I was shocked to see graduate school admission decisions. I’m about to complete my undergraduate in Electronics and Communication in India. I had applied for Graduate school admission Fall to around 15 universities in the USA and all 15 universities rejected my admission.

I’m planning on reapplying for spring though. I am really disappointed since i know of many people with lower credentials than mine who have secured admission into good universities in the USA. Please help me out with suggestions for universities I could apply to for spring.


  • Estimated C.G.P.A after i complete my course in July: 6.90/10
  • GRE score: 1280 (700-quants, 580-Verbal,3.5- Essay)
  • TOEFL score: 111

I really do not know why all graduate school admission decisions was negative. I’m planning to get admission for Spring semester. Please help me out asap with names of some good universities i can apply to for spring and hopefully get in.

List of Universities –

  • University of florida
  • University of pennsylvania
  • Carnegie Mellon
  • Arizona State University
  • Ohio State University
  • Texas Dallas
  • Texas Arlington
  • Illinois institute of technology
  • Colorado state university
  • Virginia tech
  • University of southern california
  • University of washington
  • University of north carolina
  • Northeastern university

Graduate School Admission Decisions

So, what could have gone wrong to get denial from all graduate school admission applications?

  • There could be definite reason for denials or just a coincidence.
  • Looking at university list, you could have selected few more “safe” universities.
  • Without reviewing your Statement of purpose, resume and other documents, its very hard to predict why graduate school admission decisions were all negative.

Don’t compare your profile with others who have scores/credentials. When you compare an apple, you have to pick an apple. You cannot compare an apple with an orange.

Other friends who got admission cannot be compared with your profile.

Spring Admission

Before applying for Spring semester

  • Find out reasons for admission denial.
  • Use better and improved statement of purpose. ( sample statement of purpose for reference)
  • Don’t apply to same schools, unless profile changes.
  • Get strong recommendation letters

If you apply to similar set of schools without improving your profile, then you could end up with not so good graduate school admission decisions.

Readers – Do you have any more tips for Rohit?


  1. Tanat on December 19, 2012 at 12:05 PM

    Hi Rohit,I faced similar situation around same time and got the only admission from RIT.I consulted with my friends and realized it’s the resume and sop that had problem.Applied to fewer universities in next spring session and ended up with 2 accept from utd and uic.If u r still stuck contact me,I might be able to help.

  2. rb on October 2, 2011 at 1:20 AM

    @rohit: the only reply that you do keep writing is “suggest some more colleges”.

    there are probably a thousand universities in the US. you will definitely end up in one of them.

    however, the list that you made initially does sound ok. there is UT arlington and USC in it. people with profiles that are of a cut below yours have made it in. no reason you shouldn’t.

    listen to what the others have chipped in and have a look at your SOP LOR. also, make sure you havent made a glaring “mistake” in your resume. if you put some internship or something with seems outrageous, oyu could be rejected cos of that.

    i made a same mistake. i applied for U of Utah and sent them an Indiana SOP. reject 😛 realized only after apping.

    good luck with it.

  3. sridevi on June 24, 2011 at 6:15 AM

    Hi Rohit,

    I strongly feel that main problem in your profile is your % and Quantitative. Most of the top universities ask a minimum of 750 in Quantitative and your % is also comes near to 65% only. Based on the Profile of the University where you have done your bachelors is also matters. i don’t know who suggested these universities to you, except Illinois institute of technology remaining others are risky universities for your profile.

    i want to suggest you few universities for Engineering Management:
    Old Dominion University
    Syracuse University
    Missouri University of Science and Technology
    Kansas State University
    Oklahoma State University
    Rochester Institute of Technology
    University of Minnesota – Duluth
    University of North Carolina at Charlotte
    Texas Tech University
    Drexel University

  4. Nanogravity on June 24, 2011 at 1:05 AM


    Check your LOR or SOP or your resume. If you made any blunder, and gave the same copy to each of these universities, then all of them will anyhow reject you.
    Also, Did u apply before the deadline?
    always apply for moderate and safe univ according to your profile.
    All the best next time.

  5. rohit on June 23, 2011 at 8:48 AM

    Please suggest Universities i could apply to in spring?
    I want to major in Engineering Management. ( that might help since my quants is 700)

  6. bharath kiran on June 23, 2011 at 5:21 AM

    there might be some problem with you LOR s(have a wrd with ur faculty and ask them if they filled the LORs from their mails) or might b ur SOP (this should be unique) !!

    i dont know if i am right but double check ur profile and make improvements !!

  7. veni on June 23, 2011 at 4:14 AM

    hey rohit apart from the state universities try private universities also… Santa Clara university in california offers masters program in engineering management…. you can find the details at http://www.scu.edu..

    • rohit on June 23, 2011 at 8:16 AM

      hey thanks ,
      could you name some more good universities to which i could apply?

  8. Ansh on June 23, 2011 at 2:07 AM

    You might have applied late. Apply early for springs. Your score looks good but you did not select any safe univ. Keep 1 ambi, 2-3 mod, and 1-2 safe. Don’t apply to more than 5. Applying more ambi univ would not assure admits, applying to safe univ would do that.

  9. GRE Taker on June 22, 2011 at 5:40 PM

    1. Show your research credentials by writing papers in smaller conferences
    2. Make an website and give links to all proofs of achievements and work carried out in professional and personal capacities. I mean, make sure what you have written in your resume and SOP you have some proof (photos, clips, articles, reports, videos etc) to backup it up and give a link to that in you website. These links need not be public. These documents you wont be able to include with you application but they are like game changers.
    3. Contact the prof. well in advance and show your interest by citing his papers, particular the section of the paper you found most interesting. Pull out some research papers of other competing prof. from other Universities and back you statements with his work. The prof. surely understands that you have taken time to research his work. No one dislikes and honest appreciation and interest in their work.
    4. Show extracurricular actives,I mean proofs; don’t ramble . Be a member of IEEE/IETE/AIAA/ACM or other scientific research organizations.
    5. Check your SOP for simple mistake like spelling and grammatical errors. Simple mistakes are mot most dangers and can cause rejections like this.

    If you would like to know some of these strategies that I have used to get admission in Ivys with aid, you can mail me or post your queries here. Hope this helps.

  10. W on June 22, 2011 at 4:00 PM

    Dude i got acceptances from 6 out of 7 but visa was denied . tht makes me feel more sad… surprisingly all 6 universities are from ur list

    • rohit on June 22, 2011 at 5:28 PM

      But ur scores?

  11. rohit on June 22, 2011 at 2:59 PM

    Please suggest some of the good universities i could apply to this spring, considering my present qualifications.

  12. Prasanth on June 22, 2011 at 1:53 PM

    Few possible reasons,
    1.Plagiarism in SOP or not strong enough(project out your projects).
    2. Did u apply with any of your friend from the same college?
    3. High TOEFL and avg GRE but GPA on the lower side.
    4. Recognition of the college where u finished your Bachelors.( if this is the case, u will have to go with the conversion of your mark sheet)
    5. Looks like, You had a Backlog at the time of the application/decision.(its a huge setback. since you have cleared it now, you have a better chance.)
    6. Try to get a stronger reco. Rather than going with HOD, try to get it from someone from the college who know you in person.

    • rohit on June 22, 2011 at 2:52 PM

      Thank you so much.
      any suggestions on which colleges to apply to with my credentials?

  13. verghese on June 22, 2011 at 1:23 PM

    you have applied to schools that require atleast 750+ in Quantitative.Next time include universities that have better acceptance rates.Also since you are only about to complete your graduation,you have plenty of time to prepare and score really good grades.Your TOEFL score is really good and there is no need to retake it.

    • rohit on June 22, 2011 at 2:53 PM

      thank you.
      any suggestions on universities in which i could be accepted?

      • vicky on June 23, 2011 at 5:23 AM

        Apply in some more state University. Like louisiana state University baton rouge, oklahoma state University.

        I will suggest don’t apply in the same Universities in which you already got rejection. and apply in these University before 15 days of deadline. Sometimes because of deadline they don’t review the applications.

        • rohit on June 23, 2011 at 8:17 AM

          hey thanks,
          could you name a few more universities i could apply to ?

  14. vicky on June 22, 2011 at 12:30 PM


    I think there must be some problem in SOP and LOR’s. If you see in case of mine although my GRE and TOEFL score was not so good 1070 and 81 respectively. Then also I got admission in state University. I applied only in 2 Universities.

    Several awards and 6 publications were in my CV. However my CGPA was low. For that my guide need to fill a petition then only i got my I20.

    I think you have directly copy pasted LOR and SOP’s. If not then there must be some problem in your LOR’s SOP.

    • ahmed sulttan on June 22, 2011 at 5:01 PM

      from this, we can understand that research experience, list of publications(if available), the age of the applicant, the recommendation letters can play an important role for the acceptance

      • ahmed sulttan on June 22, 2011 at 5:02 PM

        please, tell me Vicky

        • vicky on June 23, 2011 at 5:20 AM

          If there is no publication. In that case LOR’s and SOP play important role. LOR’s must be good it should be from the person who know you pretty well. If you will ask HOD to write lor for you. He/she will write in the set pattern as he/she written earlier. Make some changes in the LOR by similar words and add some more senetence about your work/academics.

  15. sq115 on June 22, 2011 at 12:23 PM

    You’ve applied to many top 20 schools there, try top 50 more around the OSU and NEU rankings. Some good recs and you should get in. What do you want to major in?

  16. True Red on June 22, 2011 at 11:28 AM

    Rewrite GRE.. even low ranked Univs require atleast 750 in quants for EC and CS courses.. barring 2-3 all ur univs r OVER AMBITIOUS… ur GPA and GRE r all low and i guess u ve no research exp.. also get in touch with some good counsellor

    • rohit on June 23, 2011 at 8:36 AM

      Hey thanks,
      If i apply for Engineering Management instead will it help? Since they might look for a lower quants score. Could you suggest some good universities?

    • MB on June 23, 2011 at 9:57 AM

      The GRE isn’t that low, but yes GPA is. However, couple safe univs from the list usually accept students with such profiles.

  17. Neeraj Thakur on June 22, 2011 at 11:06 AM

    His profile is too good for IIT and UTA at least.Northeastern seems to be in reach.The reason might be plagiarism of sop,LOR’s through internet.

  18. Sunny on June 22, 2011 at 11:04 AM

    Rohit … u could have scored much higher in Quantitative part of GRE …verbal is good enough ..

    Coming to gpa … u can hav it converted to US equivalent grade through WES services …where a student of IIT …with cgpa 6.84 was approximated as 3.24/4 ….
    But it costs 195 $ and 30$ for sending to a university ….
    Its known as WES igpa course by course plan .google it

    • rohit on June 22, 2011 at 11:57 AM

      Thanks for the suggestion,
      But they are still going to ask for my college transcripts right? So how will converting make a difference?

    • Ansh on June 23, 2011 at 2:12 AM

      IIT won’t even look at your application, in most cases, if you have a backlog. Do a through research on Univ’s admission preferences before applying.

      • rohit on June 23, 2011 at 8:20 AM

        hey thanks,
        now i have no backlogs( just had one in 7th semester that too because of an accident).
        Anyways please suggest some good universities i could apply to for spring? Since ECE requires 750+ in quants i could apply for engineering managament.
        Please suggest some good universities i can apply in spring to?

  19. somnath on June 22, 2011 at 10:35 AM

    Respected sir,

    i am somnath petsangwe .i am first year of chemical engineering .i want go study USA,UK .I want complete information about the GRE and admission process. I am from Maharashtra ,kolhapur.Please give me detail .my contact number is 8421219429.i am waiting for your suggestion.

    somnat petsangwe.

    • verghese on June 22, 2011 at 1:24 PM

      please visit any educational consultant.They would definitely explain the whole process free of cost.

  20. k.K on June 22, 2011 at 10:24 AM

    ur gre and toefl are good.
    just get some recommendations letter form phd’s and change ur profile.
    tht will do

  21. Gourish on June 22, 2011 at 10:16 AM

    SOP, LORs and his email ID needs to be checked. His profile looks good and he would have made it into many of the schools he has listed.

    • Sunny on June 22, 2011 at 12:23 PM

      700 in quant out of 800 …is consisdered low …and might be the reason for the reject …assuming the SOP LOR are fine …

  22. Hitesh on June 22, 2011 at 10:11 AM

    Friend….you should e mail the admissions coordinator and ask politely …where you fell short in securing the admission …plus your GPA is average…TOEFL is good and GRE is also fine….what I can make out is may be your SOP was not good enough,it is one thing you have to be very careful about…

  23. Anonymous on June 22, 2011 at 10:10 AM

    You’ve Applied to high ranked schools..try schools with a bit lower ranks.

  24. Arvind on June 22, 2011 at 10:00 AM

    A graduate school, reviews the whole application set( read GPA, GRE, TOEFL, SOP, and LOR’s). even if you have an average GPA( which is true in this case as u have applied for a lot of top universities), the ultimate Deal clinchers in this case would be you SOP and LOR. Research publications will be of immense help! dont lose hope.. work on these fronts and you will be through!

  25. ruthvika on June 22, 2011 at 9:53 AM

    by looking at his cgpa and gre…he should have gotten in UTA and IIT and too many ambitious schools. penn and cmu, really?

    • rohit on June 22, 2011 at 10:28 AM

      Yeah most were ambitious i agree, but as you said i dint even get into UTA or IIT.
      Any suggestions for univs. i could apply in spring to?
      I have 3 decent recco. letters from college professors and what i think is a pretty decent statement of purpose.

      • ruthvika on June 23, 2011 at 12:40 AM

        email uta and ask them why u got a reject……i applied to 5 places and got reject from 4 ans admit from uta…i too have 1280 but my qant is also 700 like yours….i feel that is a major contributing factor. search for universities in the same range as uta and iit but dont go any lower…

  26. Jay on June 22, 2011 at 9:25 AM

    I would want to check if he has any arrears. Even if it is not, his GPA looks too low. He should get it valued by any education institute which converts GPA to intl stds. From what I have heard, we do get a higher GPA than expected, by using that service…

    • rohit on June 22, 2011 at 10:25 AM

      i had applied to these universities for fall with 6 semesters worth of marksheets and no arrears.
      Then in my 7th sem i could not write one exam due to an accident so i had that subject pending which i have completed now.
      So any suggestions for universities for spring?

    • sasi on June 22, 2011 at 10:47 AM

      @Jay can you give information about how to convert GPA to intl stads and some details about that…

      • Sunny on June 22, 2011 at 12:22 PM

        Coming to gpa … u can hav it converted to US equivalent grade through WES services …where a student of IIT …with cgpa 6.84 was approximated as 3.24/4 ….
        But it costs 195 $ and 30$ for sending to a university ….
        Its known as WES igpa course by course plan .google it

    • Himadri on June 22, 2011 at 1:03 PM

      My cgpa is 7.77/10 in ECE from West Bengal University Of Technology.How can it be converted to 4 point grade system?Is it average or good?

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