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You know you're screwed for grad school when...

DLeRium

Lifer
Feb 19, 2001
20,161
20
81
You have a 3.0 GPA.
You've just signed up for a GRE course after getting a mouthful from parents.
You glanced at one school's graduate admissions info (my current University)
You have had the mindset of going to work for a few years then coming back

Compare this to HS when I had a 4.35 GPA weighted, all my SATs with high scores tucked under my belt, colleges researched, blah blah...

Anyways... this fall could be one crazy@$$ fall. Thank goodness I'm only registered for 13 units of classes, but depending on whether I take my GRE or not soon I might actually apply this fall?

Any thoughts? BTW, I'm studying Materials Science Engineer right now at UC Berkeley... just wanted some opinions of what people feel about grad school or any advice for the applications process or any words of wisdom in general. Thanks.
 

DLeRium

Lifer
Feb 19, 2001
20,161
20
81
Originally posted by: Xylitol
All I heard is that grad students' lives = studying
<==High school
My life would be studying if I wanted a 3.7 GPA. I'm wishing I dedicated more time to studying. Maybe this fall? =P Hah.
 

RollWave

Diamond Member
May 20, 2003
4,201
3
81
Went through THAT song and dance before....except for Med School. Was brutal. Ended up spending the year after college getting a MS in Pharmacology to boost my application.


EDIT: Be happy you go to a good school. If you got a GPA like that at a lesser school you'd be COMPLETELY hosed.
 

esun

Platinum Member
Nov 12, 2001
2,214
0
0
Thanks for reminding me...bleh. I have yet to think about the GRE or applications seriously. I do have a 3.73GPA, though, and I have a good idea of where to apply, so as long as I can get those other things done I'll be okay.
 

Special K

Diamond Member
Jun 18, 2000
7,110
0
76
Whatever you do, do not pay for engineering grad school. If you cannot secure funding in the form of an RA, TA, or fellowship, do not go. It does not make any sense to pay for it. Having said that, getting funding is pretty competitive.

If you cannot get funding, work for awhile and if you are still interested, see if your company can pay for it.
 

Whisper

Diamond Member
Feb 25, 2000
5,394
2
81
Are you thinking of going for a masters or a doctorate? With the former, it's generally very hard to secure any type of funding, while with the latter, the funding options are much greater. However, largely because doctoral programs are usually funded, they're also much harder to get into. For masters degress, the competition--while still fairly stiff--isn't quite so bad.

A 3.0 GPA isn't an automatic disqualifier, it's likely to keep you out of the upper-tier schools. However, if you're dead set on applying this coming year rather than taking some time off to up your grades, I'd recommend that you do the following:

1) Come up with a list of schools (~20-30) to which you'd like to apply, then check the statistics of their past few incoming classes
2) Narrow down said list of schools to approximately 10-15 places with which your grades, GRE scores, and research experiences are a good match
3) Look up the professors in the program to which you're planning to apply and find ones with whom you have similar research interests
4) Contact these professors to let them know of your interest, ask what they're currently working on, etc.
5) If any of the 10-15 schools mentioned above don't have any faculty with whom you'd like to work, scratch them off your list

Assuming your grades and GRE scores make it through the schools admissions formula/criteria, the most important aspects relating to admission are research experience, letters of recommendation, and match between the program's faculty and your interests; if any of those three areas don't line up, there's a good chance you won't get in. Your personal essays are also surprisingly important, especially if you're invited for an interview.

Although as I said before, this is all pertaining to doctoral programs. If you're instead wanting to go for a masters, I'd imagine the advice might be a little different...although probably not by much.
 

MyThirdEye

Diamond Member
Dec 29, 2005
3,615
0
76
I've heard it's tough. I've got a ways to go, I'm going to be a Sophomore in HS.

Best of luck, though.
 

invidia

Platinum Member
Oct 8, 2006
2,152
1
0
I got into a decent engineering grad school with a 2.7.... And it was from one of the top 20 public schools in the US (univ of Florida)

As long as you don't screw up on your major courses, you're fine. They won't deny you just because you got an F in Art during your freshman year. I completely did horrible in my freshman and sophomore year.

But some grad schools DO filter out applications below a certain GPA. It's suppose to be an efficient way (IMO a poor way, because you can't always judge a student's academic and future potential just by their GPAs.) to go thru thousands of applications.
 

EagleKeeper

Discussion Club Moderator<br>Elite Member
Staff member
Oct 30, 2000
42,599
5
0
One can take the courses needed for grad school without actually being enrolled in the program.
 

Scarpozzi

Lifer
Jun 13, 2000
25,144
1,023
126
Grad school is about increasing how much money you can make. If you're an engineer and you're getting a Master's in Engineering, I don't know how much more you'll make. Honestly, I always thought experience in that field and industries counted more toward top-end pay than additional degrees.

 

Casawi

Platinum Member
Oct 31, 2004
2,366
1
0
Originally posted by: Scarpozzi
Grad school is about increasing how much money you can make. If you're an engineer and you're getting a Master's in Engineering, I don't know how much more you'll make. Honestly, I always thought experience in that field and industries counted more toward top-end pay than additional degrees.
I agree in fact I am pretty sure I make more than our master's graduate engineer. We both have the same undergrad degree, but I just simply know more than him.
 

Casawi

Platinum Member
Oct 31, 2004
2,366
1
0
Originally posted by: yassine
Originally posted by: Scarpozzi
Grad school is about increasing how much money you can make. If you're an engineer and you're getting a Master's in Engineering, I don't know how much more you'll make. Honestly, I always thought experience in that field and industries counted more toward top-end pay than additional degrees.
I agree in fact I am pretty sure I make more than our master's graduate engineer. We both have the same undergrad degree, but I just simply know more than him.
But I am still going back for grad school. The reason for that is I want to a professor someday... so a PhD is still to come.
 

halik

Lifer
Oct 10, 2000
25,708
1
0
Originally posted by: Xylitol
All I heard is that grad students' lives = studying
<==High school

Depending on what field, grad school is mostly research and writing papers and such. Nothing crazy.

<- starting Grad school this fall; I'm sure that my Econ M.A. will be easier than the double B.S. I did in undergrad.
 

Gibson486

Lifer
Aug 9, 2000
18,379
1
0
Originally posted by: Scarpozzi
Grad school is about increasing how much money you can make. If you're an engineer and you're getting a Master's in Engineering, I don't know how much more you'll make. Honestly, I always thought experience in that field and industries counted more toward top-end pay than additional degrees.
That varies company to company. One place I worked at would not give you a management position unless you had a Masters. Other companies couldn't care less. Some places will give you a raise once you get your masters, while other will say don f with me. That said, I am gonna take the safer and more annoying route of getting my masters part time on the company dime.
 

imported_Imp

Diamond Member
Dec 20, 2005
9,150
0
0
Originally posted by: yassine
Originally posted by: Scarpozzi
Grad school is about increasing how much money you can make. If you're an engineer and you're getting a Master's in Engineering, I don't know how much more you'll make. Honestly, I always thought experience in that field and industries counted more toward top-end pay than additional degrees.
I agree in fact I am pretty sure I make more than our master's graduate engineer. We both have the same undergrad degree, but I just simply know more than him.
I'm thinking of going the "work a few years then bac to grad" route. About to start my final year of Civil Engineering, and I can honestly say that everything I've learned so far doesn't seem (keyword) "complex" enough to actually start the designs/work real engineers do. There are technical electives I can choose to specialize in, but we get to choose a whole 6 courses for the year, which isn't enough. Seems to me that the only route, if I ever want to be more than coffee-runner, is to go back someday.... (effing school)
 

Safeway

Lifer
Jun 22, 2004
12,081
8
81
Originally posted by: halik
Originally posted by: Xylitol
All I heard is that grad students' lives = studying
<==High school

Depending on what field, grad school is mostly research and writing papers and such. Nothing crazy.

<- starting Grad school this fall; I'm sure that my Econ M.A. will be easier than the double B.S. I did in undergrad.
Agreed, grad school isn't much more difficult than undergrad. You take less classes, but each class requires more time. The only portion of the degree that requires a bit of dedication is the research thesis/masters dissertation.
 

Special K

Diamond Member
Jun 18, 2000
7,110
0
76
Originally posted by: Scarpozzi
Grad school is about increasing how much money you can make. If you're an engineer and you're getting a Master's in Engineering, I don't know how much more you'll make. Honestly, I always thought experience in that field and industries counted more toward top-end pay than additional degrees.
In my current field, IC design, the top companies (AMD, Intel, nvidia, TI, Micron, etc.) only recruit from a select few schools. If your BS is from what they consider to be a "lesser" school that they don't recruit from, then it's going to be very difficult to get noticed by them. It would therefore be difficult to obtain any relevant work experience that would make them want to hire you in the future. I'm not saying no one has ever done it, but it seems that it was a much easier route to just get the free MS and meet the recruiters at the school. I went with the MS from a top school because I couldn't get into the field with my BS, which came from a lower-ranked school.

I'm not sure how it is in other engineering fields.
 

RollWave

Diamond Member
May 20, 2003
4,201
3
81
Masters is a BIG pay increase in a lot of corporate positions. PhD, however, does not usually get you much more than the MSc
 

zerocool1

Diamond Member
Jun 7, 2002
4,489
0
81
femaven.blogspot.com
Originally posted by: invidia
I got into a decent engineering grad school with a 2.7.... And it was from one of the top 20 public schools in the US (univ of Florida)

As long as you don't screw up on your major courses, you're fine. They won't deny you just because you got an F in Art during your freshman year. I completely did horrible in my freshman and sophomore year.

But some grad schools DO filter out applications below a certain GPA. It's suppose to be an efficient way (IMO a poor way, because you can't always judge a student's academic and future potential just by their GPAs.) to go thru thousands of applications.

what about your GRE scores, how did you do on them?
 

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