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Duke vs. UC Berkeley for Pre-Med

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical Allopathic [ MD ]' started by santabanta, 04.05.08.

  1. santabanta

    santabanta

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    Hey guys, I'm in a huge dilemma!!!
    I got into UCB as a regents scholar and Duke
    What is better for Pre-Med?
    PLEASE HELP!!!!

    i found this interesting data table for UCB: http://career.berkeley.edu/MedStats/top20.stm

    can anyone direct me to a similar page for Duke?

    thanks so very much!!! i really need to make a decision!!!
    PLEASE HELP!!!
  2. Pinkertinkle

    Pinkertinkle 2003 Member

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    Neither school is going to give you any particular advantage over the other reputation wise when it comes to medical school. Is the cost of Duke worth the extra attention you get at a private school? Do you like Durham more or the San Francisco bay area more?
  3. pntgrd

    pntgrd

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    If cost is no object, Duke. Otherwise either is fine.
  4. santabanta

    santabanta

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    i really appreciate the fast responses, but can ppl please provide more details? i mean this is a pretty sig. decision for me!!
  5. TM2006

    TM2006 Member

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    then why are you asking for advice on an anonymous online forum?

    think about it, how many people who go to Duke know Cal or vice versa?
  6. MrBurns10

    MrBurns10 Excellent, Smithers Moderator Emeritus

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    Here, this might help from the Duke perspective.
    http://premed.duke.edu/

    I went to Duke for undergrad and was very pleased with the pre-med advising, though the dean for advising retired after I left. I've heard questionable things about the advising at UCB, but they're both great schools.
  7. berkeleyvala

    berkeleyvala Junior Member

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    Honestly, I know nothing about life at Duke. However, getting a regents scholarship at Cal is a fairly large incentive to go there. You'd save quite a bit of money. Are you in-state for California? If you're that worried about the decision, you can always fly both places and check them out. Actually, I would fly to Cal and check it out. For one, it'll probably be cheaper even with out-of-state tuition, and two, as a regents scholar, you get free housing. If you feel comfortable there, I would attend just based on the money alone (other than that, I really did have a great time there). I never really used the advising at Berkeley, but I don't doubt that they weren't very good. Then again, if you can buy a copy of the MSAR book, you don't really need very much advising. If you don't like Cal when you visit, well, go to Duke. I'd recommend coming April 12th and checking out the campus. Thats when Cal Day is and all sorts of facilities are open to the public. Best of luck.
  8. metalgearHMN

    metalgearHMN

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    :laugh: nice one.

    i'd personally go the cheaper route. berkely and duke are pretty even prestige wise.
  9. xcrunner18

    xcrunner18

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  10. etf

    etf Moderator Emeritus

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    berkeley: #2 ranked university on earth by 4 separate U.S. News type publications around the world. separate parking spaces for nobel prize winners.

    duke: what you take after eating a lot of indian food at berkeley.
  11. iA-MD2013

    iA-MD2013 Moderator Emeritus

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    :laugh:
  12. pntgrd

    pntgrd

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    Prestige wise they are pretty even, but the undergrad experience at Berkeley, especially for premeds, is bad. Classes will be massive, professors won't be good, a lot of TA teaching, hard to get recs, grading is harsh, and the school does not care about you. Duke will care more, and try to help you.

    However, the scholarship is big and Berkeley can be good if you try and make a point of taking smaller classes and surviving. So basically, Duke would be better if money was not an issue.
  13. iA-MD2013

    iA-MD2013 Moderator Emeritus

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    I do agree with this...the profs are pretty good, but you're on your own. The profs really don't care about you and the grading is harsh. And, we don't have premed advisors.
  14. etf

    etf Moderator Emeritus

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    basically what i was saying was that prestige-wise, berkeley takes the win, especially if you are anywhere outside the immediate raleigh-durham area. but the pre-med experience is AWFUL, at least it was for me (so you can see where the bias comes from). but the op qualified for a regents scholarship at the toughest UC, so s/he is most likely a very capable individual, and will thus be able to take advantage of the myriad opportunities for scholarship at cal.

    go bears!
  15. -Goose-

    -Goose-

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    Duke. For sure. Good research opportunities, amazing campus, don't have to deal with california or tree-hugging, pot-growing hippies, being in the south, and being a cameron crazy.
  16. paranoid_eyes

    paranoid_eyes

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    i would highly recommend duke over Cal. Duke wins simply because it is a top private school that has good advising. There is nonexistent advising at the UC's. Trust me, I know more than my premed adviser at UCLA about the med school process.
  17. iA-MD2013

    iA-MD2013 Moderator Emeritus

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    There are A LOT of opportunities, but you have to find them. But you're right...the OP is probably smart and will do fine in either school.
    GO BEARS!!! :thumbup:
  18. pntgrd

    pntgrd

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    No, I am from CA and Berkeley does not have more prestige then Duke. I would say they are about the same prestige overall, but Berkeley is really deficient in its undergrad compared to Duke.
  19. kuhlguy

    kuhlguy

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    so im a graduating senior from UCLA ...

    I got regents at both UCLA and Cal ... decided on attending UCLA because I liked the feeling better and more money for UCLA regents


    with that said ... i think you are somewhat where i was four years ago

    honestly i'd say go with Duke ....

    HOWEVER, i have absolutley loved UCLA ... and I bet I would have loved Cal too ... the premed is rigourous but ... being a regents I'm sure you will be fine ... almost all of my regents friends are doing whatever they want for post-undergrad ....

    the reason i say duke is this ... they will guide you through the process and make it easier for you ... at ucla and cal there really are no pre-med advisors ... you are on your own to figure stuff out .... i just feel that the schools like Duke take better care of you


    if money is at all an issue ... go to Cal ... bottom line ...
  20. padres0629

    padres0629

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    If you can shell out the money for it, choose a private school over a public school.

    Private schools facilitate the pre-medical experience in so many ways. It's easier to get good grades. A private institution isn't going to screw you over gradewise, like a public university can (and likely will). Grades don't come as easy at a public school. Public schools like UC Berkeley and UCLA aren't afraid to curve grades against you.
  21. 1956Goldtop

    1956Goldtop

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    Anecdotally, I've seen a massive number of people form cal on the interview trail.
  22. -Goose-

    -Goose-

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    Holy over-generalization batman!

    We are talking about DUKE here.
  23. physicsnerd42

    physicsnerd42 Member

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    It doesn't make a difference.
  24. bobdogsam43

    bobdogsam43 New Member

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    every pre-med student at berkeley knows about this top 20 data chart.......its completely bogus. It doesnt reflect anything....dont use this as a decision. Every year Berkeley kids go to EVERY known med school......harvard, ucsf, ucla, ucsd, washu, northwestern, st. george, uci, duke, utsw, baylor, yale, mcw, etc etc etc. if you do well at cal, get a solid group of EC's with depth, get good lor's, youll be just fine.
  25. bobdogsam43

    bobdogsam43 New Member

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    profs wont be good? ehhh dont know about that. there are bad apples everywhere---duke, cal, stanford, harvard, miami....you name it.........but i will say that overall duke's profs are in no way gonna top cal's profs. Especially in the biosciences cal is EASILY top 3. Profs teach the lectures and TAs lead the discussion sections....thats the same everywhere. You wont find a more cutting edge biosciences education than at cal. HHMI just gave the big pre-med Bio1A lab course 1 MILLION dollars to make it THE model for undergrad bio labs.
  26. Pinkertinkle

    Pinkertinkle 2003 Member

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    Oh jeez are you serious? That class sucked balls. I guess Mike Meighan is living it up now, in his shorts of course.
  27. bobdogsam43

    bobdogsam43 New Member

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  28. Pinkertinkle

    Pinkertinkle 2003 Member

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    Is mike meighan still involved at all? That guy had at least two Axis II psychiatric diagnoses.
  29. labrynth79

    labrynth79 Senior Member

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    Mike Meighan is STILL there!? Wow, it's been 8 years since I took that class.

    I have no experience with Duke. I went to Cal, loved it there, but never was involved with the "pre-med" advising thing. I had almost zero guidance, but didn't have a problem with that. It is true that Cal does not inflate grades, but amongst certain medical school programs, this is also well known. The formula for medical admissions seems to be generally the same:

    Decent GPA + decent MCAT scores +/- research + lots of substantial extracurriculars + doing something that sets you apart from others + letters of recommendations.

    FYI, LORS are NOT hard to get. Get them from upper-division instructors, since they get to know you 1-on-1 more. Go to office hours, do research, etc. Going to faculty office hours for a class, asking intelligent questions, and doing well in the class is a very simple way to get a good LOR. I got 2 easily this way! Also, get them from supervisors from your volunteer experiences. You don't want all your LORs to be from faculty, saying the same thing over and over. Diversify yourself.

    My GPA was not that great, MCAT was okay, amazing LORs and extracurriculars. Went to a reputable UC for med school and matched for residency at my #3, which technically was my #1 (although occasionally wonder what it would be like to be a Cornell for residency, then realize that all my friends are unhappy there, so i'm glad that I'm still in Cali!).

    Good luck to the original OP. FYI Berkeley is the kind of place where you can either love it and excel or hate it. If you can imagine yourself being happy with UC Berkeley, then I say go for it! Although, I am biased and love the program. And I don't see the benefit of spending lots of $$ on a private undergrad when you'll be spending a lot more on medical school.

    PM me if you have more questions. :)
  30. Orthodoc40

    Orthodoc40

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    For PRE MED? :rolleyes: Who cares. Just pick the one you like the most.
  31. iA-MD2013

    iA-MD2013 Moderator Emeritus

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    Hahaha I agree...that was a horrible class.
  32. berkeleyvala

    berkeleyvala Junior Member

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    LOL :laugh:

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