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Grad School Applicants

  1. Sep 8, 2006 #1
    I am a senior physics major and am looking at grad school. I was wondering if some of you could share your experience in getting into different 'tier' grad schools.

    In my understanding, there are 4 things that grad schools could look at, given here in no particular order:
    1. GRE scores
    2. GPA / university coursework
    3. Recommendation letters
    4. Publications, presentations, summer/ thesis research, etc.

    Have any of you found that different schools look at different things?
    (e.g. U of ___ doesn't care about GRE very much, You probably need 2 publications to get into U of ___, top tiered schools require 2 excellent letters of recommendation, etc.)

    I'm sure it varies by university, but have any of you found that different tiered universities look at applicants differently?
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 8, 2006 #2
    Hi Son of Ole,

    I'm not sure if this is really a fair question. For any physics department, the grad admissions committee is just one of many departmental committees that faculty take turns sitting on. Each admissions committee, I imagine, looks at all of the data provided to it, but depending on the individual professors on the comittees the criteria may change from year to year. Further, many departments form sub-committees within different sub-fields such as particle physics, condensed matter, etc.

    I can think of a few individual cases where I overheard a professor say that as long as one's physics GRE scores don't show a significant lack of understanding, he wouldn't factor it into his decision. But I suggest not dwelling too much on this since your goal is to present the best overall application that you can.
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