Back in the 1970s, the University of Miami was known as “Suntan U.” Fun-loving hippies flocked from around the country to party on their parents’ money for four years. Since that era ended, UM has done a great job in climbing its way into the top tier of American colleges. Although Miami is still a great party town, most of UM’s students are here with academics in mind, as well as nightlife and beaches. As a school becomes more prestigious, it builds a strong faculty, and that’s exactly what UM has done. Students seem to like their professors, even if they complain regularly about homework and exams. Although complaints about the amount of work and grading are common, it’s rare to hear anyone claim that a professor does not know the subject he or she is teaching.
In recent years, the University of Miami has risen its standards of admission considerably. Now more than 40 percent of freshmen were in the top 5 percent of their graduating high school class and two-thirds of all freshmen graduated in the top 10 percent of their high school class. Competition has gotten rigorous. It seems as if every third student at UM is pre-med. Despite this, UM has a long way to go to be able to measure up to the academic tier of Ivy League schools. Nonetheless, Miami is building a great university by combining academics with other aspects of college life. It is safe to say that while the academics are not the toughest in the nation, they are getting there. The professors are mostly good, and there are a few great ones, but overall it feels sometimes as if you are better off reading the textbook than just going to lectures.