For those accepted to Carnegie Mellon Physics PhD

  • 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.

Post Reply
the_fourth_jhana
Posts: 2
Joined: Sun Sep 22, 2019 4:39 pm

For those accepted to Carnegie Mellon Physics PhD

Post by the_fourth_jhana » Mon Mar 09, 2020 12:31 am

I have been officially waitlisted at Carnegie Mellon for the Physics PhD (hep-ex focus). This is my top choice dream school, and I would really really love to get bumped up to an acceptance. If you have been accepted to this program and do not plan on attending, please please please officially turn down your offer to the department asap so that I have a chance of getting your spot. Thank you so much in advance, fellow physics friends, and best of luck to you all! :)

User avatar
Nishikata
Posts: 229
Joined: Sun Sep 23, 2018 6:37 am

Re: For those accepted to Carnegie Mellon Physics PhD

Post by Nishikata » Mon Mar 09, 2020 1:15 am

the_fourth_jhana wrote:
Mon Mar 09, 2020 12:31 am
I have been officially waitlisted at Carnegie Mellon for the Physics PhD (hep-ex focus). This is my top choice dream school, and I would really really love to get bumped up to an acceptance. If you have been accepted to this program and do not plan on attending, please please please officially turn down your offer to the department asap so that I have a chance of getting your spot. Thank you so much in advance, fellow physics friends, and best of luck to you all! :)
Actually, you need not to do this... The waitlist should still be in effect even after the April 15 acceptance deadline.
From that date, the schools shall evaluate how many places are still unoccupied and send decisions to the waitlist.

It's just that... I see so many people in this forum / gradcafe with requests similar to yours. Sometimes even in a menacing tone. I just can't help but get a little irritated. Nothing personal against you, but in general, there is no rationale in those who already got accepted to speed up their decision to honor such request. They earned those offers. They are now making decisions about their future and thus they should be entitled to every second until the April 15 deadline. Asking them to hurry up so that some stranger in the internet may or may not get their offer, seems very much inconsiderate.

the_fourth_jhana
Posts: 2
Joined: Sun Sep 22, 2019 4:39 pm

Re: For those accepted to Carnegie Mellon Physics PhD

Post by the_fourth_jhana » Mon Mar 09, 2020 1:30 am

That's fair. I only post this because I have an offer from another school (a backup choice) and do not want to end up not knowing if I may have an offer at CMU after April 15 deadline. It is a huge gamble. Also, I've seen some users mention that they will definitely attend one program when they have been accepted to others. I do not ask for people to hurry up and make a decision, I only ask for those who have already made a final decision to let the other schools know in consideration of other applicants.

AstroObs
Posts: 15
Joined: Mon Mar 09, 2020 1:42 am

Re: For those accepted to Carnegie Mellon Physics PhD

Post by AstroObs » Mon Mar 09, 2020 2:16 am

Nishikata wrote:
Mon Mar 09, 2020 1:15 am
the_fourth_jhana wrote:
Mon Mar 09, 2020 12:31 am
I have been officially waitlisted at Carnegie Mellon for the Physics PhD (hep-ex focus). This is my top choice dream school, and I would really really love to get bumped up to an acceptance. If you have been accepted to this program and do not plan on attending, please please please officially turn down your offer to the department asap so that I have a chance of getting your spot. Thank you so much in advance, fellow physics friends, and best of luck to you all! :)
Actually, you need not to do this... The waitlist should still be in effect even after the April 15 acceptance deadline.
From that date, the schools shall evaluate how many places are still unoccupied and send decisions to the waitlist.

It's just that... I see so many people in this forum / gradcafe with requests similar to yours. Sometimes even in a menacing tone. I just can't help but get a little irritated. Nothing personal against you, but in general, there is no rationale in those who already got accepted to speed up their decision to honor such request. They earned those offers. They are now making decisions about their future and thus they should be entitled to every second until the April 15 deadline. Asking them to hurry up so that some stranger in the internet may or may not get their offer, seems very much inconsiderate.
While it is possible to wait til April 15, it is plainly naive to think this will not harm others. Yes, a school may make offers after April 15, but someone good enough to get into CMU will likely have offers from safeties, and would be a fool not to choose one if still on the waitlist by April 15. If you wait til the 12th to decline, and they can’t search through the waitlist and make an offer til the 16th, it is pretty obvious you relegated them to go to their safety rather than CMU.

Now, if you have a number of offers from peer institutions, say are deciding between NYU, BU, and CMU, it is perfectly fine to wait til late March/early April to decide. It is also reasonable to keep on CMU if you only have one or two offers from a top school like Harvard or Princeton and want to see if CMU is a better fit for you. But it takes time for schools to contact waitlisted candidates and see if they are still interested, and anything less than a full business week before the deadline is incredibly rude in my mind.

The moment I received an offer from a reach school I withdrew from all safeties, and upon a second offer from a top school I withdrew from all matches. Now it may not be so clear cut choices for you as it was for me, but at a minimum it is clear that if you are certain you will not attend a school you should decline/withdraw ASAP. Keeping on a school past that point is selfish. There are also complications if you are applying to CA/UK/EU/AU and waiting for April scholarship results. But if you are applying in the US and can visit your offers in March then decide in March.

User avatar
Nishikata
Posts: 229
Joined: Sun Sep 23, 2018 6:37 am

Re: For those accepted to Carnegie Mellon Physics PhD

Post by Nishikata » Mon Mar 09, 2020 3:18 am

AstroObs wrote:
Mon Mar 09, 2020 2:16 am
While it is possible to wait til April 15, it is plainly naive to think this will not harm others. Yes, a school may make offers after April 15, but someone good enough to get into CMU will likely have offers from safeties, and would be a fool not to choose one if still on the waitlist by April 15. If you wait til the 12th to decline, and they can’t search through the waitlist and make an offer til the 16th, it is pretty obvious you relegated them to go to their safety rather than CMU.

Now, if you have a number of offers from peer institutions, say are deciding between NYU, BU, and CMU, it is perfectly fine to wait til late March/early April to decide. It is also reasonable to keep on CMU if you only have one or two offers from a top school like Harvard or Princeton and want to see if CMU is a better fit for you. But it takes time for schools to contact waitlisted candidates and see if they are still interested, and anything less than a full business week before the deadline is incredibly rude in my mind.

The moment I received an offer from a reach school I withdrew from all safeties, and upon a second offer from a top school I withdrew from all matches. Now it may not be so clear cut choices for you as it was for me, but at a minimum it is clear that if you are certain you will not attend a school you should decline/withdraw ASAP. Keeping on a school past that point is selfish. There are also complications if you are applying to CA/UK/EU/AU and waiting for April scholarship results. But if you are applying in the US and can visit your offers in March then decide in March.
As you may have suggested in your answer, this is very much subject to the individual's conditions. They may have multiple, clear-cut options, or they may not. There are numerous variables that only they themselves know and will have to weigh and decide. It may not be down only to the ranking of the school, for example. The thing about such online requests is that it is often aimed at general audience, and unfortunately some of those without steel hearts out there may get affected by the online pressure when they really shouldn't be.

Yes, the consequence of the current system is clearly that waitlistees may have to accept safeties' offers before even hearing about the waitlist outcomes. That is unfortunate, but it is the reality of the system's outcome.

What I can suggest, is for us waitlistees to talk through our conditions with the schools that placed us on waitlist to have a definitive response, perhaps one week before April 15. Alternatively, we may have to find a way to get out of the safeties' admits when the awaited results came. It is not going to be easy, obviously. However, it is what comes with us not coming on top of the competition in the first place.

For those with offers and are waiting till the final week. I do not think that they should not be allowed to be selfish or to be "rude".
This is not a team sport. They are simply covering any chances that may happen until April 15, and they have earned this privilege.

Just for an extreme example: what if their professor of interest passes away in end of march / early April, due to the deadly coronavirus or severe depression?

They would have been able to fall back on their second choice, if not because some strangers online asked them to decline their other offers. Such outcome would have been very miserable, and I think it should never happen to those talented ones who got multiple offers.

I think it may be acceptable to ask somebody we know personally to be a little considerate of our less-than-ideal conditions. Nevertheless, there is no guarantee that the declined offer will arrive at our doorstep. In this perspective, our lucky friend will 100% lose the offers that they decline, while these offers have less than 10% chance to be reallocated to us waitlistees... I feel bad to even ask them to do that.

so why not just congratulate our friends who have been admitted and hope for the best for our case (see my suggestions above)?

For strangers, I will not have a slightest hope that upon reading my online request they will decline their offers earlier than they intend to, anyways.

AstroObs
Posts: 15
Joined: Mon Mar 09, 2020 1:42 am

Re: For those accepted to Carnegie Mellon Physics PhD

Post by AstroObs » Mon Mar 09, 2020 4:16 am

I think this particular conversation is more debatable since CMU is certainly a quality program, and it wouldn't be unreasonable to select it over MIT etc. if you really like a professor or have family there.

I have gone through this process twice, and last time instead of deciding between top 10 schools I was praying for an offer from school I guarantee you have never heard (not in US top 100). If someone was holding onto an offer from a *true* safety school until April 15, on the off chance their professor at a uni ranked 100s above it will die of COVID-19, that would be selfish. I would congratulate that person, but encourage them not to live in fear - they succeeded. And if you, like me, faired well this time, I do sincerely congratulate you.



Post Reply