Is a 3.4 GPA enough for a PhD in Organic Chemistry?

In summary, a person with a background in nuclear physics posed a question on behalf of a friend who has a degree in biology with emphasis on synthetic organic chemistry. Despite having a solid GPA and some research experience, the friend was rejected from all five organic chemistry programs they applied to, with harsh feedback from one committee member. The person asking the question wonders if the friend's lack of Pchem classes and social issues may have played a role. They also ask if there is a more appropriate forum to pose this question. They eventually received helpful replies on a chemistry forum.
  • #1
DrSteve
Gold Member
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Hi all,

I know that some you have chemistry backgrounds (mine is in nuclear physics), so wanted to pose a question for a friend who is a chemist and is thus not on this site.

He has a degree in biology, with emphasis on synthetic organic chemistry. His overall GPA was ~ 3.2 (3.4 in major). He did some unpaid research in one of his professor's lab for about a year. He applied to five organic chemistry programs (3 PhD; 2 MS) last fall, including UT and Purdue, and was turned away from all of them. His only feedback was from UT, where one committee member (harshly) wrote that his application had no merit. He was even rejected from his alam mater, which is a Tier II university in South Florida.

I don't think a 3.4 ought to rule out PhD possibilities. My friend is smart - he got solid A's in two graduate courses he took as a junior) - but has some social issues (Aspergers). One area of obvious concern is that he has taken no Pchem classes. So my first question is Pchem a prerequisite for a PhD in organic chemistry? (He didn't need it for his major and claims it would have required him to take a total of five additional courses outside his major to finish the pchem series.) My second question is whether there exists a more appropriate forum in which to pose this question (e.g., something akin to Chemistry Forums)?

Thanks,

Steve
 
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  • #2
I knew it was a long shot to post here, since we are (almost all) physicists. I eventually posted the question to http://www.chemicalforums.com/ (who woulda thunk?) and got some great replies. This thread is close.
 

Related to Is a 3.4 GPA enough for a PhD in Organic Chemistry?

1. What is a PhD in Organic Chemistry?

A PhD in Organic Chemistry is an advanced degree that focuses on the study of carbon-containing compounds, their properties, reactions, and applications. It involves conducting original research, analyzing data, and writing a dissertation on a specific topic within the field.

2. What are the career options with a PhD in Organic Chemistry?

Individuals with a PhD in Organic Chemistry can pursue a variety of career paths, including working in research and development, teaching at the university level, or working in the pharmaceutical, biotechnology, or chemical industries. They may also choose to work in government agencies or as consultants.

3. How long does it typically take to complete a PhD in Organic Chemistry?

The length of a PhD program in Organic Chemistry can vary, but it typically takes around 4-6 years to complete. This includes coursework, laboratory rotations, and conducting original research for a dissertation. Factors such as the student's research progress and publication requirements may also impact the length of the program.

4. What are the prerequisites for a PhD in Organic Chemistry?

Most PhD programs in Organic Chemistry require applicants to have a bachelor's or master's degree in chemistry or a related field. Strong coursework in organic chemistry, as well as math and physics, is also typically required. Additionally, some programs may require GRE scores and letters of recommendation.

5. What skills are necessary for success in a PhD in Organic Chemistry?

Successful completion of a PhD in Organic Chemistry requires a combination of strong analytical, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills. Additionally, excellent communication skills, both written and verbal, are crucial for presenting research findings and collaborating with other scientists. Time management and organization skills are also important for balancing coursework, research, and other responsibilities.

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