Just thought I'd chat a bit about how it all started for me and where I'm up to at the moment in this application cycle.
So, I'm an Indian student applying for Bioscience and more specifically Immunology Phd programs. I will graduate from the University of York in the UK in July 2011 and am expected to get a 2:1 degree class (which is an A-/B+ in letter grades and I refuse to even try to convert that to a GPA). I took the GRE general test and these were my scores: 640Q, 590V, 4.0AW. I've had a year's worth of research experience in the field in GlaxoSmithKline and am publishing a review article. My final year research project is also immunology based. All in all, I believe I have a strong profile (eek? comments welcome!) and so started the process of choosing 10 grad schools to apply to based on advice from a variety of sources. Some of the schools are simply 'dream schools' and some I've been advised to apply to by various people in the field who know me, what I want to study and where they believe I'd 'fit'.
These are the schools I'm applying to: UCSD, MIT, UCSF, Yale, Rockefeller, UCLA, UPenn, Harvard. My top choices are Harvard, UCSF and UPenn but I think I'd really be happy going to any of these schools though I do have an order of preference based on where the most labs I'd like to work in are. I've already sent of app forms to MIT, Yale and UCSF and am in the process of completing the remaining app forms. UCSD required a pre-app form which I've sent off. They begin reviewing them in November so I won't hear anything from them till then. Yale refuses to tell me if they've received my GRE scores or not even though I sent them off when I took my test back in July! I can't seem to submit the Rockefeller app coz PayPal says it cannot accept money at this point (for the last month! have emailed Rockefeller twice but no response).
Oh and I've had some 'official' transcripts sent off today. I still don't understand why grad schools in the US are so anal about them being in sealed envelopes and sent from my university because here in the UK the transcripts are available online and UK unis accept them printed off by the student because they trust us!!!
Well that's all I have to say at the mo. Please feel free to comment and ask questions. Speak soon!