What are my chances of gaining admission to a top tier American or European program in Transportation Engineering?

I am from India. I completed my bachelor's in Civil Engineering in 5 years with a 73% final average.

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Michael Schoch, Answers questions on Noodle

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Since you already have your bachelor's it sounds like you'll be applying to a graduate program. Here is a link to a list of the top civil engineering programs in the U.S.

Many of the top programs, such as University of California Berkeley have prerequisites for graduate and doctoral candidates that can be viewed on the engineering department's webpage. For transportation engineering, students are expected to apply to the program with at least a 3.5 GPA, which is roughly a 90% average. It may be pretty difficult to gain admission to such a school with a GPA that's much below the minium.

That said, other factors beyond your GPA are considered when applying to graduate school. Work or internship experience, or academic awards in your field may boost the competitiveness of your application. Similarly, it's always advantageous to have high GRE scores. You may want to consider investing in some test prep classes or tutors to make sure you achieve the highest score possible.

A good strategy is to make a list of programs and call or email each of them directly. Ask about the program's prerequisites and what you can do to supplement your school transcripts.

You should check out some of the articles and advice available on Noodle's topic pages for ideas on how to strengthen your application.

I hope this is helpful. If you have any more questions feel free to ask a follow up. Best of luck!

Nikki Morgan, Tutor, Writer, Aspiring teacher, and Parent of two

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If you failed a year of school, it will negatively affect your ability to get into a top tier school. These schools turn down a number of highly qualified students every year because their applicant pools are so large. That being said, I highly recommend that you explain in your personal statement what happened that caused you to fail and how you overcame the failure. There is more to the admissions process than grades; extracurricular activities, test scores, recommendations, rigor of courses, etc. all play a role. If your application is strong enough, you may still have a shot at admission to the top tier schools.

Michael Schoch, Answers questions on Noodle

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I think I understood your question. In short, yes, having failed a year of school will affect your chances of admission into a top-tier school.

I am not familiar with your transcript or your school's system of grading, but if you put your grades through a calculator and it converted to a 4.0 GPA, then that's great! Typically a grade average of 73% out of 100 is less than a 4.0. You may want to use a few different calculators to make sure that the number you're coming up with is accurate.

Lastly, I still think your best course of action is to call or email each school to get a specific sense of their expectations.

I hope that clears things up! Best of luck!

Anonymous, *check

What I meant to ask was that I failed a year in graduation, not because of any medical reason or illness, I was too naive and immature to ignore my academics. So, does this scrutinize my chances of getting into a good school?

And, also the fact I would like to clarify is that the WES GPA Calculator shows my GPA as 4 against my 73% so is it reliable?

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