Forum: Looking for opinions on PhD programs in Genetics and Genomics/Bioinformatics
gravatar for Kssr
4.4 years ago by
Kssr110 wrote:

Hello all, I have research experience working as a Bioinformatics programmer/analyst for close to 3 years post my Masters in Bioinformatics from USA. I have experience working with Next Gen Sequencing data sets from different platforms and technologies.

I wish to apply for PhD programs in Genetics and Genomics area/Bioinformatics for fall 2015. I do not really want to apply to many top schools as the chances of getting an admit are less. I'm fine as long as the program is good  and offers best training. In view of the same, I have short-listed a few universities, any comments about the programs & schools/ suggestions as to where to apply will be of great help. Here is the list of schools -

1. The Biology and Biomedical Sciences Program (BBSP) at UNC, Chapel Hill which offers PhD programs in 14 areas including Genetics and Molecular Biology, Bioinformatics and Computational Biology and others (

2. Graduate program in Bioengineering, jointly from UC Berkeley and UCSF (

3. Quantitative Biology Graduate Program at Michigan State University (

4. Graduate Program in Genomics and Computational Biology at UPenn (

5. PhD in Bioinformatics and Computational Biology from Univ of Idaho (

6. The Molecular Biology Program at University of Utah (

Thanks in advance!

genomics phd forum • 6.2k views
ADD COMMENTlink modified 4.4 years ago by Dan D6.7k • written 4.4 years ago by Kssr110

IMHO this is not something that is easy to discuss. There are so few openings and typically each position that a student may find themselves in is so different that discussing these as a whole is not productive. 

ADD REPLYlink modified 4.4 years ago • written 4.4 years ago by Istvan Albert ♦♦ 80k

I agree with your opinion. I just wanted to get an overview of these programs/other programs. I'll look in to the research interests of faculty at respective institutes and network more. Thanks! 

ADD REPLYlink modified 4.4 years ago • written 4.4 years ago by Kssr110
gravatar for Dan D
4.4 years ago by
Dan D6.7k
Dan D6.7k wrote:

Here's what I tell almost everyone who's wanting to get their doctorate:

  1. Precisely what do you want to study?
  2. What will you achieve by obtaining a doctorate that you couldn't achieve by studying on your own or in your career?
  3. Is there an investigator at [x] institution whose focus aligns with one or more of your interests?

Too many people have to slog their way through a PhD, studying something that doesn't truly light a fire. That's not how it should be. 

A PhD defines you in a way that other degrees do not. A PhD is a certification that you are profoundly skilled and knowledgeable in a particular concept within a field. It will be expected, from anyone you encounter in a professional context, that you are dedicating your life to furthering the world's knowledge in that concept. This is a bigger commitment than buying a house. It's almost a bigger commitment than marriage. You're investing three or more years of your youth and defining yourself in the process. It's a much more sophisticated version of a face tattoo, in that people are going to make lots of assumptions about you based on your doctorate and field; they'll have to get to know you well before they get past those assumptions.

  1. Know precisely what you want to study.
  2. Look at investigators, then institutions.
  3. Reach out to those investigators. If you're truly passionate about studying something, have professional experience, and there exists funding to accommodate you, most investigators will happily take you in, and this will be to your benefit during the application process.
  4. Begin the application process.


ADD COMMENTlink modified 4.4 years ago • written 4.4 years ago by Dan D6.7k

I want to double up-vote this...

ADD REPLYlink written 4.4 years ago by PoGibas4.8k

Will professional experience be considered without having paper publication(s) ?

ADD REPLYlink written 4.4 years ago by geek_y9.4k

Thank you for your thoughtful comments and suggestions.

ADD REPLYlink written 4.4 years ago by Kssr110
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