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CS grad school applications

Hey there! These are a series of blog posts where I will describe my experience with 2021-22 grad school applications. Let’s start with some background and motivation, typical research paper style xD

Personal History & Motivation

In 2020, I completed my undergrad in CS at PES University, Bangalore, India. During undergrad, I was involved in some research projects and learnt what research entails. To explore it further, I worked at Microsoft Research (India) for 2+ years – first as an Intern, and then as a pre-doctoral Research Fellow.

At MSR, I experienced all aspects of research: ideation, design, experimentation, productization, and publishing. This was influential in identifying my research interests and deciding to apply to PhD programs. I applied to grad school for Fall 2022, and received admits from 6 schools, and I’m starting as a CS PhD student at UC Berkeley.

My motivation with this series is to primarily share my unique experience with these applications, assisting others in the process. I want to reach undergraduate students (especially at lesser known universities), encouraging them to consider research careers. When I applied, I found it helpful to read similar posts describing what previous applicants, professors, etc. had to say. Here are some reliable resources that I recommend:


  1. These posts describe a single individual’s (me) experience ONLY and are not to be misconstrued as universal advice for any kind of success.
  2. My experience (as of today) is from an applicant’s perspective ONLY, and hence, I cannot speak on what the admission commitee is looking for.
  3. My experience is limited to (a) Computer Science (b) Ph.D. applications to (c) US universities ONLY.

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