I'm planning to apply to grad schools in December 2015 and I thought I'd start thinking about it now. I'm quite unsure of my chances so I'd like your opinion. Undergrad institution: Top university in SE Asia, probably not too well known in the US Undergrad GPA: 3.75/4.00 (was Valedictorian of my class though!) Graduated in August 2013 Undergrad research: Two semesters of undergrad research in junior year with different groups, honors year project in my senior year (Quantum optics). Misc Stuff: TAed a couple of physics courses, Dean's List, etc. etc. After my undergrad, I got a job in a condensed matter group within my university because I couldn't start my PhD right away due to a complicated situation (not in my control). On the bright side, I published two PRLs (third author and first author) and I hope to get one more first author publication out by December. My honors year project is also going to be published after I put some more work into it (first author). That gives me three publications for sure and probably a fourth by the end of the year. I also expect to pick up a Masters degree (Masters by research) for my work so far. LORs: Should be strong, especially those from my condensed matter and quantum optics research supervisors. GRE: Not taken them yet, but I think I have enough time to prepare and do well. I'm interested in Condensed Matter Theory schools in the US. With a profile like this, it's a little unusual so any idea on where I'd fit? Do I have a shot at a top 5 or top 10 program or should I set my sights a little lower? Thanks!