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What tier of graduate schools should I be applying to?


ollienorth19
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Hey Everyone, I'm a Geology GIS double major at a large state school in New York. I'll be applying to Masters programs next fall for and I'm not really what level of school I should be applying to. I'd like to be able to go into O&G exploration and plan on applying to programs looking to study 'sedimentary/petroleum basin analysis' (Is 'basin analysis' to vague?)

 

GPA: 3.5

Degree: B.S. Geology, B.A. GIS

Coursework: Geomorph, Mineralogy, Earth History, Petrology, Structure, Sed/Strat, Basin Analysis, Geochem, Climatology, MATLAB modeling, Programming in Python, many GIS classes (somewhat weak performance in chem/physics B-'s and C+'s)

Research: ~a year of research + summer research (paleogeographic reconstructions of the Arctic based on sandstone quality)

GRE: ill be taking a practice test this week

Type of Student: American Male (Hispanic) <- Im assuming that could help??

 

I figure that I probably don't have the credentials to apply to top tier schools

 

All of these schools have at least one or two professors that I'd be able to contact based on my interests. Does anyone have any insight on any of these schools? Do they seem like reasonable choices? Also, when should I begin contacting POI's, in the beginning of the summer? 

 

Thanks for your time  B)  ^_^

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I noticed that you applied only to schools in the South, with most of them in Texas; is your dream job in the South?

OP said that he/she was interested in going into O&G. Most feeder schools with connections to industry are located in TX, OK, or LA.

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Hey Everyone, I'm a Geology GIS double major at a large state school in New York. I'll be applying to Masters programs next fall for and I'm not really what level of school I should be applying to. I'd like to be able to go into O&G exploration and plan on applying to programs looking to study 'sedimentary/petroleum basin analysis' (Is 'basin analysis' to vague?)

 

GPA: 3.5

Degree: B.S. Geology, B.A. GIS

Coursework: Geomorph, Mineralogy, Earth History, Petrology, Structure, Sed/Strat, Basin Analysis, Geochem, Climatology, MATLAB modeling, Programming in Python, many GIS classes (somewhat weak performance in chem/physics B-'s and C+'s)

Research: ~a year of research + summer research (paleogeographic reconstructions of the Arctic based on sandstone quality)

GRE: ill be taking a practice test this week

Type of Student: American Male (Hispanic) <- Im assuming that could help??

 

I figure that I probably don't have the credentials to apply to top tier schools (TA&M, UTA) but these are the schools I've been looking at: 

 

Univ. Houston (reach?)

Texas Tech

Rice (reach?)

Baylor

UT Arlington

Texas Christian Univ.

San Diego State

UT - Dallas ??

UT - Permian Basin ??

Northern Arizona 

UT - San Antonio

Univ. Miami

Univ. South Florida

 

All of these schools have at least one or two professors that I'd be able to contact based on my interests. Does anyone have any insight on any of these schools? Do they seem like reasonable choices? Also, when should I begin contacting POI's, in the beginning of the summer? 

 

Thanks for your time  B)  ^_^

Do well on the GRE and you should have a good shot at all of those. Rice is a great school, so is Miami...TexTech and Houston are pretty good too. If you can get over 320 and have good LOR you should have a decent shot.

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I noticed that you applied only to schools in the South, with most of them in Texas; is your dream job in the South?

Yes, I would most definitely like to live in Texas  :D

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  • 5 months later...

Why wouldn't you be capable of getting into TA&M or UT-Austin? I think you should apply. 3.5 is not a bad GPA and you're a double major in Geology and GIS. If you don't get in, apply next season, but do a ton of related internships in-between then and now. You'll be a good candidate then. I'll be graduating with 7 internships under my belt. Get some related work experience, man. That year of research experience will look really great on you.

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How are the other UT schools besides UT Austin ? I contacted someone from UT Dallas but he hasn't gotten back yet. UT Austin is a tough school to get into. 3 of us applied last year and none of us were admitted. I say it was because of my GRE scores being so pitiful but my advisor last year never mentioned them so I don't know. This time I'm applying to work with 11 people and I switched to a PhD. I to OP wish to live in Texas one day. Also don't apply to Baylor if your GRE scores are below the 50th percentile -_-. It's not a "minimum score" but apparently the dean of the graduate college won't let the department accept you. Wired how they do that crap at Baylor and not at the bigger schools like UT Austin. 

Edited by columbia09
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  • 2 weeks later...

I don't actually know how the other UT schools are. I just know UT-Austin is the best one out of all the UT schools. The Jackson School of Geosciences is fantastic. Also, I just really love living in Austin. I don't think I'll be applying to UT-Austin though. I'm interested in possibly doing paleontology at the JSoG, but I'll wait and see if I want that for a PhD later. I'm actually applying to Texas State for a master's in anthropology (focus in archaeology) as my top choice. 

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  • 2 months later...

Hey! I attended Texas Tech, I just graduated this past December. Texas Tech is definitely a good choice for oil jobs, they get a lot of recruiters there... however as it stands right now with current oil prices recruiters are not coming by as often as they did. Still, by the time you graduate with an MS or PhD going in next Fall the prices should be on the rise again, so it should all work out. You have Midland pretty close by and they have A LOT of internship opportunities. 

Texas Tech admissions do put a good deal of weight on GRE scores, I heard professors in the hallway discussing ideal scores all the time (although they tended to be the older score systems, which was odd). Other professors were far more concerned with recommendation letters. 

I see you're interested in Basin analysis, so you should have a good selection of professors to contact there - from what I know about their ongoing research at least.

I know it's a bit late to really get an idea of what you may be a shoe in for (Tech's deadline is Jan 15th I believe?), however, given your GPA and experience alone you're definitely in the range of qualifying. Make sure to have strong recommendation letters, and be absolutely sure to contact professors you have an interest in doing research with - and be polite about it (which was emphasized to me by the graduate department head). 

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you should apply to the schools you want to go to... your scores/stats aren't so far off that you couldn't get into any school you want. Admissions isn't linear, there are many ways to make a compelling argument for admission. I did so with much worse stats than yourself (~3.00 GPA). 

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On 4/1/2016 at 7:48 AM, CornUltimatum said:

Hey! I attended Texas Tech, I just graduated this past December. Texas Tech is definitely a good choice for oil jobs, they get a lot of recruiters there... however as it stands right now with current oil prices recruiters are not coming by as often as they did. Still, by the time you graduate with an MS or PhD going in next Fall the prices should be on the rise again, so it should all work out. You have Midland pretty close by and they have A LOT of internship opportunities. 

Texas Tech admissions do put a good deal of weight on GRE scores, I heard professors in the hallway discussing ideal scores all the time (although they tended to be the older score systems, which was odd). Other professors were far more concerned with recommendation letters. 

I see you're interested in Basin analysis, so you should have a good selection of professors to contact there - from what I know about their ongoing research at least.

I know it's a bit late to really get an idea of what you may be a shoe in for (Tech's deadline is Jan 15th I believe?), however, given your GPA and experience alone you're definitely in the range of qualifying. Make sure to have strong recommendation letters, and be absolutely sure to contact professors you have an interest in doing research with - and be polite about it (which was emphasized to me by the graduate department head). 

I was going to apply to Texas Tech but none of the seismology professors worked with seismic interpretation in oil industry, one worked with geothermal and I find that very interesting but I can't work with that. And from what I saw Lubbock seems a cool city, but my stay was very short. 

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On January 6, 2016 at 8:28 AM, GeoMex said:

I was going to apply to Texas Tech but none of the seismology professors worked with seismic interpretation in oil industry, one worked with geothermal and I find that very interesting but I can't work with that. And from what I saw Lubbock seems a cool city, but my stay was very short. 

Hmm, I only know one geophysics professor - and I wasn't quite sure what his concentration of research was. I do know that we do have Professor George Asquith there though:
http://www.depts.ttu.edu/pe/faculty/faculty.php?name=George%20Asquith

Technically he's in our Petroleum Engineering department. He's a petrophysicist that specializes in subsurface analysis of oil wells, and he's one of the best (and he's super nice too)! If you find yourself looking at graduate schools again be sure to browse through Texas Tech's Petroleum Engineer department as well since they overlap with our geoscience department. :)

Good luck on the places you applied though!

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1 hour ago, CornUltimatum said:

Hmm, I only know one geophysics professor - and I wasn't quite sure what his concentration of research was. I do know that we do have Professor George Asquith there though:
http://www.depts.ttu.edu/pe/faculty/faculty.php?name=George%20Asquith

Technically he's in our Petroleum Engineering department. He's a petrophysicist that specializes in subsurface analysis of oil wells, and he's one of the best (and he's super nice too)! If you find yourself looking at graduate schools again be sure to browse through Texas Tech's Petroleum Engineer department as well since they overlap with our geoscience department. :)

Good luck on the places you applied though!

Thank you

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On January 4, 2016 at 8:48 AM, CornUltimatum said:

Hey! I attended Texas Tech, I just graduated this past December. Texas Tech is definitely a good choice for oil jobs, they get a lot of recruiters there... however as it stands right now with current oil prices recruiters are not coming by as often as they did. Still, by the time you graduate with an MS or PhD going in next Fall the prices should be on the rise again, so it should all work out. You have Midland pretty close by and they have A LOT of internship opportunities. 

Texas Tech admissions do put a good deal of weight on GRE scores, I heard professors in the hallway discussing ideal scores all the time (although they tended to be the older score systems, which was odd). Other professors were far more concerned with recommendation letters. 

I see you're interested in Basin analysis, so you should have a good selection of professors to contact there - from what I know about their ongoing research at least.

I know it's a bit late to really get an idea of what you may be a shoe in for (Tech's deadline is Jan 15th I believe?), however, given your GPA and experience alone you're definitely in the range of qualifying. Make sure to have strong recommendation letters, and be absolutely sure to contact professors you have an interest in doing research with - and be polite about it (which was emphasized to me by the graduate department head). 

My advisor at Texas Tech said that the GRE range is typically a 280-320. Usually GRE scores under 300 get the boot unfortunately but if you have a very strong application then it isn't a death sentence for your application. TT is a very good school to go to if you are interested in the oil industry. If GRE scores are of concern perhaps think about Oklahoma state. They have a solid program for oil and they do not require GRE scores. I

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Your stats seem okay, given my cursory glance.

On 1/7/2016 at 10:10 AM, CornUltimatum said:

Hmm, I only know one geophysics professor - and I wasn't quite sure what his concentration of research was. I do know that we do have Professor George Asquith there though:
http://www.depts.ttu.edu/pe/faculty/faculty.php?name=George%20Asquith

Technically he's in our Petroleum Engineering department. He's a petrophysicist that specializes in subsurface analysis of oil wells, and he's one of the best (and he's super nice too)! If you find yourself looking at graduate schools again be sure to browse through Texas Tech's Petroleum Engineer department as well since they overlap with our geoscience department. :)

Good luck on the places you applied though!

Not to undermine this too much (promise!), I'd just counter-point that that faculty member's page shows his PhD as being received in 1966, and that he's an Emeritus, i.e. formally retired, even if he's still doing work in the dept. This means different things at diff schools, but I find it translates to "they'll be on committees, but aren't primary advisors anymore". Anyway, just cautioning @GeoMex and others I guess to vet any advice they receive for accuracy, and to beware changing statuses of faculty at schools. Older profs, for example, may have great experience and large professional networks, but I know I've been warned to double check that these professional contacts will still be *active* (and therefore useful) when you're graduating and looking for jobs, academic or otherwise. Nonetheless, given @CornUltimatum only just recently graduated, I'm sure their insight is valid. Plus at least it sounds like the guy does cool stuff: he could be a great springboard to getting in touch with a different POI within the same dept or uni!

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