Applying Undecided

  • 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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Joined: Fri Jul 29, 2011 10:05 pm

Applying Undecided

Post by Minovsky » Mon May 07, 2012 8:23 pm

Is there a good way to apply to graduate schools with an undecided research focus? I'm not completely undecided; I'm definitely leaning towards certain things (theory/mathematical, particle, medical, fluids) and away from others (experimental, solid-state), but I don't think I'm ready to say "I want to spend 6 years in graduate school studying _________". I'm also not sure if I can safely rule anything out either (except for solid-state).

Anybody have any advice on applying with an unspecified research focus? Anybody care to share how they decided on a particular subfield?

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Re: Applying Undecided

Post by bfollinprm » Mon May 07, 2012 9:17 pm

Identify the schools you want to go to, then identify the strengths they have in their department which coincide with your interests, as general or specific as they might be. Then tailor your application to express your interests in those strengths, including several faculty members whose research intrigues you, and why.

Implicitly in this, you should have a good answer to WHY you are going to grad school; the answer to this question should be able to inform a discussion as to the type (maybe not specifically, but generally) of physics you want to do.

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