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Unusual background: I have a BA in Music from a top liberal arts college (2005) and intend to get into research on astrobiology and the origin of life. I was a bio minor so right now I'm loading up the other course requirements I need to apply to grad school. Of course most programs won't look at an application from a BA Music with no research experience so I'm angling for CSU East Bay's Biotechnology Certificate Program (BCP), which offers the coursework for an MS Biology with an option for thesis research upon completion. I have been working in science fields and am aggressively looking for work as a lab tech. (Literally going to office hours and labs with files in hand. Not my favorite.) I am wondering if anyone knows anyone who either: 1) Got into a nice PhD program in biology or microbiology after being in a masters program at a CSU 2) Started with a non-science BA and got into research another way. If the BCP is the best way forward I apply in Spring 2018. I have liked research coming out of the Scripps Institute, U Arkansas, U Washington, Santa Fe Institute, Carl Sagan Center at SETI, and U Illinois, among others. Any well-intended suggestions are appreciated. My GRE score is tops, GPA 3.0 from aforementioned rad college, current make-up coursework mostly As.