Undergraduate NYU Stern vs Cornell physics/engineering vs Duke Engineering

OTLITE's picture
Rank: Chimp | banana points 3

I'm a high school senior who's about to make a college decision. These are the three programs I am considering for next year.

I basically have three priorities for my college experience.

  1. I'm looking for academic fulfillment. That's why I'm going for a hard science at Cornell and Duke, I feel like they are much more interesting than pure business. Physics especially is fun for me.
  2. I want to have some fun. Not hugely important in the long run but still a consideration.
  3. I want to develop a skillset for finance and attend a school in which I can most easily be recruited to BBs, top 3 consulting firms, etc. From what I've heard from people already on wall street, math and physics majors are highly sought after, even more so than economics majors (basically for their quantitative skills). Also, I feel like majoring in economics or going for pure business may not give me as great of a chance to prove my intelligence; many people can attain high GPAs in business so I would need other ways to help me stand out.

I'm leaning away from NYU because it lacks any of the hard science that I'm interested in, but I think it has the best recruiting and job opportunities of all these three.
Cornell has decent physics and engineering programs, so I will definitely be challenged there, even though their economics program isn't taken very seriously from what I've heard. I will likely major in some science and minor in operations research. However, I'm not sure about how much of a target school Cornell actually is, and how depressing students feel (is this true?).
Duke has weaker sciences and potentially less clout than Cornell's ivy status, but I've heard stories of plenty of engineers with low-ish GPAs (~3.2) landing summer internships at BlackRock. Also I love that Duke students love their school, and I really like the way that most classes are taught.

At any school I will definitely be trying to attain leadership positions and network as much as I can.
Thoughts?

Comments (5)

Apr 27, 2015

I would choose Cornell. I think the depression rate there is over-rated. Many students choose choose to jump off the gorge and thus get a lot of publicity.

It is very impressive that you get accepted by all three schools. What are your strengths?

Apr 27, 2015

I went to a somewhat reputable high school and scored well on all my SAT and AP tests. Although my grades weren't the best, I took reasonably difficult classes, and also competed on the national level in my sport. Honestly these schools were definitely not my top choices, but I'm still really happy with my current options!

Apr 27, 2015

If you are considering both MBB and IB I'd recommend Duke. Cornell and Stern don't place that well in MBB in my experience atleast at the undergrad level. Duke has loyal alumni and a strong school spirit. Personally, I'd select Duke over Cornell and Stern.

Apr 27, 2015

You will find your points one and three at all three schools. However, the fun factor has to go to Duke. It has a great basketball team and a true college atmosphere. In terms of recruiting potential, I would rate Cornell approximately equal with Duke, especially considering that you are going to pursue an engineering degree. NYU has a pretty toxic environment and is not fun at all. My personal choice would be Duke.

Apr 28, 2015