Register for an account


Enter your name and email address below.

Your email address is used to log in and will not be shared or sold. Read our privacy policy.


Website access code

Enter your access code into the form field below.

If you are a Zinio, Nook, Kindle, Apple, or Google Play subscriber, you can enter your website access code to gain subscriber access. Your website access code is located in the upper right corner of the Table of Contents page of your digital edition.

The Sciences

Things the Grad Admissions Committee Does Not Wish to See

Cosmic VarianceBy Julianne DalcantonJanuary 16, 2009 10:36 PM


Sign up for our email newsletter for the latest science news

Here are some of the things from various admissions files that have made me sad (details changed to preserve anonymity) • "I'm sure Stu Dent could do well in graduate school, provided you can get him to talk to you more than I ever could." • Transcripts with three times the number of courses (and substantially better grades) in music than in physics. • Deep, Meaningful quotes from rock bands and dead hip-hop artists in the footer of the applicant's cover letter. "No other institution would benefit more from my presence than yours.""I only want to work on Topic X! Nothing is cooler than Topic X! My intellectual life is a shrine to Topic X." Except, our department has no relevant work on Topic X. "Stu Dent has excellent physical intuition and will undoubtedly succeed in graduate school". Except, Stu has mostly B's and C's in their physics courses and a 15th percentile on the physics GRE. • Students who have taken no math beyond calculus.

    3 Free Articles Left

    Want it all? Get unlimited access when you subscribe.


    Already a subscriber? Register or Log In

    Want unlimited access?

    Subscribe today and save 50%


    Already a subscriber? Register or Log In