What should I do?

  • Masters degree and wait a year to take the MCAT

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Masters degree and still take the MCAT this year

    Votes: 2 40.0%
  • Just do research while you prepare for the MCAT this year

    Votes: 2 40.0%
  • You dont need the Masters degree

    Votes: 2 40.0%

  • Total voters
    5
Apr 28, 2010
3
0
Status
Pre-Medical
I recently graduated with a cumulative GPA of 3.9 with a biology degree. I took the MCAT the end of my junior year but my scores were below average.
I know and understand my scores were terrible and I am preparing all over again and studying for the MCAT beginning this June.
Furthermore, I am an international student and understand the difficulties in getting into medical school in general as a foreigner in the USA.
My goal is to pursue an MD/PhD- I believe that is my passion/ plus I know there are some funding for foreign nationals. I recently got accepted to a reputable school for an MS in Biology with funding (a full academic tuition and a stipend of $ 10,000/year). I also have an job offer in another university for 6 months to do research in plant genetics. Furthermore I am interning this summer in another university.

As a foreigner to stay in the country- I need to be in school or researching to be legal in the country beginning this fall.

I know my ultimate goal is to go to Medical school but is pursuing a Masters Degree in Biology at my current situation worthwhile and will it be a plus for an MD/PHD?

I will be probably doing my research in genetics.

Should I go for a non-thesis or thesis?
I am open to all suggestion and even open to other opportunities that might be of benefit to me.

I was published as an undergrad and I have substantial research experience as an undergrad but My MCAT was just not good enough and I know it especially being an international student; although I dedicated that whole summer studying.
:confused:

Thank you for your suggestions.
 

K31

7+ Year Member
May 10, 2011
1,000
52
Status
Attending Physician
I think we need a number, or at least a general idea, of your MCAT before anyone can advise you whether you should apply this year or spend a year researching/getting a master's and improving your score.
 

miz

Oct 14, 2011
158
8
Status
MD/PhD Student
I agree with K31 but if your MCAT is truly subpar and you want to try to improve it over the next year, staying in the US and continuing to do research while you study would certainly improve your application. I would think that either the MS or the research job would be fine. I don't know if one looks better than the other on an application, but my knee-jerk reaction is that the MS might look a bit better (because you're funded and it's a full year of research.)

But we need more details to be able to advise you... do you have mentors identified at both schools; do you like and trust them? Are you planning on taking two years off since you're just beginning to study for the MCAT now? If so, do you have a plan to be able to stay in the US for the extra year? I would STRONGLY advise you to apply early/on time, which would bar you from this upcoming cycle, meaning that you'd have to have something lined up for after the master's to be able to stay in the US while you apply.
 
OP
M
Apr 28, 2010
3
0
Status
Pre-Medical
I think we need a number, or at least a general idea, of your MCAT before anyone can advise you whether you should apply this year or spend a year researching/getting a master's and improving your score.
My MCAT score is in the LOW 20's
and I did apply this year For MD not MD/PhD- Because I knew my MCAT was not competitive for an MD/PhD and was rejected; so I believe I need to retake the MCAT from various advise I seeked.
I consulted with various individuals and professionals and they suggested retaking the MCAT as well. Furthermore, being an International student was a biggest factor as well since most medical schools will not even consider an international student for an MD.
Thank you for your suggestion.
 
OP
M
Apr 28, 2010
3
0
Status
Pre-Medical
Thank you for your suggestions and advise.
I don't really have any mentors for the schools yet that I got accepted for the masters program or the research but I currently, have mentors at the school which I graduated from, who suggested a few professors to me or who I have started building a relationship with.
The masters program will be for a year/ a year and half or two depending on how I set my courses or the path I choose to go (thesis or non-thesis)
From what you suggested, I believe this will give me some time to prepare adequately for the MCAT, I hope.