Starlingbruin

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I am currently a community college student soon to transfer to a university. My current GPA is 4.0. My top choice has been UCLA from the beginning of my college career but after I have done some research I have found that UCR has a great program that coincides with UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine. The program is called "Thomas Haider Program" at UCR. Has anyone ever heard anything about it? Would my chances be higher if I attend UCR and get into the Thomas Haider program (which isn't garunteed - i would have to apply for it AFTER attending UCR and finishing my bachelors) to get into UCLA med school, or should I directly go to UCLA for undergrad? The Thomas Haider program sounds amazing, but extremely difficult to get into, although most people would assume that UCR isn't as good of a school as UCLA.

side note: If I attend UCLA, my selected major is psychology.

I would really appreciate advice, thank you!
 

Lukkie

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i haven't done much research on haider but i thought it was open to incoming freshmen only. iirc there is a user here named RPedigo or PRedigo that did the program and successfully matriculated at UCLA so you might try contacting him.
 

alibai3ah

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If I were you I would attend UCLA, it is a better school and westwood is a great city....in my opinion alot better than riverside
 
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Lullapalooza

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UCLA is definitely a better overall school, and definitely in a much better location.

I go to UCR, and there is one huge advantage: The Haider program only accepts applications from UCR. In other words, you are only competing with other UCR students, not thousands of students from all around the country. I believe there is a 30% acceptance rate which is exorbitantly high (about 25-30 seats) and you get your MD from UCLA! What more could you want?

Sure, the Haider program is difficult to get into, but statistically, your chances are better. But you also have to take into consideration, what if you apply to the Haider program and get rejected? Then perhaps you will feel that you came to UCR for no reason. Make sure you want to come to UCR, not just for the Haider program. I think its a pretty underrated school. I'm a Neuroscience major, so I work closely with the faculty in the Psych department. Let me tell you, despite "pushover" reputation of UCR, there is some outstanding faculty here.

If you want a social life, and an overall better college experience, UCLA is the place for you. But if academics are all you are interested in, then UCR is a valid option.
 

Starlingbruin

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UCLA is definitely a better overall school, and definitely in a much better location.

I go to UCR, and there is one huge advantage: The Haider program only accepts applications from UCR. In other words, you are only competing with other UCR students, not thousands of students from all around the country. I believe there is a 30% acceptance rate which is exorbitantly high (about 25-30 seats) and you get your MD from UCLA! What more could you want?

Sure, the Haider program is difficult to get into, but statistically, your chances are better. But you also have to take into consideration, what if you apply to the Haider program and get rejected? Then perhaps you will feel that you came to UCR for no reason. Make sure you want to come to UCR, not just for the Haider program. I think its a pretty underrated school. I'm a Neuroscience major, so I work closely with the faculty in the Psych department. Let me tell you, despite "pushover" reputation of UCR, there is some outstanding faculty here.

If you want a social life, and an overall better college experience, UCLA is the place for you. But if academics are all you are interested in, then UCR is a valid option.


Thank you very much lullapalooza for the detailed response! I completely agree with you. Academics are definitely my priority and coming to UCR for less of a social life isn't really a problem for me. Although, my concern is what you mentioned... what if I get rejected from the Haider program? Then I think it would be beneficial for me to have graduated from UCLA undergrad, do you agree? I'm thinking if the Haider program has such a high acceptance rate and if I am not able to get into it, then chances are I wouldn't be able to get into other medical schools. I'm not sure exactly what the acceptance rates are at other schools since I have had my eye on UCLA for a while.
 

pntgrd

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UCLA is definitely a better overall school, and definitely in a much better location.

I go to UCR, and there is one huge advantage: The Haider program only accepts applications from UCR. In other words, you are only competing with other UCR students, not thousands of students from all around the country. I believe there is a 30% acceptance rate which is exorbitantly high (about 25-30 seats) and you get your MD from UCLA! What more could you want?

Sure, the Haider program is difficult to get into, but statistically, your chances are better. But you also have to take into consideration, what if you apply to the Haider program and get rejected? Then perhaps you will feel that you came to UCR for no reason. Make sure you want to come to UCR, not just for the Haider program. I think its a pretty underrated school. I'm a Neuroscience major, so I work closely with the faculty in the Psych department. Let me tell you, despite "pushover" reputation of UCR, there is some outstanding faculty here.

If you want a social life, and an overall better college experience, UCLA is the place for you. But if academics are all you are interested in, then UCR is a valid option.
I think Haider program is disappearing because UCR is getting their own med school
 

calimedical

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I'm also in a very similar position as you are, although my target major at UCLA is a lot more competitive (biology). I would say UCLA, UCLA, and ONLY UCLA. UCLA is ranked (slightly varying in different sources) in the top 25 universities in the US and the WORLD. UCLA is in its own league.

UCLA is my top school to transfer to, and I'll apply to Berkeley, who knows if I might just get in! (shrug)
 

FutureCaringMD

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Hello, ok here is my opinion.
Do not decide on a school based upon reputation. If you go to UCLA, Berkeley, or UCRiverside, you will be in a great situation, all of the UC's are great. Sure UCLA and Berkeley have the highest reputation, with UCLA starting to slowly beat out Berkeley especially in the life sciences.

All the schools you are considering will give you an equal education. There will be absolutely no difference in content when you take classes like o-chem, bio, physics, etc.

However, do not chose a school based upon name. Consider location, student body (racial make-up etc), neighborhood, etc etc.

I go to UCLA, and I must admit it is not what I thought it would be. I'm a junior, and even my junior classes are large lecture halls. A typical class is 200 students. Having one-on-one time with the professor is difficult, because there are always like 15 students waiting during office hours. You are lucky if you get a question in.

UCLA depends mainly on graduate students to hold discussion sections. These sections are usually an hour long, and a graduate student goes over the lecture one more time and answers questions. I would have to say i've had only 1 TA who knew what he was talking about, the rest actually have given me false info from time to time. Remember these are students who are also taking classes, they have homework, they have to study, and they have tests to take, they are not teacher replacements. Sadly, UCLA uses them as teacher replacements.

I've heard from friends at Berkeley that Berkeley isn't any better.

PS.... I've heard that irvine is really tuff and competitive also.

Most of my friends with wonderfull college experiences are going to small private colleges. So look into these type of schools, and many offer full financial aid to students who cannot afford the tuition.

NO matter where you go, it is ultimately on your shoulders to do well. I get A's at UCLA, but I put in lots of time.

Just remember, no matter how low you feel, or confused, you will turn out ok. Education is a small, important, but small part of ones life. In 10-15-20 yrs, it won't matter if you went to ucla or riverside, or a state school for that matter. In 20 yrs you will have a family, a good job, and everything in your college years like should i go to ucla or riverside will appear silly when you look back.

Take care and good luck, you will do great!
 

chessknt

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UCR's med school is opening in 2012 (theoretically), so you might want to ask about the Heider program and you may even have a free in at the UCR med school which should be fairly well established because UCR has been practicing medical teaching curriculum for many years now through the Heider program. Everything else aside, the rankings dont mean anything, performance and activities do. UCLA is a lot more competitive but also has a lot more going on. Its a difficult choice to make and, if it were me, I would go with UCR (assuming you arent offered money at either of them) because it isnt as competitive and still has access to a wide variety of needy populations/opportunities without being in a super big expensive city.
 
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