USC or Pepperdine for Pre-Med?

I don’t know if this is the right place to post this, but I thought I’ll give it a shot. I am a senior in high school and I am looking to major in bio for undergrad with the intention of applying to med school after college. I am stuck between two schools, Pepperdine and USC, and I don’t know which one to choose. I received about a half tuition scholarship at each school (Pepperdine all in would be 45k/year, and USC would be about 47k). I didn’t qualify for any financial aid, but my parents are comfortable with paying the price. I like both schools, so I am pretty torn. I like Pepperdine because of the small class sizes and relationships with professors, but I am worried that they don’t have nearly the same amount of resources for undergrads as USC (research opportunities, etc.). Also, it is a generally lesser known school which may hurt for med school (I am not sure if it would really make a difference). USC, on the other hand, seems to have a lot of resources for pre meds and generally has more opportunities for researching/shadowing/etc… The main downside to USC, in my opinion, is the large class sizes and not developing relationships with professors. I am not quite sure which one would be easier to get a high GPA (I’d imagine Pepperdine, but I have no idea). I was just wondering if anyone can provide me with any advice/insight. If you graduated/currently attend either of these schools I would love to hear your opinions. Thank you so much!!

Is Pepperdine’s religious environment a plus or minus for you?

It is a plus for me since I am Christian

My daughter will likely be choosing Pepperdine and although she isn’t going pre-med, I recently read their med school acceptance rate is very high. Sounds like the guidance to get you there is exceptional. Good luck with your decision!

the name of your college won’t factor into the first “cut” for med school: an algorithm will cut anyone in your “pool” who doesn’t have a minimum GPA/MCAT combination. Period.
Premed is hard everywhere.
So you should choose the college where you’ll be most comfortable and that is the most collaborative.
Med school admission rates are useless: different colleges count different things (including Carribean “med” schools!!!) and the number isn’t “how many freshmen who wanted to be premed ended up in med school” but… "what percentage of juniors/seniors who made it through the premed gauntlet and are still there with a med-school worthy GPA/MCAT get into any med school.

Also, at schools with pre-med committees, the medical school admission rate is probably most dependent on the pre-med committee’s weeding threshold – i.e. how likely does the pre-med have to be to get into medical school for the pre-med committee to encourage (rather than discourage) application?


I read Pep usually has 20-30 applying each year to med school, which still is a decent percentage then. Their most frequently attended schools list on their website looks pretty solid, too.

That’s probably about 5-10% of the freshmen who thought they’d be premed :wink:

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Yes, right. I’m finding this pre-med process enlightening.

But from my quick look into the pre-med process & acceptance rate to med school, considering your points raised above, Pepperdine sounds like it stacks up pretty decently to other good programs.

And well, it’s just a great school, the OP likes that it’s Christian (you should always try to choose the culture you love) , and there are plenty of service opportunities.