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madbiochemist

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About madbiochemist

  • Rank
    Espresso Shot

Profile Information

  • Gender
  • Location
    Maryland
  • Application Season
    2015 Fall
  • Program
    Bioengineering Ph.D.

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  1. Just wanted to chime in and wish everyone good luck! I'm a second year at JHU and I'm really looking forward to meeting all the Hopkins interviewees in February! I do cell and tissue engineering research so let me know if you have questions about that program! I can also answer questions about Baltimore as well if you message me. Thanks to Extra Espresso for the great info and hope you've remained well-caffeinated through your first year.
  2. I did a B.S. in Biochemistry and made the switch to a biomedical engineering PhD. You can do it, but you need to take any courses required by the graduate department (usually they require math through differential equations and linear algebra). I think you probably also need to have killer research experience within an engineering lab before graduate school. Then you should apply to a lot of schools. I know (from faculty) that my stats would have qualified me for several schools I was rejected from if only I had an engineering degree instead of a biology degree. Sometimes I also feel a bit behind in my engineering classes, but I can get help from the professors/other students when I need to. You can message me if you have questions.
  3. Yep, I'm on a fellowship and get a 1099-MISC as well. I was thinking about buying a house with my fiance, but we've decided against it for now. Primarily because our lease is up in a few months and I don't want to be worried about house hunting during finals. An interesting option that I haven't seen mentioned yet is that you don't need to sell your house after 5 years. You could turn it over to a management company and let them rent it out until the market bounces back, if you needed/wanted to.
  4. If you're still making your decision know that if you come to JHU, there will be cookies.
  5. Please let programs know before the 15th if you know you aren't going there so that schools can extend invitations to students on wait lists. Schools want a particular class size and it becomes really difficult if we don't accept the alternates until the very last minute (or after the April 15th deadline).
  6. Hi! I'm a current JHU PhD student. You'll want advice on the neighborhoods in Baltimore if you decide to live here. Each neighborhood is different. I live in Mount Vernon and it's really safe; probably one of the safest in Baltimore. It's the historical district and has lots of music, entertainment, and awesome restaurants. A lot of young professionals live here. Consequently, it's also one of the more expensive areas. Fell's point is another really nice one. It's got a lot of bars and restaurants and young people living there. I think you can walk to the School of Medicine if you're in Upper Fell's. Charles Village and Hampden are also really nice, but they're closer to the undergrad campus than the School of Medicine. My point is, there are a lot of really nice, affordable places to live in Baltimore. I wouldn't live north, east, or west of the School of Medicine though. Those areas are a little rougher. On campus is fine because they have police officers sitting in booths about every 1/2 block or more. There are Hopkins-sponsored services that will pick you up from wherever you are on the School of Medicine campus and drive you to the front door of your apartment for free, if you're staying late. The police will always be willing to escort you to your car, if you're nervous.
  7. Yeah, I'd talk to your mentor from undergrad and see if they have suggestions. Since you're switching fields, they might not have a ton of connections, but you never know. Otherwise you can just email professors and see if they're taking post-bac students. Sometimes you can get a lab technician position that's paid, but if you're switching fields you may need to volunteer your time. My lab has two post-bac students and they're both unpaid, unfortunately.
  8. I think you should defer and try to get a fully funded PhD program next year! You can really get a lot done in the lab when you're not in classes so your application will probably be much stronger then!
  9. I live in Baltimore and work at the School of Medicine. Though I wouldn't suggest living right be the SOM itself (not the nicest part of town), Baltimore as a whole isn't bad. There are a lot of really nice neighborhoods that students live in. Other students from Boston, New York, Chicago, and California say living expenses are much much cheaper than many other cities (I'm from Kansas, so it's more expensive than that, but I've never heard of someone being able to beat my $300/month rent and utilities and pet fee). There's a lot of stuff to do for really cheap. For example, I have Baltimore symphony season tickets, which cost $25 for the year. One of the nice things about Baltimore (actually any city really) is that there are tons of opportunities to try and help people and communities.
  10. Is your tuition waived at least? Personally, I wouldn't have gone to graduate school if I had to take on debt for another degree, but that definitely depends on your situation.
  11. I did an REU at UCSD (I worked in the Sanford Consortium, if you toured that). Many of the graduate students left lab at 2 or 3 on Friday to go surfing in the summers. Sure, there will be rough weeks (or months), but I think some of that also depends on your PI wherever you go.
  12. No, some people were rejected after interviews.
  13. Last year we accepted a few people off the alternate list too. We're looking for a relatively big class this year (2015 we had 28 and we want ~35 for 2016) and the number of applications we received was less than last year (probably because our deadline was earlier). I can't promise anything of course, but I would expect that we'll accept a few off the wait list as well this year. Really sorry that you're in that spot, but hopefully you get in here or end up somewhere that you think is an even better fit. I'm one of the JHU first years who was pretty involved with recruitment and I have no idea how they can choose between you all. I thought everyone was super friendly, smart, and impressive.
  14. I don't agree that the workload is insubstantial, depending on how much time foreignstudent is putting into lab. We don't take more than 3 classes at a time. Our program never has students TA and take classes in the same semester (and we only TA once or twice, ever) and when I read that foreignstudent was taking 9 credit hours and TAing for two classes in one semester, I cringed. Maybe it's just midterm season and I feel like I'm drowning (which is why I'm procrastinating on here, of course). Plus, if you haven't been in academia for a while, it takes some time to remember what studying requires. Try not to put so much pressure on yourself to come up with the best idea ever that's going to get you a Nature paper in your first 6 months, or whatever. Your professor just wants you to start defining what your role in the lab will be and where you want to go. It doesn't need to be perfect at first. That's what mentoring is for. Just propose something you think is interesting and potentially feasible for the next semester. Plan out your experiments with your adviser's help. Try to come up with a question you find interesting and propose a few ways to go about trying to find the answer. You can do this. You're in graduate school for a reason.
  15. I think finding a topic that interests you is more important than researching a strictly engineering topic. Biomedical engineering is a broad field with researchers coming from all sorts of backgrounds (engineering, chemistry, biology, materials science, computer science, math, etc.) so find something that you really think will be interesting. If that's electrical engineering work, go with it. If that's neuroscience, that's cool too. As long as you enjoy what you're doing, you'll push yourself to answer questions and that is what will really shine in your application.