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Hello, I currently work for a biotechnology company related to polymer particles. I am planning on going back to school for a phd in chemistry.

My stats:

Undergraduate gpa 3.3 at Illinois state university

Masters gpa 3.9 isu studying physical organic chemistry. Synthetic and analytical experience.

6 years of research exp total

2+ years of industrial exp.

Gre over 1200

Subject gre 680

I'm coming from a mid level university with a good gpa, but I'm not sure what schools I would be accepted at. I am interested in organic chemistry, and want to do research in pharmaceuticals. After looking through a lot of the advice on this thread, I became overwhelmed and confused. Can someone help guide me to a school that might suite my needs? Thank you.

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...so do you want to do physical organic/synthetic organic research? or do you want to do polymers/materials research... that's the big question. answer that and then sit down with your favorite beverage and sift through the websites of about 40 departments. cast a broad net in terms of rankings and what not. some top schools, strong, well known state schools, and smaller lesser known schools. look for places which have ~3 faculty whose research interests you. then narrow down further based on location preferences, how likely it is that you'll get in, etc.

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synorg -> thanks for the comment, you make a good point. When you say choose between physical/synthetic organic vs. polymers/material, aren't they the same? I'll spend some time looking into research at various programs.

Process chemist -> I'm a little insecure because of my lower subject gre score. I would like to do research at a top university so I can be involved in an applied research environment to continue to develop my career.

Do you have any suggestions on which schools to look into with my credentials? I would like to apply for top universities, but I'm not sure my stats are strong enough to get in. I am starting to feel like pedigree matters in the industry. Especially with the surplus of phd students I don't just want a degree, but rather a chance to leep frog my career. Thanks again for all the insight, I really appreciate them.

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Hello, I currently work for a biotechnology company related to polymer particles. I am planning on going back to school for a phd in chemistry.

My stats:

Undergraduate gpa 3.3 at Illinois state university

Masters gpa 3.9 isu studying physical organic chemistry. Synthetic and analytical experience.

6 years of research exp total

2+ years of industrial exp.

Gre over 1200

Subject gre 680

I'm coming from a mid level university with a good gpa, but I'm not sure what schools I would be accepted at. I am interested in organic chemistry, and want to do research in pharmaceuticals. After looking through a lot of the advice on this thread, I became overwhelmed and confused. Can someone help guide me to a school that might suite my needs? Thank you.

Depending on the quality of your references, you have a decent chance of being accepted at any program. Your undergrad GPA may slightly hamper you at the best universities in your field, but your industry experience and master's work would definitely help. Don't stress.

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Symmetry of imperfection -> thanks for the heads up, that is something I'm going to look into.

Prolixity-> thanks for the positive feedback. I'm running a little low in self esteem lately with the economy being the way it is.

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Can someone suggest some universities that deals with pharmaceutical research with an emphasis in organic chemistry? So far the schools I am interested are ranked in the top 15 and I'm not sure if my credentials are strong enough to gain acceptance.

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once again, comb through faculty pages. just do it. don't come here asking for people to talk about schools which engage in organic chemistry research; they all do! you asked a question and that's the advice you got. people on this board have gotten advice before you, and stick around to help others. this does not mean that people check this forum daily in hopes of a request to outline faculty profiles for persons throughout the country. there is nothing wrong with applying to some schools in the top 15. you should absolutely apply to some of those.

like i said before. think about other schools which you've heard of and like the location of and look through the faculty pages to see what people are working on. the only way to do this comfortably is to get a handle on the research people are up to. you claim to be looking for phd programs, yes? this isn't going to be a coursework-based masters (which i believe you have already done). this is going to be dominated by research, so you should search through various departments accordingly. organic pharma research is extraordinarily broad. it's like going to a car dealership and saying you want an SUV with 4WD - nearly every SUV you look at with offer that feature. nearly every department has SOMEBODY working on organic research. one of the professors who wrote a recommendation for me said that applying to (and getting accepted to) grad school was the easiest part of grad school. if you're going to get serious about this, now is a good time. it will take tens of hours, and you will likely need to revisit the faculty pages. just do it now. if you work full time, do it a couple hours each night after you get home.

if you think you're too busy to go through and find this information on your own, what makes you think any of us have the time to do it for you?? still, here are some of the schools that i initially looked at (i didn't apply to all):

caltech, berkeley, harvard, stanford, upenn, columbia, yale, princeton, ucla, arizona, colorado state, usc, ut austin, unc, ucsb, uc san diego, scripps, oregon, penn state, illinois, wisconsin, northwestern

that's a pretty good range and should be a good starting point. most departments are organized by discipline and have webpages which are very easy to navigate.

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and don't be too concerned with your statistics and whatnot. if you find some departments with research you're really passionate about and you are able to articulate that in your essays, somebody will give you a chance to show what you've got. you don't really have much to lose so be confident and apply to a good mix of schools

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Synorg-> thanks again for your insight. I really find your advice to be very helpful. I've been spending a couple of hours every night looking for a university that conducts research that I find would be a good fit for me. However, the university conducting research that I am interested in is at Harvard, Yale, and Northwestern so far. I've been going through the list of schools I read about though the ACS, however, I am having difficulty finding a mid tier university that makes the news. I plan on continuing my search everyday until I find at least 5 more universities conducting research that best fits me and my career goal.

I understand that every organic chemistry program will have a faculty conducting research in pharma. However, I am surprised at having such a high attrition rate for finding a faculty conducting in a chemistry based pharma research(rather than the bio based ones).

So far I looked at UIC, UCLA, MIT, Stanford, Harvard, University of Notre dame, University of NC C Hill, Scripps, UIUC, Northwestern, Yale, University of Chicago and maybe a few more (I don't have the list with me)

I plan on going through some of your list through the week. Thanks again for your list because I only had about 5 more school to look into on my own.

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