I would be applying to US universities this year for Fall-2015 start. I was an engineering PhD student in United Kingdom earlier but dropped out (in 2013) after second year of my PhD to pursue mathematical physics. Since last one year I have been doing research in high energy physics (string theory) in the best university for physics in my home country in Asia and have been able to produce three publications in high impact journals like Journal of High Energy Physics.
From discussions with many academics around the world, it seems to me that getting admission in a good PhD programme in high energy physics is really hard (especially for international students) compared to other specializations in physics. So I would like to know if it would be worth applying to the top PhD programmes in high energy physics in US universities (like MIT, Chicago, etc.). What level of competition I should expect. A reality check is what I need basically. My academic profile is as follows
- Undergraduate in Mechanical Engineering with around 3.2/4.0 GPA (from a reputed college in my home country).
- PhD in Aerospace Engineering (dropped out after second year) from one of the top-30 universities in the world (in UK)
Research Experience- 2 years in my PhD programme where I published one paper as first author. And 1 year research in high energy physics with three publications with my collaborators.
I hope to do well in Physics GRE and other standardized tests. And I hope to get good recommendations from my collaborators.