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UCLA vs. Berkeley for pre-med

SoCaliiiSoCaliii Posts: 357Registered User Member
So I haven't been "officially" accepted but I got the Regent's scholarship invitation to LA and Cal so I was just wondering which school would be a better choice if I want to go to med school after college.

I'm signed up for Biochemistry at Berkeley and Bioengineering at LA but I think I'll transfer to Biology/Biochemistry if I go to LA.

From the way I see it, LA is better in that I can probably get a higher GPA there, but Berkeley has higher prestige. So any suggestions? Thanx
Post edited by SoCaliii on
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Replies to: UCLA vs. Berkeley for pre-med

  • peabeeandjaypeabeeandjay Posts: 109Registered User Junior Member
    my friend had the exact same problem last year... he picked la or a bunch of reason nd posted (literally) a 10 note on fb of why he picked la...
    just a heads up for LA: you will end up picking either engineering or premed. and if ur premed ur usually not an engineering major so u'll be like bio. and another heads up. biochem is a really hard major here. im doing biochem and i sometimes question myself. basically i take the same classes as a chem engineer. so its all the hard class. harder math, chem, physics. so if premed is truly ur goal, do a life science major (easier math, chem, physics classes). i would suggest pyscho bio. go look it up. it may sound stupid but its a respectable major and its pretty easy so you can max out ur gpa, your ultimate goal to increase ur chances for for med school. GOOD LUCK WITH UR CHOICE :]
  • OoPurestOoOoPurestOo Posts: 894Registered User Member
    I'm not completely sure but I have heard negative feedback from pre-med at Berkeley. Everyone was saying it's not a very good idea since it's not as well known for its bio programs as some other programs plus the fact it's very difficult to get a high GPA there which you would need for Med school.
  • SoCaliiiSoCaliii Posts: 357Registered User Member
    Does anyone know the acceptance rate for med school for UCLA graduates? I saw that the one for Berkeley is like 77% (for students with a >3.5 GPA and >30 MCAT score), so I guess that's pretty good. And also I know Berkeley isn't big on pre-med but I heard that their biology departments can definitely match LA?
  • 8888888888888888 Posts: 4,466Registered User Senior Member
    Berkeley's Premed is crazy intense. Be ready to get pwned =p. I see the 77% with 3.5 or greater get to a med school.. but what are the % of students getting 3.5 or greater..? that's important to consider too..
    I'm a first year premed possible. with a crappy gpa.. slowly bringing it up. underestimated its competitiveness.
    Chemistry here is DIFFICULT. Berkeley Chemistry is like numERO UNO in the world. so beware =p great bio here too.
  • bluebayoubluebayou Posts: 21,555Registered User Senior Member
    ^^
    Instead of those two, take the money at a mid-tier UC and increase your chances for A's. There is no difference in the competition between Cal and UCLA -- both are intense, bordering on cut-throat. Look at it this way, a LOT of kids in Frosh Chem will have already taken AP Chem and scored a 5 -- they are retaking for the "easy" A (or so they think).
  • HellaHella Posts: 574Registered User Member
    Medical schools DO NOT CARE where you go for undergrad. Just do well, have good ECs, GPA, and MCAT.

    The only reason schools like Cal, UCLA, and the Ivies have a higher percentage of med school admittances is because the students that attend those schools are intelligent and hard workers.
  • SoCaliiiSoCaliii Posts: 357Registered User Member
    Well I don't mind working hard at Berkeley or LA.
    Also I'm sure med schools will know that a 3.5 at Berkeley/LA is pretty much as good as or better than 3.8 at UCSB (Not saying it's a bad school or anything).
    The only concern I have is that if I go to Berkeley and spend all my time studying for tests I won't have the time for volunteer work and research and etc...
  • HellaHella Posts: 574Registered User Member
    Your assumption about the 3.5 at Berkeley vs the 3.8 at UCSB is wrong. I suggest you go to forums that specialize in pre-health/health professions and ask there. Medical schools (and dental schools, for that matter) do not care where you go for your BS.
    They DO care about your GPA, ECs, and MCAT/DAT/whatever test scores.

    I'm not saying don't go to UCLA or Berkeley for pre med, I'm just saying don't worry so much about the prestige of your undergrad. I mean, yes, those schools have amazing pre-health programs, but you're giving the prestige too much credit.
  • MiniatureDroneMiniatureDrone Posts: 242Registered User Junior Member
    both are hard from what i hear. if you can take the competition, go for it. but be warned, that many people that i've seen that got into LA or B are VERY VERY well rounded. they study hard and party hard. they make me look inferior=[
  • dmissiondmission Posts: 1,365Registered User Senior Member
    If you're pre-med, go to either UCSD,UCD,UCI,UCSB. The other two I've heard are super intense, meaning a high GPA is very very hard. (If you must go to one of the two, I'd say LA, but again, not recommended)
  • bluebayoubluebayou Posts: 21,555Registered User Senior Member
    Also I'm sure med schools will know that a 3.5 at Berkeley/LA is pretty much as good as or better than 3.8 at UCSB.

    Nope, they will not care. They would notice a 3.8 from Cal State vs. a 3.5 from Cal-Berkeley. But, unlike undergraduate colleges where ECs are important, professional schools (med/law/dent) are (almost) all about the numbers, gpa+test scores.
  • OoPurestOoOoPurestOo Posts: 894Registered User Member
    Within UC's, slight GPA differences are not going to make much of an impact. It's more so what you took to get that GPA etc. A poli sci major with a 3.8 GPA vs a BioE major with a 3.4.... think about it.

    However, then again there is a correlation of more Berkeley graduates getting into Med school over UCSB graduates... so perhaps prestige plays some role.
  • SoCaliiiSoCaliii Posts: 357Registered User Member
    Well assuming two people take the exact same classes each year in Berkeley and UCSB, assuming that the classes are offered at both campuses, and get the same MCAT score and have similar ECs. And let's say that the Berkeley student gets a 3.5 and the UCSB student gets a 3.8, are you guys saying that med schools won't take into account the undergraduate schools that they went to? I mean I'm sure that med school admissions know that getting As at Berkeley is harder than SB and that the Berkeley student probably worked a lot harder to get the 3.5 right?
  • sunfishsunfish Posts: 443Registered User Member
    I don't know where people get the idea that Berkeley and UCLA have high acceptance rates. For the 2008 cycle, they're 53% and 50%, respectively. National average is 46%.
    Well assuming two people take the exact same classes each year in Berkeley and UCSB, assuming that the classes are offered at both campuses, and get the same MCAT score and have similar ECs. And let's say that the Berkeley student gets a 3.5 and the UCSB student gets a 3.8...
    I bet they'll take the UCSB kid or the CSU kid with a 3.9.
  • bluebayoubluebayou Posts: 21,555Registered User Senior Member
    nd let's say that the Berkeley student gets a 3.5 and the UCSB student gets a 3.8, are you guys saying that med schools won't take into account the undergraduate schools that they went to?

    That's exactly what I'm saying. There is no differentiation among schools ranked within ~20 spots of each other, even with the same gpa. If you don't believe, take a look at MIT -- their average gpa of med school acceptees is HIGHER than the national average. In other words, it's "harder" to go to med school from MIT....
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