Chemistry and Arabic Major - Columbia,Cornell, JHU, Penn, Brown or Yale?

<p>They've all given me comparable financial aid packages and I have to start the process of selecting my final college choice. I want to major in Chemistry and take the Arabic language for 3/4 years (maybe major in that too). I also want plenty of room and freedom to take classes in the humanities - I don't want to be just stuck with science. I want to be on the premed track as well. I'm also looking for a place where I can start researching freshman/sophomore year after asking around and where I can also find internships or jobs over the summer.</p>

<p>Penn offered me admission into the Vagelos Scholars Program in the Molecular Life Science where I can take seminars, and double major in Biochemistry or Chemistry or even get a masters degree in one of the science in 4 years. It'll also give me 7k a summer for a research internship, but I'm afraid that its a little too rigorous and won't allow me to take classes in other areas besides science.</p>

<p>JHU offered me the Woodrow Wilson undergraduate research fellowship, where I can research with a mentor and can get 10k to fund a project of my own, but I'm not sure if JHU is good in the humanities. I don't know how good it is as an undergraduate institution.</p>

<p>Cornell offered me the Meining National Family Scholars program, which is supposed to promote leadership, but I'm not sure on the specifics.</p>

<p>Any help would be appreciated.</p>


<p>Yale - because it’s Yale
Columbia because it’s Columbia and NYC</p>

<p>BUT 7K per summer from PENN sounds too good to pass up. I would opt for one of those three options. In this particular case Penn sounds very tempting. CONGRATS.</p>

<p>Run the numbers one more time here: [FinAid</a> | Calculators | Award Letter Comparison Tool](<a href=“Finaid – Financial Aid Information”>Award Letter Requirements)</p>

<p>You are fortunate to have been admitted at a number of excellent institutions. Truly you can’t go wrong with any of them. However, none of the others offer the sheer breadth of opportunities in Chem/Biochem that Cornell does. If all else is equal, spend some serious time looking at the Chem/Biochem related research going on in the College of Ag & Life Science, the College of Human Ecology, and further up the hill at the College of Veterinary Medicine. You may spot an opportunity there that is a perfect fit.</p>

<p>You might was to ask this on those colleges’ forums or pre-med. Ie, where your question won’t be lost.
Can we assume you actually looked at the course catalogs and web sites for info about the depth and breadth of the Arabic classes- and what’s offered through the Near Eastern programs- and how often they are scheduled (so you can work them around chem?)</p>


Depends on how much emphasis the OP wants to put on Arabic, but academically the same three options would be best, I think. For a school that’s a powerhouse in both Arabic and chemistry, Columbia is the best bet, followed by Yale and Penn (in that order). Yale is the newest member to that elite crowd; for a long time it preferred to focus on ancient studies and leave modern stuff to Princeton as part of an unofficial pact, but outcry and demand from undergraduates prompted it to create a modern Middle Eastern studies program in the last few years. I should mention that Columbia is a bit more politicized than some of the other universities, and there has been some tension between the Middle Eastern department and Jewish students in the past, but I think it was a kerfuffle blown out of proportion and shouldn’t affect anyone’s decision. </p>

<p>Surprisingly for a school known for IR, JHU has rather limited offerings in Middle Eastern studies and Arabic at the undergraduate level; its department focuses almost entirely on ancient and biblical studies. Cornell’s department is a bit more well-rounded, but I think it would depend on a student’s interests - it’s certainly a good place for Arabic, but the modern Middle East is not covered as well as the early Islamic and medieval periods and classical Arabic.</p>

<p>Of course, I must add my usual caveat that other factors may well outweigh academic differences, so fit should not be underestimated. I would personally go for Yale or the Vagelos at Penn, as I like the overall feel and atmospheres of those universities, but you may well be looking for different things than I.</p>