I just finished my first year as an undergraduate student majoring in computer science at a state school not known for computer science. Due to AP credits and such, I have the opportunity to graduate in two more semesters (which will make four in all). To facilitate this, I am taking a class at a different institution this summer. Near the end of last semester, I went through a month or so of anxiety with regards to what to do after graduation. Eventually, I decided that I want to go into academia. Based on what I’ve read on the internet,
- There are considerably more CS PhD’s than open faculty positions
- Because of (1), it is important that I get a PhD at a prestigious university
- PhD applications are highly dependent on research experience and letters of recommendation
I currently have a 4.0 GPA, but my undergraduate college will not help me on applications. Further, I have no research experience. I intend to find a research opportunity when I return to school this Fall, although I don’t know that any of the CS professors at my school are known at the top CS graduate programs.
I am also aiming to talk to some professors at the university I am taking a summer class at about any small possibility of me assisting them in their research over the summer, as this university has a more highly ranked CS program than the one I attend.
My primary interest in in computer security.
Basically, deciding that I want to undertake a PhD kind of puts my schedule on overdrive. I will be taking the GRE and applying to programs in the Fall, so anything I have on my application kind of has to get done over summer.
Have I made any glaringly incorrect conclusions? And
Is there anything else I can do to improve my chances of being accepted into a top PhD program?