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Already be rejected by 9 programs, not sure about the future

Wayne Yang


Hi, everyone!

I am an senior international student from China. Though I major in computational mathematics, I do have a strong interest in HCI. That is why I paid my most of my attention to HCI application instead of financial engineering which seems to "closer" to my major. I applied master of HCI and METALs at CMU(rejected by both), HCID and HCDE(rejected by both), Media lab(rejected), Umich, Cornell, NYU ITP, and Gatech(no update from these yet). I also applied some MFE programs (also got rejected). 

I paid so much efforts to my application. I spent 4 months on designing and writing my SOPs, but the results are depressing. The rejection letter from HCDE said that the admission rate is around 20%, which means my efforts and backgrounds didn't even get my into that percentile...

My undergrad major is applied mathematics(3.84/4). I also studied some CS courses with all As, but I am only familiar with scientific computing softwares like MATLAB and R and some front-end languages like HTML and CSS while my skills in C++ and Python are just basic. I have 3 research experiences in HCI(I wrote a workshop paper as the 2nd author and it was accepted in CHI2015). I have aTOEFL score over 110 and GRE score 324. I wrote in my SOP that I would like to focus on computational social science and learning technology in my graduate stud so I think my SOP would appear research-oriented. I think my biggest weakness in my application is that I don't have professional working experience and I don't have any experience in design and psychology.

I am having a hard time waiting for results from remaining schools( based on present outcomes, I don't have much expectation on remaining programs). I am not sure what I should do if I want to apply for the next year? Is it better for me to change my direction to finance engineering or keep my chasing my interests?

I do appreciate any help! 

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