Virginia Tech vs VCU

Hi all!

I’m down to my final two options and need some guidance. I got into my top choice William and Mary but won’t be attending for financial aid reasons. So that leaves me with Virginia Tech and Virginia Commonwealth University. Both cost the same for me and I’m planning to pursue a pre-med track while in college.

At VT I plan on majoring in public health and I really love their campus and it gives me similar vibes to W&M in terms of caliber, research, and study abroad opportunities. I also feel VT has a name people know and is ranked higher compared to VCU .

At VCU I plan to be a Health Science Major and I love their program becuase they have a required 150hr internship as part of their program. They also have an affiliated medical school that is easy to access for shadowing and volunteering. I like the idea of living in the city but i’m not a big fan of their campus.

I feel like I’d be happier at Tech becuase of it’s atmosphere,but I haven’t seen much on their pre-med advising. I know that VCU has fantastic advising but it’s not screaming college for me. What are your opinons and do you know anything about VT’s public health or premed opportunites.

“I feel like I’d be happier at Tech”

This answers your question. It is also higher ranking and has a medical school. Internships won’t land in your lap, but you can probably still find one.

Would your VCU major be health services or heath sciences?

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Health sciences

If you do well in college, get good MCATs, enough shadowing, research, interview well, etc, you will get into med school from either VT or VCU. If VT doesn’t have what you need, then use your summers to get that experience. You might want to look into any programs VT in Blacksburg have with VT Med in Roanoke (1 hour by car).

Also, given that you are, I assume, a VA resident, there is a good chance you will go to VCU for med school or it be one of your choices. Do you want to be in the same place for 8 years… maybe more if you do a residency there? All personal choices.

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First, it’s clearly the college you like best, and premeds succeed where they are comfortable and happy, because it’s so difficult already :slight_smile: Second, most premeds never make it into med school and it sounds like you’d rather graduate from VTech if that were the case.

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You answered your own question in your first post. Med school students do best where they are the happiest and in a major they love. There’s no reason you need a “required 150hr internship.” Do hours on your own where you want them - getting a variety of experiences. Nearby Christiansburg has a hospital (or at least they used to), as does Roanoke. There are also other places to volunteer (maybe moreso post Covid) in free clinics or Hospice pretty much everywhere.

And as mentioned before, if you needed to go with Plan B as roughly 60% of those who apply do, VT gives you plenty of options you like.

Either school works though, so with money not being a factor between these two - choose what you like.

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Which health science? This might make a big difference if med school doesn’t happen. The health sciences will lead to a more clinical profession than public health.

It’s the health science track under their Health, Physical Education and Exercise Science Major

Ok, no advantage of that one over public health at VT.

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Be warry on how many courses in the Health Science major will be counted as BCPM (Biology, Chemistry, Physics, and Mathematics). A course may seem “BCPM-like” but it might not count towards the BCPM GPA. This happens to engineering students because most of their engineering classes, even biomed engineering, do not count towards their BCPM GPA. The BCPM courses carry more weight than the overall GPA by many medical school admissions committees.

On a personal note… if you succeed in getting into med school you will being doing health related work for the rest of your working life. Use college to explore other subjects in college. I was a double major in biology and art history with a healthy dose of studio art.