Harvard Physics Grad admission policies not on GSAS

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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: 52
Joined: Sun Nov 05, 2006 12:07 am

Harvard Physics Grad admission policies not on GSAS

Post by bosem » Sun Nov 05, 2006 1:56 am

I heard that different school has different criteria for admitting graduate students. Since, I believe, there are students from most of US school on this forum, it is possible that someone, here, has some idea about their school's graduate admission policy. So I was wondering if we can have some specific discussion about the admission policies of specific schools. I have a crash into Harvard Graduate School, so I would like to propose a discussion on Harvard admission policies:

My Questions:
What are their main criteria? GRE, GPA, Recommendations, Personal Essay, Research Experiences – How do they compare to each other? - relative importance
Has there ever been a student admitted to Harvard without any UG research experiences?
What is the lowest GPA that you know has been accepted to Harvard?
Does General GRE matters at all? If it does, then how much?
What about Higher level courses but 3.5 GPA?
What if someone has some very good Math courses – Analysis (Rudin), Linear and Abstract Algebra – to go with higher level physics courses but ~ 3.5 GPA?

Here I am looking for the informations that are not on GSAS website.
Thank you

Posts: 11
Joined: Fri Apr 28, 2006 6:33 am

as far as i know...

Post by witten_high_pitch_voice » Sun Nov 05, 2006 4:48 am

First of all, the title of your post should be "Can I get into Harvard?"

"What about Higher level courses but 3.5 GPA? "
I would say 3.5 is "too low" for Harvard, otherwise "anyone" can get in

"What if someone has some very good Math courses – Analysis (Rudin), Linear and Abstract Algebra – to go with higher level physics courses but ~ 3.5 GPA?"
Analysis and linear+abstract algebra is not "very good math". Rather, that is year 1 MUST learn stuff...

My answer to your question may be offensive but I'm just being honest... It's very tough to get into Harvard you know...

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Joined: Sun Nov 05, 2006 10:31 am

Post by tnoviell » Sun Nov 05, 2006 10:34 am

No undergrad research and a 3.5 GPA, you probably won't get in.

Harvard is a little different with the students they accept. You can have all perfect scores and still may not get in, because they aren't looking for drones. They like creative and personable students. If you can show you're out of the norm, they'll look very hard at you.

If you're looking for PhD, the most important thing is undergrad research. Bottom line.

Posts: 101
Joined: Wed May 10, 2006 6:48 pm

year 1 math?

Post by rjharris » Sun Nov 05, 2006 11:50 am

I must say that i disagree very much with the idea that all those math classes are necessary. I've done a lot of math (two analysis courses, couple of algebra, topology, etc.), and i must say that unless you want to go into some high power theoretical stuff, you don't need it. at all. the math you need is taught in the context of physics courses.

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Joined: Thu Nov 02, 2006 1:25 am

Post by invidia » Sun Nov 05, 2006 11:57 am

You will be competing people with 4.0s and those with perfect GRE scores. So it all comes down to things that cannot be judge by numbers: extensive undergrad research, letters of recommendations, personal statements, etc.

To give you an example, my friend with a 4.0 GPA and 900ish physics GRE was rejected from MIT and Princeton for the lack of undergrad research. You still have room to improve if you''re not a senior/ late junior. Just get that 3.5 to a >3.85 and start sucking up to professors and ding lots of undergrad research.

Posts: 52
Joined: Sun Nov 05, 2006 12:07 am

Can I have some hard facts?

Post by bosem » Mon Nov 06, 2006 12:55 pm

Thanks! guys... I think I get the point. I would not say that you were discouraging at all because u guys have sjust encouraged me to work a little harder. I would specially like to thank invidia because of his/her example. I was expecting all of you to give some hard facts about your friends or your personal experiences.

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