Undergraduate Admissions

Follow us!

Just Down the Coast!

OK so I have completed my third interview in one week! It’s crazy to think last Monday I was in Chicago and I just got back from San Diego! Since I don’t have a car, I got there using the train. Amtrak was actually pretty convenient and got me from Union Station in Downtown LA to Solana Beach in Northern San Diego in about 2 hours. And what a beautiful train ride it was!

So I got down to UCSD and had a bit of time to tour around the school and take pictures so I could remember it (and to show you, since it’s much more exciting than reading paragraphs of descriptions!). Enjoy!

It’s really cool to go to all of these schools, since they’re all so different and in new, exciting places. San Diego was BEAUTIFUL – definitely recommend a visit there if you get the chance. Clear air, sunny beaches, very different from LA in culture and atmosphere. Though it was only a couple of hours away, I really felt like I was on vacation! Maybe that’s how it’d feel while I’m there for 8 years getting my MD and PhD…

The school itself was really exciting – lots of work going on at partner affiliated institutions which are all adjacent to the UCSD campus itself. It’s HUGE, though! I can’t get over that – I’m so used to rolling out of my room 5 minutes before class here at Caltech, and in 5 minutes I can barely get anywhere on the campus! The students seemed excited about the program and everyone there was really helpful – overall a great experience.

On a side note, I actually got to meet up with a couple of Caltech alums! I stayed with an ’06 grad, which was neat because he was a Flem (member of Fleming House) like myself so we could catch up old traditions. I also was interested in his experience in med school coming from Caltech. He said it was a lot more memorizing than Caltech, and that we are more focused on deeper understanding and connections between concepts here than just absorbing information. I actually asked him for some help on my Anatomy/Physiology HW and he said they didn’t have to "derive" anything like we did on the set! Interesting comparison. I also met up with an ’08 grad who is in the MD program at UCSD. She’s a San Diego native, so she loved it, obviously. But I met people from all over the country, not just California.

Overall, I really enjoyed my visit to San Diego. I learned a lot about the program, and I think I’m still keeping these schools straight! Now I can actually REST for about a week – my next interview isn’t until next Tuesday. So I have a chance to catch up on work and focus on the present, not my future! It’ll be a welcomed break :).

ON ANOTHER NOTE: For all you prospective applicants, Caltech offers a "Med Scholars" program by which you can be admitted to both Caltech and the UCSD med school all in one shot. If you’re really interested in medicine from this early age, I would look into it! Contact the admissions office for more info!

Andrew Freddo ’10

Chemistry and Biology, Class of 2010

My name is Andrew, and I am beginning what looks to be a busy and exciting senior year! I’m originally from New Jersey, and always try to give my friends here at Caltech a taste of my East Coast roots. Outside of my chemistry and biology classes, I enjoy cooking (Italian food, of course!), giving admissions tours, writing food reviews with fellow blogger Dannah, and catching up with my favorite TV shows. Academically, this year will truly be a culmination of my first three at Caltech. I am currently applying for combined MD/PhD programs (also knows as MSTPs ? Medical Scientist Training Programs). In addition to juggling my sets and exams, I’m going to be visiting many schools around the country to interview for their programs. I’ll definitely be logging lots of frequent flier miles, snapping lots of pictures, and learning a lot about medical and graduate school!