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help for international student


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Hey guys,

I am an international student, and I would like to apply to do my PhD in the biological sciences in USA. could you please evaluate my chances, so that I can decide which universities to apply to (since I heard it is really tough for international students to get accepted? I cannot afford to apply to many unis..)

my GPA for the Bachelor's degree is 3.95, and for my Master's degree it is 4.0

the TOEFL score is 118 (ibT)

letters of recommendation should be pretty good, from well-known professors in their field

i also have 2 1/2 years of lab experience

so far I am happy with my profile, but I am a little worried about my GRE score:

550V (75%) / 770Q (87%) / 4.0 AW (45%)

I am most concerned about my analytical writing score. Could it hurt my application? Moreover, do you think the verbal score is too low? It is very tough for non-native speakers to learn all the gre vocabulary.

I also took the GRE subject test in biochemistry, but I am still waiting for the result.

Here is the list of my favorite universites:

Harvard (BBS)

Columbia University

Rockefeller University

Mount Sinai School of Medicine

UC Berkeley

UC San Francisco

UC San Diego

Texas Southwestern Medical Center

University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

Is it true that international students basically have no chance to get into one of the UC's?

I'd be delighted if you could help me evaluate my chances!


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  • 1 month later...

I am an international student too and am checking out which universities have international students enrolled in them already. You seem to have a really good profile. May be you should apply to 2 dream schools, 1 safety school and 2-3 schools where you stand a fair chance.

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I am an international student as well.

Your AW is fine. Don't worry about it. Lower than 4.0 would probably not be good but 4.0 and higher is fine: the consensus seems to be that no one cares about AW when reading an application.

Your verbal is good ok (especially for an international student). To feel more comfortable, you could study GRE vocabulary hard and then take the test again aiming for 600+ but I don't think it is a must.

As for UCs, it is not about getting in but rather getting full funding (and as a result some departments will not admit you if then can't guarantee full funding). Nonetheless, I would not say there was "no chance" of getting into UCs for international students. Foreigners are still accepted... probably in lesser numbers than before but still are. Would be great if someone posted statistics for UC international enrolment in the last few years.

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