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3.24 GPA with work/research experience, good for Biomedical Science PhD programs?

itsjonny1993itsjonny1993 Registered User Posts: 9 New Member
Hey there,
So I graduated college with an overall 3.24 GPA (interestingly, they do not calculate major GPA though I'm sure I can figure it out myself). I went to a respected undergraduate institution (Not ivy league, but is seen as highly rigorous). I have roughly a summer's worth of research experience in chemical biology at a university in Boston as well as a year's worth of biophysical chemistry research at my school. I have recently landed a job in a biotech company manufacturing active pharmaceutical ingredients and have came into contact with a professor at UNH about volunteering part time to do research. I was thinking of doing this for solid 2-3 years maybe more (My job has the opportunity to work in Singapore for a year and I definitely want to take advantage of that if given the opportunity) before applying to any PhD programs. I was going to wait on the GREs until I had a better idea when I was applying.

My passion is research and my long term career goal is to hopefully become a principal investigator and run my own research lab, particularly studying diseases. This is why I want to enter a PhD program in the biomedical sciences. I was not particularly the greatest student freshmen year as college was a huge adjustment for me which explains my "alright" GPA. But I've been reading a lot of forums of people saying they got into places like Georgetown with 2.8 which makes me hopeful.

I confident enough that I could get into a PhD program. However, I'm interested in going into one of the top tier schools (Like Georgetown, Berkeley, Stanford, Tufts, etc.) because of their vast connections and numerous career opportunities.

I am also a first generation college Latino immigrant, which I'll shamelessly use that card (Have to play to advantages). Obviously, I won't base my application just on that.

So assuming I get great GRE scores, would my situation and experience make me a competitive applicant? Or am I better off applying for a Masters, kill it, and then go for PhD programs? I would prefer PhD directly since financially speaking, its the better option (Since you get paid to do your research under a PI).

Replies to: 3.24 GPA with work/research experience, good for Biomedical Science PhD programs?

  • BioenchiladaBioenchilada Registered User Posts: 32 Junior Member
    Ideally, you want to have 3 letters from PIs for your graduate school app since they can beat gauge your capacity to conduct research. Numbers are probably the least important thing for your app, but you'll be evaluated along many people that have extremely good credentials for top PhD programs. However, because they don't fully tell a story, that's how you can end up in a top school with low numbers. This is an exception though, not the norm. GRE is also less important than GPA though you should try to do super well to not have a double negative, essentially. Also, grad school is all about fit. A great record can get you in some top schools and not others, or no top schools. It's all about how you craft your statement of purpose and convince the adcom you belong at X school.

    I'd say take the track that will lead to getting the most research relevant rec letters.
  • itsjonny1993itsjonny1993 Registered User Posts: 9 New Member
    Currently, I can get two letters from two PI's and after a while at UNH, I should be able to get my third. I'll definitely take the time to kill my statement of purpose as well.

    Thank you!
  • MYOS1634MYOS1634 Registered User Posts: 40,680 Senior Member
    edited December 2016
    Prep for the gre and hope for the best. A good gre score + undergraduate reputation for rigor + internships/jobs/research/publications will help.
    What field are you thinking of?
This discussion has been closed.