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Undergrad student preparing to apply to Security subfield in CS looking for reality-check/evaluation (Fall 2025)


TryingBest

Question

Hi people,

This is my first time here, so I apologize for any improper courtesy.

At the moment, I am a junior trying to best my profile as much as possible given the limited time at hand:

School:

- A TOP 20 school and top 10 for CS
 

GPA:

- 3.5 (can be 3.78 at the time of application) / 4.0 (Honors)

 

Major:

- CS

 

Research interest:

- Network/Computer Security, Anti-censorship internet measurement

 

Research Experience:

- (Potentially good LOR from a very reputable professor) At the lab of a reputable Professor in the field of Computer/Network Security and Anti-censorship internet measurement field during the summer.

- (Ongoing)  A semester of research experience in an IoT-related project, planned to publish at USENIX (top conference for Security).

 

Publication:

- None (for now)

 

Target:

- University of Michigan

- Cornell

- UCSD

- CMU

- Duke

- UMD

- UCB

- UChicago

 

Since I have a time constraint of about a year (with one summer), what is the best course to maximize my chance at a top program?

 

Thank you!

 

Edited by TryingBest
(school list)
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