Hi, this is my first post on this oh-so-very helpful website
I am a senior in physics at a well-regarded public university. I was wondering if people had some thoughts on my particular situation... At the moment, I have no clue how to use my grades, probable GRE score, and the likely components of my applications to graduate schools to extrapolate how ambitious I should be in choosing what schools to apply to.
I have a decent GPA in my department (~3.65), but my record got a little marred last term by a C in quantum mechanics. I managed to surround it by two A+ grades in upper division labs, and I could blame my poor performance throughout last year on a (then) undiagnosed chronic medical problem. I have a professor and a research scientist who have supervised me on research projects ready to write two very good recommendations (the "very" may depend on how expressive they are in their writing styles, but let's just say they're extremely impressed...). I'm also taking my university's graduate course in quantum mechanics on a pass/fail basis, in an attempt to rectify my understanding of the subject.
But that's where the good news sort of ends... I'm going to get a middle score on the physics GRE (probably between 550-650, at best
), and although I have a bunch of professors who seem to like me pretty well, I dont know who else to ask for recommendations.
-What universities should I shoot for?
-How important is my statement of purpose, and should I approach the illness thing?
-I have done so very well in labs and in research situations, and I'm obviously going for experimental. But the physics GRE has me freaked out, and suddenly wondering if I'm not so smart after all...