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Non-traditional applicant: chances for PhD admission


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Hi all! So, I am starting to think about applying to PhD programs for Fall 2019 entry. However, I am wondering if I am at all competitive for PhD programs in the biomedical sciences. I am currently studying for a masters in biochemistry at a top ten university. Prior to this, I was an undergrad at the same university, studying something completely different (the classics), so I obtained essentially no relevant research experience during undergrad. I did take quite a few courses in the biology department, with a GPA of about 3.7.

My masters program consists of a 1 year taught masters, at the end of which I will have written a thesis (which is essentially a literature review). The second year is research-based, during which I will be writing another thesis based on my research. I joined a lab early this year, and so far, I have one poster presentation and am working on a manuscript with my team that should be ready for submission within the next few months. Once I have finished the first taught year of my masters, I will be commencing full time research in my lab (this summer). By the time of PhD application, I will have about two years of research experience, and hopefully at least one publication. My masters GPA so far is a 4.0, and my GRE 169V (99%) and 165Q (86%). I should have one strong LOR from my PI, but I am not sure about the other 1-2 LORs. I'm hoping to get to know a few professors better between now and application time - I will also be picking a faculty member as a thesis reader, which may help somebody get to know my work better. However, I have only worked in this one lab, so only one of my letters will be from someone who has worked with me in a research capacity. There is a postdoc in my lab I work very closely with, who was recently promoted to non-tenure track faculty - would it be a good idea to obtain a LOR from her? 

Just worrying a little bit about my chances of admission to any PhD programs, given my very different background and not-too-extensive research experience. Am I on track for PhD admissions? How can I better prepare myself for PhD applications come this time next year? Thanks!


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