Here is my situation: I applied to ten schools for a PhD program and got rejected from all of them. I’m pretty sure I know why this happened, but I’m not sure if this information is important. If this isn’t important please excuse the following paragraph.
Long story short: (1) I have only research experience in experimental particle physics (dark matter), (2) I only got a 650 on the PGRE, (3) I applied to schools that were all very prestigious (don’t ask me why), and (4) I applied for theoretical physics at all of them. This is my hunch as to why I got rejected.
Anyway, Brown has offered me a place in their ScM program (the program is completely unpaid, but money is not a problem for me). I’m sure this is common, but at Brown you can apply to their PhD program from the ScM program within the first year. I contacted the admissions people and they told me that five students applied from the ScM program to the Brown PhD program and three of them got in. Here’s my basic idea about my choices:
(1) Go to Brown as a ScM student, try to apply to the Brown PhD program and see what happens. If I get into the PhD program, great. If not, then I finish my ScM at Brown and apply again to PhD programs afterward.
(2) Don’t go to Brown and try to get some kind of job/internship that will impress grad schools next year.
Please let me know if I need to clarify anything or if I should put this in a different part of the forum.