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University of Florida vs. Mercer University

Discussion in 'Pre-Pharmacy' started by kdash, 05.04.12.


  1. Thanks to Crack the PCAT
  1. kdash

    kdash

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    I am a gator and I have enjoyed my experience here in Gainesville I was recently placed on the waiting list but then offered an interview in June. From what I hear, if you get an interview from UF COP then you will most likely get accepted. The only thing is up until this point I was 100% set on going to Mercer (in Atlanta). I loved the campus, southern hospitality and block scheduling. Mercer really felt like a large family. Here at UF it is not like that (not at least for undergrad). Both schools have their pros and cons but right now I am confused and I'm not sure what to do.

    UF pros: higher ranked, cheaper, in state tuition
    UF cons: satellite campus has online classes, I'm tired of Gainesville,

    Mercer pros: block scheduling, small campus with only professional students, Its in Atlanta
    Mercer cons: more expensive, out of state

    I feel like one of the biggest things attracting me to UF is the fact that it is only ~$22K/year while Mercer is ~31K/year. But at the same time I've had it with Gainesville and I'm ready to move on. Can you guys give me your opinion on what you would do?
  2. owlegrad

    owlegrad Uncontrollable Sarcasm Machine Staff Member Administrator SDN Senior Moderator

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    The distance campus I attend has a pretty close student body. I have heard that is not really the case in Gainesville.

    Good luck with your decision. :thumbup:

    We have some Mercer students who may be able to comment, like SHC for example.
  3. tydt

    tydt

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    This really says alot IMO, I don't think stress is the way to go since you can make back the money. I think a peace of mind takes top priority since it can make a huge impact on your academic performance and social life which is mandatory in Pharmacy. As for school rankings...remember, people are looking for great pharmacists and not pharmacists who graduate from higher ranking school. Wish you the best on your decision.
  4. AlPacino

    AlPacino "We Will!" Moderator

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    That is a tough one. I plan to applying to UF next year mainly for the same reason you said. It is closer to me, cheaper, and higher ranked. However I will also be applying to other school which as highest ranked like University of California, University of Kentucky, and University of Utah. If I get accepted(I am confident that I will) to UF, then I will most likely inform the other schools that Im not interested. At the same time, I too would like to relocate and live in a different area. Ive been living in Florida for 14 years and its time for change. When making decision like these, you have to think long term and whats going to be best for you 10+ years from now. That is what I am going to do when its decision time. But yes, there are alot of factors to consider.
  5. rxlea

    rxlea Unicorn in training Moderator Emeritus

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    Go to Mercer. Sounds like you need a change.
  6. awval999

    awval999 New Member

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    This.
  7. TheToothsayer

    TheToothsayer

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    It seems as though you're set on moving on to Mercer. Do it. Don't mind the cost. Your happiness takes priority over all things. Mercer is a great school.
  8. Pojman

    Pojman Level 99 Alchemist

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    I am not sure that this is a, "real world" point of view. Your happiness does not take priority over all things - I guess this is just my opinion, but it sure does not seem like the world works this way in my experience.

    If you can avoid paying out of state tuition, I would say that anyone who chooses otherwise is very foolish.

    Go to your in state school. This would be the big boy decision. When you graduate, and get a job, then you can focus on sowing your wild oats and move to remote exotic places.. It will be far cheaper then, and you will not be constricting yourself with at least 30% more debt.
  9. SHC1984

    SHC1984 Removed

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    Go to UF.

    Mercer isn't a bad school but they did a really crappy job at teaching pharmacokinetics. If a patient is dying right now and I had to calculate a complicated equation to save his or her life I am not confident that I can do a perfect job on it.

    Right now after finishing all my classes at Mercer, I do NOT feel that I am ready to become a great pharmacist. I do not feel confident at all.

    I am very scared to go on rotations as I simply DO NOT feel like I know everything I need to know to become an excellent pharmacist.

    Sorry Mercer, but if it was a very good school I should feel confident in my ability right now to ROCK being a pharmacist...but I do NOT feel it at all. I do NOT feel like I know it all at all. I would go to a school that will make you feel CONFIDENT in your ability to become a kick ass pharmacist. :)
  10. kdash

    kdash

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    Do you know that any of your other classmates feel that Mercer didn't prepare them for rotations/to be a pharmacist? Also did you think pharmacokinetics wasn't taught correctly because of the on professor or the actual curriculum?
  11. SHC1984

    SHC1984 Removed

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    1) To be fair I have very limited retail pharmacy experience and NO hospital pharmacy experience...so that might be a reason why I feel soooooo SCARED about starting now...I have very little work experience. I think we are all a little nervous...I don't think there is anyone that feel that they are an excellent pharmacist right now. But to be fair I might be MORE scared b/c I have very little work experience.

    2) Now pharmacokinetics....B/c of the block schedule we only have like 3 weeks of pharmacokinetics...versus other schools have 2 years of pharmacokinetics....I am sorry but 3 weeks is NOT enough time to learn PK. Also the professors that teach PK aren't very good. That's the main problem.

    I really would go with UF b/c it's CHEAPER and RANK higher and ask Owlegrad...maybe he feels he is ready to be a good pharmacist...I DO NOT. Sorry.
  12. owlegrad

    owlegrad Uncontrollable Sarcasm Machine Staff Member Administrator SDN Senior Moderator

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    I agree about the big boy choice. It just doesn't make sense to move away in order to pay more for the same education without a compelling reason to do so (vague happiness/desire is not a reason). Plus I have heard from SHC that jobs are really tight in her market, Florida might be a little soft on the job market but it is not as bad as Atlanta. Just food for thought.

    I have quite a bit of experience, but there are still days I think I will never make a good pharmacist. I think it is normal to have doubt. I can't say that I would feel more or less ready if I went somewhere else, b/c I just don't know.
  13. SHC1984

    SHC1984 Removed

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    I mean if you got into UCSF and UF and you wanted to go to UCSF and pay 3X the tuition then I say SURE go for it. UCSF is ranked number 1 and their curriculum is very hard (which prepares you well for your future job). The harder the curriculum the MORE prepare you will be for the job.

    I would NEVER go to another school unless the other school is highly ranked and has an excellent curriculum AND prepares me well for my future job.

    What's most important is picking the school that prepares you the best to become a pharmacist. You don't want to go to a crappy school and end up being a really crappy pharmacist! lol...

    Owle, the Atlanta market is VERY BAD...but I am sure the market in FL isn't any better is it? I know Miami is saturated. LOL...Tinkerbell couldn't find a tech job down there to save her life. Honestly, I can't imagine it being easy to find a job anywhere now.
  14. owlegrad

    owlegrad Uncontrollable Sarcasm Machine Staff Member Administrator SDN Senior Moderator

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    I am lucky in that my hometown is not near any COPs, so finding work has been a breeze. Skews my outlook no doubt.
  15. kdash

    kdash

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    The thing about UF is that there is still a good probability that I will be at one of the distance campuses; which means that my classes would be taught online. Pharmacy school is already going to be challenging but having it taught online makes it seem WAY more difficult. I really like the idea of the block scheduling that Mercer has. And how some courses are separated completely by the systems of the body. I don't know if that is effective but it seems nice. I am going to go to my interview at UF so I can find out more about their program first hand. I am sure there is plenty of about the UFs pharm program I don't know. In regards to the job market I feel like that job market in both states will be tough. Florida has 6 pharmacy schools and Georgia has 4.
  16. owlegrad

    owlegrad Uncontrollable Sarcasm Machine Staff Member Administrator SDN Senior Moderator

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    Even if you are on the main campus, the classes are still taught online. But honestly, once you adjust, you will wonder why you ever went to class. I have nothing against Mercer, it just seems like there is more potential for regret if you go that route.
  17. fldude2k1

    fldude2k1

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    I am in the boat as you, OP.

    I got accepted to Mercer but I was also placed on the alternate list and will be interviewing in June. I don't think getting an alternate interview is quite the same "guarantee" of acceptance as a regular interview. From what I understand, you do still have a solid chance but they will pull you off the list to round out their classes. I am hoping to still get into UF because that's always been my first choice, but I was very comfortable at Mercer as well. Like you said everyone was really friendly and I could see myself going there for 4 year. However, the prestige of UF Pharmacy and location cannot be passed up for me. We'll see how the interview goes in June!
  18. kdash

    kdash

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    Did you do your undergrad at UF too?
  19. fldude2k1

    fldude2k1

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    Nope I went to UCF. I have a lot of friends who are in the UF Pharmacy program and yeah a lot of it is watching lectures on your own online. You don't really have to go to campus every single day. I guess it comes down to what you're looking for. You'll get a great education at UF as well but it will just be different compared to Mercer's style I imagine.

    I know that St. Pete and Orlando campus students are all a pretty close knit family.
  20. axelz165

    axelz165

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    I'm kind of feeling the same way as you OP. I'm a 3rd year junior and applying next year. I love UF and very happy with the friends i've made and relationships I've built, but I'm tired of how small Gainesville is! The reclusive and logical part of me is telling me to stay here but the adventurous part of me wants me to spread my wings andApply somewhere crazy like California schools or Mercer as well.

    Btw; do you mind sharing your stats with getting an interview into UF COP? :).
  21. kdash

    kdash

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    My junior year UF was my top choice but then I started researching and visiting other schools. Still apply to UF but you should remember that you do have a chance of being placed at a distance campus. I find watching 3-4 lectures a day everyday harder than just going to class but many people enjoy it. Apply early and good luck with your decision!

    I'll PM you my stats
    Last edited: 05.11.12
  22. axelz165

    axelz165

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    I'm with you on online lectures. I can't stand online classes that force you to watch video lectures. I regularly fall behind in them unless I can keep alot of dedication into them.
  23. bdon1511

    bdon1511 Mercer University P2

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    A lot of good discussion here and there's no easy decision. You want to go somewhere where you feel comfortable you can grow as a person and professional, but as someone who already owed a lot from undergrad, I can completely understand where money becomes an issue. Ultimately I chose Mercer over my alma mater (UNC-Chapel HIll), which was a highly ranked school. I picked Mercer specifically because of the family-oriented atmosphere; it just felt like the right fit for me. I do feel at most schools the education is there for you if you make the most of it, and regardless of where you go, getting experience in an actual pharmacy is invaluable, so I do feel those who are nervous going into rotations will feel worlds better after rotations. So many pharmacists in the area (including 2 at the pharmacy I work at) are Mercer grads and I couldn't be more impressed learning from them, they are true role models both intellectually and in patient care.

    To speak specifically to PK, Mercer has heard some feedback on the course in the past and for incoming P1's next year and beyond, PK now is its own course and is also incorporated in more ways in other courses in order to reinforce the subject.

    Again, no easy decision! I'm only a P2 at Mercer but I made a hard choice when I picked Mercer over UNC, which I'm sure is amazing in its own right, and honestly it has exceeded my expectations. I work in retail pharmacy and have made a lot of connections with professors who genuinely love the students and teaching at Mercer. I feel confident all the tools are here for you. Good luck with your choice!!!
    Last edited: 05.17.12
  24. kdash

    kdash

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    I got accepted to UF COP but the Jacksonville location. But I still worry about watching 3+ online lectures everyday. In undergrad it was hard enough to stay motivated to watch them and now there will be 4 years of lectures o_o.

    But I must say there is a lot of prestige in going to UF and it is really an accomplishment to be accepted but I am kinda worried about not doing well. Also If you rarely every have to go to class isn't it harder to get to know your classmates and form study groups?

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