<p>I don't have the stats from US News but from the acceptance rates at other grad school programs like engineering, it looks very discouraging. And I'm talking about top grad schools especially Caltech (or any other prestigious institution for that matter now that I'm not limited to Caltech now). How difficult is it for a not-so-great undergrad at a state college to get into Caltech for grad school? Is graduate school even harder than undergrad? I'm thinking of going into physics or astronomy.</p>
<p>You have to be a top student, whether you come from your state school or a school as tough as MIT.</p>
<p>I don't know how selective grad schools are for physical sciences. I actually would like some stats too, for some other fields.
More and more students are applying to grad schools, and some fields are more competitive than others. At one state school that I'm familiar with (and it's not even a very competitive school for undergrad studies), only 9% of students who apply for the graduate clinical psychology program get accepted. And I think that's pretty typical.</p>
<p>If your undergrad grades weren't stellar, you might want to look into less competitive, less prestigious schools. Perhaps even consider going to grad school for another perhaps similar area of interest that is less competitive. Admittedly, that might not seem ideal, but things aren't always what we want them to be.</p>