Stern vs Haas UG

Hi all,

I am a transfer student who was recently accepted to both Stern and Haas for undergrad. Looking at the traditional IB/PE/HF route. To start my career, I don't have a preference for location, though I would like to be on the West Coast later on (I've been told even if I start in NYC, I'd have no trouble moving pretty much anywhere else in the world later). Haas is a bit cheaper, but cost isn't too much of a concern. Pretty much just looking at which name would be more prestigious and hold more weight in the IB/PE/HF world.

Additional notes: Group of interest is M&A, Media & Comm, TMT, or Healthcare. Equally fine with any of those.

Would just like to hear from those who have worked in the industry which school would serve me better in this industry long term. I know both would be good for IB, but through a quick linkedin search, I see way more Stern kids in MF PE Associate+ roles, as well as Hedge Fund finance roles (Berkeley has more in quant hedge funds, not really my interest though). Berkeley has a shit ton of representation in VC, however (not even comparable). But I would be open to that as my last career destination, in which case I would assume my prior experience is more important than my UG school (is this right?).

Thanks in advance.

Comments (20)

Most Helpful
  • Associate 2 in PE - LBOs
Jun 10, 2020 - 4:27pm

Think you hit the nail on the head with the last paragraph. I would say if you're focused for certain on the IB/PE/HF route, Stern is a better bet. If you want optionality, and are looking also at FAANG/VC/Start-ups, Haas could provide that to a degree that's only surpassed by Stanford. But as you mentioned, if you're looking at these options as a last-career destination, I would also think the name of your undergrad school would not matter nearly as much as the experience on your resume.

Another thing, NYC will have every group you're interested in, whereas SF will be tech-focused. Weigh these factors and come to a conclusion. Stern = you know what you want. Haas = you're not as certain yet.

Jun 10, 2020 - 6:35pm
10x Leveraged, what's your opinion? Comment below:

You are overcomplicating it - you should think in terms of whether you prefer west coast vs. east coast, simple as that


  • 1
  • Intern in IB - Cov
Jun 10, 2020 - 7:25pm

I don't have a preference right now. I've lived on the west coast my whole life. I've never had the chance to experience NYC. Ideally, I'd like to be back out west later on as my family is there, but it is my understanding that I could always move back west after doing my IB/PE stint in NY. Seeing as I'd be fine with either location to start, I'm just looking at which would school would make it easier to get those top IB/PE roles. Would you be able to provide a suggestion as to which school you think is better in this regard? Appreciate your time.

PS I did not throw MS.

  • Intern in IB - Cov
Jun 10, 2020 - 8:22pm

Bump. Would appreciate more insight. Deadline to commit is coming up soon.

  • Intern in IB - Cov
Jun 10, 2020 - 8:34pm

Appreciate the insight. I'm gonna be real, I suck at coding, and I've heard berkeley comp sci is a grind and a half. So, knowing me, I would probably stray away from CS and just focus on business.

Based on this, would you have a specific recommendation between Stern and Haas as to which would set me up better for IB/PE/HF? Appreciate your time.

  • Prospect in IB-M&A
Jun 10, 2020 - 8:26pm

Take Stern. You're interested in traditional finance and Stern does much better than Haas there. Not to mention the fact that, at Haas, you will be in competition with the rest of Berkeley, which is equally competitive for IB/PE/HF, unlike Stern which dominates NYU recruiting. In terms of brand name and other career paths, I'd say the two are about equal (except for tech, where Haas does better).

  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Jun 10, 2020 - 10:07pm

I would go Stern if cost isn't an issue. Both schools have their respective strengths which have been pointed out, but you're getting the chance at a private school education with Stern from some of the most respected professors in the industry.

  • Intern in IB - Gen
Jun 10, 2020 - 11:12pm

Currently a student at Stern. Honestly, if your only focus is IB recruiting for NYC (I'm assuming you're an incoming sophomore), I'd say come to Stern. What I would like to say though is that you won't really get much of a college experience here, and it's much worse than you can imagine it to be. People will always say something along the lines of "it won't matter whether I have a good college experience because I can get into IB from stern." But believe me, sacrificing the 4 most memorable years of your life to get a slightly better chance of getting a job (relative to Haas) isn't worth it. I honestly envy a lot of my friends who go to other target schools that have a strong social culture, which stern really lacks. I'm not saying you can't have any fun here, but you'd definitely have a better experience going to a school with a stronger social culture. It may seem like I'm just one sour person who had a poor social experience, but I can assure you that many people at Stern will agree with me. A lot of the friends that I (and many others) have made are mainly through clubs, and people tend to be loyal to their clubs rather than to the school as a whole. As a transfer, you may still be able to get into clubs but it's going to be significantly harder. This may seem like a lot, but this is really what I wish I knew when I was coming into stern.

Ultimately, if I were in your shoes I would choose Haas if you care about getting into banking AND having a good college experience. It also really depends on which city you'd like to live in. We don't have that many people on the west coast, whereas Haas doesn't have many people here. Another thing to keep in mind is that if the fall semester is remote, you're going to be losing the advantage of being in nyc so it may not even help you as much as you would hope. I'd say take these factors into consideration when you're making a decision.

  • Analyst 2 in IB-M&A
Jun 10, 2020 - 11:20pm

I would wholeheartedly agree with you had it been any school other than haas. Berkeley is not fun at all. During my time there, I've come across more depressed and tryhard kids than I can even begin to fathom. It's truly a shame. Biggest regret I have is picking Haas over Ross. Berkeley as a city is shit too, and SF isn't much better. I've heard Stern is shit socially also, but at least you have non tryhard kids throughout the rest of NYU, and u fucking have NYC in ur backyard.

  • Intern in IB - Cov
Jun 11, 2020 - 12:09pm

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