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2015 Applicant Profiles and Admissions Results


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eteshoe, at least turn down SOME of those acceptances.  It's not polite to hold onto so many when others might want in.

YES!! Got my first official offer today! Happens to be from the same school that rejected me two years ago.   

Finally finished with interview season. All I have to do now is wait for the decision from Case Western and then make the final choice.  :)

 

I. LOVED. Working at Case Western.  Gosh I miss it! Good luck, I hope you get in!!!  Let me know how it goes!!!  They are top notch!

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eteshoe, at least turn down SOME of those acceptances.  It's not polite to hold onto so many when others might want in.

Just because those schools are listed under their "acceptances" doesn't mean they haven't already turned some of them down. 

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@acetylcholine, there is still plenty of time before April 15 - some of us need to go back and visit before we can make a more informed decision.

Yep, pretty much. It's more important to look out for yourself when making your decision than worry about potentially freeing up a slot (which may not even free up a slot depending on the nature of the department).

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Yep, pretty much. It's more important to look out for yourself when making your decision than worry about potentially freeing up a slot (which may not even free up a slot depending on the nature of the department).

Yes, I think its only really relevant for people wait listed and are waiting for spots to open up and as long as its a decent amount of time before April 15th it shouldn't affect them too badly

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It's important to realize different universities recruit differently. Some want exactly x new students and if they have x-n then they ask for more from waitlists. Others will accept x+n expecting n to reject the offer and are comfortable taking on more or less than x that year. (where I'm at one year had an exceptionally large cohort followed by an exceptionally small one)

 

Schools will also treat the April 15th deadline differently. It's not a legally binding agreement so if they really want to have a certain number of students they can still try to bring more on.

Oh thanks,

I wish I was a fly on the wall! Waiting just sucks!

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So, I was on the "very small" interview weekend for the Integrated Program at Columbia (Feb 6) and it seemed to me that this was a weekend for all those that they wanted to invite but that couldn't make it the previous recruitment days. We were mainly internationals and for me, they basically invited me on that weekend because I was invited for Weill Cornell the weekend afterwards and wanted to make it easier for me, so that I can make the whole thing one single trip from Germany to the US, rather than having to come to New York twice within a period of three weeks or so.

 

Anyways, what they told us is that they are offering admission on a rolling basis, so that it is very possible to receive an offer at a pretty late stage. They also told us, that it can be a good idea to clearly communicate to them if this is your first choice school, especially at a later stage of the process, because at that point they want to make sure that they fill up their spots.

Edited by Chrischigta
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General question:

When I make my choice about where I want to go, should I accept and then wait until after I hear from the school again to decline my other offers? Or is it safe to accept and decline all at once? I am just afraid of something weird happening, like I accept a program and they are full or something (which I don't think will happen, but I'm just wondering here) and that I have declined all my other offers. Any advice would be helpful, I'm planning on making my decision this week...

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General question:

When I make my choice about where I want to go, should I accept and then wait until after I hear from the school again to decline my other offers? Or is it safe to accept and decline all at once? I am just afraid of something weird happening, like I accept a program and they are full or something (which I don't think will happen, but I'm just wondering here) and that I have declined all my other offers. Any advice would be helpful, I'm planning on making my decision this week...

You should be fine, but feel free to hang on to others until you feel comfortable. From what I recall from last year I did get an email from the admin assistant welcoming me to the program, and later information for setting up email and such. I can't recall what the graduate college sent afterwards, if anything.

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You should be fine, but feel free to hang on to others until you feel comfortable. From what I recall from last year I did get an email from the admin assistant welcoming me to the program, and later information for setting up email and such. I can't recall what the graduate college sent afterwards, if anything.

Thanks! That makes sense, I know it is really ridiculous to be afraid of something weird like that happening, but I just don't want to chance it!

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General question:

When I make my choice about where I want to go, should I accept and then wait until after I hear from the school again to decline my other offers? Or is it safe to accept and decline all at once? I am just afraid of something weird happening, like I accept a program and they are full or something (which I don't think will happen, but I'm just wondering here) and that I have declined all my other offers. Any advice would be helpful, I'm planning on making my decision this week...

If they rescind their offer for any reason, academic or bureaucratic, they would let you know. 

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General question:

When I make my choice about where I want to go, should I accept and then wait until after I hear from the school again to decline my other offers? Or is it safe to accept and decline all at once? I am just afraid of something weird happening, like I accept a program and they are full or something (which I don't think will happen, but I'm just wondering here) and that I have declined all my other offers. Any advice would be helpful, I'm planning on making my decision this week...

As soon as I signed my Penn State letter I declined the other one. It was terrifying... Haha. You work so hard for these acceptances and in the end you can only take one!

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I'm exceptionally fortunate to have had so many opportunities, but Harvard absolutely blew me away during my visit. I felt completely at home at Harvard, so I have an obvious decision (despite how early it is). I will not go into specifics at the risk of my semi-anonymity, but I'll be happy to take private messages if you have questions or if you've identified me (which should be exceptionally easy if we met during interviews). I've learned that the most important element in the process is honesty in communicating your passions and your goals. I only have a general idea as to what I will be studying, but every professor I have met with has been extremely supportive of having me figure it out later as a graduate student. I haven't said anything I didn't mean or faked interest in work I will not do and it's worked well so far. If I have any regrets, they're over worrying too much throughout the process. Be confident in yourselves and do your best -- everything will fall where it should, even if it takes another try. So many of us (myself included) are neurotic worrywarts, and the stress just isn't worth it. I hope decisions work out well for everyone else here and I hope to see some of you (maybe?) in the fall. :)

 

I thought I would share my profile in case it helps future biophysics applicants (this post will show up in searches for biophysics!) and next year's gradcafe users, as I have been inspired in more ways than one by elanorci's in last year's thread. This should be especially helpful to applicants with stronger stats (you have a good chance of getting in everywhere) and applicants with unusual backgrounds or limited relevant research experiences (you're not as disadvantaged as you think you are). Good luck!

 

Undergrad Institution: Top 5

Major(s): Mathematics & Applied Mathematics (with extensive physics and engineering coursework)
GPA in Major: >3.9
Overall GPA: >3.9
Position in Class: not ranked
Type of Student: Female (US)
GRE Scores (revised version):
Q: 170
V: 170
W: 4.5

Physics: 970

Research Experience: 1 REU (biophysics); 2.5 years (mathematics); 0 science publications, 2 math publications

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: None

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Clinical volunteer work

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: MCAT: 42 (decided against pursuing an MD/PhD)

Applying to Where:

Harvard Biophysics (accepted, attending)

Berkeley Biophysics (accepted)

Duke Biochemistry (accepted)

UCSF iPQB (accepted)

Harvard MCO (declined interview)

Stanford Biophysics (declined interview)

Johns Hopkins Biophysics (declined interview)

 

Caltech Applied Physics (accepted)

MIT Mechanical Engineering (accepted)

Princeton Mechanical Engineering (accepted)

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So I am at a huge crossroads in the decision process. I was accepted to a lot of schools I considered reach schools and now the process is overwhelming.

 

Accepted:

Vanderbilt IGP,

UNC-CH BBSP,

Emory Molecular and Systems Pharmacology,

Columbia Pharmacology Graduate Program,

UF IDP, 

 

Rejected: Duke and UPenn

 

I see the benefit of Vanderbilt, Chapel Hill, and UF as they are all umbrella programs that would give me the option to choose from over 200 labs from 8 or more departments. I am very interested in more than 10 researchers at each school and have no doubt that I would do well at any of these.

 

I am specifically interested in Pharmacology and got accepted to the Emory and Columbia pharm programs. These will each be smaller (10-12 at Emory and 4-6 at Columbia, I think). They are also limited in the number of primary faculty, since this is a direct admit program. Although, I believe they both allow students to choose labs from outside of the primary faculty in pharmacology.

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Undergrad Institution: Large state school (not top 100 in bio)
Major(s): Biotechnology BS, Biotechnology MS (Thesis)
Minor(s): na
GPA in Major: 3.4
Overall GPA: 3.4 BS, 3.7 MS
Position in Class: na
Type of Student: Local in state

GRE Scores (revised/old version):
Q: 161
V: 161
W: 5.0


Research Experience: Undergraduate volunteer 1 year, Masters thesis in same lab 3 years by the time I graduate (4 years in same lab)

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Best MS presentation

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: GTA for 2 years, yep takes a lot of time from research

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: 1 large conference poster, 1 review, no first author pub yet

Applying to Where:

UAB, UF, Emory MSP, Columbia Pharm, UNC-Chapel Hill BBSP, UMass, Vanderbilt IGP, UPenn, Duke, Tufts

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So I am at a huge crossroads in the decision process. I was accepted to a lot of schools I considered reach schools and now the process is overwhelming.

 

Accepted:

Vanderbilt IGP,

UNC-CH BBSP,

Emory Molecular and Systems Pharmacology,

Columbia Pharmacology Graduate Program,

UF IDP, 

 

Rejected: Duke and UPenn

 

I see the benefit of Vanderbilt, Chapel Hill, and UF as they are all umbrella programs that would give me the option to choose from over 200 labs from 8 or more departments. I am very interested in more than 10 researchers at each school and have no doubt that I would do well at any of these.

 

I am specifically interested in Pharmacology and got accepted to the Emory and Columbia pharm programs. These will each be smaller (10-12 at Emory and 4-6 at Columbia, I think). They are also limited in the number of primary faculty, since this is a direct admit program. Although, I believe they both allow students to choose labs from outside of the primary faculty in pharmacology.

 

Hello!! Congrats on Emory :) Hope to see you in the fall! As for your concerns, you are right, since the molecular and systems pharmacology program is actually under Emory's umbrella program, you can rotate with any of the faculty associated with GDBBS (so if you're interested in a lab in cancer bio or neuroscience, for example, you can still rotate with them and even do your thesis in those labs outside of MSP)

Edited by amertume
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Just began declining offers, this is so hard. I know the schools are used to it, but I still feel awful having to do it (especially when I have to do personal emails) :(

Let me know how they respond please! I think I'll start declining next week and am not looking forward to it.

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So, I was on the "very small" interview weekend for the Integrated Program at Columbia (Feb 6) and it seemed to me that this was a weekend for all those that they wanted to invite but that couldn't make it the previous recruitment days. We were mainly internationals and for me, they basically invited me on that weekend because I was invited for Weill Cornell the weekend afterwards and wanted to make it easier for me, so that I can make the whole thing one single trip from Germany to the US, rather than having to come to New York twice within a period of three weeks or so.

Anyways, what they told us is that they are offering admission on a rolling basis, so that it is very possible to receive an offer at a pretty late stage. They also told us, that it can be a good idea to clearly communicate to them if this is your first choice school, especially at a later stage of the process, because at that point they want to make sure that they fill up their spots.

Thanks for the info. It's a bit comforting to know they might still be scrutinizing the applications and interviewees.

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I'm in the same situation, except that I interviewed at the second weekend. In addition, I believe they have an even smaller third weekend -- one of my friends interviewed for the Integrated Program around February 6. I felt that my interviews for this program were mixed in quality, but I really liked a lot of the research they were doing. Given that they only have ~50% acceptance rate after interview, I don't feel particularly strongly about my chances.

Fingers crossed. Remember the stats they showed us? Last year they offered position to some 152 applicants and 57 out of them enrolled. So there is a chance that we are in the waiting list, although I am too afraid to be even this optimistic. Let's hope for the best. And hearing about the third interview session is a relief.

Was Columbia your first preference?

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Hi Jalish-

I think they are in the process of waiting for people to turn down offers before offering more. I was one of those accepted right after the January 16 weekend and was asked to either accept or reject them by March 15. I would assume that another wave of acceptances will go out around March 15 as people turn down the offer. I got an email recently reminding me to tell them of my decision as soon as possible. I think that as much as it stinks, you should wait it out another week or so and then maybe email the coordinator again, by then they should know if they are going to send out more offers.

I hope all goes well for you!

Congratulations. We might have met during the interview weekend. Best of luck for the decision period. :)

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