Which Schools to Apply To

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New Member
10+ Year Member
Dec 6, 2008
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A little bit about me first:

Major: Biology w/ honors (specialization in microbes and immunity) / Econ minor at Stanford

GPA: 3.72
MCAT 39S (13PS, 12VR, 14 BS)


Three years of pretty intensive research in cellular immunology, but no publications as of yet, 1 summer of research in molecular biology, 2 quarters of shadowing a Radiation oncologist (and loving it), T.A.ing a biology lab science course, and 2 summers working part time in an Allergy/immunology clinic mixing antigens for shots. I also played on the lacrosse team for all 4 years and sing in an a cappella gorup.

I'm a california resident, and it would be a dream come true to go to UCSF, UCSD, UCLA, or Stanford (in that order), though I'm also applying to Davis and Irvine. I was also planning on applying to several top tier schools outside California, namely Harvard, Penn, Duke, WashU, Mayo, J-H, and Columbia.

I wanted to ask if people think that my stats and activities will give me a shot (and if so, how good) at these top schools, and was wondering what would be some good mid or lower tier schools to apply to make sure i get an acceptance.

Thanks in advance!


Full Member
10+ Year Member
Apr 4, 2007
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With your stats you should have an excellent chance at many highly-selective, research-intensive schools (assuming a strong Personal Statement, excellent recommendations, and good interview skills). See the school selection sticky at the top of this forum for help in choosing other schools. I'm sure you have regional and curriculum-type preferences we can't anticipate, so it's best you do your own research. If you need more info about schools, I highly recommend you get hold of a copy of the MSAR (Medical School Admission Requirements)book at your school's reference library, your advisory office, or by buying one on-line through the AMCAS website for $25 or so.

Side note: if your primary clinical experience is mixing up allergy antigens, you might want to broaden the base to something more patient oriented. Shadowing is good, but doesn't involve your face-to-face personal interaction with sick people, which is expected on applications. I also don't see volunteerism mentioned, another essential element. You can kill two birds with one stone by volunteering in a clinical setting. And I'd get that going ASAP, so you can put it on your application next summer. TAing is a good leadership experience, and your sport shows teamwork, so you're good to go in those areas. The a capella group should also be mentioned (makes you look well-rounded).

We'd be happy to critique a list, once you generate it.