Ucr vs uci vs ucla premed

Hi everyone,
I got accepted to the above schools for biochem!! I’m so excited to start the next part of my life but I’m definitely conflicted.
I am a hardworking student, so no matter where I go I know (hope) I’ll do well.
I want to know which uni prepares you for med school and gives me a better chance to get in.
Which offers more opportunities for research, internship, and volunteering etc

Ucla and uci and ucr students (alumni and current) please let me know your experiences!!
Thanks in advance!

If you worked hard enough to get accepted into UCI and UCLA then I would mostly forget about UCR as an option. Full disclosure, I’m a UCR student. Anyways, I’ll give you the pros of UCR pre-med but they aren’t much compared to UCLA or UCI. First, there’s a medical school here but UCI and UCLA both have stellar medical schools along with their own hospitals. You’ll have to volunteer at hospitals in and surrounding Riverside. There’s a high demand for medical professionals, especially doctors, in Riverside. UCR will look good on your resume if you want to work here since it will show that you are committed to serving Riverside. Honestly, I would choose UCLA if you can deal with the intense competitive atmosphere there. You got into a top 25 university. Take advantage of that.

Assuming they all cost the same, I recommend that you should go to the university where you feel most comfortable and where you think you can do your best work. Pre-med is competitive and your success will depend on how well you do in your courses. A more highly ranked university is not going to help if you do not like it there and unhappiness affects your course work. Having said that, if being at the university with the best reputation of those three is important to you (a consideration that @UCNerdx10 brings up), then you should take that into account and perhaps UCLA will be the best option for you.

I know UCR and UCI offer opportunities for undergraduate research – don’t know about UCLA. Also, I read recently that UCR has reserved a part of its entering class in its med school for UCR grads.

@UCNerdx10 Thank you for your input! As of now, I have crossed off UCR from my list of potentials. I just recently attended Bruins Day and it was nothing less than perfect. I definitely fell in love with the campus, vibe, etc. The only thing that worries me is the competition. I know that no matter what, I’ll work hard. But there were more than a few accounts of people stating they went from being top of their class in HS to average at UCLA. It makes sense, given the type of people there. I was to succeed and excel. Do you think I shouldn’t look at that aspect when it comes to deciding? Thanks in advance

@bookguy Yes assume cost is the same. I received practically a full ride to all. (Thankfully) Yes, I can confirm that UCLA offers research opportunities. It is highly funded by the NIH which means A LOT of research is done there. I liked UCLA, but going to UCLA means that I’d be moving out from my home and that worries me. My family and I are extremely close. It would be a drastic change for us all. I know the beginning will be tough, but I feel like I could adapt. I need to grow up. Do you think I should consider that when deciding? Do you know anyone with first hand experience that could shed some light on how difficult the course work is? Thanks in advance.

@biochem99 I think you should definitely look into how rigorous UCLA is. I remember a friend of mine who graduated as valedictorian from my high school who went to UCLA. He now reaches for C’s and B’s. The accounts that you’re hearing of may be true for a lot of UCLA’s “average” students. That’s not to say that these students aren’t bright or hard working. It’s just the transition from your local little high school to one of the best universities in the world can be very startling to the local little high school student who got amazing high school grades in a not-so academically challenging environment. Perhaps sit in on a few introductory courses at UCLA during the summer to get a feel of how challenging UCLA can be.

If you decide to go to UCLA as a premed, you better make sure that you are up to the challenge from the onset!
For my daughter, now in the junior standing, the first quarter was her worse quarter as she underestimated the challenge, thinking perhaps as a Regents scholar, it would be a piece of cake! She recovered fast but it was a huge awakening for her. It tarnished her record which could have been a perfect GPA otherwise!

@UCNerdx10 yea, I can imagine going from a high school to a top tier uni will be a DRASTIC change. I feel like I have an adavantsge though because I have been concurrently enrolled in both high school and college for the past 3 years. I finished all my general education, the calculus series, the general chemistry series, and I’m taking a cellular and molecular bio class now. All while maintaining ALL As.
Do you think that will prepare me compared to my fellow ucla colleagues?

@uclaparent9 hi thank you for replying to my post! Do you mind me asking what major your daughter is pursuing? That is a fantastic accomplishment either way, looks like your daughter got the hang of ucla!

^ She started with Biochem then changed it to Biopsychology. And she loves UCLA now (though grew up as a USC alumni daughter with less love for it).

In terms of the difficulty of course work, UCI is challenging. A lot of students are in pre-med and not all of them make it. As far as the living situation, only you can answer whether you want to challenge yourself and live on campus or stay at home. That depends on your situation and your comfort level, etc.