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Hi, I'm new to this site. Been occasionally reading resources for the PGRE on the other forum for a bit though. I thought I had a pretty decent GPA until I read the 2009 Profiles thread, now I'm kind of concerned. I just graduated from UC Berkeley and am studying for the GREs and planning to apply this year. My overall GPA is a 3.5 and my physics one is like a 3.27 (My first year I got my only C's, then an upward trend). Up until this year I was really wavering on the grad school plan, but now I'm positive I want to go into astrophysics (preferably in instrumentation and observation). I've done research in a few fields for the duration of 3 years (DOE - energy analysis, SSL - solar physics, JPL - laser spectroscopy, campus - atomic magnetometers) for about a year each - some overlap. No published papers, a presentation at AGU. Haven't taken the GREs yet, studying hard for them. Do you think I have any shot of getting into an astrophysics program like Harvard's (I know they're the top in observation), or should I be more realistic?
Harvard will be difficult but not impossible with those grades and GRE scores. If it is at all possible, get your name on a paper. You might want to look at other schools that are strong in instrumentation and observation, though, like Arizona, Santa Cruz (for extragalactic), UW, or Hawaii.