Vandy, WashU, Duke, Cornell

<p>Hello! I swear that I'm not trying to be pretentious, but I'm currently choosing between these four schools to major in either biochemistry or BME (pre-med track). I can't seem to narrow down this list anymore, because I genuinely love each of these schools. However, my top priority for my undergrad experience is to be able to get to med school. That being said, is there any significant difference between the pre-med programs at each of these schools? They all seem to be very good, but does any particular one have an "edge" over the others? </p>

<p>In terms of cost, all these schools are reasonably affordable, I think. However, I do have a full tuition scholarship/stipend at Vandy, as well as a stipend for a fairly selective research program at Cornell. (Errr, I forgot to mention that research is also very important to me, as well. I love it, and I'll definitely be getting involved starting freshman year.) I feel that it might be foolish to pass up on either of these awards, unless pre-med is significantly different at WashU or Duke.</p>

<p>The good thing is that whichever school I choose, I know that I'll be happy there. I feel very fortunate to be able to choose from these great schools! :) I suppose that it just comes down to their pre-med programs now. Thanks in advance for any advice!</p>

<p>At this point, you should have exhausted your research on pre-med and there are PLENTY of topics about your very search! Consider GPA, placement, competitiveness. As a research fanatic, I'm sure that can't be too hard. No stone unturned, right? So go, you little overachiever, and find the answer for yourself. The facts (or lack thereof) on this board are already here and do not need to be regurgitated for your ill-prepared state.</p>

<p>I have done research on all these schools (I've spent so much time looking through this and many other sites over the last several days, trust me), and I have looked at "GPA, placement, and competitiveness". I probably wasn't being clear, but I'm looking for a perspective from perhaps someone already in pre-med who can offer me their opinions instead of cold, hard statistics. I wouldn't ask others for stats if I can find them myself. But thanks for taking the time to reply-- I'll go look through some more threads. I probably wasn't paying attention and missed some good ones. :)</p>

<p>I am a bit confused. In order to major in BME, you must be admitted to VUSE, the engineering school. To major in biochem, you must be in Arts and Science. Which are you admitted to?</p>

<p>It is possible to do research from the start in VUSE, if you can find a professor willing to take you on. I don't know how common it is in BME, but I know students in other engr. fields who have done research from the start. </p>

<p>There is a big, well-regarded medical center on the campus of Vanderbilt. BME classes do interact with the medical center. Premed students can job shadow, etc. I don't think those kinds of opportunities exist at Cornell, do they?</p>

<p>At the start of college apps, I was pretty set on majoring in biochem, so I was admitted into the A&S college at Vandy. However, I was talking with one of my teachers, and he advised me to consider BME for various reasons. It's a major that I am interested in, so I was thinking that I might take some classes for it. If I enjoy it more, I was thinking about transferring into VUSE? Some advisors at Vandy told me that the transfer process isn't too bad? </p>

<p>Yeah, when I visited, I really liked that Vandy's medical center was right on campus! It's certainly a plus. I think the Cornell's medical center is in NYC. </p>

<p>Anyways, sorry for the confusion, and thanks for the advice! I'll keep that in mind!</p>

<p>Whoa! I was told by someone that the merit scholarship is not transferable between colleges at Vanderbilt. If I were you, and being in BME is a make-or-break thing, I would make a call tomorrow and find out if you can move that scholarship from A and S to VUSE. (The problem--if in fact there is a problem--is that each school awards its own scholarships, and the number each school can award is proportional to the enrollment of the school. BUT don't take my word on this; call the scholarship office/financial aid office and find out what the policy is. Also, call the dean's office of both A and S and VUSE and ask them if there is a set policy.)</p>

<p>Good luck.</p>

<p>I wouldn't recommend doing BME if you are pre-med. Your GPA will die.</p>

<p>midmo: I'm so glad that you pointed that out! I'll definitely check with them tomorrow. </p>

<p>silversparkles18: So I've heard. GPA is so important for med school, so I won't switch majors unless I'm absolutely sure that BME is for me. I remember reading somewhere on CC that BME really emphasizes electricity, physics, and the like (as opposed to bio/chem). Definitely need to do some soul searching, haha.</p>

<p>I'm about 99% sure merit scholarships cannot be transferred between schools unless it's the Cornelius Vanderbilt Scholarship (or whatever they call it). Actually, most scholarships/grants aren't because like midmo said, each school gives out their own and on your financial aid package it will specifically say.</p>

<p>That being said, engineering is definitely no walk in the park. But BME is an extremely popular choice for Premed. You seem to have the drive and determination to handle it.</p>

<p>Many years ago when I attended Vanderbilt, I chose BME as a premed curriculum. Back then, I found the engineering curriculum to be easier than the liberal arts curriculum, with all its writing requirements. For me, (and I suspect for a lot of other people who really love math and science), BME was a good choice. I felt that if I decided not to go to med school, I would be prepared for an interesting career in BME. However, I chose medicine.</p>


<p>My daugther will attend vandy, major in bme as a premed track. We went to the open house and the students said that 25% of bme ends up medical school. She felt that vanderbilt has a good plan for BMEs who will apply to med school. The BME students are involved in research and it is a BIG plus to have a hospital right on campus! The opportunities are really amazing. that is how she felt. We got back from the open house, and she sent the deposit next day.</p>

<p>The Cornelius Vanderbilt scholarship is definitely not transferable between schools. At one point I thought of switching from engineering to blair...good thing it was just a whim =).</p>

<p>^^^Maybe engineering didn't want to lose a potentially top student. This move would have been the other direction--engineering importing someone else's student. I think the decision is not made at the college level, though, and you are correct.</p>

<p>But a move from VUSE to Blair? That would be quite a change. I know there have been engineering students who had double majors in music. I'm impressed by the range of interests Vanderbilt engineering students have.</p>

<p>Re: "There is a big, well-regarded medical center on the campus of Vanderbilt. BME classes do interact with the medical center. Premed students can job shadow, etc. I don't think those kinds of opportunities exist at Cornell, do they? "</p>

<p>Here are some relevant posts on this topic from elsewhere on CC:</p>

<p>"I'm pre-med and will be shadowing a bunch of doctors (most are Cornell alumni) at the med school in NYC over the summer ... in terms of research/shadowing opportunities, Cornell is definitely on par with, if not better than, Washu." </p>

<p>"The only advantage I can see from having an affiliated med school nearby is that you can do clinical research. But, the vast majority of premeds simply aren't equipped to do clinical research in the first place and don't do clinical research. So, if you're just going to end up growing mammalian cells in a petri dish, it's pretty much a similar experience whether you do it in an university lab or a med school lab.</p>

<p>If you have any specific questions about Cornell, I can answer those as an alumnus. If you have any questions about WashU's med school, I might be able to answer those as well as I interviewed there when I was applying for med school and was there this past summer doing research as a med student. Most WashU premeds do research on the undergrad campus, not the medical school. "</p>

<p>"All you need for volunteering and shadowing is a hospital. Ithaca does have hospitals lol </p>

<p>Stapling papers at Johns Hopkins Hospital is the same as stapling papers at your local community hospital. </p>

<p>Cornell specific has two programs that pairs you with local doctors to shadow (so you don't have to cold call doctors yourself). And the local medical center has a fairly vibrant volunteer program so it's not hard to volunteer."</p>

<p>All but the first of these posts were by cc poster norcalguy who was a Cornell grad and is currently attending medical school.</p>


There is a big, well-regarded medical center on the campus of Vanderbilt. BME classes do interact with the medical center.


<p>The OP had expressed an interest in transferring to the engineering school and majoring in BME as a pre-med option. With that in mind, I mentioned the medical school on campus because some of the BME faculty hold joint appointments with the medical school, and in-class projects are coordinated with on-going research at the medical center. In that regard, it may be regarded as an advantage to have a medical center on campus.</p>

<p>you posted the following:</p>

<p>"Premed students can job shadow, etc. I don't think those kinds of opportunities exist at Cornell, do they? "</p>

<p>my post was in response to that.</p>

<p>Based on norcalguy's comments, I think prospective Vanderbilt students might do well to specifically investigate the degree to which being near the medical school actually makes much difference.</p>

<p>^^^It is harder to job shadow during the academic year if there is not a medical center on campus. Of course, one may job shadow at a non-university affiliated clinic, and I am sure that does happen. Job shadowing during the summer can put a bit of constraint on the ability to do an internship or earn money; that is what the premeds I know do during the summer.</p>

<p>Of course, it always a good idea to investigate exactly what opportunities are available for students.</p>

<p>However, three of the schools listed in the OP of this thread have medical campuses on campus, and I feel safe in saying that the premed programs at Vanderbilt, WashU and Duke all benefit to some degree by their proximity to big medical centers.</p>

<p>Even some of the very biggest Cornell boosters on CC have mentioned that the absence of a local medical school is a disadvantage--not necessarily a huge one, or even a make-or-break consideration--but a negative that might be factored into the equation.</p>

<p>BTW, OP, where are you? Any progress in your decision-making?</p>

<p>EDIT: I'm not trying to be argumentative, monydad. Cornell is a great school. A lot of students take their great Cornell education to medical school. I just don't think it is <em>irrelevant</em> that Vanderbilt (and other schools) have medical centers on campus. However, I don't think it is true that ALL university medical centers interact with undergraduate programs; for instance, I don't think it is true at our state flagship. I do get the impression from the premed students I know at Vanderbilt that it does matter there.</p>

<p>"Even some of the very biggest Cornell boosters on CC have mentioned that the absence of a local medical school is a disadvantage--"</p>

<p>I do not recall reading any such posts, by any very biggest Cornell boosters, on CC. </p>

<p>The most informed person I've read posts from on this topic is current med student norcalguy, who attended Cornell and did summer research at Wash U, and I have cut and pasted some of his thoughts on the matter in post #15. The premed students at Cornell who have posted here seem satisfied with their opportunities, so far as I have read.</p>