Cornell Pre-med: should I throw in the towel?

<p>So, I am intending to major in Chemistry and I just completed my freshman year at Cornell. I came out of it with a cumulative GPA of 3.53....</p>

<p>I got straight Bs is Intro Bio and a B+ (first semester) and B (second semester) in Honors Inorganic Chemistry... I am willing to work much harder throughout the remainder of my undergraduate career, but I just wonder if I've put myself in a position to be seriously worried about med school admissions. My hope is to be accepted into a top 20 medical school, but because of Cornell's lack of grade inflation and trying coursework, I've lost any sense of what it is to do poorly. Am I on the right track or do I need to clean up my act?</p>

<p>I don't know how much my extracurriculars (research, student gov., an ambassadors team, cartooning for publications, tutoring) or a good MCAT score can possibly make up for a deficiency in my GPA. I think I am sufficiently motivated enough to pull it up to at least a 3.7 by the time I graduate, but I feel like there are so many factors that may contribute to a different result. I have even been considering changing my major to something in the humanities in which I am also very interested in order to bring up my GPA, but this alternative major may leave me with fewer career options (should medical school not work out, God forbid) than if I stuck with Chemistry.</p>

<p>Basically... I'm wondering if I'm on a reasonable schedule considering the fact that I want to go to a good medical school, or if I need to really haul ass for the rest of my time in college. ANY advice would be extremely welcome....</p>

<p>with a 3.075 science gpa to-date, you need lotsa A's going forward. I'd drop some of those ECs bcos they will not matter if you continue to pull down B's.</p>

<p>Well, Cornell is fairly grade deflated...won't med schools take that into account at all?</p>

<p>Some. Not a lot though. I'd advise the OP to check out the stats of people accepted from Cornell.</p>

<p>The career services site says that 80% of Cornell applicants with GPA of 3.4 or above were accepted into medical school, but it doesn't say much about the caliber of those schools...</p>

<p>
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Well, Cornell is fairly grade deflated

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No, it's not, actually. Check out some of Norcalguy's posts on the subject.</p>

<p>
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The career services site says that 80% of Cornell applicants with GPA of 3.4 or above were accepted into medical school, but it doesn't say much about the caliber of those schools...

[/quote]
</p>

<p>^^^ You should be fine. A lot of Cornell's intro pre-med classes are very difficult, much more difficult then the some of the upper level courses. The material may not be challenging, but from what I have heard the classes are structured to be difficult (professors in upper level classes aren't afraid to give out As, while the ones in intro classes are more afraid. You should do much better in the coming years.</p>

<p>The crucial gpa threshold for you is a 3.4, because if you want to be a practicing physician it doesn't matter where you went to medical school, but rather that you went to a U.S. medical school.</p>

<p>Is it really that bad to be accepted by a top (21-50) medical schools that OP would want to change major for that reason?</p>

<p>Majors don't matter ace, gpa+mcat do. But that science gpa will standout by itself. So, a 3.0 sgpa and a 4.0 'other' gpa (cum = 3.5) won't cut it.</p>

<p>Keep in mind the 80% or whatever acceptance rate is for 3.4 GPA or above applicants. The key is the "or above" part. A 3.9 student doesn't have the same acceptance rate as a 3.4 student. The actual acceptance rate for someone whose GPA is in the 3.4 range is only around 60% or so, which is still decent but it's not 80%.</p>

<p>I guess I'd just really like to have some idea of if I have a reasonable foundation to improve upon for these next few years.... or if I've already seriously crippled myself in the pre-med race for top schools.</p>

<p>ace550, top 21-50 would make me happy, but I should shoot for the best to optimize my abilities. Also, Honors Physical Chemistry in my Junior year (which is required for the Chem major) might slaughter my GPA. And, because I took a credit-heavy language my freshman year, I'm in a rough spot in terms of fitting in some requirements by Junior year. Two reasons I'm considering a major change: scheduling and GPA.</p>

<p>Wow that's kinda ridiculous. So 40% of kids with 3.4 gpa dot get into any med schools? </p>

<p>I feel like they just wasted 200k on a worthless science degree.</p>

<p>A science degree is anything but worthless. I don't think undergrad should be viewed purely as a stepping stone for med school.</p>

<p>A science degree would provide one with opportunities to work in medical or technology fields. You can also go to a graduate school for engineering, law, or business. You will have solid background for unlimited opportunities. The only drawback is that the GPA may suffer a little for medical school application. That is why one has to be careful about spending $200K(for UG) in case the pursuit of medical school is not successful.</p>

<p>^^I will disagree with most of your post, ace. A science degree is of no more value for law school (gpa+lsat = 99% of admissions). A science degree is of no more value for business school (gpa+experience are key). And, I would guess a general science degree won't help much for engineering grad school either (for that, one needs undergrad engineering).</p>

<p>Now an undergrad degree in the sciences is a little more marketable to employers than a degree in French Lit (at least for a 22-year old), but law schools just don't care about such things.</p>

<p>bluebayou,</p>

<p>I did not say that a science major was of more value for law and business school admission. These are possibilities for science students also if they can get good LSAT and GMAT scores. However, science major is definitely very helpful for a student to get into an engineering graduate program. Examples are:</p>

<p>1) Chemistry - good for Chemical engineering, Materials Engineering, etc.
2) Biology - good for Biomedical engineering
3) Physics - good for Electrical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, and Civil Engineering </p>

<p>Enginnering is reasonably open to qualified students including those with math or computer science major. Nonetheless, I do not think that a student from French Lit or similar would have much a chance. </p>

<p>Engineering M.E. and Ph.D. are still not as marketable as MD on average. I doubt, on average, any other fields can compete with MD. That is why I caution about the $200K decision.</p>