Brandeis vs Middlebury: A Comprehensive Look

By Eric Eng

By Eric Eng

Brandeis University in Waltham, USA

Brandeis vs Middlebury: A Comprehensive Look

Choosing the right college can be a daunting task. With so many options available, it can be challenging to know where to start. In this article, we’ll compare two prestigious liberal arts colleges – Brandeis vs Middlebury – to help you make an informed decision. We’ll cover everything from campus location and academic offerings to student life and campus safety. So, let’s dive in!

Location and Campus Size: Which School is Right for You?

When it comes to location and campus size, Brandeis and Middlebury offer distinctly different experiences. Located just nine miles west of Boston, Brandeis is situated on a spacious 235-acre campus in a bustling metropolis. In contrast, Middlebury is nestled in the rural town of Middlebury, Vermont, surrounded by the Green Mountains. Middlebury’s campus covers approximately 350 acres, including a 2,100-acre college-owned forest. Both locations offer unique opportunities and challenges. Brandeis students enjoy easy access to all that Boston has to offer, from world-class museums to top restaurants. Meanwhile, Middlebury students can explore the outdoors and enjoy the peace and tranquility of small-town life. Ultimately, your choice will depend on your personal preferences.

It’s worth noting that the location and campus size of a school can also impact the types of extracurricular activities available to students. At Brandeis, for example, students can take advantage of the school’s proximity to Boston by participating in internships and volunteer opportunities in the city. Middlebury, on the other hand, offers a wide range of outdoor activities, such as hiking, skiing, and snowboarding, thanks to its location in the mountains. When considering which school is right for you, it’s important to think about not just the campus itself, but also the surrounding area and the opportunities it presents.

Happy students walking together.

Brandeis vs Middlebury: Academic Programs and Majors

When it comes to academics, both Brandeis and Middlebury are well-regarded for their rigorous liberal arts programs. Brandeis offers over 43 majors across various fields, including sciences, humanities, and social sciences. Some of its most popular majors include psychology, biology, and economics. Middlebury offers 44 majors, including environmental studies, international studies, and neuroscience. Both schools share a commitment to interdisciplinary learning and provide ample opportunities for study abroad, research, and internships. We recommend researching specific majors and program requirements to find the right fit for you.

Additionally, both Brandeis and Middlebury offer a wide range of academic programs beyond traditional majors. Brandeis has a strong emphasis on interdisciplinary studies, with programs such as Health: Science, Society, and Policy, and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. Middlebury offers unique programs such as Food Studies, Film and Media Culture, and American Studies. These programs allow students to explore their interests and passions in a more specialized and focused way. It’s important to consider these options when researching potential academic programs at both schools.

Faculty and Student Body: Who Will Be Teaching and Learning Alongside You?

Both Brandeis and Middlebury boast renowned faculty and talented student bodies. Brandeis has a student-to-faculty ratio of 9:1, allowing for personalized attention and small class sizes. The college has over 300 full-time faculty members, many of whom are recognized experts in their fields. Middlebury has a slightly larger student-to-faculty ratio of 8:1, but still prides itself on providing intimate and engaging classroom experiences. Middlebury faculty members have received numerous teaching awards, and the school’s student body is renowned for its intellectual curiosity and ambitious drive.

Additionally, both Brandeis and Middlebury have diverse student populations, with students coming from all over the world. This creates a rich and dynamic learning environment, where students can learn from each other’s unique perspectives and experiences. Both colleges also offer a wide range of extracurricular activities and clubs, allowing students to pursue their interests outside of the classroom and form meaningful connections with their peers.

Housing Options: Dorms, Apartments, and More

Living arrangements are an important consideration for college students. Both Brandeis and Middlebury offer a variety of housing options to suit different needs. Brandeis has 19 on-campus residence halls, ranging from traditional dorms to suite-style apartments. Students can also choose to live in the College’s many themed communities, such as the Gender and Sexuality Center or the Community Engagement Living Community. Middlebury offers a mix of traditional dorms and apartment-style living arrangements. The College guarantees housing for all four years and has a robust off-campus housing program for those who prefer to live off-campus.

It’s worth noting that both Brandeis and Middlebury have housing options for students with disabilities. Brandeis has accessible rooms and apartments, as well as accommodations for students with medical needs. Middlebury has a Disability Services Office that works with students to provide accessible housing options and other necessary accommodations. Both colleges prioritize creating inclusive living environments for all students.

Brandeis vs Middlebury: Student Life

At both Brandeis and Middlebury, students can get involved in a wide range of clubs, organizations, and extracurricular activities. Brandeis has over 250 student-led groups, including multicultural organizations, social justice groups, and recreational sports teams. Middlebury has over 150 clubs, ranging from cultural groups to service organizations. Both schools have vibrant arts and culture scenes, with opportunities to attend plays, concerts, and exhibitions. Students looking for a more laid-back experience can take advantage of the many recreational activities available, from hiking to skiing.

Additionally, both schools offer unique opportunities for students to engage in community service and volunteer work. Brandeis has a strong commitment to social justice and offers numerous service-oriented clubs and programs, such as the Waltham Group, which provides volunteer opportunities in the local community. Middlebury has a similar focus on service, with programs like the Center for Community Engagement, which connects students with local organizations and non-profits.

Furthermore, both schools have active student government associations, which provide opportunities for students to get involved in campus leadership and advocacy. Brandeis has a student union that represents the student body and advocates for student interests, while Middlebury has a student government association that oversees student clubs and organizations and works to improve campus life.

four students lounging on the steps outside

Athletics: Sports Teams and Facilities at Brandeis vs Middlebury

For sports enthusiasts, both Brandeis and Middlebury offer an excellent selection of intercollegiate and intramural sports. Brandeis is a Division III school and participates in 20 varsity sports, including basketball, soccer, and swimming. The College has several state-of-the-art athletic facilities, such as a 1,500-seat indoor Sports and Recreation Center and a six-lane swimming pool. Middlebury is also a Division III school and has a robust athletics program, with 31 varsity teams and a range of club and intramural sports. The College’s facilities include a hockey arena, a 50-meter pool, and several fitness centers.

Additionally, both schools offer opportunities for students to get involved in sports beyond just playing on a team. Brandeis has a variety of fitness classes, such as yoga and kickboxing, as well as outdoor adventure programs like hiking and kayaking. Middlebury has a strong emphasis on sustainability and offers eco-friendly sports options, such as a bike share program and a solar-powered boathouse. Both schools also have active student-run sports clubs, allowing students to participate in sports they may not have had the opportunity to play before.

Brandeis vs Middlebury: Career Services

Preparing for life after graduation is a critical part of the college experience. Both Brandeis and Middlebury have robust career services programs that support students in exploring career options, securing internships, and preparing for job interviews. Brandeis’s Hiatt Career Center provides career counseling, job search resources, and employer networking opportunities. Middlebury’s Center for Careers and Internships offers similar services and provides students with access to alumni networks and career mentoring programs. Both schools have excellent track records of preparing students for the workforce, with high job placement rates and prestigious graduate school acceptances.

However, there are some differences between the two schools’ career services programs. Brandeis’s Hiatt Career Center offers a unique program called the World of Work (WOW) Fellowship, which provides funding for students to pursue unpaid internships in fields such as the arts, public service, and social justice. Middlebury’s Center for Careers and Internships, on the other hand, has a strong focus on sustainability and offers resources for students interested in pursuing careers in environmental fields.

Additionally, both schools have partnerships with local and national employers to provide students with job and internship opportunities. Brandeis has partnerships with companies such as Google, Amazon, and Goldman Sachs, while Middlebury has partnerships with organizations such as the United Nations and the Peace Corps. These partnerships provide students with valuable connections and opportunities to gain real-world experience in their desired fields.

Admissions Process: What You Need to Know Before Applying to Either School

Both Brandeis and Middlebury have competitive admissions processes and require applicants to submit standardized test scores, transcripts, and essays. Brandeis has a test-optional policy, meaning that applicants can choose to submit SAT or ACT scores or not. Middlebury also has a test-optional policy for the 2021-2022 admissions cycle. Both schools offer early decision and regular decision options, and encourage prospective students to visit campus, attend information sessions, and connect with current students to get a sense of the school’s community.

It is important to note that both Brandeis and Middlebury also consider extracurricular activities, community involvement, and letters of recommendation in their admissions decisions. They are looking for well-rounded students who will contribute to their campus community and make the most of their college experience. Additionally, both schools have resources available for students who may need financial aid or support during the application process. It is recommended that applicants thoroughly research each school’s admissions requirements and reach out to their admissions offices with any questions or concerns.

Tuition and Financial Aid: Comparing Costs and Scholarships at Brandeis and Middlebury

The cost of attending college is a significant consideration for most students and families. Brandeis currently charges $59,400 per year for tuition, room, and board. Middlebury’s tuition, room, and board are slightly higher at $66,964. However, both schools are committed to providing need-based and merit-based financial aid. Brandeis meets 100% of demonstrated need for U.S. citizens and permanent residents, while Middlebury meets 100% of demonstrated need for all students, regardless of citizenship. Both schools offer a range of scholarships and grants, and we recommend researching financial aid options carefully.

It’s important to note that the cost of attendance goes beyond just tuition, room, and board. Students should also consider additional expenses such as textbooks, transportation, and personal expenses. Brandeis and Middlebury both provide estimates for these costs on their websites, and students should factor them into their overall budget when comparing the two schools. Additionally, students should be aware of any work-study opportunities or part-time jobs available on campus to help offset these costs.

Low angle view of four university students on campus

Alumni Network: How Graduates of Each School are Faring in Their Careers

Networking and connecting with alumni can be a crucial part of a college education, and both Brandeis and Middlebury boast highly successful alumni networks. Brandeis has over 45,000 alumni worldwide, including Nobel laureates, entrepreneurs, and distinguished scholars. Alumni are active in a variety of industries, including law, politics, and the arts. Middlebury has over 31,000 alumni, including numerous Pulitzer Prize winners, CEOs, and world leaders. Middlebury alumni have a strong tradition of giving back to the school, and the College has one of the highest alumni giving rates in the country.

Both schools offer extensive resources for students to connect with alumni, including mentorship programs, networking events, and online directories. Brandeis has a dedicated Alumni Career Services office, which provides career counseling, job search assistance, and access to exclusive job postings. Middlebury’s Center for Careers and Internships also offers a wide range of resources, including career counseling, resume and cover letter reviews, and internship and job search support. Both schools recognize the importance of alumni connections in helping students achieve their career goals and provide ample opportunities for students to engage with successful graduates.

Brandeis vs Middlebury: Campus Safety

Ensuring a safe and secure campus environment is a top priority for both Brandeis and Middlebury. Both schools have dedicated campus safety departments and employ a range of security measures, including CCTV cameras, emergency call boxes, and comprehensive emergency response plans. Brandeis has a low crime rate, and the school is committed to providing a safe and inclusive environment for all students. Middlebury has also seen relatively low levels of crime and has a student-driven safety patrol program.

In addition to these security measures, both schools also offer resources and support for students who may experience safety concerns. Brandeis has a 24/7 campus escort service, as well as a confidential reporting system for incidents of sexual assault or harassment. Middlebury has a similar reporting system and offers self-defense classes for students. Both schools also have counseling services available for students who may need support in dealing with safety-related issues.

Brandeis vs Middlebury: Social Scene

College is not all about academics; there’s also the social scene to consider. Both Brandeis and Middlebury have vibrant social scenes, with plenty of dining options, nightlife activities, and off-campus adventures. Brandeis has several dining options on campus, including a kosher dining hall and a food truck. Off-campus, students can enjoy Boston’s bustling restaurant and bar scene. Middlebury has a range of dining options, including a farm-to-table dining hall and several cafes. Students can also take advantage of the town’s restaurants and shops, as well as the local ski resorts and hiking trails.

Additionally, both campuses offer a variety of nightlife activities. Brandeis has a student-run nightclub, Cholmondeley’s, which hosts events such as dance parties and live music performances. Middlebury has a student-run social house, 51 Main, which hosts events such as open mic nights and trivia nights. Both campuses also have movie theaters and performing arts centers that showcase a range of films and performances.

For those looking for off-campus adventures, both Brandeis and Middlebury are located in areas with plenty of outdoor activities. Brandeis is located just outside of Boston, which offers opportunities for city exploration, such as visiting museums and attending concerts. Middlebury is located in the Green Mountains of Vermont, which offers opportunities for skiing, snowboarding, and hiking. Both campuses also have clubs and organizations that organize outdoor trips and activities for students.

Brandeis vs Middlebury: Reputation and Rankings

Finally, both Brandeis and Middlebury enjoy excellent reputations and high rankings among liberal arts colleges. Brandeis is consistently ranked in the top 40 national liberal arts colleges by U.S. News & World Report, and is known for its commitment to social justice and diversity. Middlebury is also a top-ranked liberal arts college, consistently ranking in the top 10 by U.S. News & World Report, and is recognized for its strong environmental studies program and language instruction.

However, there are some differences between the two schools. Brandeis has a larger student body, with over 5,700 undergraduate and graduate students, while Middlebury has just over 2,500 undergraduate students. Brandeis also has a more diverse student body, with over 50% of students identifying as people of color, while Middlebury’s student body is around 25% students of color. On the other hand, Middlebury has a higher acceptance rate, with an acceptance rate of around 16%, compared to Brandeis’ acceptance rate of around 30%. Overall, both schools offer excellent academic programs and opportunities for students to engage in research and extracurricular activities.

Portrait of happy students walking with bag and mobile phone

Conclusion: Which School is the Best Fit for You?

Ultimately, the choice between Brandeis and Middlebury will depend on your individual preferences and priorities. Both schools offer excellent liberal arts educations, with rigorous academics, engaged student communities, and strong alumni networks. We recommend visiting each campus, speaking with current students and faculty, and carefully researching academic programs and student life opportunities to make an informed decision. Whatever your choice, we wish you the best of luck!

It is important to consider factors such as location, campus culture, and extracurricular activities when making your decision. Brandeis is located just outside of Boston, offering easy access to the city’s cultural and professional opportunities. Middlebury, on the other hand, is situated in a rural area with stunning natural surroundings and a tight-knit community. Additionally, both schools offer a wide range of clubs, sports teams, and volunteer organizations for students to get involved in outside of the classroom. Take the time to weigh all of these factors before making your final decision.

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Diverse Students wearing Cap and Gown Holding Photo Frame Studio Portrait

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