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Hi everyone, I'm currently looking into graduate schools for bioinformatics and leaning towards masters because I feel like I'm not competitive enough for a top PhD Program yet and was wondering how competitive am I for masters/PhD. Would it be considered a better choice to complete another masters and gain more research-orientated experience before I apply for PhD Programs again? 

Undergrad Institution: New Zealand (81 overall in QS ranking)
Major(s): Biomedical Sciences
Overall GPA: ~3.7

Graduate Institution: Australia (45 overall in QS ranking)
Major(s): Software Engineering 
Overall GPA: ~3.8

Research Experience 

  • Research assistant at a lab focused on stem cells, not much publications etc. made mainly just contributing to the project as a technician 
  • Research project for half a year related to bioinformatics and using machine learning to map out genes related to kidney cancer (likely to be published by the end of the year) 

Universities for Masters 

  • Standford  
  • Cornell  
  • UCLA
  • Brown  
  • Harvard  
  • Penn State

University for PhD Programs 

  • Harvard -  BIG Program  
  • Duke -  CBB Program
  • University of Pennsylvania - GCB Program
  • Yale - CBB Program

I know some of these programs especially for my PhD choices are particularly competitive however I found that a lot of them seemed to particularly align with my interests in genetics and software and some labs have professors who I know are doing research in the area I have a particular interest in. I would also appreciate any recommendation for schools which may be more suited for me currently.

Edited by catharole
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I think a second masters would serve you less than a research position if you ultimately want a PhD. Your application is fine for a PhD, depending on your LORs and SOP, but not for programs of that caliber. A research associate position would give you opportunities for publication that will certainly help. 

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