UC San Diego vs Dartmouth: A Side-by-Side Analysis

August 11, 2023
By AdmissionSight

UC San Diego vs Dartmouth: A Side-by-Side Analysis

Looking to go to college, but not sure which school to choose? Look no further than UC San Diego and Dartmouth, two of the most prestigious institutions in the country. Both offer excellent academic programs, a vibrant student body, and numerous opportunities for personal and professional growth. This article will take a detailed look at various aspects of UC San Diego vs Dartmouth to help you make an informed choice.

Location and Campus

UC San Diego is located in sunny San Diego, California, on a sprawling campus that overlooks the Pacific Ocean. The campus is home to six undergraduate colleges and several graduate and research institutions. The climate is mild year-round, making it ideal for outdoor activities such as surfing, hiking, and biking.

View of Dartmouth campus at day time.

Dartmouth College is located in Hanover, New Hampshire, in the heart of the Upper Valley. The campus spans over 200 acres and is nestled in the foothills of the White Mountains. The climate is cooler than San Diego, with snowy winters and warm summers. The campus is home to four undergraduate schools and several graduate programs.

UC San Diego’s campus is known for its modern architecture and innovative design. The Geisel Library, named after Dr. Seuss (a former resident of La Jolla), is a popular spot for students to study and take in the stunning views of the ocean. The campus also features a world-renowned art collection, with over 18,000 pieces on display throughout the campus.

Dartmouth College’s campus is steeped in history and tradition. The Baker-Berry Library, with its iconic clock tower, is a beloved landmark on campus. The college is also home to the Hood Museum of Art, which houses over 65,000 works of art from around the world. The campus is surrounded by natural beauty, with hiking trails and ski slopes just a short drive away.

Student Body: Size and Diversity between UC San Diego vs Dartmouth

UC San Diego has a larger student body than Dartmouth, with over 38,000 students enrolled across all colleges and programs. It is known for its diversity, with a student population that represents over 60 countries and a broad range of cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds.

Dartmouth, on the other hand, has a smaller student body of just over 6,000 undergraduates. While the student body is less diverse than UC San Diego, it still attracts students from all over the world and from a variety of backgrounds.

UC San Diego’s commitment to diversity is reflected in its numerous programs and initiatives aimed at promoting inclusivity and equity on campus. The university offers a wide range of resources and support services for underrepresented students, including first-generation college students, low-income students, and students with disabilities.

Dartmouth, on the other hand, is known for its tight-knit community and strong sense of tradition. The small size of the student body allows for more personalized attention from faculty and staff, and students often form close relationships with their peers and professors. The college also has a strong focus on undergraduate education, with a student-to-faculty ratio of 7:1 and a high percentage of classes taught by professors rather than teaching assistants.

Tuition and Financial Aid

UC San Diego is a public institution, which means that tuition is generally lower than private universities. In-state students pay approximately $14,000 per year, while out-of-state students pay around $43,000 per year. UC San Diego offers numerous financial aid packages to qualified students.

Dartmouth, a private institution, has a higher tuition rate than UC San Diego, with the total cost of attendance for one year averaging around $75,000. However, the college offers generous financial aid packages, including need-based aid and merit scholarships, to help offset the cost of attendance.

It is important to note that the cost of attendance at a university goes beyond just tuition. Students must also consider the cost of housing, textbooks, and other expenses. UC San Diego offers affordable on-campus housing options, as well as resources for finding off-campus housing. Additionally, the university has a textbook rental program to help students save money on course materials.

At Dartmouth, students have access to a variety of resources to help them manage their finances. The college offers financial literacy workshops, one-on-one financial coaching, and budgeting tools to help students make informed decisions about their money. Dartmouth also has a work-study program, which allows students to earn money while gaining valuable work experience on campus.

Academic Offerings: Majors and Programs

UC San Diego is known for its exceptional STEM programs, which include biology, chemistry, engineering, math, and physics. The university also has a strong social sciences program, including political science, economics, and sociology. Additionally, students can choose from 65 undergraduate majors and over 100 graduate and professional programs.

Two students working in an office.

Dartmouth offers a variety of undergraduate majors, including engineering, humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences. In addition to its undergraduate program, Dartmouth also offers numerous graduate programs in fields such as business, law, medicine, and engineering.

Furthermore, both UC San Diego and Dartmouth offer a wide range of interdisciplinary programs that allow students to explore multiple fields of study. UC San Diego’s interdisciplinary programs include cognitive science, environmental systems, and international studies, while Dartmouth’s interdisciplinary programs include digital musics, neuroscience, and quantitative social science.

Faculty and Research Opportunities between UC San Diego vs Dartmouth

UC San Diego’s faculty includes numerous Nobel laureates, MacArthur “Genius” grant recipients, and other accomplished scholars. The university is also a leader in research, with a focus on areas such as health sciences, climate research, and data science.

Dartmouth’s faculty also includes numerous distinguished scholars, researchers, and experts in their respective fields. The college is known for its emphasis on undergraduate research opportunities, which enable students to work closely with faculty members and engage in original research projects.

Furthermore, Dartmouth College offers a wide range of research opportunities beyond the undergraduate level. Graduate students have access to state-of-the-art research facilities and can collaborate with faculty members on cutting-edge research projects. The college also has several research centers and institutes, including the Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice and the Thayer School of Engineering, which focus on interdisciplinary research in areas such as healthcare, energy, and sustainability.

Athletics and Extracurricular Activities

UC San Diego is a member of the NCAA Division II and competes in 23 varsity sports, including basketball, soccer, and baseball. The university also has numerous intramural and club sports for students to participate in.

Dartmouth is a member of the NCAA Division I and has a strong athletic tradition, with 35 varsity sports teams and numerous club and intramural sports. The athletic program is known for its competitive and successful teams, particularly in skiing and ice hockey.

Additionally, both UC San Diego and Dartmouth offer a wide range of extracurricular activities for students to get involved in outside of athletics. UC San Diego has over 600 student organizations, including cultural clubs, academic organizations, and community service groups. Dartmouth also has a variety of student organizations, including a strong focus on the arts, with a student-run theater group and a cappella groups.

Housing and Dining Options between UC San Diego vs Dartmouth

UC San Diego offers a variety of housing options to students, including apartment-style living, dormitories, and themed housing communities. The university also has numerous dining options, including cafes, dining halls, and food trucks.

Dartmouth offers on-campus housing to all students, with a variety of options including traditional dormitories, apartments, and residential learning communities. The college has several dining venues, including dining halls and cafes, as well as catering services for on-campus events.

At UC San Diego, students can also choose to live off-campus in nearby apartments or houses. The university provides resources to help students find off-campus housing options that fit their needs and budget. Additionally, UC San Diego has a variety of meal plan options for students, including vegetarian and kosher options, as well as a program that allows students to use their meal plan at select off-campus restaurants.

Career Services and Alumni Network

UC San Diego offers numerous career services to students, including career counseling, job fairs, and internship opportunities. The university has a strong alumni network, with over 200,000 alumni around the world.

A man and a woman talking while looking at a piece of paper placed on a table.

Dartmouth also offers a variety of career services, including counseling, networking events, and job and internship databases. The college has a close-knit alumni community, with over 77,000 members in all 50 states and around the world.

In addition to career services and alumni networks, both UC San Diego and Dartmouth offer a range of extracurricular activities and clubs for students to get involved in. UC San Diego has over 600 student organizations, including academic clubs, cultural groups, and sports teams. Dartmouth has over 200 student organizations, including a variety of clubs focused on community service, the arts, and outdoor activities.

Admission Requirements and Selectivity

UC San Diego is a selective institution, with an acceptance rate of around 30%. Admissions requirements include a strong academic record, extracurricular involvement, and competitive test scores.

Dartmouth is a highly selective institution, with an acceptance rate of just 8.8%. Admissions requirements include a rigorous academic record, strong test scores, and evidence of intellectual curiosity and engagement outside the classroom.

Another highly selective institution is Stanford University, with an acceptance rate of just 4.3%. Admissions requirements include exceptional academic achievement, outstanding test scores, and a demonstrated passion for learning and innovation. Stanford also places a strong emphasis on leadership and community involvement.

On the other hand, some institutions have more lenient admission requirements. For example, Arizona State University has an acceptance rate of around 85%. While they still require a strong academic record, they also consider factors such as work experience, community service, and personal achievements in their admissions decisions.

Student Life: Social Scene, Clubs, and Organizations between UC San Diego vs Dartmouth

UC San Diego has a vibrant campus life, with numerous clubs, organizations, and social events for students to participate in. The university is home to over 500 student organizations, covering a wide range of interests and hobbies.

Dartmouth also has a vibrant campus life, with numerous clubs and organizations for students to join, including Greek life organizations, cultural groups, and community service clubs. The college also has a strong tradition of “house communities,” which are groups of students who live together and organize social and educational activities.

Additionally, UC San Diego offers a variety of social events throughout the year, including concerts, festivals, and cultural celebrations. Students can also participate in intramural sports leagues, fitness classes, and outdoor recreation activities.

At Dartmouth, students can take advantage of the college’s location in the scenic Upper Valley region of New Hampshire. Outdoor enthusiasts can enjoy hiking, skiing, and other outdoor activities, while those interested in the arts can attend performances and exhibitions at the Hopkins Center for the Arts.

Campus Safety and Security

UC San Diego has a strong campus safety and security program, with active patrols from the campus police department and numerous emergency response systems in place. The university also has a comprehensive sexual assault and harassment prevention program.

Dartmouth also has a strong focus on campus safety, with its own police department and a variety of programs and resources to promote safety and security. The college has a comprehensive policy on sexual assault and harassment prevention.

Additionally, both UC San Diego and Dartmouth have implemented safety measures in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. These measures include mandatory mask-wearing, social distancing guidelines, and increased cleaning and sanitation protocols. The universities have also established testing and contact tracing programs to help prevent the spread of the virus on campus.

Graduation Rates and Post-Graduate Outcomes between UC San Diego vs Dartmouth

UC San Diego has a four-year graduation rate of around 65%, and a post-graduation employment rate of around 86%. Graduates from UC San Diego go on to work in a variety of fields, including technology, healthcare, and government.

Dartmouth has a four-year graduation rate of around 87%, and a post-graduation employment rate of around 96%. Graduates from Dartmouth go on to work in a variety of industries, including finance, law, medicine, and technology.

It is worth noting that both UC San Diego and Dartmouth have strong alumni networks that provide valuable resources and connections for graduates. UC San Diego’s alumni network includes over 185,000 members, while Dartmouth’s alumni network includes over 70,000 members. These networks offer opportunities for mentorship, career advice, and networking events, which can be beneficial for graduates as they navigate their post-college careers.

Rankings and Reputation

UC San Diego is consistently ranked as one of the top public universities in the country, with a strong reputation in areas such as biomedical research, engineering, and sustainability.

Dartmouth is consistently ranked as one of the top liberal arts colleges in the country, with a strong reputation in areas such as undergraduate teaching, research, and innovation.

Additionally, UC San Diego has been recognized as a leader in oceanography and climate science, with its Scripps Institution of Oceanography being one of the oldest and most prestigious centers for ocean and earth science research in the world.

Conclusion: Which School is Right for You?

Choosing between UC San Diego and Dartmouth can be a difficult decision, as both schools offer excellent academic programs, opportunities for personal and professional growth, and vibrant communities of students and faculty.

If you are looking for a larger, more diverse student body with strong STEM programs and a West Coast location, then UC San Diego may be the right choice for you.

a student holding her phone and smiling

If you are looking for a smaller, more intimate community with a strong tradition of undergraduate research opportunities and a beautiful New England location, then Dartmouth may be the right choice for you.

Ultimately, the decision comes down to your personal preferences, goals, and priorities. We hope this side-by-side analysis has provided you with the information you need to make an informed choice about your college education.

It is important to note that both UC San Diego and Dartmouth offer a range of extracurricular activities and resources to support student success. From clubs and organizations to career services and academic advising, both schools are committed to helping students thrive both inside and outside of the classroom.

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