I am a UC Berkeley rising senior looking to apply to astronomy/planetary science PHD this fall. (Start PHD in fall 2020). I have compiled a list of programs shown in the bottom. Please rate if I have a good chance (safety school) or if I have a not so good chance(reach school). How many schools should I apply to? Is it good strategy to apply to same number of “reach” as “safety”.
I have one first author astronomical journal paper. I have four other co-authored paper. Expecting another co-authored paper to be submitted in summer. I have done research with my school’s “researcher” for two and a half years. The research is about Jupiter and Neptune’s atmosphere and vortices. I also have a name appearance in one conference.
SPS webmaster two years, did about ten outreach activities.
Overall GPA: right now it is ~2.9 and I plan on taking easy classes in summer and fall to get it up to ~3.1 in time for application due date.
General GRE: verbal 152, math 166, writing 4.0
LOR: the researcher and a nasa scientist who are coauthors in my first author paper has agreed to write my LOR. The third one I’m not sure yet.
My tentative school list
1. Johns Hopkins university earth and planetary science
2. New Mexico State University Astronomy
3. Arizona State University school of earth and space exploration
4. University of Florida astronomy
5. Florida Institute of Technology space sciences
6. University of Colorado Boulder astrophysical and planetary sciences
7. University of Hawaii astronomy (one Prof there has agreed that I can be his student if I’m admitted)
8. UC Santa Cruz astronomy or earth and planetary (which is easier)
9. UC Los Angeles Geophysics and Space Physics
10. University of Arizona planetary science
11. University of Idaho Physics (doesn’t need GRE or PGRE)
12. University of Washington(astronomy or earth and space sciences which is easier)
13. Georgia Tech planetary and space science
14. Northern Arizona University astronomy and planetary sciences
15. University if Texas San Antonio astronomy/space science
16. Yale astronomy
17. University of Central Florida planetary science group (within their physics department)
18. Hampton University atmospheric and planetary sciences