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UCSB/UCSC students

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by ducam, Aug 26, 2001.

  1. ducam

    ducam Pearl Diver
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    Well if any of you go to UCSB or UCSC, i would like to know what you think about the school. I'm starting to look closer at colleges and from what i've heard, i'd like both of them a lot. If anybody who's a student at these schools, or any UC school, what's to tell me what it's like at the campus that'd be great. Thanks.


    Ducam
     
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  3. Rhiana

    Rhiana Senior Member
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    I'm a UCSC grad. Schools great, lots of opportunity to do cool stuff. For instance, I tagged elephant seals. If you have to work though it's difficult because profs don't understand time pressure. Also, you can't park on capus so you have to shuttle in, which eats up a lot of time when your trying to get to work. By the way you might want to compare housing prices. I had a 350 Sq. ft studio apartment for $860 and I had to move because my landlord raised it to $1100. Housing prices are ridiculous. Best of luck and if you have any questions feel free to email.
     
  4. Scooby Doo

    Scooby Doo IEatShavedPussyCats
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    Ducam,

    You are the mensa dude who wanted to take the MCAT in high school if I remember correctly. I would highly recommend going to a college that is much more rigorous than UCSC or UCSB. These colleges are okay and stuff but seriously, go to a school that will challenge your intellect a little more.
    If you are all you say you are, I am sure you could get into either a much better UC school or even Ivy League. I am not saying there are not smart people at these schools (UCSB and UCSC) but I don't recommend them for you.
     
  5. Rhiana

    Rhiana Senior Member
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    Hey scoob, don't be talkin smack about my school. I think it all depends on what your goals are. I think you should choose a college without trying to see how helpful it will be for med school. I got accepted to UCLA but didn't go because i didn't want to spend my entire college career fighting with "gunners". There are meny people who want to go to college but can't. It's disgraceful to them to not value your undergraduate education.Go where you think you'll be happy. Everything after that is just icing.
     
  6. Scooby Doo

    Scooby Doo IEatShavedPussyCats
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    I think there are a lot of gunners no matter where you go. Berkeley has it's gunners, LA does, SD, everywhere... However, it's important to find a school that matches you on a bunch of levels...not just one. I am definitely not telling him to choose a school based ONLY for medical school...but there is not a doubt in my mind that adcoms look at where you went to school. That is not what I want to focus on though. I believe all the UC's have pretty similar costs so that should not be an issue. Berkeley and LA are the two top schools with very different environments! If neither of those schools fit, I would recommend Davis or SD. I don't mean to bash your school, but the people I know from SC are on totally different levels of what they want to do with their lives and comprehension of certain materials. This kid is wanting to take his MCAT in high school! He is like 16 or 17 years old I think. His IQ is super high. On those stats alone, I would recommend him to go to a school where the curriculum would be more challenging. I know I am going to get a lot of sh!t from this board b/c of my opinions on this subject...b/c it makes me seem like an arrogant a$$ when I am really not.
     
  7. ducam

    ducam Pearl Diver
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    How do the grades work at UCSC? I've heard that they're more evaluations, then actual letter grades. Is is right, or am i just totally off?
     
  8. relentless11

    relentless11 Going broke and loving it
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    The truth is any 4 year university in the US can get you into med school. I have talked to a surgery resident, who went to UCSC for undergrad, she's now doing residency at UCD Med Ctr.

    My mentor, went to Sacramento State, she got into Tulane School of Meds. So you can get into a med school aslong as you want to.

    However, the truth is, schools such as UCLA, UC Berkeley, UC Davis, and UCSD are more prestigous. You cannot argue against that, even though their prestige is just do the the name of the school. Also know that some med schools do understand that an A recieved from UC Berkeley is more impressive than an A at say UCSC. It boggles the mind how hard it is to compete at UCB or UCLA.

    Finally, schools such as UCI, UCD, UCLA, and UCSD all of their own medical centers and med schools. There is clearly WAY more opportunities that are open to you. I looked into UCSC, i personally didn't like it. Other than being near the beach. But if i did want to go to school because of a beach, i would've gone to UCSD. In the end, i chose UCD as it was closer to home. Personally the stuff i get to do at our med center, and just the research opportunities available makes it better in my opinion. My friends that go to UCLA, UCSD also say the same thing about their respective schools.

    On a side note, i know for a fact that UCSF School of Medicine accounts for a schools.... difficulty. I have talked to some memebers of their adcom. Say an A from UCB would give you 5 points where as say an A from say some Cal state univ; as a 2-3. I'm just making an example, i don't know how they score it.

    Thats ofcourse if you're asking mainly on the basis of.....how helpful going to schools can be for med school.

    Go where you're happy.........thats the big thing. I'm happy at UCD. I probably can't survive in the insanely competitive nature of UCLA or UCB.
     
  9. lilycat

    Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

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    Okay, I'll preface this by saying that while I'm a CA resident, I did not attend a UC, although I did take summer session at UCSC and UCI.

    If you had to rank the UC's, I would say that Berkeley, UCLA, UCSD are the top three. UCR would probably be at the bottom. UCD, UCSC, UCSB, and UCI are pretty much in the middle, with not a lot of substantial difference between them in my opinion.

    Going to a school that is affiliated with a med center will make it easier to find research opportunities as an undergrad. However, you can still do very well without being affiliated with a med center -- don't forget about all the people from small, elite liberal arts colleges who get into med school each year. Their schools clearly aren't affiliated with med centers.

    I had a very good friend at UCSB, who really enjoyed her time there overall, but I think the social aspect of the school can sort of predominate over other things. If you're not really into the Southern Cal party scene, it may not be the place for you.

    I LOVED UCSC!!!!!!! Like I said, I only took summer classes there, but I loved that school, convinced a friend to transfer there, and if I was doing the college thing all over again, I would have very seriously considered foregoing my private school in favor of UCSC. The science programs there are excellent, the profs are excellent, and seem to actually make an effort to get to know you and take you seriously. The students were amazing -- some of the most friendly, nice, interesting, and intelligent people I've been around. I was just amazed how friendly everyone was, which counts for a lot when you are talking about premed coursework. I just loved the atmosphere there. And the setting is beautiful -- ocean views, redwood forests. I just can't say enough positive things about that school.

    I know you didn't ask about UCI, but my experience left a lot to be desired. Some of the professors were just complete jerks, and it's known as a commuter campus. I didn't get too much of a feel for the students because the majority of my classmates in the summer session were from UCLA, and maybe it was just a bad group, but they were among the most unfriendly people I've ever met in my life. They made it painfully obvious why premeds have such a bad reputation.

    As for Berkeley, I think academically it has a lot to offer. My main gripe about it (based on the experiences of several good friends who went there) is the size -- I think it can create a very competitive, cut-throat environment, and can also lead to you feeling lost in the cracks of the system. Personally, if I was deciding between the two schools, I think I would have gotten a better education at UCSC, just because the size of the school makes it seem easier to get to know your profs, the people in your major, etc. It just seemed like a more positive environment to work in. Again, this is just a personal preference -- I don't think the environment of Berkeley would have been right for me. Berkeley has a lot to offer, but I think you have to be very proactive to take advantage of it, and not to feel like just a number in the system.

    UC-Davis -- again, some very close friends went there and absolutely loved it. The big drawback for me would be the location, or lack thereof. I would prefer to be closer to the beach and the mountains.

    Anyways, try to go on some trips to these schools, look around, and talk to the students, as many as you can. Most of all, go with where you think you will be happy and comfortable -- that can play a huge role in your success during college. Good luck.
     
  10. relentless11

    relentless11 Going broke and loving it
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    My thoughts exactly Lily. There's not much to do at UCD. In my own opinion, UCSD is the best over all. Location, opportunities, learning enviroment, and prestige.

    Reasons for going to UCD for me, as i said, it was close to home, and gave me a better chance to go to UCSD school of medicine. Ya know the deal, schools don't like to pick from their pool of students. Not saying that its impossible, but ya know.

    UCR is the lower of the UC's as you said. But once again, if you go there, doesn't mean you're screwed. My cousin went there and is now at UCLA School of Medicine.

    Comparison of UCI, UCD, and UCSB. This is when you consider in your what you want out of your education at these places. Academically they're all equally challenging. My best friend goes to UCSB, and she has as hard of a time with Pchem as i do here. However, here, i can talk to very approachable medical faculty and staff, where as she hasn't found many ....approachable people yet. UCI, i think, it has really expensive housing. Rich neighborhood.

    To reiterate though, why would you want to go to UCSB? Well thats because of its beautiful campus. There's no denying that. But....UCSD comes pretty close to being that good looking. If i had to choose again, i may choose to go to UCSD. I just didn't as i mentioned earlier(besides a 9hr drive from home......too lazy for that..at least for now.)

    In case, your experience with UCLA students at UCI. Thats what the typical UCLA/UCB student is like. We have some up here at Davis right now for summer session. They are amazed to see that classmates contribute knowledge with each other, rather than withhold it.
     
  11. 6-8 Weeks

    6-8 Weeks Senior Member
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    I also went to a UC school. I know that the top three schools are top-notch academically and thus have an environment where there are a lot of "gunners." That is inevitable. However, you don't have to be around these gunners if you don't want to. Let me tell you this, most of my friends were pre-meds, but none of them fit the gunner mentality. Being around a lot of "gunners" should not turn you away from excellent schools like UCLA, UCSD and Berkeley. There are plenty of wholesome, kind, down-to-earth pre-meds at any school, even the "good" ones.
     
  12. Rhiana

    Rhiana Senior Member
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    Ducam, you asked about the grading system. The deal is that you have to take at least two thirds of your classes with grades the other can be pass/fail. It used to be completly optional for grades but they changed it as the classes got larger. No matter what you get narrative evaluations. These can range from four sentence recounts of your tests to two page letters describing your work ethic, personality, or ability to work well with others. This can be great or have its drawbacks. They notice when you don't show up or fall asleep in class and it can become part of your permanent record if they put it in your e-val. Choosing a college is a hard decision but I think the question you should be asking is if I don't go to med school, will I have wasted four years at my college. Or would I made the best decision for me.
     
  13. TwoSteveSquared

    TwoSteveSquared Senior Member
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    I have close friends at every UC.

    UCSD actually sounds the most competitive as far as grades, though UCB and UCLA bare the rep. My friends that were peak performers in high school have been humbled at UCSD.

    As for UCB and UCLA, they provide a very well rounded college life. A big city, research, top-notch faculty, thriving Greek system, sports, great social outlets, community service, etc., etc. etc.
    The best part about these schools is that whatever your nitch is, you can find it there. For me, UCLA fit cause my nitch is the fact that I don't have one, I like to sample a little of all it has to offer.

    Schools like UCSC and UCSB are "personality" schools, meaning that the overall environment emphasizes that specific personality. (SB it's weed and parties)(SC it's kinda neo-hippie). Of course, vast exceptions exist, but you can't escape the atmosphere.

    If you want SC or SB because you enjoy the "laid back attitude," I promise you can find the same attitude at UCB and UCLA, without missing out on the complete college experience this schools can provide.


    On a final note, if you want to cheat the system, it may be easier to get a 4.0 at a lower-tier UC than at the gunner schools. When applying to med school, I'd rather have UCSB 4.0 than a UCB 3.5 anyday of the week. Of course, choosing a college for this reason is pretty lame. ;)
     
  14. none

    none 1K Member
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    Okay, I'm an undrgrad at UCSD, but don't group UCI and UCD together with SB and SC, there are strata clearly seperating those two groups. Yes, UCSD is NOT a social environment and that's why I came here. No frats or parties,just classes...and quite honestly, that's why I'm in college. And I do believe that SD has harder coursework and curves in biology than LA or Berkeley, but I also recognize that LA and Berkeley have better reps and get more people into med school. I don't see much of a reason to go to SC or SB if you're at all inclined towards medicine. At least go to a college that HAS a medical school...the opportunities will be much, much better. And as for those who say you shouldn't base your college decisions on getting into med school...that's silly. If you eventually do decide that you don't like medicine, then you can change majors, it'll be harder to change colleges when you realize there are zero volunteer opportunities where you are.
     
  15. Rumit

    Rumit Senior Member
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    Ok...I'd like to preface everything I say by first stating that I don't mean any disrespect to any of the other UC's, but I feel that I have to defend UCSC. I graduated from SC, and I think it's an excellent school that is only getting better. I was also accepted to UCLA (didn't apply to other UC's) but chose SC because I don't like Los Angeles and I wanted a smaller school. I am positive that I made the right decision for my own education.

    The research faculty at Santa Cruz are outstanding and they are a young group interested in helping students. There are not a lot of graduate students or postdocs and for this reason it is really easy to get into a lab as an undergrad. I know many people who did research starting in their freshmen year and were published later as first or second authors. I think that that kind of situation is very rare at the other large UC's. I was able to establish some excellent relationships with several faculty members and I think that their letters of rec have been a big part in why I have gotten several interviews already at top schools.

    The coursework is also great, and I think it compares to that at some of the other UC's such as SD. I say this, after having talked to grad students at SC who came from SD and say that, after auditing and TA'ing the classes at SC. We also have a world class physics department, if you are more interested in that side of the physical sciences.

    One of the downsides of the university is it's reputation, and the fact that we didn't use to have grades. But, that's changing, now grades are mandatory in the biology major, and there is going to be a much stronger emphasis placed on pre-medical education. In fact, a new major is being added for pre-meds that will include hiring a full time internship coordinator to help students find health oriented volunteer activities in the community and get credit at the same time. Part of the course requirements will include 2 years of spanish and a course in medical spanish to further help pre-meds.

    I will agree that a major downside to SC is the student's attitudes. Many of them simply want to just get by with minimum effort and spend most of their time partying. But, I think you will find similarly large numbers of these students at LA or Berkeley. I always had a core of close friends in my major who were interested in taking advantage of the learning opportunities available to them.

    I would definitely reccomend SC to anyone interested in the natural sciences, or pre-med. Your education is what you make of it (not how high your school is ranked) and there are plenty of opportunities to get an excellent one at SC.

    Anyhow, those are just some of my thoughts regarding the school, and I'd be happy to answer any more specific questions.

    Adam
     
  16. lilycat

    Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

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    I beg to differ that there are clear strata differentiating UCSB and UCSC from Davis, SD, or Irvine. First off, the Nobel prizes that went to UCSB faculty last year speak extremely well for the school. Secondly, I've taken classes at both UCI and UCSC, and I was far more impressed with UCSC than UCI. Given, this is a subjective opinion, but that's my point -- the schools all have certain academic strengths, making it hard to separate one from the others.


    Just curious what your basis for this statement is?

    Totally disagree. There are literally thousands and thousands of people who get into med school each year from schools that are not affiliated with medical schools (ie, smaller state schools, small liberal-arts colleges, etc. Keep in mind that Berkeley does not directly have a medical school on it's campus).

    As for volunteer opportunities, they are definitely easier to find when you are on a campus directly affiliated with a medical school, but there are ALWAYS opportunities out there in every community, plus you can do research or volunteer work away from your undergrad campus during summers and other breaks.

    When it comes down to it, every university, not just the UC campuses, has its own personality and strengths and weaknesses. No one school is right for everyone. Find whatever will allow you to enjoy college the most and excel in your pursuits.
     

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