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

By Eric Eng

By Eric Eng

Young man smiling at the camera with people behind him walking in the campus.

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

Choosing the right university can be a daunting task, one that can have a significant impact on your future career and personal development. In this article, we will compare two top universities in the United States: Brown University vs. University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA).

In examining their academics, campus life, admission processes, student demographics, cost of attendance, scholarships and financial aid, student activities, housing, career services, alumni networks, athletics programs, academic resources, and internship opportunities, we hope to provide a comprehensive understanding of both universities, and help you decide which school is the best fit for you.

Brown University vs. UCLA: Faculty and Academics

One of the key factors to consider when comparing universities is their faculty and academic programs. Brown University is known for its emphasis on research and independent study, while UCLA is known for its strong programs in engineering and business.

Additionally, Brown University has a greater proportion of undergraduate students studying the liberal arts, while UCLA has more students studying science and technology. However, both universities have strong reputations for academic excellence and innovation.

Another important aspect to consider is the faculty-to-student ratio. At Brown University, the ratio is 6:1, which means that students have more opportunities for one-on-one interactions with their professors.

UCLA, on the other hand, has a larger student body, with a ratio of 18:1. However, UCLA has a diverse faculty with a wide range of expertise, which allows for a variety of perspectives in the classroom. Both universities also offer extensive resources for academic support, including tutoring, writing centers, and research opportunities.

Campus Life: What to Expect at Brown University and UCLA

Both Brown University and UCLA have a thriving campus life, with a myriad of clubs, activities, and events. At Brown University, students can join over 400 student organizations, including a capella groups, community service clubs, and cultural organizations.

UCLA has over 1,000 student-run organizations, including an active student government and a range of clubs related to sports, arts, and popular culture.

Aside from student organizations, both universities offer a variety of events and activities throughout the year. Brown University hosts an annual Spring Weekend, which features concerts and other performances, as well as a campus-wide carnival.

View of students walking in the campus.

UCLA has a popular event called Bruin Bash, which is a concert held at the beginning of the school year and features artists such as Chance the Rapper and Kendrick Lamar.

Additionally, both universities have a strong emphasis on community service and offer opportunities for students to get involved in volunteer work. Brown University has a Community Corps program, which connects students with local organizations and non-profits. UCLA has a Volunteer Center, which offers a range of service opportunities both on and off campus.

Admission Process: How to Apply to Brown University and UCLA

The application process for Brown University and UCLA can be quite competitive, as both schools receive thousands of applications each year. Brown University offers a need-blind admission policy, meaning that it does not consider a student’s financial situation when reviewing their application.

UCLA, on the other hand, uses a holistic review process that takes into account a student’s GPA, test scores, extracurricular activities, essays, and recommendations.

When applying to Brown University, it is important to note that the school requires applicants to submit either the SAT or ACT, as well as two SAT Subject Tests.

UCLA, on the other hand, does not require SAT Subject Tests, but highly recommends them for certain majors. Additionally, both schools require applicants to submit transcripts from all high schools attended, as well as any college coursework completed.

It is also worth noting that both Brown University and UCLA offer early decision and early action options for applicants. Early decision is a binding agreement, meaning that if a student is accepted, they must attend the school.

Early action, on the other hand, is non-binding and allows students to receive an admissions decision earlier than the regular decision deadline. However, it is important to carefully consider the pros and cons of applying early, as it may impact financial aid packages and scholarship opportunities.

Student Demographics and Diversity: A Comparison of Brown University and UCLA

The student populations at Brown University and UCLA differ in terms of their demographics and diversity. Brown University has a smaller student body that is more racially and ethnically diverse than UCLA’s. In addition, Brown University has a higher percentage of international students and students from economically disadvantaged backgrounds.

Furthermore, the gender distribution at Brown University and UCLA also varies. Brown University has a more balanced gender ratio, with 51% female and 49% male students, while UCLA has a higher percentage of female students at 56%. This difference in gender distribution may impact the campus culture and social dynamics at each university.

Cost of Attendance: Is Brown University or UCLA More Affordable?

Brown University and UCLA have different cost structures, with Brown University being a private university and UCLA a public one. For the 2021-22 academic year, Brown University’s tuition and fees total $60,696, while UCLA’s tuition and fees for in-state students is $13,273, and $42,283 for out-of-state students.

However, it is important to note that both schools offer financial aid and scholarships to eligible students.

It is also worth considering the cost of living in the surrounding areas of each university. Brown University is located in Providence, Rhode Island, which has a higher cost of living compared to Los Angeles, where UCLA is located.

This means that students attending Brown University may need to budget more for housing, food, and other expenses. On the other hand, UCLA’s location in a major city may also come with higher costs for transportation and entertainment. It is important for students to carefully consider all of these factors when making a decision about which university to attend.

Scholarships and Financial Aid: What Opportunities are Available at Brown University and UCLA?

Brown University and UCLA offer a range of scholarships and financial aid packages to help students afford the cost of attendance. Brown University offers need-based and merit-based scholarships, as well as grants, loans, and work-study opportunities.

UCLA also offers need-based and merit-based scholarships, as well as federal and state aid programs. Both schools have dedicated financial aid offices to help students navigate the application process.

View of FAFSa forms strewn on the table.

It is important to note that the application process for scholarships and financial aid can vary between Brown University and UCLA. Brown University requires students to submit the CSS Profile and the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to be considered for need-based aid. UCLA, on the other hand, only requires the FAFSA.

Additionally, both schools have specific deadlines for submitting financial aid applications, so it is important for students to stay informed and meet these deadlines to maximize their chances of receiving aid.

Brown University vs. UCLA: Student Activities and Organizations

With over 400 student organizations at Brown University and over 1,000 student-run clubs at UCLA, both schools offer a plethora of opportunities for students to get involved and explore their interests. Brown University has a strong focus on community service, with many student clubs dedicated to volunteering and social justice.

UCLA has a large range of sports clubs and teams, as well as a thriving arts scene that includes theater, music, and dance performances.

Additionally, both Brown University and UCLA offer unique opportunities for students to engage in research and academic pursuits outside of the classroom. Brown University has a strong emphasis on undergraduate research, with many students working alongside faculty members on projects in various fields.

UCLA offers a variety of research centers and institutes, providing students with the chance to work on cutting-edge research in areas such as neuroscience, environmental science, and public policy.

Housing Options: Comparing Living Arrangements at Brown University vs. UCLA

Both Brown University and UCLA offer a range of housing options to their students. Brown University has a residential college system that allows students to live and learn together in small communities, with first-year students typically living on campus.

UCLA has a range of on-campus housing options, as well as off-campus apartment complexes that are affiliated with the university. Both schools have dedicated housing offices to assist students in finding the right living situation.

One unique aspect of Brown University’s housing options is its Program Houses. These are themed living communities that allow students to live with others who share similar interests or identities. For example, there is a Program House for students interested in environmental sustainability, as well as a Program House for LGBTQ+ students.

These communities provide a supportive and inclusive living environment for students.

On the other hand, UCLA offers a variety of dining options for students living on campus. In addition to traditional dining halls, there are also food courts and cafes that offer a range of cuisines and dietary options. UCLA also has a program called “The Hill,” which provides students with a meal plan and access to a variety of dining options, as well as social events and activities.

Career Services: Which School Offers Better Career Preparation?

A key factor in choosing a university is the quality of its career services and job placement programs. Brown University has a dedicated career center that offers students counseling, workshops, and job fairs, as well as resources for exploring potential careers. UCLA also has a strong career center, with networking opportunities and internship programs in a wide range of fields.

a student studying

However, when it comes to career preparation, Brown University has a slight edge over UCLA. Brown’s career center has a higher success rate in placing students in their desired careers, with a 90% success rate compared to UCLA’s 85%. Brown also offers more personalized career counseling, with advisors who work closely with students to create individualized career plans.

On the other hand, UCLA has a larger alumni network, which can be beneficial for job searching and networking. UCLA’s career center also offers more resources for students interested in pursuing careers in entertainment and media, which is a major industry in Los Angeles.

Alumni Network: How Does the Alumni Community Compare at Brown University and UCLA?

Both Brown University and UCLA have large and active alumni networks, with graduates going on to successful careers in a range of industries. Brown University’s alumni network is particularly strong in the fields of education, public policy, and the arts, while UCLA’s alumni network includes many successful entrepreneurs and entertainment industry professionals.

However, there are some notable differences in the way the alumni communities operate at these two universities. Brown University’s alumni network is known for its close-knit community, with alumni often staying in touch with each other and with the university through various events and initiatives.

On the other hand, UCLA’s alumni network is more decentralized, with alumni often forming smaller, more specialized groups based on their interests or professions.

Athletics Programs: A Comparison of Sports Teams at Brown University and UCLA

Both Brown University and UCLA have strong athletics programs, with a range of sports teams and opportunities for student-athletes. Brown University is a member of the Ivy League conference, with strong programs in soccer, lacrosse, and track and field. UCLA is a member of the Pacific-12 conference, with highly competitive teams in basketball, football, and volleyball.

Despite the differences in their respective conferences, both Brown and UCLA prioritize the academic success of their student-athletes.

Brown has a graduation success rate of 98%, while UCLA boasts a 91% graduation success rate for its student-athletes. Additionally, both universities offer extensive resources for their athletes, including academic support, athletic training facilities, and opportunities for community service and leadership development.

Brown University vs. UCLA: Academic Resources Available

Brown University and UCLA offer a range of academic resources to help students succeed, including tutoring, academic advising, and study abroad programs. Brown University’s academic support programs include writing and language centers, as well as peer tutoring and academic workshops.

UCLA has a range of academic resources, including a learning center, a graduate writing center, and the Undergraduate Research Center.

However, while both universities offer a variety of academic resources, Brown University has a more personalized approach to academic support.

Brown University assigns each student an academic advisor who works with them throughout their academic career to create a personalized academic plan and provide guidance on course selection and career goals.

Additionally, Brown University offers a program called the Meiklejohn Peer Advising Program, where upperclassmen serve as academic advisors to first-year students, providing them with guidance and support as they transition to college life.

Internship Opportunities: A Look at Internship Programs Offered by Brown University vs. UCLA

Both Brown University and UCLA offer a range of internship programs and opportunities to help students gain work experience and build their resumes. Brown University has a dedicated internship office that helps students find internships in a range of fields, both domestically and internationally.

the word internship written on a notebook

UCLA has an active career center that offers workshops and resources for finding internships and other career-related experiences.

It is worth noting that both Brown University and UCLA have strong alumni networks that can be beneficial for students seeking internships and job opportunities. Brown University’s alumni network is particularly active and supportive, with many alumni offering internships and mentorship opportunities to current students.

UCLA’s alumni network is also extensive, with many graduates working in a variety of industries and fields.

In summary, Brown University and UCLA are both highly respected universities that offer a range of academic programs, extracurricular activities, and resources for students.

Ultimately, the choice between these two schools depends on individual preferences and needs, including academic interests, campus culture, and budget. We hope this comparison has provided helpful insights for anyone considering these two universities.


Are you feeling overwhelmed by the college admission process? Look no further! AdmissionSight is here to guide you toward success. With our specialized college admission consultation service, we offer personalized assistance tailored to your unique goals and aspirations.

Our experienced consultants will provide expert advice on crafting a standout application, selecting the right colleges, and navigating the complex admissions world. Don’t let stress hold you back—let AdmissionSight be your trusted partner on your journey to higher education. Contact us today to take the first step toward a brighter future.

College Admissions

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.