What's up fellow physicists I'm applying to Astrophysics PhD programs in the fall and I'm experiencing a lot of anxiety about it due to my grades. I attend a Top 10 physics institution notorious for grade deflation(our average Physics GPA is a 2.9 fml) I am a double major in physics and astrophysics and while I have a 4.0 for my astro classes, my physics GPA is more like a 3.0 due to a B- in Statistical Mechanics and Quantum Mechanics II. Additionally I made a straight up C(yikes!) in a freshman math class because I had no idea how to study when I was a dumb 18 year old.
I have worked on one research project where we are publishing a paper. I will be first author but it probably won't be fully published until after I apply to grad school. Is this bad? How do I explain my research experience with no actual paper?
Additionally I am working as a researcher for an engineering company. Not super related, but I'm technically doing physics
My regular GRE scores are fine, 90th percentile math and 97 percentile verbal. I'm taking PGRE this fall so no info on that yet.
I'd really like to go to UT Austin or UWashington to study cosmology. Any and all thoughts are appreciated!!!! peace n blessins