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Looking for help in terms of finding neuroscience graduate programs


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Hi all! Thanks so much in advance for reading this post.

I am a rising undergraduate senior, and am planning to apply this fall for PhD programs in neuroscience. I was wondering if anyone had any suggestions in terms of programs/schools I should realisticly be applying to. My major concern is my relatively low GPA. Rank of the school/"name" is not very important to me. I am more concerned with making sure my research interests are matched with some of the faculty, but first I have to find schools! :)


Any advice is greatly appreciated. Thanks so much. Here are my stats.


School: Public, mid-sized research university.

Major: Biology

Minor: Cognitive Science

GPA: 3.2.

GRE: Not yet taken, but I'm in a prep course and feel relatively confident.

Research experience: I've been in a cognitive neuroscience lab (~1 year, will be about ~2 years at the end of my senior year) and am currently doing an honors project in a more pharmacology based lab on stress and drug addiction.

Presentations/Publications: I've presented at three conferences, one of them a national biomedical conference. Am currently involved with a publication that is in the works, but I don't think it will be published before I apply.

SOI: In the midst of writing it, but I have multiple professors and PIs editing it.

LOR: All three from research mentors/PIs I know personally and have worked with for some time.

Other: I have quite a bit of programming experience, i.e. C++. I'm also going to be taking a graduate course in MATLAB this upcoming year. Not sure how relevant that is to an application.



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I would say you're going about this backwards (looking for schools, then seeing if faculty interest you). 


I'd suggest finding research that interests you (reading papers) and then see where those faculty are. Then see if that school interests you. 

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^Agreed with Eigen - start with your interests, proceed forward to find faculty that do that work, and then find out where those faculty do research.  One way to start is to look at the NRC rankings list and start looking at all the departments on the list, but I find that an impractical way to do it - especially since neuroscience is so interdisciplinary and you might actually find the perfect program in a psychology department or a biology department.


Also, don't worry overmuch about your GPA.  It's not that it's nit important; it's just that there's nothing you can do to change it now, so press on.  Is your major GPA significantly higher (3.6+) and are you otherwise an outstanding candidate?  It looks like you are in good shape otherwise, so like I said, just press on.

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