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Hey all,

Basically I am trying to gauge my potential for PhD studies in Cell and/or Molecular biology. I'm still narrowing down research topics. I would like to attend grad school in or right around NYC. This would include such schools as Columbia, NYU, Weill-Cornell, Rockefeller, SUNY Downstate, CUNY Graduate Center, Stony Brook University and several others. While I know my (weak) stats arn't likely to land me in the top schools in NYC, please give me some feedback and what my options may be and what I can do to improve my chances for any program. A buddy of mine recommended applying for technician positions in one of my labs of interest as a possible in as well.

My stats:

Overall GPA: ~3.5 (Cum Laude, 2010)

Biology GPA: ~3.7

GRE:

Quantitative: 150 (53rd percentile)

Verbal: 158 (79th percentile)

Writing: 3.5 (29th percentile)

Two years of laboratory technician experience in a genetics/cell biology laboratory.

Unfortunately no papers to speak of as our lab is more industry than research.

I look forward to any input that you all may have for me and thank you in advance!

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More lab experience is always helpful, although you seem to be OK in that area. If you are currently working as a tech, I'm not sure you need to try to get a job in a potential lab of interest, although expandin your skill set and making potentially useful new contacts could be helpful. Definitely agree that you need to retake the GRE. You will not be competitive with that Quantitative score.

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Attend regional/national meetings and present your work through poster symposium will help, if you don't have any papers.

Try to get an individual/independent project that you can work on, even though I'm not sure what exactly do you do as a lab tech.

Definitely retake GRE for your quantitative score is a bit low.

Secure strong references ideally from people who know you well enough to say about your potential @ grad school + do research in cell bio/bio/science.

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Alright, thanks for the feedback thus far all!

I have about 8-9 months before the next admissions cycle so I will make my first priority getting my GRE scores up.

With my current scores and experience, do you think I would be able to get into any of the 'less competetive' biology programs in the NY area?

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The only one of those I interviewed at was Stony Brook and, without knowing anything more specific about your work, I would say there's no reason to think you haven't got a good shot there.

edit: oh, current scores. Your Q score is probably below a threshold which is automatically filtered out by a lot of programs (pure speculation). Above comment is assuming you get it to 80%+ and I would really try to get the AW to 4 or better. I had a 4, which was disappointing to me. I did just fine with it.

Edited by virion
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It's really hard to say if you would "get in" to the NY schools you listed (even the ones you may call "less competitive) since grad school admissions are ambiguous and can be a total surprise. Personally, I think you would be a competitive applicant (assuming you get that GRE score up and continue research until the application cycle begins) and if I had to guess, I would say you have a good shot at NYU, Stony Brook, CUNY, etc...

I'll share my experience with NY schools. I got an interview at Weill Cornell but got rejected from NYU Sackler (pre-interview). Honestly didn't think I would get rejected from NYU pre-interview after receiving an invite from Cornell so it goes to show how off our predictions can be. My GPA is similar to yours but my GRE is more competitive. I also have about 3 years of research experience and one second author publication.

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I agree to the guys, you should retake GRE, especially for Quantitative part.

I think research experience is very important. I applied as post-Masters, also worked 2 years in a research lab at undergrad. Although I was an EE major, this five years experience helped me to be considered.

Best

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All of the above advice is quite sound.

Your GREs need to be picked up a bit.

After college, I knew I wanted to go to grad school. But I had a GPA that was in the toilet (2.8). I determined a good way to figure out if grad school was really for me was to work in lab.

I was a research technician at Columbia for three years and got awesome experience, publications and recommendations.

I applied to several NY area schools: Einstein, Columbia, Rutgers and Stony Brook.

I was accepted at all...and graduated with a PhD from Stony Brook in 2008.

For what it is worth, my PI at Columbia told me that for GREs, the committee is looking for above the 80th percentile.

I would try to find a good lab to be a technician in...it worked for me.

Good luck

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hi,

i am an international student

My GPA is very low..

GRE V145 Q149 and AWA 2 (294/340)

but i have good research experience in boitech company. around 7 years

I worked as research scientist in mol bio and upstream department

one publication as co auther

Do you think i have a chance for phd in mol bio

i have applied in UMKC, Rhode island, University of houston texas and suny ay buffelo

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hi,

i am an international student

My GPA is very low..

GRE V145 Q149 and AWA 2 (294/340)

but i have good research experience in boitech company. around 7 years

I worked as research scientist in mol bio and upstream department

one publication as co auther

Do you think i have a chance for phd in mol bio

i have applied in UMKC, Rhode island, University of houston texas and suny ay buffelo

emmm has replied to your exact same question in another thread.

"I'm sorry, but your scores are quite low, and you say your GPA is also low. Even for appliciants with great records, competition is especially tough for international students. You might need to consider retaking the GRE and reapplying. Also, not having gotten any interviews (even Skype interviews) does not seem like a good sign. Your research experience sounds great, but you need to have an overall strong package, and your GRE might really be hurting you (and the TOEFL seems low to me also, though I am not very familiar with the scoring scale for that ...)."

While we don't know your GPA,

- you definitely want to have at least a 100 on your TOEFL iBT

- you want to retake your GRE so that you get at least a 80% in your quantitative section, and 48% (4.0) in your Analytical Writing section.

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