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Microburritology last won the day on December 7 2015

Microburritology had the most liked content!


About Microburritology

  • Rank
    Double Shot

Profile Information

  • Gender
    Not Telling
  • Location
    New Haven
  • Application Season
    2016 Fall
  • Program
    Biochemistry, Molecular Biology

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2,217 profile views
  1. Microburritology

    Post Interview Acceptance Rates

    Sure. One thing I would say is, definitely show that your interests are broad. Interact passionately with each interviewer, show them curiosity at the least even if you aren't interested in their field. I had a very smart (and very competitive on paper) peer with me on my recruitment weekend at Yale. She didn't make it, and I later found out from sources that she clearly expressed her enthusiasm in a very narrow subfield from the outset, which although great for her, didn't go down too well with the ad-com.
  2. Microburritology

    Post Interview Acceptance Rates

    Umm it was a little more than 75% last year (my cycle), and we're planning on the same this year. My PI is actually on the ad-com this year, and she said literally all they look for if you've been called up for the interview is a) you are the same science-passionate student you seem on paper, and b) you aren't an arrogant douchebag. All the best
  3. Microburritology

    2017 Applicant Profiles and Admissions Results

    International students: Umm wow, but NO, that's really delusional. International students are not "generally considered AFTER domestic students", they are considered SEPARATELY - The very point I've been trying to make. Ask me, I was one. International students are evaluated in the pool of international students, for the number of seats available for international students. In a given application season, in a given pool of international students, for a particular university, a particular candidate might have an easier time making the top 5% in the international pool (because of his university's recognition + GRE might stand out well from other international applicants), than he would making it to the top 5% in the general domestic pool with the same stats. So NO, he/she might not have a harder time, cuz applicants in the two pools are evaluated differently. Rankings: I like the way you, as did bioenchilada, just made a broad statement about US News being "WIDELY considered to be an unreliable resource and many times flat out wrong". Okay, by whom? Many times, when? Again, any evidence, apart from individual perceptions? I've been seeking a strong source to make that case but sadly have found none. Also, I'm so glad you brought the NIH funding into your argument. Sure, they do indicate the amount of money being given for projects deemed investable by the NIH, but that quite doesn't perfectly proportionalize to a program's quality/rigor. You're saying NIH funding levels are a much better resource and are a good indicator of competitiveness of programs - am I then to assume that Pittsburgh has more competitive science ongoing that Stanford? Or even EQUAL? Plus, this doesn't take into account the private funding, AT ALL, which is huge for programs like Stanford, and many other private schools. Lastly, for the last time, I can't even understand why ranking according to any metric, dubious or genuine, is factoring into "a person's likelihood of getting selected to a program". With that level of funding for the top 20 programs (on any list) seem to have, your problem really shouldn't be about funding, and your likelihood, along with your focus, should really just boils down to your profile. Basically, how strong and convincing is your profile for the adcom to say, "Yup, we want that student in our lab". And when it comes down to your profile, an international candidate which might seem invaluable to Harvard might not to Berkeley, or vice versa, for a million + 1 reason's. Hence, my advice to the OP: You shared a list of program, ALL of which seemed achievable with your profile. Make your dream programs (based on research, PI, location, stipend, whatever) your priority, others your safety schools. And with his credentials, the safety schools seemed pretty reasonable.
  4. Microburritology

    2017 Applicant Profiles and Admissions Results

    1) Well, as I kept, and keep saying, future applicants should not be concerned about rankings in the first place to measure their likelihood of getting in. Definitely not. 2) Apart from you saying it, I honestly haven't found any reliable source which outright states NRC as "the most reliable source available". So sorry, would have to disagree with you on that one. Definitely over and out this time.
  5. Microburritology

    2017 Applicant Profiles and Admissions Results

    @Bioenchilada, Entitled = No. Just wanting the new kid to make the best decisions. US News = Reliable? = Yes. UPenn far inferior? = Definitely not. I wouldn't even use the word inferior, since UPenn is highly prestigious. When you talked about rankings, I just said it definitely does come below the other programs in the rankings of life sciences graduate fields. I went to UPenn for my interview too, interviewed with one faculty at Perelman, and it was hard for me to turn them down, if it makes you feel better
  6. Microburritology

    2017 Applicant Profiles and Admissions Results

    Nonetheless there's actually NO use discussing the merit of rankings because it's his profile which makes it easy/difficult for him, not the ranking of any school by any methodology. If his remaining profile is just as good, he should have a good shot at the schools listed. I do maintain that his application might be evaluate differently based on his international status, but that definitely won't make it always harder for him. International pools are byzantine to evaluate, with so many more complicated details/factors involved. Over and Out.
  7. Microburritology

    2017 Applicant Profiles and Admissions Results

    I might be coming off as condescending, but that's the frustration coming out of reading misleading/discouraging comments to someone with a great profile, who hasn't even begun applying yet, solely based on two factors which actually come at the bottom of the checklist: rankings, and GPA. I keep implying, cuz you keep saying "Upenn is better if not equal in this that and that and no matter what" without any factual evidence. So many loopholes from your last paragraph. What makes you think US News does not have sophisticated data? Oh golden standards, by whom? Under continuous scrutiny, by whom? So far I haven't read one admissions office release bad news specifically about US Rankings, but here is a statement released by University of Washington Computer Science and Engineering department on the NRC rankings: http://www.math.columbia.edu/~woit/wordpress/?p=3197 UGH. BUT THEY ARE NOT EVALUATED ON THE SAME SCALE!!! If it's difficult for domestic students, that DOES NOT make it automatically more difficult for international students. Different pools, different metrics, and different evaluations. The overall likelihood of admission is not evaluated the same way for domestic students and international students, and I learnt it the hard way, and confirmed it from the admissions director at three different schools. I myself wished I had known earlier so I had applied to more competitive programs. Exactly why these statements are frustrating me.
  8. Microburritology

    2017 Applicant Profiles and Admissions Results

    @PlanBUmm the GPA from Indian schools doesn't convert on a 1 - 1 scale. According to World Evaluation Services, my GPA was an 8.6 and that converted to a 3.65. I don't know his individual grades but estimate his to convert easily to a 3.9 or higher, which definitely is a competitive GPA for international students. Even if it did translate to a 3.7, you would advise him to stay AWAY from highly competitive programs, not taking into consideration anything else? Research, papers, letters, nothing? Like WTF happened to people here?!
  9. Microburritology

    2017 Applicant Profiles and Admissions Results

    Once again, rankings are the LAST measure we should be using to measure up the likelihood. What's erroneous is to assume that if "according to xyz source, ABC program is higher ranked than than DEF" than somehow this equates to ABC program being tougher to get into than XYZ for everyone. Wow, whatever happened to different profiles and backgrounds having different weightage to different schools. Just because you use NRC and Ph.D. org (or because they rank your school higher?) does not mean they somehow become "far more reliable" than US News. Any premise to support that hypothesis? Or you just didnt find them to be accurate enough for your purposes? LOL. Umm, the fields we're talking about fall under UChicago's and WUSTL's graduate schools, not medical schools. How fair is it then to compare UPenn's medical school to theirs when their medical school isn't even involved in graduate studies? If a university is strong in a particular field for graduate studies, US News ranks it irrespective if of which school in that university offers it, like it did for the immunology and infectious diseases program. In NO OTHER field of graduate study does UPenn come above WUSTL/UChicago. Oh but US News is not accurate, according to you. Sorry
  10. Microburritology

    2017 Applicant Profiles and Admissions Results

    Haha, you conveniently ignored pretty much every other factor in determining an applicants selection likelihood to a program, except ranking and "Ivy League" status. Really?! 1) Applicant Profile: "regardless of your credentials?" LOL. You need to remember that all the adjectives you use for a program and its selection (extremely hard, more competitive, etc.) differ not just by the programs ranking, but also on your background/profile. Whats extremely hard for you might be different for someone else, when you take international students, and even more when you take south east asian students into the mix. Not only does Berkeley have A TON more of collaborations on life science projects/exchange programs with universities in India than Harvard, they also recognize more otherwise "unknown" universities. Further, If he's from the university I think he's from, he'd have a much better shot at Berkeley cuz not only has it taken students from that university, but it has made some major collaborations with it in the past. In such a scenario, just because Berkeley has a better biochem program than Harvard does not mean Berkeley would be tougher than Harvard for him, it would in fact be much easier. 2) Competitiveness: Saying that "UPenn's program is more competitive, and I believe more selective than UChicago" is very broad and vague. Please remember that you are a domestic applicant and he's an international applicant. Different pools, different competition levels, and again different perceptions especially when you're talking of private universities. He might be at the top of the international pool (he probably will with a high general GRE score) while someone domestic with the same stats might be in the average section of the domestic pool. I also personally believe UChicago is in fact far more selective than UPenn. 3) Rankings/Ivy League: I'm talking of graduate programs in the life science, and I'm sorry, but "Ivy League schools tend to have very strong and competitive programs in a wide range of fields" is actually misleading by way of vagueness. Every Ivy Leagues does have some strong programs, but in life sciences Darthmouth & Brown are nowhere in the top 20, and were not even my safety picks. Even if you take the rankings into play, your argument is still flawed. According to US News Biological Sciences Graduate programs, UPenn is ranked 19 (same as UW Seattle), and UIUC 30th, both not in top 15. Berkeley is indeed tied with MIT, but is 4 spots below Harvard for biochem graduate programs. I know you're heading to UPenn, but WUSL and UChicago are both far ahead of UPenn, even if you take your ranking argument into consideration. The only field where UPenn comes in top 10 is Immunology and Infectious Diseases programs at 6, thanks to Perelman School of Medicine.
  11. Microburritology

    2017 Applicant Profiles and Admissions Results

    Hi! I did my undergrad from India too, graduated with a slightly lower GPA than yours. Your profile seems strong, good job on the subject test (although I wish I could've told you sooner that it doesnt do much for your application and saved you a headache and a ton of money), and with a good GRE general score + strong SOP you should do pretty good at most of the schools you've listed. I applied the last cycle to a couple of schools on your list, got through to Yale, and so if you need any help, guidance, or need me to read through your SOP, don't hesitate to message me As to your list, I would say apply to these: MIT (hard) Harvard (little hard, but should be achievable) Yale (is achievable) UC Berkeley (is achievable) University of Chicago (is achievable) Washington Seattle (is achievable) WUSTL (easy - safety) UIUC (easy - safety) UPenn (easy - safety)
  12. Microburritology

    Saint Louis University Question

  13. Microburritology

    Yale - Fall 2016

    A one bedroom in East Rock sounds nice! Everyone seems to love east rock? How much did you get it for? And did you find the listings and have them check it out?
  14. Microburritology

    2016 Applicant Profiles and Admissions Results

    Declining Penn Bio, WUSTL DBBS, and Oxford IBS. Hope it helps someone on the waitlist!
  15. Microburritology

    Yale - Fall 2016

    I'm surprised there wasn't a thread already for Yale's Graduate School of Arts & Sciences, Fall 2016 Admits. i'll be joining the Ph.D. program in the Yale BBS program, MCGD track. Would love to which departments and programs others decided on Yale are joining, and more importantly, where are you'll deciding to stayy?!

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