Grad School Advice!!!!Please help! Ok so is it an advantage for me to take graduate courses with my undergrad courses and graduate with 17 credits each semester or should I take it easy with 14 credits because taking graduate courses in my research area of interest (the area i will apply to for a phd) will not give my application an edge and I don't need to take them. Bottomline, does having graduate courses based on research area (dpt) applied-to give applicants competitive advantage? Also regarding publications, does it matter if you're the 1st author or not? Eitherway how do people manage to become 1st authors? Does it mean the research has to be original and all? And similarly regarding undergrad theses, how do students pick the topic of interest while keeping in mind originality,availability of research equipment, apparatus, etc.