Tulane MS Microbiology & Immunology

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7+ Year Member
Apr 21, 2015
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I am a non-traditional URM in undergrad as a working student. My major is biology. I am soon to graduate and have a current cGPA of 3.0. My ultimate goal is to work in global medicine for an organization like the CDC or NIH. My interests include immunology, neglected tropical diseases and virology. I have applied to the Peace Corps, because it is something that I have always wanted to do and will be valuable experience in my field.

My short term goal is to demonstrate a better performance in my remaining courses and get a competitive score on the MCAT and to complete a masters. Tulane interests me because of the Malaria and HIV research and the parasitology courses. (My parasitology textbook was written by a Tulane professor and I looked up his online lecture notes). I know there are SMPS such as the ACP program at Tulane and the Georgetown SMP among others but I'm wondering if a good performance in this program (Tulane MS microbio.) would also help me. I've also looked into the MSPH in Tropical Medicine from Tulane, but it is very expensive & would take longer. I contacted admissions for the MSPH and they said they view applicants holistically; that other strengths could compensate for a low gpa.

Additionally, I have about 180 volunteer hours & one year of research experience. I will soon be working in a parasitology lab for course credit. My gpa is low because I have not been able to focus on my education. I work 30 hrs per week with my volunteering and research and coursework. I was self-taught in high school because I was homeschooled in high school for religious reasons. Although I love science, there were major deficits in my education that were not addressed prior to starting college. I worked two jobs for a year to save for community college and transferred to a state university. This last semester was rough, I landed in the hospital, having been diagnosed with a panic attack and later 'persistent daily headache'.

These are not excuses; this is my story. I'm very proud of how hard I have worked. Neither of my parents has a college degree and within a few months, I will have a BS. I'm concerned that my struggles with financial issues, time management and life in general will be viewed as laziness or incompetence.

Any constructive advice will be appreciated.


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Getting the MS in microbiology is totally fine. And yeah, Tulane does have good resources/program for tropical health and public health. Seems like you have a pretty clear idea of how getting the MS in microbio would help you with your future career plans, which is great! Your reasonings for doing something and being able to explain how it fits into your life goals and what you learned from it will determine how much "use" this has for you. Hope this helps!

* also, can't go wrong living in Nola for a while
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