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My chances?? Admission to PhD EECS/EE at Berkeley/Stanford/MIT/Caltech/UMich/CME/Princeton/UIUC for Fall 2016


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Hi All,

I graduated Fall 2014 and got rejected for Fall 2015 PhD from Berkeley, Stanford and UCLA. It was my fault. I was having a very bad day on GRE exam day and I submitted all my applications last minute (some recommendations submitted after deadline) and didn't contact any professor before submitting. 

I am planning to apply again for Fall 2016 and I wanted to know your opinion about my chances of getting into any of these top 4 schools.

Undergraduate :
University of Maryland, College Park
Major: Electrical Engineering
GPA : 3.9 (a B in DSP and a B+ in technical writing)
Research : Research assistant (nothing published)
letters of Recommendations from good professors (Haven't seen the letters)
GRE : 167/147/4 (Q/V/A)
Status : domestic

Ever since graduation, I have been working at Visa in San Francisco as a Systems Analyst (Software Engineer).

This time, I have enough time to apply thoroughly and I'm also planning to retake the GRE very soon.
What do you think my chances are and what should I do? Should I email professors before I submit the application? (Last year I didn't contact any professors)

Thanks in advance,


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Your new scores are awesome. Hopefully you'll do just fine. Also--in case this was the error in your apps the last time--talk more about your research and current research interests on your SOP, and highlight them on your CV/resume.

If applicable: Try to weave in how your current work experience will help you as a future researcher on the SOP.

Unrelated: You're working as a software engineer? Isn't that more of a CSE work? That's cool though. I have an old friend who's also an EE graduate working as a software engineer for Visa at SF. :)

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  • 5 months later...

Hi, i am from the same school as you. I think your stats were pretty decent. I had horrible GREs as well and didn't get any chance to retake them but thankfully I have gotten mostly positive response, nothing 100% yet but unofficial acceptances. I believe you will be fine. Let us know how goes.



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