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Chemical Eng. PhD applicant. Need help to comment on an email from professors.


Ncarolina
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Hi everyone,

I am an international chemical engineering phd applicant and i applied to 7 US schools. 6 of them rejected and i am still waiting to hear from 1. I don't have a masters degree.

What is different about my application is I was an exchange student in this last school and I took part in 2 research projects and got 2 recommendation letters from the respected professors of the department. I even have a paper with my name as one of the authors published by one of the phd students that i worked with. One of the professors i worked together is also the graduate student advisor and he is in the admission committee.

Around mid march, my patience finally broke and i sent an email asking about my status to the professor in the commitee, he said he is pushing my case, they have admitted some international students and they are debating whether or not they can do more (he added 'i am hoping we can') and in that case i am in the top few. He also asked me if i have any other offers. My answer was no and i told him even if i had other offers, this school is my 1st choice and i will wait their decision.

I waited for 10 days after this and this time i emailed the other professor that i have worked, informed him about the previous emails. He said he put in a good word for me with the chair of admission commitee (who i had a skype talk couple months ago about application process), both him and the other professor strongly support my application. He added, i should hear some news (one way or the other) in the next week or so. His last sentence is "no guarantees, but stay optimistic". It has been 20 days since.

My main disadvantage is my gpa during my exchange semesters. It is 3.02 and my major gpa is 3.47 which is still low for US standards, but i really didn't expect that this would complicate things this much. This was my guaranteed school and now i am hopeless.

Sorry for the long post, this has been the most stressful period of my life. How would you comment these emails from professors? Do i still have a chance?

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I try to be very strict at managing hope.

 

For what you write, you have two strong recommendations and research experience. I would argue that this is even more important than any grades. Keep in mind that the issue here might not be pushing because of your merits/lack of them, it may be because fund allocation or seats available.

 

As a general rule, most of the students that get offers from competitive programs, get more than one of such offers( for instance, kids that got into MIT usually got into CMU, GaTech and so on). After this date, applicants with financial offers MUST reply and stick with a single institution, thus releasing places.

 

I've seen admissions for Fall as late as mid-may. So keep in touch, manage your hope( as in, try to sketch a "plan b"), but you absolutely have a chance. 

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I try to be very strict at managing hope.

 

For what you write, you have two strong recommendations and research experience. I would argue that this is even more important than any grades. Keep in mind that the issue here might not be pushing because of your merits/lack of them, it may be because fund allocation or seats available.

 

As a general rule, most of the students that get offers from competitive programs, get more than one of such offers( for instance, kids that got into MIT usually got into CMU, GaTech and so on). After this date, applicants with financial offers MUST reply and stick with a single institution, thus releasing places.

 

I've seen admissions for Fall as late as mid-may. So keep in touch, manage your hope( as in, try to sketch a "plan b"), but you absolutely have a chance. 

Thank you very much. Your response was really helpful. The professor in the admission committee emailed me today and asked if I got any offers and said he is trying hard. I guess this is kind of a good thing  :unsure:

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