Jump to content
  • advertisement_alt
  • advertisement_alt
  • advertisement_alt

How would you assess my chances of getting into top Chemistry PhD programs?


Recommended Posts

Background: I am from Eastern Europe (extremely low-income family even by local standards)

Primary research area of interest: organometallic chemistry 

Languages: Russian (native), Ukrainian (native), English (fluent), German (a little).

BSc in chemistry from #1 university in my home country (almost unknown internationally)

GPA: about 92-93, which is about 4.0 on a 4-point scale I guess.

Research experience: about 6.5 years (4.5 years of affiliated research and 2 years of research done without an institutional affiliation)

Publications: 2 pubs in respected but specialized international journals (impact factors are about 1.5-2). One of them is first-author and another one is sole-author. In both cases, I am also the corresponding author. Working on a couple more.

GRE General: 164Q (83%)/167V(98%)/4.0(55%).
TOEFL iBT: 108/120 (R30 L29 S22 W27)

GRE Subject: the test was canceled (TWICE!) due to COVID-19, but I'm sure I would've gotten 99 percentile.

LoRs: ppl in my home country don't know about the culture of LoR-writing in the US, so I guess they should be good, but not as flattering as American letters usually are. Also, no LoR from my research advisor because he hates the US (yes, I know it's nuts!): he wrote a good letter but refused to submit it to American universities. None of my recommenders are known outside my home country.

I am applying to Caltech, Harvard, Berkeley, UCLA, Cornell, UChicago, Columbia and some safety schools.

I'm particularly concerned about my LoRs and about my low test scores. Taking the tests wearing a facemask was hell since I have a moderate asthma and breathing through the facemask is a problem. Also, my previous university is unknown outside the post-USSR area, so my GPA probably won't help me.

What do you think?

P.S. I know that some will say it's a flex post but it's not. I've heard that there are lot of international applicants that got rejected with better scores and more publications. I'm not sure if such rumors are true though.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.