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2021 Neuroscience PhD Applicants and Admissions Results


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1 hour ago, sirtuingirl said:

There is hope because most programs have gotten a lot more applicants than last year and hence review of applications in some places is taking longer. Also, people this year have applied to more programs than prior years because they kept hearing that this cycle is more competitive. Hence, more admission offers will be declined and more people will get in off the wait list.

Which programs/universities did you apply to? Are you an American student, International Student studying at a US university or International student studying at international university?

Hopefully 🙏🏼😭 

I mean I expected this cycle to be difficult but definitely did not see that coming..

I am an American student studying in the us. I applied to Harvard, Stanford, UCSD, and UCI as a safety school (turns out there’s no such thing as safety school lol) 

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This may be controversial: I don't think that it's worth investing your heart and soul into the Ivies or the UC's. For domestic & international students alike, it's a game of 3D chess to determine

I’m not so sure about this. I was under the impression that most admissions committees (for PhD at least, med school is a completely different story) really only care about research experiences and ac

Declined my offers and accepted my top school! Very excited, officially going to start my PhD journey this fall. Good luck to you all! Sending so many good vibes.

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27 minutes ago, capa_detated said:

same boat, feeling super down but you know what they say about misery...

fingers and toes crossed that @sirtuingirl is right about waitlists. on the other hand i'd expect even wait-listed folks would be hearing something? or do wait-list interviews happen after an entire round of interview and offer letters? not sure how this works

🤞🏼🤞🏼🤞🏼🤞🏼🤞🏼🤞🏼🤞🏼🤞🏼

I hope so, but if people reject wouldn’t it make sense for the program admission committee to send admission offers to people who they had already interviewed (that’s only my analogy)??

But hey let’s stay optimistic because I really don’t wanna repeat the application process it was such a stressful time 😩

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Not to bum everyone out, but I don’t think being waitlisted for interviews is very likely for many programs. Programs interview sometimes 2x more people than they send offers to, and send offers to more people than they expect will matriculate. They have waitlists for after the interview in case their yield is too low than they expected. 
 

My heart goes out to all who didn’t get interviews, but just know that it’s not personal and this cycle is much more competitive than any other year, sometimes these things are just a cr*pshoot.

 

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Hi everyone, I applied last cycle and just wanted to say that I hope this cycle brings you what you wished for, but if not, please please don't let it crush your dreams! It is heartbreaking to not be accepted anywhere after getting hopes up and putting in all of the effort, but take some time to evaluate your options and whether you still want to go to grad school, and if so, apply again next year!  Many people apply multiple times. It took me a couple of tries as well -- if you want to discuss options/generally vent, feel free to PM me.  Lastly, this year there is the added struggle (I think) that program sizes are smaller, and between (hopefully) regularly sized programs and a little bit more experience, next year's cycle could be much more fruitful!

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36 minutes ago, Elephantonly said:

Not to bum everyone out, but I don’t think being waitlisted for interviews is very likely for many programs. Programs interview sometimes 2x more people than they send offers to, and send offers to more people than they expect will matriculate. They have waitlists for after the interview in case their yield is too low than they expected. 
 

My heart goes out to all who didn’t get interviews, but just know that it’s not personal and this cycle is much more competitive than any other year, sometimes these things are just a cr*pshoot.

 

I think you are correct but the tricky part is estimating the "yield" correctly. Due to applicants applying to so many places, I think some programs could get their yield wrong significantly. For example, if there are 20 slots and they extend offers to 40 thinking 50% will accept but only 30% accept, then they have room for 8 off the wait list. 

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4 hours ago, just_a_neuro_geek said:

Same here...applied to 12 programs..received 4 rejections and no interviews yet. Really wondering if there's any hope at this point? Especially regarding waitlists and how they work.

same; i applied to 12. I've gotten 1 interview (yay) from where I'm doing my master's but no news whatsoever from anywhere else

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For my interview invite,  they asked me to list up to 8 profs I would like to meet (ranked by preference). I only have three. Should I research and list more? Or should I focus on the three? 

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2 minutes ago, j118 said:

For my interview invite,  they asked me to list up to 8 profs I would like to meet (ranked by preference). I only have three. Should I research and list more? Or should I focus on the three? 

Isn't it mandatory to list up to 8? In my case, the school asked me to choose 8 and then allocated me 5 professors considering both the time availability and my preference. Thankfully, none of 6~8th priority professors were matched. I think you should search again 

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5 minutes ago, Hyunwoo said:

Isn't it mandatory to list up to 8? In my case, the school asked me to choose 8 and then allocated me 5 professors considering both the time availability and my preference. Thankfully, none of 6~8th priority professors were matched. I think you should search again 

Good to know. Thanks! Do you usually know who you are matched with right away so you can prepare? Or do you have to wait until interview weekend to find out? Also, is it ok to RSVP to the interview 1 day late? I think I need more time to research what other 5 PIs to put on my list. 

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4 hours ago, Zoey_q said:

🤞🏼🤞🏼🤞🏼🤞🏼🤞🏼🤞🏼🤞🏼🤞🏼

I hope so, but if people reject wouldn’t it make sense for the program admission committee to send admission offers to people who they had already interviewed (that’s only my analogy)??

But hey let’s stay optimistic because I really don’t wanna repeat the application process it was such a stressful time 😩

Yes but many of them that interviewed may have accepted other offers.

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7 minutes ago, j118 said:

Good to know. Thanks! Do you usually know who you are matched with right away so you can prepare? Or do you have to wait until interview weekend to find out? Also, is it ok to RSVP to the interview 1 day late? I think I need more time to research what other 5 PIs to put on my list. 

I think it is up to the administrator, but in my case I was notified about the faculty list and time schedule around one month earlier so that I can prepare (or just chill). Since all of my interviews were and will be done in Zoom, they arranged me a detailed timetable which tells me whom I would meet.

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people who have received 0 interviews so far, you might have applied for the most competitive programs and they’re not always the ones with the most opportunities for you. take a look at smaller programs and the POIs there that are involved in what you’re interested in, you’ll be surprised how many smaller programs do amazing research too. That being said, look for rolling admissions programs if you really would like to be in a program next fall. UTHSC is rolling until march 1 i believe and i’m sure there are others 

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Just now, sadbrain said:

Does anyone know if MIT BCS is sending out invites over a few days like they have in the past, or am I completely screwed? 😅

 

Your post sent me an email alert, which made me freak out haha seemingly you are not alone!

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17 hours ago, AOMO9248 said:

Can anyone who had an interview recently share their experience? 

Hi - I've been on two so far. Around 60% of the time, the school will be trying to recruit you by showing presentations about the school, giving faculty talks, hosting socials and conversations with current graduate students.

You'll like have 5ish actual interviews which are 30-45 minutes long. Honestly, they can really range in format. Some faculty will ask for a 3-5 minute recap of your research, some will ask you to describe one of your projects in depth (usually of your choosing). Sometimes, professors will ask tons of questions, not necessarily as a "gotcha," but mostly just to see how you're thinking about your research. Then your interviewer will likely talk about their research (which they love to do, so show enthusiasm!) and offer to answer any questions you have about the program or anything.

Mine have really ranged; I've talked for 20 minutes straight at some and at others we only talked about why we love to do research and what I hope to do in grad school. So, be prepared to talk about your research, but don't be surprised if you don't at all! Hopefully, your faculty are very friendly and interviews will feel like a fun conversation about science.

To be honest, it's kind of difficult to feel out the vibe of the school virtually so I'm really paying attention to subtleties in how the current students talk about their experiences. Hopefully, you're meeting with faculty who have labs you'd be interested in joining, because this is a great time to feel out if you would enjoy their lab. You should choose a grad school that has options for you, so if you find out you're not really vibin with some faculty that were once interested in, take note. 

Finally, if there's anyone you didn't get to talk to during the actual interview dates, the program will absolutely coordinate a meeting for you. 

Feel free to reach out to me if you wanna talk about anything more specific, I'm happy to do so.

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After browsing Reddit for my desperate pleas to hear back from UCLA, a user pointed out that the Bioscience website (Umbrella program for Neuro) states that there will be THREE interview weekends!? 
 

The review process begins in December, and highly-ranked applicants are invited to UCLA for a personal interview on a weekend in January, February, or March. 

https://bioscience.ucla.edu/admissions-overview/
 

maybe there is hope!!!

 

Edited by vdngit
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4 minutes ago, vdngit said:

After browsing Reddit for my desperate pleas to hear back from UCLA, a user pointed out that the Bioscience website (Umbrella program for Neuro) states that there will be THREE interview weekends!? 
 

The review process begins in December, and highly-ranked applicants are invited to UCLA for a personal interview on a weekend in January, February, or March. 

https://bioscience.ucla.edu/admissions-overview/
 

maybe there is hope!!!

 

Okay I lied, maybe there is NO hope because I looked at the Neuroscience specific program website which states:

 

What is the admissions timeline for the Neuroscience PHD program?  

Completed applications will be reviewed throughout December and early January.  Interview invitations will be made via e-mail towards the end of December and early January.  Interviews are conducted in February.  Admission recommendations are made in late February.  We abide by the Council of Graduate School’s Resolution of acceptance of financial offers of support by April 15. ”

:’(

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29 minutes ago, vdngit said:

Okay I lied, maybe there is NO hope because I looked at the Neuroscience specific program website which states:

 

What is the admissions timeline for the Neuroscience PHD program?  

Completed applications will be reviewed throughout December and early January.  Interview invitations will be made via e-mail towards the end of December and early January.  Interviews are conducted in February.  Admission recommendations are made in late February.  We abide by the Council of Graduate School’s Resolution of acceptance of financial offers of support by April 15. ”

:’(

I am planning to email them again if I do not hear anything by tomorrow afternoon. Last time I emailed them on January 11th, they said:

"Thank you for your email and for your application! Currently applications are still be reviewed for the NSIDP program. We will contact you directly with any updates regarding your application and status."

 

Edit:

I got impatient and just emailed them right now (1:00 PM PST). I will post their reply as my UCLA neurograd student contact from Reddit still has not replied to my request for an an admissions update.

Edited by lowestprime
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16 minutes ago, lowestprime said:

I am planning to email them again if I do not hear anything by tomorrow afternoon. Last time I emailed them on January 11th, they said:

"Thank you for your email and for your application! Currently applications are still be reviewed for the NSIDP program. We will contact you directly with any updates regarding your application and status."

 

22 minutes ago, vdngit said:

Okay I lied, maybe there is NO hope because I looked at the Neuroscience specific program website which states:

 

What is the admissions timeline for the Neuroscience PHD program?  

Completed applications will be reviewed throughout December and early January.  Interview invitations will be made via e-mail towards the end of December and early January.  Interviews are conducted in February.  Admission recommendations are made in late February.  We abide by the Council of Graduate School’s Resolution of acceptance of financial offers of support by April 15. ”

:’(

there were just so few posts about interviews... Like I saw 3 on the results page and 1 was way earlier than the other two. It's possible that UCLA is taking far fewer students this year but it just all seems odd. I'm staying open minded.

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52 minutes ago, lowestprime said:

I am planning to email them again if I do not hear anything by tomorrow afternoon. Last time I emailed them on January 11th, they said:

"Thank you for your email and for your application! Currently applications are still be reviewed for the NSIDP program. We will contact you directly with any updates regarding your application and status."

 

Edit:

I got impatient and just emailed them right now (1:00 PM PST). I will post their reply as my UCLA neurograd student contact from Reddit still has not replied to my request for an an admissions update.

Not all heroes wear capes :’)

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