BioMed / Molecular Biology at UCD or Cal Poly or UCB ? (Student: B)

Student B has received the following admissions for Fall 2009:

1) UCBerkeley College of Letters and Science (Biochem and Molecular Biology)

2) UCSD – Bio-Engg/Pre-Med

3) UCD – Bio-medical

4) Cal Poly SLO – Bio-medical

5) Case Western – Bio-medical

6) UCI – Bio-medical

Q1) Student is interested in picking one among the first 4 programs, taking graduate admissions, future job and career prospects, into consideration.

Q2) UC Berkeley could be extremely competitive compared to UCD. So, getting a 3.8 GPA might be easier in UCD than at UCB. So, is it better to go to a slightly less competitive school and do very well, or go to UCB, for better chances with graduate admissions, career prospects?


  1. Ravishankar Gundlapalli said,

    April 7, 2009 @ 5:58 am

    Sample comment left by Ravishankar

  2. Sarmista said,

    April 7, 2009 @ 6:53 am

    Getting a 3.8 GPA is tough anywhere. Congratulations for getting into Berkeley. Most students would send in their SIR to Berkeley without thinking it through only because it is an amazing school. But, from what I heard (from Chemistry TAs), Berkeley requires you to be an independent worker. If the student is able to work in that manner, then Berkeley is the place for him/her. UCSD is amazing because it has its own medical school and most universities have some sort of preference for their students. Also, because it is a pre-med major, the student would be learning what is on the MCATs. Also, UCSD is known for its biology program and Berkeley not so much. I have no idea about Case Western; I am sorry I can’t comment on that. I go to UCI currently, and this school’s biology program is very strong as well. But, my suggestion would be to keep UCSD in mind compared to Cal Poly SLO, UCI, and UCD. UCSD is an equally competitive school because of its biology program. If you do very well in UCSD, your carreer opportunities are equally as good as they would be at Berkeley. I hope this helps. Let me know if you have any other questions for me.

  3. Praneeth said,

    April 7, 2009 @ 3:39 pm

    UCSD’s bio-engineering program is a great one. It is one of the best in the country. If you are interested bio-engineering, you should definetely go there.

  4. Ravishankar Gundlapalli said,

    April 10, 2009 @ 7:31 pm

    I agree that UCSD is a great option for this student. The student should read this report (over a weekend) from the world’s renowned Milken Institute that did a comprehensive study on Biotechnology, and ranked several universities.
    The student must see Pages 77 and 80 of the report which rank UCSD in the top 10.

    Regarding Competitiveness, the student must be willing to stretch and go to a higher competition school. We all must go beyond our comfort zone, and stretch – only then do our true capabilities and talents come out.

  5. Bhavna said,

    April 11, 2009 @ 8:12 pm

    1. I was wondering if we had anyone in the panel who is currently studying at UCSD?

    2. Is there much difference between majoring in Molecular Biology vs. Bioengineering/Biomedical Engg?

    3. I heard that the bioengg/biomed engg programs at the UCs are not accredited by ABET. Is that something I should be concerned about if majoring in that subject?

    4. How is student and campus life at UC Berkeley? Are they collaborative or is it all independent? Are TA discussion sessions, tutoring, etc.. helpful and available?

  6. mythili_0688 said,

    April 12, 2009 @ 7:00 am

    first of all, congrats into getting into all those wonderful schools. i have read the comments left by the others, and agree with them. i go to UCD and i actually transferred there as a biochem/molecular bio major. i am not too sure about Berkeley and their biochem program, but from what i have heard, and my other friends from JC who also transferred as bio majors all went to either davis, SD or LA. i think all these schools would be great for biochem, SD and davis might be a little better (as said from previous comments)
    as for your other questions:
    1) i dont know, but i’m at UCD
    2) molecular bio is just strictly bio, chem/ochem, physics, etc and all the other courses that come with it. (mostly intended for pre-med people)
    bioengineering/biomedical engg is more for people who are interested in careers involving more biotech actually. you are usually a biochem/molecular bio major if you want are pre-med.
    3 and 4 i am not too sure about (4 because i dont go there, and so i dont know too much about life at berkeley)
    i dont know if what i said helps or not but i hope it does help. please dont hesitate to ask more questions.

  7. Bhavna said,

    April 15, 2009 @ 7:18 pm

    I heard that MCB is a lot of memorizing intricate details where as IB is more health sciences focused, and therefore more relevant. What do you have to say between majoring in MCB and IB?

  8. mythili_0688 said,

    April 20, 2009 @ 8:35 am

    well between the two, MCB and IB, i agree with you that MCB has a lot more intricate details and memorization, but in choosing between the two, i would just choose which ever one is more related to what you want to do.
    what is it that you want to do in the future?? if you’re planning on med school, i would just stick with MCB, since you are going to have to know all the material for it.
    does this help?

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