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2017 Applicant Profiles and Admissions Results


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Red flag - lol - go focus on some research please.

Wow. Thanks for the info. I never knew!! Nor did I set down this path with any better info than an internet forum poster could give me. I did not solicit advice.

Just got a call from an unknown San Diego number and with absurd enthusiasm ran out of the library (#finals) to answer. It was a telemarketer. Hang in there, pals. 

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On 10/23/2016 at 1:08 PM, CanadianNomad said:

Hey everyone! I'm about finished submitting my apps. Super excited (and nervous!). Best wishes to everyone as we finish off these apps :)

Undergrad Institution: Canadian University
Major(s): Biology & Psychology
Minor(s): N/A
GPA in Major: ~3.7
Overall GPA: ~3.4
Position in Class: No idea
Type of Student: International/Canadian, Female, Currently in Boston on 2-year research fellowship

Graduate Institution: Big international Neuroscience Institute 
Degree: Master of Biomedical Science - Neuroscience Track
Minor(s): N/A
GPA in Major: N/A
Overall GPA: 4.0
Position in Class: Top 10%. Graduated with highest distinction 

GRE Scores (revised/old version):
V: 164 (94th percentile)
Q: 161 (79th percentile)
W: 5.5 (98th percentile)

Research Experience:

Undergrad: 2 years conducting research in brain and cognitive sciences lab

Graduate School: 2 years of independent research (degree was 80% research, 20% coursework). Presented at conference/published abstract, published first author review and second author original research paper, wrote formal research thesis and had a formal thesis defence. 

Post-grad Fellowship: 2 year research fellowship at Harvard Medical School (2015-2017). Have presented work at conference, two posters/two published abstracts, three papers currently under review (one is a review, two are original research. Author positions: 3rd, 4th and 5th), another paper in preparation (2nd author). Have assisted in writing and have generated a lot of pilot data for one RO1 grant (now funded) and another major grant (under review). Presented at several departmental and out-of-state meetings. Currently supervising a gap-year student and co-supervising a technician. 

Awards/Honors/Recognitions:

Merit-based scholarship for MSc, Harvard Med research fellowship 

Pertinent Activities or Jobs:

Currently work as a content creator for Khan Academy (>1 year here)

Currently an instructor at Harvard Medical School working on new Pathways curriculum for HMS medical students (just over a year now)

Anatomy TA for a year in undergrad


Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help:

I can't think of anything else not already said :)

Special Bonus Points:

2 of my reference letters are big name PIs in Harvard community, both are the PIs of the two labs I am currently in. One of them plays a big role in admissions for one of the programs I'm applying to (and heads one of the labs I'd like to do my PhD in). Third ref is PI/supervisor from my MSc. All have promised strong letters (fingers crossed!!). 

I collaborate heavily with three PIs at Dartmouth, all in the department I'm applying to 

I have solid experience with RNA-seq analysis, something I'm hoping is valuable to some of the PIs. 

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

I'm not a U.S citizen/permanent resident (I'm Canadian)

 

Applying to Where:

Harvard - BBS

MIT - Brain and Cognitive Sciences 

Dartmouth - PEMM

Brown - Neuroscience

Columbia - Biological Sciences (I think)

Rockefeller - David Rockefeller Graduate Program 

Toronto - Molecular Genetics 

So, I worked on a fellowship at HMS for a few years before applying and had letters from two people on the BBS admissions committee that I worked with. I'm not sure if anyone told you this, but whatever you do - do not talk about how you want to work in one of the labs that you're currently in. Apparently for the majority of members of the admissions committee this is a massive red flag. Moreover, if you're at Harvard, you'll get a long talking to about how it's very much discouraged for you to rotate in, much less join, a lab that you worked in prior to grad school (rumor has it that the DMS leadership makes PQEs even more hellish than usual for people that opt to do this).

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20 hours ago, Pinot Meow said:

Yeah, and I'm not too fond of the state to be honest, but I really do like the lab I'd be in.

I'm from Oklahoma too! 

I would advise you to apply broadly to programs in places you actually want to be for five or so years. One lab isn't enough to stay in Oklahoma (fifty labs isn't enough to stay in Oklahoma). 

Apply to some top programs and apply to some programs in random places you've always wanted to visit. If you do not have anything tying you down to a single location, then this is your time to explore! Go West (or East), young [woman]! Explore what the country has to offer! 

Feel free to PM me. As fellow Oklahomies, I'm sure we share similar experiences. 

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9 hours ago, immuno91 said:

So, I worked on a fellowship at HMS for a few years before applying and had letters from two people on the BBS admissions committee that I worked with. I'm not sure if anyone told you this, but whatever you do - do not talk about how you want to work in one of the labs that you're currently in. Apparently for the majority of members of the admissions committee this is a massive red flag. Moreover, if you're at Harvard, you'll get a long talking to about how it's very much discouraged for you to rotate in, much less join, a lab that you worked in prior to grad school (rumor has it that the DMS leadership makes PQEs even more hellish than usual for people that opt to do this).

As a current BBS student, I cannot verify any of this. 

The summer before I applied, I worked in a lab at HMS. The majority of my personal statement discussed my work in that lab and my interests as they pertained to that lab (I did mention other labs of interest in my personal statement). The administration is very clear that it is okay to rotate in and join a lab in which you have worked before, the only caveat is that you will be required to complete three rotations instead of two. 

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9 hours ago, immuno91 said:

So, I worked on a fellowship at HMS for a few years before applying and had letters from two people on the BBS admissions committee that I worked with. I'm not sure if anyone told you this, but whatever you do - do not talk about how you want to work in one of the labs that you're currently in. Apparently for the majority of members of the admissions committee this is a massive red flag. Moreover, if you're at Harvard, you'll get a long talking to about how it's very much discouraged for you to rotate in, much less join, a lab that you worked in prior to grad school (rumor has it that the DMS leadership makes PQEs even more hellish than usual for people that opt to do this).

Whoa. I'm a little conflicted on how to proceed with my Harvard SOP then. I do discuss other faculty that I'd love to work with, but it is my current lab (one of them, I'm primarily based out of a different lab and spend ~25% time in this HMS lab) that is the initial reason I wanted to apply to BBS. So in my SOP, I discuss this when I'm talking about PIs that I would like to work with. 

44 minutes ago, blc073 said:

As a current BBS student, I cannot verify any of this. 

The summer before I applied, I worked in a lab at HMS. The majority of my personal statement discussed my work in that lab and my interests as they pertained to that lab (I did mention other labs of interest in my personal statement). The administration is very clear that it is okay to rotate in and join a lab in which you have worked before, the only caveat is that you will be required to complete three rotations instead of two. 

Perhaps a safe middle ground would be to discuss this PI and how I'd like to work with her, but also put some good emphasis on other PIs and laboratories for those on the committee who are potentially red-flagging people wanting to stay in labs they've been in?

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1 hour ago, CanadianNomad said:

Whoa. I'm a little conflicted on how to proceed with my Harvard SOP then. I do discuss other faculty that I'd love to work with, but it is my current lab (one of them, I'm primarily based out of a different lab and spend ~25% time in this HMS lab) that is the initial reason I wanted to apply to BBS. So in my SOP, I discuss this when I'm talking about PIs that I would like to work with. 

Perhaps a safe middle ground would be to discuss this PI and how I'd like to work with her, but also put some good emphasis on other PIs and laboratories for those on the committee who are potentially red-flagging people wanting to stay in labs they've been in?

My SOP had a general research theme, with about 75% of the paper discussing the work I did in the HMS lab and how that work related to my research goals. I wrote around three sentences about other HMS faculty and how their work related to my interests. 

I would ignore conjecture about red flags or what may or may not happen during your second year of grad school. 

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Sorry to have alarmed you - I should have phrased better. Definitely talk about your research because it sounds like you've done really good research in your lab(s?). Just also make it clear that you're interested in other labs in the program as well. The general thing I was told, while applying, is that they want to see people interested in other labs besides the one that they came from (if you come from within the HMS community). 

Edit: Also, as a note, if you're really interested in neuroscience, Harvard HILS allows you to apply to up to three programs (two of which can be in DMS), I believe - without raising the application cost (3 apps for one fee). So you could probably apply to BBS and PiN (and one other if you're really committed).

7 hours ago, CanadianNomad said:

Whoa. I'm a little conflicted on how to proceed with my Harvard SOP then. I do discuss other faculty that I'd love to work with, but it is my current lab (one of them, I'm primarily based out of a different lab and spend ~25% time in this HMS lab) that is the initial reason I wanted to apply to BBS. So in my SOP, I discuss this when I'm talking about PIs that I would like to work with. 

Perhaps a safe middle ground would be to discuss this PI and how I'd like to work with her, but also put some good emphasis on other PIs and laboratories for those on the committee who are potentially red-flagging people wanting to stay in labs they've been in?

 

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36 minutes ago, Flux1100 said:

how do you guys add your awards and publications when you go over the character limit (280 character limit for Stanford)? 

 

I don't think the Stanford app lets you go over the limit. Just choose your most relevant ones or look for ways of abbreviating it. If you have a publication, you could mention it in your SOP as well somewhere, if relevant. 

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Undergrad Institution: Unpopular International University (Top in the country)
Major(s): Cell and Molecular Biology
GPA in Major: 3.9
Overall GPA: 3.6
Position in Class: Top 5
Type of Student: International
 

Graduate Institution: State University in the Northwest
Major(s): Molecular Biosciences
Overall GPA: 3.22

GRE Scores (revised/old version):
Q: 156 (63%)
V: 165 (95%)
W: 4.0 (59%)


Research Experience:

4 years in a plant molecular genetics lab; 3 years in enzyme engineering/cancer research lab; 1 year in molecular endocrinology lab
 


Applying to Where:

University of Michigan - MCDB

Vanderbilt University - Biology

Oregon Health and Science University - PMCB/Cell and Developmental Biology

University of Colorado - Boulder - MCDB

Indiana University - Bloomington - GCDB

University of Cincinnati - Molecular and Developmental Biology

University of Wyoming - MCLS

 

*Will update this with additional info soon...

 

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Undergrad Institution:State
Major(s):Biology and Psychology
Minor(s):
GPA in Major: 3.0
Overall GPA:
Position in Class: (No numbers needed, but are you top? near top? average? struggling?)
Type of Student: (Domestic/International, male/female, minority?)

GRE Scores (revised/old version):
Q: 160
V: 155
W: 4.0
B:


Research Experience:

3 years experience at my university in cancer biology and psychology

One publication

10 conference presentations/orals/competitions

 

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: 

Several travel awards

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Research Assist. Fellowships for 2 years

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help:

LSAMP

Created a successful chapter of SACNAS at my university as Founder and President

Active volunteer in my community for 9 years

Special Bonus Points: (Such as connections, grad classes, famous recommenders, female or minority status etc...)

First Gen College Student, Female Minority

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

Applying to Where:

University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign - Neuroscience

Fisk - Vanderbilt MS-to-PhD program - Neuroscience

UCSB - Neuroscience

 

Edited by ssteph
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Updating mine with the Institutions I am applying to. Spent the past few weeks e-mailing and talking to PI with labs of interest. Unfortunately all of them replied with very stately answers; adopting the tone of “the application process is tough, but you should do it anyways ... because I sure did!”. I actually have no clue to my chances. I think I might need to cut down the list, I'm making the same mistake I did last time: I applied to programs which cover the research topic I'm most interested in, which is only found in programs which are far out of my reach and I lack the education and training to do well in.

Have the LORS ready, still writing out Personal Statements for the final 4 weeks of the cycle. I hope I'm not too late (I probably am but it might not matter).

 

On 6/8/2016 at 1:50 PM, Yuanyang said:

 

Undergrad Institution:Reed College
Major(s): Biology (B.A.)
Overall GPA: 2.6

Current  Institution: Georgia Institute of Technology

Major(s): Bioinformatics (M.S)
Current GPA: 3.38

Expected Graduation : spring 2017


Position in Class: Average
Type of Student: the best type.
GRE Scores (revised):
Q: 157
V:162
W: 4


Research Experience: 3 years undergraduate REU, 2 years as a Research Techician at MIT, 2 Years Technican/MS student at Georgia Tech


Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Betty Liu Undergraduate Research Fellowship, Georgia Tech Graduate Research Award.

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: My responsibilities at GT include sample prep for genomic sequencing and developing pipelines for Exome analysis. Wrote a of Computer Vision program for tracking animals. Currently working in a joint research project in neuroethology and genetics. While I was working at MIT, I developed software to analyze sets of data generated by transgenic mice in an automated operant conditioning boxes.

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: one middle author publication in Frontiers Neuroscience

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: Odd transfer credits from University of Washington (summer neuroethology program), and Harvard Extension School (elective courses and Intro Physics which I did not do at my undergrad)

Applying to Where:

Columbia University
Neuroscience
Duke University
Neurobiology
UCSD
Cognitive Science
Washington University in St. Louis
Neuroscience
UT Southwestern Medical
Neuroscience
USC
Neuroscience
University of Nebraska - Lincoln
Neuroscience
Oregon Health and Science University
Neuroscience
 


 

 

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1 hour ago, Yuanyang said:

Updating mine with the Institutions I am applying to. Spent the past few weeks e-mailing and talking to PI with labs of interest. Unfortunately all of them replied with very stately answers; adopting the tone of “the application process is tough, but you should do it anyways ... because I sure did!”. I actually have no clue to my chances. I think I might need to cut down the list, I'm making the same mistake I did last time: I applied to programs which cover the research topic I'm most interested in, which is only found in programs which are far out of my reach and I lack the education and training to do well in.

Have the LORS ready, still writing out Personal Statements for the final 4 weeks of the cycle. I hope I'm not too late (I probably am but it might not matter).

 

 

Yeah, I don't think that e-mailing PIs gives you any kind of advantage when it comes to admissions, and it is still too early to ask about rotating in labs, though I guess it could be helpful to know if your PIs of interest are taking students. With regards to school choice, I think it's best to approach the process with an open mind rather than looking at researchers that are doing EXACTLY what you want to do. Interests are very likely to change during grad school, as many people have said here, and a PhD is mainly geared towards teaching you how to conduct independent research effectively. You can specialize later in your post doc. You have 5 years of research experience yet say that you lack training? I don't think so, and I also don't think you should be painting yourself in such a negative light. Have confidence in yourself and paint the best picture of you and your interests in your SOP, and make sure that your letter writers can do so as well. Your GRE should not be a problem, but your GPAs are rather low, as  I've pointed out before; however, SOPs and LORs are more important than numbers. 

If you need any help with your SOP or more advice about school choices, I can try to help :) 

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Undergrad Institution: Private Liberal Arts School ~3,500 students
Major(s): Biology
Minor(s): Chemistry
GPA in Major: 3.85
Overall GPA: 3.85
Position in Class: Probably near the top? No specific class rankings available
Type of Student: Domestic, Male, White

GRE Scores (revised):
Q: 157
V: 160
W: 5.0
B: Not taking

Research Experience: Approx. 1 year experience in virology lab at my school. Have presented at 3 conferences. Manuscript is currently being written.

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Presidential Scholarship, Deans List all 8 semesters, Award for Most Outstanding Oral Presentation at Biology Undergraduate Symposium at University at Albany, BBB National Biological Honor Society Member, Graduate Magna cum Laude,

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: TA for Human Anatomy and Physiology for 2 years

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: EMT/Volunteer FF for 2 years? IDK if that will help since I'm not applying to med school

Special Bonus Points: I'm applying to Cornell and University at Rochester. My mentor graduated from Rochester less than 10 years ago and completed a post-doc at Cornell less than 5 years ago. So I got that going for me, which is nice. 

Applying to Where:

University at Rochester - Immunology, Virology, and Microbiology Program 
Cornell - Biomedical Sciences Program - Immunology and Infectious Diseases
Emory University - Biomedical Sciences Program - Immunology and Molecular Pathogenesis

Penn State - Biomedical Sciences Program - Virology and Immunology

SUNY Albany - Biomedical Sciences Program - Infectious Diseases Track

Case Western Reserve University - Biomedical Sciences Program - Virology

SUNY Buffalo - Immunology PhD program

University of Mass. Worcester - Biomedical Sciences Program - Immunology Track

 

 

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Hi everyone!

Please look at my profile and tell me your thoughts and feedback. As an International student from quite un-kown university and no MS degree, I am still pretty much on the fence about the whole applying to PhD thing. Do you guys think I have a chance at all on this or am I really just delusional?

Should I just go find a master degree first from a reputable US or at least top European schools then come back later? Any suggestion would be greatly appreciated! Thanks in advance!

Undergrad Institution: Non Popular International University (Though top research one in my country)
Major(s): Pharmaceutical Science
Minor(s): -
GPA in Major: 3.60
Overall GPA: 3.60
Position in Class: Most likely near top
Type of Student: International Female, First gen college grad

GRE Scores (revised):
Q: 163 (85%ile)
V: 159 (82%ile)
W: still waiting for official score

TOEFL Total: 119/120

Research Experience: 

2 years (started as senior thesis and now still working on it as research assistant) - the use of protein cytotoxicity on breast cancer cell (including nanoparticle formulation, antibody conjugation, cell cultures, electrophoresis, etc)

1 summer internship in Serbia - examining substance's anti-genotoxic effect on damaged cells (comet assay)

1 short (5 months) independent group research project on in-vivo test of plant extracts

One publication under review on international journal (middle author) and one paper still on writing stage (probably won't help any)

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: 

Government research grant - for the group project

Uni merit-based scholarship for one academic year

Finalist on International chemical product design competition

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: 

1 Semester TA in lab

1 month RnD Intern at pharmaceutical company

Currently research assistant in my undergrad uni

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: - 
Special Bonus Points: -

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

First generation college grad

I expect the three LoR to be great, however I realize that they are not well-known for US adcom


Applying to Where:

PennState University - Molecular and Cell Biology

University of Maryland, College Park - Biological Science

Georgetown University - Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Florida State University - Cell, Molecular Biology

University of Delaware - Biological Science

 

Let me know what you think, thanks!

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13 hours ago, Yuanyang said:

Updating mine with the Institutions I am applying to. Spent the past few weeks e-mailing and talking to PI with labs of interest. Unfortunately all of them replied with very stately answers; adopting the tone of “the application process is tough, but you should do it anyways ... because I sure did!”. I actually have no clue to my chances. I think I might need to cut down the list, I'm making the same mistake I did last time: I applied to programs which cover the research topic I'm most interested in, which is only found in programs which are far out of my reach and I lack the education and training to do well in.

Have the LORS ready, still writing out Personal Statements for the final 4 weeks of the cycle. I hope I'm not too late (I probably am but it might not matter).

 

 

I would consider large, umbrella programs, rather than small, field-specific programs. Umbrella programs admit more people, they cater to people with broad interests, and they are more forgiving of low GPAs/GREs. 

Also, are you willing to share your SOP? Seeing the angle you are taking might help determine where you went wrong last time. 

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A lot of schools ask for lists of research experience and then have a separate section for a research statement. Does it look weird to list an experience that we don't mention in our statement? I have a variety of different experiences and would prefer to talk about a few in depth rather than all of them shallowly but am not sure if that's the best approach.

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1 hour ago, Franklinisajerk said:

A lot of schools ask for lists of research experience and then have a separate section for a research statement. Does it look weird to list an experience that we don't mention in our statement? I have a variety of different experiences and would prefer to talk about a few in depth rather than all of them shallowly but am not sure if that's the best approach.

Doesn't look weird at all, and is probably expected if you have many experiences or some that are not as relevant.

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Undergrad Institution: Large, generic state school, not particularly highly ranked

Major(s): Biology, Biomedical Science

Minor(s): None

GPA in Major: 3.87 Biomed, 4.0 Bio

Overall GPA: 3.9

Position in Class: Not given

Type of Student: Domestic white female

 

GRE Scores (revised/old version):

Q: 160 (76%)

V: 164 (94%)

W: 4.0 (59%)

B: Not taking

I’m retaking the GRE in about 2 weeks, which should bring my quant up. Writing I have no idea, standardized test scorers have never liked my writing even when I was in elementary school. Comp and lit were fine, but I just can’t figure out standardized tests.

 

Research Experience: Not much consistent research. Two summers working on two “mini” projects each, one bacterial and the other cell/tissue oriented. They kind of need explaining, which I intend to do in the SOP. Two semesters in a neurology lab doing intracellular motility, and I’ll have a third before I graduate. I’m working on an honors thesis in that lab.

 

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Requisite dean’s list mention, National merit scholar, full ride from the state for being a national merit scholar, an “academic excellence award”

 

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: President of my university’s student branch of the American Society for Microbiology

A summer internship in a hospital microbiology laboratory.

 

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: So my academic history is kind of complicated. I graduated HS with my AA at the same time, so I’m finishing my dual major in three years. So I’ve been in college full time for 5 years but only 3 years post-HS, which has limited the time I had for research (especially since no one at my uni will take any students until they’ve taken the basic core major requirements). I did do a study abroad, and at a top 20 world university, if that ranking makes any difference. It’s also a university that’s known for the field I’m interested in, which is why I wanted to go there in the first place. I haven’t seen anyone mention this yet since everyone seems to be in molec bio/micro but I’m certified to work with laboratory animals already and have a lot of experience down in our vivarium.

 

Special Bonus Points: Does being female still count? I don’t think so…

 

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: More transcript weirdness. The only non-A’s I have are three B+ from my study abroad semester and a B+ from the semester right after in a film analysis class I had to take as part of my university honors requirements. I don’t know what that says about me, but I have a tendency to panic.

Applying to Where: This is a strange spread, but bear with me, I’m interested in parasitology and this is where it is. Mostly infectious disease/immunology and veterinary biomed/pathology programs.

Emory University

Cornell University

University of Pennsylvania

University of Georgia

Texas A&M University

University of California-Davis

Tufts University

University of Florida

Louisiana State University

Oklahoma State University

Baylor College of Medicine

Royal Veterinary College: This is actually a public health/infectious disease masters I’m applying to as part of a Fulbright application.

 

The thing I’m worried about most is my lack of research experience, and that my academics make it look like I’m someone that does nothing but study all day. In reality, I’m just good at school and very, very bad at talking to professors about things that affect my future, which makes interviewing a very daunting prospect. Any comments/advice would be appreciated. And sorry if this got too rambley, I tend to type in a very stream-of-consciousness kind of way and I have a lot of thoughts about this

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Thank you to everyone who is reading this! Need honest eval of my shot at UC- schools for Immunology Programs, as well as need feedback for “unconventional applicants” who took 5 years off between undergrad and PhD

     

Undergrad Institution: Top 10 Large University (California UC)

Major(s):

Molecular, Cell and Developmental Biology (Bachelor’s)

Biotechnology (Master’s, Georgetown)

GPA (overall, B.S.): 3.75

GPA (major, B.S.): 3.6

GPA (Master's): 3.85

Type of Student: Domestic F, Asian  (not minority/not applying with disadvantaged status)

 

GRE Scores (revised/old version):

Q: 159 (75%)

V: 160 (85%)

W: 6

B: Waiting for results.    

 

Research Experience:        

  • 1 publication from 1 year of work in cancer immunology lab - in Journal of Virology, 2nd tier. 5th author of 9.

  • 1 year undergraduate Dept. Honors Thesis (no pub) - Vascular Biology

  • 1.5 years at National Cancer Institute/NIH (no pub) - Biochemistry of Mitotic Spindles   

  • 2 summers of research at City of Hope National Cancer Institute and NIH

       

Work Experience:

  • 2 years as Cell Biology Applications Scientist (80% benchwork, in R&D of company)

  • Spotlight company recognition (less than 5% of people get it) for contribution to development of a new technology related to Immunology.

 

Awards/Honors/Recognitions:

  • $2000 research award in last year of undergrad (2011)

  • Honors Thesis in Undergrad.

  • $5000 merit scholarship for M.S. program (2014)

  • 1 poster award (local, M.S. program), 1 President’s/Dean’s award (M.S. program)

 

Special Bonus Points:

  • Solid 4 recommendations with 1 from the Director of my Master’s program whom I know personally and have conducted an internship with.

  • Older (27 at time of application)

  • Focused field. I tailored my essays, LORs and entire application towards the field of interest.

  • Solid essays and 3 years Lead Coordinator/Teacher for national STEM non-profit. Good for teaching-heavy schools.

 

My Weak Areas:

  • Older (27), haha depending on how schools view me. Could be good or bad.  

  • Industry experience - still 80% bench science in R&D, but not with the same “academic flavor.” I predict some schools will question my seriousness to return to academia.

  • GRE Quant low - 159 (75%)

  • Drifted around different research fields before settling on Immunology. Schools may question my ability to stay committed in 1 place for ~5 years.

  • Unconventional applicant who took 5 years off. I fully address why I got a Master’s and am working in industry/corporate, and why I want to return to academic research  in my Essays. However, still may be a pain point.

       

Applying to Where:        

UCSF BMS program (Immunology)

UCLA MIMG (microbiology, immunology molecular genetics)

UC Davis Immunology

UC Berkeley Immunology and Pathogenesis

USC (Molecular Microbiology and Immunology)

Sloan-Kettering (cancer immunology)

Yale BBS (Immunology)

Columbia (Immunology, Microbiology and Infection)

JHU (Immunology)

** Need more mid-tier school suggestions with good Immunology/Cancer Immuno professors!! Thank you guys!

Edited by hihello742
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Hello Everyone! I just finished applying. What do you guys think of my chances?

School: Honors in BME from Public University (ranked 40-50th)

Type of Student: Indian-Asian American Male

GPA: 3.8/4.0

GRE: V: 162(90), Q: 169(97), and A: 4.5

Experience: Two corporate R&D internships at well known biotech companies

Research: Started Research in a lab 2 months ago, not any significant prior research experience.

LOR: 2 from professors and one from corporate manger

I am very excited and nervous about this whole process. I want to know where I stand. What do you all think? I know my lack of research is my greatest weakness, hopefully my internships and exterior experience can make up for it....

I applied to all PhD BME programs except JHU and Stanford where I applied for an MS

Stanford MS BME

CMU 

MIT 

UT Austin

Duke

Rockefeller

JHU MS

Georgia Tech

Yale

BU

Purdue

Harvard

 

 

 

 

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Undergrad Institution: Illinois State University
Major(s): Chemistry
Minor(s): None
GPA in Major: 4.00
Overall GPA: 4.00
Position in Class: Top
Type of Student: Domestic male

GRE Scores (revised):
Q: 162 (90th)
V: 161 (79th)
W: 5.0 (93rd)

Chem GRE: 730/60th

Research Experience:

2 years in an organic synthesis lab. Presented the research at an American Chemical Society national meeting and have submitted an abstract for the next one on a new project. Also worked in a biochem lab (first semester sophomore year) and a p chem lab (2nd semester freshman year) for a semester each as well as a summer in the p chem lab. The p chem PI left our department, so I moved around a bit and fell in love with orgo as a sophomore which is why I moved from the biochem lab.


Awards/Honors/Recognitions: 

·         Dean’s List Fall 2013, Spring and Fall 2014, Spring and Fall 2015, Spring 2016

      

       Two highest scholarships an undergrad can receive at my university (Presidential and Bone)

Goldwater Scholarship Honorable Mention 2015

Sol Shulman Department of Chemistry Scholarship

Honors Program Student


Pertinent Activities or Jobs: 

2 semesters Gen Chem II lab TA

1 semester Organic I lab TA


Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: Will have taken the entire organic master's course list at my university at the time of application. Courses include Heterocycles, Structural Determination, Reaction Mechanisms (physical organic chemistry), and Organic Synthesis.

Special Bonus Points: -

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

I have three solid letters of recommendation and have been incredibly active with my university's ACS chemistry club (treasurer sophomore year, president junior year, bookstore manager--we sell all of the lab manuals for chemistry courses--senior year). Lots of experience in chemistry outreach with my student chapter and the ACS.

Applying to Where:

UC-Berkeley

Cal Tech

MIT 

University of Illinois-UC

Indiana University

UW-Madision

UC-Irvine

Stanford

University of Michigan

UC-Davis

I would really appreciate any feedback from current grad students because I am a bit worried that my application is not quite competitive enough for the institutions to which I am applying. Thank you!

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On 17/02/2016 at 10:56 PM, Dank said:

I am from Bangladesh and I have completed BS and MS from reputed University in my country . 

Undergrad Institution: National  University of Bangladesh , largest public University in country.
Major(s):  Zoology (course deficiency with physics , calculas and organic chemistry )
Minor(s):  none
GPA in Major:  unsure.
Overall GPA:  3.00
Position in Class: Rank not published . 

Graduate institution: University of Development Alternative  (UODA) Well known private university . 

GPA : 3.7 out of 4.

Class rank: First . 
Type of Student: International . 

GRE Scores (revised/old version):
Q: 165
V:  160
W:  4.5
B:  Not going to take 

TOEFL :110 (S 25)


Research Experience:

Worked in a Pharmaceutical Biotechnology  lab for one year as research assistant .I presented a poster of our research at a international conference . 

Publication: 7 paper published  , 3 paper from pharmacology field published in Indian journal , as a 2nd author of two and 3rd author of one paper.One paper from MS thesis published in pakistan as a 1st author , 02 fromBio informatics  ( Microbiology related  field )published in reputed journal and one is submitted at springer. 01 poster presentation published in international conference.    Attended several international conference and training program . 

 

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: 

Got merit scholarship when admitted for MS program . Got membership from American society for Microbiology . 


Pertinent Activities or Jobs

None

Special Bonus Points: 

I should be able to get some really strong letters of recommendation from current dean of life science in my faculty  professor I worked for during MS thesis who know me well and want to see me succeed. I should also be able to get a letter from one of the department chairman and MS Coordinator.
Applying to Where: 

  • NYU
    •  MS in Biological science . 
  • University of Wisconsin _ Madison 
    • MS in Bacteriology.
  • University of Southern california
    • MS Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.
    • MS in Molecular Microbiology and Immunology . 
  • Texas A and M University , college station.
    • MS Microbiology 
  • University of Texas San Antonio Health Scirencester centre.MS in Immunology and infection . 
  • University of Texas San Antonio . MS cell and Molecular Biology . 
  • University of Delaware , MS Molecular Biology and Genetics . 

I need details valuable suggestions from experts.thanks in advance for your  feedback. 

 

Quote
    •  

 

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I am from Bangladesh and I have completed BS and MS from reputed University in my country . 

Undergrad Institution: National  University of Bangladesh , largest public University in country.
Major(s):  Zoology (course deficiency with physics , calculas and organic chemistry )
Minor(s):  none
GPA in Major:  unsure.
Overall GPA:  3.00
Position in Class: Rank not published . 

Graduate institution: University of Development Alternative  (UODA) Well known private university . 

GPA : 3.7 out of 4.

Class rank: First . 
Type of Student: International . 

GRE Scores (revised/old version):
Q: 165
V:  160
W:  4.5
B:  Not going to take 

TOEFL :110 (S 25)


Research Experience:

Worked in a Pharmaceutical Biotechnology  lab for one year as research assistant .I presented a poster of our research at a international conference . 

Publication: 7 paper published  , 3 paper from pharmacology field published in Indian journal , as a 2nd author of two and 3rd author of one paper.One paper from MS thesis published in pakistan as a 1st author , 02 fromBio informatics  ( Microbiology related  field )published in reputed journal and one is submitted at springer. 01 poster presentation published in international conference.    Attended several international conference and training program . 

 

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: 

Got merit scholarship when admitted for MS program . Got membership from American society for Microbiology . 


Pertinent Activities or Jobs

None

Special Bonus Points: 

I should be able to get some really strong letters of recommendation from current dean of life science in my faculty  professor I worked for during MS thesis who know me well and want to see me succeed. I should also be able to get a letter from one of the department chairman and MS Coordinator.
Applying to Where: 

  • NYU
    •  MS in Biological science . 
  • University of Wisconsin _ Madison 
    • MS in Bacteriology.
  • University of Southern california
    • MS Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.
    • MS in Molecular Microbiology and Immunology . 
  • Texas A and M University , college station.
    • MS Microbiology 
  • University of Texas San Antonio Health Scirencester centre.MS in Immunology and infection . 
  • University of Texas San Antonio . MS cell and Molecular Biology . 
  • University of Delaware , MS Molecular Biology and Genetics . 

I need details valuable suggestions from experts.thanks in advance for your  feedback.

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