3.92 GPA, 36R MCAT (12,12,12), no clue where to apply...

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sjrobinson

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I'm a biology major with a 3.92 cGPA, 3.84 sGPA, 36R MCAT and no idea where to apply. I'm an Alabama resident, so definitely applying to UAB and USA. I will also apply to Vanderbilt, but I'm thinking that's a long shot and I was told that most people apply to ten or more schools and I don't know where to go from here.

I have considerable shadowing experience and leadership, a good bit of clinical and nonclinical volunteering, and some research experience (not published though). I've spent 18 years of my life within 10 miles of the Gulf of Mexico and I stayed in the deep south for college... I'd prefer to not be in a huge, cold city like New York, but that might change based on any acceptance.

Any suggestions?

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I'm a biology major with a 3.92 cGPA, 3.84 sGPA, 36R MCAT and no idea where to apply. I'm an Alabama resident, so definitely applying to UAB and USA. I will also apply to Vanderbilt, but I'm thinking that's a long shot and I was told that most people apply to ten or more schools and I don't know where to go from here.

I have considerable shadowing experience and leadership, a good bit of clinical and nonclinical volunteering, and some research experience (not published though). I've spent 18 years of my life within 10 miles of the Gulf of Mexico and I stayed in the deep south for college... I'd prefer to not be in a huge, cold city like New York, but that might change based on any acceptance.

Any suggestions?

Top 15 schools are a crapshoot. People with 4.0/40 get rejected by most of them. However your stats are good enough for you to apply top heavy. Also, try your luck with some high caliber OOS schools in nearby states (UNC, Emory, Duke come to mind), because you never know what may happen.

Im not sure what your ECs are so I can't give a more precise suggestion.
 
With stellar numbers like you have, why not aim high?

The Ivies
Wash U
Stanford
Hopkins
Duke
Suggest the state schools surrounding ALA as well.
U Chicago
NYU
Emory

I'm a biology major with a 3.92 cGPA, 3.84 sGPA, 36R MCAT and no idea where to apply. I'm an Alabama resident, so definitely applying to UAB and USA. I will also apply to Vanderbilt, but I'm thinking that's a long shot and I was told that most people apply to ten or more schools and I don't know where to go from here.

I have considerable shadowing experience and leadership, a good bit of clinical and nonclinical volunteering, and some research experience (not published though). I've spent 18 years of my life within 10 miles of the Gulf of Mexico and I stayed in the deep south for college... I'd prefer to not be in a huge, cold city like New York, but that might change based on any acceptance.

Any suggestions?
 
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Thanks for the suggestions, I'll definitely add some of the surrounding state schools and look into the others y'all suggested.

As far as ECs go, nothing particularly impressive, just well-rounded:

Vice President of a 500+ member student organization
~120 hours shadowing
~40 hours volunteering at hospital
~100 hours volunteering with autistic kids
~125 hours of anthropology research (not published)
~sunday school teacher... probably won't list that though
~initiated and somewhat active member of AED (~40 hours spent thus far)
~graduate of Freshman Forum (selective leadership group for freshmen)
 
A normal forum will say that your ECs are pretty great.

SDN will say that you are worthless and not even close to getting into med school.
 
A normal forum will say that your ECs are pretty great.

SDN will say that you are worthless and not even close to getting into med school.

Haha, true. They aren't particularly impressive in comparison with most of the over-motivated book-smart people using this site, but I've learned a lot more though my activities than I feel I possibly could have if I were trying to get my name on a golden plaque somewhere. Also, I'm graduating at 20 and still like to have a social life, so time has been a limiting factor. Not to mention that the VP position has occupied hundreds of hours of my time
 
Thanks for the suggestions, I'll definitely add some of the surrounding state schools and look into the others y'all suggested.

As far as ECs go, nothing particularly impressive, just well-rounded:

Vice President of a 500+ member student organization
~120 hours shadowing
~40 hours volunteering at hospital
~100 hours volunteering with autistic kids
~125 hours of anthropology research (not published)
~sunday school teacher... probably won't list that though
~initiated and somewhat active member of AED (~40 hours spent thus far)
~graduate of Freshman Forum (selective leadership group for freshmen)

Apply everywhere if you want. You will get in.
 
I want to be sure I am accepted obviously, but I don't want to apply to a million schools because the application cost and time spent adds up pretty quickly. Do you think 10 is an okay number to choose, should I go for more? And what about "safety schools" that everybody talks about?

I'm also about to spend at least 100 hours of my summer volunteering at a children's hospital, so I suppose that will be added to my ECs for interview purposes, but not in time for my AMCAS submission.
 
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I want to be sure I am accepted obviously, but I don't want to apply to a million schools because the application cost and time spent adds up pretty quickly. Do you think 10 is an okay number to choose, should I go for more? And what about "safety schools" that everybody talks about?

I'm also about to spend at least 100 hours of my summer volunteering at a children's hospital, so I suppose that will be added to my ECs for interview purposes, but not in time for my AMCAS submission.

10 is absolutely too low, I's say 15-20 minimum. Especially if you want to apply to a lot of top schools, remember, many of tops may give the interview, but they have much lower acceptance rates post interview (20%)
 
A normal forum will say that your ECs are pretty great.

SDN will say that you are worthless and not even close to getting into med school.

Though I assume there is some hyperbole here, I think the "competitiveness" of SDN is overblown way too much on this forum and likely elsewhere. You'll find some nutjobs saying the occasional absurd BS about needing publications or olympic medals to get in, but for the most part the population on SDN is a fairly reasonable bunch. Keep in mind that many of the students here have successfully gone through the application process and understand what is and is not a realistic expectation of what it takes to get accepted. Couple that with the years and years of experience handed down from residents, med students, and adcoms, and I think much of the advice here is bound to be accurate.

But let's not mischaracterize the bulk of this advice as incredibly out of touch, even if a handful of posters very much are.
 
I'm a biology major with a 3.92 cGPA, 3.84 sGPA, 36R MCAT and no idea where to apply. I'm an Alabama resident, so definitely applying to UAB and USA. I will also apply to Vanderbilt, but I'm thinking that's a long shot and I was told that most people apply to ten or more schools and I don't know where to go from here.

I have considerable shadowing experience and leadership, a good bit of clinical and nonclinical volunteering, and some research experience (not published though). I've spent 18 years of my life within 10 miles of the Gulf of Mexico and I stayed in the deep south for college... I'd prefer to not be in a huge, cold city like New York, but that might change based on any acceptance.

Any suggestions?

NYC ain't so bad!

Your stats are good enough that no school is out of reach for you. This is by no means a guarantee that you can get accepted at a top-tier school, but it won't be your stats that hold you back. As others have said, you should be aiming for about 20 schools. Because the chance of getting accepted at any individual school is so low, especially for top-tiers, its best to cast a wide net.

Apply to anywhere you would like to live, but try don't limit yourself to non-big city schools. In the south, Duke, Emory, Baylor, and UVA come to mind. West Coast schools like UCSD, and Stanford are good options to apply to as well. None of those schools are in "huge cold cities"


Though I assume there is some hyperbole here, I think the "competitiveness" of SDN is overblown way too much on this forum and likely elsewhere. You'll find some nutjobs saying the occasional absurd BS about needing publications or olympic medals to get in, but for the most part the population on SDN is a fairly reasonable bunch. Keep in mind that many of the students here have successfully gone through the application process and understand what is and is not a realistic expectation of what it takes to get accepted. Couple that with the years and years of experience handed down from residents, med students, and adcoms, and I think much of the advice here is bound to be accurate.

But let's not mischaracterize the bulk of this advice as incredibly out of touch, even if a handful of posters very much are.

:thumbup:, if you ignore the crazies, there are actually some nuggets of quality advice here
 
Thanks for that advice. Like I said, my opinion about "huge cold cities" would change from dread to excitement if I were accepted....my family just moved from Pensacola, Fl to New Jersey in November so my first impression of actually living in the northeast instead of visiting was Christmas break freezing to death in my "winter coat" that only actually works for southern winters. Needless to say, it wasn't a great impression.
 
Thanks for that advice. Like I said, my opinion about "huge cold cities" would change from dread to excitement if I were accepted....my family just moved from Pensacola, Fl to New Jersey in November so my first impression of actually living in the northeast instead of visiting was Christmas break freezing to death in my "winter coat" that only actually works for southern winters. Needless to say, it wasn't a great impression.

As someone who lived in NJ my whole life and then moved to NC, I speak from experience when I say this: New Jersey sucks. The people are nasty, the temperature sucks (too hot in summer, too cold in winter), and NJ med schools in-state are WAY expensive. I could go on...
 
As someone who lived in NJ my whole life and then moved to NC, I speak from experience when I say this: New Jersey sucks. The people are nasty, the temperature sucks (too hot in summer, too cold in winter), and NJ med schools in-state are WAY expensive. I could go on...

Fortunately I moved my residency to my grandparent's house in Alabama since I'm at UA for undergrad anyway, but my parents are still making me apply to a Jersey med school OOS. I'm kinda hoping I don't get in...
 
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