I've been visiting the PhysicsGre.com forums for a while now, and have always found some good general advice about apps here. I hope to get some more specific advice on choosing which HEP-Th grad schools to apply to, given my profile:

Undergraduate Institution: University of Cambridge, 4 years (I got a masters at the end of this)

Degree: BA Hons. MSci (The MSci is the integrated masters degree in the UK, i.e. Part III Physics at the Cavendish Laboratory) 1st Class (76/100)

Cumulative GPA: 3.74

Result by year: Year 1- 1st Class, Year 2- 1st Class, Year 3- Upper 2nd Class, Year 4- 1st Class

GRE: Q-168(95%) V-163(92%) Writing-4.5(80%)

PGRE:940 (90%)

Class boundaries at Cambridge: 1st Class: 70-100%, Upper 2nd Class: 60-70%

Relevant courses for HEP-TH: Particle Physics (1st Class), Gauge Field Theory (1st Class), Particle Astrophysics (1st Class), Quantum field theory (1st Class), Advanced Quantum Field Theory (Upper 2nd Class) [The quantum field theory and advanced quantum field theory courses are from Part III Mathematics at DAMTP]

Research experience:

1)Part III project on the many worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics-applied particle physics (specifically QED) to demonstrate the desired result.

2)Derived a formula for the Reimann Zeta function in terms of integrals over appropriate fourier series in 1st year.

Derived Zeta function regularisation with a friend in the Mathematics department in 4th year.

Awards and achievements:

1.Full Scholarship to study at Cambridge.

2.yearly college awards for exam performance (also named a scholar, and subsequently graduate scholar of my college)

3.Highest mark in year in Part III Math Quantum field theory exam (100%)

4.My average mark in HEP courses (particle physics, QFT etc.) is 87/100, significantly higher than my degree result (76/100)

Bonus Information: I have graduated and am teaching A-Level Physics at a high school in my home country. I am also independently studying several topics in high energy theory:

1)Scattering amplitudes-BCFW recursion, BCJ duality.

2)Chaotic Inflation

3)Collaborating with friends in Cambridge on an extension of the Higgs Model in particle physics.

I think my SOP is good, and I will get LORs from two of my directors of study (A particle experimentalist at the Cavendish, and the other is a college fellow in physics; I have had supervisions with both), and from my Part III Project supervisor (Condensed matter theorist, who gave me a 1st class on the project even though I didn't do it his way and introduced some particle physics).

Its not very common to do much undergraduate research in the UK, and so I am worried about this being a deficiency in my application.

The grad schools I'm thinking of are:

Cornell, Michigan Ann Arbor, SUNY StonyBrook, Brown, UMass Amherst, Ohio State

I would greatly appreciate it if the kind souls on the PhysicsGre forum might suggest any other schools I can apply to (given my grades, GRE, etc.), and also advise me on whether I am aiming too high with Cornell and Michigan Ann Arbor?