Grad school



Success depends on ability and background as undergrad and the effort you put in


Work hard but effectively


How to choose a grad school

Do you know what kind of physics you want to do?

Find schools that emphasize that

If not, go to a larger school that has many options

How to find the schools

Graduate programs in physics and astronomy

Has all of the colleges and universities and the facts

AIP website has a program to find a grad school

Look at the whole list

What to think about

Make sure it is in a location that you want to be in

Talk to professors

Visit schools

Domestic students are wanted so that schools get funded

Talk to the graduate students about requirements to get a degree at the school

Pass courses

Qualifying examination

Likelihood of passing

See if the department hold your hand and help you out ornot

How many should you apply to

About 10?

More or less

Include a couple wild cards just to try

GRE really matters

If you donít get accepted to the one you want, it may just be luck

Donít apply anywhere that you donít want to go

Be open to all of them

You can do really good work almost anywhere


If you donít get into any of them

Looked at closely related fields


Paying for grad school

Many of the schools will pay for it most of the time

Teaching assistantships, research assistantships and fellowships

Many of the fees get waved, or have to pay and then are paid

Then you get a living wage

Almost all physics have teaching assistantships or fellowships

Tied to the research funding that goes into the department

Fellowship- no teaching responsibilities

Teaching assistantship- 10-20 hours a week to teach

Usually lab situations and grading the reports

Or a resuscitation to help with homework and respond to questions

Pay attention to what they did to show where they went wrong

First year you have grad classes

Go to all of the seminars and pay attention to all of the researchers

Find out what it is like to work for those professors

Second year

Begin a research program with a mentor

Experimental - you have a research assistantship not the teaching

Theoretical- more likely to be on the teaching assistantship


If you are admitted, then there will be financial aid



Prepare for the GRE

Look at the practice tests and review the related material

Try to take the GRE twice

See if you can review with other people

Work hard in classes now