I am a Taiwanese undergraduate student in chemistry studying in Taiwan (National Taiwan University). I want to apply chemistry PhD programs of top US universities (MIT, Stanford, UC Berkeley, etc) right after getting bachelor's degree. Although my target schools don't explicitly require journal paper publications, I am worried about my competitiveness compared to other applicants if I don't get one. So I wanna ask two questions as following supposing I get other factors done well (GPA 4.15 out of 4.3, TOEFL 105, and two years of research experience):
- Do most successful applicants (like > 50%) have publications?
- Are only papers in which I am the first author helpful?
Thank you for reading this somehow naive question. Thank you very much in advance!