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Hi, I'm debating whether I should go into CMU-Pitt CompBio PhD program or UofToronto CS for Masters, with conditional offer for PhD after completion of Masters. In short, I'm currently in UofT, working with my possibly future advisor if I were to stay. I really like my lab and my advisor, but I do feel that the UofT CS courses are not as instructive/organized/structured as CMU-Pitt ones, esp in ML and computational genomics. In point-form: UofToronto CS: pros: - like the lab/research advisor a lot - current grad students in the lab are very helpful and friendly - I'm already a UofT student - my family and friends are here cons: - courses are not as helpful and students are not as guided - may take longer to complete a PhD - not as much emails about internship/work postings in comp bio CMU-Pitt CompBio: pros: - the directors of the program seem to care a lot about the student - students seem closer to each other since they all have to take the same courses in 1st year - courses seem very structured and can give comprehensive view of the field - they also have courses on writing a journal, etc, so I would say they guide the students a lot - students get email about intern/work postings all the time cons: - I don't know what it's like working with the possible advisors/the culture of the labs. There are rotations though - away from family and friends -> this might be good thing due to less distractions Any advice is appreciated!
Hey fellow grad-cafe-ers! I know this is an overdone topic, but I could really use some opinions on whether or not I am on the right track w/r/t grad school applications and all that... I'm finishing my senior year at a large, mid-tier (ranked ~70-80th nationally), state university with a major in Biochemistry & Biophysics and a minor in CS. My overall GPA is 3.74 with 3.65 in my major (I had one really bad term but have been on a roll ever since...I don't know if that helps or hurts). I'm looking to apply to Computational Biology-ish PhD programs and so far have been looking at respective programs at Yale, Harvard , Stanford, Caltech , Berkeley . I have a few other schools in mind but those 5 are my top. GRE Scores: 161 v (88th), 163 q (84th), 4.5 AW (82nd) Research Experience: I've been part of a computational lab for almost 3 years now. I have been able to work pretty independently on projects and formulate my own ideas and approaches to the problems that I've encountered. I have a learned a lot of skills/methods for tackling questions in computational bio as well as general ways of scientific thinking. I'll have anywhere from 0-2 publications in the lab which is pretty frightening with deadlines fast approaching This past summer I had the opportunity to be part of a large, well-known lab at a prominent research hospital for 10 weeks. I was asked to continue working remotely after the internship had ended and am now part of a very cool project that is somewhat related to my overall research interests. As with my other lab I was able to work more-or-less independently on my project and was doing more than just scripting/programming. LOR - I'll have letters from the 2 labs I mentioned above which I think should serve me well, with a 3rd from an professor/advisor who knows me pretty well. SOP - It's a work in progress, but I have pretty defined research interests and goals which I think should help. I also have several potential advisors in mind at all of the schools I mentioned above, some of whom I am planning on contacting as my applications come together. I'm interested in knowing what you all have to say, thanks in advance!