Please help me

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  • 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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Posts: 2
Joined: Thu Sep 28, 2006 6:35 am

Please help me

Post by abhi1310 » Thu Sep 28, 2006 6:50 am

This is Abhishek Tripathi from India.I want to apply to a reputed US university for MS and PhD in Physics,but am not sure of the schools I should apply to.My academics have been on a roller-coster ride.I even joined MBA but my passion for Physics has compelled me to take this subject as my career deciding factor.I've quit MBA after 1yr(we have 2 yr MBA degree in India).I am taking GRE physics on 4th of Nov and GRE general on 28th of Nov.My bachelors was completed with Mathematics and Physics with 58% marks. My performance in MBA is that of 6.29/10.I want to get into a reputed program but don't know much about the names of the Universities.Most importantly,I am banking on TA or RF to fund my studies in US.Please suggest me what to do and where to apply.I am extremely jittery about this.My passion is to attend Princeton,Caltech,Stanford,MIT or Columbia.I am not sure whether to apply there or not.I am earnestly looking for your precious piece of advise


Posts: 14
Joined: Mon Nov 07, 2005 9:15 pm

Calm down

Post by sciencexgirl » Sun Oct 29, 2006 5:50 pm

From what I can see, you are only interested in applying to Princeton, Caltech, Stanford, MIT, or Columbia because those are the only names you know. In the US, there are hundreds of reputable graduate schools where you can study and earn your PhD in physics. The "Rankings" of the various universities have very little to do with the quality of the university physics departments. Nevertheless, I will put up this link just to give you some ideas:

US News Graduate Schools 2007 ... _brief.php

Keep in mind that the higher "ranked" and more famous the school, the more difficult it will be to gain admission.

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Joined: Thu Sep 28, 2006 6:35 am


Post by abhi1310 » Mon Oct 30, 2006 2:25 am

Thanks a lot for the reply.I actually have already seen those rankings.They usually publish top three universities in the web site.Therefore,it is getting difficult for me to choose the right university for me.I belong to a middle-class Indian family which cannot afford to apply to each and every university I want to.I am waiting till 15th of December 2006,when my Physics GRE scores will be out.General GRE scores will be out by 28th of November 2006.My TOEFL iBT score is 97.Based on my scores I am planning to apply.Hope it will not be too late for assistantships and/or fellowships.

Is this strategy fine?I will again contact you after I get my scores.In the meantime,if you can help me with some good universities in Physics Dept,which may or may not be that popular,I shall be thankful to you.

Posts: 14
Joined: Mon Nov 07, 2005 9:15 pm

Finding physics departments

Post by sciencexgirl » Wed Nov 01, 2006 4:25 am

Ahh... sorry, I did not realize that you had to sign up and pay to look at that website. Another effective way of finding out about good physics departments is to type "University Physics Department" or variations of that phrase into Google and see what comes up. Of course the first ones you see will be the websites for famous and popular schools like Harvard, Princeton, etc. But after that, you will start to see other names, and in most cases you only have to click on the link to be taken to the department's website to find out about their research and application process.

One piece of advice I have is that you should NOT count on ETS to be prompt about giving you your scores, and therefore you should probably not wait for them before preparing and maybe even submitting your application. Maybe they are better in foreign countries, but in my case I did not even receive my Physics GRE score until a couple of days before all my applications were due (Applications tend to be due right around Dec. 15, and you should not allow your application to be late!).

Here is a short list of a few of the universities that came up in my Google search (skipping the ones you already mentioned), in no particular order:
Duke, Penn State, Ohio State, Brown, Indiana University, Boston University, Brandeis University, NYU, Rutgers, Syracuse, Carnegie Mellon, Baylor, Kansas State, University of Southern California, Texas A&M University, Oregon State, Northeastern University, Case Western...
The list goes on and on because there are hundreds of universities in the US, though not all of them grant PhD's in physics. Your choices should depend on what field of physics you are interested in, and what part of the United States you want to live in.

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Joined: Fri Nov 10, 2006 1:49 am

Post by Daharoni » Fri Nov 10, 2006 2:51 am

Here is a great link for you...

Posts: 13
Joined: Fri Nov 10, 2006 5:12 am

My List

Post by samarthaca » Fri Nov 10, 2006 5:19 am

Dear Ms. sciencexgirl,
Please give me an idea as to where I should apply. I want to do semiconductor physics.I have a percentage of 76.05 in my acads, research expeience in astrophysics / material science in two premier institutes of I ndia, mediocre GRE score ( 1280, 730 Q), awaiting subject test results. I have one upcoming publication too. Can I apply anywhere for an electrical engineering master's under semiconductor physics stream ?
Please give me a possible idea of univs. to apply to (If its not too much work)


Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Nov 10, 2006 5:03 pm , free info on physics PhD programs

Post by selinger » Fri Nov 10, 2006 5:58 pm

I suggest you look at this website sponsored by the American Institute of Physics:

It has listings for just about every physics PhD program in the US, including lots of details about research areas, stipend levels, etc.

You can also check out the PhD program in my department at Kent State University. Here's the website:

Good luck to all with your applications!

-Prof. Robin Selinger, Liquid Crystal Institute, Kent State University

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