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University of Oregon or Portland State University for PRE-MED? I need research opport

streampawstreampaw Posts: 92Registered User Junior Member
edited March 2013 in College Search & Selection
I need research opportunities for pre-med because I want to go to a research intensive medical school. If I go to PSU, then I can try to get some internships at OHSU which is in Portland so they're both near each other. But I heard U of O is just a better school overall. Which school has more research opportunities? Which school has a higher acceptance rate of their pre-med students into med school? I found some info on the PSU website that some of their pre-med students got into some good med schools such as harvard and john hopkins, but I cannot find any information on the U of O website.

I will be transferring as a junior next fall to one of these schools. I have attended Portland Community College and was in the Early College High School program, where I go to PCC instead of high school for a couple years, and then at the end I get my associates degree along with a high school diploma, and I will have a junior standing at any Oregon public University. I will be 17 years old at the time when I transfer next fall, and I'm turning 18 in November. So when I start, I will still be 17, if that matters. I live in Portland right now. My GPA is decent, but I still want to get it up higher. It's a 3.4, but I'm hoping to have it be a 3.5 by the end of spring term. Hopefully I will start my junior year with a 3.5 GPA.

Which school should I transfer to, if I had to choose between PSU and U of O? PSU is close to OHSU and in a big city, Portland (so that could mean more opportunities? But idk). and U of O is just a better school in general, and I heard they have good research opportunities too, but I'm just not sure. Any advice?
Post edited by streampaw on

Replies to: University of Oregon or Portland State University for PRE-MED? I need research opport

  • juilletjuillet Posts: 9,445Super Moderator Senior Member
    The University of Oregon will almost certainly have more in-house research opportunities than Portland State. UO is a RU/VH (R1) university whereas PSU is a RU/H (R2). You are correct in thinking that - if you are sufficiently motivated and have the transportation - you could potentially do research with OHSU, which is a bastion of medical and scientific research. You can also potentially do great research with the PSU professors - even though it is an R2, it's still an *R2* - the RU/H designation means "research university, high research activity." They've been designated as a school with high research output. There are only 99 institutions with that designation. Some of the others are Boston College, Northeastern, George Mason and Kent State.

    Honestly, this is really up to you and the kind of atmosphere you want. Both are huge schools - Portland State is actually slightly bigger than U of O. U of O is in a small town in a more isolated area, whereas PSU is in a big city and closer to OHSU. U of O is bound to have more research going on, but your options won't be limited at PSU. Is there a significant cost difference? Do you like the campus or social scene of one better?
  • streampawstreampaw Posts: 92Registered User Junior Member
    I can go to either one, I'm just wondering which one will give me better chances and opportunities to get into good medical schools. I guess I do like the big city scene, and PSU would be cheaper since I could just live with my parents in Portland and tuition is a little cheaper, but I am considering all my options, I just want it to be the best for medical school.
  • sadillysadilly Posts: 930Registered User Member
    See if you can talk to the pre-med advisors at each school.
  • mom2collegekidsmom2collegekids Posts: 77,848Registered User Senior Member
    You didn't ask this, but you need to know this...

    Since you took college classes as a high school student, do NOT apply as a transfer student. NO!!

    Apply as an incoming frosh that has Early College credits. You do NOT want to give up your incoming frosh status for aid and merit purposes. As long as you took those college classes while in high school, colleges will still let you consider yourself as an incoming frosh for aid and merit purposes.

    So...when you apply, do NOT use the transfer app. Use the incoming frosh app.
    You'll still enter college with Junior Standing, but you still will be considered an incoming frosh for aid purposes.
  • mom2collegekidsmom2collegekids Posts: 77,848Registered User Senior Member
    It's a 3.4, but I'm hoping to have it be a 3.5 by the end of spring term. Hopefully I will start my junior year with a 3.5 GPA.


    what is the GPA of your college only classes? You need a high GPA for med school...Especially to get accepted to a SOM that is known for research. Those SOMs are filled with tippy top students.

    You also need to finish this school year with the highest GPA possible. Your GpA is lowish for merit scholarship consideration at many schools.
  • streampawstreampaw Posts: 92Registered User Junior Member
    My high school and college GPA's are the same, they're both a 3.4. Basically, in my classes from high school I had a 3.4, and in my classes from college i have a 3.4 I'm trying to raise my college GPA to a 3.5, that's the one I'm talking about. Not my high school GPA. But the thing is, colleges won't let me apply as a freshman because I have not taken ACT or SAT tests. Do you think U of O or PSU is better for pre-med?
  • juilletjuillet Posts: 9,445Super Moderator Senior Member
    Neither one is objectively better for pre-med. Pre-med is just a collection of courses that you have to take; most schools have them, and at most decent to good schools the pre-med courses are adequate for your needs. One of them may have a better pre-med advising office. A quick search yields that Portland State provides committee letters of recommendation (a letter from your pre-med adviser that summarizes the other letters of recommendation in your packet) and organizes your letters of recommendation in-house, whereas University of Oregon does NOT do that. Some people on CC have recommended looking at schools that do it committee-style.

    It's also often recommended that you minimize undergraduate cost/debt because medical school is expensive.

    You sound like you are leaning towards Portland State. If you are worried about whether you can get into med school from there, don't be. What's important is that you do the things you need to do to get in (keep your GPA high, do well on your MCAT, volunteer, shadow), not where you went.
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