Chemical Engineer PhD Advice

<p>Hello everyone,</p>

<p>I'm new here and have been reading the threads looking for advice on graduate schools for a PhD. I am an upcoming chemical engineering senior at LSU and have plans to attend graduate school. I need advice pertaining to what schools should I aim towards. I am not too big on classes and really enjoy research. </p>

<p>-I currently have a 3.57 GPA and expect to maintain my GPA plus or minus .05. I haven't performed as well as I really wished I could have in my chemical engineering courses. I have almost straight A's in basic sciences, maths, and my other course. I have 3 C's in core chemical engineering courses that I'm not too proud of. I'm curious as to how admissions would look upon that. Honestly, I think I lack interest in some of the chemical engineering subjects (fluid dynamics, chemical processes, etc), but am more interested in the basic sciences. I am also finishing in four years, if that's anything. </p>

<p>-I have been doing research in a materials science group in the chemistry department for about a year now and got my name on a published paper. Last semester I started work, alongside my materials science research, in the chemical engineering department on catalysis. I am about to complete my internship this summer at the National Renewable Energy Lab in which I worked on catalysis. I have access to some pretty good recommendation letters. I do plan to continue my research in the ChE and the Chem departments. </p>

<p>-I haven't taken my GRE yet, but I have started studying. I haven't studied much, but from what I see, I won't score too well. I have a problem when it comes to taking standardized exams. I scored a 27/36 on my ACT. I took a practice exam or so and scored around the 500 mark for quantitative. I will probably be able to pull it up, but I'm worried that anxiety will most likely cause me to not do so well. </p>

<p>My question is, with my background where should I be looking towards for graduate school? At this moment, I am very worried about where I am going to be accepted into and what programs I should be looking at. Lately I've been very intimidated by my peers and am really starting to worry. I know there's no magic number for the GRE scores, but I am sure it plays a pretty decent part in admissions. I see alot of average quantitative scores for various schools, and theyre all above 730. With my GPA, research experience, and possibly low GRE score, what should I be expecting? I know this is a very broad question, but I'm just looking for an opinion. I'm not sure where to start when it comes to choosing a graduate school.</p>

<p>If you have a 3.57 (I have a 3.51 overall and work quite hard at Rice, granted i have extenuating circumstances), there is almost no excuse for why you can't get 750+ on the quant for GRE. It is almost entirely about practice because the concepts are simple, for the most part. In a week I went from 700 to 800 consistent with about 4 hrs a day. I'm sure you can get it 700+</p>

<p>From what I know, GRE is much like pole vaulting--clear the minimum and you're on par with everyone else.</p>

<p>I took the Kaplan practise test and only score a high 500. Put in some practise and you will get a higher score. I actually scored a 790 on the Real GRE. If you want something that is going to give you the best sense of your score, take the Powerprep GRE exam.</p>

<p>By the way, try to develop an interest in the basic chemical engineering courses! I am sure that you are a good engineer, but the way it works you are judged on basis of your grades.</p>