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Figuring out what to do next (MA, PhD) when changing focus



Hello everyone! I have applied to grad school, and intend to apply again (Fall 2019/Spring 2019 maybe). I need some advice since I am changing what I want to do in grad school/change my focus.


I am a biology major with a minor in Slavic Languages. I have also taken a good number of anthropology courses too, in the last 2 years of college. I can speak 5 languages fluently, one of which is a severely endangered indigenous language. I am finishing my senior thesis for microbiology and have already been published once. 


Long story short, I realize that pure microbiology (the focus of my thesis and my major studies) is not for me—I had a terrible PI who was racist/sexist/generally awful and it really turned me off to the idea of research. My GPA in my biology classes is not great due to physics and chemistry pulling me down (I have a 3.1 GPA). My GRE scores are pretty good (160 Q, 167 V, 5.0/6.0 essay). Also, I go to UChicago and they do not grade inflate so GPAs here tend to be on the lower side across the board.


I applied to UCLA, U of Washington, Ohio State, and Berekely for Microbiology and got rejected. I realized after a lot of soul searching and a particularly good anthro class that I would rather study medical anthropology focusing on indigenous health practices in changing cultural landscapes, specially those of my own people since they haven’t really been studied or recorded at all and they’re quickly vanishing.


I applied to a Master’s Program for Anthropology and just got rejected today. I think I didn’t have enough experience in anthro/didn’t have a long enough writing sample which I think played a role. What should my next move be? Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

Edited by ptx12456
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If your writing sample is shorter than the required length, yeah, obviously, that's an issue - as are any other requirements you didn't fulfill. If you have 2 letters when they ask for 3, if you didn't submit required GRE scores...  follow instructions.

You don't give enough information here to provide actionable advice. One idea is to contact the admissions office and ask for feedback on your application. It may very well be, btw, that since you're applying so late in the cycle, they simply don't have spots.

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Your next move should be to get training (coursework and research experience) in anthropology and/or sociology. Doing that will strengthen your applications. You might also consider applying to additional programs, including some lower-ranked but fully funded master's programs.

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