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Grad School Questions

zbeneventozbenevento Registered User Posts: 2 New Member
edited July 2007 in Graduate School
I've searched through the forums for situations similar to mine, but I haven't stumbled across any. I know we each have a unique situation and I was hoping some of you could give me some advice (confidence) on mine.

I haven't taken a traditional route for my B.S. degree. I attend two different universities: one for my core curriculum/major curriculum and the other for my minor curriculum. I am majoring in Applied CS with a minor in Mathematics. I work full-time (plus my 20 hour/semester course load) and am doing research in computational geometry with the chief scientist at my company. I have not had a chance to get to know any of professors and unfortunately, the ones that I have attempted to get to know do not seem interested in doing research and/or getting to know me.

My graduating GPA will be 3.6-3.7 overall/3.8-3.9 major with a 4.0 in my minor. I know that graduate schools look at references from professors, but I am afraid that I won't have any by the time I graduate. I will have one from my research adviser, but I am unsure where the others will come from.

Will the fact that I work full-time and go to school full-time+ look bad on my grad school application? Will having 'generic' references except for my research adviser hurt my chances? Will my non-traditional route and the fact that I have G.E.D. instead of a high school diploma hurt my chances? Should I not bother with top schools (the ones with the best CS departments)? I plan on taking the CS GRE but should I also add in the Mathematics GRE because of my minor? How prevalent is a portfolio showing the work that I have done?

I hope this isn't too much for my first post here. Thank you to anyone who can give me a bit of advice here.
Post edited by zbenevento on

Replies to: Grad School Questions

  • molliebatmitmolliebatmit Registered User Posts: 12,374 Senior Member
    I don't see the working full-time and going to school more than full-time as something that would hurt you. More experience in your field is always seen as a good thing, and non-traditional applicants seem to often be taken more seriously by admissions committees.

    Having generic references will hurt you, unfortunately. The reference from your research supervisor will hopefully be good, but references are an important part of a graduate school application, and generic references aren't very useful for letting the admissions committee know about your potential for scholarship.

    Graduate school admissions officers won't know you have GED unless you mention it yourself. Your high school background isn't really relevant for graduate school applications.

    It's unnecessary to take the GRE in math. Specific departments will have specific test requirements, but generally they're only interested in seeing the GRE subject test in that subject, if they're interested in seeing a subject GRE score at all.
  • zbeneventozbenevento Registered User Posts: 2 New Member
    Thank you for your response. I am worried about my generic references. I keep trying to think of ways to get to know my professors (but I go to a small school that only offers two 4 year degrees for my in-class courses and all other curriculum is online) but I come up empty-handed. Any suggestions for prying your way into the professor's eye? I've tried the research, co-op, and assistant path already. The only thing I haven't tried is annoying the crap out of them.
  • DespSeekPhdDespSeekPhd Registered User Posts: 991 Member
    Go to their office hours. Discuss the class, your ideas, and/or your desire for grad school. Ask their opinions. Rinse and repeat.
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