sjoe Posted November 28, 2015 Share Posted November 28, 2015 (edited) Hello everyone. I needed some help regarding my applications. I did a 5 yr Bachelor's+Master's program in Mechanical Engineering with a minor in Computer Science, and I want to switch my branch to Computer Science. I'm pretty clear about my research areas. A brief overview of my profile: I have a GPA of 3.3 on a scale of 4 from a reputable institute in India. My GRE score is 331 (Verbal: 161, Quant: 170, AWA: 4) and I got a 116/120 in TOEFL so that isn't an issue for me. What is an issue is this: I see a requirement for applying to a CS grad program in most universities. This often includes a set of `prerequisite courses' that should've been completed by the applicant if he's not from a computer science background. To be more specific, Basic math courses: Calculus, Linear Algebra, Discrete Math. I've done all of these, albeit with not-so-great grades in some of them. A basic course on programming: Done. Course(s) in theory: Data structures, algorithms, etc. I've done a fair bit in this field, two undergrad and two grad level courses. Decent grades (grades in the range of B+ and A-). Course(s) in operating systems: Not done any. A course in computer architecture: Not done any. A course in formal languages: Done a course on theory of computation. I have a fair bit of research experience. My Master's thesis, though not in CS department, was relevant to computational geometry. It was under a professor who works in graphics and geometry in my department. I graduated this June and since then I've been doing an RAship under said prof. No publications yet, but I'm likely to apply for one in a fairly decent graphics conference around the end of Jan, though it'll be too late to include it in my CV by then. My recommendations are likely to be quite good, though none of the recommenders is a CS faculty. I'm set on a (sub)field of interest and I've also chosen colleges to apply to accordingly. So what I want to ask is the following: Will I be eliminated (in the initial screening?) because of the absence of a couple of prerequisite courses? This is the major thing bugging me right now. I have a fair bit of background in the field I want to get into, but I've just not done any courses on the systems/architecture side of things. Should I be concerned about low math grades? My GPA itself was quite low in my first two years when I did those math courses. Alternatively, should I arrange to send my subject GRE (Math) score? My score is in the 80th percentile. Would an MS be easier to get than a PhD? I have looked at a lot of professors whose research interests match, but again I would like to know if a PhD would be too ambitious for me. Even if I do choose a Master's program, I'm pretty sure I'll be doing a PhD later anyway. How easy or difficult is it to switch from a MS to a PhD once you join? PS: I'm currently thinking of applying to the following colleges (mostly Master's programs): Ohio State University; SUNY Stony Brook; UC Davis; University of North Carolina Chapel-Hill; Duke University; University of Houston, USC. Also thinking of applying at some places in Canada. Am I being too ambitious? I would be grateful for any help. Thanks. Edited November 28, 2015 by sjoe Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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