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2018 Applicant Profiles and Admissions Results

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1 hour ago, scoobydoo9 said:

Undergrad Institution: State university, R1
Major(s): Animal Sciences, with honors
Minor(s): Biology
GPA in Major: Not sure, but probably close to if not higher than overall. 
Overall GPA: 3.79
Position in Class: Near top? 
Type of Student: (Domestic/International, male/female, minority?) Domestic, female, white

GRE Scores (revised/old version):
Q: 158 (69%)
V: 162 (91%)
W: 6 (99%)
B: N/A

Research Experience: 4 years in undergrad developmental biology lab. State conference twice. 1 1/2 full time summers.


Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Awarded small grants and fellowships from university, cum laude

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Academic advisor, tutor


Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: N/A


Special Bonus Points: Completed a certificate program in human health. Have mentored two undergrads. Lots of volunteer work.

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: I took a gap year and traveled, spent some time shadowing clinicians, but did not actively participate in research.

Applying to Where: I would appreciate any input on this. Really struggling to put together a list. My interest is primarily in the microbiome. Am I reaching too high here? Anywhere I should obviously be applying that I've missed? Too many schools? 


Emory-GDBBS

University of Michigan-PIBS

Baylor-GSBS

Harvard-BBS

UPenn-CAMB

North Carolina State-Microbiology

UT Southwestern-DBS

Tufts-Molecular Micro (MERGE-ID)

WUSTL-Microbiology

U Wash-Pathobiology

Chicago-Microbiology

THANK YOU!
 

Did you only work in one lab? Who is writing your rec letters? I think that if those are strong, you chances are pretty good granted that you write a non-generic, strong SOP for the schools you apply to. I would make sure that your interests actually align with the research being conducted rather than basing it off of recognition. I would not apply if there are not more than 5 people you would be happy to work with. I would also not apply to more than 7 schools, interview logistics are likely to become complicated---and declining an interview is equivalent to wasting your money/canceling your app. 

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18 hours ago, Crucial BBQ said:

Yeah, I heard all of this too.  I also have a low uGPA with great research and volunteer (directly related to field) experiences.  I did not publish while in UG, nor did I run my own lab--both of which I assume will be huge advantages for you, but I did also receive stellar LORs.  First time through the application cycle I was denied by five programs and waitlisted by one... ...only to ultimately be denied by that one, too.  Second year, applied to 7 programs and was denied by all seven.  I was in contact with a PI at one of those programs and I had thought for sure I was in as he practically all but said it.  Third cycle/year/attempt I had applied to five programs, including to the same lab/PI I had just previously mentioned.  Was denied by four but was accepted into that PIs lab.  

Each time, with each rejection, I had contacted the program director to see if I could find out where in my application I may have been delinquent with the hopes of arming myself with that knowledge for the next cycle.  My SOPs were good, LORs were good, experiences were good, GRE scores good enough, and so on.  Turns out, it was my low GPA that caused the rejections.  

It's really hit or miss, though.  Some will say that a well-written SOP, good LORs and UG research experience are enough to overcome a low uGPA.  Others, will tell you otherwise.  There is truth to both and it really depends on the department, who's looking to take on students that particular year, and on and on.  Luck plays a role in all of this, too.  

 

*edit to add*

I've been a member around here for five years or so.  If history bears any evidence, this thread will get swamped with bio undergrads looking at neuroscience programs, immunology, oncology, and a few other programs more-or-less related to a medical field.  Competition in these areas is intense, in particular when compared to other fields of biology such as marine bio, micro, ecology, and a few others.  Not to discourage anyone from applying, though, and I am wishing everyone good luck.  

Really sorry about your tough application experience - I'm glad you're finally in a great program you're happy with!

I agree that it's pretty much a hit-or-miss with the low GPA/great experience combo. Even though I like to think I have great experience (plus a first author Nature pub, whoop), I held off applying because I know that my GPA (~3.4) is a huge turn off for competitive institutions. I settled for applying to a top 1 year MS program, but even then I expected rejection. Happy to report that I will be attending the program - I can only hope it'll boost my chances next cycle. 

I guess I've been lucky so far, but I still fully expect to receive a good number of rejections when I apply next cycle as well.  However, from professors and students alike, I always hear that experience trumps GPA. I myself personally value things like previous (and relevant) research and graduate level experiences waaaay more than a mid to high GPA. GPAs are supposed to be indicators of graduate school success, after all. If you've effectively shown great potential in other ways, I can't imagine it would be an impossible obstacle with adcoms - maybe not easy to swallow, but still not impossible. 

But again, as you've said, it's a hit-or-miss. I still strongly believe that if you really want that PhD, and if you work hard enough, you'll land an acceptance. 

 

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On 8/13/2017 at 6:43 PM, samman1994 said:

Your application actually looks really good. The GPA isn't bad, and GRE is fine. Your main strongpoint is your publications (although depends on 1st author or 2nd, you state you are 2nd in one of them, so I assume you are 1st in the other 2), and a good amount of background experience. I think, on paper, you have a very good chance at getting into your schools however, there is on important thing to keep note of. I have seen this before, many people have joined multiple research labs, but have not contributed much to the labs themselves, and this becomes very evident in the rec letters themselves. So if you have contributed a lot to the research labs you've been a part of, and that is shown in the rec letters, then your application is good to go! 

Thank you for the feedback!

I don't actually have any first author papers :( the opportunity continues to elude me. I have a 2nd author, and 2 later author papers. Another 1-3 papers before I go to grad school, not first author though.

I contributed quite a bit to 2/3 of my labs. As I said, I was at the NIH for only 3 months, so my contribution was limited to the grad student with whom I was working (Although she did say she was putting me on her dissertation, which she just submitted).

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Just posting this as a piece of advice for current applicants. In MY experience, the absence of publications will absolutely NOT have an impact on whether or not you get into a particular school. Don't think you're at a disadvantage if you don't have any because, in reality, most of your peers wont. Sure, it'll look cool and it'll show that you were heavily involved with a project, but it is not common for undergrads to have any meaningful authorship credits. I know plenty of people in top programs that did not have publications at the time of application. Just my two cents. 

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On 8/3/2017 at 11:02 AM, takos said:

Hi everyone.

I'm a foreigner student looking for advices or feedback. I have no idea what the application process will look like, I just know that I will have to take both GRE and TOEFL.

 

Application field : Neuroscience

Undergrad Institution

BSc in a French University - Their neuroscience program is solid, but I doubt anyone knows it in US

I am currently enrolled in a Master's Degree in Cognitive Science, at the Ecole Normale Supérieure Paris


Major(s): Neuroscience
GPA in Major: Cannot convert to GPA system - from the info I gathered, it looks like ~[A-]
Overall GPA:  Same - BSc ~[A-] (14.5/20) // MSC ~[A] (15.5/20)
Position in Class: BSc : 1st in class, 4th in overall program / MSc : No ranking (but probably top 5/10%)
Type of Student: Foreigner / France

GRE Scores :
Q: 164 / 88% (Kaplan Practice) PI in US told me I should get 90% in Q
V: 150 / 50% (Kaplan Practice)
W: -



Research Experience: 

1 month of lab rotation during undergrad

4 month internship during MSc 1st year in rodent's electrophysiology - PI has a good reputation in his field

3 month internship during this summer in NHP electrophysiology - PI is very well-known in his field

5 month internship incoming - same PI as summer / work might be publishable, but the application process will be over by the time we submit the paper)

 


Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Nop

Pertinent Activities or Jobs:  See internships

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help:

Special Bonus Points: I have had an interview with a PI from one of the Uni for which i'm going to apply - went extremely well. Plus, current PI knows this guy very well.



Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: Head of a Student Association that organizes nationwide events in Cognitive Sciences.

Applying to Where:

  • Yale - BBS (top choice)
  • CalTech BSN program
  • Mount Sinai
  • Might consider other Uni if advised

 

In my mind I almost only want to apply to Yale, even though it might be too presumptuous - US is not my fav' destination but I'd REALLY like to make it to Yale. But eh I paid for GRE and TOEFL so I guess I can try other programs :) I will also apply to several EU PhD programs.

Thank you for your feedback

 

Why just Yale, out of curiosity? It is a very prestigious university obviously but that does not always correspond to quality of particular graduate programs. I think that of the four schools you listed CalTech is a tier above the others for neuroscience, although the department seemed fairly computational last time I checked which may not be your thing.  If you are only applying for the prestige value of the school it will be fairly obvious to people reviewing your application, and in any case the prestige of a school outside of the scientific community should not be a part of your decision making process. Make sure you have a solid justification for why you want to go to each school you apply to, and that you can find at least 3 or 4 people you would be a good match for based on your experiences and interests. Fit for the program is usually more important than any other application component.

Edited by Janiejoneswoah

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On 25/08/2017 at 5:29 AM, Janiejoneswoah said:

Why just Yale, out of curiosity? It is a very prestigious university obviously but that does not always correspond to quality of particular graduate programs. I think that of the four schools you listed CalTech is a tier above the others for neuroscience, although the department seemed fairly computational last time I checked which may not be your thing.  If you are only applying for the prestige value of the school it will be fairly obvious to people reviewing your application, and in any case the prestige of a school outside of the scientific community should not be a part of your decision making process. Make sure you have a solid justification for why you want to go to each school you apply to, and that you can find at least 3 or 4 people you would be a good match for based on your experiences and interests. Fit for the program is usually more important than any other application component.

 

Thank you for your advices.

There is a PI in Yale that works on a subject that is a perfect fit for me. I actually don't care that much about the name of the university - of course Yale is Yale and being admitted there would be my biggest academic achievement -  when I first contacted this man I was exclusively interested in his work. We have had a very interesting conversation, which reinforced my will to work with him. So now if I want to be his grad student, the only way is to apply to Yale. Not the easiest thing i've done in my life, i'll say !

CalTech has a very interesting Behavioral and Social Neuroscience program - and computational neuroscience is my thing so it's all good. I have stumbled upon many papers from researchers working in CalTech as well, so it is interesting to me as well - although i don't personally know anyone there.

Hope it answers your question.

Also, since i cannot edit my previous post, my GRE practice scores look like this now :

Q: 167 /  (ETS Practice)
V: 154 /  (ETS Practice)

Edited by takos

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4 hours ago, takos said:

 

Thank you for your advices.

There is a PI in Yale that works on a subject that is a perfect fit for me. I actually don't care that much about the name of the university - of course Yale is Yale and being admitted there would be my biggest academic achievement -  when I first contacted this man I was exclusively interested in his work. We have had a very interesting conversation, which reinforced my will to work with him. So now if I want to be his grad student, the only way is to apply to Yale. Not the easiest thing i've done in my life, i'll say !

CalTech has a very interesting Behavioral and Social Neuroscience program - and computational neuroscience is my thing so it's all good. I have stumbled upon many papers from researchers working in CalTech as well, so it is interesting to me as well - although i don't personally know anyone there.

Hope it answers your question.

Also, since i cannot edit my previous post, my GRE practice scores look like this now :

Q: 167 /  (ETS Practice)
V: 154 /  (ETS Practice)

Just keep in mind, there is a good possibility the guy from yale might not work out. I would make sure you have contacted at least 2 other people within Yale that you would be interested in, and see if they are also accepting students. So if this guy doesn't work out, you have a back up plan and don't end up wasting your time. 

Edited by samman1994

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On 7/13/2017 at 10:15 AM, somino42 said:

I am quite nervous for applying this year! First time, ahh! I need some help deciding whether the schools I am applying to are too much of a reach. My GPA is my only low point but I have attempted to mitigate it with my GRE and post-bacc classes I took at the graduate level with incoming first years at my uni. 

Undergrad Institution: Big 10 School
Major(s): Bio with Neuro emphasis 
Overall GPA: 3.22 (last 2 semesters 4.0, struggled first 2 years with straight 3.0-3.2 f-jr) 
Type of Student: domestic, white woman

GRE Scores:

V: 164

Q: 162

W: 6

Research Experience: 

3 years undergrad + 3 years as an RA

Main labs: 1) In vivo ephys - worked for 1y during undergrad and 3y after getting experience. Have 2 papers and 2 poster presentations from work in this lab. Ephys is slow going but I have 3 projects I'm working on right now. Presenting at SfN this year and also did last year. Basically operate as a graduate student independently running the lab (I have no postdocs or grad students to help me, but I have trained previous postdocs in ephys so I am confident in my abilities). Also my PIs are ridiculously famous in their field. 

2) Human cog neuro lab doing TMS/EEG. One paper from this lab, middle author, just volunteered my time to this lab because I loved the mentorship from this PI. 

3) also worked in an epigenetics lab for 2 years where I learned a ton of molecular skills, but no papers came out of this, as it was my first gig! 

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: 

Deans List 2 semesters? No other awards, my PI told me not to focus on getting money which I really regret.

I may go to a Gordon Conference next year but that is still up in the air. 


Special Bonus Points: 

 - Already took intro Neuro courses at the grad level and got As in all courses.

- 3 papers total, 2 posters total at SfN (national conference)

- Working on 3 projects that are 'in prep' and will be wrapping up by the time I am finished applying

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter:
3 glowing LORs, 2 from very famous PIs who love to network, 1 from someone who can comment extensively on my ability to design experiments, read papers, discuss science, and troubleshoot electrophysiology. 

Applying to Where:

(All Neuroscience): 

UCSD

Stanford

UCSF

UC Davis

UC Berkeley

U Penn

UNC 

Emory

Columbia

NYU

After reading around, I think I may end up having to do a masters.

Since posting this, I have become a TA for a grad level course in neuroscience.  I also published a paper in JNeuro this month as second author.  Still not thinking these things will push me over the edge on any front, but I *really* don't want to do a masters and waste my time.  However, the GPA is a huge problem for any of the schools on my list, and it's just impossible to overcome (last 2 years GPA was a 3.7, with my final year being a 4.0, which just speaks volumes about my first 2 years), regardless of my research which is my strongest suit.  My letters are going to certainly say that I am among the top 1% of students my PIs have mentored, as they have told me this.  I work really hard on my research and I independently run the entire elecrophysiology team in a very famous lab.  Just not sure that's quite enough for my poooooor GPA.  I graduated in 2015 so there isn't that much time between me graduating and now to make my GPA irrelevant.  

Thoughts?

Edited by somino42

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3 hours ago, somino42 said:

After reading around, I think I may end up having to do a masters.

Since posting this, I have become a TA for a grad level course in neuroscience.  I also published a paper in JNeuro this month as second author.  Still not thinking these things will push me over the edge on any front, but I *really* don't want to do a masters and waste my time.  However, the GPA is a huge problem for any of the schools on my list, and it's just impossible to overcome (last 2 years GPA was a 3.7, with my final year being a 4.0, which just speaks volumes about my first 2 years), regardless of my research which is my strongest suit.  My letters are going to certainly say that I am among the top 1% of students my PIs have mentored, as they have told me this.  I work really hard on my research and I independently run the entire elecrophysiology team in a very famous lab.  Just not sure that's quite enough for my poooooor GPA.  I graduated in 2015 so there isn't that much time between me graduating and now to make my GPA irrelevant.  

Thoughts?

You'll be fine, I have no publications and an even lower gpa (3.00) and even lower GRE scores (150s), and I'm applying to similar schools for Biomed PhD. I'm in a similar boat, last 2 years were really good, the first 2 were god awful. My confidence arises primarily from the fact my PI knows most of the people I plan on applying to personally, and so she's already told me she'll contact them if I'm interested and tell them wasup. Their research is also similar to my previous lab, so I also think it'll be easier to convince them that I'll basically start up running in their lab. Regardless, Also, pubs, good research experience, and good GRE scores make your GPA irrelevant. 

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6 hours ago, somino42 said:

After reading around, I think I may end up having to do a masters.

Since posting this, I have become a TA for a grad level course in neuroscience.  I also published a paper in JNeuro this month as second author.  Still not thinking these things will push me over the edge on any front, but I *really* don't want to do a masters and waste my time.  However, the GPA is a huge problem for any of the schools on my list, and it's just impossible to overcome (last 2 years GPA was a 3.7, with my final year being a 4.0, which just speaks volumes about my first 2 years), regardless of my research which is my strongest suit.  My letters are going to certainly say that I am among the top 1% of students my PIs have mentored, as they have told me this.  I work really hard on my research and I independently run the entire elecrophysiology team in a very famous lab.  Just not sure that's quite enough for my poooooor GPA.  I graduated in 2015 so there isn't that much time between me graduating and now to make my GPA irrelevant.  

Thoughts?

IDK if your GPA is irrelevant but a GPA that trends positively as yours does can make up for the low average. I agree with the previous poster, high GRE and good research experience along with a positive trending GPA and you should be fine. 

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6 hours ago, Janiejoneswoah said:

IDK if your GPA is irrelevant but a GPA that trends positively as yours does can make up for the low average. I agree with the previous poster, high GRE and good research experience along with a positive trending GPA and you should be fine. 

I agree. Your GPA won't be irrelevant, but it can be overcome. I do think some people on here are...a bit too nice in chancing people's odds, but a 3.2 GPA with solid experience and good GRE scores can make for a successful applicant even for top schools. 

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Hi guys! I am planning on applying this fall/winter to start in Fall 2018. I was wondering if there was anything I can do to boost my stats and also just what my general chances are. Also, do you guys think there would be any hope for me getting into/getting funding at a PhD in the UK? (ie UCL, Imperial, Kings, OxCam?) .

I have a psychology/neuro BSc but I would like to point out that most of my coursework is focused on biology, and I hope that my research experience in biology and bioengineering can help me in my applications to programs that ask for biological science degrees. Also, my recommendations should really emphasize my ability to conduct independent biology research.

 

Undergrad Institution: McGill University, Canada, pretty good international research reputation
Major(s): Psychology + Neuroscience (but most coursework on molecular bio/neuro... almost all classes in Faculty of Science)
Minor(s):
GPA in Major: 3.73
Overall GPA: 3.58 (upward trend: 3.22, 3.72, 3.86, 3.73)
Position in Class: We didnt get ranks, but I have above average grades in all of my classes
Type of Student: Canadian + American dual citizen, Male

GRE Scores (revised/old version):
Q: 166
V: 168
W: 5
B:

Research Experience: (At your school or elsewhere? What field? How much time? Any publications (Mth author out of N?) or conference talks etc...)

1 year in a cognitive psychology/neuroanatomy lab at McGill, 6 hours a week, big PI but not a relevant lab experience

2.5 years in a collaborative project between a professor and an anatomy and cell biology professor at McGill, molecular biology and bioengineering project, 3 full-time summers, around 30 hours a week throughout the school year, trained many graduate students on microscopy and surface patterning techniques

6 months in computational biology lab at Imperial College London while studying abroad at UCL, 1x a week for 3-4 hours

4.5 months post-graduation in a microfluidics lab in Japan as a summer intern, I was brought in to the research group to help develop cellular applications for the platforms they were developing as the lab mainly consisted of physicists and chemists

(Current) Research technician and assistant at Columbia medical center, working full time and will have been working here for two years before joining graduate school, pathology and cell biology lab where I am working on a few projects 

Conference proceedings/Posters: First author conference proceeding and poster presentation at international conference in cell engineering and biomaterials

Third author on conference proceeding and oral presentation at international bioengineering conference

3x poster presentations at Canadian national neuroscience conferences, 3x at Montreal local conferences

Publications: First authored publication should be submitted before application (hopefully accepted) from Montreal lab

Third author publication from Japan lab 

Potential submitted second author publication from Columbia 


Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Deans Interdisciplinary Research Award (McGill)

Awarded 2x summer research awards/fellowships through NSERC (one in Neuroengineering and one in Bioengineering)

Invited as an intern to Japanese institute, which included full funding for travel and living expenses

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Full time research technician at Columbia

Special Bonus Points: Took 2-3 grad level biology classes, got A's
Anatomy + Cell bio professor at McGill is a big name in his field, as is Columbia professor
My projects at McGill were run by me independently as the PhD student I was working with left after about 2 months of work, so I stayed on for the rest of the project and just worked directly with the professor


Applying to Where:

Harvard BBS, MIT Biology, Berkeley MCB, Columbia Integrated program, MSK Gerstner grad program, Tri-institutional Chemical biology, BU bioengineering, David Rockefeller PhD program, EMBL International PhD program, UK schools??

 

Thank again!!

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Hey guys, 

I'm planning on applying this coming cycle - fall 2018 to a molecular virology/ microbiology program. 

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

 

Undergrad Institution: University of Texas at Austin graduated this past may 2017

Major(s): Public Health Infectious Diseases

Minor(s): none

GPA in Major: 3.6

Overall GPA: 3.55 (4.0 in my last semester) 

Position in Class: top quarter? I'm not sure. 

Type of Student: domestic, male, LGBT

GRE Scores (New):

Q: 151 (51st) :,(

V: 157 (76th)

W: 4.5 (82nd)

So this is the second GRE i've taken and I know my quant score is low, I really, really struggle at math. But is it too low where schools will filter out my application by that statistic? Should I retake it again?

I have taken the MCAT and scored at the 87th percentile on the "Biological and Biochemical Foundations of Living Systems". - i know it's MCAT and i don't know if graduate schools even care about it, but it's there. 

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 soon, we have a journal in mind and one that she has a good history with. 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. 

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. 

I just graduated from UT this past may and in my gap year I'm currently hired on as a microbiologist (class: II) at the Texas Department of State Health Services in a survelliance Arbovirus lab in Austin, Texas. I work with Zika, Dengue, Chikunguna, WEE, EEE, and West Nile virus. A lot of the work I do is along side people who are 10-15 years older than me that hold Masters and PhD's in the field - to give you perspective. We do RT-PCR and a combination of cellular work to survey for these viruses. 

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:

Looking into applying at the molecular virology/microbiology programs at these schools. 

- 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?) 

- baylor college of medicine 

- UT Health Science Center Houston 

maybe UTMB galveston. 

So in short, does my GRE quant score stick out too much? is it going to be a deal breaker? I know there are cut offs and I won't be as competitive but is my score lethal? :( 

Baylor, Columbia, and cornell are dream schools but now with my GRE I don't know if I can get there anymore... 

Let me know what you guys think, thanks for your time!

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Would be grateful if someone could comment on my list of universities.

I know it is somewhat top-heavy, but these were the only universities which had research aligned to my interests...

 

Undergrad Institution: Imperial College London, UK (Top for science in UK)
Major(s): Biomedical Sciences
Minor(s): n/a
GPA in Major: no GPA system in UK (Upper 2nd class)
Overall GPA: n/a
Position in Class: 
Type of Student: International female

Postgrad: MSc in Public Health (GPA 3.88) at London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

GRE Scores (revised/old version):
Q: 160 (76%)
V: 167 (98%)
W: 4.5 (82%)
B:


TOEFL Total: n/a

Research Experience: 2 years in health services research (1 publication currently under review as co-author & 2+ articles underway, also co-author)

Awards/Honors/Recognitions:

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: some teaching assistance

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help:

Special Bonus Points:

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

Applying to Where:

Harvard, John Hopkins, UNC, UCLA, UCSF, Northwestern, Brown, Ohio State, Iowa, Standford

(all Epidemiology / health service research or management PhDs)

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Hi guys, I would appreciate any feedback on my program choices and other things. I am most concerned about the fact that I am an international student as I know that a lot of programs take very small numbers of us.

 

Undergrad Institution: Community college -> UW Seattle
Major(s): Biochemistry, Magna Cum Laude, departmental honors
Minor(s): N/A
GPA in Major: 3.68
Overall GPA: 3.87
Position in Class: top 3.5%
Type of Student: international male, asian

GRE Scores (revised/old version):
Q: 170 (97%)
V: 166 (97%)
W: 4.5 (82%)
B: N/A

Research Experience: 

3 years total: 
1 year - undergrad research (senior year) in developmental biology/molecular biology. One poster presentation, one co-authored paper, honors thesis.

2 years - research scientist, genome editing (molecular/cell biology/immunology). One first-author paper, potentially two co-authored paper coming, co-authorship on a couple of conference posters

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Dean's List at university (6 consecutive quarters), Annual Dean's List (2 consecutive academic years); President's List at community college (6 consecutive quarters)

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Memberships of a couple of honor societies. 

Special Bonus Points: Strong letters of rec - one from current PI who is fairly famous in the field, one from biochemistry professor and undergrad research PI, and one from another PI whom I worked with closely when I wrote my manuscript.

Applying to Where:

Harvard BBS

Yale BBS

MIT Biology

Stanford Biosciences

UCSF BMS

UC Berkeley MCB

UW MCB

UCSD

(I honestly don't know what programs to use as back-ups since I am an international student - many programs that seem easier to get into actually admit very few international students)

Edited by factanonverba

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21 hours ago, jjj02027 said:

Would be grateful if someone could comment on my list of universities.

I know it is somewhat top-heavy, but these were the only universities which had research aligned to my interests...

 

Undergrad Institution: Imperial College London, UK (Top for science in UK)
Major(s): Biomedical Sciences
Minor(s): n/a
GPA in Major: no GPA system in UK (Upper 2nd class)
Overall GPA: n/a
Position in Class: 
Type of Student: International female

Postgrad: MSc in Public Health (GPA 3.88) at London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

GRE Scores (revised/old version):
Q: 160 (76%)
V: 167 (98%)
W: 4.5 (82%)
B:


TOEFL Total: n/a

Research Experience: 2 years in health services research (1 publication currently under review as co-author & 2+ articles underway, also co-author)

Awards/Honors/Recognitions:

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: some teaching assistance

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help:

Special Bonus Points:

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

Applying to Where:

Harvard, John Hopkins, UNC, UCLA, UCSF, Northwestern, Brown, Ohio State, Iowa, Standford

(all Epidemiology / health service research or management PhDs)

Interestingly, I'm applying to most of those schools as well (except for UCLA and UCSF) for Biomed science as well

Edited by samman1994

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On 8/27/2017 at 10:35 PM, Neuro15 said:

I agree. Your GPA won't be irrelevant, but it can be overcome. I do think some people on here are...a bit too nice in chancing people's odds, but a 3.2 GPA with solid experience and good GRE scores can make for a successful applicant even for top schools. 

Ah I see. Thanks for the realistic advice all! Definitely not looking for people to be nice in assessing my chances, so this makes me feel a bit more positive. 

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8 hours ago, samman1994 said:

Interestingly, I'm applying to most of those schools as well (except for UCLA and UCSF) for Biomed science as well

Good luck!

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1 hour ago, jjj02027 said:

Good luck!

Also, your competition (i.e. me) is 3.00 gpa with 150s GRE, so I think you definitely have a good chance relatively speaking 

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Hi everyone, good luck with this application round! I'm hoping to get some advice regarding whether or not I should apply this round/what schools I should apply to. I'm trying to target middle/lower tier schools. I plan to apply to a ton of schools to increase my odds. 

 

Undergrad Institution: Big, R1 state school with a good reputation in the sciences
Major(s): Biochemistry
GPA in Major: So far 4.0, but lacking some of the upper division classes. Will be taking them at the time of application.
Overall GPA: 3.6
Position in Class: No exact numbers, but I have been told by a couple professors that I was in the top 3 or top 10 of their classes.
Type of Student: Minority - Mexican American/Latino, first gen, "non-traditional", community college transfer

GRE Scores (revised):
Q: 160 (76%)
V: 166 (97%)
W: 4.0 (60%)

Research Experience: I will have about 10 months of research experience in a biochemistry/chemical biology/protein engineering lab at time of application. I don't know how many hours this equates to, but I work a lot. 

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Phi Theta Kappa, NIH - MARC, Scholar award from the university's hispanic alumni association, random student of the month award, 

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Peer mentor for other community college transfer students, preceptor for intro mol. bio. course, frequent panel speaker on student success and diversity

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: I don't think so. I have an abstract submitted to ABRCMS, but I won't know for a while if it's been accepted.

Special Bonus Points: Latino student, MARC scholar, I think that's it.

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: My main concern is a lack of upper division classes and research experience. Because of transferring from a community college I have had limited research experience and I will be taking the bulk of my upper division science courses while I am applying. I also had a terrible GPA my freshman year (like 2.5), but have since gotten a 4.0 every semester. 

Applying to Where:

The list of schools that I want to apply to is probably too long. I'm targeting mostly mid-tier to low-tier R1 schools. I'll also be applying to pretty much anywhere that I can get a free application waiver to, assuming they have faculty that I'd want to study with. That being said, these are my top schools, including a few super-reaches:


University of Washington - Biochemistry

UCSF - Tetrad

Harvard - Chemical Biology

Ohio State - Biochemistry

University of Michigan - Biochemistry

Vanderbilt - IGP - Biochemistry

West Virginia University - Biochemistry/Biomedical

University of Nebraska - Lincoln - Biochemistry

University of Arizona - ABBS

University of Georgia - Biochemistry

University of Maryland - Biochemistry

University of Rochester - Biochemistry

University of Virginia - BIMS - Biochemistry

Columbia - Biochemistry

Penn State - Biochemistry

Indiana University - Biochemistry

University of south Florida - Biochemistry

UC Davis - Biochemistry

Louisiana State - Biochemistry

 

Edited by ihavehomework

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1 hour ago, ihavehomework said:

Hi everyone, good luck with this application round! I'm hoping to get some advice regarding whether or not I should apply this round/what schools I should apply to. I'm trying to target middle/lower tier schools. I plan to apply to a ton of schools to increase my odds. 

 

Undergrad Institution: Big, R1 state school with a good reputation in the sciences
Major(s): Biochemistry
GPA in Major: So far 4.0, but lacking some of the upper division classes. Will be taking them at the time of application.
Overall GPA: 3.6
Position in Class: No exact numbers, but I have been told by a couple professors that I was in the top 3 or top 10 of their classes.
Type of Student: Minority - Mexican American/Latino, first gen, "non-traditional", community college transfer

GRE Scores (revised):
Q: 160 (76%)
V: 166 (97%)
W: 4.0 (60%)

Research Experience: I will have about 10 months of research experience in a biochemistry/chemical biology/protein engineering lab at time of application. I don't know how many hours this equates to, but I work a lot. 

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Phi Theta Kappa, NIH - MARC, Scholar award from the university's hispanic alumni association, random student of the month award, 

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Peer mentor for other community college transfer students, preceptor for intro mol. bio. course, frequent panel speaker on student success and diversity

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: I don't think so. I have an abstract submitted to ABRCMS, but I won't know for a while if it's been accepted.

Special Bonus Points: Latino student, MARC scholar, I think that's it.

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: My main concern is a lack of upper division classes and research experience. Because of transferring from a community college I have had limited research experience and I will be taking the bulk of my upper division science courses while I am applying. I also had a terrible GPA my freshman year (like 2.5), but have since gotten a 4.0 every semester. 

Applying to Where:

The list of schools that I want to apply to is probably too long. I'm targeting mostly mid-tier to low-tier R1 schools. I'll also be applying to pretty much anywhere that I can get a free application waiver to, assuming they have faculty that I'd want to study with. That being said, these are my top schools, including a few super-reaches:


University of Washington - Biochemistry

UCSF - Tetrad

Harvard - Chemical Biology

Ohio State - Biochemistry

University of Michigan - Biochemistry

Vanderbilt - IGP - Biochemistry

West Virginia University - Biochemistry/Biomedical

University of Nebraska - Lincoln - Biochemistry

University of Arizona - ABBS

University of Georgia - Biochemistry

University of Maryland - Biochemistry

University of Rochester - Biochemistry

University of Virginia - BIMS - Biochemistry

Columbia - Biochemistry

Penn State - Biochemistry

Indiana University - Biochemistry

University of south Florida - Biochemistry

UC Davis - Biochemistry

Louisiana State - Biochemistry

 

Try Duke also. Great school to go to and in line maybe reach for this list. 

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11 minutes ago, Nick1452 said:

Try Duke also. Great school to go to and in line maybe reach for this list. 

Thanks for the idea. I'll take a look at it. I'm really trying to limit myself to only 2 or 3 reach schools, but Duke seems like a good program. 

Edited by ihavehomework

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Hello! I'm applying for Fall 2018 and really starting to freak out. I want to do a pathology/experimental medicine/translational science PhD program. PLEASE give me your thoughts/opinions/feedback on my stats and ambitions.  :) 

Undergrad Institution: large public research university
Major(s): Microbiology; Genomics and Molecular Genetics (double major)
GPA in Major: 3.66
Overall GPA: 3.72
Position in Class: N/A
Type of Student: domestic multiracial female

GRE Scores: taking in early October

Research Experience: 

1 semester volunteering in a soil microbiology lab

1 semester in a genetic engineering lab

1 year in an epidemiology lab (where I did my senior project and third author publication)

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: 

Full-ride scholarship for undergrad

Dean’s List for all of undergrad

Graduated with Honor

First Place Award from presenting senior project in University Research Forum

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: 

Peer mentor for incoming freshmen

Interned at state public health department

TA at ivy league university

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

Letters of recs coming from PI, director of undergrad research, and senior seminar prof

Applying to Where: Dreaming big, ya know? Please let me know if there are any obvious outliers.

University of Pennsylvania

Columbia

University of Virginia

Baylor College of Medicine

Emory

Stanford

University of Colorado

University of Virginia

UNC

Dartmouth

...maybe University of Utah

Edited by daauni

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