Pre-med: CSU vs UC

Hello, I am a senior in high school in San Diego, with hopes of going to medical school. I have heard that the UC schools are graded on a curve and that the CSU schools aren’t. I’m worried about just becoming a face in a competitive crowd at a UC school. So my question is when applying to MD school will going to a school like San Diego State hurt my application? My GPA is a 4.1 if that helps. I could get into a UC School but I really vibe with San Diego State. UC schools that I’m applying to are Riverside, San Diego, Irvine, and one more ( Cal or UCD)

in a word, NO.

your best chances will come by attending a school where you feel comfortable and can excel… for you that sounds like SDSU.

good luck

I do not know where you heard that CSU’s do not grade on a curve and UC’s do since this will vary by professors at each of the schools. I had one son attend SDSU and one son attend UCD. They both had classes that graded on curve and they also have classes that did not.

As a potential Pre-Med student, you want to attend a school where you have the best chance for a High GPA in the Medical school pre-req courses, access to medically related EC’s and a school with good Pre-Med advising. You also want to keep undergrad costs at a minimum. In general you need a place where you can thrive as student–academically, socially and personally. Medical schools are looking for students who are not just top students academically, but also interesting, well rounded individuals with specific social competencies and leadership skills.

So pick the school that best fits you.

re: curve. hahahaha

Any professor worth his/her salt can get the class mean to whatever she wants it to be, whether that is 50% or 85%. There’s a curve lower division STEM classes in nearly every college, including community colleges. Just bcos they don’t call it that, doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.

And disagree with NCalRant. Med school in CA is extremely competitive, and a 3.8 from UCSD will beat a 3.8 from a CSU nearly every time. So, yes, pedigree can matter. Compare the stats for applicants from a CSU to a US allopathic med schools vs. a UC. (yeah, I get that UC students on average are stronger test takers, so they’ll tend to do better on the MCAT.)

If you are interested in practicing medicine in inland southern California, note that UCR has an early admission program to its medical school:

Used to be “Bio-Med” way back when I was there (pre Thomas Haider)…a year faster than normal Medical School with the last years at UCLA for the few that successfully completed the brutal program. UC Riverside now has the first new Medical School in California in 50 years…thanks for the information on Thomas Haider!

UCR is the newest UC med school but outside of the UC system, Kaiser Permanente’s med school opened in Pasadena this year.

FWIW, my friend’s daughter just got admitted to Dartmouth, and got interviews at every school she applied to which includes UCSF and UW Madison. (Still waiting on a bunch.) She went to Humboldt where she thrived, was president of a club, did internships/research, and then did a year in a research position at Stanford. Illustrates Gumbymom’s point to go to a school that is a good fit for you.