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Materials Science -- MS or PhD?


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Hello all,


I'm an applicant going to be applying in the next semester for Fall 2016 admission.  My profile is:


Undergrad Institution: State University - Not known for engineering
Major(s): Biochemistry
Minor(s): Math
GPA in Major: 3.3   **
Overall GPA: 3.2 ** ^(Excluding freshman year, GPA ~ 3.6)

Length of Degree: (Are you graduating after 3, 4, or 5 years?) 4 years
Position in Class: (No numbers needed, but are you top? near top? average? struggling?)  Average
Type of Student: (Domestic/International, male/female, minority, Traditional/Nontraditional?) White

GRE Scores:
Did not take yet


3 strong LoRs from 3 chemistry professors from my university

Research Experience: (At your school or elsewhere? What field? How much time? Any publications (Mth author out of N?) or conference talks etc...)
2 summers of chemistry research ongoing at uni

1 summer Biological Engineering research at prestigious engineering school

Multiple Poster Presentations both on and off campus

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: (Within your school or outside?)

Resarch fellow from SUNY

Deans List for 4 semesters
Pertinent Activities or Jobs: (Such as tutor, TA, organization officer etc...)

Peer Tutor for Organic Chem/Physics/Calc

Online tutor for all College Math



My question is, I'm looking to go into a materials science graduate program and my question is, is it realistic for me to apply for a PhD, or should I only apply for a masters?  Other than my GPA I feel my application is fairly strong. There is also a chance I could be an author for a publication.


Any information you guys could provide would be much appreciated!


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  • 2 weeks later...

If you can do well on your GRE I think you have a good chance of getting into a PhD program. If you can address your GPA in some way in either your LOR or personal statement I think that would be good. It might not hurt to split your applications 50/50 to MS and PhD programs just to be safe though. GPA is only a small part of your overall application. The fact that you have research experience is a big boost to your resume. Other than that your resume seems pretty good.


I was able to visit several schools to tour their materials science programs this spring and they mentioned that GPA was generally just something to remove applicants. If your GPA is above their minimum requirements then you should definitely try for PhD programs. 


Best of Luck!

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