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Princeton vs. Yale vs. Penn

voguefashionvoguefashion Registered User Posts: 23 New Member
edited April 2011 in Princeton University
I never banked on getting into my top choice schools and now I have an incredibly difficult decision to make. I'm looking to focus on global affairs and peace/justice studies and all three schools offer incredible opportunities for my intended field. I am also a very, very social person and want to enjoy the next four years to the fullest. Any advice on which schools have the best international relations curriculum and would provide a 'balanced' experience?

Thanks In Advance

p.s. A huge congrats to to everyone on all of their amazing college acceptances.
Post edited by voguefashion on

Replies to: Princeton vs. Yale vs. Penn

  • randombetchrandombetch Registered User Posts: 1,079 Senior Member
    It's not that difficult - you should come to Princeton. I have never met anyone here to graduate and think "I wish I went to Harvard/Yale/Penn" - I can guarantee you you'd love Princeton.

    Whatever your goal is, I can also guarantee you that our alumni network is extremely strong and likely stronger than Yale's or Penn's. That's why we have a 60% donation rate and why we have the highest per capita endowment.

    If you're interested in global affairs, it's not even a close comparison. Our Woodrow Wilson program (Public and International Affairs) blows Yale's and Penn's respective programs out of the water. Our Woody Woo majors actually get a real world problem to solve in an assigned "task force," do research on the problem, and present their findings to important political figures in Washington DC. I have never heard of any program as strong as ours when it comes to international affairs.

    Also, Princeton's pretty known to be the most party-heavy socially-inclined Ivy league school because of our Prospect Avenue ("the street").

    I'm a junior here - feel free to ask me if you have any specific questions. Definitely try to come to our Princeton Preview! :)
  • poste3poste3 Registered User Posts: 134 Junior Member
    Princeton's pretty known to be the most party-heavy socially-inclined Ivy league

    It is obvious you dont know what a real "party" is like, princeton is actually one of the worst socially.

    Harvard- you got boston
    Penn- you got philly plus a big frat scene
    Dartmouth- big frat scene
    Columbia- new york
    Brown- kinda lame aswell
    Cornell- frat scene
    yale- lame
    Princeton- lame aswell

    In my opinion and people that i know in princeton, the social scene sucks, it is mostly based on the eating houses and that gets boring quickly
  • voguefashionvoguefashion Registered User Posts: 23 New Member
    @randombetch: Thanks for answering, really appreciate the response. I'm going to the Princeton Preview of April 14-17(so excited!). Princeton would definitely be my top choice because of the Woodrow Wilson School. My only issue is that the program is selective, so there is no guarantee that I would have those opportunities even though I've been admitted. Do you know anything about admission to the "Woody Woo"(love that name :))?

    Also what is the social scene like on weekdays and on the weekend( i.e. eating clubs, bars, parties, and going into the city)?

    @poste3: This is what a few people have told me. But the eating clubs sound really interesting to me...
  • randombetchrandombetch Registered User Posts: 1,079 Senior Member
    Princeton's pretty known to be the most party-heavy socially-inclined Ivy league

    It is obvious you dont know what a real "party" is like, princeton is actually one of the worst socially.

    Harvard- you got boston
    Penn- you got philly plus a big frat scene
    Dartmouth- big frat scene
    Columbia- new york
    Brown- kinda lame aswell
    Cornell- frat scene
    yale- lame
    Princeton- lame aswell

    In my opinion and people that i know in princeton, the social scene sucks, it is mostly based on the eating houses and that gets boring quickly

    Haha are you in high school still, right? When you go to college, you usually have friends at lots of colleges. I've partied at many, many schools, including many state schools, other Ivy League schools, and many top private schools. Princeton has a really great social scene that is unique and a lot of fun. By the way, they're called eating clubs. How many people do you know at Princeton? Because just from my facebook, I probably know about 400 more Princeton students than you do, and I never really hear complaints about the street getting boring.

    And you measure how good a social scene is solely by it's frattiness (what does a city have to do with the school's social scene?)? Um yeah, okay have a ton of fun at Duke then.

    To answer vogue's follow up questions - you shouldn't have to worry about Woodrow Wilson school admissions. It's about a 50% admit rate, but most non-legacy non-athletes who apply end up getting in because their GPA's tend to be higher (not to say that athletes/legacy students don't get in). If you got in to Princeton for your academics and your extracurricular accomplishments, I'm sure you'll get into Woody Woo. And if you don't get in, I guess you'd be stuck with only the #1 ranked political science department in the country (both in general and for international politics).

    Most of the social scene revolves around Thursdays and Saturdays where most of the eating clubs are open and on tap. On Fridays, there are a couple open as well. Dorm room parties are going on around Thursdays-Saturdays as well of course. As far as bars, I don't think many students go to the bars around campus. Going to the city is pretty common - not really my cup of tea though. When you join an eating club, your eating club will have its own events ever other week or so that you'll probably want to attend - they're tons of fun.
  • FightTheTide11FightTheTide11 Registered User Posts: 426 Member
    If you come into Princeton wanting to do Woody Woo because you actually care about global affairs and are willing to take courses/participate in extracurricular activities to demonstrate that focus, getting into Woody Woo shouldn't be a problem.
  • PtonGrad2000PtonGrad2000 Registered User Posts: 1,368 Senior Member
    Voguefashion, you can be confident of getting a great education at any one of these three fine institutions. As for Princeton, it does indeed have a strong reputation for international relations studies. The only 'ranking' as such is done once every couple of years by Foreign Policy Magazine. Here are the most current survey results from their 2008 ranking of programs in global affairs.

    Inside the Ivory Tower | Foreign Policy

    "Who’s at the Top of the Class?

    Dramatic changes in the ranking of leading IR programs are rare. This year’s [2008] findings provide no exception; the perennial powers stay on top.

    For the top two seats in all three categories—Ph.D., master’s, and undergraduate programs—Harvard and Princeton, Georgetown and Johns Hopkins, and Harvard and Princeton, respectively, maintained their slots. But that’s not to say nothing changed: Stanford unseated Columbia’s doctoral program and climbed to the No. 3 slot. In the undergraduate ranking, Yale took the No. 3 spot from Stanford. "


    Scholars in the field were asked to select the top five programs in the country. The rankings were compiled from those responses with the scores indicating the percentage of scholars who felt each program was one of those top five.

    2008 Top Undergraduate Programs in International Relations

    Rank % Score

    21%
    Harvard
    16%
    Princeton
    12%
    Georgetown, Stanford, Yale
    11%
    Columbia
    7%
    U. of Chicago
    5%
    Dartmouth


    2008 Top PhD Programs in International Relations

    Rank % Score

    66%
    Harvard
    50%
    Princeton
    45%
    Stanford
    37%
    Columbia
    26%
    Yale
    24%
    U. of Chicago
    19%
    Berkeley
    16%
    U. of Michigan

    For those interested in more information about the study of international relations and the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton, see:

    Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs | Home
  • voguefashionvoguefashion Registered User Posts: 23 New Member
    Thank you all for your insight, much appreciated! Getting into Woody Woo would be a dream.

    I also am curious about the transition from highschool to Princeton in terms of coursework. Do students really suffer because of Princeton's grade deflation policy?

    Thanks Again!
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