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UNC Chapel Hill or NC State for research oriented biology major?

biomajor2biomajor2 Registered User Posts: 4 New Member
Looking for pros/cons of each school.

Replies to: UNC Chapel Hill or NC State for research oriented biology major?

  • PackAttackJackPackAttackJack Registered User Posts: 2 New Member
    Just as a warning, I'm a bit biased toward NC State and I also have much more information on State than UNC. I'll try to represent both universities without showing too much of a bias, but it may be good to get a UNC student's opinion, as well.

    NC State and UNC have fairly distinct strengths and Biology is a field that both universities are strong in, but in very different contexts. NC State is a tech school with an extremely strong reputation in agriculture, engineering, forestry, design, and most other technical disciplines. UNC, on the other hand, typically has much stronger health sciences programs than NC State. UNC also tends to have a more theoretical tilt to their curriculums, whereas NC State tends to teach everything through a more practical lens.

    If you're planning on studying biology in terms of ecology, as it pertains to nature, sustainability and the technology surrounding it, I'd highly recommend NC State's College of Natural Resources and College of Sciences. On the other hand, if you're hoping to learn about how biology and chemistry relate to human health, then UNC is most likely a better option. In terms of research, both are major research universities, so I wouldn't be concerned about that.

    Don't forget to take into account that both institutions feel very different. NC State is located in a "college neighborhood" of a fairly large city whereas UNC-CH is in a picturesque college town with a much less urban feel. UNC is pretty strongly liberal, while NC State tends to be much more politically moderate. In terms of social life, both schools party fairly hard, but I feel like Chapel Hill is a little more of a party school than State. Neither school has a rowdy enough student life to affect its academic reputation, however.

    Keep in mind too that NC State is slightly easier to get into if your not applying to the Engineering or Design programs, so unless you're sure you can get into both you may want to keep that in mind.

    Either way, best of luck! Both are excellent universities and I'm sure you'll grow a lot from your time at either institution
  • grandschemegrandscheme Registered User Posts: 692 Member
    NC State is also more comfortable for out of staters than is UNC which is more of a hometown school. NC has the or one of the highest retention rates of in state students who stay in state for school and after so more than most in state schools, I think the in staters at UNC are especially close which can feel exclusionary for those from out of state.
  • redpoodlesredpoodles Registered User Posts: 2,110 Senior Member
    Hometown school--Huh? I went to both and don't agree at all. There were MANY out of state students at Carolina and they intermingled very well with in state students--really, it came down to personality. An outgoing person will find it very easy to make friends on either campus and an introverted person will find friends too with a small amount of time, on either campus. I knew a few people who knew each other in high school but none of them hung out with each other or excluded anyone--everyone wanted new/more friends--state/out of state had nothing to do with it. They are both good schools. PackAttackJack is right on with the advice about the programs. Carolina is more prestigious, but Raleigh is a more "comfortable" town IMO than Chapel Hill. Also, NCSU tends to have more guys than girls, and the opposite is true of Carolina. NCSU also seemed to have more students who weren't particularly keen on the liberal arts subjects (English/History, etc.) where the Carolina students were generally very strong writers and thrived more in those subjects. Visit both and you will know which fits you better.
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