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Comparing Vanderbilt University vs Brown University

By Eric Eng

By Eric Eng

social life of students

Comparing Vanderbilt University vs Brown University

When it comes to choosing a college, there are many factors to consider. Two universities that are often mentioned in the same breath are Vanderbilt University and Brown University. Both institutions have a long history of academic excellence, but they differ in many ways. In this article, we will discuss the various aspects of Vanderbilt vs Brown and compare them to help you make an informed decision.

Location and Campus

Vanderbilt University is located in Nashville, Tennessee, in the heart of the southern United States. The campus is 330 acres and features traditional collegiate gothic architecture mixed with modern buildings. The campus is adjacent to downtown Nashville and the city’s iconic Music Row. Brown University is located in Providence, Rhode Island, which is on the East Coast of the United States. The campus spans 146 acres and features Georgian architecture and newer buildings. The city of Providence is home to several colleges and universities, as well as a thriving arts and music scene.

Three students walking in the campus.

One of the unique features of Vanderbilt’s campus is Peabody College, which is a separate school within the university that focuses on education and human development. The Peabody campus is located just a few blocks away from the main Vanderbilt campus and features its own set of historic buildings and green spaces.

Brown University’s campus is known for its beautiful green spaces, including the Main Green, which is the central hub of campus and features large trees, open lawns, and historic buildings. The campus is also home to several museums and galleries, including the David Winton Bell Gallery, which showcases contemporary art exhibitions throughout the year.

Student Population and Demographics between Vanderbilt vs Brown

Vanderbilt University has a total of over 12,000 students from all 50 states and over 100 countries. The undergraduate student body is made up of 6,800 students, with a fairly even distribution of men and women. The racial breakdown is 54% Caucasian, 13% Black or African American, 22% Asian, and 9% Hispanic or Latinx. Brown University has a total of over 10,000 students from all 50 states and over 100 countries. The undergraduate student body is made up of 7,000 students, with a slightly higher percentage of women than men. The racial breakdown is 46% Caucasian, 10% Black or African American, 15% Asian, and 18% Hispanic or Latinx.

Both universities have a diverse student population, with students from various backgrounds and cultures. Vanderbilt University has a student-to-faculty ratio of 7:1, and the average class size is 18 students. Brown University has a student-to-faculty ratio of 6:1, and the average class size is 15 students. Both universities offer a wide range of academic programs and extracurricular activities to cater to the diverse interests of their students.

Academic Programs and Departments Offered

Both Vanderbilt and Brown are renowned for their academic programs. Vanderbilt has ten schools and colleges, including a top-ranked School of Nursing, the Owen Graduate School of Management, and the School of Medicine. The university offers over 70 undergraduate majors and programs, as well as a wide range of graduate and professional programs. Brown has eight schools, including a highly selective Undergraduate College, Graduate School, and Alpert Medical School. Brown offers over 80 undergraduate concentrations and over 60 graduate programs in a variety of fields.

In addition to their traditional academic programs, both Vanderbilt and Brown offer unique interdisciplinary programs that allow students to explore multiple fields of study. Vanderbilt’s Blair School of Music offers a joint program with the College of Arts and Science, allowing students to pursue a double major in music and another field. Brown’s Open Curriculum allows students to design their own course of study, combining courses from different departments and schools.

Male man attending an online class

Both universities also have strong research programs, with opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students to participate in cutting-edge research projects. Vanderbilt’s Institute for Space and Defense Electronics conducts research in areas such as radiation effects on electronics and space weather. Brown’s Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs focuses on research related to global security, development, and governance.

Admission Requirements and Acceptance Rates

The admission process at Vanderbilt and Brown is highly competitive. Vanderbilt University has an acceptance rate of around 9%, while Brown University has an acceptance rate of around 7%. Both universities require a strong academic record, extracurricular involvement, and essays. Brown University is test-optional, while Vanderbilt requires submission of either the SAT or ACT.

In addition to the academic and extracurricular requirements, Vanderbilt and Brown also consider other factors in their admission process. Vanderbilt values demonstrated leadership, community service, and diversity, while Brown looks for students who are intellectually curious and have a passion for learning.

It is important to note that meeting the admission requirements does not guarantee acceptance to either university. Both Vanderbilt and Brown have holistic review processes, which means they consider each applicant as a whole person, taking into account their unique experiences and backgrounds.

Faculty and Class Size Comparison between Vanderbilt vs Brown

Both Vanderbilt and Brown have distinguished faculty members who are leaders in their fields. Vanderbilt has over 1,600 full-time faculty members, with a student-faculty ratio of 7:1. Brown has over 1,500 faculty members, with a student-faculty ratio of 6:1. The average class size at Vanderbilt is 18, while the average class size at Brown is 16.

It is worth noting that both Vanderbilt and Brown offer small class sizes, which allow for more personalized attention and interaction between students and faculty. Additionally, both universities have a strong commitment to undergraduate education, with a focus on providing students with a well-rounded education that prepares them for success in their chosen fields.

Extracurricular Activities and Student Organizations

Vanderbilt and Brown both offer a wide range of extracurricular activities and student organizations. Vanderbilt has over 500 student organizations, including club sports and Greek life. Brown has over 400 student organizations, including theater groups and publications. Both universities have a strong commitment to community service and encourage students to get involved in their local communities.

Group of students walking in the campus.

At Vanderbilt, students can participate in a variety of service-oriented organizations, such as Alternative Spring Break and Project Pyramid. These organizations provide opportunities for students to engage in meaningful service projects both locally and globally. Brown also has a strong focus on community service, with organizations like the Swearer Center for Public Service offering resources and support for students interested in making a difference in their communities.

In addition to traditional extracurricular activities, both universities also offer unique opportunities for students to explore their interests. Vanderbilt has a student-run radio station, WRVU, and a student-led investment fund, the Vanderbilt Investment Club. Brown has a student-run coffee shop, the Blue Room, and a student-run fashion magazine, Thread. These organizations allow students to gain hands-on experience in areas they are passionate about and develop valuable skills outside of the classroom.

Sports Teams and Facilities Available between Vanderbilt vs Brown

Both Vanderbilt and Brown offer a Division I athletics program. Vanderbilt is a member of the Southeastern Conference (SEC) and maintains competitive teams in 16 sports. Brown is a member of the Ivy League and maintains competitive teams in 34 sports. Both universities have state-of-the-art athletic facilities, including arenas, fields, and gyms.

In addition to the traditional sports offered at Vanderbilt and Brown, both universities also have unique athletic programs. Vanderbilt has a nationally recognized women’s bowling team and a competitive men’s and women’s golf team. Brown has a successful sailing team and a nationally ranked-men’s and women’s squash team. These programs offer students the opportunity to participate in non-traditional sports and compete at a high level.

Career Services and Alumni Networks between Vanderbilt vs Brown

Both Vanderbilt and Brown have extensive career services and alumni networks. Vanderbilt’s Career Center offers a variety of services, including career coaching, resume reviews, and job and internship searches. Vanderbilt has over 140,000 living alumni worldwide, many of whom are leaders in their fields. Brown’s CareerLAB offers similar services and has a strong commitment to diversity and inclusion in the workplace. Brown has over 100,000 living alumni worldwide, including many notable politicians, business leaders, and academics.

a female student holding her school stuff and looking at the camera

In addition to career services and alumni networks, both Vanderbilt and Brown offer a range of extracurricular activities and opportunities for students to get involved on campus. Vanderbilt has over 500 student organizations, including academic clubs, service organizations, and cultural groups. Brown has over 400 student organizations, including a strong focus on community service and social justice initiatives. Both universities also offer study abroad programs, undergraduate research opportunities, and access to state-of-the-art facilities and resources.

Tuition Fees and Financial Aid Packages

Vanderbilt and Brown are both private universities and have similar tuition fees. For the 2021-2022 academic year, Vanderbilt’s tuition is $55,998, while Brown’s tuition is $60,696. Both universities offer generous need-based financial aid packages, as well as merit-based scholarships.

It is important to note that the cost of attendance at both universities goes beyond just tuition fees. Students should also consider additional expenses such as room and board, textbooks, and personal expenses. Vanderbilt and Brown both provide resources and support to help students manage these costs, including work-study programs and financial literacy workshops.

Campus Safety and Security Measures between Vanderbilt vs Brown

Both Vanderbilt and Brown take campus safety and security seriously. Both universities maintain dedicated campus police departments and offer a variety of safety and security measures, including emergency alert systems and escort services. Both universities also have strict policies prohibiting sexual harassment and misconduct and offer resources for victims.

In addition to these measures, both universities also have programs and initiatives aimed at promoting a safe and inclusive campus environment. Vanderbilt offers bystander intervention training, which teaches students how to recognize and intervene in situations that could lead to harm. Brown has a program called “Speak About It,” which uses theater to educate students about consent, boundaries, and healthy relationships. Both universities also have counseling and mental health services available to students who may need support.

Research Opportunities and Funding Available

Both Vanderbilt and Brown have extensive research facilities and opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students. Vanderbilt has over 250 research centers and institutes, with a focus on biomedical and engineering research. Brown has over 70 research centers and institutes, with a focus on interdisciplinary research. Both universities offer funding opportunities for students, including grants, fellowships, and research assistantships.

In addition to the research centers and institutes, Vanderbilt and Brown also have partnerships with various organizations and companies that provide research opportunities for students. For example, Vanderbilt has partnerships with the National Institutes of Health and the Department of Energy, while Brown has partnerships with the Rhode Island School of Design and the Marine Biological Laboratory.

Furthermore, both universities have programs that allow students to conduct research abroad. Vanderbilt has a Global Education Office that offers research opportunities in over 50 countries, while Brown has a study abroad program that includes research opportunities in countries such as Italy, Spain, and China.

University Rankings and Accolades Received between Vanderbilt vs Brown

Both Vanderbilt and Brown are highly ranked by academic publications and organizations. U.S. News & World Report ranks Vanderbilt as the 14th best university in the country, while Brown is ranked 14th. Both universities have also been recognized for their commitment to sustainability, with Vanderbilt being ranked 3rd and Brown being ranked 8th by the Sierra Club’s “Cool Schools” ranking.

In addition to their high rankings and sustainability efforts, both Vanderbilt and Brown have also received recognition for their research contributions. Vanderbilt is home to several research centers, including the Vanderbilt Institute for Energy and Environment and the Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center, which have received millions of dollars in funding for their research projects. Brown, on the other hand, is known for its strong focus on interdisciplinary research, with faculty and students collaborating across departments to tackle complex issues such as climate change and social justice.

Female students holding her books while walking.

Furthermore, both universities have a strong commitment to community engagement and service. Vanderbilt’s Office of Active Citizenship and Service connects students with local organizations and provides opportunities for community service, while Brown’s Swearer Center for Public Service offers a variety of programs and initiatives aimed at promoting social change and civic engagement. Both universities also have a long history of partnerships with local schools and organizations, working to improve education and access to resources in their surrounding communities.

Campus Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Initiatives

Both Vanderbilt and Brown have strong commitments to diversity, equity, and inclusion. Vanderbilt has established several centers focused on diversity and inclusion, including the Bishop Joseph Johnson Black Cultural Center and the Office for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion. Brown has established several initiatives focused on diversity and inclusion, including the Center for the Study of Race and Ethnicity in America and the First-Generation College and Low-Income Student Center.

In addition to these centers and initiatives, both universities have implemented programs to increase diversity among their student bodies. Vanderbilt has a program called Posse, which recruits and supports talented students from diverse backgrounds. Brown has a program called the Brown Promise, which eliminates all loans from financial aid packages for students from families earning less than $60,000 per year. These programs are just a few examples of the ways in which Vanderbilt and Brown are working to create more equitable and inclusive campus communities.

Post-Graduation Outcomes for Students

Both Vanderbilt and Brown have excellent post-graduation outcomes for students. According to Vanderbilt’s Career Center reports, 82% of undergraduate students are employed or attending graduate school within six months of graduation. According to Brown’s CareerLAB, 92% of undergraduate students are similarly employed or attending graduate school. Both universities have a strong alumni network that offers career guidance and networking opportunities for students.

In addition to the strong post-graduation outcomes, both Vanderbilt and Brown offer a variety of resources to help students prepare for their careers. Vanderbilt’s Career Center provides students with access to career counseling, job and internship postings, and career fairs. Brown’s CareerLAB offers similar resources, as well as workshops and events to help students develop their professional skills.

Furthermore, both universities have partnerships with employers and organizations to provide students with hands-on experience and networking opportunities. Vanderbilt has partnerships with companies such as Deloitte, Goldman Sachs, and Teach for America. Brown has partnerships with organizations such as the Clinton Foundation, the Smithsonian Institution, and the United Nations.

Campus Sustainability Efforts

Both Vanderbilt and Brown have made significant efforts to reduce their carbon footprint and promote sustainability. Vanderbilt has committed to achieving carbon neutrality by 2050 and has several sustainability-focused initiatives on campus, including a green roof and a bike-sharing program. Brown has committed to achieving net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2040 and has several sustainability-focused initiatives on campus, including a campus garden and an educational farm.

In addition to these initiatives, Vanderbilt has also implemented a program to reduce food waste on campus. The program includes composting food scraps and donating excess food to local organizations. Brown has also implemented a program to reduce food waste, which includes trayless dining and a food recovery program.

Both universities have also made efforts to reduce water usage on campus. Vanderbilt has installed low-flow showerheads and toilets in residence halls, while Brown has implemented a rainwater harvesting system to irrigate their campus garden.

Student Life Experience at Each University

Both Vanderbilt and Brown offer a unique student life experience. Vanderbilt, located in the heart of Nashville, offers students access to a thriving music and arts scene, as well as numerous cultural and sports events. Brown, located in the heart of Providence, offers students access to a vibrant arts and culture scene, as well as numerous museums and theaters.

Three students smiling at the camera.

Additionally, Vanderbilt has a strong Greek life presence, with over 30% of students participating in fraternities and sororities. This provides students with opportunities to build strong social connections and participate in philanthropic activities. Brown, on the other hand, has a strong focus on community service and social justice, with many student-led organizations dedicated to making a positive impact on the local and global community.

Furthermore, Vanderbilt offers a wide range of outdoor activities, including hiking, kayaking, and rock climbing, thanks to its proximity to the Cumberland River and nearby state parks. Brown, on the other hand, is located near the coast, providing students with opportunities to explore the beaches and participate in water sports such as surfing and sailing.

Local Surroundings and Community Partnerships

Both Vanderbilt and Brown are committed to engaging with their local communities. Vanderbilt has several community partnerships, including a partnership with the Nashville Public Library and a mentoring program for Nashville high school students. Brown’s Swearer Center for Public Service offers numerous community engagement opportunities for students, including volunteering, internships, and service-learning courses.

In addition to these partnerships, Vanderbilt and Brown are located in vibrant communities that offer a variety of cultural and recreational opportunities. Vanderbilt is situated in the heart of Nashville, known for its thriving music scene and diverse culinary offerings. Brown is located in Providence, Rhode Island, a city rich in history and home to numerous museums and art galleries. Both universities encourage students to explore their surroundings and engage with the local community.

Study Abroad Programs Offered by Vanderbilt vs Brown

Both Vanderbilt and Brown offer extensive study abroad programs for undergraduate and graduate students. Vanderbilt offers over 100 study abroad programs in 50 countries, with a focus on immersive and experiential learning. Brown offers over 175 study abroad programs in 58 countries, with a focus on interdisciplinary and culturally immersive experiences.

In addition to Vanderbilt and Brown, many other universities also offer study abroad programs for their students. For example, the University of Michigan offers over 130 programs in more than 50 countries, with a focus on language immersion and cultural exchange. The University of California system offers over 250 programs in 42 countries, with a focus on global citizenship and social responsibility.

It’s important to note that study abroad programs vary in length, cost, and academic focus. Some programs may be a few weeks long, while others may last an entire academic year. Some programs may be more affordable than others, and some may offer more opportunities for academic credit. It’s important for students to research and compare different programs to find the best fit for their academic and personal goals.

Accommodation Options for Students at Each University

Both Vanderbilt and Brown offer a variety of housing options for students. Vanderbilt offers traditional dormitory-style housing, as well as apartment-style and suite-style housing. Brown offers traditional dormitory-style housing, as well as on-campus apartments and themed housing communities. Overall, Vanderbilt and Brown are both excellent universities with unique campuses, academic programs, and student life experiences. Choosing between Vanderbilt vs Brown ultimately comes down to personal preference and which university best fits your academic and career goals.

 

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