I want to pursue M.S. from USA. I know that it is required to have a background of publishing technical papers for getting admit in a good University. But I wanted to know whether is there anything else apart from publishing a paper that constitutes as "Research" by the Admission authorities? Thank You.

  • Peer-reviewed published papers are acknowledged research results. If you can find a way to present your research results, I think it would be accepted by admission authorites.
    – Nobody
    Commented Mar 22, 2013 at 9:39
  • Check out the answers to this question: academia.stackexchange.com/questions/5638/…
    – Ben Norris
    Commented Mar 22, 2013 at 11:43
  • 1
    Research potential can be demonstrated in other ways besides publishing. Generally, undergraduate research experiences should be addressed in your application materials, especially your letters of recommendation. They may even appear on your transcript.
    – Ben Norris
    Commented Mar 22, 2013 at 11:45
  • 1
    See my answer to a related question.
    – JeffE
    Commented Mar 22, 2013 at 18:51
  • @JeffE Thanks a lot! I have done some stuff related to what you have mentioned in that answer. I hope that pleases the admission authorities.
    – user6392
    Commented Mar 23, 2013 at 15:34

2 Answers 2

  • A senior thesis (or, if you're engineering, your senior project, if you did one) would probably be a good thing to showcase, as it demonstrates both your ability to perform work in a group as well as your ability to write.

  • Internships are great. They show that you can work and it also can serve as a reference.

If you've done anything else particularly notable (e.g., won a nationally recognized science fair), you can mention it, but the number of people who've done stuff like this is pretty miniscule.


From your question, it is not clear that what MS do you referring to and seeking advice for. If you plan for MS by course, the admission committee do not usually evaluate you based on publications, because they don't need you to do research and therefore, it is not needed. They are looking for the university from which you did your UG, your marks, and your final project TITLE and your work.

If you are after MS by research, the story is slightly different, but still publication is not the only requirement. I guess, it is okay to have UGs without publications since UGs are busy with large number of subjects to take (depends on the universities they study) and CS is one of the majors that needs mini project for majority of subjects. Hence, you may not have enough time to be exposed to the research and publication, especially if your university does not approve research project as final project.

For MS by research, the main piece of evidence to show you know research is to prepare a very impressive research proposal. If you can impress them, you have the position. Sometimes looking at recommendation letter also works. If you have a good rec letter with some research-based recommendations and the admission committee know the person issued the recommendation letter, it may change their idea and cover some of your weaknesses. Also, doing vulonteer job is also important to demonstrate your ability to work in a new domain with different people in a team or as an individual.

  • Hi @Espanta, Thank You for your advice, I have some queries though. Regarding "because they don't need you to do research and therefore, it is not needed", AFAIK MS is all about research right? At least that's what my seniors told me. That is why they select students who already have experience in research. Regarding "For MS by research, the main piece of evidence to show you know research is to prepare a very impressive research proposal.", you mean I should mention this in my SOP right?
    – user6392
    Commented Mar 24, 2013 at 13:17
  • Hi, you welcome, I hope it is useful. I don't know what AFAIK is, but for funded research positions, applicant needs to prepare a research proposal to help the university to find an appropriate supervisor. However, in funded positions no need to submit proposal, instead u shd relate previous research exp with the position in SoP. Be careful, SoP is very important. All the best
    – Espanta
    Commented Mar 25, 2013 at 14:18
  • it is "As Far AS I Know"!
    – user6392
    Commented Mar 25, 2013 at 14:32
  • my god!!! AFAIK is an abbreviation. I thought it is a certain grant scheme or ... It is funny and embarrassing for me not to know AFAIK!!!. Well, MS varies in different faculties. For instance, in computer science, it can be undertaken in course mode, research mode, or mixed (course and research). But again that depends on the university you want to study. Different uni and even countries provide different MS. You check with university first. If that is pure research, you need to have proposals, in other two cases you do not need publication and no proposals. Good luck
    – Espanta
    Commented Apr 6, 2013 at 5:18

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