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Profile Evaluation - MS/PhD in Robotics/Mechanical Engineering


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Aspiring PhD candidate looking for a profile evaluation and potential some advise.  I'm applying to programs that I can have a focus on robotics/control theory from  a mechanical engineering standpoint.  I will be applying to PhD programs with a hope of funding, with some "backup" masters-only degrees that would give a better chance of short term funding if I need a masters first to be more competitive for PhD programs.


Undergraduate: Bachelors in Engineering with a 3.74 from prestigious but very small engineering school (Top 10 "programs where a doctorate isn't offered").

  • Graduated May 2016, taking a "gap year".
  • I have a number of small projects during this time - I'm unsure if this would be included in a CV or not

Honors: Got a tuition scholarship for my school (as did everyone in my class), graduated with "magna cum laude".

GRE: 162 Q (82%), 163 V (92%), 5.0 AW (93%)

Research Experience: 1 Summer in a bio lab, 1 summer in a materials lab, 1 full year doing fluids research.

"Publications": No papers, 2 poster presentations/conference abstracts for the fluids research

LOR: 1 very good from my Research Advisor, 1 Decent from a professor, 1 Very good but not in research (startup founder I did volunteer work for for 10 years)

Industry Experience: None of note: spent 3 years part time in my schools IT department, some extensive volunteer work, and am currently a architectural drafter until I leave for grad school.


Programs I'm Applying To:


  • Oregon State*
  • University of Michigan*

Mechanical WIth a Focus on Robotics:

  • Northwestern University*
  • Boston University
  • Rensselaer Polytechnic University

Industrial Engineering with a Focus on Controls and Optimization:

  • University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

Mechanical Engineering (Masters-Only):

  • Rose Hulman
  • Cooper Union
  • University of Illinois, Chicago

*These are the my favorite


Looking for general insight into my chances and any recommendations etc.  Given my low GRE quant, would it be worth retaking (I don't want to waste money on it if it's not helpful - I think I might get it up ~2-3 points if I tried).  Any other thoughts on universities I should look into while I still have a window of application time?

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You have very good verbal and analytical scores, and a good gpa. Your quantitative score is okay, but probably below average of applicants admitted to U of Michigan and possibly Northwestern University. A quantitative score below 90% is usually not considered competitive for admission to top-tier engineering programs.
You should take a look at Georgia Tech. It has a very good robotics program.

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  • 1 month later...

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