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What is the best type of school I could hope to get into for graduate school?

TampitumpTampitump Registered User Posts: 46 Junior Member
Right now I'm currently at a Tennessee community college majoring in computer science. I have a 3.6 GPA. I will be transferring to the University of Tennessee at Knoxville when I'm done here.

Lets say I kept my GPA up around where it currently is or higher, did extra-curriculars, and perhaps some undergraduate research, what types of schools would I likely be a good candidate for graduate school? Should I go ahead and forget about schools like Vanderbilt and Duke? Would I most likely only qualify for schools similar to UT? Just wondering what my realistic prospects would be.


Replies to: What is the best type of school I could hope to get into for graduate school?

  • AuraObscuraAuraObscura Registered User Posts: 599 Member
    Your undergraduate school doesn't really matter. Your research experience, grades, and GRE scores do.
  • FluentInCarbsFluentInCarbs Registered User Posts: 112 Junior Member
    I second AuraObscura! Also grad schools don't care about your extra-curriculars. And instead of just focusing on the school look at the grad program. Grad school is different from undergrad. Also why do you want to go to grad school? Don't go because its "the next step". Make sure the schools you apply to have professors you want to work with and those professors are actually taking on students.
  • TampitumpTampitump Registered User Posts: 46 Junior Member
    @AuraObscura I'm still sure that a degree from a school like UT will not hold much weight with schools like MIT or Harvard regardless of grades or GREs, as a grotesque example. Is that correct?
  • juilletjuillet Super Moderator Posts: 12,550 Super Moderator
    No, you are incorrect. You can of course go from a University of Tennessee undergrad degree to MIT or Harvard for graduate school (in any field). What you do in undergrad is far more important than where you go.
  • zannahzannah Registered User Posts: 1,088 Senior Member
    If your grades, scores, application letter, experience and prior interest in or preparation for an area of study. and fulfilling all requirements for admission are at least consistent with what is expected from an applicant at a particular school/program, then you may get into the grad-school you want.

    Graduate school prepares you to be a scholar in a particular area. Your grades in grad school must remain high across all subjects. Low grades aka C may get you jettisoned from the program. So, there is a really different feel, expectation and peer group in graduate school versus college. Faculty evaluate you as a potential colleague so they too have an investment in you.

    Fewer students are admitted to a graduate program in comparison to an undergraduate program and the number of years to completion depends on graduate requirements, internships, theses, grades, and commitment of faculty on and off your committee. Programs in multiple area are ranked; information about fellowships and other financial assistance is available.

    Unfortunately, you neither mentioned your area of study or your rationale for graduate school in your post. You need to know what you want to study and which schools have your desired program. As pointed out earlier, there is no generic next step. Some areas such as psychology require at least a masters degree to do anything and a doctorate to do what most people associate with psychology such as research, faculty, independent practice, professional license, therapy. BTW, 3.6 gpa is nothing to brag about; you will need to improve it considerably to get into many graduate programs.

    Now, I need to make a comment as another resident of Tennessee. UT is an excellent school in many areas and a really good school in others. Every school, including Harvard.Duke, MIT and Vanderbilt, varies in the quality of different programs. There are advantages to graduating from particular programs and/or schools; but grad programs don't prosper if their graduates, program or faculty aren't up to snuff. Reputations of programs proceed you.

    I am horrified by your opinion of Tennessee!!!! I hope neither admissions nor anyone else there sees this email and your comments. Lots of people at UT hold your future in their hands. You need an attitude adjustment before you enroll at the University of Tennessee.
  • CheddarcheeseMNCheddarcheeseMN Registered User Posts: 2,893 Senior Member
    The undergrad advisor in CS at UT will be able to give you specific examples of where Tennessee students have gone for grad school. Good grades, relationships with profs, and high GRE scores matter the most.
  • TampitumpTampitump Registered User Posts: 46 Junior Member
    This question was hypothetical. I don't really want to get into some of the other questions some of you raised. I'm not really saying that I'm looking to do this or have plans of any kind.

    What if I wanted to just go to one of these higher schools I mentioned just for a masters degree?
  • FluentInCarbsFluentInCarbs Registered User Posts: 112 Junior Member
    Same process as PhD. Funding is less prevalent but master programs are only 2 years
  • TampitumpTampitump Registered User Posts: 46 Junior Member
    And @zannah, I wasn't bragging about my 3.6 GPA. I was just stating an objective fact.
  • FluentInCarbsFluentInCarbs Registered User Posts: 112 Junior Member
    I think a 3.6 is pretty good. I had a 3.2 and I was accepted into 3 grad programs. Good luck @Tampitump!
  • TampitumpTampitump Registered User Posts: 46 Junior Member
    @FluentInCarbs which schools were you accepted to? Just curious.
  • FluentInCarbsFluentInCarbs Registered User Posts: 112 Junior Member
    @Tampitump Sure no problem! I was accepted to University of Oregon, IUPUI, and Texas Tech university. I chose texas tech.
This discussion has been closed.