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Where to go for UNDERGRAD?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by Beckesita, Feb 9, 2002.

  1. Beckesita

    Beckesita Senior Member 7+ Year Member

    Jan 17, 2002
    While pretty much everyone here is trying to decide where to go to Med school I still haven't figured out where to finish my B.S. (I get my AA this summer!) :confused:
    Basically I'm torn between U of Florida a huge public school 5 hours away from home and Barry University a small private school about an hour away (2 hours in traffic).
    Any help and/or advice you can give this lil' newbie would be appreciated!
    Thanks for your help and taking the time to read my little thread. Good Luck in Med school!
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  3. Billie

    Billie An Oldie but a Goodie... 10+ Year Member

    Nov 30, 1998
    Cleveland, OH
    I think there have been other threads on this topic before, but even with all that is said, does it really matter where you go to undergrad? I guess my situation was a little different as I didn't apply to med school until I had been out of undergrad for 10 years. But I just don't see how it matters.

    Good luck to you though! :)
  4. oldman

    oldman Senior Citizen 10+ Year Member

    Feb 3, 2002
    Some things to keep in mind.
    The smaller school can give you closer access to professors and better letters of recommendation. The larger school might have a better pre-med advising program and more name weight.

    Find out what the schools offer in terms of helping out students in the medical school application process. My school had an office with about 5 full-time people processing everything, it certainly made my process smoother.

    You don't always have to be in the super well-known schools to get into medical school.
  5. DarksideAllstar

    DarksideAllstar you can pay me in bud 7+ Year Member

    Dec 17, 2001
    West of the Haight
    Coming from a not-so-prestigious undergrad myself (Univ of Nevada-Las Vegas), I think that I can help you with this. Get into the best undergrad you can. Although I have had 4 interviews and an acceptance in hand, I think that by going to a school with a weaker rep has hurt me a little in the process. For instance, getting a 3.8 at UNLV may be equivalent to getting a 3.0 at Columbia, Harvard, or Yale, in the eyes of adcoms, even though my classes were just as difficult. I think that to some extent your undergrad does make a difference if you want to get into a top program for med school. If you work hard, get great grades, rock the MCAT, and do a ton of EC's you can go anywhere you want from any undergrad. However, if you are the "average" applicant, who doesn't really stand out from all the others, then going to a lesser known undergrad might hurt you. This, of course, is my opinion and so I believe some people will disagree, but my own experiences have made me aware of this. In hindsight, I would have chosen a different undergrad.
  6. THE instiGATOR

    THE instiGATOR Cow Tipper 7+ Year Member

    Sep 27, 2001
    Ok ok ok, let the expert help. This really is a no brainer. Go to UF! Barry University's reputation is not something to do cartwheels over. Most people probably have never heard of it. UF on the other hand, is pretty well known. What makes this such a no brainer is MONEY! Why on earth would someone choose to pay private tuition to attend Barry University over UF?!?!

    If you are worrying about UF's size, don't. The only major problem it brings is parking. When you leave in 2 years, you'll have developed many strong relationsips. You will spend much of your time near the department of your major, so you will be bumping into the same people often.

    Feel free to ignore my advice. Just realize that I turned down a pretty great private school, Emory, to attend UF. It's a great school. You'll learn the same material at either Barry or UF, so I'd advise choosing the cheaper of the two...which happens to have far greater resources. If you have full scholarships to both, however, choose the one that will be more enjoyable to you.
  7. Naraku

    Naraku Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Oct 1, 1999
    New Jersey
    Hey, all-

    For those of you who have seen this before, sorry- I seem to post this every six months or so.

    Anyway, while I'm sure that there are some med schools that consider a 3.8 at a state school to be equivalent to an Ivy League 3.0, this isn't always the case. One of my interviewers told me point blank that the Dean of Admissions at the school preferred a 3.9 from a "no-name school" (his words, not mine) to a 3.7 from Cornell. (Not that I had anything remotely resembling a 3.7, but still...) My interviewer disagreed with that philosophy personally, but that's life.

    To Beckesita-

    Have you visited the schools in question? Spend a few hours at each of them (if possible) and decide where you feel more comfortable. Talk to the students and get their opinions- they're the ones who know what's really going on in any case. (Besides, you'll be spending the next two years with them- it helps to like them.)

    Some people like huge schools because of the diversity and the broader opportunities (for research, volunteering, etc.) that they offer. Other people find them impersonal and overwhelming, and prefer smaller, close-knit schools where it's easier to get to know the faculty (who may not be as research-driven/obsessed as their research university colleagues).

    You mentioned the distance (5 hours versus 1-2 hours). Will this be a problem? Some people want to get as far away as possible; others want to be close enough to go home several times a month (i.e. whenever they need their laundry done :) ). Also, money shouldn't be the only thing you base your decision on, but graduating debt-free is a nice thing (or so I've heard).

    Think about it, and good luck!


    Cornell University '00
    UMDNJ-SOM '04
  8. Pawnym

    Pawnym Five Twos? 7+ Year Member

    Dec 13, 2001
    cocoa beach, FL
    I'm sort of in a similar situation I think.

    I made some wrong decisions in high school(different life attitude then) when I was in 10th grade and dropped out. I worked and did other stuff for the next two and a half years. Yay... *groan* For whatever reason tho I got smart, took the GED and started taking classes again at my community college(Brevard Community College).

    It's like I've got my second chance. School is MUCH better than work. I'd like to go the rest of my life. I'm motivated now, awesome grades, vol'tring for a couple dif. places, involved in a couple neat organizations and now I'm thinking about where to continue undergrad like yourself and... well I'm committed to med school. No acceptance or anything being a first year but it's what I want and I'll do it. I'll have my AA after summer semester(still a freshmen) so where to next?

    I live in FL too actually. I'm actually lookin to go out of state tho(get very far away, some place new). Pretty sure I'll head to Cornell. I love the school and I'm pretty positive I have the qualifications to get the transfer. If not, some other school in the Northeast that's extremely hard and prolly just as expensive(I want snow too hehe)

    I have schools I'm lookin back here in FL too, but one other thing in the back of my mind is that I'm already at a disadvantage right now w/ my first two years(or year really) at a CC. I kinda sorta wanna prove I can handle a difficult curriculum to myself and to the adcoms.

    I'd go to UF though - definitely. UF is a great school. I'd go there over Barry(tho i dont know too much about Barry I admit). If it weren't for me wanting a change in atmosphere, I'm sure UF would be one of my top choices - may end up going there still, depends on Financial assistance hehe :)

    Anyways... good luck with a decision and you'll do awesome wherever you go.

    Naraku- good advice from you. I hope you enjoyed Cornell right? :)
  9. Doctora Foxy

    Doctora Foxy Meow 7+ Year Member

    Jan 28, 2002

    My sister goes to PBCC in South Fl, and when she graduates, I'm encouraging her to go to UF. I chose to go to a small private college far from home, and I think it's made me more independent. But, I also wish I went to UF because it's cheaper, bigger, and more social (yes premeds need this too :) , and my school is lacking in this area). It's also an EXCELLENT school! I was hoping to get into UF med school and share an apt w/ my sister while she finishes undergrad, but I still haven't heard from them.

    Anyway, good luck to you, and feel free to PM me with any questions.
  10. Naraku

    Naraku Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Oct 1, 1999
    New Jersey

    If you want snow, Cornell is definitely a good place for you. Ithaca isn't quite in the snowbelt, but opportunities for snowball fights abound. (It spoiled me, too- NJ winters feel awfully mild to me now... although this year's rash of 60+ days in January isn't helping. I miss snow!)

    Honestly, I had a great time there- I'd go back in a second. In fact, I sometimes do- every now and then I'll drive up for a weekend. I really do miss it up there. :) If you have any questions, feel free to e-mail me at [email protected]

    Good luck!

    Cornell University '00
    UMDNJ-SOM '04

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