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Profile Evaluation PhD in Aerospace/Mechanical Engineering Fall 2017


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I want to get some opinions on my chances of getting admitted to a PhD program in Fall 2017. I am looking for programs in Aerospace/Mechanical Engineering in the area of control systems.

Undergraduate University - Top 5 university in Brazil, with one-year study abroad program in Top 10 engineering school in the USA.

Graduate University (MSc) - Top1 university in Brazil

Undergraduate GPA  - 3.85/4 (converted)

Graduate GPA (MSc) - 3.89/4 (converted)

GRE Scores - Q 166 (91 percentile), V 156 (72 percentile), AWA 4

TOEFL Score - 113

Publications - 2 journal publications and 3 conference proceedings as the first author. 6 conferece proceedingas as co-author.

Work Experience: 1)Summer internship at large American aerospace company. 2)Founder of a Brazilian startup in the aerospace sector.

Research Experience: 1) One year undergrad research project at a TOP 10 engineering school in the USA. 2)One year undergrad reserach project in Brazil. 3) Graduate Research Assistant in a Brazilian university (since October 2015). Work close to people from industry from Brazil and France in aerospace engineering design.

Teaching Experience: Worked for 18 months as an undergrad teaching assistant

Awards: 1) 2 merit-based scholarships from Brazilian government; 2) 3 prizes in student competions (2 local and 1 international).

I am looking at the following universities:
Georgia Tech (Aero); University of Texas at Austin (Aero); MIT (Aero / Mech); University of Michigan (Aero); University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (Aero); UC Berkeley (Mech); Caltech (Control+Dynamical systems).

What are my chances??  

Other suggestions/opinions are welcome.


Edited by pvfm
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You have a strong profile. I noticed we are applying to pretty much the same schools, (except for Berkeley or Caltech). In fact, compared to you, I'm afraid you are hindering my chances! haha

What about your letters of recommendation? They are also an important point on your application and can certainly make a difference. Also, have you contacted any professors at those universities? You might have the qualifications to get accepted, but if the professor doesn't have funding or doesn't have space in the lab then your chances will be reduced. 

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Hey @luisalasnjr. Thanks for your reply. Are you also interested in the control systems area?
I think my recommenders are going to provide strong letters of recommendation, since I have worked on many research projects with them. 
I haven't contacted the professors yet. Actually, I contacted people from the admission office at each university, and they all said to not contact professor until I have a decision on my application

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@pvfm That's interesting. I have also contacted the grad coordinators at each one of the universities, and I asked them if I should email professors and they told me it was ok to do. In fact, one already replied telling me he is not planning on taking new grad students, so that's important info to tailor your statements of purpose. 

And I'm most interested in the area of aerodynamics and computational fluid dynamics. Which one of those universities you mentioned is your top choice? 

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Your profile is impressive. I think you will have no problem getting into UIUC, UT Austin, and Georgia Tech. I would cross my fingers for MIT and Cal Tech. Let's face it, all of their applicants will be just as good or even more impressive. So, your SOP and Letters will play a great part in admission for these two Universities. I can not really comment on Universities in California because I never really looked into them except Stanford. So, good luck and go get em!!  

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