NC Schools - Need Advice

We are very likely to move to NC next month. My husband’s job will be in Greensboro. I have comepleted all but Orgo for my Premed requirements at NU. We need to make a choice between living in Winston Salem or Chapel Hill. I plan to finsh up my Orgo requirement and hopefully find a research position. All my family is in NC and it would be a dream to get into a med school there, if all goes well…
My dilemma is, Orgo + Research at Wake Forest or UNC? I have heard very good things about UNC and would love to go to school there. But dont know much about WakeF. Living in Winston Salem means a shorter commute for my husband and a less expensive place. But not knowing much about Wake Forest, concerns me. If any of you went to or considered Wake Forest for Premed requirements and Med school and how it worked out for you, I’d like to hear your thoughts. Thank you so much!

One of the former peds residents here ,who was also on staff for 1 year, went to Wake. She and her husband are both from North Carolina. I could ask her if she minds an e mail to talk to you. She is very nice and approachable. Her husband is finishing up a fellowship here at Mayo.

Thank you so much! I appreciate the help.

You know what, the truth is that EITHER school would be great. So I would choose the place that is less expensive and a better commute for your husband. Since he is going to be pulling down a significant share of the household responsibilities, having a good commute seems wise. Just my .02

Thanks, Mary! My husband loved the suggestion!

I’m in Cary, which is nearer to Raleigh than Chapel Hill…
Depending on where you are… Winston-Salem probably has a lower cost of living… however… since UNC is a state school, the tuition there is much less than at Wake Forest…
You could probably live somewhere in between Greensboro and Chapel Hill and both commute evenly…
One thing I will say about UNC, because I’ve been on campus there a good bit… parking is a royal pain… I don’t know if they have special parking permits for med students… but anybody coming onto campus for any other reason that doesn’t have one has a bear of a time…
also something to consider…
good luck!

Hello. I’ve been out of the OPM loop lately, but I live in Greensboro now and just started my prereqs at UNCG. Greensboro is about 1 hour to Chapel Hill and about 30 minutes to Wake Forest.
If and when you move here, please contact me at It would be nice to meet you! I’m so sick of studying…(and not seeing results - but that’s a post for another time).
I’ll probably be applying to both UNC and Wake Forest (and all the VA & DC schools) in a few years.



We need to make a choice between living in Winston Salem or Chapel Hill.

First up, Wake Forest and UNC are not the only schools you may attend if you come to this area of North Carolina. In Winston-Salem, Wake Forest University and Winston-Salem State University. In Greensboro, North Carolina A&T and UNC-Greensboro (both are part of the UNC system) and Greensboro and Guildford Colleges. Between Greensboro and Chapel Hell, you will pass by Elon University. There’s also High Point University in…High Point, NC.

There are a number of schools at which to take Organic Chemistry. However if you are ONLY considering those two schools, my experience with trying to take classes at UNC-Chapel Hill has made me so bitter, I would not recommend it to any student.

Having moved to NC from another state, I will warn you about the in-state tuition. North Carolina schools require a 12-month residency in this state before awarding in-state tuition. In your first 12 months in NC, your tuition will not be significantly different between Wake Forest and UNC-Chapel Hill.

In my limited experience, research opportunities between Wake Forest and UNC-Chapel Hill will not differ significantly. The cost of living in Chapel Hill means you probably won’t be living in Chapel Hill anyway.

So my opinion is - live in the Greensboro area, take Organic at a university near you.

– Rachel

Excerpt from Duck’s post:


The cost of living in Chapel Hill means you probably won’t be living in Chapel Hill anyway.

I agree with Rachel’s cost-of-living assessment. I lived in Chapel Hill for seven years. Very, very expensive housing costs. Renting a 3 bedroom will cost you $1200/mo for substandard conditions and small sq footage. Owning will run $300K for zero-lot-line homes. Taxes are high (but is keeps the schools at high quality and the neighborhoods clean).
The schools are GREAT at the elementary and middle school level. I stayed in Chapel Hill for that reason. The high schools are excellent but are high stress for most of the kids who go there (teachers refer to the high schools as "the OTHER universities in Chapel Hill). A couple I know (both doctors) just moved out of the Chapel Hill school district so that their daughter won’t go to CHHSs. They say that they treat too many of the high school students for eating disorders brought on by perfectionism and the highly competitive H.S. atmosphere.

I think that Wake has a better program. They are a unique teaching hospital. When I lived in N.C, I went there on many occasions when family was treated there. The facility is nicer than Unc’s and the staff is more professional. I like Wake’s program and I’ve considered going there. Have you checked out East Carolina’s program? They have a good program too! not to mention that the beach is only about 20 minutes away!

Bowman Grey at Wake Forest has an excellent program… and one of the best pediatric gastroenterologist’s in the US. If they accept you… go for it!!!
I’ve applied there… but doubt that I’ll get in.
Good luck!

Thanks for all your posts. We are going to the NC area to check out the cities and commutes for my husband. We’ll make a decision on where to live very soon. Since I’ve decided to apply to med schools next year, my focus is to finish up my Orgo class and find a research project. Again, thank you all so much!