FSU honors or UF for pre-med?

I understand that UF has the better pre-med program, but will honors at FSU provide me with enough advantages for it to be more beneficial for pre-med. Assuming I don’t get in to the Honors Medical Scholars Program at FSU, how much better would Uf or FSU honors be for pre-med?

I’m wondering the same thing

I mean, I almost feel that whichever school would provide me with the most EC’s and research opportunities would be the best choice since it’s only undergraduate. However, UF has Shands, and I don’t know how much access undergraduates would have to any opportunities with that. Also, FSU is going to give me study abroad grants and research opportunities just for being in the honors program. I just wish somebody would break down all of the opportunities at each school for me.

It has been thirty years since my graduation from UF college, and twenty-six years since I graduated from UF medical school. My daughter is applying to college now. I have thought hard about what I to advise her. FSU honors or UF honors, FSU vs. UF, etc.

I would tell her, it makes NO difference. But whatever college you choose, make sure you can do well. Where you go for college makes no difference. I see medical students rotating from Caribbean medical schools every week. I always make an effort to chat with them. Where did you go to college , you college GPA, etc. What surprised me was that many of them are from pretty good colleges, UC Berkley, UCLA, UNC Chapel Hill. Their GPA? 3.3-3.5

I come to conclusion where you go to college is really not as important as solid GPA and MCAT score. Look at all the medical schools in Florida, what is their AVERAGE GPA? 3.8 , average MCAT 32. It is same across the board, UF, UM, USF, UCF, FAU, FIU. Exception is FSU which is bit lower, 3.6 and 28.

Of the thousands of application to medical school, do you really think your “HONOR” from UF or FSU really going to stand out? I really don’t think so.

At Duke freshman orientation last year, of the 1700 students, 700 call themselves premed. Duke boasts they send 250 students to medical schools last year. Wow, 250 students. What a great premed school ! But if you think through this, they start out with 700, end up with 250. Most of cast away have 3.3-3.5 GPA’s. If Duke’s reputation made no difference, UC Berkley made no difference, what makes you think UF or FSU “Honors” will make any difference?

You GOT to have the stats of AVERAGE accepted medical students, which GPA 3.8

Where you went to college is very secondary. Name is just an interesting conversation piece, it won’t get you into medical school. You got to have that fire in the belly to keep up that 3.8.

3.8 !! What has grade inflation gone over the last 30 years !

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For medical school admissions, your GPA matters more than your undergraduate college. Now, add to this the fact Honors students tend to get higher grades in their Honors classes and that Honors students have first pick, compared to non Honors undergrads, for “opportunities” (+better advising for them), and FSU Honors seems to be the best choice for you. In addition, if, like 3/4th freshmen, you change your mind, you’re still in an excellent program.

It really doesn’t matter where you go as long as you make the most of your experience - maintain a high GPA, get involved in activities, volunteer, research, join an internship, show leadership (oh, and don’t forget to have fun).

That’s exactly what I plan on doing. The question though is if FSU honors gives me more opportunity to do those things over regular uf.

Yes it does. Well, being in the Honors program absolutely does give you more opportunity to do what is needed for med school than being in UF “regular” (since the UF Honors students will have priority over you at UF like you will have at FSU over the “regular” FSu students).

The counterpoint is that many of pre-med students drop out of the program not due to grades, but they realize they do not want to become physicians. It can be a very stressful profession. Anyone looking at pre-med has to consider the significant probability they will not make it into med school and what the alternative path to a career will be given their educational choices.

Also, honor programs can provide some nice perks while in school, but once you graduate it really doesn’t mean much. For example, the students in UF honors program probably have similar or better stats than a general student at Duke, but at the end of the day one is still a Duke graduate versus a UF graduate.

Take a look at the tables at the following link from the Association of American Medical Colleges, particularly at Table 1 and Tables 24 and 25. High GPAs and MCAT scores are not a guarantee that you will get into any medical school.


^yes but FSU and UF are the state’s two flagships, so it’s not like UF regular vs. honors at FGCU. (In that case, I’d recommend UF regular).

Graduating from UF does not bring special recognition that FSU wouldn’t bring, and outside of Florida no one knows they’re different since they’re understood to be “the flagship”. If OP doesn’t go through with premed, s/he’ll be a graduate from the state’s flagship’s regardless, and will have had a better college experience thanks to the Honors advantages and special opportunities.

So for this student FSU Honors would have all the perks with no downside.

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I think Zin’s point is that High GPA’s and MCAT scores are far more important that whatever advantage an honor program may provide. Since 2003 the mean MCAT score has gone from a 29.6 to a 31.4, while the mean GPA has gone from 3.62 to a 3.69.

Interesting data point, the number of applicant’s supplied to med schools in 2014 by Undergraduate Institutions:

  1. UCLA = 919
  2. Michigan = 825
  3. Cal = 769
  4. UF = 760
  5. UT-Austin = 733 ... USF=316 UCF=286 FSU=265 Alabama =150 Auburn = 136

An on-going joke at UF (and I"m sure at a lot of selective flagships) is that every freshman think’s she/he is a pre-med, but that “changes” within a year. :slight_smile:

PS: Number of applicant’s by school should NOT be taken as a sign that a school is “better” than another in Pre-med, but more of a measure of that’s schools ability to generate competitive candidates, which can be based factors such as class size, school selectivity, and the school’s “pre-med” cultural (…“every freshman thinks he/she is pre-med.”).

^but since high GPA heavily correlate with Honors program, since Honors students do better in their Honors courses than in non Honors courses, and since Honors classes are more in-depth than regular, it stands to reason that this is reflected in the GPA and MCAT scores of Honors students vs. non Honors, and benefits Honors students applying to med schools?
I do agree that the total numbers need to be investigated - what percentage students identify as premed freshman year, what percentage of those remains senior year, and what percentage of those gets at least one med school acceptance? Do they do committee letters? Are those restricted in some way?
In terms of prestige or academics, FSU= UF - and, as I said, outside of Florida, very few people know the difference, would know which one is in Tallahassee, etc., etc. so there’s no prestige or academic trade off for OP.

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Yes but doesn’t UF have a fair amount of classes under 20 anyways? I guess when I go visit UF this weekend it’ll just come down to which school I get a better vibe from. Is this wrong? Does the honors program actually provide me with a significant advantage that I’m just not realizing?

Yes, the Honors Program provides you with a significant advantage in terms of contact with professors, networking, priority registration, special opportunities, etc.
Did you apply to Honors Medical Scholars?
Ultimately, it’ll come down to fit, indeed - whichever one you like best after your overnights.

As for small classes, UF is so overcrowded it had to admit 3,000 students “online”, ie, they’re admitted but they can’t take classes there for their full first year (after which they transition to the campus and are “regular” students). They were even considering not allowing them to have a meal plan, it was so overcrowded, but they changed their mind. It’s a good way to manage overcrowding (the campus should be better off and the program is innovative but…) but it does speak to the issue of “small” vs. “overcrowded”… and thus class sizes. 60% labs have more than 20 students in them and 23% classes are large classes, including 7% that have more than 100 students - and most of these will be freshmen classes. Seminars with numbers below 10 tend to be senior seminars in Physics or French, not the intro classes you’ll be taking your first two years. Where some colleges boast that their average class size is about 16 or 18, with a cap at 24, UF boasts that most classes being 30 or less. Now, this isn’t bad, but these aren’t “small” numbers. FSU Honors program classes are either 15 (honors-only seminars) or 25 (honors section of regular courses) but I have a feeling that their regular classes aren’t small either (they don’t publish this data).

I know that some people in Florida are heavily pro-UF or pro-FSU, but I can guarantee you that outside of Florida, people don’t make a difference. I don’t have a dog in this fight, I’m among the out of staters who consider them both state flagships :p… Both offer strong academics, so it’ll come down to what YOU can do there. I just don’t think “going to UF” on its own is going to make any difference for you vs. FSU, except for the origin of the numbers Gator cited since the discrepancy in number would be what would worry me most. This should be addressed directly by calling or emailing FSU: what percentage premed students make it to medical school? What numbers? etc. (Keep in mind that nationally 2/3 freshmen who declared premed don’t go through with it, and among those remaining, only 50% have even one med school offer.)

That last sentence is why I’m still so conflicted. I fully realize that There is a likely chance that I won’t stick with pre med. However, for the other fields I might become interested in UF seems to have stronger programs. I don’t care at all for music, criminology, or law. If I don’t do medical, I’ll probably do either computer science or engineering. I feel that UF would offer me more flexibility for my other potential desired fields. My fear is that if I end up hating pre med, and assuming I don’t get into the medical scholars program since I don’t think that I’m the type of student their looking for, wouldn’t I be stuck with a subpar program for what I would want to pursue? Yes those honors perks would be nice, but when they’re no longer relevant after two years would forgoing a better program be worth it? I really appreciate your input and the first thing I’m doing after school today is contacting both schools and doing more research.

@MYOS1634 - You keep on repeating that that FSU is a “flagship” university and there is no difference in public perception between the two. Not to turn this into a UF vs FSU flamewar, but the only people who believe that work in the Florida State public relations department. There is a difference in public perception between the two, just as there is between UPenn and Penn State, Michigan and Michigan State and Georgia and Georgia State.

@madal1‌ - You are bringing up some very valid concerns regarding pre-med education. Most people who start on that path do not end up in medical school, and it is important to have a viable backup plan. Our kids are thinking about pre-med, and we bring up the same concerns. In my mind, the only real advantage that FSU has academically over UF that that the competition will not be as strong, and consequently you might be able to obtain a higher GPA. You have to balance that against potentially having fewer opportunities if you do not end up in medical school.

You see, this may be naive but I perceive that more competition is a good thing. I believe that UF is the better school. However, FSU is still a very good school. If it weren’t for the honors program this would be an easy decision. What I’m trying to figure out is if the honors program would be worth forgoing an overall better school. Then again, FSU might very well be a good school due to their success in programs of which I would have no interest. Something else to take into consideration is that my dad’s best friend lives near UF and does pharmaceutical research and consulting for Walgreens, and he does do things with students. In fact, I’m having dinner with him this weekend when I go up to visit. Therefore, it basically comes down to if I want to use my already established family connection, and network with an overall higher caliber type of student, or should I take advantage of the vast amount of networking and research opportunities that would be provided by an honors program. I apologize if it sounds like I’m repeating myself, but the amount of pros and cons for both options has been overwhelming to weigh out.

@madal1‌ - You can always use this to make a decision.


Good luck with whatever you decide.

Ha ha thanks!

Go to UF Use your connections. You said already it would be an easy decision except for the Honors thing. If you don’t go to med school for some reason you’ll be wishing you had been at UF.