Graduate School Questions for Biologists.

<p>Hello everyone, I'm new to the forums. Anyway I am a Biology major attending a public state university and intend on attending graduate school. I will be starting a summer internship doing biomedical research in a few days and doing some volunteer NOAA marine lab after. In addition I only have to attend school part time so will take up a research/tech position my last semester. I have interest in both Environmental and medical programs but I'll ascertain which I do in a bit.</p>

<p>I currently have a 3.15 gpa overall and a 3.3 something major GPA but a mediocre 2.8 science GPA due to a D+ in calculus and two other Cs, one in general chemistry and one in physics I. Based on my stats do I have any chance for Grad School. Is it necessary for me to retake calculus the end of my senior year. Moreover, would it be a better idea to wait 6 months and work? I'd rather not wait much longer than that because I feel like I'll lose my school "momentum." Also whats the difference in competitiveness of say a Biotechnology graduate program and an ecology-based graduate program?</p>

<p>Will take the GRE's in the fall.</p>

<p>Most grad schools have a 3.0 cut off. There are stories of people with sub 3.0s getting in, but they abrogated their low GPA with high GREs, lots of research experience and really good LoRs (and sometimes networking).</p>

<p>Yes, you should retake calculus. Is it required for your major? You have to get a C in a class to fulfill the requirement. Even if it's not required for you major, retaking it will help your GPA if your school overwrites the old grade. Do the grad programs you want to apply to require calculus? I don't know about ecology, but I would guess that biotech requires calc.</p>

<p>I recommend taking time off and getting a job applicable to what you want to do in grad school. I worked for 2 years in my field after undergrad and I know that I was accepted to much better universities than if I had tried to apply during or right after undergrad. Also, most bio PhD programs only admit students for fall semester, so you don't really have an option of taking only 6 months off if you graduate in the summer. IE: you apply Fall 2010 for admission Fall 2011, or Fall 2011 for admission Fall 2012. Depending on when you graduate (spring 2010 or spring 2011), this means you get the summer off or the summer plus a year. </p>

<p>I don't know about competitiveness in those fields, but if you can find application/admission stats for departments/programs on university registrar sites and those will tell you how many people applied vs how many people attended. Those won't tell you stats but probably a program that only accepts 10% of applicants is more comepetitive than one that accepts 50%.</p>

<p>When I was a senior in college, I worried that once I started working as a professional, I wouldn't want to return to school. I couldn't have been more wrong- after four years of working as a scientist in industry and as a lab tech in academia, I was thoroughly ready to be a grad student. You might find that there is a natural expectation in entry level jobs in science that you will leave to go to graduate or medical school in a short period of time. When my last PI retired, he had had over thirty techs who had gone onto medical or graduate school, each after about two years with him.</p>

<p>Thanks for the feedback guys. Yea I am starting to feel a bit burned out with endless schooling, it might be nice to work a little in the real world for a change...</p>