1. Limited time only! Sign up for a free 30min personal tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

What are my chances?

  1. Oct 2, 2007 #1

    I'm freaking out about whether I'm being realistic in my choices of graduate schools.

    Here are my qualifications:

    CGPA: 3.82
    Major GPA: 3.78

    I started at Portland Community College, transfered to UMass Amherst, and then to Portland State University for my last two years.

    My three letters of recommendation are all from professors I have worked with closely. I go running regularly with one of them, have house-sat and worked in the lab of another, and the third has had me in two upper level classes in which I did very well.

    I have a year experience with a physics education research group, worked for a Summer in an atmospheric physics lab, and have done computational work (programming) for one of the theorists in our department.

    I'm taking the GRE (Gen. and Subject) this November and can't imagine getting lower than a 650 on the subject. I know myself pretty well and from the practice exams I've been using can confidently say I'll end up in the 700-750 range.

    My ultimate goal is to become a professor at a NON research college/university. I'm interested in teaching and will, I'm assuming, end up at a liberal arts college.

    I'm definitely after a theoretical program. I'm not sure which area yet.

    I won't be doing a senior thesis and have not been on any papers. I will graduate with my B.S. in Physics with a minor in Mathematics.

    So, there is all that. Here are the schools I'm planning on applying to:

    U of Chicago
    Boston University
    College of William and Mary
    UC Santa Cruz
    UC Santa Barbara
    U of Oregon (my safe school)

    Am I being realistic? How would you access my chances?

    Thank you all in advance!

  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 2, 2007 #2
    Try to narrow down some prospective supervisors at each school and find out if they are taking students.
  4. Oct 2, 2007 #3
    Thank you for the advice, but my question is more about whether these schools are beyond my reach; I'm concerned about my eligibility.

    I've researched these programs thoroughly and have contacted professors at all of them. I chose them because they all have multiple people I would like to work with and they're all located in areas I would like to live.

    Thanks, though!
  5. Oct 2, 2007 #4
    I know one of the graduating seniors from my school last year had roughly the same qualifications as you and he ended up going to BU.
  6. Oct 2, 2007 #5
    High GPA, good letters of recommendation, research experience, solid career goals, and you also seem to be setting it up so you have a high multiplicity of possible successful outcomes. I wouldn't worry too much.
  7. Oct 3, 2007 #6
    Thank you, everyone.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook