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Chances of getting into graduate programs


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I am a chemistry and biology major with a current overall GPA of 3.5, a Chem GPA of a 2.83 and a Biology GPA of 3.4. Since I am completing a double major and my school refusing to give me credit for particular classes in high school, I have an additional year of schooling. I am currently in my third year of undergrad, with two more years to go. I have conducted analytical chemistry research for 2 summers in a row as well as 1 summer of conservation biology research. Due to financial problems, I am unable to conduct unpaid research during the semester because I work a part time job (15-20 hrs/week). I have presented my research at several small symposiums and two larger research conferences. I have not taken the GRE yet, but have started to study for it. My dream is to become an environmental chemist, but I am scared I will be unable to follow that. Any advice? 


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Chemdreamer, it's early days yet for you and even based on your current stats, you sound like a great candidate! Scratch "great", insert "fantastic". You've already got more research, work, and presentation experience than most every senior undergrad I knew at Vanderbilt, which is a school of ambitious people. A double major is the kind of academic mojo that sounds good in admissions. Don't stress about having to work to pay your way instead of doing additional research - it's called being human!

I don't know everything about your situation, but keep in mind that everyone who is your "competition" has an incentive to present their best possible face to the world and hide their faults. If you have self-doubt, have to study more than you think you should, or get a poor grade, keep in mind that you are far from alone.

If you dream of being an environmental chemist but aren't sure how to follow that, do you have access to mentoring through a professional association, your department, or one of those conferences you presented at? I know I was afraid to "bother people" at first, but then I found out that 90% of people genuinely want to help younger people in their fields, the other 10% are just busy.

You have a solid grades, a phenomenal resume, and two years to make it even better. Especially if you start reaching out to programs and professors now to learn about the field, I think you could easily get into a suitable graduate program.

BTW you might get more results if you posted this in the Q & A forum :)

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