confused about univ selection

blacklemon
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Joined: Sat Nov 01, 2008 7:22 am

confused about univ selection

Postby blacklemon » Mon Nov 03, 2008 11:13 am

I am an international student, in a top 5 school of my country. Now I am a bit confused about school selection. My overall GPA dose not look good:3.4~3.5, ranked top 15%. but I've got 3.9 in my major, and nearly all of my upper division courses are A. I got pretty good GRE and TOEFL, and lots of research experiences. So I am perplexed by my situation. Would I be poorly-ranked or rejected because of a low overall GPA? What do physics commitees look for? High physcis and math grade or high overall grade? I am just wondering if i should spend money applying for those top 20 programs. I really appreciate someone tell me something about it.

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secander2!
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Re: confused about univ selection

Postby secander2! » Mon Nov 03, 2008 12:05 pm

blacklemon, if I'm not mistaken, the physics committees place more emphasis on physics/math grades than on the overall GPA so I would think that your overall GPA is not prohibitively low; however, since there are so many international applicants with perfect PGREs and grades, I would guess that the committees might end up using the overall GPA as a distinguishing factor between two otherwise similar applicants. My personal hunch would be that unless you have stellar research and a near perfect PGRE, the top 10 might be a bit of a reach. Nevertheless, with a slightly more modest PGRE and with solid research, I'd think you might have a shot at top 20 schools. Of course, there are many other factors that go into the process: letters of recommendation, who wrote the letters, where your research is, publications you have, which foreign country you're from (from what I've heard, it's harder to get in if you're from India, and even harder if you're from China), etc... bit I'd recommend looking through this thread to get an idea of what it takes to get accepted, maybe you can find some profiles similar to yours. I hope this helps and good luck with the application process!!!

blacklemon
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Joined: Sat Nov 01, 2008 7:22 am

Re: confused about univ selection

Postby blacklemon » Tue Nov 04, 2008 10:47 am

Thanks a lot. I know that lots of things are taken into account when evaluating an applicant. I am just worrying that a not-so-good GPA alone will significantly lower my chances of being admitted. By the way ,will a high PGRE(950+) make up for the overall GPA?

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secander2!
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Re: confused about univ selection

Postby secander2! » Tue Nov 04, 2008 6:46 pm

I would definitely think it would help a lot and probably give you a good shot at the top 20 schools! But like I said, if they end up having to choose between you and another similar looking applicant, they'll probably go for the one with the higher GPA.

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zxcv
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Re: confused about univ selection

Postby zxcv » Wed Nov 05, 2008 5:24 am

The top 15% at my undergrad school (US small college) was a 3.8.

I would definitely mention your approximate class rank because in this context an overall GPA of 3.4 or 3.5 sounds competitive. Perhaps you should ask a professor to mention this in a letter of recommendation. Comparing GPAs between domestic schools is already difficult but between international schools it is even harder.

So with an otherwise strong application, I would still apply for some top ranked schools. It's impossible to predict especially with international admissions and you might get lucky.

blacklemon
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Joined: Sat Nov 01, 2008 7:22 am

Re: confused about univ selection

Postby blacklemon » Thu Nov 06, 2008 12:08 pm

Wow, it seems that my university has a pretty strict ranking criteria. I do mentioned in my statement of purpose that I've got a progressing record through all 3 years, and that I ranked 3% in my junior year. Hope that can help.

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secander2!
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Re: confused about univ selection

Postby secander2! » Thu Nov 06, 2008 4:02 pm

oh wow, I didn't even think about mentioning class rank! that's a really good idea zxcv!!! sorry, blacklemon, I forgot that 3.4-3.5 can be really good depending on the school :oops:




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