Graduating early from Ugrad

PhysicsDoc

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    Will spending only 3yrs in undergrad damage my chances of being accepted by an MSTP program? I've been told previously that if I applied MD-only it probably would due to the 2yrs of transcript, dearth of EC's (when compared to normal/nontrad applicants), etc. that come along with early graduation, but would it have the same detrimental effects on MD/PhD admissions?

    I suppose as an addendum I should say that I *will* have been doing research for 3yrs by the time I graduate, though.
     

    u2psalm40

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      i knew a guy who recently graduated from harvard mstp who graduated from college in 3 years.. needless to say he was pretty focused on that goal during those 3 years, and let his mentors know his plans (and they supported him).... so i guess that would be good advice.
       

      u2psalm40

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        oops didn't answer your question-- no, i don't think it would hurt you for md/phd admissions. if you planned well, it would even help imo because you'll have shown focus in the lab and initiative on the part of your goals (if in fact they are to become a physician- scientist), which are some of the things md/phd programs look for.

        if you're just trying to get into med school, and think that you wouldn't look as good to them after *only* three years, consider taking a year off-- do something fun; or whatever it is you're afraid you'll lack in that fourth year.

        it's all up to you! you still control your future.
         
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        Newquagmire

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          Originally posted by frick
          Will spending only 3yrs in undergrad damage my chances of being accepted by an MSTP program? I've been told previously that if I applied MD-only it probably would due to the 2yrs of transcript, dearth of EC's (when compared to normal/nontrad applicants), etc. that come along with early graduation, but would it have the same detrimental effects on MD/PhD admissions?

          I suppose as an addendum I should say that I *will* have been doing research for 3yrs by the time I graduate, though.

          i think it does harm your chances, but only relative to applicants who have had a full four years (or more) to develop their application. since you've already had three full years of research (which is the most important part), this may be a non-factor, depending on which schools you are looking at. the more competitive ones may be less thrilled--even with the research experience.
           

          Neuronix

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            I think you'll be fine. I had less than 3 years of research experience when I applied and so did many people I know who did just fine in the admissions game. I would have some other kind of ECs (volunteering, shadowing, something else?), but I don't think it's an issue. You'll see alot of pre-meds with a ton of ECs, but these aren't necessarily required for MD/PhD and they're often the kinds of people who have a ton of meaningless stuff to put on their apps. I talked to a UCLA adcom once on this topic and she said they're actually impressed with applicants who can take a ton of courses, support some sort of research, and graduate early.

            Good luck,
            Eric
             

            vixey1230

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              If my personal experience counts as any sort of measure, graduating early won't necessarily hurt you. I graduated ugrad in 3, but I also didn't go straight into the application process. I've been taking time off to work full-time in a research lab, getting some publications, learning quite a bit about the field/career... and let me tell you, schools will try pretty hard to recruit you if they think your skills are an asset to their institution.
               
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