I just found out last week that I was accepted to Berkeley and I was already accepted at SUNY in late 2006. I'm not sure where to go! If you have any inside insight into these schools (living, academics, etc) please post what you think!
Congrats on the acceptances, j-dawg! I'm in the same exact boat as you. I can't seem to decide either. Cost seems about the same for me. Both seem to be great schools from what I've seen during my interviews, but then again they were short visits. I've been trying to remember my experiences at both schools to see if one of them game me an overall better "vibe" than the other...but still no luck. Any insight anyone can give would be greatly appreciated!
hey me too!
and i actually met a girl at berkeley who is going thru the same thing
but ultimately we both decided suny
so this is how i made my decision
berkeley is very research based and a lot of emphasis is put on optics and lenswear and developing new technology - not to say that the program doesnt also have excellent clinical exposure and a very heavy emphasis on community service working with the elderly and homeless
however, suny prides itself on it's clinical program because it's HUGE and the demographic is focused more on urban underprivilaged. the emphasis here is on ocular disease. although they too offer a great research foundation.
berkeley is a college town - a great one at that. suny is freaking new york city. 2 completely different places to live. i went to a huge state school for undergrad and im personally ready for something new. i was kind of afraid that by moving from the east coast to west, my entire social network would be dependent on the 60 other students in the opto program. whereas in nyc i can spread out a little more. just my opinion...
pick suny! we'll be class mates! hahaha
I too was deciding b/w Berkeley and SUNY.
Although I am orginally from the Northeast, I kept an open mind to both schools.
With Berkeley, you have a stellar reputation in the name and a beautiful campus. The research done there is tremendous, which benefits the students, whether or not you are interested in doing research. However, Berkeley also has a strong clinical program. You begin with pre-clinical training from the very first semester you are there. As a first year, you skip through the prerequisites/ basic science courses, and directly begin learning optometry. Locationwise, the campus is located in a diverse/interesting town and you are only a half hr away from vibrant San Francisco. Because the optometry school is apart of the campus, you have access to a variety of student organizations/facilities (i.e gym)
On the other hand, like how kylee had mentioned, Berkeley is a large college town. In NYC, you will have the experience of city life. SUNY provides an excellant foundation to optometry. The school's program is clinically strong overall. In your first year, you begin with a pre-clinical training and basic biological and vision science classes. When you begin working in the clinics, you will be exposed to a very diverse pool of patients. Living in the city is expensive, however you are paying for the convenience. You save by not needing a car. While Berkeley's academic year goes by semesters, SUNY is on a quarter system. The program is located in one building.
Both schools have laser centers, and have high board passing rates.
This is a rather quick overview, but hope this helps with your decision.
I'm hoping to get an update on this for 2010:
I know both are great academic schools, my main concern is debt, but I of course also care about quality of education and life.
Can students of SUNY and Berkeley please reply with thoughts/data on:
1. Cost of living (rent) and commute to school
2. School atmosphere and level or rigor, did you have time to go to the gym, relax once in a while? How much time did you spend studying per day/week?
I am not a current optometry student, but I went berkeley for undergraduate and I visited SUNY for interview.
The cost of living would be probably similar.
I heard that most SUNY students live 30 to 45 minutes away because living in manhattan is extremly expensive.
Bekeley is not a cheap area to live either. Studios are around 1200.
You will pay 600 to 700 if you share.
But good thing about berkeley is that you can live within 5 minutes walking distance from the school.
It is a college town. Everything is within waking distances.
I love berkley