2011 Rejections

  • 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.

vesperlynd
Posts: 194
Joined: Thu Aug 06, 2009 9:28 am

Re: 2011 Rejections

Post by vesperlynd » Fri Apr 29, 2011 7:51 pm

negru wrote:
vesperlynd wrote:NEVER put HET as your field of interest, unless you are a blooming genius.
I thought I should give my valuable perspective on this. You CAN go ahead and put HET as your field of interest, IF indeed you are a blooming genius, OR IF you are negru.

Oh wait that's actually the same thing...yeah nevermind, sorry.


Hahahahahahaha, but I should qualify my statement:
NEVER put HET as your field of interest, unless you memorized equations like you're supposed to:
negru wrote:90% of the PGRE is based on memorization...
:lol:

Good luck at P-ton, my friend. Peace out.

matto07
Posts: 29
Joined: Tue Oct 26, 2010 1:03 am

Re: 2011 Rejections

Post by matto07 » Sat Apr 30, 2011 12:31 am

grae313 wrote:
HappyQuark wrote:Just for the record, I didn't get a response from UC Irvine until a week after the deadline, Columbia waited until 2 weeks and I still haven't heard a god damn thing from Northwestern.
I would kindly ask for my application fee back. That is bullshit.
Hmm. I might do that. I still haven't heard back from UT!!! (sent a few email inquiries too...)

CarlBrannen
Posts: 381
Joined: Mon May 24, 2010 11:34 pm

Re: 2011 Rejections

Post by CarlBrannen » Sat Apr 30, 2011 7:26 pm

vesperlynd wrote:Carl, I'm really sorry about what happened. I heard you were accepted somewhere though?
It's now official from the Washington State University website. Maybe I should have been checking it every day, I suppose I'd known yesterday. But anyway, now it says:
Normal Advanced Degree plan for WSU-P term 2011-Fall
Status: Admitted by GSA
Evaluated by Graduate School: 04/22/2011 Admitted: 04/29/2011 GPA 3.85
Ph.D. PHYS Objective recommended by dept
Still don't know if they have any money, but (don't tell anyone), I'd attend whether they had it or not. In fact, I had such a good time when I visited that they'd have to hire security to keep me off campus. A studio apartment is $305 per month in Pullman, WA.

User avatar
InquilineKea
Posts: 301
Joined: Sun Mar 21, 2010 9:07 pm

Re: 2011 Rejections

Post by InquilineKea » Sat Apr 30, 2011 9:32 pm

High-energy physics - isn't that the precise area that's suffering from funding cuts? (which is why it seems so difficult to get in?) Obviously, some fields are enjoying an explosion in funding, but in the US, we all know that much of the sexy work is now being done at CERN instead, so people are more interested in funding other areas of science.

TheBeast
Posts: 114
Joined: Mon Mar 07, 2011 12:06 am

Re: 2011 Rejections

Post by TheBeast » Sat Apr 30, 2011 10:13 pm

InquilineKea wrote:High-energy physics - isn't that the precise area that's suffering from funding cuts? (which is why it seems so difficult to get in?) Obviously, some fields are enjoying an explosion in funding, but in the US, we all know that much of the sexy work is now being done at CERN instead, so people are more interested in funding other areas of science.
The discussion above was referring to hep-theory as opposed to hep-ex. hep-th isn't just straight up particle physics theory; depending on how an institution is organized, their hep-th department generally includes stuff like relativity, grand unified theories, string theory and all sorts of theoretical physics at small distances/high energies/early universe.

While funding cuts indeed play a factor, HET is difficult to get into because there are fewer profs compared to other fields, which means that they take on fewer students, but there's huge interest from the applicant pool. Not to mention that the general trend among applications is that those applying for theory need a higher PGRE score than those applying for experiment. All of these factors contribute into making HET admissions difficult.

In contrast, there are more people working in hep-ex and the groups tend to be larger because it generally takes more people to run the massive particle physics experiments. While the Tevatron at Fermilab is shutting down, most schools aren't just shutting down their high energy experiment groups; they are transitioning faculty and incoming students to the CERN experiments. Just because the research is physically located at Europe doesn't mean that North American schools aren't involved. For what it's worth, at my current institution, while the Tevatron group is somewhat cash strapped and has a couple of soon-to-be graduating students, the LHC group is booming and is rolling in money.

User avatar
Dorian_Mode
Posts: 68
Joined: Wed Mar 30, 2011 6:17 am

Re: 2011 Rejections

Post by Dorian_Mode » Sat Apr 30, 2011 10:40 pm

There are also other experiments going on that aren't at Fermilab or CERN (e.g. Belle, various high-energy astro things).

User avatar
grae313
Posts: 2297
Joined: Tue May 29, 2007 8:46 pm

Re: 2011 Rejections

Post by grae313 » Sun May 01, 2011 12:06 pm

TheBeast wrote:While funding cuts indeed play a factor, HET is difficult to get into because there are fewer profs compared to other fields, which means that they take on fewer students, but there's huge interest from the applicant pool. Not to mention that the general trend among applications is that those applying for theory need a higher PGRE score than those applying for experiment. All of these factors contribute into making HET admissions difficult.
I think the funding is just as important because it dictates how many students a single professor can advise. There are 12 people (grad students and post docs) in my experimental biophysics research group, but many HET groups have only a couple of grad students and maybe one or two post docs. There's just no money for any more and many HET students need to rotate semesters between TAing for support and getting supported by their adviser's research grants.

swestrings
Posts: 32
Joined: Tue Dec 14, 2010 9:21 pm

Re: 2011 Rejections

Post by swestrings » Tue May 03, 2011 5:28 am

negru wrote:0 to 2 string theorists accepted (accepted, not matriculating) per school per year sounds about right from I've seen
For which universities?

axiomofchoice
Posts: 199
Joined: Thu Feb 05, 2009 11:45 pm

Re: 2011 Rejections

Post by axiomofchoice » Tue May 03, 2011 2:24 pm

grae313 wrote:
TheBeast wrote:While funding cuts indeed play a factor, HET is difficult to get into because there are fewer profs compared to other fields, which means that they take on fewer students, but there's huge interest from the applicant pool. Not to mention that the general trend among applications is that those applying for theory need a higher PGRE score than those applying for experiment. All of these factors contribute into making HET admissions difficult.
I think the funding is just as important because it dictates how many students a single professor can advise. There are 12 people (grad students and post docs) in my experimental biophysics research group, but many HET groups have only a couple of grad students and maybe one or two post docs. There's just no money for any more and many HET students need to rotate semesters between TAing for support and getting supported by their adviser's research grants.
As well as the fact that it takes more time (and energy) for a theory professor to advise a student. I don't think it's unusual that an experimental adviser has more than 6-7 advisees at a given time, but one would be very hard pressed to find a theory adviser who advises so many students with a good conscience (i.e. he/she would feel not having enough time for each student). Even given the variation in advising style, theory advisers are in general more "hand-on" than experimental ones just because of the nature of research. I have meet theory professor who happens to have tons of money from a certain award and yet still not intend to take more than 3 or 4 students at any given time; funding just isn't a constraint in that case. There are also places where all theory students have to TA all the time (again, funding is not a problem for professors), but even there professors are not taking 10 students at a time.

vesperlynd
Posts: 194
Joined: Thu Aug 06, 2009 9:28 am

Re: 2011 Rejections

Post by vesperlynd » Tue May 03, 2011 3:22 pm

CarlBrannen wrote:
vesperlynd wrote:Carl, I'm really sorry about what happened. I heard you were accepted somewhere though?
It's now official from the Washington State University website. Maybe I should have been checking it every day, I suppose I'd known yesterday. But anyway, now it says:
Normal Advanced Degree plan for WSU-P term 2011-Fall
Status: Admitted by GSA
Evaluated by Graduate School: 04/22/2011 Admitted: 04/29/2011 GPA 3.85
Ph.D. PHYS Objective recommended by dept
Still don't know if they have any money, but (don't tell anyone), I'd attend whether they had it or not. In fact, I had such a good time when I visited that they'd have to hire security to keep me off campus. A studio apartment is $305 per month in Pullman, WA.
Congratulations!

Opticks
Posts: 6
Joined: Fri May 06, 2011 2:48 pm

Re: 2011 Rejections

Post by Opticks » Wed May 11, 2011 11:46 pm


Hmm. I might do that. I still haven't heard back from UT!!! (sent a few email inquiries too...)
has this actually worked for anyone? I asked a few of my schools for refunds and of course they said they wont give it



Post Reply