Madison, WI
Tuition (in-state)
$26,628 ($10,378)
Admission Difficulty
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Reviews 1984 total reviews with an average rating of 3.7

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3 College Junior

Drug Safety: Madison has a fairly large party scene. I do not see a great deal of peer pressure to join and those who do partake are respectful of those who do not. Additionally, any drug use is fairly calm and not highly advertised.

4 College Junior

Transportation: Students are able to get free bus passes for Madison Metro with their student ID. There are also other options such as SafeWalk. Bicycling is also very prominent.

1 person found this useful Report
5 College Junior

Majors: The process for getting into the Dance Department was very straight forward; application to University, application to Department, physical audition.

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Junior

Majors: I fee like I will definitely be prepared to get a job in my field after graduation, but I would have liked a slightly more inspiring environment, as well as greater involvement from my professors.

5 College Junior

Athletics: Amazing levels of student involvement, great team performances, an absolutely insane amount of fan support and school spirit.

5 College Junior

Majors: My program, Economics, is very easy to get into. It is a part of the school of Letters and Science, and you simply declare your major and that's it! No application process at all.

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Junior

Majors: I am an economics major and if I could do it ver again I would! The department staff is awesome and extremely helpful. I have no concerns about finding a job in my field after graduation, because UW Madison is a very prestigious university that prepares you quite well!

1 person found this useful Report
2 College Sophomore

Off-Campus Housing: Finding the right apartment is difficult. Make sure you do research before committing to a place because honest reviews on websites are your best idea of what it is like to live there. Places have 12 month leases and it can be very difficult to find a subleaser for the summer months. It is cheaper than the dorms depending on where you live. There are plenty of places close to campus.

3 College Sophomore

Weather: It's Wisconsin. It will snow and it will rain so be prepared! Invest in good rain boots and snow boots.It's typical Wisconsin weather which means it isn't typical at all.

3 College Sophomore

Facilities: In the retailing program there are many professors that love talking with and helping students. There are case competitions that involve large companies where you have faculty advisors and get to meet new people. Another thing I love about Madison is how many student orgs there are! We have a cheese eating club!

4 College Sophomore

Local Atmosphere: There are always events going on in Madison, and home football weekends can get a little crazy depending on where you live. There is also a great farmers market in the spring and fall too.

2 College Sophomore

Greek Life: It is safe to say that Greek life is not the driving force of social life here at UW-Madison. While fraternities and sororities work hard to make their presence known (in a positive light) on campus, they are not by any means the majority. I am a member of Greek life, and I found it to be the best decision I have made since coming here, but it is not by any means frowned upon if you decide Greek life isn't for you. In fact, those not involved in Greek life tend to be more judgmental of those involved, not the other way around. While many non-Greeks are indifferent towards Greek life at UW, there are definitely more people who hold negative stereotypes of Greeks than there are Fraternity/Sorority members who inherently dislike non-Greeks. I love Greek life here at UW, but it is not for everyone.

4 College Sophomore

Facilities: UW-Madison definitely has a unique social scene. Although it is often depicted as a party school, and the students who choose to party do so spectacularly, there is truly something for everyone. As someone who chooses to party only every now and then, I never find myself bored on a Friday night in Madison. There are tons of restaurants on State street, the Marquee Theater in Union South is almost always projecting a movie (for free!!!), and it isn't hard to find friends who are perfectly content to stay in and watch movies on a weekend. On the other end of the spectrum, Madison lives up to its name as a place to party: the bars are great (if you are of age), and it is easy to find a party to go to on the weekends so long as you're willing to do a bit of social networking. I highly recommend getting involved in some form of extracurricular activity - I am a part of an improvisational comedy team and a sorority here, and it is thanks to these organizations that I have found my best friends. Greek life here is great. While it is not a driving force in the Madison social scene, it a great community to be a part of and provides you with endless opportunities for both service and social fun. If you like art, the Chazen museum is a great place to go, and is free to students. The Unions almost always have some sort of event going on at night (Monday night trivia, open mic, etc.), and if not its at least a good place to hang out. Libraries are also busy during weekends, as UW students live by the motto "work hard and play harder". It is impossible to be bored at UW-Madison.

3 College Sophomore

Facilities: Many of the buildings at UW-Madison are old (built in the 60's-70's), and so are beginning to show the signs of age. While the buildings are all kept very clean and well-maintained, they are a bit ugly (think brutalist architecture) and confusing to navigate. The humanities building is a NIGHTMARE - it was built in the 1960's (during war protests) to be riot-proof, so is is difficult to navigate the building because that was their aim in designing it. The old dormitories are a bit cramped and definitely showing some wear and tear. The new buildings, however, are absolutely beautiful! The new Union South is incredible, and I love to study there because it is just so architecturally pleasing. The business building is also extremely nice (business students get keys to access it after-hours!). The newest dorm building (Dejope), albeit being out of the way, is incredible...and it has air conditioning, something the older dormitories lack. Science Hall is one of the oldest buildings on campus, having been present since 1887, and it is very pretty, but confusing to navigate. The green spaces on campus are nice, Bascom Hill being the preferred and largest one. Since it is on an isthmus, UW-Madison has beautiful views of lake Mendota, and the city of Madison is visually appealing. The libraries are nice and provide easy access to technology, but it can be difficult to find a table - especially at College Library. The Unions are definitely a popular student hangout, many students gather at the Terrace at Memorial Union during warmer weather to enjoy ice cream and a pitcher of Wisconsin beer (for those who are of age).

5 College Sophomore

Academics: I am a Chinese Language and Linguistics major at the University of Wisconsin and I love it. Although the workload is significant and it can be very stressful at times, there are many opportunities to seek help with assignments and the instructors are very understanding. Since many Chinese language courses have multiple TAs teaching each section (they cycle throughout the week) and they all hold different office hours, it is easy to meet with a TA for help. Also, since the program is relatively small, it is easy to meet with and get to know the program adviser. In fact, she is the professor of the 201-202 courses! There is plenty of one-on-one time available for those who need it.
In addition to all of this, the Chinese Language and Culture Club (CLACC) holds a "Chinese Language Table" each Friday afternoon in order to help students practice their Chinese and receive extra credit in class. TA's are often present at these functions as well. The teaching style is rigorous, but effective. Overall, I would highly recommend the program to those who are interested and willing to take on the workload. Everyone involved in the program is very helpful, and it is easy to make friends to study with in your classes.

4 College Sophomore

Academics: There is no denying that UW-Madison is a top-notch university. I find, however, that sometimes the workload can be overwhelming (bordering on ridiculous). Most classes give homework regularly and have high expectations of students. There seems to be an attitude amongst professors that their class is the only/most important class students will take, and so they expect students to give priority to that class (which is impossible to do when you take four classes). The curricula are well-developed for each major, and there is an incredible breadth of available subject matter. The registration process is not bad, but I highly recommend the use of a website such as "schedulizer" to help plan your schedule. Popular study areas are College Library, Memorial Library, Union South and the Student Activity center. It is, however, difficult to find tables at most of these places (excepting Memorial Library) unless you arrive early. College library tends to be quite noisy unless you sit in the silent section, the SAC and Union South are relatively moderate and Memorial Library is probably the most silent building on campus. All in all, there are many places that accomodate different study styles.

1 person found this useful Report
2 College Sophomore

Scholarships: I was not given any financial aid (beyond offering of loans) by my university. The reason states was that my family's income was just above the line to receive financial aid, but tuition and housing are still a strain on my family. They do not take into account things like mortgage or property taxes paid (I live in the region with the highest property taxes in Wisconsin). Few people I know receive any financial aid from the University except for loans (which seem to be counterproductive, as they will graduate with massive debt).

2 College Junior

Off-Campus Housing: There is a huge variety of apartments and houses to choose from in Madison. There are more apartments than anything else but to find a good one you need to start looking early in the fall semester to find one that is relatively cheap and close to campus. They are somewhat expensive based where you are looking and what is included in the rent. Parking is usually not included in the rent and must be paid for separately.

4 College Junior

Transportation: There are a lot of options for transportation in Madison. Students can get a free bus pass and are able to get around not just campus but the whole of the city. There are a few free buses that run exclusively on campus during the day and night. There is not a lot of parking on campus or off due to the number of people commuting to and from. There is also a hub for buses that commute to other cities right on campus.

5 College Junior

Computers: There are quite a few computer labs spread throughout campus and in lobbies of almost all buildings. They are accessible in between classes and during. Sometimes they fill up around lunch time but not always. The computers are very nice and up to date. Printing is easy and affordable. The network is fairly fast but if you are in the residential housing areas it can slow down quite a bit. Most people have their own laptops but you can also rent from a number of places on campus not just the libraries.

3 College Freshman

Weather: Its not too bad when you consider what the weather in the midwest is typically like. Being so close to the lake causes a lot of wind all the time. This year it has rained so much! I would definitely recommend bringing rain boots, a rain jacket, an umbrella, and snow boots. Be prepared for anything because school rarely gets canceled because of the weather.

3 people found this useful Report
5 College Freshman

Academics: The Dairy Science program is excellent! Campus now has new facilities, along with several off-campus sights for study and interning. If you love animals (cows specifically) this is the place for you. The classes are just challenging enough to keep you learning, but they don't make you want to drop out. The best part is you get to deal with animals all the time.

5 College Freshman

Academics: I came to UW-Madison for its Dairy Science program, but after my first semester I realized that Madison specializes in so many other subjects. All the teachers are extremely dedicated to their teaching and studies. The college is continuously growing and changing for the better.

5 College Freshman

Athletics: The athletics are the best! UW is great at sports. Our football team and boys basketball team are the greatest. There is a ton of school spirit here, and we always support our teams. I love the athletic scene!

5 College Freshman

Computers: There are so many public computers and computer labs on campus. At libraries there are usually a lot of computers and printing is relatively cheap. If you even rent laptops from the libraries or dorms for a certain amount of time if you need one for a paper or project.


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Memorial Hall
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Overall ExperienceWhat's This?

Marie Puissant
Green Bay, Wis.
Marketing and English
View all previous student authors

Students put a lot of time and energy into their undergraduate education. Luckily for those at UW, many feel it has been a positive experience. The college atmosphere, expansive campus, and intense academics are only some of the reasons students enjoy UW so much. Students feel they are able to form relationships with other students, as well as their professors. Furthermore, UW leaves them prepared for their future.

An individual’s undergraduate experience is one of the most exciting times in their lives. It is often the first time they are away from parents and making serious decisions about their future. Therefore, it is essential to pick the best university to spend these busy years at. UW offers amazing academics, an inviting atmosphere, and energetic student body. Its location geographically makes it comfortable as well as gorgeous. The facilities are very accommodating, as is the transportation system. Though like any school, there are things that can be improved upon or changed. Parking remains a prevalent issue, for instance. Fortunately, though, issues such as diversity and improvements to the quality of the dorm food are being addressed. Students generally leave the school feeling satisfied and prepared for what’s to come. Wherever you decide to spend your undergraduate years, definitely consider the University of Wisconsin as a practical, exciting, and fulfilling option.

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