I did an undergrad from China with 87/100, which is ok but not top for those who want to apply for US grad programs. Now I am doing a master programs ant got 4.0/4.0 GPA for 4 grad courses. My currently univ is not known for general physics, but have a very good reputation in quantum optics and quantum information, which is what I am applying for.
My problem is, I know some top programs would screen off those below, say 3.8 GPA. In my case, would they consider undergrad or grad GPA more? On one hand, it seems they pay more attention on undergrad GPA, and maybe they think grad courses are usually easier to get a good grade. On the other hand, grad courses are more advanced and more recent, and they may trust Canadian more than Chinese. What's your opinion?
Besides, my pgre is 950, will have at least one first author pra and one second author paper before submission of application. My supervisor is well known in the field. Shall I still try those top tiers, say harvard and mit?