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Apr 10, 2023
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School 1: UCLA (IS)

  • went to UCLA for undergrad (familiarity)
  • fam is in socal
  • campus
  • weather
  • great speciality match rates
  • cheaper housing options?
  • honors
  • students seem super stressed
  • hard to find patients
School 2: UCSF (IS)

  • well-balanced/happy students
  • new experience/city (have lived in bay area but not the city)
  • smaller class size
  • easy to find patients
  • not rly a campus and sf has gotten a bit sketchy
  • bad weather
  • further from home
Summary: I’m super grateful to have these options as I want to stay in CA but I’m slightly leaning towards UCLA just because I think it’s important to be near family and my support system as dental school can be rly tough. I’ve heard that UCSF’s curriculum is slightly “easier” and students have more time so they definitely seem a lot happier and balanced. I am leaning towards specializing but am not 100% sure. Both schools are prestigious, have similar tuition proves, and have super old facilities so that doesn’t help much with my decision. I also want to stay in socal after dental school. Any insight would be much appreciated! Thanks!

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easy, UCLA...
Last edited by a moderator:
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I don't see your negatives for either school as being significant. If you like the specialty match rates at UCLA, having honors grading should make sense. Weather matters if the student clinic has lots of natural light... ;)

If the support system is important to you, stay near home. But can you block out all the distractions of being a double alum at UCLA? Your priority isn't mentoring undergrads once you start dental school... those will be adjunct goals to your real task (to graduate). Will your family help you with studying or getting patients from their friends and networks?

If you have to commute to school, you would be stressed out on the 405 too. UCSF is navigable with public transport and the UCSF shuttles. I also don't think you will be lonely if you went to UCSF... it is a graduate campus so finding some like-minded individuals won't be as challenging as you believe.

Of course, I don't think you'd go wrong either way. You get the benefit of choice. Aside from cost, how each supports its students is where I look carefully. Certainly, whichever one is cheaper should take the lead.