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Transfer to UCLA or Berkeley or stay at lower ranked UC

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by littlepuddle, May 15, 2014.

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  1. littlepuddle

    littlepuddle 2+ Year Member

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    Hello SDN,

    I have been accepted to UCLA and Berkeley for transfer as a junior and am currently at a lower ranked UC school. I imagine to most, transferring to either UCLA or Berkeley would be obvious. However, at my current UC I will be able to graduate next year versus two years at UCLA or Berkeley. I am currently, and I say this with all the modesty I can muster, doing very well academically at my current school. I am also volunteering at a hospital, hospice, going to a clinic on the weekends to provide information about free health services to the underserved, voluntarily tutoring high school students, am involved in a club on campus that raises awareness to the community about health risks, and have an supplemental instructor position for next year.

    Unfortunately, today my PI for my research lab asked me to leave as she felt I have not made great progress in my research and as I will be studying for the MCAT this summer, I will be unable to be in the lab as much this summer.

    I'm positive I could do well in all of my classes if I were to transfer to a new school, but as Berkeley and UCLA are known for being much more competitive academically, I do not know if I would be able to keep up so many extracurriculars, research (which I hope to get) with my grades. Also, I would have to get all of the extracurriculars I have now at my current UC and get them again at the school I would transfer to.

    If I am to stay at my current school, I know I would have to, and want to, get research again. However, as the quarter is almost over, and I will be unable to be in the lab as much over the summer, I wouldn't really be able to do anything substantial until the fall quarter, where I would have to adjust myself to the new lab and their topic of interest.

    What do you think I should do SDN? I'm feeling lost.
     
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  3. Reckoner

    Reckoner Lacks theology and geometry Gold Donor 5+ Year Member

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    Are you happy at your current school? If yes, stay.

    It's not like transferring is going to take away your problem of needing to get into a new lab.
     
    gyngyn likes this.
  4. littlepuddle

    littlepuddle 2+ Year Member

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    True. However the weight of the name behind UCLA and Berkeley makes me feel like I'm suppose to go. I do not have much "real world" experience, but from what I'm told the name of the school on your diploma means a lot and UCLA or Berkeley give that.
     
  5. BamaNicole

    BamaNicole New MS 4 2+ Year Member

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    The name on your degree may help you get jobs but it will not help you in medical school admissions. Go (or stay) where you feel you can perform well.
     
  6. hoihaie

    hoihaie Banned Banned

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    there is no benefit of going to ucla or berkeley when you're already this far in your college career, other than the prestige you think will look good to other (which wouldn't matter realistically anyways)
     
    gyngyn likes this.
  7. Reckoner

    Reckoner Lacks theology and geometry Gold Donor 5+ Year Member

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    However much the name of the school on your diploma matters (and that's hotly debated on here), it's generally accepted that your GPA, MCAT score, ECs, etc. are vastly more important. None of the UCs are going to hold you back from getting into any medical school if you take care of the rest of your application, so why not just stay where you're already comfortable and excel?

    If you want reassuring anecdotes: one of my friends, a Davis grad, was deciding between four med schools in the US News top ten last night.
     
    gyngyn likes this.
  8. DokterMom

    DokterMom 2+ Year Member

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    It sounds like you're a good-sized fish in your little puddle. No need to venture out into the ocean when you're thriving where you are.

    If you were at a Cal State vs a UC, my answer might be different, but at a UC, you're good.
     
    gyngyn likes this.
  9. justAstudent

    justAstudent SDN Gold Donor Gold Donor 5+ Year Member

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    It sounds like the environment you are in is perfect for you right now. Why risk the possibility of not doing as well and hurt your chances at medical school?
     
    gyngyn likes this.
  10. littlepuddle

    littlepuddle 2+ Year Member

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    You're right I am very comfortable at my current school and am trying to continue to add new extracurriculars and experiences each quarter. I'm just worried that with one year left to perform research in a lab that I'll have to adjust myself too, that I'll be able to produce something substantial...which I know will only come from hard persistent work.

    Also, the school name does worry me as medical schools may give higher preference to UCLA or Berkeley compared to what I'm doing at my current school.
     
  11. gyngyn

    gyngyn Professor Lifetime Donor Gold Donor SDN Moderator 5+ Year Member

    Then you might be surprised how much respect all the UC's get.
     
    littlepuddle likes this.
  12. VolunteerMoose

    VolunteerMoose

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    UC Merced. Respect.
     
    gyngyn likes this.
  13. ridethecliche

    ridethecliche Meep Meep Meep 5+ Year Member

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    My coworker went to a state school in minnesota and got into hokpins and chicago.

    It's not where you go, it's what you do. Especially for grad school!
     
  14. nabilesmail

    nabilesmail 7+ Year Member

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    Not worth it AT ALL. Do not transfer

    There are only cons:

    1) Harder to get good GPA
    2) Extra year to graduate= apply to med school 1 year later= 1 year loss of salary
    3) UCLA/Cal are good schools, but they are not OMG good, even the OMG good schools (Harvard, Yale, Stanford MIT etc) dont have too much weight over a state school given similar GPA's
     
    Starry likes this.
  15. littlepuddle

    littlepuddle 2+ Year Member

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    Thanks for the comments everyone, they mean a lot to me.
     
  16. lobo.solo

    lobo.solo 5+ Year Member

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    Pretty much this. I would be irrational to transfer IMO
     
  17. alamo4

    alamo4 Dudeist 2+ Year Member

    You might be interested in this Malcolm Gladwell video about relative ranking and relative success:
     
  18. MDforMee

    MDforMee Sweet Cheeks 2+ Year Member

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    If the OP is looking for more of a challenge, then I disagree. You're assuming that the OP is doing this solely to increase their chances for admission to medical school, and therefore, you're overlooking their motives and willingness to make some big sacrifices. There's more to life than GPAs, BamaNicole.

    To me, I think that their point in transferring may be to work harder, and compete with a higher caliber of students. Speaking for myself, I chose to go to a harder school (UCLA) because it was harder. The OP seems like one of the rare people on this board that is trying to increase their time (2 years vs 1) and workload, and I like that. Living in Los Angeles or Berkeley is guaranteed to be more expensive, too, and if the OP is willing to do this, I support their decision.

    But, I also think that the OP sounds a bit like the kids I knew in high school that always had to do 10 ECs. You know, the AP student body involvement dorks. If the OP is getting booted out of a lab as an undergraduate, that's not a good sign. Doing all of that stuff is meaningless if you don't have REAL involvement. Anybody could do low time investment gigs like what the OP is doing, while skating on committing seriously to a lab. My advice is to ditch half of that stuff and focus on what really interests you... and worry about adjusting academically to higher workloads, first.
     
    Last edited: May 16, 2014
  19. Surfer034

    Surfer034

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    I'm facing the exact opposite problem
     
  20. BamaNicole

    BamaNicole New MS 4 2+ Year Member

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    wow....this is horrible advice and you totally missed the point I was making. If they're comfortable, doing well and are about to graduate anyways, then there really isn't a point to transfer.

    I speak as a Cal alum, as a transfer student and an incoming medical student. I loved the challenge. I loved Berkeley. However, if I was already at a UC, doing well and able to graduate a year earlier than if I transferred, I would have stayed. Why? Money is one. Do you really want to pay a full year of tuition in the name of prestige? Remember that's debt added onto your student debt which will only grow exponentially when you get into med school.

    Reading your posts around here, mdformee, you seem to be really REALLY stuck on prestige. Yes, it does matter if you were going to go out into the workforce for a job. I've landed many jobs where I'm pretty sure it was the name on my degree that got me there. One for example was when I worked in a clinical setting and I was the only one that did not have a master's degree.

    For medical school admissions, no matter how many times you say it....no matter how many times you write it.....no one cares what school you go to. What they care about is your GPA, your MCAT score and what you've done outside of that. At the OP's current school, he/she seems like they're doing well (especially to garner a transfer since you're the last priority for a transfer if you're already at a UC), they are able to get research positions (which is hard to do at Cal since you're a dime a dozen and every lab is slammed with people) and are already set to graduate. They will be able to get another lab.....but I can promise you that at least at Cal it will be an impossible fight to get into one.....and for what? The name of prestige? Once you're out application cycle, you will realize no one will pat you on the head or give you brown points because you went to a "harder" school or majored in a "hard" major. In reality, no one cares. The sooner you realize that the sooner you'll be better off.
     
  21. gonnif

    gonnif Only 1285 Days Until Next Presidential Election Lifetime Donor 7+ Year Member

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    The Big Bad Apple
  22. MrLogan13

    MrLogan13 2+ Year Member

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    If you like your current school, stay. I went to the newest UC campus (ha, not hard to figure out) as a non-trad transfer student. I chose that campus despite getting into the more well known campuses because of better opportunities there (better student:instructor ratio, etc). I am currently a second year graduate student working on a Masters Degree, and while that is not exactly the same comparison to being admitted to medical school, I was able to get acceptances at all four schools I applied to. If you like your school, are doing well, and are taking advantage of the resources and opportunities that are available to you, where you are going to school won't make too much of a difference.
     
  23. mizzu

    mizzu Banned Banned Account on Hold

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    Your PI asked you to leave :0

    You don't spend enough time in lab, and you think transferring will give you better results with research when the courses get harder?

    Stay and get a good GPA
     
  24. littlepuddle

    littlepuddle 2+ Year Member

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    For the record, my PI asked me to leave because I told her I won't be able to be in the lab as much this summer because I'll be devoting myself entirely to studying for the MCAT. I really don't mind being asked to leave, I'll start fresh next year in a new lab, hopefully the techniques I learned in my old lab will be relevant, when I'll have a lighter schedule (only need 5 more classes to graduate but will wait until spring to graduate) and be able to spend more time in the lab.
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2014
  25. youmed

    youmed 5+ Year Member

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    Transferring will more likely worsen your chance at finding a lab position. Stay where you are, keep up the good work, and be glad that you didn't transfer when you get accepted to medical school.
     

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