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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.   

I've been lurking for a while, but I figured now's as good of a time as any to enter the conversation.

 

Due to a geographic restriction, I only applied to two programs this year (MIT Biology and Harvard Systems Biology).  After interviewing at both programs and meeting so many really talented, driven applicants, I was convinced that I would have to spend another year improving my application before having a chance.  However, I'm happy to say that I received my first offer yesterday from the Harvard Systems Biology department!!  On account of the really unique philosophy/organization of the program and the instant kinship I felt with both the current students and the faculty, I'm 99.7% sure that this is the program I'm going to attend next year.  It still feels a bit like I'm dreaming.  I hope to meet some of you fine folks out here in Cambridge/Boston this coming summer/fall  :)

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

Okay, I was emailed back on several, it was all very polite, wished me the best of luck, but still made me feel awkward...

Edited by Meep_Meep
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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)

Thanks for the advice, and this just adds so much more to research in the next month.

I am really interested in the programs for career development and Emory is on the list for receiving the BEST grant (along with UNC and Vanderbilt).

 

What types of seminars are they holding for careers in industry and have you applied for the internship that this grant supports?

 

What is your take on the MS in Clinical Research and Certificate Program in Translational Research?

They seem like great programs and I've heard one anecdote of the Translational Research Certificate landing an Emory student a job.

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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?

Yeah, I thought it was funny that they gave us all the stats. None of the other programs I've interviewed at bothered to include that information. I am still unsure about what my first preference is. Today I got admission to the Rockefeller University. Rockefeller's program sounds really, really good, and I loved talking to all the scientists I met there. However, the work they do is much more heavy on the experimental side, rather than the computational biology which I would prefer to pursue. If I get admitted to Columbia's computational biology and bioinformatics program as well it will be a really hard decision to make. I assume Columbia is your first choice? I hope you get it!

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Yeah, I thought it was funny that they gave us all the stats. None of the other programs I've interviewed at bothered to include that information. I am still unsure about what my first preference is. Today I got admission to the Rockefeller University. Rockefeller's program sounds really, really good, and I loved talking to all the scientists I met there. However, the work they do is much more heavy on the experimental side, rather than the computational biology which I would prefer to pursue. If I get admitted to Columbia's computational biology and bioinformatics program as well it will be a really hard decision to make. I assume Columbia is your first choice? I hope you get it!

That's great news. Congratulations for your success and I hope good news will keep coming.

Columbia is my first preference. since I am willing to stay here in NY and I am quite familiar with Columbia because of my master's. I also have a PhD offer from Cambridge, but funding in UK is always an issue. I have the Gates-Cambridge scholarship interview next month and that can settle the problem.

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That's great news. Congratulations for your success and I hope good news will keep coming.

Columbia is my first preference. since I am willing to stay here in NY and I am quite familiar with Columbia because of my master's. I also have a PhD offer from Cambridge, but funding in UK is always an issue. I have the Gates-Cambridge scholarship interview next month and that can settle the problem.

Thanks! Wow, getting to go to Cambridge sounds like an amazing opportunity, and that is no slouch of a second choice. Good luck with the scholarship interview!

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I didn't get accepted to the school I wanted.  Is it frowned upon to apply the following year?

 

It's normal for someone to apply to a given program twice, but I might disagree with reapplying to a program that rejected you post interview if there were issues with your fit in the program. I'm not sure if that's your case but I'd hesitate to call anything my outright top choice until visiting and seeing what they're all about in person. 

 

Forgive me if this is an incorrect assumption, but the way you worded your post sounds like you have offers from other programs. If you decline an offer, you should not reapply to that program. I think it's irresponsible decline your offers for a chance to reapply for one program, even though that's the dream. You wouldn't have applied to 2nd, 3rd, etc choices if you didn't think you might attend them, right?

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It's normal for someone to apply to a given program twice, but I might disagree with reapplying to a program that rejected you post interview if there were issues with your fit in the program. I'm not sure if that's your case but I'd hesitate to call anything my outright top choice until visiting and seeing what they're all about in person. 

 

Forgive me if this is an incorrect assumption, but the way you worded your post sounds like you have offers from other programs. If you decline an offer, you should not reapply to that program. I think it's irresponsible decline your offers for a chance to reapply for one program, even though that's the dream. You wouldn't have applied to 2nd, 3rd, etc choices if you didn't think you might attend them, right?

 

I did have an onsite interview, I think that's what makes it worse.  I figured reapplying would be daft but I wanted to get the consensus of the people.  And your assumption was rightish, had other interviews haven't an offer yet on those.  And I would take one in heartbeat if it meant that I can continue my passion.     

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On the topic of declining offers:

 

Who do you contact?  The graduate secretary? The faculty member that offered acceptance? Both?

I think it depends on how you were contacted. I have some that I know I can just fill out an online form and leave it at that. However, there are several that the program directors have specifically asked that I email them personally as soon as I know my decision. I think it depends on the school and size of program, but they'll often specify?

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I think it depends on how you were contacted. I have some that I know I can just fill out an online form and leave it at that. However, there are several that the program directors have specifically asked that I email them personally as soon as I know my decision. I think it depends on the school and size of program, but they'll often specify?

 

^^^Good advice. I mostly got in touch with the program coordinator. He/She is usually the one doing all the paperwork and any message you send to anyone else will ultimately have to go to him/here to be official. I then usually sent a thankful/regretful e-mail to any POI I had been in touch with. Be careful with your order of operations, though. I did this at one school and got a "WAIT! But we have this extra-funding for you!" after I had already officially declined. Awkward turtle. I feel like I burned a bridge there because I declined to hear about the funding offer, despite her insisting.....I could/should have handled it better but I was caught off-guard. 

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Thanks for the advice, and this just adds so much more to research in the next month.

I am really interested in the programs for career development and Emory is on the list for receiving the BEST grant (along with UNC and Vanderbilt).

 

What types of seminars are they holding for careers in industry and have you applied for the internship that this grant supports?

 

What is your take on the MS in Clinical Research and Certificate Program in Translational Research?

They seem like great programs and I've heard one anecdote of the Translational Research Certificate landing an Emory student a job.

 

I'll message you!

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Yeah, I thought it was funny that they gave us all the stats. None of the other programs I've interviewed at bothered to include that information. I am still unsure about what my first preference is. Today I got admission to the Rockefeller University. Rockefeller's program sounds really, really good, and I loved talking to all the scientists I met there. However, the work they do is much more heavy on the experimental side, rather than the computational biology which I would prefer to pursue. If I get admitted to Columbia's computational biology and bioinformatics program as well it will be a really hard decision to make. I assume Columbia is your first choice? I hope you get it!

I think you can view these stats for most programs. Have a look on the petersons website!

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I attend my final interview weekend tomorrow but already know I want to go elsewhere...I have already written the acceptance email for the program and am itching to hit send. I should wait until after this interview...right? It would be rude to accept my top choice before then?

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I attend my final interview weekend tomorrow but already know I want to go elsewhere...I have already written the acceptance email for the program and am itching to hit send. I should wait until after this interview...right? It would be rude to accept my top choice before then?

Well, what if you accept your school that you wanna go to, then you go to the interview, are BLOWN AWAY at the interview, and can't accept their offer. Your offer at the school you wanna go to will still be there after the weekend, so it's safe to wait.

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Well, what if you accept your school that you wanna go to, then you go to the interview, are BLOWN AWAY at the interview, and can't accept their offer. Your offer at the school you wanna go to will still be there after the weekend, so it's safe to wait.

It's definitely better to wait to formally accept because, as username 1824 said, you might be blown away. However, if both schools are part of the CGS agreement, then you are technically free to accept an offer and then retract your acceptance in order to accept a different offer (all before April 15th, of course). However, I am not sure how one could ever write a retraction email -- that sounds like the worst experience ever.  

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It's definitely better to wait to formally accept because, as username 1824 said, you might be blown away. However, if both schools are part of the CGS agreement, then you are technically free to accept an offer and then retract your acceptance in order to accept a different offer (all before April 15th, of course). However, I am not sure how one could ever write a retraction email -- that sounds like the worst experience ever.  

 

 

Well, what if you accept your school that you wanna go to, then you go to the interview, are BLOWN AWAY at the interview, and can't accept their offer. Your offer at the school you wanna go to will still be there after the weekend, so it's safe to wait.

 

 

Sigh, I know. It is just so hard, I'm ready to know what I'm doing for the fall!

Edited by Meep_Meep
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Sigh, I know. It is just so hard, I'm ready to know what I'm doing for the fall!

Just have fun at this final interview, if you truly feel like you've informally made your decision. I learned so much at my interviews! You really get a good sampling of how a variety of people in your field are approaching the same (or a family of closely related) questions. If you plan on doing a postdoc and going into academia, you can also use the experience to assess whether you might like to return to the university in the future. 

Edited by pasteltomato
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I attend my final interview weekend tomorrow but already know I want to go elsewhere...I have already written the acceptance email for the program and am itching to hit send. I should wait until after this interview...right? It would be rude to accept my top choice before then?

 

it's also VERY good to just keep networking! my PI told me that it's pretty common for people who have already had their PhD to come back around and say "hey, remember me from the interviews a few years ago?" these could be your future bosses, collaborators, mentors or even friends. now that you've almost decided where to go, some of these people you could ask for a postdoc position if everything goes well! 

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