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How much does the undergrad university really matter?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by AspiringOne, Aug 8, 2006.

  1. AspiringOne

    AspiringOne New Member
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    Hey everyone, first off just want to say I'm soooo glad I found these forums, they are great! Ok so here is my situation-

    Currently I am attending a state school (University of Connecticut) and I am entering my sophomore year. My GPA is good but I'm worried that medical schools will place me "lower on the ladder" because I attend a state school. I mean, would the higher ranked medical schools even consider me? I've even considered transferring to a possibly more prestigious school to increase my chances. Is it worth it?
     
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  3. Summer Sweet

    Summer Sweet Le chéri, c'est la vie
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    I feel ya. I'm in a similar situation, except my GPA isn't that good due to overestimating myself and underestimating some of my classes. But hey, whatever doesn't kill ya makes you stronger.
     
  4. Ambs

    Ambs Sleeping is underrated!
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    Hi,

    I would advise you to do a search since this topic has been discussed many times and at great length. Opinions vary widely. I personally see no obstacle in your applications. Do well in school and on the MCAT, do the volunteering/research/other extracurriculars... and also enjoy undergrad! You really don't have to make your undergrad experience serve only one purpose (i.e. getting into medical school).
     
  5. Zoom-Zoom

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    Cliff notes for countless threads on this subject:

    1) Every year many applicants from state schools are accepted to med school.
    2)All things being equal, coming from a good undergrad university can help.
    3)Going to a lower ranked school will not keep you out of any med school, but highly competitive med schools tend to accept people from higher ranked undergrads (see #2).
     
  6. Scottish Chap

    Physician PhD Moderator Emeritus 15+ Year Member

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    Medical schools care more about the GPA than the school's reputation. My med school is close to an Ivy League undergraduate school and the admissions director at the medical school said to me that it's a red flag if they see a low GPA or MCAT score from that school because they are so used to knowing what an average candidate at this school is capable of.

    A low GPA from a high-caliber school always leaves room for doubt about someone's academic capabilities, while a 4.0 GPA from a small, relatively unknown school will get you past most first-line screens in a medical school admisisons office. Same thing goes for major: a low GPA earned from a difficult degree like astrophysics, engineering, or pharmacology will always leave doubt in an adcom's mind. Neither situation is fair, but it's reality.
     
  7. Depakote

    Depakote Pediatric Anesthesiologist
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    LizzyM is an Admissions Committee Member, her post in this topic is about the best response you'll find...
     
  8. Dr.TobiasFünke

    Physician 7+ Year Member

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    It is true that top schools have much more placements into top medical schools but no school will not consider you as a candidate. For instance, Coumbia's entering class (after a very cursory review of the incoming students) has more than 10 students from harvard, about 5 from cornell, a bunch from stanford etc. There are only 2 from my school and 1 from many other schools. The top schools do send people to more medical schools.
     
  9. steppwolf

    steppwolf Junior Member
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    I would amend this statement slightly. Every year applicants from state schools get into the most selective med schools in the country. And we're not just talking about kids who happen to reside in Michigan, do their undergrad at Michigan and then get into UM med school.

    Make the grades at UConn, score well on the MCAT and enrich your resume with appropriate EC's -- you can go anywhere. Example:

    http://www.mdapplicants.com/viewprofile.php?id=1242
     
  10. AspiringOne

    AspiringOne New Member
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    Hmmm okay, it seems that the general response is that it would "raise" your GPA essentially .2-.4 points by going to a top undergrad. Would you say a transfer would only be worth it for an Ivy League (i.e. not a school ranked 19th or 18th)?
     
  11. Dr.TobiasFünke

    Physician 7+ Year Member

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    I transferred from a fairly unknown liberal arts college to Georgetown... best decision I've ever made. My first school, I found out places 0-4 (5-10% of pre-meds) people each year into medical school whereas Georgetown places about 50 (about 75%). Gotta check the stats... I don't think Uconn is bad with placement but you should check.
     
  12. Ari Gold

    Ari Gold .....
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    I don't think the distinction should be state vs. private. but top undergrad vs. lesser-recognized as far as academic excellence. Michigan is the second best school in the country as far as producing premeds and one of the best in the country overall. Cal, UVa, UTx, UCLA and others also have great reputations that will slightly assist their undergrads and they happen to be state-funded.
     
  13. phospho

    phospho SDN Lifetime Donor
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    Well, I would assume that someone who was able to get into a top school would easily be able to get into another top school, or in this case, medical school. Let's not forget that those same people had to probably work twice as hard to get into the first top school, i.e. as soon as they got out of high school. The same work they put to get into undergrad harvard, for example, is going to reflect the work they're willing to put to get into medical school. Of course, it would be wrong to assume that everyone's like that, but it would also be wrong to assume that this doesn't happen quite frequently - at least in my opinion of course.
     
  14. AspiringOne

    AspiringOne New Member
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    Hmmm so I just checked the UConn acceptance rates...48.1% were accepted last year. 17 of the 39 who were accepted went to UConn, which worries me because I am from out of state (it would be very hard for me to get into the UConn medical school). This decision is killing me- I know everyone says that all I need is a really good MCAT score to discredit the "big fish in small pond" thing, but is it worth it to take that pressure by staying at this school? Or should I try to transfer? Obviously the MCAT is important, but I'm worried the "class ceiling" is going to put even more emphasis on it.
     
  15. Oculus Sinistra

    Oculus Sinistra Finish it.
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    She wrote:

    "Hmmmm... you can get away with a gpa that is -0.2 to -0.4 below the med school mean provided that ... your MCAT scores are at least a point above the med school's mean in each of the three sections."

    Very interesting indeed. I didn't know this.
     
  16. Scottish Chap

    Physician PhD Moderator Emeritus 15+ Year Member

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    I would be careful about paying too much attention to 'admission formulas'. While you want to maximize your chance of admission, also remember that the MCAT and GPA range for each school has considerable spread and what one school insists it 'the law' another might pay less attention to.
     
  17. Sol Rosenberg

    Sol Rosenberg Long Live the New Flesh!
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    THANK YOU for posting that link. I was freaking out about my "low" GPA until I read LizzyM's quoted responses in that thread. Makes me feel a little bit better about my chances. It also restores my faith in the whole process, as it seems (at least at the school where LizzyM sits on the ADCOM) that common sense DOES prevail in the whole process (many posts here would have you believing otherwise.)
     
  18. calvinhobbes

    calvinhobbes Member
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    Thank You!!! I was wondering the same thing, with my "transfer to Columbia or not" dilemna.
     

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