Madison, WI
University of Wisconsin-Madison


387 Ratings

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Recent Reviews

Lauren
What is your overall opinion of this school?

People think Wisconsin is so big, but it's really not overwhelming. It really seems to compartmentalize itself, and there ar...

What is your overall opinion of this school?

People think Wisconsin is so big, but it's really not overwhelming. It really seems to compartmentalize itself, and there are so many places to find a home - the dorms, extracurriculars, in your department, at your job.

Describe the students at your school.

Racial and socio-economic diversity is a joke. LGBT students should feel pretty comfortable here.

Is the stereotype of students at your school accurate?

To a point. There is more diversity (of race, of thought, etc) than is imagined, but less than there ought to be.

What is the stereotype of students at your school?

Very liberal, very white, that the students are all from rural areas .

What are the academics like at your school?

The professors are usually very involved, though you get a dud once in awhile. I used to hate the general education requirements (there are so many), but I honestly wouldn't have realized what I want to do with my life if I hadn't had to take classes outside of my comfort level.

What are the most popular student activities/groups?

If you're awake at 2am on a Tuesday, it's a 50/50 split as to whether you're studying like mad for an 8am midterm or getting wasted. We work hard and party hard. But, if it's a Saturday night and you don't want to drink, there is plenty to do - concerts, free movies, bowling - people even study on weekend nights.

Patrick
What is your overall opinion of this school?

According to one ESPN analyst, Madison is "the best college sports town in America" and I would definitely agree based on my ...

What is your overall opinion of this school?

According to one ESPN analyst, Madison is "the best college sports town in America" and I would definitely agree based on my experiences. Home football saturdays are practically religious here (to be fair, they are on most big football campuses), I mean what else would get 30,000 students out of bed at 9am on a saturday. But what makes Madison unique in terms of sporting events is not just our pre-game parties on football saturdays, but the fact that we have many highly-ranked sports teams that compete all year. Our b-ball team has been performing well over the last few years and the Grateful Red bring an energy not found outside of Cameron Indoor Stadium. My favorite sport has to be Men's Hockey just due to the clever student section, where else do you do dance to the Time Warp, watch little kids play at intermission and then scream Sieve at the top of your lungs for minutes! Aside from our sporting events to keep us entertained outside of the classroom, the city is probably the most beautiful city in the country. Campus is sandwiched between two pristine lakes and stellar views abound from many spots on campus. When the weather is nice, the Memorial Union Terrace, overlooking Lake Mendota, is an awesome spot to hang out, listen to music and enjoy a brat and a brew (Our union serves imported German beer on tap!) Being at the heart of an urban center like Madison does have its advantages, you seemingly never run out of things to do from live music venues, multitudes of unique ethnic restaurants , museums and other attractions. The Metro bus system provides an easy way to get around (free bus passes for students!). Being at such a large school does have its advantages. While many small schools try to promote their make your own major or single class programs, chances are Madison already offers what you want (the famous example is underwater basket weaving). Besides, being able to just disappear into the crowd is useful sometime and it means you are more likely to find a group you enjoy hanging with. I could go on and on about the pluses to large state schools, but they all basically fall into the same category: opportunities, opportunities, opportunities.

Describe the students at your school.

The students are collectively pretty involved, whether in student orgs, in supporting athletics and other ways to occupy the non-class, non-boozing time. There are somthing like 700 registered student orgs on campus to get involved with. The prevailing division on campus falls along regional lines. The "Coasties" vs the "Sconnies". (Basically east/west coast vs Midwesterners). While we all poke fun at the opposite group, it all is for the most part in jest. Having gone Greek myself, there is a milder division on campus among Greeks and Non-Greeks. Our campus is only about 10% Greek, but even so the majority of students are not explicitly anti-greek, they just don't know what greek life is about or (probably more accurate) they just don't care. The populations is largely white with small minority populations. The groups seem to interact fine without tension or major incident, but is unfortunate that the minority populations are so small. Madison's student body is incredibly political, after all several campus buildings built in the 70's were designed to be riot-proof due to the history of activism on this campus. The one quote I always like is "Madison is ## square miles, surrounded by reality". This is sometimes true, in the fact that campus and the liberal-downtown culture can isolate one from the rest of the world, but with the internet these days, anything goes. Next year should be interesting as the Presidential Election nears.

Here's your chance: Say anything about your college!

I have no regrets coming here. The classes are great, the people are great and the city is better.

Is the stereotype of students at your school accurate?

I would say the student's nature to let go on the weekends is pretty accurate. The social life on this campus is intensely centered on drinking; there is never a shortage of booze anywhere. I think this is complemented by the fact that most of us students do an incredible amount of work both in and outside of the classroom with student orgs. We definitely have the study hard play hard mentality.

What is the stereotype of students at your school?

Most of the stereotypes revolve around how we party pretty hard.

What are the academics like at your school?

Academics here are top notch, with many many many majors to choose from (some departments will even let you make up you own or do a hybrid major). Most classes are really challenging while remaining possible, but every now and then you run in to the piece of cake classes (What else would the athletes take?). On average people are really smart (the all campus GPA is something like a 3.15!) and everyone is really helpful and willing to collaborate, after all we are all in this together. With the large school comes large class sizes for the most part of the first 2 years. After that things will get smaller and the average junior/senior level course probably has 20-30 students in it. Most students do not get to know their professors (I admit, I am one of these students), but the few I have gotten to know have been great and they are always looking to meet their students. My only beef with this university is that advising basically sucks. If you know what you are doing from day 1 great, and even if you do not you have some time to experiment. To get out in four years though you basically have to make up your mind by the end of freshmen year (that's why the fifth year 'victory lap' has become more popular, among other things). Even after you decide on your major however, most advisers just refer you to the university's degree tracking system called DARS to figure out what you need to take, which is really lame.

What are the most popular student activities/groups?

Covered in most of my other comments, but social life is very vibrant on campus. Weekends represent the break from grueling work, so students take them very seriously. Most people's weekend plans (including Thirsty Thursday mind you) involve pre-gaming in their residence, then going to meet a friend either at a house party or at a bar (depending on if they are of legal drinking age, or have a fake id good enough to get them into the bars) and then capping the night off at one of several drunk-food outposts (T-Bell and Ian's Pizza are the favorites)

Liz
What is your overall opinion of this school?

Whenever I tell people I go to Wisconsin, they say it's an awesome school, they wish they went there, and that they've heard ...

What is your overall opinion of this school?

Whenever I tell people I go to Wisconsin, they say it's an awesome school, they wish they went there, and that they've heard amazing things about Madison. There is a huge amount of school pride - everyone loves Bucky! It's a very large school but it doesn't feel large. It's not an urban setting but it's also not rural, so I wouldn't describe Madison simply by saying it's a college town. It's way more diverse than that and has more to offer. One thing I'll always remember is Badger game days - so much fun!

Describe the students at your school.

It is a liberal campus and there are many types of people. Almost anyone can fit in. There are a lot of Jewish people, we have a strong LGBT Alliance organization, varying economic classes, a large population of Asians...There are not many black people, though.

Here's your chance: Say anything about your college!

I love Madison, but the weather sucks!

Is the stereotype of students at your school accurate?

For the most part, yes. Most of the stereotypes about coasties have been accurate. Farmers from small towns are relatively sheltered.

What are the most popular student activities/groups?

A typical Wisco organization is one that gets their shit done and parties regularly. I am in a sorority. Greek life isn't huge (about 8% of student pop.), but it is definitely a presence. There are a lot of events in Greek Life and there are a lot of opportunities to meet new people that I feel like people outside of Greek Life just don't have. There are also philanthropic opportunities and leadership opportunities. You can go to the bars any night of the week and find a strong showing of people out. The dating scene is not so hot. I know of a lot of people who have long distance relationships because there are not many datable guys here. Not many people venture off campus, cars aren't very common here. People party often.

What are the academics like at your school?

I have been in a lot of large lectures, but many professors do encourage students to come in and talk to them because they do want to get to know you. Students do study a lot, but they also party a lot. No one is made fun of or looked down upon because they study. I'm actually a retailing major (it wasn't offered as an option above) in the School of Human Ecology.

What is the stereotype of students at your school?

Liberal, smart, partyers. There student population of too diverse to really have that many stereotypes - there's coasties, farmers from Wisconsin, students from Illinois and Minnesota.

Toby
What is your overall opinion of this school?

There are a lot of amazing things about Wisconsin. You can't walk down the street without seeing red. It's a really big sch...

What is your overall opinion of this school?

There are a lot of amazing things about Wisconsin. You can't walk down the street without seeing red. It's a really big school, so it's important to find "your niche". There are a million oppurtunities for that though - Greek life, academic clubs, community service oppurtunities.. the list doesn't end. Lately, there's been a lot of crime on campus which has really been scaring students. But administration is good about keeping students updated, and reminding us constantly about safety tips. Other than that, the worst part about Wisconsin is the snow! And how horrible the plowing system is here..

Describe the students at your school.

I don't think anyone would feel out of place in Wisconsin. There are kids from all over, who are interested in all different things. You can walk into a classroom and see a kid in sweats and another in a suit. It makes no difference.. There aren't as many minorities as there could be, but I think Wisconsin is working to change that. Also, campus is incredibly liberal. I'm liberal too, but sometimes students can take their political beliefs too far.

What is the stereotype of students at your school?

That there is a division between public dorm "sconnies" and private dorm "coasties". also that we're huge partiers.

What are the academics like at your school?

"work hard, party hard" - that's the motto at wisconsin. if you have a small major, you can get some quality time with professors. I'm in the business school though, and that makes it harder. Some of the classes are smaller, but only taught by TAs which sucks because even they don't know what exams will be like. Sometimes it can feel like classes are designed to make you fail.. but there are always resources available if you need extra help. I've never had a TA who I feel would approach me to talk about improving my grades, or attitude, or getting to class on time, or handing on a paper on the due date. If you need persistent nagging or coaching to get things done, Wisconsin is not the place for you.

What are the most popular student activities/groups?

The weekends start on Thursday, no, Wednesday in Wisconsin. My closest friends I met through my sorority, and from the dorms freshmen year. Although, now that I have a set major, I'm making new friends through my classes. Greek life only makes up about 11% of our campus. If you want to notice it, you will. But if you don't want to, you won't. Athletic events are HUGE here.. for some people it really is about the game, but for others it's the best reason to pregame on Saturday's at 11am.

Devin
What is your overall opinion of this school?

This is a big college! Find a niche right away, and become social - there's no reason to sit in your apartment/dorm room all...

What is your overall opinion of this school?

This is a big college! Find a niche right away, and become social - there's no reason to sit in your apartment/dorm room all by yourself. Even if your hobbies include dressing up like a costume animal and pleasuring yourself to Japanese pop music - you're probably among friends. There's more to do than be a drunken waste on the weekends. Sure, there are certain social groups which are centered around this, and there's nothing wrong with doing it on occasion. But we have so much going on in Madison, there's no reason not to explore the city, exercise (find the SERF right away, there's nothing like a free place to work out that's just filled with hotties), take in the arts, or simply find a cozy place to read. If you can, get out of living in the dorms - it's totally for suckers. (although, if you must live in the dorms, Liz Waters has the best rooms, cafeteria, view and location of them all. Avoid the Southwest dorms, as they're inhumane. Avoid the Lakeshore dorms, because their location is horribly inconvenient). The Bassett neighborhood is TOTALLY safe, even with the recent murder that happened there - shit happens in any large city. Avoid the State St/Langdon area unless you don't want to ever sleep. Listening to drunkards scream all night loses it's charm after a while. The Gorham/Johnson St. corridor is freaking sweet. It's on Lake Mendota, has an awesome park, and a really cool mixture of students and young slackers. Plus, the Caribou is the best fucking thing on this Earth - you'll know what I mean if you come here.

Describe the students at your school.

It's a mostly liberal campus, with a pretty large contingent of "Coasties". They're not the anti-christ, but not very many of them have ever had to earn anything in their lives. It can be frustrating to work 3 jobs so you can pay tuition out of pocket, and then hear a coastie bitch about how their mommy and daddy won't send them money to buy a new pair of Uggs. Come on guys... There is seriously a group for EVERYTHING - get involved. Those connections you make will stick with you for a LONG time.

Is the stereotype of students at your school accurate?

To an extent. While there definitely are two different classes of student here, there really isn't so much animosity. Everyone exists on a continuum between those two extremes, and I suspect it's the same at most large colleges.

What is the stereotype of students at your school?

There's a large divide between "coasties" and "sconnies" - the coasties are rich, stuck-up and conceited - whereas the "sconnies" are hopelessly naive, overweight and territorial.

What are the academics like at your school?

The classes, especially your first few years, are huge. But most of the professors will get to know you, if you make yourself known. Sit towards the front of classes, respond to their questions, and make use of their office hours. Look, even with grade inflation, most classes are challenging for a reason - they want to separate out the gifted from the slackers. You're paying far too much money to phone it in, so do it right. Most classes you can get away with attending sporadically, so long as you're actually doing the classwork and showing up to discussion section. I don't recommend this approach for anyone who isn't serious about succeeding, but it is possible to cut some of the attendance out of your schedule. Get known in your department especially, because when you get to the upper level classes, it'll be advantageous to know faculty. There are a lot of cool independent study opportunities available to those who are driven.

Hannah
What is your overall opinion of this school?

Wisconsin is so amazingly unique and great because it offers the best of all worlds. No matter what you are interested in or ...

What is your overall opinion of this school?

Wisconsin is so amazingly unique and great because it offers the best of all worlds. No matter what you are interested in or looking to do, you will always find something or someone with similar interests. The campus is big enough to allow you to become a real person, actively seeking your own life, but also offers so many communities that you can fall back on when you need support. Plus, the capital is right there at the end of state street! It really allows you to take advantage of everything you are learning in school, to se the city functioning right under your nose.

Is the stereotype of students at your school accurate?

I think a lot of the stereotypes are based on generalities that come from truth, but obviously there are many exceptions. I am from MN and I don't fit any of the above-mentioned stereotypes.

What is the stereotype of students at your school?

That they are all white. That the people who come from out of state are rich, stuck up, "coasties." That the people who come from in-state are farmers/hicks "sconnies."

Ron
What is your overall opinion of this school?

Amazing college town, urban campus, very large which take some getting used to, coming from a small town. Dorm atmosphere is ...

What is your overall opinion of this school?

Amazing college town, urban campus, very large which take some getting used to, coming from a small town. Dorm atmosphere is great, liberal campus, amazing resources and events on campus. Administration is good but they blow at financial decision-making. Very much school pride. Some old academic buildings but a ton of expansion on campus. Geography of the campus is great with the two lakes.

Describe the students at your school.

Fairly diverse. Some economic diversity, little racial diversity. In state students are more laid back and down to earth- throw on a pair of sweats and go. Students from the coast are visibly wealthier. many out of staters live in private dorms. Students are mostly liberal, though you can be a conservative and survive here. Mostly upper-middle class people, some very wealthy, some not so wealthy.

Here's your chance: Say anything about your college!

Great school, very big but you get used to it. People love to party and drink but you don't have too and people aren't stupid about it. Love being here, even from far away. On Wisconsin!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Is the stereotype of students at your school accurate?

In some cases, yes. Not for me. :)

What is the stereotype of students at your school?

Stereotypes about UW students from the East or West coast is they are rich, dumb, and obnoxious.

What are the most popular student activities/groups?

Sooo many orgs and teams. Student body loves sporting events. Most people leave doors open, especially in my hallway where everyone is close with each other. Dating scene is possible but there are lots of random drunken hookups (not a bad thing). People study Sunday-Wednesday and get smashed on Thurs, Fri, Sat. There is a lot of schoolwork from classes and people can't afford to drink or party on days on than THurs, Fri Sat. Frats and sororities are important if you want them to be. Otherwise, not at all influencial. I;ve been to a frat twice. If you are in one or friends with people in one, it is a much bigger deal. generally greeks are rich kids from new york or california. Saturday night without drinking is an oxymoron. But there are options, Union activities, sporting event. or just hanging out. Off campus is where all the parties are, so students are frequently off campus, even if it is just at State Street.

What are the academics like at your school?

Big classes, get used to it. But profs willing to help for sure. Get used to working with TAs all the time. They are fine though usually very good. Like a big machine, a system. Not really concerned with the individual, not necessarily a bad thing but you have to take the initiative. UW students are smart, creative, intellectual and down to earth. Tons of academic resources.

Pete
What is your overall opinion of this school?

The best thing about Wisconsin is you can always find people looking to go out and have fun. One thing I'd change is I'd make...

What is your overall opinion of this school?

The best thing about Wisconsin is you can always find people looking to go out and have fun. One thing I'd change is I'd make all freshmen live in the public dorms so the campus is less divided. School size is good. People either get very excited when they know how much fun wisconsin is or they look at me with a weird look and ask what is there to do in Wisconsin.

Is the stereotype of students at your school accurate?

Both of these stereotypes are very accurate

What are the academics like at your school?

Professors do not know your name unless you go to their office hours and make an effort to get to know them. Students study a lot and there are always political and intellectual conversations outside of class

What is the stereotype of students at your school?

The school is very divided between kids from the coasts and kids from Wisconsin. Anoither stereotype is that all kids here work hard and play hard

Carolyn
What is your overall opinion of this school?

I like that walking through the campus you can look around you and see beautiful buildings, the lake, great landscapes and it...

What is your overall opinion of this school?

I like that walking through the campus you can look around you and see beautiful buildings, the lake, great landscapes and it all seems familier and you get the "this is where I belong" feeling. Recently I've discovered how great the Unions are, particularly the Memorial union with the sunny Langdon on the lakefront room being a great study place. Campus does seem like an island, distant from the city, until you walk up state and see it but you often forget that you are in a capitol and that there are risks for being in a large city. There's a LOT of Wisconsin pride, either for the badgers or for the packers, for example. everyone seems really into sports.

Describe the students at your school.

I would love to see more people of different backgrounds here. I feel like you either see white people or Asian americans. Though that may be a big generalization, it's what you see in classrooms and dorms most often. I have close friends who come here and don't always feel comfortable because there are so few people of their race here. Most of the time, different kinds of people interact with others but most commonly, people stick to people who are most like them and don't explore differences enough.

What are the academics like at your school?

I loved soc 134, the lecture was large but the discussion was small and we had GREAT conversations, something I miss in my new sociology class. The discussions and relationships with people in the class went past the classroom and to a more personal level. I like that there is a requirement to do courses outside your major. I think it will help people realize what else is out there as well as relate it to their field in unique ways. Also it gives you a chance, and encouragement, to explore.

What are the most popular student activities/groups?

I am in Alpha Phi sorority and its always exciting, they always ahv esomthing to do or volunteer for. It's great that so many opportunities and connections are at your fingertips. Though college is stereotypically all about drinking to get drunk, there are a lot of nights that me and my friends got a little more creative than that. There have been French nights - watching french movies, eating cheese and drinking wine. Or disney nights where we jump back to childhood and watch our favorite old movies. Also the union has a lot of shows to see. It's not all about making a fool of yourself while intoxicated, although it is fun every so often.

What is the stereotype of students at your school?

That basically everyone is from Milwaukee, Madison or the middle of nowhere. That the private dorms are coasties, Jewish and stuck up and the public dorms are more diverse, and more midwest based.

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