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International friendly universities in US?

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I was just wondering what are peoples thoughts are on US schools? I applied to UC schools this cycle and have found that a lot of people have said that it is really hard for international students to get in. What schools do you think are more friendly/ are more likely to admit you or send out invites to international students? 

Would love to connect with people who are in the same boat! drop me a DM and I'll pass on my socials :) 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hey, I am actually in a similar boat, I had applied to 17 schools and got rejected from most of them. Only interviewed with 3 (still waiting to hear back), which were not my top choices. I am international but I am currently in the US. I have a Masters' and have 6 years of research experience. I had heard that the more research experience you have the more it helps, but definitely didn't help me in my case. So I don't really know what all you need to have to get into a good school. UCSF is definitely not international friendly, I am currently working at UCSF, and my PI couldn't help me get in. He said the admissions committee has very specific criteria but he didn't give me more details. I was rejected from both schools I have worked at as a research technician. I felt very dejected but consoled myself saying may be things happen for a reason. The only thing I don't have is a publication under my belt. I am one of the unlucky ones who hasn't been able to be published even though I have given 6-7 years to the research field. 

As far as international friendly schools is concerned, I would check out UMass Amherst, Rutgers, UC Santa Cruz too. They are mid-tiered universities but have a pretty good biology program. 

Would love to chat more if you want to. Feel free to DM me and we can connect. 

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Schools that I know are international friendly (in non-COVID times): UTSW, Sloan Kettering, Weill Cornell. Potentially also: WashU (Washington University in St. Louis) and UChicago. Harvard probably but I'm not sure about all bio programs.

UCs are notorious for being low on international admits. The year I applied UC Berkeley's website had a bolded line stating there are *very few* spots for international students. My undergrad PI spent 6 years as a post doc at Stanford and said he never saw a single international Immunology student - I have not fact-checked that myself.

Most school websites show international student %s somewhere. Below is the list I compiled for myself when I applied. Most numbers were for the specific program I applied to and not their entire biosciences. "OK" means >30% I think.

Stanford low

Harvard 34%


Yale 30%


UCLA 20%

Columbia OK


Baylor College of Medicine 33%

Sloan Kettering OK

Weill Cornell 46%

Einstein College of Medicine 30%


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  • 2 weeks later...

California dedicates a large portion of the State's budget towards higher education and most California residents do not pay tuition (they pay fees instead).  Because the costs are heavily subsidized by (Californian) tax-payer dollars, California tends to favor California residents above everyone else, including Americans from other States.  It's simply cheaper for the UCs (and PIs) to do so.  

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