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Brown University

How this student rated the school
Educational QualityA Faculty AccessibilityA-
Useful SchoolworkA Excess CompetitionA+
Academic SuccessA+ Creativity/ InnovationA
Individual ValueA University Resource UseA+
Campus Aesthetics/ BeautyA+ FriendlinessA+
Campus MaintenanceB+ Social LifeA-
Surrounding CityB+ Extra CurricularsA
Describes the student body as:
Friendly, Approachable

Describes the faculty as:
Friendly, Helpful

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Super Brilliant
Lowest Rating
Campus Maintenance
Highest Rating
Excess Competition
He rated most things higher than other students did.
Date: Dec 17 2010
Major: Chemistry (This Major's Salary over time)
Brown University is an ideal school for the bright, yet somewhat ambivalent student. He or she can choose to pursue all of his or her interests in great depth at Brown due to the lack of core requirements and relatively lax concentration requirements (excepting the engineering disciplines and "hard sciences" such as physics, biochemistry, chemistry, and mathematics). Brown is also ideal for the bright, driven, and single-minded student, as one could theoretically take every single course in one's chosen discipline, taking on higher-level coursework at much earlier stages than at other schools. The stereotypically strong departments at Brown are literary arts, humanities (in general), and classics. However, people often neglect our stellar applied mathematics division, the pioneering neuroscience department (our professors literally "wrote the book" on introductory neuroscience utilized extensively across the country), and wealth of interdisciplinary concentrations, such as Physics and Philosophy, Computational Biology, Science and Society, Ethnic Studies, and Biophysics. As you might have noticed, many of these fields draw heavily from the sciences, an area growing in scope, funding, and student concentrators at Brown. Students set on a science concentration often consider schools such as MIT, Caltech, Stanford, Harvard, and possibly Princeton (for engineering). As a prospective Biochemistry concentrator and freshman at Brown, I can tell you that I have met a fair number of individuals who came to Brown after being rejected from schools such as these (I was- my dream schools were Stanford and Yale). However, it is important to remember that an undergraduate education is not just a credential; it is an experience to be valued not for a name, but for stirring lectures, invigorating discourse, and for an academic community dedicated to fostering the life of the mind, body, and spirit of the individual. I have come to see that this is what makes Brown special. Honestly, Brown cannot compete with some of the star faculty at Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Stanford, and MIT. We don't have as many resources as they do, nor the gargantuan "endowment-per-student" numbers that they have. But that doesn't matter. What matters in an effective undergraduate education is the quality of teaching, a nurturing environment, and a lack of hindrances before students who have the capacity to pursue advanced study. I can say from just my first semester here that Brown has all these things in abundance. My Introductory Chemistry professor was amazing, along with my professors for Applied Math and Spanish. Brown always reminds us that there are ample resources to go to for help in any capacity, and one's fellow classmates are cordial at worst and ebullient at best. Brown's unheralded research resources are also surprisingly strong, with several summer programs, assistantships, and UTRAs (undergraduate teaching and research awards) offered annually. Biology, Chemistry, and Physics/Engineering labs are also quite active. Brown also has access to the great academic wealth that is the Ivy League. Personally, I plan to pursue a research position at Princeton if unable to secure one at Brown this summer, and numerous programs at all the Ivy League schools are uniquely available to Brown. Overall, in my humble opinion, Brown is second to none for an undergraduate education. On the whole, professors are talented lecturers who are accessible and compassionate toward their students, internal and external research opportunities are boundless, curricular freedom is complete, academic discourse and intellectualism are free to shine, and (perhaps most importantly) the activist culture on campus spurs one to consider oneself in the scope of the world rather than just the scope of a campus or even a nation. I personally have shifted my ambitions from becoming "just" a doctor to an MD-PhD epidemiologist, striving to change the world by attacking the maladies that plague it. Brown makes you want to be more that you thought you could ever be; I simply can't describe the special synergy of experiences that makes it happen—I'm just ecstatic to be here.
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