Hi there,

I'm an international student and I want to apply for a PhD in CMT the US. Since I'm not really into the US system but I've seen that the applications cost a lot of money (up to $150, incl. sending test scores, for a single int'l application), I'd appreciate very much any advice towards what kind of schools I have a better chance of being admitted to

As I already mentioned I'm interested in CMT, in particular phase transitions and exotic states of matter.

OK, let me give you some background info:

1) B.Sc. degrees (double major) in physics (German GPA: 1.49) and mathematics (German GPA 1.48) from a top German university

2) currently in a top M.Sc. program in Germany (expected German GPA ~ 1.2)

3) Upper division courses (physics):

-taken: Electrodynamics, Advanced QM, Advanced Statistical Physics, QFT, QED, Theoretical Hydrodynamics, General Ralativity, Mesoscopic physics

-currently taking: Many-body Theory, Many-body physics with Ultra-cold gases, SUSY, Nonlinear Dynamics

-to be taken: Condensed Matter Field Theory, Conformal Field Theory, Solid State Theory, Renormalization Group & Phase Transitions, Ultra-cold Quantum Gases

4) Upper division courses (mathematics):

-taken: Real Analysis, Lin Alg 1+2, Measure Theory, Topology and Geometry of Surfaces, Differential Geometry, Complex Analysis, ODE's, Functional Analysis, Mathematical QM, Advanced Mathematical QM, Mathematical Statistical Physics

5) test scores:

-general GRE: verbal: 145 (24%), quantitative: 161 (83%), writing: 4.5 (73%)

-physics GRE: 750 (64%)

-TOEFL: still to be taken

6) research experience:

- 2 bachelor theses - in maths and physics (a preprint resulted from the physics thesis in CMT - already on the arXiv, submitted to Phys. Rev. B)

- currently working on my master thesis in CMT

7) teaching experience:

- exercises classes in: Mathematical Methods for Physics, Theoretical Mechanics (twice), QM, Electrodynamics

- lab exercise class in 'physics for chemistry students'

physics olympics: 1st, 2nd and 3rd place in a high school physics olympiad (on a national level only)

I know my GRE scores are pretty low for theory but I don't think re-taking the physics test will improve the result significantly (wouldn't waste much time on preparation, cuz I don't have it; I'd rather concentrate on research instead of trying to figure our which is the right lens-maker convention What about the general test - how much of a weight do admission committees usually put on it?

So, what do you think, where do I stand a decent chance? Any advice is much appreciated!

PS: please, don't re-direct me to the thread with the records of previous applicants; I've gone through them but I'm still pretty undecided on where to shoot for.

Cheers!