Slowpoke

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No advice needed, you're on your way to a great, great application.

I wish I had started off college the way you did, extremely motivated, and with burst of ECs right off the bat. Just don't burn yourself out, keep it steady now, and mix in some more good ECs and you'll get there bud.
 
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mmmcdowe

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i'm a biology major who just completed my first semester in college. i would appreciate some advice on what i can do/improve on in order to get into Harvard's medical school.

grades:

i took the basics for my first semester: biology I w/ lab, chemistry I w/ lab, general psych, and english. i wound up with a 4.0. i've tested out of all my math requirements already.

research:

for this upcoming spring semester, i'll be participating in biomedical research in the college of medicine at my university. i'll be studying the effects of depression and drug addiction on gene expression.

clinical experience:

i volunteer at a hospice house where i hang out with terminally ill patients. although it's not a hospital, it provides a hospital-like atmosphere. when i head home for breaks, i volunteer at the medical examiners office. this spring break i'm heading up to Arkansas where i'll be volunteering at the Arkansas Children's Hospital.

extra-curricular:

i was just recently invited into my school's honors program because of my GPA. in order to be invited, a student must receive a minimum of 3.8 after their first semester of college. on top of this honors program, i'm also in the biology honor society as well as the pre-medical honor society. i'm involved with several other pre-medical clubs as well as an autism awareness club. i'm in a pre-medical living learning community which consists of a bunch of pre-medical students. every week this living learning community is lectured by several health professionals on various health related topics. i play on my school's club ice hockey team, too. i've been playing ever since i was eight years old. i've participated in leadership seminars as well. this spring semester, i'm starting a program/organization that promotes mental health amongst teenagers who struggle with depression or drug addiction.


anything that i can do to improve my chances of being accepted into Harvard would be appreciated.
I may be mistaken, but I think Harvard has rules on what you can and cannot test out of. I would contact them and check.
 

chessknt

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Any reason why you are looking only into Harvard? USNews is not a valid answer.
 

Mobius1985

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I have a family friend who got an MCAT of 43 and GPA of 3.96 who had ECs every bit as wonderful as yours will be, and he was rejected by Harvard. Don't put all your eggs into one basket.
 

CourageKid

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that's depressing.
No it's not. It's med school admissions. You have a great app so far and if you keep it up you will get into a great medical school. Will it be Harvard? Who knows?
I interviewed at many "top tier" schools, including HMS and other Ivies. Haven't heard a peep from Johns Hopkins though (I'm not complaining and am very happy with what I have). And if you ask around, there are many people in similar situations where one or two schools just don't give them interivews even though it would be expected based on stats/success at similar schools. So you can't set your mind on Harvard only. There are many great, great schools that I think you will have the chance to consider. It might be Harvard, but it might not be.
 

Textuality

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Make sure you can get great letters of rec, and if you really want to start early, you can practice interviewing. :)

But I agree, no matter how good your numbers or EC's, the chances at harvard will still be less than guaranteed. I recently interviewed an amazing student who has won all sorts of national honors, is teaching abroad on a fellowship on her year off while preparing a paper for publication, was a nationally ranked athlete, and was a great person to talk to on top of it. So believe me, the competition is hard. So even great numbers and above average EC's aren't a guarantee you'll get into Harvard.

Just do all you can, and you'll probably have a good shot. But try to find some more schools you'd be happy to go to too, because I don't think anyone can bank on getting into Harvard. If your application continues on the track it is now, and you apply to a lot of the top tier schools, you'll have a good chance of getting into one, but it might not be Harvard.
 

chessknt

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If you think a Harvard med education is vastly superior to everywhere else or that their students match better, you would be wrong, which is why I am wondering why you have your sights set on this school in particular. Family pressure? Lifelong dream? Somebody in the Boston area?
 

JaggerPlate

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i'm a biology major who just completed my first semester in college. i would appreciate some advice on what i can do/improve on in order to get into Harvard's medical school.

grades:

i took the basics for my first semester: biology I w/ lab, chemistry I w/ lab, general psych, and english. i wound up with a 4.0. i've tested out of all my math requirements already.

research:

for this upcoming spring semester, i'll be participating in biomedical research in the college of medicine at my university. i'll be studying the effects of depression and drug addiction on gene expression.

clinical experience:

i volunteer at a hospice house where i hang out with terminally ill patients. although it's not a hospital, it provides a hospital-like atmosphere. when i head home for breaks, i volunteer at the medical examiners office. this spring break i'm heading up to Arkansas where i'll be volunteering at the Arkansas Children's Hospital.

extra-curricular:

i was just recently invited into my school's honors program because of my GPA. in order to be invited, a student must receive a minimum of 3.8 after their first semester of college. on top of this honors program, i'm also in the biology honor society as well as the pre-medical honor society. i'm involved with several other pre-medical clubs as well as an autism awareness club. i'm in a pre-medical living learning community which consists of a bunch of pre-medical students. every week this living learning community is lectured by several health professionals on various health related topics. i play on my school's club ice hockey team, too. i've been playing ever since i was eight years old. i've participated in leadership seminars as well. this spring semester, i'm starting a program/organization that promotes mental health amongst teenagers who struggle with depression or drug addiction.


anything that i can do to improve my chances of being accepted into Harvard would be appreciated.
I have a buddy who just got an interview at Harvard ... 39 MCAT, 3.99, research publications for 4 years like you wouldn't BELIEVE, all the right ECs, amazing LOR (I can only assume) etc. He said he felt stupid just being around the people there and that it was the most amazing school he's ever been to. Moral of the story ... work as hard as you can to get into med school. You'll learn that going to med school isn't like undergrad ... you can't really get your heart set on one particular school, because acceptance rates are too low and frankly the critera for acceptace varies too greately. Just do the best you can to get into medical school. If the time comes and you still have that 4.0, 37+ MCAT, ECs that involve curing a major disease or building a hospital in Mexico ... apply to Harvard (along with a dozen other schools) and see what happens. :thumbup:
 

DrYoda

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What you've been doing and have set up looks great. Continue all that stuff, then killing the MCAT is the last thing you can do.

If you get an interview make sure you practice/prepare for it.

After that things fall out of your control and into the realm of luck, so cross your fingers.
 

enjoydrywax

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After interviewing at Harvard (and subsequently realizing WHY I was invited) , I think I get what they are looking for. You need to be a leader in all aspects of your life. Your reason for wanting to go to harvard (to set an example for the rest of your family) is a GREAT start. Leading by example is something harvard loves. Also, those pre-med clubs you joined are a worthless waste of your time UNLESS you become the president of one or more (see the leadership trend yet?). I think one of the biggest mistakes pre-med kids make is joining these clubs and doing nothing within them. Like I said, unless you become president of this club (and others) they are all a waste of your time. I think Hockey is a great EC too, in fact it's probably better than some of the "required" ECs you have (i.e volunteering, research, the basics). Remember though, Harvard jerks off to leadership, so you want to strive to become your team's captain and possibly hold a leadership position within your league's administration. Good luck buddy, and remember the keyword: leadership.

EDIT: Oh yea, ace the MCAT (37+)
 

greatnt249

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Another thing to remember when application time rolls around is exactly why you want to go into medicine in the first place. I know this seems like something not worth mentioning, but it can be a lot more difficult than you imagine. In my experience, medical schools like to see that you've thought very carefully about why you want to go into medicine and actually have an answer to that question that is true to yourself. The most important thing is to be honest with yourself, and you'll do fine with the interviews.

And, like the other posters said, don't put all of your eggs in one basket; no one will look down on you for not getting into Harvard. Getting into any accredited medical institution is a worthy accomplishment.
 

229141

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Like others are saying- You are doing great but do NOT become obsessed with one school. You could literally be a perfect applicant with a 43, 4.0, loads of ECs, only to be rejected by Harvard for an alumni's son/daughter with a 3.8 and 35. They will always play favorites with their own. Just keep working like you are and you will end up somewhere great- although it may not necessarily be Harvard
 

GoSpursGo

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I'm impressed that you actually have a good reason for applying to Harvard beyond prestige, and I wish you all the best. That said, just be careful about getting too far ahead of yourself. You can't get into Harvard next semester, you can only take things one step at a time. For now, that means continuing the bang-up job you've done so far on your grades and hit the ground running on your research next semester. Just be careful not to overload yourself; I have countless friends who are really bright and had great potential to be a doctor who ruined themselves by having a crappy couple of semesters because they took on two or three more ECs than they could handle. You have a great start, but you've got to keep it up.

Furthermore, I have to echo what everyone else is saying- there are countless other great institutions that you can go to for med school that would distinguish yourself- Hopkins, the UCs and the other Ivies spring immediately to mind, and I personally love Baylor and would rank it right up there with the other schools. Regardless of what you do to distinguish yourself in your undergrad career, you will ALWAYS be an underdog when it comes to any one of those top, top institutions. You can set yourself up to have an excellent shot at getting into ONE of them, but to set your heart on any specific school at this point is setting yourself up for potential disappointment.
 

medhope31

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All the posts on here have had great advice

1. don't count on one med school
2. show leadership
3. have good scores

But I think there is one thing missing...
4. passion

You need to show that you have explored your interests, found a passion, and ran with it. If you really love organization student group events, join a group and doing something with it that no president has done previously. If you are interested in global health, go abroad and get experience ( you CAN study abroad as a premed!). If you are interested in bench science research stick with a professor for a few years learning how research and academia is actually done. If you like mentoring and want to work with disadvantaged children, pour your heart and soul into the program. If you are interested in health policy do an internship in DC and then get involved with policy.

Harvard wants to send their alums to run all the major organizations in the world- show them that you have the motivation and drive to be a leader in whatever field you are in. If you don't have a passion yet, just keep yourself busy trying different activities, and make sure to use your breaks wisely exploring your interests. I wish I had known how many internships AND how much money for undergrads there is to do whatever you want!

Also, you don't need a 4.0, 43. Realistically you need ~3.8, 36+

Good luck with the next four years!
 
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