Jan 3, 2014
2
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Pre-Veterinary
Just out of curiosity, if you have a choice to make between these two vet schools, which would you pick and why?
I am mostly interested in equine btw.
 

Lab Vet

Clinical Veterinarian, Global CRO
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Would you do better in a PBL-based or traditional (lecture-based) curriculum? That would be the first deciding factor for me. Sacramento (Davis) or Ithaca- two totally different balls of wax as far as living is concerned. Both are excellent schools. Curriculum would be the deciding factor in my book.
 
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cadisestrama

DAVIS C/O 2018!!!
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Would you do better in a PBL-based or traditional (lecture-based) curriculum? That would be the first deciding factor for me. Sacramento (Davis) or Ithaca- two totally different balls of wax as far as living is concerned. Both are excellent schools. Curriculum would be the deciding factor in my book.
Aren't both Davis and Cornell problem-based learning now? At least, that's what I understood from the "New Curriculum" discussion at the Davis interview thing... Unless I completely misunderstood their new curriculum (I'm still very confused as to what it is). TEHE....
 
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Lab Vet

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Didn't know that, Cadisetrama. My bad. I didn't apply to Davis. I was just chiming in here based upon what I knew about Davis from past research. Perhaps I should stay out of a discussion regarding schools to which I didn't apply. Thanks for keeping me in check :)
 
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cadisestrama

DAVIS C/O 2018!!!
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Didn't know that, Cadisetrama. My bad. I didn't apply to Davis. I was just chiming in here based upon what I knew about Davis from past research. Perhaps I should stay out of a discussion regarding schools to which I didn't apply. Thanks for keeping me in check :)
No it's totally fine. :) I'm still totally confused about the New Curriculum. It's just from my understanding... which could/may be wrong since I tend to misunderstand things (a LOT)... (I'm not a very good auditory learner...) I really do value your help since you offer really good advice.
 
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Falina

UC Davis c/o 2017
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Nov 7, 2012
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Davis is still 90% traditional. A few single PBL cases are spread throughout the coursework.

The "new curriculum" is the block style of classes. Instead of taking 5 classes concurrently throughout a semester, we will take one class, Muscoloskeletal for example, for 5 weeks. After taking a final for that class, the next one starts for several weeks.
I was unsure about this style going into it, but I've fallen in love. We get to really delve into a topic, and lectures in the morning are supported by afternoon labs. I feel like I'm learning better than I did in undergrad, but I know that's subjective :)
They are mostly taught with the traditional lecture-based setup.
 

cadisestrama

DAVIS C/O 2018!!!
5+ Year Member
Feb 12, 2013
214
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someday, Hogwarts
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Veterinary Student
Davis is still 90% traditional. A few single PBL cases are spread throughout the coursework.

The "new curriculum" is the block style of classes. Instead of taking 5 classes concurrently throughout a semester, we will take one class, Muscoloskeletal for example, for 5 weeks. After taking a final for that class, the next one starts for several weeks.
I was unsure about this style going into it, but I've fallen in love. We get to really delve into a topic, and lectures in the morning are supported by afternoon labs. I feel like I'm learning better than I did in undergrad, but I know that's subjective :)
They are mostly taught with the traditional lecture-based setup.
Haha. See? I was wrong LabVet... :smack:

Thanks Falina for the clarification!
 
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Bismarck

Cornell c/o 2016
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May 27, 2011
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Cornell side: take 6 -13 weeks of a single block consisting of tutor group, small discussion group, labs, lectures, rounds, etc and get a single grade for your effort.

Upside: you don't get slammed with tests constantly and get to digest information
Downside: the amount of information on tests is hefty. Think all day affair.

Block 2 is the outlier thus far; you have a quiz (read: exam) every 1.5 weeks on average. Block 5 still on horizon for me...

Edit: Forget to say that I still think this is better than sitting in class all day, every day. Early clinical exposure via Block 7 also handy.
 

Lab Vet

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I know several classmates from my undergrad institution who attended Cornell for veterinary school and loved the PBL-based curriculum. Although Cornell has beautiful facilities, fantastic faculty, and world-class research, the PBL style of learning just isn't for me. That being said, I would much rather live in Ithaca, NY than Davis, CA. Ithaca's natural beauty abounds. I'm a big fan of a four season climate (CA can keep the warm weather). I lived in Southern California for the better part of a decade, and have extensive experience in dealing with the UC System (I attended a UC for graduate school). The resources available to the UC are enormous- almost impossible to match, by any other single institution. I've never seen Davis in person, but can only imagine how impressive the place is. My graduate adviser was very disappointed that I didn't apply to Davis for veterinary school. If one has a choice between Cornell and UC Davis, this individual has a very difficult decision to make. In the end, my factors in choosing a vet school come down to the following (curriculum and location aside):

*Tuition price- that student loan bill will be astronomical; remember that the UC System offers IS tuition after your first year in the state; I don't believe the same is offered by Cornell- Cornell folks, please correct me if I'm wrong
*Program offerings within your area of interest; all veterinary schools will train you to be a competent GP, however, some may offer more experience in your area of interest (this is true in my case for NCSU)
*Cost of living- is the area in which the vet school is located a 'pricey' place to live? Take Philly for example (UPenn) versus Stillwater, OK (OK State). I can guarantee to you that there is a vast difference here in your outlay for cost (again, more loans). It all ads up.
*Culture of the school- a last but definitely not minor consideration. What does the school emphasize in terms of its culture to the student body. Take, for example, WSU. This school is very non-competitive. Your rank is not posted (you actually have to ask the admin for it). A cooperative leadership initiative is held 5-days off-campus at an outdoor camp before you even begin veterinary school to help you get to know and work together with your future colleagues. This type of emphasis on teamwork and cooperation is important to me in my veterinary education. It would certainly make or break my happiness in a school. Knowing myself, I would be much happier is a less cut-throat environment. There's just no-need for it.

These are the factors that will go into my decision, should I have multiple offers from which to choose. Although the examples above don't all apply to UC Davis and Cornell, I'm of the opinion that they apply broadly, to all schools. Hope they offer some insight.
 
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Oct 13, 2011
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- Tuition is not that much different. If I recall correctly, IS: 33K for Davis. OOS: 44K for Cornell. Yeah, that's a difference and it'll add up over 4 years, but it's not one of those make-it-or-break-it factors. Notice I'm assuming you're a CA resident. If you're a NY resident, I think Cornell IS is a fair bit better than Davis OOS.
- The curriculum at Davis is changing and it's new. They're trying to incorporate more of a PBL approach, but other students will have to comment about that.
- As for the curriculum at Cornell, the PBL approach is 20-ish years old (meaning: well experienced), and they've hammered out the details of a PBL approach thoroughly. They really know what they're doing and, yes, even though the structure can be overwhelming, it is still done in a way that emphasizes a systematic, conceptual framework v.s. rote memorization. This is an enormous feat to accomplish when dealing with something like anatomy, which lends itself easily to rote memorization and -equally- fast forgetting. I can't say I remember everything after obliterating my memory with TV marathons and ample beer, but I can tell you that I developed the proper skills with which to think about anatomy and medicine and I can refresh concepts with ease now. As mentioned, everything we do is approached from multiple different angles, and we're expected to see and understand a problem from a textbook point of view, from an anatomical point of view, from a physical exam point of view - all starting from Day 1. That type of approach, while overwhelming, has really helped concepts "stick" in my brain. It also makes for really tight knit friendships, and, hopefully, a very supportive team environment.
- I don't really know what else there is to comment on. In the end, it's an education. You're paying for an education. So, which school will provide you the best education, teach the proper skills, and do it in a way that makes you happy (financially, physically, emotionally)? There's your answer. No matter which school you choose, clearly, you're a person who has the fortitude and willpower to make goals happen. So, if you have a goal, you'll probably be able to accomplish it no matter if you choose Cornell or UC Davis. It's just kinda up to you and what you want now. That's how I see it.
- Also also.. Life experience. It matters. To me. Exploring new places and meeting new people, exposing yourself to the rest of the country, etc. I think that stuff matters. I think that stuff contributes to the whole of your being, and I really think it sets up your character.

P.S. I think weather is a moot point. Yeah it snows in Ithaca, but do you remember the 110F summer days in Davis???? lol Either way, both areas give you extremes in weather. I finally figured it's easier to stay warm and happy in cold weather than it is to stay cool and happy in excruciatingly hot weather. It's what you make of it - life and vet school, I mean. So, choose the school that gives you more ability to make good of your time there, and you'll be fine.
 
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OP
N
Jan 3, 2014
2
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Pre-Veterinary
I guess I should clarify a bit for tuition purposes.
I am out of state for both states, in fact, I am not a citizen or a permanent residency holder so gaining residency in either state is impossible.
I am grateful of all the insights you guys are putting in and I'd love to hear some more. :)
 

gugoodoll

NCSU c/o 2018
Dec 16, 2012
319
248
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IS tuition at Cornell is about 30K cheaper than at Davis (over the course of 4 years, including living expenses) whereas OOS tuition at Cornell is about 15K more expensive than at Davis.
 
Nov 20, 2013
101
41
California
Status
Pre-Veterinary
I guess I should clarify a bit for tuition purposes.
I am out of state for both states, in fact, I am not a citizen or a permanent residency holder so gaining residency in either state is impossible.
I am grateful of all the insights you guys are putting in and I'd love to hear some more. :)
I personally, having gone to Davis for undergrad and worked at the vet school found that it's great if you are small animal but not really clinical enough for me in food animal and not as strong as the Midwest schools in food animal. Most of the vets i worked with in the area for food animal say it isn't all that great. Also the weather sucks and is incredibly boring (it has barely even rained this year). Also, after four years, I don't much like Davis anymore (the city). If you're small animal though, it's pretty good. I can't really speak to the strengths and weaknesses of Cornell.
 

gugoodoll

NCSU c/o 2018
Dec 16, 2012
319
248
lalaland
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I've been to Davis twice, and both times I can't say I really fell in love with it. There is a downtown area with restaurants and local stores and such (and an In N Out, WIN) but not much else besides that. San Fran and Berkeley are at least an hour away.

I've always said that Davis is like the Ithaca of the West (they're both in the middle of nowhere), but I would still choose Ithaca over Davis. Downtown Ithaca is really fun (GREAT restaurants if you know where to go) and the Cornell campus is absolutely beautiful. I feel like Ithaca has that true collegetown feeling and there are more things to do there, although I haven't been in Davis longer than a day to make an accurate comparison on that. And yes, NYC is a 5 hour bus ride away, but during my years at undergrad I never really felt a desire to want to "escape" to the city, and I'm a total city girl at heart.

I suppose both cities have opportunities for good wine tasting, although the Finger Lakes are more known for their Rieslings and such.
 
Nov 20, 2013
101
41
California
Status
Pre-Veterinary
I've been to Davis twice, and both times I can't say I really fell in love with it. There is a downtown area with restaurants and local stores and such (and an In N Out, WIN) but not much else besides that. San Fran and Berkeley are at least an hour away.

I've always said that Davis is like the Ithaca of the West (they're both in the middle of nowhere)
Middle of nowhere? I wouldn't really say that about Davis. Davis is pretty close to a lot of big cities.... if it wasn't people would absolutely hate it because there isn't anything to do in the city that will not become boring after a year haha. It's 2 hours from lake Tahoe, 2 hours from Reno (good place to get away for cheap), twenty minutes from Sacramento, an hour and a half from San Francisco but you will never get traffic that lucky haha, and incredibly close to Napa valley and tons of other wineries and breweries.

Unfortunately you won't have time for a lot of this while in vet school....
 

gugoodoll

NCSU c/o 2018
Dec 16, 2012
319
248
lalaland
Status
Pre-Veterinary
Middle of nowhere? I wouldn't really say that about Davis. Davis is pretty close to a lot of big cities.... if it wasn't people would absolutely hate it because there isn't anything to do in the city that will not become boring after a year haha. It's 2 hours from lake Tahoe, 2 hours from Reno (good place to get away for cheap), twenty minutes from Sacramento, an hour and a half from San Francisco but you will never get traffic that lucky haha, and incredibly close to Napa valley and tons of other wineries and breweries.

Unfortunately you won't have time for a lot of this while in vet school....
Ah, I forgot about Napa! And I said "middle of nowhere" because like I said, I'm a city girl :oops:) But you are right, Davis is much closer to the big cities than is Ithaca. I def. forgot about Tahoe and Reno and such!
 

felinelvr44

Cornell c/o 2017
Sep 21, 2012
673
19
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Veterinary Student
I think what other people have said regarding tuition costs, location, student life, etc. are spot on. You definitely don't want to be miserable in a new place for four years.

I can speak to the curriculum a bit but again, my thoughts are mostly a repeat of what others have said. I love the PBL curriculum and yes, after 20 years of doing it I really believe they know what they're doing at Cornell. They are constantly tweaking things to make them better and read every student evaluation (even on individual lectures) to make those changes based on what worked for us or what didn't work. It's amazing. I've never been to a school before where I felt like every single professor really wants you to succeed. The support available has been wonderful and the friendships I've made with classmates have been a lifesaver. Another aspect I enjoy is the lack of competition. I can't speak to how other schools operate but the small tutor groups of 8 people don't really allow for that and the tutors (professors) are there to keep everything running smoothly if anyone tries to be a "gunner." You get pretty close with people in your tutor groups and my class has been amazing with sharing resources and posting things to the FB group for cases we're working on, or videos that explain things in a different way. The camaraderie is awesome. It's definitely a "we're all in this together" kind of thing. That being said, there are definitely people in my class who don't love the PBL thing. (Then again, I think some of those same people were complaining about sitting through 3 hours + 2 hours of lectures during Block 2/Gen Path so maybe they just like to complain...haha) I would highly suggest coming to one of the Accepted Students days to get a small taste of it and see if its for you.

Another thing I love is that there are tons of opportunities for animal handling from day one. Block 7A (Physical Exam) runs concurrently with Block 1 (Anatomy + other stuff) so while you're dissecting the thorax in gross lab, you're also learning how to auscultate on the teaching dogs and cats. In our second week we were out at a farm vaccinating alpaca. As far as equine specific stuff goes, during Block 1 we all dissect dogs. In the spring semester of first year we have half a semester of distribution courses (electives essentially), one of which must be another anatomy course. So if you're into horses, there is an entire equine anatomy class offered which will probably only have 30ish people in it, instead of the usual 100. Kinda neat. There are a lot of other equine specific distribution classes offered (check them out on the website).
 
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Minnerbelle

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Apr 2, 2009
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"So why Davis?"

".... jelly beans. "

:p
I got so tired of writing supplemental essays (after I'd already paid the app fees) for UG that I kid you not, my essay for "why _____?" was "Great food, school newspaper, and something else. Woo!" Surprised I got waitlisted.
 

bombai

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Are there any students here who were deciding between Cornell and UC Davis and picked one over the other? If so, can you speak to why you chose what you did and whether you are happy with that choice? I'm having a tough time deciding. I'm a CA resident but the overall cost is pretty much equivalent (more expensive to live in Davis than Ithaca).
 

birdgerd421

Class of 2021
Jun 28, 2016
1
0
Status
Pre-Veterinary
Are there any students here who were deciding between Cornell and UC Davis and picked one over the other? If so, can you speak to why you chose what you did and whether you are happy with that choice? I'm having a tough time deciding. I'm a CA resident but the overall cost is pretty much equivalent (more expensive to live in Davis than Ithaca).
Hi! I'm relatively new to SDN but I'd like to help anyone who is choosing between Davis and Cornell. I am from California, interested in small animal/exotics/wildlife/birds.

Here's my history:
When I applied to vet schools, I thought Davis was definitely my thing. I visited the vet school during the interview, and I thought the MMIs went pretty well. I was excited. And then out of nowhere comes my acceptance into Cornell - my dad got super excited because he graduated with a MS in Engineering from there. He really pushed me to go there because of its "reputation" and its "international connections." In fact, he wanted me to go to Cornell so much that he offered to pay the difference between OOS Cornell tuition and IS Davis tuition - just so money wasn't a factor in my choosing. (I am very fortunate to have parents that can support my living expenses and part of my school tuition).

Then comes a month of self-doubt, questions, and fear. What if I really missed out on international opportunities because I went to Davis? What if I missed out on the ivy league prestige? Does this all matter? I looked on SDN and saw a lot of people saying to just go to the cheapest option and to do whatever made me physically, mentally, and emotionally happy. Well, I can adapt easily so both places seem fine. Weather seemed like a moot point because I'm going to be studying indoors most of the time anyways.

I visited Cornell during one of its acceptance days and I made sure I talked to everybody I could possibly talk to. I came in with an open mind. I was slowly getting more pumped for Cornell because they would be opening a brand new facility next year (Aug 2017) and the mock PBL was great and fun. It also seemed like they encourage people to go out of state/country to go find interesting opportunities all over the world, and that the placement rate for those programs was really high. I also liked the fact that everybody at Cornell had chill vibes and were less competitive than Davis students).

But then I thought about these facts:

Connections:
Nobody ever emphasized how important it was to have connections!!! One guy from California who currently attends Cornell said that all the conferences that he went to hosted mostly Northeast people from the East Coast/Ohio/New York people. That would be great if you are planning to work in the east coast. But he, like I, want to work on the West Coast when I graduate. He would ask professors if they know of anyone on the west coast, and they would say Yea I know them, but he wouldn't actually get to meet them before they applied to positions. My Californian friend at Ohio State echoed a similar sentiment, and added that she was not able to qualify for 80% of scholarships during her first year because they were for ohio residents only.

Cost: Why pay more for literally the same program? They are both fantastic schools. I talked to a Cornell professor who got his DVM at Davis. He said that they are both excellent programs, and you will be fine with either choice. I asked him if it mattered that Cornell had a "ooOOOoo ivy league" reputation and he assured me that it really doesn't matter, and that both schools offer a variety of opportunities, and that Davis' program is very good. He also said the wildlife programs are comparable and that Davis' wildlife is pretty good.

PBL: I haven't heard much complaining from the Davis students yet for PBL, probably because they are still experimenting with the curriculum and I didn't get to talk to the students much about the PBL. At Cornell, it SEEMED like 50% of students hated it and almost dropped out/started doubting their interests in vet med because of it. Also a lot of them would get frustrated that they had to do a bunch of work to guess what the animal was going through, when the lectures would give them the answer the next day. I understand that it's supposed to be challenging, but I'm also the type to learn better when I'm by myself. Cool, group work lets you meet people and hone your team building skills which is absolutely necessary in the future, but I feel like I can learn better by myself and hone my team building skills another way. A perk of Cornell would be that PBL makes you stay on track and not disappoint your peers - at Davis, I feel like I might have to fend for myself and work on my procrastination habits that I developed in undergrad.

Location:
Two completely different areas. I like snow and I'm okay with it. But flying 6+ hours to get to school is 1) more expensive and 2) waste of time when I could drive 2 hours home, or if you live in LA, fly 1.5 hours home. I want to experience seasons and snow, but not for 4 years. I can get an externship or something at Cornell if I want to experience the snowy winters. I also want to stay relatively near my parents because they care about me and I can easily go home if I forget something/get homesick. It's also a lot closer to the city in case you need to escape for a weekend. I was considering biking in both places, and Davis would obviously be better for bikes in the winter vs 10 degree snowy weather. If I really wanted snow, I could use that extra 80k that I'm saving to go travel somewhere cold for a week and then come back.

Smaller factors:
Distance/Transportation:

The fact that most vet students lived 5-10 min driving distance from the vet school, and I wasn't sure if I would have a car. Apparently nobody lived on campus and nobody lived walking distance, and everybody had a car. I just didn't know if I would have my own car, which seemed very necessary during Block 1 and year 4 when people were busiest/on call. I also considered the fact that I wanted to volunteer in wildlife places that were not exactly walking distance from the vet school. Apparently you get a free bus pass your first year, and it is possible to bike. But when you're in Block 1, all the students said it was highly recommended to have a car just so you don't waste time. If you're from CA you should keep transportation in mind.

Relationships
It's easier to do a long distance relationship when you're in the same time zone, but my SO did not want me to base my school off of him - he encouraged me to go to cornell for new experiences.

Pets
If I adopt/bring/own a pet in vet school, it'll be easier to transport it home during breaks. Unless I get a big snake. Then I won't have to feed it for weeks :)

Things that were equivalent and didn't matter too much to me:
Friends; I had friends at both schools and making friends seems easy when you're stuck with them for 4 years
Food; Both have okay college towns and restaurants (nothing outstanding); the grocery stores stocked what I wanted (Asian food)
Exercise; Gyms and pools were nearby - although apparently you have to pay extra for a gym pass at Cornell :(
Housing; At Cornell, it seems relatively easier to find housing because the upper classmen spam you by email to go live with them. But I'm from CA and I have friends at Davis who can point me in the right direction to go search. Rent is comparable.

I really do think Davis is the Ithaca of the West, except less trees and closer to larger cities.
--------

I also didn't really pay attention to Davis presentations/I forgot everything because it was in December and I was already brainwashed because I wanted to go there so badly, so unfortunately I didn't ask too many questions. I started questioning my allegiance to Davis when I visited Ohio State and Colorado State - I wanted to go to both of those schools. Their curriculum each seemed amazing and wonderful and the people genuinely seemed happy and welcoming and warm. I would much rather go to Colorado for the wilderness and Ohio for their business minor, but my parents would not help fund me if I did :(

I am sad that I will miss out on the more-chill atmosphere at Cornell, their seemingly 100% success rate at placement in foreign opportunities, their solid reputation in everything besides vetmed, and the snow, but the benefits seem to outweigh the costs. I know I'm not a student yet, but these points were more logical for me and helped me build a solid case against my my dad to stop pressuring me to go to Cornell (even though he still does).

TL;DR: I am choosing Davis over Cornell because of (1) the connections that I can make in the West, (2) it's cheaper overall for the same quality, (3) Cornell's PBL seems to run its entire curriculum on PBL while Davis' is primarily lecture-based with a side of PBL, (4) it'll be easier to transport myself to/from/within vet school in CA, (5) and the fact that I know I will be happy in either place.
The only reason I would choose Cornell would be if I found a Cornell-specific special program or because of more opportunity to work on the East Coast or maybe HK (since they're building a school there) or other international places that recognize Cornell's name. But then again...Davis is up there too in the vet community.

These were all based on the opinions of people that I met and all of my experiences at both places, so if anyone has any points against what I said, please say it so others can see a different point of view. Maybe another vet student who had chosen years ago and has more info about their current state now?
 
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Coopah

2+ Year Member
Dec 28, 2014
6,403
6,252
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Veterinary Student
Hi! I'm relatively new to SDN but I'd like to help anyone who is choosing between Davis and Cornell. I am from California, interested in small animal/exotics/wildlife/birds.

Here's my history:
When I applied to vet schools, I thought Davis was definitely my thing. I visited the vet school during the interview, and I thought the MMIs went pretty well. I was excited. And then out of nowhere comes my acceptance into Cornell - my dad got super excited because he graduated with a MS in Engineering from there. He really pushed me to go there because of its "reputation" and its "international connections." In fact, he wanted me to go to Cornell so much that he offered to pay the difference between OOS Cornell tuition and IS Davis tuition - just so money wasn't a factor in my choosing. (I am very fortunate to have parents that can support my living expenses and part of my school tuition).

Then comes a month of self-doubt, questions, and fear. What if I really missed out on international opportunities because I went to Davis? What if I missed out on the ivy league prestige? Does this all matter? I looked on SDN and saw a lot of people saying to just go to the cheapest option and to do whatever made me physically, mentally, and emotionally happy. Well, I can adapt easily so both places seem fine. Weather seemed like a moot point because I'm going to be studying indoors most of the time anyways.

I visited Cornell during one of its acceptance days and I made sure I talked to everybody I could possibly talk to. I came in with an open mind. I was slowly getting more pumped for Cornell because they would be opening a brand new facility next year (Aug 2017) and the mock PBL was great and fun. It also seemed like they encourage people to go out of state/country to go find interesting opportunities all over the world, and that the placement rate for those programs was really high. I also liked the fact that everybody at Cornell had chill vibes and were less competitive than Davis students).

But then I thought about these facts:

Connections:
Nobody ever emphasized how important it was to have connections!!! One guy from California who currently attends Cornell said that all the conferences that he went to hosted mostly Northeast people from the East Coast/Ohio/New York people. That would be great if you are planning to work in the east coast. But he, like I, want to work on the West Coast when I graduate. He would ask professors if they know of anyone on the west coast, and they would say Yea I know them, but he wouldn't actually get to meet them before they applied to positions. My Californian friend at Ohio State echoed a similar sentiment, and added that she was not able to qualify for 80% of scholarships during her first year because they were for ohio residents only.

Cost: Why pay more for literally the same program? They are both fantastic schools. I talked to a Cornell professor who got his DVM at Davis. He said that they are both excellent programs, and you will be fine with either choice. I asked him if it mattered that Cornell had a "ooOOOoo ivy league" reputation and he assured me that it really doesn't matter, and that both schools offer a variety of opportunities, and that Davis' program is very good. He also said the wildlife programs are comparable and that Davis' wildlife is pretty good.

PBL: I haven't heard much complaining from the Davis students yet for PBL, probably because they are still experimenting with the curriculum and I didn't get to talk to the students much about the PBL. At Cornell, it SEEMED like 50% of students hated it and almost dropped out/started doubting their interests in vet med because of it. Also a lot of them would get frustrated that they had to do a bunch of work to guess what the animal was going through, when the lectures would give them the answer the next day. I understand that it's supposed to be challenging, but I'm also the type to learn better when I'm by myself. Cool, group work lets you meet people and hone your team building skills which is absolutely necessary in the future, but I feel like I can learn better by myself and hone my team building skills another way. A perk of Cornell would be that PBL makes you stay on track and not disappoint your peers - at Davis, I feel like I might have to fend for myself and work on my procrastination habits that I developed in undergrad.

Location:
Two completely different areas. I like snow and I'm okay with it. But flying 6+ hours to get to school is 1) more expensive and 2) waste of time when I could drive 2 hours home, or if you live in LA, fly 1.5 hours home. I want to experience seasons and snow, but not for 4 years. I can get an externship or something at Cornell if I want to experience the snowy winters. I also want to stay relatively near my parents because they care about me and I can easily go home if I forget something/get homesick. It's also a lot closer to the city in case you need to escape for a weekend. I was considering biking in both places, and Davis would obviously be better for bikes in the winter vs 10 degree snowy weather. If I really wanted snow, I could use that extra 80k that I'm saving to go travel somewhere cold for a week and then come back.

Smaller factors:
Distance/Transportation:

The fact that most vet students lived 5-10 min driving distance from the vet school, and I wasn't sure if I would have a car. Apparently nobody lived on campus and nobody lived walking distance, and everybody had a car. I just didn't know if I would have my own car, which seemed very necessary during Block 1 and year 4 when people were busiest/on call. I also considered the fact that I wanted to volunteer in wildlife places that were not exactly walking distance from the vet school. Apparently you get a free bus pass your first year, and it is possible to bike. But when you're in Block 1, all the students said it was highly recommended to have a car just so you don't waste time. If you're from CA you should keep transportation in mind.

Relationships
It's easier to do a long distance relationship when you're in the same time zone, but my SO did not want me to base my school off of him - he encouraged me to go to cornell for new experiences.

Pets
If I adopt/bring/own a pet in vet school, it'll be easier to transport it home during breaks. Unless I get a big snake. Then I won't have to feed it for weeks :)

Things that were equivalent and didn't matter too much to me:
Friends; I had friends at both schools and making friends seems easy when you're stuck with them for 4 years
Food; Both have okay college towns and restaurants (nothing outstanding); the grocery stores stocked what I wanted (Asian food)
Exercise; Gyms and pools were nearby - although apparently you have to pay extra for a gym pass at Cornell :(
Housing; At Cornell, it seems relatively easier to find housing because the upper classmen spam you by email to go live with them. But I'm from CA and I have friends at Davis who can point me in the right direction to go search. Rent is comparable.

I really do think Davis is the Ithaca of the West, except less trees and closer to larger cities.
--------

I also didn't really pay attention to Davis presentations/I forgot everything because it was in December and I was already brainwashed because I wanted to go there so badly, so unfortunately I didn't ask too many questions. I started questioning my allegiance to Davis when I visited Ohio State and Colorado State - I wanted to go to both of those schools. Their curriculum each seemed amazing and wonderful and the people genuinely seemed happy and welcoming and warm. I would much rather go to Colorado for the wilderness and Ohio for their business minor, but my parents would not help fund me if I did :(

I am sad that I will miss out on the more-chill atmosphere at Cornell, their seemingly 100% success rate at placement in foreign opportunities, their solid reputation in everything besides vetmed, and the snow, but the benefits seem to outweigh the costs. I know I'm not a student yet, but these points were more logical for me and helped me build a solid case against my my dad to stop pressuring me to go to Cornell (even though he still does).

TL;DR: I am choosing Davis over Cornell because of (1) the connections that I can make in the West, (2) it's cheaper overall for the same quality, (3) Cornell's PBL seems to run its entire curriculum on PBL while Davis' is primarily lecture-based with a side of PBL, (4) it'll be easier to transport myself to/from/within vet school in CA, (5) and the fact that I know I will be happy in either place.
The only reason I would choose Cornell would be if I found a Cornell-specific special program or because of more opportunity to work on the East Coast or maybe HK (since they're building a school there) or other international places that recognize Cornell's name. But then again...Davis is up there too in the vet community.

These were all based on the opinions of people that I met and all of my experiences at both places, so if anyone has any points against what I said, please say it so others can see a different point of view. Maybe another vet student who had chosen years ago and has more info about their current state now?
Just as a weird reaction to that. I know the Cornell name is known for their other programs and they have an excellent vet program, but as far as your dad worrying about missing out on its prestige, you might want to mention to him that Davis is the best program in the country. Yes, I realize that the ranking is essentially meaningless, but if he's so concerned you could let him know ;).
 

bombai

Class of 2021 :)
2+ Year Member
Dec 1, 2015
426
380
Somewhere over Z rainbow & under a pile of kitties
Status
Veterinary Student
Hi! I'm relatively new to SDN but I'd like to help anyone who is choosing between Davis and Cornell. I am from California, interested in small animal/exotics/wildlife/birds.

Here's my history:
When I applied to vet schools, I thought Davis was definitely my thing. I visited the vet school during the interview, and I thought the MMIs went pretty well. I was excited. And then out of nowhere comes my acceptance into Cornell - my dad got super excited because he graduated with a MS in Engineering from there. He really pushed me to go there because of its "reputation" and its "international connections." In fact, he wanted me to go to Cornell so much that he offered to pay the difference between OOS Cornell tuition and IS Davis tuition - just so money wasn't a factor in my choosing. (I am very fortunate to have parents that can support my living expenses and part of my school tuition).

Then comes a month of self-doubt, questions, and fear. What if I really missed out on international opportunities because I went to Davis? What if I missed out on the ivy league prestige? Does this all matter? I looked on SDN and saw a lot of people saying to just go to the cheapest option and to do whatever made me physically, mentally, and emotionally happy. Well, I can adapt easily so both places seem fine. Weather seemed like a moot point because I'm going to be studying indoors most of the time anyways.

I visited Cornell during one of its acceptance days and I made sure I talked to everybody I could possibly talk to. I came in with an open mind. I was slowly getting more pumped for Cornell because they would be opening a brand new facility next year (Aug 2017) and the mock PBL was great and fun. It also seemed like they encourage people to go out of state/country to go find interesting opportunities all over the world, and that the placement rate for those programs was really high. I also liked the fact that everybody at Cornell had chill vibes and were less competitive than Davis students).

But then I thought about these facts:

Connections:
Nobody ever emphasized how important it was to have connections!!! One guy from California who currently attends Cornell said that all the conferences that he went to hosted mostly Northeast people from the East Coast/Ohio/New York people. That would be great if you are planning to work in the east coast. But he, like I, want to work on the West Coast when I graduate. He would ask professors if they know of anyone on the west coast, and they would say Yea I know them, but he wouldn't actually get to meet them before they applied to positions. My Californian friend at Ohio State echoed a similar sentiment, and added that she was not able to qualify for 80% of scholarships during her first year because they were for ohio residents only.

Cost: Why pay more for literally the same program? They are both fantastic schools. I talked to a Cornell professor who got his DVM at Davis. He said that they are both excellent programs, and you will be fine with either choice. I asked him if it mattered that Cornell had a "ooOOOoo ivy league" reputation and he assured me that it really doesn't matter, and that both schools offer a variety of opportunities, and that Davis' program is very good. He also said the wildlife programs are comparable and that Davis' wildlife is pretty good.

PBL: I haven't heard much complaining from the Davis students yet for PBL, probably because they are still experimenting with the curriculum and I didn't get to talk to the students much about the PBL. At Cornell, it SEEMED like 50% of students hated it and almost dropped out/started doubting their interests in vet med because of it. Also a lot of them would get frustrated that they had to do a bunch of work to guess what the animal was going through, when the lectures would give them the answer the next day. I understand that it's supposed to be challenging, but I'm also the type to learn better when I'm by myself. Cool, group work lets you meet people and hone your team building skills which is absolutely necessary in the future, but I feel like I can learn better by myself and hone my team building skills another way. A perk of Cornell would be that PBL makes you stay on track and not disappoint your peers - at Davis, I feel like I might have to fend for myself and work on my procrastination habits that I developed in undergrad.

Location:
Two completely different areas. I like snow and I'm okay with it. But flying 6+ hours to get to school is 1) more expensive and 2) waste of time when I could drive 2 hours home, or if you live in LA, fly 1.5 hours home. I want to experience seasons and snow, but not for 4 years. I can get an externship or something at Cornell if I want to experience the snowy winters. I also want to stay relatively near my parents because they care about me and I can easily go home if I forget something/get homesick. It's also a lot closer to the city in case you need to escape for a weekend. I was considering biking in both places, and Davis would obviously be better for bikes in the winter vs 10 degree snowy weather. If I really wanted snow, I could use that extra 80k that I'm saving to go travel somewhere cold for a week and then come back.

Smaller factors:
Distance/Transportation:

The fact that most vet students lived 5-10 min driving distance from the vet school, and I wasn't sure if I would have a car. Apparently nobody lived on campus and nobody lived walking distance, and everybody had a car. I just didn't know if I would have my own car, which seemed very necessary during Block 1 and year 4 when people were busiest/on call. I also considered the fact that I wanted to volunteer in wildlife places that were not exactly walking distance from the vet school. Apparently you get a free bus pass your first year, and it is possible to bike. But when you're in Block 1, all the students said it was highly recommended to have a car just so you don't waste time. If you're from CA you should keep transportation in mind.

Relationships
It's easier to do a long distance relationship when you're in the same time zone, but my SO did not want me to base my school off of him - he encouraged me to go to cornell for new experiences.

Pets
If I adopt/bring/own a pet in vet school, it'll be easier to transport it home during breaks. Unless I get a big snake. Then I won't have to feed it for weeks :)

Things that were equivalent and didn't matter too much to me:
Friends; I had friends at both schools and making friends seems easy when you're stuck with them for 4 years
Food; Both have okay college towns and restaurants (nothing outstanding); the grocery stores stocked what I wanted (Asian food)
Exercise; Gyms and pools were nearby - although apparently you have to pay extra for a gym pass at Cornell :(
Housing; At Cornell, it seems relatively easier to find housing because the upper classmen spam you by email to go live with them. But I'm from CA and I have friends at Davis who can point me in the right direction to go search. Rent is comparable.

I really do think Davis is the Ithaca of the West, except less trees and closer to larger cities.
--------

I also didn't really pay attention to Davis presentations/I forgot everything because it was in December and I was already brainwashed because I wanted to go there so badly, so unfortunately I didn't ask too many questions. I started questioning my allegiance to Davis when I visited Ohio State and Colorado State - I wanted to go to both of those schools. Their curriculum each seemed amazing and wonderful and the people genuinely seemed happy and welcoming and warm. I would much rather go to Colorado for the wilderness and Ohio for their business minor, but my parents would not help fund me if I did :(

I am sad that I will miss out on the more-chill atmosphere at Cornell, their seemingly 100% success rate at placement in foreign opportunities, their solid reputation in everything besides vetmed, and the snow, but the benefits seem to outweigh the costs. I know I'm not a student yet, but these points were more logical for me and helped me build a solid case against my my dad to stop pressuring me to go to Cornell (even though he still does).

TL;DR: I am choosing Davis over Cornell because of (1) the connections that I can make in the West, (2) it's cheaper overall for the same quality, (3) Cornell's PBL seems to run its entire curriculum on PBL while Davis' is primarily lecture-based with a side of PBL, (4) it'll be easier to transport myself to/from/within vet school in CA, (5) and the fact that I know I will be happy in either place.
The only reason I would choose Cornell would be if I found a Cornell-specific special program or because of more opportunity to work on the East Coast or maybe HK (since they're building a school there) or other international places that recognize Cornell's name. But then again...Davis is up there too in the vet community.

These were all based on the opinions of people that I met and all of my experiences at both places, so if anyone has any points against what I said, please say it so others can see a different point of view. Maybe another vet student who had chosen years ago and has more info about their current state now?
I appreciate your response. Yeah, for me it isn't about prestige. You are talking about the two highest ranked schools in the WORLD (UCD=#1, Cornell=#2). As Coopah stated, rankings are pretty much meaningless, but still, Davis is not simply "another school." I also know what you mean about loving other schools. Almost all of the places I went were places I loved. At this point, I am looking at where I would be the happiest. A lot might come from the curriculum. Some might come from the technology. Perhaps more people will chime in. On another note, I have to say that I was shocked as I have been talking to people around my area and many said they only take their animals to UC Davis veterinarians. I think that either choice I pick will be the right choice. I just feel like I am lacking the information I need (for example, UC Davis says there are a lot of grants, but how much might that be and how does that compare to Cornell--and Cornell gives you a financial packet so you at least have an idea what your aid might be before the decision deadline).... anyways... just some thoughts. I am still wavering. I also have another school that has offered me a substantial scholarship. It is wonderful to have these choices. I appreciate you chiming in :).
 
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MuffinStuffin

UC Davis c/o 2021
2+ Year Member
Jan 4, 2017
26
32
Status
Veterinary Student
I have chosen UC Davis over Cornell for the following reasons

1) I'm from the northeast and I would like to move my life to the Bay area because I absolutely love the weather, lifestyle, and culture
2) Davis offers incredible scholarships. They offered me almost 10k for next year and I believe that is on top of additional grants that everyone gets every year. They have millions of dollars in aid and they're not afraid to give it out.
3) I like the people and the atmosphere of Davis. That's not to say anything bad about Cornell, but for me I got a really good vibe and made meaningful connections with Davis students while I was at the campus.
4) I want an adventure. I want to see a new part of the country and potentially stay there.


Just my input, but hopefully it'll help. Tuition is also really important to me because my mother is paying for my education and I'd like to be able to pay her back before she needs it. Davis should be cheaper over the 4 years including grants, scholarships, and becoming a CA resident. They also seem to have a lot of PAID research opportunities and as someone who is very interested in lab animal medicine, that's just icing on the cake.
 
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Lucky_11

2+ Year Member
Dec 11, 2016
4
5
Status
Pre-Veterinary
I'm in the same boat of trying to decide between Cornell and UCD. Both are OOS for me. I'm interested in large animal medicine, and I want to focus in on either equine or dairy cattle medicine. I'm finishing up my undergrad work at Cornell, so I'm certainly drawn to the Cornell vet school because of my familiarity with it. I've been doing research on dairy cattle through the vet school for the past two years, so I know many of the dairy/large animal faculty and am very familiar with the various large animal facilities as well. I know California has more dairy cattle overall, but I've also been told that much of the dairy cattle medicine at UCD is concentrated at their facility in Tulare, which is 3+ hours from the campus, and I've also heard that Cornell has more ambulatory work. I've heard pretty positive things about the equine programs at both Cornell and UCD, but I'd like to learn some more pros/cons about either equine program. If anyone is or was in a similar situation and has some advice to offer, I'd appreciate it.
 

bombai

Class of 2021 :)
2+ Year Member
Dec 1, 2015
426
380
Somewhere over Z rainbow & under a pile of kitties
Status
Veterinary Student
I'm in the same boat of trying to decide between Cornell and UCD. Both are OOS for me. I'm interested in large animal medicine, and I want to focus in on either equine or dairy cattle medicine. I'm finishing up my undergrad work at Cornell, so I'm certainly drawn to the Cornell vet school because of my familiarity with it. I've been doing research on dairy cattle through the vet school for the past two years, so I know many of the dairy/large animal faculty and am very familiar with the various large animal facilities as well. I know California has more dairy cattle overall, but I've also been told that much of the dairy cattle medicine at UCD is concentrated at their facility in Tulare, which is 3+ hours from the campus, and I've also heard that Cornell has more ambulatory work. I've heard pretty positive things about the equine programs at both Cornell and UCD, but I'd like to learn some more pros/cons about either equine program. If anyone is or was in a similar situation and has some advice to offer, I'd appreciate it.
I remember someone asking about this when I went to the information session at Cornell. From the answer, I would have 100 percent gone to Cornell had I been interested in large animal medicine. I'm not, so I am still not certain where I will attend. But it seems as though the opportunities at Cornell for large animal medicine are more accessible.
 
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