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Anyone who could help me? thanks!


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Hello everyone! I am extremely frustrated! 

I have applied 8 environmental engineering phd program in US, now only 2 schools pending. 6 rejected me, among those 6 school, 3 reject me due to that I do not have engineering degree in B.S (but I do have in MS)

So anyone who knows that your professor are looking for new student (environmental chemistry and microbial), please tell me and let me have a chance!


My background:

I got B.S in Chemistry, average score 82/100. last 60 credits 84/100.

I got M.S in environmental engineering. GPA 3.448 


My Gre: 450 + 750 3.0

Gre Sub in chem 760 (76%)


I have 2 years chemical lab research in nano-organic 

1 years in environmental engineering lab research in sand filter.

I have 2 papers in chem (not first author), did 3 project in environmental engineering field.


I am still waiting for U Iowa and Colorado school of mines! Still review, so frustrated.

Could anybody who apply those schools and is studying in those schools give me some advice?

Many Thanks!


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  • 4 weeks later...

Two things stand out to me: 1. while you do have an MS in the field, it's going to be tough to get into a decent PhD program with a grad GPA under 3.5; 2. your GRE score is all around pretty low, and even your quant score, while good, is relatively low for engineering. I suppose there is nothing you can do about your GPA, but I would recommend trying to improve your GRE, since it is likely low enough that you would not make it past the first round at most places. Additionally, I would not include your chemistry subject score, because it is not all that high; that is, the average score you have will not help you in gaining admission anywhere. Usually, an impressive score would be somewhere in the 90th-100th percentile, with the exception being the AWA section where you can usually get away with anything that is at least a 4.0 (47th percentile).


Other VERY important aspects of the application that are often not given nearly enough attention include the SOP and LORs. Considering you made no mention of them, it may be the case that you fell into that same trap. Reevaluate both of these if you choose to apply again next year.

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