Georgia Tech vs. Boston College

I have recently been looking into Georgia Tech as a school to apply. It would be a reach for myself, especially since I am OOS. Given that the school is somewhere I really want to go, how would it compare to a school like Boston College (another one on my list)? In terms of when I am THERE. I have heard that it is a very difficult school, one of the hardest schools academically. I am pretty driven, but if it really is a competitive/cutthroat environment, I’m not sure if it would be a great fit for me. I was wondering how it compared to a non-tech school (I gave BC as an example but it really could be any).

Also, I know Boston College is relatively the same level prestige as Georgia Tech. Would academics at these schools be significantly more difficult than a way less prestigious school like Drexel (another school on my list), or any other way less prestigious school?

BC and Ga Tech are actually pretty different. Ga Tech is a public university that is STEM focused (and one of the top STEM programs in the country). BC is liberal arts focused and isn’t really known for sciences/research. Compared to your average liberal arts major at BC, the student majoring in hard sciences and performing research at Georgia Tech is probably going to have a more intense academic experience.

What’s your intended major and budget?

GT has a heavy engineering focus. BC is just beginning to have engineering.

Do you want to study an engineering subject?

Indeed, over half of GaTech is Engineering. Add in Comp Sci and Business (along with Eng), and those three disciplines comprise ~85% of the undergrads.

Are you talking about workload/competitiveness in general, or you asking if a STEM subject in a STEM-focused school is more intense than the same subject in a similarly ranked but more broadly focused school?

They are two VERY different schools: BC is a smaller, religious private school in the Northeast while GATech is a large state university in the South. Both schools will be expensive OOS, but you might have a better chance for financial aid or merit scholarships at BC, given that it’s a private school and has more financial resources for OOS students than GATech. GA Tech does have an honors program, as do most state flagships, although it’s likely extremely competitive compared to the general university admissions process.

It’s not necessarily the prestige level of the school that dictates workload, but more-so the school’s grading policies. As an example, USC curves their intro-stem courses, which means that your grades are directly based on how well other students do. On the other hand, at Brown, where I am going, classes aren’t curved, so your grade is independent of other students. CC threads are one way to find this information, but a more reliable way is to talk to real-life students you know at these schools or read the syllabi for the intro courses (usually posted on the school’s course catalog website like at USC, where its, or at Brown, where its, although you can’t access the syllabi until you apply and have access to your financial aid status portal.)

If cost is a major factor, you should look into your own state’s flagship university, as it likely has a strong honors program and will be cheaper than GATech or BC (unless you get major FA/scholarships.) Depending on where you’re located in the US, your region might have a tuition exchange agreement with other states’ universities, although this is typically not offered at each state’s flagship.

Hope that helps! Good luck with admissions!

@ucbalumnus @chmcnm my intended major is mathematics or statistics, with some combination of computer science

For those fields, Georgia Tech would be superior to BC academic wise and in the eyes of grad programs/employers. Obviously, fit and cost are other important things to consider. I personally would not take on significant debt for BC’s STEM offerings, especially so when you have in-state at Ga. Tech.

@WildestDream thank you for ur input!

If you’re looking at straight statistics/CS then Georgia Tech or NC State would be nice options. NC State has a top notch stats program.

If you’re looking at something more like data science/analytics then you’ll want to look at business schools as well. Some schools have started to combine business and stats and role them together. Others house them under CS/IS. You really have to drill-down at each school to see how they structure the programs and what they offer.

For an example look at Temple. Data Science is offered both under Fox and their IS school. It all depends on how technical you want to get. Also liked UMiami and their flexibility. Son ended-up at Georgia Tech. He’s there now. At Georgia Tech their Industrial Engineering program would probably be the closest match for data science.