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kkddoogg

Overall GPA higher than major (Chem) GPA

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Hey guys,

I'm applying to grad school for chemistry, but have a few concerns. i graduated with an OK overall GPA (3.46), but a pretty low major GPA (3.12 in Chemistry). Also, during the fall of senior year, I was busy with job apps and a senior independent research project (in chemistry) that i neglected my other classes. My GPA for that semester was 2.75 (much lower than usual!).

I know most grad schools ask that you explain any low semester grades. How low is "low"?? is 2.75 low? Do you think I should tell them what happened (job hunt, traveling for interviews and focusing on senior independent research project)??

I'm also thinking about applying to UC Berkeley, USC, UCLA, Dartmouth, and top canadian universities (U of T, McGill, U of Alberta etc). I'm interested in asymmetric catalysis and green chemistry. What are my chances? I have ~a year of research experience under my belt. Thanks y'all!

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Hey guys,

I'm applying to grad school for chemistry, but have a few concerns. i graduated with an OK overall GPA (3.46), but a pretty low major GPA (3.12 in Chemistry). Also, during the fall of senior year, I was busy with job apps and a senior independent research project (in chemistry) that i neglected my other classes. My GPA for that semester was 2.75 (much lower than usual!).

I know most grad schools ask that you explain any low semester grades. How low is "low"?? is 2.75 low? Do you think I should tell them what happened (job hunt, traveling for interviews and focusing on senior independent research project)??

I'm also thinking about applying to UC Berkeley, USC, UCLA, Dartmouth, and top canadian universities (U of T, McGill, U of Alberta etc). I'm interested in asymmetric catalysis and green chemistry. What are my chances? I have ~a year of research experience under my belt. Thanks y'all!

For the Canadian schools, generally what matters most is having a PI that wants you in their group. It is extremely common in Canada for students to meet with PI's/talk to them on the phone before even applying. I would suggest contacting potential advisors and telling them about your research experience and interests. If they are keen to have you join their group, the particulars about your GPA aren't as big a concern. Although, I should note that it can sometimes be harder for international students, especially at U of T, and the groups that focus on asymmetric catalysis and green chemistry are some of the most competitive to get into.

Of course the process is different for American schools. Maybe ask a faculty member that you know from undergrad if they think you should explain the lower semester.

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For U of T your GPA matters A LOT, at least from what I've been based on domestic applications (could be different for international students). I'll tell you a crazy story: an undergrad at U of T got rejected despite having a 1st author paper, apparently because said person didn't do so hot in a core 2nd year chem course. Also last year someone with 2 second author papers (one JACS, one Angewandte) was also rejected for similarly stupid reasons. Quite honestly I really don't like the way U of T does its admissions. That said, we have a very strong organic presence, and if you like asymmetric catalysis, you'll like what Vy Dong and Mark Lautens are doing.

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For the Canadian schools, generally what matters most is having a PI that wants you in their group. It is extremely common in Canada for students to meet with PI's/talk to them on the phone before even applying. I would suggest contacting potential advisors and telling them about your research experience and interests. If they are keen to have you join their group, the particulars about your GPA aren't as big a concern. Although, I should note that it can sometimes be harder for international students, especially at U of T, and the groups that focus on asymmetric catalysis and green chemistry are some of the most competitive to get into.

Of course the process is different for American schools. Maybe ask a faculty member that you know from undergrad if they think you should explain the lower semester.

Does U of T mean University of Toronto?

For U of T your GPA matters A LOT, at least from what I've been based on domestic applications (could be different for international students). I'll tell you a crazy story: an undergrad at U of T got rejected despite having a 1st author paper, apparently because said person didn't do so hot in a core 2nd year chem course. Also last year someone with 2 second author papers (one JACS, one Angewandte) was also rejected for similarly stupid reasons. Quite honestly I really don't like the way U of T does its admissions. That said, we have a very strong organic presence, and if you like asymmetric catalysis, you'll like what Vy Dong and Mark Lautens are doing.

What does JACS and Angewandte mean? Also can someone reply to my other threads and posts in the other 4 threads? Thanks. :)

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