Madison, WI
Tuition (in-state)
$26,628 ($10,378)
Admission Difficulty
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4 College Sophomore

Facilities: They have some really nice setups for students outside of academics. They have places where you can do exercising, as well as places with free movies, and many other options.

2 people found this useful Report
4 College Sophomore

Facilities: For those interested in languages, you can apply for dorms that center around the language you are interested in.

5 College Senior

Facilities: So many ways to get involved on campus. A group for everyone, regardless of background or opinions.

5 College Senior

Facilities: Awesome campus life. An amazing place to spend undergraduate years.

5 College Freshman

Facilities: The libraries are pretty busy, the students are very studious. The unions are great places to hang out: to get great food, watch a movie, see a live band, or just hang out by the lake. Camp Randall is also an incredible place to be on Badger game days! Our student section is like no other, there's a lot of school spirit.


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Rankings View more rankings . . .

  • 22nd
    Best Student Centers
  • 38th
    Best Athletic Facilities
  • 65th
    Best Library
  • 106th
    Greenest Campuses
  • 119th
    Best Performance Venues

Student Author OverviewWhat's This?

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

Students rave about the Memorial Union and it is by far one of the most attractive aspects of UW. It’s comprised of the renowned Rathskellar bar, dining areas, a pool hall, the newly built Peeet's Coffee and Tea Lounge, and the lakeshore terrace. UW currently has plans to build a new student union, opening Spring 2011 and is discussing plans for a recreation facility. The University recently opened the doors of the new Student Activity Center (SAC) and Health Services in the center of campus. The SAC offers meeting and conference rooms, a large rooftop desk, study lounges, as well as numerous comfy chairs and available computers. While the athletic facilities do not receive as much praise, students do feel satisfied with what they offer. Both unions are on campus, and some athletic facilities are only a few blocks away.

While the unions and gyms are very popular, UW obviously has more to offer than just that—for example, the library system is extensive and spreads all over campus. There are a total of 35 libraries, and most are geared towards specific areas of study like geology or art history. Students find this very accommodating and accessible. The academic buildings are in good shape structurally and enhance student learning. For those studying law, the Foley & Lardner trial courtroom is in place for mock hearings and other legal proceedings. Those interested in the art field have access to the Elvejham museum; here, student art pieces are displayed and classes are taught. For business students, the Grainger Hall building was recently added onto with new conference centers, lounge, and offices. One negative aspect of some facilities, however, is the location. Since the school is several miles in size, some academic buildings or libraries may not be within walking distance, which can be inconvenient during bad weather.

Facts & Statistics

Service & Maintenance Staff
Campus Size
933 acres
Student Centers
  • Memorial Union
  • Student Activity Center (SAC)
  • Union South
Campus Library?
Main Libraries
Popular Places to Chill
  • Bascom Hill
  • Library Mall
  • State Street
  • Student unions
Bar on Campus
Rathskeller in the Memorial Union
Bowling on Campus
No. Plans are made for a bowling alley in the new Union South, scheduled to open Spring 2011.
Coffeehouse on Campus
  • College Library
  • Ingraham Hall
  • Memorial Union
Movie Theater on Campus
Memorial Union Theater
School Slang
  • Bascom: Bascom Hill
  • B'Dubs: Buffalo Wild Wings restaurant
  • Cap Foods: Capitol Center Foods
  • Cap Square: Capitol Square
  • Casa Bs: Casa Bianca restaurant, now known as Pizza Di Roma
  • Chi-Town: Chicago
  • Coasties: Students from the coast
  • College: Helen C. White Library (aka College Library)
  • Frat Row: Langdon Street
  • MadAve: Madison Avenue bar and dance club
  • Madtown: Madison
  • Sconnies: Students originally from Wisconsin (they'll be the ones still wearing just a sweatshirt in 30-degree weather)
  • Shoutouts: Section of the Badger Herald newspaper printed on Wednesdays or posted online during the week. Students submit funny anecdotes, random comments, rants, or whatever else in hopes of seeing their post appear
  • State: State Street
  • Tyme Machine: ATM
  • Farmers Market: The farmers market is open Saturday morning till 2 p.m. Farmers and other sellers set up stands around the Capitol. It's a huge draw for students and the community alike, and a great place to buy fresh produce, bread, plants, desserts, or other assortments of goodies at reasonable prices.
  • Halloween on State Street: A weekend filled with music, costumes, and alcohol. Students pay to go on State Street dressed in their costumes. It's the largest campus party of the year.
  • Mifflin Street Block Party: Thousands of students come to Mifflin as residents open their homes and liquor cabinets. Entertainment usually provided as well.
  • Picnic Point: One of the best hookup spots according to students. A beautiful 3-mile walk on Lakeshore path leads to a fire pit and benches overlooking the middle of the lake.
  • Sledding on Liz Waters: Winter is not complete without having at least once gone sledding on a cafeteria tray on either Liz Waters or Bascom hills.
Urban Legends
  • Rumor has it that studying at the Helen C. White Library will ultimately lead to finding your soul mate. Rated the number one hookup spot by students, thus ensuring that `studying' isn't always hard work.
  • The Lakeshore path is very scenic and great to walk down, but students are wary of it at night; rumors of crimes and sexual assault has led to the nighttime nickname of "rapeshore path".
  • There is a rumored tradition of some freshmen touching the Lincoln statue's hand or foot before their first classes on campus or before big tests, and of other students sitting in Lincoln's lap after graduation for good luck. Most students generally climb up on his lap at least once in their college experience.
Favorite Things To Do
Play Frisbee on Bascom Hill, get gelato at Paciugo-Shop on State Street, go to sports games, sled down Liz Waters Hill on cafeteria trays, go dancing at MadAve, study in the Memorial Union Cages, drink coffee in the Starbucks Loft, go sailing/swimming in Lake Mendota, take a Zumba class at the SERF, or go ice skating at the Shell. Visit the Union, go to the theaters, shop and get great food on State Street, go out on the lakes, walk to Picnic Point, work out at the recreational centers, play sports in front of the Kohl Center or on Bascom Hill.
Student Organizations Web Site
Clubs and Organizations on Campus
UW offers an extensive number of student organizations. Students can find clubs geared towards anything from celebrating diversity to discussing new fiction. The following is a sample list of many of the organizations and clubs UW offers.
Student Activities Offered
  • Choral groups
  • Concert band
  • Dance
  • Drama/theater
  • International student organization
  • Jazz band
  • Literary magazine
  • Marching band
  • Music ensembles
  • Musical theater
  • Opera
  • Pep band
  • Radio station
  • Student government
  • Student newspaper
  • Student-run film society
  • Symphony orchestra
  • Television station
  • Yearbook
Air Force ROTC: Yes
Navy ROTC: Yes
Army ROTC: Yes
Did You Know?
  • Camp Randall was once the site of a Civil War training camp. It now houses a 77,000 seat stadium and a memorial arch.
  • In the past decade, 12 UW buildings have been extensively renovated, including Grainger Hall, Chamberlain Hall, Engineering Centers, the chemistry building, and the Microbial Services building. Two housing dorms-Smith and Ogg-have been built, and campus has opened the doors of the new Student Activity Center and University Health Services.

Student Polls

Rate the campus facilities in the following areas     Based on 93 responses

Very poor
  • Athletics/recreation
  • Classrooms
  • Computer labs
  • Dining
  • General aesthetics/architecture of campus
  • "Green" buildings/initiatives
  • Housing
  • Lawns/green space
  • Library
  • Modernity of facilities
  • Performing arts
  • Science/research labs
  • Student center
  • Study spots
  • Visual arts (work spaces, galleries)

Where are your favorite places to just hang out?    Based on 8 responses

  • 28% State Street
  • 17% In the dorms
  • 17% Student unions
  • 11% The Discovery Center
  • 11% Bascom Hill
  • 6% 13th Floor of Educational Sciences building
  • 6% Birge Hall
  • 6% Library Mall

What are your favorite campus events or traditions?    Based on 8 responses

  • 29% Farmers Market
  • 24% Halloween on State Street
  • 18% Welcome Week
  • 12% Mifflin Street Block Party
  • 12% Picnic Point
  • 6% Sledding on Liz Waters

What are your favorite things to do around campus?    Based on 7 responses

  • 43% Walk campus
  • 14% Ballroom Dance Club
  • 14% Run
  • 14% Bike
  • 14% Play basketball at the serf

How would you describe the student center/union?    Based on 110 responses

  • 3% The student center is in need of a major renovation.
  • 9% The student center serves its purpose but is not a popular hangout.
  • 45% The student center is great but isn't central to student life.
  • 43% The student center is state-of-the-art and the hub of student life.

What is your overall opinion of your school and the campus community?    Based on 99 responses

  • 0% I hate my school and have no school spirit.
  • 1% The school community is okay-we're all just here for an education, nothing more.
  • 35% I like mostly everything about my school, but there are some things I wish were different.
  • 64% I love everything about my school and have a lot of campus pride.

What is the most interesting urban legend about campus?    Based on 9 responses

  • 56% Rubbing Abe Licoln's head is good luck before exam
  • 33% Science Hall is haunted
  • 11% Mifflin Block Party

What are the worst on-campus student jobs?    Based on 5 responses

  • 71% Dining facility employee (gordon's)
  • 14% Front desk
  • 14% Call center



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