I’m one of eight graduate students Berkeley admitted to their plant biology program last year. We come from a range of schools with a range of strengths and interests. But lets say you wanted to squash all that down to a couple of numbers. One approach is to look solely at what undergraduate schools we graduated from. This is incredibly inaccurate. For example, my roommate and I both attended the same school for undergrad, but we’re not interchangable. I know her GPA was way higher than mine, our GRE scores no doubt also vary, and we had very different sets of undergraduate research experience. Still the appeal of this method is that it doesn’t rely on having access to any remotely confidential information (like GRE stores or GPA) making it very easy to make comparisons between my class, and the set of students invited to interview for next year’s class.
My cohort’s undergrad schools:
- Average rank: 29
- Median rank: 21.
Interviewee’s undergrad schools:
- Average rank: 12
- Median rank: 4
This was not an easy year to be applying to graduate schools.