UPENN or Northwestern?

  • UPENN

    Votes: 220 78.0%
  • Northwestern

    Votes: 62 22.0%

  • Total voters
    282

joker

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I know this may be kind of an obvious decision, but any help you can guys can offer would be greatly appreciated! I'm trying to weigh out the good and bad things for both schools...please vote, and make any/all comments you have about either/both schools. Thanks so much!!!:clap: :clap:
 

BerkeleyPremed

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I would go with Penn primarily because they have a greater research endowment and a better faculty. Northwestern is a GREAT place to be for medical school and it has a great academic program, but I think Penn has the edge in this contest. The difference in academic reputation isn't huge here, but I think the Penn name garners more respect in academia. Well, where you choose to attend, good luck!

P.S.: I've lived in Chicago and I think Philadelphia would be a better place to be for 4 years. Chicago is a cool city with lots of stuff to offer to a 20 something, but I like historical cities like Philly and Boston.
 
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Taleof50

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i'm a senior at Penn, and I can tell you that Penn's an amazing school. There's so much the school offers besides academics and research. NWestern's a great school as well, but the fact that Penn Med is attached to the main campus (all 12 schools are together), adds a lot more diversity. Trust me, you'll love it at Penn!
 

Auricae

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Originally posted by BerkeleyPremed
I would go with Penn primarily because they have a greater research endowment and a better faculty. Northwestern is a GREAT place to be for medical school and it has a great academic program, but I think Penn has the edge in this contest. The difference in academic reputation isn't huge here, but I think the Penn name garners more respect in academia. Well, where you choose to attend, good luck!

P.S.: I've lived in Chicago and I think Philadelphia would be a better place to be for 4 years. Chicago is a cool city with lots of stuff to offer to a 20 something, but I like historical cities like Philly and Boston.

Penn may have more research endowments, but I'm not sure that really affects the average student? If you are interested in research, it is important. But for a person not interested in research, it doesn't matter if a school has 500 billion in NIH funding or 50 bucks. The only way it matters in this case is how it affects the school rank on US News, but once again, who cares.

In terms of location, most people here probably already know that I think Chicago is the best, so I am very biased. I will say, however, that it kind of sucks that NU med is separated from the main campus. I think this is a big plus for Penn.

If location matters to you (aka you like the big city atmosphere), then you might be happier at NU. If location isn't a big deal, go with Penn. It's probably cheaper anyway.

*shudders at the thought of 60k in loans a year*
 

CalBeE

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OK, in terms of the hospital, Hospital of UPenn seems to have a well-balanced reputation in a variety of areas. That'll be helpful if you're interested in a certain specialty.

UPenn and Northwestern's business schools are equally prestiguous...in case you're interested in MD/MBA

Northwestern has a great location. And to me personally, Chicago is more of my type of city than Philadelphia (I wasn't fortunate enough to interview at UPenn, but I did interview at Jefferson)
 

Johnisit1234

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Truthfully, I would say Penn's business school, the Wharton School of Business, is more prestigious.
 

CalBeE

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Originally posted by Johnisit1234
Truthfully, I would say Penn's business school, the Wharton School of Business, is more prestigious.

That's true...but Kellogg is also very prestigious as well...it reminds me of my breakfast cereal ;)
 

TheFlash

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Penn. NU has a trendier location, but that's the only clear cut advantage. Oh, and Wharton is the most prestigious business school in the country, more so than Kellogg.
 

DrJ2B

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I will say Penn and leave it at that! :love: Please consider it! If I was in your position, I would be so happy. Please go there if it will make you happiest! :) :clap:
 

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I don't know why people are bringing up business schools, but they have essentially the same reputation. Kellogg, Wharton, Harvard and Stanford seem to take turns at the top spot every year. As a medical student at Northwestern, you can take classes at Kellogg and the law school for free -- no paperwork, tests or anything else required. All three schools are right next to each other downtown in Chicago. As a matter of fact, I just finished up a health industries management class myself.

But make your decision based on where you think you'd be happiest. Go to 2nd look weekend, and get a feel for the schools if you aren't sure.

Good luck.
 

lyragrl

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And in case anyone has forgotten from the last 12 times I said it:


Chicago rocks the house!!!! :D
 

joker

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just bumpin to see if anyone else has advice..thanks all!!!!
 
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Originally posted by Auricae
Penn may have more research endowments, but I'm not sure that really affects the average student? If you are interested in research, it is important. But for a person not interested in research, it doesn't matter if a school has 500 billion in NIH funding or 50 bucks. The only way it matters in this case is how it affects the school rank on US News, but once again, who cares.

In terms of location, most people here probably already know that I think Chicago is the best, so I am very biased. I will say, however, that it kind of sucks that NU med is separated from the main campus. I think this is a big plus for Penn.

If location matters to you (aka you like the big city atmosphere), then you might be happier at NU. If location isn't a big deal, go with Penn. It's probably cheaper anyway.

*shudders at the thought of 60k in loans a year*

What matters most is faculty quality. I think Penn wins out here because the National Research Council rankings rank Penn ahead of Northwestern in many graduate departments (oustide of business). The NRC rankings are based on the number of citations of professors from each school (adjusted for the difference in the size of faculty between schools). NRC also ranks based on research grants, endowments, and fellowships. If you're investing a TON of money and time into 4 years of medical school, you want to make sure you're studying under some of the best in the field. Without a doubt, Northwestern has a great faculty...but I think NRC tells us that Penn edges it out. The location stuff is basically subjective...I like Philly better than Chicago (even though I was born in Chicago)..but anyone could say the opposite and be justified in doing so.
 

Johnisit1234

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truthfully, NU cannot compare with Penn. you will make more awesome connections at Penn and the name will stay with you.
 

joker

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thanks everyone for the advice! i decided to go to penn next year!
 

kilroth

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Yay, I will take your spot!! :clap:

Just kidding, good luck at Penn.
 

Neuronix

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Hmmm... I considered Northwestern vs. Penn when I was deciding. I still wonder how happy I would have been had I gone to Northwestern. As for being happy definately here, I know plenty of people in various years who are not happy here. So, I wouldn't have called the decision easy or obvious.

Penn Pros:
Reputation
Opportunities around campus

Northwestern Pros:
Cheaper (unless you come from high income family or get a scholarship at Penn)
Better city

One can argue about the cirriculums. Northwestern has a laid-back PBL cirriculum, while Penn has a high classroom hour pretty traditional cirriculum. The advantage then is that Penn gets you into the clinics earlier by making the first year really long and cramming 2 years into 1.5.

The reputation difference isn't that big, especially for specialty medicine for which both schools are geared. Just my two cents... It sounds as if you've decided though, so welcome to Penn!

If you or anyone else has any questions about Penn, feel free to PM me.
 

sara3426

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whytf did you bump this thread from 3 yrs ago?
i just FREAKED out cause i thought people were getting acceptances from Penn already. christ!
 
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DrZeke

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Penn may have more research endowments, but I'm not sure that really affects the average student? If you are interested in research, it is important. But for a person not interested in research, it doesn't matter if a school has 500 billion in NIH funding or 50 bucks. The only way it matters in this case is how it affects the school rank on US News, but once again, who cares.

In terms of location, most people here probably already know that I think Chicago is the best, so I am very biased. I will say, however, that it kind of sucks that NU med is separated from the main campus. I think this is a big plus for Penn.

If location matters to you (aka you like the big city atmosphere), then you might be happier at NU. If location isn't a big deal, go with Penn. It's probably cheaper anyway.

*shudders at the thought of 60k in loans a year*
Agreed...my friend plays $1500/month in rent at Northwestern. That's just not worth it to me, no matter how nice their facilities are. With tuition that's crazy. Also, UPenn supposedly has a lot of diversity and really great programs and they have a great campus.
 

chickendump

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Penn's curriculum (early clinical training, built-in research project, free time) gives it the nod over NW.
 

Zippership

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I know this may be kind of an obvious decision, but any help you can guys can offer would be greatly appreciated! I'm trying to weigh out the good and bad things for both schools...please vote, and make any/all comments you have about either/both schools. Thanks so much!!!:clap: :clap:

Out of curiosity, how have you heard from Penn already? Btw, my vote's on Penn by a landslide.
 

Koch

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Penn. NU has a trendier location, but that's the only clear cut advantage. Oh, and Wharton is the most prestigious business school in the country, more so than Kellogg.

I like it becasue it had ello in the middle of it. Like the British greeting. "Ello Govna"
 

OHare

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P.S.: I've lived in Chicago and I think Philadelphia would be a better place to be for 4 years. Chicago is a cool city with lots of stuff to offer to a 20 something, but I like historical cities like Philly and Boston.

Since when is Chicago not "historical"? What, gangsters and bathtub gin aren't good enough for you? Meatpackers and the ol' Bessie and the Great Fire? Please.
 

Neuronix

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Penn's curriculum isn't exactly traditional with the 4th year practically off

Way to call me on a post I made 3 years ago, wow. I agree now, the cirriculum isn't as traditional as it used to be. Now they require a research project during your 4th year (that was added recently, maybe within that 3 years?). There's more PBL being added and more touchy-feely required stuff being added around here every year, so it's hardly traditional. NU did at least boast alot less classroom time, but who knows what that really translates into. At Penn it turns out there was alot more for us to do than we were told when we interviewed, as they added a few programs and boosted our schedules quite a bit when we were second years, though the asst. dean apologized to the class for that.

But, that all being said, the 4th year is practically off wherever you go. That's always been the nature of 4th year--mostly electives and interviews. I think built-in research projects are silly. You can get involved with research no matter where you go. Have you ever heard an allopathic school say "We don't encourage our students to do research and there's no opportunities for it." There's certainly more opportunites at Penn, this is for sure. Though I wonder how many of you will end up being researchers or really feel like you would want to be involved in research at this point? If you felt strongly this way, you'd probably be heading for a MD/PhD or PhD. Still, if that's really your bag, please come. That's why I did. I still think the MD/PhD program is solid.

Now that I am where I am however I've decided I don't really like PBL during basic science. It's always attendance required, you're being evaluated all the time (and you won't know it! Look out!), and if you or your group needs to look up information, you spend alot of time reading about stuff and coming up with answers that probably won't be right because you don't know anything. I thought it would be neat and all being the non-traditional cirriculum, but hell, if I want to miss Monday because I'd rather be skiing, I don't want to have required attendance once or twice that day. As long as I pass exams... It really pissed me off when I missed PBL because I had pneumonia or I was at my grandmother's funeral only to be given several pages of make-up punishment... err work that would be alot more than if you had actually attended (many things are like this). I mention all this partially because Penn's cirriculum at one time was much more laid back and traditional.

I still maintain that Chicago is a much more happening place to be than Philadelphia. The rents seem to be very similar from the three times I've been to Chicago. For example, One of the large buildings where alot of the med students live starts at $1200/mo for a 1BR and goes up from there. You could easily spend $1500/mo on a 1BR in alot of the mid-rise to high-rise buildings here. In fact, unless you have parent money, plan on sharing an apartment or renting in a brownstone (likely a studio in CC, 1BR in West Philly).

In any case, I'm not trying to be down on Penn. There are things I like and things I don't. But I agree that I'm just not quite sure where the "landslide" decisions come from. It was a very hard decision for me back then. I'd really like to get out of Philly at this point BTW, though I'm stuck here a few more years... Not saying Philly is a bad place to be. I mean it beats the crap out of most of the country as far as things to do, see, and eat, but it's certainly wearing on me for other reasons.
 

Neuronix

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Care to say more? I'm interested.

It's mostly just a long list of annoyances. Here's my jaded list of why I'm sick of Philly:

People here are rude and customer service is bad. I think they're the rudest in the country and I've travelled quite a bit. I'm so sick of people being mean to me when I walk into a shop, go to eat, whatever. It's really ridiculous how bad it can be sometimes. It doesn't even translate to less business/tipping/whatever because that's how used to it people here are. Everyone thinks you're out to scam them, so if you have a problem, that's your fault. Price didn't ring up right? It must have changed (happened to me at least a half dozen times). I have plenty more examples of this, but I really can't see anyone disagreeing with me. That obviously doesn't apply to everyone in Philly, but if you're from anywhere but the northeast (and maybe even if you are), the customer service will grate your nerves.

Prices here are going through the roof. If you live in Center City you just need to say to yourself that everything will be as expensive as NYC except the rents (which are going up rapidly). I've been watching this happen over the past almost 5 years. My favorite budget eateries close up, my rent goes up, my close, cheap car rental place closed, etc... This is all because Philly is becoming a much more happening place to live. 5+ years ago everyone used to say what a ghetto this place was and depending how far back you went they were kinda right. Now alot of people are calling it the 6th borough. I kind of agree. Though instead of NYC being an hour away it's more like 2 hours away.

Part of it is where I live I guess. I live in the typical medical student area, west of 20th between South and Market. I bailed out of my last apartment because a slum lord took over the building, let it fall to crap, and raised my rent dramatically. Now I figure I should just move to West Philly and get it over with. I'm tired of being 3 blocks walk from anywhere I wanna go (except a nice park) and 25 minutes walk from lab but not being able to afford a car (or have anywhere to park it). People always think I'm going to complain because Philly is unsafe. Yes, things do happen to people here in the city, but I don't know that it's any less safe than the other big cities. No, I'm complaining because rents are high but compared to alot of other places there's just not that much going on.

Mass transit here sucks compared to NYC or Chicago. There's two subway lines, one of which doesn't even stop in the main part of town, i.e. where I live. It takes me as long to take mass transit to the other side of town as it does for me to walk, so I usually just do that. I call PHL the country's worst airport. There's a transit shuttle from med school to home at night. It's never on time. I've seen it several times just totally miss one of its scheduled runs. It's usually just faster for me to walk at night. During the summer don't be surprised if someone asks you for money for every single block you walk. If you refuse, be prepared to be heckled. Don't worry, you'll get used to it.

BTW, don't listen to any of the physicians or professors about Philadelphia. If one of them tries to tell you how great Philly is, ask them where they live. Very, very few live anywhere near where the students live. They mostly live out in the burbs, which are some of the nicest, wealthiest suburbs in the country.

State liquor monopoly. Ugh. Just get used to being ripped off and having no selection if you like beer or wine. Most of the residents here just go to one of the neighboring states.

Things I like:
I live between two large (2 blocks and 3 blocks) and nice parks.
The markets are neato (Reading Terminal and Italian Market).
It's relatively easy to get other places.
There are still some good restaurants I can afford, though I eat at Penn's food trucks 1-2x/day.
 

OHare

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Has no one noticed this thread is from 2004?
Why is someone pulling up all these old threads today?

Why not? You're supposed to search for old relevent threads before you create redundant ones.
 

Neuronix

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Neuronix-
If you had to do it all over again would you still choose Penn over NW? Why?

Sure I would, but I don't have any real good reasons for you. There are things I like and things I don't about where I am now. The same would have been true had I gone to NU. Penn was the best choice for me because of the strength of their research. I ended up in a field that Penn is much stronger in than NU, but Penn is stronger than NU in pretty much all areas of biomedical research.

And thanks for the great insight on living in Philly from the poor med student perspective. It pisses me off when admissions people are like "come to our city so you can hear our world class symphony and see Eagles/Bears games every weekend." Give me a break!! I mean, honestly, how many med students have season opera tickets. Rich admissions people who drive their BMWs in from the 'burbs don't have a clue on city living.

:laugh: agreed. Though there are alot of kids who get parent money in one way or another and this gives them a higher standard of living. You can also get student tickets to some performances which make them affordable.
 

MadHopsMD

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I know this may be kind of an obvious decision, but any help you can guys can offer would be greatly appreciated! I'm trying to weigh out the good and bad things for both schools...please vote, and make any/all comments you have about either/both schools. Thanks so much!!!:clap: :clap:

i'll probably go Upenn even if NW offered a full ride.
 
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