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Concerns about Emory?

MegaMetalHeadMegaMetalHead Registered User Posts: 343 Member
I am considering applying to Emory. The campus is gorgeous, Atlanta is an awesome city, and it is a great school. However, my biggest concern is that the pre med acceptance rate into Medical School is like 56 percent, which is very poor compared to similar tier schools. My state school has a 54 percent acceptance rate. However, my state school is less competitive than Emory and therefore for a student looking at Emory, far easier to succeed. Another concern about the school, yet not as significant an issue, is the lack of a football team. How does that affect social life there? When people think college, they think football games and beer. Could any current or former Emory students please talk about this? If you were pre med, that would be excellent too.

Replies to: Concerns about Emory?

  • bernie12bernie12 Registered User Posts: 5,293 Senior Member
    edited August 2014
    @MegaMetalHead: That's nice that people think of football and beer when they think of college (thank you media portrayal. Also, I would hope someone considering a selective college would think of a bit more than that), even an elite one....If you are that concerned about that, I would recommend Vanderbilt, USC, those places to be honest. However, the social life is more or less stereotypical with a more academic lean. Our parties and beer are generated from the numerous Greek (as at many other southern schools) and cultural organizations. Speaking as a science major who was surrounded by those individuals: The pre-med thing isn't actually a problem. Emory just has too many of them and too many with a bad approach. It is unusual for a school that is medium size to have like 365+ pre-healths applying with many applying with low GPA's and MCAT's as if there are not other facets of healthcare to pursue or other pathways into med. school that don't involve applying right away. The number reflects naive students and sketchy advising from phmo. Regardless, I mostly blame the students. If you intentionally take mostly easy courses and instructors for example, you should expect a mediocre MCAT even after prep. If you predominantly only apply to "top" medical schools, expect tons of denials (if not absolute), even if a top student. It isn't really Emory, it's the culture or mindset of some students.

    Curriculum wise: The one thing that makes Emory different from other pre-health heavy elites is the structure of introductory and intermediate pre-health core courses. Most schools don't offer as many options as Emory. Like gen. chem, gen. biol, gen. physics (this is the only exception. 2 sections, 1 instructor), and ochem at most places would only have like 1-3 sections at most schools, but Emory will offer like 5-7 with 3-5 different instructors. Needless to say, this creates great variability in the training of students (you can have 1 or 2 instructors that teach and test only at the level of a non-selective state college or even a community college that lacks rigor and 1-2 instructors that teach at the level of top Ivy Leagues all teaching in the same semester. Unfortunately tons will choose the 2 lowest tier instructors even though they pay the same tuition or more than those at Ivies/Ivy Plus schools :( ). Students who were already "middle of the pack" standardized test takers in comparison to other Emory students could slide even lower by time they take the MCAT (which self-selects for better test-takers in the first place as many considering med. school or who are science majors have higher ACT and SAT scores than average) if they take poor (usually also easier) instructors. It's just a matter of getting good training while also earning solid grades in the pre-med core.

    Unfortunately many "decent" (which I would consider like "middle of the pack" students at Emory. If you have a 1350+ on the SAT, you can handle high rigor especially when accompanied with good instruction. Some students just rather not even try though) students here simply refuse to do that. Apparently even pre-med/science courses should be a giant cruise fest where they memorize their way through. I just wonder how such students will be affected with the style of the new MCAT. Anyway, if you aren't completely naive and are willing to be challenged for a solid grade, Emory will prepare you well for the MCAT, and if you have commonsense, you'll know to spread your applications out to a broad range of schools. It's just a matter of doing it right and not trying to essentially cheat or skate your way through the curriculum (you can maybe do this if you naturally score very high on standardized exams, as in like you would be near the top of Emory's incoming class....because you can just naturally adapt to the exam with some prep. Other students would need a content/skill foundation that would likely be achieved by a mixture of strong coursework and a prep. course) or being to stuck up to apply to "lower" medical schools (whatever that means....).
  • MegaMetalHeadMegaMetalHead Registered User Posts: 343 Member
    Thank you very much for the detailed response. I am definitely applying to Vandy but I think USC is too far away. I am now strongly considering Emory, although it is not at the top of my list but I will look more into it. I think the only way to know for sure if I should apply is by visiting the campus. I am willing to be challenged, however I simply assumed that the low rate meant that the grading is extremely harsh to pre meds.
  • esimpnoxinesimpnoxin Registered User Posts: 182 Junior Member
    edited August 2014
    I can't really say much about pre-med stuff, but the social life is a lot like what you'd see at other schools apart from the fact that nobody cares about our sports teams. Alcohol is plentiful, though there were several complaints of ResLife shutting down an unusually large number of frat parties last fall.
  • bernie12bernie12 Registered User Posts: 5,293 Senior Member
    edited August 2014
    @MegaMetalHead: No, the grading is not extremely harsh. Many pre-meds are just extremely silly. In fact grading in most biology and NBB courses is rather standard......Chemistry is pretty standard too, but lacks the grade inflation of the other 2 so most chem courses hover around a B- average. Places like Emory, Vandy, and Duke have pretty stereotypical grading for pre-health core courses, with means sitting usually between B-/B average. Sometimes they just land in that range and sometimes they are curved to that range depending on how difficult the exams are. Those rates usually don't reflect grading because think about it. JHU has pretty standard grading across science depts (I think a B- mean is typical, even in advanced courses. Emory has many such advanced courses, just not all or maybe not even most have a B- average. B is more normal and B- is for lower division), has the same amount of pre-healths as Emory and yet has higher success. This comes from their advising being less vague and them likely having more standardization of rigor across the curriculum. Most JHU students will be trained well whether they come in as the most amazing standardized test takers or not.

    If anything kills folks at Emory, it is the chemistry courses....the top instructors for the chemistry courses that pre-healths have to take are generally a bit tougher than those at similarly ranked schools. This especially goes for ochem. Admittedly, general chemistry is more grade deflated than ochem. As in, they likely end up with similar course GPA's, but gen. chem gives far more D's and F's. The best ochem instructors give less A grades than gen. chem, but more B's and C's and not many D's and F's. Ochem follows a standard private school bell curve while gen. chem just follows a bell curve with some instructors (keep in mind on +/- system, center of bell will be C+ or B - ). One can claim this is because gchem has worse students, which is probably true and because ochem grades are more or less artificial because exams given by top instructors are so difficult that mean must be set to something more reasonable than what would be assigned if put on a normal scale. Biology is usually variable from year to year and the lab usually brings people's grades down. The lecture usually is not but so intense, even with a top instructor.
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