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How to strengthen your profile for MS in USA

There are many ways to improve your profile before you apply to MS. Here are few things that can make the most impact-

Publish papers for thesis-based degrees

You can work with your college Professors to stay engaged in research. Publishing papers add a whole new depth to your candidacy by showing your research potential.

Freelance projects and build portfolio

Even if you don’t have clients, you can build interesting projects and publish on github. Shows you are a pro-active learner. (can do along with taking MOOCs in your areas of interest). Keep doing competitive coding, any accomplishments in there can improve your profile. Certificates directly don’t matter but participating in such things ensure that you stay hands-on and get to explore deeper concepts of programming.

Read papers on latest developments, connect the dots. You will start talking more intelligently about it. The biggest point where applicants stumble is that they have nothing intelligent to say in their SOP – everyone is saying ‘how they were attracted to computers since childhood’. The more you code, more you explore, better stuff you will be able to talk about. Your goals will be more specific.

Switch to a job closer to your area of interest if possible

One of my students switched his job from a business analyst role to a research based startup in ECE. First time, he did not get good admits but second time, he got into some decent schools for MS in ECE. He headed to UC Santa Cruz. The idea is to proactively push towards your passion. If your job is not helping in what you want to do, look for something more relevant.

Take MOOCs if you lack confidence in your subject

For people who have low grades or relatively less working knowledge of the subjects of their interests, doing online courses (reputed certified ones) can add some more credibility to your academic background. Read how much can MOOCs help you.

Get 320+ on GRE or 710+ on GMAT

Lastly, if your test scores are holding you back, get that sorted. There is no point in being held back if you think you can do much better on the tests. This becomes especially more important if your GPA is low.

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Proven strategies to get into TOP schools

MS Book by Nistha Tripathi


I can’t even begin to fathom how crucial a role Nistha played in getting me an admit from one of the biggies in the world! I must admit I was totally clueless as I started off with my preparations for masters in US. I had parts of my application ready but I was still not able to glue them together in order to impress the admission committee. So I started seeking for a mentor – not the crooked local ones but an authentic reputed counselor who would give decisive opinions and statements about … Read more
Akhil, MSIM (UIUC)