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Graduate schools in the US for the biological sciences.

  1. Apr 4, 2005 #1
    Hi, I'm just wondering if I could be pointed to some good graduate programs in the US for the biological sciences. Things of interest to me are biochemistry, biotechnology, immunology, microbiology, and pathobiology. One thing to note is that I'm a Canadian student, and I would be interested in good schools that will accept international applicants.

    Cheers!

    K.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 4, 2005 #2
    I see you mentioned international student. Are you just interested in US universities, or other international ones as well?
     
  4. Apr 5, 2005 #3

    Monique

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  5. Apr 11, 2005 #4
    I am mostly interested in US schools ^^ Of course I'd also consider Canadian ones, but then I know most of what I want to know about Canadian schools already.

    Basically, gradschools.com is a pretty good site for knowing all the universities that offer a certain program. This however tells me nothing about how good the program is, how much funding gets put into it, how good the facilities are. I know for one that Berkeley has very good research facilities and lots of funding into the biological sciences. What other schools are there that are like this?
     
  6. Apr 11, 2005 #5
    With an NSF/NIH grant budgets in the billions, not to mention private and other government financing, there are plenty of programs getting funding.

    Are you interested in a specific topic? Look at the journals and see who's publishing in the area of research that interests you. Then from there, I would look at how much money they are getting and what their facilities are like. I don't think anyone can do your work for you.
     
  7. Apr 11, 2005 #6

    Moonbear

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    You're going to need to narrow your list down somewhat, otherwise we could list every major university in the U.S. :smile: Is there a specific area of research that interests you?

    One thing to note is that only US citizens are eligible for funding from sources such as NIH, so your eligibility for programs will depend on their funds available.
     
  8. Apr 11, 2005 #7
    I am actually quite interested in cancer research, as to what aspect of it... I don't know yet. Probably research that has to do with finding new ways to repress cancerous cells? But then, I don't know much about research yet and am equally interested in all kinds of new discoveries. I'm right now in my third year, am I kind of slow in finding out what I'm interested in? I was hoping to find out about it in my fourth year, by taking some seminar courses.

    Sometimes I get REAL moody cause I don't know what to do after my bachelors degree. I genuinely want to continue my education in graduate school, or professional school, but my GPA is not that great; though it is showing improvement.

    Maybe I should just take a few years off of school after my degree? Anybody know of what kind of jobs a bachelors in cell and molecular biology can get me?

    K.
     
  9. Apr 11, 2005 #8
    It's not a bad idea to try to get a job at a university working in a lab where you might be interested in applying as a grad student. That way you establish a relationship with a prof and he can help you get into grad school. He might also have enough pull to get you into a different lab at a different university.

    I don't know how easy it is to get such a job, but that would be an optimal way to help you get into grad school.
     
  10. Apr 12, 2005 #9

    Moonbear

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    There are quite a few good programs in cancer research. There is also a lot of competition to get into those programs because it's a popular topic for study and currently well-funded. Do your searches for programs by looking for Cancer Biology or Cancer Centers. Because cancer research spans a number of disciplines in biology, the graduate programs tend to be interdisciplinary, meaning they aren't in just a single department but include faculty in many departments who all have a common interest in cancer research, but who may all take different approaches to it. Because it is a competitive field to get into, you will have a better chance if you get into a lab as an undergraduate and can get a good letter of reference from the person whose lab you work in.

    Alternatively, if you're still deciding what you want to do, your idea of taking some time off and working is a reasonable one. If you think you'll want to go on to graduate school, your best bet will be to apply as a technician in a university lab. This way you'll get experience with the lab techniques, and interact with graduate students by assisting with their projects, and can get more of an idea of what research is all about. If you want to get a good paying job that you might stick with instead of going to grad school, then there are plenty of biotech and pharmaceutical companies that will hire people with bachelor's degrees. If you work as a tech in a university lab, and choose not to go on to a graduate program, you will still be able to get a job in industry; with some experience, you'll be able to get one of those jobs even more easily. Actually, one problem we have in academics is that once we get a technician trained really well, they either go on to grad school or get hired by the pharmaceutical and biotech companies at salaries we can't compete with. It's hard to get good technicians.
     
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