process chemist Posted May 17, 2013 Share Posted May 17, 2013 So I just finished my first semester in grad school towards my MS in Chemistry. My boss has shown great confidence in me as a student and as a researcher. My first year went rather roughly, as I was put on probation after my first semester. The second semester, I literally bussed my hump to pull 2A's and 1B to pull my GPA to good standing with the university. I also didn't manage to do a lick of research. As it stands I have a 3.00 GPA, and my boss is pushing me to stay in my current program to get my PhD, but I have a few issues. First, the program is not really highly ranked, although we have profs from Stanford, Purdue, UMich, etch (pretty much every school in the top 50 rankings), and we have arguably one of the better NMR facilities in the country, with great and knowledgeable support staff. I really want an tenure track academic position at a research university/research medical center where I know I can get some quality students, get research funded, and make a solid contribution. I don't think this is the place that will get me there. And I have already burned up my mulligan course work wise, so I am walking on the razor's edge if I stay here. The way the profs grade graduate students is sort of harsh. Grad students are graded like undergrads, and we are not really graded on higher level thinking/problem solving skills, only with the exception of a few classes. We even have weed out classes for a bulk of the grad students in one branch of chemistry ( I am not in that branch, but everyone has to take the class if you are going after the PhD). Myself and two other people in my cohort were put on probation after the first semester, and I think I am the only one who got off at the end of this semester, and one of my other friends just checked his grades and now he is headed to probation. We also had a student leave after the 1st semester, as the program wasn't a great fit for her, and she was having trouble with a prof in a grad course. The prof literally disliked this person and sent her harassing e-mails (not of a sexual nature). It was so bad the department head had to be brought in to solve the issue. So in a cohort of 13 we had nearly half of the students bounced out after the first year. I talked to my prof whose class I got a C in last semester, and we both agreed that I wasn't prepared for the class, as I am not a traditional student, and hadn't taken Organic Synthesis in close to 8 years before I stepped into her class last fall. You can't drop classes in our program, so you either you pass or you fail. I am really at a crossroads in my career. Should I take the risk, and go through the admissions cycle again to get to a higher ranked program? Or should I be loyal to my PI? This guy is great, I love the work, he is approachable, he brilliant, and he wants us to succeed and do great work. He was a post doc in one of the foremost experts in the area that I want to pursue research, and they still talk to each other frequently. I think that may give me a leg up with his recommendation. I just feel bad for not doing what he is asking me to do. I also don't know if my stats are good enough to get in anywhere else, as my undergrad GPA is higher than my grad GPA, and I probably won't get a publication before the application cycle starts. I want to work with specific profs at other schools, and I am worried that if I take this plunge, I will be stepping on toes, and may end up with nothing but a MS in the end. I am so confused. Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
Create an account or sign in to comment
You need to be a member in order to leave a comment
Create an account
Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!Register a new account
Already have an account? Sign in here.Sign In Now