Welcome to College Confidential!

The leading college-bound community on the web

Sign Up For Free

Join for FREE, and start talking with other members, weighing in on community discussions, and more.

Also, by registering and logging in you'll see fewer ads and pesky welcome messages (like this one!)

As a CC member, you can:

  • Reply to threads, and start your own.
  • Post reviews of your campus visits.
  • Find hundreds of pages of informative articles.
  • Search from over 3 million scholarships.

UCI or UCD for pre med?

niktheslickniktheslick Registered User Posts: 121 Junior Member
edited March 2015 in Pre-Med Topics
Hey guys I've been going back and forth between the two colleges for some time now and I really cannot decide. Next week I'll be taking a tour of each campus, so hopefully I can make a decision then. But for now, any comments would be appreciated.

Some info/things I've heard:
-I'm Asian Indian
-My major is biological sciences at both schools
-I currently live in SoCal, so Irvine would be a lot closer to my family and I would get a car. Also a good portion of my friends are going to UCI, while none of them are going to UCD (I don't really see this as too big of a problem though, but it is a factor)
-UCI and UCD are really close in the rankings, but I've heard UCD is slightly better for pre med (correct me if I'm wrong)
-I heard UCD is less competitive than UCI for pre med and the professors are better at UCD, but I'm not too sure if this is true.
-I'm not too big of a partier, so that's not a factor.
-research opportunities are good at both schools.
-UCD has a lot more options in the bio field. For example, if I decide to drop pre med because it is too much, I can switch into a biotech major or env science major and then get a masters in business and hopefully work for an industry of some sort (my alternate plan if med school doesn't work out)
-I'm really into Asian girls and I heard UCI has a lot of them (lol jk)
-I feel as if going to UCI would be more comfortable for me, but going to UCD would be a new, different experience.
-I love to get involved and take leadership initiatives. (I feel like Davis provides the edge here)
-I'm really into sports (am thinking about playing club tennis in college)
-I think what it boils down to is which college I can get a better GPA at and which college best prepares me the best for the MCAT.

So as you can see, it's like 60-40 for me right now. I'm slightly leaning towards Davis, but I'm not entirely sure yet. I would appreciate it if anyone could offer their two cents. It would really help if people who attend/attended UCI or UCD for pre med could give their take.

And one other question, is there a certain major that would prepare me best for med school? Because right now I am signed up as a bio major and I realize that if I do not make med school, there is not much to do with a bio degree. That being said, could I major in something like biotech, env/agricultural science and still pursue pre med? This way I'll keep my options open if I do not get into med school as having a biotech degree, for instance, is more useful than a bio degree in terms of landing a job.

Thanks.

Replies to: UCI or UCD for pre med?

  • Jugulator20Jugulator20 Registered User Posts: 1,306 Senior Member
    “UCI and UCD are really close in the rankings, but I've heard UCD is slightly better for premed (correct me if I'm wrong”

    Rankings not important. Either one will offer tools (e.g. courses, opportunities, etc) you need to get into med school. Whether you get in will be on you, not these schools.

    “I heard UCD is less competitive than UCI for premed and the professors are better at UCD, but I'm not too sure if this is true”

    What/who defines “better?” Will profs teaching now be same ones available when you attend or take premed courses?

    “UCD has a lot more options in the bio field. For example, if I decide to drop premed because it is too much, I can switch into a biotech major or env science major and then get a masters in business and hopefully work for an industry of some sort (my alternate plan if med school doesn't work out)”

    As most premeds crash and burn along way, it’s good you have a backup plan

    “I feel as if going to UCI would be more comfortable for me, but going to UCD would be a new, different experience.”

    As med schools care a great deal, in part, about GPAs, if you fit in somewhere, you’re more likely to be “comfortable” and do well GPA wise.

    “ I think what it boils down to is which college I can get a better GPA at”

    No one can answer this as your GPAs will be dependent on your efforts, not the schools.

    “which college best prepares me the best for the MCAT.”

    Although premed courses offer background for MCAT, college profs don’t teach bio, physics, chem etc to prep students for MCAT. They just teach bio, physics, chem, etc. You’re probably going have to take MCAT prep (e.g. Princeton review, Kaplan, etc) or get a hold of prep materials and self study when time comes.

    “And one other question, is there a certain major that would prepare me best for med school?”

    Any major is fine. Be an art history major if it interests you. Having backup plan is good idea.

    Good luck. Enjoy your tours.

  • niktheslickniktheslick Registered User Posts: 121 Junior Member
    Thanks for your input @Jugulator20
  • somemomsomemom Registered User Posts: 10,636 Senior Member
    Hello OP, one of my kids did a Biology major at UCI. Yes, it is very Asian, when she graduated there were over 700 students walking in biology, less than 5% were non-Asian names.

    UCI & UCD are both going to give you solid preparation, choose the one that fits the best once you've been to visit. Are you ready to move far away? That can be a great experience. UCI does have a bit of an empty weekend feel, many people living in dorms still have their family nearby and head home.

    Jugulator is correct, you can choose any major as long as you complete the pre-med required classes.

    Where you get the best GPA may come down to where you fit the best and feel most comfortable, where you can settle in and explore your options confidently.

    I would tell my kid that the choice should come down to your gut instinct unless there is a dramatic financial difference.
  • niktheslickniktheslick Registered User Posts: 121 Junior Member
    Thanks @somemom‌ this really helped!
  • makeuplovermakeuplover Registered User Posts: 6 New Member
    I am on the same page with you right now!!! Although I have it the other way around (I live close to Davis). I've always dreamed of living in socal and have been wanting to move there since forever although I just don't know if Irvine is the right fit for me. I hear Davis has a better bio program is that true?
This discussion has been closed.