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Brown University vs the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC)

By Eric Eng

By Eric Eng

Smart arab guy student with backpack and bunch of books smiling at camera

Brown University vs the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC)

When it comes to choosing a university, there are many factors to consider. Two universities that might be on your list are Brown University and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC). These universities have many differences but are both highly respected in their respective fields. In this article, we will compare them in detail to help you make an informed decision about which university is the best fit for you.

Location and Campus Comparison

The location of the university plays an essential role in student life. Brown University is located in Providence, Rhode Island, a charming and historic city. On the other hand,  UIUC is located in a college town in central Illinois.

The size of the Brown University campus is relatively small compared to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, which has a vast campus with nearly 45,000 students enrolled. However, Brown’s campus is more walkable, and the buildings are concentrated, making it easier for students to navigate.

Another significant difference between the two universities is the climate. Brown University experiences all four seasons, with cold winters and hot summers. In contrast, UIUC has a continental climate, with cold winters and hot summers, but less precipitation throughout the year.

Furthermore, the two universities have different academic strengths. Brown University is known for its strong liberal arts program, while the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is renowned for its engineering and computer science programs. Both universities offer a wide range of majors and minors, but students should consider their academic interests when choosing between the two.

Academic Programs and Majors Offered: Brown University vs UIUC

Brown University is well-known for its liberal arts education programs, while the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is renowned for its engineering and technology programs. Brown University offers 79 undergraduate concentrations, while the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign offers nearly 150 undergraduate majors.

Brown University’s curriculum is more flexible, with no core requirements, while the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has specific course requirements for students in each major.

Students walking in the school hallway.

In addition to its undergraduate programs, Brown University also offers graduate programs in a variety of fields, including medicine, public health, and computer science. The university has a strong research focus, with opportunities for students to participate in cutting-edge research projects alongside faculty members.

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign also has a strong focus on research, with over $640 million in research funding annually. The university is home to several research centers and institutes, including the National Center for Supercomputing Applications and the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology. In addition to its academic programs, the university also offers a wide range of extracurricular activities, including over 1,000 student organizations and a thriving Greek life community.

Faculty and Student Ratio: Brown University vs UIUC

Brown University has approximately 700 full-time faculty members, and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has over 4,000 faculty members. The student-faculty ratio at Brown University is 7:1, while at UIUC, it is 19:1. Brown University’s lower student-faculty ratio means that students have more opportunities to work with professors, get personalized attention and mentorship, and engage in research and other academic activities at an intimate level.

Furthermore, the lower student-faculty ratio at Brown University also allows for a more collaborative and interactive learning environment. With smaller class sizes, students can participate in discussions and debates, ask questions, and receive feedback from their professors and peers. This fosters a sense of community and intellectual curiosity, which is essential for academic and personal growth.

Admission Criteria and Requirements: Brown University vs UIUC

Both schools are highly selective, with admission rates of less than 10%. Brown University looks at many factors when reviewing applicants, including grades, test scores, extracurricular activities, essays, and recommendations.

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign considers ACT/SAT scores, GPA, and extracurricular activities when reviewing applications. Brown University has a more holistic review process that considers recommendations, essays, and demonstrated interest in the university. The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign also has specific admission criteria for each college.

Additionally, Brown University offers an optional interview for applicants, which can provide further insight into their qualifications and fit for the university. The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign also considers demonstrated leadership and community involvement in their admission decisions. Both universities encourage applicants to take challenging courses in high school and to pursue their passions outside of the classroom.

Tuition Fees and Financial Aid Comparison

The cost of tuition and financial aid opportunities differs between Brown University and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Brown University’s tuition fees are approximately $60,000 per year, while the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign’s tuition fees are approximately $30,000 per year.

However, both universities offer need-based financial aid to students who require financial aid to afford their education. Brown University meets 100% of demonstrated financial need, while the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign offers merit and need-based scholarships, grants, loans, and work-study opportunities to its students.

A woman holding a book.

In addition to need-based financial aid, both universities also offer other forms of financial assistance to their students. Brown University provides a range of merit-based scholarships to students who demonstrate exceptional academic achievement, leadership skills, and community involvement.

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign also offers a variety of merit-based scholarships to students who excel in academics, athletics, and other areas of interest.

Furthermore, both universities have programs in place to help students manage their finances and reduce the burden of student debt. Brown University offers financial literacy workshops, one-on-one financial counseling, and resources for budgeting and managing expenses.

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign provides financial wellness coaching, debt management counseling, and workshops on topics such as credit management and loan repayment.

Research Opportunities and Funding Support: Brown University vs UIUC

Brown University and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign are both research-intensive universities that offer extensive research opportunities for their students.

Brown University is home to several research centers and institutes, while the University of Illinois is home to a large research park that facilitates research collaboration between researchers and industry. Both universities offer funding support for research, including research assistantships, grants, and fellowships.

At Brown University, students have the opportunity to participate in interdisciplinary research projects that span multiple departments and fields of study. This allows students to gain a broader perspective on their research and to collaborate with peers from different backgrounds.

Additionally, Brown University has a strong commitment to community-engaged research, which allows students to work on projects that have a direct impact on local communities.

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign offers a wide range of research opportunities in fields such as engineering, agriculture, and computer science. The university has state-of-the-art research facilities and equipment, including a supercomputer that is one of the fastest in the world. In addition to traditional research funding sources, the University of Illinois also offers funding opportunities for entrepreneurial ventures and start-ups through its Research Park.

Student Life and Campus Culture Comparison

The campus culture at Brown University vs UIUC is vastly different. Brown University has a more liberal and intellectual atmosphere that is highly conducive to collaborative learning, while the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has a more traditional and sports-focused campus culture.

Brown University has an open curriculum, meaning students can take courses from a range of academic areas. In contrast, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has specific course requirements for students in each major. Both universities have active student clubs, organizations, and events that cater to students’ interests and hobbies.

Students leaning on a wall while looking at a laptop.

One of the unique aspects of Brown University’s campus culture is its emphasis on diversity and inclusion. The university has a strong commitment to creating a welcoming and supportive environment for students from all backgrounds. This is reflected in the numerous cultural and identity-based student organizations on campus, as well as the university’s efforts to recruit and retain a diverse student body.

On the other hand, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has a strong focus on research and innovation. The university is home to numerous research centers and institutes, and students have many opportunities to get involved in cutting-edge research projects. Additionally, the university has a strong entrepreneurial culture, with many students and alumni starting their own businesses and ventures.

Alumni Networks and Career Opportunities

Both universities have highly active and supportive alumni networks. Brown University has several alumni networks worldwide, offering career mentors and opportunities for students and alumni. The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has an extensive system of alumni groups dedicated to supporting recent graduates and advancing career opportunities. Both universities also provide career services and networking opportunities to their students and recent graduates.

Additionally, Brown University offers a unique program called the BrownConnect Summer Institute, which provides students with paid internships and professional development opportunities. The program partners with alumni and employers to offer students a wide range of career fields to explore. The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign also has a strong focus on career development, offering resources such as career fairs, job search tools, and workshops on resume-building and interviewing skills.

Athletics and Sports Facilities: Brown University vs UIUC

The athletic facilities at UIUC are more extensive than those at Brown University. Illinois has Division I athletic programs in basketball, volleyball, and football, while Brown University has a more limited athletic program. However, both universities provide excellent athletic facilities, including fitness centers, indoor and outdoor competition fields, and courts.

In addition to the facilities mentioned above, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign also has a state-of-the-art track and field complex, which includes an eight-lane track, long jump pits, pole vault and high jump areas, and throwing circles. The complex is used by both the university’s track and field team and the community. Brown University, on the other hand, has a newly renovated aquatics center that includes a 50-meter pool, diving boards, and a separate recreational pool for non-competitive swimmers.

Diversity and Inclusion Initiatives Comparison

Brown University and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have robust diversity and inclusion initiatives to support their students. Brown University has established several centers devoted to promoting diversity, including the Office of First-Generation and Low-Income Students and the LGBTQ Center. The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign’s diversity initiatives focus on promoting diversity in the curriculum, providing support to underrepresented students, and promoting inclusive campus culture.

Group of students walking side by side in the school campus.

In addition to these initiatives, Brown University also offers a Diversity and Inclusion Action Plan, which outlines specific goals and strategies for promoting diversity and inclusion on campus. This plan includes initiatives such as increasing the diversity of faculty and staff, expanding support for underrepresented students, and promoting cultural competency among all members of the university community.

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign also has a number of programs and resources aimed at promoting diversity and inclusion, including the Diversity and Social Justice Education program, which offers workshops and training sessions on topics such as race, gender, and sexuality. The university also has a number of student organizations dedicated to promoting diversity and inclusion, such as the Black Student Union and the Asian American Association.

Study Abroad Programs Offered at Both Universities

Both Brown University and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have extensive study-abroad programs that allow students to study abroad in various countries and academic areas. Brown offers specific study-abroad programs that focus on foreign languages, research, and experiential learning. The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign offers a range of study-abroad programs, including internship opportunities, language immersion, cultural exchanges, and faculty-led programs.

Additionally, both universities offer financial aid and scholarships for students who wish to participate in study-abroad programs. Brown University has a dedicated office that helps students find funding opportunities, while the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign offers a variety of scholarships specifically for study-abroad programs. These resources make it easier for students to pursue their academic and personal goals while studying abroad.

Campus Sustainability Efforts Compared

Both Brown University and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have established sustainability initiatives to offset their carbon footprint. Brown University has implemented several energy-saving measures, including utilizing locally sourced food, increasing green space, and reducing carbon emissions. The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has a comprehensive sustainability plan that focuses on reducing waste, conserving energy, and promoting sustainable transportation.

In addition to these efforts, Brown University has also implemented a program to reduce water usage on campus. This includes installing low-flow showerheads and toilets, as well as using rainwater for irrigation. The university has also established a composting program to reduce food waste and promote sustainable agriculture.

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has taken steps to reduce its reliance on fossil fuels by investing in renewable energy sources. The campus has installed solar panels and wind turbines to generate electricity and has also implemented a geothermal heating and cooling system. Additionally, the university has established a bike-sharing program to encourage sustainable transportation options for students and staff.

Technology Infrastructure and Resources Available

Both universities have excellent technology infrastructure and resources available to their students. Brown University provides students with high-speed internet access, specialized software for coursework, and access to cloud storage and collaboration tools. The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign offers students access to research computing, supercomputing, and visualization resources, storage, and tools.

Three students talking while sitting on the library.

In addition to the aforementioned resources, both universities also offer students access to state-of-the-art technology facilities. Brown University has a dedicated technology center that provides students with access to cutting-edge hardware and software, as well as technical support and training.

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has multiple technology centers across campus, including a digital media center, a virtual reality lab, and a maker lab, where students can experiment with emerging technologies and develop their skills.

Community Outreach Programs Compared

Brown University and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have extensive community outreach programs to support various community initiatives. Brown University students participate in several community service programs offered throughout the academic year. The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign offers a range of community engagement initiatives, including service-learning courses, volunteer opportunities, and research support to community organizations.

Additionally, Brown University has a program called “Swearer Center for Public Service” which provides resources and support for students to engage in community service and social innovation projects. The center also offers fellowships and grants for students to pursue their community service projects.

On the other hand, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has a program called “Illinois Extension” which provides educational programs and services to communities across the state. The program focuses on areas such as agriculture, environment, health, and youth development. Illinois Extension also offers training and resources for community leaders and volunteers.

Conclusion

Choosing the right university requires careful consideration of several factors, including location, academic programs, faculty, admission criteria, tuition fees, and financial aid opportunities. While Brown University and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have distinct differences, both universities offer excellent academic programs, research opportunities, and an inclusive campus culture.

Two students using a gadget while lounging in the grass.

Ultimately, the choice of which university to attend is a personal one and should depend on the individual’s academic and personal goals and needs.

It is important to note that the campus environment and student life can also play a significant role in the decision-making process. Brown University, for example, is located in a vibrant college town with a strong arts and culture scene, while the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is situated in a larger city with a diverse range of activities and events.

Additionally, both universities offer a variety of extracurricular activities and clubs, allowing students to pursue their interests and passions outside of the classroom.

Finally, it is worth considering the long-term benefits of attending each university. Brown University has a strong reputation for producing successful graduates in fields such as business, law, and medicine, while the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is known for its strong engineering and technology programs.

Ultimately, the decision of which university to attend should be based on a careful evaluation of all of these factors, as well as the individual’s personal preferences and goals.

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