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  1. There seem to be a lot of threads asking the same thing popping up lately and I figured it might make sense to make an overall guide thread and then those who feel their answers still haven’t been adequately answered can post below for an idea of what their chances are. Here is a brief rundown of factors affecting your likelihood of getting into top-tier and well respected programs. If you fall below par in any one of these factors you can bump it up by being stellar in one of the others. I'll add to this if others point out other things I've left out. School requirements: Your first stop should be the school admissions website – this will tell you what prerequisites you need, give you an idea of GRE and GPA requirements and what work experience is expected (if any) GPA: From what I’ve seen/read over the years any GPA over 3.4 and you should be competitive. That’s not to say if your GPA is lower than 3.4 you’ll have no chance, but if you have a GPA above 3.4 you should be in good shape. GRE score: GRE scores seem to be most important for schools with demanding quantitative programs and for securing the top financial aid. Most schools will state the average GRE scores for their incoming classes on their website – use these to see how competitive you are. By and large you should be competitive if you score over 650 on verbal and quantitative and over 4.0 on the AWA. For the top schools over 700 seems to be closer to the mark. Work experience: For most programs it will be expected that you have at least 1-2 years of relevant experience in your field. This can be lowered a little if you have other pseudo-relevant work experience (management in the for-profit sector etc.) but you should have shown some level of professional interest in the area you hope to study at grad school. Applicants coming straight out of undergrad may find it very hard to get into the programs aimed more at junior/mid-career professionals such as Johns Hopkins SAIS and Princeton’s WWS. Language skills: For a lot of programs being able to speak a second language is a must, while for others it is just a very good selling point. If you can show experience working in a foreign language this will show adaptability and will endear schools looking to enrol a diverse group of applicants. Quantitative requirements: A lot of schools will want you to show experience in micro/macroeconomics and some maths/statistics courses. You can fullfil these through undergrad classes or by taking courses at a community college/diploma program. Overseas experience (work, study and teaching): Work overseas and study abroad are also viewed extremely favourably by admissions committees and if you have taught English abroad, worked in the Peace Corps or otherwise gained experience living in a developing country this will really strengthen your application. It also shows you to be a go-getter, and that you can bring this outside experience to grad school study. Statement of Purpose: This is where it all comes together. This is your chance to impress the admission committee and show how your personal 'arc' has brought you to this point - being the perfect addition to their grad school. This more than any other part of your application will determine how admit committees view you as an applicant and it's also one of the only application variables that's completely under your control. Having a cohesive narrative that brings together life experience, past academic history and professional experience is a must. It also gives you a great chance to showcase your writing style - so make sure no grammar/spelling mistakes make it into your final revision. Great list of SOP pitfalls If your profile matches at least 3 or 4 of the criteria listed above then you are competitive to apply to an MPA/MPP/IR program. What is most important about any grad school application is showing fit – that is how your profile matches the speciality of that school and its program. If you can’t articulate compelling reasons why you are a good match for them and vice versa, question whether you should be applying to that program. A note on applying to top schools: It is worth noting that nobody here can tell you what your chances of getting into a top program (Harvard, Princeton, Georgetown etc.) because getting into a top program requires a certain amount of luck as well as a great profile. Some people get offers from Harvard with a 2.9 GPA, but also happen to have singlehandedly retaken an allied command post in the Korengal valley. It’s down to who reads your application and what they happen to be looking for with the current application cycle. Spend time improving the elements of your application that you can (GRE, work experience, languages) and don’t waste time freaking out about the things you can’t change (GPA). If you’ve read all of the above and really still can’t tell if your application is competitive, post your profile below.
  2. Hey everyone! I am writing here because I would like some advice! Last May I completed my B.S. in Electrical Engineering and I would like to advance my education and earn my Master's Degree. I want to pursue a M.S. in Engineering Management. Out of undergrad my cumulative GPA was 2.993. Most grad school programs have a requirement that applicants' GPA's be greater than or equal to 3.0. My GPA falls just below that mark. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, many grad school programs are deciding to waive the requirement of taking the GRE. Since my GPA is slightly below the threshold, I have been told that taking the GRE and scoring well on it would help my application to appear more valuable and competitive to schools. Basically I would like advice with determining if taking the GRE would be worth my time. I have heard some schools may round my GPA up & count it as 3.0 and I have been speaking to some admissions counselors about this. I have spoked to my IRL friends about my predicament and each person said different things. Some said take the GRE and others said don't. I'm just here looking for more advice. Any info helps & thank you.
  3. I am from NY and I am currently in the process of applying to speech graduate programs and was wondering if anyone on here or someone they know has gotten into slp grad programs with my type of profile or something similar: 3.4 cumulative gpa, 3.6 major gpa, 145 Verbal 145 Quant 3.5 Writing (GRE), I have experience being a special ed paraprofessional in lifeskills classrooms, experience working as a clerical worker at a speech-lang. pathology practice (also observed sessions alongside clinicians at practice), and also have experience being an activity coordinator at a summer camp working with children diagnosed with intellectual and developmental disabilities. If someone could give me some insight I would really appreciate it!
  4. 1) I have a high gpa (4.0), some research experience, and what i hope are going to be positive recommendation letters. Let's assume I have a concrete SoP, and my research interests/methods are in line with a respective department. Will a low gre (V157 Q150) really keep an applicant out of top programs (Harvard, Columbia, NYU, etc?) 2) If you scan the results page, I find reports here and there of acceptances at these programs with similar GRE scores. What do you make of this? 3) In response to asking for a letter of rec, a professor has asked me to send along "what I would like them to touch on." This is a weird in-between of the "yes, i will write one for you" and the "sure, draft one up for me will ya?" My other two recommenders are writing them without my input, so I won't be able to curate them in any way. Any tips for what I might want to highlight? Given some financial hardships, I am debating not applying at all given the prevalence of high GRE cutoffs... (or waivers, I suppose) Hope you all are doing well this application season, cuz im already totally unhinged.
  5. Hi all, I have recently finished my GRE and got 165Q and 168V. I want to do a master’s degree in economics in the UK, preferably at the LSE or Oxford, and plan to do a PhD, maybe in the US, afterwards. Since the quant score is very important in economics, I consider a retake. My score is above what these universities expect for international students (164 in Oxford and 161 everywhere else), but I fear that I might not look like a competitive applicant with it. My grades are good, and I don’t know whether I should just focus on other parts of my application or on the GRE. In practice tests, I received quant scores from 163 to 170, but I am not sure if I could do better next time if I were to retake the test. I hope that someone has some experience with the admissions process in the UK and could help me with that.
  6. Hi everyone, I'm applying for ms cs this year in the following Canadian universities. U of T Waterloo McGill UBC McMaster I have GRE scores of Verbal 163 Quantitative 165 Writing 4.0/6.0. I have a 3.33 GPA from a top 3 university for CS(also known for grade deflation unfortunately) in the USA. How likely am i to get in to these universities for their Masters programs in computer science (non-phd)?
  7. I am about to receive my Bachelors of Arts Degree in Communications concentration in Journalism, with a minor in Psychology. I have decided that I want to apply to Grad School for both Masters and PhD programs for Clinical Psychology. I am applying to a few ivies such as Columbia, Harvard, UPenn and Cornell. Based off my credentials, would I have a shot at being accepted? I believe I am but I feel like this platform would know better and of course having faith. I do have work experience in the medical field aspect working with the NJDOH for COVID vaccinations and will be starting a new position at RWJBH Hospital. My cumulative GPA right now is a 3.40 My Major GPA is 3.0 (Journalism) My Minor GPA is 3.67 (Psychology) I only have to take 15 credits of Psychology for my minor since I received AP credit from high school. From Winter 2020 to Spring 2021, I have maintained all straight A's in my classes. I of course want to obtain a 4.0 again for the Fall 2021 semester which will be my last semester since I will finish a semester early. Once my 6 credits transfer over to my school from summer courses and if I get a 4.0 again in the Fall, my final cumulative GPA will be 3.51, my major GPA would be 3.18 and my minor GPA will be 3.8. Even right now, most if not all my schools do not require or it is optional to submit GRE scores, but I do plan on taking the general GRE and Psychology subject test.
  8. Hello! I am going to be applying for clinical psychology PhD programs in the Fall (hoping to start in Fall 2022). I am currently obtaining a B.A. in psychology with a minor in gender and women's studies and have a 4.0. I have been working in a research lab since my freshman year (and I am joining a 2nd one this summer) and have experience as an undergrad T.A. for two semesters. I am not too great at standardized tests and just took a GRE practice exam with a pretty bad quant score. I also have not been in very many clubs throughout my undergrad, because I was busy working and performing in my university's choral program. What are some things that I can do this semester to boost my application? Additionally, what are some things that I can do to boost my quantitative score (I am pretty bad at math and it scares me!)? I am worried that my lack of participation in student clubs/bad math score might jeopardize my admission to some schools, what are your tips? Thank you so much, I greatly appreciate it!!
  9. Please forgive me, as this is my first post on grad cafe. I received my Bachelor of Arts in Education with a dual endorsement in Math and ESL. I am looking to go to graduate school to receive my Master's in Education. However, these programs aren't super transparent on the average GPA and GRE of admitted students. Can everyone post their GPA and GRE along with the school they got into? I'm looking at specifically CU Boulder's program but I am keeping my mind open. Thank you so much!
  10. Hi all I just got back my GRE score and it turns out to be lower than I expected ( V146/ Q167/ AW3.0). I submitted my application for MS stat/biostat for Rutgers but I am afraid that I can get rejected because of my low score. I graduated from large public university(top 30 public univ from us news) with stat/econ major. My GPA is 3.6 / 4.0 no related work experience but TA for a math course one strong recom letter (from prof that I TA for) Do I still have some chances of getting admitted for Rutgers ms stat/biostat? please help thank you
  11. Governments should not fund any scientific research whose consequences are unclear. Write a response in which you discuss the extent to which you agree or disagree with the recommendation and explain your reasoning for the position you take. In developing and supporting your position, describe specific circumstances in which adopting the recommendation would or would not be advantageous and explain how these examples shape your position. The bifurcation of government’s fund plays a pivotal role in directing the path in which the future of a country's success depends on, and funding new scientific research is the responsibility of the government. In my opinion, I strongly disagree with the above stated premise and argue that the Govt should underwrite to the scientific research due to the following three reasons: Firstly, new innovations catalyses the growth of a country’s economy exponentially. Every successful research was once in a rudimentary state where there were little or no empirical results or evidence. For instance, when the entire world was suffering from a pernicious pandemic called COVID from 2019 through 2021, scientific institutions from across the world were not able to come up with a vaccine with considerable efficacy. If the government at that time hadn’t provided enough funds for the research and development of the vaccine, the virus could have cost millions of lives. Moreover, the authority of a particular country providing support to the R&D gave hope to the residents of the same country that: they will overcome the difficult times and once again everything will be back to normal. The hope a commoner has galvanizes the scientific community to produce better results. So, in all a government providing help to these institutions is a win-win situation for both its citizens and for the scientists to fecundate a breakthrough. Another perspective which adds to the benefits of funding scientific research is that, the country which succeeds in these kinds of researches earns a great amount of respect and fame all over the world and in the longer run boosts the economy of a country, through several scientific strides a country can exalt from being a lower tier country to tier 1 country. For example, take the case of India whose then Prime Minister was Narendra Modi who invigorated the youth and the scientific community to innovate a vaccine which will help people to fight against the deadly Coronavirus. By mid- January two vaccines were invented namely- Covishield and Covaxin, each of which had an average efficacy of 80%, these vaccines came as a fortune to the country in multifarious aspects like: The exports of these vaccines helped the country to build better relations with other countries, in addition to this invention India was extolled for its efforts in fighting the virus and had etched its name in the history of pharmacology. On the other hand some people suggest that if the Government renders resources to scientific research with no consequence, it squanders both money and time. However, in my view it is never a waste of resources, even if the research fails to produce results as it acts as a yardstick to other scientists working in the same field. So, by the consistent efforts of a group of scientists working in a particular field of research will one day achieve heights of success, which in turn will help a country. So at the end, the government should fund the scientific research even if it has no consequences as “ A science today, is a technology tomorrow”.
  12. Hello all, Just want to know... Is University of New Mexico really a good school?? For PhD chemistry studies.
  13. Hi all. Covid is ruining my project, but I have to do my best for Phd. One of option is GRE. My gre writing for master school was 3.0. I know this is terrible, but English is my second language. Can anyone give me some tips for my writing or any good link? I read GRE books, but those did not basically change my scores. Thanks, guys.
  14. Hello Everyone, I took my GRE couple of days ago and got 326 (168 on Math and 158 on Verbal). I am applying for phd in statistics and I believe that my score on math section is fine for the most programs, but the verbal score is probably less than their average for good schools. Since I am an international student, I think I would not be judged too harshly on that verbal score but I just wanted to ask here. Should I submit these scores to schools like U Michigan, UT Austin who have made GRE optional?
  15. I’m looking at several top music theory PhD programs (Eastman, Yale, Columbia, Harvard, Northwestern...just to name a few) and was wondering how heavily GRE scores are weighed for applicants. My current scores are 160V, 150Q, and 4.5A, so my quant score is low, but I’ve heard that humanities programs generally only care about verbal and writing scores. I’ve considered retaking it to boost my quant score, but I’m not sure if it’s worth the time and money. Additionally, I have a 3.99 GPA at my undergrad institution, so I’m wondering if this might be able to offset my lower quant score. Any insights would be greatly appreciated!
  16. Dear all, I am an international applicant (from India) to the PhD program in Statistics/Biostatistics for Fall 2021 session. A little background about me: I completed my undergraduate in 2015, majoring in statistics with minor in mathematics and economics and my masters in statistics in 2017, both with US equivalent GPA of 4.0. Both my undergrad and masters universities are quite reputed (not ISI) and I believe I have decent mathematical preparation. After that, till now I have been working as a biostatistician at a pharmaceutical company. Along with my job, I have been involved in some academic research projects(not full time though). One of my research project is a collaboration work with professors from Yale biostatistics, Boston University statistics and Tel Aviv University statistics. Now I was asked by the professor at Yale to apply to the PhD program at Yale and I received recommendation letters from all other research collaborators and one of my master's professor. Yes, I am of course most interested in the Yale program because the work that I am doing is new and can be extended further into my doctoral research (perhaps) Although I have been involved in several research projects and presented talks or posters at international conferences about these projects, I have not been to get any publication as of yet (on the verge of submitting one and organizing for another submission currently). However, my GRE score is a bit on the low side 151V/163Q/4.5AWA and due to the pandemic, I could not retake the test. So, I was wondering how important GRE scores are for PhD applications? Now I know that the professor from Yale is not in the admissions committee, though I received an LOR from the same professor. Will my scores lead to automatic rejection? Particularly since the Ivy leagues are very selective in all respect. Thanks in advance for your replies
  17. The following is a memorandum from the office of Mayor Harrison Smith Jones. "In order to relieve Briggsville’s notorious traffic congestion, Mayor Harrison Smith Jones plans to build a multi-million dollar subway system. The subway will run through the major downtown areas, a part of the town where buses serve as the only form of public transportation. For years, residents have been complaining both about inconsistent buses, and the general lack of safety while riding the buses. Additionally, the subway will be running twenty-four hours a day. Since motorists will spend less time in traffic, Mayor Harrison Smith Jones expects to see an immediate increase in worker productivity, which will improve the economy of Briggsville." Write a response in which you examine the stated and/or unstated assumptions of the argument. Be sure to explain how the argument depends on these assumptions and what the implications are for the argument if the assumptions prove unwarranted. My response: The prompt states that the proposed subway should most definitely resolve certain long-pressing issues for the citizens of Briggsville with the introduction of a new subway system. On analyzing the current described situation, certain ambiguities must be analyzed. Firstly, let's get to the safety factor mentioned in the prompt. It is being assumed that the subways will be safer than buses, which are currently seen as unsafe. It should be seen as to what safety issues are the people facing - whether it is in terms of physical safety, or if there have been constant reports of thefts or safety in terms of getting on and off the bus or frequent bus accidents, etc. Will the subway reduce instances of thefts or accidents? It is possible that bus-related accidents might reduce, but it can't be assured the subway will not introduce new kinds of accidents related to metros in the terminal. Regarding thefts, if security is bumped up, for example with cameras being added, it may reduce incidents of theft but since it isn't mentioned it can't be guaranteed that using a different mode of transport is going to reduce petty crimes and similar cases. More data regarding such incidents in subways in nearby cities may help get a clearer picture of whether safety will be improved and if adding such facilities may help. Next, coming to the location of the subway hubs, indeed, the downtown areas sound like commuting in well-traveled areas will be easier, but there isn't sufficient information on whether the impact on traffic reduction will be significant or negligible. It hasn't been established whether the downtown area is commercial or residential and whether the subway stops will make it easier for people living on the outskirts of the area to reach their work locations. Another thing to look at with respect to the location of the subway is if it will actually improve the commute for workers and in turn, help improve the economy. A lot of people may stay far away from the downtown area and may still have to use buses instead. More information regarding the locations of the stops would help get a decent idea about how many people would benefit and whether changing the stop locations would help improve the commute situation for the people. Although the proposed project may resolve certain issues related to traffic and other bus incidents, getting more data with respect to subway stops and records of nearby subway projects in similar areas may help make sure the project is as effective as intended.
  18. Hi, I graduated from college last year. My majors are economics and health science. My overall GPA is 2.8. I do not know if I have any chances to go to graduates school. I took a GRE test in Sep this year but I only got 299 in verbal and quantitative parts, and 3 in analytical writing. People around me most get at least a 3.0 GPA for applying for graduate school in the United States. Yes, I was an international student and moved back to my home country after I graduated. I have some friends who have the same GPA as me, but they decided to apply for graduate school in the U.K. or Australia. However, I still want to go to a graduate school in the U.S. I remember that I went to the career center and asked my advisor about how I can go to graduate school. She said I could go, but I needed to get a 320 GRE test score and tried to be a research assistant for a professor to prove that I can do research. I also heard about some master's professional studies programs. My advisor and professor suggested that I should not go there, but some of my friends think that it is a chance to go to the top 30 universities in the U.S. I feel that going to some professional studies programs can save time because it is usually short. My family thinks that my age is not competitive enough in the labor market. Yes, I am from a population-dense country, most companies or institutions have age requirements for the employee. I do not know if I should retake GRE. Now, I am a research assistant in a researching center, but some people also tell me that being a research assistant is not enough, and I should think about if I can publish a paper with my professor. That sounds too hard for me. It gives me a strike on my confidence.
  19. Hello! I have taken the GRE last month and got V:164, Q:161 and AWA: 4.5. I am planning to apply to the top 5-10 Political Science programs in the U.S. (comparative). My GPA is around 3.90, and my undergrad school is among T3 in Canada. I have 3-5 reliable references (all received their Ph.D. from T5 in the U.S.) and a relatively original and quantitative writing sample, though not a publishable one. Do you think, given the current cycle's conditions, I should submit these GRE scores to the schools that have made it optional? Or do you think I should re-take the test before the applications are due? Also, I was wondering if any of you know how important the AWA section is for adcoms. Thank you so much 🙂
  20. I am applying to SAIS MAIR, Georgetown MSFS, Fletcher MALD. Just took the GRE: 162 verbal, 148 quant. GPA: 3.3 6 years of experience: 1 at international global health company 5 in international education. Should I submit my GRE score? What are my chances?
  21. I am applied to UIUC, UMich, UColorado and Rice (best ranked among the universities I applied to) for Condensed Matter Theory (for a Ph.D in Physics). My GRE score is Q163, V163. I am an international student with a 3.91 WES evaluated undergrad GP. I don't have publications but a decent research experience. I recently found out that these schools were much competitive than I had projected, my chances have begun to look dim especially because of my poor Quant score. Do I have a decent shot?
  22. I'd appreciate any input on my quandary. UT Houston School of Public Health has made the GRE optional this season, and I'm not sure if my scores will help or hurt my application for the PhD in Behavioral Sciences program. Here's a bit about me: Undergrad GPA: 3.3 Grad GPA: 4.0 No pubs yet but I have experience working on multiple research projects, including a couple that I hope to publish in the next year. I'm also a foster parent who is interested in maternal and child health. GRE verbal: 92nd percentile, quant: 51st percentile, writing: 4.5 (80th percentile). On the website, they say a combined score of 308 and a writing score of 4 is required. I know my quant score is kind of dragging me down. Is it better to submit my scores or not? Thanks in advance!
  23. I appeared for test from home edition of GRE and scored 319(Q:165, V:154)+3.5. I am a non native English speaker from India from a very reputed Institute. I have a really mediocre (C)GPA like around 3.2~3.3. Also, I am a non CS student wishing to pursue computational sciences especially machine learning abroad. I have research as well as corporate experience in the ML field. Though, I do not have any publications. I have 5 LoRs(teachers and former employers). TBH, the only thing that makes me insecure about applying is my mediocrity. I mean I was literally the 50th student in a class of 100. I know that's a bad stats but what I should do? Should I appear for GRE again? How shall I make up for my mediocre grads and lack of experience? Should I apply or quit dreaming? If there is anything else, you people need I would be happy to provide it. I need an honest opinion on my profile like a slap on my face. Thanking you all in anticipation.
  24. Prompt: Discussing controversial topics with those with contrasting views is not useful because very few people change their mind when questioned about their core beliefs. Write a response to the prompt in which you discuss whether or not you agree or disagree. Be certain to fully develop your position and carefully consider ways in which your position could be challenged. My response: Controversies are inevitably a part of our lives. So more often than not, people tend to have atleast some sort of a basic opinion on things; from politics, to economic policies, to the invitees of a limited guest list of a private party- we always lean towards a side more than the other. Depending on the subject in question, people can have very strong opinions or be neutral to the point that they may seem uninterested. When it comes to sensitive subjects like in politics, people may swing to either side based on their current and past knowledge, family ideas, cultural environment, etc. To say that controversial topics being discussed between parties of opposing opinions is useless is probably a very sensible statement, but could be a little far-fetched, let's analyse why. Now, it may be true, that people rarely change their minds about their core beliefs. But not exposing such minds to an opposing idea may turn out to be more problematic. Being a part of such an amalgamation of communities, people have to learn to adjust and accept new and seemingly frightening ideas at the beginning to maintain harmony. Let's say a person from a remote location, who grew up in a certain culture/religion, followed it to the point where she is deeply revered in her community. This person one day, decides to go to a city, and finds people of different beliefs alot of it very different from her community's and may feel odd. There is a possibility that this person may be amazed by the variety and expansive ideas out there and may be welcoming in which case she is open to a whole new world of ideas. There is also the possibility that this person may be frightened and may refuse to indulge in anything unfamiliar and may limit her understanding of the universe. In the second situation, the person is inhibiting her own growth by not being open to new ideas. Discussing difficult topics can produce huge results, if not always favourable. Discussions act as a catalyst to move certain issues forward. For example, women's rights. Something so controversial since the beginning of time, but so necessary to be talked about. Women didn't have access to a lot of rights that men did but having these conversations even with people who didn't believe that women should have such rights led to the revolution that allows our women right now to have a voice. In the context of trying to have discussions with people with differing beliefs, it is actually very necessary to have difficult conversations, since we tend to inhibit our understanding by only engaging with like minded people. We may be unable to change their mind but we may have started an important conversation that may have pushed them to think or instilled a new idea in them. This process of conversation leads to a chain reaction of spreading ideas or starting new necessary conversations relevant to our daily lives.
  25. Does anyone know of any Speech Language Pathology graduate programs that are waiving the GRE for 2020-2021 due to the coronavirus? Thanks!
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