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Hello everyone!

I am new in this Forum so I don't exactly know how it works... But anyway, I am going to explain my situation and see if I can get any help (which I would really appreciate).

I am planning to apply to my PhD this fall as an international student. I am from Europe and I did my bachelor there. It is my first time ever applying to an American university, so any advice would be helpful.

- Bachelor/Masters in Pharmacy (I put Masters because it takes 5 years, it is considered Bachelor+Master in Europe, and I have a paper that gives it the academic equivalence to Doctor of Pharmacy in the US, if that works). My GPA is 7.1/10. I know. Everyone is going to think that is really low, but in Europe and in pharmacy school, nobody has a GPA of 9/10, for example. So mine is pretty good at my university. I also have honors in my final thesis (cancer-related) and it is considered the best thesis of my promotion.

- Research experience: one semester as an undergrad (around 25 h per week), 6 month as an exchange student in America (no classes, just research), currently doing research in one of the Top20 Universities in the U.S. (not an Ivy, but ranked better than most of them). By the time I apply my experience in this last university will be of 1 year but by the time I start my PhD it would be of 2 years.

- Other experience: 1 year as a retail pharmacist, 6 month internship as a clinical pharmacist in a Hospital in Europe.

- Publications: 3 posters (2 Top European conferences and 1 at the university that I am working in right now) but no PubMed publications...

- Speaker at one conference.

- Lots of volunteering in Heathcare.

I also just got a 6-month fellowship (cancer-related) from a really prestigious foundation, only 27 people in the U.S got it and it was one per institution. 

TOEFL: I took it a while ago and I got a 104, the minimum required is 100 in most Ivys, maybe I will retake it if I have time.

GRE: Haven't taken it yet but I am currently studying for it, I am planning to take it in one month.

GRE Biology: is it worth taking it?

I wanted to apply to Ivy leagues and high-ranked universities for my PhD in Cancer Biology, but I also want to be realistic and know honest opinions as if I stand any chance to get in.

Thank you!

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Hello and welcome to the forum! So first I would suggest maybe posting specifically in the Biology forum since people on that forum may be able to help more specifically with your questions related to biology and be able to know more about the programs you are interested in (there is even a thread pinned to the top where you can ask questions about the PhD application process), but posting here is a great starting point!

It sounds like you have a lot of experience and a lot to put on your application, but I am definitely not as familiar to those applying to more human medicine-oriented biology PhD programs, so I can't speak to how competitive you would be for those programs. I do have a suggestion about the GRE Biology subject test though. I would maybe look at the admission requirements for the programs you are interested in to see if it is required or recommended. If it is required or recommended it seems that you would need to take it, but if not you could get away without taking it most likely. However, if it is common for applicants to have taken it for the programs you want to apply to (even if it isn't required or recommended) you might consider taking it. You could always email someone involved with admissions at the programs you're interested in to see if most applicants have taken it or not, to judge whether it might be something that should be part of your application.

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On 4/27/2018 at 1:08 PM, CancerBiology said:

I also just got a 6-month fellowship (cancer-related) from a really prestigious foundation, only 27 people in the U.S got it and it was one per institution. 



Hey! Could you share more about getting fellowship as non-US citizen? Thanks!

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