I am going to be a senior next year and will thus apply to colleges then. However, I have a delimma: my parents want me to go to an in-state colleges in order to reside with them while getting my degree. The only choices I have are KU and K State. I would not like to attend either because I am aiming for top colleges (top 40) for both undergrad and grad/med school (whichever one I choose). My first question is does it matter the prestige of chemistry programs at either schools if I would like to obtain a PhD in biochemistry? Also, does KU have a good premed program that qualifies me for top med schools in research, including Vandy and WashU (my dream schools)? I have a 33 on the ACT (planning to retake it though), a 4.51 weighted GPA, and a few extracurriculars/volunteering hours. I have heard that KU is quite the party school, which makes me hesitate. I would like to be challenged in my undergrad and do research as well. Are both of them known for high calibre research? Do they allow undergrads to research? Which school is better?
Thanks to all!
It can be hard to see just how lucky you are when it’s so accessible to you- we tend to give more value to things that we perceive as out of reach or hard to get.
Yes, they are good universities. Yes, they both have a good party-school element. But they also have a bunch of students like you: ambitious high-achievers whose parents can’t - or don’t see the point- pay extra for a good education. KU is what? $26K COA for in-state? WUSTL is $75K. That’s $100K v $300K for an undergrad degree.
Even better, KU has a fab med school, and they prefer in-state students.
To your actual questions:
“does it matter the prestige of chemistry programs at either schools if I would like to obtain a PhD in biochemistry?”
nope. what will matter are your GPA (overall & major), GRE & CGRE scores, and - most important- your experience & LoRs. Once you get to college start looking at REUs and other internships before the winter break. These are paid research opps located in research centers and universities all of over the US*. My STEM gradkid is in a top-10 program from an ordinarily selective undergrad; her peers come from everywhere from MIT to State U.
“does KU have a good premed program that qualifies me for top med schools in research, including Vandy and WashU (my dream schools)?”
absolutely. Med schools will make their first cuts based on MCAT & GPA. Your research/internships & LORs will come into play after that.
“Do they allow undergrads to research”
They don’t just allow it- they encourage it: https://chem.ku.edu/getting-involved-ug-research. There’s even a summer exchange program where you can spend 10 weeks in Dublin at DCU, doing research - but it’s competitive: only 1 student gets to go!
Don’t make the mistake of thinking that b/c KU is not as ‘selective’ as the schools you are longing for that it will be easy. Your pre-med pre-req classes will have lots of very smart, very ambitious students and you will have to work plenty hard to be at the top of the group - which is where you have to be for any med school or grad program.
You really are very lucky to have this be what your parents are requiring
*bonus: you get to experience other places, both as places you might like to be and for the work you like.