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2019 Applicant Profiles and Admissions Results

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Hi! Would you mind giving me any advice on my list?

Undergrad Institution: Top Private University in Indonesia

Major(s): Biotechnology
Minor(s): Biology
GPA in Major:  (not sure)
Overall GPA: 3.93 / 4
Position in Class: Top 3

Master Institution: Mid-Tier Private University in Taiwan
Major(s): School of Medicine
Minor(s): Microbiology
GPA in Major: (not sure)
Overall GPA: 3.95 / 4

 

Type of Student: International/Asian, Male

GRE Scores :
Q:
V:
W:
B: 

TOEFL Total: Take on September

IELTS Total: 6.5 (L: 6.0; R: 7.5; S: 6.5;W:6.0)

Research Experience:

  • 1 summer research (~3 months) in Bioinformatics at one of Indonesia research institutes
  • 1 years undergraduate research related to Bioinformatics at my home institute
  • 2 years master research related to bacteriophages at my home institute

Have 1 abstract in Genome Announcement

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: 

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: 

  • Laboratory Assistant (2 semesters different lab.)

Courses:

  • Undergrad biology (bioinformatics, microbiology, molecular cell biology, etc.), chemistry,  protein structure modelling


Applying to Where: PhD Microbiology

  • Rockefeller University
  • University of Pittsburgh
  • University of Wisconsin-Madison (MTDP)

I know it will be very tough with my education background. So I really need advice regarding my choices, is that too high or quite acceptable?

 

Thank you

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5 hours ago, Phageboy48 said:

Hi! Would you mind giving me any advice on my list?

Undergrad Institution: Top Private University in Indonesia

Major(s): Biotechnology
Minor(s): Biology
GPA in Major:  (not sure)
Overall GPA: 3.93 / 4
Position in Class: Top 3

Master Institution: Mid-Tier Private University in Taiwan
Major(s): School of Medicine
Minor(s): Microbiology
GPA in Major: (not sure)
Overall GPA: 3.95 / 4

 

Type of Student: International/Asian, Male

GRE Scores :
Q:
V:
W:
B: 

TOEFL Total: Take on September

IELTS Total: 6.5 (L: 6.0; R: 7.5; S: 6.5;W:6.0)

Research Experience:

  • 1 summer research (~3 months) in Bioinformatics at one of Indonesia research institutes
  • 1 years undergraduate research related to Bioinformatics at my home institute
  • 2 years master research related to bacteriophages at my home institute

Have 1 abstract in Genome Announcement

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: 

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: 

  • Laboratory Assistant (2 semesters different lab.)

Courses:

  • Undergrad biology (bioinformatics, microbiology, molecular cell biology, etc.), chemistry,  protein structure modelling


Applying to Where: PhD Microbiology

  • Rockefeller University
  • University of Pittsburgh
  • University of Wisconsin-Madison (MTDP)

I know it will be very tough with my education background. So I really need advice regarding my choices, is that too high or quite acceptable?

 

Thank you

I'm not familiar with the microbiology field, however I think you might be aiming too high and being an international student adds another degree of competitiveness.  3 schools are too little of an amount to apply to, especially with schools that are in the top or middle/top tier like these.  When I see a small school list like this it's typically from people who contact faculty to join a lab rather than go through a general admissions process, or they apply to a small number of schools due to financial reasons or geographical limitations.  Or they have very niche research interests.  Unless you fall into any of those categories, I would highly suggest adding a few more middle-tier schools to your list if you can.  You should be aiming for 6-10 schools if possible.

Edited by StemCellFan

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7 hours ago, StemCellFan said:

I'm not familiar with the microbiology field, however I think you might be aiming too high and being an international student adds another degree of competitiveness.  3 schools are too little of an amount to apply to, especially with schools that are in the top or middle/top tier like these.  When I see a small school list like this it's typically from people who contact faculty to join a lab rather than go through a general admissions process, or they apply to a small number of schools due to financial reasons or geographical limitations.  Or they have very niche research interests.  Unless you fall into any of those categories, I would highly suggest adding a few more middle-tier schools to your list if you can.  You should be aiming for 6-10 schools if possible.

Thank you for the answer. Yes, your thoughts are right. I am applying to those schools because I want to continue my Master thesis topic (not exactly the same, but similar), and also I am very concern regarding the registration fees. Is there any suggestion for "degree of competitiveness"?

 

Thank you

 

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Undergrad Institution: Ivy, strong bio research reputation
Major(s): Biochemistry
Minor(s):
GPA in Major: 3.3
Overall GPA: 3.6
Position in Class: N/A
Type of Student: Domestic male

GRE Scores (revised/old version):
Q: 164
V: 170
W: 5
B: N/A


Research Experience: (At your school or elsewhere? What field? How much time? Any publications (Mth author out of N?) or conference talks etc...)

In HS, did research for 2 summers that amounted to a 2nd author publication and a national conference poster presentation (Is this too old to include in an application, since it's been ~6 years?)

Undergrad, worked in a cancer immunotherapy lab for 3 years, 1 poster presentation, mid-authorship on a manuscript that has been in the works for over a  year now; the post-doc I was working with put this project on the backburner and has not reached out to me about publishing it for a while; I'm currently planning on just listing it as a manuscript in my application

Currently an NIH postbac working in an HIV lab, submitting a manuscript that should be accepted by the time applications are due. 1 local poster presentation, 1 international presentation that will take place after apps are submitted, but my abstract will be in before then.

 

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: (Within your school or outside?)

Dean's List junior/senior year of undergrad

NIH poster day presenter award

 

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: (Such as tutor, TA, SPS officer etc...) N/A

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help:

I volunteered in a science tutor/mentor capacity with underserved students  both in undergrad and at the NIH
 

Special Bonus Points: (Such as connections, grad classes, famous recommenders, female or minority status etc...)

Took several grad classes in undergrad and achieved A's

Current PI is a major name in the field that will write a very strong recommendation letter

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter:
Definitely a strong upward trend with regards to science grades; as a couple of other posters mentioned, I had C's in a couple of organic chemistry courses earlier on, followed A's in almost all of the rest of my courses.


Applying to Where:
 

UCSF BMS

Stanford Biosciences- Immunology

Yale BBS Immunobiology

Rockefeller

Columbia Immunology

Baylor College of Medicine Immunology

University of Washington Immunology

WUSTL Immunology

Emory Immunology/.Molecular Pathology

University of Chicago Immunology

Harvard Immunology

 

Considering: NYU,U Colorado, U of Minnesota

 

Applying second time around; hopefully my additional research experience. Please let me know if there are any immunology programs I should add to my list/replace other schools with, esp those that would not be considered reaches! 

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On 7/15/2018 at 4:01 PM, thinhtran said:

Undergrad Institution: NYU Abu Dhabi (the UAE portal campus of NYU, we boast a 2% acceptance rate every year so it's quite competitive. Some science faculty members have labs in both NY and AD so the Bio research is quite strong and productive)
Major(s): Biology
Minor(s): Sociology, Computer Science
GPA in Major: 3.9
Overall GPA: 3.92
Position in Class: (No numbers needed, but are you top? near top? average? struggling?) graduated with honors so top 10% probably
Type of Student: (Domestic/International, male/female, minority?) international female

Grad institution: University of Toronto (MSc)
Major: Computational Biology
GPA: 4.0/4.0

GRE Scores (revised/old version):
Q: 160
V: 162
W: 5.5
B: didn't take

Research Experience: (At your school or elsewhere? What field? How much time? Any publications (Mth author out of N?) or conference talks etc...)

1 year at a start-up cancer research lab (freshman year), 1 poster, no pub (the PI later got fired so not much materialized from this)

3 years at a developmental bio lab, where I also did my honor thesis. Famous PI, very well known in his field. 1 poster at an international conference, 1 first author manuscript in preparation but this won't be submitted anytime soon because of some delay in follow-up experiments. 

1 year (2 by the time I graduate) at a computational bio lab for my MSc thesis. Also pretty well-known PI. 1 poster at a departmental event, 1 3rd author manuscript just submitted (aim for Cell Theory) and shooting for another 1 first author method paper by the time I graduate.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: (Within your school or outside?)

Full scholarship for my undergrad education

Multiple undergraduate research and travel grants for my thesis research

Ontario Trillium Scholarship (a prestigious entrance award for international PhD recruits to universities in Ontario. I was selected for the award but later turned it down because I realized I didn't want to pursue my PhD in Toronto)

A merit scholarship from the Faculty of Medicine at U of T

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: (Such as tutor, TA, SPS officer etc...) 

1 year of TA for a molecular bio lab course at my undergrad institution

Various volunteer positions in science festivals at New York, Abu Dhabi and Toronto

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: tutoring/mentoring experiences for younger students and demonstrated commitment to writing (I wrote for the school newspaper for a few years, served as a writing tutor and have published a few non-fiction pieces in various magazines). 

Special Bonus Points: (Such as connections, grad classes, famous recommenders, female or minority status etc...) both my undergrad and MSc thesis mentors are well-known and know me well. 3rd letter will be from PI of a collaborating lab for my MSc project - I'm less close to him but he's also quite well-known and would probably write a good letter.

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: this is my 2nd time applying to PhD programs in the US - the last time I applied, I was able to get into some good programs (Mt Sinai, NYU Sackler, BU PiBS, etc.) but decided to come to Canada mostly because of the messy U.S. political landscape.  However, due to some personal circumstances, I'll have to finish up my MSc in Canada and move back to the US for my PhD instead of doing my PhD in Canada as intended. 2 questions: 1. will this decision be viewed negatively by admissions committees? and 2. are there any disadvantages if I re-apply to the same schools I got into but didn't come the first time?

Applying to Where: mostly biomedical/biological science program in the NY/Boston area. I'm interested in using computational tools to find new biological insights, particularly in developmental biology, as well as developing computational methods for the analysis of large-scale biological data. I still want to maintain a pretty strong biological component in my research, hence applying to mostly BBS umbrella programs rather than computational bio-specific programs.

Yale BBS 

Harvard BBS

Gertsner Sloan Kettering

Weill Cornell/Tri-institutional Computational Biology

NYU Sackler

Mt Sinai

 

Hi -- reposting this as I would love any feedback on my application and school choices. I'm limiting the schools I'm applying to around the NYC/Boston area because my family is there and I would like to stay close to them during my PhD years.

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1 hour ago, thinhtran said:

Hi -- reposting this as I would love any feedback on my application and school choices. I'm limiting the schools I'm applying to around the NYC/Boston area because my family is there and I would like to stay close to them during my PhD years.

Your application looks pretty strong, aside from the challenges that come with being an international applicant. Not sure how that will play in, but you otherwise have a strong application with your numbers and experience. Make sure you get strong letters of rec and write an SOP that effectively illustrates your motivation to and goals in applying.

Your schools are generally pretty high tier, especially considering being an international applicant. Have you considered Boston University, Tufts, Brandeis?

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On 8/6/2018 at 11:21 PM, thezonehunk said:

Undergrad Institution: Ivy, strong bio research reputation
Major(s): Biochemistry
Minor(s):
GPA in Major: 3.3
Overall GPA: 3.6
Position in Class: N/A
Type of Student: Domestic male

GRE Scores (revised/old version):
Q: 164
V: 170
W: 5
B: N/A


Research Experience: (At your school or elsewhere? What field? How much time? Any publications (Mth author out of N?) or conference talks etc...)

In HS, did research for 2 summers that amounted to a 2nd author publication and a national conference poster presentation (Is this too old to include in an application, since it's been ~6 years?)

Undergrad, worked in a cancer immunotherapy lab for 3 years, 1 poster presentation, mid-authorship on a manuscript that has been in the works for over a  year now; the post-doc I was working with put this project on the backburner and has not reached out to me about publishing it for a while; I'm currently planning on just listing it as a manuscript in my application

Currently an NIH postbac working in an HIV lab, submitting a manuscript that should be accepted by the time applications are due. 1 local poster presentation, 1 international presentation that will take place after apps are submitted, but my abstract will be in before then.

 

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: (Within your school or outside?)

Dean's List junior/senior year of undergrad

NIH poster day presenter award

 

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: (Such as tutor, TA, SPS officer etc...) N/A

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help:

I volunteered in a science tutor/mentor capacity with underserved students  both in undergrad and at the NIH
 

Special Bonus Points: (Such as connections, grad classes, famous recommenders, female or minority status etc...)

Took several grad classes in undergrad and achieved A's

Current PI is a major name in the field that will write a very strong recommendation letter

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter:
Definitely a strong upward trend with regards to science grades; as a couple of other posters mentioned, I had C's in a couple of organic chemistry courses earlier on, followed A's in almost all of the rest of my courses.


Applying to Where:
 

UCSF BMS

Stanford Biosciences- Immunology

Yale BBS Immunobiology

Rockefeller

Columbia Immunology

Baylor College of Medicine Immunology

University of Washington Immunology

WUSTL Immunology

Emory Immunology/.Molecular Pathology

University of Chicago Immunology

Harvard Immunology

 

Considering: NYU,U Colorado, U of Minnesota

 

Applying second time around; hopefully my additional research experience. Please let me know if there are any immunology programs I should add to my list/replace other schools with, esp those that would not be considered reaches! 

 

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.

Edited by AllieKat

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On 8/7/2018 at 2:23 PM, thinhtran said:

Hi -- reposting this as I would love any feedback on my application and school choices. I'm limiting the schools I'm applying to around the NYC/Boston area because my family is there and I would like to stay close to them during my PhD years.

I agree with @BabyScientist that you should add some safer schools/schools you haven't previously declined admission to (maybe also consider UMass Amherst, Stony Brook). I think there's a good chance schools will notice you're reapplying and view this negatively, so I would make sure you have enough schools on your list that you haven't applied to before. 

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Undergrad Institution: Small liberal arts college
Major(s): Biology
Minor(s): Physics
GPA in Major: 3.85
Overall GPA: 3.84
Position in Class: Magna cum laude

Type of Student: International student

GRE Scores (revised/old version): not taken yet- but practice tests are not good so far
Q:
V: 
W:



Research Experience:

  • 3 summers research experiences at Vanderbilt University and Mayo Clinic
  • 2 years of post bac research experience at Yale University
  • 1 publication from a summer research experience 


Awards/Honors/Recognitions: 

  • 2nd rank - Poster presentation at state level
  • A couple other awards for academic achievement 

 


Applying to Where: Biomedical sciences

 
 
Rockerfeller 
columbia
uc san diego- 
Northwestern university
scripps research institute
mayo clinic
Mt Sinai - 
yeshiva universtiy einstein
sloan memorial place
Boston
UT southwestern dallas
University of Virginia
Vanderbilt University

 

I am not totally confident in scoring high on GRE. Also not sure how strong my LOR are going to be. I just wanted to hear your opinions on my status and if I am aiming too high.  Also I am applying to mainly integrative programs. Thank you!!
 

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4 hours ago, curious_who said:

Undergrad Institution: Small liberal arts college
Major(s): Biology
Minor(s): Physics
GPA in Major: 3.85
Overall GPA: 3.84
Position in Class: Magna cum laude

Type of Student: International student

GRE Scores (revised/old version): not taken yet- but practice tests are not good so far
Q:
V: 
W:



Research Experience:

  • 3 summers research experiences at Vanderbilt University and Mayo Clinic
  • 2 years of post bac research experience at Yale University
  • 1 publication from a summer research experience 


Awards/Honors/Recognitions: 

  • 2nd rank - Poster presentation at state level
  • A couple other awards for academic achievement 

 


Applying to Where: Biomedical sciences

 
 
Rockerfeller 
columbia
uc san diego- 
Northwestern university
scripps research institute
mayo clinic
Mt Sinai - 
yeshiva universtiy einstein
sloan memorial place
Boston
UT southwestern dallas
University of Virginia
Vanderbilt University

 

I am not totally confident in scoring high on GRE. Also not sure how strong my LOR are going to be. I just wanted to hear your opinions on my status and if I am aiming too high.  Also I am applying to mainly integrative programs. Thank you!!
 

I think you have a pretty good spread of schools on there - just make sure there are actually at least 3 faculty you're interested in working with at each school and you aren't just picking schools on name.

Your GREs would be helpful to judge your odds, even just what you've been getting on practice tests (in my experience, online practice tests were very indicative of my actual scores).

You don't have any publications from your 2 years postbacc? Why not? Why don't you think your LORs will be very strong?

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4 minutes ago, BabyScientist said:

I think you have a pretty good spread of schools on there - just make sure there are actually at least 3 faculty you're interested in working with at each school and you aren't just picking schools on name.

Your GREs would be helpful to judge your odds, even just what you've been getting on practice tests (in my experience, online practice tests were very indicative of my actual scores).

You don't have any publications from your 2 years postbacc? Why not? Why don't you think your LORs will be very strong?

For my post bacc I joined a project that is at a very early stage. We have been doing optimization for a year and most likely publication will be after three years, so not going to have it on time for my applications.  My quant GRE is around 163 but my verbal is around 156.  As for the LORs, I was thinking to ask my summer research mentors. It has been a while so that is why I am a bit scared they might not be as strong.  Thank you for your suggestion about looking on faculty in each school. ☺️

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11 minutes ago, curious_who said:

For my post bacc I joined a project that is at a very early stage. We have been doing optimization for a year and most likely publication will be after three years, so not going to have it on time for my applications.  My quant GRE is around 163 but my verbal is around 156.  As for the LORs, I was thinking to ask my summer research mentors. It has been a while so that is why I am a bit scared they might not be as strong.  Thank you for your suggestion about looking on faculty in each school. ☺️

Why don't you ask your postbacc mentor? I think it would look weird if you didn't. That way they can explain that you have contributed significantly to the project even though there's no publication yet.

Those are solid GRE scores. I wouldn't worry too much about verbal, especially considering that isn't a low score.

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On 8/3/2018 at 11:00 PM, BabyScientist said:

Your list is fairly well spread, although it's still a bit top heavy and you really don't have anything "safe" on there.

Thank you for your advice!  Yeah I think you are right I would probably substitute some of them with like CMU, BU, Penn State, etc. (Do you have any suggestion for "safe" schools?) Meanwhile I will apply to some Master programs, hopefully that would be less competitive?

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7 hours ago, Telepathy said:

Thank you for your advice!  Yeah I think you are right I would probably substitute some of them with like CMU, BU, Penn State, etc. (Do you have any suggestion for "safe" schools?) Meanwhile I will apply to some Master programs, hopefully that would be less competitive?

I think that if you want a PhD you have good odds of acceptance (aside from you being international, I don't know how that plays into admissions decisions). Your list is just about half top programs and half upper mid tier. CMU, BU, Penn State, UWisconsin Madison, UCSB, UVA, UMinnesota, UPitt are examples of safer schools for you.

There are a lot of schools out there, but I have to emphasize that you shouldn't apply to any school that doesn't have at least 3 faculty you sluod be excited to work with. Only apply to schools that fit that criteria, but pick an even spread of top tier, mid tier, and safer (there are no true "safe" schools).

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On 8/6/2018 at 7:10 AM, Phageboy48 said:

Hi! Would you mind giving me any advice on my list?

Undergrad Institution: Top Private University in Indonesia

Major(s): Biotechnology
Minor(s): Biology
GPA in Major:  (not sure)
Overall GPA: 3.93 / 4
Position in Class: Top 3

Master Institution: Mid-Tier Private University in Taiwan
Major(s): School of Medicine
Minor(s): Microbiology
GPA in Major: (not sure)
Overall GPA: 3.95 / 4

 

Type of Student: International/Asian, Male

GRE Scores :
Q:
V:
W:
B: 

TOEFL Total: Take on September

IELTS Total: 6.5 (L: 6.0; R: 7.5; S: 6.5;W:6.0)

Research Experience:

  • 1 summer research (~3 months) in Bioinformatics at one of Indonesia research institutes
  • 1 years undergraduate research related to Bioinformatics at my home institute
  • 2 years master research related to bacteriophages at my home institute

Have 1 abstract in Genome Announcement

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: 

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: 

  • Laboratory Assistant (2 semesters different lab.)

Courses:

  • Undergrad biology (bioinformatics, microbiology, molecular cell biology, etc.), chemistry,  protein structure modelling


Applying to Where: PhD Microbiology

  • Rockefeller University
  • University of Pittsburgh
  • University of Wisconsin-Madison (MTDP)

I know it will be very tough with my education background. So I really need advice regarding my choices, is that too high or quite acceptable?

 

Thank you

I think you're aiming high, and at the very least need to diversify your list to include some schools where you can be more confident that you have a shot at admission. I would recommend applying to at least 5 schools. Without knowing the area you're interested in doing research it's hard to make recommendations, but I'm sure if you add more schools you're interested in to your list, then people here can give you more feedback.

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22 hours ago, curious_who said:

For my post bacc I joined a project that is at a very early stage. We have been doing optimization for a year and most likely publication will be after three years, so not going to have it on time for my applications.  My quant GRE is around 163 but my verbal is around 156.  As for the LORs, I was thinking to ask my summer research mentors. It has been a while so that is why I am a bit scared they might not be as strong.  Thank you for your suggestion about looking on faculty in each school. ☺️

I wouldn't be too concerned about not having a publication from your postbac work yet - just be able to explain in your essays what you have been working on/your exact role in the project/the broader significance of the work. 

I think your list is good, maybe a little long. I think making sure there are several PIs that you would want to work with is a good way to weed out a few. But if you can afford the apps and have the time, then go for it.

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On 8/12/2018 at 2:14 AM, lmb123 said:

I think you're aiming high, and at the very least need to diversify your list to include some schools where you can be more confident that you have a shot at admission. I would recommend applying to at least 5 schools. Without knowing the area you're interested in doing research it's hard to make recommendations, but I'm sure if you add more schools you're interested in to your list, then people here can give you more feedback.

Thank you lmb123.

I have reviewed some schools: Cold Spring Harbor, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, NYU Slacker, Stower Institute.

My research interest is bacteriophage application to beat multi-drug resistant bacteria.

Thank you.

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On 8/3/2018 at 9:06 PM, Telepathy said:

Hello guys! Could you please give me some advice on my list?

Undergrad Institution: Top University in China
Major(s): Biomedical Engineering
Minor(s)
GPA in Major: ~3.6 (not sure)
Overall GPA: 3.60 (upward trend, last 60 credits: 3.87 using WES calculator)
Position in Class: top 20%

Type of Student: International/Asian, Male

GRE Scores (revised/old version):
Q: 170 (97%)
V: 157 (76%)
W: 3.0 (18%)
B: To take on Sep.15 

Going to retake on Aug. 23, hopefully may get my Writing higher

TOEFL Total: 105 (R29 L29 S22 W25)  To retake on Sep.8 mainly to improve the speaking part

 

Research Experience:

  • 1 summer research (~3 months) in neurobiology at Harvard Medical School (should get a good LOR)
  • 6 months undergraduate research related to neuroscience at my home institute
  • 1 year undergrad research in mitochondria in the same lab at home institute

Have 2 review articles (one 3rd/6 author published, one 4th/6 accepted) although the journal is not so good.

If lucky enough, may be on a Science paper (surely not first author lol) prior to application submission.

 

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: 

  • 3 university-level awards
  • 2 university-level scholarships
  • Biomedical Engineering Capstone Design 3rd prize

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: 

  • Physics tutor
  • Research assistant

Courses:

  • Undergrad biology (neurobiology, molecular cell biology, biophysics, etc.), chemistry, psychology
  • a LOT of math & physics


Applying to Where: Neuroscience programs, maybe also some cell biology and cancer programs

  • UCSD
  • UCLA
  • UPenn
  • Columbia
  • Duke
  • U of Washington
  • Weill Cornell
  • NYU Sackler
  • UChicago
  • UMich
  • Brown
  • UTsouthwestern

I know the competition in neuroscience could be very intense, especially for international students. I just skip the top schools like Harvard. Do you guys think I am still aiming too high?  Any advice as to where to apply would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!

I think you have a very good profile, but I can’t really comment on how it’ll compare to other competitive international applicants because I’m a domestic student. Although I know it is more difficult to get into some programs if you are not domestic, if you are applying to schools like Penn, UChicago, Cornell, and Columbia, might as well apply to the schools you refer to as “top”. In reality, all of these schools are top schools and getting into Harvard, Stanford, and MIT might be just as difficult as getting into some of the programs you are applying to. 

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On 7/29/2018 at 7:55 AM, BabyScientist said:

Don't worry about the C+, I had 2 of those in science courses and still got in. Those publications will definitely help, as well as the fact that you had a grant proposal awarded. If the publications haven't been submitted yet, you can still put them on your CV as "manuscript in progress". Pretty solid applicant for most of the schools on your list. Focus on writing a strong SOP that really explains why you want to join these programs, and you may even have a shot at the higher tier schools. 

Retook the GRE today. Quant: 155 (59%), Verbal: 159 (82%). I'll assume my writing scores will be the same (=>5/6). Is my low quant score going to be a major rejection factor, or with my CV should I take the score and save $300 on a third attempt?

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12 minutes ago, socialinsects4eva said:

Retook the GRE today. Quant: 155 (59%), Verbal: 159 (82%). I'll assume my writing scores will be the same (=>5/6). Is my low quant score going to be a major rejection factor, or with my CV should I take the score and save $300 on a third attempt?

Save your money for application fees. It's not a horrible score. Also, as many people have pointed out, most schools are heavily de-emphasizing GRE scores, and some aren't even requiring them anymore. Your CV is strong and your GPA is good. You should be okay. 

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Undergrad Institution: Top 10 UK university for Biology
Major(s): Molecular and Cellular Biology
Minor(s): N/A
GPA in Major: 3.8
Overall GPA: 3.8
Position in Class: Not sure, this kind of info isn't shared
Type of Student: International, white, female

GRE Scores (revised/old version): Haven't taken yet, these are from most recent practice
Q:  157
V: 159
W: 5.0
B: N/A

Research Experience: A year of full-time research (undergraduate research assistant) at a university in the US, have a paper in review in Nature Communications (3rd of 4 authors). Additionally, work from this project was presented at Cold Spring Harbor Single Cell Analyses in 2017. I will be undertaking part-time lab work for half a year as part of my dissertation in the fall.
Awards/Honors/Recognitions: N/A

Pertinent Activities or Jobs:  N/A
Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: N/A

Special Bonus Points:  Letter of recommendation from my PI in the US, is quite established in his area and was the PhD student of one of the most well-reknowned in the research area..

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: N/A (not sure what would apply)

Applying to Where:
University of Illinois at Chicago - GEMS (My safe option, almost guaranteed entry)
UCBerkeley 
UCLA

UC San Diego 

I honestly really don't know where to apply; I have a good academic record and my publication will be really strong, however awards etc are not really given at my University which may weaken me. I've had people from my work in the US recommend Ivy League and UC schools but I don't know where I realistically stand!

Edited by MeggoUK

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Undergrad Institution: Good engineering/ life sciences degree University in Texas
Major(s): Chemistry
Minor(s): Biological Chemistry
GPA in Major: 2.89 / 4.0
Overall GPA: 3.12/ 4.0
Position in Class: Struggling because I took 2 years in community college and took the heavy classes in University which kinda screwed me a little. (And I was young... :( )
Type of Student: Green Card holder - domestic? Asian female 

 

Graduate Institution : Ivy League

Major : Biotechnology

GPA : 3.75 (Got a B in a really hard Chemistry Class - Nanoscale Materials) 

GRE Scores (revised/old version):
Q: 153
V:139 
W:3.5 
B:


TOEFL Total: 118

Research Experience:

1. Undergrad researcher on protein characterization with NMR and 2D NMR (1 semester) in Undergrad University,

2. Organic Chemistry undergrad researcher (2 semesters) in Undergrad University, 

3. Undergrad Teaching position for Veterinary microbiology (2 semester) in Undergrad  University,

4. Associate Scientist for Medicinal Chemistry (4 years) in MD ANDERSON, (Intern for 3 months that led to permanent position)

5. Intern in R&D Assay development in IDEXX (1 summer)

6. Graduate Student Researcher for Master Thesis (1 year)

Publications : 2 patents and 2 publication (not first author) with MD Anderson, 1 book chapter in Translational Medicine (co-author), and I will be presenting in a conference soon on Orthopaedics biomaterials. I have one paper that I am first author that's been submitted and waiting. 

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: AFS Junior Scholarship in Texas A&M University and Scholarship in Tomball college (my community college before I transferred to my university) 

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Shadow many veterinarians during their work in the clinics, volunteers in many animal shelters, AVON 39 miles walk for breast cancer, Tutor high school chemistry for 1 semester, I worked as student worker in my Undergrad University  for a few semesters 

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: I have travelled to Costa Rica/ Europe and Japan (I think Travelling is important part of self-development :) )

Special Bonus Points: Female, minority (asian), non-traditional student? 

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter:

Applying to Where:

MIT - Biological Engineering

Brown - Biotech

I would like to look for more schools around Boston / Rhode Island area. I am very interested in development/ application of biomaterials into bones (This is what my masters' thesis is about) 

I am in Brown right now for my school, so I hope I can get into Brown Biotech PHD program. But do you think it's possible? I do not really want to take GRE again :/ I hated the testing. I almost always do better during my practice but then my nerves just got on me when I did the test. (I have done it 3 times :(

Edited by StHoly

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45 minutes ago, StHoly said:

Undergrad Institution: Good engineering/ life sciences degree University in Texas
Major(s): Chemistry
Minor(s): Biological Chemistry
GPA in Major: 2.89 / 4.0
Overall GPA: 3.12/ 4.0
Position in Class: Struggling because I took 2 years in community college and took the heavy classes in University which kinda screwed me a little. (And I was young... :( )
Type of Student: Green Card holder - domestic? Asian female 

 

Graduate Institution : Ivy League

Major : Biotechnology

GPA : 3.75 (Got a B in a really hard Chemistry Class - Nanoscale Materials) 

GRE Scores (revised/old version):
Q: 153
V:139 
W:3.5 
B:


TOEFL Total: 118

Research Experience:

1. Undergrad researcher on protein characterization with NMR and 2D NMR (1 semester) in Undergrad University,

2. Organic Chemistry undergrad researcher (2 semesters) in Undergrad University, 

3. Undergrad Teaching position for Veterinary microbiology (2 semester) in Undergrad  University,

4. Associate Scientist for Medicinal Chemistry (4 years) in MD ANDERSON, (Intern for 3 months that led to permanent position)

5. Intern in R&D Assay development in IDEXX (1 summer)

6. Graduate Student Researcher for Master Thesis (1 year)

Publications : 2 patents and 2 publication (not first author) with MD Anderson, 1 book chapter in Translational Medicine (co-author), and I will be presenting in a conference soon on Orthopaedics biomaterials. I have one paper that I am first author that's been submitted and waiting. 

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: AFS Junior Scholarship in Texas A&M University and Scholarship in Tomball college (my community college before I transferred to my university) 

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Shadow many veterinarians during their work in the clinics, volunteers in many animal shelters, AVON 39 miles walk for breast cancer, Tutor high school chemistry for 1 semester, I worked as student worker in my Undergrad University  for a few semesters 

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: I have travelled to Costa Rica/ Europe and Japan (I think Travelling is important part of self-development :) )

Special Bonus Points: Female, minority (asian), non-traditional student? 

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter:

Applying to Where:

MIT - Biological Engineering

Brown - Biotech

I would like to look for more schools around Boston / Rhode Island area. I am very interested in development/ application of biomaterials into bones (This is what my masters' thesis is about) 

I am in Brown right now for my school, so I hope I can get into Brown Biotech PHD program. But do you think it's possible? I do not really want to take GRE again ? I hated the testing. I almost always do better during my practice but then my nerves just got on me when I did the test. (I have done it 3 times :(

If you're at Brown now and want to go to Brown, maybe try to get in touch with the program people and discuss your application with them? Or any faculty you'd be interested in working with?

Your GRE scores are low, but many PhD programs are de-emphasizing it, so it may not harm you too much (ask any contacts you have at the program). Your undergrad GPA doesn't help either, but your CV is great and you'll have to really emphasize that strength on your application. You'll need a really strong SOP and great LORs if you can get them.

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Hey everyone! Just thought I'd pop in and say good luck with this year's application season. My experience is in the ecology/plant biology/forestry side of applications, so I can provide a lot of detailed feedback for anyone applying to those kinds of programs. I also have general knowledge about applications, like transcripts, GRE's, interviews, etc., after watching several application cycles through this site. If you don't feel comfortable putting your information in the general forums for whatever reason, feel free to PM me with questions. I try to respond to all messages within 48 hours.

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3 hours ago, BabyScientist said:

If you're at Brown now and want to go to Brown, maybe try to get in touch with the program people and discuss your application with them? Or any faculty you'd be interested in working with?

Your GRE scores are low, but many PhD programs are de-emphasizing it, so it may not harm you too much (ask any contacts you have at the program). Your undergrad GPA doesn't help either, but your CV is great and you'll have to really emphasize that strength on your application. You'll need a really strong SOP and great LORs if you can get them.

Thank you, I believe I can get strong LORs and work on my SOP. I have contacted the DEAN of biotechnology in my school and they mentioned a first author of a publication would definitely help with my application. I do have one that's been submitted but I'll have to confirm with my PI again. My community college score was 3.5GPA before going to my undergrad university (but that one doesn't count I guess..) :(  My advisor didn't really help me at that time, so I really struggled. 

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