Jump to content

Yale, Rockefeller, or columbia for molecular/cellular neuro


Recommended Posts

I didn't anticipate even being accepted to as many schools as I did, but now that the time has come to make a decision I find myself very torn about where to go. I think of all the places I went, Rockefeller probably has the most labs I am interested in but I, of course, have some reservations about the place. Yale and Columbia seemed more collegial and have all the benefits of being a large university. My main reservation about yale is location because although it seemed like a great supportive place, I don't know how I would feel living in New Haven for 5-7 years. If anybody has any advice on these programs or are trying to make the same decision it would help me alot.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I didn't anticipate even being accepted to as many schools as I did, but now that the time has come to make a decision I find myself very torn about where to go. I think of all the places I went, Rockefeller probably has the most labs I am interested in but I, of course, have some reservations about the place. Yale and Columbia seemed more collegial and have all the benefits of being a large university. My main reservation about yale is location because although it seemed like a great supportive place, I don't know how I would feel living in New Haven for 5-7 years. If anybody has any advice on these programs or are trying to make the same decision it would help me alot.

I am an outsider, so I do not know much about your program. But I guess Yale and Rockefeller are better than Columbia in terms of academics, which I know from my friend--he majored in biological science, and ranked top 1 in his department. (He also said that Rockefeller is his first choice.)

Rockefeller definately has a very good reputation in biological science, although many outsiders do now know(I heard about this institution last year for the first time). It is so research-oriented that many students do post-doc there. On the other hand, Yale and Columbia is known to everyone.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I am an outsider, so I do not know much about your program. But I guess Yale and Rockefeller are better than Columbia in terms of academics, which I know from my friend--he majored in biological science, and ranked top 1 in his department. (He also said that Rockefeller is his first choice.)

Rockefeller definately has a very good reputation in biological science, although many outsiders do now know(I heard about this institution last year for the first time). It is so research-oriented that many students do post-doc there. On the other hand, Yale and Columbia is known to everyone.

Thank you very much for taking the time to reply. I am not sure that columbia would be considered too much lower than the other two, especially for neuroscience. I am especially curious to hear from some other people in the field or people that have been at these schools and can attest one way or another to the culture and quality of life there.

Link to post
Share on other sites

neurosci guy,

I'm also an outsider for these three schools (congrats by the way, that's amazing!), but I know some people who worked/went there. The general thought about the Rockefeller is that it is a GREAT place to do your postdoc at, since it is insanely biomed research oriented. As a consequence, as a grad student you have to be quite independent there because you probably wouldn't get as much guidance from your PI as you would in other places. I heard great things about Columbia, although I'm not sure about housing with them (Rockefeller gives a very nice subsidized housing). For such an elite school, Yale is considered very friendly and collaborative, so it is a good environment for a graduate student to thrive in.

there is a forum member here, don't remember the full nickname but it has "Alex" in it, I believe he also got in at all those schools (for microbio),maybe he can give you a good advice.

Link to post
Share on other sites

neurosci guy,

I'm also an outsider for these three schools (congrats by the way, that's amazing!), but I know some people who worked/went there. The general thought about the Rockefeller is that it is a GREAT place to do your postdoc at, since it is insanely biomed research oriented. As a consequence, as a grad student you have to be quite independent there because you probably wouldn't get as much guidance from your PI as you would in other places. I heard great things about Columbia, although I'm not sure about housing with them (Rockefeller gives a very nice subsidized housing). For such an elite school, Yale is considered very friendly and collaborative, so it is a good environment for a graduate student to thrive in.

there is a forum member here, don't remember the full nickname but it has "Alex" in it, I believe he also got in at all those schools (for microbio),maybe he can give you a good advice.

This is where I find myself. I think the labs I am the most excited about are at Rockefeller but the environment there seems a little intimidating. I work with a few people that went there in the 90's and they say it varies by advisor but they do expect you to be more independent tahn they would at many schools. This worries me due to the fact that I have been working in immunology and not neuro for the past while and will need a little bit of catch up time once there. Yale seemed very supportive and friendly while I was there which was nice, but I had misgivings about location. Columbia had great faculty and seemed friendly but I would definitely be scraping by money wise. I am in a position where I don't think I could go wrong but it feels like there should clearly be one that is more right, if that makes any sense.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello,

I've also been accepted to all three of these schools, but for microbiology/immunology, not neuro. My visit to Yale was decent, I thought they had an excellent program, but a little sparse in the number of micro faculty. The program was one of the most course-oriented ones that I explored, which may or may not be for you. I grew up 20 minutes outside New Haven, so I can tell you it's not nearly as dangerous as people say it is, but it is pretty limited compared to NYC in terms of activities.

I just visited Rockefeller a couple days ago, and I had a miserable time, to be honest. This may have had something to do with the pouring rain, but it was truly the most disorganized interview weekend I'd been to. Rockefeller was my top choice for a long time, it carries a very prestigious name in the field of biology and offers amazingly affordable housing in a great area. However, I got the impression from the professors I talked to that Rockefeller has an extremely unstructured program (they called it "flexible"). Every PI seemed incredibly busy to me; they kept moving my interview schedule around to accommodate the professors' schedules. In the end, I had the feeling that going to Rockefeller would leave me completely on my own, with little or no faculty mentorship.

Columbia offered a small program with a friendly atmosphere and great (but relatively expensive) housing on the upper west side. Even though the campus is all the way up in Washington Heights, it's just a quick subway ride from the rest of Manhattan. The program is more structured in terms of coursework than Rockefeller's, less structured than Yale's. And the faculty there have been following up with me constantly, saying how excited they'll be to be working together. Columbia probably boasts the smallest lab size of all of these schools, to boot.

So that's my two cents, and I hope it helps, but keep in mind I was interviewing for micro/immuno. I'm sure you can't go wrong attending any of these schools, unless you're in some really obscure field. Good luck with your decision!

Link to post
Share on other sites

I loved my visit to Yale...didn't apply to the other two. I think living in East Rock could be decent. The apartment tour was shitty, but I've since met people who live in New Haven and say you can find sweet deals. Plus, if you want a cheaper cost-of-living but access to the city it's only a 2hr train ride to NYC. I've frankly heard not great things about Columbia, and I'm unsure about Rockefeller.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I loved my visit to Yale...didn't apply to the other two. I think living in East Rock could be decent. The apartment tour was shitty, but I've since met people who live in New Haven and say you can find sweet deals. Plus, if you want a cheaper cost-of-living but access to the city it's only a 2hr train ride to NYC. I've frankly heard not great things about Columbia, and I'm unsure about Rockefeller.

Well after touring around the campuses again this weekend and talking to some more people I think I can eliminate columbia from the list. So for right now it is down to rockefeller vs yale. I am really trying to evaluate how much I feel I would be giving up in quality of life by living in new haven vs nyc. Also I have heard mixed things about Rockefeller about whether or not it feels like an isolated island of science with little interaction between people so if someone knows anything about that it would really help.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.