University of Wisconsin-Madison Top Questions

What is your overall opinion of this school?

Brenna

I love UW Madison! I have had the most amazing experiences during my four years here. I've met amazing friends and have been challenged academically. I have received a well rounded education and as I interview for graduate school admission I find that I am prepared and knowledgeable and can speak confidently about my career area.

Jake

It's sorta kinda perfect. As Ders from Workaholics (a Wisco alum) put it, "I had the perfect college experience". FYI, he is the commencement speaker for the graduating class of Spring 2013.

Keigan

The vast majority of stereotypes for the University of Wisconsin-Madison center around the "Bro" stereotypes for the boys and the "Coastie" stereotype for the girls. When I say BRO I mean your average white, young man who is often seen at parties any day of the week. He is loud and obnoxious and loves to get with as many 'easy' girls as possible. Or he stands around holding a red cup, waiting for something to happen where he can start screaming. He typically wears a baseball cap or a Print T-shirt with something like "Mount and Dew me" on it in the font/color scheme of the Mountain Dew soda company. On the other side of the spectrum are the Coastie girls. These young ladies are from New York or California and not only do they think that they are the best things to happen since spray tan, they also cling to one another like the well-known "Plastics" from the hit movie "Mean Girls". Typical "Coastie" wear includes sweatpants or leggings, coupled with UGG boots and topped with a very messy bun located on the tops of their craniums. Also, many Coasties talk with a very thick Valley Girl droll and they assume that the tanner their skin is the better. Some of them will wear Bucky Badger T-Shirts and cut the sides out revealing their waists and neon colored bras. These two categories of stereotypes have definitely been the most prevalent that I have heard from everyone I talk to; including the students from other states and sometimes even other countries. I am pleased to inform you that, while these stereotypes most definitely DO exist, they are not nearly as profound on campus as I was led to believe. I'd say the vast majority of students here are really individuals who don't fit into any category or stereotype completely. Of course there are those that play those stereotypical parts, there will always be those, but it's not something to worry about here, at least based on my experience.

Kaitlyn

Madison has it all! I absolutely love this university. It has a lot of school pride; the whole state of Wisconsin loves the Badgers! Game days are a must--the city is flooded with red attire and everyone is always in a great mood. One of my favorite places on campus is State Street. It has many ethnic restaurants and cute clothing stores and is always bustling with both locals and visitors.

Kate

I love UW-Madison. I grew up 20 minutes away but never understood the magnitude of the school's overall amazing impression until I became a student. Everyone is very nice and even though the school is giant with over 42,000 students, it is a very tight nit community. There is always something to do with events and clubs for anyone and everyone. The party life is great but not bothersome, if you wanna go out you will have the time of your life but if you wanna have a chill night in, its possible. There are plenty of student centered areas and buildings around campus including two rec facilities, student unions, student centers, and state st. State St has restaurants, bars, shopping, and all around a fun atmosphere. Madison is both a college town and a general urban town. If you are downtown, it is a complete college town but the city expands out west, east, north and south with neighborhoods, shopping, restaurants, and much much much more. There is so much school spirit, GO BUCKY, and students often get involved in political movements. Seriously the best place to go to school, if you have any doubts, check out the UW-Madison memes Facebook page! If you wanna be a badger then come along with me :)

Gabriel

UW-Madison is awesome. The camp is is beautiful and the people are beautiful. Te academic standard is amongst the best in the world, but the social life is also amazing.

Emily

I absolutely love having the privilege of being a student at the University of Wisconsin Madison. I can't imagine feeling more comfortable, stimulated, or accepted at any other college or university. Madison may seem intimidating because of its size, but once you get the hang of the campus, it is very easy to maneuver, and you really only attend certain areas that apply to your field of study or interest. Madison is so diverse and holds a vast amount of opportunities for every single student that attends the university. The whole city has a unique college town feel of school pride and acceptance. As a prestigious university, I am proud to tell people that I am a student here, and I can tell by their equally impressed reactions that they automatically see some sort of promising quality that I must have if I go to such an established school. The campus has so many cool areas that attract all different kinds of people, from the well known Union Terrace on Lake Mendota, to the great Camp Randall stadium that radiates school pride on gamedays. UW Madison is one of the most fun, inviting, challenging and diverse campuses in the world, and I can't imaging going anywhere else. It is so easy to find where you belong, people to fit in with, and opportunities to pursue that apply to each and every unique talent and interest. The students are well informed of current issues and encourages to contribute opinions and make their voices heard. The university is very research oriented, but every field has so many experienced staff members that it is a privilege to attend a lecture with such prestigious professors. The school pride here is unbelievable, and its easy to tell that every student is proud of where they have made it to, and even more driven to make the most out of their college experience.

Kelly

The overall best thing about UW-Madison is the opportunities you have here. Nearly any major, club, or sports team you can think of exists on this campus. If I could change one thing about the university, I would change its advising system. Advising is something you have to be really proactive about, no one is going to chase after you and get you to come into an appointment. Overall, however, the campus has a great atmosphere, game days have to be seen to be believed, and any opportunity you can think of can be found here.

Jared

Let's get into it: Wisconsin. Cheese. Beer. Brats. BADGERS. These things were all a bit strange to me. I come from southwest Florida, so the whole cold thing was a shock too. The best thing about this school, hands down, is the academics. UW was recently ranked 17th in the WORLD for scientific research. That's some heavy stuff right there. My chemistry professor is actually a theoretical chemist and leading expert on chemical bonding. He just teaches intro chem (103) for fun. Clark Landis: he's the man. Let me tell you a secret. There's no such thing as a "big school" where everyone is just a face in the crowd. There are way too many ways to make this university smaller for yourself. There's a greek system. There are hundreds upon hundreds of student organizations. There are religious organizations. The school has so much to offer that one should never feel alone. The best part about a large student body is that there are definitely people just like you. People usually act with surprise when I tell them I go to this school, but that's mostly because I'm from Florida. They usually follow up their surprise with a "have fun being cold" or "that's a really good school." I prefer the second one. Weather shouldn't steer anyone away from this campus. I spend most of my time in the library. I'm a biochemistry major on the pre-health (med) track so I'm plenty busy most of the time. There's a great student activity center (SAC) where I also study. I'm also in the chemistry building a whole lot. If I'm not at any of those places or asleep, I'm at the SERF (South East Recreational Facility) working out. It's a fantastic gym and it's open to any student with a wiscard (our student ID) This is the best college town of all time. Ann Arbor is boring. Gainesville is a dirt road. State College is sequestered in a valley, and Berkeley is straight up strange. Madison, WI is the place to be. It's a very real place. This is a center of political activity (very liberal), there is a financial district, there is a large professional community, and above all Madison is home to a lot of regular citizens. On top of all that an exciting state capital can offer, there is an amazing sense of school pride and spirited atmosphere that surround this campus in the heart of downtown Madison. Game days are unreal and wild, but during the week there is a true environment of learning. I don't quite know how to explain it, but it just feels like you're in a place where big things are happening. Whether the music school (which is excellent) is putting on a concert, or the engineering school (that out-ranks Harvard) just created something that would make your head spin, something academically amazing is happening. The administration is very friendly and helpful. This is characteristic of the entire state of Wisconsin. People look for reasons to trust you rather than not to trust you, and they truly help you when you are in need. The recent political rallies over Governor Walker's stupidity were pretty outrageous. That's some campus controversy. The most unusual thing about this school is, I think, that it exists. The probability that such a fine institution of learning would exist in America's dairyland is just unusual and delightful. When most people think "Wisconsin" they don't think engineering or big-time business, skyscrapers, or particle accelerators. They think farms and cheese and cows that go moo.

Erica

UW--Madison is a well-established, well-balanced part of the community, and is a source of love and pride for its students and alumni. Since we're the biggest UW campus, we contribute a tremendous amount of research to many academic fields, and we're known to be a rigorous, well-rounded school. Overall, I personally love Madison. School spirit is everywhere--when I was studying for finals this semester, Bucky came dancing through the library late at night, and lots of clapping and cat calling accompanied him. I love the social atmosphere on and around campus; I can't imagine a better college city than Madison, which is consistently named one of the best cities in the country in terms of health, crime, unemployment rates, happiness, etc. I also love the academic opportunities here, which are broad and varied for each major. There's an atmosphere of ambition and determination that applies not only to academics but to life in general. The time I spend in the library is substantial, but so is the time I spend with friends, whether it's at a party or the Union or the terrace in the warmer months. Madison is definitely a large school, which might be intimidating to prospective students, but I've never felt overwhelmed or lost in the crowd here. The more time you spend on campus, and the more people you meet, the more it feels like home. In spite of the large campus and the large student population, there are definitely ways of making it feel smaller. Personally, I like that there is always someone new to meet and always a group of friends to go back to--it seems like the best of both worlds. One thing that surprised me after I started classes here was how, despite how many students there are here and the high expectations we have for ourselves, we aren't cutthroat or competitive. The atmosphere is one of collective determination, and collaboration and individual effort are combined to make classes fun, not scary. I always know, going into a difficult class, that my classmates and I will get through it together and I will probably make friends because of the effort we put in. Overall, I think Madison's size and reputation work for it, rather than against it. Badgers know how to party, study, and make their way in a big school by working together and staying focused.

Samuel

You will never run out of opportunities to explore, absorb experiences, and get informed. UW-Madison is a big school filled with people who love to learn, and this really fosters a community of enthusiastic educators! The flipside, however, is that you need to make a space for yourself amidst this sea of people; without some self-motivation it can be easy to get lost among all these undergrads. The social scene is practically the quintessential college experience. State Street has tons of great coffee shops, restaurants, and little shops for meet-ups and hangouts (not to mention the epic Halloween FreakFest). Frat Row is always available for those interested, Mifflin Street serves as the alternative party scene. Badger Football is a phenomenon hard to miss out on--even without tickets you still inevitably wake up excited on those Fall Saturday mornings. Finally, you can really tell that the Madison community loves its college kids, accommodating us in every way imaginable.

Julia

One thing that distinguishes UW-Madison from many other colleges are the extensive opportunities offered for the aspiring undergraduate. I am double majoring in Zoology and English Literature, two fields that do not often coincide. Both departments have made me feel extremely included and well-informed about my present and future options. Some of the hours I have spent in my TA or professors' office hours have made me very confidents about my academic choices. Upon enrolling at UW-Madison, I was overwhelmed by the size of the school. However, I have come to believe it is that very aspect that offers such a unique and full experience. Not only are there students from all different backgrounds and cultures, there is a strong sense of unity among us. Additionally, the citizens of Madison often come onto the campus for football games, visiting the lake, etc., so we have a sense of oneness with the city as well. It has been interesting to interact with older people who live in the town, not just college-age students. Another great thing about Madison is that it is the perfect haven for the aspiring politician or revolutionist! Most of America knows the reputation Madison had during the Vietnam War for protesting. The Humanities building was even built to withstand riots! That reputation is still well-earned today. I had a great time protesting the educational reforms last year at the Capitol, making signs and staying the night in sleeping bags. Even if you're not someone who loves to "rise up against the man", it's still exciting to be where change is happening. There are downsides to this school. It's a fairly big city, so it's not safe to walk around at night or attend many of the parties without a fairly clear head and some protection. UW offers many assistances such as the Safe Walk program and Safe Ride buses, but it's definitely not always a quiet, relaxing environment. Although I have grown to love the school and prize it for its academics, I did not have a great first semester due to the fact that the social scene of freshmen is largely partying.

Heba

One that that some students may dislike at my school is the size of the campus. If you are looking for a small school, this is definitely not the one for you. That being said, due to our big campus, students at this school have access to amazing facilities and a very wide range of major options. Additionally, professors and TAs go out of their way to make sure that they are available to have one-on-one time with students if they need it. One really great thing about my school is the location. Although Madison is the capitol of Wisconsin and the UW-Madison is considered to be part of the downtown area, my campus would definitely be considered part of a college town. Just a short walk can get you to a gym, restaurant, capitol building, our amazing football stadium, or any of the halls. Additionally, if you are looking to venture out, all students at UW-Madison get a free bus pass that gives you access to the entire Madison Metro bus system to get you anywhere you need to go! Last but not least is our overall school spirit. Everyone in Madison loves their school and loves where they are. There is a great sense of pride and camaraderie at Madison that really makes it an enjoyable place to study.

Kristen

I love this school. It is the Goldilocks of colleges, not too much of anything but just right. I have attended two other colleges, one large (U of M Minneapolis) and one small (UW River Falls), but Madison falls squarely in the middle. It is a fairly large campus, with around 42,000 students, that manages to feel like a little community town. You can see the Capitol from pretty much anywhere, and places like State St. with it's independent shops and restaurants lend it a unique, personal charm. You can meet new people every day, and yet never go too long without seeing a few familiar faces. It fosters a positive atmosphere which encourages students to branch out from their comfort zone and try something new. I spend most of my time in a coffee shop near campus, where I study and chat with whomever is behind the bar or sitting next to me. One of the best things about UW Madison is how friendly everybody is- you can strike up a conversation with just about anybody. One thing you can't do on campus though is root for the other team- Madison students are fierce badger fans. There is some controversy on campus, however. The school is facing budget cuts due to Governor Walker's policies. Students have risen to the occasion though, and followed the controversy in the papers as well as live, as they protested at Capitol Square. Students have also taken part in the petition to have Walker recalled by signing it and volunteering to collect signatures. Our school is proud and driven, and inclusive.

Ryan

There aren't many things I dislike about UW-Madison. Above all, the university is the perfect sandbox for any sort of academic interest and is very attached to its students' success. Madison itself is enough of a reason to go to UW; the city is full of great cultural and historic heritage and is one of the great mid-sized cities in the United States. UW has national recognition and in Wisconsin is the center of higher education; many professors are the leading experts on Wisconsin-related issues and are well-known throughout the state or the country. The city of Madison perfectly toes the line between the average Big Ten college town and a large city. The campus itself has a small college feel to it (it's one of the smallest schools by area in the Big Ten) but other areas around the city have dense and wonderful neighborhoods which could fit in great cities like Chicago or San Francisco. Many people complain about the winter weather, but if that's going to stop you from attending one of the nation's best public schools you probably wouldn't fit in at UW anyway. The university's administration is currently facing one of the most difficult periods in recent memory following the departure of a chancellor and a very large budget cut coming down from the state government. The entire political process associated with this budget cut, the Board of Regents and university's leaders has led to the largest campus controversy recently. The Board of Regents still hasn't selected a replacement for our former chancellor, so currently the chancellor who led the university through most of the 1990s is at the helm. School pride is impressive and contagious. Football is an obsession, especially after two consecutive Rose Bowl appearances, and despite the state's political differences just about everyone can agree on their love for the Badgers. The traditions at home football games are ancient, wonderful and will become the one of the things about Wisconsin you miss the most. Many of these same traditions, including one particularly profane chant, give UW a bad name. This is one of the university's drawbacks. Although many students here are smart, engaged and driven, there is also a pocket of students who only are interested in partying and football at the cost of their education. Overall, Wisconsin will offer incredible experience to any type of personality. The future of the university's financial situation remains unclear because of the uncertainty with Wisconsin's political situation, but this should not deter students from attending college in one of the nation's most unique, intellectually-stimulating and vibrant cities.

Samantha

I love Wisconsin! My favorite thing is the setup of school itself, a midwestern city school in the capital of Wisconsin, Madison. The school itself is so big and has so many students yet really does not feel that big because of how close together most of the school buildings and living facilities are. Madison is a very spirited college town and the best days are game days when everybody is so happy to be wearing their red badgers shirt and showing their support walking up and down state street. When the badgers win, the whole city celebrates together through the streets and in the bars. There is a ton of school pride and everyone is always in their bucky t's or badger hats in summer or winter.

Brock

Madison is a very prestigious school academically, and in my experience that's a reputation that is well deserved. I'm of the belief that, ultimately, it is the person doing the teaching that you learn from, not the course, or the resources, or anything else. You can learn more from a good professor teaching about, say, canine orthodontics, than from an average person teaching astrophysics right out of a book. And in my areas of study at least, Madison's faculty has been simply awesome. I do take issue with the university's claims of being so "multicultural." It's true that there is a huge diversity of cultures represented in the student body and the faculty. But I'm not sure that says anything about the university, besides the fact that it has a very lucid admissions process. It seemed to me that marginalized (i.e., non-white) students and organizations tended to stick together, and it was very easy for a student to avoid Madison's "multiculturalism," if he or she so chose. And this is exactly what happens--students who have no interest in understanding other cultures do just that. The university's all-encompassing multicultural organization (the MCSC--Multicultural Student Coalition) was always at odds with the student government and the campus newspapers, struggling to receive sufficient funding or to make themselves heard by anyone besides the choir. So it feels a little dishonest to me that the university claims such progressivism. That being said, there truly is a lot of diversity on campus, and just by enrolling, you put yourself in a potentially very enlightening environment.

Meredith

Personally, my two years at UW-Madison has been the best decision I've made yet. Coming to UW-Madison from a small town in Minnesota, I have been exposed to some of the best opportunities available for my personal growth and development, and also my future career of Journalism. Madison offers so many new and exciting activities for students and their college lives. I can't imagine going to school anywhere else and I would definitely recommend Madison to any incoming college student.

Jess

I love Madison! The only thing that would be bad is that it is really big. Extremely big. It's hard to make friends. I came from a town of 4,000 people, so making the change was pretty difficult, but it was definitely worth it. I was in a FIG (First Year Interest Group) as a freshmen, and that made all the difference. You take 3 classes structured around a core concept with the same group of about 20 students. It's a great way to meet friends and to ease your way into Madison. Another thing I love about Madison is the school spirit. If you didn't know, we're pretty good at sports. Our football team is going to the Rose Bowl for the second year in a row. Going to football and basketball games is awesome. It feels great to be surrounded by everyone there, and to participate in the same traditions as hundreds of people have before.

Rayna

Attending the University of Wisconsin was the single greatest decision of my life. This is a great school in an amazing city with the best people. We've got a huge football program (Rose Bowl two years in a row) and the school pride that comes along with that. We've also got a thriving art and cinema community. Campus is big, but I think it's the perfect size, especially within Madison. Located in the state capitol, Madison is often the center of political discussions. Every single person I talk to who've gone to Madison say they loved the school and never want to leave. It's easy to get involved on campus by joining the hundreds of student organizations. I'm on a long-form improv team, the Film Committee, and have two radio shows. I love all my professors and classes. There's a social scene for everyone here, I can't stress that enough.

Laura

Students who go to the University of Wisconsin-Madison love it! It is probably the coolest college town. (Thank you cell-phone commercial for the shout-out!) But most importantly, there is something for everyone! No matter what you are interested in there will be a group of people who are similar and UW makes it easy to find those people! With so many student orgs and a large variety of classes it is so easy to find a great group of friends. From bars to ballroom dancing no two weekends are the same when you are at UW-Madison. Students from UW are proud to say where they go to school.

Brooke

The best thing about UW-Madison is that it is an environment in which everyone can thrive. Despite its size, the school never feels overwhelming and you often see the same people walking through campus. Madison itself is an awesome college town because it serves as both a college town and a state capital, bringing in outside influences that offer great opportunities such as interactions with locals and sometimes, great internship opportunities. There is also an abundance of school pride but not in an obnoxious way. We are proud to be Badgers but not to the point where things get aggressive. The academic life is also great at UW-Madison. While there have been recent administrative changes and other changes made as a result of the current complications with the state government, the students and professors have been adjusting together in a rather constructive fashion. Generally, professors are very approachable and helpful to students when they have questions or desire to learn more on a particular subject. Students sometimes complain about their teaching assistants (TAs) but for the most part, students are able to adapt to different teaching styles. No one is ever going to like every professor or teaching student they ever have but it has been my personal experience that there have been very few professors or TAs that I haven't been a huge fan of. One of the best things about Wisconsin is the pride you feel when telling people you go to school there. When I told people I was going there after high school graduation (note that I am an out of state student), I had mixed reactions from my friend's parents. Some said, "Oh, you must really like to party," but others enthusiastically said, "Wow! That's great, you are going to love it." While Madison is known for its party atmosphere, it is also known for its quality education and experience. College isn't just about academics, it is about discovering yourself and your passions. Wisconsin is a school that allows students to do this by providing a rigorous academic environment with a fun learning experience. To date, choosing to go to Wisconsin is the greatest decision I've ever made.

Brinae

UW is great. It fits the needs of all different types of students, so especially if you're not sure what you're looking for in a school, UW is an excellent option. It is a large school, however, and some of the programs are very large and can give you the feeling of being one among many. However, other smaller programs are downright cosy, and give a much more small school feel. It really depends on the program you're looking at. There are also hundreds of campus organizations to get involved in, which is another way to overcome the large, impersonal feeling you might otherwise get at the university. The location of downtown Madison itself is fantastic. You're only a few blocks away from State Street and the Capitol building (very convenient for the next time you get an urge to get involved in any of the political protests that crop up every so often, or to just visit the midwest's largest farmer's market). Plus with the bus pass that comes with your tuition you can get pretty much anywhere in the city you're interested in going to. There are two student unions which are both really nice places to meet up with friends and offer great programs such as free movies several times a week. Academically, UW has a lot to offer. Madison is a great option for students who are undecided in their majors. You can easily change from microbiology, to marketing, to Hebrew, to interior design, to kinesthesiology, without having to switch to a new university. The professors and T.A.s are top notch and enthusiastic about what they teach. All are more than willing to get to know and help out students outside of class and are great resources for students. As a shy person I was nervous about coming to UW. I didn't know how I'd find my niche on such a large campus and I was worried that all of my classes would be huge lectures where I was just another face to the professor. But none of these fears came to fruition and now I can't imagine myself anywhere else.

Kathryn

The University of Wisconsin is a great place to be because it's a college town with a wide variety of opportunities students can take advantage of. Although it is a larger campus, I can personally say that it feels like a smaller campus community. Throughout campus, I almost always run into people that I know and because of this, I truly feel connected to UW. Madison has a strong sense of Badger pride which is evident if you have ever been to any of the Badger games where the entire crowd wears bright red. When telling people that I go to Madison, there is generally one of two sentiments. People either assume that Madison students are binge drinkers or they are impressed as Madison is one of the top academic schools in the country. In my opinion, Madison is not necessarily a drinking school, but like any other school, some people will choose to get out of control. One of my favorite things about Madison is that it is a very liberal town with progressive attitudes. People in Madison stand up for what they believe in and are very passionate about their beliefs. I am personally involved in a number of different organizations on campus that focus on women's health here in Madison and abroad. What's great about these organizations is that we truly make a difference with what we do whether its raising money or educating others on health policies. From my experience, people from Madison tend to be very interested in activism as there are a variety of different rallies or events held at the capitol protesting or showing support for a variety of issues. Another great thing about Madison is the farmers markets. This is one of the only times where students may feel as though there are people who exist other than students. Despite this, the farmer's market offers great, fresh (and sometimes organic) food right by campus for the community to enjoy. Finally, one of my favorite things about Madison is the lakes. There is absolutely nothing like going to sit in your favorite library and being able to see Lake Mendota no matter what time of year. Here's a picture so you can see for yourself: http://www.flickr.com/photos/althouse/2587977713/

Matt

"The University of Wisconsin at Madison beat out the University of Chicago and Harvard to be the top national university by internet brand equity, according to the Global Language Monitor’s 2011 TrendTopper MediaBuzz internet rankings." Dear Everyone who doesn't go here, Read it and weep. Sincerely, Badgers I love this school, and no matter what magazine puts us at #45 or whatever nonsense in their "academic rankings", the above fact is what makes us the best. It doesn't matter what your major is, or your GPA, or your extracurriculars, when you go into a job interview and say "I went to UW Madison," people know what you're talking about and respect it. Our sports program is one of the best in the country, I've rushed both the basketball court and the football field after upset victories, arguably my top two goals entering college. Our business and journalism schools are top notch, and while I don't have much to do with the sciences here, I've heard they're damn good too. What hooked me during my college search though was the physical space, our amazing campus. It is a city, in between two gorgeous lakes, that is built around the campus. Not a city person? Great, half our town is traditional, Cambridge-esque, green-lawned quads and matching scarves, old school campus. Think that's too boring? Don't like foliage as much as a good bar? Well then you're in luck, just step onto State Street and enter a city atmosphere that boasts, the most bars per capita in the country (unofficially). The biggest downfall is that in a school so large, you've got to be a real self starter. No academic advisor is going to hold your hand and lead you along life's golden path to a prosperous career. Nor will they recommend easy classes. Every step you take here, you're largely on your own. But isn't that what college is all about? Sources: http://newsfeed.time.com/2011/01/05/the-most-buzzed-about-university-wisconsin/#ixzz1fPGY8zNF

Julia

I like the University of Wisconsin-Madison. I love the setting--Madison is a gorgeous city with beautiful scenery and has the conveniences of a small town while having the appeal of a growing small city. I love the people--I've made friends I will be close to my entire life and have met people who have irrevocably influenced my life for the better. I love the material I'm studying--having a sizable course catalog to choose from affords me the opportunity to study areas I've never been able to before, and I truly appreciate that. I value the professors--being a prestigious university allows for obtaining high-caliber instructors who are not only experts in their fields but passionate about what they teach. It's refreshing to have an instructor be so enthusiastic about the material. I like how almost every building has a library inside it -- so convenient! This university encourages aggressive learning, and I enjoy that very much. I like how the department you're in keeps you up to date on things that interest you. I like the Badger pride that's evident all around campus. I just like being here, in all aspects. If there was one thing I would change, though, I would change how far away my classes are from each other, because boy does it get freezing during the winter, and walking up Bascom Hill can be a challenge!

Alissa

I absolutely love attending UW-Madison. The opportunities are endless. I receive daily e-mails inviting me to workshops, discussions, and job/career opportunities. They truly want their students to succeed here and even after they graduate. Many of the professors are experts in their fields and are more than willing to provide extra help when needed. The libraries and cafes are excellent study spots. However, studying is not the only thing to do on campus. There are many campus activities throughout the year and even good deals to go on trips to get off of campus for awhile. There really is something for everyone here.

Danielle

Badger pride is definitely a major part of being a student at the UW, which helps students to reach out socially early in their college careers. Getting groups of friends together to go to any sporting event together can prove to be one of the most efficient ways of finding a solid group of friends. Its true that Madison has a large campus, and it can definitely feel overwhelming at first. However, its something you easily get used to. For the first week of freshmen year, as you run around like crazy looking for buildings and classes, you'll realize how easy it is to learn the layout of the place you're spending every day in. We also have great online tools to assist students of every graduating year--the online map on the Wisc homepage is still helpful to me because its like a much-more condensed version of Google maps, and pinpoints the exact building you need to get to! The buildings map is just one of the many helpful online tools at our university. As far as school staff goes, they are always friendly and extremely helpful. Though it seems a bit overwhelming to have 462 other students in one of your first semester lecture halls, the professors (and Teaching Assistants, if the class has discussion sections) are always available for meetings, and they are always flexible enough to fit your schedule. Don't let the class size intimidate you--the professors want to help you if you want to be helped! The bottom line is that the University of Wisconsin may seem a little overwhelming and possibly hard to get used to, but just like many other things in life, you get used to it quickly.

Michael

My overall opinion of UW-Madison is that it is a very good school that has a lot of excellent opportunities to succeed. I think the best part about the school is the advising opportunities. The career counseling that I've received here has been second to none. I feel very confident about my career prospects because of the personal, focused, and easy to access advising that I've had here. This is really nice to have, especially because the school actually is very large. The size of the school shows in some classes and not so much in others. There are very large lecture halls but also very small, personal discussion sections which help sort of everything in lecture. I've also had a few lectures in my upper level courses that were both small and taught by the professor, not the TA. Madison itself is a wonderful and unique city. It is small enough so that you can get around quite easily and recognize people wherever you go, and yet its also big enough to have a lot (and I mean A LOT) of excellent restaurants, bars, and retail establishments to suit your needs. I personally find the character of Madison to be one of the most intriguing and attractive parts of being a student here. The school spirit here is very high, and it definitely shows all year round. It runs especially high during football season, but even throughout the year students and citizens alike can be seen daily with Badger clothing and memorabilia. I think that it's a great aspect of the school and the city, and my Badger pride will definitely remain with me through my life. Of all the things that I do like, there are a few things I'd change. First, it would be the class registration system. I'm not sure about how other schools do it, but the process for registering and scheduling classes here has been somewhat frustrating. With some many students, classes tend to fill up quickly, and even as a senior registering very early I was prevented from registering in a class because of high demand. Overall though, I think that UW-Madison is a wonderful place to get an education. Academically, it is among the elite and culturally there is nothing like it. I don't think there are many schools out there that can compare with the great combination of these two qualities.

Danielle

Uw Madison is a very large campus compared to the one I transfered from and that is a bit to get used to, but the faculty that I have met have all been extremely helpful and kind to me. Madison is definately a college town and at times the number of events and entertainment opportunities have been a bit overwhelming, not to mention destracting. All and all it's a fabulous place. The lake is stunning and the people kind.

Michael

My overall opinion of UW-Madison is that it is a very good school that has a lot of excellent opportunities to succeed. I think the best part about the school is the advising opportunities. The career counseling that I've received here has been second to none. I feel very confident about my career prospects because of the personal, focused, and easy to access advising that I've had here. This is really nice to have, especially because the school actually is very large. The size of the school shows in some classes and not so much in others. There are very large lecture halls but also very small, personal discussion sections which help sort of everything in lecture. I've also had a few lectures in my upper level courses that were both small and taught by the professor, not the TA. Madison itself is a wonderful and unique city. It is small enough so that you can get around quite easily and recognize people wherever you go, and yet its also big enough to have a lot (and I mean A LOT) of excellent restaurants, bars, and retail establishments to suit your needs. I personally find the character of Madison to be one of the most intriguing and attractive parts of being a student here. The school spirit here is very high, and it definitely shows all year round. It runs especially high during football season, but even throughout the year students and citizens alike can be seen daily with Badger clothing and memorabilia. I think that it's a great aspect of the school and the city, and my Badger pride will definitely remain with me through my life. Of all the things that I do like, there are a few things I'd change. First, it would be the class registration system. I'm not sure about how other schools do it, but the process for registering and scheduling classes here has been somewhat frustrating. With some many students, classes tend to fill up quickly, and even as a senior registering very early I was prevented from registering in a class because of high demand. Overall though, I think that UW-Madison is a wonderful place to get an education. Academically, it is among the elite and culturally there is nothing like it. I don't think there are many schools out there that can compare with the great combination of these two qualities.

Michael

My overall opinion of UW-Madison is that it is a very good school that has a lot of excellent opportunities to succeed. I think the best part about the school is the advising opportunities. The career counseling that I've received here has been second to none. I feel very confident about my career prospects because of the personal, focused, and easy to access advising that I've had here. This is really nice to have, especially because the school actually is very large. The size of the school shows in some classes and not so much in others. There are very large lecture halls but also very small, personal discussion sections which help sort of everything in lecture. I've also had a few lectures in my upper level courses that were both small and taught by the professor, not the TA. Madison itself is a wonderful and unique city. It is small enough so that you can get around quite easily and recognize people wherever you go, and yet its also big enough to have a lot (and I mean A LOT) of excellent restaurants, bars, and retail establishments to suit your needs. I personally find the character of Madison to be one of the most intriguing and attractive parts of being a student here. The school spirit here is very high, and it definitely shows all year round. It runs especially high during football season, but even throughout the year students and citizens alike can be seen daily with Badger clothing and memorabilia. I think that it's a great aspect of the school and the city, and my Badger pride will definitely remain with me through my life. Of all the things that I do like, there are a few things I'd change. First, it would be the class registration system. I'm not sure about how other schools do it, but the process for registering and scheduling classes here has been somewhat frustrating. With some many students, classes tend to fill up quickly, and even as a senior registering very early I was prevented from registering in a class because of high demand. Overall though, I think that UW-Madison is a wonderful place to get an education. Academically, it is among the elite and culturally there is nothing like it. I don't think there are many schools out there that can compare with the great combination of these two qualities.

Paige

Wisconsin is the most beautiful campus, with it's lake view, Capitol, State Street, Bascom Hill, and many more attributes. It's a large school but by joining clubs and activities you can make it as small as you'd like. It's a college town surrounding the capital of Wisconsin, so there is always so much to do. People are so proud to be students at UW, just look anywhere on campus on a football game day, and all you'll see is red.

Katie

Overall opinion of Madison= incredible. The school pride that you feel from the beginning of welcome week until late into your years as a Badger alumni never fades. Badgers love being Badgers, and they aren't afraid to let people know. Also, prospective employers and post-bacc admissions committees (dental schools, medical schools, PhD programs, etc) recognize the tradition of excellence and high standards that are maintained on campus, and seek UW graduates for their humility, work ethic, and intelligence. If you like big schools and big opportunities, this is the place for you. That being said, if you desire close relationships with all your professors and an intimate feeling among the student body, UW is probably not the place for you. You absolutely have the opportunity to form close relationships with both peers and profs, but the sheer size of the student body ensures that you won't be able to be in close contact with everyone around campus. The amount of students and the diversity among them allows you to have almost any type of experience you can imagine- from doing research in a neurosurgery lab, to running a committee on student government, to taking break dancing lessons, to learning how to sail and snowboard for next to no money, to becoming a mac and cheese conneisseur in the Cheese Club- if you're interested in it, chances are good that you'll find some great friends who are interested in it too.

Jordan

I was tempted not to answer this question. It seems too easy and obvious - being here in Madison HAS given me access to the opportunities that I wouldn't have elsewhere, and I could gush about just how wonderful it is to live in such an open and accepting city. I can also, however, speak accurately to the deficiencies here. The largest and most significant one is size. While many, including myself, view this as often being a positive attribute, Madison doesn't cushion the transition that people like myself (Hometown of pop. 450) experience, especially when moving into the Southeastern dorms. Witte was bigger than my town. It's easy to get lost in that, and for those unable or unwilling to reach out and make friends can see a pretty rough year in front of them. Granted, this all did work out well for me, as my floor bonded like a family, and they now comprise most of my closest friends. Thus, I can't ACTUALLY get away from praising this school. Oh well, I guess that's not a bad thing.

Jared

Let's get into it: Wisconsin. Cheese. Beer. Brats. BADGERS. These things were all a bit strange to me. I come from southwest Florida, so the whole cold thing was a shock too. The best thing about this school, hands down, is the academics. UW was recently ranked

Ryan

Campus Itself: Very large, but not hard to get around. Frequent bus loops help for classes that are far away. Lots of green space on Bascom Hill to bum around on in nice weather. Everything is reasonably well marked, so it's not hard to get around. Pedestrian traffic is very heavy, but is manageable after you get used to it. Campus Area: Lots of liquor stores and dive bars, and not much else. There are no 24-hour food places, dance clubs, hangout places, or anything of the like. State Street is nice, but it gets boring after a while. Redeeming quality - absolutely amazing ethnic food of almost every variety. City itself: boring. The campus pretty much is the city. There are no dance clubs or any other venues besides dive bars anywhere near campus (and not much of anything anywhere). Movie theaters/shopping/etc. are available only at the malls out toward the suburbs, which are all an hour bus ride away. If you don't have a car, it's difficult to get anywhere, but it's almost impossible to keep a car... Administration: Horrendous. The bureaucracy is endless and makes everything difficult. Much of the staff in the dean's office/advisers/etc. are underqualified and not very helpful or sympathetic. I had problems with a sexist adviser who told me to take the wrong classes. A friend of mine has left the dean's office crying twice. Any change you want to make academically requires tons of paperwork, and the computer system often has mistakes. The school's website is poorly designed and hard to use. Don't declare your major until you're absolutely sure... Student body: You can probably find a few of any kind of person you could dream up since the school is so big, but the vast majority of the student population is made up of drunks that don't care about school because they're not paying for it. Virtually no activism or organizing outside of polemic political and religious groups. Campus is not nearly as "liberal" as people seem to think. I have been openly criticized for not only my sexuality, but also my hair color. Yes, my hair color. Greek: I'm a member of Alpha Chi Sigma, a co-ed professional chemistry fraternity, and there are several sororities and fraternities active on campus, however, greek life is not really a huge part of UW culture. School Pride: Tons of it! Just watch a Badger football game and you get the picture immediately. Football Saturdays are practically a religious holiday, and most sports are widely followed and supported.

Andrew

Wisconsin is a big university housed in a very small world. The college is like its own town inside of madison and you are always running into people you know. It is a party school but there are many more relaxed and easy going places and people on campus like by the lakeshore area dorms. I love spending my free time roaming from free seminars, cheap concerts, free movies, clubs, events, the ratheskeller, and the all too affordable mini-courses. Opportunities are endless. Its awkward going from a small high school with zero school pride and no athletic teams to Madison where school pride is in your face and football games are mini-holidays but it is an experience worth being part of. Wisconsin will make you feel proud of your school and your fellow students will make you feel proud to be there. The advisors aren't always pleasant to students, especially underclassmen so don't be discouraged by their uninterest, the professors however, have been, on the whole, unusually approachable for help despite the heavy use of TA's and large class sizes in introductory courses at madison, which can really make your experience easier if you make the effort to ask.

Phoebe

My favorite part about Wisconsin is the school spirit and the location. While it may be freezing cold for a good chunk of the school year, it is absolutely amazing to sit on the Terrace and look out onto Lake Mendota. Or to just sit on Bascom Hill and read. And being in the capital just adds to the amazing location. The school spirit is amazing, I absolutely love Saturdays in the fall, people tailgaiting and walking around Madison showing off their Wisconsin pride. Because Wisconsin is a public school that has 40,000 students, people may say it's too large, but you can make it as small or large as you want. The campus itself is pretty compact for it's size with most of the buildings in one main area. I would say the biggest complaint is about snow clean-up. Madison is not new to snow, and because of that one would assume that they would have a grasp on how to take care of the campus when there are heavy snowstorms. But no, you could walk to class in a foot of snow or sometimes skate to class. And to go along with that, they never cancel class for snow. Fine, don't cancel class for snow, but at least make it manageable to get to class in the snow!

Allison

The majority of students that I have met on campus are very driven to do well in their classes and it really helps to create a sense of personal responsibility and desire to excel. However, this also can be rather competitive. I would say the main drawback of the UW is the large size (Meeting people and never seeing them again is a regular occurrence, and is somewhat emotionally difficult)

Jody

The School itself is awesome. You have the lakeshore dorms for people who want the quite and the lake and then you have the inner city dorms that give you an urban feel, yet they are in a 15 minute walk of each other, so you really get the best of both worlds. I only wish there was not as much construction as there is right now, but it will probably always be there. The school is big and their are lots of things to do, one is hardly ever bored at Wisconsin.

Joe

Hands down the best college town in the Big Ten, and possibly the nation. I've been to many different schools and nothing compares. The entire city revolves around UW and students have so many opportunities.

Bree

The Campus and School spirit are amazing. If I could change the weather in the winters, that would be it. The school is just right. Coming from California, people thought my choice of choosing Wisconsin was random, but upon visiting they are proved wrong. I spend most of time either studying in Helen C. Library or at the Terrace, playing water polo for the UW team at the SERF, or on State Street or Langdon on the weekends. This is definetly a college town, i would say the best college/sports town in the country. Ive never had a problem with the administration, and not much controversy. School pride is huge...GO BADGERS ...My father went here and I grew up loving this campus, I come home and I seem to have had the best college experience out of most of my friends going to schools more locally in California.

Andy

Nothing beats Wisconsin sports - badger games are fun, energetic, social, and all in all a great time. The teams are great, and the crowds are even better. The grateful red is unmatched

Gretchen

My favorite thing about UW-Madison is the large, beautiful campus. While some smaller schools may have 5 major academic buildings, the UW has close to 200. This may seem overwhelming at first, but I loved the variety of architecture and scenery it provided. Many prospective students are concerned about the time it might take to get from one class to another, but the actual areas where most undergraduate classes are located are not too spread out. I rarely had to walk more than 10 minutes to get from one class to the next, and more commonly 5 minutes was enough time. The campus is also unique because it is on Lake Mendota, surrounded by trees and nature, and also melts right into downtown Madison and the Capitol Square. Looking back on my experience at UW-Madison, the beautiful campus is truly my favorite memory.

Nico

The drinking and partying, there's alot of those. and there's also alot of lecture halls (which i hate, ill rather just attend small classes). since its a big school, theres alot of kids. The lecture halls ill change, and more diverse kids, there isnt alot of diversity. Its actually a pretty large school. When I tell them i go to Wisconsin, they are all like, what's that! some didn't even know where wisconsin was located (you know im from the east coast). I spend most of the time in my dorm, sleeping or hanging around, i dont really go anywhere. Yeah, it is like a college town and bike town too. theres a lot of people with bikes. The administration's ok, i dont really know much about it. The biggest controversy was like 2 or 3 killings or something like that, with some phsyco kid. There is ALOT of school pride. The frequent complaints are like the wheather (it STINKS!)

Brianna

The best thing about Wisconsin is Game Day, the whole city is filled with crazy fans wearing red and supporting the Badgers in every way. There are cookouts up and down the streets, people throwing parties, people in body paint, etc. Madison was even named the greatest college sports town in America by ESPN.

Liz

kids who work hard and play hard

Dale

Wisconsin seemed like a huge school to me - it is a pretty large campus, but classes are relatively small and the campus isn't *that* huge to walk around. There's a bus system, so you could brave that. I always walk to class - the buses are always packed with lazy kids who don't want to walk up Bascom. (Bascom Hill is a huge ass hill in the middle of campus.) Madison, WI is probably the most liberal city in Wisconsin, socially and politically. Madison also has way more to do than most cities in Wisconsin. You can drink, eat, and shop within walking distance to the campus. There's a lot of school pride. UW-Madison is the best school in the state. Complaints: Snow removal was a little sketchy this past year. Classes are never canceled because of weather conditions - although this may change with the selection of a new chancellor.

Karl

Wisconsin is a big school that makes the city of Madison what it is. There are lots of opportunities for people to do whatever they want and there will be some place on campus where everyone will be able to fit in. The city itself is fun and vibrant and there is always something to do if you look for it.

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