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2018 Applicant Profiles and Admissions Results

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Just finished interview with Tufts, everything went well and normal. They said I am a good fit for the program, but the only issue with my application is funding. Since I am an international student the stipend or scholarship will be very limited. Does that mean I am automatically out? I am from China if that helps with the situation, I just don't have a green card. Anyone who applied to Tufts experiencing the same concerns?

Thanks yall. 

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6 hours ago, StemCellFan said:

Cincinnati MDB acceptance!  I guess the committee met on Friday after interviews were over and made their decisions pretty quickly.  It looks like my season is wrapped up :)

Congratulations!!!! Looks like you have a lot of awesome choices. Go celebrate!!! :lol:

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5 hours ago, Molecular_nutrition_2018 said:

Just finished interview with Tufts, everything went well and normal. They said I am a good fit for the program, but the only issue with my application is funding. Since I am an international student the stipend or scholarship will be very limited. Does that mean I am automatically out? I am from China if that helps with the situation, I just don't have a green card. Anyone who applied to Tufts experiencing the same concerns?

Thanks yall. 

Hi! I'm another Chinese out there. I didn't apply to Tufts or look up statistics on post-interview acceptance rate of international students, but I guess it wouldn't make sense for them to fly you in if you are "automatically out" due to funding reasons. From what I learned we international students are less likely to bring money to the program since we aren't eligible to apply for most NIH grants, which means the program has to be prepared to pay you out of their own pocket and therefore admission could be more selective. But, without meaning to get your hopes up, I don't think it rules you out from being considered for acceptance as long as they didn't explicitly state that they wouldn't accept international students for the incoming class, especially post-interivew. 

I also saw your previous post. Just get prepared to answer why you want to do a PhD (maybe why do it in the US in your case) and to explain your research clearly. Sometimes they want to know how you are prepared to face/how you faced challenges in your academic life, and answers with an example of how you overcame a difficult time in life or a hobbit you believe would relieve your stress (classical music/reading/having cats) would usually do. My American PI once told me that it's important to project yourself as confident and passionate about research during interviews, which I found myself coming from a Chinese background taking some time to adjust to. I can't think of any topics to avoid (maybe don't get too politicized?) as long as your conversation stays around research and the academic life. I don't really know what sort of person gets rejected after an interview as most people I know from interviews are accepted. However, I did know one guy who was rejected by two programs where he didn't write post-interview thank you notes to his interviewers. So maybe do try and remember writing thank you notes...?

Edited by JacquelineY

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On 2/11/2018 at 11:06 AM, Molecular_nutrition_2018 said:

So my interviews are approaching and I’m worrying sick about my prep. Just wondering for Uchicago and Columbia biomedical cluster PhD, what kind of person will get rejected after interview? I sure don’t want to screw things up but yet to know what things I should definitely avoid......thanks fellas

I forgot to mention in my previous post, do avoid wearing very nice shoes to your UChicago interview if it's coming up soon. There was a heavy snow last weekend and another is projected at the beginning of next week. Now the ground is covered in salt, slush, or knee-deep snow depending on where you go, and nice dress shoes probably won't fare very well. 

Edited by JacquelineY

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13 minutes ago, JacquelineY said:

Hi! I'm another Chinese out there. I didn't apply to Tufts or look up statistics on post-interview acceptance rate of international students, but I guess it wouldn't make sense for them to fly you in if you are "automatically out" due to funding reasons. From what I learned we international students are less likely to bring money to the program since we aren't eligible to apply for most NIH grants, which means the program has to be prepared to pay you out of their own pocket and therefore admission could be more selective. But, without meaning to get your hopes up, I don't think it rules you out from being considered for acceptance as long as they didn't explicitly state that they wouldn't accept international students for the incoming class, especially post-interivew. 

I also saw your previous post. Just get prepared to answer why you want to do a PHD (maybe why do it in the US in your case) and to explain your research clearly. Sometimes they want to know how you are prepared to face/how you faced challenges in your academic life, and answers with an example of how you overcame a difficult time in life or a hobbit you believe would relieve your stress (classical music/reading/having cats) would usually do. I can't think of any topics to avoid (maybe don't get too politicized?) as long as your conversation stays around research and the academic life. I don't really know what sort of person gets rejected after an interview as most people I know from interviews are accepted. However, I did know one guy who were rejected from two programs where he didn't write post-interview thank you notes to his interviewers. So maybe do try and remember writing thank you notes...?

 

3 minutes ago, JacquelineY said:

I forgot to mention in my previous post, do avoid wearing very nice shoes to your UChicago interview if it's coming up soon. There was a heavy snow last weekend and another is projected at the beginning of next week. Now the ground is covered in salt, slush, or knee-deep snow depending on where you go, and nice dressing shoes probably won't fare very well. 

First of all, a thank you for your advice!!! I was quite nervous during the interview, but they were not as cut-throat as I thought, that was reassuring. I do know that due to our nationality, its nearly impossible to get fundings from the NIH, but I will try my best to make a good impressive during the other 2 upcoming interviews at Columbia and Uchicago! I have prepared many answers for all sorts of questions but when I was on the spot, my brain just shut down and I started to throw answers from the top of my head....guess its how it went. Also thanks for your advice on dressing for Uchicago! I will plan to bring a second pair of dress shoes just in case! I hope you get your dream offer Jacqueline! Best of luck!!!

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5 minutes ago, Molecular_nutrition_2018 said:

 

First of all, a thank you for your advice!!! I was quite nervous during the interview, but they were not as cut-throat as I thought, that was reassuring. I do know that due to our nationality, its nearly impossible to get fundings from the NIH, but I will try my best to make a good impressive during the other 2 upcoming interviews at Columbia and Uchicago! I have prepared many answers for all sorts of questions but when I was on the spot, my brain just shut down and I started to throw answers from the top of my head....guess its how it went. Also thanks for your advice on dressing for Uchicago! I will plan to bring a second pair of dress shoes just in case! I hope you get your dream offer Jacqueline! Best of luck!!!

You are very welcome! I'm sure you'll get better at the interviews every time:) Best of luck to you too!!!

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I applied for cell and molecular biology graduate program in several universities.

Thankfully I got some interview offers from graduate program I applied.

And what I thought strange was that I only got interview offers from graduate programs that are in Art and Sciences.

And I was rejected from all the programs that are in medical schools.(not MD)

I know that biological programs are largely interconnected and lots of professors are affiliated in both programs in medical schools and art and science schools.

I was wondering if students pursuing Ph.D in the field of cell and molecular biology have tendency to study in the programs under medical schools, making it more hard to get admission because of high competition. Or is it just admission committee's decision that I am more suitable for programs in the Art and Sciences?

Edited by progressivewater

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4 hours ago, progressivewater said:

I applied for cell and molecular biology graduate program in several universities.

Thankfully I got some interview offers from graduate program I applied.

And what I thought strange was that I only got interview offers from graduate programs that are in Art and Sciences.

And I was rejected from all the programs that are in medical schools.(not MD)

I know that biological programs are largely interconnected and lots of professors are affiliated in both programs in medical schools and art and science schools.

I was wondering if students pursuing Ph.D in the field of cell and molecular biology have tendency to study in the programs under medical schools, making it more hard to get admission because of high competition. Or is it just admission committee's decision that I am more suitable for programs in the Art and Sciences?

Congrats on your interview invites!

In general, biomedical sciences programs that are under a school of medicine, are extremely competitive with a lot of applications.  One thought is that many bio undergrads come in as pre-meds but change their mind, so a PhD is an alternative for them, or they realize that they love research more than being a physician.  So studying in a program under a school of medicine fits their interests more.

Another thought is that programs under medical schools have more money and can award better stipends and funding opportunities.  I've noticed this while looking into programs at the same school (UIC and U of Cincinnati), but one is in Arts and Sciences and the other is under the medical school.  I was looking at a 2k-3k stipend difference just for attending a program under the med school.

Also, many biomedical sciences programs I've looked at (and all the ones I applied to) do not require a TAship so you can focus on research more.  If you want to go for one, the opportunities are there.

It is possible that you just ran into tough competition, or maybe the research you were most enthusiastic about in your SoP fell more in line with faculty in programs under Arts and Sciences.

So maybe it's a little bit of column A and a little column B.

Edited by StemCellFan

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4 hours ago, progressivewater said:

I applied for cell and molecular biology graduate program in several universities.

Thankfully I got some interview offers from graduate program I applied.

And what I thought strange was that I only got interview offers from graduate programs that are in Art and Sciences.

And I was rejected from all the programs that are in medical schools.(not MD)

I know that biological programs are largely interconnected and lots of professors are affiliated in both programs in medical schools and art and science schools.

I was wondering if students pursuing Ph.D in the field of cell and molecular biology have tendency to study in the programs under medical schools, making it more hard to get admission because of high competition. Or is it just admission committee's decision that I am more suitable for programs in the Art and Sciences?

StemCellFan is absolutely right. But also in general, fields of study that have direct implications for human health like cancer biology, immunology, microbiology and the likes, will have a large majority of them housed under a school of medicine. Some of the researchers will be focusing on translational research, but some will also be investigating basic sciences related to the field. Many of the top programs in these fields will be at a school of medicine. A lot of students that want a strong focus on research will also be drawn to these medical school based programs. The lack of undergraduates will free up both the faculty and graduate students to focus more on the research... and good research means more $$$ from the NIH!

For me, my interests are specifically in molecular virology so all the Ph.D. programs I've applied to are connected to medical schools. It was very hard for me to find a traditional university that had a large faculty base interested in virology research.

You can also TA at graduate programs located in medical schools but you'll most likely be TAing graduate classes, medical students, or other graduate level courses, depending on what classes the professors in your department are responsible for. There was one program I interviewed at where the graduate students and the faculty with primary appointments in the neurobiology department were responsible for teaching the medical students about neurology. Another school had a lot of the microbiology professors (Ph.D.) with primary appointments in the department of internal medicine, infectious disease.

There are pro's and con's in regards to both. You just have to find which fit is best for you and an environment you'll be happiest in.

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1 hour ago, strugglebus2k17 said:

StemCellFan is absolutely right. But also in general, fields of study that have direct implications for human health like cancer biology, immunology, microbiology and the likes, will have a large majority of them housed under a school of medicine. Some of the researchers will be focusing on translational research, but some will also be investigating basic sciences related to the field. Many of the top programs in these fields will be at a school of medicine. A lot of students that want a strong focus on research will also be drawn to these medical school based programs. The lack of undergraduates will free up both the faculty and graduate students to focus more on the research... and good research means more $$$ from the NIH!

For me, my interests are specifically in molecular virology so all the Ph.D. programs I've applied to are connected to medical schools. It was very hard for me to find a traditional university that had a large faculty base interested in virology research.

You can also TA at graduate programs located in medical schools but you'll most likely be TAing graduate classes, medical students, or other graduate level courses, depending on what classes the professors in your department are responsible for. There was one program I interviewed at where the graduate students and the faculty with primary appointments in the neurobiology department were responsible for teaching the medical students about neurology. Another school had a lot of the microbiology professors (Ph.D.) with primary appointments in the department of internal medicine, infectious disease.

There are pro's and con's in regards to both. You just have to find which fit is best for you and an environment you'll be happiest in.

I also want to piggyback off the NIH comment to say that the US government is more likely to pump money into the NIH.  I've heard the NIH is doing okay relative to other agencies like the NSF.  I didn't look at this recently, so things may have changed with respect to the budget. 

Not to say that faculty outside of the school of medicine don't go for NIH grants, just that resources under a school of medicine are more readily available to assist faculty to apply for NIH grants (like grant discussion groups or grant writing courses to help students apply for F31/F32 fellowships).

Edited by StemCellFan

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Officially committed to University of Notre Dame Biology Ph.D. Program this fall! Looking forward to opening a new chapter in my life! Good luck everyone on your interviews around the country! Go Irish!

Edited by ChallengerSwimmer23

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24 minutes ago, ChallengerSwimmer23 said:

Officially committed to University of Notre Dame Biology Ph.D. Program this fall! Looking forward to opening a new chapter in my life! Good luck everyone on your interviews around the country! Go Irish!

Congratulations!!!! Notre Dame is a fantastic school. Welcome to the midwest!!! :D

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1 hour ago, ChallengerSwimmer23 said:

Officially committed to University of Notre Dame Biology Ph.D. Program this fall! Looking forward to opening a new chapter in my life! Good luck everyone on your interviews around the country! Go Irish!

Congratulations!!  I visited the campus once a while back and it's beautiful!  I hear good things about their Bio program too.

On that note, I sent the response back today and I've committed to University of Wisconsin!  I also received an email from the graduate school asking for my official transcripts and that an "official offer" cannot be made until they see these.  Is there anything I should worry about?  Do some applicants get rejections from the graduate school although the program emailed them an acceptance letter?  I haven't notified the other programs of my decision yet.  I graduated undergrad years ago if it helps.

Edited by StemCellFan

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4 minutes ago, StemCellFan said:

Congratulations!!  I visited the campus once a while back and it's beautiful!  I hear good things about their Bio program too.

On that note, I sent the response back today and I've committed to University of Wisconsin!

Awesome! Congrats! Best of luck at University of Wisconsin! Amazing program!

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10 hours ago, StemCellFan said:

Congratulations!!  I visited the campus once a while back and it's beautiful!  I hear good things about their Bio program too.

On that note, I sent the response back today and I've committed to University of Wisconsin!  I also received an email from the graduate school asking for my official transcripts and that an "official offer" cannot be made until they see these.  Is there anything I should worry about?  Do some applicants get rejections from the graduate school although the program emailed them an acceptance letter?  I haven't notified the other programs of my decision yet.  I graduated undergrad years ago if it helps.

Congratulations!!!! UW is a great school! As per your question, I'm pretty sure this is just standard procedure, especially if they only requested an unofficial transcript for your application. You should be able to just contact your undergrad and get an official transcript sent their way? I would maybe call the grad school and ask, but I don't think it's any reason to worry. They likely just need the official transcript for confirmation and records. I know a few of my acceptance emails mentioned that my acceptance is contingent on me graduating this spring and sending an official transcript to the graduate school. 

Edited by synapticcat

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Officially committed to the University of Michigan PIBS for Neuroscience!!! This is my dream program and I'm beyond excited to attend. Good luck to everyone else in the decision making process! It's so awesome to see people committing to so many amazing places already :D

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Hey! I'm new to Grad Cafe but thought I'd throw it out there as people are starting to get rejections like I have :( I found this program at Keck Graduate Institute in Claremont, CA (So Cal) its a Master of Science in Human Genetics and Genomic Data Analytics. (http://www.kgi.edu/pharmacy/admissions/ms-in-human-genetics-and-genomic-data-analytics/requirements) Their application is open until March 1! I'm contacting the school today to make sure I can still apply. Has anyone else applied/heard about it?  

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