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How do I Choose the Best Undergraduate Biochemistry Program?

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  • Written By: wiseGEEK Writer
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 19 September 2018
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Choosing the best undergraduate biochemistry program may take a lot of work or a little. This is because people have different aims and objectives when entering biochemistry studies, and they certainly have a variety of requirements for programs, in addition to limitations as students (like low funding or imperfect grades). It’s therefore difficult to say which program is best for everyone, but there are many things incoming students can do to make choices on colleges they’d like to attend or that are likely to accept them.

Lots of different schools exist that have a very good to excellent undergraduate biochemistry program. Sometimes one of the major requirements for students is the likelihood of being able to get a PhD after graduation. There are lists of schools that include average percentage of students who go on to doctorate studies or to medical school, since biochemistry is an acceptable major for this. These aren’t exactly a measure of the school’s quality, since the percentage of graduate students isn’t always a measure of program. However, if first concern is getting into graduate school, it might be wise to take a look at such lists to determine which schools represent greater likelihood of future studies.

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Each school on any kind of list could then be measured against other standards. People should figure out where the school is located, how big each program is, and how much interaction students get with professors instead of graduate students. Location can be an important factor; people may want to be far from home or close to it. Some students may prefer bustling programs with a huge faculty and an even larger student population, while others find a small undergraduate biochemistry program more attractive. Interaction with professors is a valid consideration because in some schools, students will barely meet professors until their upper years, and having closer attention from teachers may prove extremely helpful.

Other things can go into assessing a school. Students in this major may want to know what research or internship opportunities exist for the undergraduate at a particular school. An additional point to think about is which schools could be reasonably expected to accept a student. The list of biochemistry undergraduate program choices may be short if grades and college entrance exam tests were poor. There is a way to fix this, and it is by attending a junior or community college for the first two years, getting very good grades, and then transferring to a biochemistry program. In most cases, colleges only look at college grades for juniors that apply, and this may wipe away poor grades in high school.

Best undergraduate biochemistry programs can also be measured by affordability. It’s true that perhaps the Ivy League school is a little more prestigious. Some of the most recognizable schools do have very good scholarship programs, especially for low-income students, but they also have a high number of applicants and not every student falls into low-income status. If economics is an issue, people should be assured that there are excellent programs at many state schools, which are more affordable. Consider looking at state universities that are attached to medical schools, especially if medical studies are the goal, or those which have reported good reputations or high profiles through research findings.

Each person ultimately decides which is the best undergraduate biochemistry program given many variables. People may also get advice from family, school counselors, and many others along the way. It can also be helpful to visit some school campuses before sending out applications. Personal opinions of faculty and getting student reviews of a program might be given equal weight with other factors when determining to which programs a person should apply.

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