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Topic: Need some advice for graduate school  (Read 6459 times)

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Offline ppdjoy

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Need some advice for graduate school
« on: August 15, 2012, 10:00:35 PM »
Hi

I have recently finished my undergraduate BS in chemistry from St. John's University. I didn't register for the GRE on time last year, so I couldn't apply for graduate school then. I'm planning to get admission in some graduate school in analytical/inorganic chemistry for Fall 2013. Here's my standing:

Quote
Overall GPA: 3.26
Major (chemistry) GPA: 2.90
GRE: ~145 (in new format)
Research: 2+ years including summer
Presentation: Undergraduate Research Symposium & university's student research day

I'm studying through KAPLAN for the GRE which I plan to take in October of 2012. From their practice GRE, I got a 146 in verbal & 144 in math, out of 170. I believe it will improve after I finish the KAPLAN course.

Now, I was wondering if I can get into any graduate school with these scores/experiences. Will any graduate school accept me for my low GPA in my chemistry major?

Please give me some advice.

Offline TheUnfocusedOne

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Re: Need some advice for graduate school
« Reply #1 on: August 16, 2012, 08:22:56 AM »
Your choice of school will be limited with a sub 3.0 GPA in chemistry. That doesn't mean you can't get in anywhere. Just study for the chem GRE and apply accordingly. You could email some school's admissions and ask them if you're likely to get admited there.

I would get employed in a chemistry possition asap too. A research possition is better than a tech, but a tech is better than working as a cashier.

Good luck!
"Like most heavy metals, thallium is highly toxic and should not be used on breakfast cereal"

Offline ppdjoy

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Re: Need some advice for graduate school
« Reply #2 on: August 16, 2012, 08:35:22 AM »
Where do you suggest I apply or try to get admission? My dream choice was Penn State but I don't think they will accept me with this low chemistry major GPA. Suggest me some graduate school choices where you think they might accept with a low chemistry GPA.

And yes, I have been looking for work for the past 2-3 months since graduation. It's really hard to find any in this troublesome economy, as you know.

Offline Jorriss

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Re: Need some advice for graduate school
« Reply #3 on: August 16, 2012, 12:46:00 PM »
You say you have 2 years of research. Any publications?

And do you have some strong letters of recommendation?

Offline ppdjoy

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Re: Need some advice for graduate school
« Reply #4 on: August 16, 2012, 07:15:35 PM »
You say you have 2 years of research. Any publications?

And do you have some strong letters of recommendation?

No publication. But I have presented the research in poster & oral form - one in the university research presentation day, the other in Undergraduate Research Symposium which is held every year & student researchers from all the over the nation come to present their research. The Undergraduate Research Symposium is conducted by American Chemical Society (ACS).

Recommendation letters - I haven't asked for those from my professors yet. But I know my research professor & my analytical/instrumental professor will give me good recommendation. They know me since my freshman year in college.

The thing is I was not good in organic & physical chemistry. That is why my GPA turned out to be low. My inorganic, instrumental, analytical were much much better. This is why I want to study in inorganic or analytical chemistry.

Offline TheUnfocusedOne

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Re: Need some advice for graduate school
« Reply #5 on: August 17, 2012, 04:00:39 PM »
I'm not sure where to apply to be honest, you're going to have to look around. Some schools are more lenient than others. In the end, they just want you to be able to do research well, but they don't want you floundering in graduate courses.

You're also going to need another letter of recommendation. I've only see one school that only required 2 letters.

I'm not trying to discourage you btw, just trying to give you an idea of what I've seen/heard while I was applying last year.

Have you considered doing a masters somewhere, improving your credentials, then applying to a Ph.D program somewhere else? There are some good programs they are set up for terminal masters. This is going to add atleast 2 years to your education, but it would give you a chance to pump out a publication and give you a second chance to gain a strong GPA. Not sure how other feel about this idea; it was my backup plan if I didn't get accepted to a school I wanted to go to.
"Like most heavy metals, thallium is highly toxic and should not be used on breakfast cereal"

Offline ppdjoy

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Re: Need some advice for graduate school
« Reply #6 on: August 17, 2012, 07:32:58 PM »
Well, I could definitely get a 3rd recommendation. But it's not going to be as strong as the other two.

If I do Master's, can I apply at the same time as I do for PhD? How long is typical Master's program? I know when I was in St. John's. they only had up to Master's, not PhD. I saw students who were doing Master's were there for 2-3 years. Is it that long?

If I apply for Master's with this GPA, which schools are likely to accept me? The thing is, I am not that familiar with which schools are good in chemistry besides the top ones, like Berkeley, Penn State. I have no problem in moving out of NY & relocate to anywhere in the continental US. Please suggest me some schools for Master's program. I am interested in inorganic/analytical chemistry as I mentioned before.

Thanks!

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