Hi everyone! I'm currently a 4th year physics student at UC Santa Barbara. I have a few concerns/questions about the graduate school application.
My current GPA is 3.2/3.4 major (with math and physics). I think this is very low for top schools, but i tanked it up during my study abroad year in Hong Kong. I also received a D+ for graduate quantum class i've taken there (which i shouldn't have done). I'm not too sure what's my chances are among mid-tier/mid-upper tier school. I haven't taken the GRE yet, but it's something I am willing to study a lot, and determine to get high marks on.
As for my research experience, I've done 2 quarters of astrophysics experiment (http://www.deepspace.ucsb.edu/projects/cofe).
I've also gotten an award for my research dedication during my first year at UCSB (only a 2-3 freshmen have received it).
If my chances are very low, should i apply for a Master and do well in it...then proceed for a phD application?
Also, i forgot to mention that i still have 3 more quarters at UCSB. I don't mind spending more time there after my undergrad years to get some more experience rolling.