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How competitive is Stanford Genetics PhD Program?


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  • 2 weeks later...
On 7/26/2020 at 2:28 PM, yeezyM said:

Heard from a student in the program they interviewed ~30 out of 600+ for 20 spots. Not sure if it's 100% true.

Eh, that's very competitive. Much more competitive than Harvard BBS and MIT Bio. Am I right?

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Sounds like the only thing that makes a program competitive is how many people apply to it? Most schools interview about twice as many as they hope to enroll, accept 50-75% of interviewees, and hope for fewer people to accept the offer. How many people apply in the first place is independent of that. 

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3 hours ago, BabyScientist said:

Sounds like the only thing that makes a program competitive is how many people apply to it? Most schools interview about twice as many as they hope to enroll, accept 50-75% of interviewees, and hope for fewer people to accept the offer. How many people apply in the first place is independent of that. 

Do you have other method to quantify the competitiveness of a PhD program? 

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9 hours ago, tsusanto53 said:

Do you have other method to quantify the competitiveness of a PhD program? 

What do you mean by competitiveness? How hard is it to get in for the average applicant? Sure, then it depends on how many people apply. But then each applicant is more or less competitive for each school as well, so it's hard to say. You should be more concerned with how impactful the science is at each school (also hard to measure) and who you're most interested in working with at each school.

Sorry, this has nothing to do with the original question. I know nothing specific about Stanford's grad programs, was just trying to understand what you meant by competitive. If you're trying to decide which program to apply to, I suggest applying to the one that will teach you the content you want to know and give you access to the faculty you want to work with. Reach out to faculty and try to ask them how they view the different programs. 

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2 hours ago, BabyScientist said:

What do you mean by competitiveness? How hard is it to get in for the average applicant? Sure, then it depends on how many people apply. But then each applicant is more or less competitive for each school as well, so it's hard to say. You should be more concerned with how impactful the science is at each school (also hard to measure) and who you're most interested in working with at each school.

Sorry, this has nothing to do with the original question. I know nothing specific about Stanford's grad programs, was just trying to understand what you meant by competitive. If you're trying to decide which program to apply to, I suggest applying to the one that will teach you the content you want to know and give you access to the faculty you want to work with. Reach out to faculty and try to ask them how they view the different programs. 

Actually I already got into a specific grad program. Thanks to COVID-19, lately I'm lurking thegradcafe again. And I found out that the acceptance rate of Stanford Biosciences is very low (with respect to other program). Why is that?

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  • 2 months later...
On 7/28/2020 at 12:28 AM, tsusanto53 said:

Actually I already got into a specific grad program. Thanks to COVID-19, lately I'm lurking thegradcafe again. And I found out that the acceptance rate of Stanford Biosciences is very low (with respect to other program). Why is that?

A few potential factors, some are wild guesses:

- location (people like California).

- the fact that Stanford Bioscience allows you to choose 3 programs under the umbrella and use the same application for them, so nominally the number of apps per individual (e.g. Genetics) program probably looks much higher than that of a standalone program elsewhere.

- great outreach/advertising. Anecdotally, out of the ~dozen outside speakers my program invited over and had lunch with us (while I was a first year), the Stanford person was the only one who specifically asked which of the first years also interviewed at Stanford and how they liked the experience/why they didn't go there.

- funding: the actual amount of money is probably comparable to other top tier programs, but I remember someone on TGC telling me at Stanford the program itself provides funding throughout your PhD years, so the PI doesn't directly pay for you being in their lab. I can imagine that making students feel like they have more power and are less "at someone's mercy" financially?

- international students: probably a mix of international reputation (again outreach/marketing) and actual ability to support international students with private funding. I feel like in China, Stanford, Harvard, MIT etc. are equally well respected, but perhaps it's different in some other countries with a large applicant pool.

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