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What should I do? Do I have any better options?

the Undergrad

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    Hi guys,

    Well I'm technically a sophomore at a community college at the moment. I graduated from hs in 2001 and I had initially planned to transfer to UCLA by their winter 2004. And, believe me, I worked hard toward reaching that goal(of transfering to UCLA) and now I'm pretty much done with 60 units(yes, you need atlease 60 units to transfer). However, much to my dismay, I recently found out UCLA closed its Winter 2004 quarter to all the transfer applicants(apparently UCLA, UCB, and UCSD). Well that means that now Ill have to wait till November of THIS year to apply for their Fall 2004 quarter. And this is where the problem takes off. Applying in THIS november means It will take me five years, instead of four, to complete my undergrad studies(a Bio/Psych major, btw...eventually wanna go to med school).

    On the positive side, the only bright side I see in staying another year at this community college is that Ill finish my hardcore lower div sci courses at a much cheaper price/unit and with small classses, as compared to uni.


    Hence, some questions I hope some kind souls out there REPLY to(duh, many many ppl VIEW it but few are kind enough to reply..haha, j/k). Anyways, here goes:

    -Should I forget about going for UCLA and apply to other UCs(w/the exception of Cal and SD as they are ALSO closed) for Winter 2004?

    -Would it make a bad impression on the med school committee if they see I spent three years at a community college? Are my science courses taken at CC going to be looked upon as "easy" compared to the same course at a university? (REALLY IMP. Question)


    (IF i stay at the CC, that would mean me completing almost all my lower div science courses at the community college.)

    -Am I making a mistake by spending another year at a CC eventhough Im ready and qualified to transfer, just because of attending UCLA? Consider the already long medical education down the years...

    -Do I have ANY OTHER option? Any stories?

    I'm posting this message in this forum for two reasons. First, because this is directly related to my long term goal of attending med school as if I stay at this CC for another year(when I really dont need it), Im putting an year off. And, second, cuz all of you have been there and done it soy'all might be good advice. This is really serious for me. So plz be serious. Thanks!
     

    dreaminOfMD>.<

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      Undergrad,

      I don't think you should worry about staying at the JC for another year. I'm from a JC myself (currently attending UCLA) and I have found that finishing alot of the lower division sciences at the JC was beneficial. I practically took all of the medical school requirement courses at the JC with the exception of physics...I REGRET not taking physics at the JC b/c it is [email protected]#$ing hard over at UCLA. I also have alot of premed friends who have transferred to one UC or another and it typically took them 3 years to do so. This was b/c if you plan on entering a UC (especially UCLA) you need to complete the general articulation agreement between your jc and the uc. This is so you will be well prepared for the courses you will have to take on once you have transferred as a junior. Most of the courses you will take after transferring will be the ones that pertain to your major. I actually know of a couple people who applied to enter fall of 2002 (when I transferred) with the minimal 60 units and they were rejected primarily b/c they lacked to complete the articulation agreement.

      If you are to major in psychobiology over at UCLA, you will be considered to be a life science major. There are several classes you need to complete before transferring. If you haven't already, you should try this website:

      www.assist.org

      It should show you all classes you need to transfer to any UC or university for that matter from your community college.

      As for how med schools look at transfer students, while I know that they look at JC classes as easier than UC classes, that shouldn't get you down. First of all, they need to realize that many of us simply do not have the option of attending a competitive 4 yr. university straight out of highschool for various reasons: you can be butt poor and you do not have the means to do so, you could have been a big time screw up in highschool and a JC was the only way to redeem yourself (my case), have other things you need to take care of out of highschool(also my case: had a baby as a teen)...etc.

      Don't put too much thought into how they will view you simply b/c you are a transfer student...that's pretty shallow of them if they do...don't you think?

      I think everything will be just fine for you. Just make sure you get talkin to a counselor at your school or check out that website if you haven't already. Just concentrate on kicking some butt in the classes now so that you will improve your chances of getting in later instead of worrying about staying at the JC for 3 measly years...

      I hope this helps, and sorry for rambling on and on.

      Best of luck;)

      Annie
       

      Deuce 007 MD

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        Don't worry about it. 3 years at a city college is not a big deal. I did 3 years at long beach city, then 3 years at UCLA. Thats because I worked full time during city college and school at night. And when I eventually went to UCLA I transfered in as a history major, but changed my major to psychobio, and had to take all the prereq sci classes there. I wish I could've done my sci classes at city college maybe my gpa would've been better. So if your heart is set on UCLA like mine was just wait it out no big deal.
         
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        demografix

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          How badly do you want to go to UCLA? I don't know what admissions boards think per se, but stereotypes of community colleges do exist. If I were you I would try to go somewhere else, if only to finish on time. I'm sure if you do well at the cc you can still get into medical school, but it might increase your chances if you move on.
           

          SwingDoc

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            I don't think going to your cc for an extra year is a problem at all. One thing I do recommend, however, is that you try to get involved in some research. I don't know how far away you are from UCLA, but getting a position in the psych department there (now) as a research assisitant (volunteer if you have to) will not only help ensure you matriculate into that school, but will also put you in a position to continue doing that work while in school, and give you a good opportunity to get to know a professer that can eventually give you a high quality LOR. Having quality relationships with profs and getting excellent and personal letters of rec go a VERY long way in the admin process. Keep up the hard work - and don't worry about the extra year. In the whole scheme of life, it's only a small fraction of time. AND, if I were you, during this time I would try to have some fun!!

            Best!:clap:
             

            the Undergrad

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              Originally posted by dreaminOfMD>.<
              Undergrad,

              I don't think you should worry about staying at the JC for another year. I'm from a JC myself (currently attending UCLA) and I have found that finishing alot of the lower division sciences at the JC was beneficial. I practically took all of the medical school requirement courses at the JC with the exception of physics...I REGRET not taking physics at the JC b/c it is [email protected]#$ing hard over at UCLA. I also have alot of premed friends who have transferred to one UC or another and it typically took them 3 years to do so. This was b/c if you plan on entering a UC (especially UCLA) you need to complete the general articulation agreement between your jc and the uc. This is so you will be well prepared for the courses you will have to take on once you have transferred as a junior. Most of the courses you will take after transferring will be the ones that pertain to your major. I actually know of a couple people who applied to enter fall of 2002 (when I transferred) with the minimal 60 units and they were rejected primarily b/c they lacked to complete the articulation agreement.

              If you are to major in psychobiology over at UCLA, you will be considered to be a life science major. There are several classes you need to complete before transferring. If you haven't already, you should try this website:

              www.assist.org

              It should show you all classes you need to transfer to any UC or university for that matter from your community college.

              As for how med schools look at transfer students, while I know that they look at JC classes as easier than UC classes, that shouldn't get you down. First of all, they need to realize that many of us simply do not have the option of attending a competitive 4 yr. university straight out of highschool for various reasons: you can be butt poor and you do not have the means to do so, you could have been a big time screw up in highschool and a JC was the only way to redeem yourself (my case), have other things you need to take care of out of highschool(also my case: had a baby as a teen)...etc.

              Don't put too much thought into how they will view you simply b/c you are a transfer student...that's pretty shallow of them if they do...don't you think?

              I think everything will be just fine for you. Just make sure you get talkin to a counselor at your school or check out that website if you haven't already. Just concentrate on kicking some butt in the classes now so that you will improve your chances of getting in later instead of worrying about staying at the JC for 3 measly years...

              I hope this helps, and sorry for rambling on and on.

              Best of luck;)

              Annie

              Thanks!:)


              Whats an articulation agreement?

              What do you think my chances are of getting in at UCLA if im a double major in bio. and psych(well, im gonna be done w/ all my psych courses so i guess psych counts more) and a GPA in the 3.28-3.33 range AND in the honors transfer program?

              Thanks:)
               

              the Undergrad

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                Originally posted by demografix
                How badly do you want to go to UCLA?

                really badly. wanted to go there since as long as i can remember. dunno what im gonna do if i dont get in. heh.

                anyway, thanks for ur reply:)


                btw,

                What do you think my chances are of getting in at UCLA if im a double major in bio. and psych(well, im gonna be done w/ all my psych courses so i guess psych counts more) and a GPA in the 3.28-3.33 range AND in the honors transfer program?
                 

                the Undergrad

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                  Originally posted by Deuce 007 MD
                  And when I eventually went to UCLA I transfered in as a history major, but changed my major to psychobio, and had to take all the prereq sci classes there. I wish I could've done my sci classes at city college maybe my gpa would've been better. So if your heart is set on UCLA like mine was just wait it out no big deal.

                  hey, thanks! :)

                  do you mind telling me what ur gpa was as a history major to get in as a transfer?

                  seriously, whats the cut off for mainly psych majors OR bio majors who are transfering from a cc AND they are in one of those honors transfer programs ???? (yeah, those honor transfer progrns who have like contracts with univ and how they are supposed to be all good...SERIUOUSLY HOW GOOD ARE THEY???)

                  im rambling:rolleyes:
                   

                  Maple

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                    Undergrad,

                    Another option: transfer to a cal state. I know you would prefer to attend UCLA, but if the prospect of spending an extra year at a cc is less then appealing, then you might consider other 4yr universities as well. I am not sure about the procedures for transferring to a CSU and you'd have to look them up, but I'm pretty sure they accept transfers for either semester.

                    Also, it is personal and somewhat irrelevant, but may I ask why your gpa is on the lowish side with mostly Psych and some Sci classes? If you only maintain this gpa for the rest of your undergrad, you might have some difficulty in the med application process and you may be expected to have a high MCAT score to offset a low gpa. I guess what I'm trying to get at is that a 4yr university is pretty tough and you have to work really hard to do well(with more competition etc.) and if you are having "trouble" in a CC then a 4 yr University won't be a breeze either. Now before people get all upset with me calling 3.3 a low gpa and posts tons of exceptions, let me qualify this idea as a generality. I don't mean to question your abilities, just that make sure your study habits evolve with your academic career.

                    good luck!

                    :)
                     

                    dreaminOfMD>.<

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                      Undergrad,

                      An articulation agreement is an agreement between your jc and the university to which you would like to transfer to. Since you are completing most of your GE's over at the JC, they use the articulation agreement to set the equivalents of the classes. They also use the agreement to set the equivalents to classes that pertain to your major. For example, at UCLA there is a class called Life Science 2 (Cells, Tissues, and Organs). I had to complete the JC's equivalents of that course in order to transfer...at my JC, I had to take 2 courses (organismal and cell and molecular biology) to equal that one course at UCLA. Being a science major, be prepared to take alot of courses b/c UCLA will require that of you. Just think of those courses as UCLA admissions requirements for your particular major. Did you even check out that link I gave you? You should log in your JC's name, the University that you want to transfer to, the major that you will transfer under, and the year you plan on tranferring. It should give you a pretty detailed list of which classes they want of you and what their equivalents are at the university. Really, if you haven't already, I really suggest you check out that website.

                      Since you really do want to get into UCLA, I honestly think you should chill and just stay another year at the JC. Don't be in any rush to transfer to a university if it means giving up your dream school. Besides, staying another year at the JC will save you a years worth of tuition...that's a good reason in itself:rolleyes: .

                      I think you have a decent chance of getting into UCLA. It's hard to tell. I know of 2 people who had a GPA around yours and they were accepted. I know of 2 others who have been rejected with similar numbers. I don't know what UCLA's criteria is of accepting transfer students. All I know is that you should work at raising your GPA so that you'll have more security of getting in...

                      Hope this helps;)
                       

                      Iffy premed

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                        Undergrad:

                        Spending 3 years at CC is not the best solution. Waiting around for UCLA isn't neither. If you want to be a doctor, then that should be your ONLY goal. Undergraduate education is merely a stepping stone. Get you butt into a 4 -yr university and take the prereqs over again in order to be competitive. If you waited another year to get into UCLA, and not take prereqs over, it would be waste to have the UCLA name on your diploma.
                         

                        the Undergrad

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                          Originally posted by Iffy premed
                          Undergrad:

                          Spending 3 years at CC is not the best solution. Waiting around for UCLA isn't neither. If you want to be a doctor, then that should be your ONLY goal. Undergraduate education is merely a stepping stone. Get you butt into a 4 -yr university and take the prereqs over again in order to be competitive. If you waited another year to get into UCLA, and not take prereqs over, it would be waste to have the UCLA name on your diploma.

                          You have a good point..that my only goal should be a doctor..

                          But doesn't Undergrad school matter to the adcoms?

                          Well, I'm so confused at the moment. Im really pissed at UCLA for closing their Winter 2004 quarter JUST when I was ready to apply..seriously, you dunno what the feeling is like when someone worked AND took 11 units in a 6 week summer session last summer...and now finding out that it was for nothing..i mean If I HAD to stay another year at this junior college, i could've just chilled and take it slowly :mad:

                          Well anyway...

                          I was thinking if I just forget about UCLA and just apply to the other UCs (eg. UCI, UCSB, UCD, etc) and start uni in Winter 2004. In fact, I quite like UC Irvine--the campus, the atmosphere, the city, close to home, etc. And,I'm dead sure i will get into UCI too!
                          But, there's some problems:

                          1.) If I choose to go to UCI, then I would have to complete MORE lower div courses, both for Psych or Bio. or either one, becuz all this time, I was going with the courses equiv. to UCLA's lower div prep courses (yes, from www.assist.org). And now, UCl's lower div requirements are a little diff't for both majors of my choice (bio/Psyc). Any ideas on this???

                          2.) If I DO go to UCI, then maybe I can take the April 2004 MCAT with all my science courses completed, with the exception of part 2 of Physics? Is there a lot of physics on the MCAT? Im asking becuz I will have my Chem and Bio courses done and maybe one Physics course done. In this way, I can go ahead and apply in the summer for Med school or take the August 2004 mcat if im not happy with my april score. BUT THE BIG MAJOR PROBLEM IS (through the "UCI Route" ), I wont have ANY research experience on my app!!!

                          Or may I do research the summer of 2004 and THEN apply for admission, but wouldnt it be too late for research?
                          Wait, what are you guys doing or have done? Know anyone who got into med school w/o any research experience???
                          What are some less-research-concentrated med schools in America????


                          OR,

                          Should I just forget about "UCI route" and take it easy and stay another year at JC????????


                          PLEASE PLEASE reply as these questions are grating on my nerves!

                          much thanks:)
                           
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