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undergrad GPA 2.3 - what are helpful


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hi all, I majored in life science section, here are my stat:

 

international asian female

undergraduate GPA: 2.3, major in biotechnology, school ranked 401-500 in THE globally

4 years of research experience after graduate, worked in highly reputated lab

MSc in medical science, research thesis as partial fulfillment, no GPA based on school policy, grad school ranking 20-30 in THE globally

GRE: Q164, V 150, AW 3.0

publications: 1 first author (IF: 2.X), 2 contributing author (IF: 5+) (2 pending for submission, 1 first author, 1 contributing author (IF: 5+))

recommendations: 3, 1 from prestige, globally renowned professor in the same field, who is my current supervisor. 2 from professors in other field. i believe the letters are stellar.

 

so now i have gone through the first round application in fall 2013 (in EU only). i got no offer, despite with a few interviews. I am contemplating how to improve my application and throw in my next round applications in US.

 

1. i have a back up plan for MPhil in my current lab - which has course work but still no GPA as school policy. Nevertheless that guarantee some more lead author publications. Should I just finish this degree and apply later?

 

2. should I retake GRE? and what score should I aim at?

 

3. what should be included in my SoP? i have friends who is working PhD in US and she will help to review my SoP. but first i want to get some second opinions on what to mention. i think it is cogent to state my research ability, where i have capacity in designate methodology to address research question, hands on lab techniques, analyse result and write up publications. also i lived along and financially independent since UG study (and this is the reason for my UG GPA, family issue). 

 

4. i am thinking whether to apply to school with similar research as my background regardless of ranking, or to apply to whatever program that is mediocre and i get a chance based on stat? i basically have no preference on research topic, like i am comfortable to change to cancer biology if a place is offered. However based on my profile, my strength is my research experience, so does that matter to change field?

 

thanks,

mls

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