Help with graduate ChemE application

In summary, the conversation is about the speaker's chances of getting into MIT's ChemE PhD program with a not-so-stellar class rank and what they can do to improve their chances. The expert suggests that having at least 1 publication and doing multiple extracurricular activities, such as volunteering and having a minor, can give them an edge. They also mention a person who got into the program with 20 publications and another who received the Marshall scholarship with 3 publications. The expert advises the speaker to look at graduate student web pages at MIT and emphasizes the competitive nature of getting into such programs.
  • #1
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Help with graduate ChemE application!

I really want to apply to MIT for the ChemE Phd program and apparently they look at your class rank quite a bit...I might not have a very good class rank, let alone be the top student!
What are my chances going to be if I spend about 2.5 doing research and get a publication or 2?
Did anyone actually get into mit with not so stellar grades? If so what did they/you do?
On average how many publications should I aim for?
 
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  • #2


i don't think you have a chance without really good grades, and most people applying will have at least 1 publication. . .
 
  • #3


Well thanks Highway! Atleast 1? What's the most you've seen an applicant publish/have accepted?

Do you have any other recommendations from me? I take it I would probably need perfect GRE scores ( Quant.) and LORs but what about the extra stuff like Volunteering and other jobs? A minor perhaps? Anything to give myself an edge compared to others?
 
  • #4


absurdist said:
Well thanks Highway! Atleast 1? What's the most you've seen an applicant publish/have accepted?

i know of a girl who took time off between undergrad and worked in a lab for a few years before starting her phd. she had ~20 publications, most of them being co-authors, due to her heavy involvement in the lab. she pretty much wrote her ticket to the grad program of her choice.i don't think you realize that a lot of kids who get into programs like that have (marshall) scholarships, 2+ majors, numerous awards, many ECs, etc. it's not like they all do just one or two things and get accepted, they do almost everything, and do them all well.

i know of someone who got into stanford, pton, etc for engineering as a marshall scholar, and to even get that award he was rejected with one publication, applied again with 3 publications and won it. he was a 4.0 student.

this might not be what you want to hear, but it's the truth. . .

see if you can find some grad student web pages at mit and if they have their cv / work posted. . . make sure you're wearing a diaper though.
 
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  • #5


As a fellow scientist, I understand your concerns about your graduate ChemE application. While class rank is important, it is not the only factor that admissions committees consider. Your research experience and publications can also greatly enhance your application. It is impressive that you are already planning to spend 2.5 years on research and aim for publications. This shows your dedication and passion for the field, which is highly valued by graduate programs.

In terms of your chances of getting into MIT with not-so-stellar grades, it is difficult to say as admissions decisions are based on a holistic review of your application. However, if you can demonstrate your research skills and potential through publications and strong letters of recommendation, it can greatly boost your chances.

As for the number of publications to aim for, it is not about quantity but rather the quality and impact of your research. Focus on conducting high-quality research and publishing in reputable journals, rather than trying to meet a specific number. Admissions committees value the impact and significance of your research over the number of publications.

Overall, my advice would be to continue focusing on your research and publications, while also highlighting your strengths and passion for the field in your application. Every applicant is unique and has their own journey, so do not be discouraged by your class rank. I wish you the best of luck in your application process.
 

What is the typical timeline for applying to graduate ChemE programs?

The timeline for applying to graduate ChemE programs can vary, but it is generally recommended to start the application process about a year in advance. This allows time to research and choose potential programs, prepare for standardized tests, gather letters of recommendation, and write personal statements. It is important to check the specific deadlines for each program, as they may differ.

What are the main components of a graduate ChemE application?

The main components of a graduate ChemE application typically include transcripts, standardized test scores, letters of recommendation, a personal statement or statement of purpose, and a resume or CV. Some programs may also require additional materials, such as a research proposal or writing sample.

How important are standardized test scores in the graduate ChemE application process?

Standardized test scores, such as the GRE, are just one aspect of the overall application and are not the sole determining factor for admission. While they are important, they are considered in conjunction with other materials, such as transcripts, letters of recommendation, and personal statements. It is important to aim for a competitive score, but a strong application as a whole is what will ultimately make the most impact.

What can I do to make my graduate ChemE application stand out?

One way to make your application stand out is to have a strong academic record, including high grades in relevant coursework and research experience. Additionally, securing strong letters of recommendation, writing a compelling personal statement, and showcasing relevant skills and experiences in your resume can also make your application more competitive.

Is it necessary to have a specific research area or advisor in mind when applying to graduate ChemE programs?

While it is not necessary to have a specific research area or advisor in mind when applying, it can be beneficial to have a general idea of your research interests and potential areas of focus. This can help you target programs and professors who align with your interests, and may also be helpful in crafting a strong personal statement or research proposal. However, it is not uncommon for students to change their research focus once they begin their graduate studies.

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