Hello everyone. I recently graduated with a B.S. in physics from St. Louis and am moving to Austin, TX very soon. I'm at a bit of a crossroads and can't figure out exactly my best course of action and am hoping to get some advice or to hear your experiences. My plan was to apply to UT-Austin and go to graduate school in Fall '09, while trying to find a job in the mean time. However, since I only want a Masters degree, this is proving to be more complicated than I thought. First off, there is no financial assistance available for this course of action from what I can tell. I certainly cannot afford to pay tuition as it stands now without working down there, so I would have to go part time unless I could save a lot initially. The other option is to apply to the Ph.D program to get the assistance and then quit early for the M.S degree if I decided not to continue. This stands the risk, I assume, of upsetting people I probably don't want to upset and also I don't think the course of action to getting a M.S and PhD are the same. As a FURTHER complication, I missed the chance to take the GRE subject test, have to apply in December and can't take it again until April, so that means I'm lower priority. I'm hoping my 4.0 GPA can overcome this, but it's a competitive school and they might not even look at me. What are your opinions? Finally, the job situation. I've had some research projects all through my undergrad career that can beef up my resume a little bit, but I still cannot hope for a prestigious position with a B.S. degree and little to no experience. The most notable thing I've done is a summer research position with a local Silicon wafer manufacturer. I was doing Transmission Electron Microscopy characterization of different parts of the process that gave me some sample preparation experience and shows I can get results to problems. Would you recommend I take some of my research and try to get a publication or two in some more obscure journals, or do you think that this won't make a huge difference in the type of jobs I can land with my qualifications? I know it couldn't hurt to have my name on some papers, but I have limited time and need to spend it optimally. Thanks in advance for taking the time to read this!