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Do I stand a chance to get into a program for MSc in Electrical & Computer Engineering?

TeaOrCoffeeTeaOrCoffee Registered User Posts: 22 New Member
edited June 2014 in Graduate School
Hello!

Can you guys please take a look at my profile and tell me if I have a shot at any of the top 50 or top 100 even schools in the USA for MSc in Electrical & Computer Engineering (focus on embedded systems). Which schools do I have a good chance at being accepted into? I realize that my GPA isn't stellar. And my profile in general probably pales in comparison to that of most applicants.

I have a very strong interest in embedded systems and computer engineering. I have got great grades in relevant subjects. Relevant project work, research and internship experience too.

Top school for engineering in Pakistan
- Very competitive to get into
- Very rigorous course load
- Can't pick/drop courses on your own...Fixed course outline
- Out of 140 credit hours only 12 were non-engineering/humanities related.
- Don't have grades like A-, B-, C- etc. If you don't get an A (4.0)...You fall down to B+ (3.5).

Bachelors of Electronics Engineering

cGPA: 3.13 (7th out of 20 students - Rest of them have a < 3.00 cGPA)
- 4th year GPA is really good [3.50 (8th semester) & 3.61 (7th semester)]
- But 3rd year GPA is bad in one semester [2.44 (6th semester), 3.14(5th semester)]
- The bad GPA was in a semester in which I studied courses I have no interest in pursuing (Control System, Communications)
- Other than that it is above 3 in rest of the semesters.

Worked on a number of projects:
- 6 Legged Mobile Robot (Final Year Project) - Received A grade

Designed and fabricated a 6 legged mobile robot having 3 DOF per leg and 18 DOF in total.
Implemented movement based on Inverse Kinematics using a self-fabricated Serial Servo Controller
to control 20 servos. With ability to be remotely operated (using a PS 2 controller) over WiFi networks
using SSH protocol, and video streaming from on-board web-cam for surveillance. All controlled using
a Single Board Computer (SBC) BeagleBone Black running Linux.

- PID Line Follower
- Water Level Detection System using self fabricated sensor design
- VGA Display and PS/2 Mouse Interfacing with Spartan 3E FPGA
- Micro-controller Based Smoke and Fire Alarm
- XBee Pro Based GPS Transceiver (to track boats at sea)
- 5 Degree of Freedom (DOF) Robotic Arm

- Received semester scholarship for outstanding GPA.
- Won 1st prize and 3rd prize in two different competitions for my final year project.
- Very active in the IEEE Student Branch in my university as an executive member and received awards for my service.
- Interned for 6 weeks in the R&D department of a multinational company that provides embedded systems solutions.
- 2 years of undergraduate research experience (no publications).
- Writing a paper on a multiple channel serial servo controller with speed control...Hopefully it will be published.

I haven't take the GRE yet but hope to get a top score.

Also, I can likely get really good LORs from my professors who are PhDs from US.

Thank you for any help in advance!

Replies to: Do I stand a chance to get into a program for MSc in Electrical &amp; Computer Engineering?

  • TeaOrCoffeeTeaOrCoffee Registered User Posts: 22 New Member
    edited June 2014
    Also since it seems like that my last 2 year GPA is less than 3...Does that mean I can't apply to programs with 3.0 GPA cut off? This is very depressing... I had above 3 GPA in 3 out of the final 4 semesters and one bad semester threw everything off. :(
  • xraymancsxraymancs Forum Champion Graduate School Posts: 4,567 Forum Champion
    Since your overall GPA is over 3.0, it is not a problem. Your GRE scores will probably be important in determining your applications since your GPA is good but not stellar. When you write your personal statement, don't say things like you said above
    The bad GPA was in a semester in which I studied courses I have no interest in pursuing (Control System, Communications)

    This just shows that you won't work hard in courses that you are not interested in.

    as far as where you can be admitted. You need to look to see which universities have the specific concentration that you seek, then look at their selectivity. Since you are going for a M.S. it is likely that the admission standards are a bit more lienient than for a Ph.D. but you have to plan to self-fund the degree.
  • TeaOrCoffeeTeaOrCoffee Registered User Posts: 22 New Member
    edited June 2014
    Thank you for your reply. Yes I know it sounds like a bad excuse but that wasn't my intention. In fact I did try to study hard for those courses but it ended up being a bad semester for me. I was trying to say that MAYBE the fact that I got bad grades in those courses won't affect my application as much because I intend to focus on Embedded Systems instead for my M.S. (and have good grades in the relevant courses). But yes I won't say anything like that in my PS!

    I have been looking at a lot of universities and I am satisfied with the Electrical & Computer Engineering courses offered by most universities. I have also been looking at the acceptance rates. I am okay with self-funding. But at the same time I am looking into courses that aren't too expensive. Do M.S. students get RA/TA positions after a semester or so of studying?

    I have another question. Should I look at schools with a large number of applicants? I've heard they often immediately reject a large number of applications just by looking at the GPA.

  • xraymancsxraymancs Forum Champion Graduate School Posts: 4,567 Forum Champion
    There are sometimes positions for M.S. students but that is less likely in a Ph.D. granting program.

    If a program is very selective, they sometimes do an initial cut on GPA and GRE. You should probably mix it up a litte and apply to some large programs and some smaller ones too.
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