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Hi guys, this is my first ever post, so I hope to not be doing anything wrong. I am a mechanical engineering undergraduate student from Brazil, and will be applying for graduate school in the US and in Canada for fall 2020 admission. Since the admission process is fairly different from what is done here in my country, I'm not familiar with the credentials that are considered to be good or bad for top schools (I do know, however, that the competition is fierce and sometimes even the best students don't get in),  so any advice will be helpful. Here is a brief overview of my CV:

Major: Mechanical Engineering

Undergrad University: Top 30 in Brazil, but I don't know if it is well known internationally

CGPA: 9/10

TOEFL: 110/120

GRE: Haven't taken it yet, but assume that I got stellar results

Research Experience: 2 years at the Fluid Mechanics Lab (Mech Eng department), 3+ years at the Processes and Simulations Lab (Chemical Eng department), 1 year at the Renewable Energy Technology research group (Mech Eng department). PS: I participate simultaneously of these three groups.

Publications:

- Two as second author at an international congress (automated a device that allows for great precision in wind tunnel measurements and helped formulate a new mathematical model for blood flow).

- One as second author at a national congress (had minor impact on this one, just analyzed some data and helped to write the paper).

- One as second author at a respected peer-reviewed journal (submitted) (developed a new technology design that increases the energy output of hydroturbines).

And, if all goes well, by the time I submit my application, I'll have 2-3 more publications (1 of these as first author) at highly regarded journals in my desired field (these publications are related to renewable energy such as hydroturbines and biomass combustion, plus a publication of experimental work that I'm currently carrying out with a masters student).

Accomplishments/Awards:

My CGPA may not seem so great when compared to other students, but in my department I'm ranked in the top 0.01% (yes, that's how they call it haha) of ALL students ever.

Co-founded a research group with my professor.

No awards.

LORs:

One from my long time advisor, who knows me very well and has been a huge part of my research career so far.

One from other professor with whom I also conduct research and also happens to be very close.

One from the department head, from when I took a graduate course in which he was the professor, and had the best grades in class. He also is my co-advisor (Got his PhD from Cornell).

Extracurriculars:

Part of the aerodynamics crew of a SAE aerodesign team.

Was briefly part of the robotics team.

Target schools:

I intend to test my luck and apply to MIT, Stanford, Princeton, Cornell and University of Toronto.

I know that it is impossible to say for sure if a CV is good enough or not since the admissions process is a crapshoot most of the time, but I would like to know your honest opinion based on your experiences. Thank you for your time.

Edited by EnergyGeek

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On 2/10/2019 at 5:07 AM, EnergyGeek said:

Hi guys, this is my first ever post, so I hope to not be doing anything wrong. I am a mechanical engineering undergraduate student from Brazil, and will be applying for graduate school in the US and in Canada for fall 2020 admission. Since the admission process is fairly different from what is done here in my country, I'm not familiar with the credentials that are considered to be good or bad for top schools (I do know, however, that the competition is fierce and sometimes even the best students don't get in),  so any advice will be helpful. Here is a brief overview of my CV:

Major: Mechanical Engineering

Undergrad University: Top 30 in Brazil, but I don't know if it is well known internationally

CGPA: 9/10

TOEFL: 110/120

GRE: Haven't taken it yet, but assume that I got stellar results

Research Experience: 2 years at the Fluid Mechanics Lab (Mech Eng department), 3+ years at the Processes and Simulations Lab (Chemical Eng department), 1 year at the Renewable Energy Technology research group (Mech Eng department). PS: I participate simultaneously of these three groups.

Publications:

- Two as second author at an international congress (automated a device that allows for great precision in wind tunnel measurements and helped formulate a new mathematical model for blood flow).

- One as second author at a national congress (had minor impact on this one, just analyzed some data and helped to write the paper).

- One as second author at a respected peer-reviewed journal (submitted) (developed a new technology design that increases the energy output of hydroturbines).

And, if all goes well, by the time I submit my application, I'll have 2-3 more publications (1 of these as first author) at highly regarded journals in my desired field (these publications are related to renewable energy such as hydroturbines and biomass combustion, plus a publication of experimental work that I'm currently carrying out with a masters student).

Accomplishments/Awards:

My CGPA may not seem so great when compared to other students, but in my department I'm ranked in the top 0.01% (yes, that's how they call it haha) of ALL students ever.

Co-founded a research group with my professor.

No awards.

LORs:

One from my long time advisor, who knows me very well and has been a huge part of my research career so far.

One from other professor with whom I also conduct research and also happens to be very close.

One from the department head, from when I took a graduate course in which he was the professor, and had the best grades in class. He also is my co-advisor (Got his PhD from Cornell).

Extracurriculars:

Part of the aerodynamics crew of a SAE aerodesign team.

Was briefly part of the robotics team. 

Target schools:

I intend to test my luck and apply to MIT, Stanford, Princeton, Cornell and University of Toronto.

I know that it is impossible to say for sure if a CV is good enough or not since the admissions process is a crapshoot most of the time, but I would like to know your honest opinion based on your experiences. Thank you for your time.

You're definitely qualified, but at the top schools, there are a lot of equally qualified applicants, and nothing's certain. Are you considering applying to other second-tier schools?

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5 hours ago, Noegenesis said:

You're definitely qualified, but at the top schools, there are a lot of equally qualified applicants, and nothing's certain. Are you considering applying to other second-tier schools?

Yes, I'm still searching though. The application fees  + TOEFL + GRE are quite expensive after converting to the brazillian currency, so I unfortunately can't apply to a lot of schools. Nevertheless, I'll also apply to some schools here in Brazil that will function as safety schools.

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1 hour ago, EnergyGeek said:

Yes, I'm still searching though. The application fees  + TOEFL + GRE are quite expensive after converting to the brazillian currency, so I unfortunately can't apply to a lot of schools. Nevertheless, I'll also apply to some schools here in Brazil that will function as safety schools.

Okay, I hope you get into a few schools! You never know until you try. Good luck!

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On 2/12/2019 at 4:18 AM, EnergyGeek said:

Yes, I'm still searching though. The application fees  + TOEFL + GRE are quite expensive after converting to the brazillian currency, so I unfortunately can't apply to a lot of schools. Nevertheless, I'll also apply to some schools here in Brazil that will function as safety schools.

I know that some universities offer fee waivers for submitting applications. I am not sure what the qualification criteria are, or if an international student can even apply for one, but you should definitely check it out! 

Also, in my humble opinion, you are a strong candidate, I wish you the best of luck!

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