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Fulbright Scholar (to US) GRE and Institution: advice!


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I am lucky enough to be an Fulbright Scholar (coming from the UK to study for a PhD in the US). I want to ask two questions:

Firstly: I just took my GRE, the scores I got were 670V, and 710Q. I hoped to get higher than that in the quantitative section but somehow got flustered by one of the first questions. Do you think I should retake this? The schools I am aiming for are top tier as shown below.

Secondly I want to find your opinions on institutions to study at. Eventually I am interested in large scale brain simulation. My first degree was in electronic engineering and second in biomedical engineering with neurotechnology. By brain simulation I hope to model large numbers of accurate neurons, as well as simulate environments. I am also very interested in using evolutionary methods to optimise cortical structure and even learning rules. Work I have currently does has used fmri data, and methods from graph theory to analyse schizophrenic brains. Please see the collections in my mendeley profile at http://www.mendeley.com/profiles/zenna-tavares/, to see the kind of research I am interested in.

So the kind of institution that is ideal for me is one with a strong neuroscience department, but also with a strong computing and engineering and modelling resources; and ideally a history or at least potential for collaboration.

The location is also very important. I have only visited Miama in the US, so most of my information about different places comes from these forums and from friends. I am from London and expect that I would like New York very much. I have also heard great things about Boston. Essentially, I don't to be somewhere that is too far out in the sticks, and ideally has a fairly cosmopolitan environment.

Through the IIE, I have to select six institutions. My current short list (roughly in order of preference) is:

(all neuroscience departments)












I also need one backup, which at the moment is:

Rutgers-Newark (chosen just because it is very near new york, and one of my professors recommended it to me) or Brown (as I am in contact with an enthusiastic professor there)

Any advice or comments are appreciated


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Your gre is great but not great for those schools. Those scores might even below average. Also I don't consider brown or Rutgers to be backup quality. If it is necessary for you to go this year I would put a lower school on the list just to increase your chances.

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I would not worry about your GRE scores that much. My best friend got into top ranked programs with a Quantitative score only marginally better than yours and a verbal score much lower. As long as your GPA is pretty good, which I am guessing it is since you are a Fulbright scholar, and you have a great personal statement (that's what set my friend apart according to all of her interviewers) you should be okay.

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