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Admissions What Graduate Programs Should I Apply to?

  1. Nov 27, 2016 #1
    Hi all,

    I am looking for advice on what physics graduate programs to apply to. My original list was:

    University of Maryland - College Park
    Harvard University
    Columbia University
    Caltech
    Pennsylvania State
    University of Illinois - Urbana-Champaign
    Colorado University - Boulder
    UC-Barbara
    niversity of Texas - Austin
    University of Wisconsin - Madison
    Ohio State University
    University of Minnesota - Twin Cities
    Note: I aware this is a large number of schools, but am really serious about getting in somewhere.

    My PGRE score has just arrived: 730 :( . Much lower than expected. I need to revise the above list but wonder what are some decent safety schools and "reach" schools given a 730 PGRE. I would like to apply to roughly 4 reach, 5 safety, 3 backup.
    Some other details: my GPA is 3.8/4.0, and I have done research during 1 summer REU and 1 summer at my school. I want to go into Condensed Matter or AMO.
    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 27, 2016 #2
    I think it wouldn't hurt to add some more lower-tier schools to that list, especially given that you have I would say below-average research experience. If you want to see where people of a similar caliber apply, maybe check out the Physicsgre.com applicant profiles (http://www.physicsgre.com/viewtopic.php?t=6128).
     
  4. Nov 27, 2016 #3
    jilliwilli,
    I agree that you should add some more lower-tier schools. The link that Dishsoap provided is a great resource. Also if you have the time, you may find this thread helpful: http://www.physicsgre.com/viewtopic.php?t=3669, which summarizes acceptances by PGRE score. This will you a rough idea of PRGE ranges for top-tier, mid-tier and low-tier programs. Cheers!
     
  5. Nov 27, 2016 #4

    radium

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    I think Rutgers would be a good school to add.
     
  6. Nov 28, 2016 #5
    A lot will depend on the reputation of your undergrad school, letters of recommendation, publications, and physics coursework.

    Faculty at your school, especially those writing your recommendation letters, are the best qualified to give you advice, because they understand the reputation of your school in this context, and they know a lot more about what is in those recommendation letters.

    Undergrad research that leads to publications tends to be much more impressive than research that does not.

    I went from LSU undergrad to MIT grad based on paper qualifications not much stronger than your original post (70th ish percentile on PGRE). But I was the "golden boy" of the Physics Dept - the best undergrad they'd seen in 5-10 years, and several faculty worked hard to pave the way for me - multiple publications, great rec letters, etc. I got full ride offers to MIT, Stanford, and Princeton. You need to find out what your faculty are willing to do for you.

    They told me not to worry about the PGRE score, to shoot for the stars.
     
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