Discussion on University of Wisconsin-Madison

Get real-time information about University of Wisconsin-Madison from seniors who have gone through the whole process.

This session will be hosted by Yugali Gullapalli who completed her MS in Computer Science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, US. She will volunteer an hour of her time to answer your queries. Prior to her Masters, Yugali completed her BTech in Information Technology from Vellore Institute of Technology, Vellore and interned at the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi as Front End Developer and as Network Consulting Engineer for Cisco Systems, Bangalore. During her Master’s degree, she worked as a Graduate Teaching Assistant at the University of Wisconsin. She is currently working as Software Engineer for Microsoft, Redmond.
Here is how the Senior AMA works:

  1. Ask Qs now: You can start asking your questions right away right here.
  2. Answers via video: On Saturday, August 24th, at 12 PM, Yugali will answer your Qs via a webinar, which you can join here.
  3. Answers transcribed for future reference: We will transcribe Yugali’s answers and post them in response to your questions on this page.
1 Like

Hi, how are you?
How easy it is to get an internship of our choice while doing masters from WM? What % of students gets PPO after the internships?

Hey,
I am prep for GRE, Planning for spring 2020, What is the safe GRE score for MS CS traditional/regular? and cud u give some insight on MS CS professional as wel, is it ny good, wat shud be the ideal work-ex for it?

Hi am cureently in 4th year b.tech(cs) at VIT. my gpa is 8.32, gre 325 with q 167, v 158 n awa 3. Toefl is 108. Do I have safe chance of sdmit for masters in cs for fall 2020 in AMA. Pl give me an honest feedback. Thanks

One more question, what is the RA TA situation in WM? especially for international students…

Hey congrats on the job
How different it is from standard curriculum in India. What are the things students need to read / prepare before joining the college.

How does WM cs program rank among the competing colleges? How is the brand image of the program among the recruiters?

Thanks for your suggestion.

Thanx for ur response. I have a research paper published in a intl journal… scopus journal. Also have won a drone project award in VIT from an external jury. Out of 60 entries. Have interned in all 3 summers…with the last being in IBM piad internship, 2nd year at IIT madras and first being in Ashok leyland in data science, deepwalk and AI respectively. Will this be safe for admit in AMA pl…thanx again.

What are the scholarships options available for master students, shud I contact the concerned Professor while I am in India, will they of be any help

You talked about placement fairs in WM a while back. So, I wanted to know about the frequency of those fairs. I happend to miss that part while you were talking about

How is the life there ? As in anyone from India when go abroad expect a good quality life in every term. Is it so ? Or it’s not different for a person who is living comfortably here in India.
I am already working here in Hyderabad…but I am always in dilemma shud I atleast give it a try, for masters. Are the efforts worth it?!

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Thank you guys for this session, believe me, quite helpful…

@Shaivesh
So actually as far as I know Wisconsin does not have any spring admits, they do not have spring admits in any department actually but for sure I know Computer Science does not have spring admits so you definitely have to apply for fall. I don’t remember them changing at least until May when I graduated but if you want to apply for fall then so there is no such thing as a safe GRE score for Wisconsin or many good colleges as a matter of fact.

There are many people who have scored 300, there are people with a GPA of 7.0 or 6.0, there are people who have only scored 320+ but did not get admission into Wisconsin–Madison so I don’t think you can really throw out a number for GRE but I think you should, online there are many sources that kind of let you add your values of GRE, TOEFL, GPA, number of good LORS and what you think is the quality of your SOP, if you kind of add those values, they kind of give out the projections of which are the colleges which are good for you something like that, why I’m saying this is because everything that I mentioned here has a value and who you are as a person that is reflected in SOP also has a value, if they believe that your bad scores have a reason, see I could get a GPA of 7.0 but if I was an intern with ISRO, I will still get into Wisconsin–Madison because I don’t care about many other subjects but I really care about mechanical engineering or whatever it is that I interned with ISRO or something like that so it just shows your passion, if you are applying for computer science then there must be something like it doesn’t matter what score you get in your GRE or TOEFL.

If your GPA is good and if you probably have a startup or you worked for a startup when you were in college or things like that kind of really add up so don’t worry if your GRE score is bad but you are very confident of your profile in spite of all this if you would still ask me, “Hey no I have a very good profile and I also want a kickass GRE score what should I get?’ then to make your profile extremely stellar, these days to me it feels like, a GRE score of 320 or 320+ is very often seen. before not many people used to score that but from my batch onwards I have seen almost everyone scoring 320+, 330+ and wow that’s just great. So maybe two years it has been since I gave my GRE so maybe if you guys can 315+ at least would be a safe score.

@palaksha
Most of the times you can get your internships whether it is an internship of your choice or an internship that you take because you cleared it and your dream company you probably missed, it is really up to you I believe but as a University of Wisconsin–Madison, computer science student, you will definitely be given interview calls and converting that interview is upon you so that’s really not something I can guarantee about. And about how many of the offers are converted into full-time employment, again I think it really depends on you because a lot of companies hire interns with the intent of converting them to full time, interns actually are treated very well, they are given so many different experiences, training and opportunities so no company would want to actually lose out on their interns so if you do good you will definitely get your placement offer. So Wisconsin–Madison is definitely a good stamp on your resume so you will definitely be called, considering your rest of the resume matches their job requirement.
Yugali continues on Career fairs

In Wisconsin–Madison there are so many career fairs, the most important ones are the ones in fall I believe. A lot of big companies like Google, Facebook, Amazon, Microsoft give out internships by November, December maximum so you guys will probably start masters in any college in August or September and within two weeks of your college starting, you might have your first career fair and like I said, all of the big companies actually are out there and they are ready to give you opportunities and calls as soon as possible. A lot of my friends in Wisconsin–Madison have bagged internship by December and even though few people might have got them in the fall semester, spring semester will also have career fairs. The only reason I think they waited till spring is because they wanted internships of their choice, I’m pretty sure they had offers even by December or fall semester but they just chose to try better or harder or for very particular roles. So like Jainesh was asking about the term career fair and I can tell with confidence that every good school has great career fairs but I will speak on behalf of Wisconsin–Madison, it’s insane like it’s great you have more than two hundred companies that come in fall and nearly hundred odd companies that come in spring as well.

@kavigops

I think you have about a year to apply right? Fall, so you have until December to apply, fall 2020 so I, actually the score GPA, everything it’s definitely not bad but along with these scores which are good if you have a very good profile that backs up everything that you scored it would be very useful for example you have an 8.32 GPA a lot of times a lot of people who apply to Wisconsin–Madison and who actually manage to get into Wisconsin–Madison will have about a 9 or over 9 GPA. A lot of them are silver medalist and gold medalist from NITs and BITS Pilani etc so that kind of adds to their credentials like if you are a silver medalist from NIT or a gold medalist from BITS Pilani that already kind of talks about your credentials but when it is a lower GPA like 7.0 or 8.0 or something there are still people who have managed to get into Wisconsin–Madison but that’s also because they are really really awesome people who have worked on awesome products in different companies like I think there were a couple of students who worked for about 4 to 5 years in very good companies like Microsoft or Intel in India or I don’t know Samsung who are actually very very good and have research papers and patents so their GPA doesn’t matter anymore as they have already proved themselves as amazing people so it’s all about that so I can’t say that a fourth-year VIT student with so and so marks whether or not somebody would get it I absolutely cannot tell if you have done an international internship or international exchange programs in your second and third year and you have done great work which I don’t know about then you definitely will get into masters traditional program.

Typically students without experience are given preference into the traditional program but that doesn’t mean anything, it’s still tough because now they will have to compete with really cool students who have worked in the industry or worked in research departments of companies like there were a lot of my classmates who were in the ‘hp’ research labs, Dell research labs, Samsung labs and things like that so it’s really about the day, whoever is applying along with you and how are they compete with you so I really can’t give you an answer like yes or no but works towards answering why something is something that’s it like if you have a reason why your GPA is 8.32, great.

@Shaivesh
There are a lot of state policy changes where some states like Texas and something I have heard has cut a little bit of fund for education last year so when something like that happens they kind of reduce expenses like this but with respect to Wisconsin–Madison I believe the funding opportunity is the best as far as I have in different colleges other than UC Berkeley or something like that where very few get in your education is kind of free so I think I mean I always find funding topic really tough to talk about because if I give false hope and then somebody, it might really affect because when I went for my masters I didn’t have funding I got the traditional masters admit which is great because it at least gave me the window of opportunity of funding because in the professional masters in Wisconsin–Madison, you cannot get any assistantship, it’s a strictly course only curriculum so I would say have faith if you get in Wisconsin–Madison traditional masters there is 99.05% chance you will get funding but you should always look out for the worst and have a loan maybe.

@Sunoyjan
So if you want to do very very well and you really want to know what’s up, first of all, it’s nothing like your undergrad, at least it was nothing like my undergrad, my undergrad of four years I never felt that I stayed up to study for an exam but in my first year of masters I was, the whole, I think the first two months I was in shock with the difficulty of the assignments and things like that maybe it was just because I really never remember struggling through VIT or I was definitely enjoying in CISCO and the only time I studied very hard in India was for, to get into CISCO, to clear CCNA and CCNP interviews with my recruiters but masters is definitely different.

A lot of assignments are super hands-on and in an operating system class, you would be asked to edit operating systems, colonels and stuff. Maybe not something as huge as windows or Linux mostly an x86-based platform which is a unique space operating system which is developed by MIT so that’s how it is, you cannot compare the curriculum in India with the US, it’s definitely super-duper hands-on and be ready to work very hard and think very well and secondly the other part of the question is what are the things students need to read, I believe if you are a good problem solver through computer languages C, java, python any one of these is great. I would suggest you choose any of these three languages and be very good with it, it will help you with your interview process as well, a lot of interviews especially for internships, they are never going to ask you code only in this language, they will ask you to choose a language of your choice and code in that so if you choose any of these three languages right now in India if you have the chance and work on them and become very good at them that will help you both in your masters and your job search.