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U.C. Berkeley or Northwestern?

brownkid21brownkid21 Registered User Posts: 2 New Member

I am currently an undergraduate (just finished my freshman year) at UCB, however I also got accepted to Northwestern. I applied to Northwestern during my first semester at UCB where I was feeling out of place and admittedly also somewhat homesick. However, after 2nd semester, I got situated in Berkeley, made good friends, got involved, etc.

However, now the decision is upon me, shall I move to Evanston or stay in Berkeley?

Honestly, I almost feel as if there isn't that great of a difference between the two, and that is also what I've been finding when researching which one to attend. They are both great schools. So it just comes down to which one is better for me.

Here are the pros and cons for each:
Small class sizes
Close to home (100 miles or so)

Have to go through the getting adjusted process all over again (but I do have a few friends there already)
Winter (but growing up in WI, I dont think this will be that great of a factor)

-U.C. Berkeley-
already situated
always pleasant weather

huge classes
really big college (too many people)
Greek life/party life (its not something I am looking for, not my kinda thing)

Just to let you know, I am a pre-med student. So which college would be better for me? Which one has a stronger pre-med program?

I am mainly looking for a place where I can be most productive and get the most out of my education. Looking for a great school, great program, plenty of research opportunities, have an advisor who actually knows me, get great letters of recommendation for med school, etc. So which one?

*They both cost me about the same so thats not a point of difference/consideration during this process.

PLEASE HELP!!! I need to decide quickly!
Thanks so much in advance.
Post edited by brownkid21 on

Replies to: U.C. Berkeley or Northwestern?

  • ArKhAiKArKhAiK - Posts: 900 Member
    From what you wrote, it seems as if Northwestern would be the better choice.
  • ModernManModernMan Registered User Posts: 355 Member
  • wildbuckwildbuck Registered User Posts: 7 New Member
    This is definitely a tough call, but if it were me I think that I'd probably stick with Berkeley. I was pre-med at Northwestern and I actually considered transferring during my freshman year for various reasons. I decided to stick it out and ultimately it was the best decision. Transferring can be a good thing in certain situations, but it can also be more jarring than one might think and it's difficult to know ahead of time which way things will fall. I could be wrong, but it sounded from your post as if you had adjusted to life at Cal and that things had improved since you initially considered transferring. The two schools are both great academically and I don't believe one would be more advantageous than the other in this regard. It seems to me that people on these forums sometimes overrate the pre-med environment at top private schools. Pre-med at Northwestern can be downright ridiculous at times. People are generally friendly and collaborative I suppose, but this doesn't do much to temper how demanding and petty certain professors and teaching assistants can be. I'd imagine this is true of other similar schools, whether they're smaller privates or large public universities. Anecdotally, I've met kids from both at my current medical school. Also (and this might just be me), as great as Northwestern can be, the winters in Evanston were more of a factor than I ever would have anticipated when I chose the school and the weather in California can't be beat. You'd be amazed what the sun (or lack thereof) can do for your mood.

    Sorry for the long post, but hope it helps. Good luck with your decision
  • DunninLADunninLA Registered User Posts: 4,272 Senior Member
    pre-med isn't so much about classes as it is about advising, access to relevant research, and finding a professorial mentor. My gut tells me that the advising and professorial mentoring will be easier to achieve at NU, and that research will be a push.... but look into that to verify if this is true.
  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus Registered User Posts: 72,854 Senior Member
    How does net cost of attendance look at each school?

    What are you considering majoring in (pre-med is not a major)? You may want to consider which school offers your possible majors, or is stronger in them.

    If you transfer, have you checked whether the courses you have already taken at Berkeley align with the courses at Northwestern so that you won't have to partially repeat courses?
  • terencterenc Registered User Posts: 1,128 Senior Member
    Since you're pre-med (and only because you're pre-med), I'd say Northwestern. The competition at Berkeley can be tough, at least for pre-meds.
  • compaq10compaq10 Registered User Posts: 264 Junior Member
    If your GPA is above 3.75 currently at Berkeley, don't move :)
    Otherwise, Northwestern
This discussion has been closed.