right arrow
Examples: Monday, today, last week, Mar 26, 3/26/04
We've updated the Topics page of our website to better organize and share our expert content. Read more about it here.

Looking for some extra suggestions on biology schools

platypusomeletteplatypusomelette 36 replies14 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
Hi guys, I made a post here before but now I've got my finances figured out and my SAT score!
Major: Cell/molecular biology, or just biology, though I'm not sure whether I would go into medical or not in the future.
Demographic: Asian, female, 80k household, New York in suburban Long Island. Noncustodial mom has a monstrous income so she's footing half of tuition, I have a budget of around 60k per year. Legacy at cornell
School: Public. My school isn't great compared to others in the region, pretty certain I have the highest SAT score in my grade by 50 points and we get about one ivy / ivy-esque acceptance per year. Does that factor into admissions at all?
Rank: Top 3% out of ~250
SAT: 1580!! Bio 780, chem 750, will take math 2
GPA: around 96% UW (like a 3.8?), 105% W
AP: Human geo, world history, seminar, chemistry, apush, environmental science - 4. Biology, language, research - 5
Next year self studying Psych, but otherwise taking Lit, Physics C, Calc BC, Gov, Econ. Taking most challenging courses in my school and doubled honors + AP science

Extracurriculars:
1. Science Olympiad - 13 regional medals, team captain with major participation. My team qualified for states for the first time my district has in a decade if that makes any difference
2. USABO semifinalist - 9th and 11th
3. Science bowl nationals - 11th
4. Quiz bowl, some regional awards
5. Principal chair violinist, played as level 5 NYSSMA soloist, qualified for LISFA, in chamber orchestra and Tri-M honor society, also in a quartet
6. Worked at a medical clinic over 4 years, ~100 hours
7 Research this summer with an individual professor, will have to wait to see how it turns out. Seems like it will be a project about artemisinin and alzheimers
8. Small stuff like robotics one year in 9th, honor roll, ap national scholar / ap capstone diploma, weekly program at stony brook
9. Also planning on submitting to 3 somewhat obscure art contests over the summer

I don't really have a great essay topic off the top of my head yet and don't know about my recommendations. How can I improve my chances? Any other suggestions for ED or RD schools? Planning on going hopkins ED and tufts ED2, is that a good idea? I only have very slight preferences, like northern schools and schools with good food, but I prefer a school with the best biology research program and the best chances of me being accepted much more.
edited July 14
25 replies
· Reply · Share
«1

Replies to: Looking for some extra suggestions on biology schools

  • vonlostvonlost 18715 replies14153 threadsSuper Moderator Super Moderator
    If you want to go to grad school, consider these (under Life Sciences):

    https://www.reed.edu/ir/phd.html
    · Reply · Share
  • Eeyore123Eeyore123 1384 replies19 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    With a 60k budget, you have a lot of options, but you are still 15k short from the top schools ( I.e. JHU).
    · Reply · Share
  • CreeklandCreekland 5754 replies89 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    If you add some merit aid schools into the mix, you could have some good affordable options. Case Western, U Rochester, Pittsburgh all come to mind as research Us that have merit aid enough to get you well within your price range. Only go ED with a school if you're sure it's affordable. Have you visited JHU? It's not one that "everyone" loves when they come back IME. Some do. Some don't. Be sure you visit it and others to compare and be certain if choosing ED.
    · Reply · Share
  • platypusomeletteplatypusomelette 36 replies14 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    @Eeyore123 Since my parents are sharing the budget they might be able to stretch it a little, since both are paying 30k rn, and my mom is pretty generous which is lucky. I think if I got admitted into a prestigious school my mom would pay for it

    @Creekland thanks, I'm going to one of their tours near my house today. How much information do you think can be gleaned off of a tour vs a visit? I will also visit but I have to do it later in the summer.
    · Reply · Share
  • CreeklandCreekland 5754 replies89 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    The visit is what turns people off. It's due to where it is in Baltimore (the neighborhood, the look, the feel/vibe, etc). Everything can look great on paper, but when they go there (and compare it to other schools) many students return preferring elsewhere. Some still like it. I can't tell which side of the coin you will fall on TBH. Only you can. JHU isn't the only place that turns some people off (or on). It's just one place I see it happen more often (along with Drexel & GW for urban atmospheres, but it also happens with very rural places or very Greek places).
    · Reply · Share
  • AndorvwAndorvw 343 replies9 threadsRegistered User Member
    If your school get 1 Ivy acceptance per year, your stats look really good/stand out and your ECs impressive too. For pre-med, you should apply to Brown, Dartmouth, Yale in addition to Cornell (your legacy hook). Brown has open curriculum, more collaborative atmosphere with less harsh grading (orgo still very hard) than other Ivies (Cornell/Columbia/UPenn). Dartmouth is like Brown but its quarter system makes life complicated (fast paced, hard to catch up if falling behind). JHU is a great school but pre-med there is super cut-throat competitive (similar to Princeton for pre-med, you might end up with low GPA and needs post-bacc). For pre-med, LACs are good choices too with much smaller class size, more interaction with faculties and better support from their pre-health advising.
    · Reply · Share
  • platypusomeletteplatypusomelette 36 replies14 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    edited July 15
    @Andorvw thanks though I am more focused on scientific biology. Do you know the specifics on how your high school is taken into account? Also, I think my ECs may be too weak for those schools
    edited July 15
    · Reply · Share
  • ProfessorPlum168ProfessorPlum168 3986 replies86 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited July 15
    There are a lot of urban schools where if you value wandering into the general area away from campus, the vibe can become a big turn-off. Especially if you're used to being in the suburbs. UC-Berkeley, USC, University of Chicago, JHU, Washington University in St. Louis all come to mind. Many people don't mind or don't bother to wander, but some do mind.
    edited July 15
    · Reply · Share
  • MWolfMWolf 1334 replies9 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    @platypusomelette Your profile is great, but you need to tell people a bit more about what you are looking for in a school. Because your profile makes you competitive for many schools, this info will allow people to give better advice.
    · Reply · Share
  • AndorvwAndorvw 343 replies9 threadsRegistered User Member
    @platypusomelette - if your school uses Naviance, post the past Ivy acceptance data here. If you love JHU, apply there. It is a great bio/medical research school, just understand you'll face tons of brilliant peers and your GPA could sink (pretty much the same for all the top colleges as well).
    · Reply · Share
  • bopperbopper 14014 replies100 threadsForum Champion CWRU Forum Champion
    Every school is a biology school. Pick one that is a good value...e.g., your state U.
    · Reply · Share
  • platypusomeletteplatypusomelette 36 replies14 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    @ProfessorPlum168 Oh, I didn't think about that. I would be more into exploring outside of the school, though I know hopkins has a great biology research program. Are there any schools roughly equivalent to hopkins that allow for exploration?
    · Reply · Share
  • ProfessorPlum168ProfessorPlum168 3986 replies86 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    @platypusomelette when I refer to “exploring” I was talking about ingraining oneself into the area. For example when I go on a business trip, I never just go back to the hotel, I make it a point to go around the area or the city to see what it has to offer. Likewise, I think many students would want to do that as well, but for certain schools it may or may not be so safe to do this.
    · Reply · Share
  • platypusomeletteplatypusomelette 36 replies14 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    @ProfessorPlum168 yeah, I'm interested in doing that type of stuff
    · Reply · Share
  • platypusomeletteplatypusomelette 36 replies14 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    JHU is pretty much my dream school, I'm very much into the solid biology department and research opportunities, and the campus looks awesome. However, I'm not a fan of Baltimore since I'd really like to be able to explore the area around campus a lot, and I'm worried about the crime. Does anyone know any schools similar to Hopkins with a ~30% or better ED or ED2 acceptance rate? I'm especially looking for anything with ED2.
    · Reply · Share
  • Eeyore123Eeyore123 1384 replies19 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    If you are looking for some other RD type schools, you could add some of the publics that have strong graduate programs in Bio. They can have good opportunities at the higher undergraduate level. They would be Michigan, Wisconsin, and some of the Cali schools (UCB, UCLA, UCD) if you are willing to expand your geographic criteria.
    · Reply · Share
  • retiredfarmerretiredfarmer 1052 replies3 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Second Case Western, add Tufts, big fan of JHU, particularly for graduate school. Some of these STEM Universities have a very wide variety of diversified applications in the Biology area such as tissue development (Bioengineering) and Biomedical engineering. If you are serious about your music, look closely at your options to participate at your desired level even though you are not a music major.

    For flexibility, Brown is probably top of the list (see https://www.brown.edu/academics/undergraduate). Look at WPI because of its research in tissue development (see https://www.wpi.edu/news/wpi-team-grows-heart-tissue-spinach-leaves) and its well developed Biomedical Engineering program (see https://www.wpi.edu/academics/departments/biomedical-engineering. The program is quit flexible relative to many programs and the music minor is a serious one. Case Western is really known in the engineering/Life Sciences area (see https://case.edu/search-results/?q=Biology&cx=004305171799132815236%3Aciq4c8b3yv4&ie=UTF-8 and also https://case.edu/search-results/?q=Biology&cx=004305171799132815236%3Aciq4c8b3yv4&ie=UTF-8.

    Find out what each University thinks is Unique about them and see if it fits your interests. University is more than a selected major. You can go to a top graduate school from any of the programs listed here so far if the right environment fires you to do well.

    None of these suggested Universities are walk-ins, so be sure to have a strong "match" list. JHU and the Ivies are a reach for anyone. Don't judge by the percentage rejected, look at the quality of the latest matriculating classes for a better profile of your fellow classmates and project research partners.
    · Reply · Share
  • platypusomeletteplatypusomelette 36 replies14 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    edited July 17
    @Andorvw Naviance stats for the past 3 years:
    Cornell - 14 apps, 1 acceptance (2016)
    Dartmouth - 2 apps, 0 acceptances
    Brown - 6 apps, 1 acceptance
    UPenn - 13 apps, 1 acceptance (2016)
    Columbia - 16 apps, 1 acceptance (2016)
    Yale - 11 apps, 2 acceptances (2016)
    Princeton - 8 apps, 1 acceptance (2016)
    Harvard - 7 apps, 1 acceptance (2016)
    I marked some of them with 2016 because I know there was one exceptional student at my school and I'm pretty sure he just applied to every Ivy or something. All of the labeled ones have only one acceptance who did not enroll which makes it likely it was him. So pretty much in the past 3 years, three unique people have gone to an Ivy. Additionally last year one person went to UChicago and one went to Johns Hopkins, and this year one person is going to Stanford. My school is about 800 people though. Do you know how this might benefit me?
    edited July 17
    · Reply · Share
  • platypusomeletteplatypusomelette 36 replies14 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    edited July 17
    @Eeyore123 @retiredfarmer thank you for the suggestions and resources, I will definitely look into those, although I've heard bad things about Tufts's student body? Also, what are your thoughts on Rice and Vanderbilt, would they be a good fit or a good shot for my app, and how do they hold up bio research-wise?
    edited July 17
    · Reply · Share
  • chmcnmchmcnm 95 replies1 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    I’m thinking schools in Boston like Tufts, BU, or Northeastern. Vanderbilt In Nashville. Maybe Emory or Georgia Tech in Atlanta. Excellent cities to explore that happen to have great universities.
    · Reply · Share
Sign In or Register to comment.

Recent Activity