liastra Posted July 11, 2013 Share Posted July 11, 2013 (edited) I finally joined a lab! It took me 4 lab rotations (each due to a certain circumstance) but I ended up with a good lab, a nice PI, and some research I feel like I could wrap my hands round. HOWEVER, it’s a basic science lab so it's no longer on the medical school campus, and its grad students are in a completely different department than I now. My program coordinator, has asked me to decide which department I want to officially join. It's stay or go. Please help me!! Here are the differences between the 2 departments as far as I know: Name: Cellular, Genetic, and Molecular Biology (CMGB) - This is the department that I entered grad school with. - PhD degree offered by the School of Medicine - No TA requirement - Quals: Written + Oral (I think they give you a paper to read at the exam) - Required seminar every noon Friday at the Med Campus (will have to travel commute or take the shuttle to get there each week). - Department (grad program) is disbanding this program in 2 years, restructuring it, and renaming it. - 95% of all my friends/classmates are still in this program, but not my lab. Name: Molecular and Computational Biology (MCB) - This is a department/building that my lab takes place. - PhD degree offered by the College of Letters, Arts and Sciences - 2 semesters TA requirement (which I heard screws up your salary) - Quals: Written + Oral (I think they give you a paper to read 1 or 2 weeks ahead of time) - Required seminars take place in the same building - Department seems well established, as the life sciences department is also an undergraduate college. - All other students in the lab (3) had joined this department from the start, so they have no experience with the medical school program. - My PI has never mentored a CMGB student. My PI says he does not care either way. I’ve always been leaning toward the first one, because it has no TA requirement and I got to know several faculty members really well at the medical school (from rotations, classes, and meetings), whereas I don’t know any of the faculty in this building in my new department. It seems by staying in CMGB I could at least have an excuse to keep in contact with those people. By joining MCB, I think like I am cutting off all ties from the graduate program I entered with (I’ll have to check on this one), but that would definitely feel weird and I’m a bit scared that I’ll feel really lost, especially since after I graduate, I don't want to be only associated with basic science (I want to join industry). By the way, this is at the University of Southern California. Thank you so much!! Edited July 11, 2013 by liastra Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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