right arrow
Examples: Monday, today, last week, Mar 26, 3/26/04

Pre-Med GPA at Duke

allie2019allie2019 1 replies2 threadsRegistered User New Member
Hi everyone,

I am planning on attending Duke in the fall for my undergraduate degree. I have heard that Duke classes are incredibly difficult (but you do learn a ton academically from the rigor of the courses) and that the university is notorious for weeding out pre-meds due to grading on the bell curve. Currently, I plan on applying to MSTP programs for MD/PhD after completing my undergraduate degree. I know that for all of these MSTP programs, the average GPA is around a 3.8. Thus, I have been feeling nervous about earning a 3.8+ at Duke.

Now, I have maintained a 4.0 throughout my high school career and don't mind putting in the work for my classes. I fully expect to study anywhere between 6 to 10 hours a day at Duke amongst participating in other extracurriculars (as I am not into the party scene, etc.). However, I am also aware of the level of academic competition (i.e. students who attended very good college prep schools, international students, etc. who may skew the grading scale) present at Duke. I don't mind working very, very hard to earn top grades at the university - I just want to know if earning top grades is possible in weed out classes such as GenChem, OChem, and Physics.

Aside from this worry, I am super excited to go to Duke. I KNOW that I want to pursue an MD/PhD path and feel like the Duke name would be beneficial when applying to graduate programs (I hope?). I have published research in Cambridge youth journals and enjoy the intersection between clinical medicine and research. Additionally, I will likely be conducting research in the Duke Eye Center. It would just make me feel better to understand the realistic expectations for Duke coursework (as I do not want to be disadvantaged coming from a regular public school). Also, I was also wondering if Duke Medical School/MSTP program has a preference for Duke undergrads.

I would benefit greatly from other people's experiences as a pre-med at Duke (or other comparable schools). Any insight would be extremely helpful. Thank you so much!
7 replies
· Reply · Share

Replies to: Pre-Med GPA at Duke

  • damon30damon30 1147 replies5 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    @allie2019 Do this site search in Google:

    site:dukechronicle.com "pre-med"

    This brings up many interesting student articles.
    · Reply · Share
  • 2Devils2Devils 43 replies0 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    edited April 24
    First, congrats on getting into Duke! If they picked you, you can handle it I promise. Have faith in yourself and the committee that selected you.
    The short answers your questions: yes , earning top marks is certainly possible in premed courses such as general chem, orgo, physics. I skipped general chem but had plenty of peers who got through it fine (I AP'd out and started with orgo--mayyyybe that was not entirely wise but I still ended up with an A). Yes, there are many people who drop the premed path when it does not go well--that is going to be true at many universities--and it usually is the right path for them and they have no regrets down the road. Medicine is a grueling field even when training is done. Duke premeds who are able to navigate through do VERY well in med school admissions. When I went there was a slight preference to Duke students just because they know the curriculum, but there was also an unwritten "cap" so not too many each year. 7 of us in the class of 100 were Duke undergrads, not all from the same year, all different majors, and that seemed to be similar to other years. In my experience the ease of adjusting to Duke depends on your HS background. Both of us came from public HS, myself a bigger city public, and it was a huge step up to adjust to Duke compared to our classmates from "good" privates. But I did what many did--I adjusted, refocused, learned to study on a different level(NOT more hours, more effectively). I did not get a tutor (I actually became an orgo tutor later for work-study--most Duke students love helping other students!), but there are undergrad and grad student tutors who are great and very helpful. I only put in 6-10 hour study days for exam weeks, never normally, and I studied on average same weekly hours as my premed peers, but as I said, I learned efficiency quickly, which served me very well adjusting to the even faster pace of DukeMed(all med schools). My husband did NOT get an A in organic and he is still a doctor and a very successful one. He also would say the Duke curriculum taught him how to study with depth and really learn the material on a higher level. He soared in med school and had an easier time than classmates from less competitive/rigorous undergrad places.
    edited April 24
    · Reply · Share
  • bluedogbluedog 1340 replies2 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    It's honestly really impossible to answer these sorts of questions. For one person, getting a ton of A's in pre-med is totally attainable, for others, it's not. I will say that Duke pre-med students are very well prepared and have a leg up in getting into the top tier med schools to some extent, BUT I have also witnessed many Duke students who struggled and likely would have done better in med school admissions had they gone to a state school.

    My personal opinion is that the goal should be to get into ANY MD program in the U.S. (they're all good) and to achieve that goal excelling at a large public state school where a top student can shine is an easier path to that goal. (Going to Duke Med on the other hand....not an easier path as they can pick from top schools only basically.) Maybe that's an unpopular opinion, but I'm convinced of it. Not to scare you away as it's still totally achievable and Duke students do very well in their med school admissions, but that's because Duke students are overwhelmingly top quality students. And Duke, to its credit, is not a cut-throat environment and is more collaborative among students with great research opportunities.
    · Reply · Share
  • damon30damon30 1147 replies5 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited April 25
    Although the OP is no doubt sincere, her other thread makes this one borderline "humblebrag". I feel sorry for non pre-med students taking any of these classes and expecting to get 'A's. The competition with pre-meds for top grades is ferocious.
    edited April 25
    · Reply · Share
  • allie2019allie2019 1 replies2 threadsRegistered User New Member
    That was extremely helpful and reassuring! Thank you so much. :)
    · Reply · Share
  • JenniferClintJenniferClint 455 replies35 threadsRegistered User Member
    Consistency. That is the key. Show up to class. Go to office hours. Work on problem sets every day. Don't procrastinate. Ask for help when you need it.
    · Reply · Share
  • MTstepmomMTstepmom 8 replies1 threadsRegistered User New Member
    Allie2019 did you do binding ED?
    · Reply · Share
Sign In or Register to comment.

Recent Activity