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What to do? Bio/Life sciences. *Low GPA*


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Any help would be greatly appreciated.


I would love to pursue a Masters (or PhD) initially, and eventually an MD/DO.   I would like to practice full time and/or conduct research.  Not sure which would be best to achieve my goals.


Fields of interest: Infectious Diseases, medical microbiology, cancer biology, aging, or similar.


I'll be taking the general GRE in the next 1-2 months.


*Option 1:

Pros: Could move in/near parents who live close to UTSW in Dallas.  I have been thinking about applying as a lab assistant for a year or two, and using that to help get into a grad program.


*Option 2:

Apply to a masters or PhD program immediately.  Or Post-Bacc?



>University: big state uni

>Major: Cell & Molecular Biology

>cGPA: ~3.15(One more semester to go)


Other stats:

>Research Experience: 

>1 semester: Bacterial Genetics Lab

>2 semesters: Molecular Microbiology lab

>3 semesters: Molecular Genetics Lab(Still getting a paycheck here)

>>No pubs however. *Sigh*



Undergrad RA job in a molecular genetics lab: I have been radiation and pesticide certified since last semester. Tons of DNA/RNA work, PCR, gels, and am starting to work with P32 for southern blotting and imaging.



- Founding Father for a national Fraternity

>Exec board

>Risk Management Chairman (Wrote the Risk bylaws, oversaw a committee, and pretty much kept people from getting hurt/arrested/sued)

>Multiple Committees(Scholarship and Presidents mostly, would say they were easy and just resume "fluff")


- Student Rep for Microbiology Society


- American Cancer Society(2 orgs): 

Colleges Against Cancer:

>Education & Community Service Executive Officer (1 year)

> Vice President (1 year)


- Relay for Life:

>Executive Council

>Fundraising Chairman(Currently participating on this)



> Shadowed several surgeons around DFW area, accruing ~200 hours.

> My fraternity requires 30+ hours of Community service each semester.

> Currently volunteering a few hours a week at the Battered women's shelter with friends


Letters of Rec(All of them are confidential, if that helps):

*1 from a dean/surgeon at a med school.(Shadowed for a few weeks)
*1 from VP of research at my Uni / PI. (Known him for over 2 years, A in his class and undergrad research for over a year).
*1 from boss / PI.
*1 from another bio professor I've taken several classes with.

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If you're planning to apply, do it now, but since you haven't taken your GRE, it's likely too late for PhDs. I'd recommend getting a post-bac, it's a great way to get paid and get research experience (and a rec) to beef up your CV come application time. Alternately, working in a lab is fine as well, for the same reasons as a post-bac. If nothing else, you can come away with a rec letter. 


Your GPA is not undoable; try to get it higher with your last semester. I only have a 3.3 and I'm applying this term, to fairly promising results so far (knock on wood). 


Also, I'm not sure how much the letter from the dean/surgeon will help if he/she is not a research oriented doctor and you're not applying to med school. 

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Thanks for the reply, bamafan, and goof luck in applying!


The dean/surgeon is at another medical school and does conduct research.  I honestly have no idea if the professor's clout makes any difference, I just assumed it never hurts. lol


Are the only post-baccs at the NIH?  Most others online seem to be for UR minorities, or aimed more towards Post-graduates.

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