ThreeYears wrote:stugots26 wrote:I get a little annoyed when people on here don't consider a PhD in the hard sciences to mean much.
While the few classes I took may practice grade inflation, and that may be the case why my graduate GPA was almost 4, I was doing research and teaching as well from the week I arrived in the program.
I ran my own lab and performed independent research approximately 12 hours a day, 6 days a week, 50.5 weeks a year for slave wages for 6 years in a stinky lab, inhaling fumes, that no one working in "the real world" would ever have put up with. I had annual reviews, progress reports, and regular oversight, despite no financial incentive to produce results and no reasonable, predicted graduation schedule. It was the hardest thing in the world to come in to work the morning after an important reaction failed and find a way to work around the problem. I handled the extra weight as a TA that the rent-a-lecturer organic professors weren't willing to pull, and oftentime felt like I was lecturing myself. I wager that I had just as much real world experience as anyone else on this forum.
My graduate career matured me as an individual far beyond the person who got such a low undergraduate GPA, as the letter of recommendation from my advisor will attest. My research made the cover of a major scientific journal in February. I built character and serious, professional academic skills, and as much as an undergraduate GPA should be taken into consideration, so should all that I've accomplished and done to grow above it in the years since.
Now you are just venting. You are annoyed because you are poorly-informed. If you did your research, you would realize that a PhD in hard sciences, while still valuable, is quickly deteriorating in its quality and persuasiveness without a supporting performance in LSAT.
Getting into a PhD program in Biology and Chemistry is extremely easy. I will not get into details here, but anyone disagreeing with my assertion has a different definition on "easy" from me. Due to the high demand of human labor to perform hands-on biological or chemical experiments, recruiting graduate students is the only viable approach. We are cheap labors. Nothing more. It's no longer a training system like used to be 20 years ago.
When the admission dean at Berkeley was asked about the trend of recent applicants' pool. One trend he spotted is that more and more people with advanced degrees are applying to law school, including people "...with PhD in molecular biology..." Not a good sign, I must say. And here you are, still arguing we deserve some respect for our PhD degrees and the hard work behind this title. It is completely irrelevant. You will not be compared to other applicants, you will be compared to your peers, people also having PhDs in hard sciences, but at the time can score high on LSAT and write good application essays. Although I doubt there is any quota on how many PhDs a school will recruit, but I imagine they would stop at a certain point because we are non-traditional applicants.
To conclude: you are not unique, there are a sizable pool of PhD applicants and you are competing in that pool, not the general applicants. This is the assumption. And you have to re-organize all your arguments based on this assumption.
The lesson here?
Do your PhD in Nuclear Physics. There's always business in making WMD's or keeping you from making WMD's.
Or, you can always go work Intel/TI. But that's no fun.