Penn State for Pre-med?

Jarteblu

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    I was just wondering if anyone here went to Penn State for undergrad or knows anyone who went there. I think Penn State is the most balanced and best school that I am choosing from. The only options for me are Pitt and Temple. If anyone knows anything on what it is like for a pre-med at Penn State that would be very helpful. The reason why I am leading towards Penn State is because if I choose to change career paths, there are plenty of great majors and programs at PSU(engineering, computer science, etc.
     

    WingedOx

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      PSU is a great school and I had plenty of med school classmates from there (even without the "Prog" program). The only caution is that you may save money by going to a private school depending on fin-aid and scholarships considering that the PA in-state benefit is garbage and PA may actually eliminate in-state tuition breaks for PSU/Pitt/Temple.

      /Of course you have to live with the fact that on Saturdays you'll be cheering for a football team that was used as an excuse to ignore child rape, but barring that, you'll have a great time.
       
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        I personally don't think it matters what school you get into if you play your cards right. Your end game is not a degree, it's to either get a job or into higher education. As long as you obtain experience such as in research, internships, or both you'll have an easier time finding jobs than someone who simply has a degree.
         
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        Jarteblu

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          Is PSU stong for pre-med student. Do med schools think of PSU as a decent school? I know that it is very strong for other programs so if I choose to change career paths I have a good choice of backups.
           
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            PSU is a huge med school feeder school.
            I am totally biased, but, you'd get a great education there and I LOVED my time there.

            If any school has a high matriculation rate of UGs that applied to medical school, it's because they have a good health professions advising office/advisor. To my knowledge UCI does not have one, or at least a very good one because in 2013 only 27% of their students that applied got into medical school and the national average is 40%.

            http://sites.bio.uci.edu/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/Student-Statistics-Summary-Analysis-Handout.pdf

            Could Also be because Penn State has an advisor and a committee letter. Schools that do committee letters don't just hand them out to anyone. They only give to those they think will make it and if your school produces committee letters and you don't get one, you're basically screwed. So if a school has a higher acceptance rate than the national average, it's probably because they weed out weak applicants via their committee letter. So you shouldn't worry about whether or not med schools think highly of your school. You should worry whether your not your school thinks highly of you.
             
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            Jarteblu

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              If any school has a high matriculation rate of UGs that applied to medical school, it's because they have a good health professions advising office/advisor. To my knowledge UCI does not have one, or at least a very good one because in 2013 only 27% of their students that applied got into medical school and the national average is 40%.

              http://sites.bio.uci.edu/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/Student-Statistics-Summary-Analysis-Handout.pdf

              Could Also be because Penn State has an advisor and a committee letter. Schools that do committee letters don't just hand them out to anyone. They only give to those they think will make it and if your school produces committee letters and you don't get one, you're basically screwed. So if a school has a higher acceptance rate than the national average, it's probably because they weed out weak applicants via their committee letter. So you shouldn't worry about whether or not med schools think highly of your school. You should worry whether your not your school thinks highly of you.
              Where can I find these statistics for Pre-med students at Penn State?
               

              Jarteblu

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                chappikachu

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                  My undergrad did committee letters for any premed who applied (no one was "weeded" out), so I believe it depends on the school... You may want to check with the school specifically to see what the criteria are for getting a committee letter.
                   

                  Terry Toma

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                    FAQs in Premedicine — Eberly College of Science

                    I also did some digging and Penn State does do a committee letter. Which means the school weeds out applicants that they think will not get in.

                    You're really jumping to a conclusion, here. Committee letters provide a possible mechanism by which a school could weed out applicants, but the fact that a school provides a committee letter does not mean that they necessarily do weed out applicants.
                     
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                      You're really jumping to a conclusion, here. Committee letters provide a possible mechanism by which a school could weed out applicants, but the fact that a school provides a committee letter does not mean that they necessarily do weed out applicants.

                      I never said those were conclusive facts. I specifically stated they were merely speculations.
                       

                      mk059

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                        Is PSU stong for pre-med student. Do med schools think of PSU as a decent school? I know that it is very strong for other programs so if I choose to change career paths I have a good choice of backups.
                        I went to Penn State and my only complaint is that my adviser would never answer or meet with me...I had to form a relationship with a different professor but once I did that, it was all great from there! At two of my four interviews so far, an interviewer has commented about the quality of my committee letter. I don't know of a single friend of mine who did not receive a CL.

                        Acceptance rate of Penn State grads to med school is 60% (65% of just the juniors in a given cycle, 70% of pre-med majors). All of which are substantially higher than the national avg of 40%.

                        Also, my upper level biology classes were AMAZING. Some people can't stand the professor I'm talking about (and, yes if you've interacted with this person, you know who I mean) because the classes are HARD. But many students who go on to medical school consider his physio/embryo/histo classes invaluable and have a strong upper hand through the first two years.

                        Final thought, I think they did a great job preparing me for the process and I know many of my peers think the same.

                        Take that as you will. Good luck deciding!!
                         
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                        ciestar

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                          I went to Penn State and my only complaint is that my adviser would never answer or meet with me...I had to form a relationship with a different professor but once I did that, it was all great from there! At two of my four interviews so far, an interviewer has commented about the quality of my committee letter. I don't know of a single friend of mine who did not receive a CL.

                          Acceptance rate of Penn State grads to med school is 60% (65% of just the juniors in a given cycle, 70% of pre-med majors). All of which are substantially higher than the national avg of 40%.

                          Also, my upper level biology classes were AMAZING. Some people can't stand the professor I'm talking about (and, yes if you've interacted with this person, you know who I mean) because the classes are HARD. But many students who go on to medical school consider his physio/embryo/histo classes invaluable and have a strong upper hand through the first two years.

                          Final thought, I think they did a great job preparing me for the process and I know many of my peers think the same.

                          Take that as you will. Good luck deciding!!

                          I managed to slide by without taking any of his courses, but yes, I know exactly who you mean.
                           

                          NaijaDoc94

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                            I graduated from Penn State in 2016, was a nutrition major which provided me with all the pre-reqs for med school like I needed. PSU's science courses can definitely be difficult depending on how long it takes you to grasp the material. But if you are looking for a school with a strong foundation for pre-med students, I would definitely recommend PSU. They have a lot of clubs available for you to join and get community service/clinical volunteer hours at the local hospitals like Mount Nittany and Geisinger. If you're looking for advising though, I did not find the pre-med advising team very helpful.
                             

                            Rolller96

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                              I would only suggest going to Penn State if you are going to a branch campus and that is if you or someone must go to Penn State, the main campus is very cut throat and will do everything in thier power to try to make your grades low, which is a show stopper for medical schools. I would suggest that if you are out of state do not go to PSU, go to your own state school the extra cost is not worth the experence. I know exactly who that suggested professor is and it is very true and that is common amoung the professors there. Also, the advisors are not the best there I have had plenty of bad experiences with them. I would suggest going to a branch campus, as it is much more forgiving and you can earn higher grades with the same educational quality. I have gone to both the main campus and a branch campus and I would take the branch campus every time and it is still a Penn State degree. and people from all campuses go to medical school. Also, it is cheaper, and I would suggest to everyone and anyone looking at this post to look into early acceptance and early admissions programs at any school they go to, the branch campuses have some that are worth looking into.
                               

                              mk059

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                                I would only suggest going to Penn State if you are going to a branch campus and that is if you or someone must go to Penn State, the main campus is very cut throat and will do everything in thier power to try to make your grades low, which is a show stopper for medical schools. I would suggest that if you are out of state do not go to PSU, go to your own state school the extra cost is not worth the experence. I know exactly who that suggested professor is and it is very true and that is common amoung the professors there. Also, the advisors are not the best there I have had plenty of bad experiences with them. I would suggest going to a branch campus, as it is much more forgiving and you can earn higher grades with the same educational quality. I have gone to both the main campus and a branch campus and I would take the branch campus every time and it is still a Penn State degree. and people from all campuses go to medical school. Also, it is cheaper, and I would suggest to everyone and anyone looking at this post to look into early acceptance and early admissions programs at any school they go to, the branch campuses have some that are worth looking into.

                                Fair warning: this is a bit of a rant but is something I feel passionate about.

                                First of all, "cut throat" is never a word I would use to describe Penn State. There are a handful of "cut throat" kids there but you'll get that at ANY location/institution.

                                Secondly, I've taken classes at several branch campuses and can honestly say I earned the easiest high grades and learned nothing. This includes OChem lab which was a total joke at a branch but at main it's a very difficult course, as it should be. I'm talking open note tests, jokes of lab reports, BONUS for just turning your reports in on time (who on earth does that), experiments that just end because people can't figure them out, and class (learning) time being cut in half. If you want to do well on your MCATs, your best bet is to tough through the difficult classes and you'll learn more there than anywhere else. That "suggested professor" is hard, yes. But he allows students to come in and ask for higher grades. He's very receptive to people who are respectful to him and show their hard work. If your average is a 60% but you went from 45-->50-->70-->75, he WILL NOT fail you. He'll give you that C, maybe even a C+ depending on how active in class you are. This happened to a friend of mine.

                                Lastly, I've had amazing professors in many of my classes. Maybe one or two that didn't want to speak with students but these were the early huge lecture courses. "Everything in their power to make your grades low" HA. That's a total joke. How does that even make sense to you? Penn State wants to keep their acceptance to medical school rate high so people WANT to come. So logically, why would they try to make student fail. The school itself requires the average to be equal to a C. C's stand for average. So if the class exam score is a 50%, that would be a C. A's are earned, not given. They're supposed to be difficult to attain. It means you performed better than most of your class. Does the AAMC "try" to make students fail? No but if you didn't score at the 100th percentile, you don't get a 525+ because they want to help you get into medical school. You may just not have done enough to make your grades high. Schools that have 80-90% averages on exams are jokes.

                                However, I'll agree some of the advisers are hard to work with. You have to work to try to find a good one, or in my case forget about the office and find your own mentor.

                                And on another note, I specifically know of one top tier school whose undergraduate advising office will straight up tell you not to try to apply to medical school because there is no chance you'll get in IF YOU GET ONE B. They do this to keep their admissions rates higher. This is something you'll never come across at PSU.

                                You don't get to be critical and insulting if you haven't done everything in your own power to succeed. No one is going to be around to hold your hand throughout life. You're responsible for you, no one else is. I'm sorry that the truth is a hard thing to hear. Not trying to be rude but I'm honest and straight up.
                                 
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                                Jewels83

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                                  Fair warning: this is a bit of a rant but is something I feel passionate about.

                                  First of all, "cut throat" is never a word I would use to describe Penn State. There are a handful of "cut throat" kids there but you'll get that at ANY location/institution.

                                  Secondly, I've taken classes at several branch campuses and can honestly say I earned the easiest high grades and learned nothing. This includes OChem lab which was a total joke at a branch but at main it's a very difficult course, as it should be. I'm talking open note tests, jokes of lab reports, BONUS for just turning your reports in on time (who on earth does that), experiments that just end because people can't figure them out, and class (learning) time being cut in half. If you want to do well on your MCATs, your best bet is to tough through the difficult classes and you'll learn more there than anywhere else. That "suggested professor" is hard, yes. But he allows students to come in and ask for higher grades. He's very receptive to people who are respectful to him and show their hard work. If your average is a 60% but you went from 45-->50-->70-->75, he WILL NOT fail you. He'll give you that C, maybe even a C+ depending on how active in class you are. This happened to a friend of mine.

                                  Lastly, I've had amazing professors in many of my classes. Maybe one or two that didn't want to speak with students but these were the early huge lecture courses. "Everything in their power to make your grades low" HA. That's a total joke. How does that even make sense to you? Penn State wants to keep their acceptance to medical school rate high so people WANT to come. So logically, why would they try to make student fail. The school itself requires the average to be equal to a C. C's stand for average. So if the class exam score is a 50%, that would be a C. A's are earned, not given. They're supposed to be difficult to attain. It means you performed better than most of your class. Does the AAMC "try" to make students fail? No but if you didn't score at the 100th percentile, you don't get a 525+ because they want to help you get into medical school. You may just not have done enough to make your grades high. Schools that have 80-90% averages on exams are jokes.

                                  However, I'll agree some of the advisers are hard to work with. You have to work to try to find a good one, or in my case forget about the office and find your own mentor.

                                  And on another note, I specifically know of one top tier school whose undergraduate advising office will straight up tell you not to try to apply to medical school because there is no chance you'll get in IF YOU GET ONE B. They do this to keep their admissions rates higher. This is something you'll never come across at PSU.

                                  You don't get to be critical and insulting if you haven't done everything in your own power to succeed. No one is going to be around to hold your hand throughout life. You're responsible for you, no one else is. I'm sorry that the truth is a hard thing to hear. Not trying to be rude but I'm honest and straight up.
                                  I'm graduating this year from high school and I'm applying to colleges and I am considering Penn State I was wondering which campus do you feel is best for pre-med or if it is even worth going if it's out of state. Thank you! also advice is greatly appreciated!
                                   
                                  Jun 22, 2021
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                                    I'm graduating this year from high school and I'm applying to colleges and I am considering Penn State I was wondering which campus do you feel is best for pre-med or if it is even worth going if it's out of state. Thank you! also advice is greatly appreciated!
                                    Not worth it out of state unless they have some sort of NMSF scholarship like bama. If you’re set on medicine, try to get into as least debt as possible (so either IS public school or school that meets full demonstrated need)

                                    To answer your first question, university park would likely have the most research opportunities and course flexibility since it is so large.
                                     
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