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2015 Applicant Profiles and Admissions Results

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Congrats to everyone getting acceptances! Everything about this process is so stressful. This post-interview waiting is killing me... especially since my top choice told us the adcom won't meet until late Feb/early March:(

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If anyone can help me at all I'd greatly appreciate it. If you've got any solid info about interview invites being all sent out, for Duke Microbiology, UCLA Biosciences Microbiology IDP, or UT Austin, please let me know what you know,here or by PM. It seems so late in the game but I've heard nothing from any of these places.....Feeling super discouraged.

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If anyone can help me at all I'd greatly appreciate it. If you've got any solid info about interview invites being all sent out, for Duke Microbiology, UCLA Biosciences Microbiology IDP, or UT Austin, please let me know what you know,here or by PM. It seems so late in the game but I've heard nothing from any of these places.....Feeling super discouraged.

Austin and UCLA have their last interview weekends this weekend, so I assume they are done. Sorry :( 

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If anyone can help me at all I'd greatly appreciate it. If you've got any solid info about interview invites being all sent out, for Duke Microbiology, UCLA Biosciences Microbiology IDP, or UT Austin, please let me know what you know,here or by PM. It seems so late in the game but I've heard nothing from any of these places.....Feeling super discouraged.

 

The only interview weekend for Duke Molecular Genetics and Microbiology (I presume that's the program you mean) was this past weekend. I'm sorry that you haven't heard back yet. Acceptances should be going out this week, followed by the other decisions.

Edited by blinchik

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For people who did not apply to Yale or declined their Yale interview, what is the rationale? I thought Yale was a top school in the Biosciences, but I'm seeing more and more people are biased against their BBS program.  Can someone explain this to me?

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For people who did not apply to Yale or declined their Yale interview, what is the rationale? I thought Yale was a top school in the Biosciences, but I'm seeing more and more people are biased against their BBS program.  Can someone explain this to me?

 

I just didn't want to apply to any Ivy League schools. I'm from the Big 10, and the sense of competition and community is very different between Big 10-like schools and Ivy League schools. (I like where I am now). Nothing against anyone's program, just personal preference.

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For people who did not apply to Yale or declined their Yale interview, what is the rationale? I thought Yale was a top school in the Biosciences, but I'm seeing more and more people are biased against their BBS program. Can someone explain this to me?

It snows there. I don't care how good a program is, I'm not living where it's cold for a month much less five+ years.

No joke.

Also not interested in Ivy League schools. Not enough diversity. I actually don't know why I bothered applying to Duke either because I hate the culture of that school.

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For people who did not apply to Yale or declined their Yale interview, what is the rationale? I thought Yale was a top school in the Biosciences, but I'm seeing more and more people are biased against their BBS program. Can someone explain this to me?

I applied to Yale but I also had several people in the field tell me to save Yale and other ivy leagues for a post-doc. Apparently (this is all hearsay) some labs there are much more focused on their post-docs than training graduate students.

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I actually thought the same thing about Yale BBS (that it was going to be super-competitive, like an Ivy-league is supposed to be.) However, my friend convinced me to apply--I got an interview and attended. And I can say, at least from my impression, that it was a super friendly environment and that most labs collaborate. If I get accepted, there's a high chance I'll be choosing Yale over my other schools!

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For people who did not apply to Yale or declined their Yale interview, what is the rationale? I thought Yale was a top school in the Biosciences, but I'm seeing more and more people are biased against their BBS program.  Can someone explain this to me?

 

I have heard bad things about the Ivies being extremely competitive and cut throat ( people actually lock up their lab notebooks and sabotage other people's experiment). In addition, I really didn't want to live in the Northeast . . . the culture just doesn't appeal to me.

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had an interview at Columbia but it didn't quite have that cut-throat ivy environment i keep hearing about from the ivies. i really enjoyed the faculty and all of the students seemed extremely happy. it may just be on a departmental basis. my undergrad was in the big10 and yes, it did have a totally different lab culture than i felt at Columbia, but I didn't really feel the competitiveness between the students or even faculty. i think it will all depend on the school, the department, and the lab. there are always going to be crazy PIs/Postdocs/graduate students that think science is a rat race!

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I have heard bad things about the Ivies being extremely competitive and cut throat ( people actually lock up their lab notebooks and sabotage other people's experiment). In addition, I really didn't want to live in the Northeast . . . the culture just doesn't appeal to me.

 

I'm not sure what the benefit of sabotaging a fellow student's experiment would be.

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I'm not sure what the benefit of sabotaging a fellow student's experiment would be.

Some PIs really foster a competitive atmosphere amongst their lab members. If someone kept getting data and you didn't, and your PI was a jerk, you may be so inclined.

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had an interview at Columbia but it didn't quite have that cut-throat ivy environment i keep hearing about from the ivies. i really enjoyed the faculty and all of the students seemed extremely happy. it may just be on a departmental basis. my undergrad was in the big10 and yes, it did have a totally different lab culture than i felt at Columbia, but I didn't really feel the competitiveness between the students or even faculty. i think it will all depend on the school, the department, and the lab. there are always going to be crazy PIs/Postdocs/graduate students that think science is a rat race!

Though I'm applying to graduate school for next year, I still like reading this stuff

.

Anyway, having gone to undergrad at an Ivy, I would say that the whole cut-throat aspect is reserved more for the undergrad experience (where kids, having had it reinforced their whole lives, value themselves only on their successes and good grades), and even then only within certain majors or pre-professional paths (think Business, Pre-Med). When I was working in a lab, I never sensed a spirit of competitiveness between graduate students. They were all focused on themselves, on their projects, going at it alone. It seemed like a lot of PIs were juggling too many roles and hats - writing grants, being on committees, consulting on the side, having to go to DC to be on some President's committee, etc. In other words, not a lot of the PIs seemed to be consistently there, in the lab, if a graduate student wanted more robust mentorship experiences. On top of that bureaucracy was a nightmare, and a lot of the science programs are housed in old, unrenovated buildings; just because the school has a large endowment and brings in NIH research dollars doesn't translate to good stewardship of those resources.  

 

Personally, I'm going to apply to a few select Ivys only because of their programs and the faculty in those programs, not because of a preconceived notion of competitiveness at the graduate level. The interview will be important for fit. However, I will, for the majority of my applications, be applying to top non-Ivy schools just because I would also like a campus that might be larger, friendlier, happier, and more likely to be investing in new facilities (to attract high-caliber faculty and students).

Edited by Infinito

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Personally, I'm going to apply to a few select Ivys only because of their programs and the faculty in those programs, not because of a preconceived notion of competitiveness at the graduate level. The interview will be important for fit. However, I will, for the majority of my applications, be applying to top non-Ivy schools just because I would also like a campus that might be larger, friendlier, happier, and more likely to be investing in new facilities (to attract high-caliber faculty and students).

Fit--this is why you should apply to any school. I didn't go to undergrad at a state school (even a good one) because I didn't like how big they were and was lucky enough to have a private, researched focus school as an option. Grad school is very different, and often, big state schools have the resources to attract more faculty, which increases the chances that there will be faculty there who work on my interests. I've done my tech work at an Ivy. Your experience will be lab and department dependent. In general, the labs and projects are more insular than collaborative, but once again, that's lab dependant. There are labs at public unis that are run the same way, and there are labs at Ivies that have healthy research cultures.

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i can't stress fit enough. throughout every one of my interviews it has been SO apparent as to whether I fit or not. its been very surprising to look at the vibes a certain grad program gives off and whether or not i feel like its the right place. for me, it's pretty apparent where i'm going because the fit seemed so perfect - something i didn't really feel at other schools. anyone else feel the same way, that one school is just "the one"?

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i can't stress fit enough. throughout every one of my interviews it has been SO apparent as to whether I fit or not. its been very surprising to look at the vibes a certain grad program gives off and whether or not i feel like its the right place. for me, it's pretty apparent where i'm going because the fit seemed so perfect - something i didn't really feel at other schools. anyone else feel the same way, that one school is just "the one"?

YEAH :D

But did you decide Northwestern or UChicago was your "one"?

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i can't stress fit enough. throughout every one of my interviews it has been SO apparent as to whether I fit or not. its been very surprising to look at the vibes a certain grad program gives off and whether or not i feel like its the right place. for me, it's pretty apparent where i'm going because the fit seemed so perfect - something i didn't really feel at other schools. anyone else feel the same way, that one school is just "the one"?

 

That's exactly how I felt at WUSTL :)

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YEAH :D

But did you decide Northwestern or UChicago was your "one"?

YEAH :D

But did you decide Northwestern or UChicago was your "one"?

I think it's UChicago! I'm actually going back to talk to the dean and my main POI to solidify my decision. If things go well I'm going to do a summer rotation with his POI or one of the other like 5 people I want to work with. I've already been speaking to the dean about courses and training grants for my matriculation! I think it's the one! Although I absolutely loved Columbia I think I have more people I'd work with at Chicago!

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For people who did not apply to Yale or declined their Yale interview, what is the rationale? I thought Yale was a top school in the Biosciences, but I'm seeing more and more people are biased against their BBS program.  Can someone explain this to me?

 

I, along with another applicant who interviewed at a few programs with me, declined the Yale interview. It is a top school, but I have talked to people in the program or who are in-the-know about the program (interviewed there, worked there, etc.), and I just don't think it's the school for me. The COL in New Haven on Yale's stipend does not appeal to me, especially compared to Atlanta and Durham/Chapel Hill, the dreary Northeastern winters (which I have already unfortunately been experiencing) do not appeal to me, and the culture there doesn't do it for me. There are, to be sure, some wonderfully kind and pleasant faculty and students there, but I definitely got the impression that as a program, they were not as accommodating of conflicts as they could have been. But it's Yale, so I guess for many, the idea is that you are one of a select few that have invited, and should by all means make every effort to go and possibly matriculate there.

Edited by blinchik

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Blinchik, when was/is your bbsp interview? If already passed, have you heard back yet?

I fell in love with UNC and they skyrocketed to my top choice after meeting the POIs. I'm going to be floored if I don't get an acceptance because three of my interviewers offered to fund me to start in the summer after our interviews were over and one emailed me daycare info for my kid, unsolicited, the night of the interview while I was still there for the dinner.

The wait is killing me! Stupid snow.

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Blinchik, when was/is your bbsp interview? If already passed, have you heard back yet?

I fell in love with UNC and they skyrocketed to my top choice after meeting the POIs. I'm going to be floored if I don't get an acceptance because three of my interviewers offered to fund me to start in the summer after our interviews were over and one emailed me daycare info for my kid, unsolicited, the night of the interview while I was still there for the dinner.

The wait is killing me! Stupid snow.

i don't think you should worry. if the people you met want you in the program like it sounds like they do, theyll write reviews of your interview that will guarantee you get in. this is definitely a good sign, and congrats!

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Blinchik, when was/is your bbsp interview? If already passed, have you heard back yet?

I fell in love with UNC and they skyrocketed to my top choice after meeting the POIs. I'm going to be floored if I don't get an acceptance because three of my interviewers offered to fund me to start in the summer after our interviews were over and one emailed me daycare info for my kid, unsolicited, the night of the interview while I was still there for the dinner.

The wait is killing me! Stupid snow.

 

Hey BiochemMom, I interviewed in January (22-24), and none of my fellow recruits have heard back yet, as far as I know. We were told that it may take until March for them to get back to me. I loved it too - hoping for good news for you as well!

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