Dartmouth vs. Brown University: Which University is Right for You?

By Eric Eng

By Eric Eng

Young woman holding her books while walking.

Dartmouth vs. Brown University: Which University is Right for You?

Choosing the perfect university can be a daunting task. There are factors to consider, from location and campus culture to academic programs and extracurricular activities. Dartmouth and Brown University are two prestigious universities that often come up in the conversation. This article will thoroughly compare Dartmouth vs. Brown University to help you determine which one is right for you.

Overview of Dartmouth and Brown University

Dartmouth and Brown University are both private Ivy League institutions that are highly regarded for their academic programs and research opportunities.

Dartmouth College was founded in 1769 and is located in Hanover, New Hampshire, while Brown University was founded in 1764 and is located in Providence, Rhode Island. Both universities have a strong focus on undergraduate education and provide their students with a diverse range of academic opportunities.

Additionally, Dartmouth and Brown University are known for their strong sense of community and campus culture. Dartmouth is famous for its unique “D-Plan” academic calendar, which allows students to take off-campus terms and pursue internships or research opportunities.

On the other hand, Brown is known for its open curriculum, which allows students to design their own academic paths and take courses across various disciplines. Both universities also offer a wide range of extracurricular activities, including sports teams, clubs, and student organizations, which allow students to explore their interests and develop leadership skills.

Dartmouth vs. Brown University: Location and Campus Features

Location can be a crucial factor in determining which university is right for you. Dartmouth is located in a rural setting and is known for its beautiful campus and natural surroundings. The campus is spread across 269 acres of land and is home to several research centers and laboratories.

Brown University, on the other hand, is located in an urban setting and is known for its vibrant campus culture. The campus spans 146 acres and is filled with historic buildings, open spaces, and modern facilities.

three students in the walkway

Aside from their location and campus features, both Dartmouth and Brown University offer unique academic programs and extracurricular activities. Dartmouth is known for its strong liberal arts curriculum and its emphasis on undergraduate research opportunities.

The university also offers a variety of outdoor activities, such as hiking and skiing, due to its location in the scenic Upper Valley region of New Hampshire. Brown University, on the other hand, is renowned for its open curriculum, which allows students to design their own course of study.

The university also has a thriving arts scene, with numerous student-run theater productions and art exhibitions throughout the year.

Furthermore, both universities have a strong commitment to community service and civic engagement. Dartmouth has a Center for Social Impact, which connects students with local organizations and provides opportunities for community service and social justice work.

Brown University has a Swearer Center for Public Service, which offers similar programs and initiatives to promote community engagement and social change. Both universities also have active student-led volunteer organizations, such as Habitat for Humanity and Big Brothers Big Sisters.

Dartmouth vs. Brown University: Admissions Criteria and Acceptance Rates

Both universities have a highly selective admissions process. To be considered for admission, students must submit a strong application that includes academic transcripts, test scores, essays, and letters of recommendation.

Dartmouth has an acceptance rate of about 7.9%, while Brown has an acceptance rate of around 6.6%. While the admission process is highly competitive, both universities provide generous financial aid and scholarship opportunities to their students.

It is important to note that both universities also consider extracurricular activities and community involvement when reviewing applications. Students who have demonstrated leadership skills, volunteer experience, and a commitment to their community may have an advantage in the admissions process.

Additionally, both universities have a holistic approach to admissions, taking into account the unique backgrounds and experiences of each applicant. This means that even if a student’s academic record is not perfect, they may still have a chance of being accepted based on other factors.

Academic Programs and Majors Offered

One of the most critical factors in determining which university is right for you is the range of academic programs and majors available. Both Dartmouth and Brown offer a broad range of academic disciplines, including humanities, social sciences, sciences, and engineering.

Dartmouth has a unique focus on undergraduate education, and its academic programs are tailored to meet the needs of its students. Brown offers its students a unique open curriculum, where students are free to explore a diverse range of academic disciplines and design their course of study.

In addition to the traditional academic programs and majors, both Dartmouth and Brown offer a variety of interdisciplinary programs that allow students to explore multiple fields of study.

For example, Dartmouth offers a program in Digital Arts, Leadership, and Innovation, which combines courses in computer science, engineering, and the arts. Brown offers a program in Science and Society that explores the intersection of science, technology, and society.

Furthermore, both universities offer opportunities for students to conduct research and engage in experiential learning. Dartmouth has a strong focus on undergraduate research, with opportunities for students to work alongside faculty members on research projects.

Brown offers a variety of experiential learning opportunities, including internships, study abroad programs, and community service projects.

Quality of Faculty and Student Body Diversity

The quality of faculty and student body diversity can significantly impact your university experience. Both universities have a faculty of accomplished scholars and researchers dedicated to providing their students with a high-quality education.

Students sitting on the chairs while talking.

Dartmouth boasts a diverse student body, with students from all over the world representing many backgrounds and cultures. Brown is also committed to providing a diverse and inclusive environment that fosters intellectual curiosity, creativity, and innovation.

Furthermore, Dartmouth’s faculty is known for its accessibility and willingness to engage with students outside of the classroom. They are committed to helping students succeed academically and personally. Brown’s faculty is also highly regarded, with many professors being recognized for their contributions to their respective fields.

In terms of student body diversity, both universities have active student organizations that celebrate and promote diversity and inclusion. Dartmouth has a strong Native American community, with the highest percentage of Native American students among Ivy League schools.

Brown has a large LGBTQ+ community, with a dedicated LGBTQ+ center that provides resources and support for students.

Dartmouth vs. Brown University: Student Life Experience on Both Campuses

The student experience is an essential part of university life. Dartmouth and Brown have a vibrant campus culture and a wide range of student organizations, clubs, and events. Dartmouth is known for its strong sense of community and small class sizes, which encourages students to build close relationships with their professors and peers.

Brown, on the other hand, provides its students with opportunities to explore their interests and passions, from performing arts to athletics and entrepreneurship.

Additionally, both campuses offer various resources to support students’ academic and personal growth. Dartmouth has a robust undergraduate research program where students can work alongside faculty members on cutting-edge research projects.

Brown, on the other hand, has a unique open curriculum that allows students to design their own academic path and take courses across different departments. Both universities also have comprehensive wellness programs, including mental health services, fitness centers, and healthy dining options.

Housing Facilities and Accommodations

Both universities provide their students with comfortable and modern housing facilities. Dartmouth offers a range of housing options, from traditional residence halls to apartment-style living. Brown also provides a range of on-campus housing options, including residential halls, suites, and apartments.

In addition to on-campus housing, both universities also offer off-campus housing options for students who prefer to live off-campus.

Dartmouth has various off-campus housing options, including apartments and houses, that are within walking distance of the campus. Brown also has off-campus housing options available, with many apartments and houses located in the surrounding neighborhoods.

Both universities also provide accommodations for students with disabilities. Dartmouth has a Disability Services Office that works with students to provide accommodations such as accessible housing, assistive technology, and note-taking services.

Brown has a Student and Employee Accessibility Services Office that provides similar accommodations, as well as support for students with temporary disabilities.

Extracurricular Activities Available at Each University

Extracurricular activities can play a vital role in your university experience. Both Dartmouth and Brown provide their students with a diverse range of extracurricular opportunities, including athletics, the arts, and community service.

Dartmouth has a strong athletic program, with 34 varsity teams and several club sports. Brown also has an excellent athletic program, with 38 varsity teams and a focus on promoting physical fitness and wellness.

an anthropology student interviewing an elderly woman

In addition to athletics, both universities offer a wide range of opportunities for students interested in the arts. Dartmouth has a thriving music scene, with a variety of ensembles and performance groups, as well as a student-run theater company.

Brown also has a strong arts community, with a student-run arts organization that hosts events and exhibitions throughout the year.

Community service is also a key component of extracurricular life at both universities. Dartmouth has a Center for Service that connects students with local organizations and provides opportunities for service trips and projects. Brown has a similar program with a focus on community engagement and social justice issues.

Both universities encourage students to get involved in service and make a positive impact on their communities.

Dartmouth vs. Brown University: Sports Teams and Athletic Programs

Dartmouth and Brown have a strong tradition of athletic excellence. Dartmouth is known for its successful Ivy League varsity teams, such as football, ice hockey, and lacrosse. Brown is also known for its successful Ivies League varsity teams, such as women’s rowing, men’s soccer, and women’s water polo.

In addition to their varsity teams, both Dartmouth and Brown offer a wide range of club and intramural sports for students to participate in. These include ultimate frisbee, rugby, volleyball, and more. These programs provide opportunities for students to stay active and engaged in sports, even if they are not on a varsity team.

Furthermore, both schools have state-of-the-art athletic facilities, including gyms, swimming pools, and outdoor fields. These facilities are open to all students and provide a space for them to exercise and train. Additionally, the schools offer fitness classes and personal training services to help students achieve their fitness goals.

Comparing Tuition Fees, Financial Aid, and Scholarships

Both Dartmouth and Brown provide their students with generous financial aid packages and scholarship opportunities. The tuition fees at Dartmouth College for the academic year 2020-2021 were $57,204, while the tuition fees at Brown University were $58,504.

However, both universities offer need-based financial aid and merit-based scholarships to help offset the cost of attendance.

It is important to note that the cost of attendance at both Dartmouth and Brown goes beyond just tuition fees. Students should also consider additional expenses such as room and board, textbooks, and personal expenses.

According to the College Board, the estimated total cost of attendance for the 2020-2021 academic year at Dartmouth was $78,214, while at Brown, it was $76,919. However, both universities offer resources and support to help students manage these costs, such as work-study programs and financial literacy workshops.

Dartmouth vs. Brown University: Post-Graduation Employment Opportunities

One crucial factor to consider when choosing a university is the post-graduation employment opportunities available. Both Dartmouth and Brown provide their students with a range of career services, including internship opportunities, career fairs, and networking events.

Dartmouth’s career services center offers career planning, coaching, and access to job leads and internships in various fields. Brown’s career services center provides students with support to navigate the job search process and provides opportunities for networking and career development.

In addition to the career services offered by Dartmouth and Brown, both universities have strong alumni networks that can be beneficial for students seeking employment after graduation. Dartmouth’s alumni network includes over 70,000 members, many of whom are leaders in their respective fields.

Brown’s alumni network is similarly impressive, with over 100,000 members worldwide. Both universities offer opportunities for students to connect with alumni through events and mentorship programs.

Three students talking in a bench while holding their notes.

Furthermore, both Dartmouth and Brown have partnerships with various companies and organizations, providing students with access to job and internship opportunities. Dartmouth has partnerships with companies such as Google, Goldman Sachs, and Teach for America.

Brown has partnerships with companies such as Microsoft, Deloitte, and the Peace Corps. These partnerships can provide students with valuable experience and connections in their desired fields.

Alumni Network Comparison: Dartmouth vs Brown University

The alumni network can be a significant asset in your post-graduation career. Dartmouth and Brown have a vast network of alumni who are successful in various fields, including business, politics, and academia. Dartmouth’s alumni network includes prominent figures such as Jeffrey Immelt, former CEO of General Electric, and Andrew Tan, founder of Tan Holdings.

Brown’s alumni network includes famous figures such as John F. Kennedy, Jr., and acclaimed author and journalist Ta-Nehisi Coates.

However, the alumni networks of Dartmouth and Brown differ in their geographical reach. Dartmouth’s alumni network is more concentrated in the Northeastern United States, with a significant presence in New York City and Boston. In contrast, Brown’s alumni network is more spread out across the country, with a strong presence in California and the West Coast.

Another factor to consider is the level of alumni engagement. Dartmouth has a highly engaged alumni community, with numerous alumni events and networking opportunities throughout the year. Brown also has an active alumni association, but their events tend to be more focused on cultural and intellectual pursuits, such as lectures and art exhibits.

Dartmouth vs. Brown University: Campus Safety Measures and Security Protocols in Place

Safety should always be a top priority when choosing a university. Both Dartmouth and Brown have robust campus safety measures in place to ensure the safety and well-being of their students.

Dartmouth has an emergency response team and campus security officers in place 24/7, and it provides several resources, including an emergency text messaging system, to its students for their safety. Brown also has an emergency response team and a campus safety program to ensure the safety of its community.

In addition to these measures, both universities also have a strong focus on educating their students on safety and security. Dartmouth offers self-defense classes and safety workshops, while Brown provides safety escorts for students walking on campus at night.

Both universities also have a zero-tolerance policy for sexual assault and harassment and have resources available for students who may experience such incidents.

Social Life Comparison: Dartmouth vs. Brown University

Social life can be a critical factor in your university experience. Dartmouth and Brown have vibrant campus cultures that provide their students with a diverse range of social opportunities. Dartmouth is known for its social events, including its famous Winter Carnival, where students participate in various winter sports and celebrate with live performances and parties.

Brown provides its students with opportunities for social engagement, such as the Spring Weekend celebration, which includes live performances and outdoor activities.

Aside from the traditional campus events, both universities offer a variety of student organizations that cater to different interests. Dartmouth has over 200 student-run organizations, including the Dartmouth Outing Club, which organizes outdoor activities such as hiking, skiing, and camping.

Brown has over 400 student organizations, including the Brown Debating Union, which hosts debates and public speaking events.

Furthermore, both universities have a strong commitment to community service and civic engagement. Dartmouth’s Tucker Foundation offers various service opportunities, including alternative spring break trips and local volunteer work.

Brown’s Swearer Center for Public Service provides students with opportunities to engage in community-based research and social entrepreneurship.

Prospective Student Reviews of Each University

Young woman looking out the window while taking an exam.

Prospective student reviews can provide helpful insights when choosing a university. Dartmouth and Brown receive high praise from students and alumni for their academic programs, student life experience, and campus culture.

Students often praise Dartmouth’s sense of community and tight-knit campus, while Brown earns high marks for its open curriculum and focus on interdisciplinary learning.

In conclusion, when deciding between Dartmouth and Brown University, it is essential to consider a range of factors, including academic programs, location, student life experience, and social opportunities.

Both universities offer unique experiences that can prepare you for your future career and life. With careful consideration, you can make an informed decision about which university is the right fit for you.

It is also worth noting that both Dartmouth and Brown have strong research programs and opportunities for undergraduate students to get involved in research projects.

Dartmouth’s undergraduate research program is particularly well-regarded, with students having the opportunity to work closely with faculty members on cutting-edge research projects. Brown also offers a range of research opportunities, with students able to work with faculty members across a variety of disciplines.


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