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Want to get into computer science Ph.D

  1. Feb 27, 2010 #1
    Hello, World!

    I'm taking computer science courses at undergrad level and want to get into computer science Ph.D. program. I have M.A. in biology, so I'm curious if anybody has good ideas on how to bridge the fields. How much do admission committees care about GRE? What courses in comp sci I should focus on to bolster the chances of admission? I'm lost, so I'm looking for any advice I can get.


    Monte Carlo
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 27, 2010 #2
    Re: Ph.D.?

    Just about every school I looked at for a phD (from top 10 down to ranked 50) had a computational biology program, often run out of their CS department.

    Numerical analysis and data visualization courses will probably help you, as will making sure you've got all your basics covered (so algorithms, data structures, maybe intro theory, databases, and operating systems-> look at the schools quals and see what areas you'll have to take grad courses in. Pick up undergrad courses accordingly. ).
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2010
  4. Feb 28, 2010 #3
    Re: Ph.D.?

    Thanks for replying.

    How important are GRE scores? Do admission committees look for Computer Science subject test scores or undergrad coursework with high grades will suffice? Do schools focus on GRE quantitative part exclusively or verbal score matters as well?
  5. Feb 28, 2010 #4
    Re: Ph.D.?

    Depends on the school/your application/etc. A decent amount of kids at my school get into the grad school mostly because they picked up an adviser in undergrad and he or she is pushing the grad school to accept them. (I don't think my app. even went to the committee.)
    Some schools say that undergrad research is the most important thing, but many use GREs and GPA as filters. Most schools require GREs and some require the CompSci GREs. The quantitative is more important, but most want to see decent verbal scores (like minimally over 50th/70th percentile).
  6. Mar 7, 2010 #5
    Re: Ph.D.?

    For a person in my circumstances, what is a high GRE quantitative score? If I take Comp Sci GRE, what score is about reasonable?
  7. Mar 7, 2010 #6
    Re: Ph.D.?

    >700 is the minimum most schools want to see, so think >750 and the higher the better. Mostly the same for GRE comp sci (>700, >750 better).
  8. Mar 7, 2010 #7
    Re: Ph.D.?

    In your opinion, how long should it take to prepare for verbal and quantitative GRE? By that I mean how many days and hours of study per day? Because of school-work hiatus, I don't remember any SAT words and such.
  9. Mar 7, 2010 #8
    Re: Ph.D.?

    It's all a matter of how good you are to begin with. Some people need a few months, some take a year of prep courses, and some show up cold and do fine. Minimally, buy one of the good computer versions and do some prep on those, see where you're at, and make a decision from there. I used the prep books and was completely thrown off my game for the actual exam.
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