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2020 Applicant Profiles and Admissions Results


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Applying to phd programs in computational biology

undergrad: top small liberal arts college

major: Computational Biology and History double major

overall GPA:3.91/4

type of student: domestic male

GRE: Q:166 V:165 W: 5.5

research:

1 year as undergrad research assistant => 1 poster presentation

1 summer research fellowship => 2 posters, 1 first authored, peer-reviewed pub in mid-tier journal

honors thesis senior year in review for publication

spent last year as bioinformatician in research lab  => 2 pubs, nth author

awards

deans list every undergrad semester, phi beta kappa, graduated magna cup laude (top 10%), won scholarship to travel to conference

special bonus

who knows? no?

where am i applying

cornell tri i

harvard bbs

columbia comp bio

nyu comp bio

stanford comp bio

broad institute comp bio

cmu-pitt comp bio

u washington genome sciences

pertinent extras: CS/bio ta + tutor; genome club co-presiddent

CONCERNS:

too little research experience...like 
I didn't research as an undergrad for multiple years or do multiple summer research experiences. Instead, I had other interests and worked as a software engineer and a legal aid consultant.

more importantly: im concerned i don't have enouh math stats from undergrad...haven't taken linear algebra

 

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

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I've been wondering, does it matter if you submit you application on say the day of the deadline vs. a couple days or a week prior to the day of the deadline?

 

Is it a bad idea to wait to the day of to click the submit button, does this push your application to the very bottom of the pile and thus limit the number of available spots?

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17 hours ago, Throwawaydnf99 said:

I've been wondering, does it matter if you submit you application on say the day of the deadline vs. a couple days or a week prior to the day of the deadline?

 

Is it a bad idea to wait to the day of to click the submit button, does this push your application to the very bottom of the pile and thus limit the number of available spots?

I would only worry about getting things submitted as early as possible for programs with rolling admissions. If there is a deadline, submitting the day of should not be held against you, as long as all your materials are in.

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33 minutes ago, rosebutter said:

I would only worry about getting things submitted as early as possible for programs with rolling admissions. If there is a deadline, submitting the day of should not be held against you, as long as all your materials are in.

I had totally forgotten to send in my GRE scores for colorado, thought I had chosen all programs that didn't need them. Pretty bad on my part and ended up submitting the application 2 minutes late. Haven't received word that they are working on it but it was successfully submitted taken from an automated email. Think it will still count or no? Paid the admission fee

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5 hours ago, episome1996 said:

I had totally forgotten to send in my GRE scores for colorado, thought I had chosen all programs that didn't need them. Pretty bad on my part and ended up submitting the application 2 minutes late. Haven't received word that they are working on it but it was successfully submitted taken from an automated email. Think it will still count or no? Paid the admission fee

I'm sure 2 minutes late will not preclude your application from being considered. The GRE thing kinda sucks, but it shouldn't take more than a couple days to transmit the results. I wouldn't fret.

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Posted in a few other admissions channels, so the template might be slightly off. But here it goes (I'm new to grad cafe, so any comments are encouraged!):

Undergrad Institution (approx. rank/reputation in STEM):  Top 5 engineering

Major(s): Bioengineering (Synthetic Biology)
Minor(s): None
GPA in Major: The interpretation of this is so broad...so I'll leave this blank. Around the same as overall. 
Overall GPA: 3.84/4.00
Demographics/Background: Asian


GRE Scores: high enough (>90% for both Verbal/Math)

LOR:

3 super strong letters.

- One from main research PI at home institution, One from research coadvisor who also taught me in a graduate course, One from a summer research PI


Research Experience: 

- 3.5 years in the same lab

- 1 summer research position in a prestigious program

Publications/Abstracts/Presentations:

- Second author publication in Nature (not a Nature subjournal)

- First author manuscript in prep (submitting soon); another Second author manuscript In Prep

- 1 oral presentation; 2 poster presentations (1 campus, 1 international)

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: 

- Rhodes and Marshall Scholarship Finalist (2019)

- Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship (2019)

- Deans List multiple times

- Summer Research Fellowships/grants

- Honor Societies (TBP and the like)

- Eagle Scout (not so pertinent here)

- Amgen scholarship (but declined it...so I guess this doesn't count)

Fellowships/Funding:

- Applied for NSF-GRFP (pending)

- Other: Applied for Churchill and Gates-Cambridge Scholarships (pending)

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: 

- a ton of research stuff =D

- Facilitate/organize a mentorship program/competition for high school students as well as mentor low-resource schools in STEM

- I'm a coach for my local swimming group and established a local running group for cancer survivors (which I also coach)

Other Miscellaneous Accomplishments:

- Went to world-championships/nationals for a couple sports (can discuss if want to) and other major competitions/adventures

- State convention pianist and other music stuff

Anything else in your application that might matter (faculty connections, etc.):

- Not sure, will update if I think of something

Research Interests:

Synthetic biology and genetic engineering technologies

Institutions/Programs: I know it's risky, but I'm taking the approach that if I don't get anything, a Gap year sounds good for dedicated research and some travel!

MIT | Bioengineering

Harvard | Chemical Biology

University of Cambridge | Biological Sciences (Accepted to Cambridge and a Lab, awaiting funding offers. Fingers crossed!)

Comments:

- Please be honest in any comments!

Edited by Red_Ranger
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Educational Institution: Large R1 State University, Wayne State University
Major(s): PharmD graduate (Doctor of Pharmacy), no bachelors degree. Nearly 90 credits of undergraduate coursework and 120 graduate credits. Total: 208 credits.
Minor(s):
GPA in Major: Undergraduate GPA (4.00); PharmD-Only GPA (3.46)
Overall GPA:

Type of Student: Domestic

GRE Scores (revised/old version): Not required by program
Q:
V:
W:
B:


Research Experience: Graduate-level directed study for 2 credits for about 25 hours of laboratory work weekly for a semester. Subject was in the discovery of novel drugs for Parkinson's Disease. No publications.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions:

4.00 Undergraduate GPA

PharmD GPA: 3.46 (Cum Laude)

Scored 1st / 100 on comprehensive pharmacy school examination both years the exam was administered in our program, P2 and P3. 98th percentile nationwide.

Rho Chi Society

Pertinent Activities or Jobs:

Adjunct Health Sciences Professor at a Community College teaching pharmacology, medical terminology and basic medical emergencies (<1 year so far).

>1 year of experience as a paid tutor in pharmacology, clinical sciences, biology and mathematics.

1 year of work experience as a pharmacist

Clinical rotations in a variety of specialties one being clinical trial support.

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help:

Special Bonus Points:

Letter of recommendation from Pharmaceutical Sciences Professor overseeing my directed study pertaining to pharmaceutical drug discovery. Another recommender from undergrad. 2 other recommending supervisors from a non-research employment position. 

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

Applying to Where:

Michigan State University--BMS Gateway, Pharmacology & Toxicology

 

Very curious to hear thoughts on my chances. Thanks!

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24 minutes ago, The_Alchemist said:

I assume that there is a restriction on editing functions for new members such as myself.

There is no ability to edit (after 60 minutes) for members because what happened (in the past) was that members would create posts, get answers, then edit out their posts. This often resulted in future individuals not understanding the context of said posts.

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1 minute ago, Warelin said:

There is no ability to edit (after 60 minutes) for members because what happened (in the past) was that members would create posts, get answers, then edit out their posts. This often resulted in future individuals not understanding the context of said posts.

That makes perfect sense! Thanks, Warelin!

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international / Chinese, Female, Undergraduate in the US,

Applying to immunology programs or umbrella programs - supposed to be tough.

Now, on Dec 12, I feel desperate to add some mid-tier or "safe" immunology programs. I am thinking about SUNY. Does anyone have suggestions for IMM / umbrella programs that have not been due? 

 

 

 

Edited by zigzzz
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On 12/11/2019 at 6:08 AM, The_Alchemist said:

Educational Institution: Large R1 State University, Wayne State University
Major(s): PharmD graduate (Doctor of Pharmacy), no bachelors degree. Nearly 90 credits of undergraduate coursework and 120 graduate credits. Total: 208 credits.
Minor(s):
GPA in Major: Undergraduate GPA (4.00); PharmD-Only GPA (3.46)
Overall GPA:

Type of Student: Domestic

GRE Scores (revised/old version): Not required by program
Q:
V:
W:
B:


Research Experience: Graduate-level directed study for 2 credits for about 25 hours of laboratory work weekly for a semester. Subject was in the discovery of novel drugs for Parkinson's Disease. No publications.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions:

4.00 Undergraduate GPA

PharmD GPA: 3.46 (Cum Laude)

Scored 1st / 100 on comprehensive pharmacy school examination both years the exam was administered in our program, P2 and P3. 98th percentile nationwide.

Rho Chi Society

Pertinent Activities or Jobs:

Adjunct Health Sciences Professor at a Community College teaching pharmacology, medical terminology and basic medical emergencies (<1 year so far).

>1 year of experience as a paid tutor in pharmacology, clinical sciences, biology and mathematics.

1 year of work experience as a pharmacist

Clinical rotations in a variety of specialties one being clinical trial support.

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help:

Special Bonus Points:

Letter of recommendation from Pharmaceutical Sciences Professor overseeing my directed study pertaining to pharmaceutical drug discovery. Another recommender from undergrad. 2 other recommending supervisors from a non-research employment position. 

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

Applying to Where:

Michigan State University--BMS Gateway, Pharmacology & Toxicology

 

Very curious to hear thoughts on my chances. Thanks!

Overall, I think your application is okay, and it really is only lacking in research experience. It seems to me that you only have ~1 semester’s worth of research experience, which is far less than most applicants in science.

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4 hours ago, zigzzz said:


international / Chinese, Female, Undergraduate in the US,

Applying to immunology programs or umbrella programs - supposed to be tough.

Now, on Dec 12, I feel desperate to add some mid-tier or "safe" immunology programs. I am thinking about SUNY. Does anyone have suggestions for IMM / umbrella programs that have not been due? 

 

 

 

The AAI (American Association of Immunology) has a list of all the accredited Immunology graduate programs by state on their website. I used it yesterday to find a few more. I'm also having a mid-December freak out. There are a couple due on Dec 15 and Jan 1. Good luck!

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3 hours ago, scientista127 said:

The AAI (American Association of Immunology) has a list of all the accredited Immunology graduate programs by state on their website. I used it yesterday to find a few more. I'm also having a mid-December freak out. There are a couple due on Dec 15 and Jan 1. Good luck!

The site is super useful! Thanks!!!

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9 hours ago, zigzzz said:


international / Chinese, Female, Undergraduate in the US,

Applying to immunology programs or umbrella programs - supposed to be tough.

Now, on Dec 12, I feel desperate to add some mid-tier or "safe" immunology programs. I am thinking about SUNY. Does anyone have suggestions for IMM / umbrella programs that have not been due? 

 

 

 

Baylor College of Medicine, deadline 1/1, no application fee and no GRE required.

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Applying to Where:

Harvard - Systems, Synthetic, and Quantitative Biology PhD Program

UPenn - Genomics and Computational Biology (so far, no interview 😕)

University of Washington -  Genome Sciences 

WashU - Computational and Systems Biology Program (interview)

Yale -  Computational Biology and Bioinformatics

Princeton -  Quantitative and Computational Biology

Northwestern -  Driskill Graduate Program in Life Sciences

 

 

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50 minutes ago, DRMF said:

Baylor College of Medicine, deadline 1/1, no application fee and no GRE required.

Thanks, and as I was too paranoid and searching for programs at 3AM, I finally got my first interview today!!! But, BCM seems a great program and I will do the research. 

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Undergrad Institution: Private University,  known for research
Major(s): B.S in Biotechnology
Minor(s): Chemistry
GPA in Major: 9.45/10
Overall GPA: 9.3/10  (As per WES conversion: 4.0)

Type of Student: International, Woman

GRE Scores (revised version):
Q: 164
V: 157
W: 5.5


TOEFL Total: 117

Research Experience:  

Almost 2.5 years of research experience as part of Undergraduate research programs, in 3 different labs. 


Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Dean's list honors, Probably the topper in the class (though not officially available), 100% scholarship based on CGPA during 4-years of undergraduate studies, Paper presentation in a national conference, no official publication yet but in the midst of publishing one. 

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: (Such as tutor, TA, SPS officer etc...)

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: 
Strong LORs (probably!) from project guides (from Professors within and outside of University)

Special Bonus Points: Woman, thought not sure why I should get special bonus points for the same!

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

Applying to Where:

Mainly applying to Cell and Molecular Biology programs in

University of Wisconsin, Madison

University of Maryland, College Park (BISI program)

Arizona State University, Tempe

Vanderbilt University, Nashville (IGP program)

University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

University of Utah

University of Rochester

University of Rockefeller

University of Illinois, UC

In addition, two programs in NUS, Singapore

Application process completed and waiting for the results. Any honest feedback on the above profile would be appreciated! Thanks. 

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On 12/13/2019 at 3:26 PM, zigzzz said:

Thanks, and as I was too paranoid and searching for programs at 3AM, I finally got my first interview today!!! But, BCM seems a great program and I will do the research. 

Congratulations! Do you mind sharing which school and program you got invited to an interview for?

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Undergrad Institution: Big state school, top 20 in biology
Major(s): Molecular and Cellular Biology
Minor(s): Chemistry
GPA in Major: 3.25
Overall GPA: 3.40
Type of Student: Domestic female

GRE Scores (revised/old version): Not required
Q:
V:
W:
B:



Research Experience: 1 year in a microbio lab, came in doing "grunt" work but stayed over the summer and successfully was allowed to do an independent project


Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Private tutor in organic chemistry, 1 year as a physics lab TA

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: Leadership position at work

Special Bonus Points: Letter of rec from professor on the admissions committee of one of the schools I'm applying to

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: Only discussed on some apps, since I didn't want to sound like I was making excuses for myself, but low grades in the first two years because of lack of disability support and stalking ex-boyfriend; received D+ in organic chemistry my first time but retook it and got an A

Applying to Where:

Northwestern University- Driskill Graduate Program

University of Illinois- Molecular and Cellular Biology

University of Wisconsin, Madison- Cellular and Molecular Biology

University of Chicago- Cell and Molecular Biology

Washington University in St. Louis (WashU) - Molecular Cell Biology

Indiana University- Genome, Cell, and Developmental Biology

 

A little bit worried that I'm punching above my weight/didn't apply to enough schools, but I guess we'll see.

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On 12/7/2019 at 12:33 PM, reprobio_12 said:

I applied to the umbrella BioMolecular program yours may be totally different and on a different timeline. Don't worry I think it's still super early.

 

I just got a call yesterday afternoon from BBSP inviting me to interview. I applied a few days before the priority deadline and my top program of interest was toxicology.

Do you mind telling me the BBSP interview weekends? I am not confident I will get one, but since I submitted close to the deadline maybe it will just take longer....either way I have already scheduled two interviews and I don't want to block out the weekends BBSP may be!

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