I am a junior undergraduate student (will be starting senior year in July) pursuing electronics and communications engineering. However, my interest and most of the work done till now in college is in the field of astronomy/astrophysics, a subject I am very passionate about. In terms of experience, I have been selected for some good workshops, summer/winter schools in a variety of areas in astrophysics, am currently doing summer research in a reputed astronomy department abroad and will be working on an interdisciplinary project(involving my major and astrophysics) for my bachelor thesis. In terms of coursework, I don't have any physics courses to show except for Physics 1 and 2 from my freshman year, as my college is very inflexible when it comes to taking courses outside one's department. My GPA is 8.2 on a scale of 10. I'll be appearing for GRE General test and TOEFL in July and haven't started preparing for GRE Physics yet.
My problem is that I don't know how to go about applying to graduate school. From what I've gathered, there are 2 options for me:
1) Apply to a Masters program next semester that doesn't require GRE Physics score. I'm willing to consider a not so reputed graduate school. The primary aim is to get some coursework.
2) Taking a break for year after graduation. I plan to do the following in that period:
a) Prepare for GRE Physics. b) Build a stronger research profile by doing more projects. There are good research institutes in my country that offer upto 6 months project positions like research assistant-ship. c) This also gives me 2 more semesters at college to improve my GPA further.
So my questions are:
1) Which option is more suitable for my situation? 2) Will the second option increase my chances of getting selected for a direct PhD?