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Majoring in Chemistry - does your undergrad college really matter?

greenlanterngreenlantern Registered User Posts: 90 Junior Member
edited October 2009 in Science Majors
I'm looking to get a degree in chemistry and have aspirations of going on to get a Masters and hopefully a Ph.D.

If I want to get into a top flight graduate school, how much does my choice of college for my undergraduate degree really matter?

As an example, let's pretend that I want to go to grad school at University of Chicago.

Let's also pretend that I get my B.S. from East Carolina rather than UNC-CH. And let's assume that I do well in my undergraduate studies.

How much would the fact that I graduated from ECU (rather than a more prestigious school like UNC-CH) hurt my chances to get into a school like UC (or other top flight grad school, including the Ivies)?

Thanks!
Post edited by greenlantern on

Replies to: Majoring in Chemistry - does your undergrad college really matter?

  • silverturtlesilverturtle Registered User Posts: 12,496 Senior Member
    The strength of one's undergraduate program does significantly affect Ph.D. program admittance chances.
  • greenlanterngreenlantern Registered User Posts: 90 Junior Member
    How is strength of undergraduate program rated?

    I see the Gourman Report but question the usefulness/validity of it. Are there other sources specific to degrees?

    And for large "general" degrees like chemistry (or psychology, etc.) I am wondering how much weight that carries, assuming you do very well regardless of where you go.

    Or is it simply a matter of the US News and World Report rankings being in play for these types of undergraduate degrees.

    (As an example, my cousin's roommate is now attending Harvard Law School after attending a so-called "third tier" university for her undergraduate degree. Is that really off the norm?)
  • noimaginationnoimagination Registered User Posts: 7,054 Senior Member
    Some old but perhaps still useful graduate rankings for chemistry: NRC Rankings in Chemistry

    Many less-than-exclusive schools still have very strong programs.
  • Mr. BojanglesMr. Bojangles Registered User Posts: 824 Member
    As long as you go to a research institution and are able to actually do research (and get good grades) you won't have a problem getting into a good PhD program.
This discussion has been closed.