2022 Applicant Profile 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.

Rejection
Posts: 2
Joined: Thu Mar 04, 2021 7:50 pm

Re: 2022 Applicant Profile and Admission Results

Post by Rejection » Sat Feb 05, 2022 4:21 pm

Undergrad Institution: Top 20 State School; Great Reputation for Physics
Major(s):Physics/Mathematics
Minor(s):
GPA in Major: 3.97
Overall GPA: 3.97
Length of Degree: 4 years
Position in Class: near top; school does not rank
Type of Student: DWM
GRE Scores: 990 on pGRE; sent to MSU, PSU, and Berkeley

TOEFL: N/A


Research Experience: 1 year condensed matter without much to show for it; year and a half of research that plays on boundaries of medical and particle physics; summer REU in accelerator physics

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Departmental scholarship; school-awarded fellowship

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: three-year SPS officer, 2 year undergrad TA

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help:

Special Bonus Points: Will have a couple of grad classes, a publication, and a senior thesis before graduating. Current research advisor is pretty well-connected in my intended field.

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

Applying to Where: (all for HEP-Ex, specifically neutrinos and dark matter)

Stanford - Physics - (Feb. 25: ACCEPTED via email; $48,600/yr RA/TA)
Berkeley - Physics - (Feb. 25: ACCCEPTED)
U Chicago - Physics - (Jan. 28: REJECTED via website)
UW-Madison - Physics - (Jan. 28: ACCEPTED via website/email; $2580/month TA/RA+ $2500 one-time scholarship)
U Washington - Physics
UC Santa Barbara - Physics - (Feb. 18: ACCEPTED via website/email; no mention of financial support; perhaps this info is forthcoming...)
Penn State - Physics - (Feb. 4: ACCEPTED via website/email; $23,490 TA + $9000 1-year fellowship)
UC Irvine - Physics - (Jan. 13: ACCEPTED via website/email; $7,500/quarter TA + $10000/year 2-year fellowship)
Michigan State - Physics - (Jan. 27: ACCEPTED via website/email; $29,328/year TA)
UT Austin - Physics - (Feb. 8: Open House Invite)

Feb. 25 Update: Still waiting on U Wash, but i'm not sure their decision will make any difference. Feels good to be pretty stress-free before March! Figured I'd type up a few takeaways to assuage and/or incite the anxiety of future applicants who have stumbled upon this page while writing applications:
  • Be American; be experimental. The standards are much higher for international students, and funding for theorists is dry.
  • My current research advisor has decades of research experience in the field to which I am applying. This made a huge difference, as the people reading my application and evaluating my worth as a candidate got to read a letter from a respected colleague, and in some cases a friend.
  • IMO having one strong letter (see point 2) and one mediocre one is better than two average letters. My advisor was committed to writing a very strong letter, and I believe he did just that. However, one of my recommenders was a professor with whom I took a couple of classes; nothing more, nothing less.
  • You must make prior contact with at least one PI at every school. I was able to do this at every school except for Chicago and Washington, hence my results from there. Poor sample size and anecdotal evidence aside, most schools don't do interviews for physics. Actually meeting someone on the faculty (and having a good impression of course) will set you apart from the faceless applications, and is too easy to do in the age of Zoom. Don't feel shy about doing this; PIs are trying to grow their programs, so it's as much an interview for them as it is for you.
  • Don't half-ass your statements of purpose and personal statements. I started drafting them in September; by October, they were unrecognizable, and November's drafts bore only a passing resemblance to October's. When you're happy with it, confer with you advisor, friends, colleagues, and anyone who will read it. I found success writing them with a mindset similar to one writing a funding proposal. Just as NSF funds projects and needs to be assured of their intellectual merit and broader impacts to the field, universities are funding your education, and expect to be assured that their investment in you will produce a return: value to their program and a contributing member of the scientific community.
  • Any advice I give about the pGRE will likely be worthless next year. Maybe some schools will bring it back; maybe everyone will lose it. I've no doubt that it strengthened my application (especially as a domestic student, for whom pGRE scores appear to be quite a bit lower). All the same, I studied (i.e. memorized everything) for a good few months. Whether that justifies better odds for 30% of my applications is up to you.
Best of luck to everyone in this cycle and the next ones.
Last edited by Rejection on Sat Feb 26, 2022 12:03 am, edited 5 times in total.

beliniz
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Feb 04, 2022 8:06 pm

Re: 2022 Applicant Profile and Admission Results

Post by beliniz » Sat Feb 05, 2022 8:13 pm

Undergrad Institution: Public school in Europe, very good reputation in Physics (top in my country)
Major(s): Physics
Minor(s):
GPA in Major: 29.7/30
Overall GPA:
Length of Degree: 3 years (+ 2 MSc)
Position in Class: I don't know... more or less at the top
Type of Student: International white male

I am currently attending a MSc in theoretical particle physics (same university as undergrad). Attended several graduate courses on qft, and physics of the std model and beyond.

GRE Scores: 850 in physics subject test; no general.


IELTS: more than enough for every university;

Research Experience: 6 months research experience in hep-exp in my university on particle detector (mainly c++/python/GEANT4 data analysis and simulations); 6 months hep-th on formal aspects in field theory for bachelor thesis; 4 months and currently working on theoretical design and predictions for a well known experiment on CNB/DM detection which hopefully will bring to a publication... but no publications yet.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: something from my university but nothing so special.


Applying to Where:

All HEP theory

Princeton - rejected 02/11
Caltech - rejected 02/09 ... at this point I think that all of this is not going to go well at all :(
Chicago - rejected 01/29
Cornell
UCLA
UC San Diego
NYU
Carnegie Mellon
Last edited by beliniz on Fri Feb 11, 2022 5:33 pm, edited 3 times in total.

atreides
Posts: 1
Joined: Sun Feb 06, 2022 12:03 am

Re: 2022 Applicant Profile and Admission Results

Post by atreides » Sun Feb 06, 2022 2:01 am

Undergrad Institution: Top Research Institute in India
Major(s): Physics
Minor(s): N/A
GPA in Major: 8.1/10
Current Overall GPA: 7.9/10
Length of Degree: 5 years
Position in Class: N/A
Type of Student: International Male

GRE Scores: Did not take the exam.

Research Experience: 1.5 years of part-time research projects at the home institute and one year-long Masters Thesis outside(all QIS Theory)+One summer Internship outside(on NLD). No Publications so far.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Scholarship for one year from the home institute(not that big of a deal).

Pertinent Activities or Jobs:
Co-coordinated a student technical club at the home institute.

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments(?) that Might Help:
Attended IBM Qiskit Summer School. Completed a few online courses on Machine Learning and one more online course at Santa Fe Institute.

Special Bonus Points: First-gen student

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: I had a bad first two years in terms of academics but a clear upward trend after that in my GPA.

Applying to Where:

Applied for PhD in Physics(QC/QIS Theory)

Super Reach:
1. UChicago(Molecular Engineering - QSE) - REJECTED via email to check portal Jan 25
2. University of Maryland, College Park - Awaiting Rejection

Reach:
3. Michigan State University(CMSE) - REJECTED via email Mar 17
4. Duke University - REJECTED via email to check portal Feb 24
5. Purdue University - REJECTED via email to check portal March 3
6. University of Southern California - REJECTED via email Mar 18
7. Virginia Tech - REJECTED via email to check portal Feb 18

Match/Safety(I'd like to think that):
8. University of New Mexico - REJECTED via email March 24
9. Tufts University - REJECTED via email to check portal March 4


P.S.:
PGRE might have helped since GPA is low but ETS cancelled on me twice. Also, there is a slight jump within QIS I have made in my application compared to my previous research experiences. So, I'm planning to gain more research experience on those topics and possibly work on a publication before applying again next year. See you next year!
Last edited by atreides on Fri Mar 25, 2022 4:41 am, edited 8 times in total.

AnonPhys97
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue Feb 08, 2022 12:57 pm

Re: 2022 Applicant Profile and Admission Results

Post by AnonPhys97 » Tue Feb 08, 2022 1:16 pm

Undergrad Institution: Strong (but probably little known) international home country university. Separate university in home country for masters.
Major(s): Physics
Minor(s): --
GPA in Major: 3.94
Overall GPA: 3.7
Length of Degree: 4 years undergrad, 2 years masters
Position in Class: Near top
Type of Student: International female

GRE Scores: Nope


TOEFL: N/A


Research Experience: Two years hep-th research experience in masters. Two papers. One published in journal, one preprint.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Not really.

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: About 3 years TA experience and 6 months private tutoring experience

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help:

Special Bonus Points: Female. LORs from people who are known of by people in the field and all LORs are from people at North American institutions/with North American experience and connections. Grad classes in QFT/GR.

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: Had bad grades in some undergrad computer science/ math classes. Hopefully the (basically) straight As in physics classes make up for that.

Applying to Where (all for hep-th/strings/etc):
Brown - Physics - Feb 8: REJECTED via email to check portal
Caltech - Physics - Interview mid-Jan. Jan 31: ACCEPTED unofficially via email. 01 Feb: official acceptance.
Harvard - Physics
UMich Ann Arbor - Physics - Feb 4: REJECTED via generic email.
MIT - Physics - Feb 8: REJECTED via generic email.
Northeastern - Physics
Penn - Physics
Stanford - Physics
Stony Brook - Physics
Virginia Tech - Physics - Feb 09: ACCEPTED via email to check portal

astroaish
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Feb 10, 2022 11:55 am

Re: 2022 Applicant Profile and Admission Results

Post by astroaish » Thu Feb 10, 2022 12:22 pm

Undergrad Institution: Big state school with decent reputation in physics
Major(s): Astronomy and Physics
Minor(s): Sanskrit
GPA in Major: 3.60
Overall GPA: 3.59
Length of Degree: 4 years
Position in Class: No idea
Type of Student: Domestic Asian female

GRE Scores: n/a

TOEFL: n/a

Research Experience: Researched white dwarfs with the Freshman Research Initiative at undergraduate institution for 1 year. Worked on exoplanet He and Ca II absorption for 1.5 years within undergrad institution. Analyzed spectrum of Io's disk for 3 months for a summer internship.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Won a fellowship for exoplanet research at university. Inducted in physics honors society Sigma Pi Sigma.

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: TA for one astronomy intro class. Event Supervisor for a multitude of Science Olympiad events for 2 years.

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help:

Special Bonus Points: 2 very strong recommender letters, with one writer very well known in the field of exoplanets.

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

Applying to Where:

Arizona State University - Astrophysics - Exoplanets
New Mexico State University - Astrophysics - Exoplanets
Berkeley - Astronomy - Exoplanets
UCLA - Astronomy - Exoplanets
Rutgers - Astronomy - Exoplanets
UC Santa Cruz - Astronomy - Exoplanets
Florida Institute of Technology - Astronomy - Exoplanets
University of Notre Dame - Physics - Planetary dynamics
MIT - Astronomy and physics - Dynamics Feb. 8: Rejected via email/portal
Emory - Physics - Dynamics Feb. 3: Unofficial acceptance from department via email, $32,728 stipend
Renneslear Polytechnic Institute - Astrophysics - Exoplanet dynamics
UC San Diego - Astronomy - Exoplanets
UIUC - Astronomy - Exoplanets
Penn State - Astronomy - Exoplanets and planetary dynamics
Last edited by astroaish on Sun Feb 20, 2022 6:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.

HidingMyDebyeShield
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Feb 07, 2022 5:43 am

Re: 2022 Applicant Profile and Admission Results

Post by HidingMyDebyeShield » Fri Feb 11, 2022 5:26 am

Undergrad Institution: Big state school, top 20 in physics
Major(s): Physics
Minor(s): Dance
GPA in Major: 3.89
Overall GPA: 3.86
Length of Degree: 4
Position in Class: top 10%
Type of Student: International, male, Latino

GRE Scores: Non

TOEFL: non

Research Experience: 6 months of dark matter experiment research at my school, No publications no conferences

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: dean’s list, cum laude

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: 3 years of peer tutoring at the cultural center on campus

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: non

Special Bonus Points: Latinx

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: No contact with any schools or PIs before applying. Took a year gap year to make art before applying. Two letters coming from class professors one from research adviser. Took time off after HS before doing a physics degree. Failed one in major class second year. Kept statement of purpose focuses on research interest in plasma fusion with out mention of failed class or gap year.

Applying to Where: applied to schools with fusion research

Princeton - plasma physics - Rejected feb 8
UC Irvine - physics - accepted Jan 31 $7,500 per 11 week quarter, 5k fellowship for first two year planing on attending
UC Boulder - physics Rejected Feb 28
UC Berkeley - nuclear engineering
Auburn - physics
University of Washington - Aeronautics and Astronautics Rejected Mar 30
Last edited by HidingMyDebyeShield on Wed Mar 30, 2022 11:55 pm, edited 3 times in total.

zootman_2
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Feb 11, 2022 10:08 pm

Re: 2022 Applicant Profile and Admission Results

Post by zootman_2 » Fri Feb 11, 2022 10:40 pm

Undergrad Institution: Large Public school, top 20 in physics
Major(s): Physics
GPA in Major: 3.91
Overall GPA: 3.78
Length of Degree: 4
Position in Class: top 10%
Type of Student: domestic white male

GRE Scores: NA

TOEFL: NA

Research Experience:
6 months research within biophysics, looking into tensile properties behind byssal threads and compounds contributing to
extreme underwater adhesion.
1 year within astrophysics/engineering. Worked under a department that looked into minimizing the abrasive effects of lunar dust on lunar equipment and astronauts. We created a prototype that used a high intensity laser to melt lunar dust into cohesive pieces to minimize the amount that would be kicked up into the 'atmosphere.'


Awards/Honors/Recognitions: dean’s list 6x, cum laude, highest departmental honors, two presentations for my research in Astrophysics to two national scientific conferences

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Worked at a semiconductor manufacturer and SLAC National Accelerator laboratory working within particle physics.


Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: Took a gap year. One of my letters of rec is a professor who is a family friend. Second strongest letter was a professor within my research group who sent me a copy. It was a glowing recommendation compared to the work I did. Last one was a professor I TA'd for.

Applying to Where: Applied to primarily Astrophysics, Particle Physics and Biophysics (not rly sure where I wanna end up)

1. USC - Interview - 1/12 - Acceptance 2/11 - $32,000
2. UCSB - Rejected - 03/14
3. UCLA - Rejected - 03/16
4. Berkeley - Rejected - 03/01
5. UCSC - Interview - 2/3 Acceptance 02/14 - $35,693 +$2,500 for housing WILL ATTEND
6. UCSD -

who knows why i did it this way
7. Stanford - Masters (Applied Physics) Rejected - 03/01
Last edited by zootman_2 on Thu Mar 24, 2022 12:45 am, edited 8 times in total.

ellent
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Dec 13, 2021 9:51 am

Re: 2022 Applicant Profile and Admission Results

Post by ellent » Mon Feb 14, 2022 9:36 am

Undergrad Institution: one of the top in the UK, great physics rep
Major: Physics
Overall GPA: 64% (2:1 in the UK system, I know that's disappointing; didn't convert)
Length of Degree: 3
Position in Class: we don't do that, around the middle ?

Graduate Institution: a top asian uni, no physics rep
Major: Physics (astrophysics)
Overall GPA: P (a research degree has a P/F only)
Length of Degree: 2

Type of Student: International Asian female

GRE Scores:
Q: 170
V: 159
W: 3
P: 910

TOEFL: exempted

Research Experience:
3-month summer intern - CMT (top institution in home country)
1-month summer intern - dark energy (top institution in home country)
3-month summer intern - galactic dynamics (top institution in home country)
3-month final-year project - weak lensing (home institution)
3 months summer intern - galactic dynamics (top uni in home country)
All with no publication, no present, several reports, but I made a good impression (supervisors are willing to have me as their graduate student).

Pertinent Activities or Jobs:
Full-time high school tutor for a year (during the gap year after UG); lab demonstrating for two years

Special Bonus Points:
a stellar letter from my master supervisor who is well-known in this subfield

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter:
Huge family change during my final year, I mentioned in my app, but probably won't influence any decision.

Applying to Where:

All astro related, specialized in galaxy formation and observational data analysis.

UC Berkeley - Feb. 15: REJECTED via email to check portal
Yale - Feb. 14: REJECTED via email to check portal
UChicago - Feb. 2: REJECTED via email to check portal
Columbia - Feb. 18: REJECTED via email to check portal
Cornell
UMD - Feb. 24: REJECTED via email
Johns Hopkins - Mar. 2: REJECTED via email

UK:
UCL - :oops: Dec. 17: REJECTED via emal (only 1 funded international student possible this year, didn't pick me)
Oxford - Feb. 28: REJECTED via email
Durham
Edinburgh

Thinking abour what I could improve for the next cycle...
Last edited by ellent on Thu Mar 03, 2022 9:00 pm, edited 7 times in total.

dkssud99
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue Feb 15, 2022 3:03 am

Re: 2022 Applicant Profile and Admission Results

Post by dkssud99 » Tue Feb 15, 2022 3:35 am

Undergrad Institution: Big state school, top 30 in physics
Major(s): Physics
Minor(s): n/a
GPA in Major: 3.858
Overall GPA: 3.915
Length of Degree: 4 years
Position in Class: Top 10%
Type of Student: Domestic Asian female

GRE Scores: n/a

TOEFL: n/a

Research Experience: Theoretical chemistry research for 3 years, HEP-th research for 6 months (ongoing)

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: A few different scholarships, dean's list

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: TAed for intro physics

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help:

Special Bonus Points: One 1st author paper. Great recommendation letters from professors that know me well. Took 3 graduate courses by the time applications were due, taking two now. Took a bunch of chemistry courses (including upper division and graduate).

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: Applied for NSF GRFP, worked two part-time jobs, got paid for theoretical chemistry research during the summer

Applying to Where: All HEP-th. Sorted by application due date.

Northeastern - Accepted
Cornell
Stanford
MIT - Rejected
Harvard - Rejected
Caltech - Rejected
UCLA - Accepted
UC Berkeley
UCSB
UCSD
USC
UCD - Accepted
Brandeis - Accepted
Last edited by dkssud99 on Fri Feb 18, 2022 9:30 pm, edited 2 times in total.

mushroom
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue Feb 08, 2022 11:31 am

Re: 2022 Applicant Profile and Admission Results

Post by mushroom » Wed Feb 16, 2022 12:31 pm

Undergrad Institution: Top 15 Private University (relatively good reputation in Physics)
Major(s): Physics
Minor(s): CS, Art
GPA in Major: 3.98
Overall GPA: 3.747
Length of Degree: 4 years
Position in Class: top
Type of Student: domestic white female

GRE Scores: NO GRE REQUIRED FOR THIS YEAR

Research Experience: 1 year of experimental HEP under sPHENIX collaboration, 2 years of heavy ion nuclear under CMS collaboration, presented at 4 conferences first author, 2 first author papers, 2 summers of full time research with CMS, 1 Summer with CERN REU working on experimental HEP, 3 years collaborative interdepartmental research

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Multiple in school merit scholarships, full ride merit scholarship, part of DNP education committee

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Tutor, SPS officer and member, mentor

Special Bonus Points: grad classes, 3 well known recommenders


Applying to Where:

MIT - physics - (Feb 7) Accepted
Columbia - physics - (Feb 15) Accepted
U Chicago - physics - (Jan 28) Rejected
Stony Brook - physics - (Feb 2) Accepted
Yale - physics - (Feb 9) Accepted
Princeton - physics - (Feb 11) Rejected
Caltech - physics - (Feb 1)Accepted
U Mich - physics - (Feb 3) Accepted
Cornell - physics - (Feb 15) Accepted
U Colorado (Boulder) - physics
UIUC - physics - (Jan 20) Accepted
UMD - physics - (Jan 25) Accepted
UMN - physics - (Feb 7) Accepted
NYU - physics

eventhorizon314
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue Feb 01, 2022 8:34 pm

Re: 2022 Applicant Profile and Admission Results

Post by eventhorizon314 » Fri Feb 18, 2022 12:04 pm

Undergrad Institution: Top ~15 public university, decent physics reputation
Major(s): Physics
Minor(s): Philosophy
GPA in Major: 3.77
Overall GPA: 3.81
Length of Degree: 4 year
Position in Class: Top ~16% at least
Type of Student: Domestic male

GRE Scores: n/a

TOEFL: n/a

Research Experience: 1 year of part time research on galaxy clusters. Largely focused on data analysis, modeling, and spectroscopy. Co-author on two upcoming papers but neither one is fully put together yet. I have one publication related to engineering as part of a conference proceedings.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Dean's honor roll a few times here and there.

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Physics club officer, active in a few other STEM-clubs

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: The aforementioned engineering paper was the result of a NASA competition in which the team I was on placed quite highly, not sure how much that matters though.

Special Bonus Points: Took undergraduate and graduate General Relativity and received A's both times. I also did an independent study on black holes and other general relativity concepts briefly with a professor who works in that area. I think my recommenders are decent overall.

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

Applying to Where: All for hep-th, cosmology, general relativity/gravitational physics, or some derivative of those

Brown - Physics (Feb 18: REJECTED via email to check portal - MS program offered)
Columbia University - Physics (March 16: REJECTED via email to check portal)
CU Boulder - Physics (Feb 28: REJECTED via email to check portal)
Montana State University - Physics (REJECTED)
NYU - Physics (March 7: REJECTED via email to check portal)
Tufts University - Physics (Feb 20: WAITLISTED via email from the director of graduate studies)(April 13th: REJECTED upon inquiry, MS program offered)
UC Santa Barbara - Physics (March 14: REJECTED via email to check portal)
UC Davis - Physics (March 1: REJECTED via email to check portal)
UMass Amherst - Physics (REJECTED)
University of Washington - Physics (REJECTED)

Feeling pretty nervous given how little I've heard up until my first rejection today and given the fact that Columbia and UCSB are both likely to be rejections as well. I didn't exactly choose the easiest schools to get into. Here's to hoping.

EDIT 2/20: If you got into Tufts and don't want to go, please let them know ASAP!! I'd love to attend.
EDIT 2/28: Prospects aren't looking great right now :/
EDIT 4/30: Full sweep of rejections unfortunately. I was however admitted to a few master's programs and will likely be attending one even though it is not ideal.
Last edited by eventhorizon314 on Sat Apr 30, 2022 2:29 pm, edited 8 times in total.

astrophys123
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Feb 18, 2022 1:12 pm

Re: 2022 Applicant Profile and Admission Results

Post by astrophys123 » Fri Feb 18, 2022 1:36 pm

Undergrad Institution: Ivy League
Major(s): Astrophysics
Minor(s): Economics
GPA in Major: ~3.95? Not explicitly given
Overall GPA: 3.71
Length of Degree: 4 years
Position in Class: Unknown
Type of Student: Domestic Male

GRE Scores: N/a
TOEFL: N/a

Research Experience: One summer doing astro image processing with a well-known PI in a large collaboration, publication in prep. Year-long senior thesis in computational astronomy with the same PI, publication by the end of the year.

Awards/Honors: N/a

Activities or Jobs: Grader for one semester for physics labs, TA for physics labs another semester, TA for physics recitation and for an astronomy course this semester. Also was a college counselor for two years, and miscellaneous tutoring jobs.

Bonuses: Well-known letter writers, all from home institution, A in a grad course in GR, a few presentations to the collaboration I worked in over the summer (Zoom) and to the university's summer research program.

Applying to Where: All physics or astronomy depending on the POI's.

Caltech - Rejected 2/24 via email
Carnegie Mellon - Rejected 2/24 via email to check portal
Columbia - Rejected 2/18 via email to check portal
CU Boulder - Rejected 2/15 via email to check portal
Duke - Rejected 2/23 via email to check portal
Harvard - Rejected 2/7 via email to check portal
Johns Hopkins - Rejected 3/1 via email
Michigan - Rejected 2/8 via email
MIT - Rejected 2/8 via email
Northwestern - Rejected 3/7 via email to check portal
NYU - Rejected 3/7 via email to check portal
Ohio State - Accepted 2/25 via email
Stanford - Rejected 2/25 via email
UC Berkeley - Rejected 2/15 via email to check portal
UC Davis - Rejected 3/1 via email
UChicago - Rejected 2/2 via email to check portal
UCLA - Rejected 3/4 via email to check portal
UCSB - Rejected 3/14 via email to check portal
UIUC - Rejected 3/2 via email
UT Austin -
U Washington -
Vanderbilt - Rejected 2/25 via email to check portal
Yale - Rejected 2/9 via email to check portal

Edit 2/25: Finally accepted into a program! I'm really excited about Ohio State!
Last edited by astrophys123 on Mon Mar 14, 2022 11:45 am, edited 9 times in total.

clapper20
Posts: 2
Joined: Thu Feb 17, 2022 2:55 pm

Re: 2022 Applicant Profile and Admission Results

Post by clapper20 » Sat Feb 19, 2022 6:15 pm

Undergrad Institution: Russel Group university - UK
Major(s): Physics
Minor(s): n/a
GPA in Major: 4.0
Overall GPA: 4.0
Length of Degree: 3
Position in Class: no such thing in the UK
Type of Student: International black male

GRE Scores: NO GRE REQUIRED FOR THIS YEAR

TOEFL: English native


Research Experience: 2 years research experience in theoretical physics - 1 year undergrad research project in HEP-th and 1 year grad research project in HEP-th/Mathematical Physics. No publications. Presented at 1 conference, and did 2 project presentations at university.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Academic recognition/honor for obtaining highest mark in undergrad physics dissertation

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: 1 year TA/physics mentor at university, currently tutoring college students in maths/physics

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: obtained science award for a small physics project before 1st yr uni, obtained charity award for raising funds for a children's charity

Special Bonus Points: obtained a masters degree in physics with a 4.0 GPA from a top 10 university in the world, did relevant grad courses such as Quantum field theory, Quantum Computation and Communication, Achieved nearly all A's for my undergrad physics modules (only 2 A-), strong LOR's - 1 is from a pioneer in the field of quantum information/computing


I have no connections and I didn't contact any POI's from all the unis I applied to

Applying to Where:

Harvard - Quantum Science and Engineering - Hep-th/QIT - (02/22: Rejected via website)
Stanford - Physics - Hep-th/QIT- (02/25: Rejected via email)
Caltech - Physics - Hep-th/QIT - (02/10: Rejected via email)
Princeton - Physics - Hep-th/QIT - (02/11: Rejected via website)
Yale - Physics - Hep-th/QIT - (02/09: Rejected via website)
MIT - Physics - Hep-th/QIT - (02/08: Rejected via email)
Cornell - Physics - Hep-th/QIT - (03/02: Rejected via email)
Brown - Physics - Hep-th/QIT - (02/08: Rejected via website)
Dartmouth - Physics - Hep-th/QIT - (04/11: Rejected via website)
Columbia - Physics - Hep-th/QIT - (03/16: Rejected via website)
UPenn - Physics - Hep-th/QIT - (03/14: Rejected via website)
UChicago - Physics - Hep-th/QIT - (01/28: Rejected via website)
John Hopkins - Physics - Hep-th/QIT - (03/02: Rejected via email)
UC Berkley - Physics - Hep-th/QIT - (03/02: Rejected via website)
NYU - Physics - Hep-th/QIT - (03/03: Rejected via website)
Michigan Ann Arbor - Physics - Hep-th/QIT - (02/04: Rejected via email)
Toronto - Physics - Hep-th/QIT - (04/11: Rejected via website)

Update: Rejection galore. This is what I call an absolute scam.
Last edited by clapper20 on Tue Apr 12, 2022 6:48 am, edited 4 times in total.

ScienceNerd5
Posts: 9
Joined: Sun Feb 20, 2022 12:14 am

Re: 2022 Applicant Profile and Admission Results

Post by ScienceNerd5 » Sun Feb 20, 2022 12:19 am

eventhorizon314 wrote:
Fri Feb 18, 2022 12:04 pm
Undergrad Institution: Top ~15 public university, decent physics reputation
Major(s): Physics
Minor(s): Philosophy
GPA in Major: 3.77
Overall GPA: 3.81
Length of Degree: 4 year
Position in Class: Top ~16% at least
Type of Student: Domestic male

GRE Scores: n/a

TOEFL: n/a

Research Experience: 1 year of part time research on galaxy clusters. Largely focused on data analysis, modeling, and spectroscopy. Co-author on two upcoming papers but neither one is fully put together yet. I have one publication related to engineering as part of a conference proceedings.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Dean's honor roll a few times here and there.

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Physics club officer, active in a few other STEM-clubs

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: The aforementioned engineering paper was the result of a NASA competition in which the team I was on placed quite highly, not sure how much that matters though.

Special Bonus Points: Took undergraduate and graduate General Relativity and received A's both times. I also did an independent study on black holes and other general relativity concepts briefly with a professor who works in that area. I think my recommenders are decent overall.

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

Applying to Where: All for hep-th, cosmology, general relativity/gravitational physics, or some derivative of those

Brown - Physics (Feb 18: REJECTED via email to check portal)
Columbia University - Physics
CU Boulder - Physics
Montana State University - Physics
NYU - Physics
Tufts University - Physics
UC Santa Barbara - Physics
UC Davis - Physics
UMass Amherst - Physics
University of Washington - Physics

Feeling pretty nervous given how little I've heard up until my first rejection today and given the fact that Columbia and UCSB are both likely to be rejections as well. I didn't exactly choose the easiest schools to get into. Here's to hoping.

Hey, have you heard back from Montana State University?

ScienceNerd5
Posts: 9
Joined: Sun Feb 20, 2022 12:14 am

Re: 2022 Applicant Profile and Admission Results

Post by ScienceNerd5 » Sun Feb 20, 2022 12:23 am

astronomerrier wrote:
Mon Nov 29, 2021 7:16 pm
Undergrad Institution: Large state school, average reputation in physics (~50th)
Major(s): Astronomy (primary) & physics (secondary)
Minor(s): None
GPA in Major: 3.97
Overall GPA: 3.98
Length of Degree: 4 years
Position in Class: near top?
Type of Student: Domestic white female

GRE Scores: took the general GRE and did relatively well, but none of my schools require it so it doesn't matter ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ Specifically chose schools that didn't require the physics GRE, screw that.

Research Experience:
  • 3 years of extragalactic astronomy research at my home institution. First author paper that'll be submitted to the journal by the time of application (or maybe a few days later, shhhhh), 2 first-author conference posters, 2 first-author conference talks, and a short piece for a popular astronomy website. One of my letters of rec.
  • One summer of extragalactic astronomy research with well-known PI at high-ranked astronomy institution. Haven't done much since the summer (gesturing towards the paper that's been eating all my time), but I've continued going to group meetings and they're one of my letters of rec.
Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Prestigious national STEM scholarship, award for one of my conference presentations, a few undergraduate grants from my home institution/state.

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: I've been the president of the astronomy club at my home institution for the last two years, and was on the eboard before that; I've been involved with SPS since freshman year and the women+ in physics group since it was founded. I've also been a TA in the physics department for the last three years in a very student-facing position: overall, I'm really emphasizing my teaching and outreach skills on my applications.

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: I emailed all my goal PIs to make sure they were taking students, and have gotten emails back from a few (mostly those I had a connection with already, even if that connection was like "talked one time at a conference." Not sure if this'll pay off in the admission process, but I figure it can't hurt)

Applying to Where: Sorted by due date, lol. All for observational extragalactic astronomy, some veering into observational cosmology. Star denotes contact with PI, as in they replied to my email. Let's see if it makes a difference!
University of Arizona Accepted via phone call 02/11
Harvard* Rejected via email to check portal 02/07
Johns Hopkins* Accepted via email 02/08
UCLA Accepted via informal email 01/25
University of Hawaii* Accepted via email 01/28
University of Maryland* Interview request 01/27
UT Austin*
Yale Interview request 01/24 Accepted via email to check portal 02/14
Caltech Interview request 01/14 Accepted 02/01 via phone call
Indiana University* Accepted via email 02/01. Offer declined.
University of Toledo Interview request 01/18 Accepted via email 01/29. Offer declined.
Rochester Institute of Technology

Good luck, everyone! I've been lurking on this forum (read: feeding my anxiety) for the last couple of years, and it feels a little surreal to finally be typing out my own post.
Hey, Congratulations for your offers. Have you heard back from RIT? And where have you decided to go, if you want to share?

lemongogurt
Posts: 1
Joined: Sun Feb 20, 2022 3:55 pm

Re: 2022 Applicant Profile and Admission Results

Post by lemongogurt » Sun Feb 20, 2022 4:15 pm

Undergrad Institution: big state school
Major(s): Physics, Statistics
Minor(s): n/a
GPA in Major: 4.0 in physics, ~3.8 in statistics
Overall GPA: 3.93
Length of Degree: 3 years
Position in Class: top or near top
Type of Student: domestic female

GRE Scores: NO GRE REQUIRED FOR THIS YEAR (WE ALL KNOW WHAT HAPPENED).


TOEFL: (R: , L: , S: , W: ) n/a


Research Experience:
1 summer of cell biology work prior to university (not super relevant but was asked about at a few interviews)
2.5 years experimental biophysics research in an x ray spectroscopy/pchem lab in my school's physics department. 2nd author paper submitted after applying but brought up in interviews
1 summer computational biophysics REU

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: recognized as best physics student in my year 2 years in a row, several scholarships, deans list 7 semesters in a row

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: calculus/diff eq/linear algebra tutor for 2 years (both individual and group), additional tutoring job, officer and then president of women in physics, mentor for a women in science organization

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: graduating early? organized inaugural research fair for women in physics organization

Special Bonus Points: outreach/diversity emphasis present in my personal statements

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: I didn't contact any potential PI's, maybe a mistake, maybe not

Applying to Where: All physics schools have systems biophysics research interest

Stanford - Biophysics - Jan 1 Interview request
Berkeley - Biophysics - Dec 20 interview request Feb 15 Acceptance
Harvard - Biophysics - Dec 22 interview request Feb 9 Acceptance
Yale - Physics - Jan 10 interview request Feb 9 Acceptance
Cornell - Physics - Soft rejection, no acceptance email
Princeton - Physics - Feb 11 rejection
Wisconsin-Madison - Biophysics - Dec 13 interview request Feb 10 Acceptance - Declined
UIUC - Biophysics - Jan 11 interview request Jan 28 Acceptance
University of Michigan - Biophysics - Dec 17 Acceptance
UMD - Physics - Jan 26 Acceptance
Georgia Tech - Quantitative Biosciences - Dec 12 interview request Jan 4 Acceptance

uafifa13
Posts: 3
Joined: Fri Feb 11, 2022 5:53 pm

Re: 2022 Applicant Profile and Admission Results

Post by uafifa13 » Sun Feb 20, 2022 10:42 pm

Pietroza123 wrote:
Fri Dec 17, 2021 8:48 am
Undergraduate Institution: Top Latin America school - good physics reputation
GPA: 9.1/10
Length of Degree: 3.5
Position in Class: 4/99
Type of Student: International white male

Graduate Institution: same as undergrad institution (still in progress)
GPA: 4/4
Length of Degree: 1
Position in Class: do not have this in graduate school
Type of Student: International white male


TOEFL: 106 (30R, 28L, 23S, 25W)

GRE:
Q: 169 (94%)
V: 165 (96%)
W: 4.0 (54%)
P: 910 (82%)

Research Experience:

- 3 years of studying neural networks using statistical mechanics methods. One poster and currently writing a first-authored paper.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions:
2.5 years of undergraduate scholarship for research and 1 year of graduate scholarship, the scholarships that I obtained are the hardest to obtain in my country.

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: 1 semester of tutoring in a statistical mechanics course

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: Did 6 graduate courses, I scored A in all of them (here we score 0-10 in undergraduate courses and F-A in graduate courses). I also did 5 graduate courses in maths in the summer, scored A in all of them. Participated in some workshops.

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: My advisor wrote a strong letter of recommendation I believe, other 2 letters of reccomendation come from course instuctors and probably good. I wrote to advisors that I am willing to work with, received positive answers and confirmation that they have space in their labs.

I mainly applied looking forward to work on theoretical biophysics or complex systems.

Applying to Where:

Rice - Physics. Accepted 02/20
UCSD - Physics with specialization in quantitative biology.
Cornell - Physics.
Emory - Physics. - Interview 01/21 - Accepted 02/10
University of Washington - Physics.
WUSTL - Physics. - Accepted 01/31
UPenn - Physics.
Penn State - Physics. - Accepted 02/04
Northwestern - Physics. - Interview 01/25 - Accepted 02/09
Northeastern - Physics.


Congrats on all the acceptances! Did you receive any fellowship from WUSTL?

misterguy
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue Feb 22, 2022 12:17 pm

Re: 2022 Applicant Profile and Admission Results

Post by misterguy » Tue Feb 22, 2022 1:02 pm

Undergrad Institution: Stony Brook
Major(s): Physics and math
Minor(s): None
GPA in Major: 3.45 in physics and 3.0 in math ( :oops: )
Overall GPA: 3.19
Length of Degree: 5 years
Position in Class: Truly no idea but definitely not near the top!
Type of Student: Domestic white male

GRE Scores: No physics GRE (they canceled on me multiple times). Took regular GRE a couple years ago and got (reading: 170, math: 168, writing: 4.5), but nobody really wanted these scores so I didn't send them lol.

Research Experience:
  • Did some small optics projects in a quantum information lab in my 5th year.
  • After graduating, worked for a few different laser manufacturers as an optical research engineer.
  • Briefly volunteered with a prof at Princeton doing computational optics design research.
  • Worked for a quantum computing startup.
  • Currently work on quantum computing software for a big tech company (e.g. Google, IBM).
Special Bonus Points:
  • Through my experience in private-sector quantum computing, I've gotten to work with some famous researchers, who have written strong recommendation letters for me.
Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter:
  • My undergrad was obviously shitty; I even withdrew an entire semester due to family problems. But my upper-division physics grades are all strong. It was just a rocky start and bad gen-ed courses that have brought me down. Undergrad was also a long time ago now. Hoping my work/research experience, recommenders, and affiliations can carry me through!

Applying to Where:

Match (maybe??)
U Oregon - physics - quantum information - rejected 3/14 This was a bit of a surprise
UC Davis - physics - quantum information - accepted 2/15 will attend!

Reach
U Washington - physics - quantum information - rejected 3/29
UC Santa Barbara - electrical engineering - quantum information - interview 2/22 (still no decision, but the POI told me his funding is questionable, so I will not be accepting even if admitted
U Maryland - physics - quantum information - rejected 3/28

Almost definitely not happening
Stanford - applied physics - quantum information - rejected 3/17
MIT - electrical/computer engineering - quantum information - rejected 3/14
UC Berkeley - physics - quantum information - rejected 3/1

I'm genuinely happy to be admitted anywhere given my weird profile and bad GPA, so there's no bitterness over these results!
Excited to be joining UC Davis in the fall!
Last edited by misterguy on Thu Apr 07, 2022 4:17 pm, edited 6 times in total.

Syzygy186
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue Feb 22, 2022 6:19 pm

Re: 2022 Applicant Profile and Admission Results

Post by Syzygy186 » Tue Feb 22, 2022 6:23 pm

Givingupguy wrote:
Fri Jan 28, 2022 10:17 pm
Undergrad Institution: Top Canadian
Major(s):Mathematical Physics
GPA in Major: 3.96
Overall GPA: 3.94
Length of Degree: 5 years
Position in Class: probably top.
Type of Student: International White Male

Masters Institution: Top Canadian
Major(s): Quantum Information (Physics)
GPA in Major: 4.0
Length of Degree: 2 years

GRE Scores: NO GRE REQUIRED FOR THIS YEAR (WE ALL KNOW WHAT HAPPENED).
Verbal: 164
Quant: 165
Writing: 4.5
Physics: 940

Research Experience: 4 years research experience in QI and CMT. 1 paper published (2nd author), 2 under review (1st author), 3 more first authors in prep. 1 Conference talk. Almost all my research experience was full time.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Deans list

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Only TA'd once to focus on research.

Special Bonus Points: Many grad classes.
I've also got a patent for certain quantum simulator which may help for QSE but is useless at any other school.

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

Applying to Where: All CMT & QI focus. I got no interviews from anywhere.
Yale - Physics - Rejected Feb 9th via email to check portal
Harvard - Quantum Science and Engineering -
Chicago - Physics -Rejected Jan 28th via email
MIT -Physics - Rejected Feb 8 via email
Caltech - Physics -Rejected Feb 9th via email
Princeton - Physics -Rejected Feb 11th via email to check portal
Stanford - Physics -
Cornell - Physics -
Berkeley - Physics -
University of Toronto - Physics - ACCEPTED Feb 13th via unofficial email from department
Columbia - Physics -
UCSB - Physics -
UIUC - Physics -
Georgia Tech - Physics - ACCEPTED Feb 7th via email to check portal. 31K per year for 5 semesters (no healthcare) +5.5k Fellowship
Maryland - Physics - ACCEPTED Feb 3rd via official email with offered $38k per year for 5 years (Wow JQI fellowship is pretty nice :D )

advice:
While my profile may seem pretty good, it turns out having older well known supervisors is more important than actual research output. The only way to get around this is to have your work actually published, under review is not enough, in prep is worthless. Even if it's in prep or under-review for a really good journal, at that point it's just RNG.

I got lucky though because JQI has amazing people and for my specialization is probably better than anywhere except Harvard, MIT, Caltech and maybe UCSB (but the person I wanted to work with there isn't accepting students).


Out of curiosity since I'm on the GA Tech waitlist, do you think you'll accept their offer? (I know you may not have made your decision yet but curious if its high up on your list)

ScienceNerd5
Posts: 9
Joined: Sun Feb 20, 2022 12:14 am

Re: 2022 Applicant Profile and Admission Results

Post by ScienceNerd5 » Thu Feb 24, 2022 2:30 am

fingerscrossed wrote:
Thu Dec 02, 2021 4:58 pm
Undergrad Institution: Big State School, Excellent Reputation in Physics
Major(s): Engineering Physics w/ concentration in Professional Physics
Minor(s): Econometrics
GPA in Major: 3.84
Overall GPA: 3.86
Length of Degree: 4 years
Position in Class: roughly 75th percentile
Type of Student: Domestic White Male

GRE Scores: n/a


TOEFL: n/a


Research Experience:
HEP-ex Detector R&D, Monte Carlo Sims, Data Analysis (2 years, potential pub in spring, presented results to collaboration on many occasions)
1 summer at a national lab doing accelerator physics simulations, poster session at end, internal publication at lab
Semester of Independent Study for Quantum Class

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Deans List, Random award for scoring highly in national Latin exam

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: 2 semesters TAing, Physics and Math tutoring, VP in college ambassador RSO

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: nah

Special Bonus Points: 1 grad class this semester, one next as well, strong rec letters, 1 from well connected prof

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

Applying to Where:

UIUC - Physics - HEP (Feb. 2: ACCEPTED for Ph.D via email + $25k TA)

Purdue - Physics - HEP (Feb. 17: ACCEPTED for Ph.D via email+ $20.9k TA + $5k Scholarship)
Michigan - Physics - HEP (Feb. 8: Rejected via portal)
Wisconsin - Physics - HEP (Jan. 28: ACCEPTED for Ph.D via email + Pending TA/RA + $1k Scholarship)
UT Austin - Physics - HEP
IU - Physics - HEP (Feb. 1: ACCEPTED for Ph.D via email + $18.3k TA/RA + 5k Scholarship)
UC Boulder - Physics - HEP (Jan. 28: ACCEPTED for Ph.D via portal + $24.5k TA/RA + $3k Scholarship)
Maryland - Physics - HEP
Carnegie Melon - Physics - HEP (Feb. 8: Waitlisted for Ph.D via portal)
UChicago - Physics - HEP/Accelerator (Jan. 28: Rejected via portal)
MSU - Physics - Nuclear/Accelerator (Jan. 27: ACCEPTED for Ph.D via email + $29.4k TA)
Northwestern - Physics - HEP/Accelerator
Texas A&M - Physics - HEP/Accelerator
Stony Brook - Physics - HEP/Accelerator (Feb. 18: ACCEPTED for Ph.D via portal + $22.5k TA + $1.5k Fellowship)





Hey, what is MSU? Montana or Michigan?

inkoncanvas
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Jan 09, 2017 12:34 pm

Re: 2022 Applicant Profile and Admission Results

Post by inkoncanvas » Fri Feb 25, 2022 12:49 am

Undergrad Institution: Big public research university (~top 25 in US)
Major(s): Physics
Minor(s): Mathematics
GPA in Major: 3.6
Overall GPA: 3.6
Length of Degree: 5 years
Position in Class: high-average
Type of Student: domestic white female

GRE Scores: N/A
TOEFL: N/A

Research Experience:
* 2 years working on a research project in theoretical cosmology (~7-20 hrs/wk during the semester, closer to 40 hrs/wk over the 2 summers) with a paper on the horizon;
* 4 months (~10-20 hrs/week) working on a project/independent study in hep-th with a paper on the horizon (hopefully);
* 2+ years working at about ~5-10 hrs/wk in an interdisciplinary lab (doing a bunch of creative/arts-focused programming projects and programming for quantitative testing tools for the lab). One poster presentation, a couple of papers kicking about, and multiple exhibitions of an interactive visualizer program I created.
* I also participated in a short summer program for graduate math students focused on mathematical illustrations via procedural programming and 3D animations through a well-respected institution. I did a small presentation of my work at the end of this program.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: A bunch of departmental scholarships, Dean's list, etc.

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Minor participation in DEI initiatives within the department, but nothing super noteworthy.

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: Creative achievement award in visual art

Special Bonus Points: No grad classes, but I took a lot of the upper-division physics electives offered at my school (SR/GR, QMII, CMT, etc.). I have a couple of extra pure math credits as well. I'd have to assume my LOR are half-decently strong (all 3 from professors I've worked on research with, one of them being a professor in the arts; 2 from well-respected physics profs).

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: I have a pretty strong background in the visual arts, but I have yet to find out if that's going to be helpful in a scientific career in any notable way.

Applying to Where:

PhD
Toronto - Physics - hep-th (Withdrawn)
Syracuse - Physics - hep-th/QG [early decision] (Dec. 17: ACCEPTED for Ph.D. via email w/ fellowship and ~27K TA stipend for 1st year! :D They were my top choice, so I'm super excited!!!)
UNC Chapel Hill - Physics - cosmology/QG/hep-th (Withdrawn)
Carnegie Mellon - Mathematics - Dynamics/Discrete Math (Withdrawn)
CU Boulder Physics - cosmology/QG/GR/hep-th (Feb. 28: Rejected via email/portal update.)

MSc
Perimeter - Physics - QG/cosmology [regular deadline]


NOTES:
(2/24) - I've been lurking on here for years (I'm not so sure if it's been particularly helpful or just anxiety-inducing). There are so many great applicants each year! I wanted to post my profile/results to help balance things out. Each year I hoped to find applicants with profiles similar to mine, but they're pretty sparse on this forum. Sure, my GPA wasn't the strongest. But, I had a lot of fun exploring research in different fields. I dealt with a LOT of personal hardships throughout undergrad (SA, losing multiple friends, family, and past mentors to cancer, suicide, etc.), totally independent of the pandemic (as I'm sure some other people on here have). I'm a non-traditional student, so I didn't have the peer support structure that a lot of students have.

I was really lucky to have received early admission to Syracuse (It's a strong program/department that I think I'll really enjoy). I originally planned on applying to a lot more places, but SU kind of stole my heart early on -- I ended up only applying to a handful of physics programs where I saw a good research fit (and one math program that I was interested in). I hope that my profile gives someone out there some hope in some way! Good luck, everyone!
Last edited by inkoncanvas on Thu Mar 10, 2022 6:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.

plus C
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Feb 25, 2022 5:09 pm

Re: 2022 Applicant Profile and Admission Results

Post by plus C » Fri Feb 25, 2022 5:09 pm

Undergrad Institution: US Public School,~50 on US news
Major(s): Physics; Computer Science
GPA in Major: ~3.95 (physics)
Overall GPA: 3.887
Length of Degree: 4 yrs
Position in Class: 5/40+
Type of Student: Domestic (permanent resident) white male

GRE Scores: lol

Research Experience:
One project (~19 months) in theoretical aspects of vacuum energy and the Casimir effect. Work resulted in a few talks, a thesis, and a first-author publication (was only on arXiv at the time of applications, was accepted for publication very recently)
One project (~6 months) with my differential geometry professor in mathematical aspects of general relativity

Awards/Honors/Recognitions:
Big undergraduate research award from my local section of APS for my work in vacuum energy
A few scholarships
Dean's honors list

Pertinent Activities or Jobs:
Have been working as a TA in an intro physics lab course since 2019

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help:

Special Bonus Points:
Good (I suppose) letters of recommendation. Two of the recommenders are somewhat known.
One grad class in GR (got an A)

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

Applying to Where:

University of Washington - Physics - Hep-th/QI - Accepted 2/3 via email! will attend!
University of Wisconsin-Madison - Physics - Hep-th/QI - Rejected 1/28 via email
University of Minnesota - Physics - Hep-th/QI - Rejected 2/3 via email
Penn State - Physics - Hep-th/QI - withdrew
University of Maryland - Physics - Hep-th/QI - Rejected 3/28 via email
University of Texas-Austin - Physics - Numerical Relativity - Rejected 3/22 via email
SUNY Stony Brook - Physics - Hep-th - Rejected via email, but offered unfunded M.A (declined)
CU Boulder - Physics - Hep-th - Rejected via email
Ohio State - Physics - Hep-th/QI - waitlisted via email 3/14 (declined)
UIUC - Physics - Hep-th/QI - Rejected via email
NYU - Physics - Hep-th - Rejected 3/13 via email
Texas A&M - Physics - Hep-th
Virginia Tech - Physics - Hep-th - Rejected 2/11 via email
UMass Amherst - Physics - Hep-th - offered interview for CMT instead (declined)
University of Oregon - Physics - Hep-th - Accepted 2/16 via email (declined)
Oregon State University - Physics - Hep-th - Accepted 2/3 via email (declined)
Syracuse University - Physics - Hep-th
University of New Hanpshire - Physics - Hep-th - withdrew
Last edited by plus C on Mon Mar 28, 2022 4:31 pm, edited 14 times in total.

woof
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Feb 25, 2022 8:34 pm

Re: 2022 Applicant Profile and Admission Results

Post by woof » Fri Feb 25, 2022 9:02 pm

Undergrad Institution: Big state school, no particular reputation in physics
Major(s): Physics
Minor(s): Linguistics, math
GPA in Major: 3.76
Overall GPA: 4.00
Length of Degree: 4 years
Position in Class: Not given, but probably near top
Type of Student: Domestic white trans female

Research Experience:
- 2.5 years HEP-ex project at home institution, nth author publication, talk at national conference
- REU in HEP-ex, poster at national conference
- REU in nuclear-ex, 3rd author publication, poster at international conference

Awards/Honors/Recognitions:
- Goldwater Scholarship
- Dean's List
- Departmental First-Year Award

Pertinent Activities or Jobs:
- TA for 6 semesters

Special Bonus Points:
- 1 grad class (got a B, might have hurt me)
- LGBTQ woman

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter:
- I graduated two years ago and have been working in industry since then

Applying to Where:
All for HEP-ex
- Caltech - Rejected Feb 9 via email
- Columbia - Waitlisted March 15 via email to check portal - Rejected April 15 via email to check portal
- MIT - Rejected Feb 8 via email
- Princeton - Rejected Feb 11 via email to check portal
- Stanford - Rejected Feb 25 via email
- University of Washington - Rejected March 29 via email
- Yale - Rejected Feb 9 via email to check portal

I really thought I was going to be more competitive than this. I know they're all reaches, but I haven't even been invited to interview with any of them. It seems like the competition has increased a lot in the two years since I've graduated, and I just can't make the mark anymore. Oh well---life goes on. I don't plan on reapplying.
Last edited by woof on Mon Apr 18, 2022 10:02 am, edited 2 times in total.

kroo
Posts: 1
Joined: Sat Feb 26, 2022 4:09 am

Re: 2022 Applicant Profile and Admission Results

Post by kroo » Sat Feb 26, 2022 4:28 am

Undergrad Institution: Top Canadian institution
Major(s): Engineering Physics
Minor(s): N/A
GPA in Major: 3.96
Overall GPA: 3.96
Length of Degree: 4 years
Position in Class: Likely near top
Type of Student: International South Asian male (Canadian-born)

Research Experience: 28 months of research experience in AMO experiment, 4 months in HEP experiment. No publications.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Several research fellowships & academic awards at the institutional level

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Some engineering design team experience, private tutor for math/physics

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help:

Special Bonus Points: Quantum optics & AMO grad courses. My major is not pure physics but the program has a good rep within physics at many other institutions

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: Contacted PIs only at Caltech & Columbia.

Applying to Where:
All for Physics PhD
UChicago - Accepted Jan. 28
Caltech - Accepted Jan. 31
CU Boulder - Accepted Feb. 1
MIT - Interview Jan. 18, Accepted Feb. 9
UofT - Accepted Feb. 15
Stanford - Accepted Feb. 25
UC Berkeley - Accepted Feb. 25
Columbia
Last edited by kroo on Sun Feb 27, 2022 3:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.

clapper20
Posts: 2
Joined: Thu Feb 17, 2022 2:55 pm

Re: 2022 Applicant Profile and Admission Results

Post by clapper20 » Sat Feb 26, 2022 8:41 am

clapper20 wrote:
Sat Feb 19, 2022 6:15 pm
Undergrad Institution: Russel Group university - UK
Major(s): Physics
Minor(s): n/a
GPA in Major: 4.0
Overall GPA: 4.0
Length of Degree: 3
Position in Class: no such thing in the UK
Type of Student: International black male

GRE Scores: NO GRE REQUIRED FOR THIS YEAR

TOEFL: English native


Research Experience: 2 years research experience in theoretical physics - 1 year undergrad research project in HEP-th and 1 year grad research project in HEP-th/Mathematical Physics. No publications. Presented at 1 conference, and did 2 project presentations at university.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Academic recognition/honor for obtaining highest mark in undergrad physics dissertation

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: 1 year TA/physics mentor at university, currently tutoring college students in maths/physics

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: obtained science award for a small physics project before 1st yr uni, obtained charity award for raising funds for a children's charity

Special Bonus Points: obtained a masters degree in physics with a 4.0 GPA from a top 10 university in the world, did relevant grad courses such as Quantum field theory, Quantum Computation and Communication, Achieved nearly all A's for my undergrad physics modules (only 2 A-), strong LOR's - 1 is from a pioneer in the field of quantum information/computing


I have no connections and I didn't contact any POI's from all the unis I applied to

Applying to Where:

Harvard - Quantum Science and Engineering - Hep-th/QIT - (02/22: Rejected via website)
Stanford - Physics - Hep-th/QIT- (02/25: Rejected via email)
Caltech - Physics - Hep-th/QIT - (02/10: Rejected via email)
Princeton - Physics - Hep-th/QIT - (02/11: Rejected via website)
Yale - Physics - Hep-th/QIT - (02/09: Rejected via website)
MIT - Physics - Hep-th/QIT - (02/08: Rejected via email)
Cornell - Physics - Hep-th/QIT - - Awaiting rejection
Brown - Physics - Hep-th/QIT - (02/08: Rejected via website)
Dartmouth - Physics - Hep-th/QIT - - Awaiting rejection
Columbia - Physics - Hep-th/QIT - - Awaiting rejection
UPenn - Physics - Hep-th/QIT - - Awaiting rejection
UChicago - Physics - Hep-th/QIT - (01/28: Rejected via website)
John Hopkins - Physics - Hep-th/QIT - - Awaiting rejection
Berkley - Physics - Hep-th/QIT - - Awaiting rejection
NYU - Physics - Hep-th/QIT - - Awaiting rejection
Michigan Ann Arbor - Physics - Hep-th/QIT - (02/04: Rejected via email)
Toronto - Physics - Hep-th/QIT - - Awaiting rejection

Going really bad so far :cry:

James117
Posts: 1
Joined: Sat Feb 26, 2022 9:52 pm

Re: 2022 Applicant Profile and Admission Results

Post by James117 » Sat Feb 26, 2022 10:59 pm

Undergrad Institution: Small SUNY school for undergrad, CUNY school for post-undergrad
Major(s): Electrical Engineering and Math (double degree) at SUNY, Physics at CUNY
Minor(s): Physics at SUNY
GPA in Major (Upper-level courses only): 3.6 in EE, 3.75 in Math, 3.8 in Physics
Overall GPA: 3.50
Length of Degree: 4 1/2 years
Type of Student: American

GRE Scores: n/a

Research Experience:
1 summer REU at major national lab. Topic was computational high energy physics

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: dean's list

Jobs:
Internship at RF engineering company. Systems Technician

Special Bonus Points:
Multiple 20+ credit semesters with High GPA. Basically triple majored. Dedicated year after graduating to take the rest of the upper-level physics courses I was missing. (My undergrad institution did not have a physics program)

Applying to Where: All HEP-th or ex and nuclear (PhD)
(sorted by USnews rank, lowest rank first)

UOhio-(02/09) Accepted with TA Assistantship will decline
UNM- (02/25) Interviewed, recommended by faculty (03/23) Accepted with TA Assistantship
CUNY- Awaiting Results
Syracuse- (01/20) Accepted with TA Assistantship and small fellowship
UMass Amherst- Awaiting Results
NYU- (03/07) Rejected via website
Carnegie Mellon- (02/15) Rejected via website
Rice- (02/26) Rejected via website
MSU- (02/28) Rejected via website
Rutgers- Awaiting Results
Stonybrook- (03/05) Rejected via website offered MA position with no funding. Declined
Last edited by James117 on Wed Mar 23, 2022 10:46 pm, edited 5 times in total.

phyzs
Posts: 1
Joined: Sun Feb 27, 2022 4:29 am

Re: 2022 Applicant Profile and Admission Results

Post by phyzs » Sun Feb 27, 2022 4:59 am

Undergrad Institution: Chinese Univ., project 985
Major(s): Physics
Minor(s): NA
GPA in Major: 3.94/ 94.62%
Overall GPA: 3.85/ 92.77%
Length of Degree: 4 yrs
Position in Class: Top
Type of Student: International male

GRE Scores: NA.

IELTS: 7.5 (R: 8, L: 8, S: 6.5, W: 6.5)

Research Experience: Undergrad research training- Condensed Matter Physics- 1yr
Undergrad thesis- Quantum Gravity

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: National academic award
1st class academic award - 3 times

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: TA for 2 undergrad courses

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: published conference paper

Special Bonus Points: taken 2 grad courses on Gravity

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

Applying to Where:
PhD (all in physics):
Wisconsin - Rejected Jan.29 via email
UChicago - Rejected Jan.29 via email to check in portal
Michigan - Rejected Feb.5 via email
mit - Rejected Feb.8 via email
prinston - Rejected Feb.12 via email to check in portal
harvard - Rejected Feb.19 via email to check in portal
berkeley - Rejected Mar.1 via email to check in portal
jhu - Rejected Mar.1 via email
ucsb - Rejected Mar.14 via email to check in portal
penn - Rejected Mar.16 via email to check in portal
Oxford - Theoretical Physics - Rejected Mar.17 via email
maryland

MSc:
Edinburgh - Theoretical Physics - Accepted Dec.2, 2021 (declined)
Imperial College - Quantum Fields and Fundamental Force - Accepted Dec.13, 2021 (declined)
ucl - Physics - Accepted Jan.29 (declined)
Cambridge - Physics - Interviewed Feb.17/ Under review by degree committee Mar.7/ Awaiting approval by PAO Mar.8/ Accepted Mar.16
Cambridge - Applied Mathematics - Under review by degree committee Mar.22/ Awaiting approval by PAO Mar.23/ Accepted Mar.25
Oxford - Mathematical and Theoretical Physics - Rejected Mar.11 via email
psi - Rejected Mar.16 via email
epfl - Physics - Rejected Mar.17 via email

Will keep updating.
Last edited by phyzs on Fri Mar 25, 2022 12:21 pm, edited 5 times in total.

uafifa13
Posts: 3
Joined: Fri Feb 11, 2022 5:53 pm

Re: 2022 Applicant Profile and Admission Results

Post by uafifa13 » Sun Feb 27, 2022 12:52 pm

Undergrad Institution: No.1 Public university in the U.S. Good reputation in Physics
Major(s): Physics
Minor(s):
GPA in Major: 3.4
Overall GPA: 3.3
Length of Degree: 3 yrs
Position in Class: Don't know, but probably avg
Type of student- International female (South Asian)

GRE Scores:
Verbal- 162
Quant- 170
AW- 4


TOEFL: (R: , L: , S: , W: ) - none


Research Experience: 2 years Neurophysics research (1.5 years after graduation)

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: 2 Dean's List

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: TA and designed a Research course under faculty advisor. Worked as a researcher in the same lab after graduation.

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: Graduated a year early and worked part time during school to support living expenses. Mentioned financial hardship in SoP. 1 summer REU.

Special Bonus Points: I definitely think the recommendation letters were very strong and I had only applied to schools after meeting with potential PIs (all of whom strongly encouraged me to apply)

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

Applying to Where:

UC Berkeley - Physics - Biophysics Feb. 25: (WILL ATTEND for Ph.D. Accepted via email + $41k/year TA+1.5K moving)
WILL ATTEND
Washington University St Louis- Physics - Biophysics (Feb. 1: ACCEPTED for Ph.D via email + $39k Chancellor's Fellowship )
USC - Physics- Biophysics (Feb. 1: ACCEPTED via email+ $34k Fellowship)
Indiana University, Bloomington- Physics - Biophysics-- WITHDRAWN
UCLA- EE - Optics-- WITHDRAWN
Last edited by uafifa13 on Thu Mar 10, 2022 3:40 am, edited 4 times in total.

massivegraviton
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue Mar 01, 2022 4:19 am

Re: 2022 Applicant Profile and Admission Results

Post by massivegraviton » Tue Mar 01, 2022 4:44 am

Undergrad Institution: top US public school in physics
Major(s): physics
Minor(s):
GPA in Major: idk probably 3.72
Overall GPA: 3.72
Length of Degree: 5 yrs
Position in Class: idk
Type of student- international student

GRE Scores: can't remember, doesn't matter


TOEFL: (R: , L: , S: , W: ) - none


Research Experience: 3 astro, 1 AMO, 1 hepth

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: 2 fellowships for summer research

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: TA'ed 11 classes and was a research mentor for the high school student in the AMO lab

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: director of the department's annual physics research symposium

Special Bonus Points: I believe one of my rec letters was very very strong. Prof called me and told me it was the strongest he wrote in recent years. I hope this makes up for my average GPA

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: took 10+ grad classes

Applying to Where (all physics and hepth + cmt):

WILL ATTEND Brandeis - invitation to open house and got a postcard for welcoming, how nice (Feb 11) Accepted via email (Mar 8 )

Harvard, MIT, Princeton, Stanford, Caltech - Rejected (one can dream)
Berkeley - Rejected via email
Cornell -Rejected via email
UIUC - accepted via email (Feb 4)
Stony Brook - accepted via portal (Feb 18)
CU Boulder - rejected via email (Mar 1) you know what? stop sending me those emails about your Instagrams blablabla
UMichigan - rejected via email (Feb 4)
UCLA - rejected via email
UCSD - accepted via email (Jan 16)
UC Davis - accepted via email
Brown - rejected via email
Chicago - rejected via email
Perimeter PSI master - deferred to regular round via email, said was top applicants (Jan 17)
Cambridge Part III - accepted via email (PI guaranteed PhD position after part iii)
Oxford master - accepted via email (Mar 11)
Oxford PhD - rejected via email
McGill, UBC, Waterloo master programs - not interested anymore, will withdraw
Last edited by massivegraviton on Wed Mar 30, 2022 2:05 am, edited 3 times in total.

IvyReject
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Mar 03, 2022 11:52 pm

Re: 2022 Applicant Profile and Admission Results

Post by IvyReject » Fri Mar 04, 2022 12:37 am

Undergrad Institution: US, Big State School not particularly known for physics
Major(s): Physics, Mathematics
Minor(s): Linguistics, Chinese
GPA in Major: 4.00
Overall GPA: 4.00
Length of Degree: 4 Years
Position in Class: Top
Type of Student: Domestic White Male

GRE Scores: N/A - The only reason I applied was because the GRE wasn't required.
TOEFL Scores: N/A

Research Experience: 12 months CME research on 2D material synthesis and characterization at home institution.
1 Presentation at home institution.
1 n-th author publication.
1 n-th author manuscript submitted at the time of applying.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions:
Department Scholarships
Sigma Pi Sigma Honors Society
Phi Beta Kappa Honors Society
Dean's List

Pertinent Activities or Jobs:
Physics Department Ambassador
Honors College Mentor

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help:
Almost 2 years of computational linguistics research. I tied it into my Personal Statement fairly well.

Special Bonus Points:

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter:
My advisor knew a couple of the groups I was looking at. I made an effort to reach out to many of my schools before applying and even got 3 meetings before applying. Named specific people in my Personal Statement for each school. Stated that I applied for the NSF GRFP.

Applying to Where:
All CME besides NUS (Materials Science and Engineering)
All schools notified me by email first with the exception of OSU, which updated my portal.
GF : Guaranteed Funding
Reach:
Princeton - Submitted 12/8 | Rejected 2/11
Cornell - Submitted 12/9 | Accepted 12/11 | minimum 29k TA Academic Year, 2nd year 33k Fellowship | GF 6 years
Harvard - Submitted 12/10 | Rejected 2/18
Northwestern - Submitted 12/29 | Interview 2/2 | Accepted 2/8 | 35k 1st year Fellowship | Will Attend
UIUC - Submitted 12/31 | Rejected 3/3
UMich - Submitted 12/11 | Interview 2/9 | Waitlisted 2/18 | Accepted 4/4 | GF 5 years
CMU - Submitted 12/9 | Accepted 2/3 | 23k TA Academic Year

Target:
Penn State - Submitted 12/27 | Accepted 2/15 | 23k TA 1st Academic year + 2k Fellowship + 4k 1st summer | GF 5 years
OSU - Submitted 12/9 | Accepted via portal 1/20 | 36k Fellowship for 1st, 2nd, and last year, 28k TA/ 29K RA stipend other years + 3k Travel Fund
Iowa State - Submitted 12/21 | Accepted 2/16 | 19k TA Academic Year + 10k Fellowship

Safety:
NUS - Submitted 11/15 | Application Withdrawn
UB - Submitted 12/21 | Accepted 2/14 | 20k TA first year
UNL - Submitted 12/30 | Official Acceptance 1/6 | Informal Interview 1/17 | 21k TA Academic Year + 4k TA Summer = 25k First Year
UT Knox - Submitted 12/29 | Informal Interview 1/18 | Formal Interview 1/20 | Accepted 1/24 | 24k TA 2 years + 16k Fellowship

NSF GRFP: Awarded 4/4

I didn't expect to do this well. I think what distinguished me was my research (physics and linguistics). I talked about what my projects covered, and I mentioned in each Personal Statement how I could specifically contribute to 2-3 professors in each department. Don't compare yourself to the people on this forum. Try to make yourself stand out in your Personal Statement and nail the interview by being aware of the subfield.
Last edited by IvyReject on Sat Apr 16, 2022 12:54 pm, edited 5 times in total.

hohmygoodniss
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Mar 04, 2022 9:50 pm

Re: 2022 Applicant Profile and Admission Results

Post by hohmygoodniss » Fri Mar 04, 2022 11:41 pm

Undergrad Institution: Private Top 10 university, several very prominent physics faculty
Major(s): Physics
GPA in Major: 3.98
Overall GPA: 3.98
Length of Degree: 4 years
Position in Class: Probably near the top, but I honestly don't know for sure.
Type of Student: Domestic, male, multiracial, queer

GRE Scores: 166Q/159V/5.0AW


TOEFL: N/A


Research Experience: 2.5 years at my university doing machine learning research in complex systems. Summer doing medical physics research in machine learning. No publications. One abstract in review (first author). Thesis and paper being written currently.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Sigma Pi Sigma Honors Society, AAPM fellow, Dean's List, university-level research grants

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Math and physics tutor, president of cancer outreach club and treasurer of biodiversity club at university

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: Not that I can think of that are too out of the ordinary...

Special Bonus Points: One recommender is renowned for medical physics research and known by almost everyone in the field, another recommender is renowned in pure physics. Minority status and queer, but that likely wasn't a deciding factor. I was already involved with AAPM as an undergraduate so that probably helped a lot. During undergrad, I also took biology, chem+ochem, electronics, and a couple medical imaging courses (physics of medical imaging, MRI) to diversify my transcript, which I'm sure helped.

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: Mentioned faculty I was interested in in all of my SOPs. I believe I had strong recommendation letters as well. Contacted PIs at UCLA, Duke, UChicago, UMN, and UW Madison both before and after submitting my applications.

Applying to Where:

  • University of California, Los Angeles - Physics and Biology in Medicine Ph.D. — Submitted Dec. 1 | Interview Feb. 23-24 | Accepted Mar. 4 --- WILL ATTEND!!!
    • Accepted via email and Zoom call, $37,500 stipend, guaranteed funding for 5 years. Loved basically everything about the program after my in-person visit
  • University of Chicago - Medical Physics Ph.D. — Submitted Dec. 1 | Interview Feb. 16 | Accepted Feb. 17
    • Accepted via email, $35,700 stipend (TAship), guaranteed funding for 5 years
  • University of Minnesota - Medical Physics Ph.D. — Submitted Jan. 7 | Accepted Feb. 18
    • Accepted via email, declined the offer. There is no guaranteed funding for anyone (unless your PI can fund you), which is not the best
  • University of Wisconsin-Madison - Medical Physics Ph.D. — Submitted Dec. 1 | Interview Jan. 28 | Accepted Feb. 7
    • Accepted via email, $28,000 stipend first two years, $31,000 stipend for dissertator status, guaranteed funding for 5 years
  • Duke University - Medical Physics Ph.D. — Submitted Dec. 1 | Waitlisted Jan. 26 | Rejected Mar. 8
    • Invited to interview for their M.S. but oh boy that tuition and their attitude… Got rejected because I didn’t want to interview for the M.S.
  • McGill University - Medical Radiation Physics M.Sc. — Submitted Jan. 15 | Waitlisted Jan. 26
    • Waitlisted via email, declined the waitlist offer
  • University of British Columbia Okanagan - Medical Physics M.Sc. — Submitted Dec. 31 | Accepted Jan. 26
    • Accepted via email, declined the offer
  • University of Pennsylvania - Medical Physics M.S. — Submitted Jan. 15 | Interview Invite Feb. 9
    • Invited via email, declined the invitation
  • Vanderbilt University - Medical Physics M.S. — Submitted Dec. 15 | Interview Invite Jan. 14
    • Invited via email, declined the invitation
  • Washington University in St. Louis - Medical Physics M.S. — Submitted Feb. 1 | Interview Invite Feb. 17
    • Invited via email, declined the invitation
Very pleasantly surprised with my results. I honestly think that I got so many of the Ph.D. offers I applied for because of my interview/communication skills. For any future students preparing applications for medical physics: do NOT sleep on the interviews. Applications are your way to make the program fall in love with you as a researcher, whereas interviews are your way to make the program fall in love with you as a person. Medical physics is a highly interdisciplinary subject (due to it being a medical subfield), so make sure you're presenting yourself as a good teammate and medical collaborator. I also had knowledge on the clinical applications of medical physics technology beforehand, which seemed to help my case.
Last edited by hohmygoodniss on Thu Mar 24, 2022 5:43 pm, edited 4 times in total.

captaingrammarpants
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Mar 10, 2022 2:14 am

Re: 2022 Applicant Profile and Admission Results

Post by captaingrammarpants » Thu Mar 10, 2022 2:33 am

Undergrad Institution: Public ivy, R1 with good physics and astronomy rep
Major(s):Physics and Astronomy
Minor(s): NA
GPA in Major: 3.67
Overall GPA: 2.77 (Some things went a bit sideways for a moment there)
Length of Degree: 4
Position in Class: In major, near top, overall waaay at the bottom
Type of Student: Domestic white female (jesus that sounds like a cat breed)

GRE Scores: nope

Research Experience: My saving grace- 4 years full time research scientist post bach, 8 publications, one first author. Two posters, 3 conference talks

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Nope

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Research Scientist/engineer for 4 years at an R1 institute doing instrumentation. Had a previous unrelated career, so a great deal of work experience.

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: Weird but varied employment background

Special Bonus Points: Very strong letters of rec, I was the head of an important portion of the instrumentation build for a legacy survey telescope, fairly well known in my subfield now.

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

Applying to Where: All for Astronomy PhD, instrumentation specialty

Univ of Washington- waitlisted 2/1- top choice
CU Boulder APS- Accepted 2/11 via email, TA/RA $38k, one time 2k scholarship
Berkeley- rejected via email 2/15
Columbia- rejected via email 2/18
UC San Diego- Waitlisted 2/28
Ohio State University- accepted 3/9 via email, waiting on funding offer
University of Virginia- no word

For all you folks who get bummed out about your GPA while you're looking over these sites, have hope.

JustAnotherPhysicist
Posts: 1
Joined: Sun Jan 30, 2022 5:24 am

Re: 2022 Applicant Profile and Admission Results

Post by JustAnotherPhysicist » Tue Mar 15, 2022 5:07 pm

Undergrad Institution: Ivy with a top 7 physics ranking
Major(s):Physics and Mathematics
Minor(s): NA
Overall GPA: 3.96 for programs not asking for fall grades, 3.92 for programs asking for Fall Grades (Circuits was rough lol)
Length of Degree: 4
Position in Class: Near top but not number 1
Type of Student: Domestic white male


Research Experience: 1.5 years in a group studying the physics of Computation. Goal of project was to build a neural network out of lasers. Work was mostly computational, involved a lot of machine learning in physics. Close to 1 year in an experimental solid state lab studying spintronics. Lots of measurements and fabrication of nanoscale devices, followed by data analysis on my laptop. No papers published, but could have one for the spintronics lab pretty soon.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Dean's List Every Semester (lol)

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help:

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: Two letter Writers were P.I.s. One P.I. gave me an A+ during one of my semesters of research, As the other semesters, which is very good. Other P.I. is very well known in his field and the researcher with the highest H-index at the university. Also received a prize this year from APS. For places that only took 3 letters, last letter was from a very-well known General-Relativist with connections at Caltech, who also got a prize this year, This letter was weaker probably- only knew this Professor for about 80 percent of a semester of GR before asking him for a letter, but did very well on the heavily weighted midterm (72 median, I got a 97), and went to OH. For places that took 4 letters, I also had a letter from a topologist I took topology with.

Big Weakness is lack of HEP-th research. BUT I was told by Professors at my Uni who do admissions (and who work in string theory and phen.) that this shoudn't be that big of a deal. Big strength is math background- took lots of advanced undergrad math classes beyond what I needed to get a basic double major, including matrix groups and topology. Many of these classes were taught at a grad level of difficulty, which is why I wanted the fourth letter to attest to that . 4.0 math major GPA.

Elective Physics Classes: GR, Particle Physics, Advanced Quantum Mechanics. Taking PP now, As in the other two.

Good SOP. Spent a lot of time on it, had multiple Professors look it over, all of them liked it.

Applying to Where: All for some variation of HEP-th. Tired to make my profiles robust, expressed interest in string theory, phenomenology, gravity, depending on the place (some places expressed interest in all three). Expressed interest in using machine learning to do physics for the UW application
and a little bit of such interest for the MIT application

Boulder- Accepted, 3k signing bonus, 24.5k TA, 36-38k expected RA+TA
Berkeley- Declined
MIT- Declined
UCSB- Declined
Princeton- Declined
UW-Madison- Declined
Chicago- Declined
Caltech- Declined
Michigan- Declined
UPenn- Declined
Davis- Declined
Penn State
Perimeter (Masters)


Clearly applying HEO-th was a mistake. Posting this so other people don't make the same mistake I did. I guess my lack of HEP-th research really did matter. People with similar or worse profiles who applied from my school got into better places because they picked different subfields. Idc if you're coming from Harvard or Caltech, unless you have a perfect profile, published work, HEP-th research experience... DO NOT APPLY FOR HEP-TH!!!! This will be my greatest regret in life for a long time, maybe ever.

Also in hindsight: I really do think my profile was good, but looking at some of the other profiles on here... yea I'm not that surprised. Why would anyone chose someone with my profile if they can pick someone with an identical profile AND Hep-th research? Just can't believe I had my head in the sand for so long that I didn't realize this *before* applying

Was most surprised my UW application getting rejected, but maybe they're very competitive for machine learning applications in physics ? Also I think might have incorrectly referenced someone's research in this SOP. Davis accepted very few people from what I heard and has an incredible HEP-th group so not that surprising. The rest are all places which I think are universally seen as top top places for physics and HEP-th so can't be that bad I guess. Still, I'm not feeling great, but good to have at least one place I guess...wish it was in a city tho....

Also: This year really was harder than most years IMO, even tho most years are hard. Seems like funding was scarer than usual, more people applied, and the profiles were even better than usual. Based on GradCafe and this website, there were many people with perfect GPAs, published HEP-th researcher, etc, who still got rejected from everywhere (many of them were international students, near impossible for international students in HEP-th without connections at a top place this year from what I can tell...)

PobaFett
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Apr 19, 2021 3:00 am

Re: 2022 Applicant Profile and Admission Results

Post by PobaFett » Thu Mar 17, 2022 11:59 am

Undergrad Institution: Top institute in India - great physics reputation
Major(s): Physics
Minor(s): -
GPA in Major: 9.44/10
Overall GPA: 9.19/10
Length of Degree: 5 years BS-MS
Position in Class: ~ Top 3 but class size is very small
Type of Student: International male

GRE Scores:
V:158
Q:166
A: 4.0

TOEFL: (R: 29, L: 30, S: 28, W: 23)

Research Experience: ~ 2.5 years of research experience in gravitational-wave physics, specifically in waveform modelling. One at my home institution and another summer intern with a foreign uni. 1 publication in preparation. Several conference talks and posters.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions:
1 National scholarship given to science majors and selected for one international summer research scholarship.

Pertinent Activities or Jobs:
Very active in outreach headed the physics and astronomy club in the institute. Served as TA for two semesters for graduate courses. Gave some talks and conducted some workshops.

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help:
Took a lot of grad courses. Our program is tailor-made for undergrads to take up advanced classes in senior years.

Special Bonus Points:
An undergrad member of LIGO currently (not sure if it really helped)

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

Applying to Where:
(Sorted by application due date)

Caltech - Physics - Theoretical Astrophysics and Relativity ( Feb 10 REJECTED via generic email)
MIT - Physics - Gravitational Waves and Relativity (Feb. 8 REJECTED via generic email)
Cornell - Astro - Theoretical Astrophysics and Relativity (March 8 REJECTED upon inquiry)
JHU - Physics - Gravitational Waves (March 2 REJECTED via generic email)
UF - Physics - Theoretical Astrophysics and Gravitational Waves (Jan 26 ACCEPTED with 25k TA pa + 3k Graduate Fellowship (update from March 17)) Will Attend!
UW-Milwaukee - Gravitational Waves (Feb. 25 ACCEPTED via email with 21.5k TA pa + 3k for summer) Declined
UIUC - Physics - Relativity and GWs (March 18 REJECTED via email)
Penn State - Physics - Gravity and GWs (April 8 REJECTED via email)
RIT - Physics - Relativity (Will withdraw)
Montana State - Physics - Gravity (Will withdraw)
U Rhode Island - Physics - Gravity and GWs (Feb 12 ACCEPTED via email, no funding info available yet) Declined
UMass Dartmouth - EAS - Gravity and GWs (March 4 ACCEPTED via the portal, 20k pa + 5k summer ) Declined

Comments

Rejections from my top choices like MIT, Caltech and Cornell stung me a lot but I'm happy how it has turned out so far. The offers I've gotten so far are from good places for Astrophysics/GWs, and I match very well with multiple PIs.

Update 18/3: Got rejected by UIUC, which I expected. I don't have hopes on Penn State either, but I'll wait a bit before I make my decision.
Update 5/4: I have accepted my UF offer. Will decline others.
Last edited by PobaFett on Sat Apr 09, 2022 5:25 am, edited 2 times in total.

fingerscrossed
Posts: 2
Joined: Thu Dec 02, 2021 4:37 pm

Re: 2022 Applicant Profile and Admission Results

Post by fingerscrossed » Fri Mar 18, 2022 12:08 pm

ScienceNerd5 wrote:
Thu Feb 24, 2022 2:30 am
fingerscrossed wrote:
Thu Dec 02, 2021 4:58 pm
Undergrad Institution: Big State School, Excellent Reputation in Physics
Major(s): Engineering Physics w/ concentration in Professional Physics
Minor(s): Econometrics
GPA in Major: 3.84
Overall GPA: 3.86
Length of Degree: 4 years
Position in Class: roughly 75th percentile
Type of Student: Domestic White Male

GRE Scores: n/a


TOEFL: n/a


Research Experience:
HEP-ex Detector R&D, Monte Carlo Sims, Data Analysis (2 years, potential pub in spring, presented results to collaboration on many occasions)
1 summer at a national lab doing accelerator physics simulations, poster session at end, internal publication at lab
Semester of Independent Study for Quantum Class

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Deans List, Random award for scoring highly in national Latin exam

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: 2 semesters TAing, Physics and Math tutoring, VP in college ambassador RSO

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: nah

Special Bonus Points: 1 grad class this semester, one next as well, strong rec letters, 1 from well connected prof

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

Applying to Where:

UIUC - Physics - HEP (Feb. 2: ACCEPTED for Ph.D via email + $25k TA)

Purdue - Physics - HEP (Feb. 17: ACCEPTED for Ph.D via email+ $20.9k TA + $5k Scholarship)
Michigan - Physics - HEP (Feb. 8: Rejected via portal)
Wisconsin - Physics - HEP (Jan. 28: ACCEPTED for Ph.D via email + Pending TA/RA + $1k Scholarship)
UT Austin - Physics - HEP
IU - Physics - HEP (Feb. 1: ACCEPTED for Ph.D via email + $18.3k TA/RA + 5k Scholarship)
UC Boulder - Physics - HEP (Jan. 28: ACCEPTED for Ph.D via portal + $24.5k TA/RA + $3k Scholarship)
Maryland - Physics - HEP
Carnegie Melon - Physics - HEP (Feb. 8: Waitlisted for Ph.D via portal)
UChicago - Physics - HEP/Accelerator (Jan. 28: Rejected via portal)
MSU - Physics - Nuclear/Accelerator (Jan. 27: ACCEPTED for Ph.D via email + $29.4k TA)
Northwestern - Physics - HEP/Accelerator
Texas A&M - Physics - HEP/Accelerator
Stony Brook - Physics - HEP/Accelerator (Feb. 18: ACCEPTED for Ph.D via portal + $22.5k TA + $1.5k Fellowship)





Hey, what is MSU? Montana or Michigan?
Michigan State University

anotherlion
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue Feb 01, 2022 11:46 pm

Re: 2022 Applicant Profile and Admission Results

Post by anotherlion » Sat May 28, 2022 11:33 am

Undergrad Institution: Ivy League
Major(s): Physics and Mathematics
GPA in Major: 3.98/4.00
Overall GPA: 3.97/4.00
Length of Degree: 4
Position in Class: Not reported
Type of Student: Domestic Asian male

GRE Scores:
pGRE: 940 (only the 88th percentile; the score distribution is, IMO, highly skewed this year. I think this is because only people who think they would do well would take the pGRE)

Research Experience:
-2 years at home institution on computational condensed matter: a few n-th author papers because I developed a Python package that is used quite frequently in the lab.
-1 year in CMT on superconductivity: presented at APS March meeting; 1st author PRB paper.
-Another 1 summer in CMT: no paper, turns out my project idea is less promising than I originally thought lol.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions:
-Goldwater
-Dean’s Lists

Pertinent Activities or Jobs:
-TA for intermediate-level physics courses for 4 semesters
-Volunteered at an afterschool reading program for preschoolers for 1 year
-worked as a research mentor for a high school summer research program for 2 summers

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: Some high school research awards.

Special Bonus Points:
-7 graduate classes, including quantum field theory, condensed matter, and statistical mechanics.
-One of my letter writers has connections at Harvard and MIT.

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter:
I am a first-generational college student.

Applying to Where: (All CMT in Physics Department below)

MIT - Notified about Interview on 1/17. Interview on 1/19. Accepted on 2/7. $3.57k/month -> 32.1k per 9 month, or 42.8k per 12 months. $1k for moving cost. Declined
Harvard - Notified about interview on 1/26 (less than 24 hour notice). Interview on 1/27. Unofficially accepted via email on 2/9. Officially accepted on 2/10. 10-month stipend: year 1 35.4k (no TA responsibility), year 2 36.5k, years after $37.6k. 1k for moving cost. Will attend!!!
Princeton - Rejected on 2/11.
Caltech - No interview. Unofficially accepted via email on 1/31. $38.5k total stipend for 1st year (TA for winter and spring quarter). Officially accepted on 2/1. Declined
Berkeley - No interview. Accepted on 2/28. 41k per 12 months. Pay increase of 1.3k per year after candidacy. Declined
UCSB - Rejected on 4/12.
Cornell - No interview. Accepted on 2/14. Full financial support for 6 years. TA 1st year. 9-month stipend: year 1 $31k, year 2 (supported by 1-year Graduate fellowship) $33k, years after $29-30k. Declined
UChicago - No interview. Accepted on 1/28. TA stipend $27.7k. Summer RA $9.2k. 1-time McCormick fund of $3k; 1-time relocation stipend of $1k. Declined
Yale - Rejected on 2/9.
CU Boulder - No interview. Accepted on 1/12. TA/RA $36k-38k per year. One-time $3k fellowship. Declined
UPenn - Rejected on 3/15.
Columbia - Notified about interview on 1/28. Interview on 2/5. Accepted on 2/9. Received 10k 1-time grant. $45.3k per year. Declined
Stanford - Rejected on 2/25.
UCSD - Interviewed on 12/29. Unofficially accepted via email on 1/29. Declined
UIUC - Still haven't received any reply lol
Rice - Accepted on 2/11. $34k per year. Declined

Churchill scholarship - Rejected on 12/21.
Gates Cambridge scholarship - Rejected on 2/18.
Cambridge Master Part III program - Accepted on 2/7.
NSF GRFP - Accepted on 4/4.
Soros fellowship - Rejected on 1/12.
Hertz fellowship - Notified about 1st round interview on 11/19. Interview on 1/7 (rescheduled from 12/11). Rejected on 1/21.

Thoughts on the application process:
There are a lot of great advice/tips on this year's and previous year's application profile threads. The one caveat I want to add is this: the competitiveness of your application is highly dependent on the subfield of physics you are applying and whether it is theory/experiment. The same goes for whether there is an interview, whether contacting PI beforehand is helpful, etc. For condensed matter theory, I don’t think reaching out to professors before submitting applications is that important. In my case, I sent emails to a lot of prospective PI asking whether they will take students, and only 1 responded. I believe reaching out to professors is much more important for people who want to do experiments.

Another tip is that fellowship applications are very good practice for improving your personal statement, since they are usually due 2 months before grad apps.

Finally, I am beyond grateful for the outcome, and I hope that my profile can be informative to future applicants! Best of luck!!! :D

guga98
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Dec 31, 2020 7:14 pm

Re: 2022 Applicant Profile and Admission Results

Post by guga98 » Mon Aug 01, 2022 9:09 pm

Undergrad Institution: (Small South American country, best in the country but virtually unknown
Major(s): physics
Minor(s):
GPA in Major:76/100 (My undergrad institution is not really designed to apply for grad schools, I've never know anyone who has more than 80)
Overall GPA:76/100
Length of Degree: 4 years
Position in Class: Best of my generation
Type of Student: International Latino male

GRE Scores: NO GRE REQUIRED FOR THIS YEAR (WE ALL KNOW WHAT HAPPENED). However, if you have the scores, you might just post them here.


TOEFL: (R: 30, L:29 , S:25 , W:24 )


Research Experience: 2 years working on complex networks in my university.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Best final project of the year, best grade in multiple classes, good student overall.

Pertinent Activities or Jobs:
Undergrad TA for two years
Undergrad RA for 2 years
1 poster in an international congress.
Winner of multiple internal competitions


Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help:
Really good recommendation letters, but the professors were not celebrities or anything
I had two papers under revision at the time of the applications, both in complex networks and nonlinear dynamic

I believe my essay was strong, I worked a lot in tayloring for each university.

I tried this year knowing it was a long shot , I was really open to wait for a year until my papers were already published

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter:
I send my
Applying to Where:

SUPER MEGA REACH
MIT - PHYSICS - complex networks
CORNELL - PHYSICS - Complex networks
URBANA CHAMPAIGN - physics - complex networks
CU Boulder - physics - AMO

SUPER REACH
ARIZONA- PHYSICS - AMO
RICE UNIVERSITY - APPLIED PHYSICS - NONLINEAR DYNAMICS will attend APP Accepted first by mail them by the portal, really good collage happy to be in Houston
RICE UNIVERSITY - PHYSICS - NONLINEAR DYNAMICS
UPENN - PHYSICS - COMPLEX NETWORKS

Final words: The process is hard mentally, like really hard. Happy to get accepted in a top tier program in applied physics. I will suggest you to only apply to places that you would enjoy getting accepted. That doesn't mean only apply to ivy leagues, but places where you can picture yourself. For international students I'll say don't be afraid to send an email to a professor that you follow, as I said previously the fact that I get an acceptance letter at the first try was really a surprise. I believe my essay was detrimental



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