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Is UC Davis a good choice for me?

Hammad80Hammad80 66 replies21 threads Junior Member
Hi guys,
So I have gotten accepted into UCD, which was my 2nd favorite school (behind UCSD). I didn’t get enough financial aid for SD and my parents didn’t want me to go too far from home, so I figured UCD would be the way to go.

Anyways, my major is biochemistry. I plan on doing research in chemistry during college and then later applying for med school. I got $24,500 in aid from the college, and I have $1,000 from another source.
I have relatives who give out private scholarships and may help pay the net price. If not, I’ll live off-campus to minimize costs.

A few questions:
(1) Does attending UCD increase the chances of being accepted to UCD’s Med School? I’ve heard from my friends that it does, but I’m a bit skeptical.

(2) Are there sufficient undergraduate research opportunities?

(3) How’s the environment/atm at Davis? I’ve heard that it’s pretty chill (relaxed), but also a bit lackluster (tho I don’t mind too much tbh).

(4) Is there a good variety of food at school?

(5) If I’m given a high amt of financial aid from UCD, is it worth attending over the more prestigious unis? (Like SD or SB? Or Irvine or Berkeley, if I get in?)

Thank you.

edited March 2019
8 replies
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Replies to: Is UC Davis a good choice for me?

  • GumbymomGumbymom Forum Champion UC 30520 replies418 threads Forum Champion
    edited March 2019
    Before doing anything I suggest you attend Decision Day April 6 or if you cannot make it , try Picnic Day April 13. Visit the campus, talk to some students and professors, eat at the DC and see for yourself. It sealed the deal for my son.


    edited March 2019
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  • socaldad2002socaldad2002 2371 replies34 threads Senior Member
    For premed, the difference between UCD, UCSD, and UCSB is negligible. I consider all three to be very good second tier UCs. 1st tier being UCLA and UC Berkeley. Full disclosure I’m an alum of UCD.
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  • lkg4answerslkg4answers 2241 replies244 threads Senior Member
    As a parent of a student at UCD, I am pleasantly surprised at how easy it is to start working in a lab as a freshman. Most labs require 9 hrs/wk which is a lot for a freshman biochem major who is getting used to the quarter system and most likely has a couple of labs/wk in addition to lectures. For more information on undergrad research, go here: https://biology.ucdavis.edu/undergraduate-research.

    All of the UC medical schools are extremely competitive. Top test scores and GPAs are required. Simply going to UCD for undergrad isn't going to get you in. I would not consider UCSB or UCI to be more prestigious than UCD. If medical school is your intention, go to the school where you can be most successful academically.

    Davis is a tight knit, very friendly community. I'm not sure what you are you are looking for in a campus environment when you say "lackluster." If you are interested in an urban campus like UCLA or Berkeley, you probably won't be happy at UCSB, UCD, UCSC or SLO.

    Davis is a typical college town with a variety of restaurants as well as boba, frozen yogurt, ice cream, etc. https://davisdowntown.com/dining There is a large farmers market in Downtown Davis twice a week.(https://www.davisfarmersmarket.org/picnic-in-the-park-march-13-oct-30/) As a student you will likely be eating in the dining commons or cooking for yourself. Eating out adds up quickly.

    Regarding cost, medical school is expensive. Apartments in Davis are relatively cheap compared to other schools.
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  • Hammad80Hammad80 66 replies21 threads Junior Member
    @Gumbymom Are those events worth going to? I’ve read online about people saying these sorts of events are a waste of time.

    @socaldad2002 Thanks

    @lkg4answers So when would you recommend starting research labs? Sophomore year?
    What sort of GPA would I need to maintain to have a good chance in UC Med schools? (Or good ones in Cal?)
    Idk, my friends mentioned the word “lackluster”, sort of implying that it’s boring and not much to do. But I guess I should do my own research.
    And I don’t know how to cook at all, so is the school food good there?
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  • lkg4answerslkg4answers 2241 replies244 threads Senior Member
    @Hammad80 I can't say what time is right for you with respect to time management and research. It depends on how many units you are taking and if you have 3 hr blocks of time in your schedule. The quarter system is fast paced so I would at least try to wait until after you make it through the first quarter.

    I am not an expert on med school requirements. There is, however, a pre-med forum and you might read what they have to say: https://talk.collegeconfidential.com/pre-med-medical-school/

    Your friends who don't go to Davis said it was lackluster or your friends who attend Davis said that? Go see for yourself. Decision Day (4/6) is well worth it if you use your time to get answers to your questions.

    In the next few months you need to learn how to cook (at least the basics), do your laundry, ride a bike, take a bus, manage a bank account. :blush: Regarding food, I think UCLA is supposed to have the best dorm food. I am a parent but from what I have heard, the food in Davis is good but eating in the dining commons everyday can become tiresome.
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  • Hammad80Hammad80 66 replies21 threads Junior Member
    edited March 2019
    @lkg4answers Thanks. Very helpful post.
    Alright, I’ll see how I can fit that in once I get started, and I will look further into med school requirements as well.
    It was friends who don’t attend (high school friends basically). I think they heard it from a significant other who might have had attended UCD. But really, is the smell of cow manure that bad? Enough that it’ll be a major con?

    Yea I really have to work on that. I mean the best thing I can “cook” is eggs, lol. Asides from laundry, I can do the other things (I hadn’t ridden my bike for a couple years- just started riding it again after I heard UCD is a bike school).
    And it seems like I have to go to the 4/6 event now. Too much to lose if I don’t at this point.
    edited March 2019
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  • ProfessorPlum168ProfessorPlum168 4184 replies92 threads Senior Member
    Any of the open houses is good for a few things that you won't really get in a regular school tour: 1) access to talk to professors if you can find them 2) see actual classrooms 3) go inside an actual dorm 4) eat in a dorm cafeteria. Last year's Decision Day event was preceded by a huge rainstorm in the area, so that was a bummer for the people who went.

    The mini-ones that are held in various cities, I sort of agree are not worth going to.
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  • GumbymomGumbymom Forum Champion UC 30520 replies418 threads Forum Champion
    edited March 2019
    Regarding Medical School worthy GPA, aim for a 3.7+.

    Decision Day would be more suited towards what might interest you as stated by @ProfessorPlum168.

    Picnic day is just crazy fun for students, families and faculty but you will see the UCD is not lackluster. It really depends upon you want to get out of 4 years at any school. Plenty of things to do no matter where you go.
    edited March 2019
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