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Which molecular bio/biomedical program should I choose?


Which molecular bio/biomedical program should I choose?  

17 members have voted

  1. 1. Which molecular bio/biomedical program should I choose?

    • UCSF Tetrad
    • UC Berkeley MCB
    • MIT Biology
    • UPenn CAMB

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I am interested in going into industry. That is why I primarily applied to programs in Boston and the Bay Area.

Assuming there where 3-4 labs you liked at each place, which program would you choose?

Are there any obvious pros or cons for any of these programs? Or any relevant experiences you've had?

Virtual interviews have mad it EXTREMELY difficult for me to assess the culture/fit of any of these programs. Feeling pretty apathetic about the application process/COVID at this point :(

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i voted for berkeley because bay area > boston in terms of industry opportunities. also, and this is anecdotal, life sciences culture at MIT is way different from other institutions, from my advisor and others - one of the reasons I didn't apply. i think it's better to explore heterodox approaches during postdoc rather than as a PhD student. my 2c.

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I'm currently deciding between Berkeley MCB and UCSF Tetrad! Some of my thoughts about the two programs based on my interview experiences and meetings with faculty and students:

Based on what current students have said about jobs after graduating, both seem to be similarly highly regarded in industry with companies actively recruiting students from both schools. Although, from what I've seen Berkeley may have a bit of an edge since there are a lot of faculty who are actually involved in biotech companies, which opens up potential opportunities for internships and gaining hands-on experience.

Other differences between the programs could be pros/cons depending on what you're looking for, and are primarily related to one being an undergraduate institution and the other being a medical center with no undergrads. For example, my impression of Berkeley was that research is more focused on basic science and there are also mandatory opportunities to TA and/or mentor undergrads. I think another thing to consider is cohort size as well, Berkeley is quite large at 30-40 ppl while UCSF aims for 20-25. 

Totally get the virtual interview frustration/dissatisfaction and the way that I'm trying to alleviate it is by talking to as many different people as possible over zoom (faculty of interest, current students in the program, program alumni, students in other programs at the school, other prospective students I've interviewed with). It's a lot of work but this is also a big decision that'll affect where I end up for the next 5-6 years. With that said, feel free to PM me if you'd like to chat about schools some more (I'd love to get your take!)/vent about this application cycle/whatever!!

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