UT Austin vs private (Duke, Rice, WashU) for premed

mumbo1220

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I am looking to understand how UT Austin might compare against these other private schools in terms of a student interested in getting into

Southwestern/Baylor Medical school
Other top 15 ranked medical schools

in terms of preparing the student to be competitive.

Also looking to find differences if any in their approach to

1) Weed-out classes
2) Difficulty in landing research opportunities
3) Premed counseling and recommendations
4) Level of stress

Finally will being a legacy (parent attended grad school at university, not med school), if a kid is within the range of stats that the med School accepts, give the applicant any edge in being accepted?
 

WedgeDawg

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1. Weed out classes will be school dependent.
2. It will be easy to land research opportunities at Duke, WashU, etc. It should still be fairly easy to land them at UT Austin as well.
3. Premed advising will probably be better at the private schools, but there's no guarantee it will be good.
4. Stress level will be entirely school dependent.

Any legacy will help for undergrad admissions, but generally only med school legacy will help for med school admissions (some schools may be more "lenient" in this regard).
 

clutch21

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UT Austin grad and current UTSW MS4. Any of those schools will be fine for a pre-med track. Obviously, being a Texas resident will increase your odds for UTSW and BCM. If cost is at all an issue, it's hard to look past UT Austin. Good luck with your applications.
 
Jun 11, 2016
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Have some friends at Baylor that attended Rice, they told me that their advising is fantastic and that their classes prepare them for the MCAT (with supplemental studying). The price of attending Rice is one of the downsides though, UT Austin would be the most reasonable choice if price is a major factor, still an amazing school.
 

efle

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I am looking to understand how UT Austin might compare against these other private schools in terms of a student interested in getting into

Southwestern/Baylor Medical school
Other top 15 ranked medical schools

in terms of preparing the student to be competitive.

Also looking to find differences if any in their approach to

1) Weed-out classes
2) Difficulty in landing research opportunities
3) Premed counseling and recommendations
4) Level of stress

Finally will being a legacy (parent attended grad school at university, not med school), if a kid is within the range of stats that the med School accepts, give the applicant any edge in being accepted?
I chose WashU over the UCs, my two cents:

1) Weed out is huge. Something like 2/3rds drop off over freshman and sophomore years. Weed out occurs everywhere, but student bodies differ, and I personally believe a lot of people who struggled to break the median would've kicked butt at their state school. From what I've heard over the years, Rice and Duke are a little less intense than WashU though (and Hopkins of course has a reputation for being the worst experience among the premed powerhouses).

2) Research for credits is very easy to get at the private options, to them you're basically bright, hardworking, and best of all free labor, and the undergrad population is relatively small compared to the amount of research going on. I don't know anyone that struggled to get a gig. When I worked a summer in a UC lab, the students there said it was actually very difficult to find spots in popular departments - don't know how true it would be for UT, especially if you were in their honors college.

3) Premed advising is varying degrees of terrible. Eg. I had an advisor tell me not to worry about getting research experience, which is now on the resume for 90%+ of matriculants to top 15 med schools. You will always be best served by looking things up yourself from the best/official sources (MSAR, AAMC documents like this, etc)

4) Depends what you're after. Double majoring in BCPM while aiming for a top 15 MD is going to be a lot more academically stressful than majoring in psych and being fine with whatever Texas MD program will take you.

To really make this kind of choice though, you need to wait and see where you actually get accepted, the financial packages per school, and what impressions you get from visiting campuses if you do so!
 
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mumbo1220

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@efle Thank you for your feedback. So WashU had a lot of weed out? That's disappointing. That was going to be one of the schools on my undergraduate list. I have heard about Rice being easier. Can somebody who went to school there actually confirm this or is this an urban legend? Somehow I had the image that it would be a really really hard program with a lot of people dropping out because of the intensity of the academics. Maybe that's only engineering?
 
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mumbo1220

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Jun 20, 2016
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Have some friends at Baylor that attended Rice, they told me that their advising is fantastic and that their classes prepare them for the MCAT (with supplemental studying). The price of attending Rice is one of the downsides though, UT Austin would be the most reasonable choice if price is a major factor, still an amazing school.
Thank you!
 
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mumbo1220

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Jun 20, 2016
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UT Austin grad and current UTSW MS4. Any of those schools will be fine for a pre-med track. Obviously, being a Texas resident will increase your odds for UTSW and BCM. If cost is at all an issue, it's hard to look past UT Austin. Good luck with your applications.
Than you! How easy is it to find research opportunities at UT? Also do kids in the health science honors program get tangible advantages from the general student population?
 

efle

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@efle Thank you for your feedback. So WashU had a lot of weed out? That's disappointing. That was going to be one of the schools on my undergraduate list. I have heard about Rice being easier. Can somebody who went to school there actually confirm this or is this an urban legend? Somehow I had the image that it would be a really really hard program with a lot of people dropping out because of the intensity of the academics. Maybe that's only engineering?
Yeah, the majority of people in GenChem I never made it to the end of OChem II two years later. Weed out happens at every selective college, but some are known to be a lot worse and more intense (eg. Berkeley, Hopkins) and others much better (eg. Brown). I haven't heard Rice or Duke mentioned as one of the bad ones, but I'd guess it's still about half that drop off the premed track.
 

Lucca

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Than you! How easy is it to find research opportunities at UT? Also do kids in the health science honors program get tangible advantages from the general student population?
Students in any of the CNS honors programs are automatically placed in a research lab starting second semester of their freshman year. Which lab is largely up to student. Having that as a starting point, finding opportunities in general is very easy. PM me if you have any specific questions.
 

theWUbear

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WashU grad. Many of my classmates scored 40+ on the MCAT and we sent many to Yale med my hear, for example. There is weed out because it seems like most people are premed when they start but pretty much all my college friends at this point are physicians - meaning WashU is still a doctor factory. Orthopods, dermatologists, I am the lowly future EM doctor. If you stick with it at WashU and put in the time you will go places.

I wouldn't trade my 4 years at WashU for the world; the administration is incredibly supportive (practically throws money at you if you suggest an initiative, club, speaker, very easy), the campus and quality of life have been rated #1 in the country, and my friends from my freshman floor to my classes are now leaders in their respective fields all over the world.
 

clutch21

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Than you! How easy is it to find research opportunities at UT? Also do kids in the health science honors program get tangible advantages from the general student population?
I'm somewhat of a non-traditional as I majored in nursing and decided on med school quite late in the game. Given this, my perspective probably isn't the best for answering your questions. With that said, I had no trouble finding research opportunities. There is a ton of research to be had a UT Austin, you just have to be pro-active in finding it. Email random professors and see if you can meet and talk with them about their research. Get to know professors during their office hours. It really is all about networking. I guarantee you that no matter where you go, you'll be able to find something if you want it.

I'm not in a position to answer your question about the health science honors program. I'm sure something like that might be advantageous to have on a medical school application, but I'm not sure what the other perks are.