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BU vs Tufts

Discussion in 'Allopathic School-Specific Discussions (<2016)' started by Syndicate, 01.14.14.

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  1. Syndicate

    Syndicate 2+ Year Member

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    I've been accepted to both and am trying to see which one may be a better fit for me. Financially, they are basically the same; location is the same except Tufts is in a better part of Boston. Research wise, BU is >20 ranks higher. What are some more differences between the two and which is a "better" school since I have no idea what specialty I want to do in the future.
     
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  3. SN12357

    SN12357 2+ Year Member

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    Well, ok, now that this thread exists independent of the school specific threads I'm just going to post the thoughts I've been PM'ing people after posting in the Tufts thread.

    But before I do that--I would not exactly say that Tufts is in a better part of Boston than BU. Yeah, it's more downtown. But the area around Chinatown/downtown crossing can get a sketch late at night. BU is closer to (although not in) what would be considered the outright 'bad' areas of town but this is BOSTON--the entire place is tiny as hell. I would not consider there to be any significant difference in the desirability of the neighborhoods aside from there being better public transportation around Tufts. But it's not like you're going to want to live in that area any more than living near BU; it's just that the public transportation options from OTHER desirable living areas are slightly better.

    The ranking difference between BU and Tufts on the research front is large enough to be notable. It's not large enough to be enough on its own if the schools were more different, but they're both expensive private universities in Boston.

    The clinical sites are going to be better at BU because of BMC and the VA. Between the Harvard hospitals having the most prestige and BMC being the safety net hospital there just is less to go around for Tufts.

    Tufts is a good school but in a head to head with BU there's no contest IMO.
     
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  4. HopesandDreams

    HopesandDreams 5+ Year Member

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    I'm not sure its that cut and dry. From anecdotal experience asking many people from the area, Tufts is a more respected healthcare provider regionally, although the name of BU probably carries more weight outside of the region. Tufts is also much more accessible via public transport (has its own subway stop), which can be a major convenience factor for students choosing to live further from campus. Location wise, BU is right on the edge between the nice but somewhat boring (and expensive) neighborhood of South End and Roxbury/Dorchester (project housing). The South End also has a reputation as Boston's gay neighborhood, not that there is anything wrong with that. I lived right near the edge of South End and roxbury and while I never felt threatened, crime is definitely an issue in that area, people get mugged for cell phones and ipads frequently.

    I'm not sure that the research rankings matter at all, there is plenty of research going on in Boston and there is nothing preventing Tufts or BU students from researching in labs in either institution, or @ MGH, BWH, Childrens, Harvard, MIT etc etc. If you had a very strong interest in emergency medicine BMC is a safety net hospital and may take the edge there.

    I'm not sure there is a clear cut "no contest" victory for BU here. I think it probably comes down to individual fit... At the very least I would say don't decide on BU solely because you think it may offer better research opportunity because I can tell you first hand that in Boston students often end up researching in labs not affiliated with their home institution. If I had to make the decision I would look more closely at the curriculum, financial aid, extra-curricular opportunities etc. and also which may offer more opportunity for whichever specialty I was considering to pursue after graduating.

    edit: also wanted to add RE: research rankings, not sure how thats determined but I'm pretty sure the major factor there is funding, BU's big jump in recent years is probably due to the opening of the NEIDL facility, (http://www.bu.edu/neidl/) I'm not really sure how much this has actually changed the research landscape for BUSM students
     
    Last edited: 01.15.14
  5. SN12357

    SN12357 2+ Year Member

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    It's true that students at both Tufts and BU have easy access to labs not at their institution (including at Harvard and it's hospitals, since there are so many more Harvard-affiliated PIs than Harvard students), but that's just another way in which the schools are extremely similar, not a point of difference. If you take resources out of it as a concern than all that's left on the prestige front is the name. From what I have seen and heard in direct interaction with my (physician) PIs, BU is regarded as the stronger program. This is not based on US News rankings but rather the perceptions I have seen talking to people about medical schools as I was applying. I still think BU has an edge clinically as well given BMC.

    At the end of the day they are both good schools. If Tufts were substantially cheaper due to a financial aid or scholarship offer I certainly wouldn't advise someone to go to BU instead. But given equality of cost and essentially location...I still say BU.
     
  6. Syndicate

    Syndicate 2+ Year Member

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    Thank you guys for your responses. I greatly appreciate it.

    Yea I am leaning towards BU. I am OOS so Boston will be a new city for me. Cost wise, I will have to look at financial aid once I do the FAFSA but I'm not expecting any scholarships since my numbers are not off the charts so the two schools will cost about the same. Curriculum and "fit" wise, I don't see that big of a difference and I feel like I would "fit" well at both schools. Since all of the above are literally identical for both schools when applied to myself, I'm probably going to base my final decision on prestige/reputation so that's why I wanted to garner some other people's thoughts, especially people who live/work in Boston.
     

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