Haverford vs Brandeis

<p>Could anyone please help me to compare and contrast Haverford and Brandeis? What is the most appealing aspect or thing you think or have experienced in Haverford? I would be study a major in social science, I choose Psychology for now.
Thank you so much :)</p>

<p>I don't want to knock Brandeis, because it is a very good school, perhaps a rung or two down from the very best, but a solid choice offering a strong education for those (in my view) who don't get into the Ivy League schools, MIT, Stanford, Williams, Swarthmore, Amherst, Haverford, Pomona and so forth. IMHO, I don't think most people in academic circles would put Brandeis among the top elite schools. I, personally, view it pretty much like a very good regional school, perhaps comparable to Wake Forest, Georgia Tech, Rochester, Richmond, Whitman, Furman, Holy Cross, or Dickinson.</p>

<p>pointoforder is, of course, disingenuous when he or she says she does not want to knock Brandeis and then proceeds to do just that. In fact Brandeis is as equally prestigious as Haverford, if not more so simply because it is more widely known. The two schools offer very different experiences. And it is the fit for each student that counts.</p>

<p>Haverford is an extremely small liberal arts-barely more than 1000 students (more the size of a middle school than a college. Brandeis is a small liberal arts college functioning wihin a world-class research university. It's a trick to pull that off, but they do, and the undergraduates benefit from that special combination.</p>

<p>As an admittedly biased Brandeis alum who chose Brandeis over other liberal arts experiences, Tufts and Colgate, here's my take. Brandeis is truly an amazing school. Its small student body- the smallest I believe (less than 800 in a class) of any top tier national research university--is matched with high-powered professors who actually teach in small classes. So, the research opportunities are tremendous. Plus it's very close to Boston, which is the world's best college town, but on its own suburban campus.--really the best of both worlds.</p>

<p>Its intellectual environment is comparable in many ways to its University Athletic Association sister school, U Chicago (perhaps no coincidence that the President of U Chicago is a Brandeis alum). Yet its students are down-to-earth, friendly and non-competitive with one another. FYI in a recent Forbes national college rankings survey, Brandeis was ranked 15th among research universities and 30th overall among all private univerities and LAC's--a testament to its focus on undergraduate education. Larger schools, including some Ivies, were ranked much lower. </p>

<p>Despite its small size and relative youth, its alumni are very distinguished--to name just a few: Nobel Prize winner for chemistry Rod Mackinnon, Fields Medal winning physicist Edward Witten (often called "Einstein's successor"), 3-time Pulitzer Prize winner Tom Friedman of the NY Times, The Earth is Flat etc; Mitch Albom of Tuesday's with Morrie (about his Brandeis professor), the Creators/Producers of Friends; actress Debra Messing; Robert FX Sillerman (billionaire businessman--currently owner of American Idol and Graceland), Jeff Lurie, billionaire owner of the Philadelphia Eagles and Christy Hefner, former CEO of Playboy. Also, if you're into social justice (FYI Angela Davis and Abbie Hoffman are alumni as well) or theater/music/art, it's a very exciting place to be.</p>

<p>FYI Brandeis English professor William Flesch recently was cited by Newsweek as an example of a great professor who can positively change the lives of undergrads: Four</a> Great College Professors - Newsweek.com</p>

<p>Also, if you haven't seen it, you should watch the interview on the Brandeis website with Greg Petsko, Professor of Biochem, who left MIT to come to Brandeis. He discusses his reasons as to why he found Brandeis to be, in his words, "a better place" to teach and for his students to learn. Here's a link to the "video tour" page which you may need to paste into your browser: [url=<a href="http://www.brandeis.edu/admissions/videotour/%5DTour%5B/url"&gt;http://www.brandeis.edu/admissions/videotour/]Tour[/url&lt;/a&gt;]. Then, you may need to click through to the 'Meet Brandeisians" faculty interviews to find Petsko. </p>

<p>Further on the subject of right fit, I believe the kind of person who would feel comfortable at Brandeis is an intellecutal and/or creative sort who is friendly and comfortable with himself or herself and not competitive or pretentious. Intellectual but down-to-earth and friendly I think is an apt description of the student body. Unlike some preppy place or frat-oriented environments where social interraction is based on the "exclusivity" of the frat system, Brandeis has a welcoming, relatively-nonjudgmental environment--yet there are some off-campus frats for those who like what they have to offer. There is no pressure to party, but parties are there if you want them. Often social interaction centers around the numerous clubs and other terrific extracuriculars like theater and music. </p>

<p>Forgive my enthusiasm, but as a Brandeis alum, I loved it! Good luck with your decision!</p>

<p>You have probably made up your mind by now, but both schools are great, just very different. We live very near Brandeis and know lots of kids who attend and my S is a junior at Haverford. I am not sure what the the previous post was referring to about frats and "preppies" as HC has no frats and is not very preppy at all. In terms of ranking, HC is 10th among LACS and Brandies is 31st among Universities. (US News World Report) but ranking means less, I think than what is the right fit for you. HC has a very unique community feel due to the Quaker influenced honor code. It is small, personal, and an outstanding education. I am sure you would well at either school. Hopefully you have had a chance to vist both. best of luck!</p>

<p>My thought is that Haverford would be a little more artsy and a little less conventional, and the students at Haverford more creative types, while the Brandeis is a more "drive for success" Wall-street vibe...</p>

<p>I respect and fully understand B77’s enthusiasm for Brandeis. B77 has added a nice perspective which will undoubtedly be helpful to the OP. Let me just briefly respond to the introductory comment that “pointoforder is, of course, disingenuous when he or she says she does not want to knock Brandeis and then proceeds to do just that.”</p>

<p>Personally, I don’t take expressing an opinion regarding the relative strengths and comparisons as a “knock.” I honestly believe that there is slight difference between the planes on which the two schools sit. I don’t take stating that opinion as a “knock.” I try to be upfront and honest on these boards. (By the way, my instincts are also shared by the Fiske Guide which gives HC 5 stars on academics and Brandeis 4 stars, Princeton Review which gives HC a 97 academic rating compared to Brandeis’s 88, and US News #2 vs. #28 in student selectivity as some examples.) But all of that is beside the point, if I wanted to “knock” Brandeis, I would have made comments about the poor education quality at Brandeis, stated that it has deficient resources, or said something about weak students. Those would be knocks (which would also be untrue and unfounded). (Let me be clear, I do not believe those things to be true about Brandeis; indeed, Brandeis is a very, very good small university.) </p>

<p>I stand by my view that Haverford is as good or better than any Ivy or LAC in the country. I do not hold that view about Brandeis. Of course, B77 is free to hold an alternative view. Perhaps B77 would say the that Brandeis is also Ivy equivalent as well. If so, that would be his or her view and he or she would be entitled to express it as such. Perhaps B77 thinks that neither Brandeis nor Haverford are on the Ivy equivalent plane and instead are peers on a lower plane, that would also be a view one is entitled to hold.</p>

<p>I guess I just wanted to be clear that I stand by my view that expressing an opinion (which is what people ask for on CC) is not neccessarily meant to be a frontal assault on the school that comes out on the weaker end of the comparison.</p>

<p>Most important for the OP, B77 and I agree that fit matters. Haverford offers stellar academics in a cozy environment, but it’s not for everyone. If Brandeis feels right or better, by all means, I’d be the first to encourage one to make that choice. (I think a visit is critically important.) Both Haverford and Brandeis offer strong educations. But I think Haverford offers something very special, very unique, and, if the fit is right, then I think it’s the best choice one could make. I’d make the same argument regarding Haverford vis-</p>

<p>Thank you guys so much for replying to my question. Could you please give me more information about how social science is in each school? Which one would be a better place to study social science or maybe just one specific major in social science?</p>

<p>pointoforder is being very kind. When an average employer/grad school hears Haverford they think something completely different than when they hear Brandeis. Did you actually get into both and not know the difference between them (even to the degree of getting accepted), was Haverford your reach and Brandeis your safety, or are you investigating for next year? No matter, Haverford would always be a better choice since their students are just that much smarter (check the average gpa and scores), resources better (Brandeis is selling off their art to pay for operating expenses) and reputation way ahead.</p>

<p>Thank you, mhmm, but I am not asking which is better. I know that no one can simply tell me that go to A but not B, because I should find a unversity or college that really fits me. So I just want to know the differences between them, what kind of feeling each school will give me, things like that first. The fact is that I am too far away from Haverford and Brandeis, it is not really possible for me to visit them. Although OldbatesieDoc's answer is short, it does help me a lot.</p>

<p>Besides, I really hope someone can answer this " Could you please give me more information about how social science is in each school? Which one would be a better place to study social science or maybe just one specific major in social science? " </p>

<p>Thank you.</p>

<p>My D looked at both schools. More extensively at Haverford. I have to disagree with Oldbatesiedoc about the artsy vibe at Haverford, although I do agree that it is less conventional. The honor code and the size at Haverford ,I think, are distinguishing factors. Also, Haverford's participation in the consortium with Bryn Mawr and Swarthmore impact its campus culture, I think in a positive way. Social sciences are going to be strong at both schools, but I would give the edge to Haverford. Also, the relationships between students and professors struck me a particularly strong there.</p>

<p>ya I didn't get a particularly artsie vibe there either, though that was just one visit with D1. But like, eg the dance classes were at Bryn Mawr, not Haverford. I think. Easily verified, just look up the course offerings in Theater, etc at each school.</p>

<p>I thought it was nice but really, really small. And didn't fit D1 so well , but that's her.</p>

<p>As for some different social sciences research opport'nities:
If you're a guy, when you do the numbers with Bryn Mawr factored in you could do pretty darned well there.</p>

<p>We looked at both schools for our 'artsy' son. His impression was that Brandeis was much more artsy than Haverford, which he felt had a more athletic vibe. He thought Haverford would be a bit more rigorous academically than Brandeis, but Brandeis much, much stronger in the arts, with significantly larger and more highly respected music and theatre programs.</p>