Stanford, Cal, UCSD, or UPenn

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by tinydragon123, Sep 17, 2006.

  1. tinydragon123 macrumors member

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    #1
    I want to major in biology but I am having a debate with myself for which university to go to and it's hard because those are my top choices.

    If you guys could go to any of these colleges, where would you go? And why?

    And if you're an alumni, please give me your opinion of your school.

    Thanks a bunch.
     
  2. muffinman macrumors 6502

    muffinman

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    #2
    I say you go to Stanford.
     
  3. tinydragon123 thread starter macrumors member

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    #3
    why muffinman?
     
  4. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    #4
    Stanford or UCSD.

    Why? Because those are the only ones I've heard of. :p

    If I have heard of Stanford and UCSD, then the other unis must be lesser in rank/stature, no?
     
  5. beatsme macrumors 65816

    beatsme

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    #5
    I'm not an alumnus of any of these schools, so grain of salt and all that...

    I would have to say that the quality of the education you'll receive at that level probably won't vary much from school to school i.e. they're all excellent choices. So (in my mind), if you can afford any one of the 4, it really depends on how far away from home you want to go.

    How far do you want to go? It's an important question, I think. College is as much about your personal development/happiness while you're there as it is about quality of instruction.
     
  6. bousozoku Moderator emeritus

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    #6
    I'd suggest that the best reason to go to UPenn is business or the stuck up girls, not biology, though I know quite a few who went there for Computer Science.

    Wouldn't Stanford be a better school? I was thinking that Rutgers was good for biology but I don't remember why.
     
  7. balamw Moderator

    balamw

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    #7
    Cal = University of California at Berkeley, which I'm sure you actually have heard of even if you dodn't know we called it that. :p

    I'm not in the field so I don't know for sure, but UCSD has a good rep when it comes to life sciences. If you are local as sugegsted by your profile, have you visited the campus?

    B
     
  8. muffinman macrumors 6502

    muffinman

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    #8
    well, seeing that you live in san diego (me too! what high school do you go to?), you probably want to get as far away as possible from your parents. which means no UCSD.

    U penn is a great school. stanford is a great school and has a respectable bio curriculum.

    btw, i was just wondering, what is your gpa and sats? cause if your considering stanford and U Penn, you must be really smart.

    apply to all of them
     
  9. technicolor macrumors 68000

    technicolor

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    #9
    How about you apply first?! You could be worrying for nothing.
     
  10. MacFan25863 macrumors 6502a

    MacFan25863

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    #10
    If you are going into Marine Biology, then UCSD for sure.

    You may also want to look at UCSB, they have a strong biology dept. there. UC Davis also has a strong program.
     
  11. balamw Moderator

    balamw

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    #11
    Do they really? All I hear about are the engineering/materials science departments, but then those are closer to my field.

    Frankly I don't think I would have graduated if I had done my undergrad at UCSB or UCSD. Far too many distractions.

    B
     
  12. FredAkbar macrumors 6502a

    FredAkbar

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    #12
    UCSB is known more as a humanities school, I believe, though I hear it does also have a good engineering program. I'm going there, and I'm a biochem major.

    UCSD I believe is more a math-and-science school (than UCSB). Just looking at their GE requirements alone, they put a lot more focus on math and science.

    I could have gone to Stanford. Several people tried to talk me into going to Stanford if I was going into biochem/engineering; Stanford is awesome for that. But I chose UCSB because I felt it was the right school for me. From what I've seen and heard, Stanford is more rich, upper-class, etc., than UCSB (well not that Santa Barbara is a ghetto or anything...); not that I'm a partier, but I prefer a more relaxed, liberal atmosphere and I feel I'm more likely to get that at UCSB.

    No one but you can decide what school is best for you. Go where you'll be happy. All four schools you listed are great schools (well I'm assuming in the case of UPenn, I'm not really familiar with it). Especially since you're a biology major and Stanford, UCSD, and UCSB will all be fine for you (again, dunno much about UPenn), don't let just academics be the base for your decision.

    edit: and I agree with technicolor as well. Apply to all of those schools (and more if you want), if you can afford the application fees or get fee waivers. Once you get in, then start worrying about picking one.
     
  13. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    #13
    Then why not say "UC Berkeley" when he said "UCSD"? :confused:


    And anyway, go to the school you want to go to. Nobody will look at your CV and say, "You went to UCSD? What.....couldn't even get into Stanford, you idiot!" ;) Pick your favourite out of those 4 unis based only on which school you like best, not academics. They're all good schools.
     
  14. beatsme macrumors 65816

    beatsme

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    #14
    let me say this about UPenn:
    I dunno how familiar you are with the east coast, but lemme tell you, you only think the winter in the northeast looks charming on TV...the snow, the skiing, etc. The reality of it is that the winter weather season is über-dreary and cold as balls...for months on end...with no relief in sight. There are times when the sun won't come out for weeks. I'm not kidding either.

    And then there's the spring. 40 degrees, sunny, 85% humidity, and 30mph wind gusts. When the wind is still, you're burning up in your winter coat because of the humidity/sunlight. When the wind blows, you're freezing your @ss off. Ever had sinus problems? You will.

    I know it sounds dumb, but it's an important consideration. I'm sure my fellow east-coasters can back me up. January through April will make you wish you were dead...
     
  15. RacerX macrumors 65832

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    #15
    I just finished giving my wife a tour of UCSD yesterday (mainly Muir College where I went to school). I don't know much about UCSD's reputation in biology, but considering that La Jolla is a pretty central place for that type of research, I'd guess that UCSD must also be pretty good.

    When I was there we had a great mathematics department. Sadly a number of the professors who taught me when I was there have either moved to other schools or retired.

    What distractions?

    UCSD had no fraternities or sororities... in fact the school is proud not to have a football team (which would have been NCAA division III anyways).

    The hallmark of the school when I was there was a 1 to 1 student/faculty ratio. There were about 15,000 students and about 15,000 faculty and staff. It is a research campus, and the people who go there are there to study. When my cousin was teaching at UC Davis (he is now at SUNY Buffalo) UCSD was the envy of all the campuses in the UC system.

    Also, UCSD is one of the harder schools to get into. I knew 4.0+ students in high school who weren't able to get in. So even getting accepted is a pretty big deal. Back in the 80's and 90's they only accepted applications submitted by November of the previous year.


    Of course it isn't like I have any sort of bias towards UCSD. It isn't like I was born on the campus or anything like that.

    :rolleyes:

    Oh wait, I was born on the campus of UCSD... never mind. :D
     
  16. tinydragon123 thread starter macrumors member

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    #16
    hey guys/ladies, thanks for the replies.

    my gpa is 4.50. For my SATs though, I got a 1620/2400, and yes, I know, it's low, average, bad, etc. But I'm taking them again. I also have clubs, sports, leadership positions, community service, all that jazz.

    I go to the Preuss School UCSD, which is a school that drive low income students to attend a 4 year university. I have been to UCSD (since we're right next door) and I have to say, I love it and it feels like home. But I think I should go to a school more reputable like Stanford and go to UCSD for graduate school. But then again, UCSD can give a good education like Stanford.

    I want to major in human biology and minor in aquatic biology since I love marine life after having a summer program at Scripps Insitute of Oceanography.

    Now all I have to do is tweak my essays to make them sound great but also from my own voice.

    Thanks for your input guys.
     
  17. RacerX macrumors 65832

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    #17
    The GE requirements at UCSD are completely dependent on which college you apply to. For example, I don't happen to like languages that much (actually, I don't like languages at all), so I attended Muir College which didn't have a language requirement for it's GE. On the other hand my mother is great at languages but not good at math and science, she when to Marshall College (which was Third College back then). My nephew and brother (both of whom have photographic memories, and were straight "A" students) both went to Revelle College (which has a lot of math, science and languages).

    After picking a college, then what ever major you pick will also have an influence on what your lower division education will look like. I don't know of any other school in the US that does their under graduate work this way (multiple colleges). The closest example I can think of would be Cambridge in the UK (UCSD has only 6 colleges while Cambridge has 31).
     
  18. bousozoku Moderator emeritus

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    #18
    I know the campus well, having worked in the area with 30 plus graduates of the school, and it's breezy there. Philadelphia generally isn't as cold as a lot of the east coast because of its position between the mountains and the ocean but it can be pathetically bad sometimes, weather-wise.

    Californians would find it difficult but Floridians would find it impossible and, as I said, the weather isn't bad there compared to Minnesota or even Ohio.
     
  19. beatsme macrumors 65816

    beatsme

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    #19
    oh god yea...Ohio is freakin' murder. And the Allegheny Plateau i.e. Pittsburgh and parts north...unbelievable.

    Minnesota I've not been to, though I was in Canada during the winter (twice), which I think has about the same climate. It was rough I tell ya, rough...
     
  20. bousozoku Moderator emeritus

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    #20
    Let me put it this way about Minnesota. We left Philly on Easter Sunday (April, I believe) 1990 for a trip to the IBM Software Labs in Rochester, MN and it was 75 degrees F. We arrived in the Twin Cities and it was 32 degrees F at about 4 p.m. By the time we drove to Rochester, it was 20 and went to -12 degrees F overnight.

    I've been in the Allegheny "Mountains" on July 4th and watched the fireworks from inside a house. :D

    It's all a matter of degree. Sorry about being way off-topic. Someone ought to call a moderator. ;)
     
  21. true777 macrumors 6502a

    true777

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    #21
    I got a Ph.D. at Stanford and was very happy there.

    Excellent academic environment, friendly people, awesome weather, gorgeous campus, good student housing, San Francisco just a 30 min drive away, and life at Stanford is a lot less boring than you'd imagine. Lots of smart, funny people, and since it's in the middle of Silicon Valley, lots of people with an entrepreneurial spirit now go there which lends the place a breath of fresh air.

    It's a great school in an excellent location.

    Cal is academically not quite as good, but is a fun place if you're more on the hippie/indie/alternative track and care more about student life than academia.

    UCSD is an excellent school for bio sciences. It may be a bit boring, but is top notch academically.

    UPenn I don't know much about.

    Personally, I'd pick Stanford again in a snap. I have no regrets whatsoever and have had a great time there, plus a Stanford degree really looks good on a resume.
     
  22. yellow Moderator emeritus

    yellow

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  23. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    #23
    Plus if you go to Stanford you can always drop a class after the final if you choke! Gotta keep those GPAs up kids!

    If you're interested in Marine Biology, check our UCSC as well. They have a fabulous marine biology department.

    Otherwise, I'd say Stanford if you can get in. It's a hell of a place.
     
  24. WildCowboy Administrator/Editor

    WildCowboy

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    #24
    All four of them are excellent schools, but if you want marine science, the choice is UCSD, hands down.

    Also, you really have to focus on getting those SAT scores up. Your current scores would put you in the bottom 25% of their student body (and more like the bottom 10% at the other schools), so it will hurt your application. I know that SATs are only measure and you have lots of other things going for you, but that's one clear area you should focus on. Being at the Preuss School would probably help your application to UCSD quite a bit.

    Because in California, Berkeley is most commonly referred to as "Cal." Most of the UC schools go by their initials, especially if they're located in a major city where there could be confusion over what school you mean in that city. (You can get away with "Davis" instead of "UCD" because there's nothing else there.) "Cal" comes from Berkeley's status as the first campus in the system...thus no specific campus moniker was needed.
     
  25. gwuMACaddict macrumors 68040

    gwuMACaddict

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    #25
    i think you're getting a little ahead of yourself here... i know it's already been said before, but you need to get those SAT scores up to even think about some of the schools on your list. are there other schools that you'd like to attend?
     

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