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Muhammad Ibrar

How to shortlist Universities for Direct PHD at USA?

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There are more than 4 thousand universities at united states, how to shortlist 6 to 10 universities according to academic profile? like it is not feasible to go through each website of university, is there any smart way to shortlist some universities for engineering category?

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Posted (edited)
On 4/28/2019 at 2:19 PM, Muhammad Ibrar said:

There are more than 4 thousand universities at united states, how to shortlist 6 to 10 universities according to academic profile? like it is not feasible to go through each website of university, is there any smart way to shortlist some universities for engineering category?

There really is no way to shortlist without missing out on some schools because there are so many. But you first have to start looking at a lot of schools and then narrowing down that list until you get to a point you feel good about. Just as a warning, this can get very exhausting. This is how I chose my schools.

1. I excluded all schools that were in areas of the country that I didn't want to live in. For example, for me I didn't want to live in the South (I lived there my whole life) nor the Midwest. I also limited the amounts of schools I applied to in California (only one) because it is very expensive to live there.

2. I then excluded more schools by whether if they are in small towns, big towns, or cities. This part is really difficult (I ended up picking a place that is in a small town, but it is close to a small city and easy to travel to big cities that are a little further away). However, you want to be happy where you live. Figure out what sort of environment you like living in.

3. Look at the list of rankings of schools for your particular field. Rankings shouldn't be your top priority when looking at schools, but they provide a good list of schools to look into.

4. Read research papers on projects you find interesting, and see what schools the authors are at.

By doing this, you will at least have a long list of possible schools. In order to reduce it down more, you need to do some in-depth research on most of the schools on this list by going to their websites. When you are doing research on the schools, you should pay attention to these factors:

1. Research focuses. Most departments have research areas they focus on. Make sure they have the research area you are interested in. If not, get rid of that school immediately.

2. Potential advisors. Find at least two people you would like to work with at each university. I aimed for three, but two should be good. If there is only one person, I would eliminate that school because there is no guaranteeing you will work with that person.

3. Tuition scholarship/waivers plus funding. You want to make sure that you will have your tuition waived along with getting funding at the school. This is usual for PhDs, but not as common for Masters. However, some schools might not support PhDs in that way, so make sure they do.

4. Application fees. Applying to grad school is expensive. If you have a hard time choosing between applying to schools that are similar in nature, maybe eliminate the ones with higher application fees.

I hope this helps! Good luck!

Edited by IceCream & MatSci

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