Academic Rigor of University of Chicago

<p>I am currently a junior and have recently been doing a lot of research on colleges. I want to enter as a premed and major in -maybe- anthropology or biological anthropology. All the research I have done for University of Chicago always talks about how difficult and rigorus the school is. It always talks about how University of Chicago is "where fun comes to die" and it is not unheard of to call home crying to your parents because you are so stressed out. My main concern is that this "rigorus" academic load is going to kill my GPA and thereby my chance to get inot Medical school. Don't get me wrong,I am not one of those "my GPA matters over everything including learning" type of person. I love to learn, I am a total book worm and history lover.The reason I am considering UChicago in the first place is that I love "the life of the mind."However, I dont want to be sooo overwhelmed that all my chances of movinh on to gradute school are ruined. What do you guys think of the academic load? What is the average GPA? Someone told me that you are bound to Fail one class (or at least get a couple C's) is this true?Are there any premeds out there who can tell me about what kinds of oppurtunities that are out there in the U of Chicago? What is the Medical School acceptance rate (and is it skewed in anyway)?</p>

<p>Thanks for helping me!</p>

<p>Med schools take into account that you went to uchicago when they look at your GPA. Just like undergrad, med schools look at the WHOLE picture.</p>

<p>Although that may be true, many people in this forum seem to think that even though they do take in to account the academic rigor of the school they do not nearly compensate rigorus schools for what they truly deserve in terms of GPA. that is why i wanted to know if this is the type of school that kills your GPA because from what i hear people always talk about U of C as a place where the kids are always studying and still get mediocre grades. Can anyone illustrate the rigor of the academic load?</p>

<p>Trust is right: med schools look at your undergrad school, but they don't factor it in much when looking at GPA. You may get a couple of Cs during your four years, especially if you challenge yourself and take more difficult courses. The work here is definitely manageable, and if you work hard you can get As and some Bs. If you get 50% As and 50% Bs, you have a 3.5, which is definitely in the med school range. It's hard work to get As, but it's possible--again, especially if you take easier courses. Med schools don't seem to look much at Honors Physics versus the normal or lower level, so if you're GPA sensitive you may want to bypass honors courses. </p>

<p>I don't know the med school acceptance rate off the top of my head, but it's competitive with other top schools, I think. What I've noticed here in comparison with schools my friends and family attend is that while at another top school o-chem is feared, here it's just thought of as another difficult class. There are a lot of successful pre-meds here, so don't worry about it too much. I also haven't heard about students dropping pre-med after taking the science classes, though I assume they must exist. I have to add, too, that the classes here are very supportive. Everyone helps each other with assignments and supports friends in the class who are struggling. There is always help available from the prof, TAs, tutors, friends, and housemates.</p>

<p>EDIT: I just wanted to add that I'm planning on trying pre-med starting next year (as a second year) and that I like your pre-med/major combination. My sister is a junior at another top school following the same plan, and she loves it.</p>

<p>S is a second year premed and a humanities concentrator, having a great time, many activities, handling o-chem without a great deal of stress, and has a good GPA. He is the happiest I have ever seen him. He will have all Core, premed, and concentration requirements finished by the end of 3rd year (with the help of a little summer school).</p>

<p>I've known several U Chicago grads. All got in to top grad schools. I'm guessing they get in to med schools too!</p>

<p>I think the difficulty of the school is a little exaggerated. I came in basically figuring that it was impossible to get an A. That's wrong. I don't actually know of anyone failing a class personally (though it does happen). Don't get me wrong: you're not going to get straight-As, but you're not going to be fighting to avoid a C in every class, either.</p>

<p>"Grade point averages at the University rose from a mean of 2.50 in 1965 to 3.26 in 1999, according to research by Stuart Rojstaczer, a professor at Duke University." <a href=""&gt;;/a&gt;&lt;/p>

<p>I remember seeing the statistic somewhere that 80% of uchicago seniors last year got into their first-choice grad school.</p>

<p>.... in a self-reported survey.</p>

<p>Thanks for info guys!! I love the life of the mind but I just hope that it will not ruin (or make it extremely hard) to get into Medical School! Are there any premed's out there that can tell me about the quality and rigor of the science requirementrs for premed? What about the oppurtunities for non science majors for the use of facilities for research?</p>

<p>"not unheard of to call home crying to your parents because you are so stressed out"</p>

<p>It's certainly unheard of to me.</p>

<p>Those clearly are exaggerations as so many students would not be attracted to U of C if each were destined to fail at least one class...</p>

<p>I have had a lot of concerns about the U of C since I got my acceptance (enthusiasm quickly turned into pessimism). To the OP, I can say that every single concern that I have had (except for the one you are voicing) has been addressed and put into perspective. The gist I get is that things are blown out of proportion, but all of the things people say do stem from some truth.</p>

<p>As far as the stats for med school, I have read here on these forums (though I have never seen official documentation on this) that U of C is top ten in America for med school acceptances.... I have read other threads top 20... maybe someone could link or clarify this.</p>

<p>As far as the academic rigor, the sense I get (and please correct me if I'm wrong) is that the classes are challenging and require work and lots of thinking, but challenging does not mean unmanageable or impossible. The way I try to think about it (and kids from my school who are there now agree) is that classes at the U of C are not harder than the APs at my school, but also APs at my school are the real deal. To put it in terms for everyone else, maybe look at the classes at the U of C as difficult as those really hard AP/honors classes you worked really hard in that you took in HS. Can any current students verify this?</p>

<p>Just as "where fun comes to die" is not really true, maybe this other saying at U of C (my favorite one, pardon its vulgarity) is also not really true: "UChicago is like unprotected sex: glad you got in, sorry you came"</p>

<p>The hum and sosc core classes are definitely more difficult than APUSH/AP Lit/etc. The others depend a lot on the level class, I think (i.e. I've heard the 130s compared to AP calc, but the 160s are significantly harder). Overall I think you're right, though. The U of C is a lot harder than other colleges, but it's nothing you can't handle. As always, though, I think it depends on the classes you're taking.</p>

<p>you should be able to get an A in any high school class if you want. there are classes here where it is just not feasible to get A-'s or even lower for most people.</p>

<p>Thanks guys for the info! I know others have already asked this question but it still hasnt been answered: What are the Med school acceptance rates? I know that this information - at times - can be manipulated but i would stil like to know them. Also, are there still research oppurtunities for non science majors? This has been a problem at other schools. You guys are really helping reaffirm my belief in University of Chicago after being scared away by the academic rigor!</p>

<p>S is a humanities concentrator and has been invited into two different labs. I don't think he was even asked what his major is. He was also invited on an archeological dig in Turkey.</p>

<p>I've never heard anything than "AP classes and college classes are NOT comparable at all," and that's in reference to every college.</p>

<p>And this could be conceived as cruel but, if you are so concerned about the academic rigor, are you SURE UChicago is right for you? I mean isn't that why most of us applied, because we assumed it would be hard and rigorous?</p>

<p>Defending the AP point: for some schools I am sure it is entirely true that APs are nothing like the real thing. For my school it is pretty different, many of my AP classes are taught by teachers who used to teach at Columbia or do research at MIT, and their classes are taught and graded like college classes [the mean grade on any AP Chem test is about a 60, it is rare for anyone to score over an 80]. After taking some classes myself at Penn over the summer, although those were summer classes I can say that the material they covered, and the rigor of the classes was comparable. A friend of mine who goes to U of C says no classes he's in are harder or much harder than the APs at my school. </p>

<p>Being an ignorant high schooler limits my authority on this issue, but for some I would have to say, their AP experience might be applicable to the classes at Chicago. Not that they are identical, but I was saying that AP rigor may be used as a measuring stick for rigor at Chicago.</p>

<p>I think everyone may be correct. From what S says the Calc 130's sequence and the first quarter or so of the 150 sequence is roughly equivalent to AP Calc, but the later 150's and the 160's are much more difficult, same for physics, which is about the same for the 120's, but the 130's up are more demanding. The classics, Mandarin, etc. all much more difficult. S says the AP's are a good foundation, but in a quarter one covers about what one does in a year at HS. He has also taken science courses at a top Ivy and found it to be quite a bit less demanding than Chicago. He described the experience as like an accelerated AP course, differing from Chicago in the arguments, evidence, and theory required for similar material.</p>