MC_Infarction

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What will you be doing with your research year?
I’m going to keep it somewhat vague in this thread to preserve some semblance of anonymity, but I’ll be doing clinical research within one of the fields that I’m tentatively interested in going in to. Feel free to PM if you’d like more details.
 
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Mar 26, 2019
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Hey MC thanks for taking the time :) I've heard on this site and from my premed advisor that Duke seems to appreciate late bloomers/comeback apps... does any of that ring true for you?
 

MC_Infarction

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Jun 24, 2016
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Hey MC thanks for taking the time :) I've heard on this site and from my premed advisor that Duke seems to appreciate late bloomers/comeback apps... does any of that ring true for you?
In my talks with the admissions committee, they have mentioned how they read every completed application and that they are looking for a cohesive story. Therefore, I think this makes them inclined to invite more non-traditional/‘unique’ applicants, though I don’t have any hard evidence of this fact, just a hunch (and maybe the bias that I am a non-trad with a different background). Ultimately, I think the decision comes down to if you don’t mind spending the money for the application. I know the entire process sucks and is prohibitively expensive, but if you can picture yourself being at Duke, and your stats are somewhat within range, I would encourage you to submit an app.
 
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I’m going to keep it somewhat vague in this thread to preserve some semblance of anonymity, but I’ll be doing clinical research within one of the fields that I’m tentatively interested in going in to. Feel free to PM if you’d like more details.
Do people do research outside of the research year? I'm applying with a PhD and I've heard Duke waives the research year for students like me, but I do want to continue doing research down the line.
 

MC_Infarction

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Do people do research outside of the research year? I'm applying with a PhD and I've heard Duke waives the research year for students like me, but I do want to continue doing research down the line.
Yeah, you can do research from day 1 if you would like. No shortage of research to be done!
 
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MC_Infarction

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Do you know anyone who applied for Duke's MD/MBA program? How selective is it?
Just to clarify, you don't apply to the MD/MBA program upon admission - you apply to your MBA during your second year (first year of MBA during your MS3 year). So this gives you ample time to decide if you do/don't want to pursue an MBA. Unfortunately, I don't have any numbers on how selective the program is. I only know that two of my classmates this year applied, and both were accepted!
 
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Jun 4, 2019
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I posted something similar to this in the WUSTL thread as well, but Duke is my other top choice for medical school. I was wondering being a Mathematics major along with two other challenging majors (Biochemistry and Immunology), would a GPA of around a 3.5 be too low to apply with? Unfortunately, I have earned several A-s/B+s because of the sheer difficulty of my curriculum rather than not studying enough. All other things considered, I have plenty of clinical volunteering hours and shadowing experience along with other ECs. I am counting on scoring well on my MCAT to compensate for the rather mediocre GPA but still I would like to know if it is even worth applying? And what would be a good MCAT score to aim for given my below average GPA?
 

MemeLord

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Feb 21, 2018
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I posted something similar to this in the WUSTL thread as well, but Duke is my other top choice for medical school. I was wondering being a Mathematics major along with two other challenging majors (Biochemistry and Immunology), would a GPA of around a 3.5 be too low to apply with? Unfortunately, I have earned several A-s/B+s because of the sheer difficulty of my curriculum rather than not studying enough. All other things considered, I have plenty of clinical volunteering hours and shadowing experience along with other ECs. I am counting on scoring well on my MCAT to compensate for the rather mediocre GPA but still I would like to know if it is even worth applying? And what would be a good MCAT score to aim for given my below average GPA?
Good MCAT score to aim for? The higher the better, but a 518+ is solid for Duke and decent for WashU. A high MCAT does not make up for a low GPA, but a high MCAT can improve an app with a low GPA
 
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Jun 4, 2019
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Good MCAT score to aim for? The higher the better, but a 518+ is solid for Duke and decent for WashU. A high MCAT does not make up for a low GPA, but a high MCAT can improve an app with a low GPA
Thank you for the quick response! At this point, I was wondering would it be even advisable for me to apply to Duke or no? I never intended for my MCAT to compensate for my medium GPA but I do wish to be competitive, I am realistically on the fence about applying given that these schools are very competitive so I'm unsure whether it is even worth applying. :)
 

MemeLord

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Feb 21, 2018
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Thank you for the quick response! At this point, I was wondering would it be even advisable for me to apply to Duke or no? I never intended for my MCAT to compensate for my medium GPA but I do wish to be competitive, I am realistically on the fence about applying given that these schools are very competitive so I'm unsure whether it is even worth applying. :)
You can still get in anywhere with a 3.5 (Look at NYU class profile, they report a lowest GPA of 3.45).

Where you should apply is MCAT dependent. If you get 520+ then allly wherever you want it the app is good. 518+ will net you T20 not many T10. 515+ will be solid for T50. 512+ you still are highly competitive for most MD schools. 508+ do 50/50 MD/DO, 504+ do DO, 496+ do Podiatry.

You got this, just know that your school list is highly MCAT dependent.
 
Feb 26, 2019
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I posted something similar to this in the WUSTL thread as well, but Duke is my other top choice for medical school. I was wondering being a Mathematics major along with two other challenging majors (Biochemistry and Immunology), would a GPA of around a 3.5 be too low to apply with? Unfortunately, I have earned several A-s/B+s because of the sheer difficulty of my curriculum rather than not studying enough. All other things considered, I have plenty of clinical volunteering hours and shadowing experience along with other ECs. I am counting on scoring well on my MCAT to compensate for the rather mediocre GPA but still I would like to know if it is even worth applying? And what would be a good MCAT score to aim for given my below average GPA?
It depends on the rest of your application, but statistically, with a 3.5, your chances are not great at either of these schools regardless of your MCAT. While both are great schools of similar prestige, Duke has a reputation for being more holistic and WUSTL has a reputation for being more numbers-focused.

It is unwise for any applicant to get fixated on one or two schools (particularly top schools) before applying. Apply broadly and smartly (e.g. include your state public schools) and see what happens. But first, do the best you can on your MCAT, not what you think will get you into Duke/WUSTL.
 
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BigSkyBeta

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I posted something similar to this in the WUSTL thread as well, but Duke is my other top choice for medical school. I was wondering being a Mathematics major along with two other challenging majors (Biochemistry and Immunology), would a GPA of around a 3.5 be too low to apply with? Unfortunately, I have earned several A-s/B+s because of the sheer difficulty of my curriculum rather than not studying enough. All other things considered, I have plenty of clinical volunteering hours and shadowing experience along with other ECs. I am counting on scoring well on my MCAT to compensate for the rather mediocre GPA but still I would like to know if it is even worth applying? And what would be a good MCAT score to aim for given my below average GPA?
Honestly the biggest question you need to ask yourself is this: would I like to go to Duke (and for that matter, Washington University) for medical school? If the answer is yes, and the finances are not an issue, then you should be applying to every school you could imagine yourself at. I would argue that a 3.5 is a fine GPA considering you were a triple major (if I was reading that correctly).

Duke's application is notorious, but it also gives you one of the strongest opportunities to make a case for yourself on paper. If you want to be here, there is no reason not to put your name in the hat.
 
Mar 26, 2019
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Thank you for the quick response! At this point, I was wondering would it be even advisable for me to apply to Duke or no? I never intended for my MCAT to compensate for my medium GPA but I do wish to be competitive, I am realistically on the fence about applying given that these schools are very competitive so I'm unsure whether it is even worth applying. :)
Sorry, just chiming in. Do you have a MCAT score or just expecting to score 95+ percentile?
 
Mar 26, 2019
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I do not as of yet, but based on my FLs, I am hoping to break a 518.
I would just want to caution that spending time thinking about the schools you'll apply to with your dream score is just time spent not actually studying. I've seen a few people make that mistake, wouldn't want it to happen to you.

Also n=1 but my actual score was 4.5 points lower than my FL average, so drops can happen. I say really crush the exam first and then swing for the fences after
 

Zen Arcade

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Also n=1 but my actual score was 4.5 points lower than my FL average, so drops can happen. I say really crush the exam first and then swing for the fences after
So your average FL was 526? Good advice though, drops can and do happen all the time, don't bank on for sure hitting your FL score.
 
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Mar 26, 2019
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So your average FL was 526? Good advice though, drops can and do happen all the time, don't bank on for sure hitting your FL score.
Yeah. I falsely took that to mean I should expect a 526 on the real deal, but really it just means that there are versions of the MCAT where I would earn a 526-527. There's no guarantee that your test day MCAT will fall into that category though
 
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Yeah. I falsely took that to mean I should expect a 526 on the real deal, but really it just means that there are versions of the MCAT where I would earn a 526-527. There's no guarantee that your test day MCAT will fall into that category though

Once you get past a certain point the difference in 1 point can easily be 1 question. Just missing 1 additional question per section could net you 4 fewer points.
 

MemeLord

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Feb 21, 2018
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Once you get past a certain point the difference in 1 point can easily be 1 question. Just missing 1 additional question per section could net you 4 fewer points.
True that. I blame my 129 in P/S on missing two gimme questions that I didn’t have a random factoid memorized.
 
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Dec 27, 2017
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Hey all, rising Duke MS3 here. Feel free to post in the thread or PM with any questions. I’m always happy to help!!
Do most people do research in the third year? What proportion of your classmates would you say choose other activities?

What would you say is the coolest thing you have seen someone doing for the third year?
 
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According to the most recent MSAR data

for MATRICULATED students
MCAT Scores ranged 509-523
Science GPA 3.41-4.0
Ages 30-39: matriculated for years 2016-2018: 2, 3, 0 in that order, none over 40+ for now :hello:


Kids ages 19-23 make up majority of those matriculated
Total Matriculated: 129

Everyone who applied to Duke via AMCAS gets a secondary
On LORs: 4 minimum, 6 maximum with 2 coming from science faculty

Woo Hoo! Exciting. Glass ceiling baby! Lets blow it
 

MC_Infarction

2+ Year Member
Jun 24, 2016
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Do most people do research in the third year? What proportion of your classmates would you say choose other activities?

What would you say is the coolest thing you have seen someone doing for the third year?
Did you have anything in mind when you said ‘other activities’? Just trying to clarify if there was something specific you had in mind!

Research is required your third year, as submitting some sort of comprehensive thesis is a requirement at the end of the year. There are also a couple of classes (minimal time commitment) that you’re expected to enroll in if you’re staying in Durham, with a few exceptions. A decent amount of the class does decide to get dual degrees (don’t know exact numbers), and research is also oftentimes built into these dual-degree programs.

Coolest thing I’ve seen? That’s a tough one but I think some of the global health programs are pretty unique, and people seem to have really rewarding experiences. Students spend 10 months in places like Tanzania, Singapore, Vietnam, etc. If that’s not a satisfying answer I can try to think of something else.
 

MC_Infarction

2+ Year Member
Jun 24, 2016
390
546
81
Status
Medical Student (Accepted)
According to the most recent MSAR data

for MATRICULATED students
MCAT Scores ranged 509-523
Science GPA 3.41-4.0
Ages 30-39: matriculated for years 2016-2018: 2, 3, 0 in that order, none over 40+ for now :hello:


Kids ages 19-23 make up majority of those matriculated
Total Matriculated: 129

Everyone who applied to Duke via AMCAS gets a secondary
On LORs: 4 minimum, 6 maximum with 2 coming from science faculty

Woo Hoo! Exciting. Glass ceiling baby! Lets blow it
Interesting stats! Thanks for sharing.
 
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Dec 27, 2017
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Did you have anything in mind when you said ‘other activities’? ...
...
Coolest thing I’ve seen? That’s a tough one but I think some of the global health programs are pretty unique, and people seem to have really rewarding experiences. Students spend 10 months in places like Tanzania, Singapore, Vietnam, etc. If that’s not a satisfying answer I can try to think of something else.
That is exactly the kind of thing I'm talking about. I have a strong interest in global health. Do you think it would be fine to talk about that as one of my reasons for selecting Duke? I'm amazed that a school is so devoted to individualizing the learning pathway for students.
 

MC_Infarction

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Jun 24, 2016
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That is exactly the kind of thing I'm talking about. I have a strong interest in global health. Do you think it would be fine to talk about that as one of my reasons for selecting Duke? I'm amazed that a school is so devoted to individualizing the learning pathway for students.
Yeah, absolutely something to mention as one of your reasons!
 
Jun 17, 2019
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The requirement for LoRs is 4. I also see that it says they accept committee letters. Does anyone know how this works together? My school writes a committee letter and incorporates 3 LoRs (they take parts from each to form their own recommendation). I also am submitting a separate LoR, which is 4 total, even though three of them are together as a committee letter. Will Duke see and know this or is this something I should reach out to them and ask? Hope what I am asking is clear.
 
Jun 19, 2019
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Knowing that Duke's secondary application tends to be on the more difficult side, if one of the responses to a prompt is significantly shorter than the word limit, as in maybe 50-60% of the max, does anyone think this is going to be an issue? I don't want to ramble to just fill space.
 
Feb 26, 2019
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Knowing that Duke's secondary application tends to be on the more difficult side, if one of the responses to a prompt is significantly shorter than the word limit, as in maybe 50-60% of the max, does anyone think this is going to be an issue? I don't want to ramble to just fill space.
That’s fine.
 
May 4, 2018
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The requirement for LoRs is 4. I also see that it says they accept committee letters. Does anyone know how this works together? My school writes a committee letter and incorporates 3 LoRs (they take parts from each to form their own recommendation). I also am submitting a separate LoR, which is 4 total, even though three of them are together as a committee letter. Will Duke see and know this or is this something I should reach out to them and ask? Hope what I am asking is clear.
From their website: “If your school submits a committee letter, it applies the four letter rule. In other words, if you have a committee letter, you won't need to submit four letters of recommendation.”
This is also true at most other schools.
 
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