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What are my chances - Human Factors


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Hi guys,

I'm looking to apply to graduate school now for the fall of 2011.


University of California, San Diego.

B.S Cognitive Science specialization in Human Computer Interaction

Overall GPA = 3.28 / Major GPA = 3.38 - Both should be over 3.4 by the end of the year.

I'm graduating a year early because I will have finished all my degree requirements and want to get involved in more specific work involving human factors and further my knowledge. I have an upward trend, from freshman > sophomore and expect it to continue through the end of my junior year.

GRE - 1110 (680Q, 430V) - bombed verbal not sure what happened, scored 70 points below powerprep estimates =/ - no excuses. Would it be worth retaking because of this?

Research exp as of now:

  • 2 quarters of research experience working on a project that has to do with language understanding and actions across cultures.
  • Will be starting a project looking into the effects of talking on the phone while driving.
  • I also have a research project conducted in class on user centered design

    • professor who I am doing my research with
    • professor with whom I took 3 courses with and his class nudged me onto doing human factors
    • professor in who's class I did my user centered designed research project

Two of the professors are well known in the Human Factors / HCI world.

My research interests include: User Centered Design and Usability Testing. I would like to do work on aviation, medical hardware or computers (touch screens, software etc)

I'm looking to apply to Masters programs. I don't think my stats are competitive enough for PhD's (are they?) especially with such a low verbal

Do I have a shot at any of these programs? Should I shoot higher / for PhD?? Would you recommend I check out any others? I would appreciate the help.

Bentley University - Human Factors in Interaction Design

Georgia Tech - Human Computer Interaction (Psychology Dept)

Tufts - Human Factors (Mechanical Engineering dept)

University of Washington- Human Centered Design and Engineering

San Jose State University - Human Factors


CSU Long Beach



George Mason

Virginia Tech

Edited by Arctic
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Personally, I would say that from the looks of it, you would stand a good chance, if you retook the GRE's. Especially if you said that on the practice powerprep stuff that you did better, it was probably a fluke or something. I would say just study harder for it.But do the programs that you are looking at have any cuts offs? Do they list what the average GRE scores are for these programs? Also, if your professors seem to want to help you, they might be able to talk to some people on your behalf. If they are known within the field that you are going into, that is a plus in your favor.

On the other hand, what you could do is to try to get into a masters program, and if you do well there, then you can try to get into a Ph.D. program from there.

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