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Grad school acceptances

  1. Mar 4, 2007 #1


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    Hey, so I know there are a few seniors here (I think AKG and quasar at least). Who's going to grad school next year? Where have you gotten accepted, and where do you plan on going? What are you going to study?

    I'm going to Caltech to study theoretical physics (it's strange that I haven't posted here about physics in years, though I think I might start again soon). I was pretty suprised I got accepted there. I got rejected from MIT, columbia, and princeton (though I would only have considered princeton over caltech). I can't wait to start. By the way, what do you typically do in the summer before you start grad school?
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2007
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 4, 2007 #2
    If you don't mind me asking, what did your GPA, GRE physics (in terms of percentiles), research, and letters of rec look like?
  4. Mar 4, 2007 #3
    I don't want to sound like a braggart, but I was accepted into the EE departments of UIUC, MIT, and Stanford. (In other words, everywhere I applied.) :biggrin:
  5. Mar 4, 2007 #4


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    I'm not a senior yet, but i would also like to know what leright has asked for.
  6. Mar 4, 2007 #5


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    Nice Manchot. Where do you plan on going?

    I went to cornell, which is on a 4.3 GPA system (ie, A+'s are 4.3, A's are 4.0), and my total GPA was just over 4. I think I was in the 94th percentile for the GRE. And I never saw the letters of recommendation, so I don't know what to tell you there.
  7. Mar 4, 2007 #6


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    I'm going to Berkeley next year for a PhD in math. I'm currently finishing my last undergrad year at the University of Toronto. Here's the list of places I applied:

    1. Berkeley (+)
    2. MIT (-)
    3. Princeton (-)
    4. Stanford (-)
    5. Harvard (-)
    6. Chicago (+)
    7. CalTech (-)
    8. Yale
    9. Michigan (+)
    10. NYU (-)
    11. Columbia
    12. Toronto (+)

    (+) means I've been accepted, (-) means I was rejected. A blank means I haven't heard back yet.

    My overall GPA was 3.92, my GPA in math courses was 3.93 (working with what I assume is a standard 4.0-scale). My GRE General scores were: Quantitative 800 (94th %-ile), Verbal 700 (97th %-ile), Analytic Writing 5.0 (71st %-ile). My GRE subject test (Math Rescaled) score was 860 (96th %-ile). My research experience consisted of two summers holding NSERC USRAs which you can find out about here. You basically meet with a supervisor (normally some professor from your department) regularly over the summer as you study and work through problems on some topic you and your superivsor agree on prior to the summer. My first summer project was on elementary group theory and symmetry, the second was on applying combinatorial methods (e.g. Young diagrams) to computing representations of the symmetric and unitary groups. You're not supposed to see your recommendation letters.

    This summer, before grad school, I will hold a third NSERC USRA. The project will be related to set theory, in particular it has to do with ordinal numbers and something I believe my supervisor referred to as "walks".
  8. Mar 4, 2007 #7
    Woah, I see I'm in the presence of students whose academic excellence I should probably shoot for when I go to grad school (IOW you guys are all better than me). Would that I could have the honor of even being rejected by MIT!

    Anyway, of the 7 physics grad schools I applied to, I've been accepted at the University of Minnesota-Duluth, and Iowa State University. Haven't yet heard back from the others. My physics GPA for my second two years was 3.3. My physics GRE score was 620. My general GRE scores were 530 (verbal), 740 (math), and 4.5 (writing).

    Unfortunately I can't tell you about my letters of recommendation, because I don't think I'm allowed to see them. But come to think of it, one of my professors said that he'd show me the letter, so maybe I'll take him up on the offer just for fun.
  9. Mar 4, 2007 #8
    Any research?
  10. Mar 4, 2007 #9


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    Yea. I did a summer REU (research experience for undergraduates) on fiber optics that I'm still working on, and I did some work on astrophysics with another professor. Thoses were two of the recommendations, and the other was from a professor whose (QM) class I took as a sophomore and then graded for the following two years.
  11. Mar 4, 2007 #10
    Following AKG's format:

    Georgia Tech (+)
    Purdue (+)
    University of Minnesota (+)
    Penn State (+)
    Virginia Tech (+)
    University of Florida (+)
    North Carolina State

    If I get rejected from the top 3 schools on that list, I'll probably end up going to GA Tech for a MS in Mechanical Engineering in the fall. I applied to too many safety schools...if I had to do applying over again I'd probably apply only to the first 5-6 schools on that list.
  12. Mar 4, 2007 #11
    I did my undergrad at the University of Minnesota. It gets frigid in the winter, but otherwise they've got a great campus!
  13. Mar 4, 2007 #12
    I just got back home from their campus visit today...it was pretty nice and the department treated us very well :smile:.
  14. Mar 4, 2007 #13
    I don't know yet. I just visited MIT this past weekend, and I talked with a bunch of potential research advisors there. It was pretty nice. I don't really need to visit Illinois (since I'm here right now), and I know that if I stayed here, I'll stay with the same professor that I've done my undergrad research with. I haven't ever been to Stanford, and so I'll be visiting it in a couple of weeks. Unfortunately, Stanford's visiting day only allows me to meet with one professor (as opposed to MIT, at which I met with seven).

    The only thing that I can say for sure is that I'm inclined to not go to UIUC. There are a few reasons. First of all, I think I'm ready for a change. I've only lived in C-U for two and a half years, and I don't think that I'd be able to stand five more. Secondly, I'm not going to lie: the "brand name" of MIT and Stanford are a small factor. Also, Stanford has offered me a fellowship with a stipend twice that of Illinois' departmental fellowship. (MIT hasn't made financial offers yet.) Finally, there's the geographical factor: Stanford may not be in a major urban area, but it has the sunny Californian weather. MIT doesn't have the greatest weather, but at least it's right next to Boston. UIUC, on the other hand, has all the bad weather of Boston without a single nearby urban area. (In case you're wondering why I didn't mention less superficial factors like the research that they do, it's because they all have research that I'd want to do.)

    Just out of curiosity, Physics_wiz and AKG, how did you find the time and money to apply to all those schools? I thought it was stressful enough applying to three, and if I had applied to twelve, the application fees would've bankrupted me.
  15. Mar 4, 2007 #14


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    Congratulations to everyone of you! This is such an exciting time; I'm happy and excited for you all!

    My son doesn't believe in sharing this kind of information, but I'm so proud of him that I'll share his list without including any interests or identifying information:

    CU Boulder (+)
    Berkeley (+)
    Cornell (+)
    UCSD (+)
    Harvard (+)
  16. Mar 4, 2007 #15
    Great job to everyone, well deserved for your effort!
  17. Mar 4, 2007 #16


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    That probably has a lot to do with the cost of living in the San Francisco Bay area, versus Champaign-Urbana or indeed almost anywhere else. My brother used to live in Daly City, which is just south of the SF city limits. When he retired a few years ago, he and his wife moved back to Tucson, where they had lived in the late 1970s and early 1980s. I think they had to move out of the house that they had rented for several years because their landlord had sold it to someone else who wanted to live there, and they couldn't find anything else that was affordable.

    Before he retired, he last job was with the city of Palo Alto (home of Stanford University), in their GIS department, so he reverse-commuted down the Peninsula. I'm sure that if they had been able to find something affordable in PA while he was working there, they would have moved there.
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2007
  18. Mar 4, 2007 #17


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    Wow!, Congrats to you all!

    i haven't started applying yet for Grad, i am just about to take the GRE and the TOEFL (foreigner here) from March to April this year. I've a couple of Universities (GATech, PennState, ...) in mind for my graduate studies.
  19. Mar 5, 2007 #18
    Hey Manchot! How did you like the program at UIUC? I'm currently a student in cu also, and am thinking of switching my major to physics, so if you have any suggestions or opinions on the classes, professors, level of difficulty, etc, I would appreciate your help.

    I can definitely understand you not wanting to stick around for more school here...I have lived here my whole life, and would like to leave as soon as I can (but will take advantage of tuition and good school here for a couple more years). I really think you should head out to the coast (either one) for grad school just to experience a different place. The level of education at any of these places will be terrific, but the experience of checking out another school and location is well worth the money, plus the prestige factor of the stanford or MIT degree. At least that's what I would do, but I've still got a couple of years (or more if I switch to physics) to go.
  20. Mar 5, 2007 #19
    So far I've gotten back:

    Carnegie Mellon
    Johns Hopkins

    I did a lot worse than I thought I would on the subject GRE (to the point where I think I misbubbled somewhere since I did a lot worse than I did on the harder practice tests). I just don't know if I want to go to any of those schools (the rest I'm waiting on are not as good, so I doubt I'll consider them), I'm thinking of deferring a year and retaking the GREs so I can go somewhere decent :frown:
  21. Mar 5, 2007 #20
    I have heard from Rutgers
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