Do grad school look at ALL your stuff?

  • 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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Do grad school look at ALL your stuff?

Post by invidia » Tue Nov 14, 2006 7:01 pm

If your GPA don't meet an unviersity's min requirements, do they completely ignore the rest of your application items, such as personal statements, letters of rec, etc. and just deny you?

Or do grad schools review at ALL your application stuff at the SAME time?

Because I'm not going to waste money on application fees to grad school if they do this in their procedures. Since my GPA doesn't meet any grad school's min requirements, despite my excellent undergrad research experience and standardized test scores..

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Post by bosem » Wed Nov 15, 2006 5:00 am

I think if it barely misses the requirement, then the take a look at your other staff. However, if your GPA barely misses the requirement, then having a very impressinve GRE helps a lot, since these are the two things that they look at first to throw away applications. So if you have very good GRE subject but not so good GPA they would look at other stuff to see, how competative you are.

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Post by artschoolapplicant » Wed Nov 15, 2006 2:01 pm

Also, look at each school's "FAQ" page or "information for applicants." Individual departments pretty good at telegraphing whether they throw away applications based on a few numerical statistics. For instance UCSB repeats over and over that your verbal should be around 600, your math around 800, and your subject above 800. I'm guessing they're more serious about those numbers than a school which just says "here are the average stats of accepted students."

That said, in your case (bosem) I would apply ANYWHERE I wanted to if I had solid GRE scores and really special research experience. I have read a LOT of those "FAQs" I mentioned, talked to a number of admissions committee members (because my record is so weird), and from what I've gleaned, you're competitive.

Why? Because your record indicates that (A) you can do nice research and bring glory/ honour /shiny wall ornaments to your PhD overlords and (B) you're good at taking the tests, which means you're not going to disappear after quals (the big test each university administers 2-3 years in). Everything else is just gravy.

Good luck!

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Post by Quantum » Wed Nov 15, 2006 10:53 pm

It really depends on the school. A good number of universities today use computers to filter out potential applicants with credentials that are below their set minimums. This may prevent the admission committee from seeing ANY of your other credentials if your application was, from the filtering process, sent directly to the list of apps they won't even consider.

However, you'll never know whether the school(s) you're applying to do this or not. And if they DO, it's difficult to say WHICH credentials they will use in their filter or what the exact minimums will be. Though, I would suspect undergrad GPA and GRE subject test scores would be the most likely stats used in such a process. And of course most schools, if they have room left over for more admits, will begin considering those previously weeded out by their filtering system.

That said, it's still worth applying to ALL the schools you wish to attend because you can never be sure of each school's exact admission procedure. And it would be a shame not to apply to a favorable school because you didn't THINK you would have been admitted, but were wrong. Yes, the application fee is annoying, but it's a small price to pay for the chance of getting into your dream school(s). ^_^

And of course, always have back-ups. -__-

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