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Master's International Program with 3.01 GPA and ~72% GRE??


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Hey all,I also posted this in Bio but figured this might be a better pace. I know that similar thread have been posted a lot on here, but I was still hoping for a little more insight if anyone has any. I know acceptance depends on lots of things. This is long, but thanks in advance, yo!
           I graduated from Indiana University with a B.A in Bio in 2014, with a 3.01 GPA. I switched from the B.S to the B.A my last sem because I would have to stay an extra semester and lower my GPA a lot if I stuck with the BS. I'll be applying to Masters International programs in mainly conservation bio and natural resource managment, which I absolutely love! I am very passionate about conservation and restoration ecology. An MI is a masters program coupled with completing your thesis abroad during the Peace Corps, which I definitely want to do. I I got on the Dean's Last my last sem here, but that was the only time. The last two years though my grades-especially in my Bio, Ecology, and Field courses, significantly improved. I have lots of research experience, working in 5 labs and projects throughout my undergrad career. I have experience in Restoration Ecology as well, and have a great working relationship with my references. I worked for two of my three references, and they are distinguished Professors at IU directly related to my field. The last one is an assistant prof directly related to my studies. 

I will also be the Ecological Restoration Intern at Golden Gates National Parks Conservancy for about 11 months!!  However, all the GRE practice tests I've taken have landed me in the 156-158 range for both V and Q, and I only have a week before I take it. That's about the 67-71 percentile, and I was hoping to only take it once.  I'll be applying to about 13 programs, but I'm getting increasingly worried that I won't be accepted. I hate standardized tests, and my scores are really getting me down. The prospect of working so hard and not getting in anywhere is hard for me to swallow. I'm just wondering what you guys think my chances are of getting into a grad program? I'm looking a lot at West Coast schools; Colorado State is my top choice for natural resource stewardship, Portland State, Oregon State, UC Davis (unlikely), Uni of Colorado, SUNY Syracuse, and a handful of others. A lot of the sites I checked didn't specify a GRE cutoff, but I know a 314 isn't competitive with my low GPA. Sorry this is so long, but any advice would be appreciated! Thanks in advance!

Edited by sugrpophrtstop
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I got into a geology MS program  2 years ago (fully funded) with a 3.05 GPA in physics, though my GRE scores were a bit higher than yours. You can see my profile I got into an unranked program; masters programs with funding are competitive. 


I don't know if geology departments and resource departments are the same, but I would think you would be very lucky to get into any of those schools; "a lot of research experience" really means some research experience unless you have a publication. 


Those programs are more competitive than you think. I don't want to discourage you from applying. If you do apply to 13, you might get into one. 


You never know, but the people  at my unranked masters program had very high undergraduate GPAs and mediocre GREs.  I think there are probably ways to make your application more competitive, though, if you do get shut out. So as you prepare yourself for this upcoming cycle, remember that not getting accepted isn't the end and having a plan B often makes you more prepared to be successful in plan A.

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Ah, thanks for the advice and sad truth lol, GeoDUDE! Yeah, my plan B is to go straight to the Peace Corps next fall, which I want to do equally as bad, and then come back and complete a Masters. 


I'd think you would want a safer plan B; they don't accept everyone to Peace Corps either but I'm not sure what the application process is. Anyway, you seem to have a level head...so you will be fine. 

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I'm also an applicant (or well planning to be) for Fall 2015 for a MS in similar field but with a concentration in wildlife biology.  I actually applied to one MS program about 3-4 years ago. My GREs were terrible, GPA was just under a 3.0 and I had only one relevant field experience. Needless to say, I wasn't accepted. I took it as a sign that it wasn't my time to go yet and since then I have completed a 2nd BS where I was on the dean's list with high honors for the time I was there, graduating with a 3.7+ GPA, a ton of field experience, and have made several professional contacts. Wildlife/forestry/natural resources are all really a tight knit unit. You'd be amazed how connected everyone is. I am planning to use those contacts to my advantage during this process. I would urge you to do the same.  As GeoDUDE! said, if you don't get accepted, it's not the end of the world. Besides, it doesn't seem to be a "one size fits all" process anyways. So what happens with one applicant, may or may not happen with the next. Just have to keep your head up and try your best. Best of luck!! 

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