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For Berkeley & UCLA Students...

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by MaybeMD, Nov 5, 2002.

  1. MaybeMD

    MaybeMD Senior Member
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    How is the pre-med environment at these schools? Are the majority of students competitive and unwilling to socialize? I am thinking about transferring to these schools because of financial problems that I have with my current school. But if the students are just too competitive I may decide to just stay at my current school. Any feedback is appreciated!
     
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  3. kidsmd

    kidsmd Senior Member
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    I went to UCLA and I don't think the environment was competitive at all. If anything, the students are really supportive of each other. The professors, on the other hand, some of them can be "un-supportive" some times. But I suppose that is something that you can find at any school.
     
  4. Street Philosopher

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    people are willing to form study groups and help each other as long as you're not a major league arsewipe. but there is also an air of competition. the weeder classes are pretty tough, but that's probably true around the country. not much opportunity to get to know professors... don't expect pre-professional counseling from the school... there are a few premed groups that i think are doing a lot of interesting things though. (not part of any of them so i don't know for sure) btw i'm talking about ucla
     
  5. Joe Joe on da Radio

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    i can speak on behalf of UCLA and i can safely say that the degree of competitiveness largely depends on the major you study. students in the physiological sciences and neuroscience majors were VERY competitive. and by competitive, i mean, every one works very hard and it is often difficult to get an A. that said, i always made plenty of class friends willing to share notes if i missed a lecture (or twenty! hehe).

    the lower division pre-med requirement classes are HUGE (300 people for a lecture is not uncommon) and are graded with a strict bell curve, with the average usually set at C+/B-. it's a quarter system at UCLA so you get flooded with tons of material, which does raise the anxiety level for each class.

    all in all, the "competitiveness" factor never bothered me much during my time there though.

    -- joe joe
     
  6. alisha75

    alisha75 Member
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    i agree, the weeder classes are difficult, packed w/ info, and sometimes people get desperate because their are so many people in the classes. all of my friends who started out pre-med with me slowly changed their minds and went pre-optometry, pre-dentistry, and towards business. back to your question, on the whole people are not that competitive. but, i have encountered instances of refusal to share notes, lying about lecture attendance, bragging, secrecy, and cheating. but i would definately say that those epople are in the minority. still, it is tough to get an A in a lot of science classes. oh, and be prepared to do everything on your own, no pre-professional guidance or help and no/rare professor relationships=lots a work to get a good LOR. but, if you are an independent person you will be fine. the school itself is amazing.
     
  7. dpy

    dpy Senior Member
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    My experience at Berkeley has been amazing...it's definitely been one of my best decisions in choosing this institution. No matter what kind of person you are, there's something/someplace for you here at Berkeley.

    to answer your question of the pre-med environment...I've never experienced the competitiveness and hostility many people describe of Cal. I think it has a lot to do with mentality..that you make it as competitive as you choose to. My mentality is that I'm here to learn and I work hard for my own sake, as opposed to working hard to do better than my classmates or to be within the top 15% so I can get an A. if you're a hardcore gunner, then maybe you'll feel that everyone else is too and get the impression that it's very competitive.

    everyone has different experiences, but i've never had other students refuse to give me notes, sabotage my lab experiment, lied to about anything, or any of that stuff. my friends and i study together and they're always very supportive, always willing to help.

    in terms of the school...classes are big, especially lower division classes, but upper divs aren't much better. (about 1200 in general chem vs. 400 in biochem upper div...what's the difference?) so you probably won't get to know the professor at a level where they know you very well just in a class setting. but the good thing is that it is a huge institution, and there are plenty of other opportunities to get to know the faculty, which is amazing. we have quite a few Howard Hughes investigators, a prof. who just won the Lasker award, and many other amazing professors. so research opportunities are fairly easy to find and faculty are usually very supportive of undergrads.

    back to classes...many courses are tough, but so is med school...might as well get used to it :laugh:

    to sum it up, i love Berkeley!!! it's been a great choice for me as well as a lot of my friends...i don't think any of us regretted coming here. as excited as i am about med school, i really don't want to leave this place just yet (why can't there be a med school at cal?!?)

    MaybeMD, where are you at college right now? i'm assuming you're at a private college since you said you want to transfer for financial reasons. hope it's not stanfurd :laugh: :laugh: just kidding...i actually hope it is cuz then i know at least one student from the farm has the common sense to choose a better, cheaper institution :clap:

    alright...good luck with your decision

    dpy
     
  8. UCLAstudent

    UCLAstudent I'm a luck dragon!
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    I am a biology major at UCLA and I can say that the pre-med environment is pretty competitive. For example, in fall of my freshman quarter, there were two chem. 14A classes for pre-meds with about 350 people in each of them. I am now in 14D, and it has been narrowed down to one class with around 200 people in it. This means that about 500 people got weeded out from the chem. series (granted, some people take a break for a quarter from the series). In Life Science 1 this quarter, there are 400 people in my class, but only 15% will get an A. I'm not trying to discourage you, but it's true that most pre-meds will get weeded out, and that makes people competitive.
     
  9. Street Philosopher

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    yup. :)
    it's easy to get caught up in the competitiveness... you get anxious about what everyone else does, you keep thinking about the curve and how if you share notes it's just another person doing better than you, etc. but if you learn to just ignore all that and do the best you can, the competitiveness, or the perceived competitiveness will be much less of a factor.

    it's mostly because ucla is such a big school. one dude you help out isn't going to destroy the curve in a class of 300. :)
     
  10. MaybeMD

    MaybeMD Senior Member
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    DPY, I'm at USF right now. And I really like it, ESPECIALLLY the relationship I have with the proffessors. People have already said how, if I were to go to one of these schools, I probably wouldn't get to have a close relationship with the proffessors. But here at USF, I already have a great relationship with all of my proffessors(that's including Chem. and Bio.). Also, you said that the classes can be 1200 people?! WOW! :wow: My chem class( lower-division) has about 80 people in it max. And the same goes for Bio. But while there are all of these good things about USF, the main problem is the finances. I really recommend this school for those who can afford it. I have been to Cal too, and it has a nice campus as well(but the scenery isn't as cool as San Francisco! ;) ). I have yet to travel to UCLA, but my uncle goes there. And he's graduating soon. So I'll see it soon enough!
     
  11. UCLAstudent

    UCLAstudent I'm a luck dragon!
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    It's definitely possible to have a close relationship with professors at UCLA. All of my professors know who I am, and most of them know me by name. If you put effort into getting to know them, it isn't hard at all. I just go to office hours a lot.
     
  12. calipaww

    calipaww Senior Member
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