Large vs small

Lauri Lintott llintott at acs.ucalgary.ca
Thu Nov 24 14:37:47 EST 1994


Dear Pat,
I went to a small University for my undergrad and then moved to a
much larger one for my graduate work and  I think
this worked in my favor.  The largest science class I ever had to
sit in was 100 people.  The bulk of my Biology classes after the
introductory class were 5 - 40 people and ther were 15 people in
my graduating class.  By the end of my 3rd year I knew most of
 my proffessors personally, and I still go back and visit
them when ever I am home.  I could go to almost any of them at
any time for one on one help or disscussions.  
    My undergrad degree is a BSc. in Biology, no specializations 
were offered although I took every molecular type class offered.
I didn't get all the courses I wanted as some were offered only once every
2 years but I had no trouble picking up a couple of courses to
fill in the gaps once I got to grad school.  I was really worried
about measuring up once I got to a bigger university with a huge
biology department but I think I probably had a better background
than the grad students who graduated from larger universities.  I
did allot of research in my 3rd and 4th years and
even managed to get published, although I didn't find this
to be an advantage when applying to grad schools, they are
primarly (at least in Canada) interested in marks and wether you
can get scholarships (which also depends heavily on marks).  My
research experiance did help me alot in grad school though.
I didn't intend to be so long winded so the bottom line is stay
were you are if you are comfortable with that.  Get good marks
and then choose your graduate school and the lab you will go to
with extreme care.  Worry less about the size and prestige of the
school and more about what type of education you want.  Good
publications from your graduate work will get you a good postdoc
and this will be the most important thing when you look for jobs. 



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