Hello, just decided to search for some guidance on deciding my future.
I am a rising senior at a liberal arts college, with a major in physics and math, (minor in philosophy and music). I have spent 2 summers doing Experimental Condensed Matter research, and one summer (current summer) doing Theoretical Quantum research.
For reasons outside of physics (mostly family), I would like to spend the next few years of my life in Chicago. The idea of studying graduate physics in Chicago sounds convienent and easy, although I wonder if it may not be the right decision and I should wait until I have the freedom to live where ever and study where ever. I don't have a very specific field of interest, and I think I can get interested in most problems, as long as they remain mathy/theoretical/chalkboard style of work as opposed to experimental work. I have a ~3.95 GPA in physics, something around 3.7 in math. Haven't taken the GRE or the physics GRE, I am fairly confident that if I decide to I can get a decent score.
Basically my questions boil down to
1) Recommendations of physics (or possibly math) programs in Chicago that fit this mold. At this point in my life being paid to learn and work on problems sounds amazing. Perhaps this shows that I am not specifically interested in a certain problem enough, but browsing the research page of University of Chicago for example is a bit overwhelming in terms of possibilities. I would love to even just know recommendations of fields and areas of research as well.
2) Advice on whether evening applying to schools within such a strict geographical limit makes sense.
thanks for reading