Sorry in advance for opening yet again such a topic. I have been freaking out lately and I would really appreciate your thoughts on my applications, are they completely out of place or are there actually any chances at all that I am doing this right? See my profile below and my thoughts on various things... Thanks a lot in advance for your time and interest...
Undergrad Institution: One of the Universities of London (ranked around top 30 nationally top 150 internationally for physics. I know it has the highest corporate research revenue amongst all UK physics departments, that can't be bad right?)
Major(s):Physics, Psychology (note that the two majors come from two different universities that I attend simultaneously)
Minor(s): No such thing here in the UK.
GPA in Major: First Class (3.7 - 4.0)
Overall GPA: First Class (3.7 - 4.0)
Length of Degree: 3 years
Position in Class: Top 10%.
Type of Student: International Male (Greek citizenship)
GRE Scores (revised):
Q:164 - 90%
V:155 - 65% - The verbal and writing section hardly reflect my ability, I just didn't have any time at all to prepare for these. My LoR are explicitly
W:4.5 - 73% - commenting on my English speaking and writing competency.
P:720 - 59% (this is what has been freaking me out... I took the PGRE after 2 years of formal tuition in physics and hence lacked a lot of subject specific knowledge. On top of that I had no time at all to study (studied something like 5 days in advance only afternoons), if I get a second shot at it and study a couple of months in advance I am pretty sure I can nail it...)
TOEFL Total: N/A (attended UK university, international high school, 12 years of English tuition...I mean **** this...)
-Bachelor thesis on experimental particle physics project, working with data from ATLAS and HERA with a supervisor that is kind of well known in his field (I know for sure he personally works with and knows most of the experimental particle physicists in the universities I am applying). Perhaps I will get a publication out of this with my name amongst 2-3 authors but this ain't sure yet and if it happens it will be around next September.
-Summer internship in the UK's national synchrotron. Academic research out of my field of interest but within a leading group in the field. Should get a good LoR out of this presumably. It was good experience since I worked with an electron accelerator and did x-ray powder diffraction experiments. It's not particle physics but in a sense it's close...I got a small conference talk and poster session/presentation out of this but no publications or whatsoever.
Pertinent Activities or Jobs: 3-4 months of TAing at a local school in London. Have excellent credentials and recommendations from there and a great assessment sheet for me, but I doubt these are going to be of any use...they are not academic credentials and I can't forward them anywhere...
Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: Hopefully the fact that I have 2 bachelor degrees by the time I am 20 should be enough of an accomplishment? I mean it's not actually like having 2 Majors or something it's 2 different universities full credit for them, totally unrelated fields (and hence no credit transfers) and it's all at the same time...I feel like this is an overkill and it's going to really impress OR totally mess my application....
Special Bonus Points: Presumably all 3 recommendations should be great.
Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: I am pretty confident on my SoP, which is creative succinct and certainly demonstrates clearly all of the qualities they are looking for in postgraduate students.
Applying to Where: (now here is the big deal...are my choices completely out of place or do they even make any sense at all for my credentials?)
I clearly state on my SoP that I am interested in particle physics Phenomenology, but none of the departments I am applying to is offering this as a choice. I am applying for HET & Theoretical Particle Physics with Experimental Particle Physics as a second option wherever I could put that in.
ETHZ - Physics MSci & HEP MSci
PhDs: (I separated these into 3 tiers according to what I know about how good the physics department is in each uni and how desirable each uni is for me in terms of location, city and blah blah...)
Yale - despite rankings and everything info from academics says that physics in Yale ain't actually that good...
U of Chicago - This is a bit of a long shot given that they directly state that 3 year of formal physics education ain't enough and they require 4....
U of Washington - not amongst my most desirable choices....
UCSD - I am a bit sceptical about the location...right on the US-Mexico border...
Boston U - Even though I have applied, on second thoughts I don't think I will attend even if this is the only acceptance I get...
Brown U - This is ok, even though I found the video requirement for the application really strange (this should help me a lot though!!!).
Columbia U - Not really a safety, but I don't really wanna get stuck in NYC. After 3 years in London I am trying to avoid this kind of environment all over again...
Any thoughts are welcome!!! And I do mean anything at all!!!