2014 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

  • 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.

quetzalcoatl
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Jun 12, 2013 3:16 pm

Re: 2014 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Post by quetzalcoatl » Fri Jan 31, 2014 4:47 am

I used the previous years' threads in deciding where to apply and scaring myself looking at other people's results. Now it's my turn.

Undergrad Institution: I suppose I'll stick with my classmates in calling it a big state school with a top-tier rep in physics
Major(s): Physics
Minor(s): None
GPA in Major: 3.75
Overall GPA: 3.63
Length of Degree: 4 years
Position in Class: Everyone around here seems to be above-average, the department doesn't tell us what our rank is
Type of Student: Domestic white male

GRE Scores : (revised)
Q: 170 (98%)
V: 166 (96%)
W: 6.0 (99%)
P: 970 (92%)


Research Experience: 2ish years in a particle experiment group on campus, no publications

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Not really

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Graded for a QM class

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: Not really

Special Bonus Points: Grad course in QM, shouldn't this be combined with the "Misc. Accomplishments" thing?

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: I was dealing with some personal issues during my sophomore year which led to bad grades in two math classes, which I explained in my essay. I later retook the classes and got As, and the rest of my math classes are As-B+s. One of my letters is from one of those math professors (when I got an A, not when I flunked).

Applying to Where:

All physics departments, I indicated a primary interest in HET but with additional leanings towards CMT, QIT, gravitation, basically anything but experiment. I'll update the list as the results come in.

UC Irvine - Accepted 1/24 by email. ~$18000 TA + $10000 Chancellor's Fellowship for the first two years, attended visit day 2/21. Will attend!
U Chicago - Rejected 2/5 by website
Wisconsin Madison - Rejected 2/6 by email
Yale - Rejected 2/10 by email to check website
Michigan - Rejected 2/13 by email
Princeton - Rejected 2/14 by email
MIT - Rejected 2/18 by email
UC Berkeley - Rejected 2/20 by email
Stanford - Rejected 2/24 by email
UCSD - Rejected 2/28 by email
Harvard - Rejected 3/1 by snail mail
Columbia - Rejected 3/10 by email to check website
Caltech - Rejected 3/10 by email
UCSB - Rejected 3/11 by email
UCLA - Rejected 4/24 by email to check website

Take away message: HET is hard. Be very afraid. At visit day UC Irvine said that they only admitted 5 students who indicated an interest in HET, and as luck would have it I'm one of them.
Last edited by quetzalcoatl on Thu Apr 24, 2014 3:38 pm, edited 8 times in total.

nik
Posts: 47
Joined: Sat Nov 09, 2013 7:10 pm

Re: 2014 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Post by nik » Fri Jan 31, 2014 10:46 pm

<Removed>
Last edited by nik on Tue Nov 04, 2014 3:57 pm, edited 33 times in total.

tsymmetry
Posts: 50
Joined: Mon Apr 01, 2013 5:59 pm

Re: 2014 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Post by tsymmetry » Sat Feb 01, 2014 9:26 am

Undergrad Institution: Ivy
Major(s): Physics
Minor(s): Mathematics
GPA in Major: ~3.6
Overall GPA: ~3.6
Both major and overall GPA closer to ~3.8 in the last four semesters
Length of Degree: 4 years
Position in Class: I think I hold my own within a brilliant group of students. Research wise, I think I might be the most accomplished student in my year.
Type of Student: Domestic female

GRE Scores : (revised or old version?)
Q: 168
V: 162
W: 5.0
P: 760

TOEFL Total: N/A
Research Experience: I did one summer in a condensed matter experiment group at my home institution.
I started working with my current research group winter of 2012 working in a small collaboration focusing on theoretical and computational research on topological insulators. I did independent studies with my group junior year and am working on my senior thesis this year (a total of 4 credits). I did a Materials REU at my home institution working with my current group Summer 2012.
Last summer I worked on a paper with my research group at my institution and did an REU at a top fifteen school, working on a project in CMT. My summer advisor and I are currently finishing a paper resulting from the REU. I will be first author and will most likely be submitted to Phys Rev B.

First author publication in Phys Rev Lett published the week of January 20th (giving a talk on this work at the APS March meeting) I am also working on my senior honors thesis.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Named science award from university (provides full tuition and fees) given to students in the physical sciences for achievement in the classroom and in research. This award requires me to write an honors thesis and earn an M.S. (will be getting an M.S. in physics as well when I graduate this year)
Award for best paper in chemistry for the Materials REU at my home institution

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Member of APS, research honors society on campus, student advisor for the physics major

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: I like to read physics textbooks and papers for fun so I have learned a lot from that. It has helped me in research and do really well in grad quantum without having taken undergrad quantum.

Special Bonus Points:
I think my research experience is incredibly strong. I have dedicated most of my time to my home group but have also had other experiences. My four recommenders all know me very well so their recommendations should be outstanding. They are all extremely well connected. I think my statements were very strong because they were very specific and informed
I have taken eight grad classes including two semesters of grad quantum, one semester of QFT, and stat mech among others.

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: My PGRE score was very disappointing. For future test takers, eat breakfast and make sure you read the questions carefully so you don’t misinterpret them. It makes the process much less stressful if you do well on the PGRE so take it seriously.
Grades are not as strong as they should be mostly due to inconsistent exam performance which for the most part got much better in the spring of sophomore year.

Applying to Where: All for CMT, also interested in AMO and Quantum Computing research related to CMT

CU Boulder – Accepted 2/17 by email with a $10,000 signing bonus
UC Berkeley - Rejected 2/25 from the website
UChicago – Accepted 1/22 by phone and received the Nambu Fellowship $44,500 for three years!!! Unbelievable!!!
Cornell - Accepted 2/5 by email with a $26,285 teaching fellowship
Harvard - Accepted 2/13 by email with the James Mills Peirce Fellowship that comes with an extra $18,000 given over the next three years. Will Attend!!! So excited!!!!!
Illinois – Accepted 2/9 by email
Michigan – Accepted 1/23 by email with a $27,900 stipend provided by the Physics Departmental fellowship
MIT-Rejected 2/18 by email
Rutgers- Accepted 2/11 by email with an Excellence and Torrey fellowship for a stipend of $29,000 and no formal duties for the first year
Princeton - Rejected 2/14 by email
UC Santa Barbara - Rejected 3/11 on website
Stanford - Accepted 2/24 by email I thought this was the most unlikely one!!!

Advice to future applicants: Make sure to get involved with research early and find a research advisor who will both promote you and push you beyond your comfort zone. Get to know your professors, the professors at my university have all been wonderful mentors. Study hard and get good grades. However, even if you get a worse grade in a class than you hoped for, it doesn’t mean that you can’t understand the course material at a very deep level later on. Understanding physics takes time, and in the end building physical intuition is more important than getting the A. If you really understand physics, it will eventually come through.
Last edited by tsymmetry on Fri Aug 01, 2014 11:08 am, edited 30 times in total.

ac8119
Posts: 1
Joined: Sat Feb 01, 2014 3:50 pm

Re: 2014 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Post by ac8119 » Sat Feb 01, 2014 4:16 pm

Undergrad Institution: Ivy, top 10 physics
Major(s): Physics, Mathematics
Minor(s): Astronomy
GPA in Major: ~3.9
Overall GPA: ~3.9
Length of Degree: 4
Position in Class: Idk
Type of Student: Domestic asian male

GRE Scores :
Q: 169
V: 168
W: 5
P: 860


Research Experience: One summer doing carbon nanotube spectroscopy, one year doing extragalactic stuff, ~1.5 years on time-domain astronomy in the Galactic Center, 1 REU at MIT Haystack Observatory on temperature trends in the upper atmosphere. 3 Conference presentations, and a paper or two in the pipeline.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Dean's list

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: I was a undergraduate TA for a semester

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help:

Special Bonus Points: (Such as connections, grad classes, famous recommenders, female or minority status etc...) I took on pretty diverse research projects and managed to get meaningful results in most of them. I think 2 of my recommenders are pretty well connected. As per coursework, my 1st semester in college was my worst semester by a fair margin, so I showed some upward trend. I also took two grad courses and did decently in them.

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: My personal story is pretty unconventional, but I only put it down for schools that required a separate personal history statement (UC Berkeley and UC Santa Cruz).

Applying to Where: I put down my primary research interest as data-intensive astronomy, but I mentioned pretty broad research interests beyond that.

UC Berkeley - Astronomy - Accepted via phone on 01/29
MIT - Physics - Accepted via email on 02/10
Harvard - Astronomy - Interviewed via Skype on 01/27 --> Rejected via snail mail
Stanford - Physics - Rejected via email
Columbia - Astronomy - Accepted via email on 02/10
Princeton - Astrophysical Sciences - Rejected via email on 01/23
UW Madison - Astronomy - Waitlisted via email on 01/30
Caltech - Astronomy - Interviewed via Skype on 01/30 --> Accepted via email on 02/03
UChicago - Astronomy - Rejected via email on 02/06
UC Santa Cruz - Astronomy - Interviewed via Skype on 01/29--> Accepted via email on 02/07
UM Ann Arbor - Astronomy - Accepted via email on 01/30

And so ends my admissions journey. Getting interviewed then rejected by Harvard was a bit odd (I thought the interview went well), but I'm definitely happy with the offers I received. I was a bit worried about my PGRE score, as I took on the last possible date with less prep than I would've liked, but research recs >> GRE according to some folk I talked to on admissions committees.
Last edited by ac8119 on Thu Apr 03, 2014 8:51 pm, edited 13 times in total.

hippoeye314
Posts: 1
Joined: Sun Feb 02, 2014 10:14 pm

Re: 2014 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Post by hippoeye314 » Sun Feb 02, 2014 10:24 pm

Undergrad Institution: Large State University
Major(s): Astrophysics, Mathematics
Minor(s):
GPA in Major: 3.8
Overall GPA: 3.8
Length of Degree: 4 years
Position in Class: near top I'd guess
Type of Student: Domestic Female

GRE Scores : revised
Q: ~167
V: ~160
W: 4
P: ~650 :cry:



Research Experience: 3 various projects while trying to figure out my interests. Two published papers from the first project

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Several research fellowships, other awards

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Teaching Assistant for intro physics and astronomy courses, officer of SPS and another club at the university

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help:

Special Bonus Points: Took a grad math course my second year, took a grad physics course this year

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter:

Applying to Where:

University of Michigan - Astronomy - Accepted
Ohio State University - Astronomy -On the wait list via email
University of Chicago - Astronomy- rejected via email to check website
Boston University - Astronomy-Accepted
University of California, Santa Cruz - Astronomy-Interview-rejected
University of Arizona - Astronomy -rejected
University of Washington - Astronomy On the wait list
University of Texas, Austin - Astronomy On the wait list
Last edited by hippoeye314 on Fri Feb 28, 2014 2:54 pm, edited 3 times in total.

thizz
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Feb 05, 2014 1:57 am

Re: 2014 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Post by thizz » Wed Feb 05, 2014 2:07 am

Undergrad Institution: One of the UCs
Major(s): Physics (Materials Physics)
Minor(s): Math
GPA in Major: 3.85
Overall GPA: 3.75
Length of Degree: 4
Position in Class: I think top 15% or so
Type of Student: Domestic Asian Male

GRE Scores :
Q: 168
V: 164
W: 4.5
P: 950

Research Experience: Did one summer research scholarship, and then research in materials science and eng. for ~1.5 years from which I got one second author paper.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Honor student, Physical Science Dean's award

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: College physics tutor for 1.5 years

Special Bonus Points: Took a graduate course on math phys.

Applying to Where: All CM Experiment except Stanford.

Carnegie Mellon
Columbia
Cornell - Rejected
MIT
Princeton - Rejected
Stanford - Applied Physics - Rejected
Stony Brook
UC Berkeley
UCLA - Accepted
UCSB
U of Chicago - Accepted
U of Illinois, Urbana Champaign
U of Michigan - Accepted
Last edited by thizz on Fri Feb 14, 2014 5:01 pm, edited 4 times in total.

luca.agozzino
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Feb 05, 2014 2:11 pm

Re: 2014 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Post by luca.agozzino » Wed Feb 05, 2014 2:31 pm

Undergrad Institution: Italian research university, top 5 in italy for physics, discrete reputation in the world
Major(s): Physics, Theoretical Physics
Minor(s):Mathematic
GPA in Major: 4.0
Overall GPA: 4.0
Length of Degree: I am graduating at a 2-year Master, got graduate at Bachelor in 2011
Position in Class: Top, they say
Type of Student: Male

GRE Scores : revised
Q: 164 (89%)
V: 155 (66%)
W: 3.0 (14%) ( :roll: hope it's not decisive...)
P: 910 (88%)


IELTS Total: 7.5

Research Experience: One year of research activity with my supervisor theoretical group. A first paper was published on Physical Review Letters; we submitted a second paper to EPJc, waiting for the answere

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: A merit based scolarship during all the 5 year period and a Departmental Prize the the best Bachelor graduate student.

Applying to Where:

MIT - Physics - HEP-th, Gravitation
BU - Physics - HEP-th, Gravitation
Brandeis - Physics - HEP-th, Gravitation - two Skype interview 01/25 and 02/06 - Accepted 02/07 - Financial details to come
SUNY Stony Brook - Physics - HEP-th, Gravitation
Princeton - Physics - HEP-th, Gravitation - rejected by email 02/14
Caltech - Physics - HEP-th, Gravitation
UCLA - Physics- HEP-th, Gravitation
Berkeley - Physics - HEP-th, Gravitation
Last edited by luca.agozzino on Fri Feb 14, 2014 5:09 pm, edited 3 times in total.

Nickzdabomb
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Feb 05, 2014 3:53 pm

Re: 2014 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Post by Nickzdabomb » Wed Feb 05, 2014 4:09 pm

Undergrad Institution: State school in the Big Ten
Major(s): Physics, Math
Minor(s): Psychology, Leadership Studies
GPA in Major: 4.0+
Overall GPA: 4.0+
Length of Degree: 4
Position in Class: Top
Type of Student: Domestic male with mixed background

GRE Scores : Revised
Q: 168
V: 160
W: 5.0
P: 840


Research Experience: 3.5 years at my school working in Molecular Beam Epitaxy, a summer research project at Technion Institute of Technology in Israel working in superconductors, and an REU at Cornell University working in graphene. No publications, about 10 talks at various undergraduate research fairs or departmental colloquia.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Goldwater Scholar, President's List

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: None

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: Churchill Scholarship Finalist

Special Bonus Points: A handful of graduate classes in Physics and Math (~5 by graduation)

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter:

Applying to Where: Research interest is condensed matter experiment and biomimetics

Berkeley - Physics - Accepted 2/4 via e-mail
Caltech - Applied Physics - Accepted 2/5 via e-mail
Cornell - Applied Physics
Harvard - Applied Physics
Illinois - Physics- Accepted 2/9 via e-mail with a SURGE (Support for Underrepresented Groups in Engineering) Fellowship as a $22,000 stipend for 11 months
Michigan - Applied Physics- Accepted 2/14 via e-mail with a 5-year financial package beginning with a fellowship valued at $2,325 per month
MIT - Physics- Accepted 2/10 via e-mail with a 3-year School of Science Fellowship valued at $2,637+ per month
Northwestern - Materials Science and Engineering- Accepted 2/13 via e-mail with an RA valued at $28,320 yearly
Princeton - Physics- Rejected 2/14 via e-mail
Stanford - Applied Physics - Accepted 2/4 via e-mail with a RA for 2014-2015 valued at $2,936 per month
Last edited by Nickzdabomb on Fri Feb 14, 2014 5:04 pm, edited 6 times in total.

sorairo
Posts: 3
Joined: Fri Feb 07, 2014 1:45 am

Re: 2014 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Post by sorairo » Fri Feb 07, 2014 2:30 am

This was a helpful thread for me last year.

Undergrad Institution: Top in Canada for physics
Major(s): Physics
Minor(s): None
GPA in Major: 3.98/4.00
Overall GPA: 3.92/4.00
Length of Degree: 4 years
Position in Class: Near top
Type of Student: Chinese-Canadian female

GRE Scores : Revised
Q: 170 (98%)
V: 163 (94%)
W: 4.5 (78%)
P: 800 (76%...)

Research Experience: Two summers in medical biophysics (focused ultrasound), one year coding in quantum optics (ultracold atoms), one summer in experimental condensed matter (low temp), all with pretty prominent scientists in their fields. Two posters, no publications.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: First place at small medical biophysics poster competition, two NSERC USRAs, and a handful of internal scholarships for good grades.

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Work-study position in first year helping with undergrad physics labs.

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: Graduated from high school with 5th highest average in the school board (largest in Canada, 4th largest in North America)...? idk

Special Bonus Points: Female, applying for my former MBP group at Toronto. Columbia BME prof I'm interested in used to be my supervisor's postdoc. All my referees like me as far as I can tell.

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: A few CS courses, machining and electronics workshops.

Applying to Where:

Toronto - Medical Biophysics - Five-minute formality interview Jan 22, accepted Jan 23 with NSERC CGSM offered Apr 1 ($29K)
UBC - Condensed Matter Expt - Accepted Feb 14 with NSERC CREATE QuEST ($25K)
Columbia - Biomedical Engineering - Accepted Feb 3 with Presidential Fellowship ($39K + tuition, interview waived) - will attend!
Columbia - Condensed Matter Expt - Rejected March 10

(I was really put off applications by low PGRE score + indecision about what to study... but in retrospect, maybe should have applied to BME at more places. Oh well.)
Last edited by sorairo on Tue Apr 08, 2014 2:13 am, edited 8 times in total.

sharanbngr
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Feb 07, 2014 2:38 am

Re: 2014 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Post by sharanbngr » Fri Feb 07, 2014 3:13 am

Undergrad Institution: One of the Indian Institutes of Technology. Good reputation for engineering. Not so much for physics
Minor(s): Physics
GPA in Major: 7.78
Overall GPA: 7.85
Length of Degree: 4 years
Position in Class: around top
Type of Student: International

GRE Scores :revised
Q: 165
V:164
W: 3.5
P: 870


TOEFL Total: 112

Research Experience: one summer work in Astroparticle physics and continued into the academic year. No paper as of now though :(


Special Bonus Points: Applying to some places where my research adviser knows people personally. Relatively strong SOP and decent LORS (I think) and Good grades in minor

Applying to Where: Applying to HEP-th mostly

UT Austin
Maryland, College Park
Wisconsin -madison - rejected 2/7
Johns Hopkins
Minnesota, Twin Cities - Accepted 1/24 - TA of 18k for nine months and summer stipend of about 6k
UPenn
Penn State
UC Davis
North Eastern

poel5279
Posts: 34
Joined: Mon Nov 04, 2013 4:36 am

Re: 2014 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Post by poel5279 » Fri Feb 07, 2014 7:23 pm

Undergrad Institution: Small Liberal Arts College with no reputation for physics.
Major(s): Physics and Mathematics
Minor(s): None
GPA in Major: 3.98
Overall GPA: 3.98
Length of Degree: 4.5 years
Position in Class: Top in both mathematics and physics program.
(But our physics program is very small, so somewhat meaningless.)
Type of Student: International Asian Male with degree from university in the U.S.
Type of Degree Applied For: PhD

GRE Scores :
PGRE: 810
Q:169
V:159
W:4.0

Research Experience:
- Astrophysics (numerical analysis) research in galaxy formation for 1 year leading to publication in MNRAS (co-author)
- Quantum Gravity (theory) (ongoing) research beginning this summer of 2013. May lead to publication.
- Research in Mathematics: 1) Hyperbolic Analysis research last year (wrote up some stuff, but may not submit.). 2) Sheaf theory and bicomplex holomorphic functions (recently started). 3) Generalized Fourier Analysis (Paper submitted, not approved yet.)

Letter of Recommendations:
1 from well-known quantum gravity physicist.
1 from well-known astrophysicist
1 from school chancellor (well-known mathematician).
All three of whom I did/am doing research with.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions:
-Received 7 different scholarships from community college that I transferred from, received 3 different private scholarships from my current university ($34,000 per year). Received men of distinction award at community college (15 graduating men and 15 graduating women per year)

Pertinent Activities or Jobs:
-Amateur Astronomer (do astrophotography).

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help:
- I have worked as an editor for this one physics book, which was a compilation of different papers by very well known physicists (3 Nobel Laureates, and many very big name physicists).
- I think I might have unusually stronger background in mathematics for physics major.
I have read many graduate texts in mathematics, and have taken / taking algebraic topology, sheaf theory, bicomplex analysis, and currently learning differential and riemannian geometry.

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter:
International Asian Male who lived in US for 12 years (went to elementary / jr. high/ high school here in US)

Applying to Where: HEP-theory
Stony Brook - Accepted
University of Texas, at Austin - Invited to the Open House
Waiting for others

RoterApollo
Posts: 1
Joined: Sat Feb 08, 2014 4:29 pm

Re: 2014 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Post by RoterApollo » Sat Feb 08, 2014 5:50 pm

Undergrad Institution: Large University in Germay
Major(s): Physics
Minor(s): none, but did some Philosophy
GPA in Major: 3.8
Overall GPA: 3.8
Length of Degree: 5 on paper, 6.5 median, spend myself almost 8
Position in Class: top? Near top? I really don't know, wish my department would gather this kind of data
Type of Student: international, white male, German

GRE Scores :
Q: 162 (84%)
V: 160 (84%)
W: 3.0 (14%)
P: 890 (84%)


TOEFL Total: 113

Research Experience:
- Two years non-physics research experience at one of the Max Planck Institutes in Germany as a student assistant
-two years visiting student researcher at UC Berkeley (AMO) leading to one 1st author and one 2nd author publication, one poster presentation at international conference
-2.5 months research internship at the European Southern Observatory

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: my research at Berkeley was founded by scholarships from my home institution and Berkeley, though not sure what this might be worth from the point of the admissions committee

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: RA in Germany, Visiting Research Student in Berkeley

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help:

Special Bonus Points: One of my recommenders is well connected and respected in the community, all of my recommenders were people I did research with/for for a considerable amount of time

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: I had a bad grade in undergrad math due to an illness

Applying to Where:

CU Boulder - Physics - AMO accepted Jan 31
U Chicago - Physics - AMO rejected Feb 6
UC Berkeley - Physics - AMO
UCLA - Physics - AMO
UC Davis - Physics - AMO
Caltech - Physics - AMO
Stanford - Physics - AMO
Princeton - Physics - AMO
Harvard - Physics - AMO
Yale - Physics - AMO
U Washington - Physics - AMO

KZack
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Feb 12, 2014 2:39 am

Re: 2014 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Post by KZack » Wed Feb 12, 2014 3:07 am

Undergrad Institution: Medium Liberal Arts School
Major(s): Applied Physics
Minor(s): Electrical Engineering
GPA in Major: 3.75
Overall GPA:3.61
Length of Degree: JC Transfer so 3 years at University
Position in Class: Top
Type of Student: Male

GRE Scores : (revised or old version?)
Q:162 - 84%
V: 155 - 66%
W: 3.5 - 35%
P: 750 - 63%

Research Experience:
Student Project Leader building first PocketQube (5cmx5cm*15cm satellite) Launched just before applications were due and successfully worked.
Student Project Leader on Second Satellite
A Colloquium talk for What Physists Do (~60 talk)
2 APS Talks ~15min

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: (Within your school or outside?)
Steven Chu Award for Best Undergraduate Student Research (APS)
Deans list all semesters
various Assistant-ships

Pertinent Activities or Jobs:
NASA E/PO Student Assistant designing payloads for secondary students for High Powered Rockets and Balloons
SPS Officer
Tutor many years
Started a program called Skills Lab teaching students hands on skills
Prior Journeyman Electrician

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help:
Have my Level 2 High Powered Rocket Certification
Mainly the satellite thing.

Special Bonus Points:
Good Letters

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter:
GPA Low because of prior school experience, near 4.0 since I came back to school

Applying to Where:
CU Boulder- Astrophysical and Planetary Sciences - Rejected 2/19 -email
Montana State University - Solar Physics - Accepted 2/8 14.9K/9m TA guaranteed summer position @ 3310/2m
MIT - Astrophysics Rejected 2/18 -email - This was expected
Utah State - Space Physics Accepted 2/20 $12k/yr + $3K stipend + Health + $1K signon
Ohio State University - Astrophysics -Waitlist 2/26
Georgia Tech - Astrophysics
Cornell - Astrophysics - Rejected 2/6 -email
UC Santa Cruz - Astrophysics
UC Santa Barbra - Astrophysics
Dartmouth - Astrophysics
Last edited by KZack on Wed Mar 05, 2014 2:54 am, edited 2 times in total.

hermitw
Posts: 40
Joined: Sat Mar 03, 2012 3:11 am

Re: 2014 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Post by hermitw » Wed Feb 12, 2014 4:40 am

Undergrad Institution: about 10th ranking in China, hardly any reputation for physics
Major(s):physics
Overall GPA:87/100
Length of Degree: 4
Grad Institution: about 8th in Canada, well-known in the field I am in, otherwise no reputation
Major(s):physics
Overall GPA:4.0
Length of Degree: 2
Position in Class:top
Type of Student: International
GRE Scores : (revised or old version?)
Q:800
V:590
W:3
P:950(91%)

TOEFL Total: 105

Research Experience: (three years of quantum physics, one first author in PRA, others in prep)

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: some competitive awards from China and Canada

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: TA three semester

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help:some leadership experience

Special Bonus Points: supervisor well known in the field, strong rol I guess, 4 conference presentations, talked to profs I applied to (see below)

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter:
Now I think quantum information theory is like or more than HET
Applying to Where:
all physics dept, QI, AMO and CM
Harvard
Stanford visited and talked to some profs, but heard that the tradition in Stanford physics is that committee make decision and prof out of the committee have very little influence!
MIT talked to one prof during conference, she just encouraged me to apply. In MIT different fields judge their own applicants.
Caltech
Princeton
Berkeley
Cornell TA 26200 for 9 month, after a language interview today
Chicagorejected
Yalerejected, (talked to one prof during conference, he called me a few days ago saying Yale admits a lot HEP guys and very few QI and AMO this year, he tried to help me get in but failed. It seems that all the committee members vote for each of the applicants regardless of the fields. received rejection 2 days ago, really really disappointed since it has been my dream school for a long time)
Umich
Last edited by hermitw on Thu Feb 13, 2014 12:14 am, edited 1 time in total.

galaxstar
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Apr 20, 2012 6:18 pm

Re: 2014 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Post by galaxstar » Wed Feb 12, 2014 10:21 pm

Undergrad Institution: Large Canadian School
Major(s): Physics
Minor(s): Computer Science
GPA in Major: 92.5%
Overall GPA: 89.1%
Length of Degree: 6 years (oof)
Position in Class: Near top
Type of Student: International

GRE Scores : (revised or old version?)
Q: 170
V: 166
W: 5.5
P: 850


Research Experience: Ice nucleation in the atmosphere (4 months), AMO (equivalent of REU program) (4 months), AMO (REU program with extra money) (4 months), ATLAS (8 months), Industry internship in signal processing (8 months), natural language processing (8 months), collective intelligence modelling in ant colonies (1 month, ongoing)
Couple of posters at the national undergraduate level. One paper with a bajillion other authors (ATLAS). One expected conference paper for NLP.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Lots of internal awards, some national awards for having "leadership" qualities

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: TA'd several computer science classes

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: I have a lot of volunteering/outreach/leadership activities which probably count in my favour.

Special Bonus Points: Nothing comes to mind, although I have a LOT of research experience in a huge variety of fields.

I'm mostly applying to high energy particle physics experimental groups, as well as biophysical models in neuroscience (which you will see in the neuroscience departments I applied to)

Applying to Where:

Chicago - Physics - HEP-ex - accepted with fancy fellowship ($44,500/year for three years)
UC Davis - Physics - Complex systems - accepted (funding guaranteed)
Princeton - Physics - Theoretical biophysics - accepted!
UC Berkeley - Physics - HEP-ex - waiting
MIT - Brain and Cognitive Sciences - interview
CMU - Machine learning/Neural basis of cognition - accepted (funding guaranteed)
Columbia - Neurobiology - accepted (funding guaranteed)
Cornell - Computational Biology - interview
Waterloo - Mathematics - accepted (with scholarship)
UBC - Physics - waiting

If it seems like I haven't made up my mind, it's because I haven't :-). I'm posting this to show people that you do NOT need a dozen first author publications or a fantastic PGRE score, or to have been doing your particular subfield since the age of 5, in order to be successful with applications. Good luck to everyone!

Fusiontron
Posts: 2
Joined: Fri Feb 14, 2014 11:10 pm

Re: 2014 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Post by Fusiontron » Fri Feb 14, 2014 11:25 pm

______________________________________________
Undergrad Institution: University of Maryland
Major(s): Mechanical Engineering, Physics
Minor(s):
GPA in Major: Mechanical Engineering: 3.80/4.00 Physics: 3.56/4.00
Overall GPA: 3.68/4.00
Length of Degree: 4 years, I did it in 3.5 years in school + 0.5 years medical leave
Position in Class: No idea to be honest.
Type of Student: Domestic male, I leave ethnicity, race slots blank

GRE Scores : New
Q: 164/170 (89)
V: 162/170 (89)
W: 4.5/6.0 (78)
P: 700 (54) I was testing ~800 for practice, yeah

Research Experience: Directed reading program on ionizing radiation (joke), currently working on patent for thermal connector, 3 others items when fizzled and went nowhere (image processing, plasma turbulence, visualization).

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Outstanding Sophomore ME student, Dean's list

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: TF for heat transfer class with the same guy I am doing research on the thermal connector with.

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help:

Special Bonus Points: 1 letter writer is famous and he and I are good friends. He is good friends with professors at many of the schools I am applying to, I'm banking on this big time.

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter:

Applying to Where:

University of Wisconsin, Madison - Nuclear Engineering and Engineering Physics - Accepted - no funding (02/04/14)
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor - Nuclear Engineering and Radiological Sciences - Waitlisted (03/06/2014) - Rejected (04/16/2014)
University of California, Berkeley - Nuclear Engineering - Rejected (02/26/2014)
University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign - Nuclear, Plasma, and Radiological Engineering - Accepted - no funding (02/28/2014)
MIT - Nuclear Science and Engineering - Rejected (02/26/2014)

Total fail. >_>
______________________________________________
Last edited by Fusiontron on Wed Apr 16, 2014 10:35 pm, edited 14 times in total.

physicsJay
Posts: 3
Joined: Sat Feb 15, 2014 8:22 am

Re: 2014 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Post by physicsJay » Sat Feb 15, 2014 9:19 am

Undergrad Institution: Top 15 Private University; Top 20 in Physics
Major(s): Physics, Mathematics
Minor(s):
GPA in Major: ~3.8 (3.98 in last 2 years)
Overall GPA: 3.85
Length of Degree: 4
Position in Class: Top
Type of Student: Domestic, white male

GRE Scores : Revised
Q: 163 (89%)
V: 165 (95%)
W: 5.5 (97%)
P: 780 (69%)


Research Experience: No publications. Submitted abstract to APS meeting this year. Three years of research experience in CMT, a year of experience in theoretical cosmology, and about three/four other projects, one independent. Multiple presentations on the independent project.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: School Research award, Dean's list

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Multiple mentoring positions, TA for 3 semesters

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help:

Special Bonus Points: Two recommenders well respected in their fields, extremely strong research LORs, extremely extensive math and physics graduate coursework

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: Had a bad physics GRE test day due to unforseeable health problem; I explained this briefly on my applications and had my recommenders mention it. Applied for HEP-TH, but expressed interest in CMT as well.

Applying to Where:

Princeton - Physics - Rejected (02/14)
University of Michigan - Physics - Rejected (02/13)
University of Chicago - Physics - Rejected (02/05)
UC Berkeley - Physics - Accepted (02/14) ($31k/yr TA)
MIT - Physics - Rejected (02/18)
Harvard - Physics - Rejected (heard all acceptances have already been sent out)
Stanford - Physics - Rejected (02/24)
UCSB - Physics - Rejected (heard all acceptances have already been sent out)
Caltech - Physics - Rejected (heard all acceptances have already been sent out)
PSI -

I am assuming, because I have not heard back from UCSB or Harvard, that I was rejected. The same is probably true for Caltech. Berkeley it is then!
Last edited by physicsJay on Wed Feb 26, 2014 10:26 pm, edited 4 times in total.

ali8
Posts: 103
Joined: Sat Aug 29, 2009 8:20 am

Re: 2014 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Post by ali8 » Sat Feb 15, 2014 12:42 pm

Undergrad Institution: Unknown international university.
Major(s): Electrical Engineering
Minor(s): N/A
GPA in Major: N/A
Overall GPA: 3.44
Length of Degree: 5 years
Position in Class: just OK
Type of Student: international
--------------------------------------
Grad institution: a SUNY school. (fora 2 years M. Sc.)

GRE Scores : revised
Q: 163
V: 151
W: 4.5
P: 680


Research Experience: Some 6-moths or so experience

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Some scholarship for my M. Sc.

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Not really

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: Finished school's quals.

Special Bonus Points: No.

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: No

Applying to Where:

SUNY at Buffalo - Physics - Solid State Experiment - Accepted 2/14 - Will Attend
Louisiana State University - Physics - Solid State Experiment - Rejected 4/22
NCSU - Physics - Solid State Experiment - Accepted 03/12
__________________________________________
Last edited by ali8 on Tue Apr 22, 2014 9:33 pm, edited 2 times in total.

pa1087
Posts: 1
Joined: Sun Feb 09, 2014 1:48 pm

Re: 2014 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Post by pa1087 » Tue Feb 18, 2014 1:34 am

Undergrad Institution: Large state school, not particularly known for physics
(btw for those who don't know why most of us don't reveal the name of our schools: rumors say that some schools will check this website for an applicant's offers, which may affect the grad school's decisions. Better safe than sorry.)
Major(s): Physics
Minor(s): Mathematics
GPA in Major: >3.9
Overall GPA: >3.9
Length of Degree: Standard 4 years
Position in Class: Pretty much the top
Type of Student: International male Asian

GRE Scores : (revised)
Q: 170 (98%)
V: 157 (73%)
W: 4.0 (54%)
P: 920 (88%)


TOEFL Total: international doesn't mean I have to take this ;)

Research Experience: Started doing research in particle physics since the summer after my freshman year. Worked with the same group since then. The projects I worked on with this group included an accelerator neutrino oscillation experiment and a rare decay detection experiment. Stuff done includes some hardware work on photo-detectors and scintillators, simulations on particle interactions in materials, tools for making theoretical plots and data analysis. Aside of that I did research abroad in Japan in my third summer for a future accelerator experiment on exotic particles. Again did some detector physics, both hardware and software.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Standard you-have-good-grades awards/scholarships and a research presentation award. A publication written together with ~1e8 other authors (welcome to particle physics)

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Grader for intro (service classes - you know what I mean) and advanced classes for two years, including a grad/undergrad class

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: Not sure if anything fits under misc lolz

Special Bonus Points: Sigma Pi Sigma president, Physics Rep for the College, SPS Vice President

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: Studied abroad in France during my second summer on nuclear and radiation physics - only mentioned in diversity essays.

Applying to Where:

Experimental neutrino physics and dark matter searches for all schools. Open to quantum computing and experimental QCD and other fields.

Washington - Physics - neutrino/dark matter Accepted!
Minnesota - Physics - neutrino/dark matter Accepted!
Wisconsin - Physics - neutrino Accepted!
Maryland - Physics - neutrino/dark matter Accepted!
Boston - Physics - neutrino/dark matter Accepted!
UCLA - Physics - neutrino/dark matter Rejected...
Yale - Physics - neutrino/dark matter Accepted!
UCSB - Physics - neutrino/dark matter Rejected...
MIT - Physics - neutrino/dark matter Accepted!
Chicago - Physics - neutrino/dark matter Accepted!
Princeton - Physics - neutrino/dark matter Accepted!
Harvard - Physics - neutrino/dark matter Rejected...
UC Berkeley - Physics - neutrino/dark matter Accepted!
Stanford - Physics - neutrino/dark matter Accepted!
Last edited by pa1087 on Wed Jul 16, 2014 7:07 am, edited 4 times in total.

zcui
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue Feb 18, 2014 2:00 am

Re: 2014 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Post by zcui » Tue Feb 18, 2014 1:23 pm

Undergrad Institution:University of Waterloo in Canada, good engineering/CS school, rising physics reputation
Major(s): Mathematical Physics
Minor(s):
GPA in Major:
Overall GPA: 94.2%
Length of Degree: 5 years (co-operative program, regular 4-year degree + extra time for work/research)
Position in Class: probably top
Type of Student: International (Canadian, chinese male)

GRE Scores : revised
Q:170 (98%)
V:164 (93%)
W:5.0 (93%)
P:960 (91%)



Research Experience: all full-time: 4 months optics, 4 months neutrino physics, 8 months condensed matter experiment (quantum computing), 4 months condensed matter theory, mostly at home institution with different groups. 1 optics publication (first author)

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Several NSERC USRA (Canadian REU)

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: none

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: not really

Special Bonus Points: very good relationships with research supervisors -> probably strong letters

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: pretty good idea of what I want to do but that's probably nothing special...

Applying to Where: all CME

Harvard - Applied Physics (SEAS) - $2767/month
Stanford - Applied Physics - $2936/month RA
Caltech - Applied Physics
Yale - Applied Physics
Cornell - Applied Physics - $24,104 for 9 months TA or RA
UIUC - Physics -$21,714 first 11 months TA+RA
UCSB - Physics
MIT - Physics - $2637/month fellowship
Berkeley - Physics
Maryland, College park - Physics - $24,783 first year fellowship+RA

U of Toronto - Physics Masters
UBC - Physics Masters
McGill - Physics Masters

The data base was very helpful so I decided to contribute as well...
Advice:
1. Try to do well on the GREs because they do matter and there is no reason why you should underprepare.
2. On the other hand, grad school application is really about what you have done throughout your entire undergrad, so choose the right schools and have faith in the good work you did in the last few years :)
3. Talking to professors from the schools you apply to may or may not have an effect on your application result (more likely no, so don't stress if you didn't have lengthy correspondence with professors from your dream schools. I had none). But it is a good idea to ask if certain profs are taking new students if you are interested in their groups.
4. Relax...
Last edited by zcui on Sat Mar 08, 2014 3:37 am, edited 3 times in total.

aedealism
Posts: 7
Joined: Sun Oct 13, 2013 8:34 pm

Re: 2014 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Post by aedealism » Tue Feb 18, 2014 4:24 pm

Like others, this was possibly one of the most helpful resources, and I'd feel bad not contributing /o\

Undergrad Institution: U Waterloo - one of the better schools for Physics in Canada (esp since we have IQC and PI nearby)
Major(s): Physics
Minor(s): Economics
Overall GPA: 89%
Length of Degree: 5 years (co-op)
Position in Class: upper half?
Type of Student: Female Int'l (Canadian, Chinese ethnicity)

GRE Scores :
Q: 164
V: 169
W: 5.5
P: 820


Research Experience: One term part time (polymer physics), one term full time (condensed matter), another term part time (condensed matter), have a conference paper (polymer), and 2nd author in a PRL B (condensed)

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Had a NSERC USRA, but that's about it.

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Nothing other than research

Special Bonus Points: Pretty sure my demographics might add up to some bonus points. At least one strong letter.

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: None

Applying to Where: (will update as decisions come in)

University of Toronto - Physics - Condensed Matter Experiment
McGill - Physics - Condensed Matter Experiment
UBC - Physics - Condensed Matter Experiment
Princeton - Physics - Condensed Matter Experiment - accepted by email, 2/14
UMD CP - Physics - Condensed Matter Experiment - accepted by email, 1/29
Boston University - Physics - Condensed Matter Experiment - accepted by email, 2/8
UC Berkley - Physics - Condensed Matter Experiment
Harvard - Physics - Condensed Matter Experiment
Caltech - Physics - Condensed Matter Experiment
MIT - Physics - Condensed Matter Experiment - rejected by email, 2/18
UCSB - Physics - Condensed Matter Experiment
Stanford - Physics - Condensed Matter Experiment
U Chicago - Physics - Condensed Matter Experiment
Columbia - Physics - Condensed Matter Experiment

lost_in_time
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Feb 18, 2014 8:41 pm

Re: 2014 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Post by lost_in_time » Tue Feb 18, 2014 9:36 pm

Undergrad Institution: Top Canadian School, strong in physics (in canada, goodish internationally)
Major(s): Math & Physics
Minor(s):
GPA in Major: 3.84 (3.9x in the last 2 years)
Overall GPA: 3.83
Length of Degree: 4 years
Position in Class: Top
Type of Student: International / Asian Male

GRE Scores : (revised or old version?)
Q: 169 (97%)
V: 159 (81%)
W: 3.5 (35%)
P: 870 (82%) (Underprepared :( )



Research Experience: 2 Summer (small) projects in optics, 2 summer projects in biophysics (NSERC USRA),
Thesis Project in Biophy. All projects done in Canada, with 1 USRA in a smaller school.
Several Conference Presentations (Poster and Talk), 1 published publication in experimental Biophysics (not first author), 1/2 Working paper on Theoretical Biophysics (First Author)

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Entrance Scholarships, Dean's Lists, and Department Scholarships,

Pertinent Activities or Jobs:

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help:

Special Bonus Points: Took cross-listed grad courses since third year, about 1/3 of my courses in last 2 years are c-l grad courses, also take extra course per term

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter:

Applying to Where:
Theoretical Biophysics everywhere

MIT - Physics - Biophysics, PhD, Rejected 02/18
Caltech - Physics - Biophysics, PhD,
Yale - Physics - Biophysics, PhD, Accepted 02/04 (unoffical) or 02/14 (Official)
UIUC - Physics - Biophysics, PhD, Accepted 02/13
UIUC - Biophysics - Biophysics, PhD, Accepted 01/10

Toronto - Physics - Biophysics (applied for MSc, granted PhD direct entry), Accepted 01/10
UBC - Physics - Biophysics, MSc, Accepted 01/18
Also applied for masters in medical physics and math & finance in Canada

pi_man
Posts: 6
Joined: Wed Feb 19, 2014 5:03 pm

Re: 2014 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Post by pi_man » Thu Feb 20, 2014 1:46 pm

Undergrad Institution: medium sized state school in the midwest (I completed a B.S.-M.S. combined program in 5 years.)
Major(s): Physics
Minor(s): Mathematics
GPA in Major: 3.4
Overall GPA: 3.1
Length of Degree: 3
Position in Class: mid-low
graduate Institution: same as undergrad
M.S.: Physics
Overall graduate GPA: 3.87
Length of Degree: 2
Position in Class: mid-high
Type of Student: Domestic

GRE Scores : revised
Q: 170
V:169
W: 5.0
P: 690



Research Experience: 5 years in condensed matter (magnetic materials) with my advisor (dept. chair, somewhat influential in the field), I have been the senior student in his lab for the past 3 years. I have worked on around 11 distinct projects, and have 4 conference presentations, as well as a co-authorship on a paper published in a high-impact journal (I am hoping soooo much that this helps me).

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: National Merit Scholar, 2 school scholarships

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: teaching assistantship for 3 semesters, research assistantship for 1 semester. helped teach lab sessions as an undergrad. I was involved on campus as a student senator in the student government for 2 years.

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: not really, i basically devoted my life to research.

Special Bonus Points: At conferences, my professor has introduced me to several people at the schools I'm applying to.

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: I have completed a Master's degree with a thesis, and I have taken grad courses in QM, EM, Quantum optics, Stat Mech, and Solid State.

Applying to Where:

UC San Diego - Applied Physics (in ECE) - CME
UC San Diego - Physics - CME- rejected via email 3/2
UC Santa Barbara - Materials Science - Magnetic Materials
UC Davis - Physics - CME-accepted by email, 2/8: TA with $21,500/year and $5000 fellowship for first year only
UC Irvine - Physics - CME: accepted
Colorado, Boulder - Physics - CME: Rejected via email, 2/25
U Washington - Materials Science - Magnetic Materials: waitlisted
U Minnesota - Materials Science - Magnetic Materials
Purdue - Physics - CME
Ohio State - Physics - CME: waitlisted
Carnegie Mellon - Physics - CME-accepted 2/27 ~$27000 per year awarded research fellowship- WILL ATTEND
Penn State - Physics - CME
U Virginia - Physics - CME-email to check website on 2/18: TA with $24,200 per year
Last edited by pi_man on Thu May 29, 2014 2:35 am, edited 6 times in total.

ugwp
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Feb 20, 2014 5:29 pm

Re: 2014 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Post by ugwp » Thu Feb 20, 2014 5:52 pm

______________________________________________
Undergrad Institution: Ivy
Major(s): Physics
Minor(s):
GPA in Major: 3.98
Overall GPA: 4
Length of Degree: 4
Position in Class:
Type of Student: american female

GRE Scores :
Q: 168
V: 168
W: 5.5
P: 990



Research Experience: 1 summer at a national lab studying magneto-hydrodynamics. 1 year of research in AMO-x at home institution

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: nothing at a national/international level, so nothing that really matters

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: TA

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help:

Special Bonus Points: grad classes including GR, atomic physics, QFT. nothing else really.

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: One letter was from a well-connected prof in AMO-x, whom I did research with. The others weren't research letters, so they probably didn't matter.

Applying to Where: AMO-X, pure physics

MIT - Accepted, $32k fellowship
Harvard - Accepted
Princeton - Accepted, $36k Centennial fellowship
UCSB - Accepted for CME, TA/RA + $6k Broida and Ferrando-Fithian fellowships
Maryland - Accepted, $36k
Boulder - Accepted, TA/RA +12k signing bonus
Berkeley - Accepted

Good luck to all future applicants! Just some tips:
1. Take the GRE seriously. With appropriate study (~10 hours/week for 2 months for me) you can definitely get above 900. Also consider taking it in your junior year or earlier--get it out of the way.
2. Don't worry if you don't have any papers/publications, although they'd definitely help if you are first/second author. I don't think they make a difference if you're, for example, 10th author. Just make sure you have one strong LOR for research.
3. If you're not sure which subfield to choose, apply to the subfield of your strongest letter writer. They have the most relevant connections to the people reading your file.
_________________________________________

ndising
Posts: 4
Joined: Thu Feb 20, 2014 7:10 pm

Re: 2014 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Post by ndising » Thu Feb 20, 2014 7:43 pm

Undergrad Institution: US News 20-40
Major(s): Physics
Minor(s):
GPA in Major: 3.78
Overall GPA: 3.78
Length of Degree: 7 Years, 3 Schools, 2 Majors
Position in Class: >75%
Type of Student: Domestic White Male

GRE Scores :
Q: 165 (95%)
V: 167 (95%)
W: 3.5 (35%)
P: 770 (67%)


Research Experience: 2 semesters in statistical mechanics, 1 Summer in biophysics. Both at home institution. No publications.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions:
Dean's List
Phi Kappa Phi

Pertinent Activities or Jobs:
Tutor in Physics
Mentor for outreach program

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help:

Special Bonus Points: (Such as connections, grad classes, famous recommenders, female or minority status etc...)

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter:
3 years at first school with a 2.35 GPA in Theatre
1 year at second school with 4.07 GPA in Physics

Applying to Where:

MIT - Physics - Rejected 02/18/2014
Princeton - Physics - Rejected 02/14/2014
Cornell U. - Physics - Rejected 02/06/2014
U.Illinois - Urbana - Physics - Rejected 02/19/2014
U.Michigan - Ann Arbor - Physics - Rejected 02/13/2014
U.Pennsylvania - Physics - Rejected 03/20/2014
Pennsylvania State U. - Physics - Accepted 2/27/2014, Will Attend 4/14/2014
<Undergrad U.> - Physics - Accepted 2/27/2014
Northwestern U. - Physics - No Answer 4/15/2014
Boston U. - Physics - Rejected 03/14/2014
Drexel U. - Physics - Accepted 2/24/2014
IMPRS-MIS Leipzig - Physics - Accepted 12/17/2013
Oxford U. - Physics - Rejected 03/24/2014
DOE CSGF - Physics - Rejected 03/25/2014

Interest specified variously as:
Statistical Physics, Complex Systems, CMT, Biophysics Theory
Last edited by ndising on Tue Apr 15, 2014 1:24 am, edited 12 times in total.

lizzy
Posts: 1
Joined: Sat Feb 22, 2014 12:13 am

Re: 2014 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Post by lizzy » Sat Feb 22, 2014 12:27 am

Undergrad Institution: Liberal Arts
Major(s): Physics, Math
Minor(s):
GPA in Major: Unknown
Overall GPA: 3.4
Length of Degree: 4
Position in Class: Unknown
Type of Student: Domestic

GRE Scores : (revised or old version?)
Q:166
V:166
W: 4.0
P: 760 (very proud of this score...)


Research Experience: 3 school years positron experiments culminating in honors thesis. Sophomore summer national lab. Junior summer computational project in nuclear physics

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: N/A

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: TA/grader for physics 3 years, grading for Math

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help:

Special Bonus Points: Female

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter:

Applying to Where:
Specified Nuclear in all cases, all decisions via email first
Carnegie Mellon - no response yet
Case Western - accepted 2/20
UIUC - accepted 2/21 (completely unexpected)
Indiana - accepted 1/15
UMichigan - rejected 2/13
Michigan State - accepted 1/16
Notre Dame - accepted 1/31
Ohio University - accepted 2/10
Pitt - accepted 2/20
Rochester -accepted 1/29

cedricyu803
Posts: 14
Joined: Tue Sep 24, 2013 12:24 pm

Re: 2014 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Post by cedricyu803 » Thu Feb 27, 2014 2:28 am

Undergrad Institution: Some university in Hong Kong
Major(s): Physics
Minor(s):
GPA in Major: 4.2/4.3
Overall GPA: 4.01/4.3
Length of Degree:3 years
Position in Class: top
Type of Student: International male

GRE Scores :
(took a second GRE General Test 1 month after the first, a waste of money...)
Q: 169 / 167
V: 153 / 154
W: 4 / 4
P: 990 (94%tile)


TOEFL Total: 108

Research Experience:
one year experimental research project on optics in my first year
half a year computational research project on inflation
no publications

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: University entry scholarship, some departmental scholarships (due to high GPA), some Dean's Lists

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: tutoring physics and math in my secondary school. (Does it count?)

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: Not really

Special Bonus Points:
One referee is well-known in the field of theoretical high-energy/cosmology
1 grad course in Mathematical Methods in Physics, taking 1 grad cosmology course

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter:
Applying for two fellowships from my home city
Did not waive the right to see some LoRs (Big mistake :!: ): changed whenever I could.


Applying to Where: all hep-th & theoretical cosmology

UChicago - Physics - Rejected 2/5/2014 via website
Cornell - Physics - Rejected 2/7/2014 via email
New York University - Physics - Accepted!! 2/13/2014 via email. (Fellowship+RA) 26k/9m for 4 yrs+summer RA/TA Will Attend!!!
Stanford - Physics - Rejected 2/25/2014 via email
UC Berkeley - Physics - Rejected 2/26/2014 email to check website
Johns Hopkins - Physics - Rejected 3/4/2014 via email
Columbia - Physics - Rejected 3/10/2014 via website
my home institution - MPhil in Physics - Accepted! 3/20/2014 Declined 3/22 (Thanks very much anyway)
UPenn - Physics - Rejected 3/21/2014 email to check website
UC Davis - Physics - Rejected (!)05/08/2014 via website "No additional space available" (almost 1 month after 4/15...

I thought 9 institutions were too many, it is not.
Hep-th was far more competitive than I expected. So fortunate I got an acceptance.
Going to New York City~ :D
Last edited by cedricyu803 on Thu May 08, 2014 9:16 am, edited 9 times in total.

n1person
Posts: 2
Joined: Sat Mar 01, 2014 8:46 am

Re: 2014 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Post by n1person » Sat Mar 01, 2014 8:58 am

Undergrad Institution: Ivy
Major(s): Physics and Math
Minor(s): N/A
GPA in Major: 3.66
Overall GPA: 3.64
Length of Degree: 4
Position in Class:
Type of Student: Domestic White Male

GRE Scores : (revised)
Q: 166 (98%)
V: 168 (98%)
W: 4.5 (75%)
P: 770 (65%) (after many worse failures… sigh…)

Research Experience: ~3 years and two summers in Observational Cosmology (couple Nth author survey publications, one second author ApJ, couple conferences), 1 year of Theoretical Cosmology (ongoing), 1 year High Energy Theory (ongoing), 1 summer at National Lab (conference proceedings only)

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Nothing notable

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Tutor for Calculus/Physics, Math Society President

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: Significant graduate coursework in QFT, Cosmology, Relativity, etc.

Special Bonus Points: One rec from a very well connected astrophysics professor, one rec from a somewhat well known theoretical physics professor.

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter:

Applying to Where: Generally I mentioned interest in hep-th, and theoretical/observational Cosmology.

Caltech - Astrophysics - Cosmology - Interview 01/29, accepted 02/03
Princeton - Astrophysics - Cosmology - Rejected 01/26
Harvard - Astronomy - Cosmology and Galactic Structure - Interview 01/27, accepted 02/14
Cambridge - Astrophysics (PhD and MASt) - Cosmology and Galactic Structure - Accepted

Cornell - Physics - Particle Cosmology - Informal acceptance 01/27, official acceptance 02/02 + some special fellowship
Caltech - Physics - HET/Gravitation - Unofficial rejection upon inquiry 02/21
UChicago - Physics - Theoretical Astrophysics - Rejected 02/05
Stanford - Physics - Cosmology/hep-th - Rejected 02/25
Berkeley - Physics - Cosmology/hep-th - Accepted!!! 02/14
UCSB - Physics - Cosmology - Waiting - Rejected
Columbia - Physics - Particle Cosmology - Rejected
MIT - Physics - Theoretical Astrophysics - Rejected 02/19

Cambridge - Maths (Part III) - Accepted 02/10, no funding info yet…

NSF GRF - Awarded!

In physics it looks like I have a fairly interesting pattern where I got into Cornell (the least competitive of the schools I applied to) and Berkeley (probably the most competitive of the schools I applied to). Berkeley was my top choice going into graduate school applications, so I am not too disappointed!

As everyone says, do well on your PGRE! I'm a lucky exception...
Last edited by n1person on Sat May 17, 2014 12:24 am, edited 2 times in total.

henketico
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Mar 03, 2014 11:39 pm

Re: 2014 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Post by henketico » Tue Mar 04, 2014 9:53 pm

Undergrad Institution: Foreign, Costa Rica
Major(s): Physics
Minor(s):
GPA in Major: 3.0
Overall GPA: 3.0
Length of Degree: 4
Position in Class: average
Type of Student: International, male
MSc Overall GPA: 3.52

GRE Scores : revised
Q:155
V:150
W:3.0
P:690


TOEFL Total: 99

Research Experience: Master thesis in plasma physics, no pubs

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: None

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: done some tutoring 5 years work in a forensic sciences lab

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help:

Special Bonus Points: 8 grad courses

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter:

Applying to Where:

North Carolina State University - Physics
Emory - Physics - Research Interest -> rejected
University of Tennessee, Knoxville - Physics - Research Interest-> admitted 03/19, GTA $20000/year
University of Maryland at Baltimore County - Physics - Research Interest
College of William And Mary - Physics - Research Interest-> admitted 02/18, GTA $2000/month
University of Delaware - Physics - Research Interest
Last edited by henketico on Sun Mar 23, 2014 7:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.

qu90
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Mar 07, 2014 1:25 pm

Re: 2014 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Post by qu90 » Fri Mar 07, 2014 2:02 pm

Undergrad Institution: MIPT
Major(s): Applied Maths and Physics
Minor(s):
GPA in Major: 3.48
Overall GPA: 3.67
Length of Degree: 4 years B.Sci. + 2 years M.Sci.
Position in Class: average
Type of Student: International male

GRE Scores : revised
Q: 167 (95%)
V: 153 (58%)
W: 3.0 (14%)
P: 990 (94%)

TOEFL Total: 105

Research Experience: 3 years CME. 2 pubs co-authored, 4 conf. talks

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: participation in 2 summer schools

Applying to Where: all CME

MIT - Physics - rejected 02/18 via e-mail
Cornell - Physics - rejected 02/12 via e-mail
Stanford - Physics - rejected 02/24 via e-mail
UBC - Physics and Astronomy - interviewed via Skype 02/25 - accepted 03/03 via e-mail, fellowship 26k - will attend
Toronto - Physics - application withdrawn
Alberta - Physics - application withdrawn
Saskatchewan - Physics and Eng. Physics - accepted via e-mail 03/03, fellowship 22k - declined

phystudent
Posts: 1
Joined: Sat Mar 08, 2014 1:34 pm

Re: 2014 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Post by phystudent » Sat Mar 08, 2014 1:44 pm

Undergrad Institution: Large-ish public, liberal arts school in Southeast US
Major(s): Physics
Minor(s): Biology
GPA in Major: ~3.9
Overall GPA: ~3.6
Length of Degree: 4 Years
Type of Student: Domestic, white male

GRE Scores :
Q: 169
V: 169
W: 5.0
P: 910


Research Experience: 2 summers with particle-astrophysics group, doing miscellaneous things. REU at large Midwestern school for HEP-Exp. No publications or conferences

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Nothing really. National Merit Scholar

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Physics TA for a year

Special Bonus Points: Couple graduate classes in quantum mechanics.

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: Good programming experience from my research

Applying to Where: All Physics, HEP-Experiment

Berkeley - Rejected
Stanford - Rejected
Caltech - Rejected
Colorado, Boulder - Rejected
UCSD - Accepted 1/18
UCSB - Accepted 3/7
UCSC - Accepted 2/13- Will Attend!
Last edited by phystudent on Wed Apr 23, 2014 7:08 pm, edited 2 times in total.

at211
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Mar 10, 2014 6:04 am

Re: 2014 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Post by at211 » Mon Mar 10, 2014 6:30 am

Undergrad Institution: Internationally unknown university in Western Europe
Major(s): Physics (Bachelor+Master, Bologna System)
GPA in Bachelor: 2.8
GPA in Master: 3.4
Overall GPA: 3.1
Length of Degree: 3 (BSc) + 2 (MSc)
Position in Class: no official ranking
Type of Student: International white male

GRE Scores : revised
Q: 166
V: 157
W: 4.5
P: 680


TOEFL Total: 119

Research Experience: Worked with a spectroscopy group for one summer, Master thesis in thermophysics (one paper in the making)

Awards/Honors/Recognitions:

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Undergraduate lab TA for one semester, mentored freshmen for 2 years

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help:

Special Bonus Points:

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: I studied abroad for a year

Applying to Where:

University of Maryland - Rejected
Tufts University - Rejected
University of Maryland Baltimore County - Accepted 02/07
West Virginia University - Accepted 03/08 - will attend
Temple University - Rejected
Clark University - Withdrawn
George Washington University - Withdrawn
Boston College - Withdrawn
University of Massachusetts-Lowell - Accepted 03/13
Virginia Commonwealth University - Accepted 03/19
Last edited by at211 on Tue Apr 15, 2014 5:55 pm, edited 5 times in total.

jeffreyweee
Posts: 33
Joined: Thu Jun 17, 2010 8:39 pm

Re: 2014 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Post by jeffreyweee » Mon Mar 10, 2014 11:48 pm

Undergrad Institution: Top 100 US News
Major(s): Physics
Minor(s): Astronomy
GPA in Major: 3.4
Overall GPA: 3.38
Length of Degree: 4
Position in Class: Middle
Type of Student: White domestic male

Masters Institution: Top 100 US News
Major(s): Physics
GPA in Major: 4.0
Overall GPA: 4.0
Length of Degree: 2
Position in Class: Top

GRE Scores
Q: 167
V: 161
W: 3.5
P: 730


Research Experience: 2 conference presentations, 1 regional 1 national. 2 years biophysics research. At time of application 1 submitted paper. Now I have 1 2nd author publication (of eight) and 2 submitted, 1 1st 1 2nd author.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Outstanding graduate student teaching award.

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: last year at undergrad was a 3.9 gpa and I have a really good reason for why my grades sucked up to that point that ties in really well with research interests (disease related)

Applying to Where:

Stanford - Cancer Biology Rejected
Chicago - Biophysics Rejected
Michigan - Biophysics Accepted and nominated for Merit Fellowship
Maryland - Biophysics Accepted
UCSD - Biophysics Rejected
Maryland - Physics Rejected
Irvine - Physics Accepted with Regents' Fellowship
Brown - PhysicsAccepted
Yale - Physics -Rejected
Northwestern - Physics Withdrawn

QIQC
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Mar 06, 2014 2:06 pm

Re: 2014 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Post by QIQC » Tue Mar 11, 2014 9:21 pm

Undergrad Institution: Canadian technical school, okay physics department, very strong mathematics faculty, world class quantum information
Major(s): Mathematical Physics, Pure Mathematics, Electrical & Computer Engineering
Minor(s): Computer Science (with enough courses for an honours major)
GPA in Major: if i had to guess, 3.8ish
Overall GPA: again a guess, 3.7ish
Length of Degree: long (two degrees)
Position in Class: ?
Type of Student: Canadian

GRE Scores :
Q: 163
V: 165
W: 5.0
P: 840

Research Experience: 24 months total of full-time research experience. 4 months materials fab/characterization, 4 months accelerator physics, 8 months soft materials simulation, 4 months quantum information theory/quantum foundations, 4 months topological quantum information/condensed matter theory related math project. Also have been doing research during courses in the last year.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: A few research funding awards, international travel award

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: Lots of graduate math and physics courses (including QFT, quantum many body physics, statistical field theory, and various quantum information), simultaneous degrees in math and engineering.

Special Bonus Points: minor experiment publication a long time ago 3rd author, submitting first author quantum information/foundations theory paper to NJP soon.

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: Relatively weak transcript for first few years. Very strong for the last two years.

Applying to Where:

MIT - Physics - Quantum Information Theory - Rejected Feb 18
MIT - EECS - Theory of Computation (quantum complexity) - Rejected Feb 27
Harvard - Physics - Quantum Information, Condensed Matter Theory - Waitlisted Feb 13 - Rejected April 16
Stanford - Physics - Quantum Information Theory - Rejected Feb 24
Caltech - Applied Physics - Accepted Feb 5, $31,000 funding for first year - WILL ATTEND
Caltech - Physics - Quantum Information Theory - Rejected March 10
University of Waterloo - Applied Mathematics - Quantum Information Theory - Accepted Feb 6
McGill - Physics - Condensed Matter Theory - Accepted Jan 22

Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics - Perimeter Scholars International - Rejected, April 14
Last edited by QIQC on Wed Apr 16, 2014 6:18 pm, edited 4 times in total.

raghuch
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Aug 31, 2009 3:27 am

Re: 2014 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Post by raghuch » Thu Mar 13, 2014 4:16 pm

My turn to help the current/next gen applicants:

Undergrad Institution: (School well known for Engg. in India, has good physics faculty too. My seniors in physics went to places like MIT, UIUC etc.)
Major(s):Electrical Engg.
Minor(s):
GPA in Major: 7.9/10 :oops:
Overall GPA: 8.1/10 :oops:
Length of Degree:4
Position in Class:Not sure, but not the top
Type of Student: Over-represented International male

Grad Institution:Avg. State school in the US mid-west, half-decent for Engg., relatively unknown in physics
Major(s):Electrical Engg.
Overall GPA: 3.4/4 :oops:
Length of Degree:3 (applied last year, but got nowhere. I could spend a year on my MS thesis, so took grad QM and other classes for audit, impressed the prof, and got a good LoR from him)


GRE Scores : old
Q: 790/800
V: 600/800
W: 4.0/6
P: 930


TOEFL Total: waived due to 3 years of study (will be getting a masters) from a US univ.

Research Experience: most of my undergrad electives were physics courses (too bad didn't get a minor/dual degree). Some project I did with an undergrad friend is in arXiv. (rejected from journal, but got a remark "has good pedagogic potential"). Undergrad projects in QI, quantum optics (no publications). Grad level QM and many-body courses. Masters Thesis is more of physics than engg.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: some tuition scholarships in undergrad and grad

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Tutored a few undergrads in 1st year physics

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help:

Special Bonus Points:2 very good LoRs from well-known people (not THE most famous, but well respected)

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: Work-ex in hardware design company. Doesn't add much to my case, but my programming and electronics skills are quite good, and I tried to show them as assets in my personal statements.

Applying to Where:
Since I'm from EE, I tried to portray myself as suited for Condensed Matter experiment in all places except UCSD (CMT there).

Univ. of California, San Diego (UCSD) - Physics - Reject, March 1st Generic Email
Ohio State University - Physics - Reject, March 6th Generic email
Penn State Univ. - Physics - Reject, March 3rd Generic Email
University at Buffalo, SUNY - Physics - Admit on Feb. 11th, 16.5k TA + 4k Scholarship on Feb. 13th Contacted 2 profs in Nov 2013, one prof. replied +vely. Second prof replied in Feb 2014 saying "you may have good chance of getting in...", and I got the admit a week later.
Univ of Pittsburgh - Physics - Admit, with 24k TA , March 4th(including summer term)
Univ of California, Irvine - Physics - Reject, April 2nd- They selected only 2 out of 163 international applicants (in condensed matter?) and both had government/Fullbright fellowships apparently. (What a waste of $150 + 2 copies of all transcripts :x )
Rutgers Univ - Physics - Wait listed (March 21st), and mostly a reject.
Northwestern Univ - Physics - No reply, so I mailed them on March 12th only to get this reply: "At this time, no decision has been made on your application. We have a rolling admissions process and may accept applicants right up until the April 15th deadline. I understand you have your own decision to make, and I'm sorry I can't give you a more precise timeline." -- wtf?
______________________________________________
Last edited by raghuch on Thu Apr 03, 2014 11:29 am, edited 2 times in total.

yolo1234
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Mar 17, 2014 1:54 am

Re: 2014 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Post by yolo1234 » Mon Mar 17, 2014 2:59 am

Undergrad Institution: top 10 or top 20 for physics
Major(s): Physics
GPA in Major: 4.0
Overall GPA: 3.93
Length of Degree: 4 years
Position in Class: top, along with ~5-10 other people
Type of Student: Domestic Male

GRE Scores:
Q: 164 (90%)
V: 167 (97%)
W: 4.5 (79%)
P: 980 (93%)

Research Experience:
- 1 summer at a national lab writing software for an instrument, unrelated to what I applied for
- 1 summer REU-type experience at home university, tangentially related to what I applied for
- 1 quarter working in same group subsequent to summer experience

Awards/Honors/Recognitions:
- recognition for good grades

Pertinent Activities or Jobs:
- sporadic tutoring experience

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help:
- A+’s in about 1/3rd of my physics/math classes
- 1-year series graduate course also unrelated to what I applied for

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter:
-a lot of physics classes in different areas but not much focus
-my SOP’s were pretty specific, I mentioned particular aspects of professor’s projects that I was interested in

Primary interest: Biophysics

Applying to Where:
UofM Physics - Accepted via email on 1/16
Fellowship+GSI+$2325/month
UCLA Physics - Accepted via mail on 1/26
Fellowship $28,000+1/2TA $9000+various bonuses~ $59,000
UCSD Physics - Accepted via email on 1/27
TA $17,655+various bonuses=$55.304.50
Stanford Applied Physics - Accepted via email on 2/4
RA $2936/month
Cornell Physics - Accepted via email on 2/5
TA $26,285
UCD Physics - Accepted via email on 2/7,
50% TA $17,655+ Fellowship+bonuses=$42887
MIT Physics - Accepted via email on 2/10
Named Fellowship, at least $2637/month
UIUC Physics - Accepted via email on 2/12
TA $21,714+Summer Support
Berkeley Physics -Accepted via email on 2/14
GSI+bonuses=$61,000
Harvard Applied Physics -Rejected via website on 3/13

Advice:
-start research early!-try to get some variety, you will not get another chance to dabble freely in different fields, don’t worry about results as much as just doing a good, thorough job because
-your LOR’s are extremely important-most undergrads are students first, the foremost indication of your research abilities comes from your LOR
-no need to stress if you don’t have experience in precisely the sub-field you are applying to-for most undergrads consistently doing good work (grades) is enough, you don't need to claim to have a well-defined career trajectory
-describe how you fit into the professors’ projects, not the other way around-try to think about what a professor would find appealing, should never be issues of "incompatible research interests"
Last edited by yolo1234 on Thu Mar 20, 2014 4:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.

thebarber
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Feb 21, 2014 12:27 pm

Re: 2014 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Post by thebarber » Mon Mar 17, 2014 7:04 am

Undergrad Institution: large University, 2nd best for Physics in my country, probably little international reputation
Major: Physics
Minor(s): -
Overall GPA: 98%
Length of Degree: 3 years Bachelor's + 2 years Master's
Position in Class: top, along with 3-4 other people
Type of Student: international white male

GRE Scores :
Q: 169 (97%)
V: 163 (91%)
W: 4.0 (54%)
P: 990 (94%)


TOEFL Total: 116 (99%)

Research Experience: working on a Master's thesis with some original work. Also worked on a small project last year in the area I'm applying for (no original work though).

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: IPhO medal; scholarship from a very renowned institution in my country.

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: a little teaching, nothing much.

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: again, nothing much.

Special Bonus Points: Master's student, so lots of graduate classes on everything (QFT, CMT, QI, StatMech, GR...); my advisor has strong connections at one of the schools I applied to (but I got rejected anyway).

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: I knew pretty well what I wanted to do at each school, so I mentioned relevant topics and professors in each SoP. Maybe I was too specific in some of them.

Applying to Where:

Princeton - Physics - CMT - Accepted 02/14, Centennial Fellowship (30k$/10 months)
MIT - Physics - QI - Rejected 02/18
Harvard - Physics - AMO/QI - Rejected 02/28
Stanford - Physics - CMT - Rejected 02/24
Berkeley - Physics - CMT - Rejected 02/25
UCSB - Physics - CMT/QI - Rejected 03/11 (obviously didn't know I was throwing my money away at the time I applied... :| )
Caltech - Physics - QI - Rejected 03/11
UPenn - Physics - CMT - Rejected 03/20
Oxford - Physics - CMT - interview via Skype 01/23 - Application withdrawn
Cambridge - Physics - CMT - interview via Skype 02/19 - Application withdrawn
Last edited by thebarber on Sat Mar 29, 2014 7:16 am, edited 2 times in total.

earthforge
Posts: 3
Joined: Sun Jul 07, 2013 11:24 pm

Re: 2014 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Post by earthforge » Wed Mar 19, 2014 4:18 pm

Undergrad Institution: Well-known UC
Major: Physics / Appl. Math
Minor(s): None
Overall GPA: 3.27 before Fall grades came in to lift it to 3.38. Had a couple B-'s and one C+ thanks to a toxic personal situation and the near-foreclosure of my home (which I did not outline in any of my application materials).
Length of Degree: 4 years B.A. (+ 3 years community college for high school requirements)
Position in Class: Unknown
Type of Student: domestic white female, graduating at a younger age

GRE Scores : (revised)
Q: 161 (81%)
V: 165 (95%)
W: 4.5 (78%)
P: 660 (45%) (I took it while researching abroad)

TOEFL Total: N/A

Research Experience: Worked with a planetary science scientist at NASA for five years, culminating in a paper published last year (a physics simulation applied to cyanobacteria). Have been doing research at the space physics lab nearby (was unable to get a rec from the university professor overseeing my work as he died in my sophomore year, writing the paper now). Spent last semester collecting samples for independent fieldwork for a large scale biophysics/genetics project (which I got a grant for last month).

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Regents' and Chancellor's Scholar. Got the Research Fellowship last month.

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Co-founded a company in middle school before I went to community college and accelerated my education. Resuscitated the dead SPS chapter at my school, which has gone from 8 non-active members to 90 members with a healthy set of undergraduate events. I've established inroads from SPS for students interested in teaching, research and industry through outreach and faculty/grad engagement programs. Students have told me these events changed their career, such as gaining an interest in plasma physics or meeting their research adviser.

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help:

Special Bonus Points: My NASA adviser is world-known in geophysics. My space physics adviser was too, before he had a heart attack in his office.

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: I expressed my intense desire to do research, because that is what I want to do with my life - I went to community college at a young age so I could get to study physics and do research. This could have been read as overconfidence or disingenuous by world-weary profs.

Applying to Where:

MIT - EAPS - geophysics - Rejected by email 03/14 (Didn't try hard for this anyways because the profs had different interests)
Harvard - Physics - biophysics - Rejected by snail mail 03/13 (learned too late that the biophysics program has a completely separate application process)
Berkeley - Physics - experimental - Rejected by email 02/20 (pretty certain the low PGRE score killed this one; but I've observed so many bad behaviors of the faculty at Berkeley that I'm not too sad about being rejected)
Caltech - GPS - geobiology/geophysics - Rejected by email 03/13 (didn't see this one coming -- all my previous research lines up, and I didn't send them my PGRE score because it wasn't required; all I can guess is that they decided I need more experience before I go to grad school)
UCLA - physics - plasma - Rejected by website 03/05 (I knew this one was dicey with my scores, but the people I know who went there said that their score didn't matter; I had also contacted the profs before the decision was released; none responded except for one who told me to "apply to other departments")
CU Boulder - Physics - plasma/space physics - Accepted by email 02/25 + $5,000 "sign-on bonus" + faculty contact (visiting in April, very nervous since I can't see if this prof has had any prior grad students)

Also, I have applied to a program where, if I am selected, I would need to take two years out of school. The program provides funding and contacts to develop a business. This is not what I love to do, but I have the training and I am good at it. If I succeeded I would be able to support my family so my brother could return to finish school. I also would be able to finish my biophysics research project. I am worried that this would completely destroy my ability to ever come back to grad school.

derada
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Mar 21, 2014 1:52 pm

Re: 2014 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Post by derada » Fri Mar 21, 2014 2:24 pm

Undergrad Institution: Public University
Major(s): Physics, Mathematics
GPA in Major: 4.0
Overall GPA: 4.0
Length of Degree: 5 years
Position in Class: Don't know
Type of Student: Domestic Asian male

GRE Scores : new version
Q: 170 (98)
V: 169 (99)
W: 5.0 (93)
P: 910 (87)

TOEFL Total: N/A
Research Experience: Freshman year I did 1.5 semesters of independent study with a professor and presented at the departmental undergraduate research symposium. I then did 2 summers and 2 semesters of research with an ultrafast spectroscopy lab at my home institution. This work culminated in a first-author publication in AJP. For three semesters I worked in a Biophysics lab at my home institution. I plan to write my honors thesis on this work.


Awards/Honors/Recognitions:
Goldwater Scholarship, Phi Beta Kappa member, Outstanding Senior (Physics Department)

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Science outreach for three years

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help:

Special Bonus Points:
At the time of applying to graduate schools, I had already applied for the NSF Fellowship. I worked with my research advisor to hone the proposed research portion of the application, so he was able to write in his letter about my ability to identify a fruitful problem and formulate a research proposal. One of my letter writers was also able to speak about the science outreach work I had done with him.

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: I studied abroad in Germany for a year. I have never taken a Biology or Chemistry class.

Applying to Where: Mostly Biophysics

CU Boulder Physics– Accepted
UC Berkeley Biophysics- Accepted after interview visit
UCSF iPQB– Accepted after interview visit
UCSB BMSE - Accepted after interview visit
Harvard Biophysics (GSAS) - Accepted
Univ. Illinois Urbana-Champaign Biophysics and Computational Biology – Accepted
Stanford Biosciences (Home Program: Biophysics) – Accepted
MIT Bioengineering-Rejected
Columbia Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics- Accepted after interview visit
Rockefeller- Accepted after interview visit

Advice to future applicants: Do your homework on which program/department to apply to if you are interested in an interdisciplinary field. Many of the programs I applied to will let you work with professors that are not officially affiliated with the program, so your choice will mostly impact which classes you take, what kind of funding you receive, and of course, what your chances are of being accepted.

If you are interested in Biophysics, don't worry if you lack a background in Biology. Many of the professors I interviewed with also came from Physics backgrounds and learned what they needed in the course of their research.

Lavabug
Posts: 66
Joined: Tue Mar 27, 2012 6:19 pm

Re: 2014 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Post by Lavabug » Fri Mar 28, 2014 5:21 pm

Undergrad Institution: Among top 5 in Spain, big name in astrophysics
Major(s): Physics, with many astrophysics courses.
Overall GPA: ~7/10
Length of Degree: 5.5, some time in a chemistry bachelors program.
Type of Student: international male, but US resident (that probably helped a lot)

GRE Scores : Several tries, my best were:
Q: 157
V: 155
W: 4.0
P: 700


TOEFL Total: 107 iBT

Research Experience: Computational HE astro (MSc project at a big UK uni, as an undergrad). Solar astro theory/comp at home institution.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Academic+need-based scholarships every year I spent in physics.

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Minor tutoring experience. Not enough of a social butterfly for this kind of thing.

Special Bonus Points: Rec letters were probably spot-on. Spent a very long time preparing SOP's.

Applying to Where:

Montana State U - Physics - Solar and GW science Accepted, 14.9k/9-month stipend + summer support - declined
University of NH - Physics - Solar wind and space physics Accepted, 15.1k/9-month stipend + no guaranteed summer support declined
West Virginia University - Physics & Astro - Radio astronomy for GW science Accepted with Fellowship - Attending
U Mass Amherst - Physics - GW science - "Almost accepted" - Contacted on Apr. 14th with possibility of a spot opening up - declined
Ohio University - Physics - Galactic dynamics and HE astro - Rejected
Arizona State U - Astrophysics - Rejected
University of Minnesota - Astrohysics - Comp. Astrophysical Fluids - Rejected
Rochester IT - Astrophysical Science - GW science and numerical relativity rejected
Dartmouth College - Physics - Solar and space science rejected
U Virginia - Astronomy - Comp. HE Astro rejected
Ohio State University - Physics - rejected
University of St. Andrews, Scotland - Physics/Astro - Theory and simulation of protoplanetary discs - rejected
U Wisconsin Milwaukee - Physics - GW science and general computational astro - rejected
North Carolina State University - Physics - Comp. Astrophysical Fluids - rejected
U Pittsburgh - Physics - Astro, galactic dynamics - rejected

Summer programs (not REU's, these are for graduates mostly):
NRAO - Radio astronomy - Waitlisted then rejected
ASTRON/JIVE - Radio astronomy - rejected
STScI SASP - Astro - rejected
US Naval Observatory - Astro - offered volunteership, ain't nobody got time fo dat.
University of Leiden/ESA - Astro, several projects - rejected

Hope this helps someone else.
Last edited by Lavabug on Tue Apr 15, 2014 10:32 am, edited 2 times in total.

Lunaray
Posts: 4
Joined: Thu Apr 03, 2014 9:50 pm

Re: 2014 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Post by Lunaray » Thu Apr 03, 2014 10:43 pm

Undergrad Institution: Ivy
Major(s): Physics, Philosophy
Minor(s): N/A
GPA in Major: 4.0
Overall GPA: 4.0
Length of Degree: 4 years
Position in Class: Unknown
Type of Student: International Male

GRE Scores :
Q: 169 (97%)
V: 168 (98%)
W: 4.0 (54%) [I was surprised - guess I can't write under time pressure]
P: 890 (84%) [I winged this in October. Stupid idea - turns out PGREs may matter a lot if you want to do theory]

TOEFL Total: N/A

Research Experience: Spent one summer working in a high energy experiment lab, another working at a plasma physics research institute in Germany. Did my honors thesis in theoretical astrophysics. No publications.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Nothing particularly outstanding.

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Astronomy TA for 2 years.

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: Again, nothing particularly outstanding.

Special Bonus Points: Spent junior year studying abroad at the University of Cambridge. Not really a plus point seeing as my grades for that year were unexceptional - I was busy travelling around Europe when I really should have been studying for the tripos exam. Also, I spent most of my senior year taking classes outside of physics, which could have sent the wrong signal to admission committees.

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: I was specific about doing theoretical cosmology (CMB and Large scale structure formation) and mentioned in my SoP relevant topics and professors in each department that I applied to.

Applying to Where:

UC Berkeley - Astronomy -Theoretical Cosmology
Caltech - Physics - Theoretical Cosmology
University of Chicago - Astronomy and Astrophysics - Theoretical Cosmology
Columbia - Astronomy - Theoretical Cosmology
Harvard - Astronomy - Theoretical Cosmology
University of Michigan - Astronomy - Theoretical Cosmology
MIT - Physics - Theoretical Cosmology
University of Pennsylvania - Physics and Astronomy - Theoretical Cosmology
Princeton - Astrophysical Sciences - Theoretical Cosmology
Stanford - Physics - Theoretical Cosmology

University of Texas at Austin - Astronomy - Theoretical Cosmology

Takeaway from this Application Cycle:

Application season was not great for me this year. It could be because of one or more of the following:

1) PGREs could be better, especially if you want to do theory in a competitive field. There is no reason to do badly just because you don't remember high school optics!
2) Lack of long term research focus (and publications) in the field I ended up applying to. I wanted to explore different areas in physics that I was interested in, and didn't settle on cosmology until my senior year. Because of that, my research experience is all over the place, and I wonder if that sent the wrong signal to admission committees that I wasn't committed.
3) The funding climate for theoretical cosmology and high energy theory is not great at the moment.

Either way, I am very happy with the schools I was accepted into. Good luck future applicants!

djames21
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Apr 04, 2014 3:09 am

Re: 2014 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Post by djames21 » Fri Apr 04, 2014 3:23 am

Undergrad Institution: Big US private school, mediocre in physics, good in engineering
Major(s): Physics
Minor(s): Nope
GPA in Major: 3.8
Overall GPA: 3.85
Length of Degree: 4 years
Position in Class: Out of ~10 physics majors, probably top 4
Type of Student: Plain old white male

GRE Scores : new
Q: 170
V: 167
W: 4.0
P: 820 (75% I think)

Research Experience: 2.5 years in a solar physics group without publications. Have experience as undergrad group leader and in leading training of new members. No notable results, and it's unrelated to the research I want to do

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Dean's List a bunch of times, undergraduate research financial support, Phi Beta Kappa. Nothing much else

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Some tutoring and homework grading in an official capacity for the school

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: Nope

Special Bonus Points: I am taking a grad-level health physics class

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: Two of my letters were really good and enthusiastic, the other was probably not.

Applying to Where:

I mostly talked about interest in experimental AMO and quantum information, although sometimes I just talked about another project that interested me. I definitely mentioned doing experiment, though.

Harvard University - Rejected
UC Berkeley - Rejected
UC Santa Barbara - Rejected
Stanford University - Rejected I had a connection here, still didn't help
University of Michigan - Rejected
University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign - Rejected
University of Washington - Rejected
Carnegie Mellon University - Presumably waitlisted by this point (4/4), still waiting to hear
University of Wisconsin, Madison - Accepted
University of Maryland, College Park - Accepted, will be attending

I got TAships and financial support and both schools I was accepted to, ~$25k/yr for two years. I thought I'd get into 3-5 schools and was a little disappointed to get so many rejections. My feeling is my application was good enough to be accepted to some other schools, but not outstanding enough that they had to accept me so people at around the same level got in. More relevant research and maybe working on more projects would probably have helped. Oh well, I really only applied to schools I'd want to go to, not any iffy safety schools. So I'm happy with Maryland. Hope this helped, looking at past ones certainly motivated me to study for the physics GRE

spacebug
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Jan 16, 2014 10:39 am

Re: 2014 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Post by spacebug » Mon Apr 07, 2014 3:48 am

Undergrad Institution: Not famous; International
Major(s): Physics
Minor(s): Astronomy
GPA in Major: 9.65/10
Overall GPA: 9.12/10
Length of Degree: 4 years
Position in Class: Top
Type of Student: International female

GRE Scores :
Q: 164
V: 159
W: 4.0
P: 950

Research Experience: 4 month intern on star clusters; did observational work as well. 1 month project on solar physics. No papers


Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Got the Institute Gold medal for standing first in my branch

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: 1 year exp working in a research institute

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: Nope


Applying to Where: Extragalctic Astro/ Cosmology- Observational

OSU - Accepted
Cornell - Accepted
PSU - Accepted
Chicago - Accepted
Stanford - Accepted - Will be going
U Arizona - Rejected
University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign - Accepted
Princeton- Rejected
Caltech - Rejected
U Texas Austin - Waitlisted, offer withdrawn
University of Maryland, College Park - Accepted
U Virginia - Accepted

omephy
Posts: 12
Joined: Fri Nov 11, 2011 2:29 am

Re: 2014 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Post by omephy » Sat Apr 12, 2014 3:53 pm

Undergrad Institution: Foreign university, no reputation for Physics in effect.
Major(s): Physics
Minor(s): n/a
GPA in Major: n/a
Overall GPA: 3.20
Length of Degree: 4 years B S (Honours) in Physics.
Position in Class: Near top
Type of Student: International

GRE Scores : Revised
Q: 156 (65%)
V: 151 (49%)
W: 3.0
P: 600 (31%)


TOEFL Total: IELTS - 7.5 (Listening 7.5, Reading - 8.5, Writing - 6.5, Speaking - 6.5)

Research Experience: Has started work on Light-front QFT: review work is ongoing.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: n/a

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: I have been teaching students for about 6 years privately.

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: n/a

Special Bonus Points: n/a

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: Programming skill.

Applying to Where:

Wayne State University - Physics and Astronomy - HEP - rejected
Temple University - Physics - HEP - rejected
Florida International University - Physics - HEP - rejected
University of South Carolina - Physics and Astronomy - HEP- rejected
Old Dominion University - Physics - HEP - rejected
Last edited by omephy on Sat May 03, 2014 4:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Scooter
Posts: 14
Joined: Tue Jun 11, 2013 10:28 am

Re: 2014 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Post by Scooter » Mon Apr 14, 2014 10:34 pm

Undergrad Institution: Unknown state school, absolutely unknown in physics
Major(s): Physics
Minor(s): Math
GPA in Major: 3.91
Overall GPA: 3.92
Length of Degree: 5 years
Position in Class:
Type of Student: Domestic white female

GRE Scores :
Q: 168
V: 152 (lol)
W: 3.5 (lol)
P: High 600's (I forget the percentage, somewhere right below 50 I think)

Research Experience: Two REUs, one in the field I'm interested in.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: A few department scholarships/awards

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Tutored physics for a few years, president of physics and astronomy club.

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: Merr?

Special Bonus Points: Err, female? Sadly. I never got a grade lower than a B+, is sort of a bonus.

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: Dropped out one semester due to health reasons, so I went part time my last year because I was graduating a year late, but really only missed one semester. Oh wells.

Applying to Where:
I specified an interest in optics, but I applied to the physics programs at all schools. (I know Rochester and Arizona have optics programs, but I wanted to be able to mingle in other departments if I changed my mind. 8) )

Yale - Applied Physics - Rejected - I can't find the date for this one, but it was completely expected anyway. Lol.
Rochester Accepted 1/23
Iowa Accepted 1/27
Montana State Accepted 2/3
William and Mary Accepted 2/6
North Carolina State Accepted 2/7
University of Arizona Accepted 2/11
Lehigh Accepted 2/21
Penn State Rejected 3/3
Carnegie Mellon Invited to Recruiting Weekend on the waitlist 3/6 - Application withdrawn
University of Oregon Rejected 3/14 - On pi day too! :C
Last edited by Scooter on Fri Apr 25, 2014 10:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.

collectedsoul
Posts: 16
Joined: Mon Jun 30, 2008 11:04 pm

Re: 2014 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Post by collectedsoul » Tue Apr 15, 2014 1:59 pm

This thread from previous years has helped me and I think this post will help the many non-traditional students without a physics bachelors looking to change to physics.

Undergrad Institution: Less said the better
Major(s): Computer Engineering
Minor(s): None
GPA in Major: 3.4
Overall GPA: 3.4
Length of Degree: 4
Position in Class: Average
Type of Student: the most unfortunate - International Indian Male

GRE Scores : revised
Q: 165
V: 163
W: 4
P: 780


TOEFL Total: 110

Research Experience: None

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: None

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: None

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: Zilch

Special Bonus Points: None

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: Dunno

Applying to Where: Research Interest where relevant was specified as theoretical but undecided between astrophysics/particle physics/relativity/cosmology.

Montana State - MS - Waitlisted Apr 1 (e-mail inquiry)
Georgia - MS - Rejected Mar 20 (replied after 2 e-mail inquiries)
Purdue - MS - Rejected Apr 21
Iowa - MS - Rejected Apr 21 (e-mail inquiry)
Illinois at Chicago - MS - Rejected Early May
Colorado State - MS - Rejected Mar 28 (e-mail inquiry)
McMaster - MS - Rejected Apr 30
Queen's - MS - Rejected Mar 24
Western Ontario - MS -
Windsor - MS - I would strongly discourage people from applying here, very unprofessional dept
North Carolina State - MS - Accepted Apr 9 - Had initially applied for MS, on inquiry was told I was on waiting list and slots were limited for Masters and I should apply for PhD instead. So I agreed. Was eventually admitted to MS but will be able to continue for PhD after 2 years
Mississippi - PhD - Application withdrawn Early May - Wanted to apply for MS but was advised to apply for PhD and was told I didn't have to stay after 2 years. So applied for PhD.
Missouri, Kansas City - MS -Accepted Feb 13 - Declined Feb 21, was given 10 day deadline and didn't really want to go there.
Michigan Technological - MS - Rejected Apr 22

Applied to the following places around April 1-6 after I realised I might not get in anywhere I liked. All e-mail applications except Arkansas.
Arkansas - MS - Accepted Apr 11 - Had previously filled out online application but not submitted letters or other forms.
Alabama - MS -
New Mexico State - MS -
North Texas - MS - Accepted May 23

A few words in conclusion. MS programs are harder to get into than PhD programs and are not looked at as a priority for universities. Most MS programs are not funded, but the ones I applied to are.
Last edited by collectedsoul on Fri May 23, 2014 2:03 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Cgi15
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue Apr 22, 2014 3:51 pm

Re: 2014 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Post by Cgi15 » Tue Apr 22, 2014 4:33 pm

Undergrad Institution: Missouri State University - 2nd largest in state after University of Missouri-Columbia (Mizzou). Nice middle-of-the-road school that is working its way up there in prestige.
Major(s): Physics, Mathematics
Major GPA: 3.75
Overall GPA: 3.84
Length of Degree: 4 years
Position in Class: Cannot judge because my class is fairly small and we are all pretty evenly matched overall
Type of Student: Domestic white male

GRE Scores : Revised
Q: 164
V: 162
W: 4.5
P: 730

Research Experience: 1 year as lab assistant for NASA EPSCOR grant. Working on Senior thesis project currently. No publications/posters.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Dean's list

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: None

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: Interned with the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) for two summers and two winters.

Special Bonus Points: None

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: Chem I/II, Organic I, Programming experience in Python, Matlab, and Mathematica.

Applying to Where: All in biophysics or biophysics related.

Johns Hopkins University - Biophysics - Rejected by Email on 3/21
University of California - Berkeley - Biophysics - Rejected by website on 1/23
University of Washington - Biological Physics - Rejected by Email on 2/7
The Ohio State University - Biophysics - Notified of Interview by Email 1/31. Interviewed on 3/6. Offered admission with G.A. on 3/12 by Email ($2,200 a month stipend). Accepted offer on 3/19
Arizona State University - Biological Design - Notified of interview on 1/15. Interviewed on 2/21. Offered admission and $44,000 fellowship on 4/14
Florida State University - Molecular Biophysics - Withdrew application on 2/4 after asked to interview

User avatar
drunkphysics
Posts: 16
Joined: Thu Mar 06, 2014 11:01 am

Re: 2014 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Post by drunkphysics » Wed Apr 23, 2014 7:50 am

Undergrad Institution: Liberal Arts School, very much unknown physics program.
Major(s): Physics
Minor(s): Mathematics, Music
GPA in Major: 3.60
Overall GPA: 3.62
Length of Degree: 4 years
Position in Class: near-top, 2nd
Type of Student: Domestic white guy

GRE Scores : revised
Q: 153 – 53%
V: 154 – 62%
W: 4.0 – 54%
P: 540 – 17% - posting this for all of us that are less than Harvard-bound.

Research Experience: Senior Thesis / SCE on a custom acoustics experiment, individually presented at a large academic conference; Adv. Lab coursework presented at an academic poster-session with classmates; Currently working on R&D as technician for 1 year now, modeling/studying electrochemistry and fluid dynamics. No publications or authorships :(

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: some departmental award/scholarship thing my junior year for outstanding something or other; 7 semesters on deans list; graduated cum laude; eagle scout?

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Intro physics lab TA for 5 semesters w/ grading; served as president and senate rep for SPS; served as alumni relations and historian for national fraternity. (careful to word as anonymous service org on apps, some profs are extremely biased against fraternities :|)

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: my senior thesis was an experiment I spearheaded, I came up with the idea and built the whole thing myself, gotta be worth something; I also interned 1 summer at a large science center.

Special Bonus Points: Small school means personal LOR’s, especially when you have hung out with a few profs and gotten to know each other on more than just an academic level. I know at least 2 of mine are good quality.

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: I’ve always been highly involved with music, was part of numerous ensembles and organizations. Might be brownie points for some admissions? Dunno.

Applying to Where:

Case Western – CME - waitlisted upon email inquiry.
University of Pittsburgh – CME - rejected via their system 4/8
Ohio State University - CME – rejected via email 3/11
Ohio University - CME - most likely waitlisted, haven’t even asked. rejected 4/11
Drexel - CME - rejected via email inquiry 3/10
William & Mary - CME - waitlisted upon email inquiry. rejected 4/16
LeHigh - CME - waitlisted upon email inquiry, was contacted by their admissions coordinator, told me I was high on short list, and asked if I had retaken gre for better Q score. He told me this is the only filter they use, 70-75% range. rejected 4/21
Bryn Mawr - CME - rejected via snail mail 3/17
West Virginia - CME - waitlisted upon email inquiry.
Kent State - CME – waitlisted upon email inquiry, was “high up on their short list”. rejected 4/19


I think my selection was arguably appropriate for my gre score ranges. Hopefully this information will be much more helpful to prospectives than the current spread of results; it’s hard to extrapolate downward on this forum. Turns out PGRE really is the gatekeeper, or so it would seem. I don’t think normal GRE counts for much unless you royally screw it up, but I could be wrong. Would probably be worth gaining a few points in my case for Q.

Not gonna give up. Only fuel for the fire to study harder for that accursed PGRE.

sorethumb
Posts: 4
Joined: Fri Feb 07, 2014 1:50 pm

Re: 2014 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Post by sorethumb » Thu Apr 24, 2014 6:50 pm

I hope that my profile will help future non-traditional applicants. I looked at these profiles, but none of them fit my situation.
______________________________________________
Undergrad Institution: Highly ranked small liberal arts college
Major(s): English
Minor(s): Spanish
GPA in Major: 3.6
Overall GPA: 3.4
Length of Degree: 3.5 years

Master's Institution: Lesser state university, no reputation in physics
Major(s): Physics
GPA in Major: 3.99
Overall GPA: 3.99
Length of Degree: 3 years

Position in Class: ?
Type of Student: Domestic female

GRE Scores :
Q: 169
V: 165
W: 4.0 (huh? Well, they ask questions like "Does God exist? Pick yes or no. You have 30 minutes.")
P: 940


Research Experience: Two quarters of observational astronomy, two years of computational condensed matter with a reputable theorist.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: 2-year master's fellowship

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: TA, tutor, and also a few years working office jobs..

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: I think my English degree made my application stand out. I decided to emphasize it in my statement of purpose, rather than try to hide it.

Special Bonus Points: I'm half Hispanic, but I only mentioned that in the applications asking for a diversity essay (most did not).

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: I'm older than most of the applicants.

Applying to Where: All for condensed matter theory & computation

UC Santa Barbara - Accepted
Caltech - Rejected
CU Boulder - Accepted
U Chicago - Rejected
U Washington - Accepted
Stanford - Rejected
Berkeley - Rejected
MIT - Accepted
UC San Diego - Accepted
UC Irvine - Accepted
UCLA - Accepted
UIUC - Accepted
UT Austin - Accepted
Boston U - Accepted
University of Maryland - Accepted
______________________________________________

mrfotih
Posts: 56
Joined: Wed Jul 06, 2011 6:02 pm

Re: 2014 Applicant Profiles and Admission Results

Post by mrfotih » Fri Apr 25, 2014 3:44 pm

Undergrad Institution: Foreign University
Major(s):Physics
Minor(s):
GPA in Major:
Overall GPA:
Length of Degree: 4
Position in Class: top 5%
Graduate School: Big State School in the USA
GPA in Major:
Type of Student: International

GRE Scores :
Q:
V:
W:
P:


Research Experience:

Applying to Where:

Georgia Institute of Technology - Condensed Matter Physics and Quantum Optics rejected via web-site
Boston University - Condensed Matter Physics rejected via e-mail
University of Florida - Condensed Matter Physics wait listed and then rejected via e-mail
University of Pittsburgh - Condensed Matter Physics wait listed and then rejected via web-site
North Carolina State University - Condensed Matter Physics accepted via e-mail WILL ATTEND
Northeastern University - Condensed Matter Physics wait listed and then rejected via web-site
University of Delaware - Condensed Matter Physics and Quantum Optics accepted by e-mail declined
Kent State University - Condensed Matter Physics accepted via e-mail declined



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