I'm an Undergrad student from one of the Indian Institutes of Technology and I still have a year left to complete my Dual-degree course in Computer Science(offers me M.Tech & B.Tech by the end of June 2014). I've a not-so-proud-of gpa of 7.5/10 which is around 3.0/4.0 which I assume is pretty low when compared to my seniors' gpa who've taken up a PhD. But, what I've experienced from a last summer's industry internship and the previous summer working under a professor doing research is that I really can't work in the industry for a longer time writing Software as making money is the least of my concerns. The research work yielded in a rejected publication though I was way more satisfied than the internship

I worked under another professor the next winter, published an article in a highly reputed journal in the field of Complex networks and working on another publication this fall. I'll be working along with IBM in a research internship this summer and hoping to do well. A bit of a late realization haunts me day-to-day. Needless to say, my transcripts suck. So, to dodge all the obstacles that I created myself, I'm planning to do research work extensively for the rest of my Undergrad time. Also, I'm thinking of joining the industry after my graduation for about a year or two before PhD for two reasons. One being, my work experience can be of help and can make up for my poor transcript and second being that I can reinforce the industry-is-not-so-interesting belief. The second being not so important.

So, is pursuing PhD from a reputed university still in my scope? What suggestions can you offer for increasing my chances that I can do during my last year? Reading a lot of questions in this forum site, I believed this might be a good place to vent my rant. Thanks a lot in advance.

2 Answers 2


A 3.5+ is generally preferred but a 3.0 and some solid test scores (GMAT/GRE) can really bump you up in the admissions line. Keep working on your publications and when it comes time to write your personal essay talk about how you have published already but really want to develop those skills so you can be a prolific researcher.

If you love research, and the creation of knowledge, then go for the PhD it will give you the best training and opportunity to advance your research.

  • GMAT for grad schools? In what disciplines?
    – aeismail
    Commented Apr 2, 2013 at 20:45
  • GMAT is used primarily for business schools. Some CIS programs are housed in the business schools with MIS programs
    – John B
    Commented Apr 3, 2013 at 16:42

My cents:

  1. Academia is broken ([1] and other articles).
  2. However, you need to show your future employer that you are not just a Adderall user [2].

Thus, I would get a Master's degree in ECE. Now, why ECE and not CS. I consider CS (as well as physics, chemistry, etc) to be a fundamental science. Industry usually is looking for more applied field, which in the case of CS is ECE (IMHO).

Now, in US, is possible to get Master's degree in ECE for free. Apply for PhD school, then drop out with Master's, preferable with thesis option. This way you will show your future employer that you can do: independent research; describe and present your results.

[1] https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=5429651
[2] http://www.cnn.com/2011/09/01/health/drugs-adderall-concentration

  • This is not an answer and is not related to the question in anyway.
    – Shion
    Commented Apr 2, 2013 at 20:22

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