Chance Me: First year student from Houston aiming for a top biomedical engineering school for premed

I still say to the OP to apply where you like and your financial safeties. Don’t apply anywhere you don’t like at least as much as those financial/admission safeties. That’s a waste of time.

You have the stats and experience to be competitive anywhere, so make your actual decision once all admission and financial offers come in, preferably after visiting your top choices. School A is not equal to School B, even if both can lead to your becoming a doctor. Whether School A is better than School B will totally depend upon what you’re looking for in a college. Both School A and School B are right for some students.

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I just want to riff a little bit on what @Creekland said. You have a generous budget from your family and your have made yourself a very strong candidate for most schools through your hard work in high school. That leaves you with lots of choices.

Not everyone feels it’s necessary to visit college campuses ahead of time, but I like campus visits. At one point I one of the schools on your list was my #1 choice by far. While on vacation we visited the campus, and it totally came off the list for me because I did not jive with the space of the campus at all and felt very uncomfortable. There was no way for me to have known that prior to the visit.

There are schools that may seem very similar on paper (or on their websites) with respect to degrees offered, honors programs, etc, but that when you are in the surroundings (the campus, the town, the fellow students, the classes) that can feel very different to you. Go for where you feel it is the right fit.

There are definite benefits to saving money. But going with the least expensive option, if it does not feel like a good fit, is not a good choice if there is the budget to pay for more without loans or financial discomfort.

In the spring of your senior year your options may look like:
School A: $0
School B: $15k
School C: $25k
School D: $40k
School F: $50k
School G: $75k

If school C feels like the place where you will thrive the most, it doesn’t matter if you could save an additional $25k over School A so long as $25k is firmly within your family’s financial comfort zone.

That’s one of the reasons why I’ve listed a variety of different schools that may not appear overly different from each other. Because one never knows (and certainly not a stranger on the internet) what the right feel for you is going to be, and it’s good to know about possible options so you can find the right fit.

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I’m actually applying to UAB’s combined BS/MD program! If I am unable to get into medical school I would love to work in the biomedical engineering industry. I chose biomedical engineering as my preferred major because there are jobs if I do not get into medical school, I enjoy the engineering classes I am currently taking at my local community college, and I have loved the math, physics, and natural science classes I have taken in high school and at my local college so far!


Additionally, I am also applying to U Pitt’s BS/MD as a biomedical engineering major! That program is a long shot but I’m hoping I’ll get into their engineering college at the very least.


I have schools ranging from likely almost 0 from scholarships and over 50k on my list. It’s a very wide range of schools, and I am applying to about 10 combined medical programs (BA/MD and BS/MD). I have already started my applications and I’ve finished my common app portion of it. They all require extra short answers but many of them are similar between colleges so I don’t think it will take an insane amount of time.

My parents make good money and this is money that they have saved up for 6-8 years, and they are still saving now. My parents will not see a lifestyle change at all if I attend a college with a 50k price tag. I would still personally prefer not to, but it’s not a dealbreaker.


Although A&M is a good school, College Station is not my preferred place at all. I would rather attend UT Austin and major in biochemistry than go to A&M and major in biomedical engineering.

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I am a doctor and so is my husband. We see where medicine is going and honestly wish the next generation all the best. If you are invested in medicine and have such an amazing option as UT Austin that will give you a wonderful college experience and allow you and your parents to save for medical school I cannot encourage you enough to go that road. If you are questioning medical school UT Austin will still be an excellent place to study almost anything and you will leave college with a wonderful nest egg for another graduate school. Congratulations on your wonderful high school career and on your exceptional choices!


If that’s how you feel, take A&M off the list. Are there other schools on your list that you prefer less than UT’s biochem option? If so, I would take them off the list, too. And if biomedical engineering is really what you want to do, then I would find schools that are ABET-accredited for biomedical engineering that you DO like more than UT. You have the stats to get into almost all of them, and most of them will fall into your family’s budget. As far as I know, you will not be able to go into biomedical engineering as a biochem major unless you get a graduate degree in that bioengineering. Is UT worth that to you?

Based on the above it sounds like biomedical engineering is a great fit for you. Why do you want to go to medical school? From feedback I’ve heard from current physicians (and it sounds like @helpingthekid73), being a doctor is not like it “used to be” or is not what people think it is going to be when they enter medical school. Have you been able to shadow doctors and talk to them about the pluses and minuses of the field?

This was your original list of schools and then some of the comments you’ve made since then.

Would you mind creating a current list of where you’re applying (and specify if it’s EA/ED or BS/MD)?


I’ve shadowed a few doctors over the past few years, and I did some data analysis at a UT Health System hospital. This summer I’m volunteering at an HCA hospital and I have loved everything I have done in the medical field. I am 100% sure that I want to do medicine in the future!

I believe that I have a strong chance of getting into UT’s biomedical engineering major as I am top 6% and I have the stats so hopefully I don’t have to make a choice like that. However, A&M does have a program called E2EnMed, which is an 8 year combined bs/md program with an undergraduate degree in engineering.

Texas A&M (EA) (BS/MD)
Baylor (EA) (BS/MD)
Drexel (EA) (BS/MD)

Penn State (BS/MD)
George Washington University (BS/MD)

U Pitt (EA) (BS/MD)
UT Austin (EA)
Georgia Tech (EA)
University of Michigan (EA)
University of Rochester (BS/MD)

Rice BS/MD
Brown BS/MD

All the BS/MDs are reaches but I sorted them by the difficulty of the undergraduate university only.

As an OOS applicant I think both UMich and GTech will be low reaches.

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I think they’re targets because I have friends that applied early to both and got in with lower GPAs and lower SATs with similar extracurriculars. However, I am in no way considering them safeties or likelies.

You opted not to add Case Western?

And if you truly love medicine for what it is, not money, prestige, or anything else, then continue down your path. My guy is/was the same way and now is a very happy, though sometimes tired, 2nd year resident with no regrets.

Just have a Plan B, because you never know. I could see you as a terrific Biomedical engineer too based upon what you’ve written here.

Keep finances in mind once you have acceptances, and by all means, try to visit those acceptances to see where you feel you best fit in with the students, profs, and specific opportunities.


Whoops, my bad. Case Western and their PPSP program should be on my list as well!

And yes, I love medicine for what it is, not the money or prestige that comes with it. Although money is obviously required to survive, I could not care less about prestige. I actually want to work with Doctors Without Borders in the future after I have saved enough money to retire. I hope I am able to become a physician, but if not I would be happy as a biomedical engineer as well!

Thank you so much @Creekland for all of your super helpful advice! I really appreicate it and you’ve helped me a lot here :slight_smile:


IMO you have a great profile and have fair chances, except BSMDs in your list. Rice->Baylor program has been concluded. You can remove it from your list. FYI, Drexel named its BSMD as EAP. Most BSMD programs are in the super reach category with typical acceptance rates close to or even worse than Ivys. One needs to apply widely to increase their chances.
Question on your SAT score. Is that a single sitting score or a super score?

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You should move Georgia Tech to your reach list. It doesn’t matter how good your stats are; unless you’re a Georgia instate valedictorian or salutatorian, this school is a reach for anybody, especially for a super competitive program like BME. U Michigan is also likely not a match.


That’s fair. Although I thought that GT didn’t admit by major?

Yeah I’ve taken Rice BS/MD off of my list. I’ve added on a few others such as Texas Tech and RIT BS/MD programs. Additionally, I’ve made the decision to apply ED to Brown as I recently visited it because it was close-by to my aunt’s wedding.

My single sitting SAT score is 1570, and my superscore is 1580.

Why remove Rice - as you’d love the program it sounds like. Someone will get in - why not you?

Yeah, any BS/MD is tough - but you’re still a top top candidate nationwide and they’ll admit someone.

Rice actually shut their BS/MD program down this year. I’m still applying to the college but I can’t apply to the program. I really appreciate the confidence and support though @tsbna44 !