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Admissions Grad school application advice

  1. Nov 4, 2016 #1
    My questions are regarding admissions at top universities in Europe. Many of them are of a rather general nature, I hope that is okay.

    I am from Austria (EU) and I currently studying for a BSc in Physics from the University of Vienna. I will graduate in July 2017 after three years of full time study and will be awarded a BSc which complies with the Bologna system. I have taken courses in classical mechanics, quantum mechanics, special relativity, electrodynamics, all on a theoretical level.

    I am now thinking about applying to MSc programmes in Theoretical Physics at several universities in the UK but also in Germany and Switzerland. My ideas are: UK: Oxford, Cambridge, Imperial College, UCL, University of Edinburgh, University of Glasgow, Durham University, King's College London; Germany: Ludwig-Maximillians-Universität München, Universität Heidelberg; Switzerland: ETH Zürich.

    I have yet to decide which universities I definitely want to apply to, but I hope the above list gives the general idea.

    My questions all deal with the general theme: Can I even hope to get into any of these programmes with a BSc from the University of Vienna? Or would I have to graduated from a top school in order to even be considered?

    My grade average (Austrian system) will be around 1.5-1.7, I was told by several sources from the UK that this would correspond either to a UK 1st or strong UK 2:1 - does anyone know if that is true? Would that be a competitive grade average when it comes to admissions or do you have to have a very strong UK 1st to get into the above schools?

    Another question I have is about recommendation letters - how important are they and how can I get good ones? My problem is that at my university, students don't really have that much facetime with professors during undergraduate studies.

    Finally, I would like to know what makes a good statement of purpose - how long should it be? Should I stick to brief academic facts or should I tell my life story?

    I know that those are a lot of general questions - I would definitely appreciate if you could give me some general advice on the odds of getting into the universities I mentioned above and what makes a good application.

    Thanks a lot!
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 6, 2016 #2
    a 2,1 (60 to 69 percent) corresponds to a three RAW in the german austrian system (where 4 is just pass, and 1 is the highest).

    A score of 1.7 in the german-austrain system is an 85 RAW percent IN THE British system. but also german unis use this classification:

    1-1.5 "Sehr gut". - first class in the britsh system

    1.5 to 2.5 "Gut". 2.1 in the British system. So, a final score in the range of Gut, corresponds to a 2.1 in the british system.

    2.5-3.5 "Befrigund" - 2.2 British

    3.5-4 - satisfactory. third class british


    Last edited by a moderator: May 8, 2017
  4. Nov 6, 2016 #3
    Thank you for your reply! It seems that I will graduate with the equivalent of a 2:1 degree - now my follow-up question would be: is it realistic to be accepted with a 2:1 or is a 1st a de facto requirement to get into the programmes mentioned above?
  5. Nov 6, 2016 #4
    No idea, but a 1.5-1.7 is a really good score so I am sure you would get into most universities in the world for masters. Check the university webpages, they usually state a 2.1 is enough for admission in the Uk. many take 2.2 in a hard discipline such as physics. I am not a physics student or anyone affiliated with uni admissions. OP american GPA is 3.4.

    Also you will never know if you dont apply.
    Check the university webpages :)
    http://[PLAIN]http//i.imgur.com/Izx7tmi.png [Broken]


    Since imperial is a highly selective institute, I am sure you will get into all save one or two of the universities listed.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 8, 2017
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