Question Regarding Research Experience

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thegovernor
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Question Regarding Research Experience

Postby thegovernor » Thu Mar 11, 2010 2:21 am

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Last edited by thegovernor on Sun Oct 31, 2010 2:43 am, edited 1 time in total.

Renzo
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Re: Question Regarding Research Experience

Postby Renzo » Thu Mar 11, 2010 3:38 am

thegovernor wrote:This is my first post on this site (long time lurker). I was curious as to what my 6 semesters of research experience and completion of a published honors thesis in biochemistry/biomedical sciences do for my lacking ~3.4 GPA. Will this make a difference? And if so, what schools will care the most? I haven't taken the LSAT yet so I'm unsure where I will sit after I do.

Thanks!

The short answer is nothing. I have publications in peer-reviewed medical journals, and no one cared much at all. Its a soft factor, meaning it won't really sway schools who have made up their minds based on LSAT/GPA.

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SOCRATiC
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Re: Question Regarding Research Experience

Postby SOCRATiC » Thu Mar 11, 2010 4:07 am

To put it bluntly, it's nothing impressive. I've written a semester-long honors thesis supervised my two faculty members. But to be completely honest, it wasn't that hard. You have an entire semester to write it, and pretty much everyone who had honors was required to do so in our departmet. Imagine how many other applicants try to use this to pad their credentials.

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thegovernor
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Re: Question Regarding Research Experience

Postby thegovernor » Thu Mar 11, 2010 10:43 am

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Last edited by thegovernor on Sun Oct 31, 2010 2:44 am, edited 1 time in total.

rando
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Re: Question Regarding Research Experience

Postby rando » Thu Mar 11, 2010 10:52 am

thegovernor wrote:So six semesters, or two college school years of research finally working up to a successful defense in front of a committee and then ultimately publication is written off as 'nothing impressive'. Wow, sure beats the hell out of me how diligent you guys must have been in your academic studies. Plus, one semester of research is absolutely nothing compared to the extensive amount I'm talking about. I'm not meaning to get excited, I just think that y'all are kind of underestimating what it will mean to an admissions committee.

Anyone else?


Publication is entirely different than just doing an honors thesis. That and many admissions committees do account for the rigor of a hard science degree. That being said, a 3.4 certainly is not a 3.8 regardless of how difficult the coursework was.
I think it will be weightier than your traditional 'soft' factor

Dman
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Re: Question Regarding Research Experience

Postby Dman » Thu Mar 11, 2010 11:24 am

thegovernor wrote:So six semesters, or two college school years of research finally working up to a successful defense in front of a committee and then ultimately publication is written off as 'nothing impressive'. Wow, sure beats the hell out of me how diligent you guys must have been in your academic studies. Plus, one semester of research is absolutely nothing compared to the extensive amount I'm talking about. I'm not meaning to get excited, I just think that y'all are kind of underestimating what it will mean to an admissions committee.

Anyone else?


Won't do much. You are also tossed in with people who have advanced degrees that often require years of research writing a dissertation or Master's thesis. For example, mine was 250 pages written over 2.5 years.

Renzo
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Re: Question Regarding Research Experience

Postby Renzo » Thu Mar 11, 2010 11:33 am

thegovernor wrote:So six semesters, or two college school years of research finally working up to a successful defense in front of a committee and then ultimately publication is written off as 'nothing impressive'. Wow, sure beats the hell out of me how diligent you guys must have been in your academic studies. Plus, one semester of research is absolutely nothing compared to the extensive amount I'm talking about. I'm not meaning to get excited, I just think that y'all are kind of underestimating what it will mean to an admissions committee.

Anyone else?

Why, are you going to ignore passive-aggresively insult them too?

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voice of reason
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Re: Question Regarding Research Experience

Postby voice of reason » Thu Mar 11, 2010 12:18 pm

The honors thesis + publication amounts to a nice soft factor. Unfortunately all the anecdotal evidence on this board is that it will count for less than you think it should.

The thing is, most people applying to competitive law schools have some nice soft factors. To stand out above the people with your LSAT & GPA, or move up into the category of people with higher numbers, you need a really great soft factor. Publishing an undergraduate honors thesis is an impressive accomplishment that not many people do, but it's probably not that kind of super-standout soft that you'd need to have law schools choose you over people with significantly higher numbers.

Grad schools would be more likely to accord your publication the respect it deserves.

EDIT: And holy hellion, gov'nor, what an awful 'tar!

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thegovernor
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Re: Question Regarding Research Experience

Postby thegovernor » Thu Mar 11, 2010 12:40 pm

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Last edited by thegovernor on Sun Oct 31, 2010 2:45 am, edited 1 time in total.

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thegovernor
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Re: Question Regarding Research Experience

Postby thegovernor » Thu Mar 11, 2010 12:43 pm

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Last edited by thegovernor on Sun Oct 31, 2010 2:46 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Aeon
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Re: Question Regarding Research Experience

Postby Aeon » Thu Mar 11, 2010 1:51 pm

Having a published research thesis is certainly an uncommon soft factor, but as mentioned, GPA and LSAT still remain the largest factors that schools consider. If you do very well on the LSAT, you will be a competitive candidate at most schools.

With a biochemistry/biomedical background, though, have you considered going into medicine?




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