How important is your undergrad school?

<p>From reading various threads on this forum, it appears to me as if med schools look at your GPA and MCAT scores as the biggest factors. If candidate A and B have similar GPA and MCAT statistics, but candidate A went to an ivy league school and B went to a state college, how much of an advantage does candidate A really have?</p>

<p>This is a burning question for me. I'd obviously love to attend a prestigious school (pending admittance, of course). I live in Arizona, and if I were to stay, I would either attend Arizona State or the U of A (which has a good medical school, so I've heard). If I were to stay, tuition would be MUCH cheaper (probably a free ride at either Arizona school), not to mention I would have internship opportunities because of connections I have in and around Phoenix which I wouldn't have out of state. For example, my brother majored in bioengineering at ASU. He worked hard and graduated with a very good GPA. He interned for 3 summers at Intel (where both my parents work) as well as Medtronic, a biotech company. He also did research for free during his freshman year for a family friend who is a professor at ASU. This example isn't 100% relevant because he decided to go for a PhD in bioengineering instead of med school, but he did very well on the math portion of the GRE. </p>

<p>My brother utilized connections and friends while working very hard and he built up a strong resume. He applied to several top-notch grad schools, and has so far gained admittance to UC Berkeley and is waiting on word from MIT after his recent visit and interview. He is one of 35 people MIT invited for interviews, 15 of which will be accepted.</p>

<p>Can a similar path be taken to med school? If were to be accepted by a top-notch ivy, I'd definitely have no qualms about going. But if I'm not accepted by the very best (and chances are I won't be, few people do) and I have to choose between the "second-tier" schools such as UChicago, UMich, UCLA, WashU, etc. is it really worth it? Or do I stand an equal chance at any of those schools compared to ASU, where my extracurriculars will certainly be stronger and the financial burden significantly lower.</p>

<p>Any thoughts/insights are MUCH appreciated.</p>

<p>My initial reaction is that I wouldn't consider any of the four schools you listed as second-tier schools (and two of them, at least, are ranked above some of the ivies if you put any stock in the USN&WR rankings).</p>

<p>My second, more rational, response is that while undergraduate institution might perhaps play a small part in med. school acceptances, the other things (interview, GPA, and MCAT) are more important.</p>

<p>I understand they are excellent schools...that's why I put "second-tier" in quotation marks. By second-tier I mean non-HYPS schools.</p>

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<p>Thank you, GoldShadow! That thread is exactly what I needed.</p>

<p>A bunch of us local Davidson alums, here in San Antonio, have been getting together at a sports bar to watch the NCAA midwest games, it's like a medical convention-10 medical students, several private practice physicians, dental school dean-it's been great. Davidson- known for producing physicians and for great basketball!!</p>

<p>BDM-doesn't Duke have a basketball team also?? :-)</p>

<p>No. We haven't had a basketball team since 2004.</p>

<p>Hey, at least they lost to a good team this year. Although, it was a blown inbounds pass away from VCU pt. II.</p>