UCLA vs Bryn Mawr: A Comprehensive Analysis

July 19, 2023
By AdmissionSight
View of a female student typing in her laptop.

UCLA vs Bryn Mawr: A Comprehensive Analysis

Both UCLA and Bryn Mawr are two well-known and reputable universities in the United States. While they are vastly different in many ways, they both have a solid foundation and aim to provide an excellent education to their students. In this article, we will explore the similarities and differences between UCLA vs Bryn Mawr and help you decide which one may be the best fit for you.

Introduction: Brief Overview of UCLA and Bryn Mawr

UCLA, or the University of California, Los Angeles, is located in the heart of the vibrant city of Los Angeles. It is a public research university that is part of the University of California system. Bryn Mawr, on the other hand, is a small, private women’s liberal arts college located in suburban Philadelphia. It is part of the Seven Sisters consortium of elite women’s colleges. Despite their differences, both universities have a reputation for academic excellence.

one of Bryn Mawr College buildings
Bryn Mawr College

UCLA is known for its diverse student body, with students from all over the world. The university offers a wide range of majors and programs, including business, engineering, and the arts. It is also home to many research centers and institutes, such as the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research and the UCLA Institute for Society and Genetics.

Bryn Mawr, on the other hand, has a strong focus on women’s education and empowerment. The college offers a rigorous liberal arts curriculum, with majors ranging from anthropology to mathematics. Bryn Mawr is also known for its close-knit community, with small class sizes and supportive faculty. The college has a long history of producing successful women leaders, including politicians, scientists, and writers.

History and Founding of UCLA and Bryn Mawr

UCLA was founded in 1919 as the Southern Branch of the University of California and became its separate entity in 1951. Bryn Mawr was founded in 1885 by Quakers who wanted to create a college for women that was equal in quality to the best colleges for men. Today, both universities continue to uphold their founding principles and strive for academic excellence.

Despite their different founding histories, both UCLA and Bryn Mawr have played significant roles in shaping higher education in the United States. UCLA has become one of the top public universities in the country, known for its research and innovation in fields such as medicine, engineering, and the arts. Bryn Mawr, on the other hand, has remained a small, liberal arts college dedicated to providing a rigorous education for women. Both universities have produced countless successful alumni who have gone on to make significant contributions in their respective fields.

Campus Size and Location of UCLA and Bryn Mawr

UCLA has a sprawling campus that covers over 419 acres in Westwood, Los Angeles. It is surrounded by many restaurants, shops, and entertainment options. Bryn Mawr, on the other hand, is a small campus that covers 135 acres in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania. It is located in a quiet suburban area and is surrounded by green spaces and residential neighborhoods.

Despite its large size, UCLA’s campus is easily accessible through public transportation, with multiple bus lines and a metro station nearby. The campus is also located just a few miles away from some of the most popular tourist attractions in Los Angeles, such as the Getty Center and the Santa Monica Pier.

Bryn Mawr’s location in the suburbs provides a peaceful and serene environment for students to study and relax. The campus is also conveniently located near Philadelphia, which offers students access to a vibrant city with many cultural and historical attractions, such as the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall.

Student Body Demographics at UCLA vs Bryn Mawr

UCLA has a much larger student body than Bryn Mawr, with over 44,000 undergraduate and graduate students. Students at UCLA come from all around the world and represent a diverse range of backgrounds and cultures. Bryn Mawr, on the other hand, has a much smaller student body, with just over 1,300 undergraduate students. The school is known for its commitment to diversity and attracts students from a wide range of socio-economic backgrounds.

Despite the difference in size, both UCLA and Bryn Mawr have a relatively equal gender distribution among their student bodies. At UCLA, 51% of students are female and 49% are male. At Bryn Mawr, 53% of students are female and 47% are male. However, there is a notable difference in the racial and ethnic makeup of the two schools. UCLA has a larger percentage of Asian and Hispanic/Latino students, while Bryn Mawr has a larger percentage of Black/African American and multiracial students.

In terms of academic programs, both schools offer a wide range of majors and minors. UCLA is known for its strong programs in the sciences, engineering, and business, while Bryn Mawr is known for its strong programs in the humanities and social sciences. Both schools also offer opportunities for students to participate in research and internships, as well as study abroad programs.

Admission Requirements and Selectivity at UCLA vs Bryn Mawr

Both UCLA and Bryn Mawr have competitive admission processes and look for students who have excelled academically and demonstrated leadership qualities. The acceptance rate for UCLA is around 11% while the acceptance rate for Bryn Mawr is around 39%. The average GPA and test scores for admitted students at both universities are high, with UCLA requiring an average GPA of 3.9 and an average SAT score of 1290-1520, and Bryn Mawr requiring an average GPA of 3.91 and an average SAT score of 1260-1490.

Two people using a laptop to view a college report.

Additionally, both universities consider extracurricular activities and community involvement when evaluating applicants. UCLA values students who have shown a commitment to community service and have participated in leadership roles in clubs or organizations. Bryn Mawr looks for students who have demonstrated a passion for social justice and have engaged in activities that promote diversity and inclusion. Both universities also require essays and letters of recommendation as part of the application process.

Academic Programs Offered by UCLA vs Bryn Mawr

UCLA offers a wide range of undergraduate and graduate programs in fields such as the arts, humanities, social sciences, and STEM. Bryn Mawr is known for its strong liberal arts education and offers a variety of majors and minors in fields such as the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences. Both universities have a strong commitment to research and offer their students opportunities to participate in research projects.

In addition to their academic programs, both UCLA and Bryn Mawr offer a variety of extracurricular activities and resources to support student success. UCLA has over 1,000 student organizations, including clubs focused on community service, cultural awareness, and academic interests. Bryn Mawr has a strong emphasis on women’s leadership and offers programs such as the Leadership, Innovation, and Liberal Arts Center to help students develop leadership skills. Both universities also have extensive libraries and research facilities to support student learning and research endeavors.

Faculty Quality and Research Opportunities at UCLA vs Bryn Mawr

The faculty at UCLA are known for their world-class research and many are leaders in their field. The university also has a large number of research centers and facilities that provide students with a variety of opportunities to conduct research. Bryn Mawr also has a strong commitment to research and offers students the opportunity to conduct independent research projects under the guidance of faculty members.

Additionally, both universities have a diverse and highly qualified faculty. At UCLA, faculty members come from all over the world and bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to the classroom. Bryn Mawr also has a highly diverse faculty, with many professors who are experts in their respective fields. This diversity allows for a rich and varied educational experience for students at both universities.

Student Life and Extracurricular Activities at UCLA vs Bryn Mawr

UCLA has a thriving student life with over 1,000 student organizations, ranging from cultural clubs to sports teams. The university also hosts many events and activities throughout the year, which provides students with opportunities to meet new people and engage with the broader community. Bryn Mawr, being a smaller institution, offers fewer student organizations, but still has a vibrant student life with a strong emphasis on community service and social justice.

Group of students smiling at the camera.

At UCLA, students can participate in a variety of extracurricular activities, including student government, academic clubs, and volunteer organizations. The university also has a strong Greek life presence, with over 60 fraternities and sororities on campus. Additionally, UCLA offers a wide range of sports teams, including football, basketball, and soccer, which attract a large number of students and fans.

At Bryn Mawr, students can participate in several unique extracurricular activities, such as the Bi-Co Theater Program, which allows students to participate in theater productions with students from Haverford College. The college also has a strong focus on sustainability, with many student-led initiatives aimed at reducing waste and promoting environmental awareness. Additionally, Bryn Mawr has a strong tradition of student activism, with many students involved in social justice organizations and advocacy groups.

Housing Options for Students at UCLA and Bryn Mawr

UCLA has a variety of on-campus housing options, ranging from traditional dorms to apartments and shared houses. Bryn Mawr also has on-campus housing options and provides students with both single and shared rooms. Both universities offer their students a sense of community through their residential colleges and halls.

Additionally, both universities have resources available for students seeking off-campus housing. UCLA has an Off-Campus Housing website that provides listings for apartments, houses, and rooms for rent in the surrounding area. Bryn Mawr has a similar resource through its Off-Campus Housing Office, which offers assistance with finding housing, understanding leases, and connecting with potential roommates. These resources can be especially helpful for upperclassmen or students who prefer to live off-campus.

Internship, Career Development, and Job Placement Opportunities at UCLA and Bryn Mawr

UCLA has a strong career center that provides students with a range of services, including job and internship listings, resume writing help, and interview preparation. The university also has a large alumni network that provides students with networking opportunities. Bryn Mawr also has a career center and provides students with access to job and internship listings, as well as career counseling services.

Additionally, both universities offer various internship opportunities to their students. UCLA has partnerships with numerous companies and organizations, providing students with hands-on experience in their desired fields. Bryn Mawr also offers internship programs, allowing students to gain practical skills and knowledge in their chosen career paths. Furthermore, both universities have strong job placement programs, assisting students in finding employment after graduation. UCLA and Bryn Mawr graduates have a high success rate in securing jobs in their respective fields, thanks to the universities’ career development and job placement resources.

Campus Safety between UCLA vs Bryn Mawr

The safety of students is a top priority at both universities. UCLA has its police department and has a variety of safety measures in place, including emergency phones and an escort service for students who need to travel across campus at night. Bryn Mawr also has a campus safety department and provides students with safety resources and training.

However, there are some differences in the campus safety policies between the two universities. UCLA has a larger campus and a higher student population, which can make it more challenging to ensure safety for all students. In contrast, Bryn Mawr has a smaller campus and a lower student population, which allows for a more personalized approach to campus safety. Additionally, Bryn Mawr has a strict policy of requiring all students to register their guests before they visit the campus, which helps to ensure that only authorized individuals are on campus at any given time.

Athletics Programs at UCLA vs Bryn Mawr

UCLA has a strong athletics program and offers a variety of sports teams, ranging from football to soccer to swimming. The university has a large fan base and a storied history of athletic success. Bryn Mawr, being a small women’s college, has a more limited athletics program but still offers students the opportunity to participate in sports such as basketball and softball. The college also has a strong intramural sports program.

A ball placed on the basket in a court.

Despite the differences in size and scope of their athletics programs, both UCLA and Bryn Mawr prioritize the health and well-being of their student-athletes. Both universities have dedicated sports medicine staff and facilities to ensure that athletes receive proper care and treatment for injuries. Additionally, both universities emphasize the importance of academic success for their student-athletes, providing resources such as tutoring and study halls to help them balance their athletic and academic commitments.

Alumni Networks of UCLA and Bryn Mawr

Both UCLA and Bryn Mawr have large alumni networks that provide students with valuable networking opportunities. UCLA boasts a large and successful alumni population that includes many notable figures in various fields such as entertainment and politics. The Bryn Mawr College Alumnae Association is also active and provides students with access to mentorship, job opportunities, and other resources.

Additionally, both universities have established alumni chapters in various cities across the country and around the world. These chapters organize events and activities that allow alumni to connect with current students. These events range from professional networking events to social gatherings, and they provide a great opportunity for students to learn from alumni who have already established themselves in their respective fields.


Ultimately, the decision to attend UCLA or Bryn Mawr comes down to personal preference and individual needs. Both universities offer their students a top-notch education and a range of opportunities to explore their interests. Whether you prefer the vibrancy of Los Angeles or the quiet suburbs of Philadelphia, there is a university that will meet your needs. We hope that this article has provided you with valuable insights and information to help you make the best decision for your future.

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