fbpx

Northwestern vs Occidental: A Comprehensive Overview

By Eric Eng

By Eric Eng

Scholarship document, admission paper or letter on table.

Northwestern vs Occidental: A Comprehensive Overview

In recent years, students have had an increasing number of choices when it comes to choosing a college to attend. Two of the schools that consistently rank among the best in the United States are Northwestern University and Occidental College. Both schools are renowned for their academic excellence, but they differ in many other aspects that are important to prospective students. In this comprehensive article, we will compare Northwestern vs Occidental in terms of their admissions process, student body diversity, academic programs, and rankings by leading publications.

Introduction: Why Compare Northwestern and Occidental?

Choosing a college is a crucial decision that can affect a student’s future profoundly. It is essential to evaluate multiple factors before making a final commitment. Among the most crucial factors to consider are the college’s history, location, faculty quality, campus life, research opportunities, athletics programs, and alumni network. In this article, we will compare Northwestern and Occidental in all these categories and see which college emerges as the clear winner.

Northwestern University is a private research university located in Evanston, Illinois. It was founded in 1851 and has since become one of the most prestigious universities in the United States. Northwestern is known for its strong programs in journalism, engineering, and business, and has produced many notable alumni, including Stephen Colbert, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, and Warren Buffett.

Occidental College, on the other hand, is a private liberal arts college located in Los Angeles, California. It was founded in 1887 and has a strong reputation for its rigorous academic programs and commitment to social justice. Occidental has produced many notable alumni, including President Barack Obama, actor Ben Affleck, and journalist Anderson Cooper.

History and Background of Northwestern and Occidental

Northwestern University was founded in 1851 and has since grown to become one of the leading research universities in the world. The University is located in Evanston, Illinois, and has additional campuses in Chicago and Qatar. It has a rich history, with notable alumni including Nobel Prize winners, governors, and congressmen.

Occidental College, on the other hand, is a smaller liberal arts college located in Los Angeles, California. It was founded in 1887 and has a long history of academic excellence, with notable alumni including President Barack Obama and Jack Kemp.

Northwestern University has a diverse student body, with students from all 50 states and over 100 countries. The University offers over 200 undergraduate and graduate programs, including programs in engineering, journalism, and business. Northwestern is also known for its strong athletics program, with 19 varsity sports teams competing in the Big Ten Conference.

Occidental College is known for its commitment to social justice and community engagement. The college offers over 40 majors and minors, with a focus on interdisciplinary studies. Occidental is also home to a number of research centers and institutes, including the Urban and Environmental Policy Institute and the Institute for the Study of Los Angeles.

Location and Campus Features of Northwestern and Occidental

Northwestern University has a beautiful campus located in Evanston, Illinois, just north of downtown Chicago. The campus is vast, covering over 240 acres, with buildings that date back to the early 1900s and modern facilities that cater to a variety of interests. The University also has athletic facilities, including a state-of-the-art fitness center and sports fields.

View of Northwestern university

Occidental College, on the other hand, is located in the Eagle Rock neighborhood of Los Angeles. The campus covers over 120 acres and has the feel of a traditional liberal arts college, with green spaces and historic buildings.

Both Northwestern and Occidental offer unique opportunities for students. Northwestern is known for its strong programs in journalism, engineering, and business, while Occidental is renowned for its programs in the arts and humanities. Additionally, Northwestern has a large student body of over 20,000 students, while Occidental has a smaller student body of around 2,000 students, allowing for a more intimate learning environment.

Admissions Process: How Do Northwestern vs Occidental Compare?

The admissions process for Northwestern and Occidental is highly competitive, with both schools receiving tens of thousands of applications each year. Northwestern University has an acceptance rate of around 9%, while Occidental College has an acceptance rate of around 37%.

However, Northwestern University has higher average SAT scores and GPA for admitted students, making it more selective than Occidental College.

In addition to the differences in acceptance rates and selectivity, there are also differences in the application requirements for Northwestern and Occidental. Northwestern requires applicants to submit SAT or ACT scores, while Occidental is test-optional. However, Occidental does require applicants to submit a graded writing sample.

Another difference between the two schools is their approach to early decision applications. Northwestern offers an early decision option, which is binding for students who are accepted. Occidental, on the other hand, offers an early decision option that is non-binding, giving students more flexibility in their decision-making process.

Student Body Diversity: A Comparison of Northwestern and Occidental

Both Northwestern and Occidental College value diversity and strive to create a welcoming and inclusive environment for students. However, the student populations at the two colleges differ significantly.

Northwestern University has a larger student body, with approximately 21,000 students. The University has a relatively diverse student body, with 20% of students identifying as Asian, 8% as Hispanic, and 7% as Black or African American.

Occidental College, on the other hand, has a smaller student body, with approximately 2,000 undergraduates. The college has a slightly less diverse student population, with 10% of students identifying as Asian, 17% as Hispanic, and 4% as Black or African American.

Group of students working together and talking.

Despite the differences in student body size and diversity, both Northwestern and Occidental College have implemented initiatives to promote inclusivity and diversity on their campuses.

Northwestern has established a Diversity and Inclusion Office, which offers resources and support for underrepresented students and hosts events and workshops to promote cultural awareness and understanding. Occidental College has a similar program called the Intercultural Community Center, which provides a space for students to engage in dialogue and learn about different cultures.

Furthermore, both colleges have student organizations dedicated to promoting diversity and inclusion. Northwestern has over 20 multicultural student organizations, including the Asian Pacific American Coalition and the Black Student Alliance. Occidental College has a similar range of organizations, such as the Latinx Student Union and the Queer Student Alliance. These organizations provide a platform for students to connect with others who share their cultural background or identity, and to advocate for greater representation and inclusivity on campus.

Academic Programs Offered at Northwestern vs Occidental: Which is Better?

Both Northwestern University and Occidental College offer a wide variety of academic programs, including majors and minors in various fields of study. Northwestern University has a broader range of academic programs, with over 190 undergraduate and graduate programs offered across its schools and colleges.

Occidental College, on the other hand, is a liberal arts college and offers a more focused education. The College has 43 majors, with many interdisciplinary programs that allow students to explore various fields of study.

It is important to note that the size and type of academic program offered at each institution may not be the only factor to consider when choosing between Northwestern and Occidental. Other factors such as location, campus culture, and extracurricular activities may also play a significant role in the decision-making process.

Faculty Quality at Northwestern vs Occidental: A Comparative Analysis

The quality of faculty is often a deciding factor for students when choosing a college. Both Northwestern University and Occidental College have highly qualified faculty members who are experts in their respective fields.

Northwestern University has over 3,700 faculty members, with a student-to-faculty ratio of 6:1. The University’s faculty includes Nobel Laureates, Guggenheim Fellows, and members of the National Academy of Sciences.

students listening intently to a class discussion

Occidental College has a faculty of 156, with a student-to-faculty ratio of 9:1. The College’s faculty includes Fulbright Scholars, Guggenheim Fellows, and Pulitzer Prize winners.

Despite the differences in size and student-to-faculty ratio, both Northwestern and Occidental prioritize small class sizes and individualized attention from faculty members. Northwestern’s faculty members are known for their research and academic achievements, while Occidental’s faculty members are known for their dedication to teaching and mentorship. Both universities offer students the opportunity to work closely with faculty members on research projects and other academic pursuits.

Research Opportunities at Northwestern vs. Occidental: Which is More Accessible?

Northwestern University is a leading research university, with a strong focus on research across its various schools and colleges. The University’s research programs cover a wide range of disciplines, from science and engineering to social sciences and humanities.

Occidental College, on the other hand, is primarily a liberal arts college and research opportunities may be more limited. However, the college does offer several research programs, including the Summer Research Program and the Richter Research Program, which allow students to engage in research with faculty members.

It is important to note that while Northwestern may have more research opportunities, they may not be as accessible to undergraduate students as they are at Occidental. At Occidental, students have the opportunity to work closely with faculty members on research projects, which can be a valuable experience for those interested in pursuing graduate studies or careers in research. Additionally, Occidental’s smaller size and close-knit community may make it easier for students to find and participate in research opportunities.

Campus Life at Northwestern vs. Occidental: A Comprehensive Look

Campus life is an essential aspect of a college experience. Both Northwestern University and Occidental College offer students numerous opportunities to get involved in campus activities and organizations.

Northwestern University has over 400 student organizations, including academic, cultural, athletic, and community service organizations. The University also has a vibrant Greek life and offers numerous opportunities for students to get involved in the arts and humanities.

Occidental College has over 100 student organizations, including academic, cultural, athletic, and community service organizations. The College also has a strong Greek life and offers numerous opportunities for students to get involved in the arts and humanities.

However, there are some differences between the campus life at Northwestern and Occidental. Northwestern University is located in Evanston, a suburb of Chicago, which offers students access to a bustling city with numerous cultural and entertainment options. On the other hand, Occidental College is located in Los Angeles, which provides students with access to a diverse range of cultural experiences and opportunities.

Athletics Programs at Northwestern vs. Occidental: Who Comes Out on Top?

Both Northwestern University and Occidental College have excellent athletics programs that offer students many opportunities to compete in various sports.

Northwestern University is a member of the Big Ten Conference and has 19 varsity teams that compete at the NCAA Division I level. The University’s athletics programs have a rich history, with numerous championships and notable alumni, including NFL players and Olympians.

athletes playing football

Occidental College is a member of the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference and has 21 varsity teams that compete at the NCAA Division III level. The College’s athletics programs have also had significant success, with numerous championships and notable alumni, including Olympic track and field athletes.

Despite the differences in division level and conference membership, both Northwestern and Occidental prioritize the well-being and development of their student-athletes. Both universities offer extensive resources for their athletes, including top-notch facilities, experienced coaching staff, and academic support services. Additionally, both universities have a strong commitment to diversity and inclusion within their athletics programs, ensuring that all students have equal opportunities to participate and succeed.

Ranking Comparison of Northwestern vs Occidental by Leading Publications

Northwestern University and Occidental College consistently rank among the best colleges in the United States according to various leading publications.

U.S. News & World Report ranks Northwestern University as the 9th best national university and Occidental College as the 42nd best national liberal arts college.

The Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education College Rankings ranks Northwestern University as the 13th-best university nationally and Occidental College as the 122nd-best university nationally.

In addition to these rankings, Forbes also includes both Northwestern University and Occidental College in their annual list of America’s Top Colleges. Northwestern University ranks 14th overall and 9th among private colleges, while Occidental College ranks 120th overall and 60th among private colleges.

Conclusion: Which College Emerges as the Clear Winner?

After an exhaustive analysis of Northwestern vs Occidental College, it is challenging to decide which college emerges as the clear winner. Both colleges have their unique strengths and weaknesses.

Northwestern University is a larger school with a broader range of academic programs, highly qualified faculty, and a robust research program. The University’s athletics programs and alumni network are also strong.

Occidental College is a smaller liberal arts college that offers a focused education, a welcoming and inclusive community, and a unique location in Los Angeles. Ultimately, the choice between Northwestern vs Occidental will depend on individual students’ preferences, goals, and priorities.

Want to learn more about getting into College? You’ve come to the right place. At AdmissionSight, we have over 10 years of experience guiding students through the competitive admissions process.

AdmissionSight can help you put your best foot forward when applying to college this fall. Contact us today for more information on our services.

Author

Search

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.