Need advice from somebody who is well versed in graduate school acceptance. ?

I am currently an undergraduate student with a major in Biology with an emphasis in Biomedical Science. Genetics has been a passion of mine for years, and I'm desperate for a future career in this field. Biology, Anatomy/Physiology, and the like are all classes I have succeeded in. Intro level Chemistry courses on the other hand, I have had very sore luck with.

To be short, I had to take Gen. Chem twice before I passed. The first time I took Gen. Chem II I was also working full-time at a nursing facility that was overall a bad work environment that added a lot of stress. My studying habits and grades suffered miserably. I made a huge mistake and was caught cheating on an exam in a mindless, desperate attempt to not fail. This lead me to failing the course due to academic dishonesty. I have made amends with this professor, and am trying to move on from that mistake.

I retook Gen. Chem II over the summer and passed. I am now taking O. Chem I, and will be taking O. Chem II in the spring. Poor scores for all, with a C average all around.

I love Biology, and the thought of not working with genetics is heartbreaking. I would love to move onto getting my PhD so I can do these things I love! Is graduate school a far fetch?

If it came down to it, there are other majors/careers I would be happy in, such as Speech Pathology. But I feel as if I would have "What If" stuck at the back of my mind for the rest of my life. I guess I just want to know if anybody has any advice.

1 Answer

  • 3 weeks ago

    1. Graduate school is a "far fetch" for anyone. 

    2. You will need a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher to be admitted to any graduate school for biology. Your last two semesters are more important than your first two, and you should be acing most of your biology classes. 

    3. You say you are trying to "move on" from your "mistake" but I don't really see it in your attitude. For pity's sake, stop referring to your problems with chemistry as "bad luck"! "Luck" has absolutely nothing to do with it. You didn't study hard enough. Period. And then you cheated! Take some actual responsibility for your actions. 

    4. Find out from your college and bio department if you can take Ochem over the summer at a community college and transfer in the credit to meet the major requirement. Community colleges are easier than four-year colleges (and medical schools won't accept the credit), but since you only want to get through the bio major requirement, it may be a better option for you if it's OK with your college. Don't get a job, get a tutor, and eat, sleep and breath Ochem for the summer. On a brighter note, while many people who do well in Chem 1 and 2 hit the wall when they take Ochem, the opposite is also true: sometimes people who struggle with Chem 1 and 2 find Ochem to actually be easier. 

    5. Why not withdraw from Ochem 1 now if you're failing it? And do you actually need Ochem 2 for your bio major (most colleges don't require it)?

    6. For graduate school, your undergraduate research is more important than your grades (aside from the 3.0 minimum GPA). They's rather have a 3.1 GPA with a published paper in a relevant field than a 3.8 GPA who's done nothing. So get a part-time job in a lab, pick up an independent research class, or do something to get your foot in the door. 

    • Haley3 weeks agoReport

      But anyway, I appreciate your honest advice. Research is what really drives me, so it is reassuring to know that that is what is most important to them. 

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