I know everyone is really busy with all these results coming out! So far, unfortunately all I have been receiving are rejections
. I wonder if I should try to get a second master's degree in physics to make my application stronger the next time.
A little background about me: I am graduating from a prestigious international university with a Master's degree in physics. I have a pretty high GPA by my university's standards (top 2%) and am also the top student in my department. I have also been doing research projects during my summers for 3 past years (two summers at some pretty good labs abroad) and have got my name on some publications as well.
I thought I had a competitive profile to get into top 20 or even top 10 programs in the US (based on feedback from my seniors at top 10 schools in the US), so I am honestly a bit surprised at all the rejections I have been getting. Come to think of it there's not much setting me apart from many other international students applying to top 10 schools in terms of having a good gpa (I might be slightly lower here) and research projects and publications. I don't want to give up on getting into a prestigious graduate program just yet.
I'm considering getting a second master's degree from a school in either Canada or Europe. Hopefully, I'll improve my profile by getting about a year or more of research experience in my area of interest - quantum information (possibly some more publications too).
I am slightly concerned about how graduate schools would view this though. I don't think it is very common for students to get a second master's degree in the same field, especially when my undergraduate record is not really bad. But say that I do manage to do some good work during my master's degree and get some good recs as well, would it significantly boost of chances of getting into a top graduate program considering that by then I will have roughly 4-5 years of research experience compared to 2-3 of the other candidates? I don't want to stand out for all the wrong reasons.
Also for admissions to Canada, am I too late to apply for funding for this year (fall '13). The application deadlines are still a few weeks away at some places.