Brown University vs. Dartmouth: Which School is Right for You?

By Eric Eng

By Eric Eng

Students sitting on the stairs while talking.

Brown University vs. Dartmouth: Which School is Right for You?

Choosing the right college can be a daunting task, especially when considering the many factors that influence your decision. This article aims to help prospective students and their families understand the similarities and differences between Brown University vs. Dartmouth


and, ultimately, make the right decision for their future.

Both institutions are renowned for their strong academic programs, welcoming student communities, and beautiful campuses. However, each college also possesses unique characteristics that set it apart from the others.

Introduction: Why Choosing the Right School is Important

The choice of college is one of the most significant decisions that individuals make in their lifetime. The college you choose will shape your academic and professional life, social experiences, and personal growth.

In considering Brown University and Dartmouth College, you should evaluate academic programs, campus life, cost of attendance, admission requirements, location, and alumni networks to determine which option is best suited for your interests and goals.

Further, the decision to attend a specific college should entail a vision of how the experience will help transform you into a better person and equip you with essential skills and knowledge for your future endeavors.

It is important to note that the college you choose will also have a significant impact on your future career prospects. Employers often consider the reputation and prestige of the college when making hiring decisions.

Therefore, it is crucial to choose a college that has a strong reputation in your field of interest. Additionally, attending a college with a robust alumni network can provide valuable networking opportunities and connections that can help you secure internships and job opportunities after graduation.

Campus Life at Brown University and Dartmouth

Both Brown University and Dartmouth College offer vibrant campus life. Brown University was founded in 1764 and has a total undergraduate enrollment of 7,160 students. It is located in the heart of Providence, Rhode Island, and ranks 14th in national universities, according to U.S. News & World Report.

The university has a diverse student population and offers a liberal arts education focused on critical thinking, problem-solving, and creativity. Its undergraduate program is divided into three schools – the College, the School of Engineering, and the School of Public Health.

a group of students running at the open field

Brown University has a unique academic culture that emphasizes student autonomy and fosters collaboration between students and faculty.

Dartmouth College is situated in Hanover, New Hampshire. It was founded in 1769 and has a total undergraduate enrollment of 4,459 students. It ranks 13th in national universities, according to U.S. News & World Report. Dartmouth College offers a liberal arts education that is grounded in its strong undergraduate program.

The college is divided into four schools – the College of Arts and Sciences, the Geisel School of Medicine, the Thayer School of Engineering, and the Tuck School of Business. Dartmouth College emphasizes experiential learning and provides students with numerous opportunities to intern, conduct research, and engage in community service.

Both Brown University and Dartmouth College have a wide range of extracurricular activities and clubs that cater to different interests and passions. Brown University has over 300 student organizations, including cultural groups, political organizations, and athletic clubs.

The university also has a strong tradition of student activism and social justice advocacy. Dartmouth College has over 200 student organizations, including a student-run newspaper, a radio station, and a film society.

The college also has a strong athletic program, with 34 varsity sports teams and numerous club sports. Both universities offer students a well-rounded college experience that combines academic rigor with social and personal growth.

Brown University vs. Dartmouth: Academic Programs and Curriculum

Brown University and Dartmouth College offer a broad range of academic programs and curricula. At Brown University, students are required to fulfill general education requirements and take courses in multiple subjects. The College offers over 80 concentration options, including Anthropology, Classics, Computer Science, and Ethnic Studies.

The School of Engineering offers programs in Biomedical, Chemical, Computer, Electrical, and Mechanical Engineering. The School of Public Health provides programs in Biostatistics, Epidemiology, Environmental Health, and Health Services Research. Students pursuing dual degrees or interdisciplinary majors may create their program of study.

At Dartmouth College, all students complete a special distribution requirement known as the “D-Plan.” The “D-Plan” requires students to complete three terms, double majors, or a foreign language proficiency. The College offers over 60 majors and minors, ranging from Computer Science to Environmental Studies.

The College offers opportunities for independent research and internships in various fields, in addition to study abroad programs. The College is known for fostering close relationships between faculty and students.

Brown University and Dartmouth College also offer various resources to support student’s academic success. Brown University has a Writing Center, a Math Resource Center, and a Science Center where students can receive individualized tutoring and support.

The College also offers study abroad programs, research opportunities, and internships to help students gain practical experience in their field of study.

Similarly, Dartmouth College has a Center for Professional Development, which provides career counseling, job search assistance, and networking opportunities to students.

The College also has a Center for Research Computing, which offers resources and support for students conducting research in various fields. Additionally, the College has a variety of student organizations and clubs, which provide opportunities for students to explore their interests and connect with like-minded individuals.

Brown University vs. Dartmouth: Admission Requirements and Application Process

Admission to Brown University and Dartmouth College is highly competitive and based on several factors. Applicants are expected to have exceptional academic records, excellent test scores, and compelling extracurricular activities, including community service and leadership roles.

Brown University requires students to submit either the Common Application or Coalition Application, along with a $75 application fee. Students must also submit ACT or SAT scores, high school transcripts, and letters of recommendation. Brown University is test-optional, meaning students have the option to withhold test scores if they choose.

View of a student smiling at the camera.

Dartmouth College requires students to submit either the Common Application or Coalition Application, along with a $85 application fee. Students must also submit ACT or SAT scores, high school records, letters of recommendation, and essays.

The College values demonstrated intellectual curiosity, leadership, academic excellence, and commitment to the community. The admissions process at Dartmouth College is need-blind, meaning the College meets the full demonstrated financial need of admitted students.

It is important to note that both Brown University and Dartmouth College have highly selective admissions processes, with acceptance rates of around 7% and 9%, respectively.

This means that applicants must not only meet the minimum requirements but also stand out among a highly qualified pool of candidates. Therefore, it is crucial for applicants to showcase their unique strengths and experiences in their application materials.

Additionally, both universities offer various resources and support for prospective students throughout the application process.

This includes virtual information sessions, campus tours, and one-on-one meetings with admissions counselors. It is highly recommended that applicants take advantage of these resources to gain a better understanding of the universities and to make informed decisions about their applications.

Location Comparison: Providence vs. Hanover

One of the key differences between Brown University and Dartmouth College is their respective locations. Brown University is in Providence, Rhode Island, a historic city with a population of approximately 180,000 people. Providence has a diverse population and offers students numerous cultural, social, and recreational activities.

The city is renowned for its art, music, and food scene. Students may intern at numerous companies in the area, including Hasbro, Lifespan, and Textron. Brown University also has partnerships with the Rhode Island School of Design, allowing students to take classes at one of the nation’s leading art universities.

Dartmouth College is located in Hanover, New Hampshire, a small town with a population of approximately 11,496 people. Hanover is located in the Connecticut River Valley, a scenic area with a natural environment that offers students ample opportunities for outdoor recreation, such as skiing, hiking, and cycling.

Hanover is an hour’s drive from Manchester and a two-and-a-half-hour drive from Boston. The town is known for its picturesque New England charm and offers a quaint, cozy atmosphere for students.

Despite the differences in size and location, both Providence and Hanover offer unique opportunities for students. Brown University students can take advantage of the city’s vibrant arts and culture scene, while Dartmouth College students can enjoy the natural beauty of the Connecticut River Valley.

Additionally, both cities offer internship and job opportunities for students, with Providence being home to numerous companies and Hanover being in close proximity to major cities like Manchester and Boston. Ultimately, the choice between these two locations will depend on a student’s personal preferences and priorities.

Brown University vs. Dartmouth: Student Body Comparison

Brown University and Dartmouth College have student bodies comprised of students from diverse backgrounds and nationalities. Brown University has an undergraduate population that is 45 percent students of color and 12 percent international students.

View of students laughing with one another.

The College provides SUN (Students of the United Nations) and leadership programs that place an emphasis on diversity and promoting cross-cultural experiences. The College has over 300 student-led groups focused on co-curricular interests such as theater, debating, music, and athletics.

Brown University also has a strong student-athlete community, with 34 varsity sports teams competing in Division I of the NCAA.

Dartmouth College has an undergraduate student body that is 48 percent women and 24 percent American students of color. The College offers students multiple opportunities to engage in undergraduate research, internships, or experiential learning.

The College has over 300 student organizations with interests that range from politics to student government to arts and culture. Dartmouth College is also home to the Dartmouth Outing Club, one of the oldest and largest collegiate outdoor recreation clubs in the country.

Despite their similarities, there are some differences between the two universities.

Brown University has a larger student body, with over 10,000 students, while Dartmouth College has a smaller student body of just over 4,000 students. Additionally, Brown University has a more urban campus located in Providence, Rhode Island, while Dartmouth College is located in a more rural setting in Hanover, New Hampshire.

Both universities have a strong commitment to community service and civic engagement. Brown University has a Swearer Center for Public Service, which offers students opportunities to engage in community service and social justice work.

Dartmouth College has a Tucker Foundation, which provides students with opportunities to engage in service projects and community-based research.

Alumni Network and Career Opportunities at Brown University and Dartmouth

Brown University and Dartmouth College have strong alumni networks, with alumni actively engaging with students to provide mentorship, career development, and networking opportunities. Brown University has a large, diverse alumni network of over 90,000 graduates worldwide.

The College offers numerous internships and research opportunities to students to help them transition from the classroom to the workforce. Brown University has a career services center that provides students with professional resume and interview training and hosts numerous job fairs and employer engagement opportunities in different fields.

Dartmouth College also has a strong alumni network of over 70,000 graduates worldwide. The college provides over 10,000 internships to students each year, and students have access to over 1,000 employers who actively recruit Dartmouth College graduates. The college also provides numerous career resources, such as career advising, resume critiques, and on-campus recruiting.

Both Brown University and Dartmouth College have a strong focus on entrepreneurship and innovation. Brown University has an entrepreneurship center that provides students with resources and support to start their own businesses. The center offers mentorship, funding opportunities, and workshops to help students develop their ideas and bring them to market.

Dartmouth College also has an entrepreneurship program that provides students with access to funding, mentorship, and networking opportunities. The program hosts an annual pitch competition where students can showcase their business ideas and win funding to launch their ventures.

In addition to career and entrepreneurship opportunities, both Brown University and Dartmouth College offer a wide range of extracurricular activities and clubs for students to get involved in. Brown University has over 400 student organizations, ranging from cultural and political groups to sports teams and performing arts groups.

Dartmouth College has over 200 student organizations, including academic clubs, service organizations, and recreational clubs. These extracurricular activities provide students with opportunities to develop leadership skills, make new friends, and explore their interests outside of the classroom.

Brown University vs. Dartmouth: Cost of Attendance

Unknown person using a laptop.

Cost of attendance is a significant factor that students and their families should consider when choosing between Brown University and Dartmouth College. In the 2020-2021 school year, Brown University’s total cost of attendance is approximately $78,772.

The College has a need-blind admission policy, which means that admission decisions are made without regard to financial need. The College meets 100 percent of demonstrated financial need for all admitted students, and 43 percent of students receive financial aid.

In the 2020-2021 school year, Dartmouth College’s total cost of attendance is approximately $76,745. The College also has a need-blind admission policy and meets the full demonstrated financial need of all admitted students. Fifty-one percent of students receive financial aid, and the average financial aid package is $56,704.

It is important to note that both Brown University and Dartmouth College offer various scholarships to their students. Brown University offers merit-based scholarships, need-based scholarships, and athletic scholarships. The College also offers scholarships for first-generation college students and students from underrepresented backgrounds.

Similarly, Dartmouth College offers a range of scholarships, including need-based scholarships, merit-based scholarships, and scholarships for students with exceptional talent in the arts. The College also offers scholarships for international students and students from low-income families.

Brown University vs. Dartmouth: Faculty Comparison

Both Brown University and Dartmouth College have distinguished faculty members who are world-renowned scholars in their fields. At Brown University, the faculty-to-student ratio is 6:1, and 94 percent of the faculty possesses terminal degrees.

The College places a high emphasis on research and provides numerous research opportunities to students through independent study projects, research assistantships, and honors programs. Brown University faculty members are deeply engaged in both undergraduate and graduate teaching, and they encourage students to explore disciplines that interest them and take intellectual risks.

Dartmouth College has a faculty-to-student ratio of 7:1 and emphasizes a teaching and research culture that fosters close ties between faculty and students. The College offers numerous research opportunities and provides resources for faculty members to support student research endeavors.

The College also encourages students to develop both breadth and depth in their intellectual activities and has a robust honors program that allows students to pursue individual research projects.

Additionally, Brown University has a unique approach to teaching that emphasizes collaboration and discussion. Professors often facilitate group discussions and encourage students to work together to solve problems. This approach fosters a sense of community and encourages students to learn from one another.

The College also offers a variety of experiential learning opportunities, such as internships and study abroad programs, that allow students to apply their knowledge in real-world settings.

On the other hand, Dartmouth College has a strong commitment to interdisciplinary studies. The College encourages students to explore multiple fields of study and offers a variety of interdisciplinary programs, such as the Digital Humanities and the Environmental Studies Program.

This approach allows students to gain a broader perspective and develop a more holistic understanding of complex issues. Additionally, the College has a strong focus on undergraduate research and provides funding and resources for students to pursue their research interests.

Campus Facilities and Resources: Housing, Dining, Athletics, Libraries, etc.

Brown University and Dartmouth College offer excellent campus facilities and resources that support student engagement and academic success. Brown University has 13 residential buildings that accommodate undergraduate and graduate students. These residence halls are varied in style and provide students with a rich, diverse living experience.

The College’s dining plan provides students with access to a broad range of cuisines, including vegan, vegetarian, and seasonal offerings. Brown University also has state-of-the-art athletic facilities that support 37 varsity sports and over 70 club sports. The College library system consists of nine libraries, including the John D. Rockefeller Jr. Library, the John Hay Library, and the Sciences Library.

Dartmouth College also offers quality campus facilities and resources for students. The College has 12 residential buildings that cater to undergraduate students and provides ample opportunities for co-curricular activities. The college has a diverse dining program that includes flexible meal plans, sustainable dining options, and a farmer’s market.

Dartmouth College facilities include the Leede Arena, a state-of-the-art fitness center, an ice rink, and numerous athletic fields and courts. The College’s library system consists of six libraries, including the Baker-Berry Library, the Rauner Special Collections Library, and the Paddock Music Library.

Brown University vs. Dartmouth: College Rankings

Brown University and Dartmouth College are highly-ranked institutions that consistently score well on national and international rankings. According to the U.S. News & World Report’s Best Colleges Rankings, Brown University ranked 14th in national universities, while Dartmouth College ranked 13th.

A career service office guiding a student

In the 2021 QS World University Rankings, Brown University ranked 79th globally, while Dartmouth College ranked 185th globally. The rankings attest to the quality, diversity, and excellent academic programs offered by both institutions.

Prospective Student Experience: Visiting Brown University and Dartmouth Campus

Prospective students are encouraged to visit both Brown University and Dartmouth College to gain insights into the campus culture, academic programs, and student life. Both institutions offer numerous opportunities for students to interact with faculty and staff, attend classes, and engage in extracurricular activities.

Brown University and Dartmouth College offer daily student-led tours during the academic year, while Dartmouth College also provides guided tours during the summer. During college visits, students should take the time to explore different campus facilities, engage with current students, and ask questions about the academic and social aspects of each institution.

Conclusion: Making the Right Decision for Your Future

Choosing between Brown University and Dartmouth College is a challenging decision that requires careful consideration of numerous factors. Both institutions offer exceptional academic programs, vibrant campus life, and robust alumni networks. However, the two institutions differ in their location, student body, and campus culture.

Prospective students should identify their goals, interests, and priorities to determine which institution aligns with their needs. Ultimately, students should choose an institution that offers them the best opportunities for intellectual exploration, personal growth, and career development.


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