Premed - Duke or Columbia

<p>Heyy guys - I jsut got off the columbia waitlist today. I am looking to major in neuroscience with a premed track. I am currently enrolled at duke, but now that I got into columbia i don't know what I should do? What makes Columbia a good place for premed/ neuroscience?</p>

<p>Any advice would be grealty appreciated!</p>

<p>1) neuro dept at Columbia is one of the best in the country
2) solid amount of grade inflation in Columbia College (as much as Duke)
3) The core classes and looked on favorably by med-schools because applicants are seen as rounded</p>

<p>what do you look for in a college? where did you choose duke over?</p>

<p>I am looking for a balance of a great education and some fun (basically well rounded). I chose Duke over Cornell and Johns Hopkins. </p>

<p>My ultimate goal is to pursue neuroscience and become a neuyrologist or psychiatrist. Would NYC have better opportunities for this?</p>

<p>New York dominates neuroscience. Columbia itself has many giants in the field (Kandel and Sacks come to mind, though Sacks has kind of passed in terms of medical relevance). If you are looking for a university to get involved in for neuroscience, Columbia > Duke.</p>

<p>I have a friend going pre-med to Duke. I don't know much about either program, but my friend raves about the Duke one. I'd call up some professors and get more answers - what are the med school acceptance rates, what is counseling like, how much support do they provide, is it easy to get all the requirements in?</p>

<p>Both are amazing schools and you'll do well at either. I think Duke has more of a party and Columbia students tend to be more serious, but not in a bad way. They have their fun off campus though as opposed to parties on campus like at Duke. Depends on what you want. I'd pick Columbia over Duke, but I'm a History major and refuse to go more than an hour away from my home soooo I don't think that helps much.</p>

<p>Honestly, most people would probably tell you Duke has the edge for premed (whatever validity that may have), but you'll be fine just choosing the school you like better in terms of everything else.</p>

<p>Look at Arzachel's location. Then look at his/her post- and then decide.</p>

<p>^I think Arzachel's post is as unbiased as it can get. But thank you for assuming people can't read the location.</p>

<p>I'm not too sure..Even if I'm a Dukie, I might have to lean a bit towards Columbia IF I was more pure science oriented.
But if you're into engineering, BME might be a great premed AND engineering pathway (I plan on switching to the IT field (or go to MS to MIT or something) or proceed to med school, and I can do this with the BME program). For that, I think Duke has the edge.</p>

<p>Honestly, you can't go wrong. They're both prestigious schools. Its all about the vibe. Are you a suburb person or a city person? I think it primarily comes to that. And you can't say Duke is a more social place because Columbia is in NYC--you can't find a better social life in NYC.
Good luck!</p>

<p>I find gedion's statement ironic since most people posting on this board go to Columbia and naturally are best suited to give the OP details about Columbia, so what's wrong with someone from another school posting a comment? And thanks Epaminondas :)</p>

<p>re: John117, the op said she was interested in neuro not bme.</p>

<p>re: gedion, These Duke posters seem quite calm and not showing much bias, at least compared to several other duke posters on other boards.</p>

<p>re OP: all that matters for pre-med is grade inflation, advising and percentage accepted to med school. I don't know about advising first hand, but i hear it's pretty good for premed stuff. Columbia college is quite grade inflated, and Columbia students get into med school at a very high rate 85-90% which is comparable to any top school in the country. The neuro major is great, I have yet to meet someone who is doing neuro and doesn't like it. Ultimately though Duke probably provides many of the same opportunities and quality, but there are big differences in fit.</p>

<p>Finally it is a untrue that Columbia students go downtown into Manhattan to party, while there is a loyal minority that goes clubbing and to bars downtown, the vast majority of students go to bars near campus, dorms with suites and frat houses just like you'd find anywhere else. There is a pretty standard collegial social life at Columbia, we probably don't have the huge crazy parties that you'd find at duke though.</p>

<p>The two schools are very different. Columbia obviously has New York while Duke is surrounded by a huge forest and Durham is still pretty small in comparison to NYC. Columbia's core is a major part of its curriculum while at Duke, many people fulfill most of the general education reqs just by completing their major and a few electives. Also, Duke has its intense sports scene which is a major part of undergraduate life for most people. The only common thread is that both are excellent schools. I would personally be happy at either one, but the differences are distinct enough that I would think most people would be able to pick one that they prefer over the other.</p>

<p>
[quote]
gedion, These Duke posters seem quite calm and not showing much bias, at least compared to several other duke posters on other boards.

[/quote]
</p>

<p>Of course. I'm not sure of everyone else, but I only become agressive when people attack Duke, which some senior CCers tend to do for some reason.
Otherwise I'm pretty reasonable :)</p>

<p>arzachel i think you hit it on the spot, if perhaps a bit reductionist (there is a lot more nuance than posted here), and i think it is in the nuance that i hope the OP seriously considers columbia. it is not necessarily a cut or dry sort of intellectual environment, and it is not just a degree you will earn and then move on from.</p>

<p>it is the diversity and energy of columbia that i think makes it a fantastic option, not just over duke (dukies), but over most schools. it is not to say you want this, or that it melds well to your personality, but there is something peculiar and fascinating about living in new york, going to columbia, which makes you feel like you can really conquer anything.</p>

<p>even columbia's biggest weaknesses become personal strengths - the small space prepares you for living with three roommates in a one bed room converted. the bureaucracy helps you become an expert at navigating the tumult of any byzantine corporation (like the US government, or a NYC landlord). it makes you resilient.</p>

<p>columbia's strengths make you smarter. the raw intellectualism that seeps on campus, the fact that folks wont take a ******** answer from you because they've read the books before to. the diversity and connection to the city and its many people help you appreciate difference, understand things not as black and white, but on a spectrum, it reorients the way you see the world, which actually helps you answer difficult questions with a lot more understanding of their complexity.</p>

<p>i hope a dukie joins in and speaks to duke because i think it is a lot more than just an excellent school, as i think columbia is a lot more than an excellent school. college is to a large degree the foundation for how you wish to look at the world, and from what vantage point. at columbia, you are in the heart of the busiest city in the country having a top notch rigorous academic experience with eminent faculty. it isn't just about what job you will get, or who is better at placement, it is a lot deeper than that.</p>

<p>but a final thought - whatever you decide, own it, love it, and wear whichever shade of blue with pride.</p>

<p>I'm not sure about the specifics of the programs you're looking for, but I think it might be good to point out that Columbia and Duke are pretty much as opposite as two schools can get when it comes to location! </p>

<p>Columbia is in New York City. It is urban and the area shares the characteristics of the American northeast.</p>

<p>Duke, too, I realize is right near Raleigh and Durham, but the area is much less metropolitan (in my opinion, at least), than NYC. And then there's the fact that Duke is pretty much in the center of the deep southern states.</p>

<p>I just think that you'll find many...cultural differences, I suppose, at the two schools. Their campuses are really not even comparable! And while I'm sure the prestige of the program should be an important part of your decision, so, too, should personal fit. </p>

<p>Good luck with your choice; either way, you will be obtaining a desirable undergraduate degree!</p>

<p>Duke's a great school and great for pre-med, just like Columbia. However, while I don't personally recommend high schoolers picking out what medical specialty they plan to go into, the answer to the question "is Columbia or Duke a better platform for neuroscience/neurology/psychiatry" is Columbia. I'd dare say it is Columbia strongest medical area, with perhaps nephrology/renal or pediatrics coming close. New York is likewise as a whole more equipped, with the Neurological Institute, the New York Psychiatric Institute, and the Rockefeller funded projects coming to mind. NYC has a very long history with neurological problems and treatment, and to be blunt there simply is a lot more neurological disease in NYC (Especially very rare things that are hard to study away from those who have it). Does this mean Duke is a bad place for a aspiring neuroscientist? Not at all, in fact a number of my classmates pursuing neurology and psychiatry are Duke alumni. It only really could matter if you want to get started from day one of undergrad in the neurological fiends. There is just more available at Columbia and in NYC. I would not choose based on this criteria, however, unless you can honestly say you like both schools absolutely equally.</p>

<p>I understand from the posts that Mosho's Bio class is hard at Columbia. How are other classes (e.g. Orgo)?</p>