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Old 05-28-2012, 11:53 AM
 
Location: Okinawa, Japan
2 posts, read 12,104 times
Reputation: 10

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I am trying to choose between University of Washington and Seattle Pacific University.
I plan to major in biology (maybe pre-med) and possibly minor in music and/or theater. I have been accepted to both schools, and have enough scholarships to completely cover the tuition for whichever I choose.

Now comes the decision. Does anybody have any advice for me? Anything would be appreciated!
Thanks.
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Old 05-28-2012, 02:44 PM
 
Location: Southwest Washington
2,317 posts, read 7,308,485 times
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It depends on what kind of experience you want to have. SPU has a VERY high rate of graduates getting accepted into medical school, but UW has one of the best biology programs as well as having the top medical school in the country.

UW is a huge, impersonal campus with ~42,000 students. That's more people than the population of my hometown. You may have huge lecture classes for some of the intro classes. SPU, on the other hand, has about 4,200 students. You'll probably have smaller intro classes and more personal attention to your studies.

I'll tell you the reason I didn't apply to SPU... Religion! It seems to be a much more religion-focused school than, say, Seattle University. While I don't think you have to sign an affidavit affirming your belief in God, like at some schools I've seen, it still wouldn't be for me. But of course I have not studied there so I can't tell you how pervasive it actually is.

Congratulations. Both good schools. UW is more well known--11th best public university in the country, and SPU is one of the best regional universities in the West. I'm sure wherever you choose you'll get a great education if you apply yourself.
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Old 05-28-2012, 04:49 PM
 
1,461 posts, read 3,113,257 times
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UW no doubts about it.
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Old 05-28-2012, 04:51 PM
 
2,064 posts, read 4,099,208 times
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a couple of things:

1) college is highly personal and your success will depend on a combination of the school and the fit with your personality. the less flexible your personality, the more important fit is going to be. so this needs to be evaluated yourself. do you like small communities where everyone knows each other? do you like being part of a huge and diverse crowd? etc.

2) otherwise, i almost always recommend that you go with the school that is generally regarded as "better." this isn't necessarily the US News rankings or any specific publication. it's closest to "academic reputation" in those rankings.

most people only go to college once and to one college and it will follow you in your resume for the rest of your career. this means that you need your credentials to pop for future jobs, etc. also think nationally and globally in case you relocate.

for me, i got into a lot of different schools...some smaller but solid schools and some larger schools. i ended up going to UC Berkeley and had a great experience over there and no matter where I go in this world, people know the reputation of the school that i went to. i also went to graduate school and chose along the same lines for graduate school and it has also served me well by giving me instant validation and recognition.

anyway, for that reason i would recommend the University of Washington over SPU. outside of the northwest, the fact is that very few have heard of SPU while everyone in the US has heard of the University of Washington (heck, the Washington University guys in St. Louis always get annoyed at that).
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Old 05-28-2012, 10:54 PM
 
Location: State of Transition
90,444 posts, read 86,501,289 times
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If I were you, I'd have chosen Seattle University as my second choice after UW, but I don't know the quality of their bio and med programs.

UW. They say it's impersonal, but once you see the academic adviser in your field (biology, pre-med), the department staff tries to make you feel like a member of the family, so to speak. Your focus isn't on the huge campus, but on your department and fellow students there. The staff and some of the professors will try to make you feel at home. Small schools can be stifling, and have a very narrow choice of courses for your distribution requirements. The UW has a very wide choice of courses, you're sure to find some that fascinate you.

The UW has wonderful amenities, including a waterfront activities center, where you can rent a canoe, and canoe through around the bay and through the marshes and view the wildlife.

Do you know what foreign language you plan to study?
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Old 05-29-2012, 01:40 AM
 
118 posts, read 243,459 times
Reputation: 120
go to SPU small universities are much more vested in your education than large ones. You can still party your brains out with the Udubbers on the weekends their campuses are pretty close. Oh and UW doesn't like to accept their own undergrads to medschool or other grad programs.

Get you undergrad degree at spu then go to grad school at UW
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Old 05-29-2012, 06:08 AM
 
Location: WA
353 posts, read 871,004 times
Reputation: 384
Once you have a medical degree, where you went to undergraduate school matters very little, if at all. On the other hand, your interests could change.
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Old 05-29-2012, 10:48 AM
 
Location: WA
4,246 posts, read 8,268,224 times
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How is this even a question? UW.

Also, make sure to get some undergrad research experience. It'll look good on your med school application.
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Old 05-30-2012, 09:15 AM
 
Location: Nebuchadnezzar
968 posts, read 1,931,297 times
Reputation: 348
I remember many years ago I went to SPU for a weekend science seminar. It felt very small, even smaller than my high school although it had more students. What i thought was interesting were the science lectures all had significant religious overtone. I am religious, I believe in my faith, but it was much more than I could handle. Times have changed so I suspect, it may not that way anymore. Good luck in your decision.
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Old 06-04-2012, 01:01 AM
 
Location: Okinawa, Japan
2 posts, read 12,104 times
Reputation: 10
Default Thanks.

Thank you all for the advice! It helped me a lot with my decision. I decided that SPU would be better for me (at least as an undergrad), and then I can always apply for a transfer to UW if I am completely unhappy.

Besides, UW is having some issues with my residency status. Lets just say that they don't like the fact that although I have hardly ever lived in WA, I'm still technically a resident (oh, the joys of being a military brat). I would rather not have to pay out-of-state tuition.

But thank you all again. Your opinions were very valuable!
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