UNC chapel hill or NC state for premed?

I applied for a Regular decision for both NC State and UNC chapel hill and recently got into both. I want to go down the pre-med track and I am having a hard time choosing between these schools.

I thought this would be an easy decision but I went down the college confidential and Reddit rabbit hole which made me question my initial decision.

My first choice was UNC-Chapel Hill but I’ve heard that the advisors there do not do a good job advising students and Nc state statically has more students accepted to med school. I found this statement repeated across forums “ NC State has a very good reputation and track record for placing students into the medical profession”. I don’t know how completely true that is and I couldn’t find a lot of info.

I will graduate high school with an associate in science and out of all the classes I have taken these are the recommended classes that premeds are recommended to take.

KEY: I have taken (yes) // haven’t taken yet (no)

Gen chem 1, gen chem 2, Sociology 1101, Psychology 1051, STatistics 1601, orgo chem 1

orgo chem 2, Physics I and II, cell bio, molecular bio, human anatomy, intro to human physiology

As for the cost: Both schools are similar in cost and my family is well off so I’m expecting a lot of scholarships but who knows. (I’ll find out in about a week)

I’m not going to be in Honors NC because i did not apply early decision ( dumb move but I did not know) and I think I have a good shot at honors Carolina (ill find out in a week)

This application process is hard and VERY confusing and me being first generation is not helping. My school is closed so I can not arrange a meeting with my counselor. I will email her when I have figured out the simple questions. Thoughts? What would you do?

This may not help but my son and I are in the same boat, though different majors. People tend to automatically say Carolina is a no-brainer, as it is more exclusive and nationally very highly rated. You get real anal, like myself, and dig real deep and the hard numbers do give you pause.

Both are excellent universities, of course. State has a real proven track record, particularly of late, to get students paid internships and graduate with excellent jobs awaiting them. Check their internal surveys from kids that graduated May ‘19. You heading to med school is entirely different, certainly. With my son it’s a bit different because he intends to go to grad school at whichever school he chooses for undergrad. Not going to med or law school. Also, you can check out TowerNC which is a decent tool comparing all public universities in NC.

My son got in EA both and we still haven’t decided so what do we know? Just don’t pick one because everyone says you have to.

Yes it’s true more NC State students get accepted into the UNC Medical School. It’s actually just plain numbers. Think about it…who’s gonna have a more rigorous Chemistry program…a liberal arts college or a STEM college…There lies your answer. Medical schools look at those Organic Chemistry scores as a big factor. The Medical Schools in NC know the individual schools and the professors so they know when they see A’s what they are getting. You can back this up with information from UNC Medical School where all their accepted class makeup came from. I know kids that bought into that notion that just because it’s Carolina I can’t turn it down. Four years later couldn’t get a job in Computer Science with that UNC degree and are at NCSU getting a Masters…add that to the cost of the undergraduate… My point is choose wisely with the solution that gives you the best opportunity to be where you want to be down the road…

Reach out to the pre-health advising department at each school and ask questions:

-What offerings do they provide…things like course advising, pre-health clubs/organizations/speaker series, help with medical type jobs and volunteering, etc.

-What does the med school application process look like?

-Do they prepare committee letters (packets) for all students who want to apply to med school? Or do they have GPA/MCAT cut-offs for a letter? No committee letter (at least at schools who do this at all)=application DOA.

-What is the average GPA of applicants accepted to med school? Average MCAT?

-You can ask what proportion of students are accepted to med school (MD and DO), but the numbers cited by any school should be viewed with skepticism.

-What proportion of accepted students applied right out of undergrad (so started process end of junior year)? What proportion took a year or more off before applying? How long on average? Do they support the application process for grads who apply after graduation, regardless of how many years have passed?

You get the idea.

I will call @WayOutWestMom to address using dual enrollment courses taken during HS as med school requirements.

From the UNC medical school website:

“Typically, the prerequisite courses are taken during an undergraduate, post baccalaureate (after college), or graduate degree program.”

So OP may want to look into that. Perhaps taking a full courseload of upper level science will suffice, but it’s worth an investigation.

And here’s the UNC med class profile:


Can’t find any data anywhere that supports the argument that UNC is better than NC State or vice versa, just a lot of opinions. Specifically, no statistics that State does better than UNC at med school admissions.

So pick the school you like best and can afford.

There’s a prior thread on this an someone asked the admissions counselors at UNC SOM this question and they said NCSU wins. There is a data set with this information just matter of locating it. Sounds like you can call the admissions counselor and get the straight on it.

The admissions counselors are not the source for accurate pre-health process, offerings, or acceptance numbers. One has to ask the hard questions in #3 to the pre-health advising team.

Having been through the process multiple times, it is an understatement to say that all medical schools are vague to the point of being obtuse about specific undergraduate colleges-as in, never heard, ever, a medical school going on record that one college is better than another college for premed.

UNC medical school is a state school, which makes it even harder to imagine that it would go on record preferring one state school vs. another in admissions. Can’t even imagine the firestorm that would cause politically, at a minimum.

So it would be instructive to see that information; until it’s posted, it’s just urban legend.

So OP pick the school you like best and is most affordable. Both send plenty of graduates to medical school.


RE: Using dual enrollment classes for med school admission.

Medical schools almost universally expect that all dual enrollment classes will be supplemented with an equal number of upper level classes in the same discipline at a 4 year college.

Since you have already taken 3 classes in the chemistry sequence, you will be expected to supplement those with 2 organic/biochem classes (easy to do since Ochem 2 and biochem are required for med school admissions)
AND 2 semesters of analytic or inorganic chemistry with labs.

You need to supplement your stats class with a class in biostatistics.

Your sociology and psych dual enrollment should be acceptable (assuming you remember any of the material 4 years from now when you’ll be taking the MCAT)

UNC--Health Profession Advising Office
<a href="https://hpa.unc.edu">https://hpa.unc.edu</a>

UNC does NOT offer a health profession committee letter for its students

NCSU--Health Profession Advising Office
<a href="https://prehealth.dasa.ncsu.edu">https://prehealth.dasa.ncsu.edu</a>

NCSU also does NOT offer a committee letter for its students

Because neither school offers a committee letter, neither school closely tracks the number of students who apply to health profession schools. 

Contact/involvement with the office is voluntary-- not mandatory-- so there will be students who by-pass the office and apply on their own. Also the office relies on voluntary reporting from students on their success in the process. This mean any data offered by HP office at either school will be incomplete and probably biased.  

Don't make your decision by relying on any data from about how many students  from ____ are accepted to med school each year. 


TBH, both schools are excellent. Both offer the coursework and opportunities that you need for a strong application to medical school. Both schools offer adequate pre-health profession advising.  It's up to you to take advantage of what each school offers.

If the cost is about the same for each, then pick the school that is the best social fit for you.

Medical schools really don't care where your undergrad degree is from. It's barely blip on the adcomm's radar. What you do and what you accomplish during undergrad is much, much more important than where you go to college. 

I would think the admissions counselors have been asked this question a few times…It’s their job to know statistics.