Having slept for a solid 8 hours last night, I’m finally awake enough (and on top of homework enough) that I can blog, yayy.
First: !!!!!!!! Decisions in 6 days! I honestly cannot believe it’s been nearly two years since I got into this place. Good luck to all of you! I can’t wait to meet some of you at CPW :)
Second: I remember when it came time for me to make my decision regarding which college I wanted to go to, I was pretty torn over my options. I was mainly choosing between MIT (which is just awesome) and the Rice-Baylor med program (which would prevent me from taking the MCAT).
I thought I’d share my thoughts on this matter – since some of you admits (and soon-to-be admits!) might be wondering if MIT is a good school for pre-med students, especially since you’ve no doubt heard horror stories about the impossibility of maintaining a high GPA at MIT…*
My decision to pick MIT over Rice-Baylor was based largely on the fact that I knew I wanted to go into neuroscience (which is still a relatively new major at Rice) and the fact that MIT seemed to provide a ton of great opportunities for pre-med students, especially with several top-notch hospitals as well as Harvard Med basically next-door.
College Board breaks down MIT majors as follows:
Computer and Information Sciences: 13%
Physical Sciences: 10%
I’d say that’s pretty accurate. While it’s true that many MIT students are engineering majors, the life sciences are definitely not ignored. About 20% (perhaps even a little more – I just asked Suzie ’12 who’s sitting next to me, and she estimated that about 25% of MIT students are life sci majors) of MIT students are Biology, Chem, or Brain/CogSci majors. Speaking from the perspective of a Course 7/9 (Bio and Brain/Cog) student, I can definitely say I don’t feel lonely in either department :)
Here’s a list of some opportunities MIT provides its life science majors:
UROPs – The Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program a.k.a. what almost every MIT student participates in at some point during their MIT career. You get to do research with some of the smartest people in the world, and if you’re lucky, you get to publish something of your own.
Internships/Fellowships – I get at least one email every week from the Bio and Brain/Cog departments concerning available internships and fellowships. Saves me the trouble of having to look them up :)
Seminars – Undergraduates, graduates, and professors often come together to talk about different topics and latest in scientific research. I should go to more of these…
Visiting Scholars – There are soo many talks each week from researchers and scholars from other schools; take a look at the MIT events calendar – there’s always way too much going on.
Street Cred – when I email people and say, “hey, I’m interested in working with you – do you have any openings in your lab? Let me know,” people actually read the email – and respond :)
If you’re interested in knowing more about Life Sciences at MIT, you should check out their new website – and once you do that, go distract yourself with some stumbling so you don’t think about decisions until Pi Day.
Best of luck once again!
*…which is false, by the way. I know several sophomores with 5.0 GPAs right now, and I even know some seniors who have made it through MIT, participated in a good number of extracurriculars, and have never gotten anything lower than an A. Basically, my point is: it’s possible to maintain great grades here. So don’t let fears of a low GPA stop you from coming here!