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Grad Schools 2006-2007

  1. Feb 14, 2006 #1
    Has anyone heard back from grad schools yet? And does anyone know how UW-Madison stacks up with other schools in particle physics?
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 17, 2006 #2

    I've heard back from a few. Acceptances so far. I'm rather surprised by that - I was expecting nothing till March.

    However, nothing from the "name" schools yet. Nerve-wracking, isn't it?

    No idea about Madison for particle physics.
  4. Feb 17, 2006 #3


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    Let's put it this way. UW-Madison is part of the consortium that runs Fermilab for the DOE. So yes, it has a VERY good particle physics/high energy physics program. They even built some of the detectors used there.

  5. Feb 17, 2006 #4
    Well, a friend of mine got rejected from Stanford. But nope, no other schools.
  6. Feb 20, 2006 #5
    Yeah I didn't get into Stanford either. They were kind enough to reject me on Valentine's day...Still waiting to hear back from Cornell though...
  7. Feb 20, 2006 #6
    My professor who got his Ph.D from Stanford and taught at MIT for a few years told me the in and outs of getting into grad school at places like MIT, Stanford, etc. He pretty much told me that successful applicants have a ~4.0 GPA. This was for engineering though. Not sure about physics.
  8. Feb 24, 2006 #7
    Looks like I'm not going to MIT or Stanford for grad school then.
  9. Feb 25, 2006 #8
    My friend who got rejected I think has about 3.8 or 3.9 GPA on your scale, had a score of 940 on GRE subject and had some research at CERN (3 months during the summer i think), but didn't have anything published. And also I think that he didn't have recommendation from anyone close to Stanford, so that might actually be the main reason. As already mentioned before (in older topics) it seems that a recommendation letter from someone close to that University is the best thing you can do to increase your chances.

    I'm talking about physics.

    Also, this friend told me about site http://thegradcafe.com/survey/index.php, as you can check here if particular school started to send results.
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2006
  10. Feb 25, 2006 #9
    What about a student with a 3.4 GPA, one summer of research, a good senior project, and a dual degree in electrical engineering and applied physics? Would they have a fighting chance at getting into the semiconductor physics program (or maybe photonics) at a big name university? At this point, I won't be able to get any stellar letters of recommendations, and I have no idea what my GRE scores will be.

    In fact, I still have 2 years to go yet, but this is where I hope to be at when it comes time to apply to graduate schools....My GPA might end up being a 3.1 or something, with no research experience, ya never know.
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2006
  11. Feb 25, 2006 #10
    I'm curious what the effect of having published papers as an undergrad would be.
  12. Feb 25, 2006 #11
    From what I hear, to get into "big name" university you need to have perfect (or almost perfect) recommendations, GRE scores, GPA and a significant research. Considering how much people applies to these schools, it's not really a surprise.

    Well it would probably increase the chance of being accepted. It would also show that a person has very probably done some research and what exactly. In other words, it would be something to show up ( I guess).
  13. Feb 25, 2006 #12
    When I say "big name", I don't necessarily mean cal tech, MIT, stanford, etc. I mean schools like UM - ann arbor, UIUC, etc.
  14. Feb 25, 2006 #13

    Obviously it would be a positive, what I meant is what kind of weight would it be given. I know its fairly common to REUs as an undergrad (and pretty much a requirement if one wants to get in to a upper end grad school) but those don't usually result in a peer reviewed publication for the students involved, which to my knowledge is a fairly rare achievement.
  15. Feb 26, 2006 #14
    I'm not sure. But most people I contacted so far, who are in grad school, told me it would be a big plus to have your research work published.

    As for UIUC, my friend got rejected, she had around 800 physics GRE, I think around 3.8 GPA and a little research (as far as I know). But if you're not international student (like her) you might have better chance...
  16. Feb 28, 2006 #15
    Yes international students seem to need much higher test scores for some reason. As for published research at the undergraduate level, my small experience so far has been that a publication will significantly boost your chances of acceptance at some of the big name schools. It may even make up for a less than stellar GPA or physics GRE score. That's not to say it's the end all and be all, I know a few international students who have done a couple years of research but not produced any publications and have been accepted to several "top ten" physics programs.
  17. Mar 1, 2006 #16
    Well international students are obviously not priority for universities which are funded by goverment. I mean it makes sense since these ARE american universities. I don't think its different in any other country.

    Btw, my other friend got rejected from Princeton. :( He had 4.9/5.0 GPA, 970 physics GRE (2 percentile or something like that), summer research at CERN (and wrote a diploma thesis with someone there). I don't know if his advisor at CERN was familiar to people at Princeton. But he had nothing published, though. On the bright side, he did get admitted to Wisconsin-Madison.
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