I am passionate about studying chemical physics and I would like to go to a university that has strong courses because I would like to have solid understanding. I would also like to do research with good professors. All the websites that have rankings only rank by subjects such as chemistry or physics but I cant find a place that ranks “chemical physics”. I have looked up the ranking of physics and chemistry for Ohio state since the chemical physics program is a collaboration between both departments but I am not sure if this enough. I would also like to know how Ohio state in chemical physics compares to other places with the same program.

I am considering a Gap-year to refine my abilities in physics before applying to graduate school. I have not taken the Physics GRE, at this moment it would be a struggle to get a high grade that will get me into a top graduate school. Currently I’m looking at these options

  • Case 1: Masters program in Europe as they don’t require GRE scores, be able to specialize more in physics. Although the cost for school is significant, and I will not be able to afford tuition.
  • Case 2: Move back into parents house for a year, contact San Jose State University and ask whether I can do research in their lab, study for physics GRE, apply to schools next round.
  • Case 3: Apply to mid-tier schools, and have great difficulty teaching at a well established institution after graduate school.

My Chemistry GPA is 4.00, with a minor in math and 3 years of research experience mainly in physical chemistry with good letters of reccomendation. However, I am not sure how much this transfers towards getting into a great school without many physics courses.

Is taking the ‘gap-year’ a bad move? Would it be able to help my application or only hurt?

I just got my chem GRE scores and the result was below my expectations. I scored 700 (50th percentile) and now I am not sure if this score will kill my application to a PhD program in chemistry. I am an international student from Brazil and my normal GRE scores are V:160, Q:154, W:3.0. My undergraduate GPA is 3.1 and my master’s GPA is 3.7 (in Inorganic Chemistry). I also have no publications, only 2 presentations in small meetings and a manuscript in progress.

Am I competitive to any PhD program in the US. I don’t care about rankings and I am not applying top schools such as harvard, mit or berkeley… My focus is in smaller programs… Should I send these scores to the institutions or should I keep just the general GRE?

As I know, some lamp uses noble gas for secure the wolfram from the heat -please correct me if i’m wrong. And from Wikipedia, i know that Argon is “colorless gas exhibiting a lilac/violet glow when placed in an electric field”.
Then, why almost of lamp that i know is white. Like Incandescent and Fluoroscent lamp.

Pardon my bad english.

I got admitted to a small MS program in the US with an assistantship and I still have not decided if I should accept the offer or not. The reason is that I want to pursue a PhD and build an academic career in the field of Chemistry. However, I come from a small institution in a developing country with little research, so I cannot just apply to a top graduate program such as Berkeley or Harvard because I would be in serious disadvantage in comparison to the hundreds of other applicants which have publications and vast research experience.
In your opinion, is obtaining a MS degree in an American institution, even though it is in a very small program, something that would improve my chances of being accepted into a decent PhD program in the future?

I could also try those smalls PhD programs in institutions ranked below the top 100 (according to THE or QS) but I heard from a lot of people that a PhD in such an institution would add nothing to your career, since there are many PhDs graduating from top institutions and it is already hard for them to get a job, so your chances of succeeding either in an academic or industrial career would be quite low, and most of them have to find something else to do (work at a home depot, open a clothing shop etc, just kidding).

Applying to chemistry graduate programs (Ph.D). My questions are about the statement of purpose.

How much should I elaborate on my research experience? Should I write an abstract sized summary of both of the projects I have worked on? Or only the most recent/relevant and just mention the other in passing?

I know that I enjoy physical chemistry and spectroscopy. But do not specifically have a question I want to do research based on. How much space should I spend on goals for research or directions I’m interested in?


I have a strong interest in the academia and since I received my BS in Chemistry I’ve been thinking about the next steps and trying not to screw up my best chances. Let me explain my background before moving to the actual question:

I’ve graduated in Brazil from a medium-sized university that has a very small chemistry department, so I didn’t have that vast experience in research as an undergraduate at a big institution. I have actually been involved in research but I couldn’t make any publications out of it (only presentations in small symposia and conferences). I studied in the US for one year as a scholarship winner but it was more coursework than research.

So basically I have two options:

  • Apply to a PhD program in a small chemistry department, in which chances of being approved are real (I got accepted to such a program last year but I had to refuse).

  • Apply to a master’s program in a medium-sized university that offers a terminal M.S. degree, since departments with Ph.D. programs almost never accept students for a M.S.) so I can strengthen my CV and then apply to a Ph.D. at a top University

The reason for all this doubtfulness is that the Ph.D. is the highest degree in academia and obtaining one from an unknown university or program might kill your chances of getting hired at a good company or institution. What I still don’t know is that if an MS degree would be a plus when applying to a doctoral program later (I would try my best to come out of the master’s with publications and conferences of course).

Is my reasoning correct? And if it is, which option should I consider?

Ps: My GRE scores are somehow decent (Q 156 and Verbal 162) and I earned a 116/120 in the TOEFL score. My undergraduate GPA is not that high but I have good recommendation letters, although they are from faculty members at my university in Brazil.