Hello, Physics Forums. I am a recent graduate from UCLA with a bachelors in chemistry. I would like to pursue a graduate degree in physics in (in order of preference) quantum computing, atomic physics, or nuclear physics. Right now I have four schools that I think are fairly safe but, my degree being in chemistry rather than physics, I am a bit worried about getting in somewhere. So can anyone recommend some lower tier schools with decent atomic physics programs? It's easy enough to research the more famous schools, but there's probably some decent schools out there that I haven't even heard of. Do my current safety schools seem safe enough (I know safe does mean as much as in undergraduate, but I don't think anyone would argue that Oregon State isn't safer than CalTech)? Schools: U. Washington (first choice) USC (tied for first) U. Boulder (third choice) U. Oregon (fourth choice, fairly safe?) Oregon State (safety) UC Merced (safety) South Dakota School of Mines (safety) To give a little more information about myself, I think I have a fairly strong application (electives in linear algebra, ode, nonlinear de, mathematical methods, e&m, and classical mechanics; all As and A+s in upper division physics, math, and physical chemistry, except for an A- in nonlinear de and a B in thermodynamics; strong letters; research experience with publications, although in geochemistry), my main shortcoming being that my degree, nor my research experience, are in physics. Although, overall, physical chemistry research groups haven't sparked my interest as much as the physics ones, I will likely be applying for a few chemistry departments as well. Thank you.