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US Colleges

Postby Pats4four » Tue Oct 30, 2007 5:38 pm

I'm currently living in the lower sixth of secondary education and I'm thinking of attending a US college instead of a university in the UK. I've got this year and one more before I go to uni but I was thinking of what your views are, how do I get in and which are the best colleges in the US.

I'm thinking of taking medicine or subjects in that area and was wondering what tips/advice/opinions you guys might have. Feel free to discuss or to ask for further information. Thanks
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Re: US Colleges

Postby Tiki » Tue Oct 30, 2007 10:40 pm

The University of Minnesota is pretty kick arse. ;-D
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Re: US Colleges

Postby beanoX3 » Wed Oct 31, 2007 8:51 am

If you're looking to major in medicine, ignore the usual Ivy League schools most international students flock to and apply to Northwestern University in Chicago. NU has a great medicine program, Chicago is a great city, and Evanston is a fairly nice campus along the lakefront. Plus, they're a Division I sports school, if that matters to you. Get into their accelerated med program and you graduate a year earlier than most other medicine programs. There's also University of Chicago, which boasts the most Nobel prize laureates and nominees on their teaching staff. Campus is real nice, but the surrounding area (Hyde Park) is a bit shady for people unfamiliar to big city life. Their medical facilities is one of the best in the nation though, and newly built.

I'd also recommend that you pick up US News and World magazine's annual college ranking issue, so you can research other schools that rank highly in medicine that might not be as well known to people outside of the medicine field.

My brother is currently in med school, about to start his internship. He went to Washington University (St. Louis, MO) for undergrad and Rush University (Chicago) for med school. Rush is one of the 4 big med schools in Chicago, along with Northwestern (NU), University of Chicago (UC), and University of Illinois Chicago (UIC).
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Re: US Colleges

Postby Pats4four » Wed Oct 31, 2007 10:50 am

Thanks for the advice guys. Do you have any ideas as to what grades you need to enter the universities?
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Re: US Colleges

Postby beanoX3 » Wed Oct 31, 2007 11:48 am

Pats4four wrote:Thanks for the advice guys. Do you have any ideas as to what grades you need to enter the universities?

Not sure how grades from schools in the UK translate into the GPA system, but you want a 3.8 GPA or higher to be able to compete with all the pre-med applicants. Top schools likely need a 4.0 GPA and lots of extracurricular stuff. Getting to know an alumni who can put in a good word helps a lot too. Some schools even require that you interview with an alumni first before even interviewing with the school. And send in applications as early as possible.

You should probably talk to your school counselor or something similar to get documents and guides, and possibly even visiting the US embassy for information about student visas and stuff.
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Re: US Colleges

Postby Pats4four » Wed Oct 31, 2007 3:30 pm

I had a look up on NU and other universities as to what the procedures were for admissions and they seem to be around the same except that for the top schools they require an interview whereas NU doesn't and it is ranked 14th in the US News rankings which is quite good.

EDIT: I looked up the GPA scoring and it said that a 4.0 is basically a perfect score? I took my GCSEs last year which is a test all secondary students take when they're 15/16 before they can legally leave education and achieved 9 A* and 3 A but I don't know how that translates into GPA.
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Re: US Colleges

Postby pvt1863 » Wed Oct 31, 2007 8:16 pm

If you want pre-med, you can't go wrong with Johns Hopkins in Baltimore (I'm a JHU alum; engineering, not medicine).

It is very competitive, though. Don't expect to get much help from your classmates.

As for the CGSE's, they sound like the equivalent to the SAT's in the US. You might be able to find somewhere online that compares the two so you can see what your equivalent SAT score would be. But that doesn't make it any easier, as different schools have different requirements/weightings.
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Re: US Colleges

Postby joelamosobadiah » Wed Oct 31, 2007 9:50 pm

Pats4four wrote:I had a look up on NU and other universities as to what the procedures were for admissions and they seem to be around the same except that for the top schools they require an interview whereas NU doesn't and it is ranked 14th in the US News rankings which is quite good.

EDIT: I looked up the GPA scoring and it said that a 4.0 is basically a perfect score? I took my GCSEs last year which is a test all secondary students take when they're 15/16 before they can legally leave education and achieved 9 A* and 3 A but I don't know how that translates into GPA.


An A is a 4.0 in a GPA. B 3.0, etc. However, I don't know how stuff might translate internationally.
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Re: US Colleges

Postby The Artful Dodger » Thu Nov 01, 2007 12:15 pm

Pats4four wrote:I had a look up on NU and other universities as to what the procedures were for admissions and they seem to be around the same except that for the top schools they require an interview whereas NU doesn't and it is ranked 14th in the US News rankings which is quite good.

EDIT: I looked up the GPA scoring and it said that a 4.0 is basically a perfect score? I took my GCSEs last year which is a test all secondary students take when they're 15/16 before they can legally leave education and achieved 9 A* and 3 A but I don't know how that translates into GPA.


4.0 is the best GPA attainable, but because we have Advanced Placement (AP) courses in high schools here in the States, it's possible to have a higher GPA than that. So, in regular courses an A would translate into a 4.0, but in AP courses, they would be a 5 and the scale goes down accordingly.

I would think most university websites would have a comparison scale between European grading and standardized test systems with those of the US. BTW, have you tried asking the counselor/advisor at your school about continuing your education in the States? They might be of great help if you haven't tried.

Don't know much about which schools are tops in Pre-Med but aside from the likes of Northwestern and Johns Hopkins, I reckon UCLA and UC Irvine have good pre-med programs. I hear Irvine is better though.
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Re: US Colleges

Postby pvt1863 » Fri Nov 02, 2007 7:51 am

The Artful Dodger wrote:4.0 is the best GPA attainable, but because we have Advanced Placement (AP) courses in high schools here in the States, it's possible to have a higher GPA than that. So, in regular courses an A would translate into a 4.0, but in AP courses, they would be a 5 and the scale goes down accordingly.


A lot of colleges recalculate your gpa without the AP/honors bonuses. The problem is that there is too much variation from high school to high school about what bonus you get. For example, at your school it looks like an A in an AP class is a 5, at mine an A in an AP class was a 4.8 and an A in an honors course was a 4.4.

In my school's case, this created an interesting and unfortunate drawback in that the kids competing for class ranking would only take AP electives and fill the rest of their schedule with study halls. They refused to take non-AP and non-honors electives because an A in one of those actually brought their GPA down. Luckily for me, my parents cared too much about my education and would not allow me to ever take a study hall just so I could have a shot at the top ranking.
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