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2017 Applicant Profiles and Admissions Results


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15 hours ago, vnatch said:

Does anyone know the status of the Harvard MCO apps? Based on the previous messages I guess the BBS program is done sending invites, but has anyone gotten any MCO invites?

Can't speak for MCO completely, but my friend and I both got interviews yesterday for different weekends.

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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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1 hour ago, Epigenetics said:

HILS are very different programs, don't lump them together because they're all separate. My understanding is BBS admits 90-95% of those they interview, the culling happens before interviews.

I'd love to know what percent of Harvard PiN applicants got an interview this year and how many will be admitted. They supposedly got a record number of applicants.

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15 hours ago, myhairtiebroke said:

Berkeley, and Cornell. I haven't heard from Berkeley, and there's a couple entries on the results search so I'm guessing I didn't get it.

I did get an invite from Madison, so I'll still visit. Is there an elegant way to ask about the financial situation? On an individual level, I doubt the program or a professor will take on more students than they can fund, but I am worried about the education quality declining if professors are leaving.

You should absolutely feel free to ask tough questions about a program or university during your interview weekend. These interview weekends exist in part for you, the candidate, to evaluate the program and university. When asking about this, I would be general and ask something like, "How has the situation with Gov. Walker and the state legislature affected things here at the University of Wisconsin?" Most current graduate students will likely be fairly candid in their responses to questions, while professors may be a bit more strategic. It also may be worthwhile to ask the program coordinator(s) about this subject during your visit.

I suggest being general and also asking administrators this question because of my experience with a similar (though less extreme) situation at the University of Illinois. Gov. Rauner and the state legislature have been at an impasse over the state budget for a long time now, and this has resulted in significant cuts in state funding to the University of Illinois. These cuts have been passed along to the university administration, which has had not-too-obvious effects on graduate research.

For example, the way PIs spend money from their grants is now being scrutinized at an excruciating level. (Remember that most grants are awarded to PIs' home institutions, not PIs themselves, so the home institution gets a say in how the grant money is spent.) PIs have had difficulty purchasing expensive equipment for their labs because they have had to convince administrators (who obviously have little to no background in science) that the purchase is absolutely necessary for them to conduct their research. At the same time, some of the better administrators have left the university to find more hospitable work environments, which has made dealing with the administration even more difficult.

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Hello all, I realize that I'm quite late to this but I'm on break and bored and need people to talk to about all of this.

Undergrad Institution: Top 5 science and engineering school 
Major(s): Bioengineering
Minor(s): Philosophy
GPA in Major: 3.76
Overall GPA: 3.79
Position in Class: Top 25% among engineering majors, top 2 or 3 in Bioengineering
Type of Student: Domestic white female

GRE Scores (revised/old version): revised
Q: 170
V: 166
W: 5
B: None

Research Experience: 

  • About four months in a chemical engineering/bioengineering lab working on a protein engineering project. Most of it was full-time summer research. This took place at my home institution.
  • Two or three months full-time summer research in a bioengineering lab that studies fruit fly behavior/flight dynamics. Also did some part-time work during the fall term. This also took place at my home institution.
  • Three months in a bioengineering/biophysics lab that engineers microtubule systems in vitro. I participated in the BIOMOD competition as one part of my project.This was at a different university.
  • No publications. I just wrote research reports for the summer research and gave presentations at my school's seminar day, plus I gave a presentation at the BIOMOD competition at UCSF.


Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Tau Beta Pi Engineering Honors Society, a small award from the BIOMOD competition, academic honors from the Association of Collegiate Water Polo Coaches, a summer internship award for women in STEM

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: I'll be TAing for the first time next term. I did some mentoring of high schoolers/undergrads in my lab last summer.

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: I've played NCAA water polo for the past 3 years, and I'm now one of the team captains. It's not that big of a deal since we're DIII and no one really takes athletics seriously here, but I dunno, maybe it shows commitment or something.

Special Bonus Points: Female. Two of my letters of recommendation were from my last two research professors, and they are fairly well-known and accomplished. The other is from a lecturer who I've known since my freshman year, has taught four of my classes, and has asked me to TA for him next term. 


Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: I made sure to put a lot into my statement of purpose about why I wanted to go to each particular program/which scientists I wanted to work with in each program. I also discussed an interest in teaching and reforming biology education.

Applying to Where:

Princeton Quantitative and Computational Biology (QCB)

UC Berkeley Biophysics

Stanford Biophysics

Harvard Systems Biology

MIT Computational and Systems Biology (CSBio)

UCSF Biophysics (iPQB)

UCSD Bioinformatics and Systems Biology

UC Santa Barbara Biomolecular Science and Engineering (BMSE)

MIT Bioengineering 

 

So far I've gotten interviews at Princeton, Berkeley, Stanford and Harvard. Haven't heard back from any of the others. Does anyone know if UCSD is done sending out interviews? I see some people got one already.

Edited by Giant_Squid
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1 hour ago, Giant_Squid said:

Hello all, I realize that I'm quite late to this but I'm on break and bored and need people to talk to about all of this.

Undergrad Institution: Top 5 science and engineering school 
Major(s): Bioengineering
Minor(s): Philosophy
GPA in Major: 3.76
Overall GPA: 3.79
Position in Class: Top 25% among engineering majors, top 2 or 3 in Bioengineering
Type of Student: Domestic white female

GRE Scores (revised/old version): revised
Q: 170
V: 166
W: 5
B: None

Research Experience: 

  • About four months in a chemical engineering/bioengineering lab working on a protein engineering project. Most of it was full-time summer research. This took place at my home institution.
  • Two or three months full-time summer research in a bioengineering lab that studies fruit fly behavior/flight dynamics. Also did some part-time work during the fall term. This also took place at my home institution.
  • Three months in a bioengineering/biophysics lab that engineers microtubule systems in vitro. I participated in the BIOMOD competition as one part of my project.This was at a different university.
  • No publications. I just wrote research reports for the summer research and gave presentations at my school's seminar day, plus I gave a presentation at the BIOMOD competition at UCSF.


Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Tau Beta Pi Engineering Honors Society, a small award from the BIOMOD competition, academic honors from the Association of Collegiate Water Polo Coaches, a summer internship award for women in STEM

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: I'll be TAing for the first time next term. I did some mentoring of high schoolers/undergrads in my lab last summer.

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: I've played NCAA water polo for the past 3 years, and I'm now one of the team captains. It's not that big of a deal since we're DIII and no one really takes athletics seriously here, but I dunno, maybe it shows commitment or something.

Special Bonus Points: Female. Two of my letters of recommendation were from my last two research professors, and they are fairly well-known and accomplished. The other is from a lecturer who I've known since my freshman year, has taught four of my classes, and has asked me to TA for him next term. 


Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: I made sure to put a lot into my statement of purpose about why I wanted to go to each particular program/which scientists I wanted to work with in each program. I also discussed an interest in teaching and reforming biology education.

Applying to Where:

Princeton Quantitative and Computational Biology (QCB)

UC Berkeley Biophysics

Stanford Biophysics

Harvard Systems Biology

MIT Computational and Systems Biology (CSBio)

UCSF Biophysics (iPQB)

UCSD Bioinformatics and Systems Biology

UC Santa Barbara Biomolecular Science and Engineering (BMSE)

MIT Bioengineering 

 

So far I've gotten interviews at Princeton, Berkeley, Stanford and Harvard. Haven't heard back from any of the others. Does anyone know if UCSD is done sending out interviews? I see some people got one already.

Congrats! Your profile is pretty strong! BTW, do you know if Princeton QCB has sent out all invitations? Thanks!

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3 hours ago, sqxz said:

You should absolutely feel free to ask tough questions about a program or university during your interview weekend. These interview weekends exist in part for you, the candidate, to evaluate the program and university. When asking about this, I would be general and ask something like, "How has the situation with Gov. Walker and the state legislature affected things here at the University of Wisconsin?" Most current graduate students will likely be fairly candid in their responses to questions, while professors may be a bit more strategic. It also may be worthwhile to ask the program coordinator(s) about this subject during your visit.

I suggest being general and also asking administrators this question because of my experience with a similar (though less extreme) situation at the University of Illinois. Gov. Rauner and the state legislature have been at an impasse over the state budget for a long time now, and this has resulted in significant cuts in state funding to the University of Illinois. These cuts have been passed along to the university administration, which has had not-too-obvious effects on graduate research.

For example, the way PIs spend money from their grants is now being scrutinized at an excruciating level. (Remember that most grants are awarded to PIs' home institutions, not PIs themselves, so the home institution gets a say in how the grant money is spent.) PIs have had difficulty purchasing expensive equipment for their labs because they have had to convince administrators (who obviously have little to no background in science) that the purchase is absolutely necessary for them to conduct their research. At the same time, some of the better administrators have left the university to find more hospitable work environments, which has made dealing with the administration even more difficult.

Alongside this, talk to the professors you're interested in working with to make sure they're not about to disembark to another university. I've had several friends who got screwed by professors leaving right after they joined a program.

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25 minutes ago, DreamHigh said:

Does anybody know what the post-interview acceptance rates for Stanford Biosciences (Immunology) and UPenn Immunology are? 

Unfortunately I can't answer your question, but would you happen to have heard anything from University of Washington Immunology?

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