I am an international applicant with research interests in experimental 'hard' condensed matter, from a fairly known institute. Actually I am planning to try my luck at some of the top univs like Stanford and Yale. But in a quandary over the choice of the department in which to apply to. I have heard that its really easy to choose your guide across departments once you are in, so want to(at least theoretically) maximise my chances, by choosing the rite department between d two.
Can any one please tell me which dep holds a higher probability for me given my background, especially as an international applicant? And what are the differences in criteria and factors influencing application decisions in these two departments if there are any?
As for my background, I am a topper in my class with three years of research experience spanning over nano electronics, nano fabrication and also a bit in optics but sadly no publication yet. . I believe I will have good recommendations from all 3 recommenders, one being from a professor in a top 5 U.S institute in Physics. And also managed to do okk in stupid standardized tests
GRE- V-650/Q-800; AWA-4.5
Toefl- 113/120 (IBT)
PGRE- awaiting results (fairly optimistic)