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‘We look forward to a closer relationship with India’

Jonathan Weller, Director for International Admissions at the University of Cincinnati, speaks to HT Horizons about the engineering programmes offered by the varsity and also the international community studying there

education Updated: Aug 18, 2010 09:24 IST
HT Horizons correspondent
HT Horizons correspondent
Hindustan Times

Which are the areas wherein the university has earned a good reputation?
The University of Cincinnati (UC) in the US is a highly regarded public university in the United States. It has much strength that attracts top students, and faculty, from across the world.

One such strength is in research funding; UC is among the top 25 public universities for research funding. For example, the university earned over $300 million in research funding last year. Most international students study in our highly-rated engineering, business, design, and music programmes.

What are the research areas the varsity is known for?
The university is well known for its research efforts in the engineering disciplines. It offers three different types of postgraduate degrees in engineering, the traditional Master’s and PhD degrees and the new master’s, based on coursework programme, called Master of Engineering. The College of Engineering and Applied Science has programmes in a variety of academic disciplines, including biomedical, chemical, computer, energy and materials, environmental, and mechanical engineering programs.

Do you have any industry tie ups in Ohio?
The Cincinnati area contains a large number of major American and multinational corporations.
University programmes work closely with industry at the local, state, national, and even international level on a number of projects and collaborations, including employers throughout the world providing co-op opportunities to UC students.

Does the university have any partnerships with Indian institutions?
The University of Cincinnati has 18 faculty projects and collaborations underway in India.

How many international students are there in the University of Cincinnati? Out of them, how many are Indians?
There are nearly 2,000 international students at the University of Cincinnati. Over 650 of these students are from India.

What’s the criteria for admission to the undergraduate programmes?
The criteria for undergraduate student admission varies with each academic programme. Some programmes are among the most competitive in the US and are extremely selective. Other programmes have slightly less stringent criteria. A variety of factors are considered when an undergraduate student applies, including strength of their high school curriculum, personal statement, list of co-curricular activities, and SAT or ACT scores. SAT or ACT scores can also play a significant role in students qualifying for the undergraduate UC Global Scholarship.

Can you also tell us about the admission criteria for postgraduate programmes?
Postgraduate programs review a variety of criteria when making admission decisions. They often look at the strength of the student’s undergraduate institution, their academic success at the institution, their personal statement, and their standardised test scores (such as GRE, TOEFL, GMAT, etc) Research-oriented graduate programmes also look closely at a student’s research interest to ensure the student’s fit for the academic programme.

Scholarships for Indian students
The University of Cincinnati has a scholarship programme for undergraduate international students. Called the UC Global Scholarship it offers scholarships ranging from $2,000 to $12,000 per year to undergraduate students. Students enrolling directly from high schools are considered after they have taken admission in the UC. Students coming from an undergraduate degree programme at a foreign university can also be considered. Details about scholarships are available at

Student experience
She wants to serve India
Neha Maheshwari, a graduate in cell and molecular biology from the University of Cincinnati has joined her alma mater to pursue medicine. Her aim is not only to run a practice in the states but also to help the underprivileged back home in Hyderabad, her hometown. “I currently go to India every other summer and volunteer at local clinics and hospitals. I also am volunteering this summer at Providence Hospital in Southfield, Michigan and the Cleveland Clinic conducting research on triple negative breast cancer. After receiving my MD, I plan to go to India each summer for three to four months and run my own free clinic for the residents living in the villages surrounding Hyderabad,” says Maheshwari.

“My dream is to open this facility adjacent to the Suman’s Women’s College in Hyderabad, an institution started by my grandmother, and focus on providing treatment to those young girls and women who are often neglected.”

Graduation days
Her academic excellence got her a full scholarship to study at the University of Cincinnati. The scholarship included tuition, boarding, and books,for four years and she also secured a place in the medical school after that.

“Initially I was given the choice between University of Michigan and other direct medical programmes. My family wanted me to stay in Michigan, but I chose Cincinnati where I was one of the ten students who were selected straight out of high school, and given acceptance into the medical school,” she says.

Her graduation days were full of fun and rush of adrenaline. “I was accepted in the ‘semester at sea’ program for one semester in which I travelled to 12 countries by ship alongwith 600 other students and 200 professors. It included visits to South Africa, India, Ghana, Mauritius, China, Japan, Brazil, and Vietnam,” she adds.

She was also honoured with C-ring, which is the university’s title to exceptional student with a penchant for social service. “My final presentation on ‘semester at sea’ was a 20-minute video capturing women around the world, and the difficulties and challenges they face, be it education, healthcare, or sex-trafficking. This experience increased my passion for women’s education, and I decided to apply for the C-ring award,” she says.

Her grandmother, who went on to secure a PhD degree PhD in Hindi and became a professor at Osmania College in Hyderabad, even after being married off at 16, is her source of inspiration. Neha has inherited her zeal to serve the underprivileged, especially women

First Published: Aug 17, 2010 11:51 IST