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Thoughts on deferring

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I'm a bioinformatics major hoping to make the switch to biomedical engineering. I applied to CMU and was accepted into their M.S. program but not their Ph.D.. I have every intention of pursue a Ph.D. since I want to go into the research aspect of the field. However, when I applied this season it was a last minute decision.

Because of this, I only applied to three places, places I wasn't even certain I wanted to attend. I did not do much in terms of prep, not really prepping for the GRE or researching into programs that weren't recommended to me by my advisor. . So I was thinking it might be a better idea to defer for a year, post-bac during this time and apply to places I didn't consider my first time around. I'm waiting on the other two places to reply, but I'm heavily leaning toward post-bac unless I get a Ph.D. acceptance. 

 

I'm just curious what everyone's opinion on this is. Even if I get a Ph.D. offer, I don't know if I should accept or not since maybe in a year, if I dedicate a lot of time to the subject, I could become a better candidate to better programs. But then again, why ask for more and risk getting nothing?

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I think you should defer and try to get a fully funded PhD program next year! You can really get a lot done in the lab when you're not in classes so your application will probably be much stronger then! 

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12 minutes ago, madbiochemist said:

I think you should defer and try to get a fully funded PhD program next year! You can really get a lot done in the lab when you're not in classes so your application will probably be much stronger then! 

How would I go about finding research as a post-bac? I was hoping to go to a different school for post-bac so should I just reach out to professors?

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Yeah, I'd talk to your mentor from undergrad and see if they have suggestions. Since you're switching fields, they might not have a ton of connections, but you never know. Otherwise you can just email professors and see if they're taking post-bac students. Sometimes you can get a lab technician position that's paid, but if you're switching fields you may need to volunteer your time. My lab has two post-bac students and they're both unpaid, unfortunately. 

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