2020 Applicant Profiles 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.

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csi2019
Posts: 2
Joined: Fri Sep 20, 2019 5:56 pm

2020 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Post by csi2019 » Fri Sep 20, 2019 6:07 pm

This is the most useful resource PhysicsGRE has to offer. If you have used this information in the past or are currently using it to help decide upon schools, I highly suggest you help out and post your own profile once you have applied to schools. Future members of this forum will find it very useful! Don't be shy!

Copy and paste the template below in your reply to keep the formatting.

Note from moderator: Profile threads are best when they only have profiles. Please avoid making other posts on this thread. If you wish to discuss profiles, it is helpful to have a separate "profile discussion thread", as was done in some past years. Thanks.

______________________________________________
Undergrad Institution: (School or type of school, such as big state, lib arts, ivy, technical, foreign (what country?)... Overall Reputation in Physics?)
Major(s):
Minor(s):
GPA in Major:
Overall GPA:
Length of Degree: (Are you graduating after 3, 4, or 5 years?)
Position in Class: (No numbers needed, but are you top? near top? average? struggling?)
Type of Student: (Domestic/International, male/female, minority?)

GRE Scores : (revised or old version?)
Q:
V:
W:
P:


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...)

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: (Within your school or outside?)

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: (Such as tutor, TA, SPS officer etc...)

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help:

Special Bonus Points: (Such as connections, grad classes, famous recommenders, female or minority status etc...)

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)
School - Department - Research Interest (Feb. 14: ACCEPTED for Ph.D via website/email + $Xk Fellowship + $XXk/X month TA)
School - Department - Research Interest (Feb. 23: Rejected via website/email)

rjones21
Posts: 15
Joined: Mon Aug 06, 2018 11:47 pm

Re: 2020 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Post by rjones21 » Mon Sep 23, 2019 7:05 pm

Undergrad Institution: Top 20 Liberal Arts College
Major(s): Math and Physics
Minor(s):
GPA in Major: Math (3.89) Physics (4.00)
Overall GPA: 3.90
Length of Degree: 4
Position in Class: Top 5% for overall GPA
Type of Student: Domestic White Male

GRE Scores :
Q: 170
V: 167
W: 5.0
P: September: 830 (72%) October: 910 (85%)


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


Research Experience: 1 year math research, 2 REUs. Advisers all said they would write strong recommendations for me. Working on senior thesis and have done research during the academic year for most of college.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Some departmental awards in math and physics

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: TA and tutoring for 3 years

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help:

Special Bonus Points: Even though I went to a liberal arts college I have 2 semesters quantum, 2 semesters EM, stat mech, 2 semesters mechanics, and tons of electives (mathematical physics, cosmology, gr, differential geometry, condensed matter...)

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

Applying to Where: All for Computational Cosmology/High Energy Experimental

UIUC
MIT
Michigan
Minnesota
UChicago
UPenn
Ohio State
Indiana
Stony Brook
Syracuse
Last edited by rjones21 on Mon Nov 25, 2019 9:23 am, edited 8 times in total.

geekusprimus
Posts: 22
Joined: Sat Jun 08, 2019 1:10 pm

Re: 2020 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Post by geekusprimus » Mon Sep 23, 2019 8:18 pm

Undergrad Institution: Large private university, top 75, physics reputation meh
Major(s): Physics
Minor(s): Math, Computer Science
GPA in Major: 3.98/4.0
Overall GPA: 3.96/4.0
Length of Degree: 4.5 years
Position in Class: Probably near top
Type of Student: Domestic male

GRE Scores : (Soon to come)
Q: 166 (89%)
V: 166 (97%)
W: 4.0 (57%)
P: 870 (79%)



Research Experience: Roughly two years of research in computational relativistic astrophysics, probably a paper for submission before graduation. One full summer working at a national lab doing computational cosmology. A few presentations at regional APS conferences and division conferences. Minor author on an exoplanets paper because of a research project in an astronomy class I took from a prominent planetary scientist.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Full academic scholarship, presentation award at regional conference, anticipated graduation from honors program, made the dean's list most semesters.

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Two years as a TA, two years as a research assistant

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: Erm... I taught myself GR? No? I play the trumpet? Yeah, nothing here that would interest a graduate committee.

Special Bonus Points: Completed a year of graduate coursework in numerical methods, currently taking graduate-level mathematical physics classes. Drafting a paper with a prominent supernova scientist. My thesis advisor is well-connected and well-respected in numerical relativity.

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: Extra semester was because of odd timing for entering school. Used extra time to finish a second minor, honors program, and take graduate coursework.

Applying to Where:

Reach:
Penn State - Physics, Ph.D. - Numerical relativity

Match:
UC Santa Cruz - Astrophysics, Ph.D - High energy astrophysics
Georgia Tech - Physics, Ph.D - Numerical relativity

Safety:
Brigham Young University - Physics, M.S. - Numerical relativity
Rochester Institute of Technology - Astrophysical Sciences and Technology, Ph.D - Numerical relativity

(Schools and scores to be updated as semester progresses)
Last edited by geekusprimus on Sun Dec 08, 2019 2:27 pm, edited 10 times in total.

ES
Posts: 10
Joined: Mon Jan 28, 2019 7:10 am

Re: 2020 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Post by ES » Sat Sep 28, 2019 4:18 pm

Undergrad Institution: international program at Nagoya University (one of the top 5 or so in Japan with a very high reputation in physics)
Major(s): physics
Overall GPA: 3.44, lots of B's in labs and social science courses. I have A's in most of my physics courses tho(aside from the labs).
Length of Degree: 4
Position in Class: we are 5 in class. I think I'm 3rd so, average position?
Type of Student: International male
GRE Scores :
Q: 169 (95%)
V: 153 (60%)
W: 4 (57%)
P: 870 (79%)

IELTS: 7.5 (Reading: 8, Listening: 8.5, Writing: 6.5, Speaking: 7)

Research Experience:
Unfortunately, we don't have opportunities to do research before 4th year. I tried to do stuff tho.
1. I joined the particle physics theory group last semester. I will do my graduation thesis there. The topic is yet undecided but hopefully it would be something about 2 dimensional CFT which is a topic I'm currently reading about.
2. I had a weekly seminar with my math prof(also my recommender) during my second year where we tried to understand a seminal paper on mathematical diffraction and measure theory.
3. Sometimes I read research papers and write reports about them for fun.(does this count as research experience?)

Awards/Honors/Recognitions:
I am supported by two merit-based scholarships. one from my university and the other from a foundation in my country.

Pertinent Activities or Jobs:

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help:
I was ranked 7th and 3rd in the 1st and 2nd Egyptian physics olympiad and represented the country in the international physics olympiad in 2016. this was in high school tho.

Special Bonus Points:
my thesis advisor is a known prof in HEP phenomenology and I expect a strong recommendation from him. My other two recommenders really like me so I'm expecting strong letters from them as well.
One of my recommenders teaches unofficial courses outside of uni courses. I took his courses on functional analysis, probability, group theory and representations, differential geometry.
I'm taking qft seminars in my research group since the second semester of my 3rd year.

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

Applying to Where: all for high energy theory
Stony Brook University
Johns Hopkins University
Cornell University
University of Tokyo
Bonn-Cologne Graduate School of Physics and Astronomy
Nagoya University
Perimeter Institute
University of Colorado-Boulder
McGill University
University of Kentucky
Last edited by ES on Sun Dec 08, 2019 12:31 pm, edited 4 times in total.

GradschoolHopeful
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Oct 11, 2019 11:46 am

Re: 2020 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Post by GradschoolHopeful » Fri Oct 11, 2019 12:10 pm

______________________________________________
Undergrad Institution: Large State School, good reputation in physics
Major(s): Physics
Minor(s): Mathematics, Astrophysics
GPA in Major: 4.00
Overall GPA: 4.00
Length of Degree: 4 years
Position in Class: near top
Type of Student: Domestic male

GRE Scores : (revised or old version?)
Q: 170 (94%)
V: 166 (97%)
W: 4.5 (81%)
P: 840 (74%)



Research Experience: 1 REU in space plasmas. Almost 1 year at my home institute in nuclear physics instrumentation. All of my research experience was writing software for data analysis. 6 conference presentations with my name on them and a second author paper in progress which should be submitted before application deadlines.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Dean's list all semester and standard academic scholarship

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Nothing other than research

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help:

Special Bonus Points: Grad class on numerical analysis. I have a ton of coursework in upper division math and physics

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: My advisor has connections at MIT.

Applying to Where: Most in Nuclear or Particle Experiment, I'll only mention those that are in other areas.

MIT - Physics
Princeton - Physics - Gravitation-Th
Harvard - Physics
Stanford - Physics
Columbia - Physics
University of Illinois Urbana Champaign - Physics
Michigan State - Physics
ASU - Physics
University of Arizona - Physics - Nuclear and Particle-Th
Washington - Physics
University of Texas: Austin - Physics

Boulder - Astrophysics - Instrumentation
Last edited by GradschoolHopeful on Fri Nov 22, 2019 11:11 am, edited 2 times in total.

RolandoR
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Oct 11, 2019 4:33 pm

Re: 2020 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Post by RolandoR » Fri Oct 11, 2019 11:21 pm

Undergrad Institution: Top 10 Latinoamerica School
Major(s): Physics
Overall GPA: 3.8/4
Length of Degree: 5 years
Position in Class: Near top
Type of Student: International

GRE Scores :
Q: 166 (89%)
V: 153 (60%)
W: 3.5 (39%) :?
P: 970 (93%) Sept 2019


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...)

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: (Within your school or outside?)

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: (Such as tutor, TA, SPS officer etc...)

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help:

Special Bonus Points: (Such as connections, grad classes, famous recommenders, female or minority status etc...)

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

Applying to Where:

School -
School -
School -
Last edited by RolandoR on Fri Oct 25, 2019 11:14 pm, edited 2 times in total.

ztruwk
Posts: 23
Joined: Fri Oct 25, 2019 3:20 pm

Re: 2020 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Post by ztruwk » Fri Oct 25, 2019 3:41 pm

Undergrad Institution: US private school, top 40 in physics
Major(s): Physics, Film
GPA in Major: 3.5, 3.9
Overall GPA: 3.7
Length of Degree: 4 years
Position in Class: Above average
Type of Student: white domestic female

GRE Scores :
Q: 165 (86%)
V: 163 (93%)
W: 5 (92%)
P: 830 (72%)

Research Experience:
No undergrad research, one year post-bac experimental axion research. 7 months half-time, 6 months full-time. One past poster presentation, will have a future conference poster and future conference talk on my CV, and possibly a first-author publication in preparation.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Sigma Pi Sigma

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Physics tutor

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: I went through a top arts program while also doing well in a physics major and was fairly accomplished in that (film festivals, awards, hundreds of hours of work experience), so unconventional backgrounds can sometimes be a plus, or a minus, who knows. Also the reason I did not do undergrad research.

Special Bonus Points: In a well-known research collaboration in the axion world, also woman applying for HET...?

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter:
- Have been working through textbooks and online courses in particle physics, group theory, and QFT
- Worked at a science education non-profit for ~10 months post grad
- I took like no formal math classes after calc/lin alg, and am applying for theory, so that's not great lol

Applying to Where:
(for all I've expressed an interest in theoretical particle physics, cosmology, or quantum information, all totally reaches, fingers crossed baby!)

Perimeter (PSI) (early decision) - Accepted Dec. 12, will attend!!!
UCLA
Berkeley
UCSD
Stanford
NYU
Columbia
Boulder
UWash

Edit: No longer applying to any others above this year
Last edited by ztruwk on Thu Dec 12, 2019 4:57 pm, edited 9 times in total.

Dirac506
Posts: 10
Joined: Sat Oct 26, 2019 2:40 pm

Re: 2020 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Post by Dirac506 » Sat Oct 26, 2019 3:11 pm

______________________________________________
Undergrad Institution: Top School in my country, South America
Major(s): Physics
GPA in Major: 9.2/10
Overall GPA:9.3/10
Length of Degree: 4 years
Position in Class: Top of my class
Type of Student: International Male

Q: 160
V: 157
W: 4.0
P: 700


TOEFL: (R: 29 , L: 28 , S: 28 , W: 26)


Research Experience:

1. Undergraduate Research Assistant at a Nuclear Research Center, mainly programmed detector simulation.

2. Graduate Research Assistant at a Condensed Matter Center, doing CMT near publishing as first author.


Awards/Honors/Recognitions:

Graduated with honors.

Pertinent Activities or Jobs:

Appointed Lecturer at my university after graduation. I've lectured for entry level courses which engineers take but also lectured for an important course that physics majors take.

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help:

I've participated in many international workshops/activities. Some of those events had tests in which I performed well.

I've taken many maths courses so have a strong mathematical background.

Special Bonus Points:

I've taken many CMT grad courses during my year after graduating.

Recommendation letter from a very well known physicist.


Applying to Where: (I won't use reach/safety because I feel everything is a reach. The whole safety term seems sort of arrogant in my opinion.)

Perimeter Scholars International (Early Decision) (Will Attend) Accepted Dec. 10th
LMU, Munich (Mathematical Physics) - Got Accepted in July
ICTP-Trieste
Last edited by Dirac506 on Thu Dec 12, 2019 11:37 am, edited 3 times in total.

Truth_Seeker
Posts: 1
Joined: Sat Oct 26, 2019 3:05 pm

Re: 2020 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Post by Truth_Seeker » Sat Oct 26, 2019 3:22 pm

Undergrad Institution: Big state school, good physics program
Major(s): Aerospace Engineering and Physics double
Minor(s):
GPA in Major: ~3.7
Overall GPA: ~3.6
Length of Degree: 5 years
Position in Class: mid-top to top
Type of Student: White Latino male

GRE Scores :
Q: 161 (76%)
V: 158 (80%)
W: 5 (92%)
P: 700 (48%) (October 2019)


Research Experience:
3 semesters doing research with one professor, 1 summer doing research with another, both at my own university. Nothing publishable or remarkable but you know that's going on my resume.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Two physics scholarships, one big one small.

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: None

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: Nothing really

Special Bonus Points: Solid letters (I think at least lol). My GPA is back-stacked; all A's in upper level physics courses. i.e. upward trend.

Applying to Where: Interest expressed toward quantum gravity (QG) or high energy theory if department does not explicitly indicate interest in QG. All physics departments.

Big bois:
University of Maryland, College Park -
Johns Hopkins University -
University of Wisconsin, Madison -
Penn State -
UC Davis -

Medium bois:
University of Florida -
Arizona State University -
UNC Chapel Hill -
Virginia Tech -

Smol bois:
College of William and Mary -
Louisiana State University -
Oregon State University -

Expectations: LOW. I will be so happy to get into 1 school 8)
Wish me luck bois
Last edited by Truth_Seeker on Sun Dec 15, 2019 2:22 am, edited 6 times in total.

Redmike06
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Aug 21, 2019 3:22 pm

Re: 2020 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Post by Redmike06 » Sat Oct 26, 2019 3:50 pm

Undergrad Institution: Big midwest state school. Not known for physics, Astronomy on rise.
Major(s): Engineering Physics-Aerospace Systems (Interdisciplinary Aerospace Engineering and Physics Degree)
Minor(s): Astronomy
GPA in Major: 3.74 Engineering
Overall GPA: 3.77 at University , 4.0 at Community College. 3.83 Cumulative
Length of Degree: 4 years at university, 1 year at community college
Position in Class: Top of class in aerospace and physics
Type of Student: Domestic, 1st generation college, Mexican Male

GRE Scores : I am only taking the GRE, due to my coursework the time needed to study for the PGRE is a waste of time that I instead spent working on research. I also do not want to attend a university for which this is heavily weighted as I want to be in a progressive, welcoming environment.
Q: 161 (unofficial)
V: 160 (unofficial)
W:
P: N/A


Research Experience: 1 year in astronomy. Coauthor on published paper, 1st author on in prep paper (submitting in spring). iPoster at AAS, Talk/Poster at small conference for Midwest, talk at Conference for small expert astronomy collaboration, talk at small general science conference. Additional coauthor paper published for work in aerospace class, chosen for presentation at a large conference.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Received full tuition scholarship award from department senior year, will graduate from school honors program and with departmental honors, likely nomination from my engineering field for top graduating engineer.

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: TA for 6 semesters, RA for 1 summer, tutor 1 semester. President of space club that had a few outreach activities. Slightly involved in new outreach club.

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help:

Special Bonus Points: My research advisor is a young rising name in the field and attended 3 of the schools I am applying to and knows and carries weight at several others (will be writing a LOR).

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: Obviously I am not a traditional application with my major, which will hurt me in high level physics and astronomy knowledge. However, through my aerospace track, I have had a lot of hands on work(shop work, CAD, etc), real life projects that we could test and gather data on, and a LOT of coding experience(several different softwares and programs for different classes). Hoping my unique perspective on problems comes through and my success in my limited exposure to the astronomy field shows as well.

Applying to Where:
All for astronomy and instrumentation
Top 3:
Yale
UT Austin
CU Boulder


Middle 3:
UMass Amherst
Wisconsin-Madison
Michigan


Safety:
Florida
New Mexico State

Skulltastic
Posts: 2
Joined: Sun Oct 13, 2019 1:22 am

Re: 2020 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Post by Skulltastic » Fri Nov 01, 2019 5:32 pm

Undergrad Institution: State flagship, top 10 in physics
Major(s):Physics, Astrophysics
Minor(s): N/A
GPA in Major: 3.86
Overall GPA: 3.85
Length of Degree: 4 years
Position in Class: Top 10%?
Type of Student: Domestic Asian male

GRE Scores : (revised)
Q: 168
V: 163
W: 4
P: 920


TOEFL: N/A


Research Experience: In theoretical astrophysics. Spent ~18 months on numerical simulations of protoplanetary disks, which resulted in one first-authored and one second-authored publication. In Summer 2019, performed simulations of galaxy evolution at another institution, with another paper in prep.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Summer 2019 research was a paid fellowship. Dean's List for 3 semesters, and award from the Physics department for earning a 4.0 GPA in two successive semesters.

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Teaching assistant for introductory astronomy course during the fall of my junior year. Two stints as a grader for various physics/astronomy courses.

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help:

Special Bonus Points: Have taken 5 graduate courses in physics and astronomy. Two of my recommenders are well-known in the field.

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: Upward trend in grades---GPA was a 3.7ish in freshman year then 3.9+ in soph/junior.

Applying to Where:

Caltech - Astronomy - Numerical hydro, possibly observation
Princeton - Astrophysical Sciences - Numerical hydro
Harvard - Astronomy - Numerical hydrodynamics
MIT - Physics - Numerical hydro/cosmology
UCSB - Physics - Numerical hydro
UCLA - Physics & Astronomy - Theoretical cosmology
Toronto - Astronomy - Numerical hydro
Columbia - Astronomy - Numerical hydro
Arizona - Astronomy - Numerical hydro, possibly observation
Northwestern - Physics & Astronomy - Numerical Hydro
Yale - Astronomy - Numerical hydro, possibly observation

NSF GRFP - Astronomy and Astrophysics
Hertz Foundation Fellowship - Astrophysics

lastgobestgo
Posts: 9
Joined: Thu Nov 07, 2019 3:38 pm

Re: 2020 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Post by lastgobestgo » Thu Nov 07, 2019 4:53 pm

Undergrad Institution: ~top 60 US program
Major(s): Physics
Minor(s):
GPA in Major: 3.61 (3.72 omitting a study abroad semester at HKU)
Overall GPA: 3.65 (3.75 omitting HKU)
Length of Degree: 4 years
Position in Class:
Type of Student: Domestic white male, dual citizen

GRE Scores :
Q: 167
V: 165
W: 6.0
P: 880

Research Experience:
  • 6 mo.s research on computational protein folding thermo. (2015)
  • 4 mo.s machine learning search for SUSY in ATLAS data (2016)
  • 6 mo.s simulating nanoparticle systems (2017)
  • 6 mo.s doing timing resolution studies at CERN (2018)
  • 5 mo.s research on computational complexity in the string vacua landscape (2019)
Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Dean's scholarship, scholarship to do research abroad (x2), honor's college

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: 2019 summer school for quantum gravity, only undergrad attendee

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: Presented at 2017 undergrad research conference, presented at 2019 April APS conference on behalf of CMS, 2nd author on nanoparticle simulation paper, contributor to ~future~ CMS publication, [EDIT] 2nd author on stringy paper! (glad to get it in before the deadline, phew)

Special Bonus Points:

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: I have tons of research experience but my GPA is hurting me. Part of that came from a semester spent in HK where the grading scale is much more severe, but part came from a B- in experimental capstone so womp womp. I applied in the last cycle without much conviction to some reach schools (and some not so reach ones...) and got totally rejected. Since then I've done a lot to try and improve (self study, conference presentations, retook pgre, etc) so here's hoping! I'm applying for mathematical physics with an emphasis on QG. Heavily influenced by the summer school, for PSI I'm getting a letter from one lecturer who is a PSI fellow! [EDIT]: The stringy paper is great because it is exactly applying pure math results to physics-y instances of algebraic geometry/topology, which is my stated interest in my SOP

Applying to Where:

PSI (PI/perimeter) - MSc
Penn St. -
UCSB -
UC Berkeley -
UC Davis -
UT Austin -
Stony brook -
Last edited by lastgobestgo on Sun Dec 08, 2019 12:41 pm, edited 8 times in total.

s1gexc
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Nov 11, 2019 11:16 am

Re: 2020 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Post by s1gexc » Mon Nov 11, 2019 11:32 am

Undergrad Institution: State school (roughly 10k students), not well known for physics (only 30 in the program)
Major(s): Physics BS, Mathematics BS, Russian and East European Studies BA
Minor(s): Electronics
GPA in Major: 3.7
Overall GPA: 3.8
Length of Degree: 4 years
Position in Class: Small department, but top
Type of Student: Domestic white male

GRE Scores : (Rev)
Q: 166 (89%)
V: 163 (93%)
W: 5.0 (92%)
P: 600... Oof.



Research Experience: Three semesters of experimental astrophysics (focused on cosmic ray detection) in which I hand-machined my own SiPM box and soldered a full circuit together (CosmicWatch design; SiPM itself seemed faulty), analyzed data from NMDB Event Search Tool, and built a coincidence detector using NaI detectors to analyze the strengths and weaknesses of coincidence detection methods. Presented twice (once for each of the first two parts), planning third presentation in March for final results.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Dean's list every semester, full tuition scholarship (recognized financial situation as well as aptitude), Sigma Pi Sigma, Kappa Mu Epsilon, Alpha Alpha Alpha

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Peer tutor (15 hrs weekly), SPS President (3 hours of tutoring weekly for general education physics classes), events coordinator for our on-campus LGBTQA social club (have organized fundraising events for various causes totaling $2500), student worker with our Honors College (3-5 hrs. weekly, some including tutoring) as well as a participant for every year I've been here. Will graduate with Honors.

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: Three study abroads, two of which were as a student mentor to other students

Special Bonus Points: Three very solid recommendations from faculty I've worked with for several classes, extracurricular activities, research, etc.
First-generation student (will be the first with an undergraduate degree in my family)
Three majors? Kinda lucky how things lined up to make it happen; will graduate with 170+ credit hours.

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

Applying to Where:

Boston University - Ph.D Astronomy
U. Maryland - Ph.D Astronomy
Penn State University - Ph.D Astronomy
New Mexico State University - Ph.D Astronomy
U. Chicago (definitely a reach, but a boy can dream) - Ph.D Astronomy
University of New Mexico - Ph.D Physics (concentration in Astrophysics)

There are others, but I'm finalizing at the moment. Focuses are in instrumentation.
Last edited by s1gexc on Sun Dec 01, 2019 9:49 pm, edited 2 times in total.

lharvey69
Posts: 1
Joined: Sat Nov 16, 2019 2:33 pm

Re: 2020 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Post by lharvey69 » Sat Nov 16, 2019 2:48 pm

Undergrad Institution: State school, not known for anything
Major(s): Physics BS, Computer Science BS
Minor(s): Math, Creative Writing
GPA in Major: 3.925
Overall GPA: 3.965
Length of Degree: 4 years
Position in Class: Top
Type of Student: Domestic white male

GRE Scores :
Q: 167 (90%)
V: 161 (92%)
W: 4.5 (85%)
P: 800 (67%)


Research Experience: 3+ years of computational research in biophysics lab, summer internship with pharma company doing biochem (ew, chemistry) research
2 papers- middle author, 2 international conference posters, co-author on accepted grant
Mentored many students in the lab

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Deans List all semesters, Honors College, Won top physics student award for seniors (as a junior)

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Physics tutor, Computational Physics TA

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: Taught 2 CS classes at local library

Special Bonus Points: I like tacos?

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: I like reallllly like tacos?

Applying to Where:
All are PhD in Biophysics

Reach
MIT
Cornell
UChicago
UIUC
U Michigan
UMD

Match
Johns Hopkins
U Wash
Stony Brook
CMU

Safety
Purdue
U Rochester
U Del
Last edited by lharvey69 on Wed Dec 11, 2019 1:45 am, edited 2 times in total.

rhmancil
Posts: 15
Joined: Wed Feb 06, 2019 5:52 pm

Re: 2020 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Post by rhmancil » Fri Nov 22, 2019 5:17 pm

Undergrad Institution: Best university in physics in my country and one of the best in Latin America
Major(s): Physics
Master: Theoretical Physics
GPA in Major: 6.1/7.0 (3.91 of 4.0)
GPA in Master: 6.7/7.0 (4.0 of 4.0)
Length of Degree: 4 years undergraduate and 2 years master
Position in Class: 3/15 undergraduate and 1/16 master
Type of Student: Male International

GRE Scores: revised
Q:164
V:155
W:3.0
P:920 (86 percentile)


TOEFL: 104 (R:29 , L:28 , S:22 , W:25 )


Research Experience: Introducing chemical term in action Einstein-Hilbert (1 semester) and working on very special relativity to modify some lagrangian in quantum field theory in 2-dimensions (1 semester)

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Outstanding student from 2014 to 2016, Exchange scholarship and Fulbright scholarship. Also, Bachelor's in physics with maximum distinction.

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: five-times teaching assistant undergraduate and two-times at graduate level (Classical Mechanics and Advanced Quantum Mechanics, both courses are mandatory for master and Ph.D. Students).

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: My Fulbright scholarship contains fully-funded. One professor of my recommendation letter did his Ph.D. at the University of Michigan and has direct contact with some faculty there. A professor at UCSB has shown interest in me and we are chatting by email. UCSB is my favorite realistic university!

Special Bonus Points: I took General relativity, Quantum field theory I, Advance Quantum mechanics and other graduate courses. Most of them I obtained the highest score in the class, even better than Ph.D. students.

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: I learned English in the last ten months, for this reason, my general GRE is horrible. At least, I achieved a decent score in TOEFL and Physics GRE

Applying to Where:

Reach:
Harvard University - Physics, Ph.D. - hep-th
Princeton University - Physics, Ph.D. - hep-th
UC-Berkeley University - Physics, Ph.D. - hep-th
Stanford University - Physics, Ph.D. - hep-th

Match:
UC-Santa Barbara- Physics, Ph.D. - hep-th
UC-Los Angeles (UCLA)- Physics, Ph.D. - hep-th
Cornell University - Physics, Ph.D. - hep-th
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor- Physics, Ph.D. - hep-th
UC-Davis- Physics, Ph.D. - hep-th
Johns Hopkins University- Physics, Ph.D. - hep-th

Safety:
New York University - Physics, Ph.D. - hep-th
University of Southern California, Ann Arbor- Physics, Ph.D. - hep-th


I'm interested in AdS/CFT in black holes (Thermodynamics and entropy) and anything related to Quantum gravity. I hope my horrible general GRE does not harsh my possibilities too much.
Last edited by rhmancil on Wed Dec 11, 2019 6:08 am, edited 3 times in total.

csi2019
Posts: 2
Joined: Fri Sep 20, 2019 5:56 pm

Re: 2020 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Post by csi2019 » Sun Nov 24, 2019 5:03 pm

Undergrad Institution: Top 20 in UK no international reputation
Major(s): Physics
GPA in Major: First (approc 3.66 on a 4.0 scale)
Length of Degree: 4 years with masters
Position in Class: Average overall, near top for final year.
Type of Student: white female
GRE Scores :
Q:160
V:163
W:4.5
P: 650 -Oct 2019 (from 570 in Oct 2018 after a whole lot of Kahn and Anderson and yet :( )

Research Experience:

DAAD, Quantum simulation for masters thesis, topological quantum computing simulations for summer project and doing a project on dark matter right now. Two possible publications but wont be ready in time for application.


Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Poster prize, and a bursary for being a poor student with aspirations.

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: :?:

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help:

Special Bonus Points: I attended two summer schools on quantum computing and detector physics- they will see my passion and instantly offer a position.

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

Applying to Where: Quantum information, AMO or condensed matter exp.

Harvard
MIT
Princeton
Stanford
Caltech
Maryland
UC Boulder
Berkely
UCSB
Yale
Cornell


May review this list, what with that pesky PGRE failure.
Last edited by csi2019 on Tue Dec 03, 2019 1:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.

eddiebroad123
Posts: 1
Joined: Sat Feb 16, 2019 8:26 pm

Re: 2020 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Post by eddiebroad123 » Mon Nov 25, 2019 7:38 am

Undergrad Institution: Russell group UK university, good reputation in Physics
Major(s): Physics with Theoretical Physics (integrated masters, MPhys)
Minor(s): N/A
GPA in Major: 85.1/100
Overall GPA: 85.1/100
Length of Degree: 4 years
Position in Class: unknown (top 5 or 10)
Type of Student: International male

GRE Scores :
Q: 168 (93%)
V: 167 (98% - no idea how I pulled this one off)
W: 4.0 (57% - Shouldn't matter?)
P: 950 (90%)


Research Experience: Studied abroad at UC Berkeley and worked on the theoretical/modelling side of gravitational microlensing, 1 paper in preparation. 1 year masters project on topological defects in field theories (kinks, vortices, monopoles) and vacuum decay.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: I got a prize for my masters project

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: I'm currently in a year off after graduating and I have a job teaching maths and another job teaching python.

Special Bonus Points: In my masters year I've taken 2 courses on QFT, and 2 in general relativity. I also took 2 graduate courses at Berkeley, General Relativity which I got an A in. EM which I got an A+. I don't how much this will help.

Applying to Where: All for HEP-th. Particular interest in BSM Phenomenology and non-perturbative techniques.

Canada:
UToronto - PhD - HEP-th
UBC - MSc - HEP-th

United States:

reach:
NYU - PhD - HEP-th
UIUC - PhD - HEP-th
Brown - PhD - HEP-th

match:
Uni of Maryland - PhD - HEP-th
Boston U - PhD - HEP-th

safety(ish):
Uni of Rochester - PhD - HEP-th
Northeastern University - PhD - HEP-th

UK:

Imperial - PhD - HEP-th
Uni of Manchester - PhD - HEP-th
Durham University - PhD - HEP-th
Uni of Nottingham - PhD - HEP-th
Uni of Liverpool - PhD - HEP-th
Edinburgh Uni - PhD - HEP-th

My predictions:
I have no clue about the Canadian universities.
Hopefully I will be accepted by Rochester, and Northeastern, and either Boston or Maryland.
In the UK, I only realised well after I finished my masters that it is almost expected for particle theory that you would take a year to do either Cambridge part III, or the imperial/oxford equivalents. Particle theory is very competitive, so I suspect that if I don't get any offers this year I will give up, but I hope my application will give other British students who did the MPhys rather than a stand alone masters some better information on what their chances in hep-th are like. I hope I will get into my home institution at the very least.
Last edited by eddiebroad123 on Wed Dec 11, 2019 6:42 pm, edited 2 times in total.

livelongandprosper
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Nov 29, 2019 3:42 pm

Re: 2020 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Post by livelongandprosper » Fri Nov 29, 2019 4:04 pm

Undergrad Institution: In the US, ranked 100+ in Physics but decent HEP program
Major(s): Physics, Math (2nd major)
Minor(s): N/A
GPA in Major: 4.0
Overall GPA: 4.0
Length of Degree: 4 years
Position in Class: pretty sure top
Type of Student: International male

GRE Scores : (not taken yet)
Q:
V:
W:
P: 740 (56 percentile) Sept; 800 (67 percentile) Oct;

TOEFL: N/A

Research Experience: Did about a year of research work in Astronomy at my home institution on two separate projects. One of the projects is leading to two papers (I'm the first author in one and 2nd on the other). Two years (including the two summers) of neutrino Physics (detector R&D) work at my school that led to a publication but I do have about 5-6 more on the way and I'll be the corresponding author in two of them. Spent a couple of weeks at Fermilab designing circuits for a power supply system

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Best presentation award from the APS, Total of 4 scholarships from the Physics and Math departments and a few more from the university (full tuition scholarship as an entering freshman for 4 years).

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Was a tutor for a semester, and officer of the SPS for a couple of years

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: Gave about 6 different talks at conferences like the APS

Special Bonus Points: One of my recommendation letters is one of the best (if not the best) letter the professor has ever written and the professor has connections at almost all the schools I'm applying to. But I don't think this would help since he knows neutrino people and I'm applying for graduate school in Cosmology. The other professor is one of the leaders in their field and even though I have barely worked for him for more than 2 months, he knows about my work and will write a strong letter. I do not expect my 3rd letter to be very strong since I didn't do a lot of work for this professor, but we'll see! Will take graduate QM II my final semester! All my recommenders encouraged me to apply to top schools

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

Applying to Where:

Harvard University - Physics, Ph.D - Neutrino Physics or AMO
Harvard University - Astronomy, Ph.D - Observational Cosmology
UCLA - Physics, Ph.D - Neutrino Physics or AMO
UCLA - Physics, Ph.D - Observational Cosmology
JHU - Physics & Astronomy, Ph.D - Observational Cosmology
Michigan - Astronomy, Ph.D - Observational Cosmology
Rice - Astronomy, Ph.D
Ohio State - Astronomy, Ph.D - Observational Cosmology
Ohio State - Physics, Ph.D - Physics (either neutrino Physics or AMO experimental)

will add more...

elon_musk
Posts: 2
Joined: Sun Dec 01, 2019 3:39 pm

Re: 2020 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Post by elon_musk » Sun Dec 01, 2019 3:45 pm

Undergrad Institution: in USA, public
Major(s): Physics and Math
GPA in Majors: 4.0
Overall GPA: 3.99 (A- in an English class lol)
Length of Degree: 4 years
Position in Class: ok
Type of Student: International asian male

GRE Scores : (revised or old version?)
Q: 166 (97 percentile)
V: 170 (96 percentile)
W: 5.5 (98 percentile)
P: 980 (94 percentile)
Math GRE: 910 (96 percentile - not sure whether to include this?)


Research Experience:
2 papers in a physics field that is not the one that I perhaps intend to focus on going forward into my graduate studies, talk at an international conference and some other smaller conferences
Some math research that lead to a poster but no paper

Awards/Honors/Recognitions:
Some small scholarships from the home physics department

Pertinent Activities or Jobs:
Graded for physics and math classes many times


Applying to Where:

Caltech (Dec 15?!)
Princeton (Dec 15)
MIT (Dec 15)
Stanford (Dec 17)
Chicago (Dec 15)
Berkeley (Dec 16 8:59 p.m.)
Cornell
UCSB
Columbia
UIUC
(In progress - I have no idea what I'm doing)

erikh94
Posts: 1
Joined: Sun Nov 24, 2019 7:24 am

Re: 2020 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Post by erikh94 » Mon Dec 02, 2019 6:51 am

Undergrad Institution: biggest Italian university and 2nd biggest in Europe, long tradition for Pysics
Major(s): Physics (undergrad), Physics (grad), Applied Math (grad)
Overall GPA: 28.42/30 (undergrad), 29.7/30 (grad. Physics), 29.8/30 (grad. Applied Math)
Length of Degree: 3 years + 2 years + 2 years
Position in Class: not used in Italy, but I wuold say around the top
Type of Student: International male

GRE Scores :
Q: 169 (95th)
V: 167 (98th)
W: 4.0 (57th) :?
P: 950 (90th)


TOEFL: 115 (R: 30, L: 30, S: 27, W: 28)


Research Experience:
Graduate: 2 1/2 years at Italian Institute of Technology, 6 months at Max Planck Institute (International). However, only one poster and an article submitteed but not yet published (although the journal is quite important), 1 month international summmer internship
Undergraduate: 3 semesters departmental program, 1 summer internship

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Excellence program (departmental), a few grants for international research and a major residential scholarship (5 years)

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: just research internships

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: double Master's degree in Theoretical Physics and Applied Mathematics. It's not something casual, but I thought it trhough and gave the reasons in the SoP. Both masters are with final thesis.

Special Bonus Points: one reccomender is among the most well known physicists, expecially in Statistical Mechanics, the other two academic recommender will write extremely strong letters, a fourth letter from college director for extra info on perosanlity and extracurriculars

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: first generation to college

Applying to Where:
ALL program are PhD (no more master's for me :D )

Harvard - Applied Math
MIT - Instute of Data, Science & Society
Yale - Applied Math
Princeton - Applied and Computational Math
Berkeley - Applied Science and Tech
Stanford - Applied and Computational Math
Cornell - Operation Research (not optimal, but some professors cover AppliedMath)
Columbia - Applied Math
Oxford - Math
Cambridge - Applied Math and theoretical Physics (it's one program ahah)
Toronto - Math
McGill - Math and Statistics
UCLA - Physics
UCSB - Physics
Chicago - Computational and applied math

I might have exagerated and chosen too many uni beyond reach, but anyway :P

rider
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Dec 02, 2019 2:13 pm

Re: 2020 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Post by rider » Mon Dec 02, 2019 2:45 pm

Undergrad Institution: Top Liberal Arts college with little reputation in physics but with a large, influential space physics research institution associated
Major(s): Physics
Minor(s): Philosophy
GPA in Major: 4.0
Overall GPA: 4.0
Length of Degree: 4 years
Position in Class: Top I guess, if based on GPA
Type of Student: Caucasian domestic male

GRE Scores :
Q: 167
V: 167
W: 6.0
P: 730 (not representative of my physics knowledge, I feel. Bad testing conditions, but I have no one to blame for myself. Just disappointing given the amount of time I spent prepping)

TOEFL: N/A

Research Experience:

(1) Two years in space physics at institution associated with home university on two different projects under two prominent researchers in the field. No publications but several poster presentations. Roughly 10-12 hrs per week during school year.

(2) REU at a prominent university (not my own) working closely with a well-known and respected professional in the field. Accepted for presentation at two conferences, one being an oral presentation at the biggest meeting in the field. Short paper accepted for publication in an undergraduate research journal. Longer professional paper in the works to be submitted next year.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions:


(1) Inducted to Phi Beta Kappa as a Junior

(2) Four years Dean's List with top-class honors sophomore and junior years

(3) Recipient of full-tuition merit scholarship from undergrad institution

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Member of SPS? Also the research jobs. Might tutor next semester but who knows.

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help:

President/Treasurer of club sports team (not a huge thing for this but a big part of my life anyways)

Special Bonus Points:

All strong recommendations (4) from prominent members in the field with whom I have worked closely; part of a strong group.

Will be doing senior thesis in the spring as a culmination of all the projects I've worked on, which have been related in some manner or another.

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

None I can think of

Applying to Where:

Note that my field of interest, space physics, lies at the intersection of astrophysics and computer engineering (remote sensing, etc.) so this explains some of the double-ups below.

CU Boulder - Astrophysical and Planetary Sciences
CU Boulder - Aerospace Engineering
Boston University - Astronomy
Boston University - Computer Engineering
Virginia Tech - ECE
Dartmouth - Thayer School of Engineering
UT Austin - Aerospace Engineering
MIT - Astrophysical and Planetary Sciences

School - Department - Research Interest
Last edited by rider on Sat Dec 14, 2019 3:24 am, edited 1 time in total.

nazgul
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Dec 02, 2019 2:32 pm

Re: 2020 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Post by nazgul » Mon Dec 02, 2019 2:59 pm

Undergrad Institution: Well known in India, no special reputation in Physics
Major(s): Engineering Physics
Minor(s):
GPA in Major: same as overall
Overall GPA: 9.28/10
Length of Degree: 4 years
Position in Class: Near top
Type of Student: International

GRE Scores : Revised
Q: 169 (96th)
V: 162 (90th)
W: 5.0 (92nd)
P: 980 (94th)


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


Research Experience:
about 2 years across- 2 international internships, 1 domestic internship, 1 Course project, 1 Bachelor Thesis (last two in-school). One paper in preparation from my thesis. Guide mentions that in his reco.
All the external visits were funded. I don't know if that makes a difference, though. All my research has been in Astrophysics, and I want to specialize in Computational Cosmology, focusing on upcoming CMB experiments.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: 1 known international undergrad scholarship, 1 known domestic govt. scholarship, 1 domestic research Institute scholarship, best student award from undergrad-school.

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: graduated in 2019

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help:
Rhodes Scholarship Finalist (only fundamental science candidate to have made it from my country)

Special Bonus Points: (Such as connections, grad classes, famous recommenders, female or minority status etc...): 3 grad classes - GR, Astrophysics, Particle Physics

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: Some mentorship, teaching activities. Some software-dev hackathon achievements.

Applying to Where:
Astronomy department everywhere, unless stated
Research - Cosmology (observational and computational)

Harvard
UC Berkeley
Univ of Chicago
Princeton - Astrophysical Sciences
Caltech
Cornell
Yale
Univ of Pennsylvania
UCLA
Johns Hopkins - Physics & Astronomy
UIUC
Univ of Michigan
Pennstate

I have no clue if I've overshot. I just hope my SOP and reco. letters are good enough. Otherwise, I do this again next year :/

kalmar
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Dec 05, 2019 8:04 am

Re: 2020 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Post by kalmar » Thu Dec 05, 2019 8:47 am

Undergrad Institution: Top school in physics in my country (Central Europe) 51-75 in ShanghaiRanking
Major(s): Physics
Minor(s):
GPA in Major: ??/5.00 BSc, 5.00/5.00 MSc
Overall GPA: 4.08/5.00 BSc, 4.86/5.00 MSc
Length of Degree: 3 bachelor + 2 master
Position in Class: Top
Type of Student: International white male

GRE Scores : (revised)
Q: 168 (93%)
V: 164 (94%)
W: 4.0 (57%)
P: 990 (95%)


TOEFL: 114 (R: 30, L: 30, S: 28, W: 26)


Research Experience: three publications (single-authored, 1st of 3, 2nd of 6) in international journals, two internships abroad (one in US in top group), several papers in preparation

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: multiple national awards and scholarships, 1st place in international undergraduate (team) competition

Special Bonus Points: many grad courses, my recommender from US is well known in the field, some machine learning experience

Applying to Where: AMO/CM theory

Harvard -
MIT -
Berkeley -
Caltech -
Stanford -
Princeton -
UMD College Park -

My application will probably be a good way to measure how important GPA is...

Bry793
Posts: 3
Joined: Wed Jan 30, 2019 11:04 pm

Re: 2020 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Post by Bry793 » Sun Dec 08, 2019 3:32 am

Undergrad Institution: Engineering school with a very small physics department, not much of a reputation at all in physics
Major(s): Physics
Minor(s): Philosophy
GPA in Major: 3.52 (but my school doesn't calculate it)
Overall GPA: 3.57 (but it's not on my transcript so some schools don't want it)
Length of Degree: 4 years
Position in Class: N/A
Type of Student: Domestic white female

GRE Scores : (revised)
Q: 162 (80%)
V: 168 (98%)
W: 5.5 (98%)
P: 720 (52%) - up from 590 (26%) when I applied last year


Research Experience:
-About 3.5 years (including summers) doing theoretical research on black holes, general relativity, hawking radiation, holography, and currently quantum gravity.
-I completed a senior thesis on 2D dilaton gravity & black holes with a partner and actually got a pretty significant result.
-2 publications (1 in physics) but only through my university.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions:
-Summer research fellowship awarded by my university
-Best senior thesis in physics at my university
-member of Sigma Pi Sigma Physics honor society
-Dean's list a couple times, merit scholarship all 4 years

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Extensive teaching and tutoring experience in math and physics (3 years) lecturing, tutoring, reviewing, grading, etc. Also tutor privately. I've worked around 20 hours per week for my entire undergraduate education, which I noted in most applications.

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: 3 graduate classes (two quantum and math methods in physics)

Special Bonus Points: Grew up very impoverished and I've written about it in every personal statement/challenges question, female, first generation college student, one of my recommenders and my thesis advisor is very well-known in quantum information theory (not my field though :cry:), another recommender is the head of our physics department who I am very close to.

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: undergraduate thesis, my school has 7 week classes instead of semesters.

Info that might hurt me: This is my second year applying to most of these schools and I haven't been able to do any significant research during my gap year so far :oops: I got accepted to a couple last year but they ended up being bad fits, not offering hardly any money, or had weird conditions for my attendance.

Applying to Where: (all for Ph.D.)

Harvard - Physics - HET/String theory
CU Boulder - Physics (or maybe astro, not sure yet) - Gravitation
Stanford - Physics - Theoretical Physics (general)
Tufts - Physics - Cosmology and Relativity
Brandeis - Physics - High Energy and Gravitational Theory
Brown - Physics - High Energy Theory
Northeastern University - Physics -
University of New Hampshire - Physics -

BrianIsBald
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue Dec 10, 2019 4:05 pm

Re: 2020 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Post by BrianIsBald » Tue Dec 10, 2019 4:17 pm

Undergrad Institution: Large state school, ranked top 20 in physics
Major(s): Physics
Minor(s):
GPA in Major: 4.00
Overall GPA: 4.00
Length of Degree: 4
Position in Class: Top
Type of Student: Domestic white male

GRE Scores :
Q: 166
V: 158
W: 4.0
P: 890


Research Experience:
1.5 years in high school doing accelerator physics, 2 presentations, 0 posters, no publications;
1 year doing HEPex at home institution searching for dark matter at LHCb, no presentations, 1 poster, no publications;
3 years of CME research at home institution, ~10 posters and presentations, 2 Nth author publications (one in Science), 3 papers in prep (although the timetable about all of these is up in the air, none will get out before apps are due).

Awards/Honors/Recognitions:
Departmental scholarship, university-wide 4-year scholarship, 2019 Goldwater, honorable mention for TA award.

Pertinent Activities or Jobs:
TA'd for 4 semesters (2 years) in introductory physics majors courses, and quantum 1;
volunteered at a local elementary school teaching kids science after school for 1 year.

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help:

Special Bonus Points:
2 grad classes so far, and will take a third in the spring.
Have talked to a prof at one of the schools I'm applying to and they are interested in having me as a student.
PI has connections at almost every school I'm applying to.
Very solid recommenders.

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: Applying to condensed matter experimental physics for all.

Applying to Where
JHU -
UIUC -
MIT -
UMD -
CalTech -
Berkeley -
Stanford -
Harvard -
Princeton -

venersis
Posts: 1
Joined: Sun Feb 11, 2018 11:14 am

Re: 2020 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Post by venersis » Wed Dec 11, 2019 10:19 am

Undergrad Institution: Best engineering and one of the best physics school in my country top 150 mech, 250 phys (top 60 in 2013 and 2015)
Major: Mechanical Engineering
Double Major: Physics
GPA in Major: No such thing
Overall GPA: 3.4/4.0 mech and 3.75/4.0 phys
Length of Degree: 5
Position in Class: 20/400 in mech, better in phys.
Type of Student: International, male

GRE Scores :
Q:170
V:146
W:3.0
P:860 (%77)


TOEFL: (R:25 , L:27 , S:19 , W:27 )


Research Experience: 2 summer internships in leading companies for mechanical engineering. Worked part time in one of them during one semester. 1 capstone project in ME and 1 capstone in Phys. Took many project courses in ME. Two weeks summer research school in theoretical physics. No papers.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Many Departmental High Honors and Honors, Double Major scholarship

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: 1 year private tutoring in math and phys

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help:

Special Bonus Points: Will graduate by completing 75 courses overall, 1 grad class in physics but we have large pool of theoretical physics courses in undergrad such as string theory, group theory. Probably will have good letters.

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: Contacted some professors during summer

Applying to Where: QFT, QCD, Quark gluon plasma, String theory, Gravitation

Ohio State - Physics
Penn State - Physics
Rutgers - Physics
Virginia Tech - Physics
Kentucky - Physics
Toronto - Physics
Indiana Bloomington- Physics
Pittsburgh - Physics
North Carolina State- Physics
Last edited by venersis on Thu Dec 12, 2019 12:34 pm, edited 6 times in total.

kenny7
Posts: 1
Joined: Sat Jun 01, 2019 5:21 am

Re: 2020 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Post by kenny7 » Wed Dec 11, 2019 1:22 pm

Undergrad Institution: small state university in central Europe, ranked 400-500 according to ARWU Shanghai, not especially renowned
Major(s): Physics
Minor(s): N/A
GPA in Major: 4.00
Overall GPA: 4.00
Length of Degree: five-year integrated Master's degree (finished 1 year earlier)
Position in Class: top
Type of Student: international (European) white male

GRE Scores:
Q: 168 (93%)
V: 166 (97%)
W: 4.5 (81%)
P: 990 (95%)

TOEFL: 112 (R: 30, L: 30, S: 23, W: 29)

Research Experience:
participated in the International Physicists' Tournament once, published a first author article related to the tournament
participated in one summer school as well
not much other experience (REUs aren't that common in Europe)

Awards/Honors/Recognitions:
mostly awards from high school competitions in physics
one scholarship for academic excellence
a few state-level recognitions

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help:
won two bronze medals in the International Physics Olympiads
participated in the International Olympiad on Astronomy and Astrophysics

Special Bonus Points:
I'm expecting strong letters of recommendation from all three referees

Applying to Where: all for Condensed Matter Theory

Texas at Austin
MIT
Harvard
Caltech
Chicago
Cornell
Yale
Princeton
Berkeley
Columbia
UIUC

quantumbio
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Dec 13, 2019 6:16 pm

Re: 2020 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Post by quantumbio » Fri Dec 13, 2019 7:26 pm

Undergrad Institution: Small US liberal arts state school. Above average overall and in physics, but no grad program/almost no research
Major(s): Biophysics
Minor(s): Mathematics
GPA in Major: Biophysics: 3.57 Math: 3.84
Overall GPA: 3.59
Length of Degree: 4 years
Position in Class: No rankings given, but probably top quarter of physics
Type of Student: Domestic hispanic white male

GRE Scores: revised
Q: 170 (96%)
V: 165 (96%)
W: 5.0 (92%)
P: 790 (65%)


Research Experience:

1 physics REU in computational protein binding. Learned a lot of computational/analysis skills and did small separate individual optimization project. Will be presented at 2020 Biophysical Society Conference.

3 semesters of optimization algorithms research. Designed new algorithm and tested against previous algorithms. Presented at a regional conference and 1st author on a submitted paper.

1 semester of a class research project on biological modeling that involved creating differential equation models and performing sensitivity analysis. Presented at home college symposium.

2 semesters of experimental protein characterization project. Presented at home college symposium.

1 summer research program at home college in genetics. Presented at home college symposium.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions:

McNair Scholar
Dean's list most semesters

Pertinent Activities or Jobs:

1 semester of tutoring physical chemistry to McNair scholars

Special Bonus Points:

McNair Scholar / Hispanic

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

I'm gonna include some more specific info in case I get into some top 10/20 schools with a meh GPA/PGRE, for those who would be wondering. If I don't, well gg.

I have a somewhat unique interest in pursuing quantum biology / quantum molecular modeling (not metals/superconductors but small molecules/biomolecules) that is potentially rare among applicants (can't be sure though). My professors thought I did a great job of explaining my intellectual reasoning behind my interest and my relevant skill work in my PS/SOP (I tried to be very direct/concise/explicit).

I took way more credits than needed for my degree (190 vs 120 required) because, as I explained in my PS/SOP, I wanted to gain as many relevant skills for research even at the cost of taking many more credits per semester than the standard load. I took many additional upper level electives in physics, math, and philosophy (critical thinking skills). This might make schools interpret my GPA in a better light.

All 3 of my letters should be very strong (came from REU, optimization project, and biological modeling project). My writer for my biological modeling project has also been my advisor/McNair mentor for 3 years (he has made clear he thinks highly of me both skill-wise and in other personality ways like maturity and focus) and has a unique/direct way of writing that might make this letter stand out even among other strong letters.

I emailed my top choice for professor at my top school (Cornell) about my interest and he said my skills specifically in optimization make me a good fit for his lab (although he might not take on new students).

Applying to Where:

All Ph.D. applications, only theory interests (read above section for more info)

Reach:

Cornell University - Physics - Condensed Matter Theory
University of Michigan - Physics - Condensed Matter Theory
University of Illinois - Urbana - Physics - Condensed Matter Theory
Columbia University - Chemistry - Chemical Physics

Match (hopefully? maybe still Reach):

Purdue University - Chemistry - Theoretical
University of Minnesota - Chemistry - Chemical Physics

Safety (good school, might be Match):

University of Rochester - Chemistry - Theoretical
Last edited by quantumbio on Fri Dec 13, 2019 10:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.

mforman307
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Dec 13, 2019 7:41 pm

Re: 2020 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Post by mforman307 » Fri Dec 13, 2019 8:12 pm

Undergrad Institution: Mid size public school in California, good physics program
Major(s): Physics
Minor(s): N/A
GPA in Major: 3.53
Overall GPA: 3.6
Length of Degree: 4 years
Position in Class: "Good Standing" on transcript
Type of Student: Caucasian male, USA

GRE Scores:
Q: 154
V: 145
W: 3
P: 590 :(

Research Experience: 2+ years of undergrad research in experimental particle physics, currently working at a national lab working on dark matter detection R&D project. A couple of poster presentations at university and national lab.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Thesis Honors, Undergraduate Research Award (funding for summer research), Honors in the major

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Currently working at a national lab working on dark matter detection

Special Bonus Points: 2 strong letters from both mentors, 1 letter from renowned physicist

Applying to Where:

UC Berkeley
Stanford
Brown
UCSB
UCLA
UC Davis
UC Berkeley
UC Santa Cruz
UC Irvine
Harvard
UPenn
Cornell
CU Boulder
U of Oregon
UW

Literally have no idea about my chances here so

luci
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed Oct 18, 2017 11:28 am

Re: 2020 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Post by luci » Sat Dec 14, 2019 10:14 am

Undergrad Institution: Top university in my country, but has no HEP research
Major(s): Physics
GPA in Major: 5.0/7.0
Master Institution: Smaller university, but top hep-ex in my country (I'm guessing both will be largely unknown so it doesn't really matter)
GPA in Master: 6.0/7.0
Length of Degree: 4+2
Type of Student: international male (south america)

GRE Scores :
Q: 164 (86 percentile)
V: 160 (84 percentile)
W: 3.0 (15 percentile) :shock:
P: 850 (April 2019, 75 percentile)


TOEFL: 119 (R: 30, L: 30, S: 30, W: 29)


Research Experience: At my master's institution, in two different big hep-ex collaborations (data analysis). Over a year in each. No publications.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions:

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: TA in undergrad.

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: Awarded a small grant at master's institution for a small research project with two fellow grad students.

Special Bonus Points: I can get my own funding through a government program. My research interests are extremely focused, so that helps I guess? For all places I'm applying to I did at least some minimal contact with professors I'm interested in working with.

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: I'm applying for neutrinos even though all of my research has been in other subareas (QCD and Higgs).

Applying to Where: (All for PhD in physics, experimental neutrinos)

US:
MIT (go big or go home 8))
Chicago
Minnesota (Minneapolis)

UK:
Manchester - Interviewed on Dec 12th
Warwick - Interview scheduled for Dec 16th

unseen.academical
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Jun 10, 2019 2:56 pm

Re: 2020 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Post by unseen.academical » Sat Dec 14, 2019 2:08 pm

Undergrad Institution: Top institution in Canada (not necessarily for physics though)
Major(s): Math and Physics
Minor(s): Pure Mathematics, Astrophysics
GPA in Major: 82/100
Overall GPA: 79.8/100
Length of Degree: 4 years
Position in Class: Excellent standing on transcript
Type of Student: Canadian citizen; "non-European" Caucasian female

GRE Scores: I did not take it.

Research Experience: 1 REU after third year in computational solid state physics; undergraduate research project in quantum games.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Honors in the major

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Active in science outreach programs at my university. President of the Physics student society. Dorm RA for two years. Tutor to first-year students in calculus and mechanics while in undergrad.

Special Bonus Points: 3 LORs that I believe will be strong ones.

Applying to Where: All MSc's except UofT which is a direct-entry PhD.

Reach:
University of British Columbia (Astrophysics, Cosmology)
University of Toronto (Astrophysics, Cosmology)
McGill University (Astrophysics, Cosmology, HEP)
University of Waterloo (Astrophysics)

Match:
Queens University (Astroparticle physics, HEP)
Simon Fraser University (HEP, Cosmology)
University of Victoria (Cosmology, HEP)
Western University (Astrophysics

Safety:
Carleton University (HEP)
York University

EBULLIENT
Posts: 1
Joined: Sun Dec 15, 2019 12:39 pm

Re: 2020 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Post by EBULLIENT » Sun Dec 15, 2019 12:56 pm

Undergrad Institution: Large state school, ranked top 20 in physics
Major(s): Physics
Minor(s):
GPA in Major: 4.00
Overall GPA: 4.00
Length of Degree: 3.5
Position in Class: Top
Type of Student: Domestic Male, Black+White

GRE Scores :
Q: 167 (90%)
V: 160 (86%)
W: 4.5 (81%)
P: 980 (94%)


Research Experience:
9 months doing HEPex at home institution, 1 presentation, 1 poster.
1 summer REU doing gravitational wave experiment at another institution, 1 presentation.
1 summer REU doing QIT/CMT at another institution, 1 first author paper in prep, 2 presentations.
2 years doing QIT/CMT at home institution, 1 first author publication, 1 presentation, 2 posters.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions:
2019 Goldwater Scholarship, TA award, research fellowship, departmental scholarships, community scholarship.

Pertinent Activities or Jobs:
TA'd for 3 semesters in mathematical physics and quantum II.
President of an athletic club.

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help:

Special Bonus Points:
5 grad classes.
In contact with a few professors at the schools I am applying to.
Recommenders are well-known and have connections.
Minority.

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: Applying to QIT/CMT.

Applying to Where:
Brown -
Caltech -
Harvard -
MIT -
Princeton -
Stanford -
UChicago -
UMD -
Waterloo -
Yale -

lfwh
Posts: 1
Joined: Sun Dec 15, 2019 2:47 pm

Re: 2020 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Post by lfwh » Sun Dec 15, 2019 3:09 pm

Undergrad Institution: Very good German school, top 20 reputation in physics worldwide
Major(s): Physics BSc, Applied and Engineering Physics MSc
Overall GPA: 1.8 BSc, 1.4 MSc (1.0-4.0, 1.0 max., massive grade deflation at my school, I mention that in SOP)
Length of Degree: 3+2 years
Position in Class: near top
Type of Student: international male

GRE Scores : revised
Q: 167 (90%)
V: 159 (83%)
W: 5.0 (92%)
P: 910 (85%)


TOEFL: (R: 29, L: 30, S: 26, W: 29)


Research Experience: 1.5 years full time in condensed matter physics (CME) close to what I want to do in grad school. One 1st author publication (got featured) on machine learning and CME, one 2nd author publication on CME, one 1st author paper on CME currently under review, one 1st author paper on CME in final prep (my advisor mentions all in his letter), presented at the APS March Meeting

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Visiting scholar in the US for 1.5 years, Scholarships for international thesis research

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: A lot of volunteering: youth counselor for 5 years, extensive refugee support

Special Bonus Points: Gard classes -> MSc, connection to famous profs at schools I am applying to (one of them proofread my SOP), 2/3 recommendations should be stellar


Applying to Where:

Stanford - Applied Physics - CME
Cornell - Physics - CME
Harvard - Applied Physics - CME
MIT - Physics - CME
Princeton - Physics - CME
UC Berkeley - Physics - CME
UC Santa Barbara - Physics - CME
UCLA - Physics - CME
University of Virginia - Physics - CME



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