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Univeristy of Chicago or Northwestern

Jannis2021Jannis2021 3 replies3 threads New Member
Hi everyone. I am torn between these two colleges and I need some help . I want to major in Biology and follow the pre-med track *cost of attendance is equal *
1. Which school will prepare me the most for the MCAT
2. In which school i can get a higher gpa
15 replies
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Replies to: Univeristy of Chicago or Northwestern

  • PublisherPublisher 8834 replies105 threads Senior Member
    A visit to each university should help to make a decision as the campus cultures are noticeably different. No wrong choice.

    Both will prepare you for the MCAT.
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  • JBStillFlyingJBStillFlying 7045 replies24 threads Senior Member
    Assuming you are a junior, you can also apply to both. Don't choose yet. Let THEM choose for you . . and if both choose you - well, that's a nice problem to have!

    UChicago isn't known for inflated grades, btw. Both follow the quarter system so progress very rapidly through the coursework. You might join both threads and ask, once it becomes relevant to know the answer.
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  • RW1RW1 182 replies6 threads Junior Member
    Having lived there for 30 years ....Northwestern,...Safety.Safety..Did I mention Safety. However they are both still on the most dangerous 50 schools in the country (UChicago 36, NWU 48)
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  • PublisherPublisher 8834 replies105 threads Senior Member
    @RW1: Are you willing to elaborate regarding the safety issue ? I ask because I hear & read varying accounts regarding the University of Chicago area adjacent to campus. Thanks !
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  • JBStillFlyingJBStillFlying 7045 replies24 threads Senior Member
    edited January 31
    We lived in HP for 7 years and also just north of NU for 4. You are less likely to be held up at gun point in most parts of Evanston than in HP. Also, the current Canada Goose theft ring targeted a few in HP (but not on the UChicago campus). However, these incidents are still rare.

    My son has applied both to UChicago and NU. He would be thrilled with either. He's not pre-med; however, the thread has (unsurprisingly) pivoted to the safety question so this post address that issue specifically.
    edited January 31
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  • PublisherPublisher 8834 replies105 threads Senior Member
    To put post #3 in perspective, I found the list referred to from the Daily Beast 50 Most Dangerous Campuses. The crime statistics are over a decade old--2006, 2007 & 2008. Relative to most Ivy League schools, MIT & Stanford, Chicago & Northwestern are safe campuses.

    The Daily Beast ranked Tufts & Harvard as the two most dangerous campuses.

    WashUStL & MIT were 12th & 13th most dangerous.

    Penn, Brown, Columbia & Stanford were 16th, 17th, 18th & 19th most dangerous.

    Michigan & Wake Forest were 22nd & 23rd most dangerous.

    Yale & Tulane were 25th & 26th.

    UCal-Berkeley & Virginia Tech were #32 & #33.

    U Chicago at #36.

    San Diego State Univ. at #39.

    Princeton University was the 42nd most dangerous.

    Vanderbilt at #46.

    Northwestern at #49.

    University of Miami was 50th.

    From this perspective, Northwestern is quite safe, and U Chicago is safer than 5 Ivies, MIT & Stanford.
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  • MWolfMWolf 1805 replies13 threads Senior Member
    I was comfortable with my kid going to Northwestern's CTD summer program, where she stayed at their dorms, and I tend to be cautious in these things.
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  • momo2x2018momo2x2018 912 replies52 threads Member
    edited January 31
    I don't see UChicago on this list (most recent 2016-18 data gleaned from FBI?) , but UCalifornia system is well represented, with UCSB allegedly #1

    https://www.businessinsider.com/most-dangerous-colleges-in-america-2012-11
    https://thebottomline.as.ucsb.edu/2018/10/insurify-ranks-ucsb-most-dangerous-university
    edited January 31
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  • JBStillFlyingJBStillFlying 7045 replies24 threads Senior Member
    edited January 31
    ^@Publisher at #6 - that's probably still correct. Evanston is a 'burb so safer than Hyde Park, which is in Chicago proper. But Hyde Park is a LOT safer than it used to be. BTW, opportunistic crime happens even on the North Shore - our village was experiencing a string of muggings (we had ally parking in our area) around the time we left IL in the 90's.
    edited January 31
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  • momofsenior1momofsenior1 7825 replies66 threads Senior Member
    OP never asked about safety. Both schools are in safe neighborhoods. I would not have that be a consideration.

    OP - Neither school is known to be easy in terms of grading. The quarter system makes courses very fast paced. If you are looking for grade inflation, I don't think either school fits that bill.
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  • JBStillFlyingJBStillFlying 7045 replies24 threads Senior Member
    @MWolf - I had one kid at Cherubs and another at NSLC Engineering both on the NU campus - perfectly safe.
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  • momzhoodmomzhood 222 replies3 threads Junior Member
    edited January 31
    I'll take a stab at this, @Jannis2021, but I don't think you'll find my answer definitive! My older student graduated with a Bio major from UChicago (not pre-med, although she has made a mini-career of editing cohorts' med school essays) and I have another student at Northwestern right now (not Bio). Both of my students loved their professors and felt very challenged. Both unis will prepare you well for MCAT and med school apps. Back in 2012, a slight difference between the two was that NU would make freshmen take Orgo Chem (so it became a weed-out class) while UChicago would let students decide when to take it. You should check and see if this is still the case; perhaps that would matter to you? UChicago offers tremendous opportunities for undergrad research and I would think NU would as well. The difference for you, IMHO, is how you fit personally into either school. While these are not mutually exclusive qualities, my observation is that NU attracts very busy, multi-committed, pre-professional students who double-major/minor/certificate - everyone seems to be into multiple directions. UChicago students, in the words of my student: "Everyone is into something and they go really deep into it, whether it's politics, student government, South Asian dance". Another difference between NU and UChicago is their locales. Both offer easy access to downtown Chicago but Northwestern is in a large suburb/college town of 70,000 and UChicago is in an oasis near some not-great areas. I love Hyde Park - my UChicago kid never had a problem, but she was careful not to walk by herself at night. I think one has to be city-savvy in HP. And Evanston has had some issues near/on-campus in late fall with several incidents of guys making attempts to grab women (unsuccessfully). Both call for being savvy, particularly at night, although I think Evanston is generally safer than HP. But was I worried about my daughter in HP? No. I hope this helps. Btw, if Jannis is your real first name, you might not want to use it here on CC.
    edited January 31
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  • RW1RW1 182 replies6 threads Junior Member
    1st full disclosure. I have a D at Johns Hopkins Undergrad so I'm not scared easily. I grew up in multiple Chicago areas and did my residency in Evanston and some rotations at County ( the hospital that ER was based on) . You had to be escorted to your car after shifts at County. We passed around a junker tear that had the radio torn and just left the windows down so they would not be broken. Sometimes, you would just sleep there and wait for your next shift if it was Friday or Saturday night as the drive out would be really scary. County is only blocks away from UChicago. I have no doubt that campus security is amazing and I know hyde park has been substantially rejuvenated and I also know things change., but Chicago is rough. I just hope all who attend are city wise and stay on campus .
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  • RW1RW1 182 replies6 threads Junior Member
    junker car that had he radio torn out
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  • JBStillFlyingJBStillFlying 7045 replies24 threads Senior Member
    Um - CCH is not where HP is located LOL. And CCH has moved, FYI.
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