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Duke University
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Unweighted GPA: 3.7
SAT: 720 math
| 800 verbal


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Northwestern vs Columbia

Hey, I'm stuck deciding between Northwestern and Columbia. Can anyone offer some pros and cons for each school, particularly in terms of academics, campus culture, and opportunities to figure out my major (I'm currently undecided)?

6 months ago

Congrats on getting accepted to both Northwestern and Columbia - what an achievement! Here are some pros and cons for each school in terms of academics, campus culture, and opportunities.

Northwestern University:


1. Flexibility: Northwestern encourages interdisciplinary study and has a quarter system that allows you to explore a wide range of subjects, as you'll be switching classes every ten weeks.

2. Strong programs: They have a wide range of well-regarded programs, especially in journalism, engineering, and theater.

3. Collaborative environment: Northwestern is known for its collaborative and supportive community among students, and for having strong school spirit, which comes out at Big 10 sporting events.


1. Location: Northwestern is located in Evanston, which is a college town that may not be as vibrant or diverse as a large city.

2. Quarter system: The fast-paced quarter system could be seen as a con due to the increased workload and frequency of exams/tests.

Columbia University:


1. Location: Columbia is located in the heart of New York City, providing endless opportunities for internships, cultural activities, and networking.

2. Ivy League reputation: As an Ivy League school, Columbia has a strong academic reputation and wider recognition, which may help with some career opportunities. Northwestern also has an excellent reputation, but Columbia may have a slight edge here.

3. Core Curriculum: Columbia has a well-known Core Curriculum, which exposes students to a wide range of subjects and helps to create a sense of community among students.


1. Competitive environment: Some students find Columbia's atmosphere more intense and competitive compared to other schools.

2. Urban campus: Columbia's campus may not be for everyone, as being in such a large city can make campus life feel a little more disconnected.

Both universities offer you great opportunities to explore different fields of study. Northwestern's flexibility might make it easier for you to explore your options, while Columbia's NYC location and Core Curriculum might be conducive to you carving out a unique path for yourself. So ultimately, you should consider what environment you think you'd thrive in and which campus culture you'd prefer, as both institutions provide plenty of opportunities for undecided majors to find their way.

Good luck with your decision, and congrats again on your acceptances!

6 months ago

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