University of Wisconsin-Madison
Madison, WI, USA

Reviews

University of Wisconsin-Madison
4.27 Average Rating

Cordell from Barneveld, WI

a current student here
6 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
In three sentences
Uw- Madison is a fantastic school. The academics are strong, there is always something fun to do, the school spirit is remarkable, and on top of it al you live on a beautiful campus. I don't know any one that dislikes their experience here.
Tips for prospective students
Never say no to an experience. There's so many fun things to do that you might not even know of, so if you're offered to do something on campus with friends, do it! It's almost guaranteed you will enjoy yourself.
Academic Rigor
UW- Madison is ranked top 50 nationally in academics for a reason, it's not the easiest school to go to. But it is definitely manageable, and you will succeed with hard work, and have fun at the same time.
Dorm Life
I would recommend to anyone to live in the dorms your freshman year. It's a great way to meet a lot of new people. The dorms offer residents activities to do with their floor, and they let you know of events going on campus- wide.
Food and Dining
Dining halls are great but the selection can become repetitive if you eat there enough. But there are other restaurants everywhere on campus.
What to do for fun
Attend any athletic event, walk along the lakeshore path, go to events on state street like freakfest, play volleyball, basketball, or soccer outside the dorms with friends, play an intramural, be in one of 900 clubs, go to concerts, and many more things. This city and campus is rich with fun things to do.
Bang for the buck
Wouldn't have spent my money better at any other college.
Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus
Bascom hill snowball fight- annual tradition between freshman dorm rooms: southeast vs. lakeshore. Picnic point is a beautiful location to experience, and there's a beach along the lakeshore path on your way there if you want to swim.
Great for these types of students
There's something for everyone- guaranteed.
Clubs and Activities
Something like 900 total clubs/ organizations on campus, there's something for everyone
Greek Life
Lots of fraternities and sororities to choose from
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Raquel from Chicago, IL

a current student here
5 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
Tips for prospective students
The best tip that I can give to a prospective student is to try and find your niche on campus. Once you find your community, even a campus as big as UW- Madison can feel like home away from home.
Academic Rigor
The classes here are hard, but if you put in the effort then you will be fine. If you find yourself having trouble in a class all you have to do is use one of the many different resources that campus provides.
Dorm Life
Dorm life is great. It is the first community that you become apart of. The House Fellows on each floor are given a small allowance to set up different events for there residents. This gives residents a comfortable environment to live in.
Food and Dining
The food overall is good. There are many different options depending on the day and the dining hall that you go to. The only thing is that after a few months the same food does get to be a little tiring.
What to do for fun
There are events held by organizations, movies, and bowling. The campus is also close to state street for students to hang out and or eat. If you want to go off campus to do something, the bus system out there is very reliable and easy to use.
Clubs and Activities
There are hundreds of different clubs and organizations all across campus. There is a club out there for everyone.
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Elise from Milwaukee, WI

accepted here and planning to attend soon
5 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
In three sentences
Definitely upholds the work-hard play-hard mentality. Because of its large size, the campus offers over 800 activities, including Badger games (whoop!). Still an extremely rigorous school.
Tips for prospective students
Apply early! Also, with your application, if you cant remember what you wrote about a few weeks after you write your essay, the admissions dept. will not feel like your application is a standout. Make sure you show your true self, and really take time to think of a creative and exciting essay.
Academic Rigor
My dad studied engineering here. Although he failed a class, and he had to spend a few weekends inside studying, he still graduated and is at the top of his company right now. My mom studied education, and she said that the course work was hard, but the hardest part for her was finding a job after college!
Dorm Life
There is so many dorms and lifestyles to choose from! The university keeps creating new dorms for the students. If you want a more peaceful environment, with lakefront property, go with the lakeshore dorms. Although they are quieter, I still know alot of super fun people (who also like to party) who live there. The southeast dorms tend to be where most things happen. Sellery and Witte are the main 'party' dorms, but I've heard its sometimes hard to stay focused.
Food and Dining
There are so many organic and healthy options to choose from! The food is fantastic, but unfortunately the dining halls aren't attached to all the dorm halls, so they are a VERY short walk away. Also the food seems to be pretty expensive, so I would try to cook some things on your own to save some extra cash. Athletes sometimes get free food as well! I am planning to be a rower and we get free breakfasts and snacks.
What to do for fun
The list goes on FOREVER. A few that I am personally interested in: the rowing team (although time consuming and rigorous, a great way to meet people and stay in shape, plus the athlete perks are astounding), the badger games (even if you don't like football, its super fun to stand in that sea of red and get hyped with all of your friends), the sailing team, and so many more! also there is an annual snowball fight: southeast dorms vs. lakeshore on Babcock hill!
Bang for the buck
Being from Wisconsin, Madison is the best option financially and academically for me. its a fantastic engineering school, and i get in state tuition! But my future roomie is from New Jersey, and it is still significantly less expensive than many of the private schools or out of state schools. I would personally not invest if you are out of state and youre studying a low-paying major.
Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus
Badger games! There is the 'jump around' tradition where the whole stadium gets up and jumps after the 3rd quarter.
Fight For Babcock- a giant snowball fight between lakeshore dorms and southeast, sometimes people will even make snowball catapults!
Ice cream- sign up for milk lovers club and sample a bunch of free icecream
Great for these types of students
People who love to have fun, but still keep their academics in check. If you cannot study well without your parents asking you too, it could be hard to manage all of the socializing and heavy coursework, but it can be done!

People from every ethnicity, race, walk of life, and state come to this school. Anyone and Everyone is welcome!
Clubs and Activities
There are over 800 clubs and student run organizations! a few ones that stand out:
-milk lovers club: sample free, on-campus-made icecream
-any intramural sports, ultimate Frisbee is extremely popular.
-Badger games: football, basketball, and so many more sports are top notch at Madison, whether you want to participate or just watch, games and clubs are super fun.
so many clubs just want you to come to their meetings, so many will offer free food and some perks! always be on the lookout for new things to do
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Katie from Madison, WI

a current student here
5 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
Am learning a lot
I went into the University of Wisconsin overtly confident that I was going to breeze through and be on my way to UCLA medical school. This university has challenged me more than I ever would have expected. Almost in every major offered Madison recognized as one of the top programs in the country. Still overconfident? UW offers many honors programs. For example, I am currently enrolled in the Biology Core Curriculum program, a four semester researched based advanced biology program. It gives you opportunities to work one on one with professors, a rarity at most large schools. Programs like these are offered throughout each major.

If you are finding yourself having troubles, there are many people available to help you. Professors are all required to have open office hours and will usually meet with you outside of them if you ask. Graduate TAs are often excellent resources as well. Also, most libraries have tutoring programs in a variety of subjects.

If you are interested in getting more involved in your learning, join a research lab! Each program conducts research and many welcome undergrads. It is a great way to get to know leading researchers in the field and looks great on a resume. Much tuition goes toward research so I highly recommend getting involved!
Am enjoying being here
Madison is more than just a good school with a strong emphasis on research. It is a place to have fun and enjoy many life experiences. Nothing quite compares to doing the Jump Around after the third quarter of a Badger Game in a sea of red and white (try not to lose your balance!!) There are numerous activities to get involved in and plenty of opportunities to meet new people. There are also plenty of free events at Memorial Union to attend if you are unfortunate enough not to get tickets to the numerous Badger athletic events. It pretty much can be anything you want it to be. If you want to spend your time droning at College Library, fine. But it's not all about doing homework. There is balance that must be had and the University of Wisconsin recognizes this. I love it here!
Bang for the buck
No university is cheap. Or at least, the ones worth going to aren't. I am a resident from Wisconsin so I am a little biased. If you are out of state though, still consider the school. Many scholarship and financial aid packages are available. I know many who get most of their tuition paid for each year.

What are you paying for? Top teachers who all have graduated from excellent schools with PH D's in their respective fields. You'll be surprised that your professors will often be cited in your textbooks! You are also paying for research in each subject so once again I highly recommend getting involved! Housing is also included in their estimate which is a fair amount for the quality of the room. But their are many other less expensive options for housing if you want to explore those as well!
Tips for prospective students
Get involved! Everyone who I've met at UW has been a leader in some form or another. I'm not saying you have to be captain of the lacrosse team, but be an active contributor to the lacrosse team! Leadership skills will not only help you succeed at UW, but in life as well so it is best to start early!

Study! Develop those study skills early because believe me Madison is not like high school anymore. Get to know your teachers so you can establish a relationship with them (you do need a strong letter of recommendation).

Visit Madison! Make sure you see it. Most kids will write it off as a huge school taught by TAs that only cares about their grad students. This is far from true. As someone who easily gets lost, it's not as bad as it looks. If you visit, be sure to attend a class! Most lectures are rather large and it is easy to sneak in and see the academic atmosphere.
Great for these types of students
~Hardworking---school is tough no matter what major you are in.

~Leaders---there are so many opportunities to involve yourself. Be sure to do it! It may be a large university, but there are plenty of opportunities to make a name for yourself

~People who enjoy a challenge--it's tough, you either have to get over that or transfer. You may not get an A in every class; although it is possible.

~Balanced individuals-Know when to separate school and fun. Everyone needs a break from their studies. Madison is great place to have fun and relax as well.
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Hannah

a current student here
4 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
In three sentences
The best thing about a large research university like Wisconsin is the extraordinary wealth of academic and extracurricular choices. I've never been bored-there is always something I can learn or somewhere I can go. It really feels like home.
Tips for prospective students
This was my safety school since it has around a 50% acceptance rate. Let me tell you, it is not an easy school like I thought it was going to be. The school maintains very high academic standards and a great reputation for research despite the relatively high acceptance rate (and its reputation for partying). There are many opportunities here for the dedicated scholar-- and a lot of lit parties.
Academic Rigor
The classes range from very easy to very difficult, depending on the subject, but the course number is usually a good indicator of the difficulty of the class. If you seek out the right classes, then you will have ample opportunities to meet faculty and other students. However, this requires some personal commitment--academic advising is for the most part optional. You can make your schedules as demanding or as easy as you want. To get the most out of an education here, look for smaller, more obscure classes. And take advantage of the gen ed requirements to take interesting, crazy classes!
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Hannah from Andover, MN

a current student here
25 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
Am learning a lot
I have learned so much since I began my schooling at University of Wisconsin-Madison. There is such a variety of classes to choose from which makes it easy for you to find classes that you are interested in. The professors here challenge you to think outside the norm and come up with creative ways in which to think about problems.
Am enjoying being here
This campus and school has ALOT to offer, whether it be academically, socially, politically, or otherwise. Its location provides a perfect unison between city and campus life. The city is great, it's very active, and it's wonderful to see everyone out running, biking, shopping, walking down famous State St., etc.
Bang for the buck
Although this school is rather pricey for a public school I feel that it is definitely worth it. People are always impressed when they hear that I go to the University of Wisconsin-Madison, so I know that a degree from here will get me a great career.
Tips for prospective students
Apply early, I really believe this will increase your chances of getting accepted and will get you a response a lot faster so you can make your decision. Really work to get a high ACT score and writing a good admissions essay.
Great for these types of students
I think this school is great for people who want to work hard to get into a good school and continue to work hard in college. I would not recommend this school for people who can get distracted easily.
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Austin from Downers Grove, IL

a current student here
24 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
In three sentences
The University of Wisconsin-Madison offers the rare combination of academic rigor and excellence, a huge social scene, a beautiful campus, and endless opportunities for involvement. Whether you are a business student, a future engineer, or majoring in anything within the college of letters and science you have fantastic opportunities to get a degree in addition to experiences that will easily help you get a great job after college. Although it is a large college, it is easy to find groups of friends whether you choose to live in the quiet and beautiful Lakeshore area, or in the hustle and bustle of the Southeast, you will easily meet people and have opportunities to join organizations that bring you closer with people similar to you.
Tips for prospective students
Do your best in high school, and don't blow off senior year! Take a lot of AP and honors classes to show that you are capable of performing well at the college level, and make sure to take the tests to get college credit. I am technically a sophomore even though it is my first year since I had so many AP credits, and this is a huge benefit in the long run since you will always be among the first to pick your classes! Also, never count yourself out and not apply just cause of GPA and ACT scores, take as many leadership roles as possible in clubs and activities and do service hours, in addition to spending a lot of time on essays. This will greatly increase your chances of admission!
Academic Rigor
Madison is an elite school, so difficult classes are to be expected. In order to both save money and avoid taking classes that are much more difficult in college, such as Calculus 2 (Math 222 at Madison) make sure to take AP tests and take them seriously! I was able to do well in my first semester at Madison, but it took a lot of time in the library to make sure I studied enough and got all my work done. However, I found it very possible to have a very active social life while balancing it with school work!
Dorm Life
The great thing about Madison are the two separate neighborhoods to choose from, Southeast and Lakeshore. I personally find my personality more aligned with Southeast so I chose to live here, as I am a very social person and like city life and always being around a lot of people. However, I know many people who live in the Lakeshore neighborhood and love it, as they live right on the beautiful Lake Mendota and have almost constant peace and quiet. The dorms are all around the same distance to classes, which is very nice. Madison also has many learning communities, so you can live with people who have similar interests to you! The dorms are nothing special as far as amenities and space, but I have no complaints and I enjoy living here!
Food and Dining
Both Lakeshore and Southeast have great dining facilities very close to them, being Dejope and Gordon's dining halls. They have great variety and serve very good food! Also, if you live in the residence halls you receive a 30% discount on all food, which is very nice. Gordons is only a 30 second walk from the Southeast residence halls, which is newly renovated, while Dejope is a brand new building which is within walking distance form Lakeshore dorms. All of the food they serve is very good and I have it every day!
What to do for fun
Madison is constantly rated among the top Party Schools which is great for some potential students and concerning for others. The school is what you make of it, as there is always stuff to do around campus whether it be going to sports games, hanging with friends around campus, or going to parties, and what you do is completely up to you. The school spirit at the college is outstanding, and it is impossible to walk around campus on a Saturday in fall without seeing people wearing red and white overalls running around yelling Game day!!!. Getting involved in various social clubs or Greek life also presents a lot of opportunities to do fun things and meet a lot of people.
Bang for the buck
While Madison may be expensive, especially for out of state students, I believe the school is worth the hefty investment if you are willing to put in the work to get the maximum reward out of it. School is expensive, so you must be willing to work hard to achieve good grades and get involved in whatever you are interested in, taking advantage of all of the opportunities that you are paying for. A good way to help pay for college is to get an on campus part-time job, in addition to applying to all the scholarships that you possibly can.
Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus
One tradition that happens every year is the battle between the Southeast and the Lakeshore dorms on Bascom hill. Hundreds of students come and I look forward to taking part in it this year! Also, perhaps the most famous tradition on campus, is of course the Jump Around. Between the 3rd and 4th quarters of football games, the song Jump Around is played and all of the students and fans present jump up and down and go crazy. This actually is read on the Richter scale as a small earthquake!
Great for these types of students
This school is great for every type of student! No matter what kind of person you are or what you are interested in learning, you will find endless opportunities to fulfill your interests here. There are hundreds of clubs to join and many waiting to be created, and all different types of people. Everyone will find a place to fit in at UW and find many people who have similar interests.
Clubs and Activities
I am involved in Engineers in Business and Greek Life, but I also plan to join the Chemical Engineering club next year, as well as try to find research opportunities. There are countless clubs and activities to join for any interest you may have, and if they don't have one, you can start it up yourself. One of the clubs I find most interesting/humorous is the Quidditch club that often has games outside of Gordon's dining hall!
Greek Life
Greek life is not an overwhelming presence on campus, as participation is under 20%, but it is a popular option for out of state students. I am personally involved in Greek Life, and there is a fantastic system at the University of Wisconsin. I have met a ton of great people, and the organizations here certainly do not perpetuate the typical negative stereotypes that are often portrayed in the media about Fraternities and Sororities. I have not had a single negative experience, and have met a ton of great friends, both guys and girls alike. If you are interested in joining a strong brotherhood or sisterhood and always having the option to attend fun social events, I strongly encourage everyone to give it a shot and see if it is for them!
Campus Safety
Personally, I have never felt threatened at the University of Wisconsin and often walk home after long nights at the library around 3 am with no problems. There is a large homeless population in Madison, as there is in many capitol cities, but I have not had a bad experience with any one of these people though I have heard stories of a few people who have. However, Safe Walk is always available until 1 am every night, so you never have to walk alone if you don't feel comfortable walking alone at night!
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Kristin from Madison, WI

a current student here
16 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
Am learning a lot
Each professor has their own teaching technique to make their class interesting, and many classes have teaching assistants who can help you individually. One small problem you might encounter with the teaching assistants is a language barrier, but other than that they're great. And if you need even more attention, many courses have programs where you can get extra help by joining a group that schedules around your free time. Also, Madison gives you the ability to take a variety of courses so you can be educationally well-rounded, which is something many graduate programs look for.
Am enjoying being here
From the social aspect, one of the best parts about being at Madison is the school spirit. Game days are epic when all the badgers get together and support the team whether it’s football, basketball, hockey, etc. Plus, there are innumerous groups/activities that I can participate in which allows me to reach out and become part of the badger community. From the educational aspect, the challenges presented to me have already tested my determination, patience, and strength that will be needed to survive the “real world.”
Bang for the buck
Madison is pricey yes, but not outrageously expensive. It’s a D1 university that lives up to its standards socially and educationally. Don’t let the price scare you away; there are millions of ways to get scholarships, grants, and/or loans to help you pay for school. Also, there are campus jobs that you can apply for.
Tips for prospective students
Make sure you are prepared to step up to the plate and earn your grades. In high school it is easy to put in minimum effort and obtain perfect grades, but now that you are at the university level it is necessary for you to be at the top of your game. You need to be equipped for major studying and late nights in order to achieve a good GPA.
Great for these types of students
Students who want a big campus with lots of different people and opportunities that will allow them to expand their horizons and want an elite education will love the University of Wisconsin Madison.
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Kelsey from Andover, MN

a current student here
8 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
Am learning a lot
I can honestly say that every class I have taken here has been worthwhile. Even going beyond the information that I have learned in classes I have learned better study strategies. Every professor I have had has been extremely nice and willing to help, but I will add the qualifier that because the school is so large you must be willing to put personal effort forth if you need help from your professors or Teaching Assistants.
Am enjoying being here
I love this school and this city. There is almost always something going on. The Union has movies and music among other events, and state street is always fun to walk down. I always have a ton of fun going to Badger games - everyone has tons of school spirit so even if you don't enjoy the sport in itself you are bound to have fun.
Bang for the buck
To be honest Madison is not the cheepest school to attend. You will get hit with costs that some may not immediately consider. Tuition, room, and board are not your only costs. Students do have to pay for tickets into sports games (this is different for many other universities), and if you want to bring a car to campus you will add a considerable amount to your yearly costs. All this considered I still think that the superior academic instruction you will recieve, the free entertainment that is offered, and the overall Madison experience make it 100% worth the costs.
Tips for prospective students
The school is large, but that doesn't mean that you have to feel overwhelmed here. When you break down all the academic programs you will most likely end up in a relatively small group of students. Go to the activities fair and find something to get involved with, but DO NOT take on too much. Choose one or two extra-curricular activities at one time. Freshman year is very hard for many students and often grades will show this. It will help you to have a couple of outlets to have some fun, but it will hurt you if you never have time to study. On that note - make sure you are studying and doing your work everyday. Procrastinating may get you by in high school but for the vast majority of people it doesn't work like that at Madison.
Great for these types of students
Madison is great for anyone who is up for an academic challenge, likes to meet lots of new people, and enjoys being part of a school with lots of pride. I know Madison has a reputation as a party school, and it is very true that if you like to party this is sure to be a fun place for you. On the other hand (from personal experience) I can guarantee that if you are not into partying, or if you don't drink, you don't have to worry. There is so much other stuff to do you can still have an amazing experience here.
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Louie from WI

a past student here
7 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
In three sentences
UW-Madison is a university prized for its small town feel with a huge social experience. Never is there a dull moment on campus. Your academics and extra curricular activities will be memories you'll never forget.
Tips for prospective students
Expect greatness. Your classes will be hard, but living on your own will be harder. Madison is a great town with plenty of people to befriend. Network as much as possible
Academic Rigor
The rigor of the university depends on the course load. 13-15 credits is my recommendation for an incoming freshman, and be sure to be completely prepared with a plan for the next four years. Your classroom experience will be a lot more difficult if you don't have a stable plan.
Dorm Life
It's exciting, it's fun, and it's something to experience. Never will you get the experience to walk through a hallway and socialize with every person possible. A conversation is waiting with every step you take in a dorm hall. Make sure you build a good relationship with your roommate. That's a relationship that will last for life.
Food and Dining
Like they say, What looks good isn't always good for you. The food is delicious. It will keep you coming back, but the nutritional value for most food, other than salad, isn't to nice.
What to do for fun
Madison is as fun as you make it. From the moment you wake up, to the exciting night life, you just have to go out and experience it. Try everything! You won't regret it.
Bang for the buck
The Madison experience is worth the Madison price. You aren't just making a payment to the university, you are making an investment on your future. The Madison name, the Madison Experience, and the Madison Education is something you can hold forever that many will be aspired by.
Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus
The Memorial Union and the College Library are two places you MUST visit at least once a semester. There is more to do there than simply a place to study. Memorial Union makes huge efforts to entertain their students. With huge parties on the terrace, movie nights, and the prized Babcock Ice Cream you just can't lose.
Greek Life
Greek life is out there. You will hear about them from the moment you get on campus to the minute you step off campus. Not to mention the countless weekends their Houses will be mentioned by your peers. Greek life is a good place to get involved if you seek a close family-like relationship with your peers.
Campus Safety
The Madison Campus Safety Division takes EXTRA steps to ensure that all their students are safe. From the Safe-Ride cab to the Safe-Walk, Madison offers services to their students that allows them to be protected at all times during their stay there on campus
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