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MIT vs STANFORD

gunsofbrixtongunsofbrixton Posts: 19Registered User New Member
assuming you were accepted to both schools, where would you go and why?
i guess these are some things to take into consideration:
a) student life
b) level of difficulty (basically, stress level)
c) job offers after graduation

thanks!
Post edited by gunsofbrixton on
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Replies to: MIT vs STANFORD

  • texas137texas137 Posts: 2,143Registered User Senior Member
    my son had this choice and picked MIT because of the tech focus and a feeling that a higher percentage of his classmates would be smart in the same way he is. Assuming you are actually accepted at both places, you should definitely try to visit before you choose. The atmosphere is very different.
  • mekpeacenfoodmekpeacenfood Posts: 7Registered User New Member
    Let's be honest, at all of the top 5 sciences schools, you can get the same education. Period. They are also very similar in terms of research opportunity. You really won't find a lack of funding at these places. Matters of personal motivation, drive, committment, and (frankly) ability contribute much more than the professors, and your peers will be the same at both institutions.

    And to be blunt, Stanford is in sunny California, has a much broader range of undergrads, and a richer set of activities for you to enjoy--sports, language dorms, wine country...

    Stanford also has a huge alumni base, and strong respect across the nation.

    No-brainer.
  • 56forceout56forceout Posts: 139Registered User Junior Member
    Let's REALLY be blunt, MIT is in Cambridge, MA, spitting distance to Boston, the best college town in the world. Period. MIT has students from 62 different countries in the class of 2009 alone and for undergrad range, MIT has this short list of colleges within walking distance:
    Bay State College
    Berklee College of Music
    The Boston Architectural Center
    Boston College
    Boston Conservatory
    Boston University
    Bunker Hill Community College
    Cambridge College
    Emerson College
    Emmanuel College
    Fisher College
    Franklin Institute of Boston
    Harvard
    Katherine Gibbs School
    Lesley College
    Longy School of Music
    Massachusetts College of Art
    Massachusetts College of Pharmacy & Health Sciences
    MIT
    New England College of Optometry
    New England Conservatory
    New England School of Law
    Northeastern University
    Roxbury Community College
    Saint John's Seminary
    School of The Museum of Fine Arts
    Simmons College
    Tufts University
    Urban College of Boston
    UMass Boston
    Wentworth Institute of Technology
    Wheelock College
    Rich set of activities nearby, yeah, Boston has that too. Some of the Frats are in foul ball range of Fenway Park, New House Dorm has cultural houses and hey, you are close to maple syrup AND Lobster country.
    Alumni? Yeah, MIT has some of those too, and there are a few folks out there who respect MIT too.

    You're right - No Brainer.
  • molliebatmitmolliebatmit Posts: 12,255Super Moderator Senior Member
    My feeling (after interviewing this week at Stanford for a PhD program) is that the decision would have to be made on the basis of environment.

    Stanford is in Palo Alto, which is a very suburban part of the Bay area. There are few other college students with whom to interact, and it's difficult to get into the surrounding area unless you have the luxury of keeping a car on campus. A friend of mine who went to MIT for undergrad and is now a grad student at Stanford said it's been the biggest hassle to go to the grocery store, since it's not within walking distance.

    MIT is just across the Harvard Bridge from Boston, and if one were so inclined, it would be possible to go into the city every day. There are lots of other college students in the area (as 56forceout pointed out), and it's easy to get around the city without having to keep a car. (I think it's better not to have a car -- Boston drivers are crazy!)

    I don't buy the argument that MIT students aren't well-rounded. MIT students can be as well-rounded as they're inclined to be -- we can freely cross-register at Harvard, the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, and Wellesley. Moreover, there are a wide variety of humanities and social sciences classes on campus, plus an extensive menu of extracurricular arts and athletics activities. (Did you know we have the second-largest number of NCAA-recognized sports teams in the country?) Check out the variety of student groups.

    I don't buy any of mekpeacenfood's arguments -- Stanford and MIT have about the same number of undergraduate students (~6000 for Stanford vs. ~4000 for MIT), so there shouldn't be a difference in the size of the alumni network. MIT has plenty of student activities and possibilities for cultural education (we do have language dorms too), and we're very highly respected. We might not have wine country, but we have Landsdowne Street! :)

    All things being equal (which they never are!) I'd encourage the OP to go to the environment which is the least like what he/she experienced growing up. It's good for dedicated east/west coasters to experience life on the other coast.
  • texas137texas137 Posts: 2,143Registered User Senior Member
    I don't buy the argument that MIT students aren't well-rounded. MIT students can be as well-rounded as they're inclined to be
    I hope you don't think that I was arguing that MIT students are not well rounded. I totally agree with you! I have been very impressed with the well-roundedness of MIT students. But MIT is overall techier than Stanford. You don't go to MIT if you don't like math and science.
  • mootmommootmom Posts: 4,162Registered User Senior Member
    I absolutely agree with you, molliebatmit: going off to college is a great time to try a new environment. We live 20 min. from Stanford, and I am very happy my son chose MIT, if only so he could experience a new and different part of the country.

    (PS: It rains here all winter, and it snowed this past week. (!!) Wine country is a two-hour drive away, assuming you have a car and are 21 or over. Wineries *WILL* card.)
  • molliebatmitmolliebatmit Posts: 12,255Super Moderator Senior Member
    I hope you don't think that I was arguing that MIT students are not well rounded. I totally agree with you! I have been very impressed with the well-roundedness of MIT students. But MIT is overall techier than Stanford. You don't go to MIT if you don't like math and science.
    Nope, I was just disagreeing with just the popularly-held stereotype that MIT students aren't well-rounded, which I inferred from mekpeacenfood saying "[Stanford] has a much broader range of undergrads."

    I think that personally, I'm no wheel, but I don't think I'm flattering myself to say that I'd roll down a hill. Maybe I'd need a small kick. :D

    I totally agree that someone who's on the fence about science and engineering in general should wholeheartedly go to Stanford. You shouldn't choose MIT if you're not pretty set on science, engineering, or business.
  • JLPJLP Posts: 510Registered User Member
    Seeing as that was my choice last year, I would go to MIT.
  • texas137texas137 Posts: 2,143Registered User Senior Member
    Although individual MIT students are a lot more well-rounded than the stereotype, I also agree with mefenpeace than Stanford has "a much broader range of undergrads". Both schools will have students interested in theater, French literature, or sociology, but Stanford will have a lot more of them. And at MIT, students interested in those things also love and are good at math/science/engineering. At Stanford they may dislike or be pretty bad at those things.

    MIT wins more cross admits than they lose to Stanford, for whatever that's worth. Their whole applicant pool is probably different. I still think the best thing is to visit both and see where you fit it.
  • asdf123asdf123 Posts: 133Registered User Junior Member
    stanford has a lot more school spirit though! MIT students tend to be ostensibly unhappy a lot - that's part of the ihtfp culture, and it's not necessarily healthy. on the other hand, i probably wouldn't argue that stanford students are 100% happy-go-lucky and carefree.
    also, most mit students don't really interact that much with people from other schools (except BU, especially if you live at a fraternity) although there are definitely exceptions. also, practically nobody actually crossregisters at wellesley. (harvard is considerably more popular)

    just some additional things to think about :-)
  • molliebatmitmolliebatmit Posts: 12,255Super Moderator Senior Member
    MIT students tend to be ostensibly unhappy a lot - that's part of the ihtfp culture
    I also think that's partly due to the difference between the east and west coasts.
  • sransran Posts: 247Registered User Junior Member
    You forgot iltfp...

    Additionally, at MIT you have a whole new paradigm of fun.
  • texas137texas137 Posts: 2,143Registered User Senior Member
    MIT students tend to be ostensibly unhappy a lot - that's part of the ihtfp culture
    I also think that's partly due to the difference between the east and west coasts.

    I dunno. I found the "culture of shared misery" to be much stronger at Caltech than at MIT. I think a lot of MIT students are having the time of their lives (I know my son is).
  • Shark_biteShark_bite Posts: 1,561Registered User Senior Member
    Do you really expect anyone to pick Stanford on the MIT boards? That being said, I'd pick Stan, man.
  • mootmommootmom Posts: 4,162Registered User Senior Member
    The OP posted the same query on the Stanford boards, and presumably will read the responses and ponder.
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