I am a first year graduate student at a mid-ranked university and I am looking to transfer to another graduate program. My research interests were very broad coming into graduate school, but now I am starting to focus in on one specific research area. I have talked to professors at my university about this area and they have politely said "we don't do that here".
Here is a little more info about me:
Undergrad Institution: Large state school, not well known, and small dept in mathematics
Majors: Mathematics, Physics
Major GPA: 3.7 / 4.0
Type of Student: Domestic Minority Female
Other Info: 2 REU's, another research project at my university, undergrad TA, lots of tutoring, participated in several activities, a few awards, one of my recommendations came from someone well known
Grad institution: Large state school, mid ranking
GPA: 3.6 / 4.0
Other Info: I have been nominated twice for teaching in excellence awards
Two of the programs I am most interested in transferring to are ranked in the top 10 so I really want my application to stand out. I definitely plan to retake the GRE to get a more competitive score, my score the first time around was pretty low. I am also working on bringing up my GPA.
As for letters of recommendation, is it better to have 3 good letters from undergrad professors who know me really well, or 2 good letters from undergrad professors and one "okay" letter from someone at my current university? I haven't really taken any classes related to my area of interest and I don't know if I have built that strong of a relationship with one of my graduate professors just yet.
I was wondering if anyone who has experience in transferring would share some other advice as well? I want to make my application as competitive as possible and your advice would be much appreciated!