University of Alaska Fairbanks
Fairbanks, AK, USA

Reviews

University of Alaska Fairbanks
3.37 Average Rating

Rianna from Fairbanks, AK

a current student here
7 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
Am learning a lot
I am a current student at UAF studying Chemistry Forensics. While I have only taken my general requirement classes, I feel that a majority of the classes are very well planned out and teach new information. Some of the classes are easy to pass with little time involved. Overall the professors do a great job.
Am enjoying being here
This is home for me, so it is more of a comfort thing. I do feel that we have a lot to do such as student life and I feel we have a nice campus. The cold weather can be a downfall when walking from class to class.
Bang for the buck
UAF is very affordable. I looked at other schools and had to rule them out because of tuition. You definitely get your moneys worth here.
Tips for prospective students
Definitely consider the weather if walking from class to class. Also make sure to visit before deciding. Make sure they have the degree you want.
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Shaun from Juneau, AK

a current student here
7 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
Am learning a lot
I am a current student at UAF studying foreign languages. I am taking Russian, Spanish and French right now, and you can probably imagine how difficult it is to keep them all straight. I often hear from my Spanish teacher tell me I have a Russian accent in Spanish! Well, with all of these languages running around up there, I often find myself in one of my professors' offices trying to sort things out! All of the professors are willing to help out-of-class and are incredibly dedicated to their students whenever they need assistance. The three language classes I am taking are 101 (except 201 Russian) and are all conducted in the target language. Anybody who's ever taken a language knows that listening comprehension, that is to say - knowing where one word ends and another begins when listening - is one of the hardest parts of languages and being able to reproduce them.
Am enjoying being here
My time at UAF so far has been nothing less than enjoyable. It was strange when snow first fell in the third weekend of September, but it quickly warmed up to 40 degrees for a week or two. Now (almost the winter solstice), the sun rises at 11:30 and sets at 2, and the average temperature is a tad cold at 30 below zero, but you walk into a building and the first thing you feel is a rush of hot air being provided by ceiling heaters! The food here is fairly decent. Being allergic to eggs, I find breakfasts a little challenging, but fruits, cereals, and yogurts are always available. For lunches and dinners, I have noticed that the vegetarian food is often better than the normal people food like the burgers, pizza, and rice. They have specialty meats every Sunday, which is a welcoming gesture to the students. Ohh! And the soft-serve machine is amazing!
Bang for the buck
Being an in-state resident here makes UAF really affordable. I'm paying the university (in advanced of course) $11.40 every hour I'm in class, which is really cheap comparatively. For out of state students I believe the cost per credit hour is $161 while for in-state is $141 (Undergraduate class rates). Either way, UAF receives millions of dollars in funding by both state and federal sources to do undergraduate and graduate research projects, and to give to its students as scholarships. UAF is primarily an engineering school and has many opportunities for funded projects and cold-climate housing sustainability retrofitting. In addition to just the class costs, it is affordable to live and eat on-campus, and the fee for the gym (which I use very often as well as the ice rink and the swimming pool) is really cheap for the semester.
Tips for prospective students
Don't be intimidated by the cold weather. You can always add more clothes whereas down south you can only take off so many. If you're looking for cold, or for a very unique experience, UAF is the place to be. Also, what will all of your friends back home think when you say, Yeah, you're going to Yale, but I'm going to Alaska!
Great for these types of students
UAF is great for engineering and undergraduate research, as well as music, language, and education. If you LOVE the outdoors and enjoy hiking, camping, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, snow machining, or ice climbing, the outdoors program here is amazing and has trips almost every week to take advantage of all of these opportunities. Also, if the cold is Too cold for you, it's a short drive over to the hot springs. Just... try to forget about all of the ice everywhere =P
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Tabitha from Delta Junction, AK

a current student here
7 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
Am learning a lot
I am only a freshman at the university of Alaska, Fairbanks; this being my first semester. Although I've only had this much experience, I'd have to say that I have learned so much. Not only book-smarts, but I have also learned many other important things, such as what it's like being on your own, being an adult, making sure that I keep to my word, avoid the bad stuff, and how to deal with the climate. This university is perfect for shaping someone into a tough person both intellectually, common sense, and life-long experiences.
Am enjoying being here
I love being at the university of Fairbanks. It is very close to my home, so if I get homesick, I'm right there. Along with that, a lot of the time Fairbanks is warmer than Delta. Not always, but most of the time. Also, I am one of those people that try to stay away from drugs and alcohol and found that it's not difficult to avoid such things at this campus.
Bang for the buck
Well, UAF isn't exactly the most expensive college out there or anything ... but that doesn't mean it's cheap! I do have to say that it's definitely worth the money to come here. Although, if you're from out of state that can completely change everything as it's really expensive to fly in from somewhere.
Tips for prospective students
UAF has lots of opportunities. There's tons of groups and clubs to join, you get your daily work out if you live on campus without a car, if you stay in Moore remember that some people ignore quiet hours with loud blasting music and occasional screaming, do your homework and study, ... and ... don't become a hermit. Don't sit in the dorms all winter just because it's cold. Get some friends! Go out and meet people! Doing that not only gets the stress off your shoulders but the new people you meet can sometimes help you with homework or start study groups. Totally worth it.
Great for these types of students
This university is probably best for those going into engineering and liberal arts. Both programs are very strong and there's lots of opportunities with both choices. Also, students who are willing to experience more than just book-smarts will have a great time.
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Gavin from Fairbanks, AK

a past student here
5 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
Did learn a lot
Yes, I learned a great deal while attending UAF. Sadly, I really only got into the swing of things in my last couple years. This is not to say that I slacked off during the first years, I merely mean that I did not start directing my own education and owning the school until the end. All of the professors I had were very willing to help me, but I had to put forth the effort to ask for guidance in shaping my education. Because of the small size of this school, it is very possible to interact with professors and perform research in their labs...if you ask and let them know.
Did enjoy being here
It was difficult at first. Mostly, the only thing that ever stopped me from having a truly terrific time was my own attitude. When one realizes just how amazing it is to be in such an environment, a lot of the BS drops away. I, and anyone attending any college, is an incredibly fortunate individual. I never felt entitled to it which helped me enjoy the school, the people and the harsh environment (on a side note, the summers are beyond compare).
Bang for the buck
Considering that students pay out-of-state tuition here and it can be cheaper than in-state tuition at home, I would say the school is affordable. Not all of the classes are perfect, not all of the professors are mind-blowing deities, but if that is what one expects from another person they will always be disappointed. I did not have any professor that was bad. Most researching professors are extremely interested in helping students get involved in research. Also, I really enjoy that three years after a class, a professor I had and didn't really interact with an exceptional amount remembered me, my name and was interested in my progress and goals (and how they had changed).
Tips for prospective students
Look at the accreditation, if the school isn't accredited in the program you want, it's not for you. The winters can be harsh, stay active; go hiking, camping, ice climbing, to the gym or pool. Take one recreation class a semester, college should be fun. Get adequate sleep, studies show it improves performance and efficiency. Find something constructive you can do that makes you happy, I enjoyed gourmet cooking, breakdancing (a class is offered and should be taken), slacklining (court 3 has posts for it), and snowshoe running. Realize that you determine your education, its quality and its value. If things get overwhelming, step back, give yourself a day or two of f*ckits and get back to it. Finally, if a university isn't for you, look at other options.
Great for these types of students
Research-oriented. Winter enthusiasts. Students that like small college towns. Self-directed.
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Kristie from Graham, WA

accepted here and planning to attend soon
4 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
Will learn a lot
I am going to be a History major. I believe that UAF will help me to learn a lot and help me to pursue the stuff that I want to do the most.
Will enjoy being here
I have always loved the scenery and the quiet in Alaska. Fairbanks is a beautiful city and has a very nice university campus.
Bang for the buck
UAF has been very helpful with finding the right classes for me. They are willing to answer all of my questions and to direct me to people who know about what I am asking. As a homeschool student, this has been very helpful for me.
Tips for prospective students
Never talk to Student Employment. They were the only people who were never very helpful. If you want information about jobs then go to the uakjobs website. Student Employment will just direct you there anyways
Great for these types of students
Be active.
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Kate

a current student here
3 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
In three sentences
To say the least, UAF is a unique, culturally diverse University. Fairbanks has opportunities available for students that no other university can offer (ice climbing, anyone?). Small class size and a community atmosphere make UAF the perfect place to call home.
Tips for prospective students
Research what degree fields interest you, and if you can't decide talk with an adviser to get an idea of where to start. In addition, be sure to take full advantage of the numerous scholarship opportunities UAF has to offer. Don't be worried about making new friends, since all the students at UAF are extremely welcoming and have diverse backgrounds.
Academic Rigor
Small classes and highly qualified, unique professors make academic life at UAF difficult and rewarding. Be prepared to be challenged to think outside the box. UAF professors come from all over the world, to share their vast knowledge and offer students incredible experiences.
Dorm Life
The dorms always have activities going on for students. There is a store located in the entry way, so feel free to wear your pajamas when picking up late night snacks. When you first move in, be prepared to see friendly faces waiting to welcome you.
Food and Dining
Not only is there a Pub on campus, but there are also three food-dining services. From salads to hamburgers to Thai food, UAF has a wide range of services to satisfy hungry students. The large food court is located at the bottom of a hill, so be prepared for a hike back up to main campus to burn off that freshman 15.
What to do for fun
What isn't there to do for fun in Fairbanks? In the summer, go rock climbing, canoeing, fishing, kayaking, hiking, or just enjoy the never-setting sun. In the winter, fight off cabin fever by ice climbing, mountaineering, cross-country skiing, snowboarding, sledding, or hanging out with friends at the on-campus Pub.
Bang for the buck
UAF is an affordable University with plenty of scholarship and Financial Aid opportunities. Your money goes far, since UAF provides students will small class sizes, one-on-one time with professors, and access to numerous on-campus facilities.
Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus
After enduring -40 F temperatures and as little as 3 hours of sunlight the during winter months, students at UAF welcome spring with open arms. This celebration is Spring Fest. There are no classes on the last Friday in April, and the students engage in all sorts of outdoor activities.
Great for these types of students
Anyone who is adventurous and looking to do something completely different than the rest of the students in their graduating class.
Clubs and Activities
UAF has over 100 active clubs and plenty of activities on campus. From intramural sports to dancing clubs there is something for everyone.
Campus Safety
Campus security is located seconds away from the dorm rooms and all the streets are well-illuminated. Students don't have to be concerned about safety on campus.
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Sarah from Anchorage, AK

a current student here
2 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
In three sentences
UAF has a beautiful campus and a lot to offer its students. The engineering department is very helpful, encouraging, and educational (which is the goal, right?). However, the math department seems to greatly detract from the school, often believed to weed out students.
Tips for prospective students
If you plan on transferring to UAF after a few years in a different, perhaps closer college, take all of your math first; don't take it at UAF. That's what I did, but I have heard from many how much more difficult it is to take a math course here, especially upper level. Also for transfer students, be sure to compare courses so that you transfer ALL of your credits; UAF is notoriously hard on transfer students. Other than that, in general, be prepared for an extremely cold winter: -30 to -40 degrees Fahrenheit is normal from November to February and maybe even March.
Academic Rigor
Expect to work your butt off the further you get into your major. Math seems to be exceptionally hard here, as the professors weed out students. Engineering students: expect to not have a life outside of your homework and projects if you want to pass.
Dorm Life
I recommend having a roommate, even if you don't think you want one. This allows for you to meet someone new and potentially make a friend with whom you will spend a lot of time. There are showers (not group showers but stalls with doors and latches for privacy) in the bathrooms on every floor, a kitchen, and at least one lounge (depends on what resident hall you're staying in). RAs do their best to create programs, so you should grace them with your presence now and then as encouragement.
Food and Dining
Many would suggest that you bring things to cook with, but I honestly believe that the food at the cafeteria is not that bad, although weekend meals are atrocious. It's all you can eat buffet style, but there is also a place where you can order something. There are many places you can eat around campus, too, such as Taco Bell, a grill, and a pizza joint all in the Wood Center. There's a small cafe within walking distance, although that would be charged from out of your pocket.
What to do for fun
Spit in -50 degrees and watch it shatter as it hits the ground. Cross country skiing is fun and inexpensive to students if you rent skis at the Outdoor Adventures found in the Wood Center. There is one movie theater in the whole city of Fairbanks, but there is another one on the outskirts of town, if you can stand watching a movie in a barn. Chena Hot Springs is about an hour's drive from Fairbanks and is fun to go to in the winter to feel the extreme differences of temperature and watch your hair freeze. The Ice Park exhibits cool sculptures, literally, and the Pioneer Park offers mechanical engineering porn with its engines and whatnot. On campus, there is a gym of sorts. . . with a rock climbing wall. The Northern Lights are often very visible any time between December and February (about), although you might have to stay up a little late in the cold (or in a warm vehicle) to see them.
Great for these types of students
Students who like the cold, snow, clouds, nature, diversity, and physical activities will like it here.
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Bailey from Valdez, AK

a current student here
1 person found this review useful
Categories Comments
In three sentences
UAF is an excellent choice for STEM majors from what I've seen. The advising staff is incredibly helpful and easy to find. The campus has a great atmosphere and plenty of trails for the more adventurous.
Tips for prospective students
Sign up for classes as soon as you can - the important ones fill up fast. Remember to bring winter gear.
Academic Rigor
A lot of the hardship depend on your choice of major. Engineering is definitely one of the more difficult departments to pick, but there's a bit of sway within each major as well.
Dorm Life
The Freshman dorm Moore was my first dorm. My friends and I had very few problems, and we spent most of our time hanging around the dorms. The RAs always have activities going, and most of the residents are really welcoming.
Food and Dining
Though I have heard a few horror stories, none of my friends have had a truly bad experience with Dine 49 or the Grill. The Kitchen always has something new, while the Pizza and Mongolian BBQ counters stick to a few favorites with the occasional surprise.
What to do for fun
Before the cold set in, I hiked a few of the ski trails. The SRC has a great indoor climbing wall to complement the outdoor rock/ice wall. Winter is definitely a time for hanging out in the lounges for a movie night.
Clubs and Activities
There's a pretty decent variety of clubs available, and they are more than willing to work out scheduling issues or find ways to keep you informed of meetings. If you can't find a club to suit your needs, registering a club is quick and easy. Our club took just a few days to agree upon and create.
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Liam from Healy, AK

a current student here
1 person found this review useful
Categories Comments
In three sentences
UAF is an exciting and interesting place to go to school! With many degree programs to choose from, this highly accredited school is great for anyone looking to further their education.
Tips for prospective students
Buy the big meal plan, you'll get to try more of the goodies available to you, and the cafeteria offers so much variety and themed meal events that you'll want to be able to spend a little extra every now and then to satisfy your curiosity.
Academic Rigor
There are professors here that will push you to be your best, and expect the best of you. You'll be held to high standards, but if you work hard and do the work required of you, the professors offer many opportunities to advance and do very well in their classes.
Dorm Life
With many different housing options to choose from, such as apartments, dorms, family housing, and dorms resembling apartments, theres a good fit for anyone looking to live on campus, with many opportunities to change your living space.
Food and Dining
Lots of exciting food, a little pricey if you eat a lot, but good none the less. They've got great facilities, and several around campus, good for sit down meals and food on the go.
What to do for fun
There are so many intramural sports and activities that you never have to be bored, there are great rec classes that teach you everything from archery to ballroom dancing. Art events, and the museum on campus also offer hours of enjoyment, and there's always sure to be some sporting event to attend.
Great for these types of students
Anyone looking for a degree in science or engineering, or accounting or business will be hard pressed to find a school like UAF that offers such highly accredited degree programs. Anyone willing to go on an adventure, and push themselves academically while having a great time should go to this school.
Clubs and Activities
There are hundreds of clubs, and the process for starting your own club is quick and easy. You'll likely be able to find whole hosts of groups that cater to your interests, and you'll enjoy your time here.
Greek Life
There are currently no houses on campus, unfortunately, but there is one group that doesn't officially have a house. They hold meetings and do activities, and are generally pleasant to be around.
Campus Safety
With a fire department and police department on campus, you couldn't be safer. There are also community safety officers that hang out at events and generally just patrol around making sure that everything is safe and as it should be. All around the country there are campuses that are unsafe, but this isn't one of them.
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Someone from Fairbanks, AK

a past student here
1 person found this review useful
Categories Comments
Academic Rigor
Academically, most of my teachers were great and friendly, but I didn't feel like the course work was very rigorous. This would probably also depend on what major you're pursuing. If you're in the biology department, there's a lot of opportunities for field research. Two research opportunities I encountered while I was there was a study on vole populations in Denali and a study on blueberry antioxidant levels with a professor already working in that area, and I wasn't even a biology major. It wouldn't be very hard to find more research and field opportunities there. Also, my sister is in accounting and she seems to be greatly enjoying that.
If someone was studying native Alaskan culture, this would also be a good place to go. It has some native Alaskan languages, there are a lot of native Alaskan events happening it its general area, and I believe it has courses in native Alaskan arts.
Dorm Life
I did not live in the dorms so I cannot accurately rate them. However, my sister lived in a dorm for her first year. At first, she was placed into a dorm that had a poor roommate match for her, but she was able to get a new room. So, the university seems accommodating in this manner, but otherwise the rooms were fairly average dorm rooms: Small.
The area around the dorms seemed safe to me. I could walk around the dorms and the general campus at night and felt perfectly safe.
Food and Dining
The food in the commons wasn't bad in my opinion, but it wasn't a very high quality and some people did complain about it. It felt like pretty typical college food. People were allowed to take some leftover out and the university was pretty reasonable with that, only making an issue out of it when someone tried to stash up for dinner. And like at most colleges, it's cheaper to buy your own food than to get a meal plan.
Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus
The university raises reindeer and musk ox.
Great for these types of students
Students looking for field research in the arctic or in the general field of biology.
Students who value a close, friendly community.
Native Alaskan students.
Campus Safety
I never felt threatened at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks, no matter the hour. I can't imagine that all those campus police patrolling around get much excitement.
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