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Biology PhD advice required??

MCBartistMCBartist Registered User Posts: 69 Junior Member
edited August 2007 in Graduate School
I gave my GRE and got a verbal 570 and math 780 and writing 5.0. I am applying for biology programs, should I be giving my GRE again. I looking to apply to top 10 grad schools?? Could someone help me with this?? Thanks!!
Post edited by MCBartist on
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Replies to: Biology PhD advice required??

  • molliebatmitmolliebatmit Registered User Posts: 12,374 Senior Member
    The math and writing scores are fine. The verbal's a little low, but what's the percentile? (If it's above 60th percentile, I wouldn't worry at all.)
  • DespSeekPhdDespSeekPhd Registered User Posts: 991 Member
    I know little about bio, but don't you have to take a subject test for that? If so, I would think programs would care far more about that score than your general.
  • molliebatmitmolliebatmit Registered User Posts: 12,374 Senior Member
    Most of the top programs don't require the subject test, although they will all accept it, and it's somewhat useful to do well. I still knew somebody who got in the 70th percentile on the subject test and still was admitted to several top-five programs (the rumor is always that a 90th+ percentile score is required even for an interview).
  • MCBartistMCBartist Registered User Posts: 69 Junior Member
    Thanks for the input...I need more input..plz help me..I am a biology major applying this fall for Phd. Top choices- John Hopkins, Stanford, UC berkley and UCSF. GPA 4.00. GRE: verbal 570 math 780 writing 5.0 (should I give GRE again?>???)...research experience in 2 labs since 2 years and internship...no papers published though..What do you think are my chances of getting in??? How can I improve or do something to improve my chances. (I am an international student)...Please help.. thanks
  • molliebatmitmolliebatmit Registered User Posts: 12,374 Senior Member
    When I was interviewing, the buzz from other applicants was that Stanford was particularly difficult to get into for international students in biology. I don't know if that's true or if it was just rumor.

    What is the percentile for the GRE verbal score?
  • zxzz74zxzz74 Registered User Posts: 234 Junior Member
    thanks mollie for very helpful replies

    for an international student with the same scores listed by MCBartist
    can you list us about 20 schools for molecular biology/biochemistry good programs that an international student can manage to get into ?

    what is considered as a hook in this case ??
  • seaweedseaweed Registered User Posts: 100 Junior Member
    I think your stats are fine....my recommendations are:

    1) Make sure you can get glowing recommendation letters.

    2) If you are certain that you can't get anything published by the time you apply, at least make up a scientific report summing up your research work (make sure it's written in true scientific style and reviewed/proofread by your professors), so that during the interviews, you can show them your writing samples to demonstrate your technical writing ability.

    3) If you still have the chance, present your research in the undergraduate research symposium/conference at your school.
  • MCBartistMCBartist Registered User Posts: 69 Junior Member
    My GRE verbal percentile is about 75th or so...I havnt got any publications, but I have received a Research Award (seaweed, do you think this helps??) Also, do you guys think I should take the GRE (general) again, and many schools are like GRE subject test is recommended but not required etc, JHU for instance, do you think I should take it? Also, do my senior year grades matter,because I will be applying this fall and my grades wont be up by then :D Thank you everyone for giving your suggestion/advice etc..

    Is anyone already done with this whole application stuff..If so would you mind posting the schools you got into and the ones you applied to (accepted as well as rejected)..and your stats (GPA, research, GRE, etc. etc..)
  • molliebatmitmolliebatmit Registered User Posts: 12,374 Senior Member
    If that verbal score is 75th percentile, I wouldn't bother taking the test again. The actual score isn't that important for admissions, and the verbal score in particular is almost certainly used as a benchmark rather than for its own sake.

    Senior year grades will not matter if they're not available by the time you apply. When you pick a school, you will have to send them a final transcript to prove you graduated, but that's all.

    The trouble with the GRE subject test is that you won't be able to see the scores before you have to decide whether or not to send them to schools. If you're confident you can get a very good score (80th%+, preferably 90th%+), then take the test and send it to schools. If not, don't bother and don't worry.

    I applied two years ago for biology PhD programs. I had a 3.4 GPA from MIT, 800Q/740V/5.5A on the GRE general test, a 97th percentile on the biology subject test (can't remember what number that is -- 880?), a summer at the NIH, and three years of research in the lab of a well-known scientist in my field (including authorship on a high-impact paper). I was accepted to Harvard BBS, MIT Biology, Stanford Biosciences, UC Berkeley MCB, and UCLA Access; I was interviewed but ultimately rejected at UCSF Tetrad.
  • ysk1ysk1 Registered User Posts: 740 Member
    For Biology PhD admission, is there such thing as a weed-out course, like organic chemistry for med school? Or do grad schools just look at overall science GPA?
  • zxzz74zxzz74 Registered User Posts: 234 Junior Member
    wow mollie .. may god bless you for those scores
    how could you score 74o on the verbal ??
  • zxzz74zxzz74 Registered User Posts: 234 Junior Member
    can you please list us around 20 schools that an international applicant is adviced to apply to having scores in the range of MCBartist listed above ?
  • molliebatmitmolliebatmit Registered User Posts: 12,374 Senior Member
    I really don't have any clue, to be honest. Your best bet is to ask your professors which schools students like you applied and were accepted to -- they will usually know better than anyone which schools you should be investigating. I think the general rule of thumb is that it's much easier for international students to get into the second-tier-type schools, but I don't have any intuition as to where that second tier starts.
    For Biology PhD admission, is there such thing as a weed-out course, like organic chemistry for med school? Or do grad schools just look at overall science GPA?
    A weed-out course isn't a course that admissions officers look at particularly closely -- in the case of organic, it's a class that some aspiring pre-meds do badly in, and therefore decide not to pursue a pre-med path after all. It's a weed-out on the applicant side, not on the admissions side.

    Biology PhD programs will generally ask for your overall GPA, your major GPA, and sometimes your junior/senior GPA.
  • MCBartistMCBartist Registered User Posts: 69 Junior Member
    Hey Mollie, wow....thats an amazing score...based on your experience and looking at my record, do you think I ll be able to get in to these schools? If there is anymore info you need to evaluate where I stand plz lemme know. Thanks!! you have helped a lot!! :D
  • MCBartistMCBartist Registered User Posts: 69 Junior Member
    And also, I did get a Research Award (if that helps you evaluation)
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