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2018 Applicant Profiles and Admissions Results

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The 2018 application cycle is well underway, so I figured I'd start a topic by copying the format from the biology section. Use the following template to enter your information, before and after you obtain your results, and remember to submit your results at the end of the cycle for posterity and to help the next cohort of applicants HERE.

SOP checks, LOR questions, interview/acceptance/rejection releases... Any and All questions are welcome! 


You got this CHAMP!     https://youtu.be/_DRnSZhhgA8 

Below are some useful links: 
Ask questions about the PhD application process!      2017 Applicant Profiles and Admissions Results      2016 Applicant Profiles and Admissions Results 

Undergrad Institution: (School or type of school, such as big state, lib arts, ivy, technical, foreign (what country?)... Overall Reputation in Biology?)
Major(s):
Minor(s):
GPA in Major:
Overall GPA:
Position in Class: (No numbers needed, but are you top? near top? average? struggling?)
Type of Student: (Domestic/International, male/female, minority?)

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

TOEFL Total: (if applicable, otherwise delete this)

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

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: (Within your school or outside?)

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: (Such as tutor, TA, SPS officer etc...)

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help:

Special Bonus Points: (Such as connections, grad classes, famous recommenders, female or minority status etc...)

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

Applying to Where:

School - Department - Research Interest
School - Department - Research Interest
School - Department - Research Interest

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Undergrad Institution: Large state school (good overall reputation overall but not well known for geosciences)
Major(s): Geology
Minor(s): Math, biology
GPA in Major: not sure
Overall GPA: 3.7
Position in Class: no idea
Type of Student: domestic male

GRE Scores (revised/old version):
Q: 168
V: 167
W: 4.5

Research Experience: 1 year undergrad research with senior thesis, 1 year full time research job at same university. All in hydrology. 2 AGU posters, 1 paper in preparation

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: merit scholarship from my school

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Research Associate for 1 year

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help:

Special Bonus Points: 

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

Applying to Where:
Ohio State - earth sciences

Wisconsin - civil/environmental engineering

Minnesota - earth sciences

Stanford - earth system science

UCLA - civil/environmental engineering

U Washington - atmospheric science

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Undergrad Institution: Columbia University
Major(s): Chemistry
Minor(s): Environmental Sciences
GPA in Major: 3.66
Overall GPA: 3.66
Position in Class: Not sure, Dean's list all semester so far?
Type of Student: Domestic

GRE Scores (revised/old version):
Q: 162
V: 160
W: 4.5

Research Experience: 1 year at environmental engineering lab with 2 papers co authored, 1 summer at L'Oreal Cosmetics R&D labs, senior thesis at Columbia in earth science department on paleoceanography research

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Dean's list every semester, Named Scholar's award

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: Volunteered on a farm in Panama one summer through environmental brigades (vice president) sophomore year

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help:

Special Bonus Points: Bob Anderson, founder of GEOTRACES is my thesis advisor and is writing my rec letter. I'm a chemistry major so I've taken a lot of chemistry/math courses (gen chem, orgo, pchem, quantum, inorg, calc III, linear, stats), is that a plus? idk

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

Applying to Where:

Columbia (Obviously)- Chemical Oceanography

Stanford- Earth System's Science

U Wash- Chemical Oceanography

Princeton- Biogeochemistry

Scripps- Marine Chemistry

MIT/WHOI- Chemical Oceanography

UC Berkeley- Earth Systems Science

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Undergrad Institution: Rutgers University
Major(s): Civil & Environmental Engineering
Minor(s): Mathematics
GPA in Major: 3.39
Overall GPA: 3.15 First 2 years I had a 2.94 so upward trend
Position in Class: Not sure
Type of Student: Domestic

GRE Scores (revised)
Q: 160
V: 157
W: 3.5 :(

Research Experience: None

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Dean's list 2 semesters

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: State Department of Transportation 6 months - Asst. Project Manager
Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help:

No need for funding. State Dept pays for continued schooling if My grade is above a B avg. 

Applying to Where:

Rutgers - part-time M.S.

 

Can someone give me any idea if I have a shot?

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Hi everyone, I'm an Asian applicant with an undergraduate degree in marine remote sensing. I'm interested in studying atmospheric radiative process and aerosol. The programs I plan to apply are all Ph.D. programs. I contacted with several POIs and got some positive replies. So at first, I felt kind of confident. Then I chose some well-known schools like UCLA and U Washington. But after looking through 2017 Applicant Profiles and Admissions Results, I found I may set my goals too high. You guys are all so outstanding with rich research experiences and higher GRE scores than mine. I have to find some less competitive programs. Do you know any professors doing aerosol research? I'm particularly interested in studying how anthropogenic behaviors' influence on radiative process.

Can someone give me any idea?

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Dear Grad Cafe,

I'm a career changer and interested in research in the area of diseases, specifically viruses, bacteriology and epidemiology. I was wondering if an MSN or an MPH would be appropriate. I'm interested in working with the CDC. The Epidemic Intelligence Service requires a Medical degree, so I guess MSN would be the better route fpr tht. However, I wondered if anyone could advise me.

I have been given admission to JHUSON for the MSN and have been given admission by GWU for their MPH program.

Advice, guidance, suggestions welcomed please.

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On 12/17/2017 at 5:39 AM, UK2USA said:

I'm a career changer and interested in research in the area of diseases, specifically viruses, bacteriology and epidemiology. ..

I suggest you post this over in a life sciences subforum, we're mostly earth scientists. That said, are you sure the EIS requires a medical degree (literally, an "MD")? My partner was pretty gung ho on them several years ago, and it seemed like a life sciences/biomedical PhD was a valid starting place--indeed, she had no intention of ever getting an MD but was definitely aiming for the EIS before a change of heart (being based out of Atlanta probably had something to do with that). My (uninformed) thinking is that an MPH would be more applicable than a MSN to the EIS mission with regards to emerging infectious diseases--my understanding is that they aren't generally going into hot zones to treat individuals but instead to identify diseases and disease vectors and develop countermeasures. You can look at the resumes of current EIS employees, generally speaking I think they are from the combined MD-PhD mold. All else equal do you have a compelling reason to do a MSN or MPH (that you have to pay for) versus a PhD (where you are paid a stipend) if both get you to your end goal (jumping out of a helicopter in a teflon suite with a bag of syringes and bat nets, amiright)?

On 10/20/2017 at 8:51 AM, alabama23 said:

Applying to Where:

Columbia (Obviously)- Chemical Oceanography

....

Give me a shout in the private messages if you have any specific questions about these programs. I can speak to chemical oceanography at UW, WHOI, and Princeton, and to a lesser extent Scripps.

 

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Just submitted my seventh and last application! It was to Columbia, which I added to my list late. Hopefully I'll start hearing back from programs in about a month!

Good luck to everyone!

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Here is mine. I just recently finished all my application. Best of luck for all of you (and me)!

Undergrad Institution: Chulalongkorn University, Thailand (Both BSc, Class of 2009 and MSc, Class of 2015)
Major(s): Geology (BSc) and Petroleum Geoscience (MSc, International Program)
Minor(s): N/A
GPA in Major: 3.82/4.00 (BSc) and 3.83/4.00 (MSc)
Overall GPA: 3.68/4.00 and 3.83/4.00 (MSc)
Position in Class: Top 5% (Both BSc and MSc)
Type of Student: International, Thai

GRE Scores (revised/old version):
Q: 162
V: 150
W: 3.0
B:

TOEFL Total: 101/120 (R: 29, L: 27, S:22, W:23)

Research Experience: 

Chevron Thailand: 4 years of experience in oil and gas business as a petroleum geologist

Multiple interdisciplinary and individual works related to petroleum geoscience; regional trend of pore pressure in Pattani basin, the Gulf of Thailand

Master's Degree:

Master's thesis, 3 months, a study about controls of mercury levels in producing hydrocarbon in the Gulf of Thailand.

Bachelor's Degree:

Senior year project, 4 months, study on tsunami hydrodynamics of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunamis and other 3 paleo-tsunamis deposited on the Phrathong island, Phangnga, southern Thailand

  • 2 weeks, lab works at Earth Observatory of Singapore (EOS), Nanyang Technological University (NTU) on sample preparation for tsunami hydrodynamics studies
  • Multi-visits from 2008 to 2009, usually spanning 2 weeks each, volunteering to be a field work assistant with my advisor to collect samples on the remote island in the hot tropics


Awards/Honors/Recognitions:

2018 Fulbright Thai Graduate Scholarship (nominee from Thailand)

Chevron Graduate Scholarship, August 2015 – July 2016

Poster presentation at the bi-annual Chevron Subsurface Technical Forum, Houston, TX, May 2014

Champion of The Hitachi Trophy 2013 Senior Project Competition (Physical Sciences), April 2013

Chevron Undergraduate Scholarship and Internship, 2012 – 2013

Mitsui Oil Exploration Company (MOECO) Undergraduate Scholarship, 2011 – 2013

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: 

Using isotope geochemistry as a part of my master's thesis to tackle petroleum geoscience problems

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help:

Special Bonus Points: 

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

I am an ultra-trail runner!

Applying to Where:

I am pursuing a PhD in Paleoclimatology/Paleoceanogray by applying to following 8 schools.
Harvard - Earth and Planetary Sciences

Columbia - Earth and Environmental Sciences| Lamont

U of Washington - Earth and Space Sciences

UC, Irvine - School of Physical Sciences

Texas A&M - College of Oceanography

Penn State - Department of Geosciences

UMass-Amherst - Department of Geosciences

U of South Florida - School of Geosciences

 

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Undergrad Institution: SUNY New Paltz
Major(s): Env Geochemistry
Minor(s): poli sci
GPA in Major: 
Overall GPA: 3.14
GRE Scores
Q: 154
V:158
W:4.0
Research Experience: Heat retention of nontraditional trombe wall in undergrad

vegetation and mapping based internship at Saguaro Natl Park

Pertinent Activities or Jobs:  Earth Science Instructor for Kingston Parks and Rec and after school program director for Earth Science

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: avid hiker, currently building a sustainable tiny house

Applying to Where:

UW Madison- Geology- cosmogenic dating in western US

OSU- Earth Science- paleocean cenozoic focus

U Buffalo- Geology- Paleoclimate limnology quaternary focus

 

UMaine- climate studies- cosmogenic dating in Antarctica 

UNH- geology- cosmogenic dating in Tetons

 

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Undergrad Institution: Known university from Singapore

Major(s): Geosciences

Minor(s):

GPA in Major: 3.37 (Was higher, dropped after fall semester)

Overall GPA: 3.36

Position in Class: Dead average

Type of Student: International (Singapore)

GRE Scores (revised):

Q: 161

V: 158

W: 5.0

Decided against retaking it as some professors I interacted with said the scores were fine. 

Research Experience: 

- 3 years research experience as an undergraduate intern with a well-known professor

- Final Year Thesis with same professor

- Guest Student at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute in summer of 3rd year

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: 

Yearly Field Trips / Field Camps in during summer and winter breaks --> Outdoor, hands on field experiences

Special Bonus Points: 

I have 2 strong recommendation letters. One from my research advisor from WHOI, the other with connections to MIT-WHOI and Columbia and my final year thesis advisor. 

Applying to Where:

(all these schools are geosciences/ earth sciences but under professors working on paleoclimate science/ marine science/ geochemistry)

Columbia; Lamont - Earth Sciences

MIT-WHOI - Marine Geochemistry

UMaine - Geochemistry

Brown - Earth Sciences

LSU - Geography department; but paleoclimate professor

GeorgiaTech - Geochemistry, Paleoclimate

Rochester - Marine Geochemistry

 

Hi, I've submitted all my applications and it's definitely a nerve-wrecking period waiting for the results. My GPA is definitely not high. Just average where I'm from. I have schools that I know are definitely out of my reach but was encouraged to apply anyway. Would like to know what any of you guys think! I interacted with professors from all of these schools via Skype before sending out my applications to know where I stand and if I am a good fit for the lab. I had favourable replies but some professors are only able to take in 1 student for this year. For those, I am not confident based on my GPA. 

All the best to everyone!

 

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Undergrad Institution: Medium sized state school

Major(s): Environmental Science
Minor(s): Geological science/coastal geoscience
GPA in Major:3.6
Overall GPA:3.4
Position in Class: mid to mid top
Type of Student: domestic white male

GRE Scores (revised/old version):
Q:162
V:151
W:3.5


Research Experience: None

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Dean's list a couple times

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: State Geological Survey working of geologic maps, GIS, and field work

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: Study abroad for geology

Special Bonus Points: took two graduate classes but was not on resume so hopefully they see it on my transcript

Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: strong LOR two from professors and one from state survey

Applying to Where:
 

UT - Petrology/geochemistry

University of vermont -Petrology/geochemistry

Syracuse-Petrology/geochemistry

Boise state-Petrology/geochemistry

CU boulder-Petrology/geochemistry

Lehigh-/geochemistry

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Undergrad Institution: Medium/Large state school
Major(s): Geology
Minor(s): Biology
GPA in Major: 3.6
Overall GPA: 3.4
Position in Class: Top
Type of Student: Domestic Female

GRE Scores (revised/old version):
Q: 155
V: 160
W: 4.5

Research Experience: One year of research lab tech at a geo lab, one year of 20 hr/wk research with biogeochemistry lab, had own project and presented poster at GSA.  

Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Field camp scholarship, Dean's list a couple times

Pertinent Activities or Jobs: President of geo club, SGE member, customer service supervisor for 2 years, aforementioned research lab tech 

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: School age kids outreach, will be 2nd/3rd author on a paper this semester 

Special Bonus Points: Great LORs and one (hopefully) really really good one from my current advisor. First gen college student. EDIT: A few grad classes under my belt (though they look like special topics courses on my transcripts).  


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

Applying to Where:


CU Boulder- Paleobio

U Utah- Paleontology

U Wyo- Paleobotany

Montana State- Paleoecology 
 

Edited by voaku

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On ‎1‎/‎8‎/‎2018 at 9:39 PM, wandering95 said:

Undergrad Institution: Known university from Singapore

Major(s): Geosciences

Minor(s):

GPA in Major: 3.37 (Was higher, dropped after fall semester)

Overall GPA: 3.36

Position in Class: Dead average

Type of Student: International (Singapore)

GRE Scores (revised):

Q: 161

V: 158

W: 5.0

Decided against retaking it as some professors I interacted with said the scores were fine. 

Research Experience: 

- 3 years research experience as an undergraduate intern with a well-known professor

- Final Year Thesis with same professor

- Guest Student at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute in summer of 3rd year

Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: 

Yearly Field Trips / Field Camps in during summer and winter breaks --> Outdoor, hands on field experiences

Special Bonus Points: 

I have 2 strong recommendation letters. One from my research advisor from WHOI, the other with connections to MIT-WHOI and Columbia and my final year thesis advisor. 

Applying to Where:

(all these schools are geosciences/ earth sciences but under professors working on paleoclimate science/ marine science/ geochemistry)

Columbia; Lamont - Earth Sciences

MIT-WHOI - Marine Geochemistry

UMaine - Geochemistry

Brown - Earth Sciences

LSU - Geography department; but paleoclimate professor

GeorgiaTech - Geochemistry, Paleoclimate

Rochester - Marine Geochemistry

 

Hi, I've submitted all my applications and it's definitely a nerve-wrecking period waiting for the results. My GPA is definitely not high. Just average where I'm from. I have schools that I know are definitely out of my reach but was encouraged to apply anyway. Would like to know what any of you guys think! I interacted with professors from all of these schools via Skype before sending out my applications to know where I stand and if I am a good fit for the lab. I had favourable replies but some professors are only able to take in 1 student for this year. For those, I am not confident based on my GPA. 

All the best to everyone!

 

Good to see a Paleoclimate folk! Wish you all the best (and myself as well :) ). Hope our path might be crossed somehow.

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Graduate & Undergrad Institution: State university
Degree: MS in Biology GPA: 3.92 (1 B in final semester)
Degree: BS in Biology, minor in Chemistry GPA: 3.12 (Strong upward trend)
Type of Student: First generation, domestic, white male
GRE Scores: low and did not retake due to teaching, research, and coursework.
If you're worried about your GRE score: (1) more schools are beginning to take a holistic approach to reviewing apps. (2) some programs are eliminating the GRE requirement altogether. See some of the articles below regarding this topic. Check out the link to an article from the UW which also provides a list of additional sources.

Graduate Research Experience: Since May 2016. Continuing to work as a volunteer researcher until I enter a Ph.D. program. 3 presentations (one at state branch of ASM). Publication in preparation. Environmental microbiology and molecular biology.
Undergrad Research Experience: 1 year and 1 month. 2 presentations (one at ASM national conference). Environmental microbiology and molecular biology.
Graduate Teaching Experience: Teaching assistant/lab instructor for 3 semesters (4 different courses). 
Undergrad Teaching Experience: One semester as 'lab instructor' for a senior-level Environmental microbiology course.
Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Research assistantship grants (grad and undergrad), grad school scholarships, 2 honor society memberships
Special Bonus Points: first generation to earn bachelors degree and master's degree
Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter:  volunteer experiences. Multiple skills and techniques. Science communication (not in app package but on my personal website): in the midst of producing my own podcast.

Applied to: Georgia Tech (Ocean Science and Engineering (OSE) - Biological Sciences), Stanford (Earth System Science), University of Washington - Seattle (Oceanography)

 

Links 
Podcast episode about the paper below titled  "predictors of student productivity...":
http://hellophd.com/2017/01/065-does-gre-predict-which-students-will-succeed/

Predictors of Student Productivity in Biomedical Graduate School Applications: 
http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0169121

The Limitations of the GRE in Predicting Success in Biomedical Graduate School: 
http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0166742#sec001

UW article: 
https://grad.uw.edu/diversity/graduate-school-holistic-admissions-workshops/ 

Edited by zam330

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Hi all! I just wanted to remind everyone that this topic is not only for app profiles. If you haven't already, please create a free account and keep everyone updated on interview dates, acceptances/rejections, and any other questions you may have about the grad school application process. My aim is for this thread to be similar to the 2016 cycle for Earth Sciences and the 2018 cycle for biology. The 2017 Earth Sciences thread was deleted last year following the suspension of the author. This, unfortunately, has left us with outdated information regarding program deadlines, interviews, and decisions.

Again, I encourage everyone to share any results and questions they may have regarding the application cycle and wish you all the best of luck! 

Edited by zam330

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In the past week I've been invited to interview at Stanford Earth System Science (interview on February 20) and Wisconsin-Madison Civil/Environmental Engineering (interview date TBD). Both invitations were by email from POIs whom I was already in contact with. I also was emailed by an Ohio State Earth Sciences/Geodetic Science professor that they were nominating me for a fellowship, but I haven't receive an actual admission notification from them.

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So I posted this over in Life Sciences (Biology), but just thought I would put it here also since about half of my programs are earth/environmental sciences program. I'm trying to do a combo of microbial ecology, environmental engineering, and biogeochemistry (specifically focused on microbial community dynamics, functions of microbes in the environment, and how to alter/engineer microbial systems for processes like bioremediation etc. etc.)

Undergrad Institution: US News Top 5
Major(s): Biological Sciences and Visual Arts
GPA in Major: 3.44
Overall GPA: 3.65
Position in Class: N/A
Type of Student: Domestic, Female
GRE Scores (revised/old version):
Q: 163
V: 170
W: 5.5
Research Experience: Summer internship at Argonne National Lab in microbial ecology, summer internship at the Marine Biological Lab (SURF), undergraduate research volunteer in marine biology lab, wrote undergraduate thesis for B.S., currently full-time research technician at a microbiology/microbiome lab
Awards/Honors/Recognitions: Grant given to top 10% of incoming undergraduate class (merit-based), lots of visual arts awards (my other major)
Pertinent Activities or Jobs: TA for a biology core class for 2 quarters, leadership positions on campus student research journal
Any Miscellaneous Accomplishments that Might Help: First author publication, but for a perspectives/review type article, presented at 2 student research conferences, ASM regional conference, and spoke at a regional conference (3 minute talk)
Special Bonus Points: Know a bunch of bioinformatics-type software (QIIME, QIIME 2, MEGA, Geneious, MATLAB, R, etc), as well as software that might be useful for graphic design for posters and such (Photoshop, InDesign, Illustrator, HTML and CSS, Wordpress)
Any Other Info That Shows Up On Your App and Might Matter: Scuba diving certified, EMT certified, Mandarin speaker (bilingual), started my own small business selling art
Applying to Where:
MIT Microbiology

UCSB IGPMS

Stanford Earth Systems Science

Scripps Institute of Oceanography 

Harvard OEB

Johns Hopkins Environmental Health and Engineering

Georgia Tech Ocean Sciences and Engineering

 

I've heard from MIT, Harvard, UCSB, and Georgia Tech on interviews/visits. Still waiting on the rest....not too much hope for Scripps since I didn't contact any potential advisors, but waiting on JHU and Stanford!

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This is a neat idea, nice to hear from other people in the same boat, especially you other paleoclimate folks. Good luck with everything :) 

Undergrad Institution: mid-sized university ranked in the top 50
Major(s): Geology
GPA in Major: 4.0
Overall GPA: 3.98
Position in Class: school doesnt rank i dont think but would be high if we did
Type of Student: domestic, female
GRE Scores (Q & V backwards from how they should be, i know :p)
Q: 161
V: 167
W: 4.5

Research Experience: (At your school or elsewhere? What field? How much time? Any publications (Mth author out of N?) or conference talks etc...)
Two years relevant experience in paleoclimate lab at my university, with three conference posters. Also 3 yrs experience in a totally unrelated field with a few publications.
Awards/Honors/Recognitions: (Within your school or outside?)
several in-university scholarships, SGE & PBK member
Pertinent Activities or Jobs: (Such as tutor, TA, SPS officer etc...)

outreach activities. geology club exec member, several field courses

Special Bonus Points: (Such as connections, grad classes, famous recommenders, female or minority status etc...)
strong recs, one from my advisor who works in my general field of interest, but not from anybody famous

Applying to Where:

(PhD programs, applying to PIs w/ research interests in paleoclimate, paleoceanography, geochemistry/biogeochemistry)
CU Boulder-Geological Sciences

UC Irvine -Earth System science *(invited to visit day)

Stanford-Earth System Science

Scripps Institute of Oceanography-Climate, Oceans & Atmospheres/Geosciences *(invited to open house)

USC-Earth Science *(invited to visit)

UCLA-PhD in Environment & Sustainability

UC Santa Cruz-Ocean Sciences

Brown University-Earth & Space Sciences *(visited, it was lovely)

University of Arizona-Geosciences 

 
Edited by geodweeb

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Hi All,

I just got a positive email from my POI at Texas A&M that he will nominate me for a fellowship this morning (my time).

Waiting for more from others! :)

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Anyone else received decision from UC Davis atmospheric science department? I saw one post in the Result Search section. 

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Just got waitlisted at Princeton Geosciences! Email said Adcom thought my app was competitive but unable to offer admissions currently. Does anyone know the likely hood of getting of these waitlists?? Good luck to everyone else!

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Hey alabama23, I don't know anything about waitlists but I do have a question for you. Do have any knowledge of when Columbia Earth and Environmental Sciences will start to release admissions decisions this year? From previous years on the results survey it has been throughout February, but I'm wondering if you have more specific info since you go there.

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