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Are Tufts, BC, NEU, and Holy Cross the same academic rigor?

andrewnaandrewna Registered User Posts: 52 Junior Member
Hello everyone,

I’m a pre-med student trying to choose college. I’m choosing between Tufts, BC, Northeastern U, and C o Holy Cross. I really like Tufts because it’s a premed school and has great opportunities and professors, but would you guys say Tufts is harder than the other listed schools or is it relatively similar?
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Replies to: Are Tufts, BC, NEU, and Holy Cross the same academic rigor?

  • TTGTTG Registered User Posts: 1,566 Senior Member
    Congratulations! These are all excellent schools. You can absolutely go to med school from all of them.

    Northeastern has more of a practical, hands-on approach, and it provides outstanding opportunities. I know an entrepreneur in the Boston area who only hires Northeastern students because they find them the best workers. I might think of it a little less for med school, but students who go there can absolutely be well prepared for it, and for all I know they go at a higher rate. I don't know the numbers, just the orientation. And, honestly, lots of pre-med students, will end up going in a different directions, which is great too, and in that case Northeastern would maybe get bonus points. Anyway great school.

    You will have very similar opportunities for an excellent education, pre-med or otherwise, at the other three schools. Academics are more traditional and absolutely top notch at all of them. As good as anywhere. A school's acceptance rate is not a measure of its academic quality. BC is a great example. Applications went up back in the 80s with the success of the football team (Doug Flutie). It became more competitive. Did academic quality change dramatically over a few years? No. Just more students applied for a similar number of spots, so the acceptance rate went down. An organic chem class at Holy Cross next spring might even be a little better than one at Harvard, even with Harvard's 4% acceptance rate.

    Here's what is much more important than which one you choose?

    1) Go to class. There is no substitute.

    2) Get a tutor Week 1 for your science classes at least! This shows academic strength, not weakness! These can be very challenging. Freshman year is a big transition. Classes are structured differently, and there are different expectations. Students, even the very best students, often bomb exams in these classes. Then they go get a tutor. It's way better to get one before. The tutors will often be students who've taken the classes and succeeded. They know what you need to study and good ways to study it. These classes often trip up pre-med students, so get ahead of the game.

    3) Med schools look for lots of hours spent volunteering, shadowing, researching, etc. So find opportunities in medical, science areas, and other ones as well, and go do and learn. That's what they want to see.

    Good luck!

  • tR5674tR5674 Registered User Posts: 25 Junior Member
    @TTG Well said.

    Bottom line is that the students are studying the same material at every school. When OP goes to Med school, they will find that their classmates come from every sort of school imaginable.

    Find a place that you feel most comfortable and get started with your learning from the first week (despite all the other really cool distractions that come with being in college).
  • ColoradomamaColoradomama Registered User Posts: 2,213 Senior Member
    You should meet with the premedical advising at each school, and ask how many students make it into medical school. You know that many students are denied admission at medical schools, and since you have a choice, you really need to attend the school that helps students the most study for the MCAT, and advises you on how to apply to medical school and which schools. For instance, osteopathic medical schools are much easier for admission than regular MD programs, so it all depends on your MCAT scores and grades. Pre medical advising is KEY. Go back to all four schools and meet with premedical advisors while in high school, you will learn a lot!
  • andrewnaandrewna Registered User Posts: 52 Junior Member
    Wow! Thank you all for your responses!! I was actually leaning toward going to Uconn honors, but it costs the same for me to go to uconn as if does for me to go to all these other schools.

    I think one thing that is scaring me from going to these top-notch schools is that I come from a really easy school, so I never developed strong study habits because I had no need to. My SAT was also in the mid-1300s but my application is super unique and that’s how I got into these schools. That being said, I’m still willing to put in all the work required to be a successful pre-med student (I’m actually predental, but same thing lol). Would you guys still suggest I go to Tufts since it’s the best premed school or should I go to an ‘easier’ school, like the others listed? I liked BC for a while, but tht changed because I’m not a big fan of their curved grades and them not actually being in Boston—though they are my cheapest school... ironically.
  • TomSrOfBostonTomSrOfBoston Registered User Posts: 15,006 Senior Member
    Northeastern, through its coop program, offers six month periods of employment in clinical and laboratory settings. these positions are virtually all paid, although coops at Harvard Medical Area locations tend to be the lowest paid. That type of experience looks good on a med school application.

    That said you do not mention cost. If one of these options has a significantly lower net cost/less debt then that option should rise to the top.
  • andrewnaandrewna Registered User Posts: 52 Junior Member
    They are all basically the same.. that’s what makes it so hard
  • collegemom3717collegemom3717 Registered User Posts: 5,909 Senior Member
    You should meet with the premedical advising at each school, and ask how many students make it into medical school.

    That is rarely a helpful piece of information, b/c there is so much that number won't tell you: how many people arrived planning on going to med school? how many dropped out along the way, b/c of 'weed-out' classes? how many changed along the way to other paths (medical or non-medical) that they discovered on their college journey? how many did not have the stats the school requires for an LoR from the pre-med committee (see post #4)?

    The "best" pre-med school for *you* is the one where you will get top marks in your required pre-reqs and have the least amount of debt. Which school fits that bill?
  • andrewnaandrewna Registered User Posts: 52 Junior Member
    The school that i will do best at is uconn. The cheapest school is Boston College.
  • Happytimes2001Happytimes2001 Registered User Posts: 1,149 Senior Member
    All really different schools. Check admit rates and other data. Also, with the exception of UConn, I think all are similar ( very good schools) but very different. If I were in your shoes, I'd also consider taking a less direct path. ( Personally, I think the HC info above is excellent-why should they make recommendations unless they mean it. Harsh, yes, but it means that those who will succeed are pushed forward and the rest are not put forth.
  • TomSrOfBostonTomSrOfBoston Registered User Posts: 15,006 Senior Member
    Would you guys still suggest I go to Tufts since it’s the best premed school or should I go to an ‘easier’ school, like the others listed
    Tufts is not the best pre-med school although it is the highest ranked overall if that's what you mean.
    I would not count on the others being "easier", just a bit lower ranked.
  • collegemom3717collegemom3717 Registered User Posts: 5,909 Senior Member
    Go where you will shine- as long as the cost differential is not significant (or $$ is not an issue).

    Anecdotal, but a data point: my niece is a recent UConn grad & is now at Harvard for medical school.
  • andrewnaandrewna Registered User Posts: 52 Junior Member
    Wow! Did she take a gap year? Also where did she do her extracurriculars since uconn is like surrounded by a farm lol
  • andrewnaandrewna Registered User Posts: 52 Junior Member
    Also, would u say i should go to uconn—even if its more expensive than my other schools—if i can do better there?
  • collegemom3717collegemom3717 Registered User Posts: 5,909 Senior Member
    Imo, giving absolute advice- "you should" - in a forum like this is not helpful: this is your life and your decision, and it's important that you work your way through it. Posters don't know you and don't have all the facts. For example, I don't know how much more expensive UConn is, or how certain it is that you would do better there than at BC (something you can only guess at yourself ofc), much less what your other financial resources are, etc. What I do know is that on the one hand, med school is expensive, and debt is crippling; and on the other hand, your environment can make it easier or harder to shine. It's the mixed blessing of having choices!

    My niece knew she wanted medicine from way back. so she qualified as some sort of med tech at the local community college early on, worked at the medical center (it's about an hour away I think) during at least some summers, and did indeed do a gap year (I think a summer also, but would have to check with her mom to get the specifics) working at a clinic in a (seriously) underserved area. She worked her profs hard- she was at every optional tutorial, used office hours to the max, etc.
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