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2017 Applicant Profiles and Admissions Results

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Hey guys,

So origionally I was set on medicine but after a considerable amount of thought and deliberation and I think with my drive for research and teaching the Ph.D. route is best suited for me. I'm familiar with med school requirments and competitiveness but as for grad schools it's a shot in the dark. I don't really know where I'm at and where I should apply in terms of how competitive my profile is. I am taking a gap year atm (about to graduate from undergrad this may!!) and planning on applying this next cycle - fall 2018. 

Any and all help would be super duper appreciated!! - thanks in advance 

 

Undergrad Institution: University of Texas at Austin
Major(s): Public Health Infectious Diseases
Minor(s): none
GPA in Major: 3.6
Overall GPA: 3.50, hopefully higher at the end of this semester 
Position in Class: top quarter? I'm not sure. 
Type of Student: domestic, male, LGBT

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

- i havn't taken the GRE yet. I plan on studying and taking it this summer. 

I have taken the MCAT and scored at the 87th percentile on the "Biological and Biochemical Foundations of Living Systems". - if that's any relevant indicaiton. I know for some schools they accept MCAT as a sub for GRE but I probabbly won't do that. I scored dissapointingly low on the CARS reading section... apparently I'm illiterate!? idk. 

I'm taking the GRE anyway since the vast majority of grad schools require it. 


Research Experience: 

Behavioral neuroscience lab for 3+ years that investigates rehabilitation in animal models (rat and mouse models) after ischemia to the motor cortex. The lab does a lot of studies into vasculature and dendritic spine recovery during neurorehabilitation and neuralrepair after infarct. so it's much more neuro oriented than the "behavior" part. 

I just finished the draft of my manuscript and submitted it to my PI for review. Our goal is to submit it for publicaiton by the end of this semester, early summer. For the same research, I presented it at the Clinically Applied Rehabilitation Engineering symposium at my university. I was also one of five abstracts selected to present orally at the American Society for Neurorehabilitation annual meeting in san diego. co-poster presentation at the society for neuroscience annaul meeting, also in san diego. 

So my issue is here that all my research experience is in a neuro lab and I don't know how applicable that is when applying to a molecular/micro/virology phd... I'm gonna try and supplement this by joining a virology lab that I have my eyes on during my gap year but I don't know how significant my contributions can be if it's only for a year. 


Awards/Honors/Recognitions: 

like dean's list once or twice and I got an honors scholarship ($1000) at the end of my freshman year. 

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: 

-TA for Genetics for 2 semester, I got really good reviews from the students course-instructor surveys at the end of it. 

-clincial observership program at MD Anderson in houston for 1 summer. I did rotations in leukemia and surgery. This was mostly for when I was pre-med so idk how pertinent this is for grad school. 

-for my gap year i was just hired for a lab assistant at a pediatric clinic. It's just a tech job so i don't really think that counts for much except for experience. 

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help:

I was an officer and team captain of the Polo team at my school. it's just a fun thing i did on the side. 

I have a significant amount of community service in a couple different organizations. 

Special Bonus Points: being gay? it's 2017 and idk if it counts for anything anymore. I probabbly won't "declare" this on the app specifically unnless there is a specific part where they might ask. 

I'll also have a very strong rec letter from the PI that i work for.

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter:
I had to Q drop two classes but I can explain my way through those. I got a C+ in calculus. I can't do math to save my life SOS. 
 

Applying to Where:

For grad schools, I really want to try to find something in the NYC area, since I love the city in general, so if you guys have any suggestions there that would be great (or anything in the new england area).

My research interests are in virology, specifically studying viral methods for gene therapy. I think that's pretty speicific and not many institutions will activley and specifically be doing research into this but I would apply broadly to microbiology/molecularbiology/virology programs. 

I don't really know what would be considered in my reach so these are just schools that I'm looking into. 

- weill cornell 

- columbia 

- NYU biology 

- NYU sackler (anyone know what the pro's and con's are of doing a traditional university based Ph.D. or one at a med school? I'm assuming the clinically applied research there?) 

- cornell university in ithica 

- baylor college of medicine 

any suggestions?

 

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Don't know what is going on with my first choice school. Their only reply to my emails is that they will let me know 'very soon'. I interviewed in February so I just wish they would tell me if I am on a waitlist. At least then I would know that I have to wait till mid April or beyond. I can't think of any other reason they would wait so long after the interview to accept or reject me. 

Edited by abcd1

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I was put into waitlist in UNC chapel hill. Does anyone know if the waitlist is ranked or heard anything back yet?

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18 hours ago, abcd1 said:

Don't know what is going on with my first choice school. Their only reply to my emails is that they will let me know 'very soon'. I interviewed in February so I just wish they would tell me if I am on a waitlist. At least then I would know that I have to wait till mid April or beyond. I can't think of any other reason they would wait so long after the interview to accept or reject me. 

Am in the same position for a school I interviewed at mid-Jan....

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On 4/5/2017 at 4:45 PM, strugglebus2k17 said:

Hey guys,

So origionally I was set on medicine but after a considerable amount of thought and deliberation and I think with my drive for research and teaching the Ph.D. route is best suited for me. I'm familiar with med school requirments and competitiveness but as for grad schools it's a shot in the dark. I don't really know where I'm at and where I should apply in terms of how competitive my profile is. I am taking a gap year atm (about to graduate from undergrad this may!!) and planning on applying this next cycle - fall 2018. 

Any and all help would be super duper appreciated!! - thanks in advance 

 

Undergrad Institution: University of Texas at Austin
Major(s): Public Health Infectious Diseases
Minor(s): none
GPA in Major: 3.6
Overall GPA: 3.50, hopefully higher at the end of this semester 
Position in Class: top quarter? I'm not sure. 
Type of Student: domestic, male, LGBT

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

- i havn't taken the GRE yet. I plan on studying and taking it this summer. 

I have taken the MCAT and scored at the 87th percentile on the "Biological and Biochemical Foundations of Living Systems". - if that's any relevant indicaiton. I know for some schools they accept MCAT as a sub for GRE but I probabbly won't do that. I scored dissapointingly low on the CARS reading section... apparently I'm illiterate!? idk. 

I'm taking the GRE anyway since the vast majority of grad schools require it. 


Research Experience: 

Behavioral neuroscience lab for 3+ years that investigates rehabilitation in animal models (rat and mouse models) after ischemia to the motor cortex. The lab does a lot of studies into vasculature and dendritic spine recovery during neurorehabilitation and neuralrepair after infarct. so it's much more neuro oriented than the "behavior" part. 

I just finished the draft of my manuscript and submitted it to my PI for review. Our goal is to submit it for publicaiton by the end of this semester, early summer. For the same research, I presented it at the Clinically Applied Rehabilitation Engineering symposium at my university. I was also one of five abstracts selected to present orally at the American Society for Neurorehabilitation annual meeting in san diego. co-poster presentation at the society for neuroscience annaul meeting, also in san diego. 

So my issue is here that all my research experience is in a neuro lab and I don't know how applicable that is when applying to a molecular/micro/virology phd... I'm gonna try and supplement this by joining a virology lab that I have my eyes on during my gap year but I don't know how significant my contributions can be if it's only for a year. 


Awards/Honors/Recognitions: 

like dean's list once or twice and I got an honors scholarship ($1000) at the end of my freshman year. 

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: 

-TA for Genetics for 2 semester, I got really good reviews from the students course-instructor surveys at the end of it. 

-clincial observership program at MD Anderson in houston for 1 summer. I did rotations in leukemia and surgery. This was mostly for when I was pre-med so idk how pertinent this is for grad school. 

-for my gap year i was just hired for a lab assistant at a pediatric clinic. It's just a tech job so i don't really think that counts for much except for experience. 

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help:

I was an officer and team captain of the Polo team at my school. it's just a fun thing i did on the side. 

I have a significant amount of community service in a couple different organizations. 

Special Bonus Points: being gay? it's 2017 and idk if it counts for anything anymore. I probabbly won't "declare" this on the app specifically unnless there is a specific part where they might ask. 

I'll also have a very strong rec letter from the PI that i work for.

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter:
I had to Q drop two classes but I can explain my way through those. I got a C+ in calculus. I can't do math to save my life SOS. 
 

Applying to Where:

For grad schools, I really want to try to find something in the NYC area, since I love the city in general, so if you guys have any suggestions there that would be great (or anything in the new england area).

My research interests are in virology, specifically studying viral methods for gene therapy. I think that's pretty speicific and not many institutions will activley and specifically be doing research into this but I would apply broadly to microbiology/molecularbiology/virology programs. 

I don't really know what would be considered in my reach so these are just schools that I'm looking into. 

- weill cornell 

- columbia 

- NYU biology 

- NYU sackler (anyone know what the pro's and con's are of doing a traditional university based Ph.D. or one at a med school? I'm assuming the clinically applied research there?) 

- cornell university in ithica 

- baylor college of medicine 

any suggestions?

 

 

Hey,

So, I think you would be a good candidate for the programs that you listed as long as you get a good GRE score. A lot of the times GRE scores can be overlooked but some schools screen based on numbers too so I'd say just try the best you can to get the highest score. I don't think you should be discouraged by your MCAT score.  You can get a high score on the GRE if you put in a good deal of work. Personally, I worked on the math section the most because that was what I knew I could do the best on as long as I don't make mistakes.  As for the reading section, I memorized around 200-300 words from the most common list that Magoosh published, which helped a lot.  For writing, I'd say, it's helpful to just look through a couple of the writing prompts and practice coming up with suitable examples.  It can really wear you down to have to write the whole essay so this is what I'd suggest. 

In terms of what you are doing during your gap year, have you also thought of applying for the NIH postbac position?  A lot of grad schools really like NIH postbacs.  When I interviewed at UPenn and Stanford, there were a lot of NIH postbacs there and when talking to faculty members, it was definitely helpful to mention my experiences at NIH.  Also, at NIH, they give you a lot of resources to help you through the application cycle as well as providing you the platform for being introduced to different types of research since there's tons of seminars/ lectures going on all the time.  I also was able to present at conferences that NIH hosted and there's opportunities to boost your resume by signing up for best poster/travel awards etc.  If you want tips for getting into the NIH postbac program, after submitting your application, contact individual PIs that you're interested in and also join ClubPCR since open positions will be advertised in this group occasionally.  I think it helps to also just visit NIH and just go around labs asking for openings.  Alot of postbacs have gotten in this way too.  In terms of the fact that you are not doing research that you hope to do in the future, you need to just come up with your own story and the reasoning behind why you pursued certain interests/ research and why you hope to go into a certain field that's not related.  You don't necessarily need to be doing the research you're interested in at the moment although it will help.  You can perhaps explain why you choice the neuro lab and then what made you take interest in the field of virology...and how you actively pursued it by.....gap year stuff etc. 

I hope this helped.  I've also been through the same/similar situation as you are going through right now and I'd say my advice is just to put in as much as you can and it'll pay off in the end.  I think you are a very well qualified applicant and just make sure to highlight your uniqueness and strengths of your application in the essay and how that would make you a great scientist.  I wanted to also point out that everyone is going to have different opinions about what I've suggested so take my advice with a grain of salt. 

Wish you the best of luck. 

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On 4/5/2017 at 3:45 PM, strugglebus2k17 said:

Hey guys,

So origionally I was set on medicine but after a considerable amount of thought and deliberation and I think with my drive for research and teaching the Ph.D. route is best suited for me. I'm familiar with med school requirments and competitiveness but as for grad schools it's a shot in the dark. I don't really know where I'm at and where I should apply in terms of how competitive my profile is. I am taking a gap year atm (about to graduate from undergrad this may!!) and planning on applying this next cycle - fall 2018. 

Any and all help would be super duper appreciated!! - thanks in advance 

 

Undergrad Institution: University of Texas at Austin
Major(s): Public Health Infectious Diseases
Minor(s): none
GPA in Major: 3.6
Overall GPA: 3.50, hopefully higher at the end of this semester 
Position in Class: top quarter? I'm not sure. 
Type of Student: domestic, male, LGBT

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

- i havn't taken the GRE yet. I plan on studying and taking it this summer. 

I have taken the MCAT and scored at the 87th percentile on the "Biological and Biochemical Foundations of Living Systems". - if that's any relevant indicaiton. I know for some schools they accept MCAT as a sub for GRE but I probabbly won't do that. I scored dissapointingly low on the CARS reading section... apparently I'm illiterate!? idk. 

I'm taking the GRE anyway since the vast majority of grad schools require it. 


Research Experience: 

Behavioral neuroscience lab for 3+ years that investigates rehabilitation in animal models (rat and mouse models) after ischemia to the motor cortex. The lab does a lot of studies into vasculature and dendritic spine recovery during neurorehabilitation and neuralrepair after infarct. so it's much more neuro oriented than the "behavior" part. 

I just finished the draft of my manuscript and submitted it to my PI for review. Our goal is to submit it for publicaiton by the end of this semester, early summer. For the same research, I presented it at the Clinically Applied Rehabilitation Engineering symposium at my university. I was also one of five abstracts selected to present orally at the American Society for Neurorehabilitation annual meeting in san diego. co-poster presentation at the society for neuroscience annaul meeting, also in san diego. 

So my issue is here that all my research experience is in a neuro lab and I don't know how applicable that is when applying to a molecular/micro/virology phd... I'm gonna try and supplement this by joining a virology lab that I have my eyes on during my gap year but I don't know how significant my contributions can be if it's only for a year. 


Awards/Honors/Recognitions: 

like dean's list once or twice and I got an honors scholarship ($1000) at the end of my freshman year. 

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: 

-TA for Genetics for 2 semester, I got really good reviews from the students course-instructor surveys at the end of it. 

-clincial observership program at MD Anderson in houston for 1 summer. I did rotations in leukemia and surgery. This was mostly for when I was pre-med so idk how pertinent this is for grad school. 

-for my gap year i was just hired for a lab assistant at a pediatric clinic. It's just a tech job so i don't really think that counts for much except for experience. 

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help:

I was an officer and team captain of the Polo team at my school. it's just a fun thing i did on the side. 

I have a significant amount of community service in a couple different organizations. 

Special Bonus Points: being gay? it's 2017 and idk if it counts for anything anymore. I probabbly won't "declare" this on the app specifically unnless there is a specific part where they might ask. 

I'll also have a very strong rec letter from the PI that i work for.

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter:
I had to Q drop two classes but I can explain my way through those. I got a C+ in calculus. I can't do math to save my life SOS. 
 

Applying to Where:

For grad schools, I really want to try to find something in the NYC area, since I love the city in general, so if you guys have any suggestions there that would be great (or anything in the new england area).

My research interests are in virology, specifically studying viral methods for gene therapy. I think that's pretty speicific and not many institutions will activley and specifically be doing research into this but I would apply broadly to microbiology/molecularbiology/virology programs. 

I don't really know what would be considered in my reach so these are just schools that I'm looking into. 

- weill cornell 

- columbia 

- NYU biology 

- NYU sackler (anyone know what the pro's and con's are of doing a traditional university based Ph.D. or one at a med school? I'm assuming the clinically applied research there?) 

- cornell university in ithica 

- baylor college of medicine 

any suggestions?

 

 

 
 

As a current student at BCM, I can attest to it being a great place to do research (as are the other places in the Texas Medical Center, but I like BCM best). If you're doing a gap year, might as well do a post bacc. BCM has one that pays very well, but the application deadline is April 17! https://www.bcm.edu/education/schools/graduate-school-of-biomedical-sciences/diversity/smart-prep

If you can get 3 letters of rec in by the deadline, I highly recommend you apply. I got to help mentor the students in the program this year, and they have lots of tools that help them apply for the next step, which is often graduate school. It also gives you the chance to scout out professors and the program before you apply!

In addition, I know you're interested in Micro, but maybe you might also consider an interdisciplinary program like BCM's IMBS program. There are labs at BCM that work on the brain and bacteria or viruses together, but may or may not be part of MVM. These types of interdisciplinary programs give you more flexibility in case you suddenly fall in love with a lab that isn't in your intended research area (like me). Message me if you have questions!

Edited by biotechie
Clarifying some text

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On 4/7/2017 at 2:39 PM, DreamHigh said:

Hey,

So, I think you would be a good candidate for the programs that you listed as long as you get a good GRE score. A lot of the times GRE scores can be overlooked but some schools screen based on numbers too so I'd say just try the best you can to get the highest score. I don't think you should be discouraged by your MCAT score.  You can get a high score on the GRE if you put in a good deal of work. Personally, I worked on the math section the most because that was what I knew I could do the best on as long as I don't make mistakes.  As for the reading section, I memorized around 200-300 words from the most common list that Magoosh published, which helped a lot.  For writing, I'd say, it's helpful to just look through a couple of the writing prompts and practice coming up with suitable examples.  It can really wear you down to have to write the whole essay so this is what I'd suggest. 

In terms of what you are doing during your gap year, have you also thought of applying for the NIH postbac position?  A lot of grad schools really like NIH postbacs.  When I interviewed at UPenn and Stanford, there were a lot of NIH postbacs there and when talking to faculty members, it was definitely helpful to mention my experiences at NIH.  Also, at NIH, they give you a lot of resources to help you through the application cycle as well as providing you the platform for being introduced to different types of research since there's tons of seminars/ lectures going on all the time.  I also was able to present at conferences that NIH hosted and there's opportunities to boost your resume by signing up for best poster/travel awards etc.  If you want tips for getting into the NIH postbac program, after submitting your application, contact individual PIs that you're interested in and also join ClubPCR since open positions will be advertised in this group occasionally.  I think it helps to also just visit NIH and just go around labs asking for openings.  Alot of postbacs have gotten in this way too.  In terms of the fact that you are not doing research that you hope to do in the future, you need to just come up with your own story and the reasoning behind why you pursued certain interests/ research and why you hope to go into a certain field that's not related.  You don't necessarily need to be doing the research you're interested in at the moment although it will help.  You can perhaps explain why you choice the neuro lab and then what made you take interest in the field of virology...and how you actively pursued it by.....gap year stuff etc. 

I hope this helped.  I've also been through the same/similar situation as you are going through right now and I'd say my advice is just to put in as much as you can and it'll pay off in the end.  I think you are a very well qualified applicant and just make sure to highlight your uniqueness and strengths of your application in the essay and how that would make you a great scientist.  I wanted to also point out that everyone is going to have different opinions about what I've suggested so take my advice with a grain of salt. 

Wish you the best of luck. 

Thank you a bunch for your insight, especially into the GRE. I'll start studying for it after I graduate and probabbly take it around the end of summer. I'll look into NIH post bacc programs and joining other labs that are related to the field that I want to study. 

Thanks again! 

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On April 5, 2017 at 4:45 PM, strugglebus2k17 said:

any suggestions?

Strongly second the suggestion from @DreamHigh to look into an NIH postbac.  I'm think my experiences as a postbac are almost entirely the reason I got admitted to most schools. I'd be happy to answer questions about finding a spot here if you want to PM me!

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All right.

Applied to:

Caltech Biology, Stanford Biosciences, Berkeley MCB, and UCSF Tetrad

Accepted to:

Stanford Biosciences, Berkeley MCB, and UCSF Tetrad

Caltech never got back to me that after that online interview.

What was it you gleaned from that 10 minute window, Caltech? Fuck you.

Edited by inadequate

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38 minutes ago, inadequate said:

All right.

Applied to:

Caltech Biology, Stanford Biosciences, Berkeley MCB, and UCSF Tetrad

Accepted to:

Stanford Biosciences, Berkeley MCB, and UCSF Tetrad

Caltech never got back to me that after that online interview.

What was it you gleaned from that 10 minute window, Caltech? Fuck you.

giphy.gif

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10 hours ago, inadequate said:

All right.

Applied to:

Caltech Biology, Stanford Biosciences, Berkeley MCB, and UCSF Tetrad

Accepted to:

Stanford Biosciences, Berkeley MCB, and UCSF Tetrad

Caltech never got back to me that after that online interview.

What was it you gleaned from that 10 minute window, Caltech? Fuck you.

Probably this attitude... 

In any case, congrats on your other acceptances. 

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12 hours ago, inadequate said:

All right.

Applied to:

Caltech Biology, Stanford Biosciences, Berkeley MCB, and UCSF Tetrad

Accepted to:

Stanford Biosciences, Berkeley MCB, and UCSF Tetrad

Caltech never got back to me that after that online interview.

What was it you gleaned from that 10 minute window, Caltech? Fuck you.

Seriously, you got into three really great schools, why are you obsessing about your one rejection?

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On ‎4‎/‎5‎/‎2017 at 3:45 PM, strugglebus2k17 said:

Hey guys,

So origionally I was set on medicine but after a considerable amount of thought and deliberation and I think with my drive for research and teaching the Ph.D. route is best suited for me. I'm familiar with med school requirments and competitiveness but as for grad schools it's a shot in the dark. I don't really know where I'm at and where I should apply in terms of how competitive my profile is. I am taking a gap year atm (about to graduate from undergrad this may!!) and planning on applying this next cycle - fall 2018. 

Any and all help would be super duper appreciated!! - thanks in advance 

 

Undergrad Institution: University of Texas at Austin
Major(s): Public Health Infectious Diseases
Minor(s): none
GPA in Major: 3.6
Overall GPA: 3.50, hopefully higher at the end of this semester 
Position in Class: top quarter? I'm not sure. 
Type of Student: domestic, male, LGBT

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

- i havn't taken the GRE yet. I plan on studying and taking it this summer. 

I have taken the MCAT and scored at the 87th percentile on the "Biological and Biochemical Foundations of Living Systems". - if that's any relevant indicaiton. I know for some schools they accept MCAT as a sub for GRE but I probabbly won't do that. I scored dissapointingly low on the CARS reading section... apparently I'm illiterate!? idk. 

I'm taking the GRE anyway since the vast majority of grad schools require it. 


Research Experience: 

Behavioral neuroscience lab for 3+ years that investigates rehabilitation in animal models (rat and mouse models) after ischemia to the motor cortex. The lab does a lot of studies into vasculature and dendritic spine recovery during neurorehabilitation and neuralrepair after infarct. so it's much more neuro oriented than the "behavior" part. 

I just finished the draft of my manuscript and submitted it to my PI for review. Our goal is to submit it for publicaiton by the end of this semester, early summer. For the same research, I presented it at the Clinically Applied Rehabilitation Engineering symposium at my university. I was also one of five abstracts selected to present orally at the American Society for Neurorehabilitation annual meeting in san diego. co-poster presentation at the society for neuroscience annaul meeting, also in san diego. 

So my issue is here that all my research experience is in a neuro lab and I don't know how applicable that is when applying to a molecular/micro/virology phd... I'm gonna try and supplement this by joining a virology lab that I have my eyes on during my gap year but I don't know how significant my contributions can be if it's only for a year. 


Awards/Honors/Recognitions: 

like dean's list once or twice and I got an honors scholarship ($1000) at the end of my freshman year. 

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: 

-TA for Genetics for 2 semester, I got really good reviews from the students course-instructor surveys at the end of it. 

-clincial observership program at MD Anderson in houston for 1 summer. I did rotations in leukemia and surgery. This was mostly for when I was pre-med so idk how pertinent this is for grad school. 

-for my gap year i was just hired for a lab assistant at a pediatric clinic. It's just a tech job so i don't really think that counts for much except for experience. 

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help:

I was an officer and team captain of the Polo team at my school. it's just a fun thing i did on the side. 

I have a significant amount of community service in a couple different organizations. 

Special Bonus Points: being gay? it's 2017 and idk if it counts for anything anymore. I probabbly won't "declare" this on the app specifically unnless there is a specific part where they might ask. 

I'll also have a very strong rec letter from the PI that i work for.

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter:
I had to Q drop two classes but I can explain my way through those. I got a C+ in calculus. I can't do math to save my life SOS. 
 

Applying to Where:

For grad schools, I really want to try to find something in the NYC area, since I love the city in general, so if you guys have any suggestions there that would be great (or anything in the new england area).

My research interests are in virology, specifically studying viral methods for gene therapy. I think that's pretty speicific and not many institutions will activley and specifically be doing research into this but I would apply broadly to microbiology/molecularbiology/virology programs. 

I don't really know what would be considered in my reach so these are just schools that I'm looking into. 

- weill cornell 

- columbia 

- NYU biology 

- NYU sackler (anyone know what the pro's and con's are of doing a traditional university based Ph.D. or one at a med school? I'm assuming the clinically applied research there?) 

- cornell university in ithica 

- baylor college of medicine 

any suggestions?

 

 

Emory Pharmacology has a couple of faculty members doing gene therapy to treat pediatric blood disorders/cancer.

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On 4/5/2017 at 3:45 PM, strugglebus2k17 said:

Hey guys,

So origionally I was set on medicine but after a considerable amount of thought and deliberation and I think with my drive for research and teaching the Ph.D. route is best suited for me. I'm familiar with med school requirments and competitiveness but as for grad schools it's a shot in the dark. I don't really know where I'm at and where I should apply in terms of how competitive my profile is. I am taking a gap year atm (about to graduate from undergrad this may!!) and planning on applying this next cycle - fall 2018. 

Any and all help would be super duper appreciated!! - thanks in advance 

 

Undergrad Institution: University of Texas at Austin
Major(s): Public Health Infectious Diseases
Minor(s): none
GPA in Major: 3.6
Overall GPA: 3.50, hopefully higher at the end of this semester 
Position in Class: top quarter? I'm not sure. 
Type of Student: domestic, male, LGBT

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

- i havn't taken the GRE yet. I plan on studying and taking it this summer. 

I have taken the MCAT and scored at the 87th percentile on the "Biological and Biochemical Foundations of Living Systems". - if that's any relevant indicaiton. I know for some schools they accept MCAT as a sub for GRE but I probabbly won't do that. I scored dissapointingly low on the CARS reading section... apparently I'm illiterate!? idk. 

I'm taking the GRE anyway since the vast majority of grad schools require it. 


Research Experience: 

Behavioral neuroscience lab for 3+ years that investigates rehabilitation in animal models (rat and mouse models) after ischemia to the motor cortex. The lab does a lot of studies into vasculature and dendritic spine recovery during neurorehabilitation and neuralrepair after infarct. so it's much more neuro oriented than the "behavior" part. 

I just finished the draft of my manuscript and submitted it to my PI for review. Our goal is to submit it for publicaiton by the end of this semester, early summer. For the same research, I presented it at the Clinically Applied Rehabilitation Engineering symposium at my university. I was also one of five abstracts selected to present orally at the American Society for Neurorehabilitation annual meeting in san diego. co-poster presentation at the society for neuroscience annaul meeting, also in san diego. 

So my issue is here that all my research experience is in a neuro lab and I don't know how applicable that is when applying to a molecular/micro/virology phd... I'm gonna try and supplement this by joining a virology lab that I have my eyes on during my gap year but I don't know how significant my contributions can be if it's only for a year. 


Awards/Honors/Recognitions: 

like dean's list once or twice and I got an honors scholarship ($1000) at the end of my freshman year. 

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: 

-TA for Genetics for 2 semester, I got really good reviews from the students course-instructor surveys at the end of it. 

-clincial observership program at MD Anderson in houston for 1 summer. I did rotations in leukemia and surgery. This was mostly for when I was pre-med so idk how pertinent this is for grad school. 

-for my gap year i was just hired for a lab assistant at a pediatric clinic. It's just a tech job so i don't really think that counts for much except for experience. 

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help:

I was an officer and team captain of the Polo team at my school. it's just a fun thing i did on the side. 

I have a significant amount of community service in a couple different organizations. 

Special Bonus Points: being gay? it's 2017 and idk if it counts for anything anymore. I probabbly won't "declare" this on the app specifically unnless there is a specific part where they might ask. 

I'll also have a very strong rec letter from the PI that i work for.

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter:
I had to Q drop two classes but I can explain my way through those. I got a C+ in calculus. I can't do math to save my life SOS. 
 

Applying to Where:

For grad schools, I really want to try to find something in the NYC area, since I love the city in general, so if you guys have any suggestions there that would be great (or anything in the new england area).

My research interests are in virology, specifically studying viral methods for gene therapy. I think that's pretty speicific and not many institutions will activley and specifically be doing research into this but I would apply broadly to microbiology/molecularbiology/virology programs. 

I don't really know what would be considered in my reach so these are just schools that I'm looking into. 

- weill cornell 

- columbia 

- NYU biology 

- NYU sackler (anyone know what the pro's and con's are of doing a traditional university based Ph.D. or one at a med school? I'm assuming the clinically applied research there?) 

- cornell university in ithica 

- baylor college of medicine 

any suggestions?

 

 

I think you're in good shape. Your previous research experience looks solid. Just make sure to get great LORs from your current PI and the PI of your gap year lab. The LORs are probably the most important things in your whole package.  

Some comments on the GRE: it's very different from the MCAT. The verbal section of GRE is way easier than the verbal section of old MCAT which I took. For the GRE, the challenging part is the vocab, but the reading passages are very chill and the questions are straightforward. I got a shitty 52th percentile on MCAT verbal, but 93th percentile on GRE verbal. So don't worry about the GRE verbal too much as long as you spend some time studying the vocabs (I recommend the Magoosh flashcards). You need to study for the math (mostly algebra and basic stats, nothing related to calculus&beyond) and writing sections though, which are not covered by the MCAT. Also I don't think you can use MCAT score to substitute GRE for any biomedical science PhD programs (some master of public health programs do take MCAT score). And it seems that none of the PhD programs care about MCAT score (I scored a 97th percentile total score in the old MCAT and listed in several applications, but no one from any school mentioned it during my interviews).

As for programs, if you are really into NYC, don't miss Rockefeller (some world-class virology&microbio faculty) and Gerstner Sloan Kettering (some great gene therapy faculty). Outside of NYC I would recommend Harvard (both BBS program and virology programs), Hopkins and UPenn.

 

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6 hours ago, aquamarine said:

Emory Pharmacology has a couple of faculty members doing gene therapy to treat pediatric blood disorders/cancer.

Thanks! I'll look into it. One of my professors that I'm currrently taking a class in went to Emory for his PhD, he loved it!

 

 

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33 minutes ago, MCF10A said:

I think you're in good shape. Your previous research experience looks solid. Just make sure to get great LORs from your current PI and the PI of your gap year lab. The LORs are probably the most important things in your whole package.  

Some comments on the GRE: it's very different from the MCAT. The verbal section of GRE is way easier than the verbal section of old MCAT which I took. For the GRE, the challenging part is the vocab, but the reading passages are very chill and the questions are straightforward. I got a shitty 52th percentile on MCAT verbal, but 93th percentile on GRE verbal. So don't worry about the GRE verbal too much as long as you spend some time studying the vocabs (I recommend the Magoosh flashcards). You need to study for the math (mostly algebra and basic stats, nothing related to calculus&beyond) and writing sections though, which are not covered by the MCAT. Also I don't think you can use MCAT score to substitute GRE for any biomedical science PhD programs (some master of public health programs do take MCAT score). And it seems that none of the PhD programs care about MCAT score (I scored a 97th percentile total score in the old MCAT and listed in several applications, but no one from any school mentioned it during my interviews).

As for programs, if you are really into NYC, don't miss Rockefeller (some world-class virology&microbio faculty) and Gerstner Sloan Kettering (some great gene therapy faculty). Outside of NYC I would recommend Harvard (both BBS program and virology programs), Hopkins and UPenn.

 

Thanks! I know about Rockefeller and Sloan Kettering but those are some really competitive programs. I just applied to some virology labs at my school so hopefully I can land one of those for my gap year. 

Was there a quizlet in particular that you used to study for the GRE vocab? There's an abundance of quizlets posted but I don't know which one is good or not. I'll look into the magoosh one for sure, I just didn't want to pay for it, if it's at all avoidable. 

Does anyone recommend taking the GRE subject tests or do programs not really care about that? I know many of the programs "recommend" it but would you strongly advise to take it or not really?

 

thanks again for all the advice!

 

 

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18 minutes ago, strugglebus2k17 said:

Was there a quizlet in particular that you used to study for the GRE vocab? There's an abundance of quizlets posted but I don't know which one is good or not. I'll look into the magoosh one for sure, I just didn't want to pay for it, if it's at all avoidable.

Does anyone recommend taking the GRE subject tests or do programs not really care about that? I know many of the programs "recommend" it but would you strongly advise to take it or not really?

  1. A quizlet user, jordygold, has uploaded Manhattan's basic GRE vocabulary set in 50 parts.
  2. Avoid the biology tests if you can because doing well may not help too much but doing badly will hurt you. The only times you should seriously consider taking the test are if your grades in your courses aren't strong (there may be doubt that you know the material). There may be other instances as well but if your application doesn't have super weak parts for it, just avoid the subject tests.

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1 hour ago, strugglebus2k17 said:

Thanks! I know about Rockefeller and Sloan Kettering but those are some really competitive programs. I just applied to some virology labs at my school so hopefully I can land one of those for my gap year. 

Was there a quizlet in particular that you used to study for the GRE vocab? There's an abundance of quizlets posted but I don't know which one is good or not. I'll look into the magoosh one for sure, I just didn't want to pay for it, if it's at all avoidable. 

Does anyone recommend taking the GRE subject tests or do programs not really care about that? I know many of the programs "recommend" it but would you strongly advise to take it or not really?

 

thanks again for all the advice!

 

 

https://gre.magoosh.com/flashcards/vocabulary/decks Magoosh GRE vocabulary flashcard is free, and it also has a mobile app which is really handy. 

About GRE subject test, I totally agree with @Kaede. Don't take it unless you've screwed up your upper level biology courses. I believe most of the programs don't care about subject test that much. I didn't take it, and most of my friends/interview buddies didn't take it either.

Edited by MCF10A
typo

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2 hours ago, Kaede said:
  1. A quizlet user, jordygold, has uploaded Manhattan's basic GRE vocabulary set in 50 parts.
  2. Avoid the biology tests if you can because doing well may not help too much but doing badly will hurt you. The only times you should seriously consider taking the test are if your grades in your courses aren't strong (there may be doubt that you know the material). There may be other instances as well but if your application doesn't have super weak parts for it, just avoid the subject tests.

Awesome thanks, I bookmarked the quizlet to study. And I probabbly won't be taking the subject test then, my bio class grades are pretty strong so there wouldn't be a point. 

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1 hour ago, MCF10A said:

https://gre.magoosh.com/flashcards/vocabulary/decks Magoosh GRE vocabulary flashcard is free, and it also has a mobile app which is really handy. 

About GRE subject test, I totally agree with @Kaede. Don't take it unless you've screwed up your upper level biology courses. I believe most of the programs don't care about subject test that much. I didn't take it, and most of my friends/interview buddies didn't take it either.

ok thanks! I'll checkout the mobile app

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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?

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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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