Aiming for top chemistry grad school-- what to do about undergrad? Hello, let me fill you in on my situation: I am a senior in high school with 2 years of chemistry research experience in a university lab, the first author of a publication in a good journal, etc. and I have decided that I would like to get my PhD in chemistry of some sort, hopefully at a top-tier grad school (MIT, Caltech, etc.). So, now, my issue: I am applying to MIT, Harvard, other strong undergrad programs and a couple strong public schools (University of Minnesota, Twin Cities). If I attend the U of M, they will accept my 60-70 credits that I will have amassed, and a triple-major in math/physics/chemistry isn't very daunting. Additionally, the opportunity to research in a solid lab is at my fingertips, and it is fairly cheap. MIT would not take the credits I have, I would be starting from the bottom and be another student in the mix of brilliance, and I pay a lot of money. Wherever I do my undergrad I will make the most of it and have an excellent time. However, with the goal of getting into a number one grad school for chemistry, do you think the good public university route will hurt too much? Finances and such make it attractive. My brother, an MIT grad, put it this way: at a public university you will have to shine beyond everybody else and then some, from MIT you have to jump through the hoops more or less. Thoughts? I have not been able to come to many concrete conclusions. Help me out fellows! Thanks for your time.