Welcome to College Confidential!

The leading college-bound community on the web

Sign Up For Free

Join for FREE, and start talking with other members, weighing in on community discussions, and more.

Also, by registering and logging in you'll see fewer ads and pesky welcome messages (like this one!)

As a CC member, you can:

  • Reply to threads, and start your own.
  • Post reviews of your campus visits.
  • Find hundreds of pages of informative articles.
  • Search from over 3 million scholarships.

Brown vs. UChicago

goin4collegegoin4college Registered User Posts: 12 New Member
edited April 2012 in Brown University
Hi, decision day is only a few days away and I'm conflicted. I went to overnight programs at both schools and I had a lot of fun at both of them. I felt like I identified with both schools but in different ways.

A little info about me:
Math is my favorite subject right now and there's a decent but by no means certain possibility. I'm into a lot of other stuff like politics, history, physics, econ, chemistry, music, among others. The main debate I'm having with myself right now is between the (at least perceived) superiority of the UChicago math/sciences programs versus the freedom/choice of Brown. A little more about myself is I love to be in intellectually stimulating environments but I also just want to kick back and relax every once in a while.

I have a few questions/concerns about Brown. Anyone who can help answer these or give me any information that would help me make my decision would be very much appreciated.

1. How is the math department at Brown?

2. Brown of course is very liberal - while I'm liberal, I do want to be exposed to people of all different beliefs, political or otherwise. Can this experience be found at Brown?

3. How is the intellectual environment at Brown?

4. How hard is it to double major or combine majors?
Post edited by goin4college on

Replies to: Brown vs. UChicago

  • SereneSilverSereneSilver Registered User Posts: 64 Junior Member
    1. Disclaimer, I'm not concentrating in math or anything math-related and really only have anecdotes. Math is generally seen as pretty decent at Brown past the intro classes like multi or calc (which are often taught by graduate students). People have found it pretty challenging and it's fairly easy to move onto graduate math courses if you finish what you need/want from the undergraduate department

    2. Seems like you're aware that Brown is very liberal and while conservative camps do exist, they are most definitely not in the majority. Still, there are TONS of issues that are constantly debated (ROTC, social justice activism, Brown/Providence relationship to name a few); don't think that "liberal" is a blanket category implying consensus because it isn't.

    3. Just by dint of the people here, it's very easy to get drawn into intellectual debates and conversations, both informally and formally. On the whole, the student body LOVES to create forums and discussions on a whole range of issues concerning politics, literature, ethnic identity and its implications, etc etc hosted by Lecture Board, Janus Forum, cultural groups and so on. Still, this doesn't mean that every conversation is dominated by academic matters; we're all still college kids and like everyone else, there's plenty of talk about the weather, relationships, how much work you have on a given weekend...

    4. Fairly easy to double concentrate. There are certain concentrations like Applied Math and Geology that you kind of HAVE to combine with another (but it's more of a sub-set kind of thing), so like Applied Math-Bio is a subset of the Applied Math department. But if you truly want to concentrate in two different concentrations, be sure to look at your reasons for doing so. For one, you only get one physical diploma and two, it's very hard to take classes that otherwise might interest you and challenge you if you have to complete the requirements for two concentrations (a very anti-Brown thing).
  • aleph0aleph0 Registered User Posts: 238 Junior Member
    ^ No. Applied Math - Bio is not a "subset" of the Applied Math department, nor is it the case that the Applied Math concentration is only available as part of a multi-disciplinary concentration with another field. There is a concentration called "Applied Math" which is administered by the Applied Math department, and there are interdisciplinary concentrations (AM-Bio, AM-CS, AM-Econ) jointly administered by the Applied Math department and the Biology, Computer Science, and Economics departments respectively. In any given year, the joint concentrations are usually more popular, which might have led to SereneSilver's misconception.

    And everything I said above applies to Geology as well. The joint concentrations in this case are Geo-Bio, Geo-Chem and Geo-Math/Physics.
  • Cubsfan15Cubsfan15 Registered User Posts: 137 Junior Member
    I'll just speak to 1 and 4.

    1) Brown has a very good applied math department, but U Chicago is the better school for pure math.

    4) Since Brown has no requirements it is pretty easy to double or combine majors.
  • SereneSilverSereneSilver Registered User Posts: 64 Junior Member
    My apologies. Thanks for clearing that up.
This discussion has been closed.