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Quick feedback about my profile


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Hello everyone, 

I am applying to cell and molecular biology phd programs for fall 2017 and need some quick feedback evaluating my chances. I have a slightly unconventional profile so I am unsure of which schools to target.

I did my bachelors degree in management from a well known Asian university (well known in my country but not internationally). I then worked for a few years in business/management jobs before deciding to completely change my field to biological sciences. Took some college courses in biology, appeared for gre subjects tests and was selected for a well known scholarship/student exchange program which completely funded my graduate study in the US.

I am currently doing my MS in cell and molecular biology at a large public research university (ranked around 100 in the US in biological sciences). I started my masters with zero biology coursework or research experience but by the time I graduate in I will have over 2 years of full time research experience which I am doing for my thesis. I don't have any publications or presentations but have decent GPA (~3.88) and GRE scores (160 each in verbal and quant and 84% in GRE biochemestry). I will have a very good recommendation from my PI and two good/fair recommendations from professors I have taken courses with. 

I am not really sure if my non traditional background is an advantage or disadvantage. I think my personal statement does a good job of describing my reasons for changing my field and the scholarship I received is certainly a plus but I only have a total of 2.5 years of biology coursework/research. Also I am not sure how big a factor age is but I am almost thirty. 

Some of the schools I am considering are Emory, Penn State, and Colarado Boulder as my top choices and Rutgers, University of Missouri and Northeastern as the second tier.

Am I aiming too high or do you think I can afford to apply to these schools? 



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