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Biomedical Engineering/Bioengineering Applicant Profiles for 2019 Admission

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I decided to say fuck it and commit to Davis. Even if by some chance I get the NSF I don't want to make a decision so last minute. It feels really good 😀

Thanks all for being such a supportive group of people. Best of luck to those still waiting!

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Hi y'all I know it's late and idk if anyone is still reading this - but I'm having a really difficult time choosing where to go and I don't even know if my rationale is valid anymore or what I want. I was super lucky and got accepted to MIT and UCSF-Berkeley. I initially wanted to go UCSF-UCB because a majority of my friends will be in state, my SO will be in cali and staying there for the next 7 years or so, had a better interview day experience (faculty/cohort/current grad students were all people I wanted to be friends with in contrast to MIT where I really felt uncomfortable and mostly quiet), and there's definitely more faculty/more established faculty there in my field (biomaterials). However MIT is much closer to home (my mom literally was sobbing that I didn't want to go), and I did find the biomaterials research they had more interesting and creative than UCSF-UCB although there was less research overall and with newer faculty. Last point would be that I really enjoy the outdoors and UCSF-UCB is perfect for that with the berkeley hills + national parks + weather while Boston doesn't appeal to me much (I've already lived in that area). Obviously there's a somewhat of a prestige factor (I know UCSF-UCB is amazing but anytime I've tried to talk about this with someone they immediately say it's a no brainier to go to MIT which frustrates me). Funding probably not an issue at either (thank u nsf).

Let me know your thoughts and I'll try to sleep now but probably won't!

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1 hour ago, PotatoesInSeason said:

Hi y'all I know it's late and idk if anyone is still reading this - but I'm having a really difficult time choosing where to go and I don't even know if my rationale is valid anymore or what I want. I was super lucky and got accepted to MIT and UCSF-Berkeley. I initially wanted to go UCSF-UCB because a majority of my friends will be in state, my SO will be in cali and staying there for the next 7 years or so, had a better interview day experience (faculty/cohort/current grad students were all people I wanted to be friends with in contrast to MIT where I really felt uncomfortable and mostly quiet), and there's definitely more faculty/more established faculty there in my field (biomaterials). However MIT is much closer to home (my mom literally was sobbing that I didn't want to go), and I did find the biomaterials research they had more interesting and creative than UCSF-UCB although there was less research overall and with newer faculty. Last point would be that I really enjoy the outdoors and UCSF-UCB is perfect for that with the berkeley hills + national parks + weather while Boston doesn't appeal to me much (I've already lived in that area). Obviously there's a somewhat of a prestige factor (I know UCSF-UCB is amazing but anytime I've tried to talk about this with someone they immediately say it's a no brainier to go to MIT which frustrates me). Funding probably not an issue at either (thank u nsf).

Let me know your thoughts and I'll try to sleep now but probably won't!

Sounds to me like you should go to UCSF-UCB.

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4 hours ago, PotatoesInSeason said:

Hi y'all I know it's late and idk if anyone is still reading this - but I'm having a really difficult time choosing where to go and I don't even know if my rationale is valid anymore or what I want. I was super lucky and got accepted to MIT and UCSF-Berkeley. I initially wanted to go UCSF-UCB because a majority of my friends will be in state, my SO will be in cali and staying there for the next 7 years or so, had a better interview day experience (faculty/cohort/current grad students were all people I wanted to be friends with in contrast to MIT where I really felt uncomfortable and mostly quiet), and there's definitely more faculty/more established faculty there in my field (biomaterials). However MIT is much closer to home (my mom literally was sobbing that I didn't want to go), and I did find the biomaterials research they had more interesting and creative than UCSF-UCB although there was less research overall and with newer faculty. Last point would be that I really enjoy the outdoors and UCSF-UCB is perfect for that with the berkeley hills + national parks + weather while Boston doesn't appeal to me much (I've already lived in that area). Obviously there's a somewhat of a prestige factor (I know UCSF-UCB is amazing but anytime I've tried to talk about this with someone they immediately say it's a no brainier to go to MIT which frustrates me). Funding probably not an issue at either (thank u nsf).

Let me know your thoughts and I'll try to sleep now but probably won't!

 

2 hours ago, sgaw10 said:

Sounds to me like you should go to UCSF-UCB.

Yeah no brainer man. Grad school will be hard. Why be miserable at MIT when you have so many positives at UCSF-UCB on top of all the stress in grad school? 

This is also a time for personal growth. Maybe it'll be good to move away from your parents and away from a city you've been in 

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My unfortunate grad school season comes to an end. I applied to 3 bioengineering programs and interviewed at two of them. Both interviews went well but POIs didn't have funding to support me. And since I'm international, I'm not eligible for departmental fellowships. I guess I'll have to start preparing for the next season and apply to more schools. Congrats to everyone that got in and good luck :)

And for those who are in the same boat as me, I wish you luck with your future endeavors. Keep in touch if you're applying next year!

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9 hours ago, PotatoesInSeason said:

Hi y'all I know it's late and idk if anyone is still reading this - but I'm having a really difficult time choosing where to go and I don't even know if my rationale is valid anymore or what I want. I was super lucky and got accepted to MIT and UCSF-Berkeley. I initially wanted to go UCSF-UCB because a majority of my friends will be in state, my SO will be in cali and staying there for the next 7 years or so, had a better interview day experience (faculty/cohort/current grad students were all people I wanted to be friends with in contrast to MIT where I really felt uncomfortable and mostly quiet), and there's definitely more faculty/more established faculty there in my field (biomaterials). However MIT is much closer to home (my mom literally was sobbing that I didn't want to go), and I did find the biomaterials research they had more interesting and creative than UCSF-UCB although there was less research overall and with newer faculty. Last point would be that I really enjoy the outdoors and UCSF-UCB is perfect for that with the berkeley hills + national parks + weather while Boston doesn't appeal to me much (I've already lived in that area). Obviously there's a somewhat of a prestige factor (I know UCSF-UCB is amazing but anytime I've tried to talk about this with someone they immediately say it's a no brainier to go to MIT which frustrates me). Funding probably not an issue at either (thank u nsf).

Let me know your thoughts and I'll try to sleep now but probably won't!

Definitely UCSF-Berkeley. Your mom will definitely miss you, but this is not her choice and she should make you feel guilty for going where you want. And MIT may be more prestigious, but so Berkeley is also very prestigious and it seems like you would be much happier there. Congrats on your acceptances!

Edited by IceCream & MatSci

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15 hours ago, PotatoesInSeason said:

Hi y'all I know it's late and idk if anyone is still reading this - but I'm having a really difficult time choosing where to go and I don't even know if my rationale is valid anymore or what I want. I was super lucky and got accepted to MIT and UCSF-Berkeley. I initially wanted to go UCSF-UCB because a majority of my friends will be in state, my SO will be in cali and staying there for the next 7 years or so, had a better interview day experience (faculty/cohort/current grad students were all people I wanted to be friends with in contrast to MIT where I really felt uncomfortable and mostly quiet), and there's definitely more faculty/more established faculty there in my field (biomaterials). However MIT is much closer to home (my mom literally was sobbing that I didn't want to go), and I did find the biomaterials research they had more interesting and creative than UCSF-UCB although there was less research overall and with newer faculty. Last point would be that I really enjoy the outdoors and UCSF-UCB is perfect for that with the berkeley hills + national parks + weather while Boston doesn't appeal to me much (I've already lived in that area). Obviously there's a somewhat of a prestige factor (I know UCSF-UCB is amazing but anytime I've tried to talk about this with someone they immediately say it's a no brainier to go to MIT which frustrates me). Funding probably not an issue at either (thank u nsf).

Let me know your thoughts and I'll try to sleep now but probably won't!

I'm also interested in biomaterials. Berkeley has a much larger research faculty and, in my opinion, much more interesting opportunities for collaboration. I feel like the student support and quality of life is much stronger in the bay area.


I'll also be attending Berkeley-UCSF this Fall, so I may be biased :)

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On 4/10/2019 at 4:40 AM, PotatoesInSeason said:

Hi y'all I know it's late and idk if anyone is still reading this - but I'm having a really difficult time choosing where to go and I don't even know if my rationale is valid anymore or what I want. I was super lucky and got accepted to MIT and UCSF-Berkeley. I initially wanted to go UCSF-UCB because a majority of my friends will be in state, my SO will be in cali and staying there for the next 7 years or so, had a better interview day experience (faculty/cohort/current grad students were all people I wanted to be friends with in contrast to MIT where I really felt uncomfortable and mostly quiet), and there's definitely more faculty/more established faculty there in my field (biomaterials). However MIT is much closer to home (my mom literally was sobbing that I didn't want to go), and I did find the biomaterials research they had more interesting and creative than UCSF-UCB although there was less research overall and with newer faculty. Last point would be that I really enjoy the outdoors and UCSF-UCB is perfect for that with the berkeley hills + national parks + weather while Boston doesn't appeal to me much (I've already lived in that area). Obviously there's a somewhat of a prestige factor (I know UCSF-UCB is amazing but anytime I've tried to talk about this with someone they immediately say it's a no brainier to go to MIT which frustrates me). Funding probably not an issue at either (thank u nsf).

Let me know your thoughts and I'll try to sleep now but probably won't!

Ranking/prestige won’t make your success - go where you feel wanted, comfortable, and see yourself being happy!

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I know that we are hitting crunch time with acceptance deadlines around the corner, but I was hoping somebody will be able to help me decide. 

I have been accepted by the Systems, Synthetic, and Physical Biology program at Rice, as well as BioE. At Berkeley/UCSF... Does anybody have any ideas on which one is better? I know Berkeley is Berkeley but it almost seems like Synbio will be bigger at Rice within the next few years. I've been going back and forth with my decision for over a month now and I just dont want to make the wrong choice.

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3 hours ago, Indecisiv said:

I know that we are hitting crunch time with acceptance deadlines around the corner, but I was hoping somebody will be able to help me decide. 

I have been accepted by the Systems, Synthetic, and Physical Biology program at Rice, as well as BioE. At Berkeley/UCSF... Does anybody have any ideas on which one is better? I know Berkeley is Berkeley but it almost seems like Synbio will be bigger at Rice within the next few years. I've been going back and forth with my decision for over a month now and I just dont want to make the wrong choice.

First, congrats! Second, there’s no wrong choice. 

Third, think of the research you want to do and what’s best for YOU. I visited Berkeley as a prospective PhD applicant and I loved it. However, the research fit isn’t as great as in other places, in my case.

I know it’s hard, I’m in the same position right now and I just want to cry, lol - I feel guilty, but oh well!

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Did anyone send an apology/regret letter to other POI? Please send me a template because I feel super bad. One POI literally called me and emailed me multiple times, saying I am the only one he accepts this year (although I thought the process is rotation and I may not even choose his lab at the end). I don’t know how I can word it properly

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On 4/10/2019 at 1:40 AM, PotatoesInSeason said:

Hi y'all I know it's late and idk if anyone is still reading this - but I'm having a really difficult time choosing where to go and I don't even know if my rationale is valid anymore or what I want. I was super lucky and got accepted to MIT and UCSF-Berkeley. I initially wanted to go UCSF-UCB because a majority of my friends will be in state, my SO will be in cali and staying there for the next 7 years or so, had a better interview day experience (faculty/cohort/current grad students were all people I wanted to be friends with in contrast to MIT where I really felt uncomfortable and mostly quiet), and there's definitely more faculty/more established faculty there in my field (biomaterials). However MIT is much closer to home (my mom literally was sobbing that I didn't want to go), and I did find the biomaterials research they had more interesting and creative than UCSF-UCB although there was less research overall and with newer faculty. Last point would be that I really enjoy the outdoors and UCSF-UCB is perfect for that with the berkeley hills + national parks + weather while Boston doesn't appeal to me much (I've already lived in that area). Obviously there's a somewhat of a prestige factor (I know UCSF-UCB is amazing but anytime I've tried to talk about this with someone they immediately say it's a no brainier to go to MIT which frustrates me). Funding probably not an issue at either (thank u nsf).

Let me know your thoughts and I'll try to sleep now but probably won't!

I had the same problem: choosing a better school or choosing a school where I will enjoy even if the living expense is way more expensive and you know, I chose the latter. The reason is like you, despite the latter school is closer to home and my parents don’t care where I go as long as I enjoy it. I feel that I will have more social life

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2 hours ago, girlbui said:

Did anyone send an apology/regret letter to other POI? Please send me a template because I feel super bad. One POI literally called me and emailed me multiple times, saying I am the only one he accepts this year (although I thought the process is rotation and I may not even choose his lab at the end). I don’t know how I can word it properly

Most PIs should know you're being recruited by other programs so I don't think they'd take it very harshly. I just sent them like quick emails saying thanks for everything but I'm going somewhere else. My explanation was that there was a better fit in terms of research so I think most would understand that. If it's about money then I'd suggest not mentioning that lol

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6 hours ago, jtro37 said:

Most PIs should know you're being recruited by other programs so I don't think they'd take it very harshly. I just sent them like quick emails saying thanks for everything but I'm going somewhere else. My explanation was that there was a better fit in terms of research so I think most would understand that. If it's about money then I'd suggest not mentioning that lol

oh I kinda didn't explain. I just thanked them to be honest.

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12 hours ago, girlbui said:

Did anyone send an apology/regret letter to other POI? Please send me a template because I feel super bad. One POI literally called me and emailed me multiple times, saying I am the only one he accepts this year (although I thought the process is rotation and I may not even choose his lab at the end). I don’t know how I can word it properly

I think you don't need to explain yourself unless you had committed. A thank you note should be enough. Don't feel guilty for what you want - this is our time to be selfish!

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If anyone reading this has an offer at Rice they'd be willing to pass up, I would appreciate. But needless to say, unless there's a miracle, I will be accepting my one and only offer from WashU on Monday. :)

Edited by sgaw10

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5 hours ago, sgaw10 said:

If anyone reading this has an offer at Rice they'd be willing to pass up, I would appreciate. But needless to say, unless there's a miracle, I will be accepting my one and only offer from WashU on Monday. :)

WashU is a super great school tbh. Although I didn’t apply

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3 hours ago, sgaw10 said:

Lol Columbia just invited me to interview for their master's program 🤣

Same xD

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11 minutes ago, sgaw10 said:

Apparently it was a technical error. Boo.

ahaha I just saw. Columbia playing games post decision day.

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I got accepted to UConn and I accepted the offer. Is it normal to not get a funding letter from them? I heard the funding will come after or am I wrong? I am beyond excited but I don't think I can pay for 5 years of tuition. 

I was recommended by my current PI, he is a new UConn Associate Professor and starting up his lab this Fall. He assured me there will be funding and stipend but should I freak out now or wait? 

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