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Low G.P.A's impact on career

PostPosted: Sun Jan 09, 2005 9:38 pm
by sonal
Hi..
I'll be graduating in May with a B.S. in Biology. My grades are not great.. i started college when I was 17 and was immatured then.And made very unwise decisions regarding course scheduling.
However I have grown up now & I am getting Bs in my advanced classes. My cum gpa is 2.90. ::( (I started with a low gpa in my first semester to begin with)

I love research ( i want to research on Alzhimers disease) I understand that I can't get into a PhD program now, however there is a slight chance I may get into a M.S. and then apply to PhD.
Does anyone here know of anyone who was in a similar situation?

Should I just abandon my dream for a PhD and just go for nursing or switch my career entirely from science to "shoe maker"
Thanks.

Low G.P.A's impact on career

PostPosted: Mon Jan 10, 2005 1:35 am
by Paul
What are your GRE scores? Do you have strong letters?

Your GPA is only part of your aplication. I know of many people with GPA well under 3 .00 that still got into very good programs, so it's not a lost cause, but you need something to balance with.

One person I know of had a child and about a 2.50 GPA. She recieved offers from all the top schools... she did have great letters and near perfect test scores.

A 2.90 might hurt your chances for grant money as a grad and a postdoc, but in science no one will ever ask to see your undergrad transcripts for a job after postdoc.

Low G.P.A's impact on career

PostPosted: Mon Jan 10, 2005 9:54 am
by Ken
I had a similar GPA as you in college (too much playing, and not enough studying. I wish I had it to do over....). But, I ended up with a PhD from a great program, and now have a great postdoc.

No one asked me for my GPA or college transcript for the postdoc. So, I think once you get into grad school (and you can with a bad GPA) you're fine. Maybe apply to a lower end school which is physically close to a better school (look in the New York or Boston areas and you'll find this). Do a year or two at the school you get into, and put in for a transfer after your master's. Or, find a great PI at a lower end school. They exist.

Low G.P.A's impact on career

PostPosted: Mon Jan 10, 2005 6:02 pm
by K Seth
Sonal,

Because you're saying you're grown up.... started to focus and work hard, try to ace GRE (including subject GRE). Then I suppose you don't have to worry about the low GPA part.

I suppose it is same amount of effort if it is a Ph.D. in Alzhimers research or good shoe making!!

Low G.P.A\'s impact on career

PostPosted: Mon Jan 10, 2005 8:40 pm
by sonal
Thank you Ken, Paul, KSeth for your help!
i forgot to add in that im a international student :(
Ken..what schools accept low gpa\'s for M.S. program? I found an internship involving compounding..so i won\'t have time to study for GRE\'s so i rather take it next year..and meanwhile now go for M.S.

Thanks!

Low G.P.A's impact on career

PostPosted: Tue Jan 11, 2005 1:47 am
by Emil Chuck
There's another way of going about this: consider getting a research tech job in a laboratory after you graduate from undergraduate. Find a supervisor who would be interested in hiring you but also give you experience in research... maybe get you published in a paper. After maybe 1-2 years as a tech, apply to grad school. By that point, you will have a record of your competence in a research laboratory, a hopefully excellent reference from your supervisor (on top of whatever other academic refs you get from school), and a couple of extra years to ace the GRE's.

People do take "time off" to work between undergraduate and graduate school... don't be discouraged if this is really the life you want to live. And if not, there are plenty of technician jobs out there that only require a bachelors or masters degree. Pick the right skill and you could be set for a long, long time.

Low G.P.A's impact on career

PostPosted: Tue Jan 11, 2005 10:24 am
by Ken
Emil is correct. I went right from undergrad to grad school, but I was definitely in the minority. Most had at least a year or two as a tech under their belt, and were better able to hit the ground running in grad school while I learned what end of the pipette to use.