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Columbia vs. Princeton for Economics

Hey everyone! I've been fortunate enough to get into both Columbia and Princeton, but I'm having trouble deciding which one to attend. I want to pursue economics, so I would appreciate if someone could compare the pros and cons of the econ programs at these schools. Thanks!

6 months ago

Congratulations on your acceptances to both Columbia and Princeton! These are both fantastic schools, and it's wonderful you have the opportunity to choose between them. As you've requested, let's compare the pros and cons of the economics programs at these institutions:

Columbia University:


1. Location: Being located in New York City, Columbia offers you unique access to networking opportunities, internships, and job prospects in the finance and economic sectors.

2. Brand name: Columbia's prestigious reputation in the academic and professional world can open doors for your future career.

3. Core Curriculum: The Core Curriculum at Columbia can expose you to a wide range of subjects and help you build a solid foundation across various disciplines.

4. Research opportunities: There are numerous research opportunities available at Columbia, which can be helpful in building your econ knowledge and experience.


1. Large classes: Some introductory courses at Columbia can be quite large, which could lead to reduced individual attention from professors.

2. Competition: The competitive environment in an Ivy League school like Columbia might be challenging for some students.

Princeton University:


1. Smaller classes: Princeton is known for its relatively small class sizes in comparison to other Ivy League schools, allowing you to build relationships with your professors and gain more personalized instruction.

2. Research opportunities: As a well-established research institution, Princeton offers many opportunities for undergraduates to engage with faculty in research projects.

3. Senior thesis: Princeton's senior thesis requirement provides you an opportunity to dive deep into a specific topic in economics, showcasing your skills and knowledge for future employers or graduate programs.

4. Bendheim Center for Finance: The Bendheim Center offers various resources, events, and networking opportunities specifically related to economics and finance, which can be a valuable asset for students.


1. Location: In comparison to Columbia's NYC location, Princeton is in a quieter, smaller town which might have fewer internship and job opportunities in close proximity.

2. Limited cross-disciplinary opportunities: While the economics department is robust, some students might feel there's not as much opportunity for cross-disciplinary exploration as with the Core Curriculum at Columbia.

Definitely do more research into the specifics of the economics programs at both universities by looking into courses that are offered and some of the professors in the department. Remember to also visit both campuses and speak with current students to get a sense of what life is like at each school. Best of luck in your decision-making process!

6 months ago

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