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Profile evaluation M.Sc. Civil Engineering


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Hi all,

I am an european engineer who is, as most of us are, a bit lost about what are my chances of getting into graduate studies at top universities.

I will thank anyone giving some sincere opinion about if there is any real chance of getting into UC Berkeley, Stanford or UC San Diego structural engineering M.Sc. programs.

GPA: 7.48/10 (not a great thing compared to the US GPA average, but on the top 10% of my year)

Graduated from both Spanish top civil engineering college and French top civil engineering college.

"Best Student Thesis" awarded by the Spanish College of Civil Engineering.

GRE: Lets say Q 800 / V 500.

7 years of working experience in structural engineering at top spanish eng. firm. Some outstanding projects among which I've been the project manager of a european bridge record.

2 papers published in international conferences.

2 years of lecturer experience at spanish university.

LOR #1: My boss, who is a faculty of my spanish university and who knows me very well, but who is not known in the US.

LOR #2: Another professor holding the chair of "Bridge engineering" at my spanish university and who is a personal friend. He made some research after his Ph.D. at Stanford.

LOR #3: Another professor at my french university, well known in Europe but not in the US. I made some research with him during my Student Thesis.

Thank you in advance.

Edited by hal9000_mark1
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It seems that I have improved my GPA to 7.58/10 since the Secretariat at my university made a mistake when reporting my grades. I hope they do not while reporting them to the universities I'm applying to.

It's not given to calculate GPA here, because of Bologna changes, M.Sc. Thesis value in credits differing from year to year, and stuff like that.

Anyway, someone willing to advise me?


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I know that my question is common and boring to answer, but I would like to have some oppinion/advice from other students applying.

In the USA you are used to the system of admissions, you've heard of people in your environment getting to one or another university, you may find counselors at your colleges advising you where to apply and your chances. In Europe we don't, and it's a frustrating all-guessing game.

So please... be kind.

Thank you.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I think if you can write an SOP which ties all your industry experience with the research being conducted bya specific prof/groups at those schools you would have a fair shot. Might need to improve your verbal score a bit (most of the top programs average around 580-600). You should also apply to some schools between rank 10-20. Hope that helps.

Does nobody want to answer?

Even to say: Dude, you'll never get in one of those.

Edited by rs_nucl
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Thanks rs_nucl,

I'm working on my GRE and things get better.

The problem is that I'm only interested in those 3 M.Sc. programs even if there are some other universities like MIT, Texas, Illinois and others which have a very good Civil Engineering reputation.

Thank you.

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If you are still around, it would seem best to ask your professor with a PhD from Stanford his opinion of your chances. He would best know how your GPA would compare. Your GRE would be fine for all in my opinion since you're an International. Stanford and Berkeley only take the very highest GPA wise and I have no knowledge of San Diego. If it is not as exclusive academically as the other you should have a decent chance. That's all you can ask for now days.

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