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I major in biochemistry and graduated with a bachelor degree in Spring 2018. I got a poor GPA (3.0) and a little bit of academic research for 4 semesters, 2 for one semester long and 1 for a year. All of them didn't get to a published paper by the end.

I got a research opportunity at the University of Southern California this summer and I'm really excited about this. If there is a chance, I want to be a lab tech in that research lab for next year, which means I need an OPT for that.

Also, I accepted an offer at the Tufts University for a one-year master program in infectious diseases and global health. I am trying to decide between these two options and trying to add some impressive stuff to my resume so that I can get into a Ph.D. program (hopefully) in Fall 2019. Which one should I choose?

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What I am confused about is whether the opportunity to work in this lab (beyond the summer) actually exists or if the OP just hopes that it is. OP, you need to speak with the PI about this option and about your future goals, and whether/how this position would further those goals. I'm also not sure I understand the plan of going from biochemistry BA to an infectious diseases and global health MA and what the PhD would then be in. It's hard to weigh these two options against each other when it's not clear that both are actually options and what the broader end goal actually is. If you want to show an improved GPA, clearly that's something only the MA will give you and a lab tech position will not. If it's research experience, then the lab position will likely help more. If it's defining your research interests, then each option will take you in a different direction and you need to decide which one is better for you. There are ways of leveraging both options into a stronger application next year. 

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On 6/14/2018 at 12:27 PM, ExponentialDecay said:

You know you need OPT to work at this lab this summer, right?

No, I used CPT for the summer research fellowship.

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On 6/14/2018 at 2:50 PM, fuzzylogician said:

What I am confused about is whether the opportunity to work in this lab (beyond the summer) actually exists or if the OP just hopes that it is. OP, you need to speak with the PI about this option and about your future goals, and whether/how this position would further those goals. I'm also not sure I understand the plan of going from biochemistry BA to an infectious diseases and global health MA and what the PhD would then be in. It's hard to weigh these two options against each other when it's not clear that both are actually options and what the broader end goal actually is. If you want to show an improved GPA, clearly that's something only the MA will give you and a lab tech position will not. If it's research experience, then the lab position will likely help more. If it's defining your research interests, then each option will take you in a different direction and you need to decide which one is better for you. There are ways of leveraging both options into a stronger application next year. 

I am still trying to impress my PI at this time. I plan to talk about being a lab tech/research assistant in his lab next year in July.

I am not sure if I can use a research lab experience to overcome my low GPA. I guess that's the question I want to ask.

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