Okay, so I have gotten the overall impression that Tulane and Miami are similar academically, but are considered slightly better than Pitt. On CollegeProw1er (sorry for the 1, it keeps censoring it!), it gives Tulane and Miami a B+ in academics, and Pitt a B. But I found this website called StudentsRev1ew (again... censored??), and it gives Tulane and Miami the same thing again, but gives Pitt an A-? Do you think this is accurate? And how much should I go by this? I'm just getting mixed signals
Last edited by ram62393; 04-06-2011 at 08:23 PM.
guheng is right, but I would even take it a step further. You should pay zero attention to those sites. They are unscientific in that they don't use random sampling (among dozens of other structural problems), and they are trying to answer an unanswerable question. One cannot measure how "good" a school is any more than one can measure how "good" a flavor of ice cream is. Everyone will have an opinion, and they will all be correct, and none of their opinions will have a thing to do with how you like it. Now to the extent that they explain the flavor (it is tart, has chewy chunks of X, etc. and you know you usually like that sort of thing) that is useful. But to put a grade or rating on it? Not useful at all. Like guheng says, dig into the details and see what your overall impression is. Just remember that you will even see contradictory info there, because what one person tastes as tart another perceives as sour and another might even say sweet because their taste buds are that different. That's why tasting it yourself (visiting the schools) is best if you can.
Wow, another tortured analogy. Ah well, it works OK I guess.
Thanks so much Fallenchemist. I never thought of it that way. Now these sites are p-ssing me off. I look on one, see some horrible review, and start to doubt my decision. And you post a lot on the Tulane boards, right? I am trying to decide between Tulane and Miami, but it's sooo hard. I am more leaning towards Miami right now because they have so many majors. Now looking at Tulane, it seems like they have soooo little majors. Hmm.
I saw your other post about this. After Katrina, Tulane did decide to focus on majors where they had the most strength, that is true. There are still quite a few, it really isn't that different than most schools. With budgets being tight, a lot of schools are paring back. But I think guheng had a valid point. You will only major in one or two areas (very few people triple major), and Tulane has most of the more popular majors.
I can understand if you are undecided that you want choices, but unless you have some inclination that you are thinking of a major that is not offered by Tulane, I think you are over-analyzing this perhaps. Having said that, Miami is a very fine school, a close peer to Tulane. It is about twice as large, maybe even a little more than that. But they are academically similar in many respects. Tulane is a bit more selective, but not so much that I would call it significant.
I guess I am saying I would not say Tulane has so few majors, because they have around 70 I think. Maybe 75. Something like that. It seems most people would be thinking about majoring in something Tulane offers, with a few exceptions like Computer Science or one of the engineering majors they eliminated. Are you in fact thinking about a major Tulane does not offer? Is that the source of your concern?
Pitt probably gets the higher grade on the site you were viewing because it recently made a top-ten list for happiest students. Students do seem to be content at Pitt.
You don't really mention what it is you want to do. All of the colleges are in cities, two are in the South, and Pitt isn't. One is state supported and two are private. You also don't mention cost and whether that is important. OP, perhaps if you gave us a little direction as to what is important to you, we could give you some input.
BTW, I also admire Pitt a great deal and have almost nothing but good things to say about it. Not a huge fan of the aesthetics of the campus, but that of course is highly subjective. I feel the academic level at Pitt is also quite similar to Tulane and Miami. I lived in Pgh 10 years, both my kids born there, right down the street from Pitt. It was just that in the last post he made it sound like he was really comparing Tulane and Miami. I wasn't intentionally slighting Pitt at all.
You are right MD Mom, in pointing out those clear differences. It could make the decision easier, either way.
I'm really all over the place. I'm doing pre-med definitely. But as far as my major, I really have no idea. I was thinking Computer Science, but then I figured out how intense it was in terms of Math. Now I'm thinking possibly a Business major, so I can have a back-up plan in case I don't end up going to medical school. Tulane seems to be a little more contained to me, but since Miami is bigger they seem to have way more opportunities. Also, are Tulane and Miami's pre-med programs good?
Everyone's premed program is good. Honestly, I don't mean that as flippant at all. They are:
General Chemistry, two semesters with laboratory
Organic Chemistry, two semesters with laboratory
Biology, two semesters with laboratory
General or Introductory Physics, two semesters with laboratory
English, two semesters
Mathematics, varies with medical school
Genetics and Biochemistry, one semester each
Nearly all schools have these basic courses, and nearly all have good advising, MCAT prep, most have research opportunities, and whatever else you want. There is nothing regarding this area to help you differentiate between the schools you mention.
If you are really afraid Tulane is not broad enough in its offerings, then you should eliminate it. After all, many of us spend time on here telling people to pick based on fit, and it would be hypocritical to say otherwise now. You certainly don't want to always wonder what you didn't have the choice of.
While grad school or the job market are a few years off for a freshman, a real consideration for any student should be how will the college you choose help you achieve your goals? As much as the programs and departments need to "fit", does the placement department connect with the graduate schools you might want to attend or organizations you where you might want to be employed? Is there a prevailing attitude of customer service toward the student? Those students who feel well-served by their college are more likely to become contributing alumni (regardless of the rank of thie r college) ultimately improving the university and post-graduation prospects for future generations.