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Does it matter where I go for undergrad Pre-Med???

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical Allopathic [ MD ]' started by rcasey, 12.23.06.

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  1. rcasey

    rcasey Junior Member

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    Does it really matter where I go for undergrad? I didn't have a good high school experience, so am not going to get into the top schools out there. I'm in my senior year now and I am doing well so I know I will be able to pursure a career in medicine by working hard. I am just worried, that if I go to a lower tier school, that my med school admission will be limited. Is that true? If I do very well at a lower tier school will it make me a competitive med school candidate or am I better off transferring after the first or second year? Thanks for any input, I just want to make the best decision now and not have to correct it later.
     
  2. DropkickMurphy

    DropkickMurphy Removed

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    No, it doesn't matter.
     
  3. riceman04

    riceman04

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    No not really

    Some schools consider school prestige more so than others...and even then it is still not given much weight.

    Do very well and have fun...and everything will be fine.
     
  4. riceman04

    riceman04

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    some med schools will weight undergrad schools based on how well students from that particular school performed in med school
     
  5. kidthor

    kidthor ASA Member

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    Seriously, go somewhere that inflates their grades like mad and has a good reputation otherwise.


     
  6. UMP

    UMP Recovered Under-Achiever

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    an ivy ?
     
  7. Anka

    Anka Senior Member

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    Yeah, it matters, but only at the very top 10-20 schools, i.e. if you go to Harvard, MIT, Stanford, etc. it can be a benefit to you. The benefit is partially because everyone knows what a degree from one of those places means, but more importantly because of the opportunities you have available to you at those schools. Physics I is Physics I for the most part (with the exception of MIT and Caltech), but doing research with a top flight researcher is easier as a Harvard/MIT/Stanford student than as a community college student transfering to a low tier school.

    I wouldn't start at a community college just to save money. That said, if you have to start at a community college, it doesn't mean you aren't going to get into med school, it just means you migth have a harder time going to a top ten med school than the guy who's coming from Yale.

    Best,
    Anka
     
  8. DropkickMurphy

    DropkickMurphy Removed

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    :rolleyes:
     
  9. szhao

    szhao finitelyclosed

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    lol it does, it is the most important factor ever, i mean even more than getting a 2.0 or a 3 on the mcat.
     
  10. DropkickMurphy

    DropkickMurphy Removed

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    NEWS FLASH: Not everyone wants to go to a "top ten" med school even if they have grades. :laugh:
     
  11. UMP

    UMP Recovered Under-Achiever

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    blasphemy
     
  12. DropkickMurphy

    DropkickMurphy Removed

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    Maybe.....but there are those of us who just don't care.
     
  13. PEN15

    PEN15 Member

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    :thumbup:

    I wish somebody slapped some sense into me before I started university.
     
  14. maestro1625

    maestro1625

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    MWillie, Solitude, and HumbleMD: please pick up the flame-colored courtesy phone...
     
  15. braluk

    braluk SDN Surgerynator Moderator Emeritus

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    It matters to a degree. Some schools have very rigorous pre-med programs with difficult classes, of these, many produce many medical school students. Medical School adcoms know this. What is important is when you are ranked against fellow pre-med students in your class and where you stack. That aside, it shouldnt matter too much.
     
  16. DoctorPardi

    DoctorPardi In Memory of Riley Jane Moderator Emeritus

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    Whether undergraduate school will matter to adcoms shouldn't be a part of your decision process in choosing a college. Some say it matters, some say it doesn't, truthfully some adcoms probably care, some could probably care less. Either way the amount of weight given to a student from one school over a student from another is probably pretty insignificant compared to everything else.

    The most important thing is to pick a college that is right for you. You will not be limited by any school as long as YOU do well. Don't "worry" about medical school as a senior in high school. Use medical school as motivation, as a goal to achieve one day, but don't worry about it just yet.
     
  17. hye345

    hye345

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    I am in the same boat as you. Right now, one of the biggest things I regret (academically speaking) is not doing very well during my first 2.5 years of high school (I slid by with a ~3.2 GPA). Now, my senior year GPA is going to be something like 3.6-3.8 for the first semester!

    Having gotten that out of my system, just want to say that I doubt that it really matters where you go for undergrad.

    You have to understand, unlike most universities, where the majority of applicants are from a certain geographical area, med schools receive applicants from all across the country. There is no single majority of undergrads that comes from a common undergrad university. Therefore, IMHO, the med schools can't really afford to play favorites.
     
  18. FemalesCANTDriv

    FemalesCANTDriv LMAO

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    spoken like a true high school n00b... med schools can and will play favorites. it depends sometimes on what state you have residency in, who your parents are, where you have done research in college and with who, where you have done summer programs, and where you did undergrad... trust me it matters.

    the crappier the university you come from, the more you have to prove yourself on the apps... trust me... i go to a tier three university
     
  19. Bearstronaut

    Bearstronaut A giant leap for bearkind

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    .
     
    Last edited: 09.11.12
  20. plexus77

    plexus77

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    If you want to go to one of the "top tier" med schools, then yes, your undergrad university may matter. What is more important, however, are the grades and extracurriculars you can accumulate while in undergrad. So, forget about which university looks the best to medical schools and go to the one where you'll be most successful. Many physicians recieved good educations at community colleges and third-tier universities. And, who even knows if you'll still want to be a physician in 2 or 3 years, so just go someplace you like!
     
  21. WZBarnard

    WZBarnard

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    Just to chime into the chorus: Go somewhere you like that you think you'll do well at.

    If you look at mdapplicants.com, people from Princeton/Harvard/Yale have better luck with admissions than people with the same grades from lower-tier universities... But, if you go to somewhere like that you probably wont do as well anyway.

    In any case, I went to an ultra-competitive high school and finished in the middle of my class and got so sick of dealing with all the cutthroat kids that I went to a less competitive college, which was a great choice. I think my grades are much better than they otherwise would have been, but more importantly, I've enjoyed myself a lot more.

    Good luck to you, and remember to keep an eye on the big picture - you only go through college once, enjoy it.
     
  22. shnjb

    shnjb Rod

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    According to someone who has served on the UCSD admission committee:

    MEDICAL SCHOOLS WILL MULTIPLY A FACTOR TO GPA'S.
    FOR EXAMPLE, IF YOU WENT TO COMMUNITY COLLEGE,
    SOME MEDICAL SCHOOLS MIGHT MULTIPLY 0.9, MAKING YOUR 4.0 TO A VERY PEDESTRIAN 3.6


    So yeah, I'd say it matters.

    On the other hand, if you went to Cal Tech and majored in physics, you might get a little bit of a break, although I'm not sure of that.
    All I heard is that they multiply a factor < 1 for questionable schools.
     
  23. hye345

    hye345

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    The things in bold might (and usually do) get weighted with the adcoms. But, where you go for undergrad, by itself, has very little bearing on the ultimate decision; there are simply too many other factors that outweigh it.

    As far as who your parents are... lets just say that there aren't enough of these people with "notable" parents to significantly affect the rest of us.

    And by the way, if you do go to a crappier school, the classes are usually easier, and therefore, you will get the higher grade.
     
  24. dasacohen

    dasacohen S.D.N=addicting

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    wow really? I think differently...

    I agree that the most important factors in getting into medical school are your GPA, extra curriculars, MCAT, letters, etc....however I feel that if you were to mess up in any of these areas, ONLY if you went to a reputable undergrad will any medical school (maybe top 50 of them I should say) look at your application.

    In other words it matters a lot what undergrad you go to...unless you anticipate to be a perfect pre-med applicant (i.e. <3.9 GPA, <36 MCAT, incredible EC's and accommodations, or else maybe save the world, or save some African tribe from syphilis, or be the rubix cube champion, or save dying children from a flipped over school bus with your bare hands in the snow while walking 10 miles barefooted uphill both ways ...)

    In essence, if you go to a great undergrad school, you are more likely to get accepted with mediocre undergrad stats. If you're willing to take the risk (or have to take the risk) by attending a lesser known undergrad school, then get all A's, study for the MCAT, and be smart...no pressure
     
  25. braluk

    braluk SDN Surgerynator Moderator Emeritus

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    Also, in terms of students at Top 20 schools having better luck with top 20 medical schools- this may also simply be because those top 20 undergrad schools admitted spectacular students to begin with, who could achieve high scores and participate in fantastic extracurriculars- it may be the breed of student that they admitted, not the name as much, which helped them garner those types of interviews. That said, short answer: yes it does matter to a degree- it depends on where you rank alongside other premeds in the school, connections it has, and most importantly, if it has its own medical school. Irregardless of all our opinions, unless LizzyM and another adcom member can chime in with the big picture, I would tend to believe that all med schools have their own processes and devices to go about with theri decisionmaking- none of which we can really conjecture upon and thus, should not affect your decision to attend one school over another. Choose the UG institution where you see yourself being the happiest, both academically and socially, and stick with your instincts. Odds are, you'll probbaly do better there as a result. Good luck!
     
  26. maestro1625

    maestro1625

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    honestly, I used to think that it mattered a lot, but the more that I've gone thru this process, I realize it really doesn't matter at all.

    in the end, MCAT trumps GPA/UG school.

    for every Penn/Yale grad at my interviews, there's been a Grand Valley State, an Iowa State, or Valpo student.
     
  27. CCLCMer

    CCLCMer CCLCM Alum c/o 2011

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    I agree. I have classmates from all over the place. Interestingly, a lot of them went to small liberal arts schools.
     
  28. staticsoliloquy

    staticsoliloquy New Member

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    Go to a college you love, some place that will nourish you as a student and let you grow as a person. Go to a place where you can be happy and where you don't have to pay a lot. That's how I pick Stanford over MIT, Johns Hopkins, Columbia, Williams, and CAL because they're all good schools.
     
  29. Eric Lindros

    Eric Lindros Guest

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    Yep, it matters. A 3.5 from Harvard is very different from a 3.5 at XACC (with X being your home town) and you would be a fool to think otherwise.
     
  30. biggoron42

    biggoron42 Member

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    the dichotomy is rarely so extreme.

    and besides what with all the grade inflation at most ivies, i would think that only a select few institutions would get a "break" (MIT, Caltech, etc.). although unless the adcom uses a multiplier system to concretely weight GPAs, what school you went to will quickly be forgotten in the crush of applications...
     
  31. youngnflyy

    youngnflyy Member

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    Just go where you will feel the most comfortable! Don't let prestige sway your undergrad choice unless it's a community college.
     
  32. hye345

    hye345

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    If the CC stands for Community College, then you have a point; however, as long as you go to a four-year college for four years, it shouldn't make much of a difference.

    Besides, even if what you said has some truth to it (which it does sometimes), it's harder to get a 3.5 from Harvard than a 3.5 from a state school; so in the end, the workload evens out.
     
  33. shnjb

    shnjb Rod

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    Two former UCSD adcoms have told me that they multiply a factor under 1 for gpa's from questionable schools.

    The example they gave was 0.9 for azusa pacific university.

    Is it worse for a community college?
    It'd seem fair to do it that way, wouldn't it?

    I have a lot of friends who have 3.6~4.0 from community colleges but below 3.5 for my school.
    It seems fair to me that below 3.5 is their true ability, rather than 3.6~4.0 as community college grades suggest.
     
  34. DropkickMurphy

    DropkickMurphy Removed

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    Depends on what your state school is..... ;) and your major.
     
  35. hye345

    hye345

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    Well, obviously, if you go to a relatively unknown, underfunded state school, then you are naturally disadvantaged; the opportunities for research and volunteer work will not be as visible as they would be for someone who went to a UC (just an example, since I'm from Cali).

    As far as your major... it doesn't really matter that much. Lets not forget, well-roundedness is a trait that is much sought after in today's premed population. As long as you study enough to do good on the MCATs and show the adcoms that you are truly interested in pursuing medicine, your major will have little bearing on whether or not you are accepted.

    Having that said, it is wise to pick a major that will come in useful when looking for a job... someone majoring in underwater sandcastle-building is in for a grand disappointment if they get rejected and/or choose a different career choice.
     
  36. DropkickMurphy

    DropkickMurphy Removed

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    I think we all realize it's harder to maintain a 4.0 in physics or engineering than in literature or art. That was my point.
     
  37. hye345

    hye345

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    I misunderstood your point then. In that context, you are right.
     
  38. Eric Lindros

    Eric Lindros Guest

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    I guess what I was trying to say was in my opinion there is only one part of an application that is truely objective: The MCAT

    Everything else is open to interpretations, opinions, and biases by the many different members of adcoms with different philosophies at different schools. So in my opinion it is misleading to say that school does not matter.
     
  39. hye345

    hye345

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    You are right; it does matter; but not enough to worry about. You should worry about everything else first (MCATs, GPA, research, LORs, volunteer work, job shadowing, deadlines, etc...)
     
  40. RustNeverSleeps

    RustNeverSleeps Walker, Texas Ranger

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    Like almost anything, it does matter somewhat, but it won't make or break your application. I know at my school (and I would assume at most others), you get an advantage from the difficulty of your school (for instance MIT v. UNLV). Another difference is that high-powered private schools often put together much better LOR packages, but anyone who is at all experienced with reviewing LORs knows this, so it is probably not as much of an advantage as it may seem, particularly for med school.
     
  41. medschoolny

    medschoolny

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    it definitely DOES matter where you go to school for undergrad...

    it is not so much "which schools med schools favor" as some have suggested...
    but moreso the QUALITY of education you get wherever you do end up going.
    the more rigorous your undergraduate experience, the better prepared you will be for the MCAT and medical school. schools with better rankings have better programs and will therefore prepare you better for the future. a dedicated student can make it into medical school from a low or high tier university. That being said, those coming from a higher tier university do not need to "validate" their gpas with high MCAT scores because their school's programs are well known (although they typically perform extremely well irregardless due to their great education!). Personally, I went to a local undergraduate school simply for financial reasons, and have experienced first hand the difference in education I have received compared to friends at better universities. Top tier schools are at the top for a reason. Keep that in mind when making your final decisions and good luck to you!!
     
  42. 45408

    45408 aw buddy

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    And for all you know, they have the opinion that certain "well-known schools" have grade inflation, and your uber-expensive degree just got multiplied by 0.9 as well. Don't try to game the system too much.
     
  43. Mr. Tee

    Mr. Tee Indentured servant

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    It didn't seem to matter for me, and my undergrad isn't in the top 50 USNews.
     
  44. rcasey

    rcasey Junior Member

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    Thanks a lot everybody for all of the input. You made me feel a lot better :) I will not be attending a CC nor am I thinking about it. I was just asking about regular undergrad colleges/universities. Again I thank everybody for their advice
     
  45. TigerSoup

    TigerSoup

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    I go to a very nice school that I am happy to be at, but sometimes I wonder if it would have been easier to go to a school with a med school attached and in the neighborhood. More volunteer/shadowing opps close by, chances to do medically-related research (as opposed to my Drosophila work), that kind of thing. There are plenty of premeds here; I'm not sure if there would be even more if there was a med school involved.

    I'm pretty sure I personally wouldn't want to enroll in a med school at the same university that I went to UG in though, if you want to take that into consideration.
     
  46. ChadC

    ChadC Member

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    Maybe you're right. I go to a school(not USC) that's about 4 blocks from MUSC, and my school has a higher percentage of applicants getting into MUSC than USC does, which is 2 hours from MUSC.




    :cool:
     
  47. munnabhai

    munnabhai Junior Member

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    I wouldn't be too sure of that.... I'm one of those outliers who has a higher bcmp than nonscience.... to top it all, I am majoring in lib arts :/

    choosing a major in my weakest area coming out of highschool, just to challenge myself, has not been a very smart decision - although I must say it has changed me

    if you just care about getting into med school its better to play it safe and major in your strengths; if you want an education that challenges you and works to develop your character then, by all means, go for it

    coming back to the point at hand; I think the stigma associated with the elite schools does play a role in the admissions - but I doubt that they employ a strict multiplier for the "decent" schools. Just dont go to a school which sounds like one of those buy a degree online schools.
     
  48. Troll

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    The fact is it matters a lot. If you come from a no name school, you have basicilly zero chance of becoming a doctor. YOu need to be from a prestigious state school or ivy league.

    Good luck

    "you can't handle the truth!"
     
  49. scgroat

    scgroat New Member

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    When deciding on a college, the number one factor is whether a person can thrive in a given environment. If you know that you can perform on a standardized test (the MCAT will still take lots of preparation unless you're absolutely brilliant, like many people on this website) but aren't sure how you will perform at a prestigious school, then you might be better off going to an easier school and kicking butt. The MCAT will validate your school if you allow it to. On the other hand, it can also hurt your 3.99 GPA if you mess up. Also perhaps at least consider where you would like to go for med school. Many schools are trending towards number crunching as applicants are coming from farther and farther away. Others will value your UG education regionally and perhaps nationally if you went to a big-name school and cut you a little slack. In Texas, though, a 3.8 GPA from Texas State appears to be better than a 3.0 from a top-ten liberal arts school. In NC, all of my interviewers praised me for my mediocre performance at a hard school. Hope this helps.
     
  50. transmetropol

    transmetropol

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    Crappy grades from SuperHotIvy WILL NOT get you anywhere in medicine. If you want to be President on the other hand, bust your ass, get into an Ivy and then spend your next 4 years networking:)

    Im not sure if community college would kill you if you got an diploma from a good state school (or private, or ivy), saved the hard BCPMs for the University and you came out with a high GPA and decent MCAT scores. Grades matter, MCATs matter, and most importantly, expereince matters. Name in and of itself is minimal.

    That said, there are a few exceptions. Where it can make a difference is letter writers. If you go to Brown for example, and get a letter of reccomendation from the father of electrophysiology, who writes some impressive things about you, that could definately outshine someone who gets a very general letter from a bio prof anywhere else. Second exception is if you apply to the same school that you went to as an undergrad. Third exception is if you want to save fishing children in Angola, and your mid-tier school doesnt offer the oppertunity, where a top 10/20 might. Doesnt mean you can never do it, just means you have to look elsewhere for your oppertunities.

    From the point of view of someone who attended one of those grade inflating schools, I had an incredible experience. I got a lot of freedom, I got to learn from incredible people, and I had oppertunities that many people dont have access to. BUT. I never took advantage of any of that until I graduated. The point being, dont bother with opportunity unless you're going to take advantage of it--and that goes for any school you decide to attend, not just the Ivys.

    Don't get so stressed out. (I mean, prep for med school is salient, but it shouldn't be your life. Believe me, it only causes 1st year burn out) Good for you for having so much foresight, but dont let it ruin the experience:)
     

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