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good GPA for getting into summer research programs?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by fullefect1, Mar 19, 2004.

  1. fullefect1

    fullefect1 Senior Member
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    1.) I plan on applying to many summer research programs for the 2005 summer, and by that time I will have completed BIO 1+2, Chem 1+2 , Physics 1+2, and A+P 1 +(maybe 2). For those who have applied to these programs and were accepted, what was your GPA (or the average for the accepted applicants)? Would having a 3.8+ mean that I will most likely be accepted somewhere, even if I haven't had any previous research experience?




    2.) I am particulary interested in the Baylor, and NYU program. Has anyone attended these? If so how was it?
     
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  3. vixenell

    vixenell don't stop me now
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    For most summer programs, letters of recommendation are most important. They accept people w/ all kinds of GPAs (as long as they are 3.0 minimum, or whatever the specific guidelines are). You also have to present a good reason why you want to participate in that particular program. If its obvious that it does not fit into your career goals, your chances of admission will decrease. I've gotten into five programs so far for this summer, have yet to hear from two, and I have a 3.3.
     
  4. DMBFan

    DMBFan Senior Member
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    Hi Chris - Are you a freshman this year? And if you dont mind my asking, are you a minority? If you are, there are TONS of programs for minorities, and I think that your GPA can be a little on the lower side to get accepted. I am not sure either how hard they are to get in. Just try to get the highest GPA possible and get A's in the science classes.
     
  5. snoopdowc

    snoopdowc Junior Member
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    Freshmen, huh.
     
  6. jlee9531

    jlee9531 J,A,S
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    :laugh: :laugh:
     
  7. fullefect1

    fullefect1 Senior Member
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    No, I am not a minority, although everyday I kinda wish I was more and more. "Freshman, huh"? You lost me there, but yes I am a freshman. Thats why I didn't even try applying this year. Hopefully I can get a hospital job for this summer.
     
  8. NRAI2001

    NRAI2001 3K Member
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    I think he mentioned freshmen bc ur like most freshmen who think GPA is everything. Slow down man, take things slowly have fun.
     
  9. gryffindor

    Dentist 10+ Year Member

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    You don't have to be a minority to apply to the "Minorities favored" summer programs. You don't even have to be pre-med or pre-PhD (I was pre-dental).

    I had several acceptances (although I was waitlisted at the Baylor one and ultimately rejected). Didn't apply to NYU, I didn't know about that one. This was a few years ago, but my gpa was 3.9+ so I'd think a 3.8+ would be good. It might help if you could get some sort of research experience on your resume. The programs are supposed to be for you to get research experience, but many of the students at both programs I attended had some research experience (even if it was very limited) at their home schools.

    What might have worked for me besides the GPA and letters of rec. and experience is that I applied from a little known college that doesn't have the science and research resources a big university has. I think my essay was pretty unique and convincing as well.
     
  10. ek6

    ek6 Senior Member
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    People - go to www.nih.gov. Apply to their summer program - it is by far the best research experience you can get and looks the best on your resume for jobs/med school. I got the internship because the post-doc I worked with wanted someone "down to earth"...later I found out that she picked me over a med student and a bunch of other applicants because I "delivered paint" for a summer. I'm not joking. At the end of the summer, there's a huge summer student poster presentation that was an invaluable experience. Just a suggestion.
     
  11. frick

    frick Senior Member
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    I don't think you can even get the NIH one unless you have connections - someone from my HS got it last summer immediately after graduation, but his parents are both docs and hold significant clout at the University.

    (Actually, there is a funny story related to this... I was sitting in on a biochem seminar one time that was being given by a guy from the medschool... he finishes, the credits slide pops up... there's 50-60 or so names on there, but lo and behold... the name of this kid is on there as well, but in a *different font* than all the rest of them... I found it amusing, to say the least.)
     
  12. gryffindor

    Dentist 10+ Year Member

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    I agree with frick. I applied to the NIH one but never bothered to pursue my application by contacting people I might want to work with b/c I was in at other places by then. NIH never got back to me with an answer. I can't remember who told me, but I figured that to get into the NIH one I'd have to bug several PIs over e-mail & phone to find one might be willing to have a college student in the lab over the summer. If I had been aggressive about contacting PIs I probably could have gotten something, but why bother unless you REALLY want to be at the NIH. Also, the NIH program doesn't provide housing and many of the other programs do, so for me that was a consideration since it would have been near impossible for me to apartment hunt from here.
     
  13. fullefect1

    fullefect1 Senior Member
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    I don't think that GPA is everything, just wondering how the competition is in these programs, and now I know. Slow down? How would you think I am going fast with anything. from the question I posted. And have fun? haha , if that involvesgetting hammered on the weekends, I can defenitely say I have fun.
     
  14. ek6

    ek6 Senior Member
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    Frick - I agree that it's tough if you're a high school student (as your friend was if he just graduated). Connections would be needed to get any summer research gig.

    I'm not saying it's easy either for college students either, but anyone serious about a career in research or medicine is much better off applying to NIH. Their main campus is HUGE and consists of countless numbers of labs in hundreds of different departments located in a myriad of different institutes. On summer student poster day, there were literally hundreds of different posters If you want research experience...it makes no sense not to apply unless you've already been there. I'm only tryng making a suggestion and want to make sure that people don't have the impression that the NIH summer program or post-bacc is as competitive as applying to med schools.
     
  15. Farrah

    Farrah Senior Member
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    I don't understand the process of the NIH internships.

    Do you first apply or do you first contact someone to research with at NIH? Who is it that makes the final decision on who gets in?
     
  16. fun8stuff

    fun8stuff *hiding from patients*
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    I applied this winter for summer 2004 research internships. I applied to 7 or 8 programs. The nice thing about it is that the only cost to you is to transfer an official transcript and for shipping. So far I have been accepted at 2 places- fairly well respectable programs (the one I was 1 of 7 of ~220 applicants and the other i was 1 of 10 out of ~75 applicants). I actually did apply to baylor, but I dont think that I will hear back from them until later on in April because they have so many people apply. If you PM me in a month I will let you know what happened.

    My Stats:
    Biotechnology Major (Summer Research is required for graduation)
    GPA 3.98
    3 semesters or research experience in two different areas
    -one included a paper, poster presentation, and powerpoint
    -the other just required that I write a section of the paper
    that the prof wrote
    -Nothing is published as of yet.
    -However, every place I applied did not require research
    experience, but said that it helped.
    Advanced classes: genetics, molecular genetics, biochemistry, recombinant DNA, 2 semesters of biochemistry lab, microbiology & immunology, and microbiology lab
    -Not a minority
    -Possible disadvantage: from a small, relatively unheard of state university not known for science programs

    I applied to mostly medical colleges that were doing research in areas that interested me (cancer, neorology, pharmacology, atc). I also looked at the publications and who was doing the research: PhDs, MDs, or PhD/MDs. Both of the ones I was accepted to are at medical schools working with MD/PhDs!

    In summary, I do not think past research is that important but out of the 6 people i know that have applied at my school only 2 of us have been accepted to different places. What we have in common is: nearly 4.0 gpas, some research experience, and advanced classes. Most places have you write an essay or 2, which I am sure does play a part in your acceptance, but probably not as much as the numbers.


    Oh yeah, by the way i have a friend who got an internship last semester as a sophomore. her gpa was probably around 3.7. It was actually at a biotech company and she ran assays and did research on proteins all summer. she loved it. she had no previous research experience. I know she had at least one good letter of rec.

    If I were you, I would apply to a few really nice programs, a few mediocre, and a few where you think you will surely get in (places you dont think many people apply).
     
  17. fullefect1

    fullefect1 Senior Member
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    That was an excellent post fun8stuff. Thanks for the reply.
     
  18. Farrah

    Farrah Senior Member
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    are you a sophomore or junior?

    great job
     
  19. fun8stuff

    fun8stuff *hiding from patients*
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    Thanks. Junior, i would have applied as a sophomore though if i would have known about it ahead of time. Also the profs at my university discourage sophomores from applying, but if you do a search there are definately places out there that accept sophomores. Also, I didn't really find out about summer research programs until the end of my sophomore year. You really should start looking into it in october and november. That is the to ask for letters or rec. It took one of my profs 2 months to get it done. Then over xmas break fill out the applications and write the essays, send out your transcripts. A couple places required that I send them proof of vaccinations. The earlier you apply, the better your chance of getting a spot. I had 4 places tell me that.
    Good luck!
     
  20. notJERRYFALWELL

    notJERRYFALWELL Squirrel tactics!!
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    There are programs out there geared specifically for freshman and sophomores. You just have to search. I participated in as a freshman.
     
  21. DMBFan

    DMBFan Senior Member
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    Fun8stuff - you mentioned that some are well known and some are more competitive. Which ones are more competitive? I know that Baylor is pretty competitive.. I applied to NYU (Howard Sackler)..Do you know anything about that? I don't know if you would have any info on this, but how do you know which ones are less competitive? Thanks!
     
  22. fun8stuff

    fun8stuff *hiding from patients*
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    You kinda have to guess on which are more competitive. Ones at Baylor, harvard, and other large universities will be more competitive. Ones at lesser known universities or places might be less competitive- but not always. You may be able to find out by word of mouth. There are a couple profs that I know that helped me out- so you may want to ask around.

    Another thing you might do is look up the schools graduate school ranking (google search) in the particular area of study (pharmacology, molecular biology, medical school). Top ranking universities will usually by more competitive.

    Another thing you can do is go the programs web page and some times they might say how competitive (how many people applied vs. how many people got in from the year before), but I only found this a few times. A lot of times the webpage will have pictures of people that came the past year. If it looks like they accepted a lot of people- that may be a good sign (you could always email and ask how many people have applied in the past). Also, if the picture shows all minorities and you aren't a minority, then you may want to apply somewhere else because that could mean that they accept mainly minorities.

    So there isn't really a good way to tell how competitive, you just have to make your best guess based on reputation.
     
  23. kikkoman

    kikkoman Senior Member
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    most of the big programs (ucsf, mayo, baylor) tend to be very competitive, but that doesn't mean you won't have a strong chance if you aren't a strong numbers student

    i did baylor the summer after my sophomore year, and the director said that over 800 people applied for 80 spots. of those 80, however, not all were superstars. i knew kids with 3.4s from weak schools, and some who had no research experience. they looked for a broad cross-section, and a lot of diversity (and "diversity").

    so, i guess my .02 is that you should apply regardless because i got the feeling that numbers werent the only driving factor behind the decisions.
     
  24. gryffindor

    Dentist 10+ Year Member

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    Hey kikkoman -

    Of the 80 students at the Baylor program with you, how many were from large, well known universities? I'm just curious; it seems like people at big schools have so many more opportunities, maybe the summer programs would like students from smaller schools.

    A really good GPA can't hurt though.

    To anyone considering summer programs - apply aggresively if this is what you really want to do over the summer. A few students at my school only applied to 1 program and were not that lucky to get selected, even though they had good GPAs and some prior research experience. There are so many programs out there and once you get the first application down, it is just paperwork management from there to apply to more.
     
  25. kikkoman

    kikkoman Senior Member
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    griffin --

    definitely a minority were from big name schools. i would say of the 80, maybe 25 were from top 20-schools.

    im not entirely convinced that they took gpa/school caliber to be of the utmost importance - diversity of geography, experience, and race seemed to be very important in the decision making.

    oh, and it was like 60 girls to 20 guys which isn't so bad =]
     
  26. Thundrstorm

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    I don't know what the averages are for various programs, but I have a 3.5gpa and 1.5 years of research experience and I applied to 8 programs this year. I've heard from 2 so far: NYU Neuroscience dept., where I was accepted, and Harvard School of Public Health Internship for Minority Students, which I accepted.

    I think gpa has to be high enough not to be a detractor, but research interest/experience is more important.
     
  27. DMBFan

    DMBFan Senior Member
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    Hi Thunderstorm - I PMed you!!!
     
  28. Samus Aran

    Physician Moderator Emeritus 15+ Year Member

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    research experience > gpa

    at least for ucla's program
     

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