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2020 Applicant Profiles and Admissions Results

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Undergrad Institution: International 
Major(s): Biotechnology 
Minor(s):
GPA in Major: 9.07/10
Overall GPA: 8.98/10 

Type of Student: International, (Asian), female 

GRE Scores (revised):
Q: 160
V: 156
W: 4


TOEFL Total:  about to get a score,  I will update when I do 

Research Experience: I've done an intensive project in my final year of undergrad with wet lab and in silico components (got the highest grade possible along with just one other group for the project). First internship at a tissue engineering research company and one internship at one of the best biological research institutes in my country (focus on mass spectrometry). I will be getting a publication soon for the research done in my final year. 

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: one poster presentation at an international conference 

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Volunteer teacher since high-school, I  have taught kids English and science in various grades. (I was part of organizing teams for events all throughout my four years of college, if that counts)


Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: Math grades haven't been good, but there's a clear improvement in my major's subjects. I have taken a job that has nothing to do with biology after I graduated in May, 2019 (monetary  reasons), and I will be applying for 2020 fall. 

Applying to Where:
Program - PhD Programs 


Research interest - Molecular Biology (some are cell and mol bio programs)

1. San Diego State University

2. Purdue 

3. UT Austin

4. UT San Antonio

5. UChicago

6. University of Illinois at UC 

7. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill 

Maybe to University of california santa barbara or irvine 

 

 

I was wondering if I have a good chance of getting in and if so, if the universities I have chosen are okay. It's a variety of ambitious and moderate ones. Will this year, in which i have taken a break from biology matter a lot? I will be doing various online certifications now related to my course to make sure to not get out of touch with it. Any other inputs would also be welcome. 

Thanks in advance!

 

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Undergrad Institution: top ranked liberal arts college
Major(s): Biology
Overall GPA: 3.87

Type of Student: Domestic White female

GRE Scores (revised/old version):
Q: 152 (45%)
V: 168 (98%)

W: 6 (99%)


Research Experience: 

-4 years as a research coordinator in a clinical research lab, mostly focused in microbiology.

 -Year long senior honors research project working with E. Coli

-Summer internship at a medical lab in India

-Summer internship at a botanical lab in the UK

 

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

(all within school) 

-Deans List every year, graduated cum laude with High Honors in Biology

-received named academic award for excellence in microbiology

-elected to Sigma Xi

 

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

-3 publications (not first author)

-2 poster presentations

-1 oral presentation at a research forum (first author)

-certifications in grant writing and working with human subjects


Applying to Where :

(1) UT Austin—ecology, evolution, and behavior

(2) Michigan State—ecology, evolutionary biology, and behavior

(3) Hopkins-- Cell, Molecular, Developmental Biology, & Biophysics

(4) Princeton-- Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

(5) UPenn-- biology

 

I’m interested in evolutionary bio and cell bio. There are so many fascinating labs out there that it’s hard for me to decide!

 

My big concern is my math GRE score. I studied a lot the first time around and I just don’t know that I would do much better if I retook it. For that reason, I’ve mostly looked at schools that don’t require them, but I’m worried I’m limiting myself. Is my math score low enough to cause a problem?

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1 hour ago, CicadaQueen said:

Undergrad Institution: top ranked liberal arts college
Major(s): Biology
Overall GPA: 3.87

Type of Student: Domestic White female

GRE Scores (revised/old version):
Q: 152 (45%)
V: 168 (98%)

W: 6 (99%)


Research Experience: 

-4 years as a research coordinator in a clinical research lab, mostly focused in microbiology.

 -Year long senior honors research project working with E. Coli

-Summer internship at a medical lab in India

-Summer internship at a botanical lab in the UK

 

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

(all within school) 

-Deans List every year, graduated cum laude with High Honors in Biology

-received named academic award for excellence in microbiology

-elected to Sigma Xi

 

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

-3 publications (not first author)

-2 poster presentations

-1 oral presentation at a research forum (first author)

-certifications in grant writing and working with human subjects


Applying to Where :

(1) UT Austin—ecology, evolution, and behavior

(2) Michigan State—ecology, evolutionary biology, and behavior

(3) Hopkins-- Cell, Molecular, Developmental Biology, & Biophysics

(4) Princeton-- Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

(5) UPenn-- biology

 

I’m interested in evolutionary bio and cell bio. There are so many fascinating labs out there that it’s hard for me to decide!

 

My big concern is my math GRE score. I studied a lot the first time around and I just don’t know that I would do much better if I retook it. For that reason, I’ve mostly looked at schools that don’t require them, but I’m worried I’m limiting myself. Is my math score low enough to cause a problem?

GRE score isn't that important. It'll only matter if they're on the fence about you.

Your application looks strong, and your school list has a good range. It'll all depend on LORs and SOP. 

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Undergrad Institution: San Francisco State University, no idea of rankings
Major(s): Biology, concentration in cell/molecular
Minor(s): History
GPA in Major: 3.62
Overall GPA: 3.4
Type of Student: Domestic female

GRE Scores (current version):
Q: 166
V: 167
W: 5.5

Research Experience: 

Disease ecology lab, 2 years as undergraduate. I was given my own summer project investigating species distribution in different habitats and modeled distribution changes based on projected climate change. Also investigated vector microbiome with field sampling and molecular techniques where I ended up 4th author on a manuscript from my work with a graduate student.

Developmental neuro-genetics lab as a lab manager, 2 years, current. Primarily working on bioinformatics pipelines and sequencing, then investigating cellular phenotypes related to the variants. Currently working on a project on a specific gene I expect to get a co-1st or 2nd author manuscript from. I am on 2 other manuscripts from various other projects in the 3-6th author range.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: 

Dean’s list in undergrad for 8/9 semesters, graduated cum laude

Pertinent Activities or Jobs:

Conservation intern, 1.5 years. Reared and released threatened species as part of a long-term research project. Coordinated outside research experiments and managed large populations of animals.

5+ previous years as general animal care volunteer and educator at a variety of educational institutions.

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

I ‘failed’ a class due to withdrawing and the grade being converted back to an F when I retook the class. I got an A the second time around. I also have supplemental math up to upper-division biostatistics courses because my interest is in quantitative ecology.

Applying to Where: (in my order of preference)

 

University of Washington- Quantitative Ecology and Resource Management (QERM)

University of Washington- Biology

Oregon State University- Environmental Sciences, quantitative track

University of California, Davis- Ecology

Colorado State University- Ecology

 

My research interests are primarily quantitative ecology, so I’m worried my research background looks a bit scattered, especially as I’m currently in human molecular research. I would really like to work on climate change and how species react to it, plus how we can model that reaction. I am uncertain about my choices in schools- there seem to be too many high-tier programs and I’m worried about getting rejected from them.

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On 9/27/2019 at 10:52 AM, CicadaQueen said:

My big concern is my math GRE score. I studied a lot the first time around and I just don’t know that I would do much better if I retook it. For that reason, I’ve mostly looked at schools that don’t require them, but I’m worried I’m limiting myself. Is my math score low enough to cause a problem?

I only have personal / anecdotal experience to share re: the GRE: (1) my undergrad PI definitely cares about GRE and GPA scores when taking grad students; there was at least one instance where he basically refused to interview an applicant b/c of their score (it was more like, "I could meet them but I don't think there's too much of a point..."). (2) during one of my own grad school interviews, the interviewer had my app profile printed out in front of him and had clearly written notes/highlighted certain bits; I could see that he circled out my GRE scores (as a positive note, I think).

Both of these people were Asians who had their early education in Asia, and I'd guess that the way they were brought up probably influenced how much they valued these stats. Otherwise, I interviewed at 4 places and the GRE/GPA never came up in any interactions with interviewers/program directors/other applicants, besides the aforementioned incident. So I guess the conclusion is there are surely some PIs who care about these scores, but whether that alone will "cause a problem" likely depends on who's in the specific program's ad com / interviewer pool.

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Posted (edited)

Undergrad Institution: Large State school, decent reputation in biology 
Major(s): Genetics (BA Graduating in May)
Minor(s): CS
GPA in Major: 3.1
Overall GPA: 3.4

Type of Student: Domestic Female 

GRE Scores (revised/old version): (Haven't taken it yet, taking it in a few weeks) 
Q:
V:
W:
B:


Research Experience: 3 years at my school + a senior thesis in the same lab, freshman summer internship at the American Museum of Natural History doing population genetics, Summer internship in Singapore studying cancer genomics this past summer at a pretty well known institution + lab in the field - All my worth was computational genetics projects 


Awards/Honors/Recognitions: School's honors program (i'm also doing a senior thesis), summer stipend award from my department for a summer of research in my main PI's lab at my school, a few small awards from poster sessions  

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: spent several years tutoring Chem + Genetics classes for money at my school (I don't have time senior year for this) 

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: I'll get a strong letter from my current PI and 2 other very good letters from my summer research PIs 

Special Bonus Points: My background is computational genetics, and I'm proficient in R, python, Java, and unix and I have developed my own programs and applications for genomic data analysis (IDK if this is a special bonus point)

My school doesn't offer computational genetics as a major but I've taken the classes on the subject from my department and extra CS classes on top of that 

Maybe a Paper in december - I'm not 100% sure about this because we're still drafting it 


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

Applying to Where:
Columbia - Coordinated Doctoral Programs in Biomedical Sciences - Genetics and Development 

Cornell - Weill Cornell Graduate School - BCMB Allied program

Harvard - Division of Medical Sciences - Biological and Biomedical Sciences

Rockefeller University -  The David Rockefeller Graduate Program in Bioscience

Sloan Kettering Graduate School -  Graduate Program

Stanford -  PhD Program in Biosciences - Cancer Biology or Genetics (not sure which specialization for the application just yet) 

Tri-Institution (Sloan Kettering, Cornell Ithaca, Weill Cornell) - PhD Program in Computational Biology

U Penn - Biomedical Graduate Studies - Genomics and Computational Biology

UC Berkeley - Department of Molecular & Cell Biology -  Graduate Program Molecular & Cell Biology

UC San Diego - Biomedical Science Graduate Program - Genetics + Genomics 

UC SF -  The Tetrad Graduate Program

University of Washington - Graduate program in Genome Sciences 

Wash U in St Louis - Molecular Genetics and Genomics Program

Yale -  Combined Program in the Biological and Biomedical Sciences
 

My primary interests are cancer genomics and structural genomics , and I know i'm applying to a super competitive area. All of the programs I listed have at least 5 labs associated/a part of the program I'm interested in in the subject areas I mentioned 

Honestly, I'm very worried I'm not going to get in anywhere. I'm not opposed at all to doing a few years of post undergrad work, to both save up some money and off set my weak GPA. In fact, I'm already looking for jobs near me and I think this could help me, and give me some more research experience. I'm just unsure if I should even bother applying to programs this cycle, since I feel like I'm a pretty weak applicant.   

Also would emailed professors be a bad idea? 

Edited by balisticFeanor

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5 hours ago, balisticFeanor said:

Undergrad Institution: Large State school, decent reputation in biology 
Major(s): Genetics (BA Graduating in May)
Minor(s): CS
GPA in Major: 3.1
Overall GPA: 3.4

Type of Student: Domestic Female 

GRE Scores (revised/old version): (Haven't taken it yet, taking it in a few weeks) 
Q:
V:
W:
B:


Research Experience: 3 years at my school + a senior thesis in the same lab, freshman summer internship at the American Museum of Natural History doing population genetics, Summer internship in Singapore studying cancer genomics this past summer at a pretty well known institution + lab in the field - All my worth was computational genetics projects 


Awards/Honors/Recognitions: School's honors program (i'm also doing a senior thesis), summer stipend award from my department for a summer of research in my main PI's lab at my school, a few small awards from poster sessions  

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: spent several years tutoring Chem + Genetics classes for money at my school (I don't have time senior year for this) 

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: I'll get a strong letter from my current PI and 2 other very good letters from my summer research PIs 

Special Bonus Points: My background is computational genetics, and I'm proficient in R, python, Java, and unix and I have developed my own programs and applications for genomic data analysis (IDK if this is a special bonus point)

My school doesn't offer computational genetics as a major but I've taken the classes on the subject from my department and extra CS classes on top of that 

Maybe a Paper in december - I'm not 100% sure about this because we're still drafting it 


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

Applying to Where:
Columbia - Coordinated Doctoral Programs in Biomedical Sciences - Genetics and Development 

Cornell - Weill Cornell Graduate School - BCMB Allied program

Harvard - Division of Medical Sciences - Biological and Biomedical Sciences

Rockefeller University -  The David Rockefeller Graduate Program in Bioscience

Sloan Kettering Graduate School -  Graduate Program

Stanford -  PhD Program in Biosciences - Cancer Biology or Genetics (not sure which specialization for the application just yet) 

Tri-Institution (Sloan Kettering, Cornell Ithaca, Weill Cornell) - PhD Program in Computational Biology

U Penn - Biomedical Graduate Studies - Genomics and Computational Biology

UC Berkeley - Department of Molecular & Cell Biology -  Graduate Program Molecular & Cell Biology

UC San Diego - Biomedical Science Graduate Program - Genetics + Genomics 

UC SF -  The Tetrad Graduate Program

University of Washington - Graduate program in Genome Sciences 

Wash U in St Louis - Molecular Genetics and Genomics Program

Yale -  Combined Program in the Biological and Biomedical Sciences
 

My primary interests are cancer genomics and structural genomics , and I know i'm applying to a super competitive area. All of the programs I listed have at least 5 labs associated/a part of the program I'm interested in in the subject areas I mentioned 

Honestly, I'm very worried I'm not going to get in anywhere. I'm not opposed at all to doing a few years of post undergrad work, to both save up some money and off set my weak GPA. In fact, I'm already looking for jobs near me and I think this could help me, and give me some more research experience. I'm just unsure if I should even bother applying to programs this cycle, since I feel like I'm a pretty weak applicant.   

Also would emailed professors be a bad idea? 

You're applying for way too many competitive schools (and generally too many schools). I think your application could be totally solid, and you could reasonably get in to graduate school, but your list is made up entirely of reach schools.

If you're committed to going to one of those schools, I would recommend taking a year or two to work full time in a lab, get some publications under your belt, etc. 

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On 9/26/2019 at 10:19 AM, Colourum said:

Undergrad Institution: International 
Major(s): Biotechnology 
Minor(s):
GPA in Major: 9.07/10
Overall GPA: 8.98/10 

Type of Student: International, (Asian), female 

GRE Scores (revised):
Q: 160
V: 156
W: 4


TOEFL Total:  about to get a score,  I will update when I do 

Research Experience: I've done an intensive project in my final year of undergrad with wet lab and in silico components (got the highest grade possible along with just one other group for the project). First internship at a tissue engineering research company and one internship at one of the best biological research institutes in my country (focus on mass spectrometry). I will be getting a publication soon for the research done in my final year. 

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: one poster presentation at an international conference 

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Volunteer teacher since high-school, I  have taught kids English and science in various grades. (I was part of organizing teams for events all throughout my four years of college, if that counts)


Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: Math grades haven't been good, but there's a clear improvement in my major's subjects. I have taken a job that has nothing to do with biology after I graduated in May, 2019 (monetary  reasons), and I will be applying for 2020 fall. 

Applying to Where:
Program - PhD Programs 


Research interest - Molecular Biology (some are cell and mol bio programs)

1. San Diego State University

2. Purdue 

3. UT Austin

4. UT San Antonio

5. UChicago

6. University of Illinois at UC 

7. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill 

Maybe to University of california santa barbara or irvine 

 

 

I was wondering if I have a good chance of getting in and if so, if the universities I have chosen are okay. It's a variety of ambitious and moderate ones. Will this year, in which i have taken a break from biology matter a lot? I will be doing various online certifications now related to my course to make sure to not get out of touch with it. Any other inputs would also be welcome. 

Thanks in advance!

 

Hey! I'm a current PhD student at UChicago in the Molecular Biology cluster and I think you have a good chance of getting admitted. While things are a bit different for international students vs domestic students, you have strong test scores and strong research experience. I know lots of people in the program who took a break from research / biology in between, so that shouldn't be that big of an issue. 

Depending on your interests, I'd be happy to connect you with faculty that you may be interested in working with, or students in their labs, to get more info and see if UChicago is a good fit :)

Feel free to reach out (DM) with any other questions! 

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On 8/26/2019 at 10:18 PM, Throwawaydnf99 said:

Any recs on neuro/pharmacology/behavioral programs that dont require GRE?

University of Chicago Neurosciences (and all Biology programs) don't require GRE! 

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Undergrad Institution: University of West Alabama
Major(s): Biology
Minor(s): Conservation
GPA in Major:
Overall GPA: 2.7 MS 3.4

Type of Student: Domestic Male 

GRE Scores (revised/old version):
Q: 156
V: 161
W: 4.5
B: N/A





Research Experience: 6 years of research experience; Presented at 5+ conferences, given 3 paper presentations. 3 publications, one of which I am first author. 
Awards/Honors/Recognitions: 1 Small Research Grant

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: GSU Graduate Student Organization Vice President, President of the Georgia Southern Biology Org. for Graduate Students.

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help:  See research experience.



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

Applying to Where:

University of Georgia  - Odum School of Ecology- Disease Ecology
Clemson University - Biology
University of Notre Dame - Biology - Disease Ecology

Emory Unviersity- Biology - Disease Ecology

 

Alright folks. Lets face it, my GPA is abysmal. Ive  busted my butt to develop a very competitive research history, but I'm not sure it will be enough to balance me out. I don't meet the minimum GPA for many schools, but my research experience is stellar. Help.  

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Undergrad Institution: International
Major(s): Bachelors in Engineering, focus on Biotechnology
Overall GPA: 3.7

Type of Student: International, Asian female

Masters Institution:
Ivy league
Major(s): Biotechnology
Overall GPA: 3.8


GRE Scores (revised/old version): Studying for new version, expect to score 320+ based on practice tests and my old GRE score.

TOEFL Total: N/A since my Masters degree is from a US institution

Research Experience: 5 years of full-time research experience in cancer biology in the US, partly in industry, but currently working at a very prestigious university (1+ year), 5+ abstracts at major conferences and 2 publications, 1 of which is first author. The abstracts and publications are from my time in industry, working on a paper now but it is unlikely to be submitted in time for this application cycle.

I have strong wet lab experience in planning and carrying out experiments involving cell culture, transfection, transduction, multi-color flow cytometry, western blots, ELISA, PCR, animal handling and organ harvesting, immunofluorescence etc. I have letters of recommendation that will address my skills, work ethic as well as interest in graduate school.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions:

I was awarded a bonus for outstanding contributions to the division of my company (not sure how relevant this award is).

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: I had leadership positions in undergrad as well as my masters program in Biotech-related committees.

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help:

Special Bonus Points: Connections from PIs, will be applying to programs where I work and where my current/previous PIs are from, so it may work in my favor.

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

Applying to Where:
While my experience is very relevant to cancer immunology, I want to move to a more computational background and focus on developing tools to mine large scale databases. I'm wondering what safety schools I should add considering my limited programming experience? I'm currently using R to visualize patient data for specific gene expression but I highly doubt that's good enough. I had a semester of C, C++, JAVA and SQL each in undergrad but that's the extent of my formal training.

Here are my schools -

Harvard - Integrated Life Sciences: Computational Biology
Cornell TRI - Computational Biology and Medicine 
Stanford - Computational and Systems Immunology, Biomedical Informatics
MIT - Computational & Systems Biology
Caltech - Biology: Systems Biology (tentative)
UPenn - Genomics and Computational Biology
UCB - Computational Biology


Thank you!

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4 hours ago, Fingers_Crossed said:


Applying to Where:
While my experience is very relevant to cancer immunology, I want to move to a more computational background and focus on developing tools to mine large scale databases. I'm wondering what safety schools I should add considering my limited programming experience? I'm currently using R to visualize patient data for specific gene expression but I highly doubt that's good enough. I had a semester of C, C++, JAVA and SQL each in undergrad but that's the extent of my formal training.

 

Going to put a plug in for Oregon Health and Sciences University, OHSU. Their medical campus has some top-notch genetics research and is one of the schools responsible for creating Galaxy through their computational biology department. I think they are not on too many people's radars because they are primarily a medical campus.

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15 hours ago, Fingers_Crossed said:

Undergrad Institution: International
Major(s): Bachelors in Engineering, focus on Biotechnology
Overall GPA: 3.7

Type of Student: International, Asian female

Masters Institution:
Ivy league
Major(s): Biotechnology
Overall GPA: 3.8


GRE Scores (revised/old version): Studying for new version, expect to score 320+ based on practice tests and my old GRE score.

TOEFL Total: N/A since my Masters degree is from a US institution

Research Experience: 5 years of full-time research experience in cancer biology in the US, partly in industry, but currently working at a very prestigious university (1+ year), 5+ abstracts at major conferences and 2 publications, 1 of which is first author. The abstracts and publications are from my time in industry, working on a paper now but it is unlikely to be submitted in time for this application cycle.

I have strong wet lab experience in planning and carrying out experiments involving cell culture, transfection, transduction, multi-color flow cytometry, western blots, ELISA, PCR, animal handling and organ harvesting, immunofluorescence etc. I have letters of recommendation that will address my skills, work ethic as well as interest in graduate school.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions:

I was awarded a bonus for outstanding contributions to the division of my company (not sure how relevant this award is).

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: I had leadership positions in undergrad as well as my masters program in Biotech-related committees.

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help:

Special Bonus Points: Connections from PIs, will be applying to programs where I work and where my current/previous PIs are from, so it may work in my favor.

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

Applying to Where:
While my experience is very relevant to cancer immunology, I want to move to a more computational background and focus on developing tools to mine large scale databases. I'm wondering what safety schools I should add considering my limited programming experience? I'm currently using R to visualize patient data for specific gene expression but I highly doubt that's good enough. I had a semester of C, C++, JAVA and SQL each in undergrad but that's the extent of my formal training.

Here are my schools -

Harvard - Integrated Life Sciences: Computational Biology
Cornell TRI - Computational Biology and Medicine 
Stanford - Computational and Systems Immunology, Biomedical Informatics
MIT - Computational & Systems Biology
Caltech - Biology: Systems Biology (tentative)
UPenn - Genomics and Computational Biology
UCB - Computational Biology


Thank you!

If you want to move towards a computational biology PhD from an experimental background, I would highly recommend applying to umbrella programs then choosing to rotate and do your thesis in computational labs under those programs - e.g. applying to Harvard BBS instead of Harvard Comp Bio, Weill Cornell PBSB/BCMB instead of Tri-i CBM. This would be a less competitive way to get into those labs, given that your background isn't extensively computational but is very strong in other aspects . Comp bio programs generally look for people who want to build novel methods and have lots of computational experience and/or formal training in math/CS/statistics, so your experiences, though amazing, would not stand out as much to these programs.

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Undergrad Institution: University of Chicago (graduated this spring)
Major(s): Neuroscience; Computer Science
GPA in Major: 3.7 and 3.5, respectively
Overall GPA: 3.5
Type of Student: International, non-binary (afab), white

GRE Scores (revised):
Q: 169 (95%)
V: 164 (94%)
W: 4.5 (81%)

Research Experience: 2.5 years of part-time research in undergrad (somatosensory systems lab; human psychophysics) + full-time since graduation (a few months now) working on an independent project at the same place; 1 co-author publication in Scientific Reports, 1 co-author poster at SfN; working on a first author pub but it probably won't be ready for submission by the deadlines

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Dean's List every year throughout undergrad

Special Bonus Points: systems neuro grad class; lgbtq so minority I guess + female-ish;

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: GPA during my first two years in undergrad was kind of low because I took very hard classes (the language barrier didn't help); had to miss out on a lot of full-time summer research experience due to family issues; also had to balance unpaid research with a paid job (and obviously classes) for some time; had to handle a bunch of health issues throughout undergrad while keeping up with my academic work

Applying to Where:

interested in theoretical/computational labs in all programs below


Boston University : GPN

Duke University: Neurobiology

Columbia University: Neurobiology and Behavior

New York University: Neural Science

University of California - Berkeley: Neuroscience

Brown University: Neuroscience

Cold Spring Harbor: Watson School

 

So my questions are:

1. do I have a fair shot at these programs?

2. should I talk about the issues I had to deal with throughout undergrad in my SOP? it feels a bit weird to focus on that, but they did impact my undergrad career a lot and I feel like I may come across as a more competitive applicant for it

Edited by masha18

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Undergrad Institution: UC Santa Cruz- solid biology standing
Major(s): MCD Biology
Minor(s): N/A
GPA in Major: 3.4
Overall GPA: 3.1

Type of Student: Domestic, Female, Latinx

GRE Scores (revised/old version):
Q:151
V:157
W:4.0

(most of the schools I'm applying aren't asking for it)
 

Research Experience: 

Summer internship at a big Pharma company in immunology for 3 months

One year of undergraduate research in a bioengineering lab with lots of experience in microbiology and a poster but no publication

1+ year as a research associate at a prestigious research institute in CA researching breast cancer with a publication (like 5th author out of 10)

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Just student-athlete awards

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: Graduated from undergrad in 3 years and, as stated above, was a student athlete throughout college, and I have several poster presentations and have attended many symposiums and conferences

Special Bonus Points: Female and minority. Three solid letter of Rec from a top professor and PI at UCSC, current and well-known PI from current job and PI from pharmaceutical company, all know me really well.


Applying to Where:

U of Colorado, Boulder- Molecular Biology
UC San Diego - Biomedical Sciences - Aging
Northeastern - Biology - Aging
U of Washington - Pathology-Aging
U of Southern California- Biology of Aging
UC Davis- MCD Biology
Scripps Research Institute- Biology

PS: I'm nervous because of my low GPA and GRE scores(even though I'm not submitting those to most schools). Should I just not apply to any schools that require GRE scores. I also feel that I don't want to attend a school that judges me based off of my testing scores because I work must harder than they reflect. I feel really good about my work and research experience (even though I know someone will always have more experience and from more reputable places because of this competitive field). I want to go into studying aging and I do have some background in that field so that's not entirely new. My top schools are UCSD and UW, but I think my chances are slim....

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Undergrad Institution: Boston College 
Major(s): B.S. Psychology (equiv. to neuroscience degree before they started an official neuroscience program)
Minor(s): .N/A 
GPA in Major: ~3.3
Overall GPA: 3.366
Type of Student: Domestic Female. Asian/Mixed. 

GRE Scores (revised/old version) (taking soonish)
Q:
V:
W:
B:


Research Experience:

  • 2 yrs undergrad in behavioral neuroscience lab. Did senior thesis. 1 second author publication, 1 national conference poster (SFN), 2 smaller research symposium posters
  • 2.5 yrs research technician/lab manager in immunology/virology lab at a prestigious university. 2 publications so far--1 in a cell press paper and 1 in a smaller journal--both were mid-authorship (4th). Two posters at scientific retreats. I have my own independent project, and manage other technicians and undergrads in the lab. 

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: 

  • Undergrad research fellowship (granted 3 consecutive times), summer internship fellowship, Dean's list a couple times.

Special Bonus Points: McNair Scholar, first generation college student. 

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: Dad passed away while I was in college and it really affected my studies. I feel like I have a decent application--strong letter from old PI and former professor, very strong letter from current PI, several publications and poster presentations, a (hopefully) well written SOP--but I'm really really worried about my GPA affecting my chances of getting into good programs

Applying to Where:

Harvard--BBS, Virology
Boston University--PiBS, biology, GPN
MIT--biology, BCS
UMich--Pibs
Univ. Washington--mcb


My current support system is in Boston, but I realize that this list is rather restrictive and top-heavy. I would greatly appreciate anyone's suggestions for mid-tier and "safety programs". On the other hand, I am wondering how waiting an extra year to push out one or two more publications (currently in the works but definitely won't be submitted before application deadlines) would improve my chances of staying near my family. 

Edited by everythingisinteresting

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Undergrad Institution: international
Major(s): Plant Biology and Biotechnology
Minor(s): Nill 
GPA in Major: 4.0/4.0
Overall GPA: 4.0/4.0

Type of Student: International Male

GRE Scores (revised/old version):
Q: 156
V: 161
W: 2.5  (still fazed by it)



TOEFL Total: Writing soon

Research Experience: I spent 4 months working on the effects of morphological variations of Moringa leaf on callogenesis, got results but work wasn’t published.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Deans prize for Best graduating student, Vice Chancellor’s prize for best graduating student in academic set.

Pertinent Activities: I taught genetics and molecular biology to year 2 and Year 3 students.

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help:

Special Bonus Points: Nill

Applying for a PhD 

University of Wisconsin - Cell and Molecular Biology

Ohio State university : Molecular Biology 

Cornell University : Cell and Molecular biology

Someone should please recommend other universities based on my profile. I know my GRE isn’t spectacular but I don’t want to re-write. I work a full time job unrelated to biology, just for the money so I can not afford to take time off for study. Do I even stand a chance with above schools? 
Kindly awaiting feedbacks.

 


 

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Undergrad Institution: (Big Public University,  well-known but not for  Biology)

Masters Institute : ( Famous International- UK- Major: Molecular Medicine )
Major(s):biology
Minor(s):Statistics
GPA in Major: 3.30, Merit in my masters
Overall GPA: 3.20

Type of Student: (International /female)

GRE Scores (revised/old version): I am applying to universities that don't require GRE.
Q:
V:
W:
B:




Research Experience:  I worked as a research associate for 3 years up to date , I have 2 publications where I am the first author , four as the second author, and two as mid author so in total 8 publications.



Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Deans List one semester , Breast Cancer Ambassador

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: I worked in well known research center , I also worked as research associate in couple of universities

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: Outreach research, around 8-12 events for non-profit organizations, and endless list of volunteering

Special Bonus Points: (two of my recommenders are famous and well accomplished researcher,  I am invested in bioinformatics and mathematical modeling,  I also was invited to attend Wellcome Genome course at Sanger institute)

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: I am invested in Multi-disciplinary research (Computer-biology-statistics) 

Applying to Where:

Harvard - BBS

Stanford - Immunology

Duke- Immunology

Yale- Immunology

USCL-Barkely- Biomedical

Chicago- Biomedical

JHU - CMM

Emory- Pathogenesis

Washington Seattle - immunology

st moun university- Biomedical

Washington st lous  DBBS

 

I am applying for so many schools because My scholarship will only be valid for these, any help or recommendations will deeply help specially that i am an international student? I know that my undergrad GPA was not pretty good but will my master Merit grade help and my research experience?. Any program that I should look into?.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Undergrad Institution: University of Science and Art (Iran)
Major(s): Genetics
Overall GPA: 2.90!

Masters institution: Tarbiat Modares University (Iran) Ranked No.1 in Molecular Genetics in Iran

Major(s): Genetics
Overall GPA: 3.50


Type of Student: International, male

GRE Scores : Applying to the universities which don't require GRE

TOEFL Total: 99
 

Research Experience: More than 4 years of research experience in Cancer and Autoimmune diseases. I have 5 published and 3 under-revision articles.

Awards/Honors/Recognition: National Graduate Entrance Examination for Biology >>> Ranked Top 1% in more than 21,000 participants

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: TA for Molecular Genetics and Bioinformatics for two semesters


Applying to Where:

West Virginia University - Biomedical Sciences

University of South Dakota - Biomedical Sciences

University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center - Biomedical Sciences

University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences - Biomedical Sciences

Virginia Commonwealth University - Human Genetics

University of Massachusetts Amherst 

University of Nebraska Medical Center - Biomedical Sciences

The Ohio State University - Cell and Developmental Biology

Case Western Reserve University - Biomedical Sciences

Anyone could help me to choose appropriate institutions?? I'm confused 😟 !!!

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I'm noticing some apps allow you to submit more than 3 LOR. Do many people submit more than 3? Would another LOR be a good idea, even if its from someone you havent worked with in a couple years?

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11 hours ago, Throwawaydnf99 said:

I'm noticing some apps allow you to submit more than 3 LOR. Do many people submit more than 3? Would another LOR be a good idea, even if its from someone you havent worked with in a couple years?

Probably not a good idea to submit more than required unless the extras are stellar.. 

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Undergrad Institution: University of California, San Diego
Major(s): Biochemistry and Cell Biology
Minor(s): 
GPA in Major: 3.6
Overall GPA: 3.5
Type of Student: 

GRE: not submitting


Research Experience:

1 year at USC during high school (stem cells)

1 year UCSD during freshman year undergrad (differentiation)
3 (+summers) years during undergrad at The Scripps Research Institute (chemical biology, extremely well known lab)

1 year PhD rotations at The Scripps Research Institute (immunology, left w/ a master's for personal reasons)

1 year Biotech industry (immunology)

2 co-author papers (one in Cell)

1 AACR poster 

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: 

Pertinent Activities or Jobs:
Volunteered to provide free healthcare in Haiti (if that matters? probably not putting in application)
Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: 

Special Bonus Points:

Close relationship with well known PI at Scripps who is writing one of my LORs
2LORs from academia PIs, 2 LORs from industry PIs
Applying to Where:
University of Washington-MCB

Sloan Kettering

Weill Cornell

UPenn

Columbia

Vanderbilt

Harvard/Stanford (might not apply to these, very unlikely to get in)

NYU?

Yale

U Mass, Amherst (very conflicted, 1 of my PI's recommended I apply but another PI disagrees)


I am very unsure of where I stand in the applicant pool especially since I left the Phd program at TSRI (on a neutral note which my PI at TSRI and I discuss in the LOR and PS respectively). Am I reaching too high? and if so, what are some more reasonable schools? I am also looking to cast a wide net so middle tier suggestions are much appreciated!


Thank you so much in advance!

Edited by FACSnotfiction

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Undergrad Institution: Cornell University (GRADUATED IN 3 YRS with ~20 credits per semester including pre-med)

Major(s):  Animal Science (pretty much bio and I completed all pre-med rq)

Minor(s): NA
GPA in Major: NA
Overall GPA: 
3.15

Grad Institution: Georgetown

Major: Tumor Biology

GPA: Won’t be reported in time for application. MS is one-year research and class work program  
Type of Student:  Female, White, with learning disabilities and on ASD spectrum

GRE Scores (revised/old version):

Q: 165
V: 159
W: 4.5

Research Experience:

UGRAD

 6 m before PI retired but he is writing my LOR and was head of the philosophy dept.

6 m data entry for a lab at Cornell Vet School

GRAD (MS)

6 m in famous PI’s lab at GU, will complete another 6 m after submitting application
 

NO PUBS, honestly haven't had time so far at GU and other PI was retiring 


Awards/Honors/Recognitions:  Deans List 1/6 semester (my last)

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Ugrad TA one semester (for one of my LOR writers), currently working pt as sci/math tutor.

Special Bonus Points: Grad early, played a varsity sport, outside the box thinker, student with disabilities, aggressive upward trend in GPA, pull as far as getting in to GU as I’m top of the heap in the tests our cohort of MS student in Tbio has taken so far. STRONG LOR's (2 from cornell, 1 from GU with possibilty of a second)


Applying to Where: (DRAFT LIST)

ALL PROGRAMS APPLYIG TO WHICHEVER DEPT ENCOMAPASSES THEIR CANCER BIO RESEARCH

Harvard 

MIT
NYU Sackler

Sloan Kettering

Mayo Clinic

St. Jude

Duke

Cold Spring Harbor

Johns Hopkins

Georgetown

UPenn

 

Let me know what you think, also throwing around UVA? any thoughts on that? I thought the GPA would be a big factor but my PI's thinks because of my early completion it is not of note? 

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12 minutes ago, researchrocks said:

Undergrad Institution: Cornell University (GRADUATED IN 3 YRS with ~20 credits per semester including pre-med)

 

Major(s):  Animal Science (pretty much bio and I completed all pre-med rq)

 

Minor(s): NA
GPA in Major: NA
Overall GPA: 
3.15

 

Grad Institution: Georgetown

 

Major: Tumor Biology

 

GPA: Won’t be reported in time for application. MS is one-year research and class work program  
Type of Student:  Female, White, with learning disabilities and on ASD spectrum

GRE Scores (revised/old version):

Q: 165
V: 159
W: 4.5

Research Experience:

 

UGRAD

 

 6 m before PI retired but he is writing my LOR and was head of the philosophy dept.

 

6 m data entry for a lab at Cornell Vet School

 

GRAD (MS)

 

6 m in famous PI’s lab at GU, will complete another 6 m after submitting application
 

NO PUBS, honestly haven't had time so far at GU and other PI was retiring 


Awards/Honors/Recognitions:  Deans List 1/6 semester (my last)

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Ugrad TA one semester (for one of my LOR writers), currently working pt as sci/math tutor.

Special Bonus Points: Grad early, played a varsity sport, outside the box thinker, student with disabilities, aggressive upward trend in GPA, pull as far as getting in to GU as I’m top of the heap in the tests our cohort of MS student in Tbio has taken so far. STRONG LOR's (2 from cornell, 1 from GU with possibilty of a second)


Applying to Where: (DRAFT LIST)

 

ALL PROGRAMS APPLYIG TO WHICHEVER DEPT ENCOMAPASSES THEIR CANCER BIO RESEARCH

Harvard 

 

MIT
NYU Sackler

 

Sloan Kettering

 

Mayo Clinic

 

St. Jude

 

Duke

 

Cold Spring Harbor

 

Johns Hopkins

 

Georgetown

 

UPenn

 

 

Let me know what you think, also throwing around UVA? any thoughts on that? I thought the GPA would be a big factor but my PI's thinks because of my early completion it is not of note? 

You have a paper in a prestigious journal (Cell). It means that you involved in a fantastic project and great team! About your GPA, I think your early completion is a weight and Cornell is a strict and well-known university! You have a great chance!

Best of luck in your application!

Edited by Amirreza91

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22 hours ago, Amirreza91 said:

You have a paper in a prestigious journal (Cell). It means that you involved in a fantastic project and great team! About your GPA, I think your early completion is a weight and Cornell is a strict and well-known university! You have a great chance!

Best of luck in your application!

I think your getting me mixed up with the applicant above me, but I have no publications :(

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