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Materials Science Ph.D fall 2014

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To begin, I feel like a jack ass asking about my chances...but I guess there's no option but to do it. This query is partly because I am either not completely aware or confused about the selection procedure to top universities. So I need some assessment regarding my choice of universities - am I aiming two high or shall I try or shall I go one step down?

Here is by bio:


Looking at pd.d fall admissions to materials science

Undergrad: materials science, 3.34/4 top 5% in class, summer intern in a steel company, project sponsored by naval research lab (a hot one in my country)

Masters: materials science, 3.35/4 top 5% in class (best research institute in my country and highly reputed world wide), project: worked on 4, including my masters thesis. they include work for an electrical company, collaborative work with an institute in germany and with collaborative work with a prof at MIT. My project is under an MIT graduate and he will be giving me a very good reco. My other two reco are from UG, one of whom is only a lecturer...but will give a strong one. 

(I have converted my GPA from an 8 point scale to a 4)

GRE: 325 (167Q, 158V, 4A) TOEFL 114/120

Publications: None. :( I have significant research experience though.

Extra: I am musician with many stage performances, have involved in community work, social service etc.

Now, if I tailor my SOP to fit well, would I have any chance at UCB, Caltech, Georgia Tech, UPenn, UIUC, UMich, Cornell and Johns Hopkins or any of these? Or could someone kindly suggest good MSE programs that fit my credentials? Suggestions, especially quick ones, will be appreciated.


I also hope others applying to MSE will post here and share their application and stats. Will be useful to all  :) 

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  • 4 weeks later...

GRE: verbal 147 (Low GRE V :( ) Quantitative: 164 AW: 4.5

Domestic/International (TOEFL/IELTS):111/120


UG GPA:Materials, 3.85/4 (first ranked student)-- Best Engineering School in my country

(If you did Masters)

Masters GPA:3.82/4-- Best Engineering School in my country


Research experience:Materials, BSc and MSc project (currently MSc project, Biomaterials)

Research publications, patents, conferences:1 journal (IF: 6.233), 2 international conferences


PHD intended specialization:Materials, Bioengineering,Chemical   


University list:Materials: Harvard, Berkeley, ASU, UCSB, Maryland (UMD), Boston, UFL, GAtech, Pennstate, Arlington  

 Bioengineering: Illinois at Urbana, UFL, UPenn, UCR

Chemical: JohnsHopkins, Caltech, Lehigh, UFL

I know my chances are very low for these schools. :( My Low verbal GRE score is the problem.

Edited by youkabed
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