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UCSB or UCI for Psychology?

brendalgonbrendalgon Posts: 2 Harvard Champion
Hi everyone!! :D

As a transfer student I am currently deciding between UCI and UCSB as a psychology major, and I am wondering which of the two has a better program?

UCI's social and behavioral psych program sounds interesting, but when comparing the course listings UCSB seems to have more class options overall. It would REALLY help to hear from past or current students, as I would also like to know of the campus atmosphere.
I feel UCI gets a bad rep for being a commuter school, and I am looking to live on campus ,is it really that empty?
Post edited by brendalgon on

Replies to: UCSB or UCI for Psychology?

  • SkyronautSkyronaut Posts: 2 Harvard Champion
    edited May 2013
    So here is my situation: I happily have had my mind wrapped around going to Johns Hopkins for about a month now, when, to my surprise, yesterday I got off the wait-list at Columbia! I am split pretty evenly in my decision, but here are some of my thoughts -
    oh and just so we have some background, I am a student undecided as to what exactly I want to devote myself too, but I know I want to do something with business. I've always had a passion for antiquity, and I would be interested in trying my hand in mech engineering. I live on a farm, but despite that, or perhaps because of it, I am also comfortable in cities and fairly social. What led me to Hopkins and Columbia, among other things, is the sense of **** curiosity that abounds in both campuses. SO on to thoughts -

    I know Columbia places a premium on the "core," and although I would most likely take some of the required classes anyways, I do not really like the idea of being told which classes I have to take. At Hopkins, although they have specific distribution requirements, nowhere do they tell you you have to take a specific class.

    Additionally, My initial plan for Hopkins was to double major in something particularly useful for a career in business - economics or such - and in something that I am just passionate about - early choices include archaeology or the classics - and to acquire a minor as well. That is obviously a fair amount of credits, but at Hopkins you have intersession courses which help, as well as the small but potentially very useful fact that classes that fall into the requirements of separate majors can fulfill them both. Columbia has neither of those.

    Then there is the issue of NYC, which could end up being the absolute best thing about going to Columbia or the worst thing - my reasoning being that on one hand I'm guessing much of the social life happens off campus, but on the other hand, if you had NYC in your backyard, why WOULDN'T social life happen there.

    I have also heard that A) Columbia as a whole lacks school spirit and B) the Undergrads are left to fend for themselves by admin. Now, I understand that those two concepts are relative ones but I'm curious as to how much validity those statements carry.

    Of course Columbia undoubtedly comes with more prestige, and academically it is a better fit for someone who is more directed towards the humanities (all be it with a nagging urge to really give engineering a go). Perhaps there will also be more to do there as well, however I feel for some subtle reason that Hopkins is a better fit in every other way.

    So, I'd love to hear from JHU students, Columbia students, and especially anyone who is familiar with both.

    Thanks in advance to anyone who responds!
    Post edited by Skyronaut on
  • rhg3rdrhg3rd Posts: 27
    edited May 2013
    NYC vs. Baltimore? One negative to Hopkins you are overlooking is that 25% of students are pre-med and possibly more at the start.
  • lexieamlexieam Posts: 23
    edited May 2013
    As someone with friends at both schools, you will get a great education at both. If you are uncertain what you want to do with yourself in the future, Columbia could be a better choice for you then Hopkins. While I am a fan of the open curriculum, Columbia's core is small and has relatively interesting classes to make sure you are well rounded. My vote is on Columbia. The campus is beautiful and the students are amazing! But undergrads have a lot of support academically and personally, so don't worry about that! GOOD LUCK!
  • informativeinformative Posts: 8
    edited May 2013
    I would go with Columbia. You can't trade the value of an Ivy degree.
  • redhuntinghatredhuntinghat Posts: 63 College Search & Selection Champion
    edited May 2013
    I'd go with Columbia.
  • PalmBeach33480PalmBeach33480 Posts: 1 College Search & Selection Champion
    edited May 2013
    Tough choice. my cousin had the same dilemma and chose Hopkins. You'll be happy with either one.
  • Blah2009Blah2009 Posts: 4
    edited May 2013
    tough call. if you might be interested in engineering, JHU would far and away be the better choice here (Fu foundation sucks to be frank).

    "Perhaps there will also be more to do there as well, however I feel for some subtle reason that Hopkins is a better fit in every other way."

    Sometimes you go with your gut. If prestige had driven me like some of the others on this thread are touting ("you can't underestimate an ivy degree..lol"), I'd had gone to MIT and been miserable.
  • mom2collegekidsmom2collegekids Posts: 216
    edited May 2013

    ??? MIT isn't an ivy.
  • PhilovitistPhilovitist Posts: 31
    edited May 2013
    Same thought (prestige is important) behind it, though, which is the idea.
  • Blah2009Blah2009 Posts: 4
    edited May 2013
    The difference in prestige between JHU and Columbia is pretty small. One could be interchangeable for the other depending on the field (JHU for anything bio or engineering related, Columbia for english or history). The other posters are exaggerating their own perceived disparities. We're not talking about Southeastern Missouri versus Stanford here. More like Northwestern versus Cornell.
  • beyphybeyphy Posts: 10
    edited May 2013
    I'd pick Columbia, but that has to do with personal fit (I'd prefer NYC to Baltimore.)

    ??? MIT isn't an ivy.

    He's not saying that it is. His primary statement (exclude the parenthetical statement, like this one) makes perfect sense; his parenthetical statement mocks oblivious east coasters who regard the Ivy League as the pinnacle of American universities..
  • apexcomplexapexcomplex Posts: 2 Harvard Champion
    edited May 2013
    I just seen your thread and I'm in the same boat as you!
    However, I have been to UCSB and spent time there. It is a nice atmosphere for the most part. There is Isla Vista however, which I think is pretty shady. If you're into partying then UCSB has plenty of that. Dorms for first years look pretty nice, but the "apartments" located on IV are way below what could be considered good for the amount you'd pay. The dorms are like I said nice, but not all that great either. I attended CSUCI and lived there and the dorms are really state of the art. My friends and girlfriend have attended SB for 4 years so I've seen the living conditions, but you will have a place to live. I'm not sure where you are from, but California weather is nice. I've lived here all my life, but I'd prefer colder areas. There are beaches next to it, but they're not all their cracked up to be. I live in between Malibu and Ventura, so I'm surrounded by beaches. My problems with SB's beach is the oil. There are oil rigs out in the distance so oil does tend to wash up. A lot of tar. Plus you will see little oil "stains" on the water which can get on you and sucks. If you surf I guess its alright. I won't swim those waters. I'd rather drive down to where I live and swim here. Its really is a college town run by students. Theres the people who party hardcore and there is the rest of the student body. Not really hard to make friends there. Really diverse ethnically and culturally. However, I can't speak for academics :). Hope this helps.

    I can't say much on UCI other than what I've read. CSUCI was also a commuter school so I know weekends will be pretty dead there. Safe area if that matters. From what I hear, a lot of asian descent attend. Not much else I know.
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