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I want to share this experience with others and I don't know many people applying for the next enrollment season since I am a couple years out from graduating.

Here's the template for submitting your credentials:

Undergrad Institution (approx. rank/reputation in STEM): 

Major(s): 
Minor(s): 
GPA in Major: x.xx/4.00
Overall GPA: x.xx/4.00
Demographics/Background: 


GRE Scores:
Q: xxx (xx%)
V: xxx (xx%)
W: x.x (xx%)


LOR: 


Research Experience: 

 

Publications/Abstracts/Presentations:

 

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: 

 

Fellowships/Funding:

 

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: 

 

Other Miscellaneous Accomplishments:

 

Anything else in your application that might matter (faculty connections, etc.):

 

Research Interests:

 

Institutions/Programs:

 

Comments:

 
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  • 2 weeks later...

Hello guys. I am a junior chemical engineering major, am not applying for PhD until Fall 2021 however as I am doing a 5 year BS/MS. Having difficulties deciding what tier I would apply to.

At the time of applying I will have two posters, 3 years in the same lab, one research internship, plus part of my MS thesis, and maybe a pub if everything goes perfectly. Not sure yet about GRE but I assume it will be okay. 

The main issue is my GPA, I will have a 3.7 cumulative and engineering at the time of application but that is after 3 retakes and 2 pass/fail (this is for COVID semester). Is this enough to prevent me from applying to high tier schools. I was thinking University of Colorado? 

Thanks for any help lol. 

Edited by Uma4783
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  • 2 weeks later...
On 5/12/2020 at 10:28 AM, Uma4783 said:

Hello guys. I am a junior chemical engineering major, am not applying for PhD until Fall 2021 however as I am doing a 5 year BS/MS. Having difficulties deciding what tier I would apply to.

At the time of applying I will have two posters, 3 years in the same lab, one research internship, plus part of my MS thesis, and maybe a pub if everything goes perfectly. Not sure yet about GRE but I assume it will be okay. 

The main issue is my GPA, I will have a 3.7 cumulative and engineering at the time of application but that is after 3 retakes and 2 pass/fail (this is for COVID semester). Is this enough to prevent me from applying to high tier schools. I was thinking University of Colorado? 

Thanks for any help lol. 

I can't say whether or not you could get into a top tier university, but generally that shouldn't stop you from applying. In the application process you want to apply to to 2-3 dream schools, 2-3 realistic, and 2-3 fall back schools. Minimum GPA and GRE scroes are required just for your application to get looked at but they ultimately don't decide whether you get accepted. What schools are really looking for is research potential and your experience speaks to that greatly. A publication will definitely help you a lot! With a GPA of 3.7 and good GRE scores I would encourage you to apply to schools like U Colorado if that's where you want to attend. 

I have a GPA of 3.5 (with strong upward trajectory) and I plan to apply to UT Austin and I feel like I have a decent shot of getting in based on my research experience if that says anything.

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On 5/24/2020 at 11:15 AM, daromi said:

I can't say whether or not you could get into a top tier university, but generally that shouldn't stop you from applying. In the application process you want to apply to to 2-3 dream schools, 2-3 realistic, and 2-3 fall back schools. Minimum GPA and GRE scroes are required just for your application to get looked at but they ultimately don't decide whether you get accepted. What schools are really looking for is research potential and your experience speaks to that greatly. A publication will definitely help you a lot! With a GPA of 3.7 and good GRE scores I would encourage you to apply to schools like U Colorado if that's where you want to attend. 

I have a GPA of 3.5 (with strong upward trajectory) and I plan to apply to UT Austin and I feel like I have a decent shot of getting in based on my research experience if that says anything.

On 5/12/2020 at 7:28 AM, Uma4783 said:

Hello guys. I am a junior chemical engineering major, am not applying for PhD until Fall 2021 however as I am doing a 5 year BS/MS. Having difficulties deciding what tier I would apply to.

At the time of applying I will have two posters, 3 years in the same lab, one research internship, plus part of my MS thesis, and maybe a pub if everything goes perfectly. Not sure yet about GRE but I assume it will be okay. 

The main issue is my GPA, I will have a 3.7 cumulative and engineering at the time of application but that is after 3 retakes and 2 pass/fail (this is for COVID semester). Is this enough to prevent me from applying to high tier schools. I was thinking University of Colorado? 

Thanks for any help lol. 

 

I agree with @daromi A 3.5GPA seems to be the "cutoff" for the most tippity top schools and even so, upward trajectories are very favorable and the entire application is still likely to be considered holistically. Anecdotally, I know a couple people with <3.6GPAs and no publications still get into CU Boulder's PhD program in ChemE -- your chances for CU Boulder seem to be very solid.

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 5/12/2020 at 9:28 AM, Uma4783 said:

Hello guys. I am a junior chemical engineering major, am not applying for PhD until Fall 2021 however as I am doing a 5 year BS/MS. Having difficulties deciding what tier I would apply to.

At the time of applying I will have two posters, 3 years in the same lab, one research internship, plus part of my MS thesis, and maybe a pub if everything goes perfectly. Not sure yet about GRE but I assume it will be okay. 

The main issue is my GPA, I will have a 3.7 cumulative and engineering at the time of application but that is after 3 retakes and 2 pass/fail (this is for COVID semester). Is this enough to prevent me from applying to high tier schools. I was thinking University of Colorado? 

Thanks for any help lol. 

Chiming in -- I applied for the 2020 Fall cycle and I received admission to a top-5 BIOE program with a 3.6 GPA from a public university. I wouldn't say that your GPA is worrying as long as the rest of your application (letters, essays, etc) is solid. 

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I'll start:

Undergrad Institution (approx. rank/reputation in STEM): R1 Public, US News Top 100 for National Universities (top 50 for ChemE grad schools)

Major(s): Chemical Engineering
Minor(s): Biological Engineering
GPA in Major: 3.84/4.00
Overall GPA: 3.79/4.00
Demographics/Background: International Male, Asian


GRE Scores: haven't taken; practice tests consistently 165Q
Q: xxx (xx%)
V: xxx (xx%)
W: x.x (xx%)


LOR: 1x strong (from main PI), 1x good (from summer REU), haven't decided 3rd (probably from instructor I TA'd for)


Research Experience: 2.5 years materials science research in undergrad, 1 summer REU in biocatalysis

 

Publications/Abstracts/Presentations: 5x posters (including regional & national conferences), 1x oral presentation

 

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: 2x poster prizes, year-long research fellowship & travel award from my home university, engineering scholarship

 

Fellowships/Funding: Ineligible for everything as international 😕 

 

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: ChemE tutor and TA'd a couple classes,

 

Other Miscellaneous Accomplishments: N/A

 

Anything else in your application that might matter (faculty connections, etc.): One of my recommenders did their postdoc at MIT, but I feel this holds true for a lot of recommenders

 

Research Interests: Catalysis (either protein based e.g. biocatalysis or materials-based e.g. zeolites, porous materials)

 

Institutions/Programs: All for PhD in ChemE

Loooooong shot (UC Berkeley already discourages internationals from applying to begin with) :

  • UC Berkeley
  • MIT

If lucky:

  • UC Santa Barbara
  • UMinnesota
  • UW Madison
  • UT Austin
  • Northwestern
  • Columbia
  • UPenn
  • Johns Hopkins

Should have a reasonable shot at:

  • Cornell
  • CU Boulder
  • UWashington
  • UArkansas
  • UVA

*How I feel about my chances are based off of discussions with my advisor, as well as having seen admission stats/class profiles at programs that release them

Comments:

Edited by heistotron
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Undergrad Institution (approx. rank/reputation in STEM): Virginia Tech

Major(s): Chemical Engineering, Focus in Polymers

Minor(s): none

GPA in Major: 3.61/4.00

Overall GPA: 3.51/4.00 *upward trajectory, >3.8 my last two years

Demographics/Background: male, white, US citizen

 

GRE Scores: haven't taken it yet but I'm targeting >= 165 V/Q, and 4.5 W

Q: 169 (highest practice score taken so far)

V: 155 (highest practice score taken so far)

W: 5 (highest practice score taken so far)

 

LOR: 1 research advisor in undergrad (strong), 1 PhD scientist I know in industry, 1 post doc or PI from research experience post college

 

Research Experience: 2 years undergrad (polymers, additive manufacturing, rheology), 3 years industry (porous membranes, surface science), 3 months university lab (neuroscience)

 

Publications/Abstracts/Presentations: 1 co first author publication, 1 poster presentation at graduate student assembly, a couple posters and presentations in industry

 

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Scholarship (x2), Deans list student

 

Fellowships/Funding: n/a

 

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: EHS internship, Project manager for research group in industry, tutored calc and chemistry, STEM mentor for high school science projects

 

Other Miscellaneous Accomplishments: rode bicycle across US for charity

 

Anything else in your application that might matter (faculty connections, etc.):

 

Research Interests: biomaterials, regenerative medicine, polymers

 

Institutions/Programs: Duke (BioE), UFlorida (ChemE), UT Austin (ChemE), Northwestern (BioE), Penn State (BioE)

 

Comments: 

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3 hours ago, polymer engineer said:

Undergrad Institution (approx. rank/reputation in STEM): Virginia Tech

Major(s): Chemical Engineering, Focus in Polymers

Minor(s): none

GPA in Major: 3.61/4.00

Overall GPA: 3.51/4.00 *upward trajectory, >3.8 my last two years

Demographics/Background: male, white, US citizen

 

GRE Scores: haven't taken it yet but I'm targeting >= 165 V/Q, and 4.5 W

Q: 169 (highest practice score taken so far)

V: 155 (highest practice score taken so far)

W: 5 (highest practice score taken so far)

 

LOR: 1 research advisor in undergrad (strong), 1 PhD scientist I know in industry, 1 post doc or PI from research experience post college

 

Research Experience: 2 years undergrad (polymers, additive manufacturing, rheology), 3 years industry (porous membranes, surface science), 3 months university lab (neuroscience)

 

Publications/Abstracts/Presentations: 1 co first author publication, 1 poster presentation at graduate student assembly, a couple posters and presentations in industry

 

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Scholarship (x2), Deans list student

 

Fellowships/Funding: n/a

 

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: EHS internship, Project manager for research group in industry, tutored calc and chemistry, STEM mentor for high school science projects

 

Other Miscellaneous Accomplishments: rode bicycle across US for charity

 

Anything else in your application that might matter (faculty connections, etc.):

 

Research Interests: biomaterials, regenerative medicine, polymers

 

Institutions/Programs: Duke (BioE), UFlorida (ChemE), UT Austin (ChemE), Northwestern (BioE), Penn State (BioE)

 

Comments: 

I can't help but think places like Columbia/UPenn would be great in terms of tissue engineering research. They both have strong BME programs and their proximity to medical campuses only help (from my understanding a lot of faculty are funded by NIH grants).

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  • 2 weeks later...
13 hours ago, polymer engineer said:

This was posted in last year's forum. Found it really helpful so wanted to share with this group as well! https://imgur.com/a/Tng2r

This is great! I do want to note though, that for a lot of schools outside the top 5, accepted GPA doesn't necessarily mean enrolled GPA (which is usually lower). Understandably, the strongest candidates (usually with very high GPAs) will be admitted at a lot of programs, but are less likely to commit if it's not a UC Berkeley/Caltech/MIT etc.

Thus, even schools in the lower top 10 e.g. UT Austin may see a drop between accepted GPA and enrolled GPA, as candidates who are not as strong and without as much offers are more likely to commit. In their 2017-2018 data, UT Austin's average accepted GPA was a 3.88, but had an enrolled GPA of 3.83. Source: https://gradschool.utexas.edu/admissions/where-to-begin/admissions-and-enrollment-statistics

Mind you, they're not big drops to begin with at a top 10 program like UT Austin, but less competitive programs are more likely to see bigger differences between average and enrolled GPAs. What this means is, if you see an average accepted GPA that makes you hesitate to apply to a program, more often than not your chances aren't as bad as you think. Finally, people that post results + stats on Gradcafe also heavily skew towards the most competitive/highest achievers and may not fully represent the applicant pool. Still, there are some exceptions like MIT in the provided link with an average GPA that's pretty much in line with official stats.

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 5/24/2020 at 2:15 PM, polymer engineer said:

I can't say whether or not you could get into a top tier university, but generally that shouldn't stop you from applying. In the application process you want to apply to to 2-3 dream schools, 2-3 realistic, and 2-3 fall back schools. Minimum GPA and GRE scroes are required just for your application to get looked at but they ultimately don't decide whether you get accepted. What schools are really looking for is research potential and your experience speaks to that greatly. A publication will definitely help you a lot! With a GPA of 3.7 and good GRE scores I would encourage you to apply to schools like U Colorado if that's where you want to attend. 

I have a GPA of 3.5 (with strong upward trajectory) and I plan to apply to UT Austin and I feel like I have a decent shot of getting in based on my research experience if that says anything.

Thank you much so much for your advice! I hope you get into your dream school. I worry a lot about things like GPA lol. 

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On 5/31/2020 at 11:33 AM, heistotron said:

 

I agree with @daromi A 3.5GPA seems to be the "cutoff" for the most tippity top schools and even so, upward trajectories are very favorable and the entire application is still likely to be considered holistically. Anecdotally, I know a couple people with <3.6GPAs and no publications still get into CU Boulder's PhD program in ChemE -- your chances for CU Boulder seem to be very solid.

Thanks for replying heistotron. I really love colorado's program. What backgrounds do those people have if you don't mind me asking? (if you know). What kind of research did they do in school? Or did they go into industry first? Are they on this forum? Sorry for all the questions lol.

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On 6/14/2020 at 1:19 PM, 2020bioE said:

Chiming in -- I applied for the 2020 Fall cycle and I received admission to a top-5 BIOE program with a 3.6 GPA from a public university. I wouldn't say that your GPA is worrying as long as the rest of your application (letters, essays, etc) is solid. 

Thank you 2020bioE that makes me feel a lot better lol, if you don't mind me asking what kind of research experience did you have in school? Congrats on getting into such a good program.

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On 7/4/2020 at 9:50 AM, Uma4783 said:

Thanks for replying heistotron. I really love colorado's program. What backgrounds do those people have if you don't mind me asking? (if you know). What kind of research did they do in school? Or did they go into industry first? Are they on this forum? Sorry for all the questions lol.

PM'd to avoid doxxing.

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On 7/4/2020 at 6:51 AM, Uma4783 said:

Thank you 2020bioE that makes me feel a lot better lol, if you don't mind me asking what kind of research experience did you have in school? Congrats on getting into such a good program.

My profile was posted here last year when I applied: https://forum.thegradcafe.com/topic/120576-bioengineeringbiomedical-engineering-applications-for-2020-admission/?tab=comments#comment-1058709412

But I'm open to any questions and other stuff about the process if you have them! FWIW I didn't apply to ChemE programs but all in all I think they're fairly similar since there is a lot of overlap with bioe. 

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  • 5 months later...
On 12/19/2020 at 4:04 AM, heistotron said:

Iowa State, Michigan, and UC Santa Barbara results are out I believe.

Someone said they got a phone call from UCSB. Is this the normal timeline? The deadline was hardly 10 days ago!

Did anyone else hear from UCSB? Any International students?

 

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17 hours ago, sunshinewater said:

Someone said they got a phone call from UCSB. Is this the normal timeline? The deadline was hardly 10 days ago!

Did anyone else hear from UCSB? Any International students?

 

You're right I'm not sure if this is their regular timeline, and I did resort to Gradcafe for that one post. That being said I have heard of people receiving interviews/admits even within ~5 days of the final application deadline and some programs do this to varying degrees e.g. UC Berkeley.

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4 hours ago, sleepy_fugacity said:

I don't see more than 1 result for Michigan posted yet. Did they release several results last week?

Based on Gradcafe history, looks like UMichigan ChemE has a habit of admitting a few people every week from mid-Dec until mid-late March.

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