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what would help me reapply?


ea00

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I am a double-major undergraduate Chemistry and Biochemistry student with a 2.6 GPA. I applied for Biochemistry and Biophysics PhD programs and have gotten two rejections thus far (out of six) and no interviews. I am starting to realize that I might be rejected from all the schools that I've applied to this year.

 

I have three years lab of experience with two pending publications, one first and the other second author. My application is strong except for my GPA, I was wondering if anyone has any advice on how to spend this next year, until I can reapply? What will increase my chances of getting in to a good school?

 

I still have to option of staying as an undergraduate and getting a Biology degree as a triple major, or I can apply for a master's in biotechnology (1 year program)?

 

Any opinions on the matter would be great.

 

Thanks

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I think you need to concentrate on Master's programs and try for a PhD after that. You have to understand that in many PhD programs, anything below a B is considered a failing grade. They may be doubtful about your chances of completing their program successfully, given your current GPA. Taking the time to either raise it (as possible) or earn a Master's with a solid GPA will help.

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If your worry is your GPA, I would look into taking some graduate courses.  My understanding is that most schools have a 3.0 GPA requirement for their grad programs because students must maintain a B average to stay enrolled in the program.  They want to make sure you can handle graduate coursework and have a strong background in your field.

 

On that note, I would go for the 1 year program for the biotechnology masters.

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You probably wouldn't get into an MSc program either - but you should discuss your situation with the graduate advisor for your target school. Aside from your low GPA, there may be problems with you statement of purpose or with you referee reports. By the way, will you receive a graduate diploma or an actual MSc with the 1 year biotech program? My recommendation would be to do the 3rd major and take as many 4th year/grad courses as they will allow. You will then need a very lofty explanation in your SOP.

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I don't know too much about your field specifically, but I would HIGHLY recommend going to a Master's program first.  You can raise your GPA there, gain even more experience, and make additional contacts (future recommenders).  I think PhD programs are much more wiling to invest in someone who's already proven themselves capable of graduate-level work. :)

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Take graduate courses and make sure your GRE scores are high enough. The GRE is not, contrary to belief, meant to evaluate your ability to understand advanced content--most of the content is high school/early college level! The GRE is a way for committees to evaluate your ability to investigate, practice, and master a test. In other words, the GRE is another way for profs to gather an impression on a student's work ethic, ability to perform under constraints, and capacity to communicate an understanding of material. All of these factors are essentially thrown into question with a lower GPA.

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