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Problems choosing major and the School

Discussion in 'What Are My Chances?' started by gsaldana10, Jul 30, 2011.

  1. gsaldana10

    5+ Year Member

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    Hello everyone, I am Giancarlo and currently a community college student at Harold Washington college (Chicago). I have a current GPA of 3.91 and can speak spanish fluently. I always wanted go Med school at John Hopkins (yeah yeah, seems impossible but that's my dream school). Now, I recently got accepted into a research internship and one of my instructors told me that going to UIC (University of Illinois at chicago to persuade a biochemistry degree) or even UIUC (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; same reason) is not gonna help me get into Med school at John hopkins or Harvard because of something called academic pedigree. Well, then I realized that getting a biochemistry degree at UIC or UIUC was not gonna help me since these two school aren't "top schools" for that degree, so I changed my major. Now, I wanna get a degree in Civil engineering at UIUC with a minor in molecular and cellular biology. The Civil engineering program at UIUC is considered the second best program in the US (and perhaps in the world), so I thought that getting a degree in a school where the program is considered to be one of the best in the world would give me an advantage. Also, since is not a science major, I would be considered a well-rounded student. I don't mind dealing with physics or math, I like both of them. Recently, I heard that going into any engineering program for a pre-med stundent is a risky decision because of the GPA. I don't know what that means. Please, i need help here. In order to get into those schools like Harvard or John Hopkins, do I really need to go to a prestige school? Also, is engineering a good way to persuade a carrer in medicine? What are the pros and cons? What would you recomend me?

    PS: I love chem and biology. I like physics and math. I hate english and writing.

    Thanks to everyone
    Have a great day.
    Best Regards.
    Giancarlo Saldana
     
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  3. Whatyousay

    Whatyousay A few loose screws
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    I have a better question: Is there any reason why you want to go to Johns Hopkins or Harvard other than for the name on the degree?

    Don't do engineering just because you want to impress adcoms. Engineering is a field of study that requires a massive time commitment (relative to other majors), and I guarantee that your grades will suffer if you don't have an interest in the subject area. Regardless of what lip-service adcoms make about taking into account the difficulty of your major, a 3.5 in engineering is going to be less competitive than a 3.9 in something else.

    Do well in your major, do well on the MCAT, be actively involved in a variety of ECs, and you can go wherever you want.

    Here's someone who went to a private institution that's not necessarily highly regarded, but did well in the application cycle due to the quality of their stats/ECs:

    http://forums.studentdoctor.net/showthread.php?t=839259
     
  4. nheit

    5+ Year Member

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    You can be the first physician to design the hospital in which you work! No, but in all seriousness, I think it's not a good idea to major in civil engineering just because U of I's program is one of the best. That would be a good idea if you wanted to be a, umm, civil engineer perhaps? You could always play the card where you say you always wanted to be an engineer and went to U of I instead of an Ivy League school because their program is awesome, and then somewhere along the way realized, "Alas, I want to be a doctor." From your story that would be an absolute LIE, however, and you also gave your name (assuming you're not posing as someone else) so anonymity is thrown out of the window. If I were you, I'd go to either Illinois school, major in something chemistry or biology related (since you like them so much,) and if you really want to go to Hopkins or Harvard, destroy the MCAT. Also, do a lot of research and volunteering. It wouldn't hurt to do something else really amazing that will blow the Hopkins and HMS adcoms away :laugh:.

    Just an afterthought, Illinois-UC is a really good school. It may not be on the Ivy League's level in terms of quality and reputation, but if you do well there and on the MCAT, you should have a decent array of options.
     
  5. gsaldana10

    5+ Year Member

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    Hello guys, thanks for your awesome replies. You all rock! But i still need more suggestions, how come my post is not getting replies? (I mean more than 2)
     
  6. somepremedkid

    2+ Year Member

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    No. It's not about where you go; it's more about how and what you do at a particular school.

    No, it's not a good way if your only intention is to impress the admissions committee of medical schools. Major in something that you enjoy AND have the ability to do well in. We can't recommend a major. Only YOU can decide that for yourself. After all, it's you who is going to pursue the coursework.

    :luck:
     
  7. Chunkle

    7+ Year Member

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    It doesn't matter where you go

    Major in something you enjoy, but I would under schedule a bit

    Get a high GPA/MCAT

    Don't be picky with applying to medical schools
     
  8. gsaldana10

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    thanks guys! :D i guess will go to UIC and get my bachelors in biochemistry :) :D:luck:
     
  9. kautionwirez

    kautionwirez Hadoken!
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    I graduated with a biochem major, doing research in biochemistry and I LOVE IT.

    Do something you love.

    Also tackle down your weaknesses, you shouldn't avoid it. It's gonna be on the MCAT so you better start reading. (you need 6 months of intense reading comprehension before taking the MCAT or you'll end up sub 10 if you dont read a lot, like me).
     
  10. Scherbatsky

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    Ultimately, you want to choose a major and a school that you'll enjoy. If you're miserable, your GPA will reflect that.

    Also, engineering is a little risky because it's notorious for it's brutal workload. You'll have to work your *** off even more than other people to get a competitive GPA there, but it's possible.

    You also want to make sure you're able to take the core sciences necessary to write a good MCAT and survive in med school.

    Besides, I think a great GPA at a mid-tier undergrad school still looks better than a mediocre GPA at a top undergrad school.

    Best of luck!
     

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