Tests, scholarships and internships

Studying abroad

Tests, scholarships and internships

Dear Sir,

I am a final year BE student in Electrical & Communication. I plan to pursue higher studies in the US. I plan to give GRE and TOEFL by November. I want to know:

*What is the cost difference between an MS and an integrated PhD programme? Which of the two is preferred? To how many universities should/can I apply?
*Should I approach lecturers in my area of interest in each university before I apply?
*The deadlines for applying to most universities for the fall semester will be in January 2011, by which time I would have just completed my seventh semester.
Will I be eligible to apply for the Fall 2011 batch or should I wait till next year?
*How should I go about getting recommendation letters?


Dear Chethan,

An MS is a better choice, since you will be a BE graduate in a year’s time. You can certainly get admission to an MS programme, provided that your academic records show high performance and you have high GRE and TOEFL scores. You have to complete a
Master’s course either in India or abroad in order to be eligible for a PhD programme. The timing of your application does not matter as you can start preparing for GRE and TOEFL straight away. Once you have these scores, you can apply with your seventh semester marks and later submit the final aggregate marks. Focus on identifying your interests and discuss your strengths with your professors. I would advise you to gain work experience as an intern in the field of your interest.

Dear Sir,

I have completed Second PUC with an aggregate of 70 per cent (PCMB). I am interested in pursuing an engineering degree in Computer Science. What is the scope of growth? How can I pursue an MTech in a foreign country at a nominal fee?


Dear Nagesh,

With your score, you are eligible to pursue your undergraduate degree in computer science engineering. Scope depends on your ability to cope with the curriculum and how well you perform in your exams. Focus on understanding the subject thoroughly and commit yourself to applying your knowledge at the work place. You can be sure of  a bright future in this field.

You can pursue an MTech or MS degree only after you complete your graduate degree. Many countries such as USA, the UK, Germany, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore offer both Bachelor’s and Master’s programmes in Computer Science. Higher education in any university abroad is expensive. The cost of higher education including living expenditure ranges between Rs 8-15 lakh a year. Scholarships or any other kind of financial assistance is hard to come by these days because of intense competition.
Dear Sir,

I am looking to do a PhD in Rural Development abroad with the help of a scholarship and without having to give TOEFL or GRE. How can I possibly achieve this? I have an MSc (Agriculture) from UAS, Dharwad with 93.9 per cent. During my undergraduate programme, I was involved in several CSR projects. I have worked on creating and implementing a livelihood project.

Basavaraj Biradar
Dear Basavaraj,

You are definitely eligible for a doctoral programme in the subject. Unfortunately, there is no way you can qualify for doctoral programmes without giving the GRE and TOEFL tests.

I suggest that you give these tests and start corresponding with universities to narrow down your options. In the meantime, if there is a research paper that you can publish in the near future, please work on it as it will help you while applying for admission to universities abroad. Since you have been involved with several CSR projects, work on your resume to make it more powerful. This will  increase your chances of getting on board with research work with a professor in the university of your choice.

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