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Penn vs Columbia

muerteapablomuerteapablo - Posts: 1,412 Senior Member
edited May 2008 in Columbia University
OK, quick background:
Want to major in Philosophy/Neurobio (not completely sure which), and be pre-med. A transfer student to both schools from Cornell.
Annnnnnnnnnd.... go.
Post edited by muerteapablo on

Replies to: Penn vs Columbia

  • Casey2889Casey2889 Registered User Posts: 231 Junior Member
    im biased, but id say columbia for sure. the academics are better at columbia and you'll also get a more well rounded liberal arts education, which for someone who isn't quite sure about their major, is probably a good thing.

    social life at penn is a lot like cornell though, if that is a factor. much less of that traditional school spirit at columbia, no one really goes to football/basketball games.

    columbia is an intellectual's school and is fairly political. penn is, well, different...penn, and not just wharton, has a very career oriented undergraduate population that is significantly more apolitical, and nearly twice as large as that of columbia.

    if prestiege is a factor, i'd also say that columbia is a bit more prestigious than penn as well...in USNWR, penn's financial resources and alumni giving are #7 and its faculty resources are #1, (columbia is #16 in both those categories) so its ranked a bit higher overall (#7 vs. #9), but columbia's peer assesment, selectivity rank, and SAT range are all higher.

    but thats all BS. just choose what feels right for you. have you visited?
  • collegegrad1collegegrad1 Registered User Posts: 15 New Member
    haha "faculty resources"...i'd be curious as to how those are defined exactly.

    neuroscience is a big field at columbia. recent nobel winners include Eric Kandel and Richard Axel. i know columbia is investing a lot of resources into the field for the upcoming years. i'm sure neuro receives significant focus at penn, too, however.

    if you're in CC, the core will give you a pretty heavy dose of philosophy, so you might not need to do a formal concentration in that area. that might be nice for you, since you already seem to be juggling a neuro major and pre-med.

    other than that, as casey said, choose based on environment and what feels right.
  • collegegrad1collegegrad1 Registered User Posts: 15 New Member
    also...people do go to the basketball games at columbia (less so football, since the stadium's far away). they just don't care enough to get down if the team loses.
  • Venkat89Venkat89 Registered User Posts: 7,327 Senior Member
    At Penn you can combine philosophy and neuroscience:
    Institute for Research in Cognitive Science
  • muerteapablomuerteapablo - Posts: 1,412 Senior Member
    Ummm that's the sweetest thing that I have ever seen.
  • eatsaloteatsalot Registered User Posts: 1,465 Senior Member
    omg venkat89 THAT PROGRAM IS AMAZING..
  • muerteapablomuerteapablo - Posts: 1,412 Senior Member
    I was waitlisted, and I'm trying to figure out if I want to stay on the waitlist.
  • nyctransfer12nyctransfer12 Registered User Posts: 26 New Member
    I'm in the same situation!

    I was admitted to Columbia and Penn, too. I visited Columbia on Tuesday and Penn yesterday. (Haha I may go back to Columbia again, today, as I'm from NYC.)

    In any case, I'm double majoring in Econ and Spanish. I know both schools have excellent Econ programs and everything.

    Questions: Do Penn people get off campus a lot? Is the Greek Life there completely dominant of the social scene?

    What do I do?!?! haha thanks for your help in advance :)
  • muerteapablomuerteapablo - Posts: 1,412 Senior Member
    Go to Penn - great spanish department, you can take classes at wharton in terms of econ, and they are very good with double majoring/ getting a dual degree.
  • Casey2889Casey2889 Registered User Posts: 231 Junior Member
    aka "go to penn and give me your spot at columbia"

    haha stealth move there muerteapablo, i respect that.
  • muerteapablomuerteapablo - Posts: 1,412 Senior Member
    You have no idea; I already convinced another kid to go to Penn instead of Columbia.
    Although in nyc's case, it actually does make sense for her to go to Penn.

    Actually, now I'm kinda smitten with the place myself, but I think that's only because I keep imagining myself there.
  • lvilleslackerlvilleslacker Registered User Posts: 345 Member
    that program looks horrible. it's a bunch of random classes with cy consistency in terms of required classes that they call an "interdisciplinary" major. there aren't even any classes specifically designed for it. all you're getting is like two minors in their listed fields of "biology, computer science, linguistics, mathematics, neuroscience, philosophy and psychology."
  • collegegrad1collegegrad1 Registered User Posts: 15 New Member
    neuroscience is nowhere near the point of being able to definitively answer the great philosophical questions. Neuroscience and philosophy are effectively separate disciplines at this point in time, and therefore I would argue that, if a student is to give each field the attention it deserves, the two subjects are best studied separately.
  • aworldapartaworldapart - Posts: 223 Junior Member
    Philosophy studies the metaphysical, neuroscience studies the physical. They are in completely different spheres of existence and there is absolutely know correlation between the two yet.
  • collegegrad1collegegrad1 Registered User Posts: 15 New Member
    ^ well i don't completely agree with that. the two are certainly on a converging path, and over time they'll become even more intertwined...so i wouldn't say they're in different spheres. but for now, neuro seems to be too much in its infant stage to be able to provide unequivocal answers to philosophical questions. so my point was just that, until neuro moves further along, it's probably best to give each discipline the attention it deserves by studying it independently. my opinion is that doing an interdisciplinary major b/w the two is probably jumping the gun...but to each his own.
This discussion has been closed.