Any tips on getting into a COMPETITIVE science grad program? (The kind that . . .

I

inkysphinx

bolsters your med school application.

I MUST get into one!!! But I KNOW they are extremely selective. HELP!!!
 

DarkChild

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like what kind of science grad programs?
I didnt know they were that many good M.A only programs out there...
which ones did you have in mind?
 
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lola

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I would imagine most are PhD programs and don't want pre-meds, although I guess you could pretend to be interested in a PhD and drop out after you get your MS (not exactly ethical in my opinion). I'm not trying to be mean, but if you need to bolster your app you probably won't get into an ultra competive program!
 
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I

inkysphinx

To the two FOOLS who posted just before this post, NO ONE is guranteed admission to medical school. In theory, don't ALL of our applications need bolstering? Get a clue.
 

DarkChild

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wow - 36 posts and you're already talking smack!!??
sigh. this board continues to degenerate.
in spite of your childishness, I'll still try to help...
but first you really have to tell people WHAT KIND OF SCIENCE PROGRAMS ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT!!!!


Originally posted by inkysphinx
To the two FOOLS who posted just before this post, NO ONE is guranteed admission to medical school. In theory, don't ALL of our applications need bolstering? Get a clue.
 

lola

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i know no one is automatically granted admission, but why waste thousands of dollars on a graduate degree if your stats are stellar? med schools won't care all that much if you have a 3.8 undergrad and get a 3.9 in grad school vs. just having a 3.9 undergrad. there are other ways to improve your app that would help you a lot more if your grades are already good. maybe you could volunteer abroad, get an interesting job, or start up a nonprofit organization? these things will be of more interest to med schools if you have already proven you're a good student. while all apps might be able to use some bolstering, not all apps need the gpa bolstered. if your's does, you probably are not going to get into the most competitive grad school. it's just common sense.
 

sluox

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actually it's much much easier to get into a med school, per se, than getting into the best Ph.D. programs. according to the current stats, 40-50% of the applicants get into med school. However, the very best grad programs (i.e. top 10), especially in the biological sciences, tend to have 15-20 acceptance rate. (some ~30%) remember in Ph.D. programs you are competing with not just US citizens but also international students. On the other hand, if you just a graduate degree in Pudunk U, it's probably not going to do too much for you as far as med school admissions.

Ph.D. programs are designed for people who have a commitment for research careers. I don't know if it is legit preparation for medical school.
 

DarkChild

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all good points sean.
and on top of that, to a certain extent the things PHD programs (and even the few M.S only programs out there) look for very different things than MD programs.
for one - the best PhD programs require very substantial reseach - much more so than Adcoms like to see..

Originally posted by sluox
actually it's much much easier to get into a med school, per se, than getting into the best Ph.D. programs. according to the current stats, 40-50% of the applicants get into med school. However, the very best grad programs (i.e. top 10), especially in the biological sciences, tend to have 15-20 acceptance rate. (some ~30%) remember in Ph.D. programs you are competing with not just US citizens but also international students. On the other hand, if you just a graduate degree in Pudunk U, it's probably not going to do too much for you as far as med school admissions.

Ph.D. programs are designed for people who have a commitment for research careers. I don't know if it is legit preparation for medical school.
 
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J

jot

but with regards to "stats" grad programs don't usually require as high raw numbers. you need to show demonstrated interest - a couple years in a lab with some in depth knowledge should do the trick. grad programs actually recruit good students as opposed to medical school which doesn't need to. again an anecdote, but a girl from here with a 3.2 and not so stellar gre's got into yales phd for micro/immuno program (for whatever that name is worth). some programs are more competitive - such as neuro/molec etc... at the top schools - but stil possible if you have a geniune interest. if you are just doing this for med school, and don't have a native interest, it will be hell. don't put down umpteen hours of hospital volunteering on your app cause they can smell a pre-med from a mile away ;).
 

pathdr2b

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As a person with an MS in Chemistry from a top 20 medical/research institution and a 2004 applicant to MD/PhD programs , I can tell you that there are a TON of beneifts that go along with getting into a competitive MS program before medical school, even if you need it to help your application!

Please allow me to dispell the lacks of facts mentioned in the previous posts:

1) There a PLENTY of MS programs at most if not all of the top 20 medical/research institutions in the country in areas important to medicine/science. Just to name a few: University of Maryland, Harvard, Yale, and UNC-Chapel Hill.

2) Individuals with advanced degrees actually have a better chance of admission to medical school (although only a few percentage points) than those without.

3) If you get the MS in an area like Pathology or Pharmacology your ahead of the game once you do get accepted to medical school.

4) Along those same lines, at some schools you can take medical school courses for credit towards your graduate degree. If you matriculate into the same school's medical program, you can often "test out" of those classes (varies with school).

5) The training required for RIGOROUS MS PROGRAMS
is a great preparation for the Verbal section of the MCAT since you'll be adept at critical thinking.

6) My MS program was COMPLETELY FREE(tuition, fees, and books) and included a nice monthly stipend for living expenses.

7) I spent the first 2 years after my MS working at a Pharmaceutical company making 60K a year. I had offers including bonuses and relocation packages that could have made my total compensation 75K/year. Thus if you never get into medical school, you have a solid career to fall back on.

So Good Luck doing what YOU want to do!
 

pathdr2b

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Opps! I forgot to give you the tips for getting in (or the ones I used)

1) I took courses (2) as a non-degree student in hard core sciences and aced them (2 A's)!!!!

2) I identified someone in the department doing research I was interested in. I attended a few of the weekly lab meetings and got to know some folks in that lab as well as the department. I NETWORKED!!!!

3) I applied, was admitted, graduated, and STILL use the folks I worked with a references. I decided not to apply to that schools' medical school (I needed a break due to personal reasons and I moved) but I had introduced myself to ALL of the "players" at the admissions office. My application would definitely have had a "face" on it!

Again, Good Luck!!!
 
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