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How are the 2019 applications coming

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2 hours ago, Pangolin said:

Hey! I heard back from UMich EES a while ago; the admissions committee has already greenlit a group of applicants for official admits. From that point onwards it seems to be up to individual PIs to select the students they want to admit. A lot of them (although not the one I’ve been in touch with) will only make formal offers after they’ve invited students to visit, so maybe there’s an email or phone call on its way to you in the near future! A friend of mine who also applied to this program is visiting in mid-March and will only know if she’s been accepted/rejected after that.

Hey Pangolin, thanks for the info! Just want to be clear, has the admission committee sent out official offers yet or they need to wait for PIs to confirm?

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1 hour ago, Camillalxy said:

Hey Pangolin, thanks for the info! Just want to be clear, has the admission committee sent out official offers yet or they need to wait for PIs to confirm?

No official offers that I know of. Hope that helps, fingers crossed for you!

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On 2/7/2019 at 7:38 AM, Unconsolidated_Regolith said:

Hey @OcelotTracks Have you heard anything back from Central Washington?  Their deadline was only a week ago, but i'm super anxious to hear back!

I have heard nothing from any of these schools, other than an interview with a prof that I contacted from Boise State. Late-February to end of March is what I've heard from my current adviser who knows about these programs (they're all regional to me), but you can check in your myCWU portal if you want.

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On 2/6/2019 at 11:33 AM, chasebf said:

To Rockwizard (sorry unsure how to tag people here, or if that's a thing).  Allow me via the anonymity of the internet to have a frank conversation with you.

You're background in research is stellar.  GPA is a bit low, but nothing bad and as long as it wasn't showing a downward trend in your junior-senior year will be washed out by your research easily. 

That said CU and Harvard (probably Arizona) will look for a few type of candidates coming form a pure undergrad background, these are generalizations but you'll get the point:

Candidate A:  High GPA, High GRE - these are your 'that guy/girl' valedictorian students.  What filters these people out is how much they bank on their high scores to get in.  If they're just in it thinking this is high school and good grades get you everywhere they're likely to be rejected.  They will need a good research focus to be let in, even with top marks. Some risk with these students, top marks doesn't mean good researcher. 

Candidate B: High GPA, High GRE (probably less so than Canid A, but still high), and research experience - these are you admits everywhere. Proven proficient students and proven proficient researchers. The total package.  Almost no risk in them failing.

Candidate C Okay GRE, Okay GPA, and research experience - these are admitted some places, rejected others.  Entirely based on the discretion of the POI and admin council.  Usually what gets these people in is research experience or a SOP that's focused towards a particular avenue of research at that school indicating they'd be a good fit. For example: this candidate might like seismic geophysics and have some background in it.  In their SOP they indicate the seismic geophysics people at that school and discuss briefly how they'd really like to be involved in their work. 

 You're a candidate C, or you could be as your GRE is an issue.  151 on quant is ~43rd percentile or so.  CU and Harvard will see candidates with stellar GREs and GPAs applying,  and almost all will filter out anything below a 50th, and most schools will filter out anything below a 70th (even though they say they wont).  Now this isn't to say you need a 95th+ on everything to beat out all of those 70th percentile cutoff people, you don't, research is far more important than GPA and GRE and you've demonstrated you're proficient in that.  WHAT YOUR GRE IS HOWEVER is this analogy:

You've built a really solid ship, great potential, this thing could sail the oceans for decades, and it's got all the amenities I'm looking for, nice cabin, a pool, open bar ------ this is your research experiences and background

But prior to launching this ship you decided to torpedo the side of it ------ this is your quantitative GRE. 

Now that ship could still float, heck it could make it across the oceans forever.  But if I'm left with the options between that torpedo-ship or another ship that doesn't have a torpedo hole, I'm going to go with the non-torpedo ship.

Get the quant up, it's dragging you down. Consider doing research for a year while you stage for 2020 applications. 

Let me stress this to you:

YOU HAVE A HARVARD, MIT, COLUMBIA, name a fancy school and it fits, application package in the making. But you've shot yourself with that GRE. 

Your PhD is merely delay, not on hold, and it's only delayed a year.  Spend the hundreds of dollars again to retake the GRE, it's trivial compared to how much you've invested in your education already. 

That said I hope you get into Harvard and this conversation is moot. 

Regarding the Quant Section of the GRE, I believe most of the mathematical concepts that require mastery in order to obtain higher scores become pretty useless to the vast majority of programs once you hit the 50th percentile. I also think that this section favors "traditional" students over those who have taken time off to research, travel, work, etc. since they will have most of these mathematical concepts fresh in their minds (thus, a bit of ageism might be at play). My thinking is that this portion of the test is really more of a test of a student's level of discipline, since a PhD program's curriculum will likely cover most of the statistical methodology that would be considered of value to the research program, and many young researchers will already have exposure to this through publication experience and undergraduate coursework. It's a bit strange to me that the GRE Quant section does not cover any statistical concepts, as I would think these would encompass the most wide ranging applicability (if you truly wanted to accomplish the impossible and apply a "one-size-fits-all" test to every graduate academic program). I'm not sure if theoretical scientists would feel singled out by this since I am not quite familiar with their lack of experimental design, but who cares about them since they are a bunch of weirdos who tend to transcend the status quo anyways.

Concerning the Verbal and Writing portions of the test, research academia does not really require eloquent writing abilities in order to publish significant findings (unless you're writing a review article, maybe?) and some could even say that verbal ability as a factor in publication potential encourages ethnocentric bias in a multicultural academic environment. However, realistically speaking I would probably want one of my students to be able to construct a solid argument without me having to revise their work extensively (although I might also consider this the "fun part" of the publication process since I actually enjoy writing). Again, I might say a good cut-off here is at about the 50th percentile.

I definitely think the GRE can currently help sort out the "numbnuts" factor in a potential PhD candidate, but it's also a bit like asking someone to practice quilting in preparation for a martial arts tournament. In my opinion it is utterly boring and very likely useless. To be fair, I suppose a high score does demonstrate a level of commitment and discipline. However, the reason I am attempting to enter this field is because of my fascination with the subject matter and I would rather spend my free time (which is pretty scarce) on research projects instead of jumping through hoops. Academia probably needs to evolve at some point and adapt different tests that focus on each specific field that fuse quantitative, verbal, and subject-specific based content in a way that is appropriate to every program. That argument might essentially consist of trying to convince ETS to make less money.

Anyhow, if you have been screened by a program because of the GRE (and are stubborn about not re-taking it), maybe you should instead focus on writing an incredible grant/fellowship proposal to excel in a different program or bring it back to the table during the next application cycle. The "brand name" of a school can only go so far, and at some point you will have to realize that the ability to coalesce your expertise, interests, and initiative into significant scientific discovery is far more valuable than just hopping aboard the reputation train of someone else's program. If you manage to excel in this, you can probably wind up directing your own research in a faculty position at one of the institutions that screened you for some stupid test with subject matter that possesses little relevance to your career path. Maybe you'll even help form a prominent new research institute :).

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who got the UCSB admit? I only got invited out, never actually accepted. Curious to know why there's also only the 1 ASU result so far. Would love either poster to PM me!

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COPYING from publicly available GradCafe post (a Standford Applied Physics PhD Admit for Fall 2019): 

"Yay! Didn't expected but has a strong letter of recommendation and a good GPA. No publication. Really low GRE(haven't seen the one who accepted with such low GRE scores). No interview."

 

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Does anybody have advice for a formal phone interview?  I have one coming up and don't wan't to be unprepared!  All of the conversations I've had with professors thus far have been relatively casual but from the tone of this email I think it might be a bit more rigorous. 

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On 2/5/2019 at 5:14 PM, goosejuice said:

 

On mobile so can't seem to get rid of the quote box. 

 

Anyway, I did mine in front a laptop so I felt comfortable looking up something if I needed. More importantly, it let me have a doc of bullet points that I wanted to be sure I touched on, out included in my app so I could make sure I heard close to the story I had projected in my statement so I would sound more coherent and be reminded of how to show my interests and how everything I've done, whether intentional or not, helped me get to the point I'm at. Include also any details you don't want to forget like thesis results if you think that would come up. Lmk if you need more advice, I don't want to prattle. Good luck!

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Does anyone know anything about the UCLA department Atmospheric and Ocean Science? Not necessarily about admission, but I have heard that the program may be kind of confusing, and lots of students end up dropping out of the PhD program. Have you guys heard much about that?

 

Also, does anyone know if Boulder or UCLA is a better department in general? I know that's an incredibly loaded question and not even answerable in the first place but maybe someone can offer any insight. I dont have any specific person to work with yet at boulder so that feels kinda weird

 

Thanks, guys!

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12 hours ago, Unconsolidated_Regolith said:

Does anybody have advice for a formal phone interview?  I have one coming up and don't wan't to be unprepared!  All of the conversations I've had with professors thus far have been relatively casual but from the tone of this email I think it might be a bit more rigorous. 

Definitely be able to coherently explain why you want to get a PhD. I managed to fail at that one, somehow.

Saw someone post that they got rejected from Yale two days after going to their open house. Now I'm incredibly nervous about the open house I'm going to next week.

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22 minutes ago, magnetite said:

Definitely be able to coherently explain why you want to get a PhD. I managed to fail at that one, somehow.

I agree on this. It's sometimes a question that knocks you off guard because you may think it's obvious why you're pursuing the degree, but they're really just trying to see if you're as committed as you can be to pursuing graduate school. My response to the question has generally been the typical professorship route because that is ultimately what I want to do, but if you have something that sticks out beyond that, state it confidently.

 

22 minutes ago, magnetite said:

Saw someone post that they got rejected from Yale two days after going to their open house. Now I'm incredibly nervous about the open house I'm going to next week.

I saw that too. I would consider any visit (formal or informal) as an extension of your previous interview (if you had any interviews, that is--if you didn't, treat this even more seriously). You'll have no idea if the people you meet are on the admission committee, so treat every conversation with faculty as a chance to stick out and be noticed.

Last year, I was invited to visit a program and let it get to my head a bit too much in terms of my chances of acceptance. I left the visit feeling fairly empty and unconfident, and though there are a myriad of reasons why I didn't get in, I definitely misunderstood my purpose being there. For formal visits, they tend to over-invite prospective students pretty significantly, so you're still competing. I've never been to an "open house" but I'd imagine it being somewhat similar in terms of using the opportunity to make yourself noticed.

Edit: I should mention that I'm visiting a program this weekend and taking my own advice here. Hopefully it goes well!

Edited by goosejuice

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10 hours ago, goosejuice said:

I saw that too. I would consider any visit (formal or informal) as an extension of your previous interview (if you had any interviews, that is--if you didn't, treat this even more seriously). You'll have no idea if the people you meet are on the admission committee, so treat every conversation with faculty as a chance to stick out and be noticed.

Last year, I was invited to visit a program and let it get to my head a bit too much in terms of my chances of acceptance. I left the visit feeling fairly empty and unconfident, and though there are a myriad of reasons why I didn't get in, I definitely misunderstood my purpose being there. For formal visits, they tend to over-invite prospective students pretty significantly, so you're still competing. I've never been to an "open house" but I'd imagine it being somewhat similar in terms of using the opportunity to make yourself noticed.

Edit: I should mention that I'm visiting a program this weekend and taking my own advice here. Hopefully it goes well!

Good luck with your visit!

Thanks for the insight, too. Just about everyone I've talked to says I've got a really good shot, like I'm practically accepted already. I've been trying not to listen, but it's hard. The open house I was invited to is really the department's graduate symposium. It's like a mini-conference where the grad students all present their work; it's open to alumni, undergraduates, and the general public as well, from what I can tell. No idea how many prospective students were invited, or how many spots we're all competing for. I just hope I don't run into someone else who's wanting to work with my POI.

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@magnetite I was (one of a few) rejected from Yale after their open house a couple years ago lol

I wouldn't be too nervous about other open houses, because I honestly think I was rejected for 100% the right reasons (the advisor I wanted to work with totally didn't click with me, AND I really didn't know enough to start a PhD program, luckily, I do now and am going to my dream school with my dream advisor!).

The open house was really eye opening and I met some great, interesting, and intelligent people. I hope you have the same experience (but maybe with an acceptance!) :) 

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Hi everyone - seems like Stanford made their top choices - is it still worth waiting? Also, has anyone heard from U Arizona or Colorado School of Mines?

 

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On 1/22/2019 at 2:45 PM, geoapp said:

Hi, Just wondering if anyone here has applied to Penn State or Maryland for the PhD programs? I applied on Dec 15 and 14 respectively, and haven't heard anything back yet. 

 

Undergrad Institution: Undergrad and MSc at Canadian schools (different schools)

Major(s): Undergrad - Chemistry and Earth Sciences, MSc. Earth Sciences

Minor(s): Nope

GPA in Major: A (MSc. )B+ (undergrad)

Overall GPA:

Position in Class: N/A

Type of Student: International

GRE Scores (revised/old version):

Q:157 V:156 AW:6

Research Experience:

Worked at Geological Survey of Canada

Lab assistant during my undergraduate

RA for my supervisor 

Undergrad honors research project 

MSc. is research-based

Presented preliminary MSc results at Goldschmidt

Awards/Honors/Recognitions:

Won undergrad poster day

Partial MSc. admissions scholarship

Pertinent Activities or Jobs:

Worked at the geological survey and as a lab assistant 

RA for my supervisor

Numerous volunteer outreach in science organizations planned a grad student conference.

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: N/A

Special Bonus Points: worked in multiple lab settings, attended conference, well known MSc supervisors, good work experience 

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: mixed race minority female

Applying to Where:

Penn State, Maryland 

Hey there, I am a recent undergraduate graduate from UMD. Who did you apply for? We invite the accepted students I believe in March, so if you haven't heard back by the end of February, you were most likely not a top applicant. 

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1 hour ago, Kamen said:

Hi everyone - seems like Stanford made their top choices - is it still worth waiting? Also, has anyone heard from U Arizona or Colorado School of Mines?

 

I don't know about Stanford or Colorado School of Mines, but U Arizona sent out invitations to their interview weekend at the end of January

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2 hours ago, Kamen said:

Hi everyone - seems like Stanford made their top choices - is it still worth waiting? Also, has anyone heard from U Arizona or Colorado School of Mines?

I can confirm the Arizona sending out visit requests in late Jan.  Unsure if this means that this represents the acceptance pool or if this is just a few select people they decided to send out.

For others:

WHOI has finished their work.  You might get a waitlist, but more than likely if you haven't heard you'll likely get a rejection here soon.

Stanford decided a while ago.  They move QUICK

Unsure regarding anything on Columbia

University of Colorado sends out visits in late Feb. Know that it's more or less a screening visit to make sure you aren't weird (relative to the average earth scientists anyway), and that acceptance is nearly guaranteed if you're offered the chance to visit. 

 

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Undergrad Institution: Oregon State University

Major(s): B.S. of Earth Sciences: Geology Option

Minor(s): None, but about to finish a G.I.S. Certificate 

GPA in Major: 3.69

Overall GPA: 3.28 (Had some classes from my younger days that hurt the GPA)

Position in Class: No class ranking 

Type of Student: Domestic, veteran, low income

GRE Scores (revised/old version):

Q: 150

V: 152

W: 4.0

Research Experience: REU from NSF, Undergraduate research project and thesis (not required); co-author of GSA Abstract presented by my research advisor

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Taylor-Oles Scholarship,  Dean's list almost every term, presented at Celebrating Undergraduate Excellence symposium, presented research and thesis at the university's Geology and Geophysics Day

Applying to Where: Applying for MS Geology programs. Want to study the tectonics, volcanology, and geomorpholgy.

Northern Arizona University

Arizona State University

Western Washington University 

Edited by JTspruell

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