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rwoodward

Am I aiming too high?

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I'm an international student in a top ranked institution abroad, applying for synthetic organic chemistry PhD in the US. I am aiming high - I was planning to apply to MIT, Harvard, Scripps, Caltech, Stanford, Princeton and Berkeley. However, I am not sure given my background, if this is aiming too high.

Research wise, I've done two summers and I am currently completing my Masters year (full-time research). All my projects have been relevant to my interests and have been in synthetic organic chemistry. Unfortunately, none of my projects have resulted in publications, mostly because I have been the first person on each project, meaning I've been getting it off the ground. I think my work could be published in the future, but not until after the admissions cycle. I have three recommendation letters from organic chemists, one of which is very well-known with a lot of connections. I'm in approximately the top 15% of my year for Chemistry. I got 167/161/4.5 on the general GRE and I'm waiting for my chemistry GRE score, but I'm hoping >90%.

Do I have a chance of getting an offer from one of the institutions I listed?

 

 

Edited by rising_star
to remove identifying info

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On 11/11/2017 at 6:56 AM, dorkstep said:

I'm an international student in a top ranked institution abroad, applying for synthetic organic chemistry PhD in the US. I am aiming high - I was planning to apply to MIT, Harvard, Scripps, Caltech, Stanford, Princeton and Berkeley. However, I am not sure given my background, if this is aiming too high.

Research wise, I've done two summers and I am currently completing my Masters year (full-time research). All my projects have been relevant to my interests and have been in synthetic organic chemistry. Unfortunately, none of my projects have resulted in publications, mostly because I have been the first person on each project, meaning I've been getting it off the ground. I think my work could be published in the future, but not until after the admissions cycle. I have three recommendation letters from organic chemists, one of which is very well-known with a lot of connections. I'm in approximately the top 15% of my year for Chemistry. I got 167/161/4.5 on the general GRE and I'm waiting for my chemistry GRE score, but I'm hoping >90%.

Do I have a chance of getting an offer from one of the institutions I listed?

 

 

Hi 

I am in an almost identical situation to yourself but applying for Inorganic chemistry programs. I was wondering whether you have had any insight into your chances. My U.K professors have said that this application would be strong (depending on the reputation of your current UK university) however, I still believe it is necessary to have at least one publication, despite it being rare to do so in undergrad in the U.K. Most other international and domestic US students usually have a few publications. 

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On 11/11/2017 at 6:56 AM, dorkstep said:

I'm an international student in a top ranked institution abroad, applying for synthetic organic chemistry PhD in the US. I am aiming high - I was planning to apply to MIT, Harvard, Scripps, Caltech, Stanford, Princeton and Berkeley. However, I am not sure given my background, if this is aiming too high.

Research wise, I've done two summers and I am currently completing my Masters year (full-time research). All my projects have been relevant to my interests and have been in synthetic organic chemistry. Unfortunately, none of my projects have resulted in publications, mostly because I have been the first person on each project, meaning I've been getting it off the ground. I think my work could be published in the future, but not until after the admissions cycle. I have three recommendation letters from organic chemists, one of which is very well-known with a lot of connections. I'm in approximately the top 15% of my year for Chemistry. I got 167/161/4.5 on the general GRE and I'm waiting for my chemistry GRE score, but I'm hoping >90%.

Do I have a chance of getting an offer from one of the institutions I listed?

 

 

Hi @dorkstep

From what I gather, you are a competitive candidate. However, with US schools, you need to consider fit into those school's department. It's not aiming high because who wouldn't dream of working/getting a degree from those schools. It does come down to fit.

Hope this helps or makes sense.

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You sound like a competitive applicant, and I see nothing wrong with aiming high. Sometimes, though, your admission might be affected by your citizenship. International students have a more difficult time getting funded.

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