I'm a EE major with a senior design project/thesis on developing FPGA based counting module for Photon Coincidence and Correlation Experiments. It's an interesting mix of Electronics, Digital System Design and Experimental Quantum Optics. I've had a course in QM, and done research internships in Analog Signal Processing and Embedded systems. I want to carry on studying this blend of QM, Optics, Electronics and DSP in my grad school. I've talked to a couple of people and all of them have advised not to apply to a Physics program, rather to a EE program with a strong optics component, or to an optics program. I've also been looking into Applied Physics programs, the likes of Cornell and Columbia. I'm in a quandary as to where to apply? Should I contact individual professors and ask them of my prospects? And will applying to Applied Physics programs without taking the Subject test hurt my chances?