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California Pre-Med

rosyhoursrosyhours Posts: 236Registered User Junior Member
Can you guys tell me anything about the following pre-med programs?

University of California at Santa Barbara
University of California at San Diego
University of California at Los Angeles
Chapman University
University of San Diego


It's Chapman and USD that I am particularly concerned about. I've heard that very few students get into medical school out of those schools. Can you guys help me out at all?
Post edited by rosyhours on
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Replies to: California Pre-Med

  • mom2collegekidsmom2collegekids Posts: 63,271Registered User Senior Member
    You may not understand what a pre-med curriculum is....

    It's a list of REGULAR classes that ALL schools offer. There's nothing special about them.. There is no "program" so to speak.

    When kids ask this question, it's as if they think colleges offer some kind of special Pre-Med classes. They don't. They are regular classes. You major in whatever you want....Bio, chem, English, History, whatever....and you include the following REGULAR classes.

    General bio I and II
    General chem I and II
    Organic I and II
    Cal I and II
    Physics

    So, if those schools have decent science and math classes, you're good.
  • rosyhoursrosyhours Posts: 236Registered User Junior Member
    I do understand what Pre-Med is, I didn't mean to confuse by using the word "program."


    "So, if those schools have decent science and math classes, you're good. "
    ^This is exactly what I am wondering about these schools.
  • bluebayoubluebayou Posts: 21,555Registered User Senior Member
    Every college can do the premed curriculum well if it calls itself a college....

    Med school is about 40% gpa, 40% mcat & 20% ECs. Of the list, Chapman would have lowest competition, so it would be easiest to maximize gpa. But bcos Chapman has the lowest competition, it also has the lowest SAT scores, i.e, not-so-great test takers (for whatever reason). Thus, on average, Chapman students will not do as well on the mcat as say students at UCLA. A low mcat score will keep applicants out of med school, which could explain the low acceptances by Chapman and Cal State students. (In contrast, Harvard selects the world's best test-takers and its students do extremely well in the med school admissions game.)
  • mom2collegekidsmom2collegekids Posts: 63,271Registered User Senior Member
    Chapman has the lowest competition, it also has the lowest SAT scores, i.e, not-so-great test takers (for whatever reason). Thus, on average, Chapman students will not do as well on the mcat as say students at UCLA


    I don't know if it's black and white.

    We don't know how strong the test-takers are that are pre-med at Chapman.
    I don't think Chapman has engineering, so that would eliminate a lot of high test takers.

    Yes, probably the pre-med students at UCLA are stronger, but I wouldn't say that you can look at the overall test scores at Chapman and know how strong the pre-med students are.
  • mikemacmikemac Posts: 7,396Registered User Senior Member
    To a very large degree, how successful you are in applying to med school depends on what you do in college and not some magic the college has with regards to preparing students for med school.

    There is an excellent online handbook I recommend you read to get an understanding of the process and what really matters -- see Amherst College Guide for Premedical Students
  • bluebayoubluebayou Posts: 21,555Registered User Senior Member
    but I wouldn't say that you can look at the overall test scores at Chapman and know how strong the pre-med students are.

    Sure you can, it's a not a bad proxy absent other inputs, particularly for the science requirements, which require math-type analytical skills. (Calc, Stats, Chem and Physics are a lot of math. Only bio is more memorization). It's also not a bad proxy for MCAT ability; indeed the 7/8 year med programs focus heavily on SAT scores. As I mentioned earlier, there is a good reason that Harvard students have the highest mean MCAT scores: they also have the highest mean SAT scores......Heck, if SAT scores were not one measure of student quality, why would President Doty be spending big bucks on merit scholarships to lure high scorers?

    Of course, UCLA also has students with higher gpa's and higher class rank (~90% in top decile vs. 50% at Chapman); thus the 'competition' for A's is much, much lower at Chapman.

    great link, mikemac; thanks for posting it.
  • mom2collegekidsmom2collegekids Posts: 63,271Registered User Senior Member
    ^^^

    I completely agree that SAT and ACT scores are good predictors for MCAT scores (which is why many of us cringe when we see kids posting that they have ACT 25s and they want to go pre-med....we know it's not likely they're going to make it thru the weeder orgo courses nor get a med-school acceptable MCAT score.).

    What I'm saying is that at a school like Chapman, incoming GPAs and test scores are not uniformly distributed amongst all majors (neither at other schools). Chapman doesn't have engineering, so that eliminates a lot of high GPA/SAT kids from even attending. However, I would imagine that those who are high GPA/SAT kids are probably more highly concentrated in the hard sciences (and may likely be pre-med).

    But, I would say that a pre-med student at Chapman is probably going to find a less cut-throat atmosphere and will probably emerge with a better GPA.


    and, yes, thanks to mikemac for posting that link. :)
  • bluebayoubluebayou Posts: 21,555Registered User Senior Member
    Chapman doesn't have engineering, so that eliminates a lot of high GPA/SAT kids from even attending.

    There are a LOT of LACs, many of them quite selective and most do not offer engineering but they seem to have no trouble matriculating students with high tests scores. Several of those LACs are only a 30 minute drive from Chapman (Claremont, CA). Moreover, engineering types may tend to have skewed test scores -- high on math....
  • mom2collegekidsmom2collegekids Posts: 63,271Registered User Senior Member
    ^^^

    Yes, TOP LACs have no trouble attracting high stats kids. I wouldn't call Chapman a TOP LAC. I was just talking about Chapman.


    Anyway...my point is that at schools like Chapman (where they give merit for high stats), you're not likely going to find high stats kids across all majors. At schools like this, you're going to find high stats kids largely concentrated amongst several majors...math, bio, chem, physics (and engineering if the school has those majors).

    I see this all the time at flagships that are buying high stats kids and NMFs. These kids are largely concentrated in about 5 -10 majors. That's why a prospective student can't just look at the campus-wide stats and get a real feel for what kind of students are going to be his/her classmates within a major.
  • bluebayoubluebayou Posts: 21,555Registered User Senior Member
    Yeah I get your point, but my point was that LACs also have "high stat kids across all majors" and they do not have engineering.
    ...you're going to find high stats kids largely concentrated amongst several majors...math, bio, chem, physics....

    source, particularly the SAT-CR?
  • mom2collegekidsmom2collegekids Posts: 63,271Registered User Senior Member
    There isn't one "source."

    I saw this when visiting several big merit schools when my 2 sons were going thru the admissions process. The NMF kids and such were more heavily within several majors. It wasn't 100% of course, just greater concentrations within several majors.

    I've also seen it within breakdowns of majors within honors colleges. At one university, the lowest number of students in the honors college were in....education, communication, performing arts, and such. The highest numbers were in engineering, hard sciences, math, business admin, and nursing.

    And, I still don't believe that LACs (in general...not talking about Amherst, Williams, etc) have an equal distribution of test scores across all majors. Don't believe it.

    Students in performing arts and fine arts majors can be admitted by skill, not by high test scores.


    you're not likely going to find high stats kids across all majors.

    I should have written that you're not going to find similar concentrations of high stats kids across all majors. (again, talking about Chapman and other schools that aren't "top" or "elite" schools.)

    I wrote it more clearly in post #8....

    What I'm saying is that at a school like Chapman, incoming GPAs and test scores are not uniformly distributed amongst all majors (neither at other schools).
  • rosyhoursrosyhours Posts: 236Registered User Junior Member
    So, basically, from what I can draw from all of this..

    no one school, such as UCLA, will necessarily prepare me much better for the MCATs than any other such as, say, Chapman. It depends on how hard I work at whatever college I choose.

    Correct?
  • mom2collegekidsmom2collegekids Posts: 63,271Registered User Senior Member
    Pretty much! And at Chapman (a smaller school) you'd probably have an easier time meeting with a prof if you needed help or more explanation.
  • drmiketodddrmiketodd Posts: 1Registered User New Member
    Hi,
    My daughter just got accepted and our main concern was how well Chapman would prepare her for the MCAT's and whether any Chapman students ever got accepted into med school. She has a 4.0 GPA now and a number 1 ranking at her school and she is a strong test taker (2140 SAT). Your post have been for helpful. Do you have kids at Chapman and if so are they pre-med? Would you recommend we request to talk to a professor in the Bio or Chem department and talk to them about our concerns. Your input would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
  • mom2collegekidsmom2collegekids Posts: 63,271Registered User Senior Member
    whether any Chapman students ever got accepted into med school.

    lol

    Well, since Chapman has an advising dept, that means they have acceptances.

    Chapman University - Health & Life Sciences - Pre-Health Advising Program
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