Looking into grad schools this year...

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by Spiderman [RNA Ladder 2003], Oct 27, 2002.

  1. Spiderman [RNA Ladder 2003]

    Spiderman [RNA Ladder 2003] Platinum Member

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2002
    Messages:
    863
    Likes Received:
    1
    I am looking into grad schools this year. I was just wondering how hard is it to get into top grad schools? My GPA is around 3.2-3.3. I have a lot of research exprience and published a paper as a co-author. President of a couple student organizations.
    Do you know which of the TOP schools would fall into my range? I did not take GRE yet.
     
  2. Thread continues after this sponsor message. SDN Members do not see this ad.

  3. Adcadet

    Adcadet Long way from Gate 27

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2002
    Messages:
    2,155
    Likes Received:
    11
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    well.....what kind of grad program are you thinking of? Are you still planning on doing the MD thing? What field do you want to do your grad work in? I assume you're a bio or chem person, from your other posts. In this case, I think a PhD program in anthropology is definitely out, but a master's program in biochemistry might be in.

    You should probably ask around about what grad programs are most favored by adcoms. Some may say that a grad program in something totally relevant to med school is good (physiology, biochem come to mind). Others would argue that doing something you won't get much of in med school is better, and will serve you better after med school (psych, public health come to mind).

    Also consider how many of your grad courses will be AMCAS BCPM/pre-med type courses. If you're doing a grad program in physiology or biochem, I doubt this will be an issue. But if you're going the public health thing, then you won't automatically be taking many BCPM courses. In this case, see how feasible it will be for you to take 1-2 per semester. If your undergrad BCPM was sub-par, you'll probably want to take many BCPM courses; if it was great, this may not be an issue.

    If you really want to stay at your current university, you could always see which of their programs are top-ranked and apply to those. I got lucky- the university near me had a top-ranked grad program in the area I was most interested in.

    Make sure you continue to do volunteer and clinical stuff while in grad school. And continuing your research is also a good idea (probably a mute issue if your grad program is in a hard science).

    Hope this helps!
    Adcadet
     
  4. Spiderman [RNA Ladder 2003]

    Spiderman [RNA Ladder 2003] Platinum Member

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2002
    Messages:
    863
    Likes Received:
    1
    Thanks for you reply. I did apply to a few med schools but I think that my chances of getting in are pretty slim. In addition, I am an international student which makes everything more complicated.
    I was looking for a PhD program and I would then quit and get MS and then apply to med school again.
     
  5. Adcadet

    Adcadet Long way from Gate 27

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2002
    Messages:
    2,155
    Likes Received:
    11
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    I think it's pretty frowned upon to quit a PhD program to go to med school. I'm doing an MPH, and MCW and Wake Forest (I think) both required letters from my advisor/dean to verify that they knew that I was planning on starting med school in 2003 (a moot issue for me, since I'll be done with my MPH by them). If you just want a master's degree, just apply for the master's. I'd bet on getting asked many hard questions about why you dropped the PhD. I think it's much better to be able to say "in 2003 I wanted to go to med school, but I was also interested in biochemistry. So I did a 2-year MS in biochem, and here I am now applying to medical school."
     
  6. kutastha

    kutastha 2K Member
    Physician

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2001
    Messages:
    2,444
    Likes Received:
    5
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    I would strongly suggest you don't do this.

    If you don't want to go to grad school, then do a post-bac program.
     
  7. Adcadet

    Adcadet Long way from Gate 27

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2002
    Messages:
    2,155
    Likes Received:
    11
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    Or do a master's program if you can spare the 2-years that most take. Just do it in something you like, that will somehow boost your GPA to the extent that you need it, give you interesting stuff to talk about in interviews, and will help you after med school.
     
  8. I think you should look into a Ph.D. program rather than a M.S. I don't know what undergrad school you are coming from (if from a tough school, 3.2 - 3.3 is a good GPA for grad school), but generally speaking, your stats plus your paper should definitely get you to a decent grad school, and if you have a 2000 or above GRE score, you can apply to top 20 Ph.D. schools. I don't recommend post-bac for you because you are an international student, and like you have said yourself, your chances are quite slim this year. Even with post-bac, one year may not make all that much difference because of your background. I think, to be a serious contender for med school with an international background, you must have 3.8 or above GPA, and 33 plus MCAT scores. I have friends who are international students from Berkeley, and they had 3.8 plus GPA and 33 plus MCAT and none of them got into med school last year. One went to Ph.D. school, and three went to MPH programs. Resolving your status as an international student is critical for your success into med school. I know, it sucks...
     
  9. hey spiderman, i completely understand where u are coming from? did u submit ur DV-2004 yet?;)

    anyway just so u know, international students cant get f-1 visa for post-bac, my gpa is also low so i am not really optimistic about medical school now,i think u should go for a one or two year masters in a prestigious school maybe like harvard, then get great mcat scores, and apply, i mean its not like international students dont get in, so dont let that discourage you.

    anyway, u could also look for a health related jobs, i know u need a H-1b visa for that but start searching now.

    good luck!
     
  10. Spiderman [RNA Ladder 2003]

    Spiderman [RNA Ladder 2003] Platinum Member

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2002
    Messages:
    863
    Likes Received:
    1
    The thing with MS is that MS people in a lot of schools are not eligle for the tuition waver and felowships. So I would have to pay for my education... which I do not really have $$ for. I am saving loan for the med school.
    My advisor told me that I should enrol in a PhD program and then "change" my mind and tell the grad school about it. Do you think it is possble?

    The way I was thinking is that I could apply into med school after completing the first year of grad school. If I get into med school then, I will just quite with MS. If I do not, I will just continue on my PhD route and then apply into med school again. I do not know if it is going to work though.
     
  11. most medical schools will require u to finish ur Ph.D before they admit u, i think if u research masters program u should be able to get some funding, especially as an international student,i will try and search for links, again dont give up hope yet on ur application, miracles do happen:) and again u could always look for a job, a job is easier to quit than a Ph.D program.
     
  12. lola

    lola Bovine Member

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2002
    Messages:
    3,848
    Likes Received:
    3
    in my opinion the phd is a bad idea unless you fully intend to complete it or quit after the ms and take a year off before entering med school. most, if not all, med schools will not accept you if you are enrolled in another program that will not be finished by the time you apply to grad school. i don't think anyone should ever get a phd just to go to med school. it is a HUGE commitment and will not guarantee your admission afterward. if you really want to get into med school, do a post bac program or maybe a master's (will not help undergrad science gpa). there are other things to look into like DO or foreign schools that will get you where you want much more quickly than a phd will.
     
  13. Spiderman [RNA Ladder 2003]

    Spiderman [RNA Ladder 2003] Platinum Member

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2002
    Messages:
    863
    Likes Received:
    1
    I want to go to US med school. I checked washU and they do have a policy when a student quits with a terminal MS while initially registered for PhD.The number of MS program is too limited and I do not know any of them which provide funding. Do you know any?
     
  14. Spiderman [RNA Ladder 2003]

    Spiderman [RNA Ladder 2003] Platinum Member

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2002
    Messages:
    863
    Likes Received:
    1
    I guess for me, If getting into med school would take additional 4 years from, I am still ready to sacrifice it. I looked into afew MS program but none of them were in the fields I am interested in or at schools where I really want to go to.
     
  15. hey spiderman, i found this link

    http://hstdev.mit.edu/servlet/ControllerServlet?handler=PublicHandler&action=browse&pageid=123

    hope it works, but anyway u could check out the biomedical enterprise program, as well as the other ones, they dont give financial aid but they give fellowships, call them and pester them believe me they will find one for u.

    i only looked for engineering masters cos well i am not really familiar with the other ones, u should just checkthe grauduate schools u are interested in, look for someone u want to work with and call them ,it really works but u have to take the first step. hey u could also talk to professors in ur school and find out if they can give u fellowships for one or two year master programs, this opportunites are out there, its up to u to find them, good luck

    i will look for more links but i have an exam tomorrow, so that will be later
     
  16. Thread continues after this sponsor message. SDN Members do not see this ad.

  17. DoubleDoctor

    DoubleDoctor Ceder Dog's Daddy

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2002
    Messages:
    510
    Likes Received:
    0
    I know at our school they have a rule that you have to complete any grad program before you can matriculate so I don't think the applying PhD and dropping out will work at alot of schools. You may end up being stuck finishing a 6 year doctorate before you can matriculate.
     
  18. kutastha

    kutastha 2K Member
    Physician

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2001
    Messages:
    2,444
    Likes Received:
    5
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    Sure, there are schools that will let you do it. It's usually frowned upon though.

    Additionally, while in your Ph.D. program, you will need to tell your PI that although s/he's paying for your education in anticipation of Ph.D. work, you're not going to finish what you set out to do under him or her. Or you could not tell your PI, and then spring it on them at the last minute while applying (not a good way to 'network'). Of course, a recommendation letter from your PI is always a good idea when applying to medical school (the schools might wonder why you don't have one). Will the PI be receptive to your skipping out midway through after spending a grip of money on you?

    You might be getting yourself into a tough situation - and it might be even tougher if it comes up during an interview. One question that was often asked in my interviews was 'What are you going to do if you don't get in?' My answer was easy: post-doc. But what would you do? Would you go back to the school whose Ph.D. program you dropped out of so you could apply to medical school and then try to get back into the Ph.D. program? How will that look in later when you reapply to medical school?
     
  19. Honestly, I recommend that you enroll in a Ph.D. program like your advisor suggested and finish the degree (be it 4 or 6 years), and then consider med school when you are done. Hopefully, during the Ph.D. study, you will have already resolved your F-1 status to permanent residence. Ph.D. programs support international students with departmental funding (not federal fundings), and a Ph.D. from a decent school will certainly help you if you want to tackle med school after resolving your visa status in 4 to 6 years. But if you are only interested in medicine and not anything else, I think you should probably apply for med schools outside of this country, just to be on the realistic side. Another friend of mine went to med school in Poland, which has a joint program with a US hospital for clinical rotations. Another one went to Taiwan for med school and hope to come back for a US residency in the future. US hospitals are filled with residents who earned M.D. from foreign countries such as India, China or the Middle East.
     
  20. Spiderman [RNA Ladder 2003]

    Spiderman [RNA Ladder 2003] Platinum Member

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2002
    Messages:
    863
    Likes Received:
    1
    I would rather do an MS in Biochem or Mol Bio but if it comes to doing a PhD, I would still apply for med school.
    Another thing is that I still have my senior year and I have a 4.0 in midtern so far. So I was thinking if that one year Applied Physio program would do anything good for me.
     
  21. Spiderman [RNA Ladder 2003]

    Spiderman [RNA Ladder 2003] Platinum Member

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2002
    Messages:
    863
    Likes Received:
    1
    Well, can it just happen that I decide to change my mind and apply to med school after one year after starting my PhD program? That way it would be a good explanation for med schools and PI
     
  22. exigente chica

    Joined:
    May 28, 2002
    Messages:
    1,330
    Likes Received:
    0
    Grad schools tend to be somewhat easier to get into then medical schools. I work in a department where we help people get into grad school, and the minimum GPA is only a 3.0. Several student from our school got in the past 5 years with below a 3.5 GPA. They had alot of research experience and presented at national meetings. I have also spoken to grad adcom across the nation and most want at least a 3.0, like I said. They aren't really to demanding, and the applications are much easier to fill out, and the deadlines are like Febuary, no AMCAS!!

    Need ne more info, pm me
     
  23. kutastha

    kutastha 2K Member
    Physician

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2001
    Messages:
    2,444
    Likes Received:
    5
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    Change your mind? Changing your mind from a Ph.D. program to an MD program isn't like deciding what you're going to wear on Friday night. Be prepared for some long, hard looks at your application, and if you get an interview, some very tough questions about why you changed your mind, why you enrolled in a Ph.D. program to begin with and some scrutiny about your choice for medicine, especially after applying, not getting in, joining a Ph.D. program, dropping out and reapplying. A Ph.D. program is not a waiting room for medical school.

    Like it says in Gladiator: "What we do in life, echoes in eternity." These decisions you make will follow you all through your AMCAS application.

    I think your best bet is to take some time and really think about what it is that you want to do, and if medicine is it, exactly what you need to do to improve your application.
     
  24. whatsupdoc

    whatsupdoc Member

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2002
    Messages:
    82
    Likes Received:
    0
    I wouldn't do it. Makes you look confused. Everyone is right.
     
  25. Spiderman [RNA Ladder 2003]

    Spiderman [RNA Ladder 2003] Platinum Member

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2002
    Messages:
    863
    Likes Received:
    1
    you're guy are right about this stuff. I would better look for actual MS programs. I will also look for some feedback from the med school I applied to.
    My acad advisor told me that if you tell that you are going for the MS onlyu, your PI would not be serious about your research and so on.
     
  26. Adcadet

    Adcadet Long way from Gate 27

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2002
    Messages:
    2,155
    Likes Received:
    11
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    Bah! This isn't always true. I'm doing an MPH, and my PI is very serious about my research. I think if they see that you are dedicated and eager, it quickly becomes a moot point if you're doing a PhD or masters.
     
  27. Spiderman [RNA Ladder 2003]

    Spiderman [RNA Ladder 2003] Platinum Member

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2002
    Messages:
    863
    Likes Received:
    1
  28. masters in public health , i think
     
  29. DoubleL

    DoubleL Member

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2002
    Messages:
    81
    Likes Received:
    0
    hey everybody,

    i have lived through something similar...

    after graduating from college in 1999, i entered a PhD program in biomedical engineering. this had been my dream for several years, and i fully intended to be a research engineer for the rest of my life.

    about a year into the program, things changed, as they often do in life. i got less interested in doing research for the rest of my life and more interested in medicine. and i got married.

    so, after two years of grad school, i finished up my master's degree and chose not to pursue the PhD. i was not surprised to hear that this is true of many many PhD students all over the country. graduate schools have a hard time keeping their applicants past the MS degree. (i think i heard once that only 50% who enter PhD programs actually get the PhD, but i can't back that up). a PhD is a HUGE time commitment, and if you are still in college, you have no idea how huge a commitment it really is. you will spend most of your 20's earning that degree. it is not something to be talked about lightly, and if you are saying "maybe i'll do this for a while, maybe i won't" then you won't finish it, period.

    all that being said, i don't think it looks that bad to drop out of a PhD program. i did it, and i've gotten no hard questions at interviews about why i quit. i wrote a PS that clearly explained my motivation, and they have all accepted that. in fact, i think having my master's has only strengthened my application.

    now, as to whether you should apply as a PhD with the intention of dropping out after the MS..... i don't know. it is true, PhD's are supported differently than MS students, and it is harder to be accepted as an MS student. but when as a PhD student, you will become part of team in a lab, people will invest a lot of time (and money) in you, and people will be counting on you. it seems sort of dishonest to me, but that's just my own personal opinion - you gotta do what you gotta do.

    LL
     
  30. pathdr2b

    pathdr2b Banned
    Banned

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2002
    Messages:
    2,192
    Likes Received:
    1
     
  31. DoubleL

    DoubleL Member

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2002
    Messages:
    81
    Likes Received:
    0
     
  32. pathdr2b

    pathdr2b Banned
    Banned

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2002
    Messages:
    2,192
    Likes Received:
    1
    What school are you at? This is certainily the case at UNC-Chapel Hill for the few folks in my department that tried to drop the PhD. No offense but Carolina is a tier I medical school, so maybe this isn't the case for schools in the lower tiers. We all know that nothing is an absolute but I think the fact that you didn't enter with a plan to drop out was probably "evident" in your interview. I've always heard that adcoms with their years of experience can sniff out someone whose not sincere a mile away. Also, if for some reason you're not accepted, it would be hard not to think that dropping out of a PhD program didn't play a role however small, in the adcoms decision.

    I think it's just best to avoid any controversy. Getting into medical school is hard enough as it is.
     
  33. DoubleL

    DoubleL Member

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2002
    Messages:
    81
    Likes Received:
    0
    hi pathdr2b -

    i got my master's in BME from CWRU.

    there are two different situations here, and i think we agree: it's a bad idea to enter a PhD program with the intention of dropping out after a master's and moving on to medical school. it's not unethical, but it is at the very least dishonest.

    but dropping out of a PhD program if your motives are honest, is, in general, not necessarily a bad move.

    LL
     
  34. PharmD2b

    PharmD2b Member

    Joined:
    May 27, 2002
    Messages:
    40
    Likes Received:
    0
    i was wondering with someone with a 2.6 who wants to boost their Gpa is non matric in a MS program worth it and finishing it up helpfur or is a post bac program better? well i was looking into the MS program in biomedical sciences at UMDNJ or the LECOMM or finishing up my PharmD at an easier pharmacy sch what do you giuys think ?
     
  35. Adcadet

    Adcadet Long way from Gate 27

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2002
    Messages:
    2,155
    Likes Received:
    11
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    Huh? Could you please clarify.
     
  36. PharmD2b

    PharmD2b Member

    Joined:
    May 27, 2002
    Messages:
    40
    Likes Received:
    0
    ok sorry. I wrote the post in a hurry. I have a 2.6 gpa i have a bs in pharmacy and i am enrolled in a PharmD program. I wanted ask anyone's opinion on a good way to increase my GPA and increase my chances of acceptance into medical school. I was considering doing a MS in biomedical sciences in UMDNJ (but non Matric as i cant get in full time ) , doing a post bac program at LECOMM, or a regular MS in bio , chem etc what do you suggest
     
  37. Adcadet

    Adcadet Long way from Gate 27

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2002
    Messages:
    2,155
    Likes Received:
    11
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    what's non Matric? Is that like a student who hasn't officially matriculated and enrolled, and is just taking classes?


    Your GPA in your PharmD program is a 2.6? Or is that overall between your BS and PharmD?
     
  38. PharmD2b

    PharmD2b Member

    Joined:
    May 27, 2002
    Messages:
    40
    Likes Received:
    0
    my gpa is 2.6 bs and i am enrolled in a traditional PharmD program for jan. yes thats what non matric some one who can take classes but cant graduate i know im in a hopeless situation sort of.......short of a miracle its like im headed for the carribean
     
  39. pathdr2b

    pathdr2b Banned
    Banned

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2002
    Messages:
    2,192
    Likes Received:
    1
    Don't throw in the towel yet! I was essentially in the same boat as you a few years ago and decided to get an MS instead of doing a postbacc program. My undergrad GPA is also lower than yours and there is definitely hope for me including at some Ivy League schools. Decide which is best for you and go with that.

    FYI, I also started a thread copied from another pre-med site I post on, explaining why I think getting the MS is the better option. Good Luck!!!
     
  40. kutastha

    kutastha 2K Member
    Physician

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2001
    Messages:
    2,444
    Likes Received:
    5
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    Just curious, did you apply before you entered your Ph.D. program?
     
  41. smiley789

    smiley789 Member

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2002
    Messages:
    29
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hi exigente chica,

    I am a senior right now and I was thinking of taking a year off. I'm interested in applying to grad school, but I don't know that much information about it. I don't know what kind of programs are out there. I was wondering if you can explain how the process works and what kind of research that's available. Thanks for your help!

    Sandy
     
  42. kutastha

    kutastha 2K Member
    Physician

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2001
    Messages:
    2,444
    Likes Received:
    5
    Status:
    Attending Physician
    Your best bet would be to apply to various schools that have research that interests you - or also is located where you want to live for a couple years. Check their websites and needle your way through to graduate programs in the sciences, and check out what the faculty's doing. They'll usually have a brief synopsis of each lab and locators for select publications. This will also familiarize you with the school itself. Typical programs have Biochem, Genetics, Pathology, Neurosci, et al. Many schools have some sort of 'umbrella' program that allows you to rotate through a handful of labs, to find one to your liking (this is more for Ph.D. programs). Good luck.
     
  43. Spiderman [RNA Ladder 2003]

    Spiderman [RNA Ladder 2003] Platinum Member

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2002
    Messages:
    863
    Likes Received:
    1
    I do think that enrolling as PhD intending to quit is quite dishonest. Is it that easy just to contact a PI to do a MS. Some of the school would specifically state that they accept only for the PhD.
     
  44. DoubleL

    DoubleL Member

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2002
    Messages:
    81
    Likes Received:
    0
    I started grad school intending to finish the PhD. A full year into the program, I decided that medicine was the way I wanted to go. I spent the next year finishing my master's, and the year after that completing my prereq's at a local college. Now I am working full time (in my PI's lab, interestingly enough - she was kind enough to hire me full time after my master's) and applying for entrance in 2003.

    So, the switch definitely wasn't planned.

    LL
     

Share This Page