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Re: Profile Evaluation for PhD in Organizational Behavior
See responses to your questions below:
Questions or concerns you have about your profile?
Low UG GPA - I was a pre-med student suffering from an undiagnosed autoimmune condition. After switching out of pre-med and being put on proper disability, I earned a 3.8 GPA as a junior. I have heard your last 2 years of UG matter most - is this true?
Varies by adcom. You can discuss this in your SOP and have your LORs discuss this as well. I have no clue what the GRE scores represent, in terms of the percentiles... If you're around 90%+ for each, your application should be looked over at a lot of places.
Will having a recommender explain my situation help?
Sure. Couldn't hurt.
I don't think PhD programs will really care why my GPA is low, it will still hurt me heavily, but I'd appreciate honest opinions. My university is also known for deflating grades. I will likely be able to raise my Psych GPA to ~3.5 and my UG GPA to a 3.3 if my senior year goes well.
Adcoms look for certain criteria to not look over some of the applications, especially if the school has a lot of applicants. GMAT/GREs is usually the first cut. With the narrower pool, the adcom will look over the other supporting documents more specifically. I'll be frank, some schools may use GPA in general as a screening criteria. Where the bar is varies. At other places, they may look over all of the applicants. These are factors outside your control, and given how your GPA is history, there's not much you can do at this point. Focus on strengthening everything else that is within your control.
Do you think I have a shot of getting into a top pre-doctoral program?
Sure, pre-doctoral programs aren't as competitive as doctoral programs. Why not take a few shots at both and see what options emerge?
There's a few research associate positions and more tailored programs (Stanford Research Fellows, NYU pre-doctoral, etc.). Some programs offer free GRE prep. I would like to get into one of these programs or work as an RA while taking a few graduate courses to boost my chances of matriculating at a top program. Any thoughts on this plan?I'm trying to avoid an MBA because of the cost, but is this a better option?
I don't think you necessarily need an MBA, especially if you are going for a PhD. The question is can you get into one of these pre-doc programs and are you willing to spend the time and money to live in that area while you go through it.
Would a 324 GRE be a competitive enough score considering my GPA?
Sorry, have no clue what that translates to.Lastly, should I focus more on taking graduate courses or gaining OB research experience?
Research experience for sure.Best of luck!