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UC San Diego vs Hamilton College: A Comprehensive Look

By Eric Eng

By Eric Eng

College Application Form being filled out virtually

UC San Diego vs Hamilton College: A Comprehensive Look

When it comes to choosing a college or university, many students consider different factors such as location, admission requirements, academic programs, faculty and class sizes, extracurricular activities, tuition fees, and financial aid availability. In this article, we will take a comprehensive look at UC San Diego vs Hamilton College and compare and contrast these institutions across various factors to help students decide which one to attend.

Location and Campus

The University of California, San Diego is located in La Jolla, California, a coastal community in San Diego County known for its beautiful beaches and cultural attractions. The campus covers over 1,200 acres of land and is home to six undergraduate colleges, five academic divisions, and numerous research centers and institutes.

University of California, San Diego front view

On the other hand, Hamilton College is located in Clinton, New York, a small town in the Mohawk Valley region of upstate New York. The campus covers over 1,300 acres of land and is known for its historic buildings, scenic views, and abundant green spaces.

UC San Diego’s location in La Jolla provides students with easy access to a variety of outdoor activities, including surfing, hiking, and kayaking. The campus is also just a short drive away from downtown San Diego, where students can explore the city’s vibrant arts and culture scene.

Hamilton College’s location in Clinton, New York, offers students a more rural setting with a strong sense of community. The college is situated in the heart of the Mohawk Valley, surrounded by rolling hills and picturesque countryside. Students can take advantage of the area’s natural beauty by hiking, skiing, and exploring nearby state parks.

Student Body Demographics and Diversity at UC San Diego vs Hamilton College

UC San Diego is a large public research university with a diverse student body of over 41,000 undergraduate and graduate students from all 50 states and more than 100 countries. According to the latest data, 30% of UC San Diego’s domestic undergraduates are underrepresented minority students, and 27% are first-generation college students.

Group of students walking in the campus.

On the other hand, Hamilton College is a small private liberal arts college with a student body of around 2,000 students from 49 states and 47 countries. According to the latest data, 27% of Hamilton’s students are domestic students of color, and 23% are first-generation college students.

UC San Diego’s commitment to diversity is reflected in its numerous programs and initiatives to promote inclusivity and equity on campus. The university offers a range of resources and support services for underrepresented students, including mentorship programs, academic tutoring, and scholarships.

UC San Diego has several student organizations and clubs dedicated to celebrating and promoting diversity, such as the Black Student Union, the Asian Pacific Islander Student Alliance, and the Queer Student Union.

Hamilton College also strongly emphasizes diversity and inclusion, with several programs and initiatives aimed at supporting students from diverse backgrounds. The college offers a range of resources and support services for underrepresented students, including academic and career counseling, mentorship programs, and scholarships.

Hamilton also has a number of student organizations and clubs dedicated to promoting diversity and inclusivity, such as the Latinx Student Union, the African American Student Union, and the Gender and Sexuality Alliance.

Admission Requirements and Acceptance Rates

UC San Diego and Hamilton College have different admission requirements and acceptance rates. UC San Diego is a highly selective institution with an acceptance rate of 34% for the fall 2022 incoming class. The average admitted student had a 3.9 weighted GPA and a 1260-1480 SAT or 33 ACT score.

On the other hand, Hamilton College is also a highly selective institution with an acceptance rate of 14% for the fall 2022 incoming class. The average admitted student had a 4.01 unweighted GPA and a 1410-1540 SAT or 33 ACT score.

It is important to note that admission requirements and acceptance rates can vary depending on the program or major that a student is applying to. For example, UC San Diego’s engineering program may have a lower acceptance rate and higher GPA and test score requirements than their social sciences program.

Similarly, Hamilton College’s acceptance rate for its music program may be different from its acceptance rate for its economics program. Students need to research and understand the specific requirements for their intended program of study when applying to these institutions.

Academic Programs and Majors Offered by UC San Diego vs Hamilton College

UC San Diego and Hamilton College offer different academic programs and majors. UC San Diego offers over 130 undergraduate majors across six undergraduate colleges and five academic divisions, including the arts and humanities, social sciences, natural sciences, engineering, and management.

On the other hand, Hamilton College offers around 55 academic programs across 29 departments and majors in the arts, humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences.

Additionally, UC San Diego offers a variety of graduate programs, including professional degrees in law, medicine, and pharmacy, as well as doctoral programs in various fields.

a pharmacist behind the counter

Meanwhile, Hamilton College offers a small selection of graduate programs, including a Master of Arts in Teaching and a Master of Arts in Literature.

Faculty and Class Sizes at UC San Diego vs Hamilton College

UC San Diego and Hamilton College have different faculty and class sizes. UC San Diego has over 3,700 faculty members, including Nobel laureates, MacArthur Fellows, and members of prestigious academic societies. The student-to-faculty ratio is 19:1, and the average class size is 29 students.

Meanwhile, Hamilton College has around 200 faculty members, most of whom hold terminal degrees in their fields. The student-to-faculty ratio is 9:1, and the average class size is 16 students.

Despite the differences in faculty and class sizes, both UC San Diego and Hamilton College prioritize small class sizes and individualized attention for their students.

At UC San Diego, many courses also offer discussion sections led by graduate students, providing additional opportunities for students to engage with course material and receive personalized feedback.

Meanwhile, at Hamilton College, the small class sizes allow for more in-depth discussions and personalized attention from professors.

Additionally, the college offers a unique program called “January Term,” where students take a single course for the entire month of January, allowing for even more focused and intensive learning experiences.

Research Opportunities and Facilities

UC San Diego and Hamilton College have different research opportunities and facilities. UC San Diego is a top-ranked research university with over $1 billion in annual research funding and numerous research centers and institutes, including the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, the UC San Diego Health System, and the Jacobs School of Engineering.

Hamilton College, on the other hand, is a primarily undergraduate institution that emphasizes teaching and learning but also provides opportunities for student research and creative projects in various fields and disciplines.

UC San Diego’s research facilities are world-renowned and offer students access to cutting-edge technology and equipment. The university’s research centers and institutes cover a wide range of fields, including neuroscience, climate science, and nanotechnology. Students can work alongside renowned researchers and contribute to groundbreaking discoveries.

At Hamilton College, students have the opportunity to engage in research and creative projects across various disciplines, including the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences. The college’s small size allows for personalized attention and mentorship from faculty members who are actively engaged in research and scholarship.

Students can also take advantage of the college’s partnerships with other institutions and organizations to pursue research opportunities beyond the campus.

Extracurricular Activities and Student Organizations at UC San Diego vs Hamilton College

UC San Diego and Hamilton College offer different extracurricular activities and student organizations. UC San Diego has over 600 registered student organizations, including clubs, sports teams, cultural groups, academic societies, and community service organizations.

Numerous recreational facilities and programs exist, such as the RIMAC Arena, the UC San Diego Tritons, and the Outback Adventures program.

At the same time, Hamilton College has over 200 student organizations, including clubs, teams, groups, and societies dedicated to various interests and causes. Numerous recreational facilities and programs exist, such as the Fitness Center, the OP Outing Club, and the Hamilton Association for Volunteering, Outreach, and Charity.

students arranging items inside the boxes for donation

UC San Diego’s student organizations are known for their diversity and inclusivity. There are groups dedicated to promoting social justice, advocating for marginalized communities, and raising awareness about environmental issues.

UC San Diego has a thriving arts community, with organizations dedicated to music, theater, dance, and visual arts.

Hamilton College’s student organizations are known for their close-knit communities and strong sense of tradition. Many of the groups have been around for decades and have a rich history on campus.

Hamilton College also strongly focuses on community service, with many organizations dedicated to volunteering and positively impacting the local area.

Housing Options and Costs at UC San Diego vs Hamilton College

UC San Diego and Hamilton College have different housing options and costs. UC San Diego offers numerous on-campus housing options for undergraduate and graduate students, including residence halls, apartments, and suites. The housing fees vary depending on the type of housing and the meal plan selected but range from $14,000 to $18,000 per year.

Hamilton College also offers on-campus housing options for all students, including traditional dorms, townhouses, and apartments. The housing fees also vary depending on the type of housing and the meal plan selected, but range from $12,000 to $17,000 per year.

It is important to note that both UC San Diego and Hamilton College also offer off-campus housing options for students who prefer to live independently.

UC San Diego has a database of off-campus housing options students can access. In contrast, Hamilton College has partnerships with local landlords to provide off-campus housing options for students.

The cost of off-campus housing varies depending on the location and type of housing but can be more affordable than on-campus housing options.

In addition to housing fees, students should also consider other costs associated with living on or off campus, such as utilities, transportation, and groceries. UC San Diego and Hamilton College both have resources available to help students estimate these additional costs and plan their budgets accordingly.

A notebook with a label on budgeting tips placed on a table.

It is important for students to carefully consider their housing options and associated costs when making decisions about where to live during their college years.

Career Services and Alumni Network

UC San Diego and Hamilton College offer different career services and alumni networks. UC San Diego has a comprehensive career center that provides a wide range of services and resources to help students and alumni explore career options, develop professional skills, make connections, and find job and internship opportunities. There is also an extensive alumni network that offers mentoring, networking, and job search assistance.

Hamilton College also has a career center that provides similar services and resources but with a focus on the liberal arts and sciences. An active alumni network offers support, advice, and connections to current and aspiring students.

Additionally, UC San Diego’s career center offers specialized services for students interested in entrepreneurship and innovation, including workshops, mentorship programs, and access to resources such as the UC San Diego Entrepreneur Challenge.

Meanwhile, Hamilton College’s career center also offers unique opportunities, such as the opportunity to participate in the New York City Program, which provides students with internships and networking opportunities in the heart of the city.

Tuition Fees and Financial Aid Availability at UC San Diego vs Hamilton College

UC San Diego and Hamilton College have different tuition fees and financial aid availability. UC San Diego is a public institution with lower tuition fees for in-state residents than out-of-state and international students. The estimated cost of attendance for the 2023-2024 academic year is around $38,000 for in-state students and approximately $69,000 for out-of-state and international students.

However, UC San Diego offers generous financial aid packages, including grants, scholarships, loans, work-study, and other forms of aid, to eligible students based on financial need and academic merit.

On the other hand, Hamilton College is a private institution with higher tuition fees than UC San Diego. The estimated cost of attendance for the 2023-2024 academic year is approximately $86,000 for all students.

However, Hamilton College also offers generous financial aid packages, including grants, scholarships, loans, work-study, and other forms of aid, to eligible students based on financial need and academic merit.

It is important to note that the availability and amount of financial aid offered by both institutions may vary from year to year and student to student.

Therefore, it is recommended that students and their families research and compare the financial aid options available at UC San Diego and Hamilton College before deciding which institution to attend.

Campus Safety and Security Measures

UC San Diego and Hamilton College have different campus safety and security measures. UC San Diego has a dedicated police department that provides 24/7 patrol and emergency response services and crime prevention and safety education programs. There are also numerous security measures in place, such as security cameras, emergency call boxes, and safety escorts.

Hamilton College also has a dedicated campus safety department that provides similar services and resources and crime prevention and safety education programs. Numerous security measures are also in place, such as security cameras, emergency call boxes, and safety escorts.

However, UC San Diego also has a campus-wide emergency notification system that sends alerts to students, faculty, and staff in case of a campus emergency or threat. This system includes text messages, emails, and phone calls to ensure that everyone is aware of the situation and can take appropriate action.

Hamilton College also has a similar emergency notification system in place to quickly inform the campus community of any potential danger or emergency.

Athletics Programs and Facilities at UC San Diego vs Hamilton College

UC San Diego and Hamilton College offer different athletics programs and facilities. UC San Diego is a NCAA Division II institution with 23 intercollegiate sports teams that compete in the California Collegiate Athletic Association and the Pacific West Conference.

Numerous recreational sports and fitness programs are also available to all students, such as intramurals, club sports, and fitness classes. The campus also has state-of-the-art athletic facilities like the RIMAC Arena, the Triton Soccer Stadium, and the Canyonview Aquatic Center.

Meanwhile, Hamilton College is a NCAA Division III institution with 29 intercollegiate sports teams that compete in the New England Small College Athletic Conference and the Liberty League. There are also numerous recreational sports and fitness programs available to all students, such as intramurals, club sports, and fitness classes.

The campus also has modern athletic facilities, such as the Margaret Bundy Scott Field House, the Bristol Pool, and the Hamilton College Golf Course.

UC San Diego’s athletics programs have a strong focus on sustainability and environmental responsibility. The campus has implemented several initiatives to reduce its carbon footprint, including using solar panels to power the RIMAC Arena and installing water-saving technologies in the Canyonview Aquatic Center.

Additionally, the athletics department partners with local organizations to promote environmental awareness and conservation efforts.

Hamilton College’s athletics programs prioritize community engagement and service. Student-athletes are encouraged to participate in volunteer opportunities and community service projects, such as coaching youth sports teams and organizing charity events.

The athletics department also hosts several events throughout the year to raise awareness and funds for local and national non-profit organizations.

Graduation Rates and Job Placement Statistics

UC San Diego and Hamilton College have different graduation rates and job placement statistics. UC San Diego has a four-year graduation rate of 73%. According to the latest data, 78.6% of UC San Diego’s graduates are employed or pursuing further education within six months of graduation.

Meanwhile, Hamilton College has a four-year graduation rate of 87%. According to the latest data, 93% of Hamilton’s graduates are employed or pursuing further education within one year of graduation.

It is important to note that graduation rates and job placement statistics can vary depending on the major or program of study. For example, UC San Diego’s engineering program has a higher four-year graduation rate of 78.5% for the fall 2018 cohort, compared to the overall rate of 67.4%.

Additionally, graduates from Hamilton College’s economics program have a higher job placement rate of 97% within one year of graduation, compared to the overall rate of 93%.

Furthermore, it is worth considering the location and industry of the job placements. UC San Diego’s graduates are primarily employed in the technology and healthcare industries, while Hamilton College’s graduates are more likely to work in finance and consulting. This can be useful for students who are deciding on a college or program of study based on their career goals and interests.

a finance manager working

Student Life Experience at UC San Diego vs Hamilton College

Ultimately, the student life experience at UC San Diego vs Hamilton College is determined by several factors. It is essential for students to carefully consider these factors and weigh the pros and cons of each institution before making a decision.

One notable difference between UC San Diego and Hamilton College is the size of the student body. UC San Diego is a larger institution with over 41,000 students, while Hamilton College has a smaller student body of around 2,000 students. This can impact the overall feel of the campus and the level of individual attention students receive from faculty and staff.

UC San Diego and Hamilton College offer unique and valuable learning, growth, and development opportunities. Ultimately, it is up to students to choose between UC San Diego vs Hamilton College and decide which one aligns best with their goals, interests, and values.

AdmissionSight provides valuable guidance to students facing the decision between UC San Diego and Hamilton College. By considering factors such as academic programs, industry connections, and campus culture, they assist students in making an informed choice.

Furthermore, AdmissionSight offers personalized strategies, essay review, and interview preparation to enhance students’ chances of gaining admission to either university, maximizing their potential for success.

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