Brandeis vs UPenn: A Comprehensive Look

August 2, 2023
By AdmissionSight

Brandeis vs UPenn: A Comprehensive Look

Choosing the right college can be a daunting task, especially when trying to compare two great universities like Brandeis vs UPenn. This article aims to provide a comprehensive review of the similarities and differences between these two esteemed institutions. From location and campus size, to tuition costs and career services, we will cover all aspects of these universities so that you can make an informed decision about where to enroll.

Location and Campus Size

Brandeis University is located in Waltham, Massachusetts, just nine miles west of Boston. With approximately 235 acres, Brandeis has a relatively small but suburban campus that offers the perfect balance between a peaceful and bustling environment. On the other hand, the University of Pennsylvania is located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, with a sprawling campus spanning approximately 302 acres. While both universities boast beautiful campuses with state-of-the-art facilities, it is worth noting that the University of Pennsylvania’s larger campus allows for more spacious green spaces and recreational facilities.

Aside from the size of the campus, the location of the universities also offers different advantages. Brandeis University’s proximity to Boston provides students with easy access to the city’s cultural and historical landmarks, as well as internship and job opportunities. Meanwhile, the University of Pennsylvania’s location in Philadelphia offers students a vibrant and diverse city experience, with a thriving arts and music scene, and a wide range of dining and entertainment options.

Another factor to consider when comparing the two universities is the student population. Brandeis University has a smaller student body, with approximately 5,800 undergraduate and graduate students, while the University of Pennsylvania has a larger student population of around 26,000. This difference in size can affect the sense of community and the level of individual attention that students receive from faculty and staff.

Very old building in University of Pennsylvania

Undergraduate Programs Offered

Both schools offer a range of undergraduate programs in fields such as business, natural sciences, humanities, and social sciences, to name a few. Brandeis University is known for its strong liberal arts program, which is evident in its diverse range of undergraduate majors like Anthropology, Classics, and Jewish Studies. The University of Pennsylvania, on the other hand, is known for its strong programs in business, engineering, and computer science. Their undergraduate program also provides the opportunity for students to specialize in a wide range of fields, including healthcare, policy, and communication.

Additionally, both universities offer various opportunities for undergraduate research and internships. Brandeis University has a strong focus on undergraduate research, with many students participating in research projects alongside faculty members. The University of Pennsylvania also offers numerous research opportunities, with its Penn Undergraduate Research Mentoring Program providing students with the chance to work on research projects with faculty members across various disciplines. Both universities also have extensive internship programs, allowing students to gain practical experience in their chosen fields and make valuable connections with professionals in their industries.

Graduate Programs Offered

Somewhat similar to the undergraduate programs, both universities offer a wide range of graduate programs such as law, medicine, social work, and more. However, the University of Pennsylvania offers a much more extensive range of graduate programs compared to Brandeis University. This is due in part to the larger size of the University of Pennsylvania and its greater resources and research facilities.

Some of the unique graduate programs offered at the University of Pennsylvania include a Master of Applied Positive Psychology, a Master of Environmental Studies, and a Master of Science in Robotics. These programs are highly specialized and attract students from all over the world who are interested in pursuing careers in these fields. Brandeis University, on the other hand, offers a highly regarded Master of Arts in Teaching program, which prepares students for careers in education.

Brandeis vs UPenn: Student Population and Diversity

Both universities are renowned for their elite student body, and both are selective schools with high admission standards. Brandeis University has a total undergraduate enrollment of just over 3,600 students. About 31% of its undergraduate students are international students, and approximately 30% of the student body identifies as a minority. Similarly, the University of Pennsylvania has an undergraduate enrollment of approximately 10,600 students, with approximately 12% of the student body coming from international backgrounds and around 48% identifying as a minority.

It is worth noting that both universities have made efforts to increase diversity and inclusivity on their campuses. Brandeis University has implemented various programs and initiatives to support underrepresented students, including the Intercultural Center and the Posse Foundation partnership. The University of Pennsylvania has also taken steps to promote diversity, such as establishing the Penn First Plus program to support first-generation and low-income students, and creating the Penn Center for Minority Serving Institutions to support historically underrepresented colleges and universities.

View of UPenn sign

Admission Requirements and Selectivity

Being a highly rated institution, both Brandeis and the University of Pennsylvania have selective admission processes, and the requirements are quite rigorous. Brandeis University looks for students who are passionate about learning and community engagement, and the admissions process is focused on the individual candidate’s achievements, character, and dedication to community service. The University of Pennsylvania, on the other hand, is more data-driven, with a focus on academic achievements, test scores, and extracurricular activities.

It is important to note that both universities also consider factors beyond just academic and extracurricular achievements. Brandeis University values diversity and seeks to create a community of students from different backgrounds and experiences. The University of Pennsylvania also considers factors such as legacy status, athletic ability, and geographic location in their admissions process. It is important for prospective students to thoroughly research and understand the specific requirements and values of each institution before applying.

Faculty Quality and Research Opportunities

Both universities have renowned faculty members with impressive research credentials who are dedicated to enhancing their students’ learning experience. Brandeis University faculty members are known for their approachable style and commitment to mentorship and personalized instruction. The University of Pennsylvania likewise boasts some of the most renowned professors in the world, with countless opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students to engage in research and scholarship programs.

Additionally, both universities have state-of-the-art research facilities and resources that provide students with hands-on experience in their respective fields. Brandeis University’s research centers include the National Center for Behavioral Genomics and the Rosenstiel Basic Medical Sciences Research Center. The University of Pennsylvania, on the other hand, has numerous research centers such as the Penn Center for Health Informatics and the Penn Institute for Biomedical Informatics, which offer students the opportunity to work alongside leading researchers in their fields.

Class Sizes and Student-to-Faculty Ratio

The class sizes and student-to-faculty ratio are both important factors in determining the quality of education offered. Brandeis University’s undergraduate class sizes are kept deliberately small, with an average class size of just 17 students and a student-to-faculty ratio of 9:1. Similarly, the University of Pennsylvania boasts an impressive undergraduate student-to-faculty ratio of 6:1, with an average class size of just 23 students.

Research has shown that smaller class sizes and lower student-to-faculty ratios can lead to better academic outcomes for students. This is because students are able to receive more individualized attention from their professors, which can help them to better understand the material and succeed in their coursework. Additionally, smaller class sizes can foster a more collaborative and engaging learning environment, as students are more likely to participate in class discussions and work closely with their peers.

Brandeis University Signage

Brandeis vs UPenn: Extracurricular Activities and Clubs

Both universities offer a range of extracurricular activities and clubs, ranging from sports teams, debate clubs, and music ensembles, to service projects and social organizations. Brandeis University has over 250 clubs and organizations, including the Student Union, the MakerLab, and the Community Service Club. The University of Pennsylvania, likewise, has over 450 student-run clubs and organizations, some of which include the Penn Film Initiative, the Penn Hiking Club, and Penn Dhamaka.

Additionally, both universities have a strong emphasis on entrepreneurship and innovation, with many clubs and programs dedicated to fostering these skills. Brandeis University has the Entrepreneurship and Innovation Club, which hosts events and workshops to help students develop their business ideas. The University of Pennsylvania has the Penn Innovation Center, which provides resources and support for students looking to start their own businesses. These opportunities allow students to gain practical experience and develop valuable skills outside of the classroom.

Brandeis vs UPenn: Sports Programs and Athletic Facilities

Both universities have top-rated athletic programs, with well-designed facilities and a variety of competitive teams. At Brandeis University, athletics are taken seriously, with 19 Division III varsity sports teams participating in the University Athletic Association. The University of Pennsylvania, meanwhile, is a Division I school that participates in the Ivy League. Its student athletes compete in 33 varsity sports, with more than 60 fitness and recreational programs available to all students.

Brandeis University’s athletic facilities include the Gosman Sports and Convocation Center, which houses a 2,000-seat arena, a 25-yard swimming pool, and a fitness center. The university also has a state-of-the-art tennis center, a baseball field, and a softball field. In addition to varsity sports, Brandeis offers a variety of intramural and club sports, including ultimate frisbee, volleyball, and soccer.

The University of Pennsylvania’s athletic facilities include the historic Franklin Field, which has hosted numerous Olympic events and is home to the university’s football, lacrosse, and track and field teams. The Palestra, a basketball arena, is also a notable facility on campus. In addition to varsity sports, Penn offers a wide range of recreational activities, including dance classes, martial arts, and outdoor adventure programs.

Brandeis vs UPenn: Tuition Costs and Financial Aid Options

Both universities are expensive, and students and their families need to be financially prepared to handle the cost of attendance. For undergraduate studies, Brandeis University’s tuition fee is approximately $59,969 per annum, while the University of Pennsylvania’s tuition fee is $60,042 per annum. However, both universities offer robust financial aid packages to deserving students based on their individual needs and merit.

It is important to note that financial aid options vary between the two universities. Brandeis University offers need-based financial aid, which is determined by the student’s family income and assets. The University of Pennsylvania, on the other hand, offers both need-based and merit-based financial aid. This means that students who excel academically or in extracurricular activities may be eligible for additional financial assistance.

Career Services and Job Placement Rates

Both universities are dedicated to helping students transition into the workforce seamlessly, with comprehensive career development services and job placement support. Brandeis University offers its students access to its Hiatt Career Center, which offers personalized career counseling, workshops, and job fairs. The University of Pennsylvania has a dedicated Career Services department that works closely with students to develop career goals, marketing strategies, and interview skills. Both universities boast impressive job placement rates, and their alumni network is highly regarded in the job market.

Additionally, Brandeis University offers its students the opportunity to participate in internships and co-op programs, which provide hands-on experience in their chosen field. These programs allow students to gain practical skills and make valuable connections in their industry, increasing their chances of securing a job after graduation.

The University of Pennsylvania also offers its students access to a wide range of career resources, including online job boards, resume and cover letter reviews, and networking events. The university’s Career Services department also partners with employers to provide students with exclusive job and internship opportunities, giving them a competitive edge in the job market.

Brandeis University in Waltham, USA


Alumni Network and Reputation in the Job Market

Both universities have a highly esteemed reputation in the job market, with a global alumni network that is committed to advancing the schools’ objectives. Brandeis University alumni are renowned for their commitment to social justice and community engagement, with notable alumni such as Susan Kare (the graphic designer who created the original Macintosh icons) and Abner Mikva (the former White House Counsel and federal judge). Similarly, the University of Pennsylvania has a large and diverse group of alumni, including former US President Donald Trump, investor Warren Buffet, and tennis superstar Venus Williams.

Moreover, the alumni networks of both universities offer a plethora of resources and opportunities for current students and recent graduates. Brandeis University’s alumni network provides mentorship programs, career counseling, and networking events to help students and graduates connect with potential employers and advance their careers. The University of Pennsylvania’s alumni network offers similar resources, including job boards, alumni directories, and career fairs, to help students and graduates navigate the job market and find employment opportunities that align with their interests and skills.

Technology Resources for Students

Both universities have a robust infrastructure dedicated to providing students with state-of-the-art technology. Brandeis University provides students with access to laptops, advanced software, and multimedia production equipment. The University of Pennsylvania, meanwhile, has a technology innovation lab, where students can access cutting-edge technology and work on their tech-based projects.

In addition to these resources, both universities also offer extensive online resources for students. Brandeis University has a comprehensive online library, which provides access to thousands of academic journals, e-books, and other digital resources. The University of Pennsylvania, on the other hand, has an online learning platform that allows students to access course materials, participate in online discussions, and collaborate with their peers from anywhere in the world.

Brandeis vs UPenn: Campus Safety Measures and Crime Rates

Safety on campus is a top priority for both universities, and they have comprehensive measures in place to ensure students are secure. Brandeis University’s campus safety team works round the clock to ensure the safety of students, and the campus is regarded as one of the safest in the country. The University of Pennsylvania has a dedicated division of Public Safety that offers services like walking escorts, vehicle assistance, and community outreach events for students and staff.

In addition to the safety measures in place, both universities also have low crime rates. According to the latest statistics, Brandeis University had only 5 reported incidents of crime on campus in the past year, while the University of Pennsylvania had 10. These numbers are significantly lower than the national average for universities, which is a testament to the effectiveness of their safety measures.

Furthermore, both universities regularly review and update their safety protocols to ensure they are up-to-date with the latest technology and best practices. Brandeis University recently implemented a new emergency notification system that sends alerts to students’ phones in case of an emergency, while the University of Pennsylvania has invested in new security cameras and lighting around campus.

Brandeis vs UPenn: Sustainability Initiatives and Environmental Impact

Both universities have a strong commitment to sustainability and environmental protection. Brandeis University’s campus is focused on being carbon-neutral by 2050 and has implemented a range of sustainable practices like energy conservation, recycling, and green building practices. The University of Pennsylvania, similarly, is committed to reducing its carbon footprint and implementing environmentally friendly initiatives such as using energy-efficient buildings and harnessing renewable energy sources.

In addition to these efforts, both universities also offer academic programs and research opportunities focused on sustainability and environmental studies. Brandeis University has a Sustainability Program that offers courses, internships, and research opportunities for students interested in sustainability. The University of Pennsylvania has a Center for Environmental Building and Design that conducts research and offers educational programs on sustainable building practices. Both universities also have student-led organizations focused on sustainability and environmental activism.

Low angle view of four university students on campus

Brandeis vs UPenn: Social Life on Campus

Both universities have vibrant and diverse social scenes, with parties, cultural events, and festivals taking place regularly. Brandeis University offers a warm and close-knit community, with regular events such as concerts, movie nights, and cuisine fairs organized by student clubs and organizations. The University of Pennsylvania, with its larger student body, offers an even more extensive range of social events, from renowned football games to frat parties and cultural celebrations like Chinese new year and Holi.

Additionally, both universities have a variety of student-run clubs and organizations that cater to different interests and hobbies. These clubs provide opportunities for students to meet like-minded individuals and engage in activities outside of the classroom. Brandeis University has clubs such as the Debate Society, the Anime Club, and the Photography Club, while the University of Pennsylvania has clubs such as the Quidditch Club, the Fashion and Style Club, and the Chocolate and Confections Society.

Brandeis vs UPenn: Housing Options and Quality of Dorms

Both universities offer on-campus housing options, ranging from traditional dormitories to apartment-style rooms. Brandeis University’s housing options are warm and cozy, with options such as the Charles River apartments, North Campus, and Rosenthal Quad. The University of Pennsylvania, on the other hand, provides a more diverse range of housing options, ranging from high-tech residential colleges to more traditional dorms.

Brandeis University’s dorms are known for their cleanliness and upkeep. The university has a strict policy on maintaining the dorms, ensuring that they are always in top condition. Additionally, the dorms are equipped with modern amenities such as air conditioning, high-speed internet, and laundry facilities, making them comfortable and convenient for students.

The University of Pennsylvania’s housing options are not only diverse but also luxurious. The high-tech residential colleges are equipped with state-of-the-art facilities such as smart classrooms, music practice rooms, and even a rooftop garden. The university also offers themed housing options, such as the Greenfield Intercultural Center, which provides a supportive community for students of color and international students.

Food Services and Dining Options on Campus

Both universities place an emphasis on providing a wide range of culinary options for their students, catering to all diets and food preferences. Brandeis University has multiple dining halls, cafes, and kiosks, offering everything from vegan options to kosher meals. The University of Pennsylvania has a similarly diverse selection of dining options, with everything from fine dining restaurants to quick service cafes and food trucks available on campus.

Public Transportation Access to the University

Being located in populous urban areas, both universities have excellent access to a range of public transportation options. Brandeis University offers a free shuttle service to nearby bus and train stations. The University of Pennsylvania, located in the heart of Philadelphia, likewise has access to multiple public transportation options such as buses, subway trains, and regional rail services, making it easy for students to explore the city and beyond.

Overall, Brandeis University and the University of Pennsylvania are both excellent universities with their own unique strengths. We hope that this review has helped with your decision-making process and given you a better understanding of what each institution has to offer.

a line of graduates wearing their graduation gowns

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.

With a high success rate of over 75%, we have built a strong network in the past decade. Book an initial consultation today, free of charge!


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Sign up now to receive insights on
how to navigate the college admissions process.