Brandeis University vs Claremont McKenna College

August 4, 2023
By AdmissionSight

Brandeis University vs Claremont McKenna College

Choosing the right school for your undergraduate studies can be a challenging and overwhelming experience. With so many options available, it can be tough to differentiate between schools that all seem to offer similar academic and social opportunities. In this article, we’ll compare Brandeis University vs Claremont McKenna College to help you decide which school is right for you.

Location and Campus Comparisons

Location plays a significant role in the college experience. Brandeis University is located in Waltham, Massachusetts, just 9 miles away from Boston. Claremont McKenna College, on the other hand, is situated in Claremont, California. Both campuses are large, with plenty of green outdoor spaces and modern buildings. However, while Brandeis is in a more urban setting, Claremont McKenna is located in a suburban area. Claremont also has the benefit of being situated close to other universities, giving students plenty of opportunities to connect with others in the Claremont consortium.

Another factor to consider when comparing the locations of these two colleges is the climate. Waltham, Massachusetts experiences cold winters with snow and mild summers, while Claremont, California has a Mediterranean climate with warm, dry summers and mild winters. This may be an important consideration for students who prefer a certain type of weather.

Claremont McKenna College signage

Additionally, the location of a college can impact the types of internships and job opportunities available to students. Being located near a major city like Boston can provide Brandeis students with access to a wide range of industries and companies, while Claremont’s proximity to Los Angeles can offer similar opportunities for Claremont McKenna students. It’s important for students to consider their career goals and how the location of a college can support those goals.

Brandeis vs Claremont McKenna: Academic Programs

Both Brandeis University and Claremont McKenna College are well-known for their academic programs. Brandeis offers a range of undergraduate programs in the liberal arts and sciences as well as graduate programs in a variety of areas. Claremont McKenna, on the other hand, focuses primarily on undergraduate education with a strong emphasis on the social sciences. In addition, students at both universities have access to a variety of research opportunities and faculty who are experts in their fields.

Brandeis University is particularly renowned for its programs in the humanities, social sciences, and creative arts. The university offers a wide range of majors in these areas, including English, History, Sociology, and Fine Arts. Additionally, Brandeis has a strong commitment to interdisciplinary studies, with programs such as Environmental Studies and Health: Science, Society, and Policy that draw on multiple fields of study.

Admission Requirements and Selectivity

Both Brandeis University and Claremont McKenna College are highly selective schools, with acceptance rates hovering around 30%. Applicants must have a strong academic record, excellent letters of recommendation, and a well-crafted essay. While both universities require standardized test scores, Claremont McKenna is test-optional, giving students the option to submit scores or not.

Additionally, both universities consider extracurricular activities and community involvement when evaluating applicants. Brandeis University places a strong emphasis on community service and social justice, while Claremont McKenna values leadership and entrepreneurial spirit. It is important for applicants to showcase their unique talents and passions outside of the classroom.

Brandeis vs Claremont McKenna: Student Life

Brandeis University and Claremont McKenna College offer a wide range of social and extracurricular activities for students. Brandeis has several student clubs and organizations, including athletics, theater, and music groups. Claremont McKenna is also known for its social scene, with events like Civvies Day, a day-long celebration where students dress up in costumes and participate in activities. Both universities also have on-campus housing options, giving students a sense of community and a place to call home on campus.

Additionally, both universities offer opportunities for students to get involved in community service and volunteer work. Brandeis has a Center for Community Engagement that connects students with local organizations and non-profits, while Claremont McKenna has a Community Engagement Center that offers service trips and volunteer opportunities both locally and abroad. These programs allow students to make a positive impact on their community and gain valuable experience outside of the classroom.

Brandeis vs Claremont McKenna: Diversity and Inclusion Initiatives

Brandeis University and Claremont McKenna College both prioritize diversity and inclusion on their campuses. Brandeis has a range of initiatives and programs, including the Multicultural Festival, which celebrates the diversity of the student body and the wider community. Claremont McKenna also places a strong emphasis on diversity and inclusion, with several student-led organizations advocating for social justice and diversity on campus.

One of the notable diversity and inclusion initiatives at Brandeis University is the Intercultural Center, which provides resources and support for students from diverse backgrounds. The center offers workshops, events, and programs that promote cross-cultural understanding and dialogue. Similarly, Claremont McKenna College has a Diversity and Inclusion Office that works to create a welcoming and inclusive environment for all students. The office provides resources and support for underrepresented students and collaborates with student organizations to promote diversity and social justice on campus.

Group of students walking in the campus.

Cost of Attendance: Tuition, Room, and Board Fees Compared

Attending a top university can come at a high cost, and both Brandeis and Claremont McKenna are no exception. According to the most recent data, the cost of attendance at Brandeis University and Claremont McKenna College is roughly the same, with tuition, room, and board fees totaling around $75,000 annually. However, both universities offer financial aid and scholarship opportunities to make higher education more accessible to all students.

It is important to note that the cost of attendance may vary depending on individual circumstances, such as the student’s residency status, major, and extracurricular activities. Additionally, students may incur additional expenses such as textbooks, transportation, and personal expenses. It is recommended that students carefully review the breakdown of costs and explore all available options for financial assistance before making a decision on which university to attend.

Faculty Profiles and Areas of Expertise

Faculty at both Brandeis University and Claremont McKenna College are experts in their respective fields. Professors at Brandeis are known for their research and scholarship, and many have won prestigious awards for their work. Similarly, Claremont McKenna faculty members are experts in their areas of study, with a focus on the social sciences and humanities.

At Brandeis, the faculty is committed to providing students with a well-rounded education that emphasizes critical thinking and problem-solving skills. Many professors incorporate experiential learning opportunities into their courses, such as internships, research projects, and community service. This approach helps students apply what they learn in the classroom to real-world situations and prepares them for success in their future careers.

Meanwhile, at Claremont McKenna, faculty members are dedicated to fostering a collaborative learning environment that encourages students to explore new ideas and perspectives. They use innovative teaching methods, such as flipped classrooms and team-based learning, to engage students and promote active participation. This approach helps students develop strong communication and teamwork skills, which are essential for success in today’s global workforce.

Research Opportunities for Undergraduate Students

Research is an important part of the college experience, and both Brandeis and Claremont McKenna offer opportunities for students to get involved in research as early as their freshman year. Brandeis has several research centers and institutes, including the Volen National Center for Complex Systems, providing students with access to cutting-edge technology and resources. Claremont McKenna also has a strong emphasis on undergraduate research, with opportunities to work alongside faculty members on various projects.

At Brandeis, students can participate in research in a variety of fields, including neuroscience, biochemistry, and computer science. The university also offers a summer research program, allowing students to work on projects full-time and receive a stipend. Claremont McKenna has a similar program, called the Summer Research Institute, which provides students with funding and housing to conduct research over the summer.

Getting involved in research as an undergraduate can have many benefits, including the opportunity to gain hands-on experience in your field of interest, build relationships with faculty members, and enhance your resume for future job or graduate school applications. Both Brandeis and Claremont McKenna recognize the importance of undergraduate research and provide ample resources and support for students to pursue these opportunities.

Brandeis vs Claremont McKenna: Alumni Networks and Career Services

Attending a top university can also open doors for post-graduation opportunities. Brandeis University and Claremont McKenna College both have strong alumni networks, providing students with access to resources and connections after graduation. In addition, both universities offer career services and resources to help students launch their careers after graduation.

At Brandeis University, the Hiatt Career Center offers a range of services to help students explore career paths, develop job search strategies, and connect with alumni and employers. The center provides one-on-one career counseling, workshops and events, and online resources such as job and internship listings. Similarly, Claremont McKenna College’s Career Services office offers career counseling, resume and cover letter reviews, and networking opportunities through its alumni network. The office also hosts career fairs and employer information sessions to help students connect with potential employers.

Athletics Programs: Comparing the Teams, Facilities, and Fan Culture

Athletics is an important aspect of the college experience for many students. Brandeis University and Claremont McKenna College both offer a range of sports programs, with modern facilities and opportunities to get involved. However, the fan culture and traditions associated with athletics differ between the two universities. Brandeis has a strong basketball culture, with fans and alumni coming together to cheer on their team. In contrast, Claremont McKenna has several traditionally strong teams, including water polo and swimming, and is known for its team spirit and camaraderie.

Another notable difference between the athletics programs at Brandeis and Claremont McKenna is the level of competition. While both universities compete at the NCAA Division III level, Claremont McKenna has consistently ranked higher in national rankings and has won several national championships in various sports. Brandeis, on the other hand, has a strong focus on individual sports such as tennis and fencing, with several athletes competing at the national level. Despite these differences, both universities offer a supportive and inclusive environment for student-athletes to excel both on and off the field.

Student Housing Options on Campus

On-campus housing is an integral part of the college experience, providing students with a sense of community and connection to campus life. Both Brandeis University and Claremont McKenna College offer a range of housing options, including traditional dormitories, apartments, and themed housing communities. Students at both universities also have access to dining plans and other amenities.

Additionally, both universities prioritize the safety and security of their students by implementing various measures such as security cameras, keycard access, and on-site security personnel. Brandeis University also offers a unique housing option for upperclassmen called the Charles River Apartments, which are located off-campus but still owned and managed by the university. These apartments offer a more independent living experience while still providing access to university resources and support.

Study Abroad Opportunities at Both Universities

Studying abroad can be a transformative experience for many students, providing opportunities for personal growth and cultural immersion. Brandeis University and Claremont McKenna College both offer study abroad programs, giving students the chance to explore different parts of the world and broaden their horizons.

At Brandeis University, students can choose from over 200 study abroad programs in more than 60 countries. These programs range from semester-long exchanges to short-term trips during winter or summer breaks. Students can also participate in faculty-led programs, where they travel with a professor and a group of peers to study a specific topic or theme in a foreign country.

Brandeis vs Claremont McKenna: Internship Opportunities for Students in Different Fields

Internships are an important part of the college experience, providing students with hands-on experience in their field of study. Brandeis University and Claremont McKenna College both have resources and programs to help students find internships and gain valuable experience in their areas of interest.

At Brandeis University, students have access to the Hiatt Career Center, which offers a variety of resources to help students find internships and jobs. The center provides one-on-one career counseling, resume and cover letter reviews, and hosts career fairs and networking events. Additionally, the university has partnerships with a variety of companies and organizations, providing students with a wide range of internship opportunities.

Claremont McKenna College also offers a range of resources to help students find internships. The Career Services office provides students with career counseling, resume and cover letter reviews, and hosts career fairs and networking events. The college also has a strong alumni network, which can provide students with valuable connections and internship opportunities. Additionally, the college has partnerships with a variety of companies and organizations, providing students with a wide range of internship opportunities in fields such as finance, consulting, and technology.


Overall, both Brandeis University and Claremont McKenna College are highly respected institutions of higher learning, with strong academic programs and a range of extracurricular and social opportunities. Choosing between the two ultimately comes down to personal preference and priorities. We hope that this comparison has provided you with valuable insights to help you make an informed decision.

It is important to note that while both universities have strong academic programs, they have different areas of expertise. Brandeis University is known for its strong programs in the humanities and social sciences, while Claremont McKenna College is renowned for its programs in economics and political science. Prospective students should consider their academic interests and career goals when making a decision between the two institutions.

Diverse Students wearing Cap and Gown Holding Photo Frame Studio Portrait

How AdmissionSight Can Help You With College Admissions

AdmissionSight is a college consulting firm that provides personalized assistance to students throughout the college admissions process. Here are some ways that AdmissionSight can help you:

Admissions strategy: AdmissionSight can help you develop a strategic plan for your college application process. Our professional consultants can assist with identifying schools that are a good fit for your academic, extracurricular, and personal goals and help you plan and prioritize your application strategy.

Application review: AdmissionSight can review your application and provide feedback on how to improve it. We can offer suggestions on making your application stand out and highlighting your strengths and unique qualities.

Essay coaching: AdmissionSight can help you craft compelling essays that showcase your personality, goals, and achievements. We can guide you through the essay writing process and provide feedback on your drafts to help you refine your writing.

Interview preparation: AdmissionSight can provide interview coaching to help you feel confident and prepared for college interviews. Our experts can offer tips on how to present yourself professionally and how to answer common interview questions.

Extracurricular planning: AdmissionSight can help you plan and develop your extracurricular activities to make them more impactful and meaningful. We can suggest activities that align with your interests and goals and provide guidance on demonstrating your leadership and initiative.

Overall, AdmissionSight can provide valuable guidance and support throughout the college admissions process to help you maximize your chances of getting accepted into the college of your choice.

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