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My daughter needs to decide what colleges are good for life sciences

  • Mentr
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My daughter has got an admission to following colleges Biology as major.

1. USF
2. Mills College
3. UOP
4. Sanjose State

Which of the above colleges are good for life sciences or second option

1. Can she go to local DVC junior college for one or 2 years and transfer to UC Davis or Santa Cruz.

2. Could you help me which route is better option for pursuing a degree in life sciences.

Appreciate all your help. Thanks

Replies (3)

    • Paula (Cornell University - Biology)
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      To be perfectly honest, none of those schools are particularly strong in the life sciences. If the student has fallen in love with any of them and wants to go there despite that, then by all means they should choose the one they like. This is even more true if the student is considering medical school more than research, since rigor of the science program is weighted a lot less heavily than is raw GPA.

      That said, if they want to do research, they would be much better off at a UC. Therefore, if their main objective at the moment is to set themselves up to transfer, then DVC is likely the best way to do that. It's a good school, and it has a good reputation for giving students a strong second chance at getting into UCs.

      Finally, if she decides to attend one of the 4-years she got into and then transfer to a UC, I would strongly recommend against attending San Jose State. It is nearly impossible to transfer from a CSU to a UC, and much easier to transfer from a non-state 4-year university.

      Date: 04-05-2017
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      • Julia (Yale University - Biology)
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        I suggest removing Mills College from the list given that it is very small and has limited course options and opportunities to meet new people as compared to the other colleges, unless you are very set on a small school (which is fine as long as that's what you're looking for!). UOP is also pretty small and there are certain disadvantages to that. At the same time, look into specific professors. If there are certain projects you want to work on, chances are you will be able to, and you can consider that when choosing. Overall, with a small school, your course options and extracurricular clubs may be limited, but you are likely to have an easier time finding lab opportunities and things like that.

        San Jose State has many research programs available to undergraduate students -- this is very important for establishing career experience. Proximity to Stanford may also mean being able to work with students/professors there or go to their events, which is great for expanding your network. Furthermore, there are many many many biology courses to choose from -- you won't get bored/lack new things to learn about/lack a course to explore something you're interested in. Most importantly, many of them are hands-on.

        San Francisco University has field lab courses which is great if you're interested in the ecology side of biology rather than the cellular/molecular side, so consider that. It has an equally varied set of courses to choose form as San Jose State. This school is pretty comparable to SJS -- I suggest looking most at which you enjoy most after visiting.

        Overall, I personally like SJS and SFU. That being said -- it comes down to personal preference. You'll be fine anywhere. Don't worry too much about academics because the truth is that any of these schools will prepare you to be a biologist and the differences will be marginal. Mainly, make sure you enjoy the culture of the school, like the location/etc, enjoy the course options that they have, and can find extracurricular activities you would like to be a part of.

        In addition, I don't recommend option 2. It's nice to have stability in college and transfer students have to work a lot harder to integrate themselves into extracurricular life and lab opportunities and things like that. You're unlikely to get leadership positions if you haven't been part of a club in the past years your classmates have -- even though you may be more qualified and may have participated in something similar at your old school.

        Best of luck!

        Date: 04-05-2017
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        • Mentr (Founder - 1:1 & (Mentee)

          Thanks Paula and Julia!

          Date: 08-05-2017
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