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Oxford University vs. Harvard College

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by karmon, Apr 24, 2004.

  1. karmon

    karmon Senior Member
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  3. LP1CW

    LP1CW Senior Member
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    I'm finishing up at Harvard, pm me if you have any questions. Oxford would be an amazing experience. IMHO, I think you should stay in the states. Also, I believe, most schools require completion of X number of credits in a US accredited college.
     
  4. IlianaSedai

    IlianaSedai Senior Member
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    karmon,

    I think your chances of getting into an American medical school are probably equally good whether you attend Harvard or whether you go to Oxford. It is possible to go to Oxford and then apply to med school in the US, if you plan carefully and give yourself enough time to fulfill the pre-medical requirements and take the MCAT. Definitely explore how you might be able to do this through the Oxford route. Oxford may not offer your pre-med classes. Most European students take their "pre-med" organic chem, physics, etc type requirements as A-levels. It might turn out to actually be easier to do a 1-year postbac course in the US OR stay on to a 1-year masters in science (at Oxford? hey, why not?) than to try to take the pre-med courses at Oxford, especially since the grading systems are very different. :(

    However, that's no reason to turn down Oxford if you want to go there -- your medical school interviewers will take your word for it if you just told them you made these choices in order to make it possible for you to attend Oxford. It's a great university.

    Note that whatever course you are on at Oxford might not allow you as much time to fulfill standard American pre-med requirements as Harvard would... but also note that MANY med school applicants enter med school a year after they graduated. So you wouldn't really be at any significant disadvantage compared to others.

    If you are looking to enter an American med school, you can still do Oxford -- albeit with a bit of sacrifice and extra legwork -- but I would think the extra work to be well worth it. If you did even a general studies course at Oxford, no medical school interviewer is going to complain that you didn't go to Harvard. ;-)
     
  5. Mr. Rosewater

    Mr. Rosewater Senior Member
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    most schools require classes be taken in the US, except they'll review that on a case by case basis. clearly they would waive that requirement for oxford.
     
  6. mellantro

    mellantro Senior Member
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    go to harvard, study abroad at oxford :D

    congrats btw!

    edit--better yet, win the rhodes and study post-grad at oxford ;) ;)
     
  7. Newquagmire

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    Yeah, congrats to the OP. Just to echo this post, I'm sure you're aware that the British system is very different from the American one--and if you got in, I'm sure you can handle it. Keep in mind that ugrad there is only 3 years, so taking a year to do post-bac/premed courses isn't going to hurt you in the time length category.

    PS: If you go to Oxford, you can study abroad at Harvard =P
     
  8. fullefect1

    fullefect1 Senior Member
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    Harvard is a University correct? At least the one located in Cambridge, Ma.
     
  9. GraC_undr_PrsR

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    I may be a bit biased here, but -- go to Oxford! I'm going to be studying there for post-graduate and I visited in March -- amazing place. I think it'd be a life-changing experience. Then again, I went to a small liberal arts college and then decided to go to oxford -- on the aforementioned elite scholarship. :laugh:
     
  10. mellantro

    mellantro Senior Member
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    ooh congrats! :D that is quite an honor to land!
     
  11. IndyZX

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    wow, i wish i had these kind of decisions to make when i was a HS senior. congratulations.
     
  12. IcedCube

    IcedCube Senior Member
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    oxford university? harvard college? is ur brain on steroids? :wow:
     
  13. CrazyCarl

    CrazyCarl Member
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    Now I don't have any direct experience with UK universities, but I think you may have to work harder to get service experience at Oxford. I've heard that student service organizations are nowhere near as well established in UK universities as they are in the states. Harvard in particular would probably provide many more opportunities.

    But this is all hearsay...maybe I heard wrong.

    I think in the case of a student of your caliber the primary concern should be what kind of system you prefer. You will have no problem getting into a good MD program when the time comes, don't sweat about prereqs or any of that stuff. Oxford is much more specialized and would expect you to enter with a more developed understanding of your chosen field, while Harvard would allow you to branch out and take more diverse courses. Oxford and the whole tutor system would require more self-motivation and individual focus, Harvard would probably allow you more interaction with your professors. How well do you know what you want to do? If you still have no idea what you want your major to be, maybe Oxford would not be your best choice. On the other hand, if you really like the idea of a lot of independently-guided work and a specific focus on the one field you really love, it would be a great option.

    Congratulations on such an enviable choice!
     
  14. Newquagmire

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    I think that's pretty true actually. Students are given a lot of independence--both in forming service organizations and in most other aspects of their lives.

    I'm unfamiliar with the winters in the NE, but I can tell you for a fact that the winters in England are HORRIBLE and will make you want to go into hibernation.

    PS: GraC_undr_PrsR, congrats on the Rhodes!
     
  15. IlianaSedai

    IlianaSedai Senior Member
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    Weather-wise, they're about the same, except that Massachusetts weather can freeze more deeply and snow more heavily and more often. I think Cambridge Mass is more "extreme" than Oxford in terms of temperature, and New England definitely gets more snow than the original England.

    However, most of England is much further north, which means that daylight hours are very short in the winter. So it can seem gloomy.
     
  16. Newquagmire

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    Is it overcast 95% of the winter in the NE too? 'Winter' being November through February, inclusive. Unless you're used to it being pitch black at 3:30 PM, your psyche [and circadian clock] is going to get toyed with in England.
     
  17. Newquagmire

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    As a tribute to today's absolutely spanktabulous weather, I feel like I should mention the other side of the coin. The summers in England are amazing, albeit a little chilly for my taste. The sun rises ~4 AM and sets ~11 PM. No joke.

    Then again, that requires staying in this godforsaken country during your summers too. :laugh:

    Could the OP be a troll post anyway??
     
  18. GraC_undr_PrsR

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    Thanks NewQ and M for the congrats :)

    Korman, in the end what really matters is what you are comfortable with. Even so, like I wrote in the previous post, I attended a small liberal arts college and had a wonderful experience (for the most part). I had visited the likes of Harvard and Yale and decided it was a little too competitive-spirited (does that make sense?) for my taste. It's completely a subjective experience. Lately I realized that maybe I would have had more opportunities at the Ivies, but thoughts like that are irrelevant three weeks before graduation!

    Best
     
  19. blueberry

    blueberry Member
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    I'm too lazy to reread what everybody else wrote here, but I'll advice you to attend harvard if you're quite sure you'll return to the states for med school. I know Oxford is a great school (i actually have a friend studying there), but the system over there is so different and you will have a much harder time applying back here in the States. For one, they don't have grade inflation there so your GPA will be affected...also, you'll have less support over there for applying to med schools here (both formal support from counselors, and support from peers, since probably very few from Oxford will be applying to American medical schools, compared to the situation in Harvard). And of course, the course selection...so, yeah, but the decision is ultimately yours...
     
  20. UseUrHeadFred

    UseUrHeadFred Oh no! It's a Wumpus!
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    Harvard is one of the best schools.

    Oxford is *THE* school.

    I guess you know my opinion.
     
  21. Newquagmire

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    They also don't have GPAs here.
     
  22. harvardpremed

    harvardpremed Marshall L. Wilkinson
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    hey,

    Harvard College is the undergraduate school of Harvard University. Harvard University is made up of different schools and colleges hence the university part. I would definitely choose Harvard although my opinion is bias. Veritas.
     

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