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friends tell me my chances please


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hello friends, I am glad on joining this proactive forum. I am not a native English speaker.

I have completed M.Sc. Biotechnology with a cgpa 4.88/6.0. I wish for a phD in biological science.

My undergraduate (plant biotech) course percentage is 76.

I have a year of research experience and two merit scholarship awards for my academic performance (one in undergrad program and the other in senior secondary school).

My GRE score is 1220 (V-540; Q-680; AW-3.0) ?

My toefl score is 99 (r-28; l-23; s-24 and w-24)

I have also completed a post graduate diploma course in bioinformatics.

My M.Sc. dissertation project was at Indian Institute of Technology, Madras (IIT-M).

I have registered for the gre in subject.

I am applying for the fall 2010 intake. I have shortlisted some universities. PLEASE do tell me my chances of doing a PhD in biological science (biochem, molecular cell biology, physiology, dev biology):

1)clemson university

2) syracuse university

3) kansas state university

4) university of maryland - baltimore

5) washington university in st. louis

6) west virginia university

7) tufts university (sackler school of biomed/ college of arts and science)

? brandeis university

9) university of texas health science centre at san antonio.

my gre analytical score is too low (3.0/6.0). Will that affect my application as GRE score is for initial screening of applications?

also please suggest me some other universities that you find to be apt for the above mentioned profile. Thank you in advance.

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I'm not sure how your GPA translates into the 4.0 scale, but in any case, considering you manage to get some glowing references and write a great SoP, you should not have much trouble getting into any of those schools. You'll make it through initial screening at any of those schools, but your application will heavily depend on references and SoP from that point on so make sure they are amazing.

What you need to ask yourself is whether you are sure you would be a good fit in the schools you apply to (i.e. look at the research done in the department and make sure there are at least 3-5 labs you would be more than happy spending 5 years in) and that you would like the location (no offence to anyone from there but do you think you would enjoy Baltimore, for example?). Fit is the most important factor though, definitely think long and hard about it to make sure you don't waste time, money and effort applying to places where you don't get the chance to research things that interest you.

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dear friend, your suggestions are really helpful. Until now, I have been searching for the Universities that more or less match my profile and I have not thought about the places in the US. As I am from India, I am not aware of the city life and conditions that prevail there. I am now in the process of knowing about those stuff. As a part of that process, I would like to know from you if the universities (on my first message) and the places they belong are good enough for foreign students. I am glad that even after joining your PhD, you are actively present for help. Congrats and all the best for your PhD at the University of Vermont.

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  • 4 months later...

Hmm- so the places that you are applying to are in very different portions of the country. As is true in India, different areas of the United States have very different "personalities". I've been to the Boston Area (where Tufts is)- so let me give you a description of that area of the country, and hope that other people will give you information about the other places. Both Tufts and Syracuse are in places that get very cold during the winter. I have a lot of trouble handling the weather up there, and I grew up in the Northeast (but further south- so warmer). The Massachusetts area is famous for having people who are very stand-offish, they are not very outgoing and friendly when you meet them on the street (although once you make friends with them they are very nice). However, Boston is a very diverse area, and therefore there will be a lot of foreign students such as yourself- which might not be true in places like Kansas. Also, the city is a beautiful one- especially in the summer when you can go out and visit different areas. There is lots to see, it has an interesting history (it is one of the oldest American cities), and it has great restaurants, interesting nightlife, etc. I hope that this helps your search for a good school!

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To the OP: it seems like you have a very good research experience which is valued very highly by biomedical sciences programs

I don't know how your GPA translates into American system, but it seems to be strong.

You GRE scores are a bit low, I don't know what the averages are for your schools of interest, but 700+ on quant is what usually expected from a life science applicant. However, if your GPA is strong in the eyes of American committees, then it should tide you over.

The biggest problem that might occur with your application is lack of funding for international students. Supporting a graduate student is expensive for a laboratory budget, but supporting an international student is considerably more costly. Therefore, in these rather harsh financial times, that can become an issue (that's what happened to my friend the first time she applied - she was on a work visa at the time). Having your own funds such as some sort of fellowship might help a lot.

Hope this helps!

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