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mg0217

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  1. Hello everyone, New to the gradcafe and first time posting here. I am hoping to get some advice on what colleges (Top 10, 20, 30, 40+ rankings) I can aim for based on my application (GPA, GRE, LOR's all described below). I am hoping to apply for a Master in Computer Science this year and start in Fall 2019. I am an international student who attended UC San Diego from 2012 - 2016. I graduated with a degree in Chemical Engineering with a Cumulative GPA of 3.065 (just met the cut off!) but major GPA is 3.65. The reason my major GPA is so much higher than my cumulative is because of a couple of reasons: When I first moved from Mumbai to San Diego, I found it difficult to adjust to the change in culture and the education system out here. Back home in Mumbai, India the approach to studying is more theoretical where as at University is was more application based. I did not enjoy my GE's much and did not pay much attention to those grades and thus got C's in quite a few of them (even got an F in one course which I retook and replaced with a B). However, half way through my sophomore year, I had a change in mentality. Was feeling more acclimated to the culture and decided that no matter what course I took going forward, I am going to aim for better grades. Long story short, my GPA really started boosting up beginning of my junior year. I got provost honors (GPA 3.5+) for my last five quarters at UC San Diego. Due to the last two years of classes being major focused, which I really enjoyed and did well in, my major GPA during graduation was a 3.65. I want to switch field from Chemical Engineering to Computer science due to the research I did in my senior year. During my undergrad (and a little bit after graduation while I was looking for jobs), I was doing research with one of my Chemical Engineering prof's in the NanoEngineering dept at UC San Diego (for those of you who don't know, the Nano and Chemical Engineering dept at UCSD is one dept and thus prof's teach courses in both programs and are usually doing research that applies topics from both fields). During this 9 month project, I was working on writing C++ simulation code to model the diffusion of nano-particles within polymers. Additionally, I also used a lot of python and matlab for data analysis work. I had no prior experience in programming before and taught myself C++ and python to conduct this research with some assistance from my prof's Phd student. This project concluded after 9 months since I found a Job and my professor got a better job at Duke University and moved to North Carolina. Once that project ended, I wanted to learn more about computer science and explore programming more. Since then, I have taken classes in Java, C, Assembly, Data Structures, Discrete Math (UCSD + community college depending on availability of courses) I have completed all lower division courses a CS Undergrad is expected to take and am starting to take some upper div courses at UCSD this fall. I have received A's in all but one of those Computer Science courses (which was a B+). Now, I do understand that since I am switching fields, some universities may have me take some more undergrad courses in my first semester/summer session which I am fine with. In fact, that is why I want to go for a Masters program so I can get a formalized education that covers all the fundamental topics in the field. I am also looking to work on some sort of research project in my masters so am looking for a 2 year program. Here is a list of my credentials so far Graduated UCSD, BS Chemical Engineering: Cumulative GPA 3.065, Major GPA 3.65 GRE Scores: Quant 166, Verbal 153 AWA 4.0 LORs: All the people mentioned below confirmed that they will write me really strong letters of recommendation Prof I did research with in my senior year for 9 months while talking Computer science courses at community college, I got to know one of my professors really well and he is now the dept chair of Computer Science at the community college. I recently spoke with him and he suggested I should apply to top 10 schools like UCBerkley, UCLA, UCSD etc and will write me a LOR to help with that My supv at work who I have been working with since Feb 2017. Since joining my current company, I have successfully completed a lot of projects independently and helped him foster strong working relationships with other dept's which prior to that were falling apart leading to no progress at work. My boss has also confirmed that he will write a really strong letter of Rec I have received A's in all but one computer science course I took so far (I have been taking these courses while working my current job full time 40+hrs/wk SO: with that in mind, what colleges would you recommend someone like me to apply for? I really like the program at Harvard Eng because it is a two year MS that allows you to work on a project for the second year under an advisor in the dept. I'm not sure how different admission's committees will view my application since I am applying from a different field from my Bachelors and that my cumulative GPA is on the lower end for most top 15 schools in the nation. Any advice is highly appreciated! I tried my best to provide all the information I thought would be necessary to evaluate my current situation but let me know in the comments if there's any more questions you have! Thanks!
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