biophysic admission competitiveness

sambarber
Posts: 2
Joined: Sat Oct 08, 2011 3:40 pm

biophysic admission competitiveness

Postby sambarber » Sat Oct 08, 2011 3:55 pm

I want to apply to a phd in biophysics/systems biology. But I need some guidance as to where I could feasibly get in. Can anyone give me some advice on reasonable schools?

My credentials:
Graduated MIT, BS in physics, 3.3 GPA
790 Q, 620 V, 4.5 writing GRE scores
not planning on taking the subject test, I graduated a few years ago and feel too rusty
no research experience besides a mandatory lab class
Of my 3 rec's, 2 are from professors, but only one of those 2 is in physics lab work, the 3rd is from my current employer

After graduating I joined the Peace Corps where I served in Africa. Since several years have passed, my professor rec's are a bit old and my Peace Corps rec is totally unrelated to science.

Where should I apply? Am I competitive? What are my options?

Thanks everyone

ali8
Posts: 103
Joined: Sat Aug 29, 2009 8:20 am

Re: biophysic admission competitiveness

Postby ali8 » Sat Oct 08, 2011 4:22 pm

First of all, I am not an expert.

But, after reading hundreds of topics here and there, I can tell you that you still have a good chance,
but if I were you, I would apply to schools ranking between 30 & 80. Without publications / research experience, and with unrelated work experience, you cannot hope at any top 20 university, especially that you are not planning to take the PGRE.

Again, that is only my opinion, based on a lot of reading, but others may suggest other options.

michael
Posts: 50
Joined: Fri Sep 05, 2008 7:21 am

Re: biophysic admission competitiveness

Postby michael » Sat Oct 08, 2011 4:45 pm

I think that not taking the GRE will rule out a lot of schools. Maybe you should just take it.

You will probably surprise yourself at how well you can do, and it will probably be good for you to have a look over some basic physics before you go to grad school anyway. You may as well begin that process of having a look at some physics now motivated by the PGRE, it may be harder to self study if you DONT have the PGRE to force you a bit.

I think you should seriously give yourself a WEEK now to see if you can get into shape to score at least not embarrassingly on the PGRE. Take one of the four released tests, and work through it slowly over a week - do any questions you can, and look up anything that you can't remember. At the end of that week take one of the other tests, and see what mark you get. If you get above 650 then you should take the real test, if not then maybe not. In another month of study on top of this first week you should be able to jump your score by about 100 I would guess.

Good luck whatever you decide to to!

michael
Posts: 50
Joined: Fri Sep 05, 2008 7:21 am

Re: biophysic admission competitiveness

Postby michael » Sat Oct 08, 2011 4:57 pm

Re-reading your post I guess this depends a bit on whether you apply to biophysics programs, or physics programs or biology programs. What I wrote in the previous post was true of physics, but not sure about the other two.

sambarber
Posts: 2
Joined: Sat Oct 08, 2011 3:40 pm

Re: biophysic admission competitiveness

Postby sambarber » Sat Oct 08, 2011 5:38 pm

Thanks for the advice.

Unfortunately I am in Africa now with no hope of physically accessing a GRE subject test in time for this application season. Pretty brutal eh?

I was thinking of schools like UCSB, University of Washington in Seattle, UC San Francisco for Biophysics, not physics. We'll see how it goes.

If anyone else has some guidance or even just context, I would greatly appreciate it.




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