Chances for Pharmacology or Biomedical Sciences

<p>Hi everyone. I am currently applying for a PhD at 8 schools. I'm trying to get into Pharmacology programs where they are available or biomedical programs where they aren't. However, I'm getting very nervous that these schools are all too top tier and I was wondering if I should throw in some safeties just in case. My stats are listed below; I talked to my PI about this and he seemed certain that I would be fine with the schools I'm applying to now...but I would be grateful if you all could weigh in on this :)</p>

<p>Major/minor: Human Biology w/ Philosophy Minor. Graduated in 3 years at large research university. Currently getting master's in biology there too (BS/MS).
GPA: 3.97 (summa cum laude)
GRE: 170 (99%) Verbal; 167 (95%) Quantitative; 5.5 AW (96%). Took the biochem subject test in October...I don't know my scores yet but it was incredibly difficult and I'm not too hopeful about it.
LORs: 1 from my PI whom I've worked under since my first quarter as a freshman. 1 from the postdoc who mentored me since I first started out. 1 from a philosophy professor (not ideal for biology, but I know his recommendation will be superb and hopefully his familiarity with my writing skills will be useful). All recommendations should be very good, especially from my PI.
Research: As an undergrad, had 3 projects, 2 of which were my own. Did a lot of research under my mentor testing a new drug, which is what made me really interested in pharmacology. I am now working on one of my undergraduate projects for my Master's thesis. I received an undergraduate grant from an independent organization, for which I also attended a conference. No papers, but coming up on 4 years of research experience.</p>

<p>I'm applying to: UCSF Pharmacgenomics/Pharmacology, UCSD, UCLA ACCESS, Stanford, Yale, USC, Johns Hopkins, and MIT. Should I throw in some safeties? I honestly feel like it will be a waste of time applying to schools that I don't actually want to go to.</p>

<p>Thanks for your input :)</p>

<p>No, do not apply to any schools that you do not want to go to. There are also no such things as "safeties" in PhD admissions - if the school isn't a good fit for you, you might be rejected even if it was your "safety." </p>

<p>If you are really that concerned, find a lower-ranking school that DOES meet your interests, and that you think you'd be content with if it happened to be your only choice. I think your stats are great, but I don't know how competitive you are in relation to other students in that field. Also, if your PI thinks you'll do well with the school list you've got, then listen to him. He'll know what schools past students have gotten into, and with what stats, so his opinion should out-weigh anyone's here.</p>

<p>You will undoubtedly get accepted to the top schools. Great numbers and experience. </p>

<p>Concerned about your LOR from philosophy professor. Most schools want letters from people in science.</p>

<p>You are an amazing candidate, simply put. No doubt you will blow the application pool out of the water.</p>