Jump to content


child of 2

Recommended Posts

Hi, new here.


I'm chem e, third year, large state school. I've done research in the past, but it's only been recently that I've started to get really serious about it. I'll probably have a publication (if not 2) by the end of this semester. But that's not what I'm worried about. My GPA will be somewhere between 3.5 and 3.55 by the time I apply for grad schools. Major GPA would be somewhere around 3.8...

I want to go to a good grad school, preferably a small private school that's not in the middle of nowhere. I've yet to do any research on faculty member with whom I would like to work. But for now, based on my GPA, what feedback can I get on the caliber of schools I can apply to?


I'm currently in my third year, and I have 2 probable sources of LOR (my research profs). I have a choice of trying to get an internship for the summer, or pick up another research project with another professor. My faculty adviser offered to write me a LOR, but that was 2 years ago, and I haven't really talked to her in... 2 years... If I decide research, industry experience can still be done down the road. For now, I'm wondering where I should get my third LOR.

any advice is appreciated. I will consult my adviser, but I always want to hear from more people. thanks

P.S. I'm interested in PhD

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Congratulations on your soon-to-be publication(s)! An impressive feat to accomplish as an undergrad while studying chem eng!

I am not an engineer, but I go to a top engineering institution.

Most people I know in the PhD program here have a wealth of industry experience, so taking time off before pursuing your doctorate may be a good idea to help lessen the effect of your GPA, make you a more experienced candidate and help you make better connections for your LORs (from what I have read engineering programs sometimes accept one of three references from a non-academic).

When you consult with your adviser, hopefully she will see your ambition/potential and as you discuss graduate school concerns - she may be able to offer to write you a strong LOR. Otherwise, have you considered instructors? Or past employers?

My suggestion is to find the schools you would want to go, regardless of your GPA, and look through faculty profiles. Email the profs with serious inquiries about their lab and expectations of students.

Don't necessarily rely on "caliber" as a measure, if you read through the forums you'll find cases in which people get into their top dream school and get rejected from their safety schools. The graduate school admissions process is complicated and many factors play into it, don't let caliber scare you away!

Best of luck!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

After reading a few words into your post, I thought you were a spambot. lol. Thanks for the info.

But from what I hear, there's a certain GPA threshold above which all applicants within that range are weighed equally. for example, the difference between 3.75 and 3.8 could be neglected because they're both above 3.7... And the thing is, I have a feeling 3.7 is somewhat of a bare minimum in the top schools. (I obviously want to go to a top school, who doesn't?) I think 3.55 would be in the bottom 20% of the applicant pools in a lot of good university, if not bottom 10%, meaning I would need to do spectacularly on the GRE, have outstanding LORs, and a solid research background.

Edited by child of 2
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.