Does undergrad matter?

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tijames

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Is it a disadvantage to come from a smaller, less competitive school in medical school?

For instance, would a medical student with a Holy Cross undergrad have an advantage in med school over a fellow student who came from a smaller, less competitive school?


On a completely different note, what are some questions I should ask about a school's premed program? thanks.
 

Stolenspatulas

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use the Search

this comes up all the time. of course it matters. how much, thats up to debate. probably matters more for top 20 schools, but yet again, thats up to debate.
 

BellyDancingDoc

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Regarding your first question, yes, please do a search.

On a completely different note, what are some questions I should ask about a school's premed program? thanks.

^^^ Regarding the above question, I would ask things like:

1) Does this school have a Pre-Med advisory office?
2) Does this school write Pre-Med Committee letters?
3) What is the average overall GPA and Science GPA of med school applicants coming out of this school?
4) What is are the mean, median and std. deviation of MCAT scores of med school applicants from this school?
5) How many med school applicants are there from this school each year? What percentage are accepted?
6) How does pre-med advising work? Are there individual counseling sessions available in which someone can help me choose my classes with an eye toward med school? Or does the Pre-Med advisory office simply stick to informational panels, giving out booklets, etc.?
7) What kind of medical/science reserach opportunities are available to me? (NOTE: research is becoming more and more important in med school admissions)
8) What kinds of clinical volunteer/clinical exposure opportunities are available to me? (NOTE: applying to med school without any clinical exposure is a seriously bad, bad idea)

I hope this helps!
 

patrickd223

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Many people make the mistake of racking up debt in undergrad @ private colleges they believe will give them a better rep. The difference is not significant, I would go w. the cheap state school.
 

BellyDancingDoc

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Many people make the mistake of racking up debt in undergrad @ private colleges they believe will give them a better rep. The difference is not significant, I would go w. the cheap state school.

Regarding the cheap state school, I'd say sometimes yes... sometimes no.

A cheap state school that also happens to have (1) lots of research opps, (2) plenty of volunteer work, and (3) a solid Pre-Med advisory office = :thumbup:

Conversely, a cheap state school without those key application components = :thumbdown:
 

kevster2001

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people that went to private school say yes

people that went to public school say no
 

Anastasis

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Regarding the cheap state school, I'd say sometimes yes... sometimes no.

A cheap state school that also happens to have (1) lots of research opps, (2) plenty of volunteer work, and (3) a solid Pre-Med advisory office = :thumbup:

Conversely, a cheap state school without those key application components = :thumbdown:
This is a really good point.

I wasn't premed when I picked my ugrad but I went with the state school and now I'm done with 0 student debt which is really nice as I'm trying to figure out how I'm going to pay for med school.
 

sirus_virus

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Do well on the MCAT and have a high GPA. Mkaay
 

Lests55

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If you go to a really good undergrad and don't do well, then you're in bad shape. If you go to a less competitve undergrad you have to stand out more.
 

sirus_virus

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This is a really good point.

I wasn't premed when I picked my ugrad but I went with the state school and now I'm done with 0 student debt which is really nice as I'm trying to figure out how I'm going to pay for med school.

Another good point, the last thing you need is to go into medschool already 80k in the hole. Choose wisely.
 

sirus_virus

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If you go to a really good undergrad and don't do well, then you're in bad shape. If you go to a less competitve undergrad you have to stand out more.

Not true from my experience, you guys over-rate the amount of time spent on you application. There is a lot of speedy raw number crunching that goes on during the app process. Don't expect them to look at your 2.5 GPA and go "let's check out the level of difficulty in his/her school" .
 

Vera18

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Regarding the cheap state school, I'd say sometimes yes... sometimes no.

A cheap state school that also happens to have (1) lots of research opps, (2) plenty of volunteer work, and (3) a solid Pre-Med advisory office = :thumbup:

Conversely, a cheap state school without those key application components = :thumbdown:

What about FSU? Does anyone know if that's a decent undergrad school to apply to?
 

maestro1625

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What about FSU? Does anyone know if that's a decent undergrad school to apply to?

please, everyone knows that everyone who goes to FSU is a blithering idiot incapable of cognitive thought.
 

MahlerROCKS

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Is it a disadvantage to come from a smaller, less competitive school in medical school?

For instance, would a medical student with a Holy Cross undergrad have an advantage in med school over a fellow student who came from a smaller, less competitive school?


On a completely different note, what are some questions I should ask about a school's premed program? thanks.

Holy Cross is an excellent LAC, but don't mistake it for Swarthmore. Unless you are attending a top institution, there is not point in paying a fortune for an education that isn't necessarily any better than one you would receive at a state school. So if you could afford it, I’d go with Holy Cross, however, if you will have to take out a lot of loans, I’d opt for a state school
 

Green Apple

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On the contrary, I believe coming from an Ivy League school can make a huge difference in your application. A 3.50 GPA from stanford looks much more attractive than a 3.50 from Rutgers.

After examining the 40+ student profiles available in Princeton Review's "Medical School Essays", I noticed that students with 3.80+ GPAs from state schools(Minnesota, Wisconsin, Virginia, etc) or small colleges and solid MCAT scores and all the extracurriculars, ended up going to their state med schools, while Ivy Leaguers with 3.4-3.5 GPAs managed to get into the same schools.

Many med schools publicly advertise on their websites and booklets that many of their students come from prestigious undergrad schools. I think some schools do place Ivy Leaguers on a pedestal. They would be more likely accept an Ivy Leaguer just to keep self-publicizing that point about their student bodies (within reasonable bounds, of course)

My main point is, undergrad DOES matter. It's a lot harder to get into a top med school like Columbia or Northwestern if you come from a state school or small college.

Oh, and I don't mean to single out Ivy Leaguers, I just find it faster to type than "a student from a prestigious undergraduate institution".
 

BigRedPremed

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On the contrary, I believe coming from an Ivy League school can make a huge difference in your application. A 3.50 GPA from stanford looks much more attractive than a 3.50 from Rutgers.

After examining the 40+ student profiles available in Princeton Review's "Medical School Essays", I noticed that students with 3.80+ GPAs from state schools(Minnesota, Wisconsin, Virginia, etc) or small colleges and solid MCAT scores and all the extracurriculars, ended up going to their state med schools, while Ivy Leaguers with 3.4-3.5 GPAs managed to get into the same schools.

Many med schools publicly advertise on their websites and booklets that many of their students come from prestigious undergrad schools. I think some schools do place Ivy Leaguers on a pedestal. They would be more likely accept an Ivy Leaguer just to keep self-publicizing that point about their student bodies (within reasonable bounds, of course)

My main point is, undergrad DOES matter. It's a lot harder to get into a top med school like Columbia or Northwestern if you come from a state school or small college.

Oh, and I don't mean to single out Ivy Leaguers, I just find it faster to type than "a student from a prestigious undergraduate institution".

The reason Ivy Leaguers with 3.4-3.5 GPA's get into the same schools as state schoolers with 3.6 GPA's is that they are likely to have the same MCAT score. In other words, it's not so much the name of the school but rather the rigor that's influencing these results.

An state schooler with a 3.6, 30 has approx. the same chances as an Ivy Leaguer with a 3.6, 30. The problem is that an Ivy Leaguer with a 3.6 GPA is likely to have higher than a 30 MCAT. Despite grade inflation, Ivy League schools remain tougher than normal state schools.

Do a search on mdapplicants. You will find that most of the applicants with higher GPA's (3.9+) and low MCATs (below 30) are almost all from little known schools while most of the applicants with low GPA's (3.3 and below) and high MCATs (above 35) are from top colleges.

Look at Cornell's numbers:
http://www.career.cornell.edu/downloads/Health/accapp06.pdf

Nationally, a 3.6 GPA student is most likely to get a 30. But for Cornell, the median for 3.0-3.2 students is already above a 30. Half of everyone with 3.8+ GPA's had 35+ MCAT scores. That's gotta be better than the national average.
 

Green Apple

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I agree that Ivy League students probably do better on the MCAT than students from other schools on average. I expect Ivy League courseloads to be tougher and thus prepare for the MCAT better. This is one reason more Ivy Leaguers have better acceptance rates.

However, when all stats are comparable, I highly doubt that Ivy Leaguers wouldn't get a leg up. Brand name matters. UMDNJ even lists some of the most prestigious undergraduate institutions their students come from, without mentioning their other stats. A 3.8 from Columbia looks a lot better than a 3.8 from Bowdoin.
 

MahlerROCKS

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A 3.8 from Columbia looks a lot better than a 3.8 from Bowdoin.

I think it depends who you ask. If you ask someone on the street, chances are they've never heard of Bowdoin; while Columbia might have more name recognition in the general populous, it doesn't necessarily carry any more weight in the eyes of adcoms. Both schools are extremely selective, have large endowments and countless numbers of successful alums--the only difference is that one is a LAC and the other is a University
 

Jew Alcindor

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One thing I'd recommend when it comes to state schools is to go to your state's premiere/primary school/campus i.e. go to the U rather than Mankato State or UMD. The cost is usually the same, so there's really no excuse.

I don't know how exactly the adcoms at top schools view state schoolers, but I find it tough to believe that they don't differentiate between somebody who went to U of ______ over _______ State University or U of _______ - ________.
 

MahlerROCKS

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I don't know how exactly the adcoms at top schools view state schoolers, but I find it tough to believe that they don't differentiate between somebody who went to U of ______ over _______ State University or U of _______ - ________.

Minnesota (TC) Saint Cloud Minnesota-Morris

Sorry, it’s kind of like Madlibs
 

quiltlady

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I think a degree from Holy Cross would be an advantage in applying to Catholic med schools. Of course they aren't the highest in prestige according to SDN standards.
 

Zoom-Zoom

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Is it just me, or are people from Cornell really, really proud of going there?
 
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