University of Michigan Civil Engineering

Royan – Life at University of Michigan, Ann Arbor – Aerospace Engineering

Hi All,

I would like to introduce Dr.Royan, who has completed PHD from University of Michigan, Ann Arbor to talk about life there.


Sundar Rajan G S

* Brief Intro about yourself
I am a PhD student in the Department of Aerospace Engineering at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. I completed my undergraduate study in Civil Engineering at the National Institute of Technology Karnataka – Surathkal in 2008.

* Entry Criteria:
- Approx CGPA range
Higher ranked universities require CGPA well above 8.5/10. There may not be an official cut-off CGPA for many schools, but higher it is, the better. In my opinion, this is the most important part of the application.

- Gre & Toefl scores range
GRE scores should be above 1400 in the Q800-V800 format. It is important to have a near perfect score in the quantitative section when applying to a graduate program in engineering. TOEFL iBT score should ideally be above than 105.

- Research Experience at undergraduate level
It helps to have some research experience at the undergraduate level, especially when applying to the PhD program. I must warn that this is secondary to the applicant’s CGPA. If the applicant has managed to publish the research work at some journal or a reputed conference, the research experience at the undergraduate level would stand out and most likely be taken much more seriously.

- Does the graduate program favor PhD applications more?
No, because there are fewer openings in the PhD program when compared to the MS program. The PhD opening depends on the availability of funding and vacancies in a particular lab, when compared to the fixed and higher number of seats available in the MS program.

- What are the general strengths of the departments?
If you mean student intake per year when you say ‘strengths’, then that would depend on the department – about 60 for a medium sized program to even 15-20 for small sized ones.

- Any advice for writing statement of purpose?
Along with the CGPA, the statement of purpose is an important part of the application. You have to put some effort perfecting this. Some general advice: be direct, persuasive and clear in your writing. Each paragraph should logically follow from the previous one. Avoid clichés and use active voice wherever possible. Use simple words. Don’t annoy the admissions committee with trite stories of your childhood fascination with the intended field of study. This comes across as being pretentious and also insincere. Get to the point quickly. Include examples that show your interest and/or prior experience (if any) in the proposed field of study. Avoid quotes by famous people or talk about how it inspired you. Faculty members on admission committees want compelling (and rational) reasons as to why you want to go to that particular school (given your credentials) and what you want to do with that education (career goals). You must communicate that message simply and effectively. Remember, the admissions committee would have read a lot of sloppy SOPs to immediately recognize a new one.

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Is Central Michigan University good for Civil Engineering?

I was wondering if Central Michigan University is a good school to study civil engineering. I couldn't find much about it at the website.

I dont believe Central Michigan University offers Civil Engineering as an an academic major. If you are looking at schools in Michigan look at Michigan Tech, Michigan State, University of Michigan, those area a few I know offer Civil Engineering for sure and there are more you just need to do a little research.