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Reasonable Application List for Condensed Matter?

Posted: Tue Nov 29, 2016 6:47 pm
by theinvisiblesherpa
Overall, I'm generally nervous as to whether or not i'm actually competitive. I don't know if my GPA or modest test scores will detract too much from my application. Curious if people think that time to finish degree and coursework completed are more important/carry enough weight to overcome the GPA gap? Should I be applying to more backup schools and if so, do you have more suggestions?

Undergrad Institution: Well respected public university in top 20
Major: Honors Physics, Mathematics
GPA: 3.5
Major GPA: 3.8
GRE: Q:168 V:158 W:5.0 P: 860 (80%)
Letters: One from research adviser that I have published with in computational material science, 2 from former research advisers that should all speak well of me.
Research Experience: 1 REU during previous summer that led to publication, 6mo in Gravitational Theory which will be put towards my Senior thesis.

Other Bonuses:
Completed my double major program over the course of 3 years (not sure if that will be viewed as positive or negative).
Have done well taking 3 Grad courses in my last year at my Uni (QFT, GR, and Grad QM)

Places applying (All Condensed Matter Experimental unless denoted):
UCSB: Experimental Particle
UC Boulder
Wisconsin- Madison: Experimental Particle
UIUC: Experimental Particle
Maryland- College Park
University of Rochester: AMO

Re: Reasonable Application List for Condensed Matter?

Posted: Wed Nov 30, 2016 1:42 pm
by AlexisPrel
I think you are quite competitive applicant, so I am not surprised that you aim high. Are you interested in a specific field or Condensed Matter in general ? That could help giving you suggestions if you still want some.

I mean, assuming you have 15% chance of being taken in any of those schools (I would bet it's higher in many places but let's be pessimistic), and assuming rejection by different schools are independent events, your chances of being admitted at least somewhere is:

P = 1 - (1 - 15%)^13= 88%