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2020 Neuroscience PhD Applicants and Admission Results

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9 minutes ago, RobertMoog said:

Congrats! I thought few PIs are willing to talk before committee view your materials. Have you skyped many of your POIS? 

I emailed some professors for sure and I would generally ask whether they'd want a skype talk. I only ended up with talking to two, one from Princeton and one from Brown. I am not sure whether those pre-interviews would help, but at least I got to practice my interview skills.

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38 minutes ago, jin3li3 said:

Officially heard from POI that I didn't make it to the interview due to limited positions for international students...Hopelessly viewing the forum until suddenly I received an invitation from Chicago CompNeuro!! Finally something to live for!

I am an international student hoping to hear from comp neuro Chicago. Was it a mass email or personalized from POI/adcomm??

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7 minutes ago, HopeforNeuroPhd said:

I am an international student hoping to hear from comp neuro Chicago. Was it a mass email or personalized from POI/adcomm??

I am really not sure. I wouldn’t say it’s a personalized one, but it was indeed from a professor instead of staff

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19 minutes ago, jin3li3 said:

I emailed some professors for sure and I would generally ask whether they'd want a skype talk. I only ended up with talking to two, one from Princeton and one from Brown. I am not sure whether those pre-interviews would help, but at least I got to practice my interview skills.

I did the same but most didn't reply! I guess they were just not interested. Thank you and good luck!

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7 minutes ago, jin3li3 said:

I am really not sure. I wouldn’t say it’s a personalized one, but it was indeed from a professor instead of staff

Ah man. Okay. Officially worried if Chicago might work! Hope to hear from them! Anyone else got interview invites yet?? 

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is it essentially impossible to pass the screening process & get an interview at a top-tier University (like UCLA) with a 3.4 GPA? Even though research experience may be more important, I'm seeing a pattern with the people who are getting interviews and their GPAs are all ~3.7 to 3.9

Edited by nerdyneuron

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38 minutes ago, nerdyneuron said:

is it essentially impossible to pass the screening process & get an interview at a top-tier University (like UCLA) with a 3.4 GPA? Even though research experience may be more important, I'm seeing a pattern with the people who are getting interviews and their GPAs are all ~3.7 to 3.9

Ya boy right here has a 3.5 and got an interview at Princeton and Harvard thus far. I had the same concerns while applying, and a graduate student at the current institution I’m teching at told me that she also had a 3.5 when applying (2-3 years ago) and got in at Columbia, Harvard, MIT, etc. It’s not impossible, so long as your recs and research related things are in order. 

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35 minutes ago, owobowoz said:

Ya boy right here has a 3.5 and got an interview at Princeton and Harvard thus far. I had the same concerns while applying, and a graduate student at the current institution I’m teching at told me that she also had a 3.5 when applying (2-3 years ago) and got in at Columbia, Harvard, MIT, etc. It’s not impossible, so long as your recs and research related things are in order. 

hahaha that's awesome congrats 🙂 

i'm a 4th yr undergrad & worked in a lab as a full-time RA at UCLA for 4 months and volunteered in the lab for ~5 months , got a great LOR from the PI, author in Cell Press and unfortunately did not receive an invitation from UCLA  (my top choice of school) so far...

i'm thinking that my GPA is my limiting factor. Even though I don't have as much research experience, I thought I made a lot of contributions and the output was there but perhaps not enough compared to other candidates.

I basically only applied to the top Universities so I'm assuming I probably won't get an invitation from those places as well. I don't regret not applying to maybe R2 or R3 schools, because I knew I wouldn't want to go to those Universities anyways. 

But yeah, looking through this site, I guess some people did post bac or masters first with high GPA and good research experience yet did not get invitation to these R1 schools, so it's not guaranteed that I can get into a good R1 school by taking a gap year to get more research experience and it is a risky path because I am not the type of person to take multiple gap years and just hope I will get in that time around. 

With that said however, I love research, but I know not everything comes easy with just passion - the GPA needs to be there unfortunately. Not sure what my next step will be, assuming I won't get an invitation from the schools who do send a second batch of invitations. 

Edited by nerdyneuron

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9 minutes ago, nerdyneuron said:

hahaha that's awesome congrats 🙂 

i'm a 4th yr undergrad & worked in a lab as a full-time RA at UCLA for 4 months and volunteered in the lab for ~5 months , got a great LOR from the PI, author in Cell Press and unfortunately did not receive an invitation from UCLA  (my top choice of school) so far...

i'm thinking that my GPA is my limiting factor. Even though I don't have as much research experience, I thought I made a lot of contributions and the output was there but perhaps not enough compared to other candidates.

I basically only applied to the top Universities so I'm assuming I probably won't get an invitation from those places as well. I don't regret not applying to maybe R2 or R3 schools, because I knew I wouldn't want to go to those Universities anyways. 

But yeah, looking through this site, I guess some people did post bac or masters first with high GPA and good research experience yet did not get invitation to these R1 schools, so it's not guaranteed that I can get into a good R1 school by taking a gap year to get more research experience and it is a risky path because I am not the type of person to take multiple gap years and just hope I will get in that time around. 

With that said however, I love research, but I know not everything comes easy with just passion - the GPA needs to be there unfortunately. Not sure what my next step will be, assuming I won't get an invitation from the schools who do send a second batch of invitations. 

Just want to say I’m in the same boat — 3.2, but years of experience and check all the other boxes (I think). I just talked to someone at a top school who told me that as long as you applied to Several schools, it’s not over — You may only get 1 or 2 invites, but there are a few people in top programs whose letters and experience carried them.
 

I’m not sure what’s next if I don’t get in, but I know I love neuroscience/research and that I will keep on keepin’ on! I have a feeling those top stat people get invited first, but all we need is 1 school to take a chance on us. You never know!! 

Edited by MyelinatedSheath

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8 minutes ago, MyelinatedSheath said:

Just want to say I’m in the same boat — 3.2, but years of experience and check all the other boxes (I think). I just talked to someone at a top school who told me that as long as you applied to Several schools, it’s not over — You may only get 1 or 2 invites, but there are a few people in top programs whose letters and experience carried them.
 

I’m not sure what’s next if I don’t get in, but I know I love neuroscience/research and that I will keep on keepin’ on! I have a feeling those top stat people get invited first, but all we need is 1 school to take a chance on us. You never know!! 

haha thank you for the encouragement. I applied to several programs (19) and I know most of them sent out invitations already. I'd be so happy to receive just one invitation

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36 minutes ago, nerdyneuron said:

hahaha that's awesome congrats 🙂 

i'm a 4th yr undergrad & worked in a lab as a full-time RA at UCLA for 4 months and volunteered in the lab for ~5 months , got a great LOR from the PI, author in Cell Press and unfortunately did not receive an invitation from UCLA  (my top choice of school) so far...

i'm thinking that my GPA is my limiting factor. Even though I don't have as much research experience, I thought I made a lot of contributions and the output was there but perhaps not enough compared to other candidates.

I basically only applied to the top Universities so I'm assuming I probably won't get an invitation from those places as well. I don't regret not applying to maybe R2 or R3 schools, because I knew I wouldn't want to go to those Universities anyways. 

But yeah, looking through this site, I guess some people did post bac or masters first with high GPA and good research experience yet did not get invitation to these R1 schools, so it's not guaranteed that I can get into a good R1 school by taking a gap year to get more research experience and it is a risky path because I am not the type of person to take multiple gap years and just hope I will get in that time around. 

With that said however, I love research, but I know not everything comes easy with just passion - the GPA needs to be there unfortunately. Not sure what my next step will be, assuming I won't get an invitation from the schools who do send a second batch of invitations. 

hi! don't get too discouraged with the lack of invitations from schools - many schools haven't sent out invites yet, or maybe it's just not the right time for you. If things don't work out this cycle, working as a research assistant/doing a post-bacc could be great for your application! You expressed that you think that taking a gap year is risky, but taking a year to just do full time research can really only help your application and hopefully your personal/scientific development. GPA is just one of many factors that admissions committees consider and there's so much you can do to make schools consider you beyond that. Your GPA doesn't seem to be that low (from your previous posts) so if you really believe that this path is for you, you have to stay determined, as grad school is a lot of persistence/determination as well. There might not be any guarantees if you have to reapply next year, but persistence is really important and grad schools want to see it.

Edited by ocelli

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2 hours ago, HopeforNeuroPhd said:

Ah man. Okay. Officially worried if Chicago might work! Hope to hear from them! Anyone else got interview invites yet?? 

I'm an intl who got UChicago CompNeuro POI email today. Also OHSU Behav Neuro from committee

Edited by gaultiero

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6 hours ago, HopeforNeuroPhd said:

Hi everyone,

I am an international student and have interview requests from UT Austin Neuroscience and Emory University.

I heard from Austin on 17th and Emory on 18th. I just heard  (19th) from UT Austin Psychology for a Skype interview 

Applied to : Austin (Psych and Neuro), Emory, Georgia tech (BME), UChicago, BU, UCBerkeley, NYU, UMD CP, CSHL, Hopkins(BME) 

Same with UT Austin, both neuro and Psych. Congrats! 

 

Is neuro a Skype interview or school visit for you?

Edited by gaultiero

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16 minutes ago, nerdyneuron said:

hahaha that's awesome congrats 🙂 

i'm a 4th yr undergrad & worked in a lab as a full-time RA at UCLA for 4 months and volunteered in the lab for ~5 months , got a great LOR from the PI, author in Cell Press and unfortunately did not receive an invitation from UCLA  (my top choice of school) so far...

i'm thinking that my GPA is my limiting factor. Even though I don't have as much research experience, I thought I made a lot of contributions and the output was there but perhaps not enough compared to other candidates.

I basically only applied to the top Universities so I'm assuming I probably won't get an invitation from those places as well. I don't regret not applying to maybe R2 or R3 schools, because I knew I wouldn't want to go to those Universities anyways. 

But yeah, looking through this site, I guess some people did post bac or masters first with high GPA and good research experience yet did not get invitation to these R1 schools, so it's not guaranteed that I can get into a good R1 school by taking a gap year to get more research experience and it is a risky path because I am not the type of person to take multiple gap years and just hope I will get in that time around. 

With that said however, I love research, but I know not everything comes easy with just passion - the GPA needs to be there unfortunately. Not sure what my next step will be, assuming I won't get an invitation from the schools who do send a second batch of invitations. 

The gpa thing is not true. I got invited to a R1 school and I have a 3.25 

I did 1 postbacc/gap year and it was great. I got a chance to get more awards that boosted my applications. Try not to see gap years as failures, please. They're quite fun. GPA is not the be all end all, many neuro programs look at you as a person and not just a set of numbers, which is why many schools dropped the GRE. 

 

Also, people coming directly from undergrad are at a disadvantage since they don't have much full time (emphasis on full time) experience. Many, if not all, programs want a year MINIMUM. From the looks of it, its not the gpa that's the issue, its amount of full time research. From the perspective of the ad com, someone who has minimal full time research experience doesn't really understand the complexities of research and are less willing to invite someone in.

 

Lastly, we're barely getting into interview season! Don't give up hope!

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22 minutes ago, ocelli said:

hi! don't get too discouraged with the lack of invitations from schools - many schools haven't sent out invites yet, or maybe it's just not the right time for you. If things don't work out this cycle, working as a research assistant/doing a post-bacc could be great for your application! You expressed that you think that taking a gap year is risky, but taking a year to just do full time research can really only help your application and hopefully your personal/scientific development. GPA is just one of many factors that admissions committees consider and there's so much you can do to make schools consider you beyond that. Your GPA doesn't seem to be that low (from your previous posts) so if you really believe that this path is for you, you have to stay determined, as grad school is a lot of persistence/determination as well. There might not be any guarantees if you have to reapply next year, but persistence is really important and grad schools want to see it.

thank you for the encouragement & i completely agree with you that there's a lot of persistence and determination involved. But the unknown is really scary and I want to know what I'm doing with my life before mid-20's lol (like what path I am taking).

 

... Yeah not sure what people do in this case - whether it's getting masters' degree or becoming research assistant in a lab?

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5 minutes ago, retrograde52 said:

The gpa thing is not true. I got invited to a R1 school and I have a 3.25 

I did 1 postbacc/gap year and it was great. I got a chance to get more awards that boosted my applications. Try not to see gap years as failures, please. They're quite fun. GPA is not the be all end all, many neuro programs look at you as a person and not just a set of numbers, which is why many schools dropped the GRE. 

 

Also, people coming directly from undergrad are at a disadvantage since they don't have much full time (emphasis on full time) experience. Many, if not all, programs want a year MINIMUM. From the looks of it, its not the gpa that's the issue, its amount of full time research. From the perspective of the ad com, someone who has minimal full time research experience doesn't really understand the complexities of research and are less willing to invite someone in.

 

Lastly, we're barely getting into interview season! Don't give up hope!

Congratulations on getting an invitation!

I don't really see a gap year as a failure, and I am now realizing many people do take a gap year. I recently also realized that I am competing with many candidates who already have a masters' degree or graduated from undergrad. The main reason why I mentioned gap year is because I was looking at the Results page from previous years and it seems like many people who already have a masters' degree (so more full time research experience) or did a post bacc had a higher undergrad GPA than me and still did not get into an R1 school. Initially, I was feeling encouraged that if I take a gap year and get more research experience, I can get into a R1 school. But now I'm feeling a bit less confident which is why I had mentioned it seems risky for someone like me.. but yeah not sure

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1 minute ago, nerdyneuron said:

thank you for the encouragement & i completely agree with you that there's a lot of persistence and determination involved. But the unknown is really scary and I want to know what I'm doing with my life before mid-20's lol (like what path I am taking).

 

... Yeah not sure what people do in this case - whether it's getting masters' degree or becoming research assistant in a lab?

people change paths all the time & mid-20s is definitely not late to decide what you want to do with your life! I know you probably feel so much pressure with all of this, but many people don't start grad school (or even undergrad, for that matter) until their mid/late 20s and it's totally normal and great.

 

also for reference: I didn't apply for grad school last year (my senior year of undergrad), applied for post-bacc programs in the spring because I knew I needed more research experience, and am now loving the post-bacc program I'm in!! I think it's been immensely helpful in a lot of ways and I would be happy to answer questions about it.

And I agree with @retrograde52!  It's only been two and a half-ish weeks since most schools' deadlines so definitely don't give up hope!

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18 minutes ago, ocelli said:

people change paths all the time & mid-20s is definitely not late to decide what you want to do with your life! I know you probably feel so much pressure with all of this, but many people don't start grad school (or even undergrad, for that matter) until their mid/late 20s and it's totally normal and great.

 

also for reference: I didn't apply for grad school last year (my senior year of undergrad), applied for post-bacc programs in the spring because I knew I needed more research experience, and am now loving the post-bacc program I'm in!! I think it's been immensely helpful in a lot of ways and I would be happy to answer questions about it.

And I agree with @retrograde52!  It's only been two and a half-ish weeks since most schools' deadlines so definitely don't give up hope!

Thank you for letting me know - I'd love to know more about post bacc programs as well since I am not very informed of them.

Yeah, I don't mean to be pessimistic, but I guess realistically, I am starting to realize I am bit of an outlier in comparison to other candidates applying to the same schools. Wouldn't be a bad idea to start thinking of a Plan B though 

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12 hours ago, sixelanic said:

Just got an email from Northwestern with my rejection :( 

Sorry to hear that, mate. Hope the others go well! 

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13 hours ago, RobertMoog said:

It's approaching weekend and judging by the pathetic number of interview invitations I received so far, I think it would be safer if I apply for a few other programs with January deadlines. Anyone else...?

Yes, same. But haven't seen many PhD programs in US with Jan deadlines. If you don't mind sharing which one have you seen.. I thought I might apply to Master's then cause haven't anything from few PhD programs I applied to...

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