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Pitt vs Texas A&M

ElectricalRadioElectricalRadio 1 replies2 threads New Member
edited June 22 in University of Pittsburgh

I am a high school senior graduating this May. I have got accepted to both Pitt BioE and TAMU BME undergraduate honors. I have checked the course schedules for both offerings and they are very similar in content, electives, specializations etc.

I am from TX so TAMU has the home state advantage, costing a little less than Pitt. However the thought of being independent also appeals to me. I plan to pursue med-school after graduating.

TAMU has published all the statistics for BME who matriculated to medical school over the past couple of years. People who have got very good GPAs (above 3.7) and a good MCAT have made it to medical schools with no problems. However, I have not been able to dig up statistics for Pitt to make a good comparison. Can anyone help me with how hard the GPA distribution is at Pitt. How many people from BME really matriculate to medical school from there?

Pitt is known for UPMC and has a lot of research, volunteering, and shadowing opportunities, but I did not find a lot of information about available opportunities at TAMU. UPMC attracts students from nearby Carnegie Mellon, which makes me wonder about the competition for these spots.

Can anyone in the same/similar situation please help me. Thanks a lot in advance!
edited June 22
4 replies
Post edited by CCEdit_Suraj on
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Replies to: Pitt vs Texas A&M

  • carachel2carachel2 3051 replies25 threads Senior Member
    Glad I saw this! We are Texans and our daughter is in engineering at Pitt. She chose Pitt engineering over UT, TAMU,Purdue, Clemson, Alabama and Northeastern.

    The three deciding factors for her vs. TAMU were:

    1. First year engineering admissions to major: At TAMU you have to apply in spring of freshman year to get your major. You may or may not get your desired major.

    At Pitt, you spend an entire year learning about the different engineering majors, what they specifically look like as a career and then at the end of the year you *select/choose* your major. You don't have to apply or compete. She went in as BME but changed her mind after career exposure and seminar classes and decided to do Civil Engineering instead. She was never interested in pre-med and she realized the career opportunities for BME were more narrow than what she was comfortable with. She does have lots of friends who stayed the course, chose BME and they are all either doing research or on co-op with many companies in the Pittsburgh area.

    2. Urban location and tech hub: The urban location is amazing. She has tons to do whenever she wants. The "free" (included with the fees you pay) bus pass allows access to all over the city. Pitt students get entry to all the museums and gardens in town. There are so many fantastic companies in the city that recruit from Pitt. All of her pre-med friends have jobs at one of the many UPMC facilities right on campus. Currently UPMC is at the forefront of Covid-10 vaccine development and antibody testing.

    3.)Finally, she had a great merit scholarship that put costs roughly in the ballpark of what we would pay at TAMU. If you can afford Pitt with no private loan debt, then great. But she/we knew the line in the sand is we wouldn't borrow money to attend Pitt.

    We are in the DFW area so she takes a direct and inexpensive flight to Pittsburgh so transportation costs are minimal.

    When I go and look at the TAMU engineering pages all I see are complaints about the huge crowded classes, the entry to a major process and all of the students they farm out to all the different campuses. I'm glad our student has started at one school and will stay at that school. She has a great co-op in Pittsburgh and all of her engineering friends have co-ops mostly and some with internships. She would be *miserable* in College Station where the main activities are football and going out to eat and more football. I'm an Aggie and my brother is an Aggie. Between the three of us we have three engineers and none of them attended TAMU. Neither of us was impressed with a school whose main objective is to crowd as many engineers as they can into their undergrad program. They have a solid reputation and I know you can get a good education there but the experience my daughter is having at Pitt vs. the experience I had at TAMU is night and day.

    The one drawback (or plus? depends on how you look at it) is this: you will really need to learn how to be on your own. She has moved herself in and out of dorms and her apartment. She knows her way around a storage locker and she knows we cannot fly up to help her out every time she needs to move. There are no quick parental weekend visits and she can't just randomly drive a few hours and come home. She says most of the time she's fine with that but every now and then she realizes she would like to be able to just come home for a quick weekend.

    I don't have the matriculation rate to medical school from Pitt. I will say, first year engineering at Pitt can be brutal---just like any other school. You really need to know yourself and your course rigor if you want to have a GPA that is medical school worthy. The average GPA after Pitt first year engineering is 2.98---and that is the truth for sure! She really struggled that first year. She was a really high stats kid but Physics nearly did her in. The curriculum is no joke and it is very hard.

    Your co-op jobs are most likely to be up towards the east coast and not in Texas so after freshman year, both you and your parents need to be prepared that you most likely will not be living at home again.

    Sorry this is so long but I hope this helps!
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  • carachel2carachel2 3051 replies25 threads Senior Member
    Edited to add: my daughter just read this post. She said "literally all of my friends who are pre-med volunteer or work at least one of the hospitals on or near the campus and do research. I have a friend who is already published." She does state she doesn't know any BMEs who are also pre-med. I'm sure there are some, but most pre-meds are in Dietrich. First year engineering will be 17 hours of Calculus, Physics, Chem, Engineering analysis and maybe one elective. You can make your world easier by doing pre-med in Dietrich. Of course it's still going to be hard because you will need a high GPA but you can at least spread out your hard sciences and labs.
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  • ElectricalRadioElectricalRadio 1 replies2 threads New Member
    Thank you so much @carachel2 for the detailed post. This definitely allowed me to get more insight about Pitt.
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  • carachel2carachel2 3051 replies25 threads Senior Member
    @ElectricalRadio both are great schools. It really comes down to size and location and then opportunity for research and/or medical experience. My daughter absolutely doesn't like football so a college town built around football was a no go for her. The urban life and a tech hub were important features so that is what she chose. We would never go into private loan debt for Pitt though so definitely that would've taken it off the table.

    Feel free to message me if you want.
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