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Competitiveness for grad programs in Aerospace Engineering


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I am applying for Fall 2020. I am worried about my competitiveness because of my GPA and fairly low quant score.


Undergrad Institution: Top 5 public school in Aerospace Engineering
Major(s): Aerospace Engineering and Applied Physics (dual degree)
GPA in Major: 3.0
Overall GPA: 3.1
Position in Class: I am assuming average

Type of Student: Domestic

GRE Scores (revised/old version):
Q: 161
V: 158
W: 5.5

Research Experience: 

Had research at a T1 university in high school in an unrelated STEM field. Won awards for my research. Never got published in academic journals though.

Had lab experience freshman year in an unrelated STEM field (same as high school) and did mostly instrumentation and low fidelity first pass analysis

Research internship at NASA during my jr. year. I have a strong rec letter from my supervisor


Had research accolades in high school but not much other than that

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: 

Two internships at NASA focused on ramjet design for planetary missions (Venus and Mars)

Internship at satellite company doing orbit visualization and space situational awareness

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help:

My work at NASA led me to asking a professor to take up the project for a design class. We ended up having the design class and it turned out well. Got a rec letter from the professor.

Special Bonus Points: 

Took grad classes in my area of interest (entry, descent and landing/astrodynamics). Orbit Mechanics and optimal control. Didn't do well in the classes (B and C+), but I had internship experience using those skill-sets. 

I am a dual degree student. Took 18+ credits a semester in physics and aerospace engineering courses. While I was a bonehead, sometimes I just couldn't handle the workload of two degrees which led to the low GPA.

Three rec letters:

1 former NASA employee

1 former boss at Satellite Company (well known in the industry)

1 distinguished professor at my school in a slightly unrelated area (still within same major of study, just a bit different of a focus).

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter:

Was president of FSAE electric team, had plenty of good club and design team experience which helped me land my internships.

Applying to Where:

Tennessee - Aero and Astro - Autonomous Controls and Astrodynamics (MS)
UT Austin - Aero and Astro - Astrodynamics (MS)
Illinois - Aero and Astro - EDL and hypersonic trajectory design (MS, potentially a PhD depending on funding)
Georgia Tech - Aero and Astro - Astrodynamics and Space Robotics (MS)
Stanford - Aero and Astro - Astrodynamics and Formation Flying (PhD)

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