Discussion: 2010 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.

kroner
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Re: Discussion: 2010 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Post by kroner » Wed Jan 20, 2010 6:01 pm

I have no idea if all UW-Madison's first round picks are emailed already, but even if that were the case, from what I've heard it sounds like schools continuously offer spots to more people down their list as they hear back from people they've already accepted and new spots open up. So until you get a rejection letter you should probably not rule out the possibility of getting accepted.

geshi
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Re: Discussion: 2010 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Post by geshi » Wed Jan 20, 2010 6:57 pm

highbounce wrote:It does however seem like that UW-Madison sends all of its acceptances in January. I was looking at last year's results. Everyone one who got accepted received the email on Jan 30. Since some people already got their acceptance emails on Jan 19 this year, could this mean that all the acceptances are already sent out and the rest are rejected?
This is the way I understand it to work:

Most schools send out their first round of acceptances in the last week of January or the first week of February (or somewhere in that general vicinity). After that, they figure out how many of their first picks are going to accept the offers. Then they throw out new offers as people decline their offers. There is the chance you could still get accepted at a school that has already sent out it's first round of acceptances. I think some schools also play a game where they will accept you but not offer you any money (they might not do this in physics, but I had engineering friends who this happened to). Then if you show interest and more or less tell them you want to come, they will try to make you an offer when something opens up.

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YellowXDart
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Re: Discussion: 2010 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Post by YellowXDart » Wed Jan 20, 2010 9:17 pm

geshi wrote:
YellowXDart wrote:Umm... Seeing that some people are already receiving responses from schools has suddenly made me VERY anxious. I know we aren't supposed to hear anything until February at the earliest, but you always hope that you'll be the lucky one with an early acceptance.

Sorry, just needed to have a public emo moment. :oops:
Hey, just hope you aren't one of the really unlucky ones that doesn't get accepted at all.

http://www.thegradcafe.com/survey/index.php?q=physics

Only a couple schools seem to have sent out acceptances this early (UW-Milwaukee, UW-Madison, UPenn). I wouldn't get too anxious yet.
Unfortunately, I was one of those unlucky ones that didn't get accepted last year. I've definitely expanded my list to include some safety schools, improved my GRE, and beefed up my resume a bit, but I can't help but feel a little pessimistic. I'm aware that any responses before February are very rare; I'm just driving myself a little crazy with all the waiting.

geshi
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Re: Discussion: 2010 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Post by geshi » Wed Jan 20, 2010 9:47 pm

YellowXDart wrote:Unfortunately, I was one of those unlucky ones that didn't get accepted last year. I've definitely expanded my list to include some safety schools, improved my GRE, and beefed up my resume a bit, but I can't help but feel a little pessimistic. I'm aware that any responses before February are very rare; I'm just driving myself a little crazy with all the waiting.
Yeah I was in that boat last year as well. Fortunately I am already not in that boat again this year. I notice you have a much improved PGRE this year over last years (that's actually similar to my situation: I had a 550 last year and a 710 this year). That should at least make a bit of a difference. Hang in there! Hopefully it'll work out for you this year!

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YellowXDart
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Re: Discussion: 2010 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Post by YellowXDart » Wed Jan 20, 2010 10:56 pm

geshi wrote:Yeah I was in that boat last year as well. Fortunately I am already not in that boat again this year. I notice you have a much improved PGRE this year over last years (that's actually similar to my situation: I had a 550 last year and a 710 this year). That should at least make a bit of a difference. Hang in there! Hopefully it'll work out for you this year!
Thanks, same to you!

ddubs
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Re: Discussion: 2010 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Post by ddubs » Thu Jan 21, 2010 2:09 pm

It looks like both of the people on this website that got accepted to UW Madison already were both plasma physics. We should wait until another branch starts getting acceptances to worry =)

Ryalnos
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Re: Discussion: 2010 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Post by Ryalnos » Thu Jan 21, 2010 3:15 pm

I know someone else who was admitted with an interest in AMO, so my impression was that offers were department-wide.

UW-Madison may be tougher than usual to get into this year, per:
http://www.physicsgre.com/viewtopic.php ... ass#p22461

Kites
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Re: Discussion: 2010 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Post by Kites » Thu Jan 21, 2010 5:27 pm

That's true right now all across the board. It's a fact of our economy. A few of the schools, and Wisc specifically, have told me that their graduate students are holding onto their positions for longer due to a struggling economy. No matter how you look at it it will be more competitive this year because there are fewer slots.

highbounce
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Re: Discussion: 2010 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Post by highbounce » Fri Jan 22, 2010 11:28 pm

Well it looks some more people just got accepted into Wisconsin today, my chance is just getting slimmer and slimmer.

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YellowXDart
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Re: Discussion: 2010 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Post by YellowXDart » Sat Jan 23, 2010 12:26 am

highbounce wrote:Well it looks some more people just got accepted into Wisconsin today, my chance is just getting slimmer and slimmer.
Honestly, your profile is pretty strong for someone educated domestically. In your case, the biggest concern is the fact that you are international and require international funding. It could be that the international applications have not yet been processed, and all of the acceptances so far are only domestic students.

It's still early. BELIEVE ME, I know how stressful this time is. I'm sure I'm not the only one obsessively checking the message boards to see if any of my schools have started to send out acceptances. All you can do is wait. Like kroner said to me earlier, don't count a school as a lost cause until you have that rejection letter in hand.

MacCutcheon60
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Re: Discussion: 2010 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Post by MacCutcheon60 » Sat Jan 23, 2010 1:08 am

YellowXDart wrote:I'm sure I'm not the only one obsessively checking the message boards to see if any of my schools have started to send out acceptances.
That makes at least two.

CKtalon
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Re: Discussion: 2010 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Post by CKtalon » Sat Jan 23, 2010 1:41 am

MacCutcheon60 wrote:
YellowXDart wrote:I'm sure I'm not the only one obsessively checking the message boards to see if any of my schools have started to send out acceptances.
That makes at least two.
Three. :)
Looking at last year,
MIT - Early Feb
UIUC - Mid Feb
Harvard -Latemid Feb
Berkeley - Latemid Feb
UCSB - Late Feb
Stanford - Late Feb

At least 2 weeks to go for me..nonetheless...

blackcat007
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Re: Discussion: 2010 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Post by blackcat007 » Sat Jan 23, 2010 2:35 am

four :)

kroner
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Re: Discussion: 2010 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Post by kroner » Tue Jan 26, 2010 2:10 am

Just for the record, that gradcafe site is awful. Now every time anyone anywhere hears from a school I applied to I have to get all anxious.

geshi
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Re: Discussion: 2010 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Post by geshi » Tue Jan 26, 2010 2:48 am

kroner wrote:Just for the record, that gradcafe site is awful. Now every time anyone anywhere hears from a school I applied to I have to get all anxious.
Yes ... yes my pretties, now you suffer like me!

Seriously, once someone introduced me to that site last year, I was pins and needles all second semester of my senior year. It was awful.

bibimbop
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Re: Discussion: 2010 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Post by bibimbop » Tue Jan 26, 2010 3:09 am

kroner wrote:Just for the record, that gradcafe site is awful. Now every time anyone anywhere hears from a school I applied to I have to get all anxious.
How is that different from the sticky admissions profile threads going on in this forum? I'm not complaining, just pointing out the fact that I check if anyone applying to the same schools as me has received any decision at least 3 times per day :roll:

bibimbop
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Re: Discussion: 2010 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Post by bibimbop » Tue Jan 26, 2010 12:37 pm

Oh I see... did you guys mean this? You're right, it's like opening pandora's box :shock:

geshi
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Re: Discussion: 2010 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Post by geshi » Tue Jan 26, 2010 4:03 pm

So I see someone posted a phone call acceptance from OSU on the grad cafe (http://thegradcafe.com/survey/index.php?q=physics). Anyone else heard from them? Or did they maybe only call a handful of people?

irockhard
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Re: Discussion: 2010 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Post by irockhard » Tue Jan 26, 2010 4:26 pm

According to another forum, Michigan has sent out rejection emails to some people (they are all international students). So I guess no news is good news now. :roll:

geshi
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Re: Discussion: 2010 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Post by geshi » Tue Jan 26, 2010 4:34 pm

irockhard wrote:According to another forum, Michigan has sent out rejection emails to some people (they are all international students). So I guess no news is good news now. :roll:
Ooohh, which other forum? I need my nose in all kinds of physics grad business!

irockhard
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Re: Discussion: 2010 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Post by irockhard » Tue Jan 26, 2010 4:51 pm

geshi wrote:
irockhard wrote:According to another forum, Michigan has sent out rejection emails to some people (they are all international students). So I guess no news is good news now. :roll:
Ooohh, which other forum? I need my nose in all kinds of physics grad business!

It's in Chinese
http://bbs.taisha.org/thread-1461620-1-1.html

bibimbop
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Re: Discussion: 2010 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Post by bibimbop » Tue Jan 26, 2010 5:55 pm

geshi wrote:So I see someone posted a phone call acceptance from OSU on the grad cafe (http://thegradcafe.com/survey/index.php?q=physics). Anyone else heard from them? Or did they maybe only call a handful of people?
It said an unofficial email? I wouldn't be too worried yet

blackcat007
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Re: Discussion: 2010 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Post by blackcat007 » Tue Jan 26, 2010 6:06 pm

irockhard wrote:
geshi wrote:
irockhard wrote:According to another forum, Michigan has sent out rejection emails to some people (they are all international students). So I guess no news is good news now. :roll:
Ooohh, which other forum? I need my nose in all kinds of physics grad business!

It's in Chinese
http://bbs.taisha.org/thread-1461620-1-1.html
the post really shook me to the core.. the rejected guy has a similar profile to mine... what will happen to me??? :(

AO
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Re: Discussion: 2010 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Post by AO » Tue Jan 26, 2010 6:24 pm

Have any of you accepted-to-Madison people received a financial offer yet?

jones
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Re: Discussion: 2010 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Post by jones » Thu Jan 28, 2010 6:45 am

There seems to a problem with the Embark pages since this morning - has anybody else been experiencing any problems?

blackcat007
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Re: Discussion: 2010 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Post by blackcat007 » Thu Jan 28, 2010 7:56 am

jones wrote:There seems to a problem with the Embark pages since this morning - has anybody else been experiencing any problems?
yes i am also facing the same.. :(

mobytish
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Re: Discussion: 2010 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Post by mobytish » Thu Jan 28, 2010 9:13 am

A message to wmwolf...

I think you reversed your Quantitative and Verbal scores on your profile... Unless, of course, you got a 590 Q and an 800 V.

geshi
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Re: Discussion: 2010 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Post by geshi » Thu Jan 28, 2010 1:43 pm

mobytish wrote:A message to wmwolf...

I think you reversed your Quantitative and Verbal scores on your profile... Unless, of course, you got a 590 Q and an 800 V.
I believe your right. If you look at the percentiles, they're all wrong. A 590 Q would be a really terrible percentile (around 50%).

highbounce
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Re: Discussion: 2010 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Post by highbounce » Thu Jan 28, 2010 5:03 pm

OMG, I just got into Wisconsin. I am so HAPPY!!! I cant believe this!

For people who got the acceptance email from the department, does it actually say your name in the beginning, like "Mr. xxx"? And does it contain any financial information? I couldn't find either in the email. Also, is it normal that the My UW-Madison status site is still showing that my application is under review?

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YellowXDart
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Re: Discussion: 2010 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Post by YellowXDart » Fri Jan 29, 2010 2:19 am

highbounce wrote:OMG, I just got into Wisconsin. I am so HAPPY!!! I cant believe this!

For people who got the acceptance email from the department, does it actually say your name in the beginning, like "Mr. xxx"? And does it contain any financial information? I couldn't find either in the email. Also, is it normal that the My UW-Madison status site is still showing that my application is under review?
Congrats! Actually, this sounds exactly like the letter I just received from ASU. It was something like: "Dear Ms. XXX, Congrats blah blah blah admitted to Astrophysics program. Got to the website for more information."

That was pretty much it, so I called the department today and they said they would be sending me more information very soon.

Ryalnos
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Re: Discussion: 2010 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Post by Ryalnos » Fri Jan 29, 2010 2:44 am

highbounce:

The email I received began with the 'Congratulations!' line. It did not address me personally.

Subsequent emails claimed that financial offers would be mailed out this week.

The gradapply page took a while to update my status.

And congrats!

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quizivex
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Re: Discussion: 2010 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Post by quizivex » Fri Jan 29, 2010 3:19 am

From my experience, it seems some schools will send an initial mass-email to the admitted students before they send official personalized letters to each student.
mobytish wrote:A message to wmwolf...

I think you reversed your Quantitative and Verbal scores on your profile... Unless, of course, you got a 590 Q and an 800 V.
Yeah it's clearly a typo. Practically nobody gets 800V and practically nobody in physics would ever get below 600Q.

Now for a more rigorous proof, note by comparison to other people's scores, 800V would be 99%ile (since everyone in past profile threads who had in the mid-upper 700's had 99%ile), and 800Q is only 94%ile, so it follows based on the percentiles he listed that the scaled scores for the math and verbal sections were reversed.

QED

nathan12343
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Re: Discussion: 2010 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Post by nathan12343 » Fri Jan 29, 2010 12:38 pm

quizivex wrote:From my experience, it seems some schools will send an initial mass-email to the admitted students before they send official personalized letters to each student.

Yeah it's clearly a typo. Practically nobody gets 800V and practically nobody in physics would ever get below 600Q.

Now for a more rigorous proof, note by comparison to other people's scores, 800V would be 99%ile (since everyone in past profile threads who had in the mid-upper 700's had 99%ile), and 800Q is only 94%ile, so it follows based on the percentiles he listed that the scaled scores for the math and verbal sections were reversed.

QED
As a corollary, quizivex has too much time on his hands.

terrence
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Re: Discussion: 2010 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Post by terrence » Fri Jan 29, 2010 7:17 pm

To those who got into Boston: did the email come from the department?
Or was it from a professor?
And by the way, congratulations!

YellowFlower
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Re: Discussion: 2010 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Post by YellowFlower » Mon Feb 01, 2010 7:40 am

terrence wrote:To those who got into Boston: did the email come from the department?
Or was it from a professor?
And by the way, congratulations!
Thanks. :)
The email came from the department, saying I was accepted and specifying the TA/RA fellowship.
Good Luck !!

Mataka
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Re: Discussion: 2010 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Post by Mataka » Tue Feb 02, 2010 7:10 pm

According to the grad cafe, UCSB has started to accept students online ...my "decision available" is still gray, what about you guys ?

blaster00
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Re: Discussion: 2010 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Post by blaster00 » Tue Feb 02, 2010 7:28 pm

@ Mataka: Same for me. It seems a little odd that they would post it so early. Past years seem to come late February at the earliest, most people reporting no word on the website until March.

Anyone actually have a decision from UCSB?

CKtalon
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Re: Discussion: 2010 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Post by CKtalon » Tue Feb 02, 2010 7:59 pm

Same here for UCSB, it's grayed out. What does that mean?
Stop teasing us!

terrence
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Re: Discussion: 2010 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Post by terrence » Wed Feb 03, 2010 5:17 am

@Mataka: same here, it's grey.

Mataka
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Re: Discussion: 2010 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Post by Mataka » Wed Feb 03, 2010 10:56 am

I just look at the 2008-2009 profiles, one more time :roll: , and some people got in UCSB early february/end of january, but most people got in near the end of February. It's not clear to me why they do that ... if any body has an explanation I would be happy the hear it ;) . Perhaps Engage has an hypothesis ?

Engage
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Re: Discussion: 2010 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Post by Engage » Wed Feb 03, 2010 2:19 pm

My decision available button went up on the first or second.

rp
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Re: Discussion: 2010 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Post by rp » Wed Feb 03, 2010 2:38 pm

Mataka wrote:I just look at the 2008-2009 profiles, one more time :roll: , and some people got in UCSB early february/end of january, but most people got in near the end of February. It's not clear to me why they do that ... if any body has an explanation I would be happy the hear it ;) . Perhaps Engage has an hypothesis ?
I have. People that receive acceptances earlier than the rest have contacts inside the department. Or their profiles are very strong.

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grae313
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Re: Discussion: 2010 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Post by grae313 » Wed Feb 03, 2010 3:32 pm

Almost all admissions are done in waves. It's a challenge every year to try and match the incoming class size with the available funding. Typically, first-round offers are made early to the strongest applicants and the response to these offers helps them know how many additional offers of admission they can put out without risking a class size that is too large. Also, it is easy to imagine that upon first going through their stack of applications, some of them will stand out as the most exceptional and schools will make a strong effort to recruit these students early, while other applications might warrant debate/discussion.

The general trend that I've seen is a handful of offers go out in late January/early February to really strong applicants, and the bulk of acceptances go out towards the end of February, and the final offers trickle out sporadically throughout March. If you're still waiting by the end of March or early April, you're rejected (some schools don't mail out the letter until the last minute) or waitlisted.

Bottom line, they don't make a decision on all of the applications all at once.

terrence
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Re: Discussion: 2010 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Post by terrence » Thu Feb 04, 2010 8:06 am

I agree with what grae said. I think there are exceptions though, for example Cornell seems to send all the acceptances early (they have already started this year, and hopefully they will go on - I haven't heard anything yet :) ).

highbounce
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Re: Discussion: 2010 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Post by highbounce » Thu Feb 04, 2010 11:42 pm

What kind of questions do they ask you in a phone interview? I just got an interview request from one of my very top schools. And what is a short list? I am not terribly worried since I really have nothing to lose but I just want to be a little prepared.

ddubs
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Re: Discussion: 2010 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Post by ddubs » Fri Feb 05, 2010 3:19 pm

highbounce wrote:What kind of questions do they ask you in a phone interview? I just got an interview request from one of my very top schools. And what is a short list? I am not terribly worried since I really have nothing to lose but I just want to be a little prepared.
I had a phone interview with Yale like 3 days ago--just be prepared to answer questions that you've already answered in the application. It's unlikely the interviewer has memorized your application, so review your statement, most recent research, why you want to go to graduate school, what research you want to do, etc. Try and have some good questions lined up for him/her also--it shows interest and preparation.

From the interviews I've had, ones my friends have had, it really seems to me like phone interviews are just a sanity check after the admissions committee likes your application. I haven't heard one instance where the interviewer was out to throw curveballs but who knows.

highbounce
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Re: Discussion: 2010 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Post by highbounce » Fri Feb 05, 2010 7:27 pm

ddubs wrote:
highbounce wrote:What kind of questions do they ask you in a phone interview? I just got an interview request from one of my very top schools. And what is a short list? I am not terribly worried since I really have nothing to lose but I just want to be a little prepared.
I had a phone interview with Yale like 3 days ago--just be prepared to answer questions that you've already answered in the application. It's unlikely the interviewer has memorized your application, so review your statement, most recent research, why you want to go to graduate school, what research you want to do, etc. Try and have some good questions lined up for him/her also--it shows interest and preparation.

From the interviews I've had, ones my friends have had, it really seems to me like phone interviews are just a sanity check after the admissions committee likes your application. I haven't heard one instance where the interviewer was out to throw curveballs but who knows.
Hey ddubs, I sent you a PM.

irockhard
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Re: Discussion: 2010 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Post by irockhard » Sat Feb 06, 2010 12:15 am

If a school invited me to their open house and asked me to reply to the invitation if I am interested in going, would they reject me if I did not reply and decided not to visit the school? I have already found better options, so what I am really curious about is do people end up getting rejected by schools for which they qualified but did not show interest?

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noojens
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Re: Discussion: 2010 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Post by noojens » Sat Feb 06, 2010 5:20 am

irockhard wrote:If a school invited me to their open house and asked me to reply to the invitation if I am interested in going, would they reject me if I did not reply and decided not to visit the school? I have already found better options, so what I am really curious about is do people end up getting rejected by schools for which they qualified but did not show interest?
I've never heard of someone being rejected because they didn't attend the open house.

That being said, if you've been accepted to school X, but you KNOW you've been accepted to schools that you'd definitely prefer to attend, then you should contact school X and tell them that. Don't take their money to visit their open house. Don't lead them on. Just be honest with them, because the sooner you withdraw your application, the sooner they can send another PhysicsGRE poster an acceptance email that will make them very, very happy.

I'm sure admissionprof can corroborate this.

mirage
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Re: Discussion: 2010 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Post by mirage » Sat Feb 06, 2010 9:31 am

irockhard wrote:If a school invited me to their open house and asked me to reply to the invitation if I am interested in going, would they reject me if I did not reply and decided not to visit the school? I have already found better options, so what I am really curious about is do people end up getting rejected by schools for which they qualified but did not show interest?
A few schools use an open house as an interview for applicants. They will observe for a couple of days those applicants that have been short-listed and then make their final offers. So unless you're sure that you don't want to attend said school, make sure that you understand the purpose of the open house. But like grae said, if you have better offers then please go ahead and reject the school. :)



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