• Support PF! Buy your school textbooks, materials and every day products Here!

Comments on my Physics grad school list?

287
25

Main Question or Discussion Point

Hello everyone!

I'm an international student applying for Ph.D programs for fall 2020 (mostly Astronomy, specifically Cosmology; but some are in Neutrino Physics).

My qualifications:

Undergrad institution: US univ ranked 100+ by US News with very good neutrino Physics program
Cumulative GPA (Physics and Math major): 4.0
PGRE: 800/990 (close to 70 percentile)
General GRE (Will take soon)

Publications: 1, with about 5 on the way (I'll serve as the first/corresponding author on 3 of them)
Recommendation Letters: one very strong (one of the best, if not, the best letter the professor has ever written), another very strong because the professor knows about my work but I have barely worked for him for 3 months, and third letter would be "pretty strong" as said by the professor (:D)
Research: 2.5 years neutrino Physics (both hardware and software, with one summer project with a professor at Harvard and a scientist at PNNL), about a year in Astronomy (this is the first author paper for which I automated a process)

All my advisors recommended I apply to top schools, however, I'm very worried about my prospects of getting into a graduate school and wanna make sure I have backups. I wanted to know if my list of graduate schools sounds reasonable enough (in a sense that you think, from your years of experience of seeing different applicants be admitted to different schools, I have a decent chance of getting into *any* of them and whether or not I have a chance of getting into my reach schools). Are there any schools with a good Cosmology department that you'd recommend I add to my list? Thank you so much for your time and feedback!

Harvard University (Neutrino Physics, Physicis Ph.D)
Stanford University (Cosmology/Neutrino Physics, Physics Ph.D)
UC Berkley (Cosmology, Astronomy Ph.D)
The University of Chicago (Cosmology, Astronomy Ph.D)
Cornell University (Cosmology, Astronomy Ph.D)
UCLA (Neutrino Physics, one professor in specific uses Cosmology tools to study neutrinos; will mention wanting to work with him in SoP, Physics Ph.D)
CMU (Cosmology, Astronomy Ph.D)
Univ of Michigan, Ann Arbor (Cosmology, Astronomy Ph.D)
Univ of Hawaii (Cosmology, Astronomy Ph.D)
Ohio State University (Cosmology, Astronomy Ph.D)
UC, Irvine (Cosmology, Physics Ph.D)
UCSD (Cosmology, Physics Ph.D)
UCSC (Cosmology, Astronomy Ph.D)
Rice Univ (Cosmology/Neutrino Physics, Physics Ph.D)

P.S. I know the qualifications I mentioned is in contrast to the one given in my last post (with the change being that I've added a couple more publications and another paper with my as a corresponding author). This is because I only found out recently that the work I did over the summer is actually being turned into a paper and that my Astronomy group decided to split the work into two papers
 
Last edited:

Answers and Replies

PeroK
Science Advisor
Homework Helper
Insights Author
Gold Member
2018 Award
10,660
4,074
:bow:
 
1,550
560
I am an old fuddy-duddy.
In the middle of your post I see:
... wanna make sure ...
If I read this in any application I would "wanna" throw the entire thing in the trash.
I am an old fuddy-duddy.
You have what sounds like a very impressive resume. Don't screw it up by using text-speak.
 
287
25
I am an old fuddy-duddy.
In the middle of your post I see:

If I read this in any application I would "wanna" throw the entire thing in the trash.
I am an old fuddy-duddy.
You have what sounds like a very impressive resume. Don't screw it up by using text-speak.
Haha! Obviously I make sure to not use text-speak in any part of the application
 
287
25
I am an old fuddy-duddy.
In the middle of your post I see:

If I read this in any application I would "wanna" throw the entire thing in the trash.
I am an old fuddy-duddy.
You have what sounds like a very impressive resume. Don't screw it up by using text-speak.
Can y'all please answer my original question, though?
 
Vanadium 50
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Education Advisor
23,453
5,881
I think you should add some lower-ranked schools to the mix.
 
287
25
I think you should add some lower-ranked schools to the mix.
I think so too! Which ones would you recommend? I couldn't really find one with substantial Observational Cosmology happening in them
 
Vanadium 50
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Education Advisor
23,453
5,881
You should start by looking at the author lists of papers you are reading.
 
DEvens
Education Advisor
Gold Member
1,106
354
You should start by looking at the author lists of papers you are reading.
If the authors list of your current reading list does not get you any good leads, cruise over to arxiv.org and look around. Especially, see who your favorite authors have collaborated with. See where they come from.

If your all-time-favorite author is not possible as a PhD supervisor (maybe he already has 12 grad students and you don't feel like being lucky number 13) then maybe he has collaborated with somebody cool. Maybe *she* has room on her roster for somebody just like you. And maybe you'd be just as happy in that part of the country.

I really wish arxiv.org had existed when I started looking for grad schools. But that was in 1980, and the internet was not all that extensive then. o0)
 

Related Threads for: Comments on my Physics grad school list?

Replies
19
Views
6K
Replies
7
Views
6K
Replies
3
Views
612
Replies
13
Views
2K
Replies
4
Views
2K
  • Last Post
Replies
2
Views
291
Replies
6
Views
6K
Top