Biochemistry Major/Neuroscience (Major or Minor)

COVID-19 research: Junior trying to cull down a list of colleges:
Biochemistry major and either a Neuroscience Major or minor. (considering pre-med future)

  • L.A/Research and Private/Public schools.
  • School size ~3,000-15K enrollment.
  • Athlete; participate in club/rec sports, sorority is not required, more academic than party student, active campus and off campus activities.
    Location: New England, Southeast and Midwest (trying to avoid West Coast/FLA).
    GPA: 3.9 A student; honors and AP courses; no SAT/ACT due to test cancellation
    This list is a combination of safety, match and reach schools. Looking for feedback/recommendations on the list of colleges:

Union College
Trinity College
Vassar College
Lafayette College
Wesleyan University
College of the Holy Cross
Bucknell University
Rice University
Wake Forest
Case Western Reserve University
Elon Univeristy
Tulane University
St. Louis University
University of Rochester*
University of New Hampshire
Binghamton University
Baylor University
Syracuse University
Marquette University
Hofstra University

Also a future Biochem major and premed here!
Here’s my take on your list:

If you want extensive lab exprience and a rigorous courseload, definitely focus on:

University of Rochester*-Has medical school, numerous labs, undergrad research
Rice University- Nationally ranked Biochemistry Department, undergrad research
Case Western Reserve University-Has medical school, undergrad research programs

While these schools will best prepare you for medical school, they aren’t really big on athletics. However, they have many on-campus clubs and very fun school-wide activites every year.

I don’t really want to copy and paste; However, most of the smaller universities and liberal arts colleges on your list have the athletics you want and smaller biochemistry and neuroscience departments where you can cultivate more personal relationships with the professors which will not only result in better recommendations for when you apply to medical school, but will also allow you to get research opportunites.

It all boils down to campus culture and how comfortable you are with the school. I would highly suggest researching more at the websites below:

Unigo- for campus culture, scholarships, and student reviews
Niche-For college rankings and student reviews
CollegeVine- Chance-checking, college rankings, admissions information
And last but not least:
CollegeConfidental-To ask the good questions

It’s not that huge a list by today’s standards. Cost factors will probably knock a few of them out of contention. Will you need merit aid?

If you are absolutely, completely set on an MD- not a PhD- then $$ and GPA are the name of the game. You can get plenty of research experience pretty much anywhere. So, if your parents can afford to pay for UG & Med School with no debt- happy days! but if there will be debt, you want to have as little as possible going in to med school, which may mean re-shaping your list.

From an experiential perspective, you have an … interesting … group of colleges. I don’t see (say) Vassar and Wes students and (say) Baylor and Bucknell being happily interchangeable. You might want to think through the attractions of those pairs, and which is more of a ‘fit’ for you.

Once you have done that, you can pair up a fair few of your ‘middling’ ones- not safeties/not reaches, and cut 3 or 4 of them.

Have you considered URichmond?

I’m assuming that WPI was left off your list as it is a STEM and not a LA University. If your focus is on an interdisciplinary approach to learning, you may want to broaden your scope to a University with the same focus. By its very nature, project research is interdisciplinary and is best coordinated with classroom readings and lectures. ALL WPI majors interface with interdisciplinary learning and research. See

WPI has a very well developed Biomedical engineering program at the BS/ MS and PhD levels. See

They recently launched a new, interdisciplinary initiative in neuroscience at the MS level. They also offer a five year BS/MS program. See

For Biology and Biotechnology see

For chemistry and biochemistry see

They have multiple research agreements/interaction with the U Mass Hospital. This hospital is not on the Amherst campus, but is seven minutes and less than 3 miles from the WPI campus. Check the history of this research relationship @

The average GPA of the entering classes at WPI are an UNWEIGHTED 3.89 on a 4 point scale. How close can you get to a match?

For pre-med advising process see

                                                     Critical questions

Beyond premed major, what specific subject interests do you have?

Does your selected university offer/cover these areas of of focus (e.g. foreign languages, English literature, psychology, history, math, study abroad, art, etc. and how do they actually integrate into your program of studies?

If you graduate with a pre-med degree as a biology major and you change your mind, what will you do? At WPI and at Case Western you may want to look closely at BME as a premed option.

I appreciate everyone’s feedback. This has given me a lot to think about and the direction I seek to pursue. We have to review the financial situation, school locations and really looking through these schools for what is desired.