Apr 6, 2010
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Other Health Professions Student
Hey! I am new to the forum & have some questions about PhD admissions. I am getting my MPH in epidemiology & global health from a top 10 PH school and am interested in getting my PhD in epidemiology. I am interested to hear from some other PhD applicants or current students about your stats and work experience and the entire application process to see what my chances are.

The reason I am concerned is because I had some personal (family) issues this semester & had to spend a good amount of time going home (another city) & really didn't put as much time into school as I should have (I know this is my own fault & am not making excuses). I got a 3.7 my first semester, but I am afraid it will be between a 3.0 and 3.5 this semester (including a B in both required epi classes). I know this is very low for graduate school so I am worried my chances may be shot, even if I get a 4.0 all next year. My work experience is good & I will probably work for for a year or so before applying. Thanks for any help/advice in advance!
 

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Research fit, research fit, research fit. You have to find faculty you're interested in working with whose research fits with what you want to do. No matter what anything else is like, if this doesn't fit, you won't get accepted.

A B in epi methods courses will definitely hurt you (especially if you want to stick with an epi PhD), but the best thing you can do is get involved in research and be sure to demonstrate a strong understanding of epidemiology and what specific area of research you want to enter. You must cater your personal statement towards a specific group of faculty members at the schools you're applying to.

Getting involved with research and getting an important faculty member to write you a personal LoR (not the generic, "oh this student was great!" letter) lauding your research skills will definitely bolster your application. Get personal by getting involved with his/her research as a RA or GRA or something to that extent.