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MIT or Stanford, not high of a GPA - chances?


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What I want: To get admitted into Mechanical or Aerospace Engineering PhD program at a top tier school (first choice Stanford, second choice MIT)

Where I'm at: I will be a 5th year undergrad this fall at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Im double degreeing in Aerospace Engineering and Applied Mathematics. My GPA currently is 3.60. I have two more semesters before graduating. Will most likely graduate with 3 graduate level math courses under my belt.

I dont have GRE scores because I haven't taken it yet.

Rec letters will come from 2 professors who ive worked summer research for, and 1 from a graduate math class where I got an A+ in.

What are my chances for either MIT or Stanford PhD prog?

Thank you very much

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What sort of research have you done so far? Do you have an idea of what your interests are (aka structures, controls, fluids, systems, propulsion, etc.)? Even though your GPA is a little on the low side, IUC is a very good school for aerospace engineering and you don't exactly have easy majors. I'd say you have a chance of being admitted to Stanford but not MIT for aerospace engineering (this is my field) and here's why.

Both programs (MIT & Stanford) only admit students to do masters. Only after you have passed the qualifying exam can you go for PhD unlike other schools where you are directly admitted to the PhD program. Stanford, despite being ranked the number one program, is more lenient with their admissions because they rarely fund masters students. As a result, they have to find fellowships, or TA's in order to fund their masters studies.

You need to tell us a little more about your research experience though in order to better assess your chances.

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