For students interested in becoming doctors, the choice of where to attend college can make a big difference in whether they get admitted to a medical school. For most students, bigger universities, like the big state universities, are not the best option. Generally, the bigger the college the more difficult it can be to get to medical school.
There are several reasons for this. First, most large colleges have large class sizes for the basic sciences which are taught in the first two years of college. Most students do not learn as well in a class of 400 or more students as they might in a class smaller than 50. Unfortunately, the MCAT is testing your knowledge of these basic sciences and without a strong background, many students do not score well on the MCAT.
A second problem with the bigger universities is that the average GPA is usually lower than it is for smaller colleges. There are many reasons why this might be but one cause is that many large colleges grade courses on the curve which can make getting a high GPA more difficult. Without a strong GPA, your chances of medical school acceptance are very limited.
A third problem with larger colleges is that it can be difficult to get to know your professors given the large class size. This creates a problem when you have to get multiple letters of recommendation from college professors for medical school applications. Many students just don’t know any professor well enough to get a good letter of recommendation.
Finally, while medical school advising is often not strong in many colleges, it tends to be even less helpful in many of the bigger colleges. This can result in students not having taken the right courses for medical school admissions, which can also impact your MCAT score, students that do not have the right extracurricular activities and students that don’t understand the time requirements for medical school applications which are quite rigid.
Don’t misunderstand me. You can get to medical school from any college in the country. But, the issue is, how likely is it that you will get to medical school from a big college? Unfortunately, the answer is that it is often much more difficult than for students attending other types of colleges.
If you are already attending a big college for pre-med, give us a call. We can provide some suggestions on how you can minimize some of these issues and thus make yourself more competitive in the admissions process.