I can honestly say that not a day goes by that I am not incredibly thankful I chose to pursue a PhD in molecular biology at Princeton. I went to undergrad at the University of Colorado in Boulder, and had never set foot on the East Coast before grad school interviews (nor did I ever picture myself ending up in New Jersey). Princeton initially stood out to me because the students, faculty, and staff exhibit a strong sense of comradery and intellectual community, which is wholly complemented by excellent and productive science. Multiple years later, I still find those qualities to be true, and doing grad school at Princeton has been nothing but rewarding.
Coming from a small liberal arts school background, Princeton immediately impressed me with its intensively collaborative and supportive environment that is fostered by graduate students, post docs, and professors. The breadth in top-notch research and an emphasis on graduate student education makes this department an intellectually stimulating place to pursue a passion for scientific curiosity. In a single day, you can hear about developmental breakthroughs, new modeling techniques, and a novel host-pathogen interaction. Moreover, the department nurtures the scientific growth of its graduate students by providing opportunities both within the department (weekly seminar series, student-run colloquia) and external to the department (internships, outreach programs). Beyond the department, life at Princeton is enhanced by a vibrant graduate student community that is bolstered by outstanding on-campus housing opportunities. Princeton itself is a fun town with excellent restaurants; we are also located in a geographical sweet-spot. Within a 1.5 hour radius, you can reach New York City, Philadelphia, the beach, or the mountains! Altogether, the creative, dedicated, caring professors and students make Princeton a truly special place to have the opportunity to pursue a Ph.D.
I spent my undergraduate years at a small liberal arts college, and then participated in a PREP program at a large medical school. Having experienced these very different settings, I gained an appreciation for the value of a student-focused academic environment, as well as the advantages of being at a research institution doing high-quality science. When it was time for me to choose a graduate program, MolBio at Princeton really stood out as a place where graduate students are an integral part of the larger academic community, and more importantly, are the driving force behind excellent science. Since then, I have been part of an inclusive department that has supported me in every aspect of my training, including the pursuit of countless internal and external opportunities to advance my scientific career.