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Penn vs Cornell

Discussion in 'Pre-Veterinary' started by sundoggie, Feb 28, 2007.

  1. sundoggie

    sundoggie UPenn Class of 2011 2+ Year Member

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    Jan 27, 2007
    So I was just wondering how many people are deciding between or HAVE decided between Penn and Cornell. I know they are both good schools but with very different academic environments. For current students or those who have decided for the class of 2011, what factored into your choice and is there anything you think people should know about each school? Obviously there are differences between living in Ithaca or Philly, but I am referring to the more subtle differences that wouldnt be so obvious.

    Thanks!!! :p
     
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  3. Angelo84

    Angelo84 Tufts Class of 2011 10+ Year Member

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    I am in at Penn and an alternate at Cornell. Cornell is my top choice because I like the integrated program and case based study--neither of those things are present at Penn. If you don't like working in groups I think Cornell would be an awful choice--you are in the tutorials three days a week for most semesters. Both schools were willing to have first years involved in the hospitals. I feel that the faculty at both schools are very strong--but Penn stressed the focus on research more than Cornell did. The students at Penn may be more diverse--they made a big deal about trying to have a very diverse class at least. I don't know what you are interested in--doing large animal at Penn seems like it is mostly equine with some food production while at Cornell it seems to be mostly dairy cattle and ambulatory. For small animal they both have very good programs. For me the fact that UPenn is in a city is a downside, as is the 1hr drive to the new bolton center.


    I hope that helps!

    If you turn down Cornell can I have your spot??!
     
  4. sundoggie

    sundoggie UPenn Class of 2011 2+ Year Member

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    Jan 27, 2007
    Hah! I wish I could just hand it over!

    Thanks for your input. They are both excellent schools for different reasons. I am very interested in research, but I like that Cornell has everything under one roof.

    If you dont make it off the alternate list, will you go to Penn?
     
  5. Angelo84

    Angelo84 Tufts Class of 2011 10+ Year Member

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    I don't know. I have also been accepted at Tufts-in state- and am waiting to hear from Purdue. I really like the case based program at Cornell and Tufts does some of that--Penn doesn't at all. I am interested in behavior and Penn has a really good behavior program ( Tufts has a decent one). I am trying to figure out if it would be better to go to Penn then Tufts since its a "better" school. My current thinking is go to Tufts and then do a residency/intership at Penn in behavior but I don't know if they would want me if I turn them down now!

    By the way are you from CA, and were at the first Penn interviews and, the info session at Cornell on the 9 and 10th?

    If so hi---it's Anna I was at your table at Penn and also at Cornell with you.
     
  6. JumptheMoon

    JumptheMoon UPenn Class of 2011 2+ Year Member

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    Feb 23, 2007
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    I am having a Tufts vs. Penn dilemma too! I haven't heard from Tufts yet...any day now...but if I do get in then it will be a difficult decision for me. As for Penn being a "better" school, I know that some people put more stock in those rankings than others. So a general question to all:

    How much do school rankings play into your decision?
     
  7. sundoggie

    sundoggie UPenn Class of 2011 2+ Year Member

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    Jan 27, 2007
    No..I was at one of the later Penn interviews and the last info session at Cornell. I am a MA resident.

    As for Tufts vs Penn, I think reputation is pretty important. The schools with the amazing reputations tend to have more money and, therefore, better programs..better connections, etc. When you get out of school, there are many people who will be concerned with names and will want to know where you got your degree from. I dont think you should go someplace where you will be unhappy, but if you could be happy at both I would go with the bigger name. But, that is just me..
     
  8. k9 <3er

    k9 <3er UC Davis SVM c/o 2011 2+ Year Member

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    i think name recognition is only important for your first job. after that, it all depends on your experience and skill level, not where you came from. (ex. one of the best doctors i have had the pleasure of working with is from ross)
     
  9. Quaggi

    Quaggi Member 10+ Year Member

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    Feb 28, 2006
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    i think you all are a little misinformed about Tufts, 40% of our graduating class enters internships, which is one of (if not the) highest percentage of any school, and if you're interested in practicing in new england, employers love tufts grads. I think you should pick the school where you feel the most comfortable, not where you think you'll get the better job from, because if you're talking cornell v penn v tufts, it makes no difference. if any of you have any questions about tufts i'd be happy to help :)

    -Bari
    Tufts V'10
     
  10. sundoggie

    sundoggie UPenn Class of 2011 2+ Year Member

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    Jan 27, 2007
    I didn't mean to imply that Tufts is not a good school. Tufts is a good school, as most veterinary schools are good schools... But, in the field of infectious disease research, few people know the name Tufts outside of New England. Most people, however, know Cornell or UPenn. Since that is the area I am most familiar with and will be working in, it is really the only one I can comment on.

    But, I am sure it varies A LOT depending on what field you are going into. Tufts is excellent if you want to do wildlife or wildlife-related research. I dont know about the % of internships obtained after graduation at the other schools, but that wouldnt be the only thing I would judge a school on.

    Anyway, you should go to the school you feel most comfortable at, and the one that teaches the way you want to learn (and the subjects you want to learn).
     
  11. chris03333

    chris03333 Veterinarian 7+ Year Member

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    Jan 21, 2005
    Actually, no one really cares where you graduated from, just that you graduated and passed the boards (I am graduating this May, trust me):thumbup:
     
  12. Pennvet

    Pennvet Goldmember 2+ Year Member

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    I hear this statement over and over, but it is only true if the veterinarian is seeking a position that is not competetive. There is a very high demand for small animal veterinarians. If you are looking to work in an average small animal hospital, then the school from which you earned your degree probably isn't all that important (nor are grades/class rank.) In this case, the veterinarian is viewed by the owner as a business investment. From a business standpoint, the person that will effectively do his or her job for the lowest price will be the one to get the job. The business owner seeks to maximize profit, and that is how it is done.
    However, if you are looking to land a competetive internship/specialize or go into research, then I'm sure that the program that you completed will have a far greater influence on your success. You can go to an unaccredited school and ace every licensing exam that you have to take, but you will still be hard pressed to beat out someone that has graduated from an accredited school (for a competitive job, research grant, etc.) I believe that the difference is not as distinct when comparing accredited schools, but there is no denying that Cornell, Penn, and Tufts stand out. Now if only they would accept me(fingers crossed.)
     
  13. chris03333

    chris03333 Veterinarian 7+ Year Member

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    I meant to say if you graduated from an accredited school...Grades and class rank matter for competitive positions, no doubt but the school you come from (of those accredited) does not have much influence. I can especially say this is true in the research field (first hand experience). Anyway good luck on all of your apps. The application process is only a SMALL step of what you will be in for in the next four years. it will go by really fast:eek:
     
  14. Pennvet

    Pennvet Goldmember 2+ Year Member

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    I work in research, too. When you are competing for anything, the school that you attended does matter. Until your abilities have been proven, you basically adopt the reputation of your school. If you go to a school with name recognition (Cornell, Penn, Tufts, etc.), it immediately says something, even if it is only that you were able to gain admission to, and complete their program.
    This is not to say that there is a stigma attached to any other accredited vet school. With only 27 of these schools, it is obvious that admission to any program will be competetive. But Cornell, Penn, and Tufts have more money than most schools and thereby can support the most costly research projects, which will in turn attract the best faculty. The faculty and research projects greatly affect the quality education and research opportunities that are available to students. Grant writers and potential employers are in no way ignorant to this fact.
    ..."It's not just what you know, but who you know." This is a sad but true fact of life, especially in the field of medical research. The best schools also have the best networks.
     
  15. Pennvet

    Pennvet Goldmember 2+ Year Member

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    ...and thank you for the good luck, I will be going to whatever school lets me in! :)
     
  16. lme52007

    lme52007

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    After reading this thread I am starting to get a little nervous about my making my decision. I had heard that the name does carry some weight, but grades are most important and if you do well at any school than you are competitive. I was accepted to Penn but have wanted to go to Univertsity of Sydney since I read about their accreditation. Do you guys think this would be a very wrong choice because of Penn's great reputation?
     
  17. JIKJen124

    JIKJen124 5+ Year Member

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    I'm feeling like this thread is getting awfully east-coast centric. There are fantastic schools here in the "middle" with awesome programs, reputations, and research opportunities.

    As for the person considering going to Sydney over Penn - follow your heart. I'd go for the program you're most excited about because if you're positive and happy about your experience, when combined with hard work, it'll take you anywhere you need to go.
     
  18. texlaevis

    texlaevis 2+ Year Member

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    Jan 7, 2007
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    I agree-- if you go somewhere and your heart isn't in the place you might have a hard time getting those good grades. Plus, what a great city Sydney would be to live in!!
     
  19. cyrille104

    cyrille104 2+ Year Member

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    Like what? State schools don't have the same reputation as Penn, Cornell, and Tufts. And Northwestern and UChicago don't have vet schools. I'm sure the programs and opportunities may be comparable, but they don't have the same reputation.

    Everyone in my lab is telling me to go to the biggest name school I get into because it's easier to get funding being from these schools. And think about it - if you're going into small animal, the school you went to is listed online for clients to see. Graduating from a name school helps sway clients your way more than you would think (especially in yuppie areas :laugh:)
     
  20. cyrille104

    cyrille104 2+ Year Member

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    Jul 14, 2006
    If it were me I'd go to Penn, unless you LOVE Sydney (or HATE Penn). But there's something to be said for living abroad for a while.

    I personally wouldn't be able to deal with the Australian testing style (only one exam per semester :eek:),
     
  21. kate_g

    kate_g Senior Member 2+ Year Member

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    UC Berkeley, which is a state school, is widely reputed to be among the best research institutions in the world. Of course, we don't have a vet school, but I needed to defend state schools. :) As another example, UW-Madison is where computational biology started - if you've done any genomic work you've used FASTA and CLUSTALW and the rest of the GCG/Wisconsin software package. Wisconsin is in the midwest *and* has a vet school! But maybe Wisconsin isn't well known in infectious disease, just like Penn doesn't really do wildlife and maybe Tufts doesn't do much computational biology... There are some universities that are good at pretty much everything, but as sundoggie mentioned reputations are for the most part *very* field-specific.

    If research/academics is your goal, I agree that your pedigree matters for getting postdoc and faculty jobs, and to some extent probably funding, for exactly the reason Pennvet stated - opportunities to do easily publishable cutting-edge research and connections to other famous and well-funded labs. But I disagree that private is inherently better than public. And I disagree that the name of the *university* matters much; it's the name of your advisor that should get you places in your field. There is a correlation, of course, between famous and well-funded advisors and famous and well-funded universities.

    But unless you're doing a dual-degree program, your ability to get really involved in research while in vet school will be limited. In order to get a faculty job (or government or private research position) you will need to do postdoctoral research at the least (maybe in conjunction with internship/residency). Your postgraduate training probably matters more than the school on your diploma in terms of getting a job and funding. So you should probably go to the vet school where you think you'll get the best *veterinary* education, get good grades, and then go after a big-name postdoc/internship.

    Similarly, Angelo, your ability to get really involved in a specialist field such as behavior will be limited in vet school, so again it might be better to get the best general education you can and then go for an internship at a school well known for the specialty. (Penn will not refuse your internship application just because you turned them down for vet school - they probably won't even know.)

    But the most important point is that if reputation matters to *you*, then you should go to the school with the best reputation, no question. Otherwise you will spend the rest of your life feeling slightly embarrassed and defensive when pepople ask you where you went to school. This is from personal experience - I never thought reputation mattered to me and I truly think I got a better undergrad education than people I knew at Princeton and Harvard, but now that my graduate class is full of people who went to those schools, damned if I don't feel defensive about my smallish state university...

    And regardless of anything else, Ime52007, if you've got the opportunity and the wherewithal, GO TO SYDNEY! I think the fact that it's exotic, and that you had the guts to turn down an acceptance to Penn to go there, will make up for the fact that nobody here knows Sydney's reputation. Hey, you *were* good enough for Penn, right? (Of course there may be practical considerations like licensing hoops to jump through that you should also factor in to the decision...)
     
  22. JIKJen124

    JIKJen124 5+ Year Member

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    That was a really nice reminder as to why I left the east coast after 7 years and really didn't shed a tear when I got rejected from Penn. Thanks! I was personally thinking of Ohio State when I made that statement, to answer your question. I look to see where the senior faculty from some of the east coast schools did their training you might be surprised to what you discover. They didn't all just train at Penn, Tufts, and Cornell.

    Also, I totally agree with what Kate said about great programs and advisors at universities where the reputation as a whole might not be as elite. Here I'm thinking of the TCC research at Purdue.

    Don't discount the quality of a program, just because it's at a state funded university.
     
  23. ri23

    ri23 OSU CVM Class of 2011 7+ Year Member

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    Though state vet schools may not have the same reputation to the general population that Cornell or Penn might have, the people that matter (those granting funding, hiring vets for jobs, selecting for internships) don't base admissions/positions on whether or not you went to a public or private school. Just because a school is private does not make it intrinsically better. Ranking wise, many state schools are ranked higher than Tufts (though obviously US News and World Reports rankings aren't the end all of rankings).

    I agree that for some professions, school ranking is extremely important (namey law), but I don't think the same can be said for vet school. A university like Ohio State, being the largest university in the country, can offer a lot of opportunities for students. If it is important to you, which it seems to be, to say that you went to an private school vet school that is fine, but I am somewhat offended that you constantly insinuate those who don't will have a harder time getting internships, residencies etc.
     
  24. sundoggie

    sundoggie UPenn Class of 2011 2+ Year Member

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    Jan 27, 2007
    Since I started this thread, I feel somewhat obligated to redirect this conversation. The purpose of this thread was merely to get opinions from students or prospective students on Penn vs Cornell because those are the only two I have to choose from (unless I also get in to Tufts). If people want to continue the state school vs private school debate or whether a big name matters, maybe we should have a thread with that as the topic. In the end, it is such an individual opinion, and either way you're going to be a vet!!! So let's focus on how exciting it is to get to go to vet school in the first place!! :)
     
  25. Pennvet

    Pennvet Goldmember 2+ Year Member

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    Touche', Sundoggie.
     
  26. cyrille104

    cyrille104 2+ Year Member

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    Jul 14, 2006
    I moved this post to the thread "State schools vs. private schools"
     
  27. cyrille104

    cyrille104 2+ Year Member

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    Jul 14, 2006
    I moved this post to the thread "State schools vs. private schools"
     

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