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Thread: Fall 2013 | MSCS | Help in shortlisting 8 universities from 12

  1. #1
    MS in US Fresher
    Join Date
    Sep 2012

    Fall 2013 | MSCS | Help in shortlisting 8 universities from 12

    Hi !!

    I want to apply for a Masters (preferably non-thesis) in Computer Science from US universities in fall 2013 with financial assistance.

    Here are my details:

    1. GRE: 1450 (Q:800, V:650, AWA:5)
    2. TOEFL: yet to give
    3. 79.3% (credited/weighted) in B.Tech (CSE) from Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University, Dwarka, Delhi, India.
    (university is well known in India, but probably not much in USA)
    4. Research experience of 2 summers from a reputed research institute under a well known prof. (was a summer research fellow two consecutive years, made parallel codes in computational chemistry)
    5. 1 good LOR from the above prof, and 2 average LORs from college profs.
    6. NO publications/ paper presentations, etc.
    7. Strong and versatile extra-curricular (debate,quizzes,drama,painting,music, etc.)
    8. GATE (Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering) - Computer Science - Percentile:99.5 (about 1,56,000 appeared all India)
    (the syllabus is very similar to GRE computer science. Does this matter?)
    9. My areas of interest in order are distributed systems, OS, networks (basically, "systems"). I also like fields like ubiquitous computing and HCI which require creative idea generation followed by implementation.

    My future goal is not yet completely decided. I may decide to go for a PhD if I find something very interesting during MS, otherwise I'll do a job.

    Universities I have shortlisted along with reasons in brackets:

    0. University of Illinois - Urbana Champaign (top 5 program !)


    1. Princeton University (mainly fame and I find a few projects interesting in networks)
    2. University of Maryland- College Park (some very interesting work in grid computing, fame, high chances of financial assistance it seems)
    3. University Of Texas- Austin (fame)
    4. University Of Michigan - Ann Arbor(fame, research seems to be fine, financial aid opportunities seem to be average)

    4. Georgia Institute Of Technology (seems to have very good focus in distributed computing and pervasive computing. Has a wide variety of courses, Fame, seems to have moderate GRA opportunities. I like it.)
    5. University Of Wisconsin - Madison (fame, good projects in distributed systems, high chances of financial assistance - website says 90-95% admitted students get some financial assistance)
    6. University Of California - Los Angeles (ranking only -- otherwise site says almost no financial assistance for MS students)
    7. University Of California - San Diego (interesting work going on in ubiquitous computing, ranking)
    But I read somewhere that it rejects international students too often.
    8. University Of Pennsylvania (fame, but seems like less opportunities for financial assistance)

    9. Purdue University (ranking, ok research)
    10. University Of Southern California (I read somewhere its not very selective, and not very good too. Thinking of not applying at all. Not sure.)
    11. Yale University (fame, but work on distributed computing seems to be too mathematical/theoretical there for my taste)

    Am I aiming too high? Am I giving too much importance to US-news rankings (I dont have anything better to compare universities)? Are some universities in late 20s actually better than others in top 20 for MS in CS?.
    (like Duke, PSU, Rutgers....)

    Some help in making a list of about 8 universities and probably some inside knowledge about them (especially with respect to financial assistance) and others would be greatly appreciated.

    Thank you very much in advance !

  2. #2
    MS in US Guru
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Your post is very well researched and well formatted. Nice!

    AFAIK Yale does not have a terminal MS program. (You need to do PhD).

    Also, I would not consider UCLA, GT, UWM as moderate, even for your profile. You should probably include a few universities from a little lower ranking.

  3. #3
    MS in US Fresher
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Thank you for your reply.

    Yale does have a terminal MS program in computer science. In this link, see the last paragraph, it says:
    "Students should apply to the MS program through the Yale Graduate School. Students in the MS program may enter the Yale PhD program. However students who wish to continue on for a doctoral degree after completing the MS must apply separately for the PhD program"
    You must be confusing it with some other university or some other stream in Yale, I suppose.

    Hmm....I am aiming a little high. I guess I'll just chuck some universities whose websites indicate that financial assistance opportunities are scarce. The problem is that when two universities say "TA-ships are occasionally available for MS students", its hard to compare the two wrt financial assistance. That's why I need advice from people who know better.

    I really like Gatech from the stuff I've read on its website. Bad for me it's in the ambitious zone. :|

  4. #4
    MS in US Guru
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Yup, you are right. It was some other university I don't remember

    On the point of moderate/ambitious, it is difficult to call any top-20 university moderate as chance of getting admit is not that high even with great GRE score. So, it is better to have some other options. That being said, if you like an university not just for its name but for its research/faculty, you should definitely apply to it.

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