Shreya Ghosh shares her experiences on getting a 26K USD funding for PhD

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How many universities you applied for? Please specify the name.

I applied to 9 universities.

  1. University of Illinois, Urbana Champaign
  2. University of Illinois, Chicago
  3. University of Chicago
  4. University of Florida
  5. Ohio State University
  6. University of Pittsburgh
  7. Rice University
  8. Indiana University, Bloomington
  9. University of Maryland, College Park


Which all universities you got admit from?

  1. University of Illinois, Chicago
  2. University of Florida
  3. University of Pittsburgh
  4. Indiana University, Bloomington

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Which course and degree level you are going to pursue in US?

I am looking to pursue a Phd in Chemistry.


Can you tell us briefly about your profile?

10th– 96% ; 12th – 92%;

B.Sc – 75.7% (first class with distinction)

M.Sc- 7.76 (first class with distinction)

GRE- 315; TOEFL- 107

2 projects, no publications

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Can you highlight some major differences in the application form (or application process) among the different universities you applied? What according to you matters the most to get admission in US?

Most universities have similar application procedures. Some may require transcripts immediately while others require after admission. Also, application fee can range anything from $5 to $110.

A lot of aspects are taken into account when given admission. GRE and TOEFL scores, academic credentials, projects and publications, CV, Statement of purpose, recommendation letters etc. So if one goes wrong, there is nothing to worry.

(In my case I had no publications but my overall academic results and GRE/TOEFL scores were good).

But stress should be given to Statement of purpose. That’s equally important as academic results.

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What is the best part of your profile which enhanced your chances of getting admitted from this many universities?

I guess it has to be my overall academic results and GRE+TOEFL scores. Also, my projects are similar to the field in which I will be pursuing my PhD. So that is an advantage. Also, I had strong recommendations from Professors. I would suggest students to get recommendations from professors under whom they have done projects or worked closely with.

(I did a project at IIT Bombay and got one of my recommendations from the Professor there).

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What made you choose University of Pittsburgh over others?

Since I am going for PhD, the professors matter the most. So I thoroughly checked the faculty, their research areas, publications etc. and then finally decided on University of Pittsburgh. Ranking of universities matter while applying. But once admission is received, then the research field and the professors matter the most since you will be working with them for 5 long years. Look to get into a public university.

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Can you tell us something about funding university fees in USA? 

I am receiving full fund of around $26000 yearly along with the Teaching Assistantship, hence I will be funding university fees in USA with it.

Students should carefully go through the form while applying and also take note of the requirements since different universities have different requirements. Graduate coordinators are usually very helpful and prompt in their reply, so they can be contacted any time when in doubt. Most importantly people should make it a point to send their applications way before deadline. That will save them from a lot of worries.

Good luck.





Written by

Shreya graduated from Visva Bharati University, Santiniketan with a major in Chemistry and got a fully funded PhD at The University of Pittsburgh, USA.


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