2024 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.

Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Mar 27, 2023 4:35 pm

Re: 2024 Applicant Profile and Admission Results

Post by aes » Sat Feb 10, 2024 1:31 am

Undergrad Institution: Small LAC
Major(s): Physics
GPA in Major: 3.21
Overall GPA: 3.17
Length of Degree: 4
Position in Class: Probably top 1/3
Type of Student: American Male (White/Asian)

Physics GRE: 870 (76th Percentile)

Research Experience: A lot

Applying to Where:
University of Oregon | Physics Ph.D. | hep-ex (ATLAS): Feb. 06: ACCEPTED for Ph.D via email
University of Tokyo | Physics M.S. + Ph.D. (GSGC) | hep-ex (Belle II): Jan. 26: Interview w/ Kavli IPMU Faculty
University of Washington | Physics Ph.D. | hep-ex (ATLAS):

Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Feb 12, 2024 11:45 pm

Re: 2024 Applicant Profile and Admission Results

Post by BeriPhysics » Tue Feb 13, 2024 12:13 am

Undergrad Institution: One of the top in Asia
Major(s): Physics, Data Analytics
GPA in Major:
Overall GPA: 4.84/5.00
Length of Degree: 4
Position in Class: Top 1 or 2
Type of Student: International Asian Male

GRE Scores: Physics - 960 (92%)
TOEFL: Didn't need

Research Experience: 1 year Theoretical/numerical relativity (1st Author paper), 1 year Mathematical Physics on foundations of QM, 1 year in quantum computing/quantum machine learning (1 presentation at national conference, and 1, maybe 2 manuscripts in preparation), 1 month paid postbac RA on Shor's algorithm by time of application.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Some Dean's Lists, some awards for top 2 GPA in my year, 1 award for topping an Experimental Physics class

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: 1 year TA for an introductory programming course, liased with a professor to set up a class on string theory at my uni, some volunteering for outreach events in physics.

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help:

Special Bonus Points: 1 grad class on QFT and path-integral, in addition to the class on string theory that we set up! Highlighted my proficiency with algorithms, machine learning and quantum computing in my SOP.

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

Applying to Where: (theory/phenomenology at the intersection of Quantum Info and Quantum Gravity, also expressed interest in adjacent experimental groups like atom interferometry for precision tests of gravity and many-body quantum dynamics)

CU Boulder
John Hopkins
Harvard - Rejected via email to check portal (21/2)
MIT - Rejected via email to check portal (15/2)
Stanford - Rejected via email to check portal (2/2)
UChicago - Rejected via email to check portal (23/1)
UW-Madison - Accepted (26/1), funding options: (50% 9-month TA ($29175), 50% 9-month RA ($29175), 50% 12-month RA ($38900) + one-time $10k Incoming Student Scholarship)
PSI (Perimeter's masters program)

And some in the UK:

UCL - Likely rejected from unofficial email from faculty (21/2)
Last edited by BeriPhysics on Thu Feb 22, 2024 1:07 am, edited 3 times in total.

Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Jan 29, 2024 6:43 pm

Re: 2024 Applicant Profile and Admission Results

Post by Stringyboi151 » Thu Feb 15, 2024 2:56 pm

Undergrad Institution: (US News Top 10)
Major(s): Mathematics
Minor(s): Physics
GPA in Major: Not tracked
Overall GPA: 3.93/4.00
Length of Degree: (Are you graduating after 3, 4, or 5 years?) 4
Position in Class: (No numbers needed, but are you top? near top? average? struggling?)Not Tracked
Type of Student: (Domestic/International, male/female, minority?) DWM, FGLI from Rural Area

GRE Scores: Didn't Take

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

Research Experience: (At your school or elsewhere? What field? How much time? Any publications (Mth author out of N?) or conference talks etc...)
8 months working on thesis in String Theory, 3 months Summer Research in Applied Math/Stats (REU at my home institution), 3 months working on QEC project, Small Astro project that did not pan out. No publications. Weak research, not sure how anyone can get good HEP-TH research as an ugrad. No lab experience seems to be a problem.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: (Within your school or outside?) Named Merit Scholar at my University (Full Ride, very selective), Dean's List a few times

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: (Such as tutor, TA, SPS officer etc...) Tons of tutoring and grading. Graded Advanced Math Classes and Graded/Tutored for lower level math classes every semester and summer for 3 years. Other service to math department things, ran a club that did math.

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help:

Special Bonus Points: (Such as connections, grad classes, famous recommenders, female or minority status etc...) 11 grad courses including String Theory, QFT, Advanced QFT, GR ,QEC, Representation Theory. All recommenders are pretty well known. My thesis advisor is a well-known String Theorist, one proved a well-known result in Diff Geo, other is a founder of QEC. All know me well except the geometer's rec might have been pretty generic.

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

Applying to Where:

School - Department - Research Interest Feb. 28: (WILL ATTEND for Ph.D. Accepted via website/email + $Xk Fellowship + $XXk/X month TA)
Yale-Math-Mathematical Physics/Rep Theory- Rejected Feb 1.
Northwestern-Math-Mathematical Physics/Mirror Symmetry-
UChicago--Physics-HEP-Th/Quantum Gravity- Rejected Jan. 23
MIT-Physics-HEP-Th/Quantum Gravity- Rejected Feb. 15
Princeton-Physics-HEP-Th/Quantum Gravity-
Harvard-Physics-HEP-Th/Quantum Gravity-
Stanford-Physics-HEP-Th/Quantum Gravity- Rejected Feb. 3
UCSB-Physics-HEP-Th/Quantum Gravity-
Caltech-Physics-HEP-Th/Quantum Gravity-
Michigan-Physics-HEP-Th/Quantum Gravity- Interview 2/1
Berkeley-Physics-Mathematical Physics/Quantum Gravity-
Columbia-Math-Mathematical Physics/Rep Theory-
UNC-Math-Mathematical Physics/Algebraic Geometry-
UCLA-Physics-HEP-Th/Quantum Gravity-
Stony Brook-Physics-HEP-Th/Quantum Gravity-
Rutgers-Physics-HEP-Th/Quantum Gravity-
Cornell-Physics-HEP-Th/Quantum Gravity-
Johns Hopkins-Physics-HEP-Th/Quantum Gravity

Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Feb 16, 2024 1:52 am

Re: 2024 Applicant Profile and Admission Results

Post by grumgrum69 » Fri Feb 16, 2024 2:11 am

LurkingInGravity wrote:
Thu Jan 25, 2024 1:06 pm
Undergrad Institution: research institution in India
Major(s): Physics
Overall GPA: 9.2/10
Length of Degree: 5yr BS-MS
Position in Class: near top?
Type of Student: international, male

GRE Scores: 156+170; 4 (only submitted at a couple of places)
PGRE: 950 (only submitted at a few places)

TOEFL: 118

Research Experience: 5 months research on black hole binaries - nth author paper on arXiv, 2 year research experience on dark matter halos at home institution - 1st author paper on arXiv under review + conference talk; 1 year research at Canadian institution on GWs - 1st author paper published in CQG + poster at LVK meeting; ongoing master's project in GWs at indian institution - conference poster

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Mitacs Globalink Research internship award, couple of govt scholarships, 1 academic excellence award

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Astronomy Club head

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: letter from advisor at home institution and from advisor in Canada should be strong, not sure about the third. applied with interests in GWs/Cosmology

Applying to Where:
University of Arizona, Astronomy & Astrophysics - Accepted via short zoom call (no interview) on 2/5!!!!
UW Milwaukee, Physics - Accepted via informal email 1/28: $14.5k/9mo TA + $5.8k additional support + $3k summer support
UPenn, Physics & Astronomy - interviewed 1/25
MIT, Physics - interviewed 1/17 rejected 2/15
Harvard, Astronomy - rejected 2/2
Yale, Physics - rejected 2/12
Stanford University, Physics - rejected 2/2
UChicago, Astronomy & Astrophysics - rejected 2/1
University of Toronto, Physics - rejected 2/13
Carnegie Mellon University, Physics unofficial rejection (asked a faculty) 2/13
UT Austin, Physics
Syracuse, Physics
Caltech, Physics
Penn State, Physics
Stony Brook, Physics & Astronomy
UC Berkeley, Physics
Johns Hopkins University, Astronomy & Astrophysics
Northwestern University, Astronomy
University of Toronto, Astronomy & Astrophysics
What did Carnegie faculty say?

Posts: 1
Joined: Sat Feb 17, 2024 3:10 pm

Re: 2024 Applicant Profile and Admission Results

Post by boooega » Sat Feb 17, 2024 3:32 pm

Undergrad Institution: top Indian engineering school
Major(s): Engineering Physics
Minor(s): EE
GPA in Major: 8.9/10
Type of Student: Indian male
TOEFL: 117/120

Research Experience:
2+ years of research at home institute on simulations and data analysis pipelines for a future high energy mission - resulted in a 3rd author pub and posters, summer internship at top US university on a hardware instrumentation project related to LIGO.

Pertinent Activities or Jobs:
Manager of the astronomy club at my uni, TA'd two Physics courses.

Special Bonus Points:
Advisors are part of several big collaborations and well connected.

Applying to Where: Astronomy/astrophysics programs, aiming for groups building X-ray/radio instruments

UC Berkeley: Rejected 2/8
UArizona: Rejected 2/21
UC SD: Interview 1/18, Waitlisted 2/8
UToronto: Likely rejected, admits seem to be out
Caltech: Interview 1/25, Rejected 2/14 :(
Stanford: Rejected 2/2
McGill MSc Physics:
Johns Hopkins: Likely rejected, admits seem to be out
Harvard: Rejected 2/2
UChicago: Rejected 2/1
Penn State: Rejected 2/16

UC SD seems like my only hope to get an admit in this cycle, and is one of my top choices too. If anyone with an admit there has better options, PLEASE help me out by turning it down ASAP!
Last edited by boooega on Thu Feb 22, 2024 11:29 am, edited 1 time in total.

Posts: 1
Joined: Sat Dec 16, 2023 1:28 pm

Re: 2024 Applicant Profile and Admission Results

Post by ultracoldatom » Sun Feb 18, 2024 12:26 am

Undergrad Institution: R1 state school, not huge reputation in physics
Major(s): Physics
Minor(s): Math
GPA in Major: 4.0
Overall GPA: 4.0
Length of Degree: 4 years
Position in Class: Top
Type of Student: Domestic male

GRE Scores:
PGRE: 880 (77%)


Research Experience:
- 1 semester experience in experimental high energy physics
- 3 years experience in experimental AMO
- 2 published papers (both 4th author)
- 1 submitted paper (1st author)
- 1 paper in prep (3rd author)
- 4 research poster presentations at regional/national conferences

- Goldwater Scholar
- A few university/department scholarships and two fellowships
- "Best in show" poster award at a math department symposium at my university

Pertinent Activities or Jobs:
- TA/grader for 1 semester
- Tutor for 2 years
- SPS Vice President for 2 years. Started a new upper-division tutoring program at my university.
- Volunteer for a physics outreach group for 4 years

Special Bonus Points:
- Taken ~5 physics grad classes; nothing too special.
- I think my recommenders wrote strong letters!

Applying to Where: all to physics - experimental AMO
MIT - interview request 1/25, interview 1/26, interview went very well. Accepted 2/15 via email to check portal!
Harvard - Accepted 2/8 via email! 6-year, 50k/12mo fellowship + 1k/yr stipend
Princeton - interview request 1/8, interview 1/11, interview went pretty well. Accepted 2/16 via email!
Caltech - interview request 1/12, interview 1/18, interview went ok. Accepted 2/20 via email to check portal! 47k/12mo fellowship/RA
University of Chicago - Accepted 1/22 via email to check portal! 42k/12mo TA/RA + 3k fellowship + 1k relocation stipend
CU Boulder - Accepted 1/30 via email to check portal! 26k/9mo TA/RA + ~13k summer TA/RA + 3k fellowship
UC Santa Barbara - Accepted 2/5 via email to check portal! 44k/12mo TA/RA + 1k stipend
UC Berkeley -
University of Maryland - Accepted 2/6 via email!
Northwestern - interview request 1/22, interview 1/23, interview went very well. Accepted 2/16 via email! 41-48k/12mo TA/RA
Colorado State University - Accepted 2/12 via email! 21k/9mo TA/RA

Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Feb 23, 2024 10:42 am

Re: 2024 Applicant Profile and Admission Results

Post by SwordofAzeroth » Fri Feb 23, 2024 10:43 pm

Undergrad Institution: Ivy, good physics reputation
Major(s): Physics
Minor(s): Math
GPA in Major: 3.8
Overall GPA: 3.9
Length of Degree: 4 years
Position in Class: no idea, probably around average
Type of Student: Female, Asian

GRE Scores: did not submit

TOEFL: n/a

Research Experience:
- REU for Neutrino Physics. Ended up publishing a paper but I did not include this when submitting my apps because it took a long time. I updated some programs once I knew it was published.
- 1 semester of experience in a Condensed Matter Lab
- 2 year of experience in Hep-Ex lab
- 1 semester of experience in experimental astrophysics lab
- 1 year of research related to outreach (1st author on paper out of 15, award at Conference)

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Dean's List

Pertinent Activities or Jobs:
- Grader for 1 semester
- TA for 1 semester
- Lab Assistant for 2 years

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help:

Special Bonus Points:

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter:
- Recruited athlete (this happened to come up in one of my interviews, it was a fun fact that made me stand out)

Applying to Where:
(mix of hep-th, hep-ph, and hep-ex)

Cal Tech
Stanford - Rejected
UChicago - Rejected
UC Berkeley
Cornell - Rejected
Harvard - Rejected
Princeton - Rejected
MIT - Rejected
Yale - Rejected
Johns Hopkins
Georgia Tech - Accepted with Presidential Fellowship
Duke - Waitlisted
Carnegie Mellon
McGill - interviewed
Cambridge - Rejected
UW Madison - Accepted
UM--Ann Arbor - Rejected
Northwestern - Accepted
Virginia Tech
Rice - Accepted

Posts: 1
Joined: Sun Feb 25, 2024 2:04 am

Re: 2024 Applicant Profile and Admission Results

Post by oneoverkbt » Sun Feb 25, 2024 3:14 am

Undergrad Institution: Large R1 university with a well reputed physics department but not extremely prestigious
Major(s): Physics, Mathematics
GPA in Major: 3.95
Overall GPA: 3.91
Length of Degree: 4 + 1 year post-bac same institution
Position in Class: Not tracked
Type of Student: Domestic, non-binary, white

GRE Scores: did not submit


Research Experience: Attended coding/research summer school before undergrad. Helped build tabletop experiments and analyze data for 1.5 years for axionlike dark matter searches, leading to 1 co-author publication. Moved to biophysics/condensed matter theory in 3rd year, leading to an APS March Meeting talk, an invited talk at a short-talk series, and two first-author publications in PRE and PRL.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Physics department award on graduation, APS March Meeting travel award, full-tuition scholarship for undergrad

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: TA for quantum mechanics for one year, tutor for data science department for one year, mentee then mentor in departmental mentorship program, member of my institution’s chapter of Society of Physics Students (pizza club).

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help:

Special Bonus Points: I have some connections with a few other physics departments who reached out to me about one of my projects/papers. 7 grad classes. Lots of math classes. Pretty close with my mentor/first letter writer who is pretty well known in the biophysics theory world.

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: I listed myself primarily as biophysics theory but I expressed interest into a whole bunch of condensed matter/soft matter/stat mech theory topics. I generally tried to come up with a big theme I wanted to get at in grad school and then argued how my current research is already heading in that direction and qualifies me to continue working on similar projects. My research uses a lot of tools from spin glass/disordered systems theory, so I tried to emphasize that I had a good understanding of these methods which are a little obscure but very versatile.

Applying to Where:

Everywhere is physics unless otherwise specified

University of Chicago — Accepted 1/22
UC Berkeley — Accepted 2/16
MIT — Interview 1/18 — Accepted 2/15
Harvard Physics — Interview† 1/15 — Rejected* 2/21
Harvard Applied Math — Interview† 1/15 — Accepted* 2/1
University of Pennsylvania — Interview† 2/13 — Accepted 2/19
Princeton — Interview 1/17 — Accepted 2/16
Stanford — Rejected 2/2
Yale — Interview† 1/28 — Accepted 2/12
Northeastern — Accepted 1/31
Brandeis — Accepted** 2/3
Columbia — no news yet…

Hertz Fellowship — First-round interview 11/21 (13% of ~860 applicants) — Finalist interview 1/19 (~45 candidates of ~860) — no news yet…
NSF GRFP — no news yet…

*I was told by prospective PI, who is cross-listed in Physics and Applied Math, that the admissions committees would only accept me to one department so they could give more offers. I wish I had made the decision about which department I might join and not had it made for me.
† These interviews felt a bit more like recruiting than a test.
** Brandeis said I was invited to an open house which “is the final interview stage of our admissions process” but it really seems like an acceptance and is more about them seeing who is interested enough to come to the open house.

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