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East Coast Colleges on the level of UC Berkeley


Replies to: East Coast Colleges on the level of UC Berkeley

  • NROTCgradNROTCgrad Registered User Posts: 1,730 Senior Member

    Since you are interested in Harvard and Yale, I thought that I would point out that neither one has an especially good engineering school. Their pre-med programs are unquestionably beyond reproach, but you can do better for engineering. Princeton has a very good engineering school. I always figured that Harvard's engineering school was hampered by the fact that MIT is literally down the street. Hard to compete with that.

    I recommend that you choose your college based on its engineering school. Then, if you do decide to go the pre-med route you will still be in good shape. If you do the opposite and choose the college based on the assumption of going pre-med, you could end up in a difficult situation if you change your mind and want to major in engineering. All good colleges have good pre-med programs. Not all of them have good engineering programs.
  • beyphybeyphy Registered User Posts: 2,237 Senior Member
    rjkofnovi wrote:
    To those who are geographically challenged, WUSTL is not an east coast school and really shouldn't even't be in this discussion.

    Says the guy who injected Michigan in the discussion.
    bluebayou wrote:
    greed. And of the publics, it's only Michigan, particularly given the following: I only meant schools with similar prestige and selectivity as Berkeley...

    Michigan may have similar prestige as Berkeley, but it certainly isn't as selective. According to USNWR, Michigan's admit rate was over twice what Berkeley's was in the same period (36.6% vs 18%) respectively.



    But given that Michigan is a MIDWESTERN university, I agree, it shouldn't be in this discussion.
  • rjkofnovirjkofnovi Registered User Posts: 10,042 Senior Member
    edited February 2014
    "The engineering schools at WUSTL or JHU are excellent"

    You got it half right.

    "I recommend that you choose your college based on its engineering school."

    WUSTL is not ranked any better than Harvard or Yale for overall undergraduate engineering. Here is a ranking from 2011. I cannot find a newer one, but ratings typically don't change very quickly at USNWR:

    September 2011 edited May 2012 in Engineering Majors
    (Where highest degree is a doctorate)

    1. MIT 4.9
    2. Stanford 4.8
    3. UC Berkeley 4.7
    4. Caltech 4.6
    5. Georgia Tech 4.5
    6. Illinois 4.4
    6. Michigan 4.4
    8. Carnegie Mellon 4.3
    9. Cornell 4.2
    9. Purdue 4.2
    11. Princeton 4.1
    11. Texas 4.1
    13. Northwestern 4.0
    13. Wisconsin 4.0
    15. Johns Hopkins 3.9
    15. Virginia Tech 3.9
    17. Penn State 3.8
    17. Rice 3.8
    17. Texas A&M 3.8
    20. Columbia 3.7
    20. UCLA 3.7
    20. UC San Diego 3.7
    20. Univ. of Washington 3.7
    24. Duke 3.6
    24. Maryland/CP 3.6
    24. Minnesota 3.6
    27. Harvard 3.5
    27. NC State 3.5
    27. Ohio State 3.5
    27. Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute 3.5
    27. Florida 3.5
    27. Penn 3.5
    27. USC 3.5
    34. UC Davis 3.4
    34. Colorado 3.4
    34. Virginia 3.4
    34. Vanderbilt 3.4
    38. Iowa State 3.3
    38. UC Santa Barbara 3.3
    38. Washington Univ/StL 3.3
    38. Yale 3.3
    42. Arizona State 3.2
    42. Brown 3.2
    42. Case Western 3.2
    42. Lehigh 3.2
    42. UC Irvine 3.2
    42. Notre Dame 3.2
    48. Michigan State 3.1
    48. Rutgers 3.1
    48. Arizona 3.1
    48. Pittsburgh 3.1
  • kei04086kei04086 Registered User Posts: 496 Member
    Haha if I got into Harvard or Yale I'd definitely go just for their pre med programs. I was looking for more safety/match/lower reach schools I can apply to IN ADDITION to my top choices
  • rjkofnovirjkofnovi Registered User Posts: 10,042 Senior Member
    "Says the guy who injected Michigan in the discussion."

    Even UCLA is better in engineering than WUSTL. Does that make you feel better beyphy?

  • tk21769tk21769 Registered User Posts: 9,812 Senior Member
    FWIW, USNWR ranks engineering programs. Biomedical engineering is WUSTL's highest ranked engineering program (at #12, about equal to Berkeley and Michigan). In the other 7 WUSTL ranks between 34th and 51st. At approximately the same rankings for each of these programs, you'll find some very prestigious schools (Ivies, etc.) To get much better, you're typically looking at a few super selective private schools (MIT, Caltech, Stanford) or else state universities that don't give very good need-based aid to OOS students. So if you want a selective private research university with decent engineering, WUSTL seems to be a relatively good choice (if you lend any credence to USNWR, that is.) On the other hand, it's not East Coast, its engineering programs generally aren't as strong as Berkeley's, it's more selective than Berkeley, and it is need-aware in admissions.

    For a low-income California resident who is seriously considering engineering, some of the best "match" or safety options are other California public schools. Many private schools in the east that are at least as prestigious for undergraduates as Berkeley also tend to be even more selective. They may or may not be more expensive (even after aid); they probably won't be as strong in engineering. Have a look at JHU and Cornell, though.

    If you eliminate engineering, the picture changes, especially if you are willing to consider small LACs. Vanderbilt, Tufts, Wesleyan, Haverford, Middlebury, and Davidson all claim to meet 100% of demonstrated need. They are all roughly as selective as Berkeley (or a bit more so, considering their higher average test scores).
  • NROTCgradNROTCgrad Registered User Posts: 1,730 Senior Member
    Since we are playing this game.... Vanderbilt is not East Coast either. It's almost as far away from NJ as WUSTL is (and even further in the cultural sense).

    Not a fun game, this East Coast gotcha. Think that I will go home. =;
  • simba9simba9 Registered User Posts: 2,695 Senior Member
    You can always cherry-pick rankings to make the school you're touting look good.
  • Blah2009Blah2009 Registered User Posts: 1,337 Senior Member
    edited February 2014
    ^indeed. It's laughable that nrotcgrad would compare wustl's absolutely abysmal engineering program to those of JHU and Berkeley. JHU also has a lower acceptance rate than WUSTL and a higher US news rank in most programs across the board and overall at the undergraduate level. if anything, wustl is not on the same level as most of the schools mentioned in this thread.

    As for undergraduate selectivity (berkeley stats taken from their website, while the latest wustl and jhu class of 2017 stats are taken from www.collegeboard.com)

    JHU SAT: 1360-1520, 17% acceptance rate. 31-34 ACT

    Berkeley: 21% acceptance rate, 1250-1480 SAT (easier to get in than most of the privates mentioned when factoring in spring admits and larger amounts of merit aid in the context of undergraduate academic profile), 28-32 ACT

    WUSTL: 18% acceptance rate, 1410-1560 (substantial amount of merit aid given relative to JHU despite only 33% yield versus JHU's 38%). 32-34 ACT. Not sure how WUSTL would be considered on JHU's level if merit aid boosted test scores were excluded (students that would not have chosen wustl otherwise given the lower overall yield)

    I would say JHU or Berkeley for the best bang for the buck.
  • tk21769tk21769 Registered User Posts: 9,812 Senior Member
    edited February 2014
    ^^ UVa may belong on the OP's short list. It does have the right mix of selectivity, prestige, and Eastern location (although Charlottesville isn't the most convenient destination from a NJ home base). For financial aid, engineering strength, and location, Hopkins or Cornell might be better alternatives (although I still think the OP's best "match" choices probably are California public schools).
  • kei04086kei04086 Registered User Posts: 496 Member
    Is UC Berkeley really on the same level as UPenn? Isn't UPenn in a different league than UCB?
  • rjkofnovirjkofnovi Registered User Posts: 10,042 Senior Member
    "Is UC Berkeley really on the same level as UPenn? Isn't UPenn in a different league than UCB?"

    For engineering, Cal is in a different league for sure.
  • tk21769tk21769 Registered User Posts: 9,812 Senior Member
    edited February 2014
    ^ In most engineering fields (other than biomedical), that appears to be true. Nevertheless, Penn is a more selective university (with higher test scores and a lower admit rate from a truly national applicant pool). If you want an Ivy with strong engineering, but not too much more selective than Berkeley, Cornell comes closer (although it is more selective for A&S/engineering applicants than its overall admission stats suggests).

    RML, Georgetown has no engineering programs. I don't think it is particularly strong in physical sciences, either. It is more selective than Berkeley (lower admit rate, higher scores), although if you pull out the SFS and look only at Georgetown College, they may be pretty close.

    UCLA, UC Davis, or UCSD match the OP's requirements better than most of the schools we're mentioning (unless you forget about engineering and definitely want some East Coast schools on your list for whatever reason.)
This discussion has been closed.