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Brown or Columbia for sophomore transfer

tding7tding7 2 replies1 postsRegistered User New Member
edited May 10 in Columbia University
Hi! I'm a first year student at a top public school (one of UC Berkeley, UVa, UMich) who was accepted by both Brown and Columbia (Columbia College) as a sophomore transfer. Right now I am having a hard time pick one between the two. Both schools are similar cost and weather-wise. I'm slightly leaning towards the Core Curriculum as my intended fields are Philosophy and Political Science or Economics - which are closely related to the Core - but think I would also enjoy the freedom offered by the Open Curriculum. In terms of location, I think NYC will offer more opportunities but Providence has this close-knit college town feeling, which I think I will also enjoy. I see myself as more of a "work hard" type of person - as opposed to "work hard, play harder" - and I intend to go to law school after college.

I would say I'm slightly leaning towards Columbia, but as I don't have a chance to visit the school before the decision deadline, I would like to ask the following questions:
1. If you have attended either school, what are the things that you like the most / the least about your school? For people who transferred to either school, could you talk about your experience as a transfer student?

2. How is administration and bureaucracy like in Columbia? Is grade inflation bad at Columbia?

4. How difficult it is to get undergraduate research opportunities at Columbia, as the school has a pretty large graduate division.

5. What's it like to study Philosophy, Political Science or Economics like at Columbia? Does Columbia have an edge in these fields over Brown (in terms of the quality of undergraduate education, job opportunities, etc.)

6. I wonder if it's true that Columbia has less "school spirit" than other ivies. In terms of network, how accessible is the alumni network at Columbia?

Thanks so much in advance!! :D
edited May 10
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Replies to: Brown or Columbia for sophomore transfer

  • AspiringacademicAspiringacademic 116 replies3 postsRegistered User Junior Member
    Hey there. I can speak to the philosophy department at both programs. Overall, Columbia is a somewhat stronger program, but if you want to study normative ethics, political philosophy, or early German Idealism (Kant), Brown will have the edge. Columbia's strengths are in 19th and 20th century continental philosophy and philosophy of mind. It's also fairly strong in philosophy of science. I do think you'd have more room for undergraduate research opportunities at Brown, though.
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