In Dire Need of Grad Sschool Help-An addenum

  • 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: 36
Joined: Thu Jul 26, 2007 5:12 pm

In Dire Need of Grad Sschool Help-An addenum

Post by maxwell200 » Wed Oct 17, 2007 5:14 pm

A while ago, I posted this statement:

Well, I guess as application time is looming I need help figuring out which tyoes of schools would be safe schools and which types would be schools I have a "good chance" but not "gauranteed.

My over all gpa is 3.3, my physics gpa is 3.6; I'm expecting my physics grades to rise to A- average by the time I graduate. Specificially, half my physics major grades were A or A-, the other half B+'s. Quantum mechanics was the one advanced physics course that brought me down for my major gpa, plus I had an unusually hard combe of classes. I had one quarter where I was doing quantum, E/M and biochemistry and research one quarter, another where I was doing quantum, E/M, upper level microbiology, a fourth class and research in one quarter. In fact, all quarters where I did not get all A's in my physics classes were quarters where I was taking physics concurrently with upper level chemistry and microbiology classes. Partially because of this, partially becuase I have a tougher time staying mentally organized than others, and for other reasons my physics gpa is not quite where I wanted it to be. Obviously, I am pretty disappointed with my physics grades, esp quantum, and do feel I had the ability to do a lot better. It was at Ohio State University undergrad, which i do believe is recognized for being increasingly tough in physics and other areas.

As for research, again I am unfortunately not very strong in that area either. I started research during my autumn of my junior, and plan on continuing the smae project through my senior year with a possible publication/recommendation from a very highly repsected professor in his field of particle physics.

Now, I would like to think I'm not completely out of touch with reality. I'm aware that fro me getting into a school like stanford, MIT, Caltech, Princeton, Columbia, Berkeley, etc would basically be like winning the lottery, regardless of how well I do on my physics gre. However, the grad studies chair in physics said, when i asked him abvout my grades, he said,

"Your grads look good. Based on these grades I would say you would have a
good chance of being accepted into a strong physics graduate program of
the level of OSU or possibly higher...your grades look very good".

I would hope thaty serves as good news, but I don't really know. I was wondering if anyone could help me determine, as dependent on my physics gre score, my chances of getting into these types of schools:

Rice University
Penn State
Rutgers State
University of Minnesota
University of Rochester
Texas A&M
University of Arizona
University of Virginia
New York University
Brown University
Georgia Tech
Stony Brook
University of Washington
University of Wisconsin-Madison
University of Texas-Austin
University of Chicago
University of Colorado
Johns Hopkins
Ohio State University
Michigan State
Carnegie Mellon

Basically, I wanted to know if anyone could tell which of these schools would be schools I have a good chance of getting into and which would be "safe schools" and which would be more difficult for me to get into. Again, I have not taken the physics gre and don't really know how well I'll end up doing.

Thanks for any help you can provide."

Some extra scools I am curious about are added in there as well.

At this point, I wanted to update with new info and see if anyone had any more hints as to what types of scools I should be looking at.

General GRE Score:

Verbal:690, Math:790 I'm told good verbal scores help but I'm not sure exactly how much.

Expected GRE Physics: At least 750, judging by my practice tests.

While on the subject, for those who did really well, i.e. 900 or above, any advice for what I can do in the next tow and a half weeks or so to maximize my GRE score and possibly get above 900 myself?

Thanks for any help you can give.

Posts: 195
Joined: Sun Oct 07, 2007 12:24 am

Post by vicente » Wed Oct 17, 2007 6:35 pm

Your background is very similar to mine, I have the same GPA as you, I also get a mix of B+'s and A-'s in my physics courses, and I screwed up one of my junior-level courses (classical mechanics in my case, got a C). I also go to a huge school (University of Toronto: 60,000 students) with a tough physics department and only started doing research after my junior year. My GPA is low due to a hard combination of courses (I took both honors math and honors physics).

I think you have a great chance of getting into most of the schools you listed, you are definitely aiming at the right range. Some schools that might be reach schools for you would be University of Chicago, UT Austin, and University of Washington. But by no means should you cross them off the list, you should pick one of them to apply to and if you submit a really good S.O.P. and your prof writes a good ref. letter, you might get in.

But don't underestimate yourself! 3.6 GPA at a tough school is not bad.

How is OSU by the way? I've only been there once for a Buckeyes game but the buildings were closed at the time so I didn't get a chance to go in to talk to the profs.

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