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Parameciuman

I have a BA in Biology with a crappy GPA of 2.8 (science and last 45 are about the same). My GRE scores 630V, 640Q and 720 on the GRE Bio, and I have some great references. So, should I focus on retaking undergrad courses I got C's and D's in, or just get into a master's program? Which do you think would help my GPA more, and look better to adcoms for next year...or the year after?
 

BomberCanoe

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Mar 8, 2010
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So you've graduated and everything? Does your undergrad school offer any sort of retake "program" to replace old grades, or at this point, is it literally just retaking the courses? Grad school would definitely look good, and probably better than simply retaking the courses (assuming these new grades would not replace old ones). But it also depends on which courses these C's and D's were. If they were science, then going to grad school for science doesn't sound like it'd help your GPA. It also depends on why you got these bad grades: were you overloaded those semesters, were you having other personal issues, etc? If you can analyze what caused this, you'd probably have a better answer. Also, was your undergrad a very competitive school? A 2.8 at cornell would look better than a higher grade a liberal arts school (assuming your degree was science), so maybe the 2.8 isn't as bad as you think.
It sounds like the rest of your academics are solid. Do you have both breadth and depth of experience to go with those good recommendations? Grades aren't everything (but with the schools I applied to, they seem to be the only factor considered for the first 'cut'), so experience is very important too (I barely scraped by since I only had depth, barely any breadth). I hope this helped you to decide.
 

nyanko

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What would you be thinking of doing for graduate school? You're very vague here...there are a lot of different options. If you want to do a non-thesis Masters with intense coursework, that's something that's specifically aimed at people in your situation. If you want to do a thesis based Masters, it's a little bit different. You need to have at least some vague idea of what sort of research you'd want to do and such.

And getting into some Masters programs isn't automatic, either.
 

lei325

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Jan 7, 2010
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A lot of schools I applied to required applicants to have a C/C- or better in the pre-reqs, otherwise they won't accept them. So it might be worth it to take a few courses that you got D's in. Schools usually list their specific grade requirements on their pre-req page. The AAVMC website also has a page for all the colleges' specific requirements. It might also be worth to contact the schools you are interested in and ask them if you should redo courses. I found the admissions dept. at most schools to be a great resource for that kind of info.