Madison, WI
Tuition (in-state)
$26,628 ($10,378)
Admission Difficulty
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Reviews 2086 total reviews with an average rating of 3.7

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4 College Sophomore

Local Atmosphere: Good, Solid University – pretty big on partying, but campus is the only part of the city that has life.

3 College Freshman

Campus Housing: Dorms Are Decent – The lakeshore dorms are nice.

3 College Freshman

Campus Dining: Dining Halls – The food is mostly fried, but there is other healthier options at a higher price. The food plan is also good because it is cheaper for those living in the dorms.

3 Recent Alumnus

Weather: If you don't mind snow from November until March, Madison is an absolutely beautiful town full of great people and plenty of things to do.

3 Recent Alumnus

Parking: Parking is horrible, but fortunately you don't need a car at UW as a freshman. Live in a dorm and enjoy the short, scenic walk to class. Everything is within in walking distance. Using the free campus bus system, riding a bike, or using cabs are all good options. As a sophomore or up, you can live off campus at a place with your own garage or parking spot pretty easily. Some places don't have spots and renting spots per semester can be pretty expensive. If you hate walking, you'll have to learn to love it because driving onto campus is a nightmare. If you live far enough from campus to necessitate a commute, there are parking garages and public parking available. Keep in mind though you will fight with the actual residents of Madison who are going to and from work. Avoid driving on game days at Camp Randall or at the Kohl Center!

5 College Sophomore

Athletics: literally one of my favorite things on campus
you will get insanely involved even if you weren't a sports fan before college
go badgers!

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4 College Sophomore

Guys & Girls: Generally Good Looking – some duds
some extremely attractive
mostly decent to good looking

4 College Sophomore

Off-Campus Dining: State Street – always a lot of fancy and cheap student options on state street
need more variety
gets a little old

1 College Senior

Overall Experience: Quite Different – I'd say if I could do it all over again, I would do a lot differently. I made the mistake of living in the dorms that were "down town" my freshman year. It was constant drunk people yelling everywhere and many people smoked pot on my floor, and when I complained to the RA, they told me they weren't going to do anything about it. And lots of middle of the night fires. NOT FUN. If you can find the academic oriented people on campus life is much more pleasant.

College Senior

Greek Life: What? Another Drunk Fest? I have no clue what they do. I've seen lots of drunk kids with greek letters on them. They sometimes like to mob places on campus, and they walk slowly and dress very sluttishly. Rather annoying. Thankfully they tend to keep to themselves for the most part.

1 College Senior

Athletics: Where to Find the Drunks! I tend to avoid the major athletic events AT ALL COSTS. All it is is a drunken fest of rowdy college kids. I'd say this is the best time to go to the library though! Then you get a good spot, and all the smart kids are around, instead of the annoying loud coasties.

3 College Freshman

Weather: 4 Season – In Madison, we experience all four seasons. It gets pretty cold here in the winter, but as long as you are used to Wisconsin winters, you are fine.

4 College Freshman

Campus Housing: Lakeshore Dorms – Living on the lake is great. You are separated from the city, but have the connivence of being part of the Lakeshore community.

2 College Sophomore

Parking: Because the campus is in the heart of the city, there is little for parking. The best option is to find a spot in a ramp. The ramps are not very expensive if you just want to drive to campus on the weekends. However, if you wanted to commute to campus for class, I would recommend riding the bus instead. Not only do you not have to worry about getting a ticket, or finding a meter or nearby ramp, but it is free for students of the University.

4 College Senior

Transportation: Bus It! I ride the bus everywhere I go in Madison. There's a great website from the school page that has a trip planner. Also, the buses are pretty good about being on time.

3 College Senior

Campus Strictness: Whip Into Shape – The police are strict about underage drinking. The professors are strict but it definitely helps keep me in line!

3 College Senior

Off-Campus Dining: State Street and Grocery Shopping – State Street is a great place to grab some food after class. I wish there were more student discounts. Grocery stores are usually expensive and hard to find. Also, campusfood.com is a great online tool. Overall, I feel food is overpriced for college students.

4 College Sophomore

Overall Experience: Madison is a wonderful, exciting, vibrant, fun place to live an it is the perfect location for a college campus. There are endless opportunities of ways to get involved on campus and there is always something to do, so you are never bored. The people are amazingly friendly and generous and are always willing to help someone who needs it. I would not want to be anywhere else.

3 College Sophomore

Facilities: While this campus has many many libraries to pick from, around exam time they are always extremely crowded. It's hard to find a place anywhere, which makes it difficult to study.

4 College Sophomore

Health & Safety: Excellent Safety – UW Madison is one of the safest campus's I have ever been on. There are Bus lines that run all night, in case you need to get to the other side of campus for a late study session. Police patrol all areas to make sure that crime is under control. Campus security is always on the prowl for drinking and any kind of situation that could get out of hand.

4 College Sophomore

Computers: The University of Wisconsin Madison has easy internet access nearly everywhere on campus. With a student login and password, you can access internet on your laptop anywhere.

UW also offers a wide variety of computer labs with nearly new Mac computers. You also have access to checking out laptops ( both PC and mac) from the library or technology store ( a 24 hour service)

Every building on campus has access to a printing rom which makes printing papers and assignments easy as pie.

4 College Sophomore

Diversity: The Most Diverse – I believe that Madison offers the most diverse atmosphere in the entire state. Here on campus there are students and staff from all over the world that come to enjoy a Madison education. I have not only met people from Wisconsin, but Australia, China, Scotland, and Algeria. The vast diversity here at the University of Wisconsin makes us unique and a global community.

3 College Junior

Majors: History Degree – It is challenging to accomplish all the requirements in 4 years. Statistically only 26% of students at Madison are able to complete their time at college in 4 years.

2 College Junior

Academics: Diverse Professors – The math department at Madison is heavily dominated by Asian TAs and professors who are a challenge to understand. The physics department has about a 50/50 split of American vs. Russian professors and that also is a problem unless by the luck of the draw you are able to stay away from the foreign accents during your time with in physics.

4 College Junior

Local Atmosphere: University of Wisconsin - Madison is an awesome college and place to be. The college has a name for itself as being the top University of our state and those who have graduated from Madison are typically very successful and well respected.


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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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