Brandeis vs Villanova: Which School Is Right for You?

By Eric Eng

By Eric Eng

View of Brandeis University campus

Brandeis vs Villanova: Which School Is Right for You?

When it comes to choosing a university, there are many factors to consider. From location and campus size to academic programs, extracurricular activities, and tuition costs, the decision-making process can be overwhelming. In this article, we will explore the differences and similarities between two prestigious universities, Brandeis University vs Villanova University. By the end of the article, you will have a better understanding of the unique features, strengths, and weaknesses of each university, helping you make an informed decision about which one is the best fit for your needs.

Location and Campus Size: How Do Brandeis and Villanova Compare?

Location and campus size are two crucial aspects to consider when choosing a university. Brandeis University is located in Waltham, Massachusetts, a suburb of Boston. Its campus spans over 235 acres of park-like land and is home to more than 3,600 undergraduate students. Villanova University, on the other hand, is located in Villanova, Pennsylvania, a suburb of Philadelphia. Its campus covers 260 acres and has a student population of around 10,000, with 7,000 undergraduates.

Despite their differences, both campuses offer a welcoming and inclusive environment. They provide ample resources, such as libraries, student centers, and recreational facilities, to help students stay engaged and succeed academically and socially.

Brandeis University is known for its strong liberal arts curriculum, which emphasizes critical thinking, writing, and research skills. The university also offers a wide range of majors and minors, including programs in the sciences, social sciences, and humanities. Students have the opportunity to work closely with faculty members on research projects and participate in internships and study abroad programs.

View of Villanova University building

Villanova University, on the other hand, is known for its strong business and engineering programs. The university’s School of Business is highly ranked and offers a variety of undergraduate and graduate programs. The College of Engineering is also highly regarded and offers programs in areas such as civil, mechanical, and electrical engineering. Villanova students have access to a variety of experiential learning opportunities, including internships, co-op programs, and service learning projects.

Academic Programs: Which University Offers More Options?

When it comes to academic programs, Brandeis and Villanova are both highly regarded universities, offering a wide range of majors, minors, and graduate programs. Brandeis University has a particular strength in humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences. Its most popular majors include Psychology, Biology, Economics, Computer Science, and Political Science. Villanova University, on the other hand, has strong business and engineering programs, as well as excellent liberal arts offerings. Its most popular majors include Finance, Marketing, Mechanical Engineering, Nursing, and Psychology.

Both universities have highly qualified faculty members, who are leaders in their fields and committed to providing personalized attention to their students. In addition, both schools offer a variety of research opportunities for students to engage in, including internships, independent studies, and community service.

However, there are some differences between the two universities when it comes to the availability of certain programs. For example, Brandeis offers a unique major in Environmental Studies, which combines coursework in biology, chemistry, and environmental policy. Villanova, on the other hand, has a highly regarded program in Sustainable Engineering, which focuses on designing and implementing environmentally friendly solutions to engineering problems.

Brandeis vs Villanova: Student Life

When it comes to student life, both universities have a vibrant campus culture and a wide variety of extracurricular activities. Brandeis University has over 260 student-run clubs and organizations, ranging from sports teams and dance troupes to political groups and philanthropic associations. Villanova University has over 250 student organizations, including service clubs, cultural groups, and academic societies.

Both universities prioritize student well-being and offer extensive resources for mental health, wellness, and career development. They also host events and activities throughout the year that help to foster a sense of community and school spirit.

One notable difference between the two universities is their approach to Greek life. Brandeis University does not officially recognize fraternities or sororities, while Villanova University has a strong Greek life presence on campus. This means that Villanova students have access to a variety of Greek organizations, including social, service, and professional fraternities and sororities. However, it is important to note that both universities offer a range of social and networking opportunities for students, regardless of their involvement in Greek life.

Admissions: What Are the Acceptance Rates and Requirements for Brandeis and Villanova?

Admissions to Brandeis and Villanova are highly selective. They look for students with strong academic records, extracurricular achievements, and a passion for learning and making a positive impact on the world.

The acceptance rate for Brandeis University is around 34%. The average SAT score for admitted students is around 1420, and the average ACT score is around 32. For Villanova University, the acceptance rate is around 29%. The average SAT score for admitted students is around 1440, and the average ACT score is around 33.

Both universities recommend that applicants submit a personal essay, letters of recommendation, and other relevant materials, such as resumes and writing samples. They also consider demonstrated interest, leadership potential, and extracurricular involvement when making admissions decisions.

Brandeis University is known for its strong programs in the humanities, social sciences, and sciences. The university offers more than 40 majors and minors, including popular programs in psychology, biology, and economics. Villanova University, on the other hand, is known for its strong programs in business, engineering, and nursing. The university offers more than 50 undergraduate majors, including popular programs in finance, mechanical engineering, and communication.

View of Villanova University sign

Both universities also offer a variety of opportunities for students to get involved outside of the classroom. Brandeis has more than 250 student organizations, including clubs focused on community service, cultural awareness, and the arts. Villanova has more than 300 student organizations, including clubs focused on entrepreneurship, sustainability, and social justice. Both universities also have active Greek life communities and offer a variety of intramural and club sports.

Brandeis vs Villanova: Faculty and Research

Both Brandeis and Villanova have highly qualified faculty members, who are leaders in their fields and committed to providing personalized attention to their students. They also have a strong emphasis on research and scholarship, with faculty members engaged in cutting-edge research across a wide range of disciplines.

Brandeis University has 26 Fulbright scholars on its faculty, and Villanova University has over 200 faculty members who have received prestigious awards and recognitions for their research and teaching achievements.

Additionally, both universities have research centers and institutes that provide opportunities for students to engage in research alongside faculty members. Brandeis University has the Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism, the Mandel Center for the Humanities, and the Rosenstiel Basic Medical Sciences Research Center, among others. Villanova University has the Waterhouse Family Institute for the Study of Communication and Society, the Center for Arab and Islamic Studies, and the Center for Global Leadership, among others. These research centers and institutes provide students with hands-on experience in their fields of study and contribute to the universities’ reputation for excellence in research.

Brandeis vs Villanova: Alumni Network

Both Brandeis and Villanova have active alumni networks that offer a range of benefits to their graduates. These networks provide opportunities for networking, mentoring, and professional development, as well as opportunities for social engagement and community involvement.

Brandeis University has a large network of over 50,000 alumni worldwide, with notable graduates including Nobel laureates, Pulitzer Prize winners, and leaders in business, law, and public service. Villanova University has a similarly impressive network of over 120,000 alumni around the world, with graduates excelling in fields such as business, sports, education, and the arts.

However, when it comes to the strength of the alumni network, it is important to consider factors such as the level of engagement and support provided by the network. Brandeis alumni are known for their strong sense of community and willingness to support fellow graduates, with active regional chapters and affinity groups that provide opportunities for alumni to connect and collaborate. Villanova alumni also have a strong sense of community, with a dedicated alumni association that offers a range of programs and services to support graduates throughout their careers.

Brandeis vs Villanova: Career Services

Both universities have robust career services offices that offer a wide range of resources and support to students and alumni. These include career counseling, job search tools, resume workshops, and networking opportunities.

Brandeis University’s Hiatt Career Center has an impressive placement rate, with around 91% of graduates securing employment or graduate school acceptance within six months of graduation. The center also offers a variety of internship opportunities, including partnerships with over 100 companies and organizations across the United States and abroad. Villanova University’s Career Center also has a strong record of success, with 97% of graduates finding employment or pursuing graduate studies within six months of graduation. The center offers a range of career fairs, job and internship search tools, and networking events to help students and alumni achieve their professional goals.

One unique aspect of Brandeis University’s Hiatt Career Center is its focus on social justice and community engagement. The center offers a Social Justice WOW (World of Work) program, which connects students with internships and job opportunities in non-profit organizations and government agencies that work towards social justice and equity. Additionally, the center hosts an annual Social Justice Career Fair, which brings together employers and organizations that prioritize social justice in their work.

Villanova University’s Career Center also offers specialized programs and resources for students interested in specific industries, such as healthcare, finance, and technology. The center partners with industry leaders to provide students with networking opportunities, internships, and job placements in these fields. Villanova’s Career Center also offers a unique program called “Nova Network,” which connects students and alumni with each other and with potential employers through an online platform.

Brandeis University in Waltham, USA

Tuition and Financial Aid: Which University Is More Affordable?

When it comes to tuition and financial aid, both universities are committed to making higher education accessible and affordable to all eligible students. However, tuition and fees can vary widely depending on factors such as residency, program of study, and course load.

The current tuition for undergraduate students at Brandeis University is around $59,200 per year, while at Villanova University, it is around $54,250 per year. Both universities offer a range of scholarships, grants, and other forms of financial aid to help students offset the cost of tuition and fees.

It is important to note that the cost of attendance goes beyond just tuition and fees. Students must also consider the cost of textbooks, housing, and other living expenses. At Brandeis University, the estimated cost of attendance for the 2021-2022 academic year is $78,000, while at Villanova University, it is $72,000. However, both universities offer work-study programs and other opportunities for students to earn money while attending school.

Additionally, it is worth researching the specific financial aid options available at each university. Brandeis University, for example, offers need-based financial aid, as well as merit-based scholarships and grants. Villanova University offers a similar range of financial aid options, including need-based aid, scholarships, and grants. It is important to carefully review the eligibility requirements and application deadlines for each type of financial aid.

Student Diversity: Examining the Racial, Ethnic, and Socioeconomic Diversity at Both Universities

Ensuring a diverse student population is essential for creating a rich and inclusive learning environment and preparing students for success in a multicultural world. Both Brandeis and Villanova are committed to promoting diversity and inclusion on their campuses.

Brandeis University has a diverse student population, with around 48% of undergraduates identifying as students of color or international students. Similarly, Villanova University has a diverse student population, with around 31% of undergraduates identifying as students of color or international students.

Both universities offer a variety of resources and programs to support diversity and inclusion, including multicultural centers, diversity committees, and student-led organizations.

However, while both universities have made strides in promoting diversity, there is still work to be done in terms of socioeconomic diversity. According to a recent study, only 14% of Brandeis students come from families with incomes in the bottom 20%, while at Villanova, only 13% of students come from families in the bottom 20%. This lack of socioeconomic diversity can have a significant impact on the experiences and opportunities available to students from lower-income backgrounds.

Brandeis vs Villanova: Athletics

Both universities have robust athletics programs that offer a range of sports and levels of competition. Brandeis University is a Division III school and offers 19 varsity sports teams, including basketball, tennis, soccer, and swimming. Villanova University is a Division I school and offers 24 varsity sports teams, including basketball, football, lacrosse, and soccer.

Both universities’ athletics programs prioritize student-athlete well-being, sportsmanship, and discipline, and offer resources and facilities to support athletes’ success on and off the field.

Brandeis University’s athletics program has a strong focus on community engagement and service. Student-athletes are encouraged to participate in community service projects and volunteer work, and the athletics department partners with local organizations to provide opportunities for student-athletes to give back to the community.

Villanova University’s athletics program has a long history of success in both individual and team sports. The men’s basketball team has won two national championships, and the women’s cross country team has won three national championships. The athletics department also places a strong emphasis on academic achievement, with many student-athletes earning academic honors and awards.

Brandeis vs Villanova: Campus Safety

Campus safety is a top priority for both universities, with a variety of measures and resources in place to ensure the safety and well-being of their students, faculty, and staff.

According to the most recent reported data from the U.S. Department of Education, Brandeis University had two reported cases of burglary and one reported case of motor vehicle theft in 2019. Villanova University had no reported incidents of burglary or motor vehicle theft in 2019.

Both universities have 24/7 security patrols, emergency response teams, and safety training programs to ensure that all members of the campus community feel secure and supported.

In addition to these safety measures, both universities have implemented new technologies to enhance campus safety. Brandeis University has installed a campus-wide emergency notification system that sends alerts to students, faculty, and staff in the event of an emergency. Villanova University has implemented a mobile safety app that allows students to quickly and easily report incidents and request assistance.

Furthermore, both universities have established partnerships with local law enforcement agencies to ensure a coordinated response in the event of a campus emergency. These partnerships include regular joint training exercises and communication protocols to ensure a seamless response to any potential threat.

Brandeis University Signage

Brandeis vs Villanova: Student Housing

When it comes to student housing, both Brandeis and Villanova offer a range of options to meet students’ needs and preferences. Brandeis University has a variety of residence halls, apartments, and townhouses, with options for singles, doubles, and suites. Villanova University has similar options, including dormitory-style living, apartment-style living, and townhouses.

Both universities offer resources and support to help students with the housing selection process, as well as programs and events to build community and promote a healthy and safe living environment.

However, there are some notable differences between the two universities’ on-campus housing options. Brandeis University has a larger percentage of students living on campus, with approximately 80% of undergraduate students residing in university housing. In contrast, Villanova University has a smaller percentage of students living on campus, with approximately 60% of undergraduate students residing in university housing.

Additionally, Brandeis University has a policy of requiring all first-year students to live on campus, while Villanova University only requires first-year students to live on campus if they live outside of a certain radius from the university.

Brandeis vs Villanova: Graduation Rates

Graduation rates are an important measure of a university’s success in helping students achieve their academic and personal goals. Both Brandeis and Villanova have high graduation rates, indicating that they provide a supportive and challenging environment that fosters academic achievement and personal growth.

According to the most recent data from the U.S. Department of Education, Brandeis University has a six-year graduation rate of around 88%, while Villanova University has a six-year graduation rate of around 90%. These rates are above the national average and indicate that both universities have a strong commitment to helping their students succeed.

However, it is important to note that graduation rates can vary depending on factors such as the student population, academic programs, and resources available. It is also important to consider other measures of success, such as job placement rates and alumni satisfaction. Prospective students should research and compare multiple factors when choosing a university that best fits their needs and goals.

Brandeis vs Villanova: Reputation and Rankings

Finally, we come to the reputation and rankings of Brandeis and Villanova. Both universities are highly regarded and have received numerous accolades and recognitions for their academic programs, faculty achievements, research contributions, and alumni success.

According to the latest U.S. News & World Report rankings, Brandeis University is ranked #35 among national universities. It is also ranked #15 in Best Undergraduate Teaching and #21 in Best Value Schools. Villanova University is ranked #46 in national universities and #12 in Best Undergraduate Business Programs.

While rankings should not be the sole factor in choosing a university, they can provide a useful benchmark for understanding a university’s strengths and reputation.

It is worth noting that both Brandeis and Villanova have also been recognized for their commitment to diversity and inclusion. Brandeis has been ranked #1 for “Students Most Engaged in Community Service” by the Princeton Review, and has also been recognized as a “Top Performer on Social Mobility” by U.S. News & World Report. Villanova has been recognized as a “Diversity Champion” by INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine, and has received a “Higher Education Excellence in Diversity” award from DiversityComm.

Additionally, both universities have strong graduate programs. Brandeis is ranked #35 in Best Graduate Schools for Social Work, and #40 in Best Graduate Schools for Psychology. Villanova’s graduate programs in engineering, law, and nursing are also highly regarded.


As we have seen, Brandeis and Villanova are both excellent universities, with unique features and strengths that make them stand out. Whether you prioritize location, academic programs, campus culture, athletics, or career services, both universities offer a wealth of resources and opportunities to help you achieve your academic and personal goals.

We hope that this article has provided you with a comprehensive and informative overview of the differences and similarities between Brandeis and Villanova. As you consider your options, we encourage you to visit both campuses, talk to current students and faculty, and explore the vast array of resources and opportunities that these universities have to offer.

graduates wearing their graduation gown and Cambridge University as their background

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.