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Everything posted by AllieKat

  1. Current biochemistry PhD student that took biochem I pass/fail (skipped biochem II) in undergrad due to tight scheduling with my music degree. Not one soul asked me about it. I highly doubt anyone from a genetics/biomedical science program will care about you not taking organic II. But if you take it and get a C...a lower GPA could be a deciding factor down the road.
  2. To add to your list, Michigan's biomedical sciences program (PIBS) doesn't require the GRE anymore and ranks quite highly. As for categorizing or ranking them, I'd imagine each schools' competitiveness is comparable to last year's, if not more competitive, due to more applicants since getting rid of the GRE. I'd pay attention to the schools' past statistics on their websites, US news rankings, and available information on this forum. Good luck! And if you stick with this list, 10-12 applications is not abnormal, so it might be worth a deep dive into all of them to find your research interests.
  3. I'm considering the Amazon fire HD 10 for this, for a cheap price point (~$115 right now, or $90 on prime day next month). I've only used others' for a short period, though, so I'm not sure how it would fare day-to-day.
  4. AllieKat

    Nashville, TN

    This depends a lot on where you're living and where all you need to get to. Regardless, if you're looking for a city you can fully experience via bus/bike/foot, Nashville isn't it. If you live within biking distance of campus--and you just want to be able to go to class, get your groceries, and hit up a few restaurants and bars--that's totally do-able. You'll probably have a cohort with cars, if you're okay with depending on them for group outings. Just don't expect the buses to EVER be on time.
  5. I'd recommend heading over to reddit for this one! Try r/eatcheapandhealthy and r/mealprepsunday
  6. I'd talk to the admissions coordinator about your situation. They'll be able to tell you what's normal for their program, plus that'll mean that at least one person is looking out for your application.
  7. You've got quite the spread of programs here, with some neuroscience and some completely different. Are you wanting to continue in neuro or branch into something else? If you want to keep your options open, it may be wise to apply to the schools' umbrella programs when available, instead. Baylor has a separate umbrella program (IMBS), as does Northwestern (IBiS or DGP, for the respective campuses). You'd be able to rotate in any department's labs. As for Emory, they don't have an umbrella, so you'll be picking your top two for possible interviews. As you can probably tell, I applied to a several of these schools, so let me know if you have any specific questions.
  8. Hi! I was also heavily involved in my sorority, and included it on my applications. I would highly suggest you include it, especially if those are your only leadership positions while in college. When ( both male and female) interviewers asked me about being president of my sorority, it was always in an open-minded "what did you learn?" kind of way. That's when you talk about learning collaboration, speaking skills, etc. For the GRE, your scores would not hurt you. They're very good. As far as it being a waste of money on scores reports, I truly have no idea, given that schools that make it optional probably don't weigh it heavily at all. With your GPA being slightly below average, it could help to reinforce that your major was just really hard. Make sure to know the ins and outs of your new project, when it comes to research statements/interviews. Since you said you're unsure about the rec letter coming out of this, show your PI that you have it all together when collecting, sharing, and especially presenting data. You may lack the excitement and motivation to work on this project, but if you can exemplify discipline, that's much more valuable. Motivation will fade before you have your PhD, but discipline is what will get you to the finish line. Then tell your PI to frame the letter as you being a very disciplined and talented scientist, even when you're not interested in the specifics (just imagine how well she'll do in a field she actually likes)!
  9. I'd add Colorado (if you're talking about Denver, they're known quite well for immunology in particular, but they're technically an R2, I believe. All I know about UC Boulder is that it's an R1 that ranks much higher generally). Another "second tier" school might be Vanderbilt. Perhaps look into Notre Dame if you're okay with living in the sticks (but hella $$$). And, of course, if you want the hook up for someone in the immunology department at Baylor, I'd be happy to give you some student contact info.
  10. I love Story Collider and Hello PhD both! I definitely recommend scrolling through the episode titles for Hello PhD; the discussions are very useful, but can also be very situational to different seasons of grad/science life. For my science news, I listen to AAAS's Science Magazine podcast.
  11. It was new! Mine is a Lenovo 100S. I've had some problems handling multiple windows open this last month, but a factory reset helped.
  12. From what I've seen (Southerner here), everyone wears pants pretty consistently, but those are often jeans or leggings. A girl in a neighboring H. pylori lab wears shorts all the time, but she also handles things without gloves and we judge her hardcore for both. I'd just wear pants and if you're NOT working with an infectious disease and other people show up to lab in shorts, it's probably acceptable to wear shorts.
  13. Magoosh has a free vocabulary flashcard app (called "GRE vocabulary flashcards"), hundreds upon hundreds of words. That's all I used for vocab. Maybe try it and see if it helps you as much as writing them down!
  14. For note-taking (not so great for writing papers, since you don't have the full version of word), I've loved my chromebook. I got a lenovo for about $160 two years ago, and it's holding up fine. The battery life is about 7-8 hours.
  15. Check out UC Denver and Emory cancer bio!
  16. Definitely contact the department administrator to let them know your situation. You don't necessarily have to say that you can't afford to visit on your own dime, but let them know where you'd be coming from and ask what other information they need from you. They should make it evident in their reply what "arrangements" they're able to make (read: pay for). This could range from scheduling meetings to setting up a graduate student host to paying for a flight, hotel, and meals. If they don't make it clear in their reply, then I'd reinforce that a visit is very important in making your decision, and then ask directly what financial assistance is available.
  17. AllieKat

    Nashville, TN

    Haha wow the video wasn't too far off, especially for the bars and touristy areas. So for the low down...I live walking distance to Vandy's med center (not sure where your English classes would be, but also walking distance from my apartment, I'm willing to bet), and I pay $1000/mo for my 1BR apartment (no pets allowed and no space for the doggos anyway, sorry). If you're looking for a house for $1400/mo, you might be able to find a 2BR/1Ba in Sylvan Park, East Nashville , possibly even Germantown for that price. If you're willing to get a roommate or two, you could easily find a 3BR house in any of those areas or closer to campus and pay more like $1000 apiece, perhaps less. You're right, the argument over East Nashville is settled, and it can be summed up by one interaction I've had: some guys came up to me one night to ask, "what's the seediest part of Nashville?" I said, "you're pretty much in it, sorry," and their reply was "Seriously? This is the whitest, most gentified piece of shit." (if anyone's wondering, they were looking for cocaine). It's gentrifying (FAST) for better or for worse. Still not nearly as kitschy as Broadway, the Gulch, etc; it's more akin to 12th Ave with the hipster restaurants, speakeasies, tourists seeking out hot chicken. There are a few sketchy areas, but if you walk around your neighborhood beforehand, you'll know pretty immediately whether you'll feel safe there or not. Or you could probably do a google maps search and base it on how many coffee shops are within a 1 mile radius. From what I can tell, there are definitely still places you'll only find if you drive around and look for signs out front. They don't have to advertise all that much in Nashville with tons of people moving here and renting temporary apartments til they find homes. I did find my (individually owned) apartment via internet, though, for what that's worth. Hope that was helpful! Also, if anyone without pets wants my apartment, PM me (my lease is up the end of June).
  18. Maybe she wrote her SOP about gender discrimination she's experienced or how she was discouraged from pursuing the field from a young age. That would've made her essay stand out for sure. With that said, graduate admissions is a bit of a crapshoot to begin with--with many outstanding candidates having applications of equal quality, but a program having only a few spots to fill. As far as positively selecting for diversity in gender (and other factors), why is that surprising or egregious...? If dozens of qualified applicants are up for a limited number of spots and a school's first choice stand-outs (who likely have had the most opportunities/best education/most help with applications) are almost entirely men, why not give the last spot to a woman (and/or an ethnic/racial minority, a first gen college student, an LGBTQ+ person) who is equally qualified as other applicants from traditionally advantaged socioeconomic groups, but who will add to the diversity and the breadth of life experience in a cohort? I'm not trying to comment on your individual privilege, because I know absolutely nothing about you except that you seem to be a male applying to math programs. I'm just trying to bring up points as to why underrepresented points of view (which you may also have in your own way) are valuable to a university. Given how few women pursue advanced math degrees, however, it makes sense as to why their perspective is easier to sell to admissions committees.
  19. Here's a space for anyone planning on going to the Texas Medical Center to meet! I'll be at Baylor in the biochem and molecular biology department.
  20. Just sent in my letter for Baylor's biochem and molecular biology program!! What a RELIEF that this is over.
  21. AllieKat

    Houston, TX

    Looking for advice on living close to the medical center! I've been told "it's a buyer's market," so it's common to see some very negative reviews, but where should I actually avoid? Also, how functional is the bus system/the light rail? I'll have a car, but I'm wondering how easy it'd be to take public transit for my daily commute. Thanks!
  22. I haven't officially decided, but I've narrowed my list down to two, including Northwestern's biological sciences program! PM if you wanna chat
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