This is my third time applying for phd physics programs. I haven't had much luck in the past and I'm wondering if the awesome people on this board can lend some advice, and hopefully other people with similar profiles as mine can also read in.
What I want to study:
HEP-th, HEP-ex, CMT/CME.
UCSC BA/BS in Physics + Math
GRE: 790 (69%) (will retake oct 29)
Research: 1.5 yrs HEP-th simulation with thesis paper
Work: Large tech company for >1year (ongoing). Doing a mix of software/simulation/physics
LOR: 1 research, 1 work, 1 professor
School list so far:
UC San Diego
Here's a few questions I would like to get answered:
1) Does the school list I have chosen makes sense given my profile? I do want to apply to a few top 10 schools to increase my chances of getting in to those places, but maybe that's too ambitious.
2) I am most passionate about doing more hep-th, since that's what I studied for undergrad, but I feel that part of the reason I didn't get accepted in the past was because that was my only stated focus in my SOP. Over the past year I've taken interest in hep-ex and especially CMT. What's the best way to express this in my SOP? I don't have any experience in CM...
3) Should I stress certain interests more than others for schools that specialize in certain fields? For instance, should I stress an interest in CMT in my Minnesota application?