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Graduate School

Karen Wheless wheless at sunchem.chem.uga.edu
Tue Feb 25 23:24:34 EST 1997

>Please be honest, if you feel I would be wasting time and money
>applying to graduate school please tell me.  I'd rather know now than
>after I've spent money on application fees that I can't afford.  Since I
>am a junior I will be applying next winter sometime.  If you have any
>suggestions that might increase my chances of admission I'd be happy to
>hear them.  Again thanks for your time.

You should definitely apply!  Grad school admissions are much more
"subjective" than undergraduate admissions.  Your application is
important, but there are a lot of other factors.  Individual professors
usually have a fair amount of clout on admissions committees, so do as
much research on different schools as you can, and pick a few individual
professors that you would be interested in working for.  Then contact
these professors directly - by letter, e-mail, etc.  Since you're in
Alabama, arranging a visit might be hard (although my crosscountry visits
were paid for) but try for a personal phone call at least.  You can
explain your health problems and low grades that way.  And be sure that
you can reassure the professor that they won't stand in the way of doing
the work.  If a professor really wants you to attend, he or she can
influence the admission process (depending on the school, a little or a
lot).  Picking a good advisor is hard, but once you have one, a lot of the
other barriers fall away.  

Some other helpful hints - letters of recommendation are crucial.  If you
can possibly do undergrad research in your senior year, even if it's only
a few hours a week, try your best.  A recommendation from another
professor, saying you can do the kind of work you'll be doing in grad
school, will mean more than your GPA.  And don't forget the GRE's -
general and bio.  Most of all, really think about what you want to do in
grad school, and be enthusiastic about it.  You'll need that enthusiasm in
a few years when you've run a few thousand columns and none of your data
is doing what you want it to do.  Good luck!

Karen Wheless (wheless at sunchem.chem.uga.edu)
        Karen Wheless          wheless at sunchem.chem.uga.edu
"Knowledge is not a loose-leaf notebook of facts"  J. Bronowski

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