So I have been accepted to UNC as well as USC (South Carolina). I am COMPLETELY torn between the two!! Obviously, I know UNC is a much more prestigious school but USC is also top for the programs I am interested in (Poli Sci or International Relations). I like the atmosphere at both schools and both campuses are pretty. USC trumps in sports, and I also like that it is farther away from home. Being close to home DOES have its advantages though. Basically, I like both for similar reasons. What is your opinion? Why would YOU choose UNC?!
ahhh, i feel like an idiot because i read usc and thought southern california even though you clearly stated it was south carolina. haha sorry.
UNC does have a MUCH better reputation and a stronger alum network so that would likely help you more in the job field and internship process. however, if UNC doesn't have a well-known poli sci/international relations program then USC might be better. you should also look at study abroad opportunities at both schools because it would be great to have spent time abroad, especially if you major in international relations.
have you done overnight visits on either campus? i'd suggest that so you can get a real feel for the school and figure out which works best for you.
in the end though, you have to go with your gut no matter what others tell you or what the rankings are. & you can always make pro & con lists (:
good luck deciding and congratulations!
I'm literally obsessed with pro/con lists...haha. UNC also has a wonderful poli sci major, one of the best in the nation...Although, no international relations major. I definitely want to study abroad, and both schools have excellent study abroad programs.
I stayed with a friend at UNC one night, so I got a bit of a feel for her dorm and her sorority (we went to a mixer), but that didn't really explain much about the school haha.
I'm hoping I'm able to go with my gut because it's all mixed up right now!! Thank you sooo much for your help!!
While UNC doesn't offer an international relations major, it does offer a global studies major, which is similar. The political science program, as you mentioned, is top notch. US News and World Report ranks it as the 13th best in the country at the graduate level. USC isn't even in the top 50.
There certainly are pros and cons to both UNC and USC. UNC is more prestigious and is ranked higher, but it is also more difficult. I have a good friend who had a very high GPA at USC and transferred to UNC. My friend's GPA dropped by over a point in his first semester here. If you want to go to a top grad school, there's something to be said about going to a school where you can make really good grades and have plenty of opportunities for research, even if that school is a bit less reputable academically. That being said, you can certainly make good grades at UNC if you put in the effort, and there is no shortage of research opportunities here.
Obviously there are a number of other considerations to take into account (cost, location, etc). On the whole, I would say that I do not at all regret my decision to attend UNC over state schools similar in reputation to USC. I love the balance between its academic rigor and vibrant social scene, and I know that I'll have plenty of opportunities to make the connections I'll need to be successful in the future.
Also, how does USC have better athletics? Their football team is better right now (though I have a feeling this will change in the next few years), and their baseball team is a bit better, but UNC dominates in virtually every other sport. Have you ever seen a South Carolina basketball game? Jesting aside, I hope I've helped you a bit with your decision.
It's very rare for someone to keep the same major during undergrad. I've posted the departmental rankings for UNC and USC. Keep in mind that if you change your major you'll want another top program which is not hard to find at UNC. You'll also see that UNC's political science program is ranked very high (#13).
#29 National Universities
#6 Best Undergraduate Business Programs
#22 International Business
#7 Production / Operations Management
#10 Quantitative Analysis
#13 Real Estate
#5 Top Public Schools
#22 High School Counselor Rankings
#12 Best Value Schools
U.S. News Best Grad School Rankings
#19 Best Business Schools
#10 Executive M.B.A.
#14 Production / Operations
#21 Supply Chain / Logistics
#29 Best Education Schools
#16 Curriculum and instruction
#18 Educational psychology
#13 Special education
#70 Best Engineering Schools
#11 Environmental / Environmental Health
#30 Best Law Schools
#17 Healthcare Law
#25 Law Firms Rank Schools
#2 Best Medical Schools: Primary Care
#20 Best Medical Schools: Research
#2 Family medicine
#22 Internal medicine
#6 Rural medicine
#13 Women's Health
#24 Biological Sciences
#6 Clinical Psychology
#20 Computer Science
#52 Earth Sciences
#12 African-American Literature
#16 American Literature After 1865
#13 American Literature Before 1865
#58 Fine Arts
#3 Healthcare Management
#7 African-American History
#10 European History
#9 Latin American History
#8 Modern U.S. History
#8 U.S. Colonial History
#4 Women's History
#1 Library and Information Studies
#5 Archives and Preservation
#1 Digital Librarianship
#2 Health Librarianship
#7 Information Systems
#13 School Library Media
#6 Services for Children and Youth
#4 Clinical Nurse Specialist: Community / Public Health
#4 Clinical Nurse Specialist: Psychiatric / Mental Health
#12 Nurse Practitioner: Adult
#11 Nurse Practitioner: Family
#10 Nurse Practitioner: Pediatric
#6 Nursing Service Administration
#5 Occupational Therapy
#11 Physical Therapy
#13 Political Science
#11 American Politics
#12 Comparative Politics
#10 Developmental Psychology
#14 Public Affairs
#5 City Management & Urban Policy
#8 Environmental Policy & Management
#16 Health Policy & Management
#24 Public Management Administration
#27 Public-Policy Analysis
#2 Public Health
#23 Rehabilitation Counseling
#8 Social Work
#10 Social Stratification
#7 Sociology of Population
#18 Speech-Language Pathology
#111 National Universities
#41 Best Undergraduate Business Programs
#1 International Business
#105 Best Undergraduate Engineering Programs
At schools whose highest degree is a doctorate
#54 Top Public Schools
#80 High School Counselor Rankings
U.S. News Best Grad School Rankings
#54 Best Business Schools
#36 Part-time M.B.A.
#112 Best Education Schools
#102 Best Engineering Schools
#78 Computer Engineering
#120 Electrical / Electronic / Communications
#74 Environmental / Environmental Health
#104 Best Law Schools
#81 Law Firms Rank Schools
#73 Best Medical Schools: Primary Care
#91 Best Medical Schools: Research
#160 Biological Sciences
#71 Clinical Psychology
#99 Computer Science
#81 Earth Sciences
Rank Not Published Economics
#134 Fine Arts
#46 Healthcare Management
#17 Library and Information Studies
#2 School Library Media
#11 Services for Children and Youth
#69 Physical Therapy
#51 Political Science
#72 Public Affairs
#23 Public Health
#62 Rehabilitation Counseling
#53 Social Work
#4 Social Psychology
#60 Speech-Language Pathology
UNC all the way! I know a girl who chose USC over UNC and everybody I know thought it was a really bad decision. I don't want to offend you, but UNC is significantly better academically and has a much better reputation.
Also, it is SUPER easy to double major in Global Studies and Poli Sci if that's what you're thinking. The polisci major is only 8 classes: two core classes, two you have to choose from a list of certain classes, and 4 classes from the polisci dept. Literally any at all, even 100 level.
Global Studies has theme and area concentrations, so you can make it whatever you think international relations should be. Theme concentrations: International politics, nation states, social movements; Global economics, trade, development; Global health and environment; and Transnational cultures, identities, arts. Area concentrations: Africa, Asia, Latin America, Middle East, Western Europe, and Eastern Europe. You have to take 6 levels of language in your area. You can either do 6 levels of one language or 4 levels of one in your area and 2 levels of another language. To clarify, you have to take through the 4th/6th level - if you place into the third level, you don't have to take 6 levels from there.
Also, there are a ton of classes that will double count! I'm probably a global studies major (Middle east concentration maybe? Arabic is hard!), and it seems to be a really popular major on campus. It's very interdisciplinary, so you can make of it what you want. I hope more details on the majors will help you make your decision.
If you have any questions, please feel free to PM me! I'm a first year and I absolutely love it here. From what I know of USC, it has more of a party college atmosphere, while UNC seems to have a perfectly balanced atmosphere. People are very academically inclined, but we still love going to games and having social lives! No matter who you are, you can find a niche.
Lastly, living close to home is actually really nice, as long as your parents promise not to randomly show up. I live 30 minutes away from UNC, and it's really a great situation for me. I have the ability to go home easily if I need or want to, but the atmosphere of Chapel Hill is significantly different from where I live so it feels far enough away.