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UPenn vs. Columbia

Discussion in 'Pre-Dental' started by mac_a, Dec 4, 2005.

  1. mac_a

    mac_a New Member
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    hey guys, I got acceptance letters from both school on Saturday. Neither was my #1 choice, but I guess I didn't make it with my #1... Basically I'm trying to decide over these two schools, and it's hard because they're both really good schools and expensive. I don't like NY, but I want to specialize and they say Columbia has better chance of getting you into specialty...

    I don't understand why I'm not hearing from my instate school... arrg...

    -------------------------------------------------------
    GPA: 3.64
    SGPA: 3.71
    DAT: AA-24 PAT-27 TS-23
    Applied: Harvard, Columbia, UPenn, Temple, Indiana, VCU, Boston
    Accepted: Columbia, UPenn, Temple, Indiana, Boston
     
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  3. jcstylee

    jcstylee Member
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    First of all; holy crap, how did you get those DAT scores? I was pumped when I got an 18.

    I've worked with many dentists in the navy and a lot of the commanders and "higher ups" would tell me to never apply to NY dental schools. I'm not exactly sure how many of them there are in NY but from what they explained to me I would be careful. They talked about how new naval dentists that graduated from NY universities always seemed to be behind on their skills. I don't think it was Columbia they were talking about but I know it was a couple.

    Good luck in your decision.

    -Jim
     
  4. grmaster1

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    Holy crap! That's exactly what I've been told.

    Were you a DT?
     
  5. onetoothleft

    onetoothleft SDN Angel
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    If you hate NYC don't come here. 4 years is a long time to live in Washington Heights, which is not even the fun part of NYC. Philadelphia is a wonderful city to live in . . . cheap and beautiful.

    Columbia will not do anything for you (as far as specialties are concerned) that UPenn cannot. UPenn is more expensive, but the difference between the two schools is not enough to overcome your aversion to NYC . . . IMO.
     
  6. duh?

    duh? Senior Member
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    NO WAY! I heard the same thing too from a dentist i shadowed, but he didn't name any school in particular and he kinda lumped the whole east coast together. So i feel he was biased.
     
  7. greenday

    greenday Senior Member
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    I also heard the same thing from an orthodontist who worked in the navy before, don't go to Columbia.
    Talk to more people and find out yourself.
     
  8. r0entgen

    r0entgen Senior Member
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    i interviewed at baylor, and one (of the three) interviewers asked me which schools i had applied to. i told him upenn, columbia, maryland (although i withdrew from them now). and he said "oh..upenn and maryland are very good dental schools, but columbia isn't so great. we have had many columbia dental students apply to baylor's oral surgery program, and they know nothing about dentistry. we don't even consider them anymore."

    and it is obvious that this interviewer isn't trying to sell his own school by bagging on others. he did compliment upenn and maryland.
     
  9. are8

    are8 Junior Member
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    I am surprised at all this advice from people in the industry to avoid NY schools. Maybe this is all due to the Main NY campus with 200+ students?? I have always thought of SUNY- Stonybrook and Columbia as being some of the most prestigous in the Nation, am I wrong on this???
     
  10. SuperTrooper

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    Before I read other people's replies I too was gonna say that Penn is the better choice. For one, I think Penn has a more quality class. You can see here on SDN some people who got accepted to columbia didn't even get an interview at Penn. Also, I hear columbia dental has a competetive environment despite having P/F the first two years. When I first interviewed and got accepted at Columbia I was pretty excited cause it was ivy league and it has a great reputation (one of the best law schools, medical schools, etc.). But I soon learned that the reputation doesn't apply to the dental school. I honestly think that getting accepted to columbia dental is the easiest way to get into an ivy league school.
     
  11. swanlake

    swanlake Member
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    SuperTrooper

    I think you have a great point!!!
    To me, I don't really care about whether it's a ivy league institution or not. I just wanna go to a school having a small class size. I went to a very small privat high school, and loved its environment. The only thing I like Columbia over UPenn is its smaller class size.
    I think the problem is Columbia has a reputation of having a over-whelmed curriculum not considering its competitiveness. I have a couple of friends at different Columbia's professional schools, and they all claim that their curriculum is so over-whelmed compared to other schools. While I was there for my interview, all students warned me that their curriculum is so tough. Yes, although Columbia has a P/F system, they still assign High Pass to top 10 or 15%, which isn't a true P/F system. It's rather like A-Pass-Fail system.
    Thus, the unpopularity of Columbia comes from three facts.
    1. Over-whelming curriculum
    2. A-Pass-Fail system
    3. It's LOCATION!!!! (It's not really located in NYC if you know what I mean)

    The bottom line is both schools offer great programs :thumbup:
     
  12. realysa

    realysa Member
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    i think you should pick temple instead of either columbia or upenn.

    as previous posters have mentioned, ivy league schools get no love from

    1) military types, esp. former military dental technicians
    2) midwestern, dentists from schools like creighton, marquette
    3) speciality residents from schools like baylor, ut-schools

    temple has credibility with the likes of those mentioned above. if you want to impress them definitely rule out columbia, upenn, harvard, ucsf, ucla, case western.

    ps: you might mention that you own a truck and you like country music, and only drink budweiser; that'll impress them
     
  13. starbright

    starbright Senior Member
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    penn is more expensive than columbia? how much is the tuition at columbia..
     
  14. BallDontLie

    BallDontLie Senior Member
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    Tuition is around $46K, and after instruments, room and board, etc...the final number was something like $62,000 from what i recall.
     
  15. swanlake

    swanlake Member
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    Considering 4 years,
    Penn is about 290k and columbia is about 253k
    However, living expenses at NYC is much more expensive then Philly.
    Thus, I would say as far as money wise there is no difference.

    :eek:
     
  16. v&andy_yankee

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    no, the final tally including the costs of living has penn tagged higher. believe it or not, the living standards between nyc and philly is pretty much the same (it's when you compare nyc to somewhere like alabama then you see the difference). columbia is tagged at roughly $62k a year for everything (tuition, food, housing, etc) but i think penn is around $72k or so (penn people please correct me).

    the whole application/acceptance process if pretty random, and i really think that penn and columbia are essentially the same school, only in different cities. for supertrooper who said that he knows of people who got into columbia but not penn, you can't assume because of that penn>columbia. i also know of people who got into penn but didn't get into columbia.

    well how else could they afford reasonable prices for us? i'm only paying $650 a month for dorm fees, i would rather pay that than $1000 a month to live "in nyc"
     
  17. JessicaSimpson

    JessicaSimpson Senior Member
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    I have lived in both cities and think the cost of living outside of rent is about the same. However, while $1000 per month can easily get you a really nice apartment in Philly, you would be really lucky to find a good apartment in a desirable area for that amount in nyc.
     
  18. I'mFillingFine

    I'mFillingFine Pulptastic
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    For the people who heard the rumors about NY schools offering inadequate preparation, are you referring to public, private, or both?

    I'm strongly considering Buffalo and this would make a big difference for me!!!!

    Any specific details about this topic???
     
  19. grmaster1

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    All the Navy dentists I talked to (more than 10 recently) commented on NY dental schools' graduates being well sub-par compared to all others; however, one captain mentioned that Buffalo got a good dental school.

    Does that help?

    I think, you should pick a school with a smaller class size, good faculty/student ratio in a location that you will like for 4 years.

    Price should be in the background--you can't make all the money in the world...
     
  20. JessicaSimpson

    JessicaSimpson Senior Member
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    sorry, but what difference does it make what navy/army dentists think? Do they know more than regular dentists or something?
     
  21. grmaster1

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    Didn't say anything about army dentists...

    Navy dentists move a lot, know many other dentists, see a crapload of other dentists' work, have a ton of clinical experience, almost all are board certified; they're not out there to make a quick buck doing bleaching and ortho--so I trust them... a little.

    In my previous answer, I just elaborated on the rumor and Buffalo.
     
  22. BigRedDentist

    BigRedDentist Senior Member
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    Penn has a bigger dental class but consider that the first years are spent with the med students which I believe are around 160+ and the class size jumps dramatically. Of course, this does not apply to the dental clinics which I think is a much bigger deal but it is something to consider since the first two years will be hell. When I was interviewing the Penn students mentioned that there were not enough seats for 116 in their classes, did anyone else hear this?
     

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