# MCF10A

Members

82

## Reputation Activity

1. MCF10A got a reaction from Some violinist in Update on Harvard BBS Acceptance Rate
I actually found some data on HILS website and did some math based on the data. The result confirms what @Epigenetics just said:
(source: https://gsas.harvard.edu/programs-of-study/divisions/harvard-integrated-life-sciences)
(1)Last year all programs in HILS (BBS, BIG, MCO, immunology, chem bio, etc) accepted~396 students (2331 total applicants*17% admission rate), and the entering class is 210, which makes the yield rate ~53%.
(2)Since BBS is the largest cohort in HILS (~31% of the HILS), let's assume that the yield rate of BBS is similar to that number of the whole HILS.
(3)In order to fill 65 spots, BBS needs to accept 65/0.53=122 students. If the # of spots to fill is 70, they need to accept 132.
(4)~120 people will attend two interview weekends, and there are more internationals do Skype interview. Harvard BBS has ~30% intl students, let's assume that among 30%, half (15%) reside in the US and are already included in the 120, and the remaining 15% will do skype. The total interviewee number (onsite+skype)=120/(1-0.15)=142.
(5)The conclusion: BBS will interview ~140 students and accept 120-130 students, which makes the post-interview acceptance rate 86-93%. Not bad at all.
So guess we can just chill
2. MCF10A got a reaction from hamsterface in If I knew then what I know now
To future international applicants: Many programs are not "international-friendly", especially some small programs that rely on NIH training grant. When selecting programs, do some homework on whether these programss have a proven track-record of taking intl students.
3. MCF10A got a reaction from hamsterface in 2017 Applicant Profiles and Admissions Results
There are a lot of factors that we can't control in the admission process, especially as fella international applicants.
Many specific cancer biology graduate programs (versus big umbrella programs) heavily rely on NIH T32 grant to recruit students, but they couldn't use T32 to support intl students. Which means that these programs have to secure other funding sources (institutional, private foundation, etc) if they want to recruit intl students, but these funding might not be available every year. That explains why many great cancer bio programs (Stanford Cancer Bio, UPenn Cancer Bio, UChicago Cancer Bio, to name a few) have a very small portion of intl students in their student body.
If you take a closer look at the student body of UPenn Cancer Bio each year (current student, 20XX metrics, Ctrl+F CB), you can notice that there are very few intl students in at least the 2016 and 2015 class (I use educated guess, @Bioenchilada please correct me if I'm wrong on this). And there are hardly any UPenn Cancer Bio interviews/offers in the grad cafe database labeled as "I" or "U" in recent years. So when I got the assumed silent rej from UPenn Cancer Bio, I'm of course sad but somehow anticipated that, because I'm like gambling on whether they will have the funding to support intl student or not.
I know that you're a very strong applicant and UPenn is your top choice. But sometimes being an international applicant just kick yourself out of many games. We all know this part, right? Hope this will help you feel better.
4. MCF10A got a reaction from jougami in 2018 Applicant Profiles and Admissions Results
I would recommend you to take a gap year or two to get more research experience. Your GPA is good enough even for the most competitive program, but your limited research experience would hold you back. Working as a full time RA after graduation will not only help you to get more solid research experience and better recommendation letters, but also give you an opportunity to access whether grad school & a career in research is what you want.
5.
Stanford Genetics!
Anyone else going to Stanford?
6.
It ultimately came down to which school had the whole package of research, mentorship/support and location for me. Don’t get me wrong, it was a very hard decision. I definitely lost some sleep over it.
Long story short, the research fit was very good at both schools, and it would be very hard for me to choose solely based on that.
As for mentorship/support, I got along better with the faculty I interacted with at Penn. This obviously depends on who I happened to interview with/run into, but the gut feeling was there. I decided to listen to it because I got matched with POIs I was really interested in at both places, and simply could see myself working with those at Penn over Harvard. I’ve learned the hard way that personality is something that matters to me.
I also approached it from the angle of: “If (or maybe when) something goes wrong, who (other than my PI) can I go to for guidance?” At Penn I could name two such people after the visiting weekend, at Harvard it was a bit harder. I think this one is largely because CAMB is broken up into a few sub-groups, and each has a chair and administrator. It’s very different when you’re one of six or seven people, versus one of 65. Both of them at Penn sought the few of us in the sub-group out during the interviews to touch base and get to know us. Does not being sought out during the interview mean there is less support at Harvard? Probably not. But the structures of the programs are undeniably different, and I decided that Penn fit my needs better.
Also, there is a higher junior faculty turnover at Harvard than at Penn.  To me, this had a higher probability of translating into a high pressure environment that I didn’t feel would fit the type of environment I learn best in. Of course that will differ on specifics labs and it’s probably avoidable; but again, it’s there, and might limit who I get to work with. I tend to gravitate toward smaller labs (which tend to be led by assistant professors) so I did not want to be limited by this fear.
Finally, I preferred Philly over Boston. I can afford a one bedroom apartment about a 15 minute walk from campus by myself in Philly, in Boston that is nearly impossible. I wanted to have the option to live by myself comfortably. Ruled out NYC because of this one too.
All in all, I had to go with where I felt I would have the highest probability of being happiest and most successful. So it’s not really one deciding factor, but kind of the context of the whole program, including the location, that just made Penn the better fit for me. It was one hell of a personal decision.
7.
I would also say that I would strongly advise against wasting the summer traveling, hanging out with friends, or just hanging out. Unless you need to work full time up until the point you start, which is totally valid, you should not waste the opportunity to get as prepared for the semester as you possibly can. When I did my Masters, I tried to know exactly what was going to be expected of me. I spent the entire summer reading through all the materials for the classes I would be taking. It made the first semester much easier than it would have been had I not done so, because when time was tight and I had deadlines in one class that took a priority over another, I could refer to the notes from my readings. This is likely the last time for several years you will have to get ahead, because you will probably feel like you are perpetually behind for the rest of your graduate school career.
8. MCF10A got a reaction from The Precambrian Rabbit in 2017 Biology Final Decision Threads!
Harvard BBS!
9. MCF10A reacted to blc073 in Columbia vs UCSF
First, I will echo what others have said: you will get out of your PhD what you put into it. The program you choose needs to be right for you. Look for PIs doing work you want to do. Forget courses, forget everything other than the work being done and whether or not it's the type of work that will keep you up at night.
If both programs fit your needs, think about SF vs NYC. Rent is ridiculous in SF, but it's also high in NYC. However, I believe Columbia provides subsidized housing in Washington Heights. Does SF provide affordable housing? In general, it seems like there are west coast people and east coast people. If you know which type you are, the choice should be easy.
As far as science goes, I was under the impression that Columbia pretty much invented modern genetics. Depending on the type of genetics you like, Columbia could be a great fit. In my mind, as someone reading papers everyday, I see more biochemistry coming out of UCSF. I'll just say, there are some amazing publications coming out of UCSF. There are also outstanding PIs coming out of UCSF.
In the end, you're in a really great position and you will be happy either way. Ask yourself, 1) If my top three choices for labs don't work out, will I be happy with my fourth choice?, 2) Do I see myself living in NYC or SF for five or so years?
I know this post is unorganized and prattling. I've had way too much coffee today. But I hope the general ideas are conveyed. Feel free to PM me if you would like bounce around ideas.
Congratulations, regardless! You're in a very fortunate position.
10.
Wom NSF Interestingly enough, my best grades came from my harshest reviewer.
11. MCF10A got a reaction from The Precambrian Rabbit in 2017 Applicant Profiles and Admissions Results
I'm committed too! So see ya'll this fall
12. MCF10A got a reaction from jeanetics17 in 2017 Applicant Profiles and Admissions Results
I'm committed too! So see ya'll this fall
13.
Accepted to VCU BSDP!
14. MCF10A got a reaction from The Precambrian Rabbit in Update on Harvard BBS Acceptance Rate
I actually found some data on HILS website and did some math based on the data. The result confirms what @Epigenetics just said:
(source: https://gsas.harvard.edu/programs-of-study/divisions/harvard-integrated-life-sciences)
(1)Last year all programs in HILS (BBS, BIG, MCO, immunology, chem bio, etc) accepted~396 students (2331 total applicants*17% admission rate), and the entering class is 210, which makes the yield rate ~53%.
(2)Since BBS is the largest cohort in HILS (~31% of the HILS), let's assume that the yield rate of BBS is similar to that number of the whole HILS.
(3)In order to fill 65 spots, BBS needs to accept 65/0.53=122 students. If the # of spots to fill is 70, they need to accept 132.
(4)~120 people will attend two interview weekends, and there are more internationals do Skype interview. Harvard BBS has ~30% intl students, let's assume that among 30%, half (15%) reside in the US and are already included in the 120, and the remaining 15% will do skype. The total interviewee number (onsite+skype)=120/(1-0.15)=142.
(5)The conclusion: BBS will interview ~140 students and accept 120-130 students, which makes the post-interview acceptance rate 86-93%. Not bad at all.
So guess we can just chill
15. MCF10A reacted to blc073 in MIT vs. GSK
I believe you do know who I am.
You are in a great position right now. Relax and know that whatever decision you make will be the right decision.
16.
A potential PI just emailed me congratulating me on getting admitted into Stanford Bio, but I haven't actually heard back yet!
17.
Accepted to NYU with a 2.6 uGPA. Miracles happen.
18.
I got accepted to Stanford for Genetics!! I thought for sure after the interview that I didn't stand a chance. Best day ever!
19.
I'm sorry my username offended you, no need to be so toxic. I created the profile at a low point hence the pessimistic name. I am an international student with average stats, (3.5GPA, >80th percentile GREs, top 100 university in most world rankings) and I tend to apply to very competitive programs as personally doesn't feel worth it to me to make all the sacrifices to go to a school that I am not happy with. Unfortunately this has led to many a rejection. I'd rather keep working as an RA until I build up the research background to go somewhere I would be happy with. P.S I haven't had the chance to interview with the US but every other professor I have interviewed with in other countries have supported my applications and/or offered me jobs.
20. MCF10A got a reaction from Kvothe~ in 2017 Applicant Profiles and Admissions Results
Got accepted by UPenn CAMB Cancer Bio (tho I already emailed to withdraw my application)... I was told by the Adcom that there's a quota for international students, so I declined the offer immediately and hope some other intl student would get this slot soon. Good luck!
Updates: just declined Weill Cornell PBSB and Duke Molecular Cancer Bio too. Hope will help folks on the wait list.
21.
Congrats! I received my official BBS acceptance as well today and I've accepted! Feels good to be done with this exhausting process.
22. MCF10A got a reaction from PhDHopeful3 in 2017 Applicant Profiles and Admissions Results
Got accepted by UPenn CAMB Cancer Bio (tho I already emailed to withdraw my application)... I was told by the Adcom that there's a quota for international students, so I declined the offer immediately and hope some other intl student would get this slot soon. Good luck!
Updates: just declined Weill Cornell PBSB and Duke Molecular Cancer Bio too. Hope will help folks on the wait list.
23.
That's really dumb. GRE scores shouldn't matter at all by this stage. Actually, that test is a scam and should be thrown out altogether.

24.
Waiting to hear back post interview is driving me nuts!!!   The fact that everyone in my lab keeps asking me if I've gotten accepted doesn't help either.
In other news, my step-mom apparently told all her friends and family I'm going to be a medical doctor.......
Just rambling in hopes of keeping my fingers from pressing refresh on my email......
25. MCF10A got a reaction from BigThomason51 in Screwed Up an Interview
Based on my experience it shouldn't be a big deal. I thought I screwed up 2 interviews at 2 schools because I didn't answer the follow-up questions about my own research well. I felt really bad, but I ended up receiving very positive emails from those two interviewers and got into both schools. Thing are usually better than we thought, so don't worry too much!
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