- This has become our largest and most active forum because the physics GRE is just one aspect of getting accepted into a graduate physics program.
- There are applications, personal statements, letters of recommendation, visiting schools, anxiety of waiting for acceptances, deciding between schools, finding out where others are going, etc.
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I applied to several schools for admission in Fall 2014, and I've gotten offers from some very good schools. However, due to some unexpected family reasons, I now feel that I should potentially take a two year gap, probably working close to home in a tech industry. If I did this, I would work on my own physics research projects on the side (I'm in theory), and reapply to the same schools for the Fall 2016 season. However, I'm a bit paranoid that some schools might hold it against me that I declined their offer and then applied again shortly after. And even if they don't hold it against me, I'm afraid that not working in physics for that time may reflect poorly on my application. Does anyone have any experience/insight with this?
I know of several people who have deferred admission to graduate school for a year, but I don't know about two. If I were you, I would ask about deferring admission. You seem to have a good reason.
I think it won't hurt to ask about deferring and if they say you cannot, then they will know why you will reapply in 2 years!
You should bring this situation up with your faculty contact (chair of the graduate admissions committee and/or potential research advisor) at each institution you are still considering. They may be able to work with you to either defer admission or to help you figure out a way to start now despite your family concerns. Also, FYI, you may be able to save yourself the application fees if you do decide to re-apply in two years: at my institution, our offers of admission are valid for 2 years. Even if a student declines our offer and goes somewhere else first, the student may choose to enroll at any time within the two years. However, our financial offer (RA/TA to provide stipend and tuition) is only valid until April 15 of the year it is made, so if a student were to defer (or to decide to accept our admission offer a year or two later) we are not obligated to provide financial assistance. However, if you have explained your circumstances, and if you are still competitive relative to the new batch of applicants, you are likely to still receive a financial offer in the year that you choose to enroll. The main point is to discuss this with each department now, so that they can help you (if possible) or at the very least understand why you are likely to apply again in a few years.