Dartmouth and Bryn Mawr: A Comprehensive Analysis

By Eric Eng

By Eric Eng

Young woman smiling at the camera while in front of the computer.

Dartmouth and Bryn Mawr: A Comprehensive Analysis

Choosing which college or university to attend is a crucial decision that can impact your entire life. Two famous schools in the United States known for providing excellent education and vibrant campus life are Dartmouth and Bryn Mawr.

In this comprehensive analysis, we will explore the differences and similarities between these two colleges in various aspects. By the end of this article, you will have a better understanding of which institution may be the right fit for you.

Location and Campus: A Closer Look at Dartmouth and Bryn Mawr

The location of a college or university can play a significant role in students’ experiences. At Dartmouth, the campus is nestled in the charming town of Hanover, New Hampshire, surrounded by picturesque mountains, while Bryn Mawr is located in the suburban town of Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, just 10 miles from Philadelphia.

Both campuses are beautiful, with impressive architecture, expansive green spaces, and state-of-the-art facilities. Dartmouth’s campus is more extensive, with over 200 buildings spread across 269 acres, including research centers, libraries, and museums.

A woman looking at paintings in the Museum of Modern Art

In contrast, Bryn Mawr’s campus is more compact, with 135 acres of well-maintained grounds. Students at both institutions can enjoy a tight-knit and supportive community that enhances their academic and personal growth.

Despite their differences in location and campus size, both Dartmouth and Bryn Mawr offer unique opportunities for students. Dartmouth’s location in Hanover provides students with access to outdoor activities such as hiking, skiing, and kayaking, while Bryn Mawr’s proximity to Philadelphia allows students to take advantage of the city’s cultural offerings and internship opportunities.

Faculty and Staff: A Comparison of the Teaching Talent at Both Institutions

Dartmouth and Bryn Mawr have reputations for employing some of the best teaching talent in the country. Both institutions have committed and dedicated faculty members who specialize in various disciplines and are renowned for their research and academic stature.

At Dartmouth, the student-to-faculty ratio is 7:1, which means that students can receive individual attention from their professors and have the opportunity to collaborate on research projects. In comparison, Bryn Mawr’s student-faculty ratio is slightly higher, at 8:1, but still ensures that students receive a personalized learning experience.

One notable difference between the teaching talent at Dartmouth and Bryn Mawr is the level of diversity among faculty members. Dartmouth has made a concerted effort to increase diversity among its faculty, with 44% of its faculty identifying as people of color.

In contrast, Bryn Mawr has a lower percentage of faculty members who identify as people of color, at 28%. However, both institutions are committed to creating inclusive and welcoming environments for all students.

Student Life: Experiences at Dartmouth vs Bryn Mawr

Both Dartmouth and Bryn Mawr offer students a rich and rewarding college experience. Students at Dartmouth can participate in over 350 student organizations, including Greek life, club sports, and academic associations. Additionally, Dartmouth’s outdoor programs, such as the Dartmouth Outing Club, provide opportunities for adventure and exploration.

College students walking in the campus.

Similarly, Bryn Mawr has an active student life, with over 100 student-run organizations, including music and theater groups, international and multicultural organizations, and social advocacy clubs. The college also integrates wellness and self-care initiatives to promote student health and wellness, including a serene meditation room and counseling services.

One major difference between the student life experiences at Dartmouth and Bryn Mawr is the size of the student body. Dartmouth has a larger student population, which can make it easier to find a niche community within the school. However, Bryn Mawr’s smaller student body allows for a more intimate and tight-knit community, where students can form close relationships with their peers and professors.

Another aspect of student life at Bryn Mawr is the emphasis on academic excellence and intellectual curiosity. The college offers a unique academic program called the “four-course way,” which encourages students to take four courses per semester and engage in deep, interdisciplinary learning. This approach to education fosters a culture of intellectual curiosity and academic rigor, which is reflected in the student body’s passion for learning and pursuit of knowledge.

Admissions Criteria: How Dartmouth and Bryn Mawr Select Their Students

Both Dartmouth and Bryn Mawr have highly selective admissions processes, with acceptance rates of 8.7% and 34%, respectively. Dartmouth considers students’ academic achievements, extracurricular activities, recommendations, essays, and standardized test scores in their admissions decisions. Bryn Mawr follows a holistic admissions process, considering a student’s academic performance, character, unique attributes, and potential for success.

At Dartmouth, the admissions committee also takes into account a student’s demonstrated interest in the school. This can include attending information sessions, visiting campus, and engaging with the school through social media. Bryn Mawr, on the other hand, places a strong emphasis on a student’s commitment to social justice and community service.

Both schools also offer need-blind admissions, meaning that a student’s ability to pay for tuition is not taken into consideration during the admissions process. However, they do have different financial aid policies.

Dartmouth meets 100% of demonstrated financial need for all admitted students, while Bryn Mawr offers a combination of grants, loans, and work-study programs to help students cover the cost of attendance.

Academic Programs: A Side-by-Side Comparison of Majors and Minors Offered

Dartmouth and Bryn Mawr offer a wide range of majors and minors that cater to students’ diverse interests and goals. Dartmouth has over 60 majors across 40 academic departments, ranging from engineering to film & media studies. In contrast, Bryn Mawr offers over 35 majors and 38 minors, with a heavy emphasis on the liberal arts, including literature, history, and philosophy.

Close up of students smiling at the camera.

Both institutions have world-class faculty members who are experts in their fields and provide students with rigorous and engaging instruction. Additionally, students have opportunities to conduct research, complete internships, and study abroad to gain hands-on experience and expand their horizons.

Furthermore, Dartmouth offers a unique dual-degree program in engineering, where students can earn both a Bachelor of Arts degree from Dartmouth and a Bachelor of Engineering degree from Thayer School of Engineering at Dartmouth. This program allows students to combine their interests in engineering with a liberal arts education, providing them with a well-rounded education and a competitive edge in the job market.

On the other hand, Bryn Mawr offers a special program called the 4+1 program, which allows students to earn both a Bachelor’s degree and a Master’s degree in just five years. This program is available in select majors and provides students with an accelerated path to graduate school and career advancement.

Research Opportunities: Comparing the Research Endeavors of Both Institutions

Research is integral to the intellectual climate of both Dartmouth and Bryn Mawr. Students at Dartmouth can partake in research opportunities through over 50 research centers and institutes, such as the Geisel School of Medicine and the Thayer School of Engineering. At Bryn Mawr, the College boasts highly cited faculty members who engage in cutting-edge research across various fields, including social sciences, humanities, and STEM subjects.

Additionally, both institutions offer undergraduate research programs that allow students to work closely with faculty members on research projects. At Dartmouth, the Women in Science Project provides research opportunities for female students in STEM fields, while the Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship supports underrepresented students pursuing careers in academia.

Bryn Mawr offers the Undergraduate Science Research Program, which provides funding and resources for students to conduct research in the natural sciences, as well as the Praxis Program, which allows students to engage in community-based research projects.

Extracurricular Activities: A Comparison of Clubs, Sports, and Other Student Organizations

Both Dartmouth and Bryn Mawr have lively extracurricular scenes with numerous student-run organizations. Dartmouth encourages students to participate in outdoor activities, including hiking, skiing, and kayaking, through its Dartmouth Outing Club. At Bryn Mawr, students can participate in numerous club sports, including fencing and squash, and various music and performing arts groups.

four students lounging on the steps outside

Additionally, both schools offer opportunities for students to get involved in community service and volunteer work. Dartmouth has a program called “Dartmouth Partners in Community Service” which connects students with local non-profit organizations.

Bryn Mawr has a similar program called the “Community Partnership Program” which allows students to work with organizations in the Philadelphia area. These programs not only provide students with the chance to give back to their communities but also allow them to gain valuable skills and experiences outside of the classroom.

Diversity and Inclusion: How Dartmouth and Bryn Mawr Embrace Diversity on Campus

Diversity and inclusion are essential values at both Dartmouth and Bryn Mawr. Dartmouth takes pride in attracting students from various cultural, economic, and geographical backgrounds through its generous financial aid policies, outreach to underrepresented communities, and emphasis on diversity in the curriculum.

Bryn Mawr is committed to creating an inclusive environment that welcomes students of all backgrounds, promoting dialogue on issues of inclusion and social justice through its various centers and programs.

Both Dartmouth and Bryn Mawr have taken steps to ensure that their campuses are safe and welcoming for all students. Dartmouth has implemented a Bias Incident Response Team, which provides support and resources for students who have experienced bias or discrimination.

Bryn Mawr has a similar program called the Bias Response Initiative, which aims to address incidents of bias and promote a more inclusive campus community. These programs demonstrate the commitment of both institutions to creating a campus culture that values diversity and inclusion.

Career Services: Which Institution Offers Better Career Support to Their Students

Both Dartmouth and Bryn Mawr provide students with comprehensive career services, providing them with guidance, resources, and connections to achieve their professional goals. At Dartmouth, the Center for Professional Development offers students career counseling, job search advice, and networking opportunities with alumni. At Bryn Mawr, the Career and Professional Development Office provides tailored career advice, facilitation of internships, and alumni connections to help students navigate their career paths.

However, there are some differences in the approach of the two institutions towards career services. Dartmouth focuses more on providing students with opportunities to gain practical experience through internships and co-op programs, while Bryn Mawr emphasizes helping students develop their skills and interests through workshops, seminars, and career fairs.

Additionally, Bryn Mawr has a strong emphasis on supporting students who are interested in pursuing careers in non-profit organizations and public service, while Dartmouth has a strong focus on preparing students for careers in finance, consulting, and technology.

Alumni Network: A Look at the Success Stories of Graduates from Dartmouth and Bryn Mawr

Graduates from both Dartmouth and Bryn Mawr have gone on to become leaders in their fields, making impactful contributions to their communities and beyond. Dartmouth boasts a network of over 70,000 alumni who are leaders and innovators in areas such as business, medicine, law, and public service. Bryn Mawr’s alumnae network is global, with over 36,000 graduates of the College located in 78 countries, making a meaningful impact across various fields.

Many alumni from both Dartmouth and Bryn Mawr have also given back to their alma maters through philanthropic efforts. Dartmouth’s alumni have donated over $3 billion to the College, supporting scholarships, research, and campus improvements.

Bryn Mawr’s alumnae have also been generous in their giving, with over $200 million raised for the College’s endowment and various initiatives. These contributions have helped to ensure that future generations of students can benefit from the same exceptional education and opportunities that these institutions provide.

Cost of Attendance: A Comparison of Tuition, Fees, Scholarships, and Financial Aid Packages

The cost of attending Dartmouth and Bryn Mawr varies depending on several factors, including need-based and merit-based scholarships. Dartmouth’s tuition and fees for the 2021-2022 academic year are $77,050, with over 50% of students receiving some form of financial aid.

Group of students walking in the campus.

In comparison, Bryn Mawr’s tuition and fees for the same academic year are $54,440, with 60% of students receiving financial aid. Both institutions make it a priority to provide need-blind admissions to ensure that all students can attend regardless of their financial circumstances.

It is important to note that the cost of attendance goes beyond just tuition and fees. Students must also consider the cost of textbooks, housing, and other living expenses. At Dartmouth, the estimated cost of attendance for the 2021-2022 academic year is $78,214, while at Bryn Mawr it is $72,940. However, both institutions offer various resources and programs to help students manage these additional costs.

Furthermore, it is worth mentioning that both Dartmouth and Bryn Mawr have robust financial aid packages that go beyond just scholarships. Students may also be eligible for grants, work-study programs, and loans. Additionally, both institutions have dedicated financial aid offices that can assist students in navigating the financial aid process and finding the best options for their individual needs.

Future Outlook: Predictions for the Future Development of Dartmouth and Bryn Mawr

Going forward, both Dartmouth and Bryn Mawr are committed to providing their students with an exceptional education that prepares them for success in a rapidly changing world. Dartmouth is expanding its academic offerings with new programs in emerging areas such as computational neuroscience, data science, and robotics. Bryn Mawr is prioritizing sustainability and investment in infrastructure to further support its students and faculty.

Looking ahead, both institutions are also considering the impact of technology on higher education. Dartmouth is exploring the use of virtual and augmented reality in the classroom, while Bryn Mawr is investing in online learning platforms to expand access to education.

As the world continues to evolve, Dartmouth and Bryn Mawr are committed to staying at the forefront of innovation and providing their students with the skills and knowledge they need to succeed.


Overall, Dartmouth and Bryn Mawr are both exceptional institutions with unique strengths and features that cater to different students’ needs and interests. By considering various factors such as campus location, academic programs, and extracurricular offerings, prospective students can narrow down their search and find a school that aligns with their career goals and aspirations.

Segue to AdmissionSight

At AdmissionSight, we firmly uphold the conviction that every student is entitled to the chance to pursue their dreams at their preferred college. Our mission is to equip you with the expert advice and unwavering support you need to secure a place at the schools you aspire to attend.

Don’t let your future hinge on uncertainty. Reach out to AdmissionSight today to arrange a complimentary consultation and embark on the journey toward realizing your dreams. With our expert mentorship and steadfast support, the sky’s the limit.


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