Vassar, once reputed to be the most liberal of the women's colleges known as the Seven Sisters, was the first to abandon the sisterhood and admit men, who today constitute 40% of the students on the 1,000-acre campus 70 miles north of NYC. Vassar prizes academic flexibility: there is no core curriculum, just a required Freshman Seminar.
Tradition and innovation define this prestigious women's college in a tony Boston suburb. English and psychology are still among the most popular majors, but economics and neuroscience are also strong, and Wellesley students have full cross-registration privileges at MIT, along with access to Brandeis, Babson, and Olin College of Engineering.
Located “high above Cayuga’s waters,” and overlooking a vast wooded landscape in the Finger Lakes region of northern New York, Cornell is a unique amalgam of seven colleges, with private and state funding. Cornell offers strong pre-professional programs in architecture, engineering, hotel administration, agriculture, and industry-labor relations.
Undergraduates total about 20% of the independent-minded, intellectual students on this bustling campus in the northern sector of Manhattan; another 2,000 women attend Barnard College. Undergraduates embrace New York City at this Ivy-League urban school; housing in secured buildings surrounding the university is guaranteed.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Technology is central to the name, as well as the mission and even the soul of the campus along the Charles River in Cambridge that attracts extraordinary students from all over the world. Geek is good here: the pranks are high tech and the high jinks have an intellectual edge.
The oldest college in the country, Harvard vaunts its storied traditions and architecture, as well as its star-studded faculty. Freshmen live in Harvard Yard, which once housed soldiers of the Revolution, while upper-class students are affiliated with residential houses that define their intellectual and social spheres.
Nearly three-quarters of the 25,000 undergraduates at Berkeley study in the College of Letters and Sciences, but specialized programs are also offered in the Haas School of Business, and Colleges of Chemistry, Engineering, Environmental Design, and Natural Resources. The Cal culture defines the East Bay across from San Francisco.
Only one-third of the 26,500 undergraduates at UCLA are housed on the bucolic campus within Southern California's unique, sunny and sprawling city. Specialized undergraduate colleges include Engineering and Applied Science; Arts and Architecture; Nursing; Theater, Film and Television.
Strong academics and competitive athletics, a spacious and well-designed campus with a Southern spirit make Duke an interesting alternative to top schools in the Northeastern states. Engineering and Public Policy are the most career-focused majors, but the top-rate medical school also attracts undergraduates interested in applied science.
Baker Library forms one side of the College Green, the crossroads of this picturesque campus in Hanover, NH. The smallest of the Ivy League schools at 4,000 undergraduates, Dartmouth operates on the quarter system and supplements small classes on its campus with programs around the globe.
Arguably the top Jesuit college in the nation, Georgetown insists upon a rigorous core curriculum. Its location in Washington, D.C. supports its excellence and specialized programs in foreign service and global business; students in the college and nursing school are taught by professors who are leaders in public policy and health.
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