I am a 4th year computer engineering undergraduate student who will apply for Ph.D. programs this winter/spring, for the next fall semester. I have decided to become an academic 2 years ago, and head of department said "keep your gpa high and you will be fine". Well, I have increased my gpa, from 2.5 to 3.5 but now I see that I need research experience to be admitted to good programs. ( I can't afford masters program)
I thought I didn't need a research experience, yet while I was thinking that, I see that undergraduate students all over the world were doing research. I admit I was naive to think so but I was guided that way. So few months ago I am trying to learn about admission process and I see many people over the internet with tons of research experience and even papers waiting to be published, or already published. And the most important part of SOP is research experience.
And guess what? There is no lab at my university. And not a single instructor that does research in the field I want. It is a very small department (5 full time assistant professors).
So obviously, I cannot get into a top or very good program with these conditions, and they have every right to decline me. But I believe it is my right to get into a good valid program that matches my interests. I shouldn't take the whole responsiblity of non existent opportunities that other students had in other universities.
I would like to know, from experienced people, about what I should do to get into a Ph.D. program without direct proof of research capabilities. No lab work, no research, nada. Just reading many papers in the field I am interested in for last few months, and high motivation.
Or is it a point where I should say "That's life and never fair" and have plan B and plan C?