Undergrad neuro: small liberal arts, or big university?

Richard S. Norman rnorman at umich.edu
Sun Sep 22 09:32:00 EST 2002

On Sun, 22 Sep 2002 13:12:25 GMT, "Thalamus" <zhil at online.no> wrote:
>"Brandon Field" <phanbran at yahoo.com> skrev i melding
>news:2f61be35.0209220325.777e31a3 at posting.google.com...
>> I am having a difficult time deciding between a smallll liberal arts
>> school with a decent neuro program (such as colgate, franklin and
>> marshal, lafayette, skidmore) and a big university with a large
>> neuroscience program. What are some of the pro's/cons of the two?
>Chose the bigger school.

I strongly disagree.  Small schools have some disadvantages but also
have large positive attractions.  The more important thing is going to
a good graduate school.  How you get there is a different story. It is
also very valuable to go one place as an undergraduate, another as a
grad student, and still another lab as a post-doc to get a wider
variety of laboratory experience (not to mention life experience)..

At a small school, you may in fact have a better opportunity to 
become involved in faculty research and to work much more closely with
the faculty (as opposed to grad students and post docs).  You will
interact much more closely with faculty in classes as well.  You will
have a really fine opportunity to get a first-rate liberal education,
not merely professional training. And the social experience can be far
superior.  On the other hand, small undergraduate schools can be a bit
limiting if you outgrow the course selection available.  Hanging out
with grad students can be valuable, too.  

Your own personality is the key.  Some students thrive at large
campuses, others simply get swallowed up in the mob.  Some students
bloom at small campuses, others fade.

Find out about the success that the smaller schools have in placing
students into grad school when you visit them. And  make sure you
consider your education as a whole person.

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