Brown vs UPenn vs Columbia - Sciences Po Dual Degree

Hi guys! College decisions are in and I’m pleased to say that I’ve been accepted at 3 of my top choice programs: Brown University, University of Pennsylvania (CAS), and Columbia University’s dual degree with Sciences Po.

Problem: I don’t know which to choose! I want to major in Political Science or IR. For the Dual, I would do Political Science at Sciences Po and Economics at Columbia.

I’m mostly stuck between Brown and Columbia. Although I feel as though the Columbia program, in particular, is perfect, super niche and will help me in terms of my career, I don’t know if I am willing to sacrifice the four-year traditional college experience. Also, the bachelor’s degree I would get from Columbia would be from the school of General Studies and not Columbia College, which makes me scared that I will be treated as a second-class student when I get to campus. Dual BA students will share the same classes and resources as students from CC, but GS is considered less prestigious. I know I shouldn’t care about such things, but I can’t help being a bit concerned about it.

Please help!!! I’m all ears. Thanks guys.

I think Brown will be a nicer and more traditional college experience. I’d pick Columbia for math and stem, Penn for Wharton, if you need to be closer to your future employers, otherwise I think Brown is a better choice.


Choose between Brown and Penn.

I’ve heard that the actual educational experience at Sciences Po is much worse than what you’d find at an elite American private. And you could still study abroad for a year if you choose Brown/Penn.

Of Brown vs Penn, I’d choose Brown for more of an undergraduate focus.

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hey, hope this isnt too late!! i would say without a single shadow of a doubt the Columbia - Sciences Po Dual Degree Program!!

I wrote this for another post but ill copy most of what i said here too!

first off congrats on being admitted to both (PM if you commit to the dual degree id love to see you when i get there in September) :slight_smile: theres quite a few reasons why:

  1. The whole GS thing isnt a problem, in fact I’d say its actually a HUGE advantage! i know that was one of my worries too. First off, all of your classes are with CC students and housing can be with whoever. Most importantly, you graduate with the exact same degree, a Columbia degree, not a GS or CC specific degree (important to keep in mind!). However, being in GS has pretty big advantage such as being able to get priority pick over any class (!) as well as housing and having special access to some events. I’ve talked to a couple people already in columbia about it, and i think a lot of the social-exclusion-steriotypes come from the fact that most GS students are 26, married, with kids. so yeah if you’re 8 years older than everyone w a life established you dont really fit in, but for the dual degree, if you’re the same age and a regular student who goes to the same social and same classes theres no reason not to fit in!
  2. getting both degrees is an immeasurable advantage compared to doing four years and only getting half as much. most importantly, especially in the IR field, having international experience is more necessary than ever and truly makes you stand out!
  3. I would make the argument that both Columbia and Sciences Po are respectively better than Georgetown (which is still a great uni dont get me wrong). Of course, Columbia ranks #3 in USNews whereas Georgetown is inching in between the top-20 and outside of it. More importantly, In both IR and Politics Sciences Po ranks #2 in the world (only behind harvard, tied with Princeton and ahead of oxford and all the other ivies). Living in Paris right now i can tell you that just the name opens up an immeasurable amount of doors. I think you’d be right in saying that in the US specifically Georgetown has more of a brand name since obviously as the school there more people know it, but thats the beauty of the program: Sciences Po is more recognized than almost any other uni (except maybe Oxbridge) if you want to work in europe and Columbia is more prestigious than Gtown if you want to work in the US…so best of both
  4. the people in the dual program are extrodinary in a very very different way. of course, gtown students (or any other traditional student in any top20 school for that matter) are going to be brilliant. they’ll have great grades, good scores, an interest in poli-sci, and often times some experience in debate/mun etc. the people in the dual degree however all have insane stories and most importantly they come from ALL over the world. my roomate spoke at the UN. my friend is the national debate champion in her country and speaks 6 languages. we had trouble finding roomates: my friend codded a webbsite for it the next day. just in the small house that we’re getting with some friends for next year, theres 10 of us and 9 different time-zones (across 8 countries and 4 continents!). more than being brilliant they also have insanely unique story in a way that you couldnt find in any traditional program and i think thats invaluable.
  5. last thing ill say is that its both a really is that apart from getting a really small and tight-knit community w the ressources of research unis, the placement post-undergrad is also INSANE. In the past 10 years since the program’s started, this 100-people program out of Columbia’s 7500+ undergrad population (so less than 1.4% of the school) has had HALF of all the rhodes scholars and 20% of the validectorians/graduation speakers.

anywhooo if you have any question or commit and want to make a friend hmu :slight_smile:


What are you basing this on?

I don’t think most working adults would agree with this.

Why??? How???

How is getting a singular degree and only studying in one institution better than going to that institution, getting the same degree you would have in those 4 years, and then getting another one on top of it not better? You tell me.

Because the vast majority of employers wouldn’t care that much. I’m not saying getting 2 bachelors is a negative or that getting 1 is better, but in the adult world, it just wouldn’t really matter.