Hi PhysicsForums, I was hoping to get a little guidance on my chances for PhD programs. I am a second-semester junior. I feel like I'm going at this totally blind and am starting to get nervous, I'd mostly like to know how strong my credentials are so far, what kind of GRE score I might need, and basically if it's worth it to even put in the effort of applying to these programs or if I should just consider taking a year off, doing research or doing one of the Bridge programs or something of the sort. My GPA is 3.7, mostly B+s, A-s, and As in my astrophysics major coursework (one B and one C from my freshman year also...ugh,) I worked at Caltech the summer after my freshman year, did the Columbia REU last summer, will be doing SULI this summer. I am doing research this semester that I will continue as a senior honors thesis and I'll be presenting it at the APS meeting. I'm mostly interested in nuclear physics, or nuclear/particle astrophysics, not sure whether I'm more into theory or experiment yet. These are the schools I've been considering (mostly in order of preference): UChicago MSU Stony Brook UC Berkeley/Santa Barbara/San Diego/LA Columbia Princeton Brandeis Univ. of Indiana at Bloomington What else? Hmm...if it's relevant, I have good computer programming skills, I go to a fairly big name school which is also on the list of schools I'm thinking about applying to, I'm a California resident, so maybe that means something for my chances at the UC's? Like I said, going in blind. I'd really, really appreciate any advice! Be brutally honest.