Admission criteria for theoretical physics PHD

  • #1
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Main Question or Discussion Point

What is the most important factors that determine if a candidate can be admitted into top theoretical physics PHD program? Since undergraduate students are most likely not able to produce significant research paper, will universities put more emphasis on GRE and GPA?
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
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Even if you aren't able to produce a "significant research paper", research experience is still probably the most important criterion used when evaluating PhD candidates.
 
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How important is advisor's connection with professors at other universities?
 
  • #4
klotza
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What is the most important factors that determine if a candidate can be admitted into top theoretical physics PHD program? Since undergraduate students are most likely not able to produce significant research paper, will universities put more emphasis on GRE and GPA?
Grades, grades, and grades.
 
  • #5
radium
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From what I've seen (as a theorist currently in grad school), I would say letters are the most important and research is also incredibly important. Unfergrads can often do computational work in theory, but it actually doesn't really matter if your undergrad research is not in theory.

Grades are very important, but what they really want is for you to have challenged yourself with your coursework (taking hard classes but not skipping the fundamentals). The PGRE is important, but not above a certain score (probably in the 800s or so). However, good grades and the PGRE will probably not make you stand out. Letters and research will.
 
  • #6
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Rescy, aren't you just starting as an undergrad? If so, a) it's too soon to fret, and b) it's not too soon to get involved in what research your school is doing.
 

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