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Topic: unusual candidate for grad schools  (Read 4278 times)

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Offline snoopy7

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unusual candidate for grad schools
« on: July 24, 2009, 08:38:22 PM »
Hey everyone, new poster!
Let's cut to the chase, shall we?  I'm tackling these grad school apps now, trying to decide on where to apply/what to apply for/fellowships etc.  Here's some background:

I finished a BS in chem at a top schools (starts with a b, ends with an erkeley), but definitely not in the top of my class.  I've had a bit of a tough time getting through school, what with working to pay for my education without my parents help, dealing with a severe illness in the family, and just not liking chemistry a whole ton.  I did research my last year of school and am now taking a year off after graduation to work full-time in the research lab I worked in in undergrad. I would have done more research had I not had to work the summers at higher paying internships, so it's not like I was just lounging by the pool all summer...hahha

Anyway, I'm looking at a 2.7 GPA which I get is not that pretty.  My three years I did kinda meh, Bs and Cs.  My 4th year was disasterous.  I had to deal with a lot of family stress and a pretty big family illness.  To add to that glamorous number, I even failed two classes.  Made them up my last year, got C's, but definitely did much better my final year.  I'm fairly certain that I'll have a really great letter from my prof who I work for now, as well as another letter from a prof whose research I really enjoyed and whose class really introduced me to what I want to study further.  Everyone keeps telling me to rock my latina-ness, but I feel like perhaps grad school just isn't in the cards for me now.

I'm not looking for MIT.  I'm not looking for Harvard.  I'm trying to find a respectable school in nuclear engineering (focusing on health physics or nuclear medicine), but it's tough to gauge my attractiveness as a candidate.  I've been doing pretty well on my practice GRE, definitely aiming to get as close to 800 as possible to make up for grades.

Can anybody relate?  Its great to hear about people with their 3.9s and 5 REUs, but there's got to be more like me out there!  Can anyone offer some advice about what schools to shoot for (I'm looking right now at Maryland, UT, Tennessee, Vanderbilt, GaTech, A&M, Oregon State, Penn State, some others), things to consider while applying, tips for success, or commiseration?

Thanks for reading this far...have a great weekend!!!

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