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Comparing Mills to private colleges

Do you ever feel Mills demands more than other schools? Do you have friends where it seems like their school is more lax on their grading system? Your sentiments are pretty much on the dot. While talking to a friend who goes to Brown University, I found myself irritated and envious at how much less Brown seems to demand than Mills.

First of all, there is no such thing as failing at Brown. The grading goes as follows: A, B, C or no credit. There is no such thing as a “D” or “F.” A “no credit” will not show up on your transcript and you can later make it up in another semester or at summer school. This is utterly unfair if you ask me. What’s even worse is that you can take any class pass/ no pass-even classes for your major. Mills students are only allowed two pass/no pass credits over four years.

Brown requires their undergraduate students to complete a total of only 30 class credits in four years as opposed to the 34 credits Mills demands of us and their credit system is comparable to ours. Requiring a student to graduate with only 30 credits enables the student to never have to take more than four credits in a semester, if he/she wants to graduate in four years. Never would students at Brown have to add on an extra class like students at Mills, where taking five classes is a must if a student would like to graduate in four years.

The last thing for Mills students to gripe about regarding Brown’s academic system is that there are no minors offered, just majors. Of course that may seem not as spectacular as the pass/no pass for any class, but a double major would be completed in five years. For Mills students, it takes about four and half years just to get our major and possibly a minor to go along with our degree. Even with that, we would have to choose a minor right away, prohibiting us from exploring other departments.

This information about Brown leaves me with the feeling that students at Brown are not as challenged academically as Mills students. The way Mills is set up, the students are definitely loaded with classes every semester. And, when it comes down to it, which will look more prestigious and taken more seriously, a Brown student or a Mills student even though the academics at Mills are more demanding?