2018-2019 Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School Application

Discussion in 'China and Eastern Asia' started by AbbottV, May 20, 2018.

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  1. AbbottV

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    I would suggest not to come to Duke-NUS Medical School if you want to practice in the United States, Canada, or in Australia.


    Last year, one of the Duke-NUS seniors received an offer to work in the United States after completing her residency in the U.S. Despite the $500K bond with Ministry of Health (MOH), she accepted the job offer and did not choose to go back to Singapore to practice. After this incidence, MOH changed their policy. Now, they no longer allow people to apply for residency right after the completion of medical school. Everyone will need to stay at least one year in Singapore to work as a House Office. After which, you may apply for residency (whether it is in Singapore or other countries). However, each year, they will only allow 2 people to do residency outside of Singapore.


    They are now making it extremely difficult for people to apply for residency in the United States. You will need to be top 10% of the class. Each class has about 60 students. This means that you will need to be one of the top 6 students among your classmates, which is difficult. Majority of the tests are designed by Singaporean clinicians. Most of the questions require rote memorization. Not much critical thinking involved. Singaporeans are trained to be good with rote memorization. Therefore, people who are among the top 6 are typically Singaporeans.

    It is also difficult to get a residency spot in Singapore. This year, about 30 people out of a class of 60 students applied. Only 50% of those that applied received offers. Most people will be doing Family Medicine. MOH is advocating junior doctors and medical students to take up residency spots in Family Medicine. They want more family physicians and less specialists. So, if you are aiming to become a specialist, it will also be a long and difficult process.



    Another thing that I will point out is the school typically let the students fill out survey on student mistreatment during year 1. However, most of the mistreatments take place during clinical rotations. The worst rotation block is pediatrics. Its program coordinator is Loh Tsee Foong. He tends to target international students and Singaporeans who have studied overseas. He is a locally trained Singaporean clinician.


    Once you are targeted by him, he will start a process to set you up. He silences student who tries to speak up. He has connection in the hospital and at Duke-NUS Medical School. He will make sure that the students get disciplinary actions and forces the students to be in a position to be targeted and bullied by other clinical faculties (including administrative staffs and clinicians at Duke-NUS). His aim is to slowly crush the person’s self-esteem by having the clinician staffs to severely and constantly scold and question the student’s caliber and identity. The clinical staff will ask very personal question about the student and send the report to the program coordinator. He will take the autonomy and independence out of the students. Every single decision and move that the student make will need him or the administrative staff’s approval. The administrative staff at Duke-NUS Medical School will ask the students to see a psychiatrist. The whole process is mental manipulation through emotional and verbal abuses. Yes, there are a lot of reports of bullying in medical community. However, this is a whole another level from bullying. This is mental manipulation or brainwashing. The aim of the process is to break the person’s self-esteem down so that the person conforms to their rules and submits to their authority. The only way to pass the rotation is to submit to this program coordinator’s mistreatment and submit to his authority. Most people who endured his mistreatments were too scared to speak up. Sadly, clinical staffs and administrative staffs at Duke-NUS Medical School are also part of the process. Students are not safe or protected.


    What the leaders in the Singapore medical community want are skilled workers who do not question their authority. Singapore is not like the United States, Canada, or Australia. It is not democratic. People here believe in hierarchy and authoritarianism. Human rights are not their top priority. Depending on how successful the process of brainwashing is, the person will end up starting to agree and think alike as their Singaporean colleagues and teachers. The person becomes afraid to speak up and start to doubt themselves. This leads to conformity. But, for certain students, self-doubt and damaged self-esteem can lead to depression. This can also lead to the beginning of another cycle of bullying. For the ones who are bullied, sometimes become a bully themselves.


    Regardless of what the root cause of this type of behavior is, bullying is wrong. Silencing people and making sure that the wrongdoings of clinicians are not known to the public is also wrong. People need to know what is happening in the community. Students should be able to learn and study in a safe and nurturing environment.
     
    #1 AbbottV, May 20, 2018
    Last edited: May 21, 2018
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  2. ZackJay

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    Seems like you are just sour about your treatment in Duke NUS. Rather than blaming the school, maybe you should do some reflection first and see what you could have done better. It’s also unprofessional of you to list an individual’s name and defame him, and it makes me wonder how you got admitted with that attitude of yours. So stop being a hypocrite when you yourself are resorting to cyber bullying.

    Duke NUS is primarily set up to serve Singapore’s population. If you are so keen in working in the US, you should have studied there instead of bitching on this forum. The government has spent so much money to start this medical school and obviously the school does not want her students to go overseas for residency.

    The change in MOH policy has nothing to do with that Duke NUS senior you mentioned because MOH wants more Doctors to be generalist rather than specialist. Also, this change applies to all medical schools in Singapore.

    For god sake, rote learning is common in medical schools. Don’t expect to be the top student if you don’t want to put in the hardwork. By brushing aside people’s hardwork by saying that ‘oh singaporeans are trained in rote learning and thus they are the top’ further reflects the poor attitude of yours.
     
  3. theunraveler

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  4. Winterprelude

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    Hi! Would like to ask if anyone knows what kind of essay questions for the written exercise will be asked on the Applicant Day itself? Also, how long are we given to write it, and how does this help the panel in their evaluation of the applicant? Would appreciate if anyone can share their previous experience on this, thanks :)
     
  5. onceasaint17

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    Hi there, the written exercise on Applicant Day is a Situational Judgement Test done on the computer, there wasn't any essay writing done on the day itself - all the essay writing is done for the application (and there are 4 essays to write, OMG). Otherwise, when you get called up for the Applicant Day, the committee will provide you with a reading that you'll have to prepare for the day itself - like a prelude to the TeamLEAD session that the school advocates.

    Not sure how much the structure of the Applicant Day for this year's cycle will change but I hope my input helps! Feel free to ask away and I'll answer them the best I can.

    If you are applying for this year's cycle, good luck to you and all the best!
     
    #5 onceasaint17, Jun 3, 2018
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2018
  6. bvan95

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    Is anyone applying for the program this cycle?
     
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  7. t_elepathy

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    Applying for this year's cycle but I am quite worried that my lack of volunteer experience will be a weakness... does anyone know how important a volunteer experience is for Duke-NUS application?
     
  8. Lazy Surgeon

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    Hey Guys!
    I am applying to DukeNUS this cycle! Is anyone going to attend PREP? Also, are there any current students so kind to quickly glance through the application essay?
     
  9. onceasaint17

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    Hey! Incoming MS1 here, so not sure how much my advice will help! When I was preparing my application essays last year, I made full use of my faculty's career advisor. She helped me vet my essays and also conducted a mock interview with me!

    Perhaps you could set up an appointment with your faculty/university's career advisor. I had a good experience with mine and I sincerely hoped it'll work well for you too!

    All the best for your application! :D
     
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  10. proteinworker

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    Hi! Does anyone here know the monthly stipend of PhD students in Duke NUS? Please kindly inform us. Also, if the PhD student is required to extend to fifth year, are tuition fee and stipend still covered by Duke NUS?
     
  11. dvdp

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    Thank God someone speaks up about bullying and blacklisting of students by faculty and staff of Duke-NUS!! Many others do not dare to voice objections and suffer in silence. The caliber of each student who is enrolled into the program is high. It is not fair to push the buck to the student when it was the school who chose the student through supposedly stringent processes to ensure the student has high chance of succeeding in the school. Instead of supporting the student through the years of studies and practice, this school condones and takes such underhanded actions against individuals. It is unprofessional and unethical of a school to do these, let alone a medical school. How can a medical school profess to teach its students professionalism and ethics if its leaders and role models are not upright in their actions?

    That Duke-NUS senior announced publicly to everyone she knew that she was not returning to Singapore for her reasons of lower pay and lower rank in Singapore. Her bond is more than $500k. But she can easily recoup that from working in US. MOH change in US residency policy isn't solely as a result of her actions. It's thanks to a good number of seniors who run away to US residency and never return, violating their service obligation to the country. Some of them had zero intention to do the service obligation and over the years MOH has learnt its lesson.

    Why do MD not want to practice in Singapore? They were not protected in medical school. They know working in Singapore healthcare system will be worse. Medical school does not prepare them for work life. Salary is worse than in US, work environment is horrid, work-life balance is bad, career opportunities are limited to what the Singapore government wants. With US license they can work anywhere in US and other countries. That opens up an ocean of opportunities rather than fighting to survive in a small pond. Living expenses in Singapore are high and rising. Why spend the best years of your working life in such a place? Some internationals want to return home to work and live. Other internationals are using Duke-NUS as a stepping stone to the western countries. Working in Singapore was never their goal and never stepping into Singapore ever again is not a problem to them.
     
  12. dvdp

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    Duke-NUS is not so generous to fund you beyond the minimum. As far as I am aware, for any extra years you want to do, full tuition fees will be borne by you.
     
  13. zackksg

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    Dear Winterprelude,

    The essay questions by Duke NUS are fairly typical of most medical schools and I think you can set up an application to access them as well.

    They usually focus on ethical dilemmas, working with others, challenges you have faced and also your motivations for doing medicine.

    The submission deadline is usually either December or early January. Hope this helps!

     
  14. zackksg

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    Dear protein worker, have you tried emailing Student Admissions? I believe they will be able to give you a better answer for this. Do engage with them and I am sure they will be happy to help!
     
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  15. zackksg

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    Good luck with your application! I believe the school does consider your application holistically. I am a current student and did not have much community/volunteer experience but I had other research/CCA/work experience to make up for it. I think one of the poster's advice is right. You can set up a meeting with any faculty adviser you may have in your university and speak to them to help on building your application. Hope this helps!
     
  16. zackksg

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    Dear dvdp,

    Are you a student suffering in silence? If you are, I know for a fact there are counsellors in the school to help speak to you. If you are not, I am not sure if what you say is a fair comment.

    As to the Duke-NUS senior, the way you put it is that she is a money grubber. Hardly makes anyone sympathetic to a gold digger who wants more money.

    For other students here, if you want a cushy life, lots of money, no "suffering", medicine is NOT for you. You can look at banking/law instead.

    dvdp, from your posts, it seems you have a lot of anger and grievances. Here is a hotline you can go to for comfort. I hope this helps you deal with the many challenges you face.

    Good Samaritans of Singapore: 1800 221 4444

     
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  17. Lazy Surgeon

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    Dear zackksg,

    Thank you for all the useful info.
    Can I, please, PM you regarding studying at Duke-NUS?

    Thanks!

     
  18. dvdp

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    The "counsellors" of the school don't do anything constructive to help anyone in need. Their role is to dig out weaknesses in students under the guise of being "caring" and "supportive" to gather evidence for the school to build a case against the student. Once they've found your vulnerabilities they couldn't care less about you and turn their backs on you, throwing you to the wolves, hyenas and vultures.

    Offering an external hotline attests to the futility of reaching within the school for help. It is of no use either. Outsiders won't comprehend the suffering.
     
  19. wCwC

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    Hello! I would like to know what the cohort size is like for this school? How many students are accepted each year? What is the graduation rate or drop out rate? What percentage of students pursue MD PhD? How many successfully attain post-graduation residency positions?
     
  20. zackksg

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    Dear wCwC,

    The cohort is usually 60-70 students a year. I do not know the drop out rate but it is very rare for students to drop out. Currently my cohort has less than 10% of students pursuing an MDPHD.

    As to the post-graduation residency positions, these numbers will change from year to year and as new hospitals are coming up, they may grow. I do not think a large majority get into residencies and this would be the same not only in this school but in most schools as well.

     
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  21. Lazy Surgeon

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    Dear zackksg,

    When you say that not many people get into residency do you talk about final year MD students? Do you think one has better chances after serving as a Generalist Officer for a few years upon graduation?

    Lazy
     
  22. wCwC

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    Less than 10%? Wouldn't that be similar to clinician scientists from undergraduate programs or fewer? I expected higher. Isn't this school's role to produce clinician scientists? If Duke-NUS's role is to produce clinicians it isn't being productive at 60-70 and at a higher cost compared with the undergraduate programs in the country. Does the school impose a limit on the number of MD PhD students in each cohort? How rare is rare drop out? When do students drop out? Any MD PhD who drop out of the program?
     
  23. bvan95

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    If I have research experiences that results in campus posters/presentations and an honors thesis, would that be good enough? Or would I need paper-published, co-authored,etc level of research?
     
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  24. proteinworker

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    For MD/PhD , the tuition fee is waived for both MD portion and PhD portion. I doubt the school is rich enough to fund many MD/PhD students.
     
  25. wCwC

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    No tuition fee for entire of 7-8 years? Their tuition fee sure is high enough. Is the high fees due to the MDs paying for the MD PhD students' tuition fees, paying the MD PhDs' tuition fees and PhD stipend for their whole 7-8 years of MD PhD? Shouldn't the MD PhD costs be funded by research grants not the school?

    On another note, why is the cohort so small?
     
  26. proteinworker

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    You can check the official website. Some of your questions are best answered by Duke NUS.

    Are you applying for Duke NUS MD PhD?
     
  27. liverpoolkakaka

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    The MD/PhD costs are funded by other grants. The school fees for MDs are mainly spent on the materials needed for the curriculum. The cohort is small due to structural limitations, like size of the classroom.
     
  28. zackksg

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    Dear wCwC,

    Thank you for your questions and interesting suggestions to the possible answers.

    Yes, tuition fees are high. You might want to consider doing your MD in Malaysia/Indonesia as generally Singapore can be very expensive compared to our neighbouring countries if money is a very big concern.

    The cohort is small because as with everything, quality trumps quantity. We do need more doctors but that does not mean restraint is thrown out the window. The MD PhD cohort is small because there is a very strict admissions criteria to ensure they can thrive in the rigorous curriculum.

    As you may or may not know, there are one or two ex-students who unfortunately dropped out in the years past and yet continuously visit this forum to air their grievances many years after by creating one new profile after the other. It is very odd, inexplicable behaviour but probably contributed to why they failed to make it in the first place.

    I see that you have recently created your profile and exclusively posted in this forum. have you explored other alternatives?

    I would be most happy to answer any other questions you might have. You can IM me like some of the other posters as well. Have a good application ahead!

     
  29. zackksg

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    Dear bvan95,

    I do not believe paper published research is necessary or I would not have been admitted in the first place, haha. I think what is good will be a demonstrated interest in research and if you do have the honours thesis and campus posters etc, I believe that should be good enough.

    What is more important than the CV is also the passion and discipline to see the curriculum through. If you are planning on doing a PhD, it will require a lot of hard work and possibly time spent in the lab. The school would have student ambassadors to speak to you about what this entails and also your career prospects. I urge you to proactively approach the school to understand more since this will be your future career.

     
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  30. bvan95

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    Thank you so much for the reply! I'm actually not considering a PhD/MD because I do want the large chunk of my future job to be clinical/teaching. However, I do have interests in research but still am not sure how limited my scope of participation would be as an a MD.
     
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  31. wCwC

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    I'm considering the MD PhD not the MD. As you mention, MD can be done elsewhere there's no necessity to do MD in Singapore. I need to ask to assess the quality of the MD program and the research. PhD suicide does not bode well, neither do drop outs. Furthermore, good quality research should be well backed. If the research is being funded by student tuition fees I would be even more cautious about this program. It would indicate to me that the research is of poor quality not worthy of external funding. I wouldn't want my PhD supervisor hightailing before I complete my MD PhD! That sure has happened to an acquaintance of mine and I do not want it to happen to me. Do you not perceive my concerns?

    Every school should have strict and rigorous admission criteria not only this school. MD PhD isn't a walk in the park!

    Is it criminal to ask fundamental questions about the school? Is critical thinking not supported or encouraged in the environment of this school? PhD who don't think can't complete their PhD now can they?
     
    #31 wCwC, Jul 6, 2018
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2018
  32. wCwC

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    Thank you for the sensible clarification. Could you kindly elaborate on the structural limitations part? I imagine a lecture hall or comparable room should be spacious enough to accommodate more students? Does this university not have lecture halls within its grounds? If not, where are the classes conducted? What about the laboratory and research facilities within the school?
     
  33. Medstart108

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    Thanks for giving us your story, but of course this is just one side of the story. Your story though does sound a bit like sour grapes. There are a lot of convenient excuses in your story all to avoid any blame on yourself.
     
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  34. proteinworker

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    Were you a student of Duke NUS? Can you share with us your experience(both good and bad) in Duke NUS?
     
  35. sarabellam

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    May I know what is the percentage of Singaporeans vs foreigners in each cohort?
     
  36. Araedia

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    I'm going to be applying MD/PhD for this cycle. On the Duke-NUS website, it says that the Pre-Research Scholarship which covers the first two MD years will be received only during the first year of PhD - does that mean I'll have to pay the tuition for the first two years and then be reimbursed for it later?
     
  37. proteinworker

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    Yes, you are right. I am also applying for MD/PhD this cycle. Good luck!
     
  38. bvan95

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    Has anyone submitted their application yet? I'm planning to submit mine by the end of this week and don't know if it would make a difference if I apply now or as long as I apply before Sept. 1 for ED?
     
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  39. proteinworker

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    I have submitted my application. Early application is always better. Good luck!
     
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  40. Medstart108

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    No I wasn't.
     
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  41. Icall

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    Hey guys. Wondering if its worth applying here with a 505 MCAT (122 CARS) and 3.98 GPA.

    Thanks!
     
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  42. bvan95

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    Can you talk a little bit about your ECs? (I'm a pre-med applying as well haha)
     
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  43. Icall

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    lots of leadership, research, volunteering, job as medical assistant
     
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  44. bvan95

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    Personally, a great advice I got from a duke-nus student was "you'll miss 100% of the shots you don't take." If you are interested in living in Singapore and spend the next decade or so there, why not try? But if you want to do residency in the US or Canada, I would think again about applying.
     
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  45. Lazy Surgeon

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    great pp! why not give it a shot?
     
  46. Icall

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    I just feel like my MCAT and 122 CARS precludes me from having any shot
     
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  47. kittykatto94

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    I know of Duke-NUS students with MCAT scores of around 505. Your GPA is really good; this together with outstanding ECs and sincerity of pursuing medicine will put you in good standing.

    For my year the foreigners made up about 30% of the cohort.
     
  48. Captainmilo

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    Hi, anyone applied for early admission? Have you guys received invitation for applicant’s day on 17 Sept?
     
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  49. bvan95

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    I applied for early acceptance. Submitted 24/8, completed 4/9 but haven't heard back. Hbu?
     
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  50. Winterprelude

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    I applied for early acceptance too but haven’t heard anything from them yet. Guess the invites will come anytime soon, we’ll just have to patiently wait :)
     
    bvan95 likes this.

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