What Each Ivy League College Is Known For

Each Ivy League university has its own niche, it’s own “brand”:

In other words, each Ivy League university is known for certain things in terms of reputation. Understanding this in regard to college admissions, and Ivy League university admissions in general, is important.  This knowledge lets you target which school is the best fit for you, as well as which college is actually where you become the best fit for THEM.

This is only going to increase your chances of getting accepted.

The following list is a very brief compilation listing each Ivy League university, and what specific programs or majors they are best known for around the world!

Allow me to add as well, that all 8 of the Ivy League colleges mentioned here, as well as the ones I classify as “Ivy League competitive schools” like Stanford or MIT,  are all excellent universities. They truly do offer an extensive, wide-reaching, liberal arts education that will leave you extremely well-educated and intellectually respected for your college degree around the globe.

In other words, you can’t go wrong with any school in the Ivy League.

However, knowing what each Ivy university is known for, will give you an advantage.  Some of the schools are known for certain specialties more so than the others, and if you pay attention to that fact, you will have a better chance of receiving that acceptance letter and finding a better intellectual  and cultural fit.

And so, without further adieu…


1. Yale is known for turning out dramatists, poets, and CIA officers (government and international relations).

2. Harvard is Harvard (also strong in government, engineering, philosophy, languages)

3. Princeton is known for mathematics and physics (Einstein used to teach there).

4. Brown has its own creativity and artist types (including poets, writers and playwrights)

5. UPenn is known for its proximity to the Wharton school and hence, business and finance.

6. Cornell is known as one of the easier Ivy Leagues to get into and has a strong business/hospitality school link via its grad program.

7. Columbia is known for literature, religion, psychology, languages and its proximity to Wall Street.

8. Dartmouth is known for liberal arts majors, as well as those wanting to get into the Tuck school of business post-graduation.
Furthermore, as mentioned above, you also have what I call “Ivy-like” schools, or “Ivy Equivalent” by which I mean, the schools’ level of difficulty and competition in terms of getting in. Here, I include schools like:
  1. MIT (obviously known for science, math, computer science  and engineering),
  2. Stanford (look up it’s proximity to Silicon Valley and it’s niche for business),
  3. Duke and Johns Hopkins (both famous for their medical school and thereby pre-med programs).

So, there you have it! 

Just a sample list of the Ivy League universities that tell you which college you might want to target if you’re looking at the Ivy League for this coming admissions cycle.

Understanding what I’ve listed here, and then tailoring your applications appropriately when making your school selection list, can truly make all the difference. Especially when choosing which school to apply to for Early Decision.

Need more free admissions tips and advice?  Check out my award-winning Ivy League college admissions blog for more on how to get in to an Ivy League university — and, if you’re thinking about Early Decision (HINT: you should be!)  then you may also like my article: Early Decision: Choosing the Right Ivy League College

You can also join my Ivy League college admissions discussion on Reddit at: https://www.reddit.com/r/ivyleaguecollege/

I’m a former Harvard admissions interviewer and a Harvard graduate and currently run the Ivy League college admissions firm: www.IvyCollegeEssay.com. 

Contact me today for a free consultation, and get into the school of your dreams!