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Graduate school advice

  1. Sep 16, 2010 #1
    So... I know nobody will be able to give me a very clear answer to this question, but I was hoping someone out there might be able to give me an idea of how likely I am to get into a top tier physics graduate school (UChicago is my first choice). Anyway, here's all the relevant info about me:

    Math & Physics double major (Astrophysics minor but that's pretty insignificant)
    GPA of ~3.8 at University of Minnesota, Physics/technical GPA higher than that (maybe ~3.85).
    Research experience in an experimental physics lab for 2, 2.5 years, not doing anything groundbreaking though, a lot of making cables and soldering, etc. Strong letter of recommendation from the professor though.
    Also, there's a math professor with whom I have taken 3 courses, GPA of ~3.8 over those courses and am currently doing a directed study with, so I believe that I can get a good letter from him. (Is it a problem to have a letter from a math professor?)
    For the third letter, I am somewhat at a loss. I had a professor for 3 semesters for introductory physics, but I didn't have a very close relationship with him. He does know me though and we talk from time to time when we see each other.
    As to the GRE, I haven't taken it yet, but I am good at taking such tests and anticipate getting a pretty high score. I'll hazard a guess of 750-800 on Math, Reading, and Writing, and maybe 750-850 on the Physics subject test.
    I don't know what else to say, really. I am taking a graduate Quantum class this year and a graduate Algebra class too. I've worked as a TA. I am the president of the chess club.

    So is it overly optimistic to hope to get into a top 10 physics Ph.D. program? One possible issue is that I am interested in theoretical physics but I have no experience in the field.

    Any advice/opinions will be appreciated.
  2. jcsd
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