Jump to content

Harvard Immunology vs Berkeley MCB?


Recommended Posts

Hey everybody,

 

I've narrowed down my top choices to UC Berkeley's MCB program and Harvard med school's Immunology program (not BBS). Harvard has more immunology labs and potentially a better reputation, but Berkeley seemed more grad student oriented the city has more of what I want. Any thoughts regarding these two programs? Is the Harvard name that important? Could I still end up with a tenure-track position having gone to Berkeley? Any advice would be much appreciated!!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Honestly, anyone getting a PhD with the dream of tenure track in the life sciences needs to do some reading. Could it happen? Yeah, but science careers had an article about a student who got their PhD at Harvard, did their post-doc at Princeton, published a bunch, won prestigeous fellowships...and was not able to land a tenure track position. The fact is, those jobs are going away. If you want a career in research, and potentially academic research, either of those institutions will be perfectly fine, but neither can garentee you the elusive tenure track prof job.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Based on ranking alone, this is Berkeley: #4 in biology, #5 in biochemistry/biophysics, #1 ecology/evolution, #3 genetics, #3 microbiology, #1 molecular biology.

 

I don't think there will be a different in searching for a tenure track position with a PhD from UC-Berkeley compared to Harvard. Go to where you think you can do the best work.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Since you are considering two slightly different programs, I would be somewhat careful. Berkeley is well known for its molecular and cellular biology research. However, in my opinion, immunology is not a main strength of Berkeley. On the other hand, I would say that Harvard Immuno gives you a lot of options if you are really into immunology. If I were you, I would think about what kind of topics I wanted to research in grad school before making the decision.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Since you are considering two slightly different programs, I would be somewhat careful. Berkeley is well known for its molecular and cellular biology research. However, in my opinion, immunology is not a main strength of Berkeley. On the other hand, I would say that Harvard Immuno gives you a lot of options if you are really into immunology. If I were you, I would think about what kind of topics I wanted to research in grad school before making the decision.

 

I just wanted to echo what nns91 has said, as it's really sound advice. The Immuno group at Berkeley is much smaller, and I've heard they spend a lot of time collaborating with bigger departments in the Bay Area.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Since you are considering two slightly different programs, I would be somewhat careful. Berkeley is well known for its molecular and cellular biology research. However, in my opinion, immunology is not a main strength of Berkeley. On the other hand, I would say that Harvard Immuno gives you a lot of options if you are really into immunology. If I were you, I would think about what kind of topics I wanted to research in grad school before making the decision.

 

nns91 is right in that the Immunology group at Berkley is very small. I looked at applying to Berkeley for their MCB program and found little no Virology research being done. I spoke with one of my professors who went to Berkeley and he said that any Virology people were at UCSF, this is also true for Immunology. If you think about it Berkeley doesn't have a med school and they don't specialize in biomedical research. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 weeks later...

Here's two cents from someone who did a Ph.D. in the Immunology program at Berkeley: I had a really great experience there. Yes, it's a small department, but the training program is excellent and the professors are very well regarded in the field. As several people have mentioned, Berkeley is much more student-oriented than Harvard, and in many ways the small size of the Immunology group was a plus--I got to know several professors very well, not just my own mentor, and benefited from their expertise (and recommendation letters!) throughout grad school. Also, with regard to 'virus guy's assertion that there is little Virology research being done at Berkeley--this just isn't true (maybe his info is out of date)? There are several Immuno professors doing virology (Laurent Coscoy, Dave Raulet) as well as several more professors (like Britt Glaunsinger and Jennifer Doudna) who are primarily in other departments but are affiliated with MCB/Immunology, so MCB grad students can work in their labs.

 

With regard to the overall reputation of the program--all I can say is that I had no trouble getting a postdoc and am now at UCSF. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.