I'm mostly looking into fusion but also traditional fission power systems. Good schools seem to be Michigan, Illinois, Cal, MIT maybe a few others. I go to the University of Maryland. Right now I have a 3.71 GPA, downward trending though 4.00 -> 3.55 -> 3.53 over the first three years. I got my first C this past semester, bombed the QM final after I had a solid B. I am majoring in MechE and physics. But I've well in the classes I've been most interested in: the theromfluids track, statistical mechanics, E&M. Problem is I've only finally been able to start doing any real engineering work, right now I'm doing some coding and working on a refrigeration system. I've made some decent connections for recs here. I guess my plan for the fall is to have a good semester GPA-wise and try to get some good preliminary results for this research I'm doing. I'm wondering if it is advised to take the GRE this summer and then again in the fall? Also, should I contact these schools directly for admissions info for the specific departments? I've heard you need to do the shotgun approach if you want to get into any PhD program. But I'm really trying to keep costs low. Feel free to recommend other programs as well, even international-I speak Spanish.