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UCSD or UPenn? Biomed PhD

Lynn K.

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I've narrowed my decision down to two programs: UCSD's Biomedical Sciences program, and UPenn's Cell and Molecular Biology program (I applied to the Gene Therapy and Vaccines track). Both are umbrella programs of sorts, because I'm not sure what kind of research I want to do. I'm just interested in hearing different takes on the two schools and programs. I'm from San Diego and I love it, but I'm not sure about Philly. I visited during the interview weekend and I'm not sure that was enough time to get a good feel for it. I'm confident I could find a great thesis lab that I love at either place, they both have tons of research that I find interesting. Opinions? What would you do in my shoes?

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Talk. To. The. Graduate students. While I’m not in CAMB at Penn, I do run recruitment for my program here. If I could emphasize one thing over everything else, it is talk to the graduate students as much as possible. The department can say whatever they want, the graduate students will give you the full story. 

If you want to hear more about Penn in general, or the Philly area, feel free to message me. People say don’t look at the area you’ll be living in, but you’ll be there for 5+ years so it is mildly important. 

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