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About LMac

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    Neuroscience PhD

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  1. I think you'll need to include your research interests, stats (GPA, GRE score, research experience, etc) for anyone to be able to help. Aside from that, I don't believe there are any actual "safety" schools per se, since interview and personal/research fit are so important. I've seen many people get in to some programs but not their safety schools over the years. I recommend only applying to schools you would actually attend and be content with if you got in. Best of luck!
  2. I had a 2.9 in undergrad and instead of getting a Masters before applying, I took additional undergrad courses (microbio, organic chem, calculus, etc) and pulled all A's. This was far cheaper than a MS in the states and was enough to prove that I was no longer the student I was before. If you feel like you have changed the things you need to and can get strong grades, then personally I would choose that path. The bio sciences PhDs I've heard of all have a masters en route, so having the first wouldn't really count for much beyond applications. Just be careful of going from a low GPA to expect
  3. Agreeing with previous posters that a B+ is nothing to worry about. I spent a fair amount of real estate in my SOP explained my grades, and I had a 3.08. I am currently attending a top 10 school in my field. Take a deep breath and spend time in your SOP explaining why you're pursuing a PhD and why X school is the best fit for you, and you for them. Good luck!
  4. High school drop out here. Glad to see there's a couple of us around. I wasn't a nerd, but was seriously awkward in a "hanging out behind the school, sneaking cigarettes" kind of way. At 16 I dropped out and moved out of my parents house into my first apt. I got that rebelliousness out of my system quickly, got my GED, went to community college, transferred to a 4-year university and got my bachelors. To call my GPA mediocre would be generous. After taking a few years off I went back and took some post-bac classes and was shocked to realize I'm no longer the same student I was. Finally, my ful
  5. Taking a summer off can be VERY beneficial. It's your last chance to do so for a while, so if you can afford it it's certainly something to consider. I wasn't coming straight from undergrad, so I was able to take the month of June off and travel a bit. My incoming class was quite big, with a lot of overlap in which labs we were interested in so starting early allowed me to finish my rotations and choose a lab before the spots started filling up. That being said, in my opinion one of the worst things you can possibly do is to start grad school already feeling burned out. Best of luck!
  6. LMac

    Child free

    I'll chime in. I'm 36 with no plans for children. I love my nieces and nephews and my friend's children, but just don't desire any of my own. I'm on my second IUD, and that helps me avoid hormonal birth control. I've had many people ask if I have kids, but never anyone that jumped straight to asking how many I have. I find that most faculty in academia are very accepting of this, and it's largely been a non-issue for me. My classmates have never brought this up (probably because they're mostly 23 years old and haven't thought of it yet), but I don't feel like people expect it of me, which I a
  7. When I accepted the offer from my Neuroscience program, I contacted PIs within a month of getting accepted. That said, I started early and did a summer rotation beginning July 1st. It allowed me to rotate with my top choice lab first (which I have since joined). As long as you know the proper procedure, I don't think it can hurt to make an impression early.
  8. LMac

    Older students?

    It is illegal for anyone who has a say in admissions to ask age related questions, just as it is to ask about religious beliefs, sexual orientation, marital status, disabilities, or position on abortion. I had a student during the admissions process ask me if I thought I would have trouble relating to my classmates because of my age, and that maybe instead of socializing I would feel like "I needed to get home." I was furious, and later found out that the individual is incredibly nice and was just ignorant as what was, and was not ok to ask. I let the admissions committee know after the pr
  9. Reading the threads of incoming students who are planning for their first year reminds me so much of myself one year ago. I was so eager to get started. Why was I in such a freaking hurry? I'd love to have a summer off now. Anyway, can you believe in a few short months we'll be second years? Congrats to everyone on surviving our first year of graduate school!!!
  10. Hey ion_exchanger, I was really, really tempted to do 4th. We'll never get another chance, so I think you made a great choice! There was one other lab I really wanted to rotate in but the PI is going on sabbatical next year so he wasn't taking students. I'm also a crazy planner, so not knowing where I as going to end up was driving me a bit wacky. Only 1 straight out of undergrad in your cohort? I'm one of 3 weirdos in my cohort that has actually worked before starting grad school. The rest were in undergrad last year (which blows my mind, I would have crashed and burned if I'd tried that)
  11. I finished my lab rotations and am the first in my class to join a lab! Woo hoo!!!
  12. I haven't heard of any PhD programs with deadlines this late. The admissions processes is usually once a year, with application deadlines around Dec 1 to Jan 15. Someone else may have some ideas, but I think you may have to wait until next year. Most programs are currently in the middle of interviews or finishing them. It's also very difficult to get accepted with a GPA below 3.0, the exception being if your grades have a very strong upward trend and you can explain why in your SOP. It might be best to take a year, keeping doing research, and maybe take some post-bac classes to improve your GP
  13. Often the additional interviewers are on the admissions committee
  14. I believe all should be interviewing with 6. That's what I did. Hope that helps
  15. I applied last year and was part of the rejection massacre. Received it via email on Feb 11th. As far as post-interview, I can't help there since I never made it that far.
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