School List Help? Just Want to Make Sure Everything is Good

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Jan 31, 2019
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What is your area of research interest? Is there a reason you have Tri-I and Einstein, but not Columbia and NYU? Or Yale and Penn, but not Hopkins and Wash U?
Hi Maebea — thank you for the reply.

Just generally, I am trying not to make my list all top 20 programs and to have a more balanced list.

Specifically, my area of research interest is in neuro-oncology (GBM & DIPG space, etc.). I chose Tri-I because of its affiliation with MSKCC (I also have minor ties at MSKCC) and Einstein because it's a great MD/PhD program that has slightly lower stat averages than other excellent programs.

Hopkins and WashU both actually have great programs/labs in my field, but I felt like Hopkins' MCAT median/percentiles were less forgiving than other top schools (Yale has a slightly higher median but a slightly lower 25th percentile, for example). While I think WashU would be a good fit professionally, I'm not exactly psyched to live in St. Louis if I am being honest, which is why it's in the maybes section. This, coupled with having a balanced and not exceedingly long list is why I have made some of the choices that I made. However, I am curious if people think it's still too top heavy or if I should expand the list in general or if they think I'll be fine with the list as is.

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That makes sense. I can certainly understand not wanting to apply to 35 programs and for eliminating some programs on the basis of hyper competitiveness or location. I do think your application is competitive enough that you could drop one of the programs that are less research-intensive (say Mayo South or one of the Arizona programs) in favor of Vanderbilt or one of the Chicago schools. Or not.
I appreciate the advice. I decided on applying to 22 programs when I sent in my primary for verification, but maybe I'll add 3 more to shoot my shot at higher ranked schools and also have a nice round number.