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UCLA, UC Berkeley, UC Davis, UC Irvine, UCSD for undergrad

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by Bza, Mar 22, 2007.

  1. obgyny

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    This is a really old thread!! I decided to go to UCI and I've already graduated (back in 2009) with a BS in Neurobiology.
     
    #1 obgyny, Mar 22, 2007
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2010
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  3. Green Pirate

    Green Pirate Neurotic Neuro Enthusiast

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    yes I've heard the same things bout UCB and UCLA. I don't think it would kill you to go to a school like UCI or UCD that has less severe competition since undergrad prestige isn't a huge factor in med school admissions.
     
  4. Nevadanteater

    Nevadanteater biochemical engine

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    I graduated from UCI.

    I was pre-med/bio until the middle of my second year when I switched to chemistry, so I won't talk about the bio program or pre-med stuff, but I can comment extensively about other stuff.

    Campus: Pretty awesome. Beautiful park in the middle of the school. Interesting layout, mixture of awesomely beautiful and awesomely ugly buildings. Generally friendly student body, great clubs and orgs. Anteater recreation center = great facility. New student center is opening this fall - it is shaping up to be pretty awesome. The PUB will be returning (UCI's best non-academic thing).

    Housing: New students are guaranteed 2 years on-campus housing - i think this extends to transfers. The new on campus apartments are AMAZING.

    Surrounding Areas: Pretty Dire. The city of irvine is the worst of suburbia. Fortunately newport and huntington beach are nearby - much more fun to be had. Great music scene here in Orange County - much less pretentious than LA. Nice hiking in east county.

    Research: I had no trouble finding research projects to work on. Even though I was in chemistry, i'm pretty sure biology is the same. If you show interest in the subject and are intellegent enough, you're good to go.

    I'm sure there's more to talk about, but I'm drawing a blank now...I'll let the other Anteaters (best.mascot.ever.) fill you in
     
  5. Dr_Berk

    Dr_Berk New Member

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    I did my undergrad at UCB. I also took classes at UCI after graduating.

    Since you're on this website before you even get into college, I think you'll fit right in at Berkeley. UCI is significantly easier.
     
  6. obgyny

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    how will using this website make me fit in at berk?? how was UCI easier than UCB?

    i don't know if it's worth it to go to a hypercompetitive school, such as UCLA or UCB, and let my GPA suffer, or to go to an "easier" school, such as UCD or UCI, and get a higher GPA, if it is true that ur GPA is more important than ur undergrad school's prestige.
     
  7. go lakers

    go lakers Senior Member

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    UCSD is pretty competitive for pre-meds too. We're a dime a dozen here and there are LOT of research opportunities and ~3 hospitals near campus to work at, but it's pretty hard to stand out from here. Also tough to get to know your professors very well.
     
  8. kelvin81

    kelvin81 Member

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    I went to UCI as an undergrad and I was a transfer student too. The first and foremost advice I can give you is if you aim at going to med school and wanna build up your application, you can't be wrong with UCI. I got in UCB ( with scholarship), UCLA, UCSD when I applied to transfer and I decided to go to UCI (also got a fullride here) to save myself some money since I could live at home. It turned out later that I felt in love with UCI and was very happy that I had decided to go there. Research in bio is extremely available and plenty. So you won't have to fight with other pre-meds over research positions, which happens at UCLA or UCB. And Irvine or Orange County in general is very peaceful and culturally diverse. As a community college transfer, I know it's a tough path to get into med school, especially top med schools. I was told more than once that I should consider pharmacy instead of medicine by my community college advisors. You really need to plan ahead and do it right. PM me if you have any more questions,I'll be more than happy to answer them to the best of my knowledge.
     
  9. notdeadyet

    notdeadyet Still in California
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    He's a sophomore transferring in as a junior, which probably makes him as old as most people on this site.

    OP- I had to choose amongst the UCs and narrowed it down to UCSC and Cal and went with UCSC.

    Cal and UCLA are both great schools, but you have to consider what you're lookin for. The huge lecture hall classes with cramped classes did not appeal to me. At the smaller UCs, you have a much better opportunity to interact with faculty and other students. I'm not slamming Cal and UCLA, just saying their educational environment isn't for everyone. It definitely wasn't for me.
     
  10. notdeadyet

    notdeadyet Still in California
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    And if you narrow it down to Cal or UCLA, choose geography. The two areas couldn't be more different.

    Same with UCD, UCI or UCSD. Very different scenes. Davis is northern california (albeit inland). UCI is (as someone pointed out) in suburban hell, but near nice things. UCSD is next to the beach, but SD itself can be a bit of a cultural wasteland and students used to be pretty competitive (don't know if this is still the case).

    Go where you'll be happiest. The reputation amongst the different UCs is overblown when you're applying to medical schools. All are University of California, all are solid and respected.
     
  11. Charlottefromca

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    I completely agree, you'll get a solid education at any UC.

    I go to UC-Davis and I have to say the people generally are very friendly. I didn't get into UC-Berkeley or UCLA so I'm not going to pretend I chose Davis over these schools, but I do not regret going to Davis one bit. I hear all the time of Berkeley students complaining about curves lowering their scores, let me tell you this has NEVER happened to me in Davis.

    I agree though, you should also look and see how you will fit in with each UC, socially and geographically. I chose UC-Davis over UCI and UCSB just because its closer to my home.

    UC-Davis = nice college town, very charming small town feel. As for night life, we have bars and all that but if you want to go clubbing you'd have to go to Sacramento.

    A lot of people complain there is nothing to do in Davis, but you learn to have fun with what the town has to offer, its definately not UCLA, in the middle of everything. If you are a city slicker by heart then I wouldn't suggest UCD.

    Either way, go to UCI, UCD, UCSD, UCB, UCLA, you'll get a great education at any of these schools, they all have great research opportunities and have amazing science programs.
     
  12. viciouz

    viciouz WesternU 2013

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    I am currently a 3rd year at UCI. I've gotten to know my profs really well, met a lot of good people, and I love the area. I basically came from a town like UCI so I fit right in.

    I think UCI's curriculum isn't as tough as it could be... but just make sure you do well and you'll come out a winner at whatever UC school you go to. Personally, I would go to the school with less competition, I still have to study harder than my fellow classmates to beat the curve.
     
  13. Ihateverbal

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    I went to UCLA and all my friends who are applying wish they went elsewhere...it's very competitive here..and regardless of the UC you go to, every school awards a certain number of As.

    Think about it..if you are the same gunner-ness, you should probably go to a less competitive school in which you can be at the top of your class and shine. Furthermore, your same gunnerness may not land you certain leadership positions research experiences if you went to a more competitive school, because everyone is competing for those opportunities. Just my two cents. So I would recommend you go to the school you think woudl be easiest for you and truly make the most out of yourself.
     
  14. Dr_Berk

    Dr_Berk New Member

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    Being on premed forums strategizing before even starting college seems really hardcore to me. UCB prides itself in hardcore competitive students. haha. I wish I had the same level of focus at that time. ***oops...missed the transfer part...I guess since ur transferring, it is time to worry.

    My grades were a letter grade higher at UCI with the same lack of studying. The professors are more straightforward, you know what to expect, tests are fair, tests are easier...still...somehow curves are just as low. I took about 9 upper division bio classes at UCI and most MCB classes at Berkeley.

    You should also consider semesters vs. quarters. The two systems make all the difference. If you like to pace ur studying, semester system would work better since you get more time inbetween tests. If you're a crammer like me, the quarter system is better cuz each test only covers about 5wks and the final only about 10wks.

    I really don't think that the prestige of one school makes up for the GPA difference. Some of my friends say 3.8 at Berkeley is better than 4.0 at UCI. I think if you have either of those GPAs at either school, I don't think you have anything to worry about anyways. I think the issue is more 3.0 at berkeley vs. 3.8 at uci.

    I also agree with kelvin. UCI does allow more opportunities (actually less and less as it grows) in terms of research. Berkeley is known for researchless undergrads...few positions with many applicants.

    It really comes down to you. Berkeley does have opportunities...some of the best at that. And people do get 4.0s at Berkeley.

    You could be a big fish in a small sea or a small fish in a big sea. Of course, nothing beats being the big fish in a big sea...and someone has gotta be that. (Metaphors do it best)

    Good luck wherever you go.
     
  15. rich4k

    rich4k Member

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    UCSD is pretty competitive, but a lot of research opportunities. I couldn't even volunteer in the ED or ICU at one of the hospitals because of all the premeds!
     
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  17. bobdogsam43

    bobdogsam43 New Member

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    if you can get through 4 years of Berkeley then you can "pretty much do anything" (cliche i know....but it's true)....4 years of pre-med is very trying... this place will straighten you up real quick. It's veryyy academically intense with no hand-holding. Like I said, if you can get through here with a good GPA, EC's, etc etc then that's saying sometin'
     
  18. SeventhSon

    SeventhSon SIMMER DOWN

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    are you sure you aren't just saying this based on the reputation of the med school :laugh: :laugh:
     
  19. paranoid_eyes

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    so yourself a favor and don't go to LA, Cal, or SD. Go to Davis or SB. Davis and SB are both FINE schools (academically and socially) and you will find it much less cutthroat and more enjoyable. If you get into LA and Cal, it means you're smart, so save some stress and don't kill yourself at the top UCs.
     
  20. oxeye

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    I was a CA CC transfer student as well. I applied to UCD, UCSD, UCLA, and UCB. I chose Berkeley. I ranked them for myself as UCB, then UCLA, UCSD, and UCD.

    All are great schools, but I decided Berkeley just fit best for me. I didn't experience the pre-med competitiveness because I wasn't premed at the time. ;) I took most of the pre-med courses at the community college, the rest I did as a post-bacc at a non-CA university. So I can't help you there. When I transferred as a junior I was just doing my upper-division major requirements and a few electives here and there.

    I love the city of Berkeley. It took some getting used to because is a very unique place, but I was so sad to leave when I graduated! I'm a little bit "crunchy" anyway so I fit right in, though. ;)

    One thing to consider is cost of living if that is an issue. Berkeley was not a cheap place to live. My 250 square foot studio apartment was over $1000/month rent 5+ years ago. I doubt prices have dropped since I left.

    They are all really good schools, though and I had a tough time deciding. You will get a good education wherever you go - one of the joys of being in CA!! I think I want to move back by the time my kids are college age so that they have access to all those schools with in-state tuition. :laugh:
     
  21. weathertalk

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    Go to Berkeley. That way you never have to explain your decision when someone asks you why on earth you turned down Cal for a lesser UC.

    I think I'm a little biased :p
     
  22. anteater14

    anteater14 Junior Member

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    Putting in my two cents for UCI -

    Science Library ::: I practically lived here for four years. Great study rooms to check out, as well as other areas that are ideal for studying.

    Research::: Don't know anyone that didn't have a research position - something for everyone! The Med Center is about 20 min away, but there is a shuttle that goes between campuses.

    Sports::: We may not be March Madness bound yet, but I have a feeling the next couple years may be great ==== oh, and the 2008 NCAA Volleyball Championships will be at UCI:thumbup:

    Competition ::: Most classes are curved, and even strong students get tutoring - so its also competitive

    Got accepted to SD and LA too and ended up at Irvine, and don't regret it at all!!
     
  23. ryanpahler

    ryanpahler New Member

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    Just go to Stanford dude!
     
  24. batman1983

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    Hello,
    After reading several posts, I felt compelled to give my opinions on schools and premed programs, especially since I wished someone had given me this advice before I decided on going to UCB. As for myself, I graduated from Cal in May 2006 with a degree in Molecular Biology and am currently trying to apply to medical school, but most likely will have to reapply again, since I took the MCAT in August and applied to schools later in the cycle. I have a 34R MCAT, 3.6 GPA, a 3.5 BCPM, and have taken all my college classes at Cal, so I do not have a bias of being against Cal because I did poorly there. Hopefully, I would just like to give a true account of my experiences there, as well as explain my personal reasons for not doing premed at Cal.

    1. While UCB does have a great reputation, mostly based on its high US News rankings, that does not necessarily imply that it is a better school. I personally believe those rankings are skewed in the sense that they favor too heavily on admissions selectivity and professor credentials, and not enough on student satisfaction. Furthermore, according to what I have heard about the medical school admissions committees, as well as the people I know that have gotten into medical school, I do not think that the UCB or any school's prestige factor really matters. Obviously, if two people applied to medical school with identical stats(say MCAT=31, GPA=3.6), except one to UCB and the other went to Chico State, there will be favoring by the admissions committee towards the Berkeley guy since they understand that Cal's undergrad program is more difficult than the Chico guy. Yet, what is hard for the admissions committees to quantify is how to select between the UCB and Chico applicant if they were identical in every way, except GPA (lets say, UCB=3.3, Chico=3.7). From my experiences, it seems like there would be a preference towards the Chico guy, even though, I believe that a person with a 3.3 GPA at Cal, can easily get a 4.0 at Chico.

    2. When people say that Cal's premed program is competitive, they are not joking. Since all premed courses at Cal are curved, and most of the people there are smart and hardworking, this creates an environment where professors are forced to give extremely difficult tests just to generate a fair grade distribution. To do this, many professors create exams where they focus on the most minute details, and not on the important or essential concepts. For example, I knew a person that got an A in one of my bio classes, yet could not understand the concepts of cellular respiration, but knew all the protein carriers involved in the ETC mechanism. In addition, because of the competitive nature of the premeds at Cal, there is a lot of cheating at Cal. I remember one incident, where a student actually stole a professor's computer right after class because he thought the exam was on it, and afterwards, the professor gave bogus threats to the class about how he had confidential NIH and CDC info on it. Check out the webcast of his threats:
    http://www.ifilm.com/video/2669314?loomia_si=1Also, it is not unusually for students to try to hurt other students either by giving them wrong information, messing up their experiments, and etc.

    3. UCB is a research school, not a teaching school, and for the most part, it seems like that research side is limited for graduate students there. What I mean by this statement is that many of the professors at Cal are there because of their research, and not their teaching ability, and thus, teaching for them is of little importance. While I have had some great professors at Cal, they were easily by the numerous professors that do not teach or just dont put any effort into it. I had one professor that would just come to class and make up his lectures on the fly, telling us to just read the textbook for the proper information. Furthermore, the premed courses at Cal are huge. I think the smallest premed course I had consisted of about 250-300 students, whereas my general Chemistry class had about 1200-1500 students. It can create an environment that makes learning more difficult.In addition, it is competitive to even get research experience at Cal, especially a position that doesn't require you to do bull**** tasks like clean petri dishes, remove rat feces, and etc. I believe that this is because of the fact that there such a large supply of students that want to get research experience and limited number of openings available.

    4.Letters of Rec: While I was able to get great letters of rec from my professors, due to the fact that I did extremely well in their classes and was able to use that as a way to interact with them better, I can understand how its difficult for other UCB students to get letters of rec. Since the classes are large, it is hard to get a personal interaction with professor in class, and thus, one will be forced to go to a professor's office hours to try to interact with them. Yet, even in office hours, many professors are either aloof towards students, or are being swamped by several other students that are in the same position as you.

    5. MCAT Preparation: Many people might argue that going to Cal will prepare you better for the MCAT, stating that UCB people have a higher MCAT avg than the other UCs, but I personally believe that is a bunch of BS. I do not disagree that UCB students have a higher MCAT average, but I do not believe that it is due to the education at Cal, but rather, it is just a correlation. As mentioned earlier, I think that the teaching instruction can be lacking depending on the professor. Personally, I believe that the reason why UCB students have higher MCAT averages is due to the following reasons:
    A. Hardwork: To succeed at Cal, you must be hardworking, and I think that it instills in its students a work ethic that allows them to prepare for and succeed on the MCATs.
    B. Selectivity: While the MCAT is based on premed knowledge, it is inherently, an intelligence/logic test, where one must incorporate their premed knowledge to solve passages related to subjects they know nothing about. Many people might disagree with me on this, and I do agree that there are many factors that can influence one's MCAT score, as well as there are certain biases in it, but I believe essentially that it is an intelligence test. I am willing to bet that on average, people with higher SATs, will score higher on the MCAT, and since schools, such as UCB are selectively towards higher SATs, UCB's higher MCAT average is more of an indication of its student pool, and less of its educational program.

    In the end, I am not saying that you cant succeed as a premed at Cal, because that is obviously not true, but you will have to put in additional effort, work that could have been easily avoided by going to an easier school or lesser UC. If I had to do it all over again, I probably would have gone to UCI, SDSU, or some other school, where I would have been able to have 3.9-4.0 GPA with less effort, which when combined with my MCAT, would probably have made me a strong medical school applicant, rather than just an average California applicant. If you decide on going to medical school and want to go to Cal, I would recommend that you take your premed courses either at a Bay Area JC or even at a lower tier school in the area, such as San Francisco or San Jose State. I know several UCB premeds that are doing that, and they will probably get the best of both worlds. These are just my opinions on my time at Berkeley, and I hope it can be of some assistance.

    -Take care and good luck
    Batman1983

    PS. Sorry for any grammatical/spelling errors, I am running short on time
     
  25. Dancer77

    Dancer77 New Member

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    Wow, Batman, that was a very detailed and thorough response regarding Cal. Being a Cal Alum myself, I thought I would also give my 2 cents. I agree with a great majority of what you wrote. I just wanted to elaborate on the fact that it takes a very specific kind of personality to enjoy/do well at Cal. If you are the kind of person who needs hand-holding and lots of personal attention from professors, then you will absolutely hate Cal. For me, I am more of an independent learner and don't really absorb material until I go over it myself anyway, so the large class sizes at Cal really didn't bother me.

    Cal however offers many pre-med opportunties that are virtually non-existent at other undergrad schools. There are amazing community service opportunities, medical ethics courses, intense doctor shadowing programs, and teaching opportunities. At my med school interviews, my interviewers repeatedly commented on my unique extra curricular activities, and these would definitely not have been possible at any school other than Cal.

    Berkeley is also a very culturally diverse environment. I moved there from Orange County... so obviously I experienced severe culture shock. I think being in such a politically active environment, surrounded by people who care deeply about a MANY different issues really helped me grow as a person and discover/explore the issues that really mattered to me. I guess the point of this last paragraph is to highlight how attending Cal helps you grow BEYOND the classroom in a way that you probably wouldn't attending other schools.

    Ok, sorry for the rambling session... feel free to agree/disagree :)
     
  26. bobdogsam43

    bobdogsam43 New Member

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    if you consider a 3.6/3.5 from Berkeley to be bad then wow....
     
  27. BKMD

    BKMD Junior Member

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    Loved it, partied too much.

    It's a small college town that is really safe and you can ride your bike almost anywhere. Cost of living(ie. rent, food, entertainment) is probably the cheapest of all the shools you've listed. If you're into theater and other "cultural" things you might not get as much as by the other UCs. I loved it because I just made great friends and hung out. Alot of people weren't happy because they wanted night life like big clubs and would to to Sacramento for that. For the most part the professors are pretty kind. Premed competition is fierce, but I think that's the case anywhere. I know 9 students are at UCSF so it must be okay in their eyes at least. Any more questions PM me. Good luck on your choices.
     
  28. Nevadanteater

    Nevadanteater biochemical engine

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    thanks. people need to remember this fact.
     
  29. njrpeter

    njrpeter New Member

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    I'm gonna try and give a detailed description for you of where I stand re: UCD. Out of highschool, I basically chose UCD just because of it's proximity to my sister who is 13 years older than me and moved out for college/real life @ 18 when I was only 5. So, I wanted to live near her since I hadn't for over a decade.

    I always considered myself a 'city guy' and I lived internationally for a lot of ll imy life. When I got to Davis, I was really bitter and depressed. I didn't know ANYONE and could hardly relate to cali born-and-raised people who hadn't set foot out of their state. I would curse the heavens every time I saw a damn cow and actually filled out a transfer app for NYU at one point cause I thought I just couldn't take anymore of this no-name cow-town school.

    But as the years went by, I realized that my science classes at Davis were actually..pretty damn good. Just about every professor I had really cared about students and - even tho I've had some bad profs - almost all, to some extent, actually WANTED to teach and not just go back to their labs to research.

    I eventually realized that in a school w/ 30k kids, there are ALWAYS people to meet who you have stuff in common with. And Davis's biology majors are really fantastic programs that are challenging but not super competitive. I've never had a single 'gunner' experience like the ones I hear on SDN from UCLA or Johns Hopkins or wherever, and I'm a very non-competitive person. Many of my science classes are normalized to the highest grade achieved on the test, but not curved. That means that, in theory, EVERYONE in the class can get an A. I've never had to fight a curve at UCD - tests are often challenging, but if you know your ****, you can do well without having to compete with other students.

    UCD's premed advising programs is fantastic. They have advisors who are super nice and have tons of experience, and really want to help you get into school. They'll edit your essays for free, and advising is very 'obvious' on campus - if you need help or clarification on anything (premed or otherwise), there is an advising office somewhere that will help you out.

    In the end, I'm a senior at Davis now and went from hating it to loving it between my first and third year. I did well on the MCAT (which my friends agreed that UCD's science classes did a GREAT job prepping us for), did well in my classes, and I got in to some top 20 med schools. Overall, I feel like UCD is a super laid back place that does a great job encouraging students to be successful with a good mix of hand-holding if you need it and independant learning if you don't. It got me where I wanted to go, and I grudgingly admit that if I went back in time, I would tell myself to go to UCD again. As far as the science/premed education goes, you'll be able to hang with any joe from Harvard or anywhere else. You've got to look at the complaints people have about schools - UCB kids complain about how tough science courses are, and how you're always competing with others...UCLA kids hate on their school left and right over the quality of their profs, lack of help from others (students and advisors) and stuff like that. I dunno much about the other UC's, but the only complaints I've ever had or heard about Davis are along the lines of restaraunts not staying open late enuf, the occasional hard-to-understand foreign prof who nevertheless does his/her best to teach you, or there not being a crazy party-till-6am nightlife... Hardly serious criticisms compared to what I hear's wrong with other UC's. If you want to go LEARN from good teachers in a laid back town with really friendly people in an atmosphere that encourages everyone to do well and has tons of opportunities for research, EC's, tough/fun/interesting classes and a decent, if not Ivy League, reputation, Davis is where it's at.
     
  30. anteater14

    anteater14 Junior Member

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    UCI has a D1 basketball team. Beat Stanford last year, and USC this year... USC ... as in the Gamecocks of the University of South Carolina ...

    Not AP 25 status, but fun if you're into the mid-major scene.
     
  31. musiclvr

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    I'm a ucd alum and I definately agree with most of what njrpeter wrote. Advising IS super. Curves generally only help you. and research/clinicall experience is quite plentiful. i was a transfer too who got into the same schools. and I chose davis because i found the environment very supportive. pm me if you have more specific questions.
     
  32. Nevadanteater

    Nevadanteater biochemical engine

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    2002 - UCI lost to UCLA by a single point. a L for us, but really, beating UCI by a single point is pretty much an L for you too...
     
  33. obgyny

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    first of all, i'm female (some of u kept referring to me as "he"). it's ok, u had no way of knowing just by looking at my username....

    second of all,

    wow. i can't believe so many ppl replied to my post!

    thank u all for taking the time to reply about ur experiences, i really appreciate it!!:)

    i know all of the schools are great, but this makes it even harder to decide between them. i've scheduled a couple campus visits to some of the UC's, which will hopefully help me with my decision.

    one big factor i worry about is the fierce competition. don't get me wrong, i'm pretty competitive, but i'm not "cut-throat" competitive, and i don't want to be around all of the cheating and sabotage. i love to do study groups and i am willing to help out my fellow classmates.

    although i'm doing extremely well in all of my community college classes, i know it will be very different at the universities. there is virtually no competition in my classes. i don't know how i would do when i'm put into a class full of 300 cut-throat premeds. of course, i picked very premed-ish majors at the UCs:

    Berk: Integrative Bio
    LA: Physiological Sci
    Davis: Neurobiology, Physio, and Behavior
    Irvine: Bio Sci
    SD: Human Bio

    i'm leaning towards going to a less competitive school right now, but i'm still keeping an open mind. UCLA sent me a Regents Scholarship application, so if i get this, it might change things a bit....
     
  34. paranoid_eyes

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    :eek: oh my god, save urself some stress and don't do phy sci. I HIGHLY suggest psychobio or MCDB. Physci MAY help you ever so slightly in medical school, but you have to get into medical school and phy sci will make it harder than it already is.
     
  35. obgyny

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    why would u say majoring in physio sci would make it "harder than it already is?" i've heard it's the most hypercompetitve premed major at UCLA, but its what i'm interested in.
     
  36. paranoid_eyes

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    if ur interested in physci just major in it, because if its genuine interest you will probably do well.
     
  37. ItOnlyTakesOne

    ItOnlyTakesOne un.be.lieve.able

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    I was a physci major at UCLA and loved it...

    I remember hearing at my orientation freshman year that physci was the most competitive major at UCLA and full of pre-meds (I wasn't pre-med at the time, just kind of a science nred) so I stayed away from it for two years becuase I was scared of it. Then I finally realized that was the stuff I actually wanted to learn (no animal physiology, sorry bio majors, or virology for me) and I switched into it and never looked back.

    Yes, it's hard. And yes, it's full of pre-meds. But not every pre-med is a uber-competitive freak who won't help you in case you do better on the test than they do. Actually, I found that more people were just normal, trying to get through the hard stuff just like everyone else.

    So, if that's what you want to do, then just do it. It's really interesting, and you can stay as far away from the stereotypical pre-meds as you want, there are 30,000 students at UCLA after all :p
    Just my $.02
     
  38. narc

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    #36 narc, Mar 24, 2007
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2011
  39. TM2006

    TM2006 Member

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    stop this bs...you have done well in JC...just make your parents proud and go to Cal.

    The people who complain about 'toughness' of classes are going to thoroughly get burnt in medical school anyway. They should stop blaming the system and rather use the opportunity to learn how to work harder/smarter.

    You earn your grades in Berkeley and if you're uncomfortable with being ranked on your capabilities...then Cal's not the place for you.

    Go Bears!

    p.s. Regardless of the academic strength, no one can honestly compare UCI/UCD (and even UCSD's) social/city life to Cal/UCLA or UCSB. You want to have fun while you still can...
     
  40. Arc

    Arc

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    Im almost in the same boat as the threadstarter. What was your GPA to get into UCI ?
     
  41. batman1983

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    I think njrpeter's post basically summarizes the UCs in a nutshell. While all the schools do have students that go to medical school, you have to ask yourself what are you looking for when going to college, as well as how will it help you in your future goals. As for me, I was ignorant about colleges when I was applying, and based most of my decisions on the "prestige" factor, as well as the fact that I would save $80K relative to the Ivys. But, from what I have heard about UCD and UCI, they seem like great schools, where the students actually enjoy going there for the education. I remember actually reading an article about how UCD churns out one of the highest number of students that go on to higher level education, so that must say alot about the school. Furthermore, I heard that UCD has largest number of alumni that are doing their graduate and post doc at UC Berkeley. If you are looking for the social aspect, then UCB or UCLA is probably better choices since they are located in major cities, but I wouldnt expect much from UCB in terms of Greek life. They cracked down on it pretty hard.

    As for the post about 3.5/3.6 GPA at UC Berkeley, I think that is a great GPA at Cal. Unfortunately, it seems like the medical schools dont think that. It seems like they rather take a kid with a higher GPA and lower MCAT over a kid with a lower GPA from Cal and a higher MCAT. I graduated from UCB with a 3.6 w/34 MCAT, and am having a tough time getting into med school. I also had numerous friends from UC Berkeley that had great MCATs and 3.5/3.6 GPAs that didnt get into med school, or had to settle for a lower tier, especially when comparing their MCATs to the school avgs.
     
  42. neurofreak

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    yeah!!! totally agree! go to the college for the EXPERIENCE that college has to offer. if ur intelligent (which you prob are if you reading SDN this early in your career) you'll do fine anywhere. go to cal or UCLA!
     
  43. notdeadyet

    notdeadyet Still in California
    Moderator

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    This is a great example of why "college experience" means many different things to many different people. Sporting teams are sort of a non-issue for lots of folks for their college experience. And for many folks, the less greeks, the better. A huge frat/sorority presence is great if you're in the greek system, but can be a pretty big annoyance if you're not.

    To each their own. Folks who'd love the environment of UCLA or Cal probably wouldn't love UCD or UCSD and vice versa. Great "college experience" at any one of them, but different. Depends on your tastes.

    yeah, if your college life is going to rotate around football, definitely go to Cal or UCLA.
     
  44. notdeadyet

    notdeadyet Still in California
    Moderator

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    Narc and Neurofreak- Which campus did you guys end up going to? Curious about your thoughts on the city living at the campuses...
     
  45. njcaldwell

    njcaldwell Mr. Banana-Grabber

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    I got into UCLA, UCB, UCSD and Stanford and ended up choosing UCD.

    The atmosphere here among students and faculty is amazing. Also thier is a more copoertive eniroment.

    I havent regretted my decision once.
     
  46. chandelantern

    chandelantern MSI at Mayo in August!

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    I will give another plug for UCD. I had an amazing 4 years there and wouldn't trade it for anything! I will admit athletics were not that important to me, although I went to a few games/meets. UCD recently went D1 and games are popular (free) events for students and the AggiePack and Band-Uh are pretty darn good. Greek life does exists and I think around 25-30% of the student body are in a frat or sorority (at least special interest, not necessarily Panhellenic). So if you WANT those things, you can still get them (but if your life revolves around them, maybe you do want a different school.)

    Other stuff...the work I did with my sorority at UCB and UCSC made me really appreciate being pre-med at Davis. Neither had the advising, clinical or research opportunities that I had taken for granted at UCD. When you go back to visit, make it a point to check out pre-med advising so you know what they have to offer. Another note, there are SO many different biology majors to choose from so you can really find what you're interested in most. I did bio with NPB emphasis (if you do NPB by itself you have to take more labs and with my double major I chose not to do that.) You'll be taking mostly upper div classes when you transfer in and I can't say I've ever taken a bad upper div bio class at Davis...even the ones I really wasn't interested in (ex/ Wildlife Ecology) I still enjoyed. I'm not going to say science at Davis is easy b/c I saw a lot of people who struggled, but the classes are fair and manageable and there is help available (professors, learning resource center, etc). Although you will get some "gunner"-type personalities in your class every once in awhile everyone, including the profs, know who they are by the 2nd week of class with all their attempts to suck-up. As far as competition, I've never seen anyone jeopardize another student and like others have said curves are typically employed only to help, never once did I ever have a grade go down b/c of a curve.

    Location...I wasn't from CA, nor from a big city, so I found Davis had a ton to offer...plus SF is a little more than an hour away if you really need the big city scene. I had a great social life (especially my last 2 years).

    sorry for such a long post!
     
  47. I must be really stupid and ******ed for choosing California State University over University of California at this point. I'm also a JC transfer, but I have done very well in transfer, and I have no doubt in my mind that I would have gotten into UC schools, but I'm choosing to go to CSU, since it is 10 mins away from my house :D . I hope that, you make a good decision. If i were you, I would go to UCD. It seems that UCD is the place to be nowdays. Well, good luck :thumbup:
     
  48. obgyny

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    i have a 4.0 gpa
     
  49. obgyny

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    i'm not really much of a sports fan, but my family sure is!!! almost all of my dad's side of the family went to UCLA. my dad said he would disown me if i went to USC (i don't think he was joking either--he's a serious bruin fan). but he's supportive if i go elsewhere :)

    i'm not really looking to join a sorority so i'm not that interested in the whole greek system thing...

    i just want to go to a college with a great friendly atmosphere, plenty of research/volunteer opportunities, a chance to get to know my profs... i want to enjoy my education.
     
  50. obgyny

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    i really wanted to apply to stanford, but i never took the SATs and i didn't have enough time to take them before stanford's deadline
     
  51. nick_carraway

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    I'm a 4th year NPB major at UCD so I thought I'd offer my thoughts regarding the school and the major.

    Like a previous post said, I also hated Davis my first year. It was always wet and dark and without a car, I was stuck in the dorms. It ends up the torrential bad weather was just a fluke and the weather's been stellar since. Be prepared for cold winters and hot summers, though. As a fourth year though, I like Davis a whole lot more. I liked it starting from my third year too. Downtown is nice and the people here are great, for the most part.

    I was deciding between UCI, UCSD, and UCD once too. By the time letters of intent were due four years ago, I was down between UCSD and UCD and I couldn't make up my mind. I asked one of my high school teachers for his opinion and he said that Davis grads always love Davis but he's never heard someone who was that thrilled to graduate from SD. I don't know if it's true, but I sure as hell love Davis. The city and the school certainly grow on you.

    The NPB major is excellent and the professors are top-notch. Many of them are from professorships at Stanford or UCLA so you're getting great teachers. The labs are fun and all courses are very mindful of how many pre-meds are taking them. Our anatomy course for undergrads is taught by the professor for gross anatomy and neuroanatomy at the medical school and he expects as much out of undergrads as he does out of his med students. It's a great experience.

    I would add, however, that exercise bio (closely associated with NPB) might be the better pre-med major. Looking back at it now, I wish I was an exercise bio major because you take more clinically relevant courses about the human. There are a few NPB courses which deal with animals and comparative physiology and that's pretty lame to me.

    I'll reiterate what others have already said. The advising here is great! One of our pre-med advisors is the president of the association of pre-health advisors and is very very approachable and friendly. Always extremely willing to clear up misinformation.

    Anyway, when you visit Davis you're welcome to get a tour by me (haha) or PM with any more questions you might have. I'm down with addressing all your lingering doubts.

    Good luck with the decision!
     
  52. narc

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    #50 narc, Mar 25, 2007
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2011

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