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Still I have the chance and what should I do to move forward

Tin Sn

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Hi everyone, 


I have applied to PhD program (Fall 2014 ) in Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) department in seven universities in the US.


Please, give me advice......   


Among the seven universities, University of Washington and University of Wisconsin-Madison have the deadline on the 15th of December 2013, and I found none of rejection/ acceptance letter from them, meanwhile in Grad Cafe, I found some applicants who applied to U of Wisconsin-Madison and more than ten people who applied to U of Washington, have been accepted. 


Should I assume that I was rejected ?


In addition, recently, I applied to the PhD Program (Autumn 2014) in ECE department at the Ohio State University which its deadline was on the 1st  March, 2014. I wonder if it can be assumed that I will hear something back from the OSU during March?


My current status in all of the universities is pending. Thus, I am thinking about applying to Purdue University, and its deadline is on the 1st of May 2014, which is the round for applicants who do not require fellowships. Meanwhile, I found that the university had sent their acceptance letter to some students. Thus, I am not sure whether I should also apply to Purdue University..... By the way, if I should try on this university, is my current GRE is 167Q/147V 3.0 enough ? Should retake the GRE on April and submit my application during the end of April?


Finally, I am also appreciated if someone will suggests a good university, out of those top ten universities in Electrical Engineering because the government scholarship that I received from my country has the deadline during August, for finding a university. If I cannot find one, I will lose it.  


Thank you for all suggestions and advice.


Gap, Sntin


PS. I published 3 papers in IEEE (international conference) during 2012 and my GPA are 3.92/4.00 and 4.00/4.00 in Bachelor and Master Degree, respectively. Though my GPA is more than 90%, I am not sure that the GPA will help me because both of the universities that I graduated from are outside the United State.  

Edited by Gap Sntin
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  • 2 weeks later...

I would call the admission department at UW and UMichigan and see if you were put on a waitlist without knowing. Since it's been so long and you know acceptances and rejections have gone out, you were probably wait listed. Doesn't hurt to ask them!

OSU usually gets back to their students rather quickly, but I would not worry yet. You should probably wait at least 1.5-2 months before you expect a decision.

Apply to Purdue only if you like the school! I'm not sure how important this scholarship is to you, but most PhDs are funded and you really wanna end up somewhere with research you like and a PI that's a good fit. That should come across in your personal statement. Your quantitative portion of the gre is good and so is your gpa, but your verbal and writing need work. As you mentioned, your gpa is a little difficult to look at because you are an international student. Schools then focus more on your gre. If you don't hear anything soon, it may not be a bad idea to take it again and boost your writing and verbal scores.

If you're still looking for more schools, I would look at the national research council (NRC). Here's a link I found: http://m.chronicle.com/article/NRC-Rankings-Overview-/124726/

Good luck! (And sorry this is late)

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Thank you Ssynny.  

I appreciate your suggestions, and advice. ^ ^ I hope that you have good news from your first choice university, soon. 


Recently, I sent an email to the universities, but they have not yet replied.

If there is any update, I will post it. 



Even if this road is rough, i feel grateful to you for being my companions .   

Edited by Gap Sntin
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I had got my first rejection this morning from UW-Madison.It is very unexpected because it is the only university that I can successfully make a contact to POI. 
In fact, I thought that I was a good fit in the research with the POI , and may also imply that I am a good fit for the university.  
I am not sure whether the rejection is due to my first round GRE (which is 161Q/147V, and is the one that I submitted in order to meet with the deadline)
and the toefl (which is less than 92 the requirement of the department).


Do you think that it is a good idea to send an email asking the department about the reasons?

Edited by Gap Sntin
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I would try asking your POI if there's any particular part of your application that you should improve. If a PI really wants a student, they will try very hard to get them in. I don't think it's a bad idea to ask, but just be prepared in case you don't get an answer.

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Your low verbal (and AW) GRE score may raise a red flag. Normally, these scores are seen in perspective with the TOEFL score. Unfortunately, your TOEFL score is no better. Be aware that 92 is already a lenient requirement. Some of the schools I applied to required a 110 with additional requirements for each skill. I think this unfortunate combination of scores might lead some universities to seriously question your language skills.


If you were to reapply or apply to schools with late deadlines, I would recommend you to work on your language (and/or test taking) skills and retake at least the TOEFL. Such low scores put your application are risk for not even being evaluated properly but being discarded at first sight.

Edited by Kleene
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Thank you Kleene. ^ ^ 

Based on the advice from both of you, I believe that the toelf needs to be improved, however,  I wonder whether

 my chance will be as low as this , if I apply to some grad schools in ranking no. 50-100 and the grad requirement for TOEFL is lower than 90  <_< ?


I would like to hear your opinion.....   :( 

Edited by Gap Sntin
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You never know if you don't try. You've got nothing (too much) to lose.


GRE V 147 is not great, but not the worst. TOEFL < 90 seems to be the real danger, even if the requirement is 80. The thing is, having the capability to convey your brilliant research idea is just as important as coming up with the idea. I think it is best if you can get an interview with your POI so that he/she can justify your ability to communicate. Else you'd better raise your TOEFL score.

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