Can someone compare/contrast Muhlenberg and Wheaton MA? I was accepted to both with equal financial aid so money isn’t a factor. My interests are music, theatre, as well as a strong english/writing program. I know Muhlenberg has a very strong theatre program but not so sure about music and academics. How about Wheaton? Do they have strong music and theatre? I know Wheaton MA is slightly more competitive to get into than Muhlenberg so that may be a sign as the type of students who go there and the rigor of academics. Any information would be valued as well as social life, atmosphere, etc… Thanks!
Hi! I can’t speak to Wheaton, but I am a theatre/English student at 'Berg and have taken music courses as well. I can definitely say the music department is strong. There’s less students in the program compared to the theatre & dance department, but the newer faculty in the department are working hard to recruit and get the music department to the same place. Choir & the jazz ensemble are highlights of the program, but from everything I’ve seen, the concert bands are really great too. Administration within the music department is really kind too. We have (as most music departments do) a lot of adjuncts (although since most of them run ensembles and direct performances and such they don’t feel like adjuncts) who are big-deal Philly and NYC musicians, and often they also teach at Lehigh, Lafayette, or DeSales. Some really great teachers! My theory teacher was especially impressive this year and went above and beyond to give me the personal attention I needed to succeed. And if you are succeeding already, they will challenge you!!! In all classes, this is really the case. I can’t speak highly enough of my teachers. The English program is also amazing, and the program complements theatre really well. I’m sort of obsessed with my English classes and always look forward to a good academic discussion with my class and profs. Profs all really love teaching and hearing student voices. The campus vibe here is definitely unique in the best way! A very open and accepting community that looks out for each other… if you walk into the dining hall, you’ll always be able to find someone you know, but it’s always cool if you want to blend in and study or do your own thing. I think we all really respect each other in our various passions and academic pursuits, although its a pretty mixed bag in regards to interests. We definitely have a busy campus culture, and people who thrive in highly productive, fast-paced environments do well. Teachers really accommodate for student independence. Great community overall. Socially, everyone has a different experience depending on what they want/seek, but I think everyone has friends they love. Definitely not cliquey - on a Friday night, pretty much everyone winds up mixed together in GQ anyway. There’s a club for everyone and there’s literally always stuff going on! Hope this helps!!! Best of luck with your decision.
@sandradee66 this was really really helpful! thank you! do students often go into philly/nyc on the weekends?
Yes! There are buses that go to both, but to be honest, I’m spoiled by my super quick and easy train commute at home and access to a car so it was a small adjustment for me. I go when I’m able into new york, sometimes for auditions, but I’m usually so occupied with stuff on-campus that I don’t want to. I know of a few theatre kids who go into the city every weekend, though. Faculty, especially in dance, have a ton of connections in Philly. I’d say 80% of the guest artists who teach at the weekly dance masterclasses are Philly-based, and a lot of the theatre alums have found success there which is a nice way of seeing what the arts are like in other cities. We are pretty much equidistant between the two. If you aren’t the type that is comfortable going off independently into a city, the student government organizes trips and we do TONS of field trips with the theatre and dance into Philly, NYC, and all over the LVA. Dance, depending on what classes you are in, does about 2-3 a semester, sometimes more. Theatre does one big one a semester, usually to see a play in NYC. And, of course, there’s the Larry Singer abroad program in NYC!