Jump to content

Got a response back from a professor


Recommended Posts

I believe I do not have the qualifications for a strong PhD program so I'm applying to masters. (due to gpa 3.5)

I've contacted one of the professors I'm interested in and I received a response saying that I'm a very good fit in their lab but they will be full next year. And the professor suggested me some other professors that are relevant to my research interests but none of them were associated with the school I'm applying to.


Will this mean that if I apply regardless of the response, I'll get rejected?

I do have another professor interested in but haven't received a response back.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

A 3.5 GPA isn't a bad one it's a good one. I'm in a PhD program and that was my undergrad GPA. It's only on the low side, maybe, if you're from an institution with rampant grade inflation or if you're limiting yourself to top 10 schools.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'd agree that your GPA is not one that should categorize into masters only; however, many of the program deadlines for PhD are about to occur...so it may be a bit late to the game to switch now and alert your LORs (if they hadn't already submitted).  I don't think you will get rejected on that basis alone, unless you make it evident that you have only the desire to work those one or two professors and they happen to be both be full.  I would say that your SOP at this point and if you interview, that, would be the deciding factors on whether or not you get in.  If you make yourself sound too rigid in interests or whatnot then no.  

Do you really want to go get a masters?  Or are you getting one to help you prepare for graduate school?  I ask only because it means you will need to pay for your education when you may be able to not enroll, work for a year and gather some experience to apply next fall.  ?  

if your end goal is PhD but you feel its your grades holding you back (shouldn't be), and/or you need experience then I'd look for a job and apply next fall for a PhD program.  If you really want the masters, obviously go for it!  But based on your phrasing, it sounds to me like PhD is what you would like and is your ultimate goal.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I agree that your GPA is not enough to keep you out of a PhD program, but I don't know what your other stats are, and again it might be too late to try for a PhD program. That said, does the program require professor support (rare for master's)? If not, then I don't see why it would affect your chances. There are other professors. 


To play devil's advocate, having gone through a master's program as a prelude to a PhD program I disagree with the idea that for those that want to eventually get a PhD, a master's is a waste. There are two disadvantages to a master's. The first and biggest is funding. There are very few funded masters (though it is possible to get funding once in a program; I did but it was very recent). If your financial situation can't support that or you don't want to take out loans, then yeah you probably shouldn't get a masters. There's also the time commitment. For a thesis master's you're looking usually at closer to 3 years than 2, but that's three years more experience.


Basically only consider a thesis master's (non-thesis isn't worth the money) if you can stomach the finances. It is a really great way to get experience and not just the research experience you'd get working as a tech. You get to be a graduate student with all the (favorite expletive) that entails without the funding. If you can get through that and still want a PhD, then you're going to be fine. Basically you get out of a master's what you put into it. I made it a trial PhD and got 3 publications and NIH funding on my CV for PhD applications. Also I narrowed down my research interests, and I'm now applying to PhD programs in a completely different field. I would have been stuck in a field I hated if I hadn't had that experience. Side note: don't worry so much about the exact area of research for a master's. The experience you gain is more important. Just make sure it's in the ballpark so you learn useful techniques, procedures, etc. for your PhD program. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you for all your responses!


I go to a top20 school (us ranking)

I have submitted 2nd author paper recently and other than that I don't have any publications.

I have good research experiences, but none of them are summer research internships. 

LOR: 1strong, 2 mediocre 

GRE: not taken


The schools I'm applying to for bioengineering/Biomedical (masters) state that I could get RA/TA  but I have to arrange them myself.

Is it still unlikely to receive any assistants regardless of what is explicitly stated?

But I am applying to some phd progams.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

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

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...

Important Information

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. See our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use