Doing biomed engineering in 3 years

<p>Hi,</p>

<p>I'm new to college confidential so I apologize if this thread is in the wrong section. </p>

<p>Anyway, I'm going to University of Michigan Ann Arbor next year for biomedical engineering. I intend to graduate in 3 years in order to save time and because I honestly believe my workload would be too sparse if I spent 4 years because of all the AP credit I have amassed (48 credits). </p>

<p>But I wanted to know if this would affect my chances of getting into the grad school of my choice. I plan on entering grad school immediately following undergrad. I am considering MIT, Stanford, and University of California (San Diego and Berkley). I know what you're thinking and yes, my dream is to live in California. </p>

<p>I am participating in the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP) for my first year and I plan to aggressively seek out research and internship opportunities. But will all of this be enough or do these grad schools need to see that fourth year? Is it worth pursuing a second major in order to improve my chances of getting into one of these grad schools?</p>

<p>Thanks for your advice!</p>

<p>I honestly think that although possible to complete in 3 years, an extra year will give you the chance to really make sure you know what you want to do in grad school. I'd personally spend the extra year doing research, getting some publications, and higher level (even grad, if possible) courses, and your chances at the schools you listed would dramatically increase. If you think you can do all this in 3 years, by all means go ahead. Remember, its the research more than the marks (and good LORs) that ultimately make it or break it at the top grad schools.</p>

<p>Also, if you decide to stay an extra year or can afford to do this in your third year, try getting a supervisor at the school(s) you listed over the summer or school year, do good research work with him/her and that'll solidify your chances further. </p>

<p>I honestly thing that the "regular" way of going to grad school - i.e. marks, research work, and LORs - at the top notch BME schools you listed might be more challenging than directly knowing a faculty member there who you've done work with before, and that can directly recommend you, and help ensure you come in.</p>

<p>I dont think a second major is necessary, although depending on your interests, you could pull of a major/minor in something like neuroscience. I dont think this would "increase" your chances unless you've continued to maintain good marks (as opposed to just doing the BME degree), and somehow used it to augment your research. </p>

<p>Man, stupid Canadian schools dont recognize AP credits for substitution in first year. I'd probably be in the same boat as you if that were the case. Oh well, I'm done graduating now :)</p>

<p>Heh, I thought the same thing when I went in freshman year to BME. First question - are you totally sure you want to do this? This is probably the easiest and hardest question of all. You haven't been to college yet, but there are so many people who change their minds about majors in the blink of an eye, its hard to say when you are so young to invest money into a major that you "might" want to pursue in the future...If you really want to do this, than I can advise you a little. </p>

<p>First, make sure that you plan ahead on EVERYTHING. Coming in with so many credits was hard for me to plan and know what classes to take next semester. I really had to work hard with my advisor to figure out what to do and what classes to take. Plan ahead and make sure you are taking the right classes that could free your space and maximize your options. Don't kill yourself by overloading, but don't take courses that could easily be offered in the summer or in another semester.</p>

<p>Second of all, socialize.... a lot.... being a freshman surrounded by sophomores who have already made their own social circles at the beginning of the year is hard to find good groups to study with. Its even harder in large lecture halls. This was arguably the hardest part for me when I was taking sophomore classes, which by second semester freshman year, I tried to limit taking until I matured enough. Freshman classes are easier to find good friends I found and I was fortunate enough to reject some of my credits in favor for this - honestly I don't think I could have pulled off being a full sophomore...</p>

<p>Finally, it will be pretty difficult for you to get research experience in the first year - particularly while you are still adjusting. Actively seek out who needs what... It can be hard and usually upperclassmen are the ones who get the good research experience because they know the teachers and communicate with them through office hours, finding themselves in great positions...</p>

<p>I doubt grad schools will completely frown upon someone who was just trying to save some money on tuition. But I think it is important to consider whether or not rushing through you college life is worth it in the long run. College is four years for a reason - which is what I been told so many times... Consider other options that can boost your resume like minors and perhaps BS/MS programs, which will tack on a year or so and help you be a better candidate while allowing you to have a regular college life.</p>

<p>I do not know the specifics of their biomed program so I am not sure if it's even possible. </p>

<p>I graduated in 5 semesters (2.5 years) with no summer classes with a BA in History. But that was History. There really are no prerequisites in History. </p>

<p>I am kind of tempted to say, "stay in school as long as you can, the real world sucks." And with biomed I have heard that it is pretty much necessary to get a Master's. However, isn't University of Michigan tuition like $40,000/year? </p>

<p>I don't think it will ruin your "University experience" to graduate a year early. I would've self-immolated if I had to go four years for my History degree away from home. But I am somewhat anti-social and have anxiety about stuff.</p>

<p>I can't imagine grad schools would look down on you for being able to graduate early. It just means you're smarter and harder-working IMO.</p>

<p>I think one of my friends doing biomed at Umich is doing a bachelor's/master's program. I think it takes about 4 years, but you come out with a master's degree. I THINK this is what my friend was talking about so that might appeal to you.</p>

<p>While it's nice to have a plan, don't be surprised if you fail to stick to it. You might change your major. You might decide you want to graduate in four years. It's very easy to have some plan that sounds good on paper but when you actually have to do it you might find that it's not what you want.</p>

<p>There's really no reason to rush college. Spend a semester studying abroad. Take more courses that interest you.</p>