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Effect of Research/Publications on Grad School Admittance

  1. Mar 8, 2013 #1
    Hello! I currently do research for the physics department and also the chemical engineering department of my university (ranked within top 100, if I remember correctly, for context). I should be publishing at least three or more papers through this research during my time here, though I'm shooting for around five or six if results all go as expected.

    I was told by the chem.e research head that being first author on a publication is nearly a guarantee into any grad school program that I want. How true is this? I'd like to go for a top 15 school if possible, but my GPA will likely be around 3.5 by the time I graduate if I'm being fair. My GRE should be decent (I always score high on practice ones) and I have a ton of extracurriculars and leadership roles, as well as work experience.

    What do you guys think of my chances, given some pretty vague information?
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 8, 2013 #2
    Based on the information you gave, I would say you're chances are 50/50... Probably.
  4. Mar 8, 2013 #3
    first of all I have to tell you that I do not know really exactly how things work in the US... but I searched for some information to be able to go there somewhere for the PhD and I also did some applications in Canada (where it is the same thing) so I perhaps can help you.
    The number of publications is for sure important (at least if they are peer reviewed, i.e. if they are published in specialized journals which check things seriously before publishing them). Anyway the most important thing there are the references. Try to have good marks at your GRE, try to publish most you can but more important try to convince (with your work mainly) some good professors to give you references. If they are known around and if they speak well about you, your possibilities improve for sure.
    Good Luck
    p.s. anyway good job so many publications before the degree. I m doing my Master of Science in physics, and I am preparing the thesis... but I am one of the lucky ones if I manage to publish one work... here most of people do not publish anything before the PhD. I am lucky because I am doing my thesis in a research centre instead than at my University so my supervisor there will probably let me publish my work before discussing the thesis
  5. Mar 9, 2013 #4
    Thanks for all the responses guys!

    My GRE should be very high. I took a practice exam and scored pretty decently.

    Since my GPA may be meh, I'm really hoping that the GRE and publications will carry me where I need to go.
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