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What about SCCO and Berkeley?

Discussion in 'Optometry' started by Rorschach, Nov 24, 2002.

  1. Rorschach

    Rorschach Junior Member

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    Hello all of you aspiring optometrists. I am a fairly new member to this forum...I found out about it from my roommate earlier this year but kinda forgot about it until recently. It is very unfortunate that my memory is like a sieve because this is a great forum for sharing information about the interview process and optometry in general. I really could've used some of the advice offered by all of you before I started my application process. Despite this, I think I am on the right track so far. I have been accepted to ICO and just finished a successful interview at NEWENCO. SCCO and IU interviews are to follow in Dec. and Jan. I did have one comment/question...I've skimmed several pages of the forum log and past threads, but not many people say much about the CA schools SCCO and Berkeley. I was just wondering if there was something about those schools that I have not heard about. Is it just a matter of distance and city preference that people don't apply to those schools? Or maybe I just haven't checked far back enough on the log to read the threads about SCCO and Berkeley? I dont know...I am a California resident and am seriously looking into SCCO as my first choice (although NEWENCO is a very close second). Of course I wont know for sure until I've been to the school for the interview and have talked to the faculty, etc...but to my understanding, SCCO and Berkeley are pretty good schools with decent programs. And besides, Southern/Northern California are great places to live and study. I would definitely like to know of any of you out there have any interview stories about those schools. In any case, thanks for hearing me out and good luck to all of you.

    Ror...
     
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  3. TPMOH

    TPMOH Senior Member
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    Don't feel left out- very few people in here apply to OSU either. The only thing I know about Berkley is that it's very competitive to get accepted there- very similiar to OSU. I think the Gormon Report ratings last I knew ranked Berkely #1 & OSU #2, but who knows what it's based on. Another thing about Berkley- it's dirt cheap to go there if you're a Cal resident (maybe around 6-8K tuition last I remember). I'm sure either school will be a good choice. As I mentioned in previous posts, check into each school's 1st time passage rate on part I of the boards and how each school runs its program (some start you in clinic earlier than others).
     
  4. r_salis

    r_salis SDN Supa-Mod Emmetrope
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    Hi Ror -- believe me, if it were possible for me to move to CA to go to school, Berkeley and SCCO would *definitely* be on the list of schools I applied to. I think what you're noticing on this board is the "regionalness" of optometry school applicants. Most people seem to apply to schools that are fairly close to where they live, or are at least in the same region (northeast, south, central US, etc.). To my knowledge, there aren't any active Pacific coast SDNers, so consequently there's not much chatter here about those schools.

    That said, I know cpw applied to Berkeley, maybe she can share her experiences w/them?
     
  5. cpw

    cpw It's a boy !!!
    Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

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    Yes, I did apply to berkeley and SCCO. lived in northern california when I applied. I had dual residency in both CA and Texas.

    Both schools (UCB and SCCO) have great programs. Personally, I was more impressed with SCCO. Berkeley seemed to be a little run down to me and all I heard about was "we're Number one.. we're Numer one... " That's great and all.. but what about my education... and your clinic looks kinda sub-par. Berkeley is trying to shed their reserach oriented image and beef up their clinical program. (these are just my observations and things students that I know there are telling me)

    SCCO I thought was great. But, VERY expensive. 21K a year just in TUITION!!! I loved the people I met there, the area, the clinic, the student based atmosphere. I sat in the student lounge before my interview (my flight got there three hours early) and students recognized that I wasn't student there (yet) and started talking to me... showing me where they hung out.. and one even offered to buy me lunch. It was a very friendly atmosphere and had it NOT been 21k a year I would have gone there.. no question.

    The main reason I picked UHCO over SCCO and Berkeley was location and money. UHCO was only 8k a year in tuition.. their clinic is great... and my parents live in Houston so I could live at home and save a TON on rent. (which is what I'm doing) I did get into SCCO, put down a deposit on a seat in the class and then withdrew when I got accepted to UHCO. I got to the interview round at berkeley (they interview 120 people for their 60 seat class) and then got rejected. They have minimum GPA of 3.2 and a minimum OAT of 320... (which they don't tell you until you get your rejection letter).. so I'm filling y'all in. I had those numbers (and more) but they also want you to score above 310 on EVERY SECTION of the OAT. I had one 300 in organic (I guess that killed me). Who knows. But I had to make a decision based on where I got accepted and I"m sure I made the right one for me.

    Hope all my babbling helps. Let me know if you have any other questions about SCCO or Berkeley since I've been to both and filled out all the crud for both. Just don't forget to fill out a UCB undergrad application (all 18 pages of it) if you don't go to Berkeley already. Berkeley's the only school I've seen that does that.
     
  6. Rorschach

    Rorschach Junior Member

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    Thanks folks...your info is much appreciated. I've heard those things about Berkeley, and while the ridiculously low tuition would be nice, I dont know if the program is completely right for me. SCCO, however, would definitely be a top choice (considering I live 15 mins. from the campus and would save a bundle on rent also). Im glad to know that there are others considering the Cali schools.

    Ror...
     

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