2021 Applicant Profile 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.

physico_guy
Posts: 5
Joined: Fri Jan 01, 2021 9:27 am

Re: 2021 Applicant Profile and Admission Results

Post by physico_guy » Sun Jan 17, 2021 11:09 am

[deleted]
Last edited by physico_guy on Sat Jan 23, 2021 1:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.

newslick
Posts: 1
Joined: Sun Jan 17, 2021 4:00 pm

Re: 2021 Applicant Profile and Admission Results

Post by newslick » Sun Jan 17, 2021 4:53 pm

Undergrad Institution: Small state school, no reputation in physics (or anything for that matter)
Major(s): Astronomy/Mathematics
Minor(s): None
GPA in Major: ~3.78/~3.70
Overall GPA: 3.55 (got a few Cs in literature classes)
Length of Degree: 5
Position in Class: Don't measure, but definitely near top
Type of Student: Domestic white male

Masters Institution: Small technical institute, known for engineering, ranks ~55 in physics
Major(s): Physics
Overall GPA: 4.00
Length of Degree: 2

GRE Scores: Nope

TOEFL: N/A

Research Experience:
About 5 months in undergrad doing computational research with a math professor, no publication but I did a little presentation to the math department about it.
About 6 months in undergrad doing exoplanet data analysis and assisting with preparations for a publication, got an nth author on the paper.
About 1 year working on a masters thesis, plasma astrophysics and ISM oriented. Will result in a first-author publication, but won't be put together until later this year (maybe?).

Awards/Honors/Recognition: Standard deans list in undergrad, a few honors societies, etc.

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Graduate TA for a year and a half, doing intro physics courses and upper-level thermodynamics and galactic physics courses. Undergraduate mathematics tutor as well.

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: I mean, I'll have a masters degree and have been a successful grad student, so I don't know if that really helps or not.

Special Bonus Points: My masters advisor, who is also writing one of my letters, has a few connections at one of the places I'm applying to, so that might help a little. Also, I've contacted faculty members at most of the places I'm applying to.

Applying to Where: All expressing interest in ISM/plasma astrophysics research

Shouldn't have wasted my time applying:
Columbia - Astronomy - REJECTED via email 2/18
Princeton - Astrophysical Sciences - REJECTED via email 2/5 (can't say I'm not a little disappointed)
Maryland CP - Astronomy - REJECTED via email 2/11
Johns Hopkins - Phys. & Astro. - REJECTED via email 3/1

Still probably wasted my time:
Stony Brook - Phys. & Astro. - REJECTED via email 3/8
Boston U - Astronomy- REJECTED via email 3/5
Carnegie Mellon - Phys. & Astro. - REJECTED via email 2/8

Might get in, might not:
UVirginia - Astronomy - REJECTED via email 3/17
Dartmouth - Phys. & Astro. - REJECTED via email 3/23
UMass Amherst - Astronomy - (Invite for interview 1/21) WAITLISTED via email 2/7
U of Rochester - Phys. & Astro. - REJECTED via email 2/19
Drexel - Phys. & Astro.

The odds are hopefully in my favor here:
Rutgers - Phys. & Astro. - REJECTED via email 2/12
U of Delaware - Phys. & Astro.- ACCEPTED via email 2/22 Declined

Update: Looks like I'm taking a year off to work on research because this cycle was worse than I thought it would be. I was told that the one person I was interested in working with at Delaware is not taking new students, but they accepted me anyway?? I'll be declining that offer.
Last edited by newslick on Tue Mar 23, 2021 10:28 am, edited 14 times in total.

ALM2021
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue Jan 19, 2021 9:50 pm

Re: 2021 Applicant Profile and Admission Results

Post by ALM2021 » Tue Jan 19, 2021 10:36 pm

______________________________________________
Undergrad Institution: Big state school, pretty good reputation in physics
Major(s): Physics and Astronomy
Minor(s): N/A
GPA in Major: 3.50
Overall GPA: 3.43
Length of Degree: 5
Position in Class: Not reported, though I think I was a little below average
Type of Student: Domestic white male

GRE Scores: NO GRE REQUIRED FOR THIS YEAR (WE ALL KNOW WHAT HAPPENED). N/A

TOEFL: (R: , L: , S: , W: ) N/A


Research Experience:

About a year as an undergrad volunteer in a neutrino astrophysics group, mostly doing programming and some writing(i.e., grant proposals we didn't get/papers we haven't published lol), but no publications. Stayed in the same group after graduating working on a different project as a paid research assistant. One conference talk at APS. Also some work in a connected lab as an undergrad, maybe ~5 months overall.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions:

Nay

Pertinent Activities or Jobs:

Research assistant in my undergrad lab after I graduated, though I officially started just a few months before applications were due. Also one semester as a TA.

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help:

Deans list a few of times, but not as many as most people in my major I would guess.

Special Bonus Points:

Confident one of my recommenders wrote me a really nice letter and one probably wrote at least a good one; they've both been on the admissions committee before, so they know what committees are looking for in a recommendation.

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

Two rec letters are from the professors overseeing the labs I worked in and the other one was from a collaborator with one of the groups, so at least they all could definitely say they knew me decently well enough and can speak to my research abilities. A couple of big deficiencies in my transcript caused by a bad mental health semester, but generally an improvement afterwards so hopefully they recognize that.


Applying to Where (Mostly for either cosmology or astroparticle research):
(They're all reaches)

U. Wisconsin-Madison - Astronomy -- Jan. 19: First response! (and rejection...)
U. Wisconsin-Madison - Physics -- Jan. 28: rejection #2
Ohio State - Physics
Ohio State - Astronomy -- Feb. 16
U. Arizona - Astronomy -- Feb. 22 (Edit: saw the update on the website 2/22; got a PDF letter of rejection in email on 2/24 dated 2/12)
U. Washington - Astronomy -- Feb. 2: I thought the email was very kind spirited :lol:
UT Austin - Astronomy -- Mar. 10: This was my last astro school I've heard back from--I think I'll be back next year!
Penn State - Astronomy -- Feb. 8
Maryland - Physics -- Apr. 7
UCSD - Physics -- Apr. 3: I'm pretty sure that I was rejected a long time ago and they just took a while to send out rejections

Frankly, I don't feel great about my odds (especially after my first rejection haha). I have a feeling that this year might be especially rough for someone with my resume since schools might be hesitant to take "risks" on people with a weaker transcript(or they might just take fewer people overall?) and not enough research to compensate, but that could just be me trying to console myself in advance. I welcomed the cancellation of the GRE at the time, but I do feel like it would have been an opportunity to improve my application. Hopefully schools continue to cancel it or make it optional in the future, but if I end up applying again I'll happily invest some serious effort into it.

Anyway, good luck everyone!
Last edited by ALM2021 on Wed Apr 07, 2021 3:24 pm, edited 11 times in total.

someaussiebloke
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue Jan 19, 2021 11:04 pm

Re: 2021 Applicant Profile and Admission Results

Post by someaussiebloke » Tue Jan 19, 2021 11:07 pm

Undergrad Institution: large Australian university
Major(s): Physics
GPA in Major: 4.0
Overall GPA: 4.0
Length of Degree: 4
Position in Class: near top
Type of Student: International Caucasian male

Masters Institution: large Australian university
Major(s): Physics
GPA in Major: n/a (research masters)
Overall GPA: n/a
Length of Degree: 1.5
Position in Class: n/a

GRE Scores: COVID


TOEFL: Native English speaker


Research Experience:
- 2 summer projects (HEP, AMO) @ universities that are not my undergrad institution
- 2 semester projects (CME, CMT)
- 1 full year project (computational biophysics)
- 4th year + masters (nanoscience + stat mech)
- 2 journal papers + 3 conference papers during masters (2nd-4th author)
- 1 first-author paper under review, 1 second-author paper under review
- 2 papers (2nd author) prepared for submission within next month or so (related to different undergrad projects described above). Don't know how much this counts for.


Awards/Honors/Recognitions:
- top student in 1st year at university from all of science
- equal top student in last year at university in physics
- funded summer undergrad programmes
- some other minor academic awards

Pertinent Activities or Jobs:
- 5 years as High School tutor, 3 years as uni tutor
- supervised 1 undergrad research student

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help:
- Presented at 3 international (virtual) conferences + 2 national conferences (in person)

Special Bonus Points:
- took a handful of graduate-level classes. Only 1 related to research interests
- told by famous PI at an elite university (my 1st or 2nd preference) that I would be a "perfect fit for his research group"


Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: Participated in international competition somewhat related to research interest

Applying to Where:

All are theoretical/computational stat mech, Most are at the intersection with biology

Princeton - Physics - rejected 2/15/21
Cornell - Physics - accepted ($30000p/a TA for 6 years)
Stanford - Applied Physics - rejected 2/19/21
MIT - Physics - rejected 2/18/21

UIUC - Physics - rejected 3/21/21
Boston - Physics - accepted ($36800p/a for 5 years)
Oxford - Mathematics - interviewed 2/9/21 - waitlisted 3/2/21 - withdrew
Cambridge - DAMTP - interviewed 1/14/21 - accepted 2/8/21 - awarded funding 3/29/21 - will attend
Imperial - Physics - accepted 3/15/21 - no funding
Edinburgh - Physics - interviewed 2/16/21 - accepted 2/26/21 (£16000p/a for 2 years)

Also, have 2 informal offers with supervisors from mainland European universities.

Final thoughts: the rejections kept me grounded, but got to go to my first choice in the end. Cornell almost swayed me though.
Last edited by someaussiebloke on Mon Apr 05, 2021 4:08 am, edited 15 times in total.

busterpoindexter
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue Jan 19, 2021 9:52 pm

Re: 2021 Applicant Profile and Admission Results

Post by busterpoindexter » Tue Jan 19, 2021 11:54 pm

Undergrad Institution: big state school, good physics reputation
Major(s): Physics
Minor(s):
GPA in Major: 3.98
Overall GPA: 3.96
Length of Degree: 4.5, 1 gap semester
Position in Class: near top probably
Type of Student: domestic

GRE Scores: :?)
TOEFL: (R: , L: , S: , W: )


Research Experience: 2 years nuclear (paper and conference talk), 2 years combined hep (2 papers, 2 conference talks)

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: some research fellowships and grants, data science fellowship at school

Pertinent Activities or Jobs:

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help:

Special Bonus Points: recommenders really like me, 4 research advisors recommending, all pretty well respected/known. connections at every school I'm applying to

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

Applying to Where: all for hep-ex physics

Caltech - accepted via email/website Feb. 20, interviewed Jan 18 extremely informally
UCSD - accepted via informal email Jan. 14, funding info on Feb. 8
Stanford - rejected via email Mar. 1
Berkeley - accepted via email Mar. 3
NYU -
Last edited by busterpoindexter on Wed Mar 03, 2021 1:12 pm, edited 4 times in total.

meow
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Jan 20, 2021 12:43 am

Re: 2021 Applicant Profile and Admission Results

Post by meow » Wed Jan 20, 2021 1:35 am

Undergrad Institution: big state with good reputation in physics
Major(s): Physics and Mathematical Sciences
Minor(s): N/A
GPA in Major: 3.76 (physics), 3.58 (math :oops: ) at uni...4.0 at CC
Overall GPA: 3.71 (4.0 at CC)
Length of Degree: 3 + 2(CC)
Position in Class: top 20%
Type of Student: domestic white male
GRE Scores: covid-19
TOEFL: (R: , L: , S: , W: ):N/A
Research Experience:
Summer research bridge program with my CC and a uni with theoretical physical chemistry-poster presentation on kinetic Monte Carlo simulation of single molecule in equilibrium
15 months with theoretical biophysics (wrote honor's thesis on this project) that involved me working in an experimental biophysics lab for more data
18 months with biophysics experiment---the joint project was on 2D active nematic liquid crystals and topological defects. Nth author on one publication.
16 months with observational astrophysics in transient detection project. Undergrad project. Co-led the project. 1st author in paper in preparation.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions:
Dean's list a few times, graduated with honors (physics), a few small rewards from my CC, nothing special

Pertinent Activities or Jobs:
tutor-6 months at CC
learning assistant-1yr at CC and 1 quarter at uni

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help:
VP of my CC's SPS chapter
NCAS aerospace scholar

Special Bonus Points:
was in 3 research groups simultaneously for 15 months
nontraditional student (age 40)
at least 2 LORs from my research professors which are pretty well known in their fields.

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter:
high school dropout, formerly homeless, had to relearn/self-study math to get into calculus, got divorced between CC and uni, you know the typical underdog story.
took a gap year, but that got ruined by covid :cry:

Applying to Where:

-----CME-----
MIT-Rejected via Email (2-18)
Stanford-
UCB-
UChicago-Rejected via Website (1-29)
Columbia-
Cornell-Rejected via Email (2-15)
UIUC-
UWash-
UCLA-
CoU-Boulder-Accepted via email updated application status (2-12) /w one time $3k fellowship
UW-Madison-Rejected via email (1-28)
UCDavis-
UCSC-Rejected via email updated application status (2-22)
UCMerced-Accepted Via Email (2-11), declined offer (2-19)
BostonU-
URochester-Rejected via email updated application status (2-19)
UIowa-Accepted Via Email (2-11)
Case Western-

-----Applied------
Harvard-
Caltech-
Cornell-
Yale-Rejected via email updated application status (2-16)
UMI-Ann Arbor-
Northwestern-

Thoughts: Don't have research directly related to the subfields that I am applying for. I addressed that in my letter, so I am hoping that it will not harm my chances of getting in.
Last edited by meow on Tue Feb 23, 2021 2:37 am, edited 11 times in total.

nerdgonepunk
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Jan 20, 2021 4:08 pm

Re: 2021 Applicant Profile and Admission Results

Post by nerdgonepunk » Wed Jan 20, 2021 4:35 pm

Undergrad Institution: small STEM school, not super well known for physics or outside of New England
Major(s): Physics
Minor(s): n/a
GPA in Major: 3.37 / 4.0
Overall GPA: 3.27 / 4.0
Length of Degree: 4 years
Position in Class: probably dead middle
Type of Student: domestic white womxn

GRE Scores: n/a

TOEFL: n/a

Research Experience:
physics education research project on inexpensive lab modules for high schools (completed a typically junior year project as a sophomore, poster at APS March Meeting, PI is known in PER, published as author 1 of 3 in school's database)
NSF REU on photoacoustic gas monitoring (I hated this project :( )
physics education research senior thesis on physics by inquiry and English language learners in high school (currently underway)

Awards/Honors/Recognitions:
dean's list once (school is hard)
poster at APS March Meeting

Pertinent Activities or Jobs:
undergrad TA for intro physics (lecture and labs) - 3 years

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help:
Resident Advisor - 2 years
president - college treble choir, core member since freshman year, three officer positions

Special Bonus Points:
middle-class white womxn in STEM
one recommender got her Ph.D. from a school I'm applying to

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter:
recommenders: 2 physics faculty & direct supervisors (1 of research, 1 of TAing), 1 student org advisor
ADHD-PI diagnosis midway through junior year

Applying to Where:
all for Ph.D. in Physics, physics education research
University of Washington (Seattle) - Physics Rejected (Mar. 16) via generic email
University of Colorado (Boulder) - Physics - Rejected (Mar. 11) via generic email to check portal
University of Maryland (College Park) - Physics Rejected (Apr. 3) via generic email
University of Maine (Orono) - Physics
Rutgers University (New Brunswick) - Physics Rejected (Apr. 8) via generic email
Oregon State University (Corvallis) - Physics
Kansas State University (Manhattan) - Physics - Rejected (Feb. 22) via generic email
Cornell University (Ithaca) - Physics - Rejected (Feb. 15) via generic email
Last edited by nerdgonepunk on Mon Apr 12, 2021 4:09 pm, edited 7 times in total.

nahibolunga
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Jan 20, 2021 7:49 pm

Re: 2021 Applicant Profile and Admission Results

Post by nahibolunga » Wed Jan 20, 2021 8:10 pm

Undergrad Institution: Small new Indian institute... Overall Reputation in Physics? Not much
Major(s): Physics
Minor(s): Mathematics
GPA in Major: 7.17/10
Overall GPA: 7.17/0
Length of Degree: 5 years (Integrated MSc)
Position in Class: Top 10
Type of Student: International Male

GRE Scores: NO GRE REQUIRED FOR THIS YEAR (WE ALL KNOW WHAT HAPPENED).

TOEFL: (R:26 , L:29 , S:29 , W:27 )

Research Experience:

10 research projects on quantum computation and information theory. Total 22 months. 2 publications.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions:

KVPY and INSPIRE fellowship (Very competitive Indian fellowships)

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: None

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: Clubhead of Science Club

Special Bonus Points: 2 of my recommenders are prominent researchers in the field. One from the USA and another from Germany.

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

Applying to Where:

All for Quantum Computation Theory and Experiment

Super Super Reach:

Oxford - Materials (Jan. 24: Waitlisted) (Mar. 26: Rejected)
MIT - EECS (Mar. 18: rejected)
Yale - Applied Physics (Feb. 17: Rejected)
U Chicago - PME (Jan. 24: Rejected)
Northwestern - Physics (Apr. 9: Rejected)
UC Berkeley - Physics (Mar. 6: Rejected)
IST Austria - Physics (Feb. 15: Rejected)

Super Reach:

Maryland - Physics (Jan. 28: Interviewed) (Apr. 1: Rejected)
Colorado Boulder - Physics (Mar. 12: Rejected)
UIUC - Physics (Mar. 6: Rejected)
WUSTL - Physics (Fab. 17: Rejected)
U Pittsburgh - Physics (Mar. 5: Rejected)

Reach:

Syracuse - Physics (Jan. 20: ACCEPTED for Ph.D via website/email + $500 Fellowship + $26K TA)
UMass Lowell - Physics and Applied Physics

Very depressed for not getting into any of my dream schools. Only one offer so far and a load of rejections. Worse is the radio silence from all the other schools even after emailing them multiple times. :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry:
Update: I have no hopes left now. Rejected from all the good schools. See you all on the other side.
Last edited by nahibolunga on Fri Apr 09, 2021 3:01 pm, edited 14 times in total.

zephyr
Posts: 3
Joined: Thu Jan 21, 2021 9:30 pm

Re: 2021 Applicant Profile and Admission Results

Post by zephyr » Thu Jan 21, 2021 10:18 pm

Undergrad Institution: Large state school in U.S., top 20 in physics
Major(s): Physics, Computer Science
Minor(s): Math
GPA: 3.62 (Mixed A's and B's across the board, but with upward trend)
Length of Degree: 5 years
Position in Class: well above average, but not quite at the top
Type of Student: domestic, Asian, male

GRE Scores:
- physics: 880
- quant: 168
- verbal: 162
- writing: 5.0

Research Experience:
- 1 year condensed matter experiment at home institution
- 1 year high energy theory/cosmo research at home institution
- 2 years aerospace engineering research at home institution
- 1 summer program in very formal high energy theory: led to publication
- 1 summer program in applied math, paper in process

Awards/Honors/Recognitions:
- merit based scholarship
- physics degree with honors
- merit award in math modelling competition

Pertinent Activities or Jobs:
- 1 internship at software engineering company
- 1 NASA internship
- full time work in applied math/scientific software engineering

Special Bonus Points:
- graduate courses: quantum mechanics, computer and network security
- 1 very famous letter writer
- all of my research advisors are highly regarded in their fields
- one letter writer said my understanding of physics/capability is better than grades may indicate

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter:
- all letter writers are professors I have worked with. 1 prof in CME, 1 prof in HET, 1 prof in applied math

Applying to Where:
Physics (all high energy theory/cosmo):
University of Toronto (M.Sc): Rejected Mar 9
University of British Columbia (M.Sc): Unofficially accepted by email on Jan 19. Offer: $25k CAD TA/RA. Official acceptance on Feb 10
McGill University (M.Sc): Interview with potential PI's on Jan 7, Jan 18
Perimeter Institute (M.Sc): Rejected Apr 10
Brown University (Ph.D): Rejected Mar 17

Applied Math (mostly for mathematical modelling):
Harvard University (Ph.D): Rejected Feb 27
Cornell University (Ph.D): Rejected Feb 12
University of Maryland (Ph.D): Rejected Mar 5
University of Michigan (Ph.D): Rejected Feb 18
University of Arizona (Ph.D): Interview on Feb 4

Computer Science (geometry processing):
University of Toronto (Ph.D): Accepted Feb 26. Offer: $40k CAD TA/RA | Will attend!
Georgia Tech (Ph.D):

Notes:
- I regret screwing up my undergrad grades, hurts a lot at this point
- head of graduate committee at home institution said that my low gpa will kill chances for high energy theory at top 20 universities, so hoping good grades in physics masters would make up for undergrad grades during Ph.D application
- masters in Canada or parts of Europe are either super cheap or fully funded
- feels kind of bad leaving physics after putting in so much effort, but this is just how things played out
- kind of ridiculous that I still haven't heard back from some places by the day of the decision deadline
Last edited by zephyr on Wed Apr 14, 2021 3:40 pm, edited 8 times in total.

joeyjordison10
Posts: 1
Joined: Sat Jan 23, 2021 2:58 pm

Re: 2021 Applicant Profile and Admission Results

Post by joeyjordison10 » Sat Jan 23, 2021 3:48 pm

Undergrad Institution: Top in Latinamerica...Very good reputation in physics.
Major(s): Theoretical High Energy Physics Physics.
Overall GPA: 9.57/10.
Length of Degree: BSc: 4.5+ MSc: 2 years
Position in Class: N/A
Type of Student: International Male

GRE Scores: NO GRE REQUIRED FOR THIS YEAR


TOEFL: (R: 28, L: 22, S: 24, W: 26 )


Research Experience:
* 6 months of research experience on String Cosmology in a top UK university with a very famous researcher: 1 conference, 1 paper in process.
* 2 years of research in String Phenomenology in my hometown institution: several conferences, 1 BSc thesis, 1MSc thesis, 1 paper in process.


Awards/Honors/Recognitions:
* Scholarship for outstanding students during all my undergraduate and master's studies.
* Stipend for exceptional undergraduate students from a private association.
* Diploma for best undergraduate thesis and outstanding academic trajectory.
* Support program for research projects and technological Innovation from my university.


Pertinent Activities or Jobs:
* Teacher Assistant for 4 years in undergraduate courses of my university.



Special Bonus Points:
* Recommendations based on research performance
* Outstanding performance during my master's studies
* Famous recommenders with PhD from top universities
* Low-income background


Applying to Where: PhD in Theoretical High Energy Physics

* UK:
Cambridge-PhD in Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics (March 29: ACCEPTED for Ph.D via email + Awaiting funding)
Cambridge-Part III (Withdrawn)
Imperial College London- PhD in Physics (Rejected 04/15/2021)
Oxford-PhD in Theoretical Physics (Rejected 03/10/2021)

* USA:
Caltech-PhD in Physics (Rejected 02/19/2021)
Cornell University-PhD in Physics (Rejected 02/22/2021)
Harvard-PhD in Physics (Rejected 02/23/2021)
MIT-PhD in Physics (Rejected 02/18/2021)
Northeastern-PhD in Physics (Feb. 12: ACCEPTED for Ph.D via email to check website + $39,150 annual TA)
Pennsylvania-PhD in Physics (Rejected 04/09/2021)
Princeton-PhD in Physics (Rejected 02/15/2021)
Stanford-PhD in Physics (Rejected 03/01/2021)
Wisconsin-Madison-PhD in Physics (Rejected 01/28/2021)


* Canada:
McGill-PhD in Physics
Last edited by joeyjordison10 on Thu Apr 15, 2021 11:53 am, edited 17 times in total.

mollym4
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Jan 25, 2021 12:30 pm

Re: 2021 Applicant Profile and Admission Results

Post by mollym4 » Mon Jan 25, 2021 12:53 pm

______________________________________________
Undergrad Institution: Small Liberal Arts College in Boston, not known for Physics
Major(s): Physics
Minor(s): Pure Mathematics
GPA in Major: 3.90
Overall GPA: 3.65
Length of Degree: 3.5 (Graduated a Semester early)
Position in Class: Top 25%
Type of Student: Domestic white female

GRE Scores: NO GRE REQUIRED FOR THIS YEAR

TOEFL: N/A


Research Experience:
3.5 years in Particle Physics at my institution
NSF REU at a top 20 research university with a famous researcher in Condensed Matter Experiment
1 year at a top 10 research university in Condensed Matter Experiment
6 months with a three-letter government agency working on a Condensed Matter and Material Science computational project
1 semester working on a Senior Thesis with Material Science

Awards/Honors/Recognitions:
Honors College
Dean's List: Fall 2017, Spring 2018, Fall 2019, Fall 2020
Graduated Cum Laude and Honors in Physics
Completed Honors Thesis
Received a highly competitive (9% acceptance rate) full-tuition scholarship from a federal agency
Small $5000 scholarship from my own institution for tutoring
Sigma Pi Sigma Inductee
Presented at APS March 2020, APS April 2020, 2019 & 2018

Pertinent Activities or Jobs:
TA for 1 year
Peer Tutor for 1 year
SPS VP for 1 year
SPS President for 1 year
Served on SPS National Council for 2+ years
Interned at a Web development company
Currently employed as an Associate Research Physcist

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help:
Received several small grants from SPS

Special Bonus Points:
Female
Recommendation letter from famous Prof. & department head at a top 20 research university in the US
Recommendation letter from semi-famous Prof. at a top 10 university in the US
1 peer-reviewed publication in a small low impact journal
Published several nonpeer reviewed articles in a Physics magazine about climate change, diversity, and inclusion
My home college wrote a profile about me and my accomplishments
Applied VERY early for all schools (all apps in by end of November)

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter:
All professors who wrote letters of rec are profs I worked with and from schools, I am applying to. I also reached out to professors at the schools I am applying to.
Attended invitation-only recruitment events at UC Berkeley, Penn State, and Purdue for Diversity and Inclusion (also received fee waiver)

Applying to Where:
Match:
Purdue - Physics - Condensed Matter Experiment (ACCEPTED 2/11/21 $19,001 + $10,500 Ross Fellowship)
Penn State - Physics - Condensed Matter Experiment (ACCEPTED 2/4/2021 $22,860 + 3k fellowship + 4k summer support + 11,430 TA = total of $41,290)- WILL ATTEND!

Reach:
MIT - Physics - Condensed Matter Experiment (Interview Request 1/31) REJECTED
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign - Physics - Condensed Matter Experiment
University of California, Berkeley - -Physics - Condensed Matter Experiment
Last edited by mollym4 on Mon Mar 01, 2021 10:36 pm, edited 5 times in total.

plasmangle
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Jan 25, 2021 9:39 pm

Re: 2021 Applicant Profile and Admission Results

Post by plasmangle » Mon Jan 25, 2021 10:08 pm

Undergrad Institution: U.S. domestic, liberal arts, state school, moderate reputation in physics.
Major(s): Physics, Mathematics
Minor(s): N/A
GPA in Major: 3.81 Physics, 3.88 Mathematics
Overall GPA: 3.89
Length of Degree: 4 years
Position in Class: Unsure
Type of Student: Domestic white male

GRE Scores: Not submitted

TOEFL: N/A


Research Experience:
3 years of observational astrophysics. From this experience, I have:
- One publication, another two in preparation
- One poster presentation at home university, and one poster at a national conference
A 10-week summer SULI experience at PPPL, working on a computational project. From this experience:
- One poster presentation at the end of the program, and one poster at a national conference


Awards/Honors/Recognitions:
- Received an award in undergraduate research from home institution
- Have membership in Pi Mu Epsilon (math honors society) and Sigma Pi Sigma (physics honors society)

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: (Such as tutor, TA, SPS officer etc...)
- Physics TA for introductory electromagnetism for two semesters.
- President for home university SPS chapter for a year, and treasurer for a year.
- Vice president for home university astronomy club for a year.

Special Bonus Points:
- By the time of application, I took two grad classes in physics, and one grad class in mathematics. In the spring, I'm taking a graduate class in plasma physics
- One recommender is sort of famous and has connections to faculty at UCLA, MIT, and Princeton

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter:
I have reached out to professors at the schools I am applying to, and I think all my letters are strong.

Applying to Where:
All with expressed interest in computational/theoretical plasma physics

Match:
UC Irvine - Physics - Accepted 2/5/21 - Declined offer 3/15/21

Reach:
Princeton - Plasma Physics - Rejected 2/24/21
MIT - Physics - Interview 1/25/21 - Rejected 2/18/21 1500+ applicants for <50 positions
MIT - Nuclear Science & Engineering - Interview 1/28/21 - Rejected 2/01/21
Oxford - Astrophysics DPhil - Rejected 2/26/21 209 applicants for 6 positions
Colorado Boulder - Physics - Accepted 2/12/21 - Accepted offer 3/15/21, $3k fellowship + $24k/9 month TA (overall, I'm expecting ~35K/year).
UCLA - Physics - Withdrawn 2/24/21

For prospective applicants, keep in mind that the acceptances you see for Fall 2021 admission are heavily skewed for a number of reasons:

1) There were no (P)GRE requirements, so as a result there are more applications per applicant (I'm assuming the number of applicants wouldn't change much). The reason for this is not entirely clear, but I'm assuming it has to do with increased confidence (since the (P)GRE tends to taint otherwise nearly perfect applications). Therefore, every school has received more applicants. For example, whereas Boulder received 897 applications the previous cycle, they received 1174 this cycle. Similarly, whereas MIT received ~1000-1100 applicants the previous cycle, they received 1500+ this cycle.

2) The lack of PGRE requirements led to admissions being heavily biased against international applicants and in favor of domestic applicants (especially those from prestigious universities), since the PGRE can serve as a way for international applicants to distinguish themselves and demonstrate that they can do physics. That allows international applicants from unknown universities to stand out.

Therefore, the thinking in admissions committees might be as follows:
- For "privileged" applicants: "Well, if they received a 3.80/4.00 physics GPA from MIT, that means they are pretty good, we don't need their PGRE."
- For less privileged applicants: "This person received a 4.00/4.00 overall GPA from [insert obscure school here], which seems good, but we don't know the rigor of this undergraduate program. We also don't have their PGRE, which means we might consider this applicant, but we don't really know what their abilities are. We'd much rather have applicants that we know are qualified."


Best of luck to other applicants, and thanks to others posting on this forum!
Last edited by plasmangle on Mon Mar 15, 2021 12:53 pm, edited 14 times in total.

Siphys
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue Jan 26, 2021 5:07 am

Re: 2021 Applicant Profile and Admission Results

Post by Siphys » Tue Jan 26, 2021 6:09 am

Good luck everyone!
______________________________________________
Undergrad Institution: unknown Asian university
Major(s): Physics
Minor(s): none
GPA in Major: 3.1/4.0
Overall GPA: 3.2/4.0
Length of Degree: 4 years
Position in Class: average
Type of Student: International Asian Female

GRE Scores:
Q: 169
V: 162
W: 4.0
P: N/A

TOEFL: 110 (R: 30, L: 30, S: 25, W: 25)


Research Experience:
1 year hep-ex (well-known US state university, probably well-known PI, 1 conference talk)
3 months space physics (nice university lab, 1 first-author pub and 2 seminar talks)
5 months hep-ex-ish (well-known Asian university, nothing out of it yet)

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: second-class outstanding student scholarship at home university (don't know if it helps)

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: none

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: none

Special Bonus Points:
- PI has connections in the field and letters are probably strong.
- Exchanged for a year at that well-known US state university and got some nice grades in physics classes (would likely cover for my bad grades back in home university). Up-going GPA trend.
- Research experiences were focused on simulations and probably showed nice coding skills.
- Minority?

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: Explained for my grades in personal statement and showed how I overcame the difficulties. (don't know if it helps)

Applying to Where:

US: (All Physics PhD in hep-ex)

Reach:
UC Berkeley (Mar. 6: REJECTED via email to check portal)
Columbia (Mar. 17: REJECTED via email to check portal)

Match:
Johns Hopkins (Jan. 26: ACCEPTED for Ph.D via email + $25k/9 month TA + $1.5k Fellowship) Will attend!
UW Seattle (Mar. 17: REJECTED via email)
Stony Brook (Mar. 9: REJECTED via email with unfunded Master offer)
UC Davis (Haven't heard from them. Probably on waitlist but I couldn't find any withdraw option)
Duke (Mar. 2: REJECTED via email to check portal)
Rutgers (Feb. 17: REJECTED via email to check portal)

Safety:
North Carolina at Chapel Hill (Feb. 3: WAITLISTED via email) Declined
U. Pittsburgh (Apr. 14: REJECTED via email to check portal)
Virginia Tech (Feb. 8: ACCEPTED for Ph.D via email to check portal) Declined

Japan:
Tohoku University - IGPAS master (Feb. 4: ACCEPTED for Master via email) Declined
Last edited by Siphys on Wed Apr 14, 2021 9:55 am, edited 13 times in total.

qwebb
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue Jan 26, 2021 12:27 pm

Re: 2021 Applicant Profile and Admission Results

Post by qwebb » Tue Jan 26, 2021 2:21 pm

Undergrad Institution: Top 20 liberal arts school, not much of a reputation in physics
Major(s): Physics / Mathematics
Minor(s): None
GPA in Major: 3.98 (physics) / 3.93 (math)
Overall GPA: 3.94
Length of Degree: 4 years
Position in Class: Definitely top 25% (dean's list criteria) and probably higher
Type of Student: Domestic white female

GRE Scores: Nah :D
TOEFL: N/A

Research Experience:
~ 1 semester + 4 months of mathematical physics research (at my school) - have submitted a paper for publication, presented work at my school in student research talks
~ 1 summer of quantum optics research (REU) - presented work in student poster presentations at conference
~ 1 summer of quantum information research (REU)
~ 3 semesters of condensed matter research (at my school)
~ 1 year thermal / condensed matter research (at my school) - will culminate in undergraduate thesis

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Dean's list for the two years not effected by covid (my school doesn't really do awards)

Pertinent Activities or Jobs:
~ In-class learning assistant for intro physics - 2 semesters
~ TA for Calc III - 1 semester
~ Tutoring low-income middle school student in math (for no charge) - 9 months
~ Tutoring low-income nontraditional college student in math for teacher certification test (for no charge) - 2 months

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: idk

Special Bonus Points: Female in physics, all rec letters are from research advisors

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: I have a decent amount of leadership and community building activities that appear in some of these applications



Applying to Where: All are physics PhD programs (more specifically, quantum information and closely related fields)

Super Reaches (like did I want to lose my money?)

CalTech (Feb. 19: Rejected via email)
Harvard University (Feb. 23: Rejected via email to check status)
MIT (Feb. 18: Rejected via email)
Stanford University (Mar. 1: Rejected via email)
UC Berkeley (Mar. 5: Rejected via email to check status :( )

More Normal Reaches

University of Texas Austin (Apr. 8: Rejected via email to check status)
University of Maryland (Jan. 23: Informal Zoom interview) (Feb. 9: Accepted via email) WILL ATTEND!
University of Colorado Boulder (Mar. 11: Rejected via email to check status)
University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (Mar. 14: Rejected via email)

Hopefully Matches

Northeastern University
Georgia Tech (Mar. 1: Accepted via email)
Virginia Tech (Feb. 5: Accepted via email to check status)
University of Oregon (Feb. 8: Accepted via email)
University of Oklahoma (Feb. 19: Accepted via email)
Last edited by qwebb on Thu Apr 08, 2021 11:38 am, edited 14 times in total.

cmt2021
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Jan 29, 2021 10:29 pm

Re: 2021 Applicant Profile and Admission Results

Post by cmt2021 » Fri Jan 29, 2021 10:53 pm

Undergrad Institution: big state school, top 20 physics
Major(s): Physics B.S., Mathematics B.S.
Minor(s): None
GPA in Major: 3.8
Overall GPA: 3.8
Length of Degree: 4
Position in Class: top 20% by GPA including English majors
Type of Student: domestic white male

GRE Scores: 167V, 168Q, 5.5W

Research Experience: 3 years at home institution, 2 summer research projects, all in CMT. One first-author paper published, one second author and one first author under review. A few APS conferences.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: a few scholarships from school, a Goldwater scholarship, a school-wide research award, and a conference presentation research award

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: two years TA for intro E&M course

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: N/A

Special Bonus Points: 4 strong letters of rec (3 research advisors, one from E&M professor)

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

Applying to Where:

Super Reach:
Stanford University - Physics
UC Berkeley - Physics
Princeton University- Physics

Reach:
University of Illinois: Urbana-Champaign - Physics
University of Pennsylvania - Physics (Jan 21: Interview Request) (Feb 5: Accepted for Ph.D via email, stipend/TA TBD)
UC Santa Barbara - Physics
University of Chicago - Physics (Jan 29: Rejected via email)
University of Colorado: Boulder - Physics

Match:
University of Minnesota - Physics (Jan 26: Accepted for Ph.D via email + $20,287.80/9 month TA + $6762.60 Summer Research)
UT Austin - Physics (Feb 5: Withdrew application)
UC San Diego - Physics (Feb 5: Withdrew application)
University of Washington - Physics (Feb 5: Withdrew application)
Last edited by cmt2021 on Sat Feb 06, 2021 2:57 am, edited 1 time in total.

lukewarm brainstorm
Posts: 3
Joined: Sun Nov 22, 2020 5:04 am

Re: 2021 Applicant Profile and Admission Results

Post by lukewarm brainstorm » Fri Jan 29, 2021 11:13 pm

Undergrad Institution: top 10 US school
Majors: Physics and math
GPA in Major: 3.96 (about the same for both)
Overall GPA: 3.95
Length of Degree: 4 years
Position in Class: near top
Type of Student: domestic male

GRE Scores: none

Research Experience: I started a GR theory project (mostly independent with occasional guidance) and worked on simulation code for atom trapping. Both about 6 months.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Two academic awards from physics department.

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: none

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: probably not

Special Bonus Points: five grad classes - GR, QFT I & II and a couple topology courses

Applying to Where (all for high energy theory Ph.D):

Harvard - Feb 23: Rejected via email
Princeton - Feb 15: Rejected via email
UC Berkeley - Mar 5: Rejected via email
Stanford - Mar 1: Rejected via email
UC Santa Barbara
Chicago - Jan. 29: Rejected via email
Cornell - Mar 3: Rejected via email
U Michigan - Feb 19: Accepted for Ph.D via email + $2,804 per month
Maryland - Feb 11: Accepted for Ph.D via email + $31,743 for first year
UCLA - Jan. 28: Informally accepted for Ph.D via email, no details yet
USC
Stony Brook - Feb 19: Accepted for Ph.D via email to check portal + $23,000 for first year
Illinois
Rutgers
Wisconsin - Jan. 28: Rejected via email
Last edited by lukewarm brainstorm on Mon Mar 08, 2021 6:40 am, edited 9 times in total.

sedlyf
Posts: 1
Joined: Sun Jan 31, 2021 12:59 am

Re: 2021 Applicant Profile and Admission Results

Post by sedlyf » Sun Jan 31, 2021 2:12 am

Undergrad Institution: Research-based small-sized Indian institution, low rank in the world
Major(s): Physics
Minor(s): none
GPA in Major: 9.0/10
Overall GPA: 8.52/10
Length of Degree: 5 years
Position in Class: no ranking done, but probably well above average
Type of Student: International male

GRE Scores: None
GRE Physics: 900 (82 percentile, Oct. 2019; gave in Nov. 2019 quite unprepared in the middle of semester finals - many thanks to ETS for rescheduling to such an awkward time) - officially sent to only one, unofficially reported to a couple others


TOEFL: iBT 115/120 (R: 30 , L: 30 , S: 27, W: 28) - officially sent to those who required


Research Experience: No publication (hopefully one soon), no conference. 1 chemistry research internship in undergrad, 2 astrophysics summer internships - 1st was on binary pulsars, computation intensive (might also result in publication, might not), 2nd was a reading project on astrophysical fluids and MHD. 1 winter and subsequently Master's thesis work on solar physics, both under same prof. Total research experience - one year spread over 4.5 years.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: prestigious undergrad+grad science scholarship from the government.

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Currently tutoring a mathematical physics course. Attended one gravitational wave and data science workshop/conference. 1 independent study course on the mathematical theory of black holes

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: Student body head, college fest management team.

Special Bonus Points: Grad classes being in MS. 2 research recommendations - one fairly famous in solar physics. 3rd recommendation from prof with whom I had 2 classes and a lot of interaction outside academics, being in student body.

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

Applying to Where: all for MHD and computational astrophysics

Super-reach:
UW Madison (Astronomy) - (Jan. 20) Rejected via email
UW Madison (Physics) - (Jan. 29) Rejected via email
Purdue (Physics) - (Mar. 10) Rejected via portal, , intimated of portal update by email
Georgia Tech (Physics) - (Mar. 5) Rejected via portal, intimated of portal update by email

Slightly above Reach:
Univ. Virginia (Astronomy) -
Univ. Florida (Physics) -
Univ. Oslo (Solar Physics) -
Last edited by sedlyf on Fri Mar 12, 2021 3:30 am, edited 4 times in total.

cdphys
Posts: 3
Joined: Fri Nov 20, 2020 5:36 pm

Re: 2021 Applicant Profile and Admission Results

Post by cdphys » Mon Feb 01, 2021 9:43 pm

Undergrad Institution: Small state school, HBCU, little reputation
Major(s): Physics
Minor(s): Math
GPA in Major: 4.0
Overall GPA: 4.0
Length of Degree: 4 years
Position in Class: IDK, near top?
Type of Student: DACA Hispanic Male

GRE Scores: N/A


TOEFL: N/A


Research Experience:
1 summer estimating the core masses of galaxy clusters at a big school with a good rep.
2ish years helping develop mid-IR laser-based sensors at my home institution.
***I was told to include this in my resume by the program's director despite the program being postponed to the summer of 2021 due to COVID.*** Summer research in galaxy formation and evolution at a big school with a decent rep (my exact research project might change and is not set)

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: got a full-ride scholarship to attend my university

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Supplemental instructor for a summer and was a math and physics tutor during my sophomore year.

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: I won my school's hackathon event last year (IDK if that means anything) and presidents list a few times. Also, I was the vice president of my school's chapter of the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) during my senior year.

Special Bonus Points: I have DACA so that might help but it also means I cannot receive federal funding :(

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: During my freshman year, I would travel to various nearby locations to share my story as a DACA recipient

Applying to Where:

All for Astronomy/Astrophysics PhD

U Mich-waitlisted (2/1) :|
UT-Austin
UW-Madison
U Min
U Mass-Amherst-Interviewed (1/25)-Accepted via email (2/15)+possible fellowship+23K/38 weeks TA
U Florida
Mich State
Vanderbilt
Texas A&M
RIT
Iowa State

I have low expectations but I still want to keep some hope. Regardless of the outcome if any DACA or undocumented folk (or anyone really) are reading this please PM me as I am happy to help in any way I can! Now time to frantically check my phone anytime it buzzes :?
Last edited by cdphys on Fri Feb 19, 2021 4:28 pm, edited 3 times in total.

Ben Quadinaros is #1
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Feb 01, 2021 11:01 pm

Re: 2021 Applicant Profile and Admission Results

Post by Ben Quadinaros is #1 » Mon Feb 01, 2021 11:48 pm

Undergrad Institution: State school, no reputation in physics
Major(s): Physics, Mathematics
Minor(s):
GPA in Major: 3.90
Overall GPA: 3.80
Length of Degree: 2 in CC/ 2.5 at uni
Position in Class: probably near top
Type of Student: Domestic white male

GRE Scores: n/a


TOEFL: (R: , L: , S: , W: )


Research Experience:
1 year materials science (home institution) - 1 talk, 1 mid-auth. pub
1.5 years nucl-ex (home institution) - 2 talks, no pubs
1 summer nucl-ex (REU) - 1 talk, 1 first-auth. pub under review
1 year post-bac nucl-ex (at top choice school)



Awards/Honors/Recognitions:
- Some school awards/scholarships
- Award for high academic achievement as student-athlete

Pertinent Activities or Jobs:
- 1 year TA for intro. lab courses
- 1 year SPS officer
- 1.5 years as research physicist at defense contractor


Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: hmm

Special Bonus Points:
- Several graduate courses (Advanced Quantum, Mathematical Methods, Complex Analysis, Topology)
- Letter of rec from PI at my top choice school
- NCAA student-athlete (probably doesn't matter)
- я немного говорю по русски, y un poco de español (probably doesn't matter pt. 2)

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

Applying to Where (All nucl-ex):
Michigan - Feb. 1: Accepted, Will Attend
Caltech - Feb. 9: Accepted, Withdrawn
UIUC - Will withdraw
Stony Brook - Will withdraw
Tennessee - Feb. 10 Interview request, Withdrawn
Kentucky - Will withdraw
Last edited by Ben Quadinaros is #1 on Thu Feb 11, 2021 12:21 am, edited 7 times in total.

andwers13
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue Feb 02, 2021 11:59 am

Re: 2021 Applicant Profile and Admission Results

Post by andwers13 » Tue Feb 02, 2021 12:11 pm

Undergrad Institution: Research school but with a low reputation in physics
Major(s): Physics
Minor(s): None
GPA in Major: 3.62
Overall GPA: 3.72
Length of Degree: 4 years
Position in Class: average
Type of Student: domestic female

GRE Scores: 162 V, 160 Q, 5.0 W

Research Experience: Very little research experience at my school. Two summers interning as a programmer for a major city.

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: SPS Officer, physics tutor, undergrad TA, lab assistant for students with disabilities. Gave a scientific presentation on climate change and scientific programming.

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: my research advisor did not write any of my recs-- he wrote poor ones that he submitted late when I applied for REUs. I also had a pretty serious mental health crisis as the reason why my grades were so low sophomore year (they've only improved). I explain this in my SOP.

Applying to Where:
I'm not super optimistic but I am hopeful. So... wish me luck?

University of Maryland - Feb. 26 contacted for interview!!! First good news!! Mar. 11 ACCEPTED !!!!!!!!!!! Oh my goodness. $26k stipend for the first year, RA position
University of Michigan - Mar. 16: Rejected via email
University of Chicago - Jan. 29: Rejected via website
University of Arizona -
University of Indiana -
Louisiana State University - Mar. 17: Accepted via email !!! $25k stipend, TA position
Pennsylvania State University - Mar. 1: Rejected via email
University of Illinois - Mar. 14: Rejected via email

update (Mar. 14): Getting in to UMD really made my week. The night before the acceptance I was laying in bed in tears trying to figure out what to do since I obviously wasn't grad school material. After attending the virtual open house, I feel really good about it and I think it's where I want to go, but I'm still going to wait on other offers or accept UMD's by the 10th of April. I don't want to make any rash decisions just because I'm excited! Good luck to everyone out there still waiting.

update (Mar. 17): Well, shoot. Now I don't know what to do. On one hand, I think I like Baton Rouge more than College Park. But I think UMD has the research I want to be doing and they offered me an RA position my first year.... AAAAAAA!
Last edited by andwers13 on Thu Mar 18, 2021 11:51 am, edited 8 times in total.

northern
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue Feb 02, 2021 11:16 pm

Re: 2021 Applicant Profile and Admission Results

Post by northern » Tue Feb 02, 2021 11:55 pm

deleted
Last edited by northern on Tue Feb 16, 2021 11:11 am, edited 1 time in total.

partialoff
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Feb 03, 2021 7:45 pm

Re: 2021 Applicant Profile and Admission Results

Post by partialoff » Wed Feb 03, 2021 8:07 pm

Undergrad Institution: University of Wisconsin - Parkside -- Little reputation for physics but gaining in recent time, small liberal arts school.
Major(s): Physics, Math
Minor(s): N/A
GPA in Major: Physics (3.9), Math (3.64)
Overall GPA: 3.601
Length of Degree: 4 years
Position in Class: N/A
Type of Student: Domestic White Male
GRE Scores: N/A
TOEFL: N/A

Research Experience: One year of active research in computational CMT in Density Functional Perturbation Theory. Given a poster presentation at the APS Prairie section meeting back in November, giving another at the annual March meeting. Work on publication is in progress and hopefully will be completed for submission by the end of the semester.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: 4 undergrad research apprenticeships, 1 summer fellowship all through the school

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Supplemental Instruction Leader at UW Parkside (step down from a TA I suppose).

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: N/A

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: I mentioned on my application that I have been designing software for a decent number of years now as side projects. Not sure if that particularly helps me or not, but I suppose it emphasizes my computational experience.

Applying to Where:

Two I am actually interested in:
University of Oregon - Physics - CMT - (Mar. 1: Portal said "denied", no email)
Oregon State University - Physics - CMT

Applied but likely won't accept:
University of Washington - Physics - CMT

My list is shorter than usual just due to changes going on in my life. I don't really anticipate getting accepted if I'm honest.
Last edited by partialoff on Tue Mar 02, 2021 1:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.

livelaughrun51
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Jan 11, 2021 4:53 pm

Re: 2021 Applicant Profile and Admission Results

Post by livelaughrun51 » Thu Feb 04, 2021 12:39 am

Undergrad Institution: Small private school, not much of a reputation in physics
Major(s): Physics, Visual Arts
Minor(s): Mathematics
GPA in Major: 3.92
Overall GPA: 3.92
Length of Degree: 5
Position in Class: not reported, guessing near top?
Type of Student: domestic, white, female

GRE Scores: didn't take them due to COVID

Research Experience: 8 months at home university, summer REU + 6 months at another university

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Dean's list, some scholarships, NSF S^3-STEM program

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Physics department tutor, also worked other on-campus office job

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: I put a lot of effort into my statements and tailored them to each school, talked a lot about outreach, reached out to professors at each school before submitting my application (not sure how much any of these things helped me)

Special Bonus Points: I think all of my rec letters were pretty strong, submitted 4 for most places, 3 for others.

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: Not that I know of?

Applying to Where: all for Physics PhD

MIT - Interviewed early Feb., Waitlisted (2/18)
Stanford - Rejected (3/1)
Berkeley - Accepted! (3/3)
Harvard - Interviewed end of Jan., Rejected (2/23)
Caltech - Rejected (2/19)
University of Chicago - Rejected (1/29)
UCSB - Interviewed end of Jan., Accepted! (2/9)
University of Michigan - Waitlisted (3/17)
CU Boulder - Rejected (3/11) ... this one hurt a bit :(
UCLA - Accepted! (2/12)
University of Washington - Accepted! (1/22)
Northwestern - Interviewed early Feb., Accepted! (2/19)
UC Irvine - Accepted! (2/4)
Boston University - Accepted! (2/2)
University of Arizona - Accepted! (1/29)
University of Oregon - Accepted! (2/8)

Good luck to all!
Last edited by livelaughrun51 on Wed Apr 07, 2021 10:39 pm, edited 24 times in total.

vigneshrj97
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Feb 04, 2021 6:30 am

Re: 2021 Applicant Profile and Admission Results

Post by vigneshrj97 » Thu Feb 04, 2021 7:05 am

______________________________________________
Undergrad Institution: Highly Reputed liberal arts and science college in India,
Grad school: fairly reputed engineering school in India
Major(s): Physics
Overall GPA: UG- 6.3/10, PG- 8.6/10
Length of Degree: 3 yrs + 2 yrs
Position in Class: Average
Type of Student: International (Indian)

GRE Scores: NO GRE REQUIRED FOR THIS YEAR (WE ALL KNOW WHAT HAPPENED).

IELTS: overall: 8 (R: 8.5, L: 8.5, S: 7.5, W: 7.5 )

Research Experience: 6 months for UG thesis in electronics, 1 yr for PG thesis in High energy phenomenology (hoping to get a publication out of this)

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Student leader in College Union Society

Applying to Where: All Ph.D. in HET Groups concentrating on string theory

UCSB
UC Davis
USC
CU Boulder
Texas A&M
NYU
UMass Amherst
Northeastern- rejected (03/04)
Last edited by vigneshrj97 on Sat Mar 06, 2021 2:59 am, edited 1 time in total.

melima
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Feb 04, 2021 3:41 pm

Re: 2021 Applicant Profile and Admission Results

Post by melima » Thu Feb 04, 2021 4:16 pm

Undergrad Institution: Top 50 private university in US, pretty good physics rep
Major(s): Physics and Astronomy
Minor(s): Math
GPA in Major: 3.94/4.0
Overall GPA: 3.85/4.0
Length of Degree: 4 years
Position in Class: Don't rank but probably towards the top?
Type of Student: Domestic, White, Female

GRE Scores: n/a


TOEFL: (R: , L: , S: , W: ) n/a


Research Experience:
-Year and a half at my university doing observational astro research, paper in the works and presented at CUWiP
-An REU at a well known observatory doing radio astronomy research, paper in the works and presented at AAS

Awards/Honors/Recognitions:
-Dean's list all eligible semesters
-Sigma Pi Sigma Inductee

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: (Such as tutor, TA, SPS officer etc...)
-Online math tutor for private company
-Astro TA for two semesters
-President of Women in Physics/Astro group
-Participated in a lot of outreach

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: idk?

Special Bonus Points: (Such as connections, grad classes, famous recommenders, female or minority status etc...)
-One data analysis grad course
-First gen and female
-I feel like my letters might be pretty good?

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

Applying to Where: all Astronomy PhDs (observationally astro)

Columbia- Waitlisted (Feb. 15)
Harvard- Rejected (Feb. 17)
Johns Hopkins-
University of Maryland (College Park)- Interviewed (Feb. 4), Accepted! (Feb. 11)
UMass Amherst- Interviewed (Jan. 26), Accepted! (Feb. 1)
University of Michigan (Ann Arbor)- Accepted! (Jan. 29)
Ohio State- Interviewed (Jan. 15), Waitlisted (Feb. 15)
UT Austin- Interviewed (Jan. 19), Accepted! (Jan. 25)
University of Washington- Rejected (Feb. 2)
Yale- Interviewed (Jan. 21), Waitlisted (Jan. 29)
Last edited by melima on Wed Feb 17, 2021 7:46 pm, edited 2 times in total.

pla
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Feb 08, 2021 5:20 pm

Re: 2021 Applicant Profile and Admission Results

Post by pla » Mon Feb 08, 2021 5:33 pm

Undergrad Institution: Satellite campus of big private US college.
Major(s): Mathematics; Physics
Minor(s): -
GPA in Major:
Overall GPA: 3.878
Length of Degree: 4 years
Position in Class: Top
Type of Student: International

GRE Scores: NO GRE REQUIRED FOR THIS YEAR (WE ALL KNOW WHAT HAPPENED). However, if you have the scores, you might just post them here.

Research Experience: One year working on particle detector simulations using Geant4. Two years working on Chern-Simons theory, from the topological perspective, to the QFT perspective, to the extended TQFT perspective. No publications.

Special Bonus Points: A great letter of recommendation from my 3-year mentor/professor/bachelor thesis supervisor working in niche Physical Mathematics, one good LoR from his collaborator both very well-known in their fields, and one potentially great LoR from my third research supervisor.

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: Bachelor thesis on higher categorical formulation of Chern-Simons and TQFT's. Took Differential Geometry on Manifolds, Algebraic Topology both at the graduate level, directed studies in Category Theory, Chern-Simons QFT and Gauge Theory. Self-studied QFT1 and audited QFT2.

Applying to Where:

Princeton - Physics - hep-th (Feb 15th: Rejected via email)
Caltech - Physics - hep-th/ST - (Feb 19th: Rejected via email)
Harvard - Physics - hep-th/ST - (Feb 23rd: Rejected via email)
MIT - Physics - hep-th - (Feb 18th: Rejected via email)
UPenn - Physics - hep-th - (Mar 18th: Rejected via email to check portal)
Duke - Physics - hep-th - (Mar 8th: Rejected via email to check portal)
UChicago - Physics - hep-th - (Jan 30th: Rejected via email to check portal)
Stony Brook - Physics - hep-th - (Mar 8th: Rejected via email)
Rutgers - Physics - hep-th
NYU - Physics - hep-th
Virginia Tech - Physics - hep-th (Feb 8: ACCEPTED for Ph.D via portal, $1900 per month + tuition + insurance).
Last edited by pla on Fri Mar 19, 2021 12:47 pm, edited 8 times in total.

argon-ion
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Feb 09, 2021 12:44 pm

Re: 2021 Applicant Profile and Admission Results

Post by argon-ion » Tue Feb 09, 2021 1:02 pm

Undergrad Institution: Small tech school in NYC area, reasonable physics rep
Major(s): Physics
Minor(s): N/A
GPA in Major: 4.0/4.0
Overall GPA: 4.0/4.0
Length of Degree: 2 years
Position in Class: Top
Type of Student: Domestic white male

GRE Scores: N/A
TOEFL: N/A

Research Experience:
- 2 years of internships at prestigious research lab
- International summer research program
- Research grant from home institution
- 2 years of part-time research at home institution
- 1 first-author conference submission
- 1 first-author manuscript to be submitted

Awards/Honors/Recognitions:
- Dean's list every semester
- Physics student award from home institution
- Finalist in research competition at home institution
- Top 10 in prestigious coding competition
- Top 1/2 in various home institution/local coding competitions

Miscellaneous Accomplishments:
- The "speedrunning undergrad in 2 years" is definitely the biggest "neat" factor in my application
- Worked in a music/physics startup

Special Bonus Points:
- Took 5 graduate courses
- Letter writer from prestigious research lab

Applying to Where:
Harvard - Physics Rejected Feb. 23
MIT - Physics Rejected Feb. 18
UCB - Physics Accepted Mar. 2, Will Attend
UCSB - Physics March Feb. 23
Caltech - Physics Rejected Feb. 19
Stanford - Physics Rejected Mar. 1
UCSD - Physics - Accepted Feb. 8
Last edited by argon-ion on Tue Mar 23, 2021 12:00 pm, edited 6 times in total.

quantumgeek333
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Feb 09, 2021 6:02 pm

Re: 2021 Applicant Profile and Admission Results

Post by quantumgeek333 » Tue Feb 09, 2021 6:38 pm

Undergrad Institution: medium-sized public university in New England; not prestigious for physics, but we have some pretty good researchers as part of faculty
Major(s): Physics
Minor(s): Computer science
GPA in Major: 3.44
Overall GPA: 3.65
Length of Degree: Standard 4-year B.S.
Position in Class: I don't think we do this
Type of Student: domestic, Caucasian transgender male

GRE Scores: couldn't take physics GRE, but general:
Verbal: 163
Quantitative: 160
Writing: 4.0

TOEFL: N/A

Research Experience:
-Did some computational work with ADF for one class credit a few semesters ago
-Summer internship with agent-based modelling (computer science-related; I did a lot of coding and ended up presenting at the end-of-summer seminar)
-Currently working on undergraduate honors thesis with OLEDs--lots of experimental work but I'm probably going to have to compensate with simulations since it's possible that undergrads might be banned from working in the lab due to COVID
No publications yet, but my thesis will be my first.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions:
-Member of school's Honors College
-A couple of merit-based scholarships from my school
-Dean's List once (some research credits are pass/fail, which would explain why I didn't make it last semester...I'm so mad)
-Some community service hours from peer notetaking

Pertinent Activities or Jobs:
-Computer science tutor (not through school)
-Undergraduate TA for an entry-level physics class both this fall and this spring

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help:
-I was pretty active in my school's LGBT club before this year (I was the VP and Treasurer last year) and worked for the LGBT center for two years
-Audited some online physics courses through EDX
-Am pretty good at a couple of programming languages and dabbled in quantum computing through Quiskit
-I also attended the Grace Hopper Conference (virtually), which is a celebration of women and other underrepresented people in technology

Special Bonus Points:
-I had my thesis advisor write one of my rec letters, which should count for something since he's seen me work in the lab
-Maybe being gay and trans will get me diversity points???

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter:
-Lots of volunteer work, like with a prominent progressive political campaign, fair trade nonprofit
-I got a C+ in a physics class taught by the then-worst professor in the department during an epic physical and mental health breakdown my sophomore year, but since then my physics grades have been on a dramatic upswing (all A's for the past two semesters)
-I tried to take a graduate-level class in the fall but withdrew

Applying to Where:
Side note: I'm applying to study quantum information and tech at all places, but this falls under different departments at different schools
Boston University: Physics PhD (Rejected on 2/24 :()
UMass Boston: Applied Physics MS (Accepted on 3/8 with TAship, tution waiver, stipend--declined)
UMass Lowell: Physics PhD (Interview on 3/9--accepted on 3/23 with $16,800 stipend, TAship, waiver--will attend)
Brandeis University: Physics PhD (Rejected on 4/1)
Tufts University: Physics PhD (Waitlisted on 2/15--declined)
Northeastern: Physics PhD (Accepted on 2/12 with TAship, tution waiver, $39,000 stipend--declined)
Last edited by quantumgeek333 on Thu Apr 01, 2021 5:21 pm, edited 10 times in total.

DelBis0
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Feb 10, 2021 5:42 pm

Re: 2021 Applicant Profile and Admission Results

Post by DelBis0 » Wed Feb 10, 2021 10:19 pm

Undergrad Institution: Large State school, not much of a physics reputation

Major(s):Physics

Minor(s):NA

GPA in Major:3.8

Overall GPA:3.8

Length of Degree: 4 years
Position in Class: NA
Type of Student: domestic white male

GRE Scores: NO GRE REQUIRED FOR THIS YEAR (WE ALL KNOW WHAT HAPPENED). However, if you have the scores, you might just post them here.


TOEFL: (R: , L: , S: , W: ) NA


Research Experience: 1.5 years of research of 2D materials physics through Raman spectroscopy and instrumentation construction. Designed and built a Raman microscope. Took data for a publication in press.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: deans list to infinity?

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: I love myself

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: I finished my degree 1 year early.

Special Bonus Points: I have taken grad quantum and grad EM for the extra year I have. I think that my letters were pretty good, my reccommenders know me well and have plenty to say.

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

I am applying for CME everywhere
Applying to Where:

Reach—

Penn state: Accepted! TA at 22,800 for 2 semesters+ 2k fellowship + 4k for summer research :D
UPenn
Columbia Rejected March 17
University of Maryland

Mid tier—
Stony Brook Accepted no funding
NYU Waitlisted
Rutgers
University of Rochester Rejected
Safety—
University of Delaware Accepted
GMU Withdrawn
Last edited by DelBis0 on Wed Mar 17, 2021 4:28 pm, edited 3 times in total.

Corvus
Posts: 1
Joined: Sun Jun 09, 2019 6:39 pm

Re: 2021 Applicant Profile and Admission Results

Post by Corvus » Thu Feb 11, 2021 8:59 pm

Undergrad Institution: Medium public state university, no reputation in physics
Major(s): Physics
Minor(s): Applied Mathematics
GPA in Major:4.0
Overall GPA:3.98
Length of Degree: 4 years
Position in Class: Maybe top?
Type of Student: Domestic male

GRE Scores: NO GRE REQUIRED FOR THIS YEAR (WE ALL KNOW WHAT HAPPENED).

TOEFL: (R: , L: , S: , W: )

Research Experience: 2.5 years in CME at home institution. 1.5 years of computational CM at home institution. Small conferences. APS talk canceled last year. No publication.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: 2nd place at undergrad research conference. Dean's list every semester. SULI offer but canceled in 2020.

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Tutor 2 semesters, LA 2 semesters, SPS members, Phi Beta Kappa, McNair Scholars

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: Outreach, tutor, and advisor for undergraduate students in the McNair program.

Special Bonus Points: First generation.

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: Applied to the NSF-GRFP

Applying to Where: All condensed matter experimental in quantum materials

Top choices: MIT and Harvard tie for #1, Cornell
Reach: UChicago, Berkeley
Match: JHU, BU, CMU

Harvard - Physics - Jan 25 Interview, Feb 10 ACCEPTED for PhD via phone and email + $18k Fellowship + $32k/10 months, no TA first year. Sweet fellowship! Will Attend!
MIT - Physics - Feb 2 Interview. Feb 13 withdrew, Feb 18 rejected via email, bruh :oops:
Cornell - Physics - Feb 13 withdrew, Feb 25 ACCEPTED check portal... Declined :cry:
Berkeley - Physics - Feb 13 withdrew
UChicago - Physics - Jan 29 Rejected via email to check portal

Johns Hopkins - Physics - Jan 25 ACCEPTED for PhD via email + $1.5k one time award + $25k/9 months. Declined
Boston University - Physics - Feb 10 ACCEPTED for PhD via unofficial email + $36,782/year. Declined
Carnegie Mellon - Physics - Jan 31 Waitlisted. Withdrew
Last edited by Corvus on Fri Feb 26, 2021 3:39 pm, edited 9 times in total.

pancakesoviet
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Feb 03, 2021 11:17 pm

Re: 2021 Applicant Profile and Admission Results

Post by pancakesoviet » Fri Feb 12, 2021 1:42 am

Undergrad Institution: Mid tier State School
Major(s):Physics
Minor(s):Math
GPA in Major:3.653
Overall GPA:3.723
Length of Degree: 4
Position in Class: near the top
Type of Student: domestic white male



Research Experience:

2 years Soft Matter Theory/Computation, working on senior thesis that might become a paper

2 years working on a satellite engineering project

Awards/Honors/Recognitions:

A few department scholarships

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: N/A

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: N/A

Special Bonus Points: Have a connection with Northwestern.

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

Applying to Where:

Applying for Soft Matter Theory

University of Minnesota - Physics : Condensed Matter Theory/ Biophysics (Rejected Jan 28th via email)

Northwestern - Applied Physics Rejected

Michigan - Applied Physics Probably will be rejected

WPI - Physics (Interview Invite: Feb 20) Will decline

Oregon - Physics Rejected

Brandeis - Physics Rejected

Virginia Tech - Physics Probably will be rejected


Well, it looks like I'll be applying again next year...
I'm going to be looking at more schools, will save more money and hopefully get some fee waivers considering I've already given like 6 schools money.
Last edited by pancakesoviet on Tue Mar 30, 2021 1:51 am, edited 2 times in total.

spacephysgirl
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Feb 12, 2021 7:25 pm

Re: 2021 Applicant Profile and Admission Results

Post by spacephysgirl » Fri Feb 12, 2021 9:06 pm

Undergrad Institution: US public school, R1, ranked 100+ in Physics
Major(s): Honors Physics, Second Major Math
Minor(s):
GPA in Major: 3.833
Overall GPA: 3.690
Length of Degree: 4 years
Position in Class: School does not rank, probably upper 25%
Type of Student: Domestic, Asian-American Female

GRE Scores: Not required :)

TOEFL: (R: , L: , S: , W: ) N/A


Research Experience:

3+ years theoretical space physics: solar wind-magnetosphere interactions at the magnetopause. Worked on three main projects, one of which is my own under McNair. PI has worked at JHU APL and is very well known in the field and has many connections at the schools I've applied to.
- Multiple posters/presentations at APS
- 1 small first-author publication in McNair Scholars Journal

2+ years computational space physics: global modeling + interdisciplinary. Worked on two main projects. PI has worked at LANL and UMichigan.
- Poster at AGU and vGEM


Awards/Honors/Recognitions:

- McNair Scholar (+ scholarships awarded within the program)
- Honors Degree (Senior Honors Thesis, honors credits)
- TSAPS Undergrad Student Pres Award
- Top academic recruitment scholarship since freshman year
- Dean's List


Pertinent Activities or Jobs:

1+ years: AGU member
2+ years: APS member
2 years: Test Grader for Phys I-II
3+ years: Physics/Math tutor
3+ years: Women in Physics President
1.5+ years: Founder of local STEM outreach program
2+ years: SPS member


Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help:

Special Bonus Points:

- McNair Scholar!!! I received fee waivers to apply, which is why I have so many schools on my list.
- One of my PI's is well known in the space physics community
- Applied to schools which both of my recommenders have either collaborated with or received their grad degrees from


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

Applying to Where:

Cornell U - EAS (Jan 20: INTERVIEWED informally by my top POI Feb 6: ACCEPTED for Ph.D via email WILL BE ATTENDING!)
CU Boulder - APS (Feb 17: Rejected via website)
Dartmouth - Physics & Astro (Mar 23: Rejected via website)
Johns-Hopkins - Physics & Astro (Mar 1: Rejected via website)
Montana State - Physics (Mar 9: INTERVIEWED formally by the admissions committee Mar 12: ACCEPTED for Ph.D via email)
Rice U - Physics & Astro (Feb 9: WAITLISTED via website Feb 23: ACCEPTED for Ph.D via email)
UCLA - EPSS
U Iowa - Physics & Astro (Feb 10: ACCEPTED for Ph.D via email)
U Michigan - CLASP (Jan 25: INTERVIEWED informally by my POI Feb 14: ACCEPTED for Ph.D via email)
U Minnesota - Physics & Astro (Jan 26: ACCEPTED for Ph.D via email)
UNH - Physics (Feb 17: ACCEPTED for Ph.D via email)
Yale - Astro - (Jan 29: Rejected via website)

Notes/Updates:

I applied to so many schools because of my McNair Scholars fee waiver + I'm part of a two-body problem. Our top school together is Cornell or Dartmouth, and my personal top school is CU Boulder.

(Feb 12) We are both officially in Cornell! :o My earliest and most surprising offer.
(Feb 17) Not shocked at CU Boulder's results. Their statistics are rough! I'll start rejecting some of my "safe" offers soon. My top three so far are Cornell, UMichigan, and UIowa, since they match my research interests, and I could potentially work with my top POI.
(Mar 9) Dartmouth still hasn't come out with results...but I'm more than excited for Cornell. Also, where's the UCLA EPSS results?

I'm very surprised and overall grateful for my results. I kept a spreadsheet for updates and results, and it'll finally be complete. Initially, I didn't expect to get into Cornell EAS because only one specific PI aligns with my research interests. I only applied because my partner was in love with Cornell. We're both very grateful for our results! I can't wait to move to upstate NY!!

Good luck to everyone this season and future admission seasons!
Last edited by spacephysgirl on Tue Mar 23, 2021 2:18 pm, edited 5 times in total.

astro5984
Posts: 1
Joined: Sat Feb 06, 2021 11:45 pm

Re: 2021 Applicant Profile and Admission Results

Post by astro5984 » Sat Feb 13, 2021 12:13 pm

Undergrad Institution: top uni in country (no reputation in physics)
Major(s): Physics
Minor(s): -
GPA in Major: -
Overall GPA: 3.60 (1st class honors)
Length of Degree: 4
Position in Class: probably 5/15
Type of Student: Asian Male(International)

GRE Scores: NO GRE REQUIRED FOR THIS YEAR


IELTS: 7.5/9.0 (R:8.0, L:8.0, S:7.0 , W:6.5)


Research Experience: exoplanet-related two summer internship (including one at US) total 2.5 years of research + 0.5 of non-related field (AI stuff), One nth publication on MNRAS, one conference talk in Thailand, one poster at US.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Funded during undergrad.

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: 0.5 years of unrelated RA position.

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: many outreach and extra-curriculum

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:

Applying to Where:

CU Boulder - APS PhD - Feb. 11: Accepted! via email
Penn State - Astronomy PhD - Feb. 8: Rejected via email
University of Michigan - Astronomy PhD
McGill - Earth and Planetary Science Master - Feb. 9: informal interview with potential PI Feb. 19: informal Accepted! via email
Tokyo Tech - Earth and Planetary Science Master+PhD - Jan. 25: interview and paper exam
University of Manchester - Astronomy PhD - Jan. 18: interview
Last edited by astro5984 on Sat Feb 20, 2021 5:36 am, edited 1 time in total.

Florida_Physics
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue Feb 16, 2021 1:52 pm

Re: 2021 Applicant Profile and Admission Results

Post by Florida_Physics » Tue Feb 16, 2021 3:58 pm

Undergrad Institution: Large state school (Ranked in top 10% of U.S. physics programs)
Minor(s): N/A
GPA in Major: 3.30
Overall GPA: 3.23(oh to have back my first year of university and realize random humanities courses are important for your GPA....)
Length of Degree: 4 years
Position in Class: Above Average
Type of Student: Domestic white male

GRE Scores: N/A


TOEFL: N/A


Research Experience:
-Two years co-opting with a former professor of my university for the fabrication and application of novel wave guides. Research led to a first author publication in a well known physics journal.
-Two semesters of REU constructing circuits to control fast pumping laser systems alongside other PhD students. I believe this project is still ongoing.
-Proved in the calibration and accuracy of X-Ray diffractometers which was then presented to the physics department faculty as part of my advanced lab final.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Several academic scholarships awarded from both the university and the state.

Pertinent Activities or Jobs:
-2 years co-opting as mentioned above in an optics field.
-3 years post graduate work experience in a research and development position concerning the fabrication of ultra low loss waveguides.
(I know graduate schools don't necessarily care much for work experience but I'm hopeful a R&D position is better received)
Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help:

Special Bonus Points:
I believe I have three very strong letters of recommendation. Two of which can speak of my curiosity, work ethic, + research contribution and the other being the former professor I co-opted for which held a high ranking position in the U.S. naval research laboratory.


Applying to Where: All PhD programs in the field of optics.

Colorado State University (Apr. 14: Accepted for PhD via email + $18k / 9 months TA) Declined.
University of Vermont
University of Tennessee - Knoxville
University of Georgia - Athens (Mar. 3: Accepted for PhD via email + $22k / 12 months TA) Will Attend!
Washington State University (Mar. 3 : Rejected via email)

Safety
University of Colorado - Colorado Springs Feb. 22: Informally accepted for Ph.D via email, no details yet. Declined

Note: I'm a bit nervous given the state of 2021 applications during the pandemic. With my less than ideal GPA I'm hopeful research experience and strong letters can make up the difference and help me get accepted this coming Fall. A few applications I sent were just past deadlines which is not ideal but perhaps with rolling admissions maybe there is a chance? I would like to get peoples opinions on my chance of acceptance (I'm hoping this will calm my mind even though acceptance/rejection notices should not be too far away in the future).

Update 1: Hopeful that a few Colorado State acceptances decline their offer, as I was informed I was near the top of the waitlist :oops:

Update 2: I'm grateful to have heard back from Colorado State and really wanted to attend but why did they have to get back to me soooo late :? . I guess that is just how the waitlist game goes.
Last edited by Florida_Physics on Thu Apr 15, 2021 8:44 am, edited 8 times in total.

technoAlchemist
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Feb 17, 2021 4:00 am

Re: 2021 Applicant Profile and Admission Results

Post by technoAlchemist » Wed Feb 17, 2021 4:16 am

Undergrad Institution: medium sized state research university with increasing reputation
Major(s): Physics AMO emphasis
Minor(s):
GPA in Major: 3.57
Overall GPA: 3.34
Length of Degree: 4 years
Position in Class: above average
Type of Student: domestic male

GRE Scores: Q: 163 V: 164 W: 4.5


TOEFL: (R: , L: , S: , W: )

Research Experience:

Two full time summers of research with same advisor. Close collaboration, we had daily meetings. Two years of research during the academic year with the same professor. Theoretical/Computational research in atomic chaos theory. Two poster presentations and two papers currently being written with me as second author.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Summer Research Fellowship

Pertinent Activities or Jobs:

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help:

Special Bonus Points:

Former CS major with lots of experience in writing original numerical simulations. Professor recommendation was very strong and he is well known in the subfield. Graduate classes in AMO, Stat Mech, and Quantum Computing

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

Applying to Where:

Applied to all schools for quantum information theory and atomic physics theory. Carnegie Mellon I applied to the computational physics program.

University of Colorado, Boulder - Physics
University of Oregon - Physics
Caltech - Physics (Feb 19 Rejected via email)
University of Wisconsin - Physics (Jan. 28 Rejected via website)
University of Maryland - Physics
UCSD - Physics
University of Illinois - Physics
University of Washington - Physics
Purdue - Physics (Feb. 16 Accepted for PhD via email + $20k TA)
Carnegie Mellon - Physics (Jan. 31 Wait Listed)
Last edited by technoAlchemist on Fri Feb 19, 2021 5:15 pm, edited 2 times in total.

havskda
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Feb 18, 2021 1:21 am

Re: 2021 Applicant Profile and Admission Results

Post by havskda » Thu Feb 18, 2021 2:43 am

Undergrad Institution: Top 10 Engineering Institutions in India (IIT)
Major(s): Engineering Physics
Minor(s): None
GPA in Major:
Overall GPA: 8.63 (/10)
Length of Degree: 4 years
Position in Class: In top 3
Type of Student: International student from India (Male)

GRE Scores: Did not use in applications
TOEFL: R:29, L:28, S:26, W:24

Research Experience:

I had been working on research projects since the end of my sophomore year. Throughout my undergrad, I worked under two supervisors. The first was under the guidance of a Professor at my institute. The second was under a Professor from a well-reputed research institution for which I got selected for a summer internship program during the summer of 2020.

All of my projects were in the field of Observational Cosmology. My first project led to a published paper (first author of two authors). I also presented this work as a poster. We are also writing up a paper using the results from my second project, but this paper is still under preparation (I mentioned this in my SOP and CV).

Awards/Honors/Recognitions:

I was awarded the Academic Excellence Award for the year 2019 when I had secured the highest GPA in my class in this academic year.

Pertinent Activities or Jobs:

I served as a Teaching Assistant for an introductory course in Thermodynamics.

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: None

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: I had attended a virtual summer school in Cosmology (2020). I also attended a Winter school in General Relativity and Cosmology in January 2020.

Applying to Where:

U Arizona - Astronomy - Rejected via email (Feb 22)
Johns Hopkins University - Physics and Astronomy - Rejected via website (March 1)
U Michigan - Physics - Rejected via email (Feb 24)
Carnegie Mellon - Physics - Rejected via website (Feb 8 )
U Illinois Urbana - Astronomy - Rejected via email (Feb 19)
U Penn - Physics and Astronomy
Harvard - Astronomy - Rejected via website (Feb 17)
U Washington - Astronomy - Rejected via email (Feb 3)
U Hawaii - Astronomy - Waitlisted on Jan 26
U Chicago - Astronomy - Rejected via website (Jan 29)
MIT - Physics - Rejected via email (Feb 18)
U Pittsburgh - Physics and Astronomy
Rice - Physics and Astronomy - Rejected via website (March 16)
Penn State - Astronomy - Rejected via email (Feb 8 )
U Waterloo - Physics and Astronomy
Stonybrook - Physics - Rejected via reply to a email inquiry (Feb 24)
UC Santa Cruz - Astronomy - Rejected via website (March 1)
UC Davis - Physics and Astronomy
U Southern California - Physics

Request: If anyone has received an offer from the University of Hawaii's Astronomy program and not planning to take up the admission, could you please inform the admissions committee of the same. It will be helpful for waitlisted candidates like me.
Last edited by havskda on Tue Mar 16, 2021 10:12 pm, edited 6 times in total.

tanay49
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Feb 18, 2021 6:22 pm

Re: 2021 Applicant Profile and Admission Results

Post by tanay49 » Thu Feb 18, 2021 6:53 pm

Undergrad Institution: State School, best in the state, top ~30 in physics nationally
Major(s): Physics
Minor(s): Maths, Global Development (did it for a study abroad :D )
GPA in Major: 3.92
Overall GPA: 3.93
Length of Degree: 5
Position in Class: Near top probably, nothing official from school
Type of Student: South Asian Male, Domestic

GRE Scores: NO GRE REQUIRED FOR THIS YEAR (WE ALL KNOW WHAT HAPPENED).


TOEFL: (R: , L: , S: , W: ): N/A


Research Experience:
- 3 semesters biophysics with a professor from my school.
- One-semester EE research internship at a research institute.
- One-semester SULI internship at Berkeley National Lab on applied/nuclear physics work. nth author of paper submitted from this experience.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Faculty Honors, Dean's List,

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Undergraduate Teaching Assistant for 3000 level physics course

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help:

Special Bonus Points:

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: First recommender was Advisor I did biophysics research with, second advisor was someone I worked under at Berkeley National Lab, and the final recommender is an assistant dean at my university who is part of the engineering dept but does not do traditional 'STEM' research (I'm not sure if this would hurt me).

Applying to Where:

Mostly Condensed Matter Physics/ Materials Science/ Optical Physics type research

- Stanford - Applied Physics - Rejected on 02/19/21 via email. Really wish they provided more info with the rejection, email was extremely generic.

- Caltech - Applied Physics - Rejected on 03/02/21 via email. Probably my favorite rejection letter so far.

- Harvard - Applied Physics - Rejected on 02/26/21 via email to check application portal.

- UC Berkeley - Applied Science & Technology - Rejected on 03/02/21 via email to check application portal.

- Duke - Physics - Rejected on 03/03/21 via email to check application portal.

- NCSU - Physics - Accepted on 01/12/21 via admission portal! (Financial info via email on 01/28 - 26k stipend + 4k 1st year fellowship with no TA/RA) Withdrew application.

- UCSB - Materials - Accepted on 02/01/21 via email! (35k minimum stipend, any potential fellowship will be awarded later) WILL ATTEND :)

- Okinawa Institute of Science & Technology - Interview 02/02/21 - Rejected on 02/26/21 via email to check application portal. This one hurted :cry:

- University of Tokyo - Physics - Rejected on 03/01/21 via email. This one hurted too :cry:
Last edited by tanay49 on Sat Mar 27, 2021 10:32 pm, edited 11 times in total.

Claire
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue Jan 19, 2021 10:30 am

Re: 2021 Applicant Profile and Admission Results

Post by Claire » Fri Feb 19, 2021 11:50 pm

Undergrad Institution: QS ranking top 100
Major(s): Physics
GPA in Major: 3.8/4
Overall GPA: 3.6/4
Length of Degree: 4 years
Position in Class: top 30%
Type of Student: Asian Female, first-generation college student, low-income background

GRE: N/A

TOEFL: 95

Research Experience:

- three years of research experience in Galaxy, 3 different research project

- one post, one pub in the ApJ (co-first author), one manuscript in progress, 2 talks at ANU

- one short-term project at ANU

Awards/Honors/Recognitions:
get scholarships every year during my Undergrad


Special Bonus Points:
3 strong recommendation letters (I think they are strong as they are all from my supervisors),
Asian female (maybe a bonus)?

I only apply for the Ph.D. program in Astronomy/Astrophysics. My application list is shown as following:
UK
University of Oxford: invited to interview (17 Feb), withdraw 26 Feb
University of St Andrews: official offer (25 Feb)
University of Nottingham: official offer (5 Feb)

Germany
IMPRS-Heidelberg: interviewed 25 Jan & 8 Feb, withdrawn 26 Feb as the two interviewees didn’t make me an offer

Australia
ANU: scholarship offer 16 Feb, my dream school!

US
UMass: waitlist 7 Feb
UCR: no feedback by now (15 March)!!! If you don’t attend to accept any international student, could you please point it out on your website OR return my $125!!! :evil:

Good luck to all! Please feel free to let me know if you have any suggestions/questions :)
Last edited by Claire on Mon Mar 15, 2021 6:56 am, edited 4 times in total.

quasihorse
Posts: 1
Joined: Sun Feb 21, 2021 11:20 am

Re: 2021 Applicant Profile and Admission Results

Post by quasihorse » Sun Feb 21, 2021 11:45 am

Undergrad Institution: Ivy League
Major(s): Physics
Minor(s):
Overall GPA: 4.03/4.00 (technically out of 4.3 since that's A+)
Length of Degree: 4.5 years (transferred out from previous institution and had to retake a bunch of classes)
Position in Class: Probably near the top
Type of Student: Domestic (double citizenship)

GRE Scores: NO GRE REQUIRED FOR THIS YEAR (WE ALL KNOW WHAT HAPPENED).

TOEFL: N/A


Research Experience: 1.5 years as RA in computational CM (applied DFT), one publication in preparation (in collaboration with experimentalists so I'm not sure what my autorship status will be, but I have been leading the theoretical work). 2 Summer REUs, one in computational Accelerator Physics and the other in CMT (twisted bilayer graphene).

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Dean's List a few semesters, but that's it.

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: 1 year as SPS officer working in Diversity/Inclusion (wrote about that in the additional essay for the application), 1 semester tutoring (after applying though).

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help:

Special Bonus Points: took graduate QM I and II. My PI at my institution is very famous in the field and was a professor at MIT for a few years. One of my letters was from an instructor, but I was very active in that class (asked many questions and went to office hours regularly) + 2 letters from advisors, so expect all three to be strong. I am also Latino so that might help too :)

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

Applying to Where: all to CMT (quantum materials/topological matter)

Harvard - Feb.23: REJECTED for Ph.D via website
Princeton - Feb. 15: REJECTED for Ph.D via email
MIT - Feb.18: ACCEPTED for Ph.D via email (2-year $3,500/month fellowship + insurance + $3,000 for moving + conferences) WILL ATTEND!!
Berkeley - Mar.6: REJECTED for Ph.D via website
UCSB - Mar.23: REJECTED for Ph.D via website
UIUC - Mar. 20: REJECTED for Ph.D via email
CU Boulder - Mar. 11: REJECTED for Ph.D via website
Florida State University - Feb.18: ACCEPTED for Ph.D via email ($20,900/year TAship)

Edit1 (Mar. 20): interesting and unexpected turn of events, but definitely not complaining. Super stoked about MIT!

Edit2 (Mar. 24): all results are in and I am perplexed. Not that I am complaining, but MIT definitely feels like a fluke, especially because of the fellowship I got. Still very happy and grateful in such a heartbreaking year.
Last edited by quasihorse on Wed Mar 24, 2021 9:18 am, edited 7 times in total.

eggbert
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Feb 22, 2021 7:40 pm

Re: 2021 Applicant Profile and Admission Results

Post by eggbert » Mon Feb 22, 2021 8:27 pm

Undergrad Institution: USA, domestic, state school with relatively small physics department
Major(s): B.S. Physics, B.A. Math
Minor(s): Computer Science
GPA in Major: 3.82/4
Overall GPA: 3.88
Length of Degree: 4 years
Position in Class: We don't do rankings, but I'm near/at the top
Type of Student: Domestic

GRE Scores: didn't take 'em, didn't submit 'em

Research Experience:
- 3 years of research at home institution - started out as experimental optics research but have been doing DFT for the past 1.5 years, 1 publication (3rd author), 2 posters @ home institution, 2 research awards from home institution to fund this work.
- one REU in experimental condensed matter (just a bunch of coding really, but resulted in 1 conference)
- one REU in nuclear theory (presented work at APS meeting)
- one REU in CMT @ UIUC. I also had research experience during high school that got my name on 2 papers (again in CMT)

Awards/Honors/Recognitions:
- Part of a scholarship program for minorities in STEM at my home institution.
- 2 research awards from home institution
- poster award at a fairly large conference

Pertinent Activities or Jobs:
- founded undergrad Women in Physics group at home institution, awarded grant from APS to help with that
- volunteer tutor for local K-12 underrepresented minority students (via local organization)
- President of Pi Mu Epsilon chapter (math honor society)
- peer advisor for aforementioned scholarship organization
- graded for a math/physics class (sometimes both) every semester since my second semester as freshman
- TAed for calculus course several years ago and currently TAing for a physics course

Special Bonus Points:
- one of my recommenders is very well-known in CMT, and another one of them was head of the physics dept at my home institution
- took 2 grad classes before time of application: one in math physics, another in quantum mechanics
- all 3 rec letter writers were research advisors

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter:
- applied for the NSF GRFP
- I'm a woman

Applying to Where:
For each school, I applied for a Physics PhD with interests solely in CMT.

Reach:
Stanford -
Princeton - 2/15: Rejected via email
Harvard -
UIUC - 2/22: Accepted via email + TA for 9 months & research assistant for 2 months offer with total of $24,266 stipend
MIT - 2/18: Rejected via email
Caltech - 2/19: Rejected via email
UC Santa Barbara -
Cornell -
CU Boulder -
UPenn -

Safety:
Ohio State - 1/24: ACCEPTED via email + TA offer with $21,276 stipend for 9 months
U. Minnesota - 1/26: ACCEPTED via email + TA offer with $20,287.80 stipend for 9 months
Rutgers - 2/5: ACCEPTED via email + TA offer with $30,162 stipend for 10 months

Edit: super stoked about UIUC! If I don't get into any of the other reach schools, I will likely turn down the offers from my safety schools in the coming days/weeks.

greenman027
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Feb 22, 2021 10:23 pm

Re: 2021 Applicant Profile and Admission Results

Post by greenman027 » Mon Feb 22, 2021 10:51 pm

Undergrad Institution: Medium-sized liberal arts college in south, small physics program but strong emphasis on HEP-ex
Major(s): B.S. Physics; B.S. Pure Mathematics
Minor(s): Chinese
GPA in Major: 3.96 (Physics)
Overall GPA: 3.9/4.0
Length of Degree: 4 years
Position in Class: ~Top 5% based on GPA recognitions
Type of Student: Domestic white male

GRE Scores: Did not take (ya know... COVID)

Research Experience:

1 year with EIC using HEP-ex applications at nuclear collider proposal in heavy-flavor analysis studies (simulations). (2020-ongoing)
2 years with ATLAS-LHC (HEP-ex) at home institution in Higgs analysis studies. (2019-ongoing)
1 year with nuclear-ex at home institution in dark matter detection materials. (2017-2018)

Awards/Honors/Recognitions:

US ATLAS SUPER Award (summer 2019)
NSF-REU UM-CERN (summer 2020; research at CERN cancelled due to COVID-19)
Full tuition/housing scholarship at home institution
Numerous university awards in physics and general academics
APS Outstanding Oral Presentation Award at regional meeting
Presented HEP-ex research at APS national meeting
No publication, but ATLAS research was submitted as internal note to CERN document server

Pertinent Activities:

President of SPS Chapter at home institution (Vice-President last year)
Active volunteer and connected service to program-specific initiatives in community/university
Occasionally also highlighted my interest in science policy and science communication

Applying to Where:

Brown - Accepted (Feb. 11) ($27,605/9mo and $9,201/summer stipend) | Interviewed (Feb. 1)
Cornell - Rejected (Mar. 3)
Caltech - Rejected (Feb. 19)
Duke - Waitlisted (Mar. 1)
Harvard - Rejected (Feb. 23) | Interviewed (Jan. 28) (this one hurt cause I thought the interview went well)
MIT - Rejected (Feb. 18)
Michigan State - Accepted (Feb. 2) ($1106.00 bi-weekly TA stipend)
Ohio State
Stanford - Rejected (Mar. 1)
SUNY Stony Brook - Rejected (Mar. 8 )
UC Berkeley - Rejected (Mar. 5)
U Chicago - Rejected (Jan. 29)
U Illinois (UC) - Accepted (Mar. 4)
U Michigan (Ann-Arbor)
U Minnesota - Accepted (Jan. 26) ($26.01/hr for 20 hr/week - $520.20/week or $20,287.80 for 9 mo.)
U Wisconsin (Madison) - Rejected (Jan. 28)
Yale - Rejected (Feb. 19)

(all I emphasized HEP-ex, except Stony Brook I indicated either nuclear-ex or HEP-ex)
Last edited by greenman027 on Mon Mar 15, 2021 11:48 am, edited 10 times in total.

David_Gilmour
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Feb 24, 2021 12:41 pm

Re: 2021 Applicant Profile and Admission Results

Post by David_Gilmour » Wed Feb 24, 2021 1:22 pm

Undergrad Institution: Research focused Indian Institute(6th in nature index ranking in India for physics)
Major(s):Physics
Minor(s):N/A
GPA in Major:8.85/10
Overall GPA:8.32/10
Length of Degree: 5
Type of Student: International male

GRE Scores: NO GRE REQUIRED FOR THIS YEAR (WE ALL KNOW WHAT HAPPENED).


TOEFL: 110 (R:29 , L:29 , S:25 , W:27 )


Research Experience: Total 1.5 years of research in CMT at various research centres around the country and 3 months of research in exp-HEP. No publications.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Undergraduate fellowship by the Govt. of India, National topper in National Graduate Physics examination as a freshman.

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: TA for graduate level courses of QFT and Quantum Many body Theory

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: Straight A's in all six graduate level courses taken, strong upward trend in GPA. Did a lot of semester projects and an Independent study on CFT.

Special Bonus Points: All my LORs are strong and one of my recommender is very well known in QI/Many body physics. Also working on my Masters thesis through the previous year. Contacted potential PIs everywhere and received a couple of positive responses. Put together all the applications in a few days so not hoping for much.


Applying to Where: All for CMT

Yale - Physics- Rejected(Feb.19)
UCSB - Physics -
UCLA - Physics -Accepted via mail(Feb.24) $18k/9 month TA/RA + $16k fellowship for the first year
Northwestern - Physics - Interviewed by POI (Feb.20)
NYU - Physics - Withdrawn
UC Davis - Physics-Withdrawn
Last edited by David_Gilmour on Sat Feb 27, 2021 7:09 am, edited 1 time in total.

papamusk
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Feb 25, 2021 7:16 pm

Re: 2021 Applicant Profile and Admission Results

Post by papamusk » Thu Feb 25, 2021 9:32 pm

Undergrad Institution: Big state school
Major(s): Physics
Minor(s): Math
GPA in Major: 3.9
Overall GPA: 3.7
Length of Degree: 4
Position in Class: na
Type of Student: white

GRE Scores : na
Q: na
V: na
W: na
P: na


TOEFL: (R: , L: , S: , W: ) N/A


Research Experience:
3 years of research at home institute.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions:
not much here!

Pertinent Activities or Jobs:
-TA for intro courses

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help:


Special Bonus Points:
-Took bunch of grad courses.

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


Applying to Where: Everything for hep-ex


Yale - Applied Physics - Rejected
Chicago - Physics - Rejected
UIUC - Physics -
OSU - Accepted
UW Madison - Physics - Rejected
University of Washington - Physics - Rejected
Duke University - Physics - Waitlisted

edit: PLEASE CONSIDER REJECTING DUKE OFFER IF YOU HAVE BETTER OPTIONS, IT IS MY TOP CHOICE AT THIS POINT. THANK YOU.
Last edited by papamusk on Mon Mar 01, 2021 10:35 am, edited 2 times in total.

chefmow
Posts: 1
Joined: Sat Feb 27, 2021 8:36 pm

Re: 2021 Applicant Profile and Admission Results

Post by chefmow » Sat Feb 27, 2021 11:09 pm

Undergrad Institution: Large public school, ranked top 40 in physics
Major(s): Physics (B.S.), Mathematics (B.A.)
Minor(s): N/A
GPA in Major: N/A
Overall GPA: 3.92
Length of Degree: 4 years
Position in Class: N/A
Type of Student: Domestic, white and hispanic male
GRE Scores: None, thank goodness.


Research Experience: 3 years in High Energy Lab (specifically CMS), testing thermal properties of certain materials. I recognized my lack of lab experience was the weakest part of my application.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Dean's honors list almost all quarters.

Pertinent Activities or Jobs:
- Physics and math tutor for 3 years. Head physics tutor (same place) for 2 years.
- Founded Science Olympiad club at school. Hosted competition in person first year, online the second year. Co-President for two years. Probably the biggest thing that makes me stand out. I harped a lot on the leadership skills I gained from it.

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: A lot of teaching experience. Volunteered in elementary school math class, high school physics class, college physics lab class assistant, held weekly review classes as a tutor for some lower div physics classes for two terms.

Special Bonus Points: I emailed profs for some of my top schools in the fall to ask about their labs and I made sure to include their names on my SOP, so hopefully that did something. I was nervous putting myself out there, but I was largely met with enthusiastic responses (only a few grumpy replies).

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

Applying to Where: Condensed Matter Experiment everywhere, I also have a keen interest in Physics Education depending on the program

...in alphabetical order because I don't like the idea of categorizing what I feel was a "safe" school :p

Columbia - Physics (Mar. 17: Rejected via email)
Cornell - Physics (Feb. 26: ACCEPTED for Ph.D via email + full financial support for 6 years :shock: ) - WILL ATTEND!
MIT - Physics (Feb. 18: Rejected via email)
Stanford - Physics (Mar. 1: Rejected via email)
UCLA - Physics (Feb. 13: ACCEPTED for Ph.D via phone call)
UCSB - Physics (Mar. 23: Rejected via email)
UCSD - Physics (Feb. 9: ACCEPTED for Ph.D via website)
UMichigan - Physics (Feb. 24: Rejected via email)
Univ of Colorado, Boulder - Physics (Mar. 5: Waitlisted via email)
Last edited by chefmow on Mon Apr 12, 2021 12:11 am, edited 3 times in total.

hjkqed
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Mar 02, 2021 12:46 pm

Re: 2021 Applicant Profile and Admission Results

Post by hjkqed » Tue Mar 02, 2021 8:23 pm

Undergrad Institution: Liberal Arts College in the US
Major(s): Physics
Minor(s): N/A
GPA in Major: 4.0
Overall GPA: 3.97
Length of Degree: 4 years
Position in Class: Top 5%
Type of Student: International male

GRE Scores: 170Q/162V/4.5AW; no PGRE


TOEFL: (R: , L: , S: , W: ) N/A


Research Experience: All three summers at home institution. Research in soft matter condensed matter physics (experiment) in the first two years and quantum computing (theory) in the last two years with some semester research assistant positions. No publications.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Phi Beta Kappa. Dean's list all graded semesters.

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Teaching assistant for computer science and mathematics courses.

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help:

Special Bonus Points: N/A

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

Applying to Where: all for CMT/QC in physics Ph.D (in app. deadline order)

University of Maryland - College Park (Feb. 15: received email about "active consideration") (Rejected)
UPenn (Rejected)
Yale University (Rejected)
Princeton University (Rejected)
UW-Madison (Jan. 29: ACCEPTED for Ph.D via email + $22,550/9 month TA + $1.5k one-time scholarship)
MIT (Rejected)
UCSB (Rejected)
UChicago (Rejected)
Northwestern
Boston University (Feb. 19: ACCEPTED for Ph.D via email + $36,782/year TA. Will attend!)
Brown University (Rejected)
University of Illinois - Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) (Rejected)
Last edited by hjkqed on Mon Apr 12, 2021 3:17 pm, edited 5 times in total.

intheclear
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Mar 03, 2021 1:07 am

Re: 2021 Applicant Profile and Admission Results

Post by intheclear » Wed Mar 03, 2021 3:42 am

This forum has been invaluable to me (even though I've been only lurking). Thanks for the help over the years!

Undergrad Institution: small to mid sized UC school
Major(s): Chemical Engineering, Physics (Applied Physics)
Minor(s):
GPA in Major: 4.00 (for PHYS), 3.95 (for ChemE)
Overall GPA: 3.98
Length of Degree: 4 years
Position in Class: probably near the top group
Type of Student: Domestic Asian male

GRE Scores: NO GRE REQUIRED FOR THIS YEAR (WE ALL KNOW WHAT HAPPENED). (Didn't take the GRE - No scores to report!)


TOEFL: (R: , L: , S: , W: )


Research Experience:

Volunteered in a materials synthesis lab (no pubs, just experience).
One 4th author research paper in catalysis lab at school for chemical engineering.
Research internship for two summers at a private research corporation focusing on propulsion sciences.
Produced two internal reports for the company. (1st was for computational quantum chemistry. 2nd was for molecular kinetics modeling.)
Astronomy research (~ 2 years) with professor at school. (Resulted in two oral presentations at a schoolwide research conference.)
One atmospheric chemistry internship in high school, but it was a long while ago.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions:

A few departmental scholarships in engineering and physics, schoolwide research fellowship, Goldwater scholarship 2018, academic distinction awards.

Pertinent Activities or Jobs:

Physics supplemental instructor for ~2 years. Student engagement ambassador and student advancement ambassador in my final year of college.

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help:

Project manager for chemical engineering club (the following year I became president). Worked briefly on an application team to make a thermodynamics app for a professor.

Special Bonus Points:

Took unrequired undergraduate upper division math classes (Set Theory, Complex Numbers, Dynamical Systems) just for kicks when I had free time in my schedule. Recommenders weren't famous (I think). Recommenders spanned various disciplines (astronomy, quantum chemistry, engineering thermodynamics modeling) which I think helped my chances for programs focusing on interdisciplinary research.

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

Took a gap year, then another for personal reasons. Found a job unrelated to physics as I was following a passion project after graduation.

I want to work on plasma physics theory or atmospheric chemistry.

Applying to Where: (All for PhD programs)

Cambridge - DAMTP [Atmospheric Chem.] (REJECTED via email on Jan. 28th)
UW Madison - Plasma Physics (Theory) (ACCEPTED for PhD via email on Jan. 27th + $23k TAship + $7.5k merit scholarship)
UT Austin - Plasma Physics (REJECTED? - didn’t get a follow up email for admission)
MIT - Physics (Plasma/Nuclear) (REJECTED via email on Feb. 18th)
Princeton - Dept. of Astrophysical Sciences - Plasma Physics (Theory) (informational call/informal interview - Jan 14th) (ACCEPTED for PhD via email on Feb. 22nd + $40k/12 mo. stipend + $5k fellowship) (Accepted offer! :mrgreen: )
Last edited by intheclear on Thu Mar 25, 2021 3:22 am, edited 2 times in total.

cosmocube
Posts: 1
Joined: Sun Dec 13, 2020 5:12 am

Re: 2021 Applicant Profile and Admission Results

Post by cosmocube » Wed Mar 03, 2021 5:21 pm

Undergrad Institution: Large Canadian public school (Top 3), 50 ish in world ranking for physics
Major(s): Physics and Mathematics
Minor(s): N/A
GPA in Major: 93/100 (A+)
Overall GPA: 92/100 (A+)
Length of Degree: 5 years (standard length)
Position in Class: Near Top, won scholarship for top GPA in major for one year
Type of Student: International Asian Male (Canadian)

GRE Scores: NO GRE REQUIRED FOR THIS YEAR (WE ALL KNOW WHAT HAPPENED)


TOEFL: (R: , L: , S: , W: ) N/A


Research Experience:
- 4 months machine learning in astronomy at a Canadian observatory/research center
- NSERC USRA project at home university on machine learning in cosmology (2 month full time + year part time), 1 first-author pub in MNRAS
- 2 months international exchange research in the UK on astrostatistics in cosmology
- 4 months full time summer project at another university in Canada, theoretical cosmology (pen&paper + simulations), another first-author pub submitted and on arxiv
- 4 months full time summer project at top uni in the US (online due to covid rip), machine learning, stats, and statistical mechanics
- currently working on undergrad thesis on Bayesian methods in astronomy

Counting full time and part time I've been doing research for more or less 3 years.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions:
- Top 5% GPA award every year.
- Won a scholarship for the top GPA in program for one year
- NSERC Undergraduate Student Research Awards x2
- Won a student-given undergraduate research award
- Another student-given award for teaching excellence
- Miscellaneous scholarships from home uni for high GPA, nothing national or international

Pertinent Activities or Jobs:
- One year working as an undergrad TA, instructed review sessions for up to 200 students and won a teaching excellence award from our undergraduate society.
- Also was a VP for the physics student society at my school, hosted lots of academic development workshops and mentoring events
- Did some astro public outreach volunteer work in the past

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: nah

Special Bonus Points: 1 big name recommender from top uni in the US, he mentioned he's not involved with admissions at his uni but the letter probably still helps. All 3 references are former research supervisors so they can speak for my research ability.

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: First-generation immigrant if that matters, mentioned on the few diversity statements I needed to write.

Applying to Where: (All for computational/theoretical cosmology)
Universities are ordered by chronological acceptance dates because I think everything is a reach.

Canada:
University of British Columbia - Physics - Jan. 19: ACCEPTED for Masters (via email), $19k CAD TA/RA after tuition
University of Toronto - Physics - Jan. 29 ACCEPTED for Direct Entry PhD (via email to check application status), $25k CAD TA/RA + $3k Graduate Entrance Award + $8.4k Optional Summer Research Fellowship from May - August 2021
McGill University- Physics- Feb. 01: ACCEPTED for Masters (via email), ~$19k CAD TA/RA after tuition
University of Toronto - Computer Science

US:
University of Chicago - Physics - Jan. 29 REJECTED (via email to check application status)
Carnegie Mellon University - Physics - Feb. 02 ACCEPTED (via email to check application status), funding not confirmed but "at least $2500/month".
Princeton University - Astrophysical Sciences - Feb. 05 REJECTED (via email)
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Physics - Feb. 18 REJECTED (via email)
Yale University - Physics - Feb. 19 ACCEPTED (via email to check application status), $37k stipend, 4 semesters teaching fellowship required (10h/week)
California Institute of Technology (Caltech) - Physics - Feb. 19 REJECTED (via email)
Columbia University - Physics - Feb. 23 Interviewed, Mar. 04 WAITLISTED, Apr. 04 REJECTED (via email) (I heard they only took 8 students this year)
Harvard University - Physics - Feb. 23 REJECTED (via email to check application status)
University of California, Berkeley - Physics - Mar. 01 ACCEPTED (via email), $40k stipend + $1.5k moving award, 1 year of required GSI teaching (20h/week for 10 months)
Stanford University - Physics - Mar. 01 REJECTED (via email)
Cornell University - Physics - Mar. 03 REJECTED (via email)
University of Washington - Physics - Mar. 15 REJECTED (via email)

Final thoughts:
This site has helped me a lot over the last year, but I didn't want to post my own until I heard back from most of the schools I applied to. Overall considering my international status I'd say that my applications are more successful than I expected, especially given the extra difficulties caused by the pandemic (lower funding and more applicants due to no GRE requirement).

My advice for future international students: cast a wide net. It is definitely expensive but international applications are a RNG crapshoot so you need all the chances you can get. Also, do some research into each department: Some departments, like UC Berkeley's Astronomy Department, barely take any international students, so check online and ask your peers and online strangers to avoid wasting your money applying to departments you have no chance at.
Last edited by cosmocube on Thu Apr 08, 2021 8:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.

neutrinos
Posts: 2
Joined: Thu Mar 04, 2021 12:52 am

Re: 2021 Applicant Profile and Admission Results

Post by neutrinos » Thu Mar 04, 2021 1:40 am

Undergrad Institution: Large state school, ranked ~40 in physics
Major(s): Physics
Minor(s): Astrophysics, Math
GPA in Major: 3.9
Overall GPA: 3.96
Length of Degree: 4
Position in Class: probably near top
Type of Student: Domestic white female

GRE Scores: Did not submit

TOEFL: N/A

Research Experience: 3.5 years of research on a NASA mission, 1 REU in high energy physics that lead to honors thesis (two talks at conferences), 1 year interning at a private space company post grad

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: full tuition scholarship, deans list every semester, two departmental scholarships, part of the honors college

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Undergrad TA for 2.5 years, both upper and lower division

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help:

Special Bonus Points: took a grad class, completed an honors thesis, emailed professors at each program

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: Applied to three of these schools last year (BU, UMD, UWashington) and was rejected by all of them. Took a gap year and applied to more this year.

Applying to Where: All Physics PhD in High energy experiment, in no particular order

University of South Carolina - Interviewed (1/26), Accepted via email(1/29) -- Declined
UC Berkeley - Rejected (3/5)
UCLA - Accepted via Phone call (1/29) $28k fellowship + $1,250/month (10 hr/week TA) -- Declined
UC Santa Cruz -Interview(1/28), Accepted via email (2/17) $7,748/quarter (20 hr/week TA) + $2,500 housing + $5,000 moving + $6,000 summer research -- Declined
UC Santa Barbara - Rejected (3/23)
University of Washington - Rejected (3/16)
University of Michigan - Accepted via email (2/16) $2,804/month (10 hr/week TA) -- Declined
University of Tennessee - Withdrew application (2/16), request to interview (2/17) -- Declined
Yale - Rejected (2/19)
Penn State - Accepted (2/19) -- Declined
Carnegie Mellon - Waitlisted (1/31) -- Withdrew from waitlist
UMass Amherst - Accepted (2/14) -- Declined
University of Maryland (College Park) - Accepted (2/10) $26,742 (20 hr/week TA) + $5,000 fellowship -- WILL ATTEND!!!!
Boston University - Accepted via email (2/3) $36,782 (8-month Dean's Fellowship + Summer RA) -- Declined

I applied to nine schools last year and got rejected from all of them so do not give up hope. Take a gap year, work in industry or take grad classes if you are able, it is possible to get in after total rejection.

March 18th update: Virtual visits at UCLA, UMD, and BU. Will likely decline UCLA. My top choice as of right now is probably UMD. Will go to the virtual visit days at Michigan and UCSC in the following few weeks.

March 24th update: Declined UCLA and UCSC. Attending a virtual visit and Michigan this week and will hopefully decide in the next week. I also received the Dean's fellowship at BU.

April 6th update: After a lot of deliberation I declined Michigan and BU. It was a very tough decision, but super excited to be attending UMD!!!
Last edited by neutrinos on Wed Apr 07, 2021 12:39 am, edited 9 times in total.

hrj
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Oct 02, 2020 3:12 am

Re: 2021 Applicant Profile and Admission Results

Post by hrj » Sat Mar 06, 2021 4:57 am

Undergrad Institution: top-5 national public school in a small country in Asia, decent reputation in experimental high energy physics
Major(s): Physics
Minor(s):
GPA in Major: 3.97
Overall GPA: 3.96
Length of Degree: 4 (undergrad) + 2 (master)
Position in Class: top
Type of Student: International male

GRE Scores: Waived/optional this year by all schools I applied to
V:154
Q: 170
AW: 4.0
sGRE: 960 (92 percentile)

TOEFL: 106 (R: 29, L: 26, S: 24, W: 27)

Research Experience:
- Summer research (2 months in the sophomore year): in astronomy on the star formation efficiency
- Undergrad & Master's research project (4 years, starting from the junior year): HEP-ex (CMS experiment). Participate in 2 physics analyses, including 1 as the master's thesis. Have been at CERN to attend several beamtests for a detector upgrade project. 5 poster presentations (4 for domestic conferences and 1 for ICHEP), 2 oral presentations (1 for an international conference), several publications (1 as the contact person in the internal review of CMS, others as co-authors), and several internal analysis notes in CMS.
- Research assistant: also in HEP-ex on a topic closely related to my master's thesis

Awards/Honors/Recognitions:
- Excellent graduate thesis award at the domestic physical society
- Academic Excellence Award (Top 5% GPA) 7 times in undergrad years
- Awarded as a member of a domestic scholastic honor society 2 times, one for undergrad and the other for master (Top 1% of undergraduate graduands or 3% of master’s graduands in every domestic university)
- A scholarship from the home institute for the most outstanding academic performance
- Various scholarships as financial assistance for undergrad/graduate researches

Pertinent Activities or Jobs:
- Teaching assistant for an undergrad experimental course at my home institute
- Teaching assistant for a HEP school taught by a professor who is well-known in the field
- Organizer and lecturer of a HEP school for outreach education in HEP-ex, aiming at domestic high school students,
- Partime/full-time research assistant as mentioned above

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help:

Special Bonus Points:
- Strong recommendation letters from my thesis supervisor, research fellow, or faculty members that have strong connections to top schools in US (two of them are faculty members in well-known institutes)
- Have taken graduate-level courses in my Master's study

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

Applying to Where:
All for HEP-ex

Reach
- MIT (Interviewed on Feb - ACCEPTED on 18 Feb 2021 - WILL ATTEND, 3.4k/month RA + 1k relocation expenses)
- Princeton (Rejected via email on 15 Feb)
- U Chicago (Rejected via email on 30 Jan)
- UC Berkeley (Rejected via email 6 Mar)
- Columbia
Match
- Northwestern (ACCEPTED via email on 13 Feb)
- UCSB
- UCSD (ACCEPTED via email on 9 Feb)
- Stony Brook (ACCEPTED via email on 20 Feb)
- Colorado-Boulder (ACCEPTED via email on 13 Feb)
Safety
- UW-Madison (ACCEPTED via email on 28 Jan)
- Johns Hopkins (ACCEPTED via email on 26 Jan)

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Almost all the schools mentioned that they had much more applications this year than previous (Colorado-Boulder had 1200, MIT had 1500+), and they had to cut down the number of acceptances because of COVID.
Last edited by hrj on Sun Mar 07, 2021 2:15 am, edited 1 time in total.

let it be x
Posts: 1
Joined: Sat Mar 06, 2021 2:54 pm

Re: 2021 Applicant Profile and Admission Results

Post by let it be x » Sat Mar 06, 2021 3:12 pm

Undergrad Institution: small US college
Major(s): Physics
Minor(s): Mathematics
GPA in Major: 3.95
Overall GPA: 3.92
Length of Degree: 4 years
Type of Student: International

GRE Scores: n/a

Research Experience: one year on condensed matter

Awards: Physics Department scholarship, dean's list every semester

Activities:
1) tutor for physics and math for three years
2) E-board member of various clubs and honor societies

Special bonus points: took some grad courses


Applying to Where: all for hep-th

Columbia-
Cornell - Rejected
UW Madison- rejected
UMich - Rejected
U Washington -
Penn State - Rejected
Brown-
UNC-
Brandeis - Rejected
Stony Brook -
Rutgers -
U Florida-
Lehigh - waitlist
LSU- waitlist
U Kentucky -
U Tennessee -
UIC -

Looks like a gap year unless magic happens :D



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