- #1

Fabes124

- 3

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This is my first time posting here.

I'm currently a rising senior double majoring in physics and math at a top 10 (maybe top 15) research institution.

I'm quite worried about my admissions prospects and I'm wondering whether my application is competitive or not. More exactly, I want to know if I should apply this year or if I should maybe wait. For some context, by the time of application, I would have a 3.54 cumulative GPA, with a 3.39 physics GPA, and a 4.00 math GPA. During my sophomore year, I suffered through a very traumatic personal experience that made me do quite poorly in multiple classes. I have since retaken 2 of them, but I still have an F in junior lab. I have gotten straight A's ever since. Without that F, my physics GPA is 3.76 and my cumulative GPA in upper-level math and physics would be 3.85.

I would have also taken 4 graduate-level physics classes (qft 1&2, gr, and particle theory: dark matter) and 3 graduate-level math classes (complex analysis, algebra, algebraic topology), and I would have gotten A's in all of them.

I also have relatively strong research experience in theoretical physics (most of it in formal theory, but some in theoretical cosmology), with additional experience coming from reading courses in the math department covering topics like differential topology and representation theory, but no publications yet.

From there, I expect to have solid recommendation letters from well-respected professors.

I'm just wondering if that F and the retakes would greatly impact my chances of getting into top schools. Also, would I benefit from taking the physics GRE? Most schools don't require it and I have heard contradicting opinions from different people.

Should I apply this year or would I benefit more from just applying next year after having retaken the physics lab?

I'm a bit afraid to apply and be rejected from everywhere, especially since I know formal theory is very competitive. Any advice will be much appreciated. Thank you very much.