4.5 out of 5 Stars
Academics are strenuous but rewarding at Bryn Mawr. There is no core curriculum, but there are certain divisional requirements (I cannot comment on the specifics as they recently changed). Degree requirements vary by major, but for mine - Political Science - we had to take ten courses within our field, including two introductory courses and several advanced courses. Within my major, we also pick two concentrations (ie American or International Politics, Comparative Politics etc.). Class sizes are very small - usually between 10 and 15 students; anything north of 20 is considered very large, especially in the humanities and social sciences courses. Professors are incredible accessible and welcoming; it is very clear that their goal is for their students to be successful. Because of Bryn Mawr's honor code, the only real competition is with yourself; students do not discuss grades with each other in order to engender more support within our community. Study abroad opportunities are generally very good. We do not have as many options as students would at large universities, but there are still plenty of places to go. I studied abroad at the University of Cape Town in South Africa; because BMC has a relationship with the school I did not have to apply to a special program and was sent there as simply an exchange student. The workload can be intense but good time management can prevent too many all-nighters. In that vein, professors are also great about offering extensions if you're in a bind.Quality of Life
Housing is guaranteed all four years and the dorms are absolutely beautiful, but it is all dorms and room and board is fairly expensive. The campus is ridiculously beautiful; you can vividly picture the class of 1889 walking around in the same buildings. As a result, the facilities can be lacking. However, the beauty of the campus makes up for it and it is an incredibly safe area.
My favorite part of Bryn Mawr is the community; it is a small, close-knit group of smart women who all consider Bryn Mawr to be home. It is definitely not for everyone, but if a student stays here beyond sophomore year, the chances are that they really love it.Admissions
Our school uses the Common App but has a supplementary essay, interviews are optional, early decision I and II are available but not early action. We are also able to wave our application fee in lieu of a charitable donation. I cannot speak to financial aid or scholarships as I do not have any.Level
As a liberal arts college students are required to study a wide array of disciplines before graduation. This ensures a breadth of academic exposure. The faculty/student ratio is 8:1 and professors are extremely accessible and willing to help. Study abroad is heavily encouraged for Juniors.Quality of Life
Most students live on campus as it helps build the strong sense of community Bryn Mawr fosters. The facilities are excellent and the architecture is stunning.Admissions
Bryn Mawr is text-flexible, offering a different approach to what kind of tests and how many test scores you wish to send. There is a supplement to the Common Application and an interview is encouraged if possible. Students may apply Early Decision and Regular Decision.Level
There are core requirements in different academic divisions and then students must also choose a major course of study that has its own requirements. There is a required writing seminar for freshmen as well. Class sizes tend to be around 25 people at most and professors generally love speaking with students for a long time in my experience. Lots of study abroad options and opportunities to learn about research. Students are supposed to compete against themselves in the classroom due to our academic honor code so grades are not a widely discussed topic.Quality of Life
Housing and meal plan can be expensive but food is good and dorms are better than I've heard about at many other schools. Most students get singles as upperclassmen. Very safe area. Overall happiness is hard to gauge- people are happy about different things and like to challenge themselves so people aren't happy all the time- that's life. But people are generally very reflective on life.Admissions
Common application used but with a special supplement question on why I was interested in a Bryn Mawr education. I appreciated that I could choose to donate my application fee to a local charity- that was unique and set BMC apart for me. The alumnae interview network was also helpful and I had a good experience being interviewed. I was accepted regular decision and thought it was really special when me regional admissions officer called me to let me know I was accepted. I didn't even remember meeting her very well but we connected at a school college fair.Level
Bryn Mawr is always working to improve their application. However, it is very standard and similar to other liberal arts applications - common app & why you want to go to bryn mawr. The tours at Bryn Mawr have recently changed - they are more focused on current student's experience instead of a fact-focused tour. Also, admission officers look forward to talking with students and staff in the admissions office are outstanding!Level
The professors expect a lot. Class sizes are generally small, especially as you progress into the upper levels. Grading is difficult, though it depends on the professor. Workload always walks the fine line between the possible and the impossible, but it creates a community of people gettin' through it together.Quality of Life
housing is beautiful. cost of living off campus is moderate, though not many people do it. the campus is beautiful. the facilities are nice, we are building a new gym this year. we have three libraries, one is amazing and the other two are okay. the dining halls are good, not fantastic. crime is non-existant. overall happiness is good, although stress levels are usually pretty high.Admissions
Admissions looks for women who are able to rise to the intellectual and personal challenge of the institution. They want people who can be potential change agents for making a difference in the world. Our acceptance rate statistic may look high in comparison to other elite colleges, but that is due to the smaller size of our application pool (as a women's college), not the quality of the candidates selected.Level
Our distribution requirements are different from core requirements because they are not specific courses that each student must take but rather a way of getting students to take courses in a variety of disciplines. Requirements for each degree vary, but for my own personal course of study there is a significant amount of flexibility. This is great for students who know what they want to do, but for students who do not, the distribution requirements often help a student to discover a passion for something they did not know they had. The academic advising system involving deans and major advisors also helps guide students academically. I've had small classes with very accessible professors. Because of our honor code, there is not so much open competitiveness, but rather students working their hardest to do their own personal best. The grading system at Bryn Mawr can be frustrating--the highest grade, a 4.0, is an A and not an A+, and we have no 3.5, jumping from a 3.3 to a 3.7. When professors use this system well, it works fine and is not a problem. However, I've had professors consistently grade me in the 3.5 range during the semester even though this is not a real grade, and then end up with a 3.3, which I think is unfair. We have great study abroad opportunities, and pretty much anyone who wants to go abroad will be able to. The workload depends on the course of study and the person, but I have found it to be manageable.Quality of Life
Aside from the cost of living here being pretty high, the quality of life here is wonderful. We have a great campus with amazing dorms, a great neighborhood and community relations, it is very safe and people are very happy. The quality of the food is on the decline, though, and I'm not a fan of the meal plan options.Admissions
Bryn Mawr has a pretty standard admissions process, but I think the way we consider applications may be different from other schools. I really respect our admissions counselors for putting together such an amazing class each year, admitting students who will succeed here not only academically, but socially.Level
Bryn Mawr is one of the toughest academic environment I've been in. I have always been a good student, however, at BMC it was such a challenge to get a good grade. The reading requirement for each class is high, the level of commitment and focus required is exceptional, the expectation that you will be a respectable and honest human being just makes all the difference (the infamous honor code).
However, the classes were small, the professors were highly accessible (you can find them having lunch or dinner in the cafeteria and have an inpromptu meeting). We had many opportunities to study in other campuses in the greater Philadelphia area as well as abroad. All in all, the academic departments ( I was a member of two), provided the support, the resources, the encouragement, and assist you in setting yourself up on the right path. From there they expect you to soar. Really high! :)
This is great, because often people respond well when they know that they have people who believe in them and expect them to achieve great hights.Quality of Life
Loved it, loved it, loved it.
My building was always kept clean, the entire campus was well-maintained. We had buffet-style breakfast, lunch and dinner, everyday from 3 different cafeterias, with varied menus. There were a variety of clubs and student activities going on to keep the social life going. All around it was a good and happy experience.Admissions
Bryn Mawr is quite selective and is keen on having a student body that is diverse in experience, country heritage and racial backgrounds. Somehow the school manage to make it safe for all sort of open, yet safe, conversations to take place between members to facilitate learning. I guess all of that is evident that Admissions go out there and aim to find the best, the brightest, and the most curious individuals it can find to populate the campus every year.Graduation Year
Common application with a Bryn Mawr supplement.Graduation Year
Bryn Mawr is a selective liberal arts institution that places a strong emphasis on education.
Student- teacher ration is 8:1, so class sizes tend to be very small. We cap our lectures at 90, but I rarely see it get that big.
In addition to class time, professors have office hours which is a period of time when you can stop by with a question or problem. Additionally, when they hand out their syllabus, they also provide their email address and sometimes their numbers, should a student ever have a question. They are very prompt in their responses.
Professors here treat students like peers rather then students. There is a strong sense of respect in the classroom. Most classes are discussion based and professors welcome and encourage student participation. Many professors also offer research opportunities to students.
Bryn Mawr attracts really self-directed, motivated students.
The workload is intense but not unmanageable. There are many support systems available for students, such as the writing center, tutors, TA's (who never teach class, but they will lead study sessions).
Notable alumnae include: Katherine Hepburn, Emily Balch, Hannah Holburn Gray, Alice Mitchell Rivlin, and Nettie StephensQuality of Life
Bryn Mawr has lovely dorms, they have been described as looking like castles. Bryn Mawr is also seventh in the nation for quality of food. The community is very safe; we have blue light system available, but I've never needed it. The facilities are wonderful. We just updated our theater and our gym is being renovated.
The libraries are beautiful. One of the libraries, Carbenter, is designed to look like an archeological dig site, andhas one of the beautifully lit study areas on campus.
I'd rate my own happiness at 7.5 to 9.Admissions
Bryn Mawr uses the Common Application as the standard form, however we also use a supplementary application that asks students to write an essay about what the y hope to gain from their time at Bryn Mawr and what they hope to contribute to the community. Bryn Mawr has several options for application deadlines, regular decision and early decision. Scholarships are offered on a need base and the financial aid provides money to about 60% of the undergraduate office.
Bryn Mawr's policy on applications is to look at the whole person. We don't just look at the high school transcript; we examine the resume, college essays, and other parts of the application together.Level