This is a "format" of what can be written to somebody who asks you to pursue higher degree in Physics. Specially, I have come across several such requests for informations. I think this post will be OK.
"I am glad that you are interested to getting the higher degree. It worths bearing some pain while trying to get admitted in a US University. There is a problem: internet is a large resource. Large informations just floods in. The overwhelming sources and the level of knowledge gathered becomes entangled with each other. The best problem is keep track of what you are doing while searching through the websites, and to learn how to get through the non-informed state to informed state. "
Important: Send the documents to the Department, unless otherwise they are really strict about it. It will save the application fee to be paid to the admission office. Some of them simply will not waive the application fees while some of them do.
I think the best resources are:
http://www.phds.org/graduate-school/ (as resource)
The List of Nepali Physicists from Google Group can be helpful to see who went where.
Googling with the key-word:
"department of Physics state university"
gives some best schools.
(Take it as a joke, but take it):
You are certainly not going to the top one!.
So, Go to third page of the list and make a list of school (University), Address, requirements, application deadlines , etc. etc...
(Make an Excel spread sheet)
update it regularly.
I know it looks awkward , but it pays!
I think this is the best way to get started.
The most important thing to keep in mind is that we have no time to think, we just want the things to get done. We really need to work on it to get something. Specially when the competition is tough and chances are that You may end up getting "rejection" letters.
I think, up to 10 rejection letters will teach some lessons and If you don't mind, this is the real way.
(That was a real Joke)
BEST OF LUCK.
I will keep posting.