Do med schools take into account where you attend for undergrad?

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AspiringDoctor0

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Do medical schools actually take into account which school you attend? I am graduating with a BS from a top 100 US private college, and I personally feel that my GPA would be a lot higher if I had gone to a public/state school (not a community college) where the curriculum is supposedly not as rigorous in terms of the amount and depth of material taught in biology courses (just what I have heard from friends). I mean if someone from an easy state school graduates with a 3.8, and the next guy attending a more difficult school has a 3.6, which do you think they would prefer?

I guess it just comes down to how well you perform on your MCAT, which would reflect how much you've actually learned.
 
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If you're not in the top 10 or 20, or at one of the schools notorious for grading very hard, probably not.

I think this is true on a national scale, but I'd like to add a qualifier for regional schools. AdComs are much more familiar with schools in surrounding states and therefore often discriminate between multiple schools outside the 'top tier' (wherever that cut-off is) based on historical success with their graduates.
 

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Do medical schools actually take into account which school you attend? I am graduating with a BS from a top 100 US private college, and I personally feel that my GPA would be a lot higher if I had gone to a public/state school (not a community college) where the curriculum is supposedly not as rigorous in terms of the amount and depth of material taught in biology courses (just what I have heard from friends). I mean if someone from an easy state school graduates with a 3.8, and the next guy attending a more difficult school has a 3.6, which do you think they would prefer?

I guess it just comes down to how well you perform on your MCAT, which would reflect how much you've actually learned.

Everyone feels they are entitled to a higher GPA/MCAT/Pen*s Size/Cup Size. Get over it.

Yes, schools note where you went to UG. However, many of the "top schools" are known for awful grade inflation, so it tends to come out awash. There is, frankly, more variation in course difficulty between two professors at a given school than the average between pretty much any two schools in the country. In other words, if you could only pull a 3.5 at your school, it is unlikely you would have gotten a 3.8+ elsewhere.
 

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Everyone feels they are entitled to a higher GPA/MCAT/Pen*s Size/Cup Size. Get over it.

Yes, schools note where you went to UG. However, many of the "top schools" are known for awful grade inflation, so it tends to come out awash. There is, frankly, more variation in course difficulty between two professors at a given school than the average between pretty much any two schools in the country. In other words, if you could only pull a 3.5 at your school, it is unlikely you would have gotten a 3.8+ elsewhere.


Totally agree with this. You can't say that if you'd gone to an easier school you'd have gotten a better GPA, and adcoms cannot make that assumption either. You know nothing about their program or their classes, and just because it's a lower ranked school, this does not entitle you to a GPA inflation in respect to medical school admissions. It's a well known fact that, in respect to medical school admissions, the name of your college does not matter much if it's not in the top 20 (which gives you a marginal edge, but again not much). Your GPA is taken at face value, and most (if not all) medical schools do not go through a process to re-evaluate it based upon the caliber of your institution.
 

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They take that into account, but there isn't much discrepancy for school differences.

If they do any "GPA forgiveness", it's quite minimal. You can look at the GPA average admits from a grade deflated school and an easy school and you won't find much of a discrepancy.

Saying your school is in the top 100 can mean anything. Is your school 99th? Is your school 6th?

Also, as music2doc said, many many elite private schools have grade INFLATION. MIT and Caltech would be exceptions.
 

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If you have better grades at a "worse" school, chances are that the computer will filter you on to the next stage based on raw numbers. Actual admissions people don't look at your application until it's gone through this cutoff process.
 

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Do medical schools actually take into account which school you attend? I am graduating with a BS from a top 100 US private college,and I personally feel that my GPA would be a lot higher if I had gone to a public/state school(not a community college) where the curriculum is supposedly not as rigorous in terms of the amount and depth of material taught in biology courses (just what I have heard from friends). I mean if someone from an easy state school graduates with a 3.8, and the next guy attending a more difficult school has a 3.6, which do you think they would prefer?

I guess it just comes down to how well you perform on your MCAT, which would reflect how much you've actually learned.

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music2doc

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They take that into account, but there isn't much discrepancy for school differences.

If they do any "GPA forgiveness", it's quite minimal. You can look at the GPA average admits from a grade deflated school and an easy school and you won't find much of a discrepancy.

Saying your school is in the top 100 can mean anything. Is your school 99th? Is your school 6th?

Also, as music2doc said, many many elite private schools have grade INFLATION. MIT and Caltech would be exceptions.


QFT.

I mean if someone from an easy state school graduates with a 3.8, and the next guy attending a more difficult school has a 3.6, which do you think they would prefer?

And OP, to answer your closing question, the guy with the 3.8 is clearly the stronger student in this case. That's a 0.2 difference. If they were both 3.8s and one was at MIT while the other was at CalState-Fullerton, the MIT grad would obviously be better (assuming equivalent MCAT scores). However, between some school ranked 82 on one of the MANY US News Rankings lists and some unranked state school the difference is pretty much irrelevant (because there are actually SEVERAL national rankings lists that they put out, which means you're not even really "Top 100" anything to begin with...more like somewhere in the top 10%, which isn't nearly as cool sounding). I think one could actually argue quite effectively that many (possibly most) state institutions are actually tougher to get a high GPA at than would be a private school ranked at the bottom of the double-digits.... OP, doesn't look so good for ya, buddy. :smuggrin:
 
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Sergeant D

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Do medical schools actually take into account which school you attend? I am graduating with a BS from a top 100 US private college, and I personally feel that my GPA would be a lot higher if I had gone to a public/state school (not a community college) where the curriculum is supposedly not as rigorous in terms of the amount and depth of material taught in biology courses (just what I have heard from friends). I mean if someone from an easy state school graduates with a 3.8, and the next guy attending a more difficult school has a 3.6, which do you think they would prefer?

I guess it just comes down to how well you perform on your MCAT, which would reflect how much you've actually learned.

Jesus. Could you be more vague? Just say the name of the school...nobody cares. And no, your GPA would not be higher. Many of the big state schools have the money to bring in professors from well known private schools. And guess what? They bring their curriculum with them (not that it's any better). My point is that the curriculum between schools is WAY more homogenous than you think. Sorry, but your entire life is one big lie.
 

alsaire

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I guess I might just piggyback on this thread instead of creating another one. Also, before anybody bashes me, I have done a search on my particular question, but I haven't found (or haven't delved deep enough) any thread that exactly answers what I'm asking.

So, my question is kind of like the OPs: I go to UCLA as a biochemistry major, and I was wondering how much biochemistry boosts my app in the eyes of adcoms.

but wait, hold up! Before you throw me into a fire, I know that the general consensus is that my major usually matters a little bit, but gpa matters much more. I understand that, but considering my school's background (with zero grade inflation and that it's a top 15-25 school depending on the ranking you use) combined with the fact that the vast majority of pre-meds switched out of biochem in order to salvage their gpa, would me being a biochem major (and stubbornly sticking through with it b/c it actually interests me) give any boost at all? Would anybody be willing to give me a quantitative estimate? e.g. it would add 0.05 to my gpa. I know this is completely subjective and not at all concrete, but I'm just curious to know how adcoms would view this.

On a second note, are adcoms even aware of the relative difficulty that exists between majors at different schools? I read in earlier biochem threads that some pre-meds actually like biochem because it can be a grade buffer/booster. This is not at all true at UCLA, so to what extent are adcoms aware of this?

Thanks for your help, and if my question could still have been answered by the search function, feel free to set me on fire.
 
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Sarcasm aside, the MCAT is here for this exact reason. GPAs are going to be variable depending on colleges. No one really can test the intelligence of a student with great specificity because of the wide options of undergraduate schools. The same thing happens in high schools across the country.

The MCAT (and to some extent the SAT/ACT) eliminate the guessing work. It helps show the true aptitude of students based off of a standardized entrance exam.

So do well on it.
 

alsaire

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Sarcasm aside, the MCAT is here for this exact reason. GPAs are going to be variable depending on colleges. No one really can test the intelligence of a student with great specificity because of the wide options of undergraduate schools. The same thing happens in high schools across the country.

The MCAT (and to some extent the SAT/ACT) eliminate the guessing work. It helps show the true aptitude of students based off of a standardized entrance exam.

So do well on it.

So, to expand on my question above and basically turn my post into a "chances" question...I got a 36R on my MCAT last Sept. Like before, I've stated that I don't have a good gpa (3.23 cgpa), and my major is biochem at UCLA (which I hope at least *somewhat, even a little bit* explains my lower gpa). Does the MCAT even come close to buffering that gpa? I've also improved my gpa in my senior year, as of 2/3s of the way in, I have something like a 3.7 ish gpa, and I'm hoping to maintain that for my last quarter too.
 

tenndoc

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To whom ever posed the Biochem question (on iPhone so it's a little hard to follow who's who), Biochem classes tend to help as do upper level science courses do. It was brought up several times for me and gave me a chance to spin it into how I was able to take the sciences and put them together. It's also a requirement for some schools
 

AspiringDoctor0

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Thanks for the replies. I suppose I just felt that the comparatively smaller student to faculty ratio at smaller schools translates to higher expectations and thus a more difficult curriculum than at a large state school. But I completely agree that "difficulty" of a school comes down to the professor teaching the class, so whether you went to a private vs state school shouldn't really factor in to the admissions process, unless perhaps you are comparing a 3.5 from MIT to a 3.7 from your "average" state school.
 

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I'm sure that there are many more important factors that med school adcoms take into account than "investigating" if your school's curriculum has a reputation for quality (apparently mine does), especially if it's relatively unknown among the public, which mine is :laugh:
 
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alsaire

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To whom ever posed the Biochem question (on iPhone so it's a little hard to follow who's who), Biochem classes tend to help as do upper level science courses do. It was brought up several times for me and gave me a chance to spin it into how I was able to take the sciences and put them together. It's also a requirement for some schools

Mind if I ask for some clarification? What do you mean biochem is a requirement for some schools? The major or the classes? If you were talking about the classes, I wasn't aware that some med schools required them. I thought all pre-reqs were lower div as to allow for other majors (e.g. humanities majors) to be able to apply.

So no one has used it yet? :beat::D

Are you talking about the search function? I have, but for my specific question I hadn't really found an answer that fully answered what I was trying to ask. In terms of how adcoms look at schools, I've noticed again and again that only top 20 would give you an inkling of a chance of affecting their view; also some top schools (mostly private and/or ivies) have grade inflation. However, I believe that UCLA is in a rather more unique position. It's a public university that is (depending on which rankings you use, I use Times Education and ARWU) in the top 20 and with no grade inflation. Add that to the fact that I am a biochem major, which at my school does not harbor many pre-meds at all, my question is thus formed.
 

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There is more grade inflation at private than public schools. Daddy bought you an Infiniti coupe and is more likely to buy the school one too.

Plus, top 100? Really? Sounds like a way of saying not top 50 to me. You really think I should value your gpa over anyone else's?

Just figure that your GPA is what it is and hope you aren't a "bad test taker."
 

tenndoc

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Mind if I ask for some clarification? What do you mean biochem is a requirement for some schools? The major or the classes? If you were talking about the classes, I wasn't aware that some med schools required them. I thought all pre-reqs were lower div as to allow for other majors (e.g. humanities majors) to be able to apply.



Are you talking about the search function? I have, but for my specific question I hadn't really found an answer that fully answered what I was trying to ask. In terms of how adcoms look at schools, I've noticed again and again that only top 20 would give you an inkling of a chance of affecting their view; also some top schools (mostly private and/or ivies) have grade inflation. However, I believe that UCLA is in a rather more unique position. It's a public university that is (depending on which rankings you use, I use Times Education and ARWU) in the top 20 and with no grade inflation. Add that to the fact that I am a biochem major, which at my school does not harbor many pre-meds at all, my question is thus formed.

You clearly haven't done due research if you don't know the requirements for the schools you are applying to. Ohio state requires some biochemistry credits I do believe. I saw this when I was researching the schools two yrs ago ( before I even started the application process or Mcat)
 

tenndoc

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There is more grade inflation at private than public schools. Daddy bought you an Infiniti coupe and is more likely to buy the school one too.

Plus, top 100? Really? Sounds like a way of saying not top 50 to me. You really think I should value your gpa over anyone else's?

Just figure that your GPA is what it is and hope you aren't a "bad test taker."

Or they got a full ride scholarship. Sounds like youre a lil bitter daddy didn't buy you school
 

alsaire

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You clearly haven't done due research if you don't know the requirements for the schools you are applying to. Ohio state requires some biochemistry credits I do believe. I saw this when I was researching the schools two yrs ago ( before I even started the application process or Mcat)


I'll admit I haven't done my research for med schools because I didn't even try applying this past year. I instead focused my efforts on SMPs; Ohio state wasn't one of them so I have no idea as to their reqs. As for the schools I'm applying to, they haven't mentioned biochem as a requirement.

On another note, whether or not biochem was a pre-req requirement wasn't my question at all. I'm a biochem major, so no matter what those pre-reqs would have been fulfilled anyway.
 

AspiringDoctor0

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Yeah it's definitely not top 50, and I'm actually not sure if my school does grade inflation. Since my GPA is below average for a lot of allopathic medical schools (3.56 and 3.45 sGPA), my best option is DO school. Even if I were to score in the 30-33 range on the MCAT, I would probably not get into most allopathic med schools on the basis of my GPA alone. I'm sure there are exceptions, but I am neither a URM, and my ECs aren't extraordinary or unique. Maybe I'm being too pessimistic.
 
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So, to expand on my question above and basically turn my post into a "chances" question...I got a 36R on my MCAT last Sept. Like before, I've stated that I don't have a good gpa (3.23 cgpa), and my major is biochem at UCLA (which I hope at least *somewhat, even a little bit* explains my lower gpa). Does the MCAT even come close to buffering that gpa? I've also improved my gpa in my senior year, as of 2/3s of the way in, I have something like a 3.7 ish gpa, and I'm hoping to maintain that for my last quarter too.

https://www.aamc.org/download/270906/data/table24-mcatgpagridall0911.pdf

This says 62% chance. But being a CA resident will hurt you.
 

tenndoc

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I'll admit I haven't done my research for med schools because I didn't even try applying this past year. I instead focused my efforts on SMPs; Ohio state wasn't one of them so I have no idea as to their reqs. As for the schools I'm applying to, they haven't mentioned biochem as a requirement.

On another note, whether or not biochem was a pre-req requirement wasn't my question at all. I'm a biochem major, so no matter what those pre-reqs would have been fulfilled anyway.
im on my phone so its difficult to follow threads. i just saw biochem and that you were jumping in on the op
 

alsaire

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https://www.aamc.org/download/270906/data/table24-mcatgpagridall0911.pdf

This says 62% chance. But being a CA resident will hurt you.

Thanks for the link, I've never seen that particular one before (although it's AAMC, dunno how I missed it). I understand my chances based on pure numbers. My more specific question was regarding my major/school combination, which I detailed above, and how (if any) that might help my application.

Once again, I want to state that I've used the search function, and I know that major/school doesn't matter for the most part, but if you read my posts above, you'll see why I'm still asking.



im on my phone so its difficult to follow threads. i just saw biochem and that you were jumping in on the op

That's alright, my apologies if I sounded frustrated. I've just had these types of questions before, but I haven't gotten definitive answers before. (btw Android >>> Iphone, boo yeah!)
 
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Thanks for the link, I've never seen that particular one before (although it's AAMC, dunno how I missed it). I understand my chances based on pure numbers. My more specific question was regarding my major/school combination, which I detailed above, and how (if any) that might help my application.

Once again, I want to state that I've used the search function, and I know that major/school doesn't matter for the most part, but if you read my posts above, you'll see why I'm still asking.





That's alright, my apologies if I sounded frustrated. I've just had these types of questions before, but I haven't gotten definitive answers before. (btw Android >>> Iphone, boo yeah!)


UCLA is a great school. However you won't be put ahead of someone with your MCAT score, biochemistry major and a 3.7 at Santa Cruz or Davis simply because you are at UCLA.

Also in general major matters none. But you stated that in your post.

The adcoms in Cali will most definitely realize UCLA is a great school and a great program. Your MCAT shows that.
 

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A 0.05 GPA difference isn't going to make it or break you. Don't worry about it. As for "Sticking it through", you should have picked the major that really captured your passion. Picking a major just because it overlaps with premed requirements or because it might impress med schools and then doing sub par in it because it's hard isn't really the concern of med school adcoms.
 

alsaire

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A 0.05 GPA difference isn't going to make it or break you. Don't worry about it. As for "Sticking it through", you should have picked the major that really captured your passion. Picking a major just because it overlaps with premed requirements or because it might impress med schools and then doing sub par in it because it's hard isn't really the concern of med school adcoms.


I'm not sure if I mentioned this earlier in this thread, but I stuck with Biochem because I actually like it, despite the hit it gave me on my gpa. I "stuck it through" with regard to how it affected my gpa.
 

Aerus

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I'm not sure if I mentioned this earlier in this thread, but I stuck with Biochem because I actually like it, despite the hit it gave me on my gpa. I "stuck it through" with regard to how it affected my gpa.

Then you'll do much better on the interview portion. ;)

Good luck and again, a 0.05 difference won't make or break you. Just make sure your other stats are strong and apply to a broad range of schools.

Biochemistry is a tough major in general, so you probably wouldn't have gotten a huge GPA difference if you did biochemistry at another school, so the "UCLA" won't give you freebie GPA points, but it does look good in general.
 

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If condescending remarks from my and my friends' interviewers mean anything, the answer is yes.
 
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