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3.1 GPA... too low for PhD admissions?

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Replies to: 3.1 GPA... too low for PhD admissions?

  • xraymancsxraymancs College Rep Posts: 4,160 Senior Member
    Yes but if you prepared for it before, don't expect a much higher score. Your quantitative is pretty good and the 79% on the chemistry GRE is good too. Improving your verbal score would certainly help. My guess is that there are any number of solid PhD programs which would take you with those GRE scores.
  • nakorurunakoruru Registered User Posts: 140 Junior Member
    As mentioned by others in this thread, a 3.4 GPA at the undergraduate level is a little bit low for PhD admission, but the 3.1 GPA at the master's level is really hurting your chances.

    I have 2 possible suggestions, if you are seriously wanting to pursue a PhD.

    1.) Apply to a PhD program at an accredited for-profit school. Admissions requirements tend to be much less stringent, so if you just want the PhD and don't care where you get it from, this might be the easiest option you have.

    Alternatively....

    2.) Pursue a second master's degree, either redoing it in Chemistry or pursuing it in a related field (Biochem). You have to be able to demonstrate that you can succeed in a PhD program.

    Personally, if I were in your situation, I would do the following....

    I would apply to the "Master of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering" program at Johns Hopkins University "Engineering for Professionals" (https://ep.jhu.edu/programs-and-courses/programs/chemical-and-biomolecular-engineering). It is a 10 course master's program done on-site with no thesis/research or GRE requirement.

    This may take you 1 to 2 years to complete, but if you do well, this can give you the opportunity to demonstrate that you have recovered from the emotional baggage that had hurt your grades back when you were an undergraduate and during your first master's. Additionally, I imagine having a master's from Johns Hopkins would not look bad on your resume.
  • MYOS1634MYOS1634 Registered User Posts: 28,825 Senior Member
    edited June 18
    For profit phd? Seriously???!!
    For profit bachelor's degrees already aren't taken seriously by employers, but who in their right mind would go for a non legit phd?
    OK foe the second Master's at JHU.
  • boneh3adboneh3ad Registered User Posts: 6,933 Senior Member
    nakoruru wrote:
    1.) Apply to a PhD program at an accredited for-profit school. Admissions requirements tend to be much less stringent, so if you just want the PhD and don't care where you get it from, this might be the easiest option you have.

    Well this is appalling advice.
    nakoruru wrote:
    I would apply to the "Master of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering" program at Johns Hopkins University "Engineering for Professionals

    Are you a JHU employee? You've been posting this all over the boards this morning.
  • nakorurunakoruru Registered User Posts: 140 Junior Member
    Hi bone4ad,

    I am not saying that option 1 that I had mentioned earlier was my recommendation. I was just saying that it was an option available to him, if he is not picky about where he gets his PhD and is more concerned with just having a PhD.

    Personally, I would never go to a for-profit school. That being said, I do know a couple of guys who did go to for-profit schools (Walden U for example) just to get a PhD under their belts, as they had an easier time dealing with admissions that way.

    As for your second question, no I am not a JHU employee. But I have 3 co-workers who got their masters from the JHU EP program (2 getting MS in Comp Sci, and one almost done with his MS in Systems Engineering).
  • boneh3adboneh3ad Registered User Posts: 6,933 Senior Member
    nakoruru wrote:
    if he is not picky about where he gets his PhD and is more concerned with just having a PhD.

    But it is still terrible advice. This is a really terrible reason to go into a PhD program. You generally go into a PhD program because you want to learn to do research as a career, and if you can't achieve that goal from a given school (and it would be quite difficult from a for-profit school), then you shouldn't be going just to get a rubber stamp credential.
  • nakorurunakoruru Registered User Posts: 140 Junior Member
    I would not go so far as to call it a rubber stamp credential. Sure, the admissions criteria may not be as stringent, but as I understand it, they are still regionally-accredited schools. To my knowledge, for-profit schools like Walden U. or whatnot are not diploma mills.
  • MYOS1634MYOS1634 Registered User Posts: 28,825 Senior Member
    I don't think you have any understanding of the way a PhD works and what it's for. It's not a decoration or a certificate, something like a driver's license or a football trophy.
    Fortunately op has left the thread.
  • DadTwoGirlsDadTwoGirls Registered User Posts: 1,140 Senior Member
    Perhaps one obvious question is: Why do you want to get a PhD? What do you intend to do with this?

    To me, a 3.1 as a graduate student is okay if your goal was to get a master's that leads directly to a job. A 3.1 as a graduate student who was intending to continue to a PhD suggests that you weren't ready to go to graduate school.

    I think that if O.P. is still reading the thread they should take time off and work for a year or two. If you still want to go on to a PhD then you probably need to get a second master's, and this time get better grades. If getting better grades is not possible, then probably you shouldn't try to get a PhD (unless there is some good reason to do this that I am missing).
  • MYOS1634MYOS1634 Registered User Posts: 28,825 Senior Member
    hy do you want to get a PhD? What do you intend to do with this?
    THAT is the most important question. And if the answer's not obvious to you, then reconsider.
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