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Graduate Programs

  1. May 19, 2007 #1
    I am currently entering my senior year at Western Kentucky Univeristy. I am a physics and math major and astronomy minor. My current GPA is a 3.86. One the general GRE my analytical score was a 740 , Verbal only a 410, and my Analytical Writing was a 4.5. On the Physics GRE I only scored a 540 scoring in the 18th percentile. I however didnt study like I should and plan at taking the test again. While at school I participated in a REU at clemson university last summer in computational astrophysics and am doing another this summer at Eastern Tennesse State Univeristy in theoretical astrophysics (dealing with scattering of polarized electrons). Mostly throught my undergraduate career I have programmed alogrithms for the detections of extrasolar planets. Next semester I will be working for a professor in theoretical gravitation, which is what I hope to do in gradschool.

    Here are a list of physics graduate programs with gravatation/relativity research that I figured I might be able to get into. If you believe any others I need to add let me know Here are where I plan to apply so far

    Top 6

    1.University of Milwakuee Winsconsin

    2. Pennsylvania State U.,

    3. North Carolina, U. of, Chapel Hill

    4.Wake Forest

    5. Minnesota, U. of, Minneapolis,

    6. Syracuse

    Other places I attend to apply

    Cincinnati, U. of,

    Massachusetts, U. of, Amher

    Univeristy of Missouri Columbia

    Univesrity of Colarado

    "Safe schools." as I have been told anyway

    Florida Alantic University

    University of Mississipi

    University of Alabama Huntsville

    Do you think If I apply to all these schools that Ill get accepted at least to a couple? Do you think theyre needs to be any changes in my list. Thanks.
  2. jcsd
  3. May 20, 2007 #2
    I just graduated with a BS in Physics from Syracuse University. Judging from some of the TA's and a friend I have in the grad program who got in without taking the GRE's, the program isn't that difficult to get into, but make sure you apply for the PhD program, as there really isn't much money for those pursuing a master's degree.
  4. May 20, 2007 #3
    Oh, and if you want to follow an astrophysics path, the person you want to contact is Gianfranco Vidali. If you want a theoretical physics/cosmology focus, contact Mark Trodden.
  5. May 20, 2007 #4
    I went to Milwaukee for grad school. If you want to talk with someone about the grad school there let me know, I still have some friends who are enrolled there.

    Pros of UWM:
    -Good sized department with good funding (all grad students have support. You are typically expected to move on to an RA after 2 years of TA work).
    -Milwaukee is a great city to live in (many things to do)
    -The campus is in a part of town where you really do not need a car.
    -The Grad students are unionized and you get cheap health insurance that is excellent

    -Grad students are unionized- you have to pay the union :(
    -Lots of department politics that filter down to the grad students

    Hope that helps.
  6. May 20, 2007 #5
    Thanks guys. Well Norman University of Winsconsin Milwakuee is my number one choice. It has one of the best gravatational research programs in the country plus from their past acceptace statistics it looks like I might be able to get in if I can raise my gre scores. Theres politics everywhere so I dont worry much about that.
  7. May 20, 2007 #6
    Hey Karatechop, with a GPA like yours, I'd be very surprised if you didn't get into the graduate school of your choice. Congrats on a successful undergraduate career.

    Incidentally, I did my undergraduate degree at the University of Minnesota. They have an excellent physics program, both undergrad and grad. When I took cosmology there, I had a fellow named Dr. Marco Peloso (he's theoretical). Extremely intelligent fellow, but not the most friendly. He actually yelled at me and a grad student once because we couldn't answer a question...and we were in his office because we needed help with the homework! Dr. Shaul Hanany is the guy who does observational cosmology. Never had him, but I know someone who worked for him as an RA, and he liked the guy.

    Bring some warm clothes if you go there, because the winters get...well, uninhabitable to human life. And as far as bars go, Burrito Loco is great in terms of quality and price, but only if you can tolerate terrible customer service.

    Let me know if you decide on U of M, and I can give you a few other pieces of insider info!
  8. May 20, 2007 #7
    Thanks aruma. Its just a hard process. The research, gpa, and letters of recommendation are what I have going for me. However, its my physics gre score I worry about. I only got a 16. My general gre was pretty decent. Not great but above average. I had a professor once in my linear algebra class who was pyschotic. He was from india and he would pick his nose in the middle of class. Also during his lectures hed leave the room for 20 minutes at the time. He was crazy. Thanks
  9. May 20, 2007 #8
    I assume you mean a 16%-ile, since 16 is below the minimum possible score. To be honst, that sort of score certainly won't help, but from my experiences applying to graduate school last year, I don't think it should hurt you too much. As it was explained by my advisor, the grad school admissions process consists of three legs: your grades, your GRE, and your letters (=research experience). Your GRE isn't so hot, but the other two components seem to be superior. Based on my own personal experience, it seems that the GRE is the least important component. In other words, if you have to pick one of these three to do poorly in, the GRE is it. So I wouldn't worry.

    If it makes you feel better, I got a 3.1 (3.45 for my last two years), a 42%-ile on the GRE, and good letters, and I got into a decent physics grad program. But I'd rather have been in your situation.

    Yeah, I know what you mean. I myself am Indian, and unfortunately, we have a tendency to do these strange behaviors in public. Must be some sort of cultural ineptitude in this area. At least being born in America, I know not to pick my nose in public (not when anyone's looking, anyway). I bet your professor was from Southern India. Those guys are just plain nuts.
  10. May 25, 2007 #9
    Hi, I am in a similar situation as Karatechop. I am entering my senior year as a Physics major with the same 3.86 GPA, research experience, minors in chem/math, but I have not taken the GRE's quite yet. I have my sights set on SUNY Albany's PhD graduate program in Nanoscale, and I was wondering how hard is it to get into this or any other graduate programs in condensed matter?

    I am also curious to know if I have waited too long to take the GRE's, and when would be the best time to apply to for grad schools.
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