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Aerospace Aiming to high?

  1. Jul 14, 2009 #1

    Im wondering if I am aiming too high for gradschool in aerospace engineering. I am going for a PhD.

    Major GPA (mechanical) 3.68 from a fairly well known school
    -Have also taken a lot of advanced undergrad classes, and will take two graduate level classes next year.

    Member of university's aerospace club
    -independent study with club
    -we have designed and are currently building our own remote controlled plane

    -REU at a top 20 university

    -Internship at NASA currently, will probably go back next year (in between senior year and grad school)

    -Hope to do another independent study next year

    -Two years of tutoring, I won an award as an outstanding tutor

    -At least 2 excellent letters, and the other one should be good

    -Havent taken GRE. Not worried about the quantitative, a little worried about verbal.

    Schools I am applying to:
    Georgia Tech
    Penn State
    Minnesota (Mechanical Egnr.)

    Obviously no can really predict whether or not I will get in, but do you think I will at least be competitive?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 15, 2009 #2
    You should be able to easily get into grad school. I was an undergrad in ME, but do my graduate at UMD in dynamics & controls with a dash of rotorcraft. I'm biased, but I would steer you to UMD. It's really a great place. For rotorcraft, its number 1 in the country.

    But, bais aside. Don't think MIT is the best on that list for anything and everything. Know exactly what it is you want to study and see which school is the best in that area: this is an important point. Each school is well known for certain things.
  4. Jul 15, 2009 #3
    Thanks for the reply.

    I am actually still on the fence about applying to MIT, I havent found much that really interests me, I am going to take tour this later this summer and decide then. UMD is actually one of my top choices, I think they have a lot of really interesting things there.
  5. Jul 15, 2009 #4
    I have very little doubt you wouldn't get into UMD. Do you know what area interests you?

    Your resume looks to be highly competitive, IMO. You could probably get into MIT if you wanted to. I had the grades for MIT, but I will say I am absolutely without-a-doubt glad I stayed at UMD.

    To bias you some more, our faculty is the whose-who of aerospace.

    For helicopters, we have the best in the country.
    For hypersonics we have Dr. Van Wie and Dr. Lewis (Who is is the president of AIAA and formerly the cheif scientist of the united states air force at the pentagon).

    We are very good at smart structures and composite materials as well.

    There are some really, really good people here.

    The list goes on....
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2009
  6. Jul 15, 2009 #5


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    How was the student populous like at UMD? I mean were the students there actually motivated and interested in their field? I also am in a similar position as the OP however I will be graduating in 2011. But to me that means nothing as I usually plan ahead about 5 years because of my international student status here in the US.
  7. Jul 15, 2009 #6
    It's a top ten school, so...yes (I'm speaking of graduate school).
  8. Jul 15, 2009 #7
    My interests are almost anything having to do with fluid mechanics. I have a lot of experience with wind tunnels, and at umd I am interested in the propulsion lab, hypersonics and the flow control research for the morpheus research lab.
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