Class Rank and Phi Beta Kappa. Do they mean anything in med school admissions?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by DZT, Apr 17, 2002.

  1. DZT

    DZT Senior Member

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    Hey y'all,
    I have two mundane questions. First, I don't have a 3.8-4.0 GPA but regardless of this, I still am ranked #16 or so out of a class of 510 students (3%). Do admissions for med give any consideration to class rank coz someone could have a GPA of 3.6 at College A and be ranked #5 and another applicant could have the same GPA at College B and be ranked #110. Shouldn't this take precedents over GPA?
    The other question is whether Phi Beta Kappa is considered of any value to an applicant applying to medical school. Do ADCOMs really care about these academic honors?

    Thanks folks and EVERYONE KICK @$$ this Saturday.

    nb81

    <img border="0" alt="[Clappy]" title="" src="graemlins/clappy.gif" /> <img border="0" alt="[Clappy]" title="" src="graemlins/clappy.gif" /> <img border="0" alt="[Clappy]" title="" src="graemlins/clappy.gif" /> <img border="0" alt="[Clappy]" title="" src="graemlins/clappy.gif" /> <img border="0" alt="[Clappy]" title="" src="graemlins/clappy.gif" />
     
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  3. oldman

    oldman Senior Citizen
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    you know what? i didn't get phi beta or tau beta. i'm going to med school!

    it's the total package that counts.
     
  4. Wahoo

    Wahoo Senior Member

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    Nope, I don't think so. There's really nowhere on the application to mention class rank; however, adcoms do take into account the prestige and the difficulty of your undergrad institution. Of course, if the class rank is listed on your transcript, perhaps they do give it some thought.

    Most people don't find out about Phi Beta Kappa until late in their 4th year, when it's too late to post on your application. However, I suspect it couldn't hurt to mention it if you already have been initiated into PBK.
     
  5. oldman

    oldman Senior Citizen
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    my class rank was in the top 25% (i think) so that puts me somewhere around #250
     
  6. Legend

    Legend Super Senior Member

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    PBK is just for humanities right?
     
  7. oldman

    oldman Senior Citizen
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    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by Legi:
    <strong>PBK is just for humanities right?</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">yeah

    and tau beta pi is for engineers.
     
  8. Mystique

    Mystique The Procrastinator

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    PBK won't mean squat in med school admissions as many applicants will be in it, BUT if you're on a waitlist, then you could include that in your update letter and that's a point in your favor. :)

    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by Legi:
    <strong>PBK is just for humanities right?</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Legi,
    Science people (chemistry, bio, etc) are also inducted into PBK...it's not just humanities. :)
     
  9. Diogenes

    Diogenes Succat

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    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by Legi:
    <strong>PBK is just for humanities right?</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">As said by Aphrodite, natural sciences CAN get into PBK. At my university, which has 1000 students per class (and about 200 are engineers), there are about 30 people per class inducted into PBK. MOST are humanities -- almost all really --but science majors are definitely eligible.

    I was the only natural science major in my class to get in. I think this is because at my school the average grades for science classes are lower than the average grades for humanities (thus it is "harder" to get a high GPA as a science major), and most of the best science students do research with professors in addition to lab work for classes, whereas the humanities majors have more time for leadership positions and being involved in their communities.

    That being said, I sure as hell hope PBK makes a difference. I guess I'm lucky to have the luxury of worrying about stuff like this.
     
  10. lola

    lola Bovine Member

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    pbk is not just for humanities. i was a chemistry major and was elected! it is for people who have taken a broad range of classes and have done well. at my school, for example, we don't have any sort of cum laude system at graduation or class rank, so it's a way of showing that you were at the top of your class. it will look great on your application. whether or not it will get you an interview or really make you stand out as an applicant is another question...
     
  11. oldman

    oldman Senior Citizen
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    i stand corrected.

    at my school people who were in the school of arts and sciences vied for the PBK honor.

    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by Aphrodite:
    <strong>PBK won't mean squat in med school admissions as many applicants will be in it, BUT if you're on a waitlist, then you could include that in your update letter and that's a point in your favor. :)

    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by Legi:
    <strong>PBK is just for humanities right?</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Legi,
    Science people (chemistry, bio, etc) are also inducted into PBK...it's not just humanities. :) </strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">
     
  12. matthew0126

    matthew0126 Anaheim Angels

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    wow... you guys speak about pbk as if it were some great honor. is it really?

    i got nominated some time last year but i really hate these things -- these honor societies that are really just scams to nail you for 60,70,80 bucks. but after reading this thread, i called and asked if i could still join, they said yea...

    is it really that "prestigious"?
     
  13. Diogenes

    Diogenes Succat

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    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by matthew0126:
    <strong>wow... you guys speak about pbk as if it were some great honor. is it really?

    i got nominated some time last year but i really hate these things -- these honor societies that are really just scams to nail you for 60,70,80 bucks. but after reading this thread, i called and asked if i could still join, they said yea...

    is it really that "prestigious"?</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">I'm surprised you never heard of Phi Beta Kappa before enough to recognize that it is a legitimate honor. It is the oldest honors society in the country, founded in 1776 at the College of William and Mary. It is the "best" honors society to get into. It isn't major specific like many honors societies, and in fact requires a broad course of study that includes some mathematics and language. Most people who routinely deal with people's college credentials know what it means to "graduate Phi Beta Kappa," and it is recognized as a very good thing.
     
  14. CANES2006

    CANES2006 Miami chica

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    I think Phi Beta Kappa is a real honor to be in. However, I don't know if it will make a big difference in medical school admissions. Take me for example. I was inducted into PBK, but my own freaking school hasn't accepted me into their medical school. Go figure.
     
  15. DZT

    DZT Senior Member

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    So ultimately what is your conclusion: PBK doesn't make a difference, right?
     
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  17. lola

    lola Bovine Member

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    i think it probably makes some difference. it's hard to know how big of a difference it makes.
     
  18. Forensic Chick

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    I guess I'm really screwed -- my school doesn't rank or have Phi Beta Kappa. <img border="0" title="" alt="[Frown]" src="frown.gif" />
     
  19. Legend

    Legend Super Senior Member

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    All I was eligible for was Sigma Xi.
    What is that anyways?
    They just took $45 off of me as a membership fee.
     
  20. lola

    lola Bovine Member

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    if you have it, it looks good.
    if you don't have it, i doubt it looks bad.
     
  21. Diogenes

    Diogenes Succat

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    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by Legi:
    <strong>All I was eligible for was Sigma Xi.
    What is that anyways?
    They just took $45 off of me as a membership fee.</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Sigma Xi is a research honors society.

    Here's the way Sigma Xi works at my school, which is probably the same as everywhere: Undergraduates can join if they are nominated by a faculty member. Technically they are associate members, becasue you need to have a graduate degree to gain full membership.

    Despite what some people say, most honors societies are not scams. There are some scams, but if the honors societies have faculty moderators you can bet they are legit. And some of they are very hard to get into. Then again, some have very lax standards.
     
  22. Doctora Foxy

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    What type of criteria do you need to be PBK? When are you notified about it?
     
  23. rxfudd

    rxfudd 1K Member

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    Every chapter is a little different. You need to have a certain GPA (determined by the chapter so that only about 3-5% are eligible). You need to have majored in a program under the umbrella of liberal arts and sciences. You need to have taken and excelled in 2 years of a foreign language. Once they get possible candidates, the narrow it down based on things you've done in college (I have no idea how they find these things out, but during my induction the speaker made a point of this). And you need to go to a university that has an active chapter.
     
  24. Doctora Foxy

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    I want in! I have everything you stated but the perfect gpa.....hm, maybe they'll exclude my first semester and recalculate my gpa to a 3.9! <img border="0" alt="[Clappy]" title="" src="graemlins/clappy.gif" /> :rolleyes: <img border="0" title="" alt="[Frown]" src="frown.gif" />
     
  25. DZT

    DZT Senior Member

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    Hey Doc Fox, I'm surprised u did not get Phi Beta Kappa. Even if u did badly your first term, and had averages of 3.9 thereafter, you definitely should have got the bid. My GPA is 3.75 (3.64 Sci, 3.87 NS), which is probably lower than yours, but for some reason I got it. It may have to do with your departmental relations; I'm an English major and have an excellent rapport with the whole department. Maybe that played a role, and someone on the dept who was a Phi Beta Kappa member nominated me.
    Listen Doc, I have to tell u that I have not yet been accepted into the society, JUST NOMINATED. I could probably be turned down, and you guys would be the first I would tell about the decision. I really hope I get in because the likes of Jim Bezos(amazon.com founder), Henry David Thoreau, some senators, and eminent businessmen have been part of PBK. I dont think it will augment my chances for acceptance, but it is most certainly an academic honor I choose to accrue.
    For more info, go to <a href="http://www.pbk.org" target="_blank">www.pbk.org</a> I believe.

    nb81
     
  26. Doctora Foxy

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    Thanks, actually my gpa is a little lower than that-I was exaggerating a teeny tiny bit. I have a 3.67 (3.5 science, 3.85 all others)---but I do have a very good rapport with the professors in both of my majors. Maybe my school is just ultra competitive? Last year they emailed the whole school the list of new PBK members, but they haven't sent that out yet (or nominations). I'll have to find out about this.....

    Thanks for the website!
     
  27. vyc

    vyc Senior Member

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    thank goodness my school doesn't rank!
     
  28. edmadison

    edmadison 1K Member

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    Does PBK help? Yes! Will it severely hurt you if you're not in? No. Does being an all American Athelete help? Yes! Will it severely hurt you if you're not in? No.

    PBK is a good surrogate for class rank, much like AOA is for medical school graduates. If they offer it to you, you should accept it. There is a reason that there is place for "honors" on the amcas.

    By the way, in the "real world", people notice it on your resume. I'll bet half of the prospective employers I've interviewed with has mentioned it.

    ED
     
  29. Dr. Kermit

    Dr. Kermit Senior Member

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    At JHU, acceptance in PBK after junior year is the top 5% of the class. Usually, 20 people are invited to join and during my junior year, most of the candidates had 3.90+. Prior to graduation, PBK invitees are the top 10% of the class, not including those previously asked to join. This year the lowest GPA that was considered for PBK was a 3.68. I know that for a fact because I have one friend with a 3.67 that was not invited, but another with a 3.68 that was!

    In addition, you must have attended JHU for at least 60 credit hours and be in the School of Arts and Sciences (Engineers are invited to join Tau Beta Pi. I'm not sure of the criteria for that Honor Society.) I had a 3.56 and was obviously not PBK, but I was in the top 18% of my class!
     
  30. ValleyGal

    ValleyGal Senior Member

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    Dudes, lets not get all crazy pre-med here! If you are in PBK, then you are clearly one smart cookie! Med schools will already know that based on your grades and MCATs. No need to sweat it
     
  31. Hopkins2010

    Hopkins2010 Banned
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    Yes, engineering people are ineligible for PBK (only majors in liberal arts and sciences, no applied science)

    Tau Beta Pi (the engineering honor society) is not really equivalent to PBK. PBK is much more famous and even in the engineering community, TBP does not hold the same level of recognition as PBK does for other majors.
     
  32. oldman

    oldman Senior Citizen
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    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by Dr. Kermit:
    <strong>At JHU, acceptance in PBK after junior year is the top 5% of the class. Usually, 20 people are invited to join and during my junior year, most of the candidates had 3.90+. Prior to graduation, PBK invitees are the top 10% of the class, not including those previously asked to join. This year the lowest GPA that was considered for PBK was a 3.68. I know that for a fact because I have one friend with a 3.67 that was not invited, but another with a 3.68 that was!

    In addition, you must have attended JHU for at least 60 credit hours and be in the School of Arts and Sciences (Engineers are invited to join Tau Beta Pi. I'm not sure of the criteria for that Honor Society.) I had a 3.56 and was obviously not PBK, but I was in the top 18% of my class!</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">tau beta is the same. i think i'm about the same rank as you. did you actually ask the registrar for your class rank?
     
  33. oldman

    oldman Senior Citizen
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    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by baylor21:
    <strong>Yes, engineering people are ineligible for PBK (only majors in liberal arts and sciences, no applied science)

    Tau Beta Pi (the engineering honor society) is not really equivalent to PBK. PBK is much more famous and even in the engineering community, TBP does not hold the same level of recognition as PBK does for other majors.</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">at least at the hopkins campus tau beta is looked as pretty tough to get in. the requirements are about the same for pbk and tau beta at hopkins. i met a graduate of UCSD undergrad who got PBK even as an engineer. i think if you are able to take enough humanity distribution credits you can earn pbk.
     
  34. leorl

    Physician Moderator Emeritus Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved

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    I was just wondering. The PBK chapter here is very..."secret," but I know they have one and it seems only for graduating seniors, which doesn't make much sense to me. Does that mean senior spring semester grades count? If you have multiple majors and PBK is geared towards humanities/languages (I dunno if this is true, i've only read the first few posts), do they only take into account your humanities GPA, or do they look at your cumulative GPA? Also do they look at ECs? I know people with like 3.5 GPAs but they've done a hell of a lot for the university like a whole bunch of student government/leadership or starting city-wide focus groups for domestic violence etc etc etc.
     
  35. Hopkins2010

    Hopkins2010 Banned
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    oldman,

    I didnt know you could do that. My school told me that as long as I was officially listed as an engineering major, that I had zero chance of getting PBK, regardless of GPA or anything else.

    They probably just told me that so they wouldnt have to deal with me. TBP is prestigious, I wasnt trying to imply that its not, I was just stating that it doesnt carry the same name recognition as PBK does.
     
  36. THE instiGATOR

    THE instiGATOR Cow Tipper

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    I think I have to get an A in my P Chem class to meet the GPA requirement for PBK. I'm now 0.02 grade points away from their minimum standard at my university. :(

    Oh well! I'm over it. :D
     
  37. chemman

    chemman Junior Member

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    At Stony Brook Junior year induction to PBK required one to have a 3.85 GPA. Senior year induction requires a 3.75 GPA. There are also other factors that add into your potential for induction in PBK. I would assume the requirements are the same for other schools as well.

    -Chemman <img border="0" title="" alt="[Wink]" src="wink.gif" />
     
  38. DZT

    DZT Senior Member

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    If 3.75 is the minimum for Senior Induction, then I'm screwed coz currently I have a 3.746 or something at my school. U go to Stony brook and your school is part of the Alpha of New York, like my school. Well, I got the nomination at least, but I'm not gonna count myself out yet.

    EVERYONE KICK A$$ on the MCAT TOMORROW! BEAT THAT TEST DOWN LIKE THE SEALS AND GREEN BERETS DID FOR THE TALIBAN, YEAH!!!!
     
  39. TommyGunn04

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    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by leorl:
    <strong>I was just wondering. The PBK chapter here is very..."secret," but I know they have one and it seems only for graduating seniors, which doesn't make much sense to me. Does that mean senior spring semester grades count? If you have multiple majors and PBK is geared towards humanities/languages (I dunno if this is true, i've only read the first few posts), do they only take into account your humanities GPA, or do they look at your cumulative GPA? Also do they look at ECs? I know people with like 3.5 GPAs but they've done a hell of a lot for the university like a whole bunch of student government/leadership or starting city-wide focus groups for domestic violence etc etc etc.</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Leorl, I know that here at Brown your senior spring grades do NOT count for PBK. The way it works here is that the small number of students elected as juniors the previous academic year get together in early April, and select the larger number of seniors (their classmates) who will become part of PBK. But it might be different at other schools...this is just the way it's done here. Because we have a pass/fail option for courses, they can't go by GPA, so they have a cutoff for number of A's by a certain semester. And they look at ALL course grades, there's just a minimum number/percentage of humanities courses that you MUST have taken. Here, if you don't have 40% humanities you can't get into PBK. So that pretty much excludes all engineers, sciencey BS's, etc. And I doubt they consider extracurriculars, because they don't ask for resumes or anything. I can't see how they'd actually KNOW what you do outside of class.
     
  40. Astrid

    Astrid Member

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    It must be different from school to school b/c at mine you had to do an honors thesis too.
     
  41. lola

    lola Bovine Member

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    The rules are different from chapter to chapter. It was all done pretty secretly at my school. All I know is that one day I got a letter in my mailbox saying I'd been elected. I don't recall learning about being nominated, just elected. I doubt you had to take 40% of your classes in the humanities at my school. As a chemistry major who was pre-med, that would have been nearly impossible. I also don't think they elected people as juniors at my school, but I could be wrong since I was abroad that year. It was my understanding that they had a certain gpa/class rank cut off. If you made that, had taken a broad range of classes, had taken some foreign language classes, had done extracurricular activities, and were supported by pbk professors, you got in. So, even if you make the grade cut off, you are not necessarily elected.
     
  42. Diogenes

    Diogenes Succat

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    Most of the criteria for admission into PBK vary from chapter to chapter. So do the number of people selected. At my school, it was less than 5% of the class.

    And people do notice. I was at an interview yesterday and 1 of the 2 interviewers mentioned it.
     
  43. otter

    otter Senior Member

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    I'm in Tau Beta Pi, which is the engineering version of Phi Beta Kappa. So far, it hasn't done diddley for me.
     
  44. Legend

    Legend Super Senior Member

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    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by TommyGunn04:
    <strong> </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by leorl:
    <strong>I was just wondering. The PBK chapter here is very..."secret," but I know they have one and it seems only for graduating seniors, which doesn't make much sense to me. Does that mean senior spring semester grades count? If you have multiple majors and PBK is geared towards humanities/languages (I dunno if this is true, i've only read the first few posts), do they only take into account your humanities GPA, or do they look at your cumulative GPA? Also do they look at ECs? I know people with like 3.5 GPAs but they've done a hell of a lot for the university like a whole bunch of student government/leadership or starting city-wide focus groups for domestic violence etc etc etc.</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Leorl, I know that here at Brown your senior spring grades do NOT count for PBK. The way it works here is that the small number of students elected as juniors the previous academic year get together in early April, and select the larger number of seniors (their classmates) who will become part of PBK. But it might be different at other schools...this is just the way it's done here. Because we have a pass/fail option for courses, they can't go by GPA, so they have a cutoff for number of A's by a certain semester. And they look at ALL course grades, there's just a minimum number/percentage of humanities courses that you MUST have taken. Here, if you don't have 40% humanities you can't get into PBK. So that pretty much excludes all engineers, sciencey BS's, etc. And I doubt they consider extracurriculars, because they don't ask for resumes or anything. I can't see how they'd actually KNOW what you do outside of class.</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">hey, tommy.
    I just found out that I got PBK. Totally unexpected. (124 out of approx 1500 graduating seniors) I saw your name as well. congrats !
    I am a Sc.B Bio major and I know I don't have 40% humanities. Weird huh?
    I thought Brown contacted some faculty members to evaluate extracurricular, blah blah.
    A lot of my friends with 4.0 didn't get PBK. Weird.
     
  45. Legend

    Legend Super Senior Member

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    Does anyone think it is legitimate to include PBK in my update letter?
     
  46. Mr. H

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    everyone chill, it doesn't mean much
     
  47. Doctora Foxy

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    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by Legi:
    <strong>Does anyone think it is legitimate to include PBK in my update letter?</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">yes it is. Some schools say "please send us any new ECs or academic honors/awards". UseF got an outstanding senior award I belive, and someone on adcoms emailed him to thank him for his letter. Just make sure it is not the only thing you're updating (I think)...
     
  48. Legend

    Legend Super Senior Member

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    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by Doctora Foxy:
    <strong> </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by Legi:
    <strong>Does anyone think it is legitimate to include PBK in my update letter?</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">yes it is. Some schools say "please send us any new ECs or academic honors/awards". UseF got an outstanding senior award I belive, and someone on adcoms emailed him to thank him for his letter. Just make sure it is not the only thing you're updating (I think)...</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">I sent them a real update letter about two months ago. (my fall grades, publication, Sigma Xi, etc..) but I found out about PBK only two days ago.
    I think my file will go to committee this Wednesday so I thought about faxing them my letter. My update letter will probably have only PBK unless I want to mention that I retook the MCAT yesterday.
    Do you think it is still worth it?
     
  49. Doctora Foxy

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    I would do it if I were you. Let them know you're still interested. Since 2 months have passed, maybe you can say "after attending several interviews and comparing schools, I remained extremely interested in ....." Then add in your lil' achievement. Give more examples of why the school is perfect for you, and it sould be fine :D
     

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