Mon Nov 22, 2021 9:38 pm

Umm, I see the point of geekusprimus. I think geekusprimus' comment make more sense than mine.
But anyway, we are still unsure if COVID will affect this application cycle.
I will still keep my suggestion on looking for one or two more safety schools.
OP should get to work on your SOP now! Hope to see you in graduate school :D

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