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2020 Applicant Profiles and Admissions Results

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On 10/27/2019 at 11:48 PM, 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? 

Any other feedback guys? Would love to hear your thoughts!

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Undergrad Institution: Queen's University - Canada
Major(s): Life Science
Minor(s): Mathematics
Overall GPA(Undergrad): 3.83

Overall GPA (Masters):4.0
Type of Student: International

GRE Scores (revised/old version):
Q: 162
V: 162
W: 5.0


Research Experience: Two years summer lab positions in undergrad for reputable PIs. Two undergrad theses (bioinformatics, molecular genetics). Master's (molecular genetics) complete in May (expected). Visiting grad student in an HMS lab (synthetic biology).

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Dean's list every year. Canadian Space Agency grant. A few smaller scholarships/awards. Two conference speakerships, one at an international conference (idk if this matters lol), one poster, one paper published in conference proceedings, one journal publication submitted.

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: I've TA'd three undergrad courses in molecular genetics / bioinformatics, Won a ntl. research competition for conducting MSc. work in 0G w/ the space agency.

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: Lots of extracurriculars and volunteering experience

Special Bonus Points: haven't been in my current position all that long so I might not ask because idk if it's appropriate, but my current supervisor is pretty well known so she would definitely help as a reference. I don't know, I think space is pretty cool and unique on an application, not a lot of people have flown with their theses in zero gravity, but maybe I'm a bit biased, some adcomms might definitely view space life science as a bit fringe even tho its totally cool!

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: I guess I have a pretty broad skillset, bioinformatics, laboratory work, mechanical/electrical engineering... I had to built my thesis before I could use it to test genetics things! but I feel like a lot of people have diverse academic backgrounds and stuff.

Applying to Where: A few places in the States, I only really want to go down there if I get into a moonshot program so don't hate on my smaller sample size haha. Otherwise I'll tough it out at U of T and try to get a prof to let me do synthetic biology in their lab!

Harvard BBS

Harvard Systems Biology (dept. in which I'm working now)

MIT Biology

MIT Bioengineering

Stanford Bio

Stanford Bioengineering

University of Toronto (maybe MolGen, maybe CSB, idk)

My main question is really whether to include my GRE scores on applications where they are optional, like I know my scores aren't bad, but there are many applicants to the programs I selected with higher scores, will submitting a 5.0/162/162 help or hurt me? I would honestly be so appreciative of any opinions you may have!

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After very carefully scrutinizing through the datapoints in 2017,2018,and 2019, I am very well aware that I am not at all competitive to the candidate pools of the schools I am applying to. And I really wonder if I am applying to too many reach schools.  The good news is despite I am an international student I truly don't see having a biology PhD as the sole path to my career so I'll see how things work out...Will appreciate any advice! Thanks in advance.

Undergrad Institution: Private, ~50 R1
Major(s): Biology BS+ International Affairs BA
Minor(s): Global Health
GPA in Major: I started biology degree rather later and yes both of my orgo is C, biochem A+ though
Overall GPA:3.67

Type of Student: (Domestic/International, male/female, minority?)
Int'l, Asian
GRE Scores (revised/old version):
Q: 160
V: 168
W:
B:



TOEFL Total: 114

Research Experience: 

School Cancer Center lab, 2 and a half years, 4th author in a 25 people list, ~10IF, heard would be online very soon. Signalling. Currently working on a new project, not expecting publication until next year

(And somewhat irrelavent: Social Science side, 1st author on a big-scale project focusing on a novel topic, poster session early next year, should ultimately lead to a good publication)

 


Awards/Honors/Recognitions: 

3/7 Dean's list, won uni-wide research award (5 people), school-wide , uni-wide research grant

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: TA, biology for non-major 

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: R and SPSS


Special Bonus Points: strong LOR, PI+PI from a reknowned governmental research institution+Dept Chair+1 stellar social science recommender

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: Started 1st year really roughly due to health issues, then except for orgo(DAMN) straight A in next 80 credits, (these two Cs successfully dragged me to 3.7 range last three years...Oof...) completed 60 credits in one calendar year (sorry but I can't help myself to mention here lol) 

Applying to Where:
PhDs:

UTSW (Cancer Bio)

MD Anderson (Cancer Bio)

WUSTL(DBBS Molecular Genetics)

UW (Genomics)

Northwestern (DGP)

Weill Cornell

Johns Hopkins (Bloomberg MCB/MMI)

Masters:

UIUC, Harvard MMS in immunology, Berkeley Microbiology and Vaccination (under public health school), U of Copenhagen, LSHTM

And a bunch of schools in public health realms, mostly epidemeology, really my last choices but thought the chances would be better and if enrolled will find lab

 

Also hope that someone could kindly review my fiancee's case too---who is also applying this cycle for a biology PhD. We are seperated for too many years and it's time to end it:)

Undergrad Institution: China, Top3
Major(s): Biology, track is animal science
Minor(s): 
GPA in Major: 4.00/4.00
Overall GPA: WES conversion 3.87

Type of Student: (Domestic/International, male/female, minority?)
Int'l, Asian, Female
GRE Scores (revised/old version):
Q: 160
V: 170
W:3.5
B:



TOEFL Total: 106

Research Experience: 

Gut microbiology lab for 3 years, senior thesis, PI famous, 3rd author paper submitted, coauthor review article (about neuroscience, though)

 


Awards/Honors/Recognitions: 

Ranking 1/70, Provincial and National Scholarship all semesters,

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Hardly anything--Could be a problem

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: Research Grant for senior thesis


Special Bonus Points: strong LOR: 1 from dean (also the PI), 1 from faculty (who did postdoc at Harvard for a long time and sorta have some connections) Summer research in US (actually in my lab but no papers)
 

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

 

Schools: Pretty much where I apply to, but mostly in microbiology and/or animal science.

 

 

Edited by jerrychuang

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1 hour ago, jerrychuang said:

After very carefully scrutinizing through the datapoints in 2017,2018,and 2019, I am very well aware that I am not at all competitive to the candidate pools of the schools I am applying to. And I really wonder if I am applying to too many reach schools.  The good news is despite I am an international student I truly don't see having a biology PhD as the sole path to my career so I'll see how things work out...Will appreciate any advice! Thanks in advance.

Undergrad Institution: Private, ~50 R1
Major(s): Biology BS+ International Affairs BA
Minor(s): Global Health
GPA in Major: I started biology degree rather later and yes both of my orgo is C, biochem A+ though
Overall GPA:3.67

Type of Student: (Domestic/International, male/female, minority?)
Int'l, Asian
GRE Scores (revised/old version):
Q: 160
V: 168
W:
B:



TOEFL Total: 114

Research Experience: 

School Cancer Center lab, 2 and a half years, 4th author in a 25 people list, ~10IF, heard would be online very soon. Signalling. Currently working on a new project, not expecting publication until next year

(And somewhat irrelavent: Social Science side, 1st author on a big-scale project focusing on a novel topic, poster session early next year, should ultimately lead to a good publication)

 


Awards/Honors/Recognitions: 

3/7 Dean's list, won uni-wide research award (5 people), school-wide , uni-wide research grant

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: TA, biology for non-major 

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: R and SPSS


Special Bonus Points: strong LOR, PI+PI from a reknowned governmental research institution+Dept Chair+1 stellar social science recommender

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: Started 1st year really roughly due to health issues, then except for orgo(DAMN) straight A in next 80 credits, (these two Cs successfully dragged me to 3.7 range last three years...Oof...) completed 60 credits in one calendar year (sorry but I can't help myself to mention here lol) 

Applying to Where:
PhDs:

UTSW (Cancer Bio)

MD Anderson (Cancer Bio)

WUSTL(DBBS Molecular Genetics)

UW (Genomics)

Northwestern (DGP)

Weill Cornell

Johns Hopkins (Bloomberg MCB/MMI)

Masters:

UIUC, Harvard MMS in immunology, Berkeley Microbiology and Vaccination (under public health school), U of Copenhagen, LSHTM

And a bunch of schools in public health realms, mostly epidemeology, really my last choices but thought the chances would be better and if enrolled will find lab

 

 

 

You look plenty competitive enough to me. If you were really sold on doing a PhD, I'd say it'd strengthen your application a lot to work in a lab for a year or two past grad. It sounds, though, like you just want to see where this application cycle goes? Your school list is relatively reach-y, but if these are all schools where you're interested in at least 3 faculty and would be happy to live in the area, the list is fine. If you really really wanted to be sure you got in this cycle, then apply to some more mid-tier schools. If you really want to go to those schools, take a year for post grad research. But again, you have fair odds at interviews at some of those, depending on your SOP and LORs. 

Good luck! 

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3 minutes ago, BabyScientist said:

You look plenty competitive enough to me. If you were really sold on doing a PhD, I'd say it'd strengthen your application a lot to work in a lab for a year or two past grad. It sounds, though, like you just want to see where this application cycle goes? Your school list is relatively reach-y, but if these are all schools where you're interested in at least 3 faculty and would be happy to live in the area, the list is fine. If you really really wanted to be sure you got in this cycle, then apply to some more mid-tier schools. If you really want to go to those schools, take a year for post grad research. But again, you have fair odds at interviews at some of those, depending on your SOP and LORs. 

Good luck! 

Thanks a lot for your reply. For policy reasons post-bac RA is not an option-I can't get visa to stay. But I figure public health programs should really like me because I have experience in both social science and hard science. If I am rejected by all PhD programs (which is likely) I can do lab research while finishing a MPH or something similar. For mid-tier schools, are there any recommendations? Would greatly appreciate it, thanks! 

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14 hours ago, jerrychuang said:

Thanks a lot for your reply. For policy reasons post-bac RA is not an option-I can't get visa to stay. But I figure public health programs should really like me because I have experience in both social science and hard science. If I am rejected by all PhD programs (which is likely) I can do lab research while finishing a MPH or something similar. For mid-tier schools, are there any recommendations? Would greatly appreciate it, thanks! 

I'm not really familiar with cancer bio, so it's hard to say. UVA, Tulane, Tufts, U of Rochester, UPitt, etc

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On 10/30/2019 at 5:39 PM, researchrocks said:

Any other feedback guys? Would love to hear your thoughts!

To be honest I think you may not have a lot of luck with the more competitive schools. You have a lot of very competitive programs on your list, your undergraduate GPA is low, and your lab experience is going to be below the average for most students. If you're really set on going for a PhD straight from Georgetown, I'd apply more broadly. If you don't get in anywhere this round, I think all you'll need to do is reapply with more research experience and your MS grades. I've served on an admissions committee at a less top-tier cancer bio program than the ones you've listed (think St Jude/Mayo level), and all our low GPA-ers (meaning below a 3.3, probably) have extensive research experience (several years including some full-time).

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3 hours ago, metabophd said:

To be honest I think you may not have a lot of luck with the more competitive schools. You have a lot of very competitive programs on your list, your undergraduate GPA is low, and your lab experience is going to be below the average for most students. If you're really set on going for a PhD straight from Georgetown, I'd apply more broadly. If you don't get in anywhere this round, I think all you'll need to do is reapply with more research experience and your MS grades. I've served on an admissions committee at a less top-tier cancer bio program than the ones you've listed (think St Jude/Mayo level), and all our low GPA-ers (meaning below a 3.3, probably) have extensive research experience (several years including some full-time).

Were your low GPAers from an Ivy? I was told by many, including my current PI,  that because I took 20+ credits and graduated early from a hard school like Cornell that my GPA is equivalent to ~3.5+ at normal schools esp since my lowest grade is a C+.

 

My Georgetown MS grades wont be available by the time apps are due so I am tossing around the idea of have a 4 LOR for some schools which is from one of my grad profs who I have gotten to know well and he can speak to the fact I have be getting >90's on exams in all my grad classes, do you think this would be a good idea? Since they will have no gauge of my grad school grades with the 1 year format of GU's program

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10 hours ago, researchrocks said:

Were your low GPAers from an Ivy? I was told by many, including my current PI,  that because I took 20+ credits and graduated early from a hard school like Cornell that my GPA is equivalent to ~3.5+ at normal schools esp since my lowest grade is a C+.

 

My Georgetown MS grades wont be available by the time apps are due so I am tossing around the idea of have a 4 LOR for some schools which is from one of my grad profs who I have gotten to know well and he can speak to the fact I have be getting >90's on exams in all my grad classes, do you think this would be a good idea? Since they will have no gauge of my grad school grades with the 1 year format of GU's program

Many programs will agree with your PI. Some will not. It's impossible to say because every adcom is different and its members all hold certain biases. They certainly consider the rigor of schools, but the reality is you're applying to programs that can choose from dozens of students who have top grades from top schools and significant research experience in fancy labs. Harvard, Cold Spring, Sloan, MIT, NYU, Hopkins, and UPenn have plenty star students to choose from.

It's not to say you aren't competitive in general-- looking back at your post I do think you're competitive for a number of the programs you listed, and you might have some luck with the reaches. But I still think that if you don't have much luck it's 1) research experience (get more) and 2) GPA (it's fine but is it better than the students you're competing against?). 

I do think a letter of rec mentioning that you're doing well in classes is a good idea, but I don't think 4 LORs is necessary. As for graduating early, a response to that could be "if your grades were lower due to a heavy course load, why didn't you take lighter course load?". I'm not trying to knock your application-- you'd likely get an interview at my program and overall you're fairly qualified to get in to a solid graduate program. Just saying that should you never hear from the more selective schools on your list, those are probably the factors working against you.

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17 hours ago, metabophd said:

Many programs will agree with your PI. Some will not. It's impossible to say because every adcom is different and its members all hold certain biases. They certainly consider the rigor of schools, but the reality is you're applying to programs that can choose from dozens of students who have top grades from top schools and significant research experience in fancy labs. Harvard, Cold Spring, Sloan, MIT, NYU, Hopkins, and UPenn have plenty star students to choose from.

It's not to say you aren't competitive in general-- looking back at your post I do think you're competitive for a number of the programs you listed, and you might have some luck with the reaches. But I still think that if you don't have much luck it's 1) research experience (get more) and 2) GPA (it's fine but is it better than the students you're competing against?). 

I do think a letter of rec mentioning that you're doing well in classes is a good idea, but I don't think 4 LORs is necessary. As for graduating early, a response to that could be "if your grades were lower due to a heavy course load, why didn't you take lighter course load?". I'm not trying to knock your application-- you'd likely get an interview at my program and overall you're fairly qualified to get in to a solid graduate program. Just saying that should you never hear from the more selective schools on your list, those are probably the factors working against you.

Thank you for your feedback! I'm currently trudging through SOP writing and its good to know there is light at the end of the tunnel!

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Undergrad Institution: small liberal arts
Major(s):  Biology
Minor(s): None
GPA in Major: 3.92
Overall GPA: 3.89
Type of Student: Domestic east asian male

GRE Scores:
Q: 160
V: 161
W: 4.5


Research Experience: summer research + 2 terms research at college, presented poster at an international conference, presented poster at school symposium

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Deans list all years

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: writing and biology/ecology tutor, currently co-president of a club and previously co-president of a different club, prairie restoration summer internship

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: small grant from college for research, merit scholarship from school

Special Bonus Points:

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: have broad field experience, plant ID skills, and experience with R, ArcMap, QGIS, and drones

Applying to Where (all MS):

William and Mary- Biology- Ecology and Conservation
U Nevada, Reno- Natural Resources and Environmental Science- Ecology (Global Analysis and Remote Sensing)
Texas State University- Biology- Population and Conservation Biology
Western Colorado University- Ecology- Landscape Ecology
maybe UIUC- Natural Resources and Environmental Science- Landscape Ecology
maybe U of Montana- Biological Sciences- Systems Ecology
maybe Ohio University- Environmental and Plant Biology- Plant Biology (emphasis on spatial dynamics)


I'm still looking into MS programs to apply to that emphasize analysis of spatial data in an ecological context, preferably on a large-scale. Does anyone have comments about the places I've currently listed? I've had phone calls with the PI's at W&M and U Nevada, Reno that seemed to go well, but I can't find much information about their acceptance rates.

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Undergrad Institution: Northeastern
Major(s): Biology (BS), Bioengineering (MS)
Minor(s):
Environmental Science
GPA in Major: 3.22 (BS)
Overall GPA: 3.25 (BS), 3.85 (MS)

Type of Student: domestic

GRE Scores (revised/old version):
Q: 160
V: 161
W: 4.5



Research Experience: (At your school or elsewhere? What field? How much time? Any publications (Mth author out of N?) or conference talks etc...)

I went to Northeastern, so I have 22 months of full time research experience from undergrad at three different biotech companies. After graduation, I started working full time at another small immuno-oncology company, working mostly in protein analytics and biochemistry for antibodies. I am on one publication (7th or 8th author) and 5 posters. I now work in a different biotech company, working on CAR-T and engineered TCRs in high throughput functional screening.

Total research experience: 22 months full-time undergrad, 4 years full time post-grad.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: (Within your school or outside?)
Mostly related to extracurriculars in college, but I won two school-wide leadership honors and one national leadership honor.

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help:

Special Bonus Points: (Such as connections, grad classes, famous recommenders, female or minority status etc...)
I have some pretty strong LORs, one from the VP of my old company (alum of a school I'm applying to), a director (alum), an old coworker who used to be a professor and has good academic connections, and two chairs in bioengineering and biology (alum) from NU.
Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter:

I have a pretty terrible GPA from undergrad, but managed a much better GPA from full-time grad school while also working full-time. I'm hoping that will set off the undergrad ans show that I am capable of graduate level coursework.

I've been given a lot of opportunity to experiment and ask questions in my career, so I think I am articulating well the questions that I want to answer in grad school. I've also seen what drug development looks like and the gaps that still exist, which is motivating me to go back to grad school.
Applying to Where:

Mostly schools with well-established tumor immunology research. I am particularly interested in T cell dysfunction, innate-adaptive cross talk, and adoptive cell therapy.

MIT - Bioengineering

Gerstner Sloan Kettering - Immunology

University of Washington - Immunology

Baylor - Immunology

UNC - Immunology

Penn - Immunology

Vanderbilt - Immunology

Georgia Tech - Bioengineering

 

Do I stand a chance at any of these places? I tried to pick a good range of comfortable to reach schools, but it is harder to gauge attainability with grad schools than with undergrad.

Thanks!

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2 hours ago, scientista127 said:

Undergrad Institution: Northeastern
Major(s): Biology (BS), Bioengineering (MS)
Minor(s):
Environmental Science
GPA in Major: 3.22 (BS)
Overall GPA: 3.25 (BS), 3.85 (MS)

Type of Student: domestic

GRE Scores (revised/old version):
Q: 160
V: 161
W: 4.5



Research Experience: (At your school or elsewhere? What field? How much time? Any publications (Mth author out of N?) or conference talks etc...)

I went to Northeastern, so I have 22 months of full time research experience from undergrad at three different biotech companies. After graduation, I started working full time at another small immuno-oncology company, working mostly in protein analytics and biochemistry for antibodies. I am on one publication (7th or 8th author) and 5 posters. I now work in a different biotech company, working on CAR-T and engineered TCRs in high throughput functional screening.

Total research experience: 22 months full-time undergrad, 4 years full time post-grad.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: (Within your school or outside?)
Mostly related to extracurriculars in college, but I won two school-wide leadership honors and one national leadership honor.

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help:

Special Bonus Points: (Such as connections, grad classes, famous recommenders, female or minority status etc...)
I have some pretty strong LORs, one from the VP of my old company (alum of a school I'm applying to), a director (alum), an old coworker who used to be a professor and has good academic connections, and two chairs in bioengineering and biology (alum) from NU.
Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter:

I have a pretty terrible GPA from undergrad, but managed a much better GPA from full-time grad school while also working full-time. I'm hoping that will set off the undergrad ans show that I am capable of graduate level coursework.

I've been given a lot of opportunity to experiment and ask questions in my career, so I think I am articulating well the questions that I want to answer in grad school. I've also seen what drug development looks like and the gaps that still exist, which is motivating me to go back to grad school.
Applying to Where:

Mostly schools with well-established tumor immunology research. I am particularly interested in T cell dysfunction, innate-adaptive cross talk, and adoptive cell therapy.

MIT - Bioengineering

Gerstner Sloan Kettering - Immunology

University of Washington - Immunology

Baylor - Immunology

UNC - Immunology

Penn - Immunology

Vanderbilt - Immunology

Georgia Tech - Bioengineering

 

Do I stand a chance at any of these places? I tried to pick a good range of comfortable to reach schools, but it is harder to gauge attainability with grad schools than with undergrad.

Thanks!

I think you have a good chance at interview offers at a few of those for sure. It'll depend heavily on the strength of your LORs and SOP, but your GPA isn't terrible, the masters helps, and the breadth of experience is valuable. Good luck! 

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Undergrad Institution: large state R1, not super well-known for biology but definitely not bad
Major(s): Biology - Biochemistry/Cell/Molecular
Minor(s): Music
GPA in Major: not sure if this is accurate, but calculating myself I got : 3.60/4.00 if major GPA includes other major requirements like physics and chemistry (C in Organic II brought me down some…).  3.70/4.00 if only considering Biology classes. Not great, I am very aware
Overall GPA: 3.75
Type of Student: domestic female (white)

GRE

Q: 158
V: 162
W: 4.5

pretty disappointed by the writing. If I had ever studied the math I guess it would be higher. not planning on submitting these unless I have to (please tell me if this is a bad idea)

Research Experience: just passed the 2 year benchmark as a research technician. 

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: not any related to biology, really. I did elect to do the honors concentration in my degree, which involved a thesis (but my undergrad research was lacking so i opted to complete a literature review instead)

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: The full-time tech job is pretty pertinent, I'd hope

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: n/a

Special Bonus Points: I do have a famous PI as a recommender, but my 2nd rec letter is from my lab manager, both from the tech job. and 1 (supposedly strong) letter from undergrad.

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: 6 (now 8 counting 2 in process) mid-author publications in big journals (Nature, Science, etc) but sadly, nothing first-author. These are all from tech job, nothing from undergrad.

Applying to Where:
U of Washington Seattle - Genome Sciences
UNC Chapel Hill - BBSP
U of Chicago - Human Genetics or GGSB

Harvard - BBS
U of Wisconsin - Madison - Genetics
Stanford - Biology and Genetics

Columbia - Biological Sciences
Vanderbilt - Biological Sciences
U of Michigan, Ann Arbor
Baylor

maybes: Yale - BBS, Rockefeller, CSHL, Duke, Boston University, UC San Diego

I know it's super late (and these are probably all reaches) but I wanted to re-submit since I have a much more solid school list and my GRE scores in. If anyone feels like telling me any last minute advice, I would be ever-so-grateful. I am trying to get everything submitted soon but the anxiety caused by my procrastinating (and just being busy to be fair) is really getting to me. Thanks!

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9 hours ago, mannarie said:

Undergrad Institution: large state R1, not super well-known for biology but definitely not bad
Major(s): Biology - Biochemistry/Cell/Molecular
Minor(s): Music
GPA in Major: not sure if this is accurate, but calculating myself I got : 3.60/4.00 if major GPA includes other major requirements like physics and chemistry (C in Organic II brought me down some…).  3.70/4.00 if only considering Biology classes. Not great, I am very aware
Overall GPA: 3.75
Type of Student: domestic female (white)

GRE

Q: 158
V: 162
W: 4.5

pretty disappointed by the writing. If I had ever studied the math I guess it would be higher. not planning on submitting these unless I have to (please tell me if this is a bad idea)

Research Experience: just passed the 2 year benchmark as a research technician. 

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: not any related to biology, really. I did elect to do the honors concentration in my degree, which involved a thesis (but my undergrad research was lacking so i opted to complete a literature review instead)

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: The full-time tech job is pretty pertinent, I'd hope

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: n/a

Special Bonus Points: I do have a famous PI as a recommender, but my 2nd rec letter is from my lab manager, both from the tech job. and 1 (supposedly strong) letter from undergrad.

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: 6 (now 8 counting 2 in process) mid-author publications in big journals (Nature, Science, etc) but sadly, nothing first-author. These are all from tech job, nothing from undergrad.

Applying to Where:
U of Washington Seattle - Genome Sciences
UNC Chapel Hill - BBSP
U of Chicago - Human Genetics or GGSB

Harvard - BBS
U of Wisconsin - Madison - Genetics
Stanford - Biology and Genetics

Columbia - Biological Sciences
Vanderbilt - Biological Sciences
U of Michigan, Ann Arbor
Baylor

maybes: Yale - BBS, Rockefeller, CSHL, Duke, Boston University, UC San Diego

I know it's super late (and these are probably all reaches) but I wanted to re-submit since I have a much more solid school list and my GRE scores in. If anyone feels like telling me any last minute advice, I would be ever-so-grateful. I am trying to get everything submitted soon but the anxiety caused by my procrastinating (and just being busy to be fair) is really getting to me. Thanks!

Depending on the strength of your LORs and SOP, you have great odds at interviews at a bunch of those schools. No red flags at all in your application: your GPA is great, your GRE is good (and not even important anymore), having any pubs at all is great (let alone 6-8), and your school list looks fair. Don't be down on yourself. I'd say your reaches are just Harvard, Stanford, and Columbia.

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11 hours ago, BabyScientist said:

Depending on the strength of your LORs and SOP, you have great odds at interviews at a bunch of those schools. No red flags at all in your application: your GPA is great, your GRE is good (and not even important anymore), having any pubs at all is great (let alone 6-8), and your school list looks fair. Don't be down on yourself. I'd say your reaches are just Harvard, Stanford, and Columbia.

Oh, that's a huge relief. I really am struggling with over-analyzing my SOP, but thank you so much for weighing in!

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Hey everyone, got a quick question. I am applying this cycle to some top programs. My GRE is a 162/162/6.0. Lots of programs state that the GRE is optional. I know my V/Q scores are maybe a little below 'average' for applicants to Harvard/MIT/Stanford..., but the AW score definitely surprised the heck out of me as I thought I would do meh on it. I guess my question is that do you think that submitting my score could do any harm to my application? Is it better to just leave it a mystery? P.S. I know a 162/162 is not a bad score overall, but purely given the stats of others on the results page it seems a little lower end of the pack.

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Undergrad Institution: large state R2
Major(s): Cell bio, Biochem and minor in math
Minor(s): Math
GPA in Major: 3.95 Cell bio, 3.89 biochem, 4.0 Minor in math
Overall GPA: 3.81 (failed one stupid history class, the instruction definite had racial discrimination, I pretty regret to not sue him.)
Type of Student: International but U at US. Poor international Asian male.

GRE

Q: 170
V: 151
W: 3.0


Research Experience: 

2 Years post-bac at UCSF

3 Pubs (3rd for median clinic journal, 3rd for a in-field top, Nth for a nature comm)

1 2nd Pub sent to nature.

1 in prepare as the first author. 

2 letters from UCSF, 1 from collaborator and well-known in field, 1 from home school. Should be all strong 

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Some national honors from high school, Deanlists of cource.

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: RA (before) and Applicant Programmer at UCSF

Applying to Where:

Bioinformatics for followings:

UCSF

UCLA

UCSD

Stanford

Berkeley

Michigan

Caltech

UCSC

 

Also, could anyone gives some feedback, I feel like I am not safe, should i apply more schools ?

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Hi ! I'm close to finishing up my applications and thought I could get some feedback from you guys. I'm primarily interested in Epigenetics and 3D genome organization.

Undergrad Institution: Top 10 Research Institute in India, Integrated Masters Program
Major(s): Biology
Minor(s): N/A
GPA : 3.7
Type of Student: International Male (Bad time to be a straight brown asian male i guess :P)

GRE: (not submitting anywhere, although mentioned whenever I was asked to self report / upload unoffical test scores)

Q: 165
V: 164
W: 3.5

TOEFL : 118/120
 

Research Experience: 

2 Years undergrad research (~30 hours per week  - 1 published in 4 impact journal (3rd out of 4 authors) and 1 in final revision with 7 impact journal (2nd out of 2 authors - Trying to emphasize about this paper in my SOPs as just 2 people (a PhD student and me) started the project from scratch and finished it)

1 summer - Nanomaterials stuff at home institute

1 summer - International Summer Research Program in Top 50 Uni - Diversified my profile a bit by picking up techniques from structural biology and biophysics

1 year - Master's Thesis Research Project at Top 5 UK University - Not a lot of progress, but working completely independently.

LOR: Undergrad research advisor - Strong LOR ; Master's Thesis Advisor - Strong LOR (plus he is American - praying it makes a difference xD) ; A course instructor who taught 2 courses which I did extremely well in.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions:  Stipend + Research funding from a competitive Indian Fellowship. Other misc awards which likely don't make a huge difference. Not quite sure how much does funded summer research and funded master's research add to my profile as well.


Pertinent Activities or Jobs: NA

Applying to Where:

Applying for followings: (Cell and Mol Bio Mostly):

US

UPenn 

UCSD+Salk

UNC Chapel Hill

UMassMed

UTHealth+MD Anderson

NYU Sackler

UT Southwestern

Yale

Sloan Kettering

USC

Europe:

International Max Planck Research Schools - Life Sciences (Munich, Germany)

Vienna Biocenter Umbrella Program (Austria, Vienna)

 

I feel like I've got too many reach schools. Or do you think I've a decent chance at getting into some place on my list? International intake seems to be dwindling every year.  Greatly appreciate your feedback ! Good luck everyone.

Edited by Genom3

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Undergrad Institution: Medium public flagship, T1 research
Major(s): Biology and Biostatistics
Minor(s): entrepreneurship
GPA in Major: 3.7
Overall GPA: 3.7

Type of Student: Domestic
GRE Scores revised
Q: 164
V: 166
W: 4.5


Research Experience: 

*all 4 years undergrad in the same lab (part-time, work study, research for credit, etc.) doing bioinformatics, animal handling, and bench work

*1 summer with my school's iGEM team

*1 year as full-time bioinformatics analyst with academic department

*2 summers full-time at undergrad lab thanks to university stipends/scholarships


Awards/Honors/Recognitions: 

*2 summer stipends

*gold medal and nominations at iGEM

*applying (pending) to NSF GRFP and DoD NDSEG

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: 

*bioinformatics tech/analyst job

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help:

*2 publications with home lab

*2 conference/symposium presentations

*patent pending with home lab

*3 pending/manuscripts that I am to be co-authored on

*Working more or less completely independently on a bioinformatics project with publication goals

*Some of my apps have 4 LORs, some have 3: At least 3 research LORs for all apps and an additional class-only LOR

*graduated with distinction for senior thesis


Applying to Where: Focusing on bioinformatics/computational bio programs or umbrella programs, I'm positioning myself as hybrid computationalist and experimentalist with an interest in Dev bio from a systems POV: My choices are mainly driven by geography, I'm interested in staying near industry/VC hubs if possible but it'll take a super selective school to motivate me to move cross-country.

JHU

UMD

GWU

UCSF

UC Berkeley

UW

MIT

 

Rate my chances!

Edited by djii

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  • Undergrad Institution: Large State School, decent reputation in bio, but not the best
    Major(s): Microbiology
    GPA in Major:
    UD major 3.52
    Overall GPA: 3.24, my weakest application point I think
    Type of Student: Domestic Female

    GRE Scores (revised/old version): None, all programs either won't take it or it's optional this year and gone next year
    Q:
    V:
    W:
    B:





    Research Experience:
  • At my school, 1.5 years so far. Over this past summer I was full time. We research mechanisms of aging , cellular regeneration, angiogenesis, and immunity through allorecognition. I work on the aging project and am also working on creating a transgenic line of the animal we work with. It's a non-traditional organism so we don't have a transgenic line. We are working on a paper now, won't be published until around the time I graduate and my work will be in there.

 

  • Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Distinction in the major for research, school fellowship for excellence in summer research


    Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: I'm a rower? Some people tend to think this means a lot, but I'm not convinced it matters for grad school. I think it matters more for medical school.



    Applying to Where:
  • CU Denver- microbiology and cancer biology
  • CU Boulder- molecular biology
  • Wisconsin Madison- microbiology and cancer biology
  • Minnesota- microbiology
  • Michigan- microbiology (PIBS)
  • Utah- Biology
  • Washington- microbiology and molecular biology
  • Rockefeller

I'd say the last two are just shooting for the stars and seeing what happens. Even Michigan and Wisconsin too.

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Undergrad Institution: German medical school
Major(s): NA - expected MD in 05/2020
Minor(s): NA
GPA in Major: NA
Overall GPA: NA
Type of Student: international, white male


TOEFL Total: 117/120

Reading: 30/30

Speaking: 30/30

Listening: 30/30

Writing: 27/30


Research Experience: approx. 3.5 years of research alongside medical school including 11 months full time at my medical school. I worked with a renowned cancer biologist with a potential paper coming up and a poster presentation at an international conference.

1 year of full time research at The Rockefeller University working on metastasis. Second authorship on a manuscript currently under revision at Nature (I'd say almost accepted - very good reviewer comments)

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: 2 prestigious and competitive scholarships in Germany 

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: tutoring at university

Special Bonus Points: 1 incredible LOR from PI at Rockefeller, 1 very good LOR from German PI (well known in the cancer community), 1 very good LOR from postdoc (Rockefeller)

Miscellaneous: Contacted the faculty I am interested in at Harvard and got positive feedback. One PI told me to specifically to mention him on my application.


Applying to Where:

Harvard BBS - cancer, neuro-oncology, immuno-oncology, genetics, single cell technologies

Rockefeller University - cancer, neuro-oncology, immuno-oncology, genetics, single cell technologies

 

I'm only applying to those two programs since I know exactly what I would like to do and these two programs have faculty I would love to work with. Plan B is a neurosurgery residency in Germany (already have an offer).

Edited by ToMe

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Undergrad Institution: Wesleyan University (liberal arts school)
Major(s): Molecular Biology and Biochemistry
GPA in Major: 3.60
Overall GPA: 3.56
 

Type of Student: Domestic, white female

Did not take GRE. 


Research Experience: 

2 summers full time at a leading gene-editing biotech company

3 semesters in a genetics lab on campus by the time I graduate

Internship teaching stem cell culture to high school students

3 months of conservation field research in Patagonia


Awards/Honors/Recognitions: 

nothing significant

 

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: 

my summer research is pertinent to what I want to study in grad school

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help:


Special Bonus Points: 

not that I can think of
 

Three rec letters:

senior scientist at the biotech company I worked at

Research advisor at my university who is an alum of one of the top schools on my list

a professor at my university that has had me in multiple classes and loves me 

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

I am still in my last year of undergrad, and also was a varsity volleyball player in college (so a lot of my time was spent on that)


Applying to Where:

Stanford Biosciences

U Washington MCB

Harvard BBS

CU Denver

U Toronto Molecular Genetics (I am a dual US-Canada citizen so not international here)

UCSF Biomedical Sciences

MIT Biology

 

 

 

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On 11/23/2019 at 6:14 AM, ToMe said:

Undergrad Institution: German medical school
Major(s): NA - expected MD in 05/2020
Minor(s): NA
GPA in Major: NA
Overall GPA: NA
Type of Student: international, white male


TOEFL Total: 117/120

Reading: 30/30

Speaking: 30/30

Listening: 30/30

Writing: 27/30


Research Experience: approx. 3.5 years of research alongside medical school including 11 months full time at my medical school. I worked with a renowned cancer biologist with a potential paper coming up and a poster presentation at an international conference.

1 year of full time research at The Rockefeller University working on metastasis. Second authorship on a manuscript currently under revision at Nature (I'd say almost accepted - very good reviewer comments)

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: 2 prestigious and competitive scholarships in Germany 

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: tutoring at university

Special Bonus Points: 1 incredible LOR from PI at Rockefeller, 1 very good LOR from German PI (well known in the cancer community), 1 very good LOR from postdoc (Rockefeller)

Miscellaneous: Contacted the faculty I am interested in at Harvard and got positive feedback. One PI told me to specifically to mention him on my application.


Applying to Where:

Harvard BBS - cancer, neuro-oncology, immuno-oncology, genetics, single cell technologies

Rockefeller University - cancer, neuro-oncology, immuno-oncology, genetics, single cell technologies

 

I'm only applying to those two programs since I know exactly what I would like to do and these two programs have faculty I would love to work with. Plan B is a neurosurgery residency in Germany (already have an offer).

I would say congratulations now! 

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Undergrad Institution: small liberal arts 
Major(s):  biology
Minor(s):
GPA in Major: 3.5
Overall GPA: 3.6

Type of Student: woman
GRE Scores (revised/old version): not submitting GREs
Q:
V:
W:
B:



Research Experience: 2 years biophysics research at my undergrad institution, 2 poster presentations (one at a national conference). 

By the time of entering a grad program, 1 year cancer bio research experience at a top 5 research institution, hopefully with a poster presentations and maybe a talk? still tbd


Awards/Honors/Recognitions: fellowship for research during summer of 2018 at my undergrad institution

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Genetics TA

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: Manuscript in preparation with former PI, submitting to a small but very reputable peer-reviewed journal 

Special Bonus Points: Recommender that is a full prof at a top 5 institution, one recommender is chair of his department, last recommender is big name in his field 

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter:  My GPA took a hit my sophomore year due to a chronic illness going undiagnosed. After it was treated my upperclassman GPA rebounded back to normal (usually around a 3.8), but those two semesters my sophomore year (clocking in a 3.3 and 3.1 respectively) really hurt me.

Applying to Where:

Northwestern - DGP

Harvard - BBS 

Vanderbilt - IGP 

Icahn School of Medicine - Biomedical Sciences

NYU - Sackler Institute for Biomedical Sciences

Georgetown - Tumor Biology

Weill Cornell - BCMB Allied 

UCSD - Biomedical Sciences

Brown University - Pathobiology

 

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