Comparing Hamilton College vs Brown University

By Eric Eng

By Eric Eng

Students walking around the school campus.

Comparing Hamilton College vs Brown University

When it comes to choosing a college, there are many factors to consider such as the academic programs, faculty and staff, campus resources, student life, athletics, and diversity and inclusion. This article will discuss and compare various aspects of two highly acclaimed institutions in the United States – Hamilton College vs Brown University.

History and Founding of Hamilton College and Brown University

Hamilton College was founded in 1793 in Clinton, New York. Its original purpose was to provide education to students in the Upstate New York region. In contrast, Brown was founded prior to the American Revolution and was the third college established in the American colonies. Both colleges have undergone significant changes in their histories and have grown to be esteemed institutions.

Young man smiling while on a hallway.

Hamilton College was originally named Hamilton-Oneida Academy, and was established by the Presbyterian Church. It was named after Alexander Hamilton, who was a prominent figure in the American Revolution and the first Secretary of the Treasury. Brown University, on the other hand, was founded in 1764 as the College in the English Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations. It was named after Nicholas Brown, Jr., who was a prominent philanthropist and supporter of the university. Today, both colleges continue to provide excellent education to their students and have a rich history and tradition.

Admissions Process: Hamilton College vs. Brown University

Both Hamilton and Brown are highly selective and competitive institutions. Hamilton has a slightly higher acceptance rate than Brown. However, both colleges require high academic achievement, excellent standardized test scores, strong extracurricular involvement, and impressive essays.

One key difference between the admissions processes at Hamilton and Brown is their approach to interviews. Hamilton offers optional interviews with alumni, while Brown does not conduct interviews as part of their admissions process. This means that Hamilton applicants have the opportunity to showcase their personality and interests in a one-on-one conversation, while Brown applicants must rely solely on their application materials.

Another factor to consider is the role of demonstrated interest in the admissions process. While both colleges track demonstrated interest, Hamilton places a greater emphasis on it. Visiting campus, attending information sessions, and engaging with the admissions office can all positively impact an applicant’s chances of being admitted to Hamilton. Brown, on the other hand, places less emphasis on demonstrated interest and instead focuses on the strength of an applicant’s academic and extracurricular achievements.

Academic Programs: Hamilton College vs. Brown University

There are many academic programs offered at both Hamilton and Brown. Hamilton College has a well-respected liberal arts program with majors in a variety of fields including History, English, Philosophy, and Neuroscience. Brown, on the other hand, offers a variety of programs in Engineering, Applied Mathematics, Biology, and Social Sciences. Both colleges provide ample research opportunities for students, and the curriculum at both institutions encourages critical thinking, collaboration, and creativity.

Hamilton College also offers a unique program called the Adirondack Program, which allows students to spend a semester living and studying in the Adirondack Mountains. This program provides students with the opportunity to learn about environmental issues and sustainability while also experiencing the beauty of the natural world. Brown University, on the other hand, has a renowned program in Public Health, which offers students the chance to study and research important health issues affecting communities around the world.

Additionally, both Hamilton and Brown have strong study abroad programs, allowing students to immerse themselves in different cultures and gain a global perspective. Hamilton offers programs in over 20 countries, including Japan, Spain, and South Africa, while Brown has partnerships with universities in over 50 countries, including China, Brazil, and Italy. These study abroad programs provide students with the opportunity to expand their knowledge and understanding of different cultures, languages, and ways of life.

Faculty and Staff: Hamilton College vs. Brown University

The faculty and staff at both Hamilton and Brown are highly qualified and experienced. At Hamilton College, the student to faculty ratio is approximately 9:1, which allows for a personalized and interactive learning experience. Brown has a similar ratio of approximately 7:1. Professors at both institutions have significant research experience and are committed to providing students with a top-notch education.

College consultant taking to two people.

Hamilton College has a strong emphasis on undergraduate teaching, with professors who are dedicated to mentoring and advising students. The faculty members are known for their accessibility and willingness to work closely with students on research projects and independent studies. Brown University, on the other hand, has a more research-oriented faculty, with professors who are actively engaged in cutting-edge research in their respective fields.

Both Hamilton and Brown have a diverse faculty and staff, with individuals from various backgrounds and experiences. Hamilton College has a strong commitment to diversity and inclusion, with initiatives and programs aimed at promoting a welcoming and inclusive campus community. Brown University also has a strong commitment to diversity, with a range of programs and resources available to support students from underrepresented backgrounds.

Student Life: Hamilton College vs. Brown University

Both Hamilton and Brown provide students with a vibrant campus life. Hamilton has numerous student clubs and organizations that cater to various interests. The college has a strong focus on community service and encourages students to participate in service projects throughout the year. Brown has a similar focus on community engagement and activism, with many organizations dedicated to social justice and equity. Both institutions also have a rich tradition of performing arts, with many theater productions, concerts, and art exhibits throughout the year.

Aside from community service and activism, Hamilton College also offers a variety of outdoor activities for students to enjoy. The college is located in the scenic Mohawk Valley region of upstate New York, providing students with opportunities for hiking, skiing, and other outdoor adventures. Brown University, on the other hand, is located in the heart of Providence, Rhode Island, a city known for its vibrant arts and culture scene. Students at Brown can take advantage of the city’s many museums, galleries, and theaters.

Both Hamilton and Brown also prioritize student wellness and mental health. Hamilton has a robust counseling center that offers individual and group therapy, as well as workshops and events focused on mental health and self-care. Brown has a similar counseling center, as well as a student-run peer counseling organization. Additionally, both institutions offer a variety of fitness and wellness programs, including yoga classes, intramural sports, and outdoor recreation opportunities.

Campus Resources: Hamilton College vs. Brown University

Both Hamilton and Brown have excellent campus resources and facilities. Hamilton College has state-of-the-art science labs and recently underwent a significant renovation to its main library. Brown has a similarly impressive library and research facilities. Both institutions have beautiful and spacious campuses, with extensive green spaces and numerous recreational facilities.

However, there are some differences in the types of resources offered by each institution. Hamilton College has a strong emphasis on the arts, with a world-class performing arts center and numerous art galleries on campus. Brown University, on the other hand, has a renowned entrepreneurship program and offers many resources for students interested in starting their own businesses. Additionally, Brown has a larger and more diverse student body, which allows for a wider range of cultural and social events on campus.

Athletics and Sports Teams: Hamilton College vs. Brown University

Both Hamilton and Brown have competitive athletics programs. Hamilton competes at the Division III level and has successful men’s and women’s soccer, basketball, and lacrosse teams. Brown also has competitive teams in a variety of sports and competes at the Division I level. Brown is particularly well-known for its successful gymnastics and swimming and diving programs.

Sports equipments placed side by side.

Aside from the traditional sports, Hamilton College also has a strong equestrian team that competes in the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association. The team has won several regional and national championships in recent years. Additionally, Hamilton has a popular ultimate frisbee club that competes in tournaments throughout the Northeast.

Brown University also has a thriving club sports program, with over 30 different teams ranging from rugby to quidditch. The university also has a strong tradition in rowing, with both men’s and women’s crews consistently ranking among the top in the country. Brown’s sailing team is also highly competitive, having won several national championships in recent years.

Alumni Network and Career Opportunities: Hamilton College vs. Brown University

Both Hamilton and Brown have extensive alumni networks that provide valuable career resources and opportunities. Alumni of both institutions hold prominent positions in a variety of fields, including business, politics, education, and the arts. Both colleges have robust career centers that provide students with support and resources to explore career options and find internships and job opportunities.

However, there are some differences between the alumni networks of Hamilton and Brown. Hamilton’s alumni network is known for its strong connections in the finance and banking industries, with many alumni working in top positions at major firms such as Goldman Sachs and J.P. Morgan. Brown’s alumni network, on the other hand, is known for its strong connections in the tech industry, with many alumni working at companies such as Google, Facebook, and Apple.

In terms of career opportunities, Hamilton and Brown both offer unique advantages. Hamilton’s location in upstate New York provides students with opportunities to intern and work at local businesses and organizations, while Brown’s location in Providence, Rhode Island, offers students access to a thriving arts and culture scene. Additionally, Brown’s Open Curriculum allows students to explore a wide range of academic interests, which can lead to unique career paths and opportunities.

Campus Diversity and Inclusion: Hamilton College vs. Brown University

Hamilton and Brown are both committed to creating diverse, inclusive campus communities. Hamilton College has a diversity and inclusion office that provides training and support to students, faculty, and staff. Brown also has a similar office that focuses on promoting diversity and inclusion on campus. Both institutions have a student body that is diverse in terms of race, ethnicity, and socio-economic background.

However, there are some differences in the ways that Hamilton and Brown approach diversity and inclusion. Hamilton College has a strong focus on creating a sense of community among its diverse student body. The college offers a variety of programs and events that bring students from different backgrounds together, such as cultural celebrations and diversity dialogues. In addition, Hamilton has a multicultural center that serves as a hub for students of color and other underrepresented groups on campus.

Students sitting in a couch in a room.

On the other hand, Brown University places a greater emphasis on social justice and activism as part of its diversity and inclusion efforts. The university has a number of student-led organizations that work to promote social justice and advocate for marginalized communities. Brown also offers a range of courses and programs that explore issues of race, gender, and sexuality, and encourages students to engage in activism and advocacy both on and off campus.

Research Opportunities at Hamilton College and Brown University

Both Hamilton and Brown have extensive research opportunities for students. Hamilton has a well-developed undergraduate research program that allows students to conduct research alongside faculty members. Brown has a similarly strong research program that provides opportunities for students to engage in cutting-edge research in a variety of fields.

At Hamilton College, students have the opportunity to participate in research projects in a wide range of disciplines, including biology, chemistry, physics, psychology, and more. The college also offers funding for students to present their research at conferences and publish their findings in academic journals.

Similarly, Brown University offers research opportunities in various fields, such as neuroscience, engineering, environmental studies, and public health. The university has research centers and institutes that provide students with access to state-of-the-art facilities and equipment. Additionally, Brown encourages interdisciplinary research, allowing students to collaborate with faculty and peers from different departments and programs.

Rankings and Reputation of Hamilton College and Brown University

Both Hamilton and Brown are highly regarded institutions in the United States. Brown is consistently ranked among the top universities in the country, and Hamilton is also ranked highly among liberal arts colleges.

However, there are some differences in their rankings and reputation. Brown University is known for its strong research programs and graduate schools, particularly in the fields of medicine and engineering. On the other hand, Hamilton College is known for its rigorous undergraduate curriculum and personalized attention to students.

In terms of reputation, Brown University has a long history and is often associated with the Ivy League, which gives it a certain level of prestige. Hamilton College, while not part of the Ivy League, has a reputation for being a highly selective and academically rigorous institution that produces successful graduates in a variety of fields.


In conclusion, both Hamilton College and Brown University are prestigious institutions with excellent academic programs, diverse student bodies, and a variety of resources and opportunities for students. When choosing between the two colleges, students should consider their academic interests, personal preferences, and financial situation. Ultimately, both Hamilton and Brown provide students with a quality education and preparation for successful careers and fulfilling lives.

However, there are some differences between the two institutions that may be important to consider. Hamilton College is a small liberal arts college with a student body of around 1,900 students, while Brown University is a larger research university with a student body of around 10,000 students. This means that Hamilton students may have more opportunities for close relationships with faculty and a tight-knit community, while Brown students may have access to more resources and a wider range of academic programs.

Another factor to consider is location. Hamilton College is located in a small town in upstate New York, while Brown University is located in the city of Providence, Rhode Island. This may impact the social and cultural experiences of students, as well as the availability of internships and job opportunities in the surrounding area.


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