European vs. US admissions

  • This has become our largest and most active forum because the physics GRE is just one aspect of getting accepted into a graduate physics program.
  • There are applications, personal statements, letters of recommendation, visiting schools, anxiety of waiting for acceptances, deciding between schools, finding out where others are going, etc.

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Posts: 4
Joined: Tue Jan 23, 2007 8:18 am

European vs. US admissions

Post by inflaton » Tue Jan 23, 2007 8:21 am

I am mainly applying to European programs, and so far things are going very well: All reasearch institutes I applied to invited me to give a talk about my current research, meet potential supervisors and discuss PhD projects.
I just found your forum and read about people hearing back from US grad schools sometimes as late as March!
Do you really get accepted without ever giving research talks? How do the schools judge your potential as a researcher then? Assuming that you have your interviews in January and potential supervisors were so kind to spend several hours discussing PhD projects with you, isn't it rude not to tell them your decision until April?
And is it true that they don't even look at international applications with subject scores below 800? I did research leading to publications at 2 of the top 4 US schools in my field (for 6 and 9 months), and my advisors told me not to worry about application matters but to focus on research. Now that application deadlines are over, I read your posts - I wish I had found this forum earlier!
You make me worried, where did you learn about the importance of the GRE?

Posts: 8
Joined: Mon Jan 22, 2007 7:40 pm

Post by schrodingersmistress » Tue Jan 23, 2007 11:18 am

Its like the SAT's for highschool (granted that you went to an American High School), its something that is drilled into us very early in our undergrad that we will have to take. They say its a good judge of knowledge and competance, which isn't always the case, but for most it works. Because of the amount of males that apply and the few number of spots available its used mostly as a weeding process. Its important but not your ticket into grad school. The most important thing are rec letters, research, publications...stuff that actually reflects on how serious you are about your future and what steps you've taken to further it. Most American schools require the tests, both general and subject.

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