Brown vs Notre Dame vs BC

I am an international student and am struggling to select a university. I have been accepted to BC (CSOM), Notre Dame (Mendoza), and Brown University. I would like to study Economics and would be interested in doing a double major in finance. I am generally a more conservative person, which is why I’m having certain doubts about Brown; also, Brown doesn’t have a Finance major. However, I think its important to consider its an Ivy, which carries a lot of prestige nowadays and would be a huge boost to my future. On the other hand, ND and BC would provide a more “fitting” curriculum to what I want to study. I’d like to know what you think is the best choice.

You seem to be very well reasoned in your approach.

Brown is not conservative. But it’s great in its own way. It’s a cool place and top school.

Carroll School and Mendoza are peers imho for finance. ND is generally assumed to be a tiny bit more selective. A lot of it has to do with American football and unbelievably loyal and grateful alums. For B School it is not the case. They are peers. Imho.

ND is considered the most socially conservative and religious of the three. But it’s not a seminary. It’s a fun place too.

You can’t go wrong here.


My son is an applied math and Econ major at Brown. Both departments are highly ranked and regarded on a national level. Given the flexible curriculum he has also been able to take several entrepreneurship classes and tailored his other classes to his interests.

There are a large variety of entrepreneur, finance and investing clubs on campus that draw I banks, consulting firms and other Ivy students to campus seemingly every weekend for various competitions or “hacks”. They frequently team or compete against other Ivies which builds a great network.

The school also offers the BEO concentration which combines business, entrepreneurship and organizational behavior. Once again the flexibility in course selection ensures every class you take is one you choose and find meaningful.

The contacts are an intangible that is hard to measure. Even as an underclasman my son has secured an “externship” for this summer at a top investment bank having interacted with an alum at an on campus event (not Bank of America whose CEO Brian Moynihan is a Brown alum).

Lastly the school is liberal but according to my son who is relatively conservative, everyone is respectful of one another’s opinions. He feels his debate skills have been sharpened by being part of the 30% of centrist or conservative kids he approximates are on campus. He also has mentioned how open to international students the school is, and how all diversity is respected.

You have several great choices and can’t go wrong. We know kids that have enjoyed and thrived at both BC and ND. Brown’s most distinguishing attributes will be the flexibility to focus on what interests you, world class resources and faculty, an Ivy alumni network and being a recruiting target school for almost all premier I bank and consulting firms. Lastly, the grading system can help later for grad school admissions.

The other schools you mention clearly share some of these attributes and offer things Brown doesn’t. Tough decision but when presented with similar options last year my son choose Brown and has been thrilled with the decision.

Good luck.