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Pre-med to M.S. in Biotechnology, help needed!


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I was a pre med student at my school (UCI) for the full 4 years, then I had some trouble with balancing work and school (I had to work) and I ended up with a 2.76 cumulative GPA. After long deliberation and serious soul-searching (and working as an EMT) I decided that being an M.D. or D.O. isn't for me. Anyways, I have done my research on what I want to do, and I'm very interested in a masters in biotechnology. Here are my stats:


-Work Experience:

  • 24 Hour Fitness: Service Rep, promoted to Service Manager after 1 year (2 yr total)
  • UCI School of Medicine: Lab assistant for PI who is the dean of admissions at UCI SOM (2 years) 
  • UCI School of Medicine: Lab Manager/Research Assistant for very successful PI in neuroscience (1.5 years)
  • Pacific Ambulance: EMT for this ambulance company (4 months)

-Volunteer/Intern Experience:

  • Medical internship in Nepal for one month
  • ER Volunteer at St. Joseph's hospital (4 months) 
  • Research Intern at UCI SOM for PI (neuroscience one; before I got the job there) (1 year)


  • 1 paper in review
  • 3 abstracts presented at Society for Neuroscience conference in Louisiana and D.C. 

GPA is sub-par at a whopping 2.76.

GRE *practice tests*: Verbal section 150, Quantitative section 170


I'm set to take the GRE on January 10th, 2014. Applications for most programs are due by March/April


Do I even have a chance? Thanks for reading! 




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  • 3 weeks later...

I just took the GRE, and got my verbal and quantitative scores: Verbal: 148, Quantitative: 160. I don't know if I should retake the GRE and then apply? Or what, but I'm semi-happy with my Quantitative score. 

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You should be able to get into a program, perhaps a second tier or third tier Masters program due to low GPA. Your stats might not be competitive enough to get a TAship. Try to write a really good personal statement and get killer letters of recommendations, and avoid giving the admission committee the impression that you're applying to biotechnology because your portfolio wasn't competitive enough for DO/MD schools.
In your personal statement, make sure to talk about why you need this Masters in Biotechnology degree, and how it is gonna affect your future career development and your end goals.
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  • 4 weeks later...

I wrote a pretty decent personal statement, and had it reviewed by my previous PI who I worked under for 2 years. I've made a list of schools I am applying to. Please don't laugh at this list..I know it's ambitious.





Penn State




UMass Boston


Any more to add? Thank you.



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