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PhD program acceptance. Please help me decide!

mkimmkim Posts: 2Registered User New Member
edited March 2009 in Graduate School
Hello! I'm trying to decide where to go for grad school. Please help me decide!

Accept: Yale (PhD in Biological Biomedical Sciences), Upenn (Cellular/molecular bio), Northwestern (CMB) and U of Chicago (CMB)

Waitlist: Duke

Reject: UNC-chapill hills, harvard, princeton

I'm currently debating between Yale and Upenn... I visited all and I think i can live anywhere except near u of chicago.

Where would you go?
Post edited by mkim on

Replies to: PhD program acceptance. Please help me decide!

  • EvoViroEvoViro Posts: 119Registered User Junior Member
    If anyone here tells you a specific school to go to, it will be based purely on the reputations of the departments and their own personal desires (which might not be anything like yours).

    You have to weigh the research environment against your own desires, and take into account the other things that matter to you (whether it's location, stipend, program size, etc). Consider writing down the pros and cons of each school. It will be a useful exercise for you and it's the only way people here could give you truly helpful input.
  • jbuscjbusc Posts: 2,252Registered User Senior Member
    Do you know where your interests are (more specifically than CMB?)

    You probably were asked to list some potential advisors on your applications - are there any at those schools that you'd be particularly stoked to have as an advisor?
  • mkimmkim Posts: 2Registered User New Member
    More info about 2 schools.

    Yale: $29600/year. in New Haven, where I think I'll be comfortable living. I'll be in molecular bio, genetics and cell track. It seems like I'll have a huge flexibility- from basic science research to translational research. It could be both good and bad. I may get lost or get a broader exposure to different research.

    Upenn: $28500/year. In downtown philly, where I feel a little bit hesitate to go because I've been hearing that it's not the most safest area. However, I'll be able to adapt no matter I go. I will be in Cancer Bio track. and it seems like the program and classes are more medical-research oriented.

    To be honest, I do not if I would like to do basic science or translational research. I thought I would enjoy having a focus in cancer bio in Upenn and some told me it may be better for me to get more well-rounded education, rather than having to just focus in one specific area.

    I'll appreciate it a lot if any of you could let me know where i may fit better based on my description. thanks a lot!
  • belevittbelevitt Posts: 2,005Registered User Senior Member
    You don't really specialize until your first postdoc. People I know have changed dramatically from plant pathology to cancer biology and another from biomedical engineering to pharmacology in their transition from grad school to postdoc. A wider exposure in grad school might be a great thing as long as you still develop specific areas of expertise. IMHO, Philadelphia, particularly the area around UPenn is crimeridden and congested. On the other hand, I hear the same said of New Haven. I have extensive experience with the Chicago area, which btw has a great commuter train if you are at all interested in living in some suburbs and maximizing the rental space/quality you can get for your rent.
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