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2020 Applicant Profiles and Admissions Results


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Thanks for sharing! I didn't successfully get in touch with the professor of interest during my application, so maybe there's just a silent rej awaiting. Anyway, thanks for your post and wish you all the best with the rest of your applications! 

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I am currently in a graduate program and have got involved in the recruitment process. Just needed to move to another city so I applied again. During this application season, almost every prog

A little update for those who may be wondering: UCSD Biomedical Sciences is still reviewing apps, invites will continue to be sent out through mid Feb.  UPenn CAMB program has sent out th

Just got an interview email from Harvard BBS!  I haven't gotten any other notifications yet. Generic format, e.g.:  > It is my great pleasure to invite you to visit the Harvard University

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On 2/25/2020 at 6:21 PM, mmsseeff said:

Did you hear from them today?

What did you indicate your subfield of interest to be for UMMS? I’ve seen waves of rejections/acceptances and it makes me wonder if they move by field of interest within the umbrella program so figured I’d ask

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On 3/10/2020 at 1:50 PM, rcon said:

What did you indicate your subfield of interest to be for UMMS? I’ve seen waves of rejections/acceptances and it makes me wonder if they move by field of interest within the umbrella program so figured I’d ask

I'm not sure UMMS does it like that as you can switch tracks when you go there, if you want to. From my understanding, they ranked students, picked the top x to invite initially, dealt with international separately (they want about 33% international), and now are just waiting to finish the rest of the domestic students.

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20 hours ago, cropop said:

I'm not sure UMMS does it like that as you can switch tracks when you go there, if you want to. From my understanding, they ranked students, picked the top x to invite initially, dealt with international separately (they want about 33% international), and now are just waiting to finish the rest of the domestic students.

Is UMMS done giving out offers to international students? I went to the last interview weekend but haven’t gotten any decision yet.

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4 hours ago, soat08 said:

Is UMMS done giving out offers to international students? I went to the last interview weekend but haven’t gotten any decision yet.

When was the "last interview weekend"? I really don't know what they're doing. I'm not in contact with them or anything. I'm sure more invites will go out based on what rcon said but I have no idea if that's domestic or international. I just saw that they had denied some international students on the status page but no domestic students have been denied on there so far.

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6 minutes ago, cropop said:

When was the "last interview weekend"? I really don't know what they're doing. I'm not in contact with them or anything. I'm sure more invites will go out based on what rcon said but I have no idea if that's domestic or international. I just saw that they had denied some international students on the status page but no domestic students have been denied on there so far.

The last interview weekend was on Feb6-8th.

Ah ok, thanks!

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Undergrad Institution: Large university in Asia
Major(s): Biological Sciences, Physics
Minor(s): -
GPA in Major: -
Overall GPA: 4.90/5.00 (will graduate from 4-year bachelor's degree this July)

Type of Student: International male

GRE Scores (revised version):
Q: 169
V: 164
W: 5.0
B: -


TOEFL Total: -

Research Experience: ~3 years in my home institution during semester and summers; 8 months in a European institution (bachelor's thesis). I didn't have clear-cut research interests in the first 1.5 years of university; hence I initially explored and 'rotated' through 4 different labs for about 4-5 months each. I eventually settled in the last one, which I thought had the best fit concerning research interests and lab environment. Still doing research in this lab until the summer to take a break before graduate school

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Dean's List in the first two years; Awarded scholarship to pursue undergraduate education (waived tuition fees and offered allowance/stipend); Enrolled in the university's research-intensive program to pursue fully-funded research stints locally and internationally

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Designed materials and instructor for introductory biology, chemistry and physics classes during the summer for incoming freshmen in the university's research-intensive program; Peer tutor for a semester; Assistant mentor for a small class teaching how to write and defend a mock grant proposal; Mentor for a thesis student and intern in current lab

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: 2 manuscripts in preparation upon submission (2nd and Nth author; recommenders wrote about this)

Special Bonus Points: Graduate classes: current topics in immunology, and quantum mechanics

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

Applying to Where:

  • Harvard University - Biological and Biomedical Sciences - Rejected (Mar 7)
  • Washington University in St. Louis - Biology and Biomedical Sciences: Molecular Microbiology and Microbial Pathogenesis - Rejected (Jan 7)
  • University of Wisconsin-Madison - Cellular and Molecular Biology - Rejected (Dec 20)
  • University of Pennsylvania - Cell and Molecular Biology: Microbiology, Virology and Parasitology - Rejected (Jan 31)
  • University of Washington - Microbiology - Rejected (Dec 20)
  • Rockefeller University - Biosciences - Rejected (Jan 9)
  • Baylor College of Medicine - Microbiology and Immunology - Rejected (Jan 11)
  • Tufts University - Molecular Microbiology - Rejected (Mar 9)
  • Duke University - Molecular Genetics and Microbiology - Interviewed (e-invite: Jan 10; Skype: Jan 14) - Rejected (Feb 19)
  • Purdue University - Purdue Interdisciplinary Life Sciences (PULSe): Microbiology and Immunology - Interviewed (e-invite: Jan 30; Skype: Feb 4) - Accepted (Feb 28) with initial 3-year fellowship
  • University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign - Biophysics and Quantitative Biology - Interviewed (e-invite: Feb 29; Skype: Mar 3) - Accepted (Mar 3) with graduate award 

I also applied to a school in Asia (in-person interview and accepted; Biology PhD) and another institution in Europe (Skype interview and rejected; Medical Science PhD). 

This application cycle has been a rollercoaster journey. I'm fortunate to have three offers; what helped me choose was to consider research interests and approaches, faculty and students, teaching opportunities, what I expect to learn during the PhD, and career options. I'm matriculating in a rotation-based program that appears different but there are POIs that use biological and quantitative tools to investigate a broad range topics in cell biology I am really curious about. I know I've been incredibly fortunate to be admitted right out of undergrad. There's so many supportive people I am grateful for - past and current PIs, mentors, lab members, classmates, students, family, friends outside of school, people here at GradCafe and Reddit gradadmissions, etc. I've already been reaching out to POIs and students via email/Skype to find out more about their research, rotation possibilities, student life, etc. Even though I never visited the campus before, I felt that they're very approachable, genuinely concerned about student welfare and whether I'd fit well into the environment.

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12 minutes ago, anxiousinternational said:

I am also worried about this....

There really can't be a plan because nobody knows when visa processing will start. If it's within the next month or 2, it's probably fine, but if it takes longer, then it might be too late. The US is projected to not have hit the worst of the virus yet so it could be a bit.

Odds are the school would probably defer admission if there are visa issues, though.

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13 hours ago, Amirreza91 said:

So, maybe we should prepare ourselves for the deferment!

Somebody in some other thread said that their school rescinded offers, which is a bit surprising to me. I guess there's no real way to tell what a school will do until they do it, but you can probably email them and ask if they have any plans (might wait a week or 2 first).

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  • 2 weeks later...
The wait is killing me!!!

Has nobody heard from these programs and schools or is it just me!? I'm waiting for a response from 7 schools. No clue on gradcafe either. No interviews or whatsoever so far. Please if there's anybody who applied to any of these programs reply,

  1. SUNY at Buffalo, Phd in Cancer Science ,
  2. University of Cincinnati, Phd in Cancer and Cell Biology,
  3. Iowa State University, Phd in Cell and Molecular Biology,
  4. Oklahoma State University, Phd in Biomedical Sciences,
  5. Tulane University, Phd in Cell and Molecular Biology,
  6. Rutgers University, PhD in Cancer and Genetics (Biomedical)
  7. Arizona State Universities, Phd in Molecular Cellular and Developmental Biology
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On 4/2/2020 at 12:42 PM, ApplicantF20 said:
The wait is killing me!!!

Has nobody heard from these programs and schools or is it just me!? I'm waiting for a response from 7 schools. No clue on gradcafe either. No interviews or whatsoever so far. Please if there's anybody who applied to any of these programs reply,

  1. SUNY at Buffalo, Phd in Cancer Science ,
  2. University of Cincinnati, Phd in Cancer and Cell Biology,
  3. Iowa State University, Phd in Cell and Molecular Biology,
  4. Oklahoma State University, Phd in Biomedical Sciences,
  5. Tulane University, Phd in Cell and Molecular Biology,
  6. Rutgers University, PhD in Cancer and Genetics (Biomedical)
  7. Arizona State Universities, Phd in Molecular Cellular and Developmental Biology

Rutgers University rejected me a week ago.

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On 4/2/2020 at 4:12 AM, ApplicantF20 said:
The wait is killing me!!!

Has nobody heard from these programs and schools or is it just me!? I'm waiting for a response from 7 schools. No clue on gradcafe either. No interviews or whatsoever so far. Please if there's anybody who applied to any of these programs reply,

  1. SUNY at Buffalo, Phd in Cancer Science ,
  2. University of Cincinnati, Phd in Cancer and Cell Biology,
  3. Iowa State University, Phd in Cell and Molecular Biology,
  4. Oklahoma State University, Phd in Biomedical Sciences,
  5. Tulane University, Phd in Cell and Molecular Biology,
  6. Rutgers University, PhD in Cancer and Genetics (Biomedical)
  7. Arizona State Universities, Phd in Molecular Cellular and Developmental Biology

If you have not received an interview at this point, I would assume that I would not get an invitation. The deadline for acceptance for a PhD program is on April 15th.

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On 4/14/2020 at 10:56 PM, mediumtwotopping said:

If you have not received an interview at this point, I would assume that I would not get an invitation. The deadline for acceptance for a PhD program is on April 15th.

I e mailed Iowa State University and they said, they are waiting for the decsions from their first round of offers, which have the deadline of April 15th. I don't know weather I'm correct but this meant to me like there's another round of offers after April 15th. And the CGS mentions in their website that the universities can extend the offers beyond April 15th if they want to. So even though I don't have high hopes about anything right now I'm going to wait it out to see what happens. 

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On 4/15/2020 at 10:43 PM, ApplicantF20 said:

I e mailed Iowa State University and they said, they are waiting for the decsions from their first round of offers, which have the deadline of April 15th. I don't know weather I'm correct but this meant to me like there's another round of offers after April 15th. And the CGS mentions in their website that the universities can extend the offers beyond April 15th if they want to. So even though I don't have high hopes about anything right now I'm going to wait it out to see what happens. 

I wouldn't hold my breath on it. Schools strategically give more offers for spots than they actually have to accommodate for this. I don't know if there will be a "huge" wave of offers especially since (if I understand correctly) you didn't interview with them. Nevertheless, I hope you get an opportunity.

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14 hours ago, mediumtwotopping said:

I wouldn't hold my breath on it. Schools strategically give more offers for spots than they actually have to accommodate for this. I don't know if there will be a "huge" wave of offers especially since (if I understand correctly) you didn't interview with them. Nevertheless, I hope you get an opportunity.

That's why I'm not going to have high hopes on anything. Just waiting out to see what happens. 

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Accepted to Wayne State University's funded PhD in Pharmaceutical Sciences program about a week ago. My stats were back on page 6. If you happen to be attending this program, feel free to reach out. I completed my PharmD in the same EACPHS building, so I am somewhat familiar with the program and the faculty (who also teach in the PharmD program).

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  • 4 weeks later...

Hi all, I've been planning to apply this year for some time now, but given all that is going on (aka Corona messing up everything), I'm now super hesitant whether I should wait until the next round. But I thought I'd get some advice first for people who have been through the process before deciding to push applying by another year. 

I attended a top 40 university and graduated with a 3.55 GPA. I haven't taken the GRE (because I suck at standardized tests and figured it wasn't worth the time or money to take something that wouldn't help bolster my application) so I'm applying to programs that don't require it. I have been working at a top Pharma company for the past two years since graduation from undergrad and was just promoted on my 2 year anniversary, and have two papers that I coauthored with my supervisor at my job. During undergrad, I worked in two labs (the first i was at for a year and the second for 4 months, because I went home for the summer). So I do have quite a few years of research experience under my belt, 2 publications, and an average GPA from an average school. 

At my second lab experience, I started pursuing my own project, but had to wrap it up since I went home for the summer, so nothing really came of the project. I was really looking forward to starting my own project at work. I had the green light from my supervisor to pursue it and the cell line I was going to use was on it's way when COVID really hit. Now all non-essential projects (aka, my project) are indefinitely on hold until business can resume as normal. I've been told by my old PI's that starting your own project is something that REALLY is recommended to stand out in application pools. Given that one and only project I was able to start was three years ago and it didn't get very far, I'm not sure how relevant/exemplary this is to include in my application.

Is showing initiative enough for these applications? If the only project that I came up with AND worked on is too old, would the admissions be understanding if I talked about the project I had planned on running given the circumstances? Or should I hold off on applying until next year in the hopes that business can return to normal soon and I can get started on my project.

Edited by StemCells4Lyfe
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