An Insider’s Guide to Admissions in Top Universities

October 29th, 2020

An Insider’s Guide to Admissions in Top Universities

 

“What after graduation? How to get admission in Top Universities? How to plan for an MS at top universities?”- These are questions every fresh graduate or a Senior Year student faces. Through this blog, I shall try my best to elaborately explain my journey of finding the right university for my Master's program; hence giving you an insider’s guide about all the ups and downs one faces along this process.

How do you know which course to opt for?

 

To begin with, the whole process - from shortlisting colleges to finally accepting an offer from your dream college - is an extremely strenuous but exciting experience. It all starts with deciding which option to major in.

In my case, this decision was a comparatively easy one because of all the experiences I have had during the first three years of my undergraduate course. Having interned at Cisco Systems as well as the internships I had undertaken at the National University of Singapore in collaboration with Hewlett Packard Enterprises, my mind was always set on pursuing a course relevant to Wireless Communications and the Internet of Things.

By interning at such esteemed organizations, I was able to get a clearer picture of what I wanted out of my life; possible only because of the guidance I had received from corporate executives as well as esteemed professors.

The opportunities and resources are endless. If you work in a smart and dedicated manner, you can gain as much experience as possible through such internships and courses. The more experience you gain, the more clear your thought process is about what to do next.

How to shortlist universities?

 

The approach to shortlist the highest-ranked universities should be a very smart and flexible one. The usual norm is to just go by the global ranking of the college and not pay heed to the other, more important factors. One must consider the following factors while shortlisting universities-

1. Ask yourself what you want to do and why you want to do it

The first process of this long journey is to sit down and ask yourself if you really want to pursue a Masters course. Once you have done that, you must chalk out the pros and cons of this whole process and see if it is beneficial to your life goal. Just pursuing a course because everyone else is, is not a strong-enough reason to start your higher education journey, be it in your home country or even abroad.

2. The research outreach of the university -

A university with a high research index/outreach usually has a very well established student learning centre, hence the standard of education delivered will be up to the mark and beneficial for the student’s interest.

3. The acceptance rate-

A university with a low acceptance rate reflects how selective they are with their intake. Only students with high relevance to the course get the opportunity to pursue their studies there. This helps one study with like-minded people and hence the whole learning process turns out to be extremely fruitful. Yes, the competition might be high, but coming out victorious of it is an unmatched feeling.

4. Location and job prospects-

The location of the university plays an important role in the long run. The job prospects increase exponentially if you are graduating from a university located in a similar locality. For example, if you are a computer science graduate in and around California, you have a better chance of getting a relevant job because California is an IT Hub.

5. Cost of education-

The cost of completing your higher education is also an important factor that must be considered. Some universities charge abnormally high fees for a comparatively substandard education. Also, the availability of a scholarship/financial aid helps ease the burden to fund your studies.

6. Competition-

When applying to a university, multiple documents and test scores are required. These are used to classify students and help in the shortlisting process. Hence, to be ahead of everyone in the selection process, it is either better to have a better overall profile or to aim at colleges that are looking for students with similar interests.

Hence, considering all these factors in mind, one must shortlist colleges and then proceed with the applications within the given deadline.

What are the application requirements?

 

Now that you have shortlisted the universities you wish to apply to, it's time to figure out what are the requirements of each university. While the majority of the universities require more or less the same set of documents and details; a few universities do require you to submit additional documents.

In this section, I shall be focusing mainly on 4 universities, across 4 different countries. I shall be elaborating on their requirements and the admission process to give a clear picture.

1. Nanyang Technological University

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The Nanyang Technological University, Singapore is the second oldest public autonomous research university in Singapore. With 33,500 students, and 10,000 faculty and staff, NTU is the second-largest university in Singapore.

NTU has been ranked #6 in the world by QS Rankings- Subject ranking (Electrical and Electronics Engineering). According to Shanghai Rankings, NTU ranks #6 globally for the subject of Communications/Telecommunications Engineering. According to QS Rankings, NTU has also been the highest-ranked university in Asia for the last few years.

NTU was one of the very few universities that required the most basic information for their application. The information and documents required were as follows-

a. TOEFL/ IELTS Test Scores

NTU has a minimum score requirement of 100 (TOEFL) or 7.5 (IELTS) as proof of English Language proficiency.

b. Academic Transcript

The official transcript along with the grade/CGPA and the marking scheme has to be uploaded.

c. Relevant work experience

Relevant work experience in the form of internships or full-time employment is an added bonus to your overall profile.

Apart from these, you shall be asked to submit additional details like that of personal information and passport details.

The application for NTU usually opens around the September/October period and is open till the end of January. The admission decision/outcome is usually published from the first week of April.

PLEASE NOTE:

NTU only has one intake period per year i.e. they accept applications for the Fall period only. They do not have any admission for the Spring semester.

Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, they shall be accepting Spring applications for this year only.

 

2. KTH Royal Institute of Technology

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Since its founding in 1827, KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm has grown to become one of Europe’s leading technical and engineering universities, as well as a key centre of intellectual talent and innovation. The university is Sweden’s largest technical research and learning institution and home to students, researchers, and faculty from around the world dedicated to advancing knowledge. According to the QS rankings, KTH has been ranked among the top 20 universities in the world for engineering consistently.

KTH offers a variety of higher education courses - ranging from extremely competitive MS degrees to Ph.D. courses with a very high research output.

The application process for KTH (and other Swedish universities as well) is a pretty complex one. You must have all your documents ready (in soft copy as well) before you start the application as the applicant is required to upload the documents while the application is in progress. The required documents are as follows-

a. TOEFL/ IELTS Test Scores

KTH has a minimum score requirement of 90 (TOEFL) or 6.5 (IELTS) as proof of English Language proficiency.

b. Academic Transcript

The official transcript along with the grade/CGPA and the marking scheme has to be uploaded.

c. Relevant work experience

Relevant work experience in the form of internships or full-time employment is an added bonus to your overall profile.

d. Scholarship/Financial aid application

KTH offers multiple scholarships to incoming international students; with a scholarship especially focused on Indian students. While completing and submitting the university application, one must go through the Scholarship Opportunities at KTH to avail of the best possible financial aid.

Focusing more on the KTH India scholarship, the website states the following as the selection criteria-

The scholarship is awarded primarily based on academic excellence. Only applicants who fulfill the admission requirements of the programme applied for are eligible for a scholarship. An assessment of applicants for the scholarship is made based on the following criteria:

  • The applicant's grades (GPA or equivalent)
  • The ranking of the university that awarded the applicant's bachelor's degree
  • The recommendation of the director of the applied master's programme at KTH
  • The applicant's motivation, relevant work experience, and extracurricular activities

 

Applicants from Mumbai Metropolitan Area and Pune will be prioritized according to the foundation’s statutes. Know More Here

Apart from these, you shall be asked to input your personal information and passport details. KTH and every other university in Sweden have a single portal to start and submit the application. The first step is to register at the KTH website and from there the applicant is redirected to the unified portal; where he or she is asked to fill in all the relevant details and upload original soft-copies of the same.

After finishing the application, an application fee of SEK 900 is to be paid to submit the application. Know More Here

The admission decision is declared around the first week of April (Starting from 9th April); after which KTH conducts multiple induction workshops to make new students familiar with their respective departments and the rules and regulations of Sweden.

The application period for Fall intake starts from 16/10/2020 to 15/01/2021. Majority of the programs have only fall intakes, hence the applicant is required to check the website for further details.

3. Hongkong University of Science and Technology

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In 1989, Hong Kong was rebuilding itself to be the future financial hub of Asia. The city’s plans also envisaged becoming a center of knowledge advancement, economic growth, and influence. An important milestone was building a state-of-the-art, research-intensive university in 1991, which now we know as Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST).

The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) is an international research university dedicated to top-notch education and research. Founded on its mission to advance learning and knowledge through teaching and research particularly in science, technology, engineering, management, and business studies complemented by humanities and social sciences, as well as assisting in Hong Kong’s socio-economic development, this young and ambitious University has gone beyond the wildest dreams of many, climbing high in international esteem and reaping numerous honors and accolades.

According to the QS World University Rankings by Subject, HKUST has been ranked #22 globally in the field of Electrical and Electronics Engineering for the academic year 2020/2021.

The application process for HKUST is pretty simple and straightforward. The required information and documents are as follows-

a. TOEFL/ IELTS Test Scores

HKUST has a minimum score requirement of 80 (TOEFL) or 6.5 (IELTS) as proof of English Language proficiency. Although, if the applicant has already completed their undergraduate in a university where the mode of communication is English; the student is exempted.

b. Academic Transcript

The official transcript along with the grade/CGPA and the marking scheme has to be uploaded. The final transcript is to be uploaded after receiving the acceptance letter.

c. Relevant work experience

Relevant work experience in the form of internships or full-time employment is a bonus to your overall profile.

d. Letters of Recommendation

HKUST requires the applicant to submit letters of recommendation from at least 2 references (professors or employers are accepted).

Apart from these, you shall be asked to input your personal information and passport details.

HKUST does offer a scholarship to incoming students. One can either apply through the link given on their website or can claim for financial aid in terms of scholarship by appealing for one after receiving the acceptance letter.

The application period is open 2 times a year- Fall and Spring Intake. The application period is as follows-

Fall 2021/2022:

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Fall 2021/2022:

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PLEASE NOTE:

HKUST only has one intake period per year for the majority of their programs i.e. they accept applications for the Fall period only. They only have selected courses that offer admission for the Spring semester.

Please check the website (Program & Course Catalog) for further details.

4. Boston University

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Boston University Metropolitan College (MET) is one of the 17 degree-granting schools and colleges of Boston University. Founded in 1965, it offers full-time and part-time study during the evening or through online and blended programs.

Metropolitan College offers 78 undergraduate and graduate degree and certificate programs, available part-time and full-time, along with individual courses that are open to the general public. Due to its location (located in the centre of Boston, MA), BU-MET is a preferred university for many aspirants as they believe securing a job is easier due to the variety of options in and around Boston.

MET prioritizes the review and admission of applications submitted earlier in the rolling admission process. The basic requirements for MET are similar to most universities across the globe. They are as follows-

a. TOEFL/ IELTS Test Scores

HBU-MET has a minimum score requirement of 84 (TOEFL)as proof of English Language proficiency, with the minimum requirement of each section being-

  • Reading - 21
  • Listening - 18
  • Speaking - 23
  • Writing - 22

 

BU-MET accepts IELTS as proof of English language proficiency, with a minimum score requirement of 6.5 overall and individual section scores of 6.5.

b. Academic Transcript

The official transcript along with the grade/CGPA and the marking scheme has to be uploaded. The final transcript is to be uploaded after receiving the acceptance letter.

c. Relevant work experience

Relevant work experience in the form of internships or full-time employment is a bonus to your overall profile.

d. Letters of Recommendation

BU-MET requires the applicant to submit letters of recommendation from at least 3 references (professors or employers are accepted). The LoR is to be submitted by the referee online. The applicant shall have to fill in the referee’s details and an automatic mail to fill in the LoR will be sent to the referee.

Apart from this, the application asks for personal details as well. After which an application fee of $85 is to be paid to complete the whole process and successfully submit the application. Unlike other universities, BU gives the application verdict within 2 weeks of successful submission.

The application period is open 2 times a year- Fall and Spring Intake. The application period is as follows-

Fall 2021/2022:

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Fall 2021/2022:

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International on-campus students are asked to submit the application earlier than the deadline to ensure the smooth processing of their I-20 visa application.

PLEASE NOTE:

BU-MET has changed their rules and regulations regarding in-person classes due to the COVID-19 outbreak. The applicant is requested to go through their website for the latest, relevant details.

References

  1. QS Ranking by Subject- https://www.topuniversities.com/university-rankings/university-subject-rankings/2019/engineering-electrical-electronic
  2. Shanghai Ranking Website- 2020 - Telecommunication Engineering | Shanghai Ranking - 2020
  3. NTU Website- ntu.edu.sg/Academics/GraduateProgrammes/Pages/default.aspx
  4. KTH Website- Master's programmes
  5. Boston Metropolitan College (BU) Website- Master of Science in Telecommunication » Metropolitan College

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Camilla

Sandeepan completed his Bachelor’s degree, graduating in Electronics and Communication Engineering from Vellore Institute of Technology, Vellore. An individual incredibly passionate about all the exciting developments being made in the fields of Internet of Things, Robotics, Computer Networking, and Embedded Systems, he makes it a point to stay up to date with them. He aims to make a significant impact in these fields in the near future.

During his undergraduate study, Sandeepan has done multiple internships at organizations like Cisco and HPE and has done an academic internship at the National University of Singapore.

Sandeepan’s ardent interest in the field of Communications Engineering has led to him pursuing MSc. Communications Engineering degree at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore; starting Fall, 2020. Sandeepan is an alumnus of Corporate Gurukul. He can be contacted at sensandeepan@gmail.com for further queries.

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