What Prospective Students Should Know About the University of Arizona


By Nicole Yesel
Unigo Campus Rep at the UA

There are a few basic things that students should know about the University of Arizona before attending. First of all, it is a huge party school (not as big as ASU). This does not mean that you must party your brains out 100 percent of the time, but you could if you wanted to. Also, the campus is huge. If you hate walking, this isn’t the college for you.

With almost 40,000 undergraduate and graduate students combined, you need to be able to feel comfortable in a place where everyone doesn’t know your name and some general education requirement classes can have 500 students. The UA also has large science and business colleges. “I wish I had known it was such a heavy based research, science, and business community,” said Katherine Sommer, a creative writing major. Consequently, many students like Sommer feel the liberal arts do not get enough attention or funding.

The size of each individual college within the university varies greatly and no two programs are the same. One very important question to ask your advisor no matter what your major is how easy it would be to double major in something.  Ask them if there is any other major that overlaps in class requirements. Often it can be very hard to get a class that is not within your major’s technical requirements, but is needed for graduation. This is because each college, naturally, gives priority to their own students. “I wish I had known that there are only really three writing classes and it could be really difficult to get into another one, particularly if it’s not in your concentration,” said Sommer. “However, I think my major lives up to its reputation. I have never had a creative writing class that I haven’t enjoyed. The workshops have been very productive. I learned a lot.” The quality of core classes are great, the trick is getting the ones you want.

The town of Tucson also has some characteristics that you might not expect from such a big place. Most students are surprised to find that there isn’t much to do outside of campus life in Tucson. If you are not 21, you will be hard pressed to find activities after 10 p.m. Charles Higman, a political science major said, “I wish I would have known that it would be so hard to get from place to place.” You will here people say over and over again, “Tucson is a big, small town.” While we have over one million people, Tucson is vastly spread out. Short of a very sketchy bus system, a car is the only way to commute. Students that don’t have one must live close to campus. However, within the next year, a monorail will be opening with service from campus to the downtown area.

On the upside, Tucson has great weather. You can have a tan all year long without even trying. This means on a rainy or cold day a lot of students are so shocked and depressed about the sudden change that they don’t go to class.
Because our campus is so big, there is always something to do whether it’s clubs, sports, ASUA events, or Greek life. “It’s really overwhelming at first,” said Higman, who is a member of the Sigma Pi fraternity on campus. “I went Greek to meet people, but you don’t have to. You just need to do something to get involved.” The UA is a fantastic place to meet new people and try new things. There is a little bit of something for everyone. All you have to do is get involved!

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