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Which college for a pre med student, Penn State of Rutgers University?

starrynight2020starrynight2020 0 replies1 threads New Member
Both Penn State and Rutgers University are out of state for me. I'm planning to major in psychology with maybe a minor in neuroscience or journalism.
I was wondering, which school has a better pre med program and has more opportunities that would benefit a pre med student? Both schools are suburban and large. Are there any big differences between the schools that would make one seem like a better choice than the other (can be in terms of campus, academics, social scene, etc)?
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Replies to: Which college for a pre med student, Penn State of Rutgers University?

  • thumper1thumper1 75276 replies3303 threads Senior Member
    Penn State, in my opinion, is not suburban. It’s in the middle of no where.

    Both schools have fine programs. But both will be costly for you as an out of state student.

    If medical school is in your future, why aren’t you looking at your own instate flagship which is probably equally as good and would be less costly.

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  • WayOutWestMomWayOutWestMom 10255 replies208 threads Senior Member
    edited October 9
    As @thumper1 noted Penn State is not suburban. It's in a smallish town, State College, (AKA "Happy Valley" pop ~45,000). It's 2.5 hours from Pittsburgh. 1.75 hours from Harrisburg and 4+ hours from Cleveland. It's really not close to anything. Penn State's med school and medical campus are in Hershey, PA -- 2 hours away.

    The State College area is very pretty-- a whole lot prettier than New Brunswick, IMO. Lots of rolling hills and trees. But it's also very rural.

    Penn State has a better football team and a better basketball team than Rutgers--if you're into college sports.

    Educationally both school offer everything you need to complete pre-med coursework.

    Penn State is over $51,000/year OOS. So is Rutgers.

    What's the attraction to expensive OOS public universities?

    Med school is expensive and pre-med hopefuls are strongly advised to minimize undergrad debt.


    edited October 9
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  • DadTwoGirlsDadTwoGirls 5624 replies1 threads Senior Member
    What is your budget for a full 8 years (4 year undergrad, 4 year medical school)?

    What state are you from (or country, if not the US)?
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  • twogirlstwogirls 7328 replies7 threads Senior Member
    Both schools are fine and will offer you what you need. There is no choice that is “better.”

    What is the attraction to these schools over your own instate public? Your parents are ok with the cost?



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  • budgiegirl3budgiegirl3 4 replies0 threads New Member
    edited October 10
    Physician here - it doesn't matter. I went to an ivy league med school with students from all over the place. DO WELL. Pick a place that fits with your lifestyle. Be happy. Oh and while i am on the topic - take a year off before going to med school!! Have a fun and do something interesting. I pity people who went straight through and never got a year to do something really fun in their 20s. I've had more interviewers ask me about my year off than anything else.
    edited October 10
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  • thumper1thumper1 75276 replies3303 threads Senior Member
    And adding...you want to keep your undergrad debt to a bare minimum or nothing. Medical school is hideously expensive for most medical school students. And aid comes in the form of loans, loans and more loans primarily.

    Please explain why your flagship university in your state isn’t as good as Penn State or Rutgers.
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  • SophleySophley 411 replies2 threads Member
    Agreed with all above. I’m a diehard Penn Stater and I’m not sure it’s your best bet. PSU has these very difficult weed out courses for STEM majors. You will have to work like crazy to get the desired GPA. Your own state school may be a better choice. Go where you can do very well and accumulate little to no debt.
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  • WaterguruWaterguru 8 replies0 threads New Member
    edited October 11
    I'm not a physician, but I have a good long term friend that specialized in dental surgery. One of his favorite jokes goes like this: What do you call someone who graduated medical school? Doctor. What do you call someone that graduated from dental school? Doctor.

    Initially maybe if you attended the University of the Caribbean or something, maybe it will set you back, but that won't be very long as it's really work experience that hones the skills of professionals - at least those that care. Your reputation and bedside manner will trump everything in the end.

    If it were me, I would base the choice on budget because I don't think the rest is going to matter a lot down the road.
    edited October 11
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  • coolguy40coolguy40 2352 replies3 threads Senior Member
    Neither, both schools are out of state. Your best chance for medical school will be in your home state, because that's where they take preference. Plus, I agree with everyone here. You need to keep the debt down for your undergraduate.

    Also...you're coming out of high school. Doctor is a popular dream for bright high school kids. The reality is that almost none of them actually go to medical school. As you mature, chances are, you'll find that you have passions in other areas you haven't discovered yet. That's another reason to go to an affordable school. Whether you choose medical school or not, you can't lose by going some place affordable.
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  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 78670 replies698 threads Senior Member
    Waterguru wrote: »
    Initially maybe if you attended the University of the Caribbean or something, maybe it will set you back, but that won't be very long as it's really work experience that hones the skills of professionals - at least those that care. Your reputation and bedside manner will trump everything in the end.

    Isn't the problem at some Caribbean medical schools either low graduation rates, or low residency matching rates? If one does not graduate, or graduates but is unable to get a residency, getting the needed work experience to enter the medical profession is closed.
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  • WayOutWestMomWayOutWestMom 10255 replies208 threads Senior Member
    Isn't the problem at some Caribbean medical schools either low graduation rates, or low residency matching rates?

    It's both.

    Graduation rates from Caribbean med schools are abysmal and a key part of the business model under which Carib med school operate. They seat large initial classes--as many as 1800 students/year-- then consistently flunk out >40% of students because they don't have enough clinical rotation sites to accommodate them all. Also, classroom instruction is cheap; clinical instruction is very expensive.

    And fewer than 60% of USIMGs actually match into a residency.

    http://www.nrmp.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/Charting-Outcomes-in-the-Match-2018-IMGs.pdf
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