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Help: Chances at MSE/MBA with Math Undergrad

  1. May 25, 2010 #1
    Hello everyone,

    I am a recently graduated senior with a cum GPA of 3.4 with degrees in Applied Mathematics (with a concentration in Physics and Biology) and Chemistry. It would have been higher, save the 2 semesters that I was a biochem major and dropped below 3.0.

    I am interested in doing a MSE/MBA combination in order to use my writing/organizational, mathematical, and science skills to their fullest in industry. I have great recommendations aside from the biochemistry department; however, the math/physics/chemistry/biology departments know the full caliber of my work and dedication.

    Chem E. sounds rather interesting, and I hope the MBA and computer background will keep me away from the majority of the "wet-work". I also don't have much of a desire to attain a PhD due to time and other interests that I wish to pursue.

    Personal/More Info:

    • I am a gay African American male who has topped most of his chemistry/physics/biology/English classes, but not so much in biochem.
    • I am not particularly keen on PhD other than for the possible stipend. I simply cannot afford the MBA/MSE w/o a stipend, so I need to know if this is feasible.
    • I have experience in: Java/C/HTML/CSS/Matlab/Mathematica/SAS
    • Math classes were mostly applied in nature; I also ran a sustainability project and an acoustic project for computational physics (programmed in C).
    • I am proficient at writing and have written many technical reports that have been lauded both in the sciences and English department.
    • I have 3 particular people that will definitely give me "glowing" recs (Cornell-Educated Physical Chemist, prominent Statistician/Numerical Analyst, Electrical Engineer to give a few credentials). Probably more if I asked.
    • After switching from biochem (memorization was not doing it for me), my GPA stayed around a 3.5-3.6 while taking an average of 3 400 level and 3 400 level science/math classes per semester (36 credits senior year to finish math major in time).
    • I am known to be well at self-teaching. I taught myself Fluid Mechanics, Electromagnetics and Relativity, and Intro to Quantum. Professors/my transcripts have note this.

    Should I apply to Ivy (Master's Level)? Does the MSE(Chemical Eng)/MBA sound like a good idea? Will finding funding to go full-time be feasible with grants/scholarships/and school aid?

    Thank you,
    Last edited: May 25, 2010
  2. jcsd
  3. May 25, 2010 #2
    no one cares that you're gay. on the other hand many people care that you're black. you're not likely to get into an ivy or even top 20. top 50 maybe

    you're also not going to get funding for a master's unless you bring your own fellowship which you're not likely to find.

    apply to your home school. industry won't care that you didn't go to ivy (especially since you want to manage).
  4. May 25, 2010 #3

    Thank you for keeping it in reality.

    I don't really care much at all about Ivy or not. For some reason, my professors seem to be pushing that, even though I believed it was rather infeasible.

    I completely understand not getting into an Ivy, but what would preclude me from getting into a top 50? That doesn't seem too far fetched to me. I can understand if my stats detailed complete failure, but they are far from it. Also, don't recommendations and such have great weight in these decisions as do my other research projects in various fields?

    The main reason for me wanting a Master's is to get into Chemical Engineering. Unfortunately, my school didn't have that as an option and for a dumb reason, I didn't transfer.

    Surely getting funding for a Master's in an engineering field through GEM (http://www.gemfellowship.org/apply/about-the-gem-fellowship [Broken]) cannot be out of reach.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  5. May 26, 2010 #4
    you simply don't understand how competitive these things are (fellowships and grad schools).

    you didn't mention any research publications so i assume you don't have any. if you were first author on a couple of papers or just author on a lot of papers you would stand a decent chance (not even good) for a top 50 school but not a fellowship.

    your record is simply too nebulous. most of the things you listed (e.g. being lauded by the english department and being an autodidact) are worthless as far as an admissions committee is concerned.

    in the end though i don't know. you're black but your chances might be a lot better (and rightfully so) than i imagine.

    email some of the programs you're interested in. ask them if supporting underrepresented minorities is part of their mission statement or some such thing. if it is only then might you have a good shot.
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