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am I competitive? no clue what kind of(GEOLOGY) schools to apply to. her is my profile


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First of all, thanks for opening the thread. I appreciate it. I am getting ready to apply to graduate schools and have no idea what schools I  have a shot at. 


 I will need to start contacting professors soon and  would LOVE to have a general idea about what kind of schools to start looking at. Thanks you so much for your time! 


I am planning on applying for a MS in economic Geology and some for structural geology and tectonics.




Undergrad Institution:  Big State School
Major(s):  BS in Geology
Minor(s): Geography
GPA in Major: 4.00
Overall GPA: 3.61-3.65------I still have to take three classes before apps go out. gpa will be within this range
Position in Class: very close to the top

GRE Scores------ I will take the GRE in august. I have listed the scores I have been getting on practice tests. I assume my actual scores will  be a little higher. But, please give me advice under the assumption that these are my scores.

Q: @74%
V:  @95%
W: @85 %


Letters of Recommendations: Will very good from an associate dean (also a P.G.), a professor emeritus, and another Associate Professor

Research Experience: NONE! ugh... Hopefully I will have one semester under my belt when I apply.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Departmental award for " most outstanding geology major within one year of graduation" WIll probably get the equivalent award for graduating senior but not in time to put it on my app.

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: TA for intro level geology courses for 2.5 years.

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: - Interviews are one of my strengths 

Special Bonus Points: Connection to UNC-WIllimington and Baylor. 

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter:  



-My first attempt at college was not successful. Got mostly c's some d's and some b's. Didn't know what I wanted to do and wasnt focused. -    Dropped out to work construction for about 6 years. 

Most of these classes do not figure into my gpa because they are transfer credits.

however, I have one F that is calculated in my gpa from about 5 years ago. Since starting back full time 3 years ago my GPA is 3.8 

- Since returning,  I have pretty much started over. Only 4 of the classes that I took my first time around are actually counting towards my degree.



Math is NOT one of my strengths.


since returning to school,  I have had A's in everything except. :


B in precal algebra    3 credits

B in Precal Trig          3 credits

C in Cal 1                   4 credits

B in Cal 2                   4 credits

B in gen chem lab      1 credit   


Thanks again!


Edited by md152
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I think you would be competitive for masters programs... would surely get funding at most schools that offer it for masters students. My ugrad profile was a lot worse than yours and I found a place that fully funded me for my masters. 


I Think your math skills would prevent you from going to a top 5-10 school, but i am not too sure as I came from physics to earth science. 

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  • 1 month later...

Hell yea! I mean it depends where you want to go, I guess, but the fact that you have a B.S. in hand, with geography experience, with all of the supporting sciences done, with recommendations from professors you have actually formed a relationship is huge! Congrats, and the GRE scores are really good too. 


Just keep doing what you have been doing, research some potential schools and make contacts with potential advisors and see if they offer to fly you out. If you want to get into an uber-competitive program, you may want to retake the GRE, but from what I have seen, you can basically (IMO) go any where you want to. 


Best of luck in your future studies! Wherever it is that you choose!

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Great advice guys. I want to ask also, I'm planning on registering for petroleum geology and Field Geology for the fall, how important is that I complete as many geology courses as opposed to physics courses if I want to apply for geophysics programs?

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You look quite competitive from here.  I have noticed many, many returning, often non-traditional students in the geosciences, and they all seem to do quite well academically.


If you are looking to major in geophysics in grad school, you need a full year of undergrad physics (more is better), but most importantly you need math.  In fact, it wouldn't hurt to minor in math.  Institutions with geophysics programs often require a minimum of Calc I, Calc II, Calc III, and Diff Eq just for entry into a geophysics graduate program.


Good luck!

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