Tulane vs. Emory vs. UMiami vs. Rice

I am trying hard to make a decision between these four schools and am stuck. I am interested in majoring in biomedical engineering or cellular biology and plan to go to medical school. I got into Tulane as a Stamps Scholar and have yet to visit, but graduating debt free is a really attractive offer. Also, the Stamps scholarship provides me with stipends to study abroad or research/internships. I got the Deans Scholarship at Emory which covers full tuition. I visited Emory and really liked the campus and feel like the city of Atlanta has a lot of opportunities. I like UMiami and I received the Singer Scholarship along with Foote Fellows. Rice is my dream school but I did not receive any scholarship. I do not know how feasible it is for me to go there considering I have to pay for med school as well. Any advice?


@Harryp17 Congrats on receiving the top or near top scholarships at Tulane, UofMiami and Emory. You have great choices. Pick the school that is the most affordable, esp if you plan to go to med or graduate school. This eliminates Rice. I suggest picking between Tulane, Emory and UofMiami based on the strength of the particular academic major your are interested in, and based on fit–how you feel after visiting the campuses --look at the other students, the campus facilities, recreational and social and extracurricular opportunities, research opportunities and how you’ve feel about the city and college town surroundings. From your post it seems like you like the feel of Atlanta and the campus, so unless the other factors I mentioned above outweigh your initial feel for Emory, I would go with Emory.

If you really like Emory and the cost is competitive with Tulane and Miami, I suggest choosing Emory.

Emory and Rice are peers – so if you can’t afford Rice, at least you’d be attending a school of its caliber (overall, and the health sciences are among Emory’s strong suits).

If Tulane and Miami are a lot less expensive than Emory, you might consider them because med school costs a lot.

Thanks @trackmbe3 and @prezbucky , I was leaning towards Emory and after reading your posts, I will strongly consider attending there especially since I do not have to pay for tuition.

If you have specific questions about Emory, give @bernie12 a holler. (i hope he doesn’t mind me mentioning him. hehe)

Emory will be my pick for pre-med IF Rice is out of the way. Otherwise, Rice would be a better pre-med choice. Tulane and UoM are good schools, but for pre-med and the opportunities to prep the best profile for med-school admissions, Emory will beat both handily. JMHO

It sounds like you will need to take on debt to afford housing at Emory, so even though my first thought was to recommend Emory, if that means debt and you have two full ride offers, it is worth considering a full ride.

What are the GPA requirements to keep each of your scholarship offers? All pre-med type classes and majors are extremely competitive, and often have difficult professors who give out average grades of 60 to students who made straight As in high school. You might choose based on which scholarship offer requires the lowest GPA to keep it.

Don’t bother with Rice. The other three are all highly regarded, and your scholarship at any of them will be prestigious and set you apart.

My D is facing a similar dilemma but between Rice and Emory. Rice has given her $0 merit and we do not qualify for need aid while she gets $21,286 off tuition scholarship per year at Emory. Rice is probably the best social fit. She is doing her due diligence with Emory by attending admitted student events locally and on the campus. She is thinking about med school or grad school in psych/neuroscience. Has anyone had success getting Rice to give some merit aid under similar circumstances?

@mommyrocks If I attend Emory, I will need to maintain a 3.4 gpa. The Umiami scholarship is a full tuition as well, not a full ride. However, I am an aspiring ophthalmologist and like Bascom Palmer Eye Institute. While I do have to pay for housing and food at Emory as well, I believe that it is the best fit for me out of all the schools excluding Rice. I am not a party person at all and believe that I may not fit on Tulane’s campus.

@Harryp17 Why is Rice a better pre-health choice again (maybe for your specific aims which includes engineering)? Maybe Houston? Because I think both have very similar strengths and quality curriculum wise. Houston just has more access to more diverse healthcare institutions. Atlanta, Emory pretty much runs the show, but I honestly think the two would not feel differently in terms of oppurtunity and quality. Rice has an advantage, if you are doing the TEM part of STEM and maybe the physical sciences. I will not deny that the quality of instruction at the undergraduate level will probably be higher in the latter and math at Rice (they specialize in those areas and Emory does not have TE for UGs), but if you are doing life sciences, you will be fine.

Also, I know it is easy to have tunnel vision as any sort of pre-health, but please, please, please keep an open-mind about the sciences, medicine, and certainly about the specialty and where you want to practice (and even the liberal arts). You are about to be an undergraduate for goodness sakes lol. Ambition is great, but too much tunnel vision can close off excellent exploration and opportunities.

Now, weaknesses of Emory: You say you want to engage in a biomedical engineering curriculum, so Emory will not directly offer this opportunity. Perhaps you could try biophysics concentration and then move on to Georgia Tech if you hit the ground running once you get to Emory (this means you will have to toughen up as a pre-med and use your AP credit to take more advanced courses earlier on even against the advice of others. Besides, if you wanna do engineering at some point, you need to prep yourself for that intensity). Also, note that you need not major in BME to do research in the field and that you can access Georgia Tech courses not offered at Emory, so if you feel a need to indulge in BME specific coursework and meet certain pre-reqs, that opp exists. There are many labs at Emory and Georgia Tech because of the joint program that you can place into and do research in. If you decide to come to Emory despite this, I can maybe advise you on course planning if you want to develop in more TE areas. BTW, you may be getting lucky. The top instructor for physics appears as if he is finally teaching the calculus based physics section means you may even get a solid grounding in physics (not gonna lie here. Otherwise, I would advise any student with AP credit in physics C to use it and skip to modern physics with lab or maybe even take the advanced mechanics and electrodynamics courses for physics majors as pre-health or engineering reqs). This pretty much leaves you to figure out biology, CS, and chemistry, and I have my recommendations there.

@Houston1021 : Emory really shines in the undergraduate programming of your daughter’s area of interest, however, they are rigorous departments. The psychology department is surprisingly rigorous (they have this stereotype of being super creampuff at even elite schools) and has a very scientific/clinical slant (it is so serious about this slant that it is maybe one of the only schools I have seen with a 2 semester psychology sequence with one semester that is like AP psychology, and the other being a straight up psychobiology course that often ends being one of the well-taught weed-outs. The two instructors who usually teach it may make your child sweat in a similar fashion as they would in introductory biology or chemistry courses if they are caught off guard). If your daughter wants a more traditional psychology curriculum that often stresses more so the social sciences aspect and is more laid back, Emory is not necessarily the place. But you said she is interested in neuroscience, so then it kind of is the place. Very serious whether you are interested in the clinical aspect and/or the research aspect. Many strong opportunities in both: Peruse the websites on both as it may inform what you want to check out when visiting: http://nbb.emory.edu/

You can often tell when an Emory STEM department is well-funded and subscribed to by the amount of research fellowships and whether or not they have specific Study Abroad opps. which both of these do.

*Also @Harryp17, you will have to maintain far more than a 3.4 anywhere if you are pre-health, even if you decided on engineering, so the scholarship threshold is irrelevant almost. I wouldn’t even worry and be risk averse when choosing courses, because freshmen STEM majors pretty much always choose some combo of courses that are challenging and may yield a B grade and others that are pretty much As if you do what you need to do (there are many classes that are not necessarily easy in terms of workload or intellectually, but still give most A’s who just do all the work at a decent level. They isn’t much uncertainty. Like freshman seminars and freshman writing requirements typically will yield at least an A- even with a harder instructor).

@Harryp17 I thought you said on the other thread that you’re an Oxford scholar? If so, my understanding is that the scholarship only applies if you start at Oxford, which might make some of the GA Tech options @bernie12 is talking about more difficult. Just a thought- not sure if it’s even accurate.

You obviously have some great options! I too am deciding between Tulane and Oxford, but I’m heavily leaning Oxford because of the small class sizes and personal attention. Not sure if I’d feel the same if I had a full ride at Tulane rather than just full tuition, though.

yeah I am an Oxford scholar so if I attend Oxford/Emory I will major in cellular biology instead of BME

@velmah What is more difficult again? Doing BME? of course it is, especially if the school doesn’t offer it and you have to transfer to another place after 3 years of coursework. It’s hard, you have to pack in many requirements earlier on. Also, Oxford even acknowledges that The Tech option is more difficult if you start from Oxford, primarily because the offerings of the more advanced math courses needed for many of GT’s engineering majors (they have specific pre-reqs) may not be staggered in your favor especially if you must start from calc. 1 or 2. Main campus would have more frequent offerings.

Also, @Harryp17 : You will major in biology (Emory does not split it into concrete concentrations). If you are interested in celluar biology, you can focus your coursework in such a way that builds those skillsets and the content foundation, but most schools do not have “true” molecular biology majors. They have concentrations which are kind of makeshift. Basically, “let us compile the courses having to do with this and call it a certificate or degree”. It makes no difference in terms of how it will be recognized by medical or graduate schools. They will look at the individual course performances and selection and whatever you did research in. Definitely avoid getting hung up on degree labels.

@bernie12 Yeah, that’s what I was saying, since a lot of the posts mentioned Emory but not Oxford specifically. I know it would be challenging starting at either campus, but the fact that the classes are offered less frequently at Oxford seemed worth noting if he’s thinking BME. Apologies if you had already mentioned it and I missed it–I tend to multitask when I’m on CC.

@velmah : If seriously considering Oxford. Check your son’s AP credits. If they can through the intermediate(like multi, lin. alg, diff. eq) math requirements ASAP, they will be in a much stronger position.

@bernie12 I thought he was seriously considering Oxford since he mentioned the full tuition in his first post. I remembered from our previous interactions that he’s an Oxford scholar, meaning the full tuition is irrelevant if he doesn’t start at Oxford. Again, if I’m misreading or making bad assumptions, I apologize.

Assuming the son’s AP credits comment was directed at someone else?

@velmah : No, lol. I wasn’t reading carefully. I thought you were maybe talking about your child (though maybe you are a student?) or something lol. We are talking about the OP. Regardless, I think the OP has maybe ruled out Tech. In which case, Oxford will be fine from them (for those really serious about biology, an excellent place to start. They do much more with even the intro. class than can be done with larger class size). I didn’t follow or pay attention carefully enough and thought another hypothetical person interested in BME via the 3-2 program was being mentioned.

@bernie12 Lol got it. I am actually a student and I’m most likely going to Oxford for bio or NBB. I was considering most of the same schools as harryp which is why I was commenting.