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Physics Graduate School

  1. Aug 8, 2006 #1
    Hello, this is my first post, but I have been reading for some time now. As my freshman year of college approaches I have had some questions about my future(mainly grad school) which I would like to seek some answers. After reading posts I realize that everyone on this forum is very intelligent and you most likely can provide me with an answer. Heres what I was wondering (sorry if youve answered this question a million times): what is the degree of difficulty of getting into graduate school, say at Yale or Princeton( yeah im thinking way ahead in the future). I will be majoring in physics at Duqusene University and was wondering what these schools look for while accepting students into their graduate program. Obviously a high GPA is required and other groups or organizations look good also(I run cross counrty and Track). I want to make sure when its time to apply for graduate school my transcript will look appealing to these big name schools. Any insight you may have on this topic is greatly appreciated.
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 8, 2006 #2


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    Staff: Mentor

    Do you know yet what areas of Physics interest you the most? It might be too early to be able to answer that, though. Do you know what areas of research the grad schools specialize in at Yale and Princeton? I think that would tend to drive what schools you would want to apply to for grad school in Physics -- you'd want to go to one that had cutting edge research going on in your specialty, I would think. (But then, I'm just an EE, so I could easily be wrong.)
  4. Aug 9, 2006 #3
    Hi Kyle, I just went through the grad application process last year and might be able to help. Physics grad programs only care about you as a physicist. The grad application process is very different than what you went through to go to get to your undergrad institution--nobody cares how "well rounded" you are, only how good of a physicist you are.

    What I noticed is that the students who consistently got into the most competitive graduate programs were those who spent a lot of time doing undergraduate research. Summer research programs, senior/honors theses, research assistantships show that you understand how research works. If you can publish a paper or two, all the better. You might want to look at a grad school application to give you an idea of what's important.
  5. Aug 9, 2006 #4
    Thank you for this information Fliptomato. It is greatly appreciated.
  6. Aug 10, 2006 #5

    No you're not wrong.

    Don't obsess over name brand that a school has- it doesn't matter. You should look at grad schools based on what research is being conducted at the department. The research is what matters because the research is what will make (or break) your future career.
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