PowderPhan

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I went to a state school that doesn't really bring to mind academic excellence, but the specific undergraduate program I was enrolled in has a high national ranking (I think it was 3rd in USNews when I graduated in 2000, 5th now). One of the reasons that I went with my state school was because the program was so good (and cheap!).

Now I'm wondering how to bring attention to the fact that yes, my undergraduate school overall isn't all that great, but the degree program I entered was. I know that these things are a factor for some adcoms...

Should I write about it in my PS? Will there be room in secondaries to bring it up? I don't really want to focus on it, but I think that it is something that many adcoms may not be aware of.

Thanks for any advice,
pp

:horns:
 

exmike

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PowderPhan said:
I went to a state school that doesn't really bring to mind academic excellence, but the specific undergraduate program I was enrolled in has a high national ranking (I think it was 3rd in USNews when I graduated in 2000, 5th now). One of the reasons that I went with my state school was because the program was so good (and cheap!).

Now I'm wondering how to bring attention to the fact that yes, my undergraduate school overall isn't all that great, but the degree program I entered was. I know that these things are a factor for some adcoms...

Should I write about it in my PS? Will there be room in secondaries to bring it up? I don't really want to focus on it, but I think that it is something that many adcoms may not be aware of.

Thanks for any advice,
pp

:horns:
Personally I think the adcomm would see it as bragging or compensating. There is no need to justify it in your PS as it will probably not help you much. PS space is already at a premium, there is no reason to stuff it with stuff that doesnt set you apart.
 

mikedc813

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I wouldn't harp too much about it in your personal statement, unless you can fit it in so that it doesn't stand out. I strongly believe that your personal statement is much more important than trying to tell the schools about your program. There are some secondaries that have sections for 'additional info' so perhaps you could add it there. What special program are you in exactly?

I had a couple of important things about my classes in specific that I wanted to tell the schools that I interviewed at, and did so during the interviews. There were details about the grading scheme in my orgo classes that I thought I should mention and my I explained why my freshman grades weren't so hot.

Does your school have a premed committee that writes you a joint letter of recommendation? If you do, perhaps that letter describes your program?
 
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CalBeE

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Ranking is sorta a taboo...many people pay attention to it, but won't say they rely on it. So if you bring up the ranking of your degree program, it may give them the impression that you're immature, superficial, etc., and you don't want that.
 

jlee9531

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i prolly wouldnt put too much time into putting that into my ps.
 

PowderPhan

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Thanks for the quick replies. I understand the importance of PS real estate and no, I don't want to come across as bragging, imature or superficial especially because those trait scouldn't be farther from my personality.

I was just wondering if it was something that I should call attention to, and if so when and where would be the appropriate time and place. These days I couldn't give a rats ass about rankings (though at 17 it sure seemed to matter).

Later,
pp
 

sfgboy

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if it's an honors program or something, then you could put it as one of your 15 honors/achievements/activities/publications on your AMCAS. I wouldn't mention it on your personal essay.
 

bmischen

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Also, there are plenty of people that went to schools that NO ONE has EVER heard of and certainly are not ranked anywhere and got into any school they wanted to get into (if rankings are even relavent). I would not worry about what school you went to at all! (there are plenty of other things to stress about....after GPA, MCAT, LOR, and ECs.....the school you went to shouldn't matter at all!
 

Tezzie

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Chances are you going to be asked the "Why <enter name of undergraduate school you attend here> ?" question during your interviews. You can explain it there. But please don't say "because the department was #2 in the USNews rank".
 
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