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Emory vs WashU in St Louis

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Replies to: Emory vs WashU in St Louis

  • anon145anon145 Registered User Posts: 226 Junior Member
    those two schools don't sound like matches for what you want.
  • bernie12bernie12 Registered User Posts: 5,261 Senior Member
    edited January 11
    @Hamurtle and @JemmaSimmons : All the same could be said for Emory and Atlanta. "Studying multiple things" I thought was pretty much common at most top privates (except specialized institutes and among many engineering majors), but is also extremely common at Emory and WUSTL I guess (and they should both have very interdisciplinary majors that basically require at a minimum, dabbling in exposure to other approaches or completely different disciplines). In fact, a ridiculous amount of NBB majors also major in music, and Emory makes it really easy to access the arts venues and courses as there is no conservatory.

    *Also, note that anyone who goes through Emory's pre-health office process, regardless of academic "qualifications" will get a committee letter from Emory. I thought this was the case for WUSTL as well.


    As for connecting clinical study to the undergraduate curriculum. The psychology (at Emory, this is basically a STEM department with a more clinical science and STEM slanted focus) and NBB department straight up have courses that involve "shadowing" or some type of serious clinical experience. Hell, NBB straight up has a clinical practicum course (NBB 490). The schools are very similar in terms of opps that cater to pre-healths. And Emory has the healthcare system on the core campus. These schools really are hardly different and I think both are underappreciated by those who should be valuing quality academics, perhaps because too many conflate these weird notions of rank and prestige with quality. Again, in my book, I think these two and maybe Rice have put an extreme amount of effort into their STEM undergrad. curricula. In fact there is recent activity: WUSTL recently redesigned the pedagogy and options for its gen. chem and published in journal of chemical education, and Emory is rolling out a completely new chemistry curriculum:
    WUSTL:https://pubs.acs.org/doi/10.1021/acs.jchemed.8b00375
    Emory:https://pubs.acs.org/doi/10.1021/acs.jchemed.8b00585


    Regardless of how much students like or dislike these types of efforts and reforms (usually students are resistant to change and quite frankly often write flipped classrooms and active learning off as "not learning" or "having to teach myself"....well yeah, most of learning in cognitively complex scenarios requires lots of self-teaching. If you didn't have to do a lot of work to master material outside of the lecture, then material or expectations may be too simple, or at least beneath the capabilities of the student. These are top institutions, so students at them should be able and willing to self-teach concepts that may have gone over their head in a lesson. Things like group work are often decried because of "unfairness"...well, welcome to real life where team work will often be required or encouraged in scientific research and definitely medicine, and one will indeed have to deal with messy human dynamics and organizational issues), I do suspect that they actually do ultimately enhance learning and will at least instill better values and work ethic in students.

    Both actively seek grant funding for curricular enhancements and reform within STEM departments as well. These two schools have just traditionally been very aggressive on this front and when you look at the curricula or syllabi of life sciences courses in particular, I think a difference is noticeable from many other even elite schools which are definitely more "traditional" (for example, chemistry and biology courses at most places, even at the upper division may not be anywhere near as problem solving focused and oriented. Most places are still very algorithm and memorization based). These two are great places for folks who are want a high quality of life and are also very serious about what and how they learn in the sciences and otherwise. One would like to believe that the latter is important to all students attending elites, but I assure this is not the case but may be more so the case at these two than others (maybe because of the D-3 style of culture which many may view as a drawback for some reason).


    I suspect the OP, if actually serious and can get over things like "prestige" and "which will give the highest GPA" (neither of these schools is GIVING students anything, especially STEM majors who are serious about grad. and medical school) should just apply to both and see what happens. Only exception exists if they want to major in engineering or architecture which Emory doesn't have. Otherwise, the style of academics and offerings are similar.

    There is something about WUSTL and the first semester of sequences like gen. chem and ochem. They seem to roll out the hardest instructors for that semester and then let someone else teach second who may or may not be the same level. Emory is very much content and instructor based and usually they keep the whatever instructors both semesters for things like bio, chem, and ochem. 2nd semester of gchem is now rough because it incorporates ochem 2 concepts (much like how gchem 1 at WUSTL has some true pchem concepts and problem. They are basically putting in content unfamiliar to those who took and high passed AP or IB, so many more get challenged than in a standard gchem course elsewhere where they may just make the algebra used in problems a tad more tedious than at much less selective schools). Ochem is only 1 semester now and is just super rough because Weinschenk and Soria teach the majority of students and they basically give grad. level problems so go figure. They are loved, but their p-sets and exams are hell.
  • HamurtleHamurtle Registered User Posts: 1,541 Senior Member
    @bernie12 you speak the truth and your opinions are valued.

    GenChem 1 at WashU is Physical Chemistry as you say and my son was proud of his B+ as he actually learned how to approach real college work.

  • bernie12bernie12 Registered User Posts: 5,261 Senior Member
    edited January 11
    @Hamurtle : Interestingly, I just got curious and looked at WUSTL's biology course offerings (you can see a detailed description and syllabi in a few cases). The similarities are striking. They both even have many intermediate and upper division courses that have primary literature discussion sections, a rare thing among peers of these schools (most of which, again, just have students do textbook based learning and pretty much require them to memorize their way to an A). Furthermore, the courses in which they have them overlap (you can tell the research interests of each department overlap a little as well, because upper division special topics courses overlap a little, more so than other peer schools). I do like many of the first year seminars (many which specifically cater to certain career pathways) and options I see at WUSTL that Emory doesn't share. Instead Emory has special programming that has its own curricula that are more loosely linked to the departments.

    In general, it looks like Emory is WUSTL's little sibling or something (again, Emory is much newer to being a research university, and at the UG level, definitely has this "trying to desperately hold on to Liberal Arts and teaching university values, but also want to work in and deal with the fact that we are now a serious research university"...Meanwhile, WUSTL has been a research U for a long time now, but manages to retain unusually consistent academics for one), because they look like they follow each other in many ways, and have a very serious focus on academics and constantly enhancing the academic programming in various ways. It isn't really all about optics and increasing quality of life for students at these two. They put in the work to make students really get something out of it (it isn't a school marketing fun and games, but for students who still just want to make A's). If only USNWR found a way to reward stuff like that lol.
  • bernie12bernie12 Registered User Posts: 5,261 Senior Member
    @anon145 : I suspect you think the OP wants what I think they want haha. And you are right about neither being a fit if that is the case.

    The revealing line being:
    "But, I do not want cutthroat competition. I heard WashU pre-med courses are rigorous? I might choose Emory then because its courses are less rigorous."

    Uhmmm...okay. That's a wrap. Consider other schools outside of the elite range of schools.
  • SBSapphireSBSapphire Registered User Posts: 90 Junior Member
    Hey guys,

    Thanks for all the help! I have decided to go with Emory!

  • collegemom9collegemom9 Registered User Posts: 242 Junior Member
    @SBSapphire Have you gotten into Emory?
  • SBSapphireSBSapphire Registered User Posts: 90 Junior Member
    No @collegemom9 I was deciding where to put my ED2 decision.
  • collegemom9collegemom9 Registered User Posts: 242 Junior Member
    Ahhh. Gotcha. Isn’t ED2 due already?
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