Research project(s) before Physics return

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satyad18
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Joined: Sun Jul 05, 2009 9:17 am

Research project(s) before Physics return

Post by satyad18 » Wed Apr 21, 2021 6:57 am

Hi,

I wish to return back to physics to get my PhD in Astro/Cosmo (Th/Ex) after a break of 5years.
Would doing some research project with a professor (in the same city/country) help in admission process?
Or, would it have negative impact?
Would showing in SOP that I have self studied certain areas of Physics be worth or a stellar PGRE score be better?

Thank you.

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mcentag
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Joined: Wed Apr 14, 2021 11:09 am

Re: Research project(s) before Physics return

Post by mcentag » Thu Apr 22, 2021 9:59 am

Would doing some research project with a professor (in the same city/country) help in admission process?
Or, would it have negative impact?
Research experience is practically a must if you are aiming for mid- or top-tier schools right now. It will help a lot if the work you have done in your break was engineering or lab research related to astro. Otherwise, working on a research project with a prof would be helpful. It depends on what your background is but if you're planning on applying to grad schools in the upcoming cycle then I would recommend finding a prof doing experimental work.
Would showing in SOP that I have self studied certain areas of Physics be worth or a stellar PGRE score be better?
Self-studying areas of physics is almost worthless in an application. Even if you're doing a directed study with a professor, it's worth one sentence max in your SOP (that's not to say don't do it - just to emphasize that they are evaluating you as a potential researcher, not a just potential student). The pGRE score is most helpful, particularly if you are applying outside your home country.
Due to the pandemic, practically every grad school waived the GRE requirements for the past application cycle. I would be shocked if any more than a couple of schools reinstated that requirement this year, but in your case if you have a good score you should send it everywhere that it's optional.

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satyad18
Posts: 233
Joined: Sun Jul 05, 2009 9:17 am

Re: Research project(s) before Physics return

Post by satyad18 » Fri Apr 23, 2021 4:46 am

Thanks, that actually makes sense.



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