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2021 Biology PhD Admissions Results


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Hello all,  I am a recent admit to a neuroscience PhD program at the University of Oregon.  I have made a google drive with resources for those applying or interested in graduate school. Par

Wasn't planning on applying to Penn, but they just announced all their Arts and Sciences PhD programs are not accepting applications this cycle

I'm happy to give people feedback on application profiles as well as strategies I might suggest for how to strengthen weaknesses thereof. Also can give perspectives on Stanford biosciences - I do

Posted (edited)

Hello all, 

I am a recent admit to a neuroscience PhD program at the University of Oregon. 

I have made a google drive with resources for those applying or interested in graduate school. Part of this drive is a comprehensive list of successful applicant profiles. There are 10 profiles currently but I have many request for contributions so I will be updating it as people finish their profiles. I also have a resource folder that I update every once in awhile.  

 

Here is a link to the drive

https://drive.google.com/open?id=1pKybuYESJ4fgCYnEOMiD6GX1B4lKy9rM

 

Here is a link to the profiles

https://drive.google.com/open?id=1L76kOYyqDSCht45IG6kaw0dvutEj4bcz

 

If you would like to be directly shared or contribute a profile yourself, please PM me your gmail. If you have any question please PM me and I would be happy to answer. 

 

Cheers and goodluck! 

Edited by dopaboy
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1 hour ago, dopaboy said:

Hello all, 

I am a recent admit to a neuroscience PhD program at the University of Oregon. 

I have made a google drive with resources for those applying or interested in graduate school. Part of this drive is a comprehensive list of successful applicant profiles. There are 10 profiles currently but I have many request for contributions so I will be updating it as people finish their profiles. I also have a resource folder that I update every once in awhile.  

 

Here is a link to the drive

https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1pKybuYESJ4fgCYnEOMiD6GX1B4lKy9rM?usp=sharing

 

Here is a link to the profiles

https://drive.google.com/open?id=1L76kOYyqDSCht45IG6kaw0dvutEj4bcz

 

If you would like to be directly shared or contribute a profile yourself, please PM me your gmail. If you have any question please PM me and I would be happy to answer. 

 

Cheers and goodluck! 

Doesn't seem to be public

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Where's everyone applying?

 

So far, I have these schools on my list


U Wisc. 
U Mich.
MIT 
Stanford
U Washington
Columbia
Harvard
UChicago
Yale?
Duke
NYU
Rockefeller
Rochester
 

 

For genetics and evolution programs 

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On 5/3/2020 at 1:59 PM, oskibear said:

Where's everyone applying?

 

So far, I have these schools on my list


U Wisc. 
U Mich.
MIT 
Stanford
U Washington
Columbia
Harvard
UChicago
Yale?
Duke
NYU
Rockefeller
Rochester
 

 

For genetics and evolution programs 

I'm applying to:

Utah, Maryland, Penn State, Wisconsin, UCSD, UT-Houston, UTMB, Hopkins, Stanford, and Brown-NIH GPP.  

For cell and molecular biology, biochemistry (biomedical sciences umbrella) programs. 

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On 5/1/2020 at 3:38 PM, dopaboy said:

Hello all, 

I am a recent admit to a neuroscience PhD program at the University of Oregon. 

I have made a google drive with resources for those applying or interested in graduate school. Part of this drive is a comprehensive list of successful applicant profiles. There are 10 profiles currently but I have many request for contributions so I will be updating it as people finish their profiles. I also have a resource folder that I update every once in awhile.  

 

Here is a link to the drive

https://drive.google.com/open?id=1pKybuYESJ4fgCYnEOMiD6GX1B4lKy9rM

 

Here is a link to the profiles

https://drive.google.com/open?id=1L76kOYyqDSCht45IG6kaw0dvutEj4bcz

 

If you would like to be directly shared or contribute a profile yourself, please PM me your gmail. If you have any question please PM me and I would be happy to answer. 

 

Cheers and goodluck! 

Outstanding- thank you so much!

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I actually started the Neuro thread from last Spring, didn't end up applying for the 2020 cycle (needed more Neuro experience). Currently in a systems & circuits lab, but will be applying to umbrella biology / mcb / biochem programs / to labs that focus on neurobiology / neuroendocrinology.

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  • 3 weeks later...
4 hours ago, stem_ness said:

If anyone wants to bounce ideas off of regarding programs to apply to, application components, etc I would be interested in chatting!

Hey, I would love that! I'm still trying to figure out specific places to apply to and am having some trouble with finding schools/programs that specialize in stem cell biology

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  • 4 weeks later...

I'm looking at Immunology PhD programs (or umbrella programs with the intention of going into the immunology track). So far, thinking of applying to Harvard, UCSD, Yale, Cornell, and NYU for sure, also considering Columbia, UCSF, UChicago, University of Washington, University of Michigan, WashU, and UPenn. Worried about how covid will affect admissions this year (with likely a higher proportion of people applying but a lower amount of funding/positions available) ://

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Undergrad Institution: Ohio State University, graduated in May 2020

Major(s): Bachelors in Biomedical Engineering, focus on Biochemistry

Overall GPA: 3.8

Major GPA: Around 3.7

 

Type of Student: International, Asian male

 

GRE Scores (new version): Q 170 (98%)/V 152 (54%)/W 3.5(37%), studying for new version, expect to score 330+ 

 

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

 

Research Experience: two years in a biochemistry lab and completed the senior thesis. Paper is in preparation and I will be either first-author or co-author, joined a state-level conference and presented the poster (first author). One summer internship in UCSF department of pathology and research is related to gene technology and aging (mid-author). One summer internship in the department of bioinformatics at OSU. After the graduation, I received the year-round internship offer from NREL, in there I aim to acquire more experience related to CRISPR and cell culture.

 

I have lab experience in cell culture, transfection, transduction, multi-color flow cytometry, western blots, ELISA, PCR, animal handling and organ harvesting, fluorescence imaging etc. I have letters of recommendation that will address my skills, work ethic in graduate school.

 

Awards/Honors/Recognitions:

 

Dean's list: all the time despite the first semester of my freshman year

Scholarship for my undergraduate senior thesis

One year as the president of student government

 

Applying to Where:

While my experience is pretty diverse, in the early undergraduate career I was trying to find a suitable research area. My senior thesis is very relevant to NMR, molecular biology.But my interest is genetics and stem cell, which is also pretty irrelevant to what I learned in my undergraduate career. I think lacking relevant research experience is my main weakness, and I hope my intern at NREL can somehow compensate it. 

 

Here are my schools -

 

Harvard - BBS

Stanford - Genetics or Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine (probably genetics because I haven't see any international student in the scond program, although it's more attractive to me)

MIT - Biology

UCSF - Neuroscience or Developmental and Stem Cell Biology

Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory – Watson School

Duke - Developmental and Stem Cell Biology or Genetics

UC, Davis - Biochemistry, Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology

UC, Irvine - Cellular and Molecular Biology

University of Wisconsin - Madison - Genetics

 

I always wonder what major I should choose. The advice from my research advisors is major doesn't matter, the lab you get in does. I agree. The professors I have contacted also gave me a feeling that your major won’t affect the lab you want to get in. For me, I want to get in the developmental and stem cell biology major in all schools which provided it. But the enrollment statistics show that this new major only accepts few international student or not at all. I’m wondering should I apply other majors (such as neuroscience or genetics) to increase my chance to be accepted?

 

Thank you!

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I'll be finishing my undergrad degree in biochemistry and molecular biology this upcoming academic year. I think I've been stressing myself out too much about PhD applications. I'm worried because I went to a small liberal arts college so I don't necessarily have a huge wealth of research experience. I have done research (that's hopefully getting published!), but it's in analytical chemistry because that's what was available to me. I'm looking at more bio focused schools but I don't even know if I have a good number of schools or the qualifications to get into any of them. So far I'm applying for:

Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School -- biochemistry and molecular biology

Ohio State -- biochemistry

Pitt -- molecular, cell, and developmental biology

University of Maryland -- molecular and cell biology 

I'll probably end up adding to this list because it seems like everyone applies to more programs. Any advice would be much appreciated.

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I am finishing my undergrad degree in Cell and Molecular Biology at Binghamton University. I have a fairly good gpa (3.75 overall, 3.68 major gpa) with 4 years of research experience in cancer therapeutics. I am looking to continue doing research in this field under the umbrella of pharmacology/ molecular biology.

I am applying to: Yale, Rockefeller, Weill Cornell, Einstein, Stony Brook, Sloan Kettering, NYMC, CUNY, NYU, Icahn, and Cold Spring Harbor. At the moment, I am especially interested in Weill Cornell and Stony Brook for their pharmacology programs.

I am now working on my personal statements and gathering any other application materials for when the applications open. If anyone has any advice or tips please share!

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19 hours ago, queerorpheus said:

I'll be finishing my undergrad degree in biochemistry and molecular biology this upcoming academic year. I think I've been stressing myself out too much about PhD applications. I'm worried because I went to a small liberal arts college so I don't necessarily have a huge wealth of research experience. I have done research (that's hopefully getting published!), but it's in analytical chemistry because that's what was available to me. I'm looking at more bio focused schools but I don't even know if I have a good number of schools or the qualifications to get into any of them. So far I'm applying for:

Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School -- biochemistry and molecular biology

Ohio State -- biochemistry

Pitt -- molecular, cell, and developmental biology

University of Maryland -- molecular and cell biology 

I'll probably end up adding to this list because it seems like everyone applies to more programs. Any advice would be much appreciated.

If you really want to start grad school right away, go ahead and apply to those schools. But if I were you I'd highly consider getting a job as a lab tech or a postbacc and apply after a year of doing that. It'll get you more experience. So since that isn't a long list of schools and you wouldn't lose that much money, maybe apply to those and if you don't get in or feel like you could get in somewhere better with more experience, then look for a lab job first. 

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Academic:

2.9 overall GPA :( , BS Biochemistry with minor in Molecular Biology from large US state school. My GPA shows an upward trend and is around 3.4 for my last two years. My major GPA is around 3.3 overall.

Research Experience:

3 years in undergraduate developmental biology/genetics lab (1 publication, one in progress, one poster that I won an award for at a conference)

2 years as a research assistant working in a structural biology lab (2 publications, 1 first authored review article, one publication in progress)

3 strong LORs from undergrad PI who I also had as a professor for multiple classes, current PI, and postdoc in current lab who can all attest to my research potential. 

 

I'm looking into applying to:

Duke

NYU

UW Madison 

UT Austin 

University of Utah 

University of Michigan 

University of Washington 

University of Chicago

Boston University 

UCSD

 

I know most of these schools are probably a reach considering my low GPA, so I was looking for some input on good mid to lower tier programs I should look into. Any advice or opinions y'all can offer about my current list as well would be much appreciated. 

Thanks!

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3 hours ago, BabyScientist said:

If you really want to start grad school right away, go ahead and apply to those schools. But if I were you I'd highly consider getting a job as a lab tech or a postbacc and apply after a year of doing that. It'll get you more experience. So since that isn't a long list of schools and you wouldn't lose that much money, maybe apply to those and if you don't get in or feel like you could get in somewhere better with more experience, then look for a lab job first. 

Can anyone else back this up? I should add that:

 

Academic:

I'm currently sitting around a 3.9 both overall and in my major and don't expect that to change. I've gotten through the tougher classes in my major (p-chem and biochem 2) so I'm mostly finishing out those good old liberal arts requirements. I've been on dean's list for all semesters and have also received awards from the chemistry department for my academic performance in those classes.

Experience:

Like I said, I really only have that one research experience, but I now have a publication in an ACS journal and hopefully will be doing a few conferences (even if virtual). I've tutored chemistry for three years now and am now student managing our tutoring service. I'm also a faculty aide for cell and molecular biology. I feel that I can get some strong LORs from my research advisor, tutoring supervisor, and academic advisor. 

 

I know Bloomberg specifically says they will evaluate your research experience differently if you're coming from a liberal arts background just because the size of the school can definitely impact your quality of research. I'm trying to focus my SoPs more on the qualities I got out of research than the project itself. I'm still super worried but my school has sent people to very good grad schools before with about the same level of research. I'm trying not to hype myself up too much but remain positive at the same time.

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8 hours ago, queerorpheus said:

Can anyone else back this up? I should add that:

 

Academic:

I'm currently sitting around a 3.9 both overall and in my major and don't expect that to change. I've gotten through the tougher classes in my major (p-chem and biochem 2) so I'm mostly finishing out those good old liberal arts requirements. I've been on dean's list for all semesters and have also received awards from the chemistry department for my academic performance in those classes.

Experience:

Like I said, I really only have that one research experience, but I now have a publication in an ACS journal and hopefully will be doing a few conferences (even if virtual). I've tutored chemistry for three years now and am now student managing our tutoring service. I'm also a faculty aide for cell and molecular biology. I feel that I can get some strong LORs from my research advisor, tutoring supervisor, and academic advisor. 

 

I know Bloomberg specifically says they will evaluate your research experience differently if you're coming from a liberal arts background just because the size of the school can definitely impact your quality of research. I'm trying to focus my SoPs more on the qualities I got out of research than the project itself. I'm still super worried but my school has sent people to very good grad schools before with about the same level of research. I'm trying not to hype myself up too much but remain positive at the same time.

Sorry, I didn't mean to imply you wouldn't get in. Your profile is fine, your GPA is great, and grad school admissions are incredibly unpredictable. I guarantee that having more experience could only help, but that doesn't mean that you couldn't get in now. That's why I say go ahead and apply now if you can afford it, but know that your application would be strengthened with more experience. I'm happy to discuss further if you want. 

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9 hours ago, ihaveapurplebackpack said:

Academic:

2.9 overall GPA :( , BS Biochemistry with minor in Molecular Biology from large US state school. My GPA shows an upward trend and is around 3.4 for my last two years. My major GPA is around 3.3 overall.

Research Experience:

3 years in undergraduate developmental biology/genetics lab (1 publication, one in progress, one poster that I won an award for at a conference)

2 years as a research assistant working in a structural biology lab (2 publications, 1 first authored review article, one publication in progress)

3 strong LORs from undergrad PI who I also had as a professor for multiple classes, current PI, and postdoc in current lab who can all attest to my research potential. 

 

I'm looking into applying to:

Duke

NYU

UW Madison 

UT Austin 

University of Utah 

University of Michigan 

University of Washington 

University of Chicago

Boston University 

UCSD

 

I know most of these schools are probably a reach considering my low GPA, so I was looking for some input on good mid to lower tier programs I should look into. Any advice or opinions y'all can offer about my current list as well would be much appreciated. 

Thanks!

Your profile looks great beyond the low GPA. If your letter writers can attest to your academic capabilities, that can make up for the GPA. If I were you I'd be proactive about emailing faculty of interest at schools you want to apply to and you can bring up your low GPA. If they want you in their lab, they'll help you get in. I know someone who got into USC and NYU molecular bio programs with a 2.9 GPA and only one publication.

I'd say your list is a little top heavy, but it's hard to suggest programs without knowing more about your interests. Make sure you're only applying to schools where you'd be happy to work with at least 3 faculty. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

I'm meeting with my academic advisor tomorrow to make sure I'm on track with my prep. We were supposed to meet during the spring semester but dang COVID threw off those plans. 

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On 7/24/2020 at 9:08 AM, stem_ness said:

How is everyone's app prep coming along? 😀

I definitely need to get my act together! I took the GRE in April and secured my LORs, but I really need to start my essays so that I have time to apply for grants in October! What about you?

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