6 year PharmD program at Northeastern or Cornell pre-med through Food Science major in CALS

I am currently deciding between going the 6 year PharmD program at Northeastern or trying for pre med in Cornell through the Food Science major in CALS. I don’t have any specific plans for the future and am not sure what I want to do. If I go to Cornell, I’m worried that if I try pre med and fail to make it into medical school, I will be left with a Food Science degree which may not have many job options. As of now, I will be paying full tuition for Cornell and around 50k for Northeastern.

If you are not sure what you want to do, entering a 6 year pharmd program is probably not a good choice. Those programs are fast paced and demanding.Do you have other major/program options at Northeastern? Can your family afford the additional $25K/yr or so for Cornell.

I believe I can always switch out of the PharmD program during the first two years in Northeastern but my family can afford the extra 25k/yr. I am just worried that pre-med at Cornell might be harder than pre-med at Northeastern (if I choose to switch out)

Seconding @Mwfan1921 PharmD is a very specialized program with very little flexibility. If you don’t have any specific plans, it may be best to switch into a more general major and do premed from that. Is there nothing of interest besides food science?

I can switch into other majors in CALS (public health, cell biology) so switching out into a more general major is not a problem at Cornell. I am just worried that pre med is a riskier route than PharmD

Premed is riskier. The overall acceptance rate to allopathic medical schools is around 40%. Average undergraduate gpa for matriculants is ~3.7. Average MCAT is 511. You will need doctor shadowing, clinical experience, volunteering, and research experience. Many take a gap year or two to maximize the quality of their application.

If you are inspired to be a physician and have the confidence to succeed, then go premed.

Pharmacy is a great profession, also providing health care to your community, with job security and excellent compensation. The 6 year early assurance program seems like a less stressful pathway.

I would choose pharmD. Premed at Cornell is very cut throat and Food Science is a major in between of true science and non-science. Technically, you are not taking the science courses for med school, so a small slip in those med school prereqs will have no recourse to make up the GPA.

PharmD, while it is fast paced, is much less riskier approach. And Pharmacist has a better life style than physician. At the end, if you like Pharmacy, go for it.

Where are you instate? How about attending an instate public school in pre-health, and then either attend pharmacy school, or PA school, or continue with med school?

I was accepted into Rutgers with in-state tuition and into the PharmD program as well as the general Arts and Science college under the Biology major

That seems to be a fine choice, and leaves options open at a great price tag.

Is Pharmacy hard enough to get into, that it’s worth reducing the risk by paying $50K / yr for Northeastern? If you have trouble in organic chemistry, is the Pharmacy degree in trouble too? Cornell is even more expensive, but compare what you get, the uniformly excellent education recognized around the world, and could apply to Pharm school from there too, or go the PhD route. Rutgers is also a respected name.

I think Rutgers has a better reputation in Pharmacy program than Northeastern. Why spend that much more to attend a private school than IS public? My cousin, a Rutgers Pharmacy graduate, never had a problem to find a job immediately after they move, and they moved around in 10 states.

But let’s say if I’m in the PharmD program at Rutgers and decide that Pharmacy isn’t for me, would pre-med at Rutgers be easier than pre-med at Cornell? I’m currently worried that pharmacy may not be for me but don’t want to give up the chance of going through a shorter program that guarantees a degree and job security. Is the risk of going pre-med at Cornell worth it?

The premed prerequisite sciences courses are going to be challenging at either school, Rutgers vs Cornell.

Rutgers is fairly transparent on their premed students success for med schools:
https://hpo.rutgers.edu/admission-statistics/168-medical-admission-stats-2018/file

Rutgers also has an early assurance program for their premeds where you can apply as a sophomore:
https://hpo.rutgers.edu/special-programs/academic-programs/ba-md-rwj
https://hpo.rutgers.edu/special-programs/academic-programs/ba-md-njms

Ah, thank you, I didn’t know about the early assurance program

The first two years of pre-pharmacy or pre-med is going to be pretty similar.

You can just see how it goes. You don’t have to decide now.

@StickyMemo My friend had a similar dilemma. Which one did you decide to commit to?

I don’t know if you already decided or have had to decide, but if you got into Cornell, you should be able to get into pharmacy school later if you want that. Because of med school’s not weighting GPA that much by school and major, I would recommend going somewhere easier than Cornell, which would give you a better chance at med school. If you don’t get in, you can go to Pharmacy school or choose other options. The main advantage of the 6-year Pharm program is you get through in fewer years.

I decided to go with Cornell (more risky) since I realized that if I hated biology or chem after delving deeper into it, I could cop out and go for another major where Cornell can provide me with the right resources. Thanks for everyone’s advice and input!