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US Citizen with Indian undergrad degree applying to US PhD?

Posted: Fri Nov 23, 2018 2:05 pm
by mias
Hi all,
I'm a US Citizen who's been in India since 9th grade. After 12th grade, I finished a 3 year BSc in Physics,Electronics, and Math (triple major), and will be finishing a 2 year MSc in Physics from a standard (not too great) college in India. My BSc percentage is 92% and so far in MSc I have more than 80%. I took the pGRE and got 880 (81st percentile). I want to apply to grad school programs (physics) in pretty well known colleges (maybe not Ivies, but say Northwestern, UT Austin, Texas A&M, NYU/Stony Brook, UC Santa Barbara, CU Boulder, and Penn State perhaps?) I had applied last year to about 6 universities, and all were rejected.

Now I'm very confused about whether my application will be entirely treated as an American or International student. I read that International students will have to meet higher expectations (for which I don't think an 880 in the pGRE or my 80% in MSc is sufficient...) but when I emailed a few universities last year, they told me I'd have to apply as an American...

Could anyone shed a bit of light on this? Will my grades be considered as international, whereas my application itself lies with the other domestic applicants? Or will my grades be considered 'American' and my application international?

Also with regard to my grades and scores... should I perhaps aim for higher/lower tiered programs? I really have my eye on Carnegie Mellon, Cornell, and UChicago for their research work in quantum computing (oh yes, I should have mentioned this earlier, my field of interest is quantum computing/quantum electronics, and I have 1 year of research work under my belt.) But I am also afraid that these colleges are probably out of reach for me to try for with my pGRE score, MSc percentage, and the fact that my alma-mater isn't an IIT... Any advice?

Sorry for the really long post... Would really appreciate some help... :oops: :) :lol:

Re: US Citizen with Indian undergrad degree applying to US PhD?

Posted: Fri Nov 23, 2018 3:43 pm
by AHipp
First, I think based on your application details the schools you listed are a good match. Second, as you heard in those emails, I believe you would apply as an American student. This may seem odd, but because you are an American citizen it will be much easier for logistic reasons, such as not having to apply for a visa or weird funding things. I hope this helps!