Vignesh Manohar
Updated on 27 May, 2018

A comprehensive set of FAQs - Part 2: SOP, LOR, Acads, Profile & Finances





Read the PART 1 of the FAQs about GRE/TOEFL

Q.8 How important are my acads?

Your acads are very important. A lot of stress is laid on your transcripts and GPA. Your acads becomes one of the critical deciding factors once you have a decent GRE/TOEFL score. So for people still studying, try your level best to get as much marks as you possibly can.

Q.9 What can I do to boost my profile?

Relevant internships, projects go a long way in making a strong profile. RELEVANT work experience is also an important factor. For people with low acads aiming for top universities, taking a year or two to do some research work can drastically improve your chances.

Q.10 who should I take LORs from?

While the designation of the person does play a role, it only comes secondary to how well the person knows you. Take LORs from your teachers/HOD/boss only if they know you well and can justify your skills. Taking a recommendation from a lecturer who has known and taught you for 4 years is going to be more beneficial than a recommendation from a principal who has hardly ever interacted with you.

Q.11 How do you make a ‘strong’ SOP?

There is nothing like a ‘strong’ SOP. Your SOP is a very personal document that you use to convince the admissions committee (adcom) of your preparedness for the course. It can highlight your research works, achievements, strengths and, in the process, bring out your personality. PLEASE MAKE THE FIRST DRAFT WITHOUT LOOKING AT ANY OTHER SOP. Just highlight your interests, achievements, goals and link them. That’s all there is to a good SOP.

Q.12 How important is a resume?

Most univs do not have a resume as a mandatory document. However, please do make one and upload since it gives the adcom an immediate summary of your scores, interests and acads.

Q.13 What all documents does the committee review?

  • Transcripts
  • GRE/TOEFL scores
  • 3 LORs
  • SOP
  • Resume

FINANCES

Q.14 How much does the process of applying cost?

Though this depends on the number of universities that you are applying, typically, it would cost you around 7000 INR per university (This includes the application costs, score reporting costs and courier costs).

For an average person applying to 7-10 universities, you would need to keep aside about 1-1.5 lakhs to spend before really joining the university. (This sum includes GRE/TOEFL costs, application costs, and VISA costs). If you take counselling/GRE coaching, it could be close to 1.5 lakhs. Along with the air ticket, being mentally prepared to spend something like 1.7 lakhs is good.

Q.15 How much will my entire M.S cost?

Though this depends largely on the university, programme and the area that you are heading to, the range would be 30-50 lacs. So being prepared for 40 lacs would probably be an advisable thing.

Q.16 What are the chances of getting a funding for M.S

MS candidates rarely get funding (There are a handful who give out some scholarships but that is not anything substantial). We usually have to go there and keep our eyes open to grab any funding opportunity available to us

A TABLE SHOWING THE ROUGH SEQUENCE OF EVENTS (Assuming you are aiming for fall 2015):

GRE/TOEFL July-October (2014)
University short listing and applying October-January
Decisions from universities February-April (2015)
Visa May-July (2015)
Start of term August-September (2015)

 

Read next: PART 3 of the FAQs about university selection, info specific to ECE/EEE and other miscellaneous stuff.


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Vignesh Manohar

I am an electronics and telecommunications engineer and am pursuing my M.S from University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). My research interests include the area of Electromagnetics, Microwaves and Antenna. I am a member of the Antenna Research group at UCLA.


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