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Advice on fallback schools for physics

  1. Nov 24, 2014 #1
    This has probably been brought up numerous times, but I need some advice on some mediocre to good fall back schools in physics.
    My undergraduate GPA was a 3.72
    Majors: Biochemistry, Math, and Physics
    Research: 3 years of research on Batch pH Oscillatory systems (each year was basically a new system that we discovered pH oscillations in). My first year I was a lab assistant, and the following two years I was the lead researcher. I presented research at regional conferences all three years and won the best undergraduate poster presenter the final year.
    I have also done 2 semesters of research in spectroscopy analysis were we measure the infrared optical constants, n and k, of liquid and solid materials that may appear in our solar system and those of other stars.
    Also, I am TAing physics one at my undergraduate institution at the moment.

    So obviously my Physics GRE was rather atrocious, I was just ill prepared and a bit ignorant on some of the basic GRE test taking strategies (my biggest lapse in judgement was not taking any practice exams).
    So any advice would be great. Or if you have any further questions please let me know.
    Also my letters of recommendations should be strong, two are from my research advisers, and the third is from the head of the physics department.
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 25, 2014 #2
    Are you looking at a particular state or region?
  4. Nov 25, 2014 #3
    No, the location isn't that important to me. I will happily attend a graduate school abroad or anywhere in the country.
  5. Nov 25, 2014 #4
    What type of research are you interested? Sorry if it is obvious based on your research description, but I am not too familiar with that.

    On the other hand, it seems that you have a strong gpa and very good research experience! If you are interested in pursuing experimental areas ( which it seems), you have a good shot at even top 20 (maybe top 10) schools (only apply if your research interest aligns).

    I know people with scores (gpa lower) similar to yours who have gotten accepted to places like Columbia and Yale. Research experience and LORs are weighed pretty heavily.

    Your advisors will be able to give you the best suggestions if you want to continue to do research similar to what you have been doing. If you are interested in hep-th, I can help you out! =)
  6. Nov 27, 2014 #5
    Thanks for the comment blue. I am interested in studying astro/cosmological physics, Biological physics, or High Energy. I know it is pretty broad, but I have areas in each I am passionate about.
    On a completely unrelated note I hope anyone who reads this is having a wonderful Thanksgiving, and, assuming you ate as large a quantity of food as I did, a nice nap as well.
  7. Nov 28, 2014 #6
    For Hep-ex, maybe check out University of New Mexico, University of Oregon, Notre Dame, and Duke?

    If you are interested in theory for Cosmology, check out Tufts. I'm honestly not familiar with good places for experimental fields in general.

    I had a wonderful thanksgiving! We even had a sprinkle of snow showers! =D Hope you ate well and had a relaxing nap!
  8. Nov 28, 2014 #7
    Georgetown if you're interested in biophysics...
  9. Nov 28, 2014 #8


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    Staff: Mentor

    Fall back from which schools?
  10. Nov 28, 2014 #9

    Vanadium 50

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    2017 Award

    There aren't really any mediocre schools offering PhD's in physics. Only about 6% of 4-year colleges and universities do.
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