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Nuclear engineering- need help with school selection!!


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I'm applying for programs (Phd or MS-to-PhD) in Nuclear Engineering. My school is a small science & engineering school that is generally well-regarded, especially by industry, but not very research oriented. I'm interested in computational science & modeling, but worry that the programs that have that area of research are out of my league. Here are my creds:



-GPA 3.9/4.0 in Engineering Physics.  I've been following the 5-year BS/MS program in nuclear engineering, so will have taken several upper-division nuclear engineering courses. But, since power generation is not my focus, I don't think my current school is a good fit & I feel weird asking them for advice about where to go.


-Several small undergrad scholarships in math & science, one big one from the school.


-TBP (engineering) KME (math) honor societies


-Awarded a competitive fellowship this past summer to study particle simulation in medical physics at a very well-known cancer center in Texas. However, we hit some snags in the project and the results probably won't be published.


-senior thesis in nuclear physics, working on a TRIGA reactor. Won't have anything published by the time I apply.


-GREs VQA of 165/170/4


-will have a strong rec. from my mentor in Texas & a couple people in nuclear physics here, but my current research adviser doesn't know me that well, yet. Should I send 4 letters just in case?


Applying to Michigan, Wisconsin, Oregon, New Mexico, Illinois, Texas A&M. I need a safety school, but can't find one that has high-performance computing. Any ideas? Would I be better off forgetting about grad school this year, beefing up my research experience and re-applying next year? 






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