Why I rejected a full scholarship for Masters and PhD from Princeton University

Why I rejected MS PhD in Princeton University with full scholarshipSome of you may be aware of my background, some not. A quick bio can be found on our MBA consultants profile page.

This post is not about my life history overall, there is still some more time before I get to that.

The purpose of this post is to share my experiences while applying, with 100% success, for Master’s programs after/during undergrad and decisions therein.

I pursued a Dual Degree (Btech + Mtech) in Chemical Engineering from IIT Bombay during a time, when going to the U.S. for further studies was the norm for most ‘good’ students.

I was one of them and hence, went after this as a sort of preordained career path but ended up doing something entirely different. Read on to get a sense on the process involved, some suggestions and finally some career advice.

Selecting the right University in USA for Masters / PhD

Being part of an institute such as IIT means you have lot of alumni who have already been there and done that. So there is no dearth of help available.

There is a set process that you can follow; of course the result depends on how good you are. I had decided during my Master’s thesis to focus on Bioinformatics/Biotechnology since I never had the kicks for core Chemical Engineering.

This is an important point which many falter on. Simply chasing an Masters MS + PhD dream to get to the states is not prudent – more often than not, it leads to frustrations later.

If you want to change your field, do sooner rather than later so you have some credibility. In my case, I had already prepared 2 draft journal papers in this field.

I worked closely with my Master’s thesis guide to arrive at the target schools/programs. I was fortunate that he was a visiting faculty in 1 of these programs.

Using his inputs, alumni feedback and my own research, I arrived at my list of 4 schools to apply to. I decided to target top schools for my particular subject as well as Ivy League.

MS / PhD Application Process and SoP writing

While the school selection is a longish process, the real thing that seals your decision is taking the GRE exam. I prepared for a month or two using the standard material (again passed down by seniors mostly) and had a decent score.

On reflection, I could have done better with a bit more preparation or by being a bit less cocky. I used to be more interested in finishing the test early rather than being meticulous. So the advice is to take your time and ace it.

I then went on to the Statement of Purpose (SoP) writing phase. This was always an area I took pride in and hence, rather than following the norm of taking SoPs of seniors and trying to copy paste them, I created an original one from scratch.

Unfortunately at the time, there weren’t many professional guides out there so I relied on friends to read the drafts and ensure accuracy. The most important part of this process however was the research.

I had identified my potential MS / PhD guides in each of these schools, written to them and bounced off my research ideas with them. This is critical because in many schools, these professors are the ones who decide who to admit.

Till the time I submitted my applications, I was committed to pursue further education.

Results of my MS / PhD applications

In the end game, I got a full tuition waiver from Princeton UniversIty, a fellowship offer from Penn State University (PSU), partial funding from the University of Delaware (then the numero uno choice in Chemical Engineering) and admit from Rice University.

The professor I had been interacting with at Princeton University was the one who sent me the news of my admit.

In hindsight, I feel my Statement of Purpose played a big role in getting the scholarships at Princeton and the other universities.

Accept or reject the Ivy League university scholarship offer

During my final year, apart from academics, I also got interested in the practical application of what I had learnt in my engineering.

This was also partly driven by my desire to stay back in India and in part driven by certain books I read.

All this meant that by the time I had gotten these results, which were really tempting to put it mildly, I had almost made up my mind to not to.

Chemical engineering jobs were not that very many in those days and it was not going to be smooth ride.

But to ensure that I did not end up wasting a seat, I sent declines to all the universities except Princeton where I was still not sure. As expected, I had an IT Consulting offer from campus and the Princeton university opportunity came back to me.

Fortunately for me, I could use the alumni network to get into Asian Paints which was arguably the ideal place for a chemical engineer to practice his/her skills.

The career thereafter has been an interesting ride.

After my MBA from ISB, I worked at McKinsey as a strategy consultant for several years and then led the marketing department for a huge US company in India before getting into my passion of career counselling and admissions consulting on a full time basis.

Advice if you are applying to MS / PhD Universities abroad

Here are a few things to keep in mind if you are targeting MS/PhD degrees abroad:

  • Be sure that this is what you want to do. Especially PhD is a big commitment and once you do it, there’s no turning back
  • Research, research and research. Do not shoot in the dark and do not just go by hearsay. But get as much help as you can from people who’ve been there and done that
  • Do not make any compromises on your GRE. That really makes a difference here as the data points for schools to assess your potential are not that very many to begin with
  • Aim right. Don’t just go for brand names or places where you’ll regret later.
  • Last but definitely not the least (in fact, it might be the most important tip) is to take your SoP very seriously.

If you are applying to MS or PhD programs in the U.S. or any other country, I’d be happy to answer your queries if you can post them below.

Edit: Thanks for your overwhelming response to this post. It’s got more comments than it can handle. So we’re moving the discussion to our forum. Please post your queries on this Masters (MS) discussion forum.


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MBA Crystal Ball provides professional Admissions Consulting services. Hire us to improve your chances of getting into the top international universities. Email: info [at] mbacrystalball [dot] com

MG (Manish Gupta) //
MG (Manish Gupta)
Chief Consulting Officer at MBA Crystal Ball, ex-McKinsey, IIT & ISB topper. MG can help you get into the top B-schools. Read more about this top MBA admissions consultant. Connect with MG on Linkedin, Facebook or Email: mcb [at] mbacrystalball [dot] com

85 Comments

  1. yuvaraj srivastava says:

    This is inspiring Manish. Very well articulated.

  2. yash says:

    sir i am having 7.2 cgpa in computer engineering and many universties are approving gre for mba what score will be appropriate such that i can avail full scholarship inn usa.

    • Yash, it is not clear if you plan to target MBA or MS? In either case, the way you have to look at scholarships is a means for a University to attract talent. This means that if it is really important for you, you have to aim a bit lower than what you might be able to get into.

  3. RebalaP says:

    HI
    I hava GMAT score of 740 in 2012.
    I already have an MBA in Finance from NMIMS(2009 to 11) and had given GMAT in pursuit of a career in Product Management.

    Regarding my profile. I have two years of product development experience in an MNC prior to my MBA. After my MBA I had been in a ERP finance consulting role for 4 years. What course would you suggest considering my priorities. Another MBA focusing on Information Systems or any specific MS degree that I can target.

  4. Sherzod says:

    Dear mr. Gupta,

    Thank you for the inspiring strategy. I have got a question as I have also similar intentions to pursue Ph.D like you. Nowadays I am about to finish my MSc in General Management and wondering to apply either Ph.D or MBA in the USA. Do you know it is worth doing MBA or directly apply for Ph.D? What would you advise as an experienced candidate?

    Thank you a lot in advance,

    Best regards,

    Sherzod

    • Where are you doing the MSc from Sherzod? In India or outside? Irrespective of this, a PhD will be more ‘feasible’. The only MBA, if you don’t have prior experience, will be the CAT based ones realistically speaking.

  5. Narendra Kulkarni says:

    Hi,

    I am Narendra, I had completed my BE in Industrial Production and an PGPM in Marketing and operations(2012-14) and had a 14 months of experience in sales development and strategy role. I am looking towards pursuing MBA in Germany/US/Canada and want to make a better career out there. do i need to gain more work experience before applying? Your views pls

    • Going for a second MBA so soon may not be the most prudent thing to do Narendra. It will be worthwhile to have a few more years of experience before you proceed. Make sure you know where you are headed and are not working in an unrelated area in the meanwhile though.

  6. Ajit Ganguly says:

    First of all i would like to say that your post was a great read and very encouraging for us newbies planning to go down the same road. Kindly go through my profile and the the doubts that i have. I am 29 years old, did schooling in a total of 8 schools all over India, BE (Elex. and Comm.) from a not very well known college somewhere in suburban Maharashtra. 59 % aggregate for the four year degree which i completed in 5 years. Don’t have much extra curriculars. As you can see, i am not the brightest of the lot :).
    Thereafter, I joined a leading shipping company and work on their ships as an Electrical Engineer. I have 30 months of total sea going experience. My career is sort of stagnant now as there is only one Elect engr onboard a ship and if i choose to continue working here i would have to work at the same rank for all my life. This is the main reason why i am looking for a career shift by doing a MBA preferably from USA. So i started researching about where my interests lie and i think consulting is something i can do / would like to do. I don’t fully understand what happens in business consulting but being the only person on board with technical know-how of Elect / Elex systems of a ship , i do advise the Master and Chief Engineer on daily / monthly / quarterly matters relating to safety, crew welfare, training, inventory control etc . Also the elect guy is the first person people turn to when there’s a problem , so consulting and trouble shooting is very much part of my job.
    I have taken a couple of mock GMAT tests and scored 670, maybe i can go up to 700. I want to study MBA with Consulting as majors, probably 3-4 years down the line. So, these days i spend my time researching about various top / medium level colleges in USA. Please advise me :

    1. Can i make it to a top MBA college in US ?
    2. Can you realistically tell me what colleges should i target with this type of profile.
    3. Is my thought process correct ? If not , what am i missing ?
    4. How can i make my profile better ? I know the damage has been done but do you have any pointers that might help ?
    5. I have a lot of other doubts. Can you tell me how i can contact a professional consultant like yourself or if you can refer me to someone.

  7. chetan says:

    Hi right now i am in final year of my btech and i want to do post graduation but without any gap so i want that when my btech will complete i will directly do post graduation . i don’t have any work experience and i want to do my post graduation in usa so plz help me if i do mba or mim .

    thanks

  8. krishnareddy says:

    hello ,this is krishna reddy am interested to do p.hd(in chemistry) in u.s but i dont know to get a seat in wich way and how much g.r.e score is need for that.

    • Krishna, part of the process involved is covered in this post. Rarely would schools mention a ‘minimum/target’ GRE. You have to first identify the programs/schools, then look at average if available and then look at your credentials. I am afraid it can never be a straightforward answer.

  9. Amar says:

    Hi,

    I am 35 years old holding 12+ years of work experience in IT as Techno Functional Manager and managing a team size of 20 people currently based out of India.
    I aspire to reach C-level” (CEO; CFO etc.) using this management course.
    I have few queries regarding management programs and request you to help me with answers so that I can take proper decision.

    a) Please help me understand which course should I opt for,MBA or EMBA?
    b) How will that benefit my personal & professional growth?
    c) My education may not be sponsored by my office so will that have an impact on my admission criteria?
    d) Do I have to sit for GMAT exam also and how much score will be considered as a best score for getting admission in the course?
    e) Would really appreciate If I can speak to people presently pursuing this course & alumni.

    Thanks a lot for the help and guidance.

  10. Vishal Pandey says:

    Hello Sir
    Myself Vishal
    First of all thanks a lot for so motivating story its takes a lot to reject down the offer from Universities such as Princeton.

    On my part I am a Computer Science Student of third year with a CGPA of 5 . I.e because engineering is not something what I want to do..Being an Indian I took admission in engineering directly after my 12th as most of us do. But now I realise that this is not what I am made for..And hence it reflects in my CGPA too..I dont get the concept of coding at all..neither I have an urge to learn them.

    But MBA is something what I always dreamed about. I feel like this is my area in which i can Ace. I have a good communication Skill , Have the quality to convince others and almost all of it what it takes to.

    My question to you is I am thinking to complete my Btech with a CGPA of 6 or 6.5 at the end and after that what is the minimum amount of work experience I should have in order to make it to the top 20 B-Schools in US. Also when is the ideal time to give my GMAT.

    Kindly please help me with your response

    Regards

    • The pedigree of your college is not mentioned Vishal. Even so, you have to put in sufficient years of experience (at least 4+) as well as get additional certifications/courses done to parry the blow from a low GPA. Bschools need to be convinced of your academic potential.

  11. Siddu T says:

    Hi Manish,
    I have 5 years of experience in technology consulting which mostly involved clients across India and abroad with good academics in school and Btech.

    Now I feel I need an mba might be needed to grow my career.
    But as having financial constraints can’t afford abroad MBA.
    Can you let me know good options I have in India among ISB and various 1 year MBA in iims like pgpx and epgp.. How good are they and how are job prospects after passing out from there..

    Will the 6 yrs experience in IT by time I join college have impact during placements in colleges like ISB.. ?
    Please help me clear my confusions..

    Thanks.

    • Siddhu, I would also add the IIMC course. Apart from that, you already have the usual suspects. No, not an issue for ISB with your years of experience really. In India, those are the tier 1 schools really for experienced professionals.

  12. Angad says:

    Hi I just graduated in BBA from Gd Goenka World Institute. And I was planning for Masters in Finance from USA. Can you please guide me if this is a good option for me? The main concern is I have 15 years of education. And will USA universities accept me for MS program. Please guide me. I really need some proper guidance for my career.

    • Angad, though some schools make exceptions for MBA, the requirement tends to be a bit more stringent for the other Master’s programs. I would encourage you to first identify your target schools and then check with each of them individually. The answer could vary from school to school.

  13. deepanshu kathuria says:

    sir,I have done b.tech in ece. Is it worth to do MS in financial engineering if it is costing me around 30 lakhs i.e. without any scholarship from a decent college in canada or should I do mba from india itself.sir I am getting a job as a technical support officer so will there be any work experience like this would be count to do mba from india or I should start preparing for cat without having any experience..?

    • Deepanshu, MS may make sense depending on the nature and pedigree of the program you are aiming for. This will involve extensive research and talking to alums/current students before you venture there.

      For MBA in India, you can either try right away with CAT or take a few years of experience and then try the GMAT route. Even if you go the CAT way, don’t just take a gap to prepare for the test – gain some work experience in the meanwhile too.

  14. Kapil says:

    i manish, i found this page very informative nyc job,

    coming to me nw, i have a bachelors degree in mechanical engg, i have completed my degree in 2014 and since my completion i hav been working in the core field as a production engg. I want to change my career field from engg to management side. And to do that what i have in mind is to pursure masters of arts in economics from UBC Canada or Master of management from sauders business school, Canada or Masters in international business from middlesex university london, which would you suggest me to do from the perspective of landing up wid a job after completion of course as i want to settle abroad and later after doing one of the course and then work for 3-4 years will do my MBA. i want to know what shud i do nw and what do u suggest..?

    thanks

    kapil

    • Great that you found the post useful Kapil. A Master’s in Arts is not recommended unless you have interest in one of the Arts subjects. If you want to transition into a management/business oriented role, a MiM or MFin course will be more ideally suited. Also worth checking these programs in US and EU as they are the more popular brands.

  15. Zahra says:

    Hi,
    I found your post quite enlightening and inspiring for all of us who are struggling to set their feet on the right track of academic pursuits and making satisfying career choices.

    This is Zahra. I completed BBA and PGDM in finance from IIPM. I did my summer internship at the commercial banking division of an MNC bank. I am in the third year of B.Com from IGNOU.

    Since I have an inclination towards management consulting, I want to pursue Masters in economics and if possible PhD from a good US/Canadian university. As the UGC doesn’t recognize the degrees and diplomas of IIPM, what are my chances of making it to a good US university with a decent GRE score and a B.Com degree from IGNOU?

    Should I first opt for earning a Masters in economics from an Indian university before applying abroad? Will pursuing any relevant free online course in economics/business from an Ivy League University enhance the value of my curriculum vitae? Please guide me.

    • Zahra, in terms of recognition, it will be best to check directly with the programs you have in mind by reaching out to them. For Master’s/PhD, most likely a BCom alone may not be sufficient as they need 16 years of education – this would mean completing your Master’s in the country. But you should check with a few schools on whether they recognize the IIPM education before taking a step.

      Do note that most consulting firms do not hire for a long term position from Master’s/PhDs. If that’s your goal, an MBA is a much more straightforward path. Online courses help, but they cannot be a substitute for the basic requirements such as 16 years of formal education.

  16. Rajesh says:

    Thanks for sharing your knowledge with us.
    I am a software engineer with 5 years of experience in bpm application development
    I want to change my career so planning to do EMBA from any one of the top business schools.
    After understanding all specializations in mba, I am interested about international management, marketing and business analytics. But I do not have experience on marketing field to take marketing specialization and also no experience in business analytics technology.
    I want to be an entrepreneur, interested about internet related businesses. I need to work at least next 5 years for other organization due to economic reasons.
    Will you please suggest me that I am not sure which MBA program will be suitable for me and which specialization I have to choose in EMBA?

    • Rajesh,

      I am not sure which geography are you based out of? Unless you are working outside the country, you can’t really do an ‘E’MBA as that is a part-time course. Maybe you meant MBA for Executives? Check this out for a common confusion around this: http://www.mbacrystalball.com/blog/2012/10/04/executive-mba-in-india/.

      The questions you have raised about career are pretty deep and require fair amount of discussion – premature on my part to dish out an answer without knowing the details. Feel free to explore our career and other forums for more.

  17. Tarun says:

    Hi Manish

    Read through your post. Truely eye opening. Thanks for posting. I have done my B. Tech in ’98 & have 15 years in IT.
    Would like to go for MS in IT (pretty clear will be in technical line). What are my options?

    thanks in advance

    Tarun

    • Tarun,

      You will be short-selling yourself if you target an MS at this stage. More so, there would hardly be programs out there who will accept a candidate with so many years of experience baring a few. If you want to stay in the technical stream, specific courses/certifications in your area of work will be much more useful!

  18. Pratik says:

    Hello Everyone,

    I took the GMAT today and got a score of 610. I don’t think I will be able to get a better score by retaking the test. I need to know my chances of getting into an MiM program in the US. Please suggest the best schools that shall accept my score. I have a bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from India and currently work in a reputed Multinational Technology company with 1 year work exp. Details of GMAT score are as below.

    Integrated Reasoning 8 92 percentile
    Quant 47 67 percentile
    Verbal 27 45 percentile
    Total 610 63 percentile

    Regards

    Pratik

    • Pratik, the score is likely to put some of the better programs out of contention. A good starting point would be to look at the school GMAT averages and then do more research about the school’s focus and your career alignment with it.

  19. Chaitra says:

    Hi !!
    I am pursuing my 3rd year engineering and my cgpa as of now is 9.35 . I look forward to pursue my M.S (ELECTRONICS ENGINEERING) in US . Could you please suggest the top universities and the total fee structure of the same .I am worried about the environment there.

    • That is a great academic performance Chaitra though you have not mentioned the name/brand of your college – that makes a lot of difference too. Start with some rankings such as US News and the likes. Then research on the say Top 20 schools in terms of the various research groups there and get in touch with the professors (if the univ allows it). Basis this research and interaction, you should be able to take a call.

      Not sure what dimension you are worried about? In general the teaching environment and exposure is pretty good in top schools.

  20. Sanjeev says:

    Hi,

    I am pursuing my masters in Ireland in Computer Science after completing my B.Tech in Instrumentation Engineering in India (2013).The master’s degree (MSc) here in Ireland is covered over a single year. I want to study further to do more research and in this regard want to apply to US for PhD. Will the Irish 1 year degree pose any threat to my chances in getting into a PhD in US and force me to go for MS+PhD or can I continue with the PhD directly?

    • Sanjeev, ideally it should be possible but it is best to double-check this with your target schools/programs. The direct PhD route will also depend on whether you’ve done any research work as part of the MSc.

    • rohit says:

      HI sanjeev
      how are universities in ireland for master in computer science taking into account that undergraduate degree is in mechanical ?? how are job opportunity after one year of ms i cs???
      would appreciate if you could share your experience till now?

  21. Tauheed says:

    Dear Manish,

    I have done M.tech (Mechanical) in 2010 and have a good experience in my field, Now I intend to go for PhD abroad, Please advise and brief regarding the same.

    • You’ll need to first zero in on the area you want to do your PhD in. Then research and reach out to the schools/programs. Check out the requirements as they vary from program to program. Once you zero in on something, feel free to approach us for guidance on SoP/Resume/Recos.

  22. prem singh says:

    hi sir,
    i am graduated in CSE from ISM(IIT). i want to do M.S in us,but my parents annual income is very low.so just tell me how much money will be needed to get complete my course and please mention ,is there is any chance of geting scholarships

    • Prem,

      It is not uncommon for MS programs to give scholarships. But it really depends on how attractive your profile is for them. All program websites have a Financials type of section which you can read to get an idea. In general, the lower you try, better the prospects for scholarship

  23. Shraboni says:

    Dear Sir
    I am a student pursuing economics honours in Delhi University. I was hoping to apply to the US for graduate studies for the fall of 2016. I will be having 15years of undergrad education.
    If you could kindly answer my following queries.
    1. Eventhough some universities in the states clearly state their acceptance of a 3 year undergrad degree from India, is it a wise decision to apply to them (in terms of chances of getting accepted)? Since personally i haven’t come across people who have “been there done that”.
    2. Chances of securing some kind financial aid.

    Thanking you in Anticipation

    • Shraboni, if a school is saying they don’t accept 3 year undergrad, they mean it. So it is futile applying there unless you get a special permission from them that it’s ok. You will face this challenge for most graduate programs in the US I am afraid.

      It is not uncommon to get some sort of financial aid though it is really a function of your profile vis-a-vis your school selection.

  24. Neha Verma says:

    Sir I m student of B.E it is my 4 year. I want my high studies in aboard but unfortunately I didn’t have the financial support so please can you guide methe way how to get full scholarship to study in aboard

  25. Aman says:

    Hello Sir,

    i have a question regarding the ms opportunities in the us in the field of mechanical engg. and applied physics. i have done Btech in mechanical engg from one of the new IITs. My cgpa is low 6.33. I have worked on one of the national level projects in csio csir(Govt. labs) for 2 months. I have couple of research papers in tribology and teching experience of physics to the +1, +2 guys for jee preparation.

    What are my chances? Should i go for it? Should i take gre?

    • Aman, the question is a bit incomplete. One can almost always find a school where you can do MS. It really depends on how high/low you wanna go. Even so, despite the modest academic credentials, the papers you have published sound pretty impressive. That, with a cracker GRE, should still get you interest in some pretty decent schools/programs out there. So go for it

  26. anitha says:

    thank you for sharing your story. felt good while reading it…
    i completed my B-tech and M-tech in engineering field. from Btech i have been developing interest in social service. during that journey i found what i want. i designed my dream project and i found that social psychology is right path for me to reach my dream. i want to go for PhD in psychology in one of the top colleges in the world. which can give me wide scope in my research. as late is better than never. i want to give my full to it. what should i do?

    • Teacher’s college and Stanford are just two of the names that have great programs around psychology. Search for the right programs and also research on post-PhD options. Some of these programs might have some prerequisites and some not – so choose those that do not. Once you have zeroed in on the school list (some may even need a GRE btw), go ahead and apply – taking cue from some of the tips in the article or by reaching out to us :)

  27. Charmi says:

    Hi Manish,

    I have done B.Pharmacy and MBA in Pharmaceutical technology from NMIMS (5 yrs integrated course) with CGPA of 3.24/4. I am currently working as analyst in one of the MNC firm and I have 1 yr of experience. I am planning to opt from GRE and apply for PhD in filed of market research/ marketing. Please suggest if this is the right time. Should I go for it?

  28. Sonu Rasaily says:

    hey Manish. I am applying for phd . I wanted to know how much hours in a day do we need to spend time in university. Is it hectic. Do we get enough time for ourself.

    • Sonu, PhD is a full time commitment. Of course it depends on the type of course and school you join. In general though, this can be less taxing than a corporate job. But then again, this is a very generic view.

  29. Vinayak says:

    Hi Manish ,
    How to ascertain whether the person’s profile is suitable to apply for MS or Phd after B.Tech , if the ultimate aim is to do a Phd ?

    • Not something that has a generic answer I am afraid. It depends on your research potential as evinced through your Btech time work as well as GRE. There are several parameters – these are just two of them really.

  30. Akshay says:

    Hi MG,
    I have done B.E and M. Tech in E&TC. I worked on remote sensing of ionosphere using RADAR, currently working at IITB as JRF. I am planning to continue here my PhD in CSRE Dept. However I also want to see any opportunity abroad. I got one journal paper in Springer and also have an experience as a assistant professor. With this profile what are the chances of getting into PhD program with full scholarship.

  31. ruddrendra says:

    am currently enrolled in a program-Post graduate diploma in Business analytics(equivalent to Masters) jointly offered by Indian institute of management -Calcutta,Indian institute of technology -Kharakpur and Indian statistical institute-Calcutta.I have a bachelor degree(non-cs).
    My current course structure includes topics like
    -Foundations of algorithm design and machine learning
    -Cloud computing
    -Stochastic processes and applications
    -Statistical structures in data
    - Fundamentals of data base systems
    -Selected aspects of advanced predictive modeling
    -Optimization and business decision analysis
    - Computational finance
    -Regression and time series models
    – Supply chain analytics
    Will i be able to pursue a Ms/PhD program in the school of computer science

    • The answer really depends on what school/program you have in mind. Most would have some conditions regarding undergrad courses in specific area (computer science for instance in your case). But do the research and figure it out before you start working on your applications.

  32. Krishna says:

    Hi,
    Thank you for sharing information.
    I have a serious doubt regarding scholarship for MS in US.
    I am from newly established state government university. I am ECE student and got 8.6 decent cgpa. In my B.Tech final year I have published a great number of publications in IEEE and Elsvier. Publications are related to my major field embedded system. Publications are conferences and journals.
    If I got good number of publications is there any chances of getting scholarship?

    • They will definitely contribute to your overall profile attractiveness to the school Krishna. The reputation of journals where these get published is a big factor – especially since you are from a non-pedigree college. The network/reputation of your recommenders also plays a role here.

  33. Shilpa says:

    Hi Manish,
    I have completed my B.Tech in Electronics & Communication with overall 79% and currently I am working in an MNC company having 33 months of experience. I want to do MS in US with a scholarship(yet to write GRE). What are the chances for me to get into top MS colleges for my profile(particularly considering my graduation score)?

    • The ‘relative’ score will be important Shilpa. With your years of experience, though, MS may not be the right thing ideally. It is usually more for people with 0-2 years of experience. So make sure you are thinking in the right direction here.

  34. Hi MG!
    Very inspiring piece of text. I am going through the same phase but only 1 thing keeps pulling me back from taking the GRE, the “placement” issue!
    I do think many a times that even if i get placed after my M.S. , will i make enough to payback the loan? And plus you also have those usual family pressures…….
    So i would really appreciate you guiding me on this query.
    Thanks

    • Himanshu, this is where you need to do extensive research. What’s the program? What has been its placement record? Get in touch with current students/alums to get wiser on these and THEN take the plunge!

  35. Naveen Rai says:

    Sir,
    I will be giving my GRE in the coming week . I just want to know the importance given to Indian journals and Scopus indexed journals while applying for MS in US. Also to what extent does an IEEE conference publication bolster your admission chances?
    I am from the electronics and communications background from VIT University, Vellore,

    • In terms of importance, these will be lesser than international journals. Conference papers are again lower than journals in general. The IEEE publications will certainly help though, so will your educational institute which has a decent pedigree.

  36. Ipshita says:

    Hi
    I have done my masters in Psychology from Panjab university. I received my masters degree two years ago. I wish to pursue Phd program in Canada in Organizational psychology .
    I want to know is it possible to go for research program overseas without again doing masters from a foreign university .

  37. Sonu Rasaily says:

    how much does the university pay in average for the
    assistanship position

  38. Sonu Rasaily says:

    hey Manish. I asked u such questions because I am applying for phd in exercise and nutrition also I am into bodybuilding . I just wanted to know if I could keep up on nutrition expenses of 300- 400 $ a week. As I am on my own, no,one to call for help. So was just making myself mentally prepared.

  39. Iti Sarin says:

    Hi manish..very well articulated..motivating n inspiring.
    I wantd to ask abt Phd as i hav cmoltd my Electronics honors from D.U. n MSc from DAVV indore INDIA..n ne i ws planning to pursue my Phd from outside India bt i hav no idea wthr is this the rit path for me or not..Totally messed up n confused.ur guidance will b of great help..i also wantd to knw aftr doing MSc in electronics and communications wat are d fields in whch we can pursue phd. do reply soon..i m waiting n this help will b of great use..Thanku

    • Sarin,

      It will be premature for me to pass a judgment here given I hardly know of your aptitude/preferences. Go about this methodically and think first about why a PhD. And then work backwards from there to arrive at what stream would make sense.

      All the best.

  40. Pardeep Singh says:

    Hii manish,
    does applying to top schools for MS much before their application deadlines(like applying in October end or November beginning if the application deadline is in mid december or january) also give you some kind of advantage during selection process ??

  41. POULAMI says:

    Sir,please help me in writing an effective SOP for direct phd in Us after my btech in ECE.

  42. Sameer Kamat says:

    Thanks for your overwhelming response to this post, peepals. It’s got more comments than it can handle.

    So we’re moving the discussion to our forum. Please submit your queries here -> Masters (MS) discussion forum.

    – – – PLEASE DO NOT POST NEW COMMENTS HERE – – –

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