Let's say that I was given unacceptable conditions for returning from medical leave; basically I had to self-fund at least the following year of a physics PhD. Knowing that doing so would result in a financial disaster, I am definitely withdrawing from the program, with the understanding that, if I still wanted to earn a PhD at some point, I would have to transfer. (But if I do somehow find work in industry, and then don't feel the need to go back to graduate school, this whole discussion is mooted) I could always mention, in an addendum (if there is space for one), medical problems, going to medical services, such as a physician (on-campus and later off-campus) on a regular basis for 75% of the only semester I ended up attending, and leaving school to take better care of myself. (I feel I did what was right from a medical standpoint) But when there is no space for an addendum in an application, I was advised to just drop a line about "personal problems" or "extenuating circumstances". And also, I have two publications on file by now, whereas I had none when I applied to PhD programs the first time around (2015 cycle). Because I do not feel my GRE scores were an issue, I do not feel the need to re-take the GRE, general or physics, since they are still valid. But TOEFL, on the other hand, I would have to retake because the scores are no longer valid. Is there anything else I should do? (I do not think I aimed too high the first time around, just too wide; this time around, I am willing to consider Canadian as well as American PhD programs - one of the big motives, beyond pursuing particle cosmology as an area of research, of why I attended Minnesota in the first place was that I did so as a protesting measure against Harper's abysmal civilian science policy) P.S.: I never had Ws before that particular semester, but still somehow ended up with 3.80 for what coursework remained. If you need more information about my file or anything else, please, let me know. P.P.S.: Having learned that the day-to-day work in two areas of observational (or experimental) work in particle cosmology out of three (data analysis and modelling) share quite a bit in similarities with theoretical work, I've been toying with going for observational particle cosmology, rather than theoretical particle cosmology, at the top-10 schools (potentially Harvard, Stanford or UChicago), provided that the POIs I would then choose actually do work in my area of interest mostly using data analysis and/or modelling (I don't think I have the dexterity to do instrumentation, and I am otherwise not instrumentation-minded). But I am confused as to whether to apply for theory or for observation [at top-10 schools], given what I know about the day-to-day work in each area. That, knowing that applying straight up for theory is just fine for non-top-10 American schools (UPenn, Carnegie Mellon, WUSTL, Notre Dame, ASU?).