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Which ED do I have the best chance at? (CMU or Brown)

leadzeplinleadzeplin 5 replies5 postsRegistered User New Member
I am applying for computer science and can't decide whether to ED to CMU or Brown.
Carnegie Mellon SCS has a 5% acceptance rate compared to Browns 8% (although that's for the whole school)
Assuming I like them both equally, which one do you think I have a better shot at?

SAT: 1490 - confident that I can get it to 1520-1530
GPA: 4.0/4.0
School Curriculum: International Bacculerate (HL Physics, HL Comp Sci, HL History)
School Location: NYC

EC's:
- Designed a patent-pending prosthetic hand that has been featured on Fox News, BBC, ABC, and Bold TV (http://hephaestushand.com)
- 4-month data science internship at a marketing company
- 1-month CS research position at the University of Western Australia
- 1-month data science internship at a Chinese metal factory
- President/Founder of the Robotics Club
- President of Debate Team
- Lead organizer of a high school hackathon
- Varsity Cross Country

Awards:
- Came first place in 3 hackathons
- Honor roll all 3 years
- A school grant for the development of my prosthetic hand project
- A grant from an investment fund for the development of my prosthetic hand project

Concerns:
I did not score well enough on my subject tests to submit them. I am not sure if my EC's (or perhaps the IB curriculum) make up for this discrepancy
19 replies
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Replies to: Which ED do I have the best chance at? (CMU or Brown)

  • HamurtleHamurtle 2301 replies30 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited August 11
    Hard to say, although with a higher SAT, CMU can be targeted since they have the better Engineering program and you might fit the profile better.

    I would also have a moderator remove that link, as I’m assuming you are in there and you should try to preserve your privacy.

    The 2 international positions may raise red flags though. Research position for a high school student may seem slightly exaggerated (better to refer it to more as an internship unless you are published) and positions in China sometimes involve knowing the right people.
    edited August 11
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  • Nocreativity1Nocreativity1 1096 replies54 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited August 11
    You have some very impressive achievements... congratulations.

    OP just so you are working with the correct stats Brown's total (school wide) acceptance rate was 6.6% and 4.8% regular decision. Good luck as I think either school will be extremely challenging.
    edited August 11
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  • Gogreen19Gogreen19 24 replies0 postsRegistered User Junior Member
    As an ivy league admit, I can help you out here. From what I can see, you have a strong engineering/CS spike, which would help you as a research uni applicant, as opposed to lib arts colleges like Brown that prefer applicants with more diverse ECs and interests, so in that regard, CMU would be more of a fit for you.

    However, CMU also lacks the undergrad focus of Brown given its higher postgrad population as opposed to undergrad. But regardless of that, Brown is not known for the strength of its com sci program and definitely has less of an emphasis on STEM as opposed to CMU.

    So I concur that you should apply to CMU ED. I would also recommend considering Dartmouth as an RD option as it has an undergrad focus on par with if not superior to Brown along with a strong com sci/engineering program. In fact, there is a new computer science center being built that will be completed and be used for classes within a year of you arriving on campus if you go there as a '24.
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  • Nocreativity1Nocreativity1 1096 replies54 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited August 12
    "I would also recommend considering Dartmouth as an RD option as it has an undergrad focus on par with if not superior to Brown along with a strong com sci/engineering program."

    USNW report for top computer science ranking:
    Tied at # 43 are Dartmouth, University Arizona, Arizona State, NC State, Texas AM, and a Utah State

    Dartmouth is an excellent undergrad school but still looking to find its footing in CS.

    Good news is at Brown you can already take a tour through their facilities and see the commitment to CS. You may want to read this:
    https://www.brown.edu/news/2018-11-29/cswithimpact

    In terms of undergraduate teaching Dartmouth is exceptional. Ranked 4th by USNWR while Brown is 6th.
    edited August 12
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  • PublisherPublisher 7598 replies79 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    Brown & CMU offer very different campus cultures. Brown is more relaxed while CMU is quite intense. If you work well in an intense & highly demanding environment, then CMU may be a match. Both are outstanding universities.
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  • Gogreen19Gogreen19 24 replies0 postsRegistered User Junior Member
    @Nocreativity1 I looked up that ranking and found the page. If you read the paragraph at the top you will realize that that ranking is based on graduate programs, not undergraduate programs. @leadzeplin should note that difference. While I do believe Brown is an excellent school, it is better in the softer social sciences. Dartmouth, meanwhile, has been cultivating a strong STEM program for a while now, and its new multimillion-dollar investment into its computer science program is only the most recent semblance of that.

    Here's the link: https://news.dartmouth.edu/news/2018/10/computer-science-transformation-closer-reality-10-million-gift

    Dartmouth has actually had a strong com sci program and research presence for a while now -- the programming language BASIC was founded on Dartmouth's campus by faculty and student collaboration for example. I do agree that the graduate program is lacking (mainly due to the university's overall undergrad emphasis, meaning research positions go more often to undergrads), but every undergrad I've met in the program has given it a glowing recommendation. Once the new building is complete, which will be when the OP is still on campus (if he goes there), his experience will be further enriched.
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  • Nocreativity1Nocreativity1 1096 replies54 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    I believe Niche does an undergraduate specific ranking with similar result. Unfortunately I can't cut and paste per terms of use. Results as follows and easily accessed.

    1- MIT
    2- Stamford
    3- CMU
    4- Caltech
    5- Harvard
    6- Columbia
    7- Brown

    17- Dartmouth

    Both great schools and I don't think it all comes down to rankings. In my experience however you would be doing yourself I disservice discounting Brown as a "soft science" school. Similarly I wouldnt discount Dartmouth as a rural, mysoginistic, frat boy school. These are dated misconceptions and inaccurate but conveniently referenced for arguments sake.

    My suggestion would be @Gogree19 be considered expert on Dartmouth as he is a student there and I be assumed to be knowledgeable about Brown.
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  • Nocreativity1Nocreativity1 1096 replies54 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited August 12
    Gogreen19 " I would also recommend considering Dartmouth as an RD option as it has an undergrad focus on par with if not superior to Brown"

    Here are the various most recent undergraduate rankings. I think it would suggest both schools provide a comparable undergraduate learning experience (tough to project superiority as Gogreen19 does). Although Parchment suggest 2/3 students accepted at both D and B choose Brown.

    Admit Rates
    1) Harvard
    2) Columbia
    3) Princeton
    4) Yale
    5) Brown
    6) MIT
    7) Duke
    8) Penn
    9 Dartmouth
    ***Stanford, U Chicago, Cal Tech also at very top couldn't find their exact figures.

    WSJ
    1 Harvard
    2 MIT
    3 Yale
    4 Columbia
    5 Caltech
    6 Stanford
    7 Brown
    7 Duke
    9 Princeton
    10 Penn

    Forbes
    1) Harvard
    2) Yale
    3) Stanford
    4) MIT
    5) Princeton
    6) Caltech
    7) Penn
    8) Brown
    9) Dartmouth
    10) Duke

    Niche
    1) MIT
    2) Stanford
    3) Harvard
    4) Yale
    5) Princeton
    6) Penn
    7) Columbia
    8) Duke
    9) Brown
    10) Cal Tech

    US News (*lots of ties)
    1) Princeton
    2) Harvard
    3) Columbia
    3) MIT
    3) Chicago
    3) Yale
    7) Stanford
    8) Duke
    9) Penn
    10) JHU
    10) Northwestern
    12) Cal Tech
    12) Dartmouth
    14) Brown
    14) Vanderbilt

    edited August 12
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  • Rivet2000Rivet2000 1001 replies2 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    As far as CS program rigor goes, there are a handful of schools that occupy the top tier. Carnegie Mellon SCS is one such school.
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  • cptofthehousecptofthehouse 28768 replies56 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    CMU CS school is a Mecca for those in the field. If you are looking for leading edge in college programs and peers in the field, that’s where to go. Unless you have a preference for Brown that overrides the that excellence CMU has in this field, I’d say go for CMU. That’s what ED is for. Shooting for the school you’d have no regrets in accepting.

    I don’t know about the school of CS, but I seem to remember CMU really does like those SAT2 tests. Do check about that
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  • theloniusmonktheloniusmonk 2333 replies5 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    OP - to answer your question as directly as I can, unless you have some hooks (female, urm), your chances are going to be higher for Brown ED. The 25-75 for CMU SCS is 1530-1580, if you like both, go with Brown. good luck!
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  • 2022soon2022soon 95 replies3 postsRegistered User Junior Member
    @leadzeplin Have you thought about applying to another type of Engineering? 1490 is too low at selective schools for the very competitive Computer Science Major. You also need extremely high SAT subject tests. Math 2 and either Physics or Chem.
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  • Gogreen19Gogreen19 24 replies0 postsRegistered User Junior Member
    @Nocreativity1 apologies did not mean to say that Brown was beneath Dartmouth. But please do not reference Parchment as it is flawed due it allowing students to self-report. For instance, in Parchment, WashU wins more cross admits with Harvard than Yale. Niche as well, since it's ratings are based largely on reviews, which are again unverified. For example, the first page of Harvard's reviews lead me to find this: "Party scene is the best in the country! Nerds sure do know how to party! I went to a yAle part and it got notin on dis Harvard 1. So you're probably thinking about Stanford parties? They suck too. I went there for 8 years for my undergrad." Does that sound like an actual Harvard kid?

    Not to mention, admit rates are based on popularity not prestige. I'm sure you would agree that Brown is not considered on the same level as MIT (or even Penn, for that matter), for example, fairly or unfairly. I think Dartmouth deserves to be seen better too, but there you have it. And it is (Brown), in fact, more akin to Dartmouth in prestige -- in fact, I think they are pretty much considered in general to be on the exact same tier for undergrads.

    The "If not superior" comment was definitely unwarranted though, and I'm sorry for that, as well as referring to a Brown stereotype. I was merely trying to draw attention to the fact that com sci is in fact very good at Dartmouth, and one of our more popular majors. I'm sure com sci is great at Brown, too..
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  • leadzeplinleadzeplin 5 replies5 postsRegistered User New Member
    I will definitely look at Dartmouth. I was considering Brown over CMU because I really like the environment and with the Open Curriculum, I would be able to take much more challenging classes than are apart of the standard CS major. My concern for CMU is that my scores are not high enough and that Brown's ED acceptance rate seems to be a lot higher.
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  • Gogreen19Gogreen19 24 replies0 postsRegistered User Junior Member
    @leadzeplin trust me your scores are high enough. Scores are anyway just used as qualifying factors. Once in the qualified pile, you will be sifted from there through your ECs. As I mentioned, your ECs display a strong CS/Engineering spike but not much in other fields, which works for research unis where you apply directly to your faculty, school or program but not liberal arts schools like Brown which like a diversity of interests. You would, in short. have a stronger chance at CMU.

    Regardless, you should take subject tests given you are international to maximize your chances. Raising your SAT score wouldn't hurt either, but CMU is still your best bet given your qualifications.
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  • Rivet2000Rivet2000 1001 replies2 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    IMO your ECs look really good but your SAT score is on the low side for CMU (and Brown actually). And while CMU only "recommends" SAT subject test, many successful candidates submit them (especially MATH II for SCS).
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  • momofsenior1momofsenior1 6619 replies39 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    These two schools are so very different. Which environment do you like best? IMO, you should be only using ED for a school you absolutely love.
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  • 1NJParent1NJParent 1152 replies31 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    If you like Brown's culture, it's unlikely you'll like that of CMU, especially its SCS, and vice versa. CMU SCS is certainly better than Brown in CS, but you don't seem to be a good fit for CMU SCS. Your chance of admission is better with Brown.
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  • leadzeplinleadzeplin 5 replies5 postsRegistered User New Member
    Thanks for all your help! Although I need to get my SAT up and my lack of subject tests might be debilitating, I think it would be a waste to not ED to CMU especially if I want to go into CS.
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