Get me into grad school, please?
May 13, 2009 4:20 PM Subscribe
Another grad-school-after-poor-undergrad-grades question. What can I do to maximize my chances of being admitted to the grad school of my choice in the year before I apply?
posted by anonymous to education (12 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
I just graduated from a top 15 research university with bachelor degree in biochemistry and cell biology. I've mostly been doing research for the past two years, and I participated in highly selective honors and scholars programs, managed to secure my own funding, and will get stellar reviews from at least one PI, and a publication coming up this fall (hopefully).
However, my GPA is 3.03 (3.2, 3.6 GPA in fall and spring semester of senior year, respectively), and my college history is a bit sketchy (took time off after my first year voluntarily, no suspensions or probations). I don't think I have a problem with mastering the material: I typically receive good grades on exams, it's just that I don't do any homework and/or other assignments because they bore me. So, classes are clearly not my strength, but I enjoy research and would love to continue a career in this field.
I scored high on the GRE (~98th percentile on all sections) and did pretty well on GRE Biochemistry (~88th percentile) for what it's worth.
Clearly I am not ready for grad school right away, so I am taking off a year (or two) to work... Considering either a research tech/assistant job, or a year working for AmeriCorps in a public health related field.
Would it help if I took further classes during this year (I never had a chance to take microbiology, for example, and would love to), considering I try to get good grades?
Which path would make it more likely that I got into a doctoral program in the school I want to attend (I wouldn't mind applying to less prestigious schools, but I have limited geographical options due to romantic complications)? I could study in Seattle (UW, of course, would be my first choice), but also, very reluctantly, in the Bay Area, Zurich, or Sydney. I am a US and a EU citizen, white, 25-years-old, female.
I am not sure in which field I'd like to specialize (my experience is in molecular biology research, but I am more interested in less deductive fields like, for example, immunology or microbiology).