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Should I go to Portland State University or Pacific University (private) for pre-med?

streampawstreampaw Posts: 2 Harvard Champion
They both cost about the same to me, since pacific gives automatic scholarships for those whose GPA qualifies, so cost isn't really the deciding factor. Pacific is a master's college (private) and PSU is a state school, public. I am interested in doing pre-med, so I want some research opportunities. I will be transferring and my credits transfer to both schools. I got into the honors program at PSU as well.

Since pacific is a private school, do you think there will be less research opportunities there? Which school do you think is better for pre-med?

Also, I heard rumors that private colleges are easier than public schools because private colleges want to maintain a good "GPA reputation", meaning, they want their students to get better grades in order for the "average" GPA of the college graduating class to be higher. So do you think Pacific would be easier for me?

In both cases I would be living with my parents, since we live right in between PSU and Pacific, so I am able to drive to either school.

Also, at PSU I will be required to take 400 level honors courses ("junk courses lol") in addition to my pre-med stuff. I've already taken a year of junk classes at the community college (humanities, english, writing, social science, etc), and I'm not sure whether pacific would require me to take any more junk classes, or if I can just take science classes there without taking any additional classes. The thing is, if I do go to PSU, that would mean I would have to take 20 credits per term (PSU does quarter system, pacific has semester system), and that's quite a lot!

Do you have any suggestions for which school to go to?
Post edited by streampaw on

Replies to: Should I go to Portland State University or Pacific University (private) for pre-med?

  • MYOS1634MYOS1634 Posts: 23 Harvard Champion
    edited May 2013
    You do realize that the new med school requirements mean you need a MINIMUM of 1/4 - 1/3 classes in Humanities and Social Sciences, right?
  • streampawstreampaw Posts: 2 Harvard Champion
    edited May 2013
    I already have one year of english and one year of social science done.
  • MYOS1634MYOS1634 Posts: 23 Harvard Champion
    edited May 2013
    It's highly unlikely a year of basic-level humanities/social science courses would prepare you to do well at the MCAT level. You'd also need to make sure you took a diversity-focused class, a history of science class, and an ethics or philosophy class.

    All universities have a "core" requirement, because you're not aiming at being a technician, you're aiming for an education that you can draw on during the rest of your life. Often, the core curriculum matches what the MCAT and med school admissions require, but not always. Rather than focusing on whether you'll be able to take all-science classes, look at both universities and see which one has general education requirements that best mirror the med school requirements. Be careful about content, too, i.e., how much is covered in one semester - pace, content, intensity can be very different depending on the college.
    For further info on this: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/15/education/edlife/pre-meds-new-priorities-heart-and-soul-and-social-science.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0
    You should also look at the graphs that describe successful applicants.

    To go back to your original question, I think Pacific Lutheran would provide for a better environment for a premed, because you'd be able to forge a relationship with professors (important for recommendations), you would have the opportunity to work on a research project if deemed able, and you'd probably have a slightly higher GPA due to a combination of more motivated students and private school practices.
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