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2017 Applicant Profiles and Admissions Results

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14 hours ago, abcd1 said:

It is going down to the wire for me. My first choice university is neither accepting not rejecting me which I presume means a wait list. Anyone else still waiting?

Same boat

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21 hours ago, abcd1 said:

It is going down to the wire for me. My first choice university is neither accepting not rejecting me which I presume means a wait list. Anyone else still waiting?

Same for me as well. Theoretically since the accepted student deadline is the 15th, we should find out soon after, right?

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Has anyone been emailed by a professor wanting to recruit them into their lab even though the school rejected your application months ago? I really wanted to go to this school but I'm a little skeptical since it's also past the April 15th deadline so I'm not sure if I'll run into finding issues.

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31 minutes ago, immunobae said:

Has anyone been emailed by a professor wanting to recruit them into their lab even though the school rejected your application months ago? I really wanted to go to this school but I'm a little skeptical since it's also past the April 15th deadline so I'm not sure if I'll run into finding issues.

Wouldn't happen to be UMD Vet program, would it?

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4 hours ago, immunobae said:

Yes! I don't know what to make of it

So eagerly recruiting new people is very often a red light about that PI...

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1 hour ago, SysEvo said:

So eagerly recruiting new people is very often a red light about that PI...

I did feel that way as well but assumed it was a new program...Thanks for your input!

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On 4/21/2017 at 7:16 PM, SysEvo said:

So eagerly recruiting new people is very often a red light about that PI...

Could also mean they've got some grant money but nobody to do the actual work. Happens a lot in my dept because the # of PIs >>> # of Grad. Students 

Edited by ballwera

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Hey yall,

I graduated spring 2016 and currently work in a lab at wustl medical school. I plan to work for 2 years then return for grad school. I'm planning on applying the next cycle - fall 2018. I've been doing some small research on different programs. Targeting schools with great virology research opportunities, b/c 2 of my 3 research experience worked on virus and i LOVE it.  Any feedback or suggestion are welcomed and appreciated!

thanks!

Undergrad Institution: top 10 US school known for biomedical research, public university
Major(s): microbiology (top 3 in US, according to US news)
Minor(s): applied mathematics
GPA in Major: slightly below 3 but upper level course is 3.2 (took as many math/computational courses as microbiology course)
Overall GPA: 3.15
Position in Class:  N/A
Type of Student: international male

GRE Scores (revised/old version):
Q: 166
V: 153
W: 4.0
B: 

gonna retake GRE and subject test due to my low GPA... (thoughts on subject test?)


Research Experience:

1.5 school year + summer of HIV-1 research in my undergraduate institute. No publications or presentation. Although lab is well known, LOR is likely not a good one due to PI's lack of attention to undergrads.

1.5 school year + full-time summer of bioengineering research in my undergraduate institute. No publication, 1 undergraduate research symposium. paper in submission..

Currently work as a research tech (almost 8 months) at a immunology lab at wustl school of medicine. 2 major papers (JVI or even nature/science, probably third or fourth author out of 8-10) will be submitted by the time I apply this fall/winter.

So a total of 3 years undergrad research, 2 summer research, and 1.5 years full time research tech (by the time of application submission).

Awards/Honors/Recognitions:

Dean's List (1 quarter only)

Special Bonus Points: 

My current PI is pretty well known and LOR from him would be a major plus.

Great at programming/ modeling, would be looking for labs that does a bit of both wet and dry lab. (viral evolution, deep sequencing analysis, etc.)

Applying to Where:

Wustl

weill cornell

vandy

rockefeller

NYU- microbiology

Pitts

CMU (i would love to apply my computational background to biomedical research)

OHSU

Irvine

 

Honestly, I just started building up the list weeks ago so any recommendation is welcomed. I'm also trying to figure out if there's any relatively less well known school with great microbiology/virology research labs, i think stony brook, ASU maybe? 

cheers!

 

Edited by HUSKYLEO

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6 hours ago, HUSKYLEO said:

Hey yall,

I graduated spring 2016 and currently work in a lab at wustl medical school. I plan to work for 2 years then return for grad school. I'm planning on applying the next cycle - fall 2018. I've been doing some small research on different programs. Targeting schools with great virology research opportunities, b/c 2 of my 3 research experience worked on virus and i LOVE it.  Any feedback or suggestion are welcomed and appreciated!

thanks!

Undergrad Institution: top 10 US school known for biomedical research, public university
Major(s): microbiology (top 3 in US, according to US news)
Minor(s): applied mathematics
GPA in Major: slightly below 3 but upper level course is 3.2 (took as many math/computational courses as microbiology course)
Overall GPA: 3.15
Position in Class:  N/A
Type of Student: international male

GRE Scores (revised/old version):
Q: 166
V: 153
W: 4.0
B: 

gonna retake GRE and subject test due to my low GPA... (thoughts on subject test?)


Research Experience:

1.5 school year + summer of HIV-1 research in my undergraduate institute. No publications or presentation. Although lab is well known, LOR is likely not a good one due to PI's lack of attention to undergrads.

1.5 school year + full-time summer of bioengineering research in my undergraduate institute. No publication, 1 undergraduate research symposium. paper in submission..

Currently work as a research tech (almost 8 months) at a immunology lab at wustl school of medicine. 2 major papers (JVI or even nature/science, probably third or fourth author out of 8-10) will be submitted by the time I apply this fall/winter.

So a total of 3 years undergrad research, 2 summer research, and 1.5 years full time research tech (by the time of application submission).

Awards/Honors/Recognitions:

Dean's List (1 quarter only)

Special Bonus Points: 

My current PI is pretty well known and LOR from him would be a major plus.

Great at programming/ modeling, would be looking for labs that does a bit of both wet and dry lab. (viral evolution, deep sequencing analysis, etc.)

Applying to Where:

Wustl

weill cornell

vandy

rockefeller

NYU- microbiology

Pitts

CMU (i would love to apply my computational background to biomedical research)

OHSU

Irvine

 

Honestly, I just started building up the list weeks ago so any recommendation is welcomed. I'm also trying to figure out if there's any relatively less well known school with great microbiology/virology research labs, i think stony brook, ASU maybe? 

cheers!

 

I don't know much about microbio/virology but honestly, you gpa is low and being international doesn't help you either. I come from an ivy school and my gpa is around 3.2. I am also working as a tech now (June 2017 is 2 year for me). As you can see, I have limited success for my applications. Luckily I had one acceptance in the end. My advice to you is to utilize your PI's connection as much as you can, email some POIs when you start your applications. I did so after I received my interview and that actually made a lot of difference. 

Edited by cmykrgb

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1 hour ago, cmykrgb said:

I don't know much about microbio/virology but honestly, you gpa is low and being international doesn't help you either. I come from an ivy school and my gpa is around 3.2. I am also working as a tech now (June 2017 is 2 year for me). As you can see, I have limited success for my applications. Luckily I had one acceptance in the end. My advice to you is to utilize your PI's connection as much as you can, email some POIs when you start your applications. I did so after I received my interview and that actually made a lot of difference. 

I see what you're saying, more than half of the in my list have labs that either collaborated with our lab in the past or currently collaborating. Would you recommend emailing POIs this early in the year in order to get them to know you or at least figure out specifically what their research is about (so I can express my interest in the PIs in SOP)?

Also, just curious, since you also have a sub-par GPA, did you take subject test? or what additional efforts did you make to balance that?

cheers

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1 hour ago, HUSKYLEO said:

I see what you're saying, more than half of the in my list have labs that either collaborated with our lab in the past or currently collaborating. Would you recommend emailing POIs this early in the year in order to get them to know you or at least figure out specifically what their research is about (so I can express my interest in the PIs in SOP)?

Also, just curious, since you also have a sub-par GPA, did you take subject test? or what additional efforts did you make to balance that?

cheers

I think emailing now would be a bit early. I am not very familiar the etiquette of this since I only emailed after I got my only interview. My feeling is to mention that you are applying to programs verbally if you ever going to see these PIs at a conference soon or something. Then maybe email around late September October. Definitely figure out what they do before you email anyone. I would also suggest you talk to your PI and maybe he is willing to pull some strings. (But don't specifically ask him to, I think that might be rude??)

i did not take the subject test. maybe I should've. But with the molecular bio not being offered anymore I find the general bio test not useful and not indicative of ones knowledge of a specific field such as microbiology. 

My thought was my two years of experience by fall 2017 and 2 publications plus various conference presentations could overcome my gpa. That didn't seem like the case tho.I did only apply to mostly top programs tho (Harvard, UCSF etc, you can find my full list in the neuro thread) My reasoning for not being so successful is because I currently work in a field that is not related to the programs I applied to, so it might cast some doubts to the adcomm. This won't be the case for you and since you said your PI is well known, I think it would make a difference.  

Edited by cmykrgb

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26 minutes ago, cmykrgb said:

I think emailing now would be a bit early. I am not very familiar the etiquette of this since I only emailed after I got my only interview. My feeling is to mention that you are applying to programs verbally if you ever going to see these PIs at a conference soon or something. Then maybe email around late September October. Definitely figure out what they do before you email anyone. I would also suggest you talk to your PI and maybe he is willing to pull some strings. (But don't specifically ask him to, I think that might be rude??)

i did not take the subject test. maybe I should've. But with the molecular bio not being offered anymore I find the general bio test not useful and not indicative of ones knowledge of a specific field such as microbiology. 

My thought was my two years of experience by fall 2017 and 2 publications plus various conference presentations could overcome my gpa. That didn't seem like the case tho. My reasoning for that is because I currently work in a field that is not related to the programs I applied, so it might cast some doubts to the adcomm. This won't be the case for you and since you said your PI is well known, I think it would make a difference.  

What kind of conferences did you attend/present as a postbac research tech?

My only presentation was an undergrad research symposium and I feel like attending a few in the next few months would benefit me.

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2 hours ago, HUSKYLEO said:

What kind of conferences did you attend/present as a postbac research tech?

My only presentation was an undergrad research symposium and I feel like attending a few in the next few months would benefit me.

My PI was kind enough for helping me to submit to the biggest conference in our field and some bioengineering conferences. Mostly are poster presentations but I have a podium presentation coming up.

Presentations, even at undergrad symposium is definitely helpful since this is the career we signed up for doing research. It only helps in the long run.

Edited by cmykrgb

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On 4/25/2017 at 3:06 AM, HUSKYLEO said:

Hey yall,

I graduated spring 2016 and currently work in a lab at wustl medical school. I plan to work for 2 years then return for grad school. I'm planning on applying the next cycle - fall 2018. I've been doing some small research on different programs. Targeting schools with great virology research opportunities, b/c 2 of my 3 research experience worked on virus and i LOVE it.  Any feedback or suggestion are welcomed and appreciated!

thanks!

Undergrad Institution: top 10 US school known for biomedical research, public university
Major(s): microbiology (top 3 in US, according to US news)
Minor(s): applied mathematics
GPA in Major: slightly below 3 but upper level course is 3.2 (took as many math/computational courses as microbiology course)
Overall GPA: 3.15
Position in Class:  N/A
Type of Student: international male

GRE Scores (revised/old version):
Q: 166
V: 153
W: 4.0
B: 

gonna retake GRE and subject test due to my low GPA... (thoughts on subject test?)


Research Experience:

1.5 school year + summer of HIV-1 research in my undergraduate institute. No publications or presentation. Although lab is well known, LOR is likely not a good one due to PI's lack of attention to undergrads.

1.5 school year + full-time summer of bioengineering research in my undergraduate institute. No publication, 1 undergraduate research symposium. paper in submission..

Currently work as a research tech (almost 8 months) at a immunology lab at wustl school of medicine. 2 major papers (JVI or even nature/science, probably third or fourth author out of 8-10) will be submitted by the time I apply this fall/winter.

So a total of 3 years undergrad research, 2 summer research, and 1.5 years full time research tech (by the time of application submission).

Awards/Honors/Recognitions:

Dean's List (1 quarter only)

Special Bonus Points: 

My current PI is pretty well known and LOR from him would be a major plus.

Great at programming/ modeling, would be looking for labs that does a bit of both wet and dry lab. (viral evolution, deep sequencing analysis, etc.)

Applying to Where:

Wustl

weill cornell

vandy

rockefeller

NYU- microbiology

Pitts

CMU (i would love to apply my computational background to biomedical research)

OHSU

Irvine

 

Honestly, I just started building up the list weeks ago so any recommendation is welcomed. I'm also trying to figure out if there's any relatively less well known school with great microbiology/virology research labs, i think stony brook, ASU maybe? 

cheers!

 

As someone who actually studies virology, I feel like I can actually provide advice to you on this matter. First, I would scratch Vandy off your list. If virology is your thing, Vanderbilt will leave a lot to be desired - ever since Terry Dermody left their virology faculty has been lacking. There are four institutions that some consider to be the "top tier" for virology: WashU, Emory, Harvard, and Mt. Sinai. I don't know how much I believe that particular statement as there are plenty of other strong virology programs out there. University of Wisconsin - Madison has a strong virology faculty and I think University of Alabama - Birmingham and one of Tulane or LSU have relatively strong virology research (if you're looking for less well known schools). UCSF and UW are probably have the two strongest virology faculties on the West Coast. Duke MGM doesn't have the most virology faculty, but the people that they do have are pretty good. UNC also has a good group of researchers. If viral immunology and less well known schools are your thing, I think a fair amount could be said for the University of Vermont, which has a solid vaccine testing research group and a few virologists on faculty. The University of Rochester also has some good virology as well.

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On 4/27/2017 at 2:27 PM, immuno91 said:

As someone who actually studies virology, I feel like I can actually provide advice to you on this matter. First, I would scratch Vandy off your list. If virology is your thing, Vanderbilt will leave a lot to be desired - ever since Terry Dermody left their virology faculty has been lacking. There are four institutions that some consider to be the "top tier" for virology: WashU, Emory, Harvard, and Mt. Sinai. I don't know how much I believe that particular statement as there are plenty of other strong virology programs out there. University of Wisconsin - Madison has a strong virology faculty and I think University of Alabama - Birmingham and one of Tulane or LSU have relatively strong virology research (if you're looking for less well known schools). UCSF and UW are probably have the two strongest virology faculties on the West Coast. Duke MGM doesn't have the most virology faculty, but the people that they do have are pretty good. UNC also has a good group of researchers. If viral immunology and less well known schools are your thing, I think a fair amount could be said for the University of Vermont, which has a solid vaccine testing research group and a few virologists on faculty. The University of Rochester also has some good virology as well.

Thanks for the detailed response! Yea, I know Terry Dermody left for Pitts so I know pitts is now a strong institute for virology research. The top tier schools are kind of a reach for me... been thinking about duke and UNC too. What do you think about the others on my list, in terms of strength in virology research? and my chances of getting in? 

I haven't really looked at vermount or tulane, but a postdoc in the lab just mentioned rochester last week so I might add that to the list!

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Has everyone who attended interviews received their travel reimbursements? Almost three months after my interview I am still waiting to receive my flight reimbursement from one of the universities I interviewed at but didn't join. I have repeatedly told them that I am an international student and won't be able to receive a cheque if they mail it to my US address after I graduate and return home but they keep delaying it. Now I am returning home in a couple of days and don't know what to do. I really want to write a strongly worded email to the admissions office but just want to make sure I am not overreacting. Is this normal? 

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Hi, I know this thread has slowed down but I really need some guidance. I need to know if the schools I'm applying to are within my reach, and also if anyone knows any good schools for stem cell bio/regen medicine, neurodegenerative diseases, or brain injury. 

Also, as application season slowly approaches, my anxiety is kicking in and I can't help feeling that I won't make it into any of the programs I apply to. 

 

 

 

Undergrad Institution: Armstrong State University, small state school. Is now being consolidated with Georgia Southern
Major(s): Cell/Molecular Biology
Minor(s): Music
GPA in Major: 4.0 if this is only Biology classes? 3.6 if counting Chems and Phys :x
Overall GPA: 3.68 (I'll be graduating with a 3.71 in the Fall)
Position in Class: I must be top 7.5% at least because I was invited to Phi Kappa Phi
Type of Student: White female

GRE Scores (revised/old version): NOT TAKEN. Studying pretty hard though! Worried about the writing section. 
Q:
V:
W:
B:



Research Experience: 3 years on 2 separate projects. My mentor went to UT Southwestern and is the interim College of Sci and Tech Dean and also the undergraduate research coordinator.

First project: Biocatalysis - didn't really go anywhere. Iffy results and also perhaps too many cooks in the kitchen made matters worse. He got frustrated and made us change.

Second project: My honors project. Looking at local biodiversity of Wolbachia. just started a publication and hope to at least have it submitted for publication by the Fall. I'll be first author. 

Also I'm about to start a little project with a second professor that specializes in neuroscience and has interest in neurodegen diseases. It won't be for long because I'm graduating in December but I really wanted to get experience in a lab more tailored to my interests!

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Phi Kappa Phi

Beta Beta Beta

Graduating through the Honors Program

GA Power Scholar 

 Dean Research Scholar but I'm not sure if this would show up on my transcript in time for it to matter for grad school apps

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Most of my time as a researcher was for pay

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help:

Presented at a conference in poster form. 

Special Bonus Points: Female? My mentor being from UT Southwestern? Neuro diseases are a personal issue with me, I have two uncles with Huntington's disease (my father's half brothers). I'm not sure if I want to mention this on the app because it might come off as "poor me." Also, my mom is a respiratory therapist and she's told stories of people with brain injuries and I've always felt for them especially. 

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: 

Probably won't matter but I'm a private piano instructor and also a church pianist. 

Applying to Where:

UNC Chapel Hill - BBSP 
UCSF - BMS

Madison, Wisconsin - Genetics (They had some really interesting research on mental illness)

UPenn - Neuroscience (A lot of research on neurodegenerative diseases) 

(Thinking of applying to Emory as a safety school) 

 

I need to apply to some more schools. Does anyone else have any recommendations based on my credentials and interests? 

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7 hours ago, indeeptreble said:

Applying to Where:

UNC Chapel Hill - BBSP 
UCSF - BMS

Madison, Wisconsin - Genetics (They had some really interesting research on mental illness)

UPenn - Neuroscience (A lot of research on neurodegenerative diseases) 

(Thinking of applying to Emory as a safety school) 

 

I need to apply to some more schools. Does anyone else have any recommendations based on my credentials and interests? 

I don't really have any advice on your stats/background, but this list is coming along. I applied to UNC BBSP and am going to UW-Madison for biochemistry in the fall. I personally cut UCSF from my list since their app was expensive and they didn't really have anything for me, but your outlook may be different. I would recommend adding Emory - and have you looked at Vanderbilt? Their IGP had a lot of neuro-related stuff and had by-far the nicest program directors/staff! Plus the app is free.  

As far as mentioning the reason for your interest, I think it's a good idea - just don't lay it on thick with the platitudes. If those interactions with people suffering from neurodegenerative disease are what sparked your interest in the field, then you should say that! In many cases, committees are looking for authenticity... they can tell when people are being fake, so don't worry. :) One last piece of advice - don't worry too much about the GRE writing sections. I was sweating bullets going into the test, got a slightly above average score and it never caused me a bit of trouble! It's more important to be above the threshold where people will say, "ah, this score is really bad." Beyond that, it doesn't matter. 

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23 hours ago, indeeptreble said:

Hi, I know this thread has slowed down but I really need some guidance. I need to know if the schools I'm applying to are within my reach, and also if anyone knows any good schools for stem cell bio/regen medicine, neurodegenerative diseases, or brain injury. 

Also, as application season slowly approaches, my anxiety is kicking in and I can't help feeling that I won't make it into any of the programs I apply to. 

 

 

 

Undergrad Institution: Armstrong State University, small state school. Is now being consolidated with Georgia Southern
Major(s): Cell/Molecular Biology
Minor(s): Music
GPA in Major: 4.0 if this is only Biology classes? 3.6 if counting Chems and Phys :x
Overall GPA: 3.68 (I'll be graduating with a 3.71 in the Fall)
Position in Class: I must be top 7.5% at least because I was invited to Phi Kappa Phi
Type of Student: White female

GRE Scores (revised/old version): NOT TAKEN. Studying pretty hard though! Worried about the writing section. 
Q:
V:
W:
B:



Research Experience: 3 years on 2 separate projects. My mentor went to UT Southwestern and is the interim College of Sci and Tech Dean and also the undergraduate research coordinator.

First project: Biocatalysis - didn't really go anywhere. Iffy results and also perhaps too many cooks in the kitchen made matters worse. He got frustrated and made us change.

Second project: My honors project. Looking at local biodiversity of Wolbachia. just started a publication and hope to at least have it submitted for publication by the Fall. I'll be first author. 

Also I'm about to start a little project with a second professor that specializes in neuroscience and has interest in neurodegen diseases. It won't be for long because I'm graduating in December but I really wanted to get experience in a lab more tailored to my interests!

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Phi Kappa Phi

Beta Beta Beta

Graduating through the Honors Program

GA Power Scholar 

 Dean Research Scholar but I'm not sure if this would show up on my transcript in time for it to matter for grad school apps

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Most of my time as a researcher was for pay

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help:

Presented at a conference in poster form. 

Special Bonus Points: Female? My mentor being from UT Southwestern? Neuro diseases are a personal issue with me, I have two uncles with Huntington's disease (my father's half brothers). I'm not sure if I want to mention this on the app because it might come off as "poor me." Also, my mom is a respiratory therapist and she's told stories of people with brain injuries and I've always felt for them especially. 

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: 

Probably won't matter but I'm a private piano instructor and also a church pianist. 

Applying to Where:

UNC Chapel Hill - BBSP 
UCSF - BMS

Madison, Wisconsin - Genetics (They had some really interesting research on mental illness)

UPenn - Neuroscience (A lot of research on neurodegenerative diseases) 

(Thinking of applying to Emory as a safety school) 

 

I need to apply to some more schools. Does anyone else have any recommendations based on my credentials and interests? 

For Penn and UCSF the GPA average is greater than ~3.8 (especially for the Neurobiology Graduate Group at Penn) , but I think you're pretty close to the average to say that it won't hurt you. Doing well on the GRE (80%+ on the V and Q) will keep attention away from your numbers, scores can only break a deal not make it. You have a lot of research experience within the lab that you worked at, so make sure you're able to coherently and concisely explain your projects in a manner that connects to your growth as a scientist or your greater career or research interests in your SOP-- this is probably the second most important part of your app after LORs. Speaking of those, try to ask people that know you well as a person and can attest to your potential as a researcher, preferably people you have worked with. Do you think a prof that will only know you for ~3 months before writing you a letter will do you justice? How much time will you be putting into lab?

Also, in terms of schools, I would probs apply to 4 more programs. Maybe two top and two safe/mid-tier schools?? That should balance things out.

But, remember, only choose schools that you would be fully satisfied going to. A lack of interest will show in your SOP and you interview, and you don't want to be stuck somewhere you don't like for 5+ years.

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