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Duke University
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Unweighted GPA: 3.7
SAT: 720 math
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UCLA vs Northwestern: I need some help comparing!

Hello fellow students! I have been fortunate enough to get accepted to both UCLA and Northwestern, and I'm really struggling to decide which school to attend. I'm planning on majoring in political science. Can anyone help me break down the pros and cons for these schools in terms of academics, extracurricular opportunities, networking, and overall student experience? Thanks in advance!

6 months ago

Congratulations on your acceptance to UCLA and Northwestern! Both are excellent schools, so you can't go wrong either way. Here's a quick comparison between the two:


UCLA: Strong political science program, wide range of classes, collaborative learning environment, and renowned faculty. It's a large public university, so class sizes might be big, especially for general education courses. You'll have a diverse student body and the opportunity to take electives in all sorts of areas.

Northwestern: Also has an exceptional political science program, known for its research opportunities and smaller class sizes. As a smaller private university, you might have more personalized attention from professors. The quarter system allows you to take more classes and explore different subjects, but it can be quite fast-paced.

Extracurricular Opportunities:

UCLA: Numerous clubs and organizations on campus, including political and activist groups, where you can engage with like-minded peers. Being situated in Los Angeles, you may find internships with government organizations, non-profits, or political campaigns.

Northwestern: Offers over 500 student organizations, with a wide range of political clubs and activities. The campus is close to Chicago, which can lead to internships and hands-on experiences in the political science field.


UCLA: Being in a major city and part of the prestigious UC system, you'll have access to a vast alumni network. UCLA alumni often go on to work in various political, non-profit, and public service roles.

Northwestern: Has strong alumni connections and resources within the Midwest, particularly in Chicago. You'll find an engaged and supportive alumni network, willing to help students advance their careers.

Overall Student Experience:

UCLA: A vibrant and diverse campus atmosphere in sunny Los Angeles. The campus offers a work-hard-play-hard culture with plenty of events, Greek life, and athletics to enjoy. Living on the West Coast offers a relaxed lifestyle and proximity to various attractions.

Northwestern: A close-knit campus community located in Evanston, Illinois, with easy access to Chicago. It offers a balance between a suburban college experience and the amenities of a big city. The Midwest climate can be cold during winters, which might be a consideration for you.

In summary, both schools offer excellent political science programs, a wide range of extracurricular opportunities, and strong alumni networks. Weigh the importance of the different aspects mentioned above (public vs. private, size of the school, location, and climate) to make your final decision. Keep in mind your personal preferences and future career goals. Good luck!

6 months ago

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