|By Laruoff (Laruoff) on Monday, April 26, 2004 - 09:29 pm: Edit|
does it hold more weight to have a BA in something like english, anthropology, philosophy.. from UCSB or Cal Poly SLO? I really like SLO but have heard that for what i want to do (which is somewhat undecided) UCSB would be a better choice? true or false? and is SB ranked higher academically than SLO? where can i find this info? thanks
|By Rana (Rana) on Monday, April 26, 2004 - 11:02 pm: Edit|
The quick answer is UCSB; indeed, ALL UCs are going to be superior to Cal Poly when it comes to the humanities and the social sciences. Cal Poly's strength is in its technical programs, that is why it is called a polyTECHNIC school. Outside of the technical fields (engineering, architecture, agriculture, business), most other departments are essentially there to provide GE and support courses to these majors.
You mentioned an interest in anthropology, well there is no major in that at Cal Poly. You can earn a BA in social sciences, with an emphasis in anthro, but that is about it. As it happens, UCSB's anthro dept has a very good national reputation and its majors do very well in grad school.
The programs you list, English and philosophy are very good at Cal Poly, but they do not offer the variety of courses that a traditional college or university does, it doesn't come close to the UC campuses. That doesn't mean the faculty and courses at Cal Poly are themselves bad, only that they are not going to be able to offer the same breadth and depth of courses that a UC does, and of course, grad adcoms realize this too.
Ultimately, of course, much of how good your education is depends on what you put in, and so it is possible to get a good education in the humanities and social sciences at Cal Poly. But academically, the UCs will be much stronger overall, but esp in these areas.
Academics are perhaps the most important thing to consider about a college, but it is not the only thing. In your case, the short-comings these programs at Cal Poly may be countered by a campus and social environment that you will be happier in.
It does no good to go to a school that is considered to be academically better than another if being there is a distraction or disappointment to you. That will be just one more thing to worry about that might affect your studies and even your grades.
A C average in an anthropology major from UCSB will not look as good as an A average major from Cal Poly; UCSB's better academic reputation can not make up for poor grades.
But if an adcom is deciding on someone who wants to enter an anthro program for grad school and one student is an A student in anthro from UCSB and the other an A student in social sciences with an emphasis in anthro from CalPoly, all other things being equal, the UCSB student will obviously have the upper hand. You can expect a similar consideration in these other fields you are interested in as well.
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