bio major - pre-med

My kid was accepted bio-major to UCSB and Cal Poly.Tuff decision now.Likes both campuses and kids there.Any suggestions?

Have your student visit both schools if possible – talk to students and faculty in their major area. I was at Cal Poly last weekend for Open House with my student – really great interactions with students and faculty of his department.

My student visited UCSB as a junior – the differences we noticed include: college town of SLO vs. Isla Vista SB. Research University UC vs. Learn by Doing at SLO. SLO is less expensive than UC which may also be increasing tuition next year. UCSB more diversity in student body and right on the ocean if your kid likes to surf. For my student the college town and learn by doing focus on undergraduates trumped (the head of his department spent an hour with him on our visit)–figure out your kid’s decision criteria based on the key differences in both schools. Good luck – with the decision!

The choice of school is not going to make a whit of difference. Both are large publics with all that means: class size, advising (or lack thereof), opportunities for research, etc. Your kid should choose the one that seems like a better fit. If they truly can’t decide and both would mean similar amounts of debt, flip a coin. Seriously.

In the end what is going to make your kid a strong candidate is what they do in college, not where they do it. Did they work hard and get good grades, especially in the classes med schools focus on? Did they get to know some profs so they get strong & personal recs? Did they take part in research (optional, but helpful)? Did they get experience in a medical setting? (an unofficial admission requirement – kids are turned down if they don’t do this) There is a very informative premed FAQ at They also have a nice writeup in the PreMed Essentials links on the left side of that page.

I always ask kids that say they want to be doctors, why an M.D? Not that I know it is wrong for them, it may be the right fit, but have they actually looked into the medical field and considered the alternatives? From the day they start college it will be 11-15 years before they are a practicing doctor, depending on what field they go into. Its almost a reflex action among HS kids, they think of a career in medicine and its “I’m pre-med!” Doctors are far from the only ones in the health field that help people. Physical therapists, radiology techs, nurses, nurse-practitioners and physician-assistants, speech pathologists, to name but just a few.

Now, she was accepted to Davis as well, that more close to our home.She is satisfied, but decision was made for UCSB and now again…A lot of pros for Davis, and lovely UCSB…:slight_smile: