How competitive am I as a prospective graduate applicant?

  • 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.

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Posts: 4
Joined: Thu Oct 12, 2006 10:47 pm

How competitive am I as a prospective graduate applicant?

Post by jrrtook » Thu Oct 12, 2006 10:55 pm

first of all, i am american which i guess helps

i go to a small liberal arts school where I get A's and B's in my physics courses (A's in all the classes outside of physics)

i havent taken either the subject or general GRE's yet; but i think that my subject GRE will be low (and i mean low) based on practice tests and the such :( ; i don't have a lot of trouble with classwork or the math in physics, but for some reason this test is giving me a helluva lot of trouble

i think i will do well on the general test though

i am currently working on a research project with a professor that will last my entire senior year and end up with a paper and maybe a talk at some UGResearch conference

other than that, not too much to show

what are my odds overall?

also, what are my chances at a top school like UMaryland or Wisconsin?


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

Research is important!

Post by sciencexgirl » Sun Oct 29, 2006 5:30 pm

You should talk to your supervising professor to get some ideas of where to apply. I'm assuming this person is going to write you a letter of recommendation, yes? They may tell you about universities you hadn't thought of, where they've worked with professors on collaborative research - in that case, their name might carry more weight at that particular university, as a trustworthy judge of you, the candidate. Your delving into a major research project as an undergraduate, with the prospect of a publication at the end of the year, is not to be overlooked! This is what universities want candidates to be able to do, and a glowing recommendation letter that says you're a good researcher will get you admitted somewhere. Maybe not to all the Ivy League schools, and maybe that means not to the school of your dreams. It's a matter of chance with all of those places. As far as the GRE goes, think positive. Study and do the best you can, and don't stress about it too much (also don't apply only to Ivy-League schools). Americans usually don't get very high scores on it, because our undergraduate system works differently from the rest of the world (they don't have "breadth requirements" that force physics majors to take history classes and such).

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