Does anyone have any information about when the new Visual Arts Building is scheduled to open? My junior s is looking into schools and saw online that the facility is in the building stages, but can't seem to locate when they expect to start holding classes there. If anyone has any information, we would really appreciate it. Thanks!
I have heard (according to university paper, THE RED AND BLACK) that it is scheduled to open by the fall of 2008. If your son is now a junior, I figure that he would not be matriculating until the fall of 2008, right? I have heard wonderful things, in general, about the art school. My ex-roommate was an art student and always had very positive things to say. Our art school is also highly ranked by U.S. News and World Report (I want to say around 19th best art school; very few other "flagships" are ranked above us). Good luck selecting a school.
Thanks for the reply katdawg. Starting school in a new building sure would be neat wouldn't it? He has schools mostly in the south/southeast on his list right now, some big (UGA, USC-Columbia), some not so big, (Saint Mary's College of Maryland, CofC) and then our state schools William and Mary, VT and George Mason. He is torn between going into a career in science (marine- would go to grad school) and landscape architecture, graphic arts,etc. Doesn't know what he wants, so he thinks he will look into/ apply to schools that have both and then maybe he can figure it all out. He would have to get decent scholarship money to go OOS. From what we can tell both USC,UGA and CofC give him that opportunity to try for some merit money based on his grades (3.9)and current ACT score (28). He is hoping to improve his ACT score if he can. (Unfortunately, he got his mom's math abilities lol) We will see.
We saw that UGA has a wonderful landscape arch program, too. How did you feel about the school's size? I had always envisioned him at a smaller school, but he says he doesn't care as long as major classes are good. Were you/are you in huge introductory classes for the first year or two? Again, thanks for your help!
Sorry for the delay KandKsmom. I've been incredibly busy in the last couple of days, but I will answer (in quite a bit of detail) my experiences at UGA (I was an undergrad here and am now a grad student).
FYI, I just read on our website this weekend that the art school is supposed to be completed by April 30, 2008--definitely in time for your son's (possible) arrival. As I have said, our art program has a great reputation. Biological sciences are also quite strong (microbiology, ecology, and genetics are all top 10 programs). I know nothing, per se, about the marine sciences program. You may want to check our website for further info. And you're correct, landscape architecture is another *very strong* program (top 3, undergrad and grad programs). If you haven't been to our campus, you need to see it. It is one of the most attractive campuses (and I have been to MANY) at a public school. No doubt that the landscape architecture students have left their imprint.
I have experience as both a undergrad and grad student at UGA. Feel free to ask any questions. But to answer your questions, I never remotely felt intimidated by UGA's size. Although it's a large school, the campus is rather divided (North, South, East, West Campus) that one can find a somewhat intimate setting. I was in the Honors Program and came in with a year's worth of AP credits, so I actually was not in too many "super large" classes. Most of the 300 person classes have a discussion component, and this makes the class seem a lot smaller. I am currently a teaching assistant who leads Friday discussion sections for a large intro class. If your son pursued art, he would be in some really small classes. If her pursued the sciences, he would be in fairly large intro bio and chem classes in the first year, but by the second year the classes would be considerably smaller. If you are shooting for the Honors Program, your son would have access to some of the best professors on campus and could avoid the larger classes.
I see that you are from Virginia. Northern VA, by chance? I am originally from metro D.C./Montgomery Co., MD. I know quite a bit about some of the schools you mentioned. Some of my general thoughts/impressions:
USC-Columbia--a rising public university that does not have nearly have the reputation of UGA.
St. Mary's College of MD--honestly, I really disliked the school when I checked it out in 2000. It was just too isolated (there is NOTHING remotely around the school). I had friends who went there who, honetly, weren't nearly strong as the kids who attended UMD-College Park. From what I heard, the professors were nothing to "write home about." I think it is fairly overrated as a school.
College of Charleston--honestly don't know enough about the school.
William & Mary--awesome school. That was my #1 choice school, but was only put on the waitlist Seriously, though, the school has a incredibly smart student body, small classes, a big time reputation, a nice campus, and solid departments. Seriously consider this one.
Virginia Tech--My best friend graduated from VT last year and had a really bad experience. She was in the sciences and complained about large classes even in her senior year. I had another friend who was in the architecture program at VT and really enjoyed his experience. I think VT has more strength on the engineering end than the biological sciences end, though.
George Mason--I take it from your son's credentials that Mason is just a safety school?
Getting a scholarship at UGA is not that easy. I didn't receive any money with an SAT in the low 1400s and a 4.0 (in 2001). See the admissions website for statistics.
Thanks so much for taking the time to give so much good information! The only disheartening thing I read was the next to the last sentence about merit aid/scholarships. He is hoping to have a shot at broadening his application pool (OOS schools) by having the chance to qualify for in state tuition. We just can't afford it otherwise and really don't want to put him/us into debt especially in realizing he will probably end up going to grad school. We will see how it all pans out. Again thanks for the insight on the other schools as well. Take care and have a super week in Athens!
Let me clear provide some accurate information about some schools referenced in this thread.
U of South Carolina (Columbia). The business program is very well regarded NATIONALLY. The Life Sciences are strong. For example, check the credentials of the faculty in the Marine Sciences department and you'll find that most of them received their PHDs from top schools in the field.
Mout Saint Mary's College of Maryland. Yes, it is semi-rural location not far from the ocean that some people find very charming. Also strong in the Life Sciences. The public honors college of Maryland. Not a large out-of-state student population but admission is quite competitive nevertheless.
College of Charleston; another school with a strong Life Sciences program. Beautiful residential neighborhood setting, but a crowded campus where housing and parking are in short supply.
Virginia Tech; Blacksburg is a true college town that is extremely student oriented. Obviously Engineering is their specialty. As for the biological/life sciences, it hard to beat VT as regards wildlife and natural resource conservation. The liberal arts are surprisingly good too. Plenty to do in the area. Urban stuff and outdoor activities like skiing, boating, backpacking etc.
Keep in mind that marine science/oceanography is largely a field where one needs a graduate degree. A very knowlegeable poster in CC, Warblersrule, and I have noted this many times on CC; it is quite difficult to gain employment in this field with just a BA/BS. That being said, here are other options in the south; schools that have extensive marine science facilities and research options for undergraduates;
U of North Carolina-Wilmington
U of Miami (Florida)
And keep in mind that the U of Alabama at Birmingham (great reputation in the biological sciences, though the medical school is the real gem of the university) is a member of a consortium that offers undergraduate instruction at the Dauphin Island Sea Lab [DISL.org]. UAB is an urban college. Of late the administration has committed to giving the campus a more residential feel. The new student recreation center just opened and has received awards as the best student facility in America. Also, UAB has a master plan for the creating a campus common. Check it out.
I don't know what your source of information, but I was basing my assessments of the schools on both experience AND rankings. And, yes, my information is "accurate."
USC may have a solid business program, but the school is not ranked anywhere near UGA in business (with the exception of international business) and in many other fields.
Regarding St. Mary's (not Mt. St. Mary's....that is another school in Emmittsburg, MD). The school is using "honors" very loosely. Go to their admissions website, and you will see that their credentials are not as stringent as those at UMD-College Park.
College of Charleston--I fully admitted that I did not know much about the place.
VT--look at the rankings, VT is not nearly as strong in the biological science. And do you know of a humanities that is ranked in the top 50. VT's overall ranking lags too.
I know rankings are quite flawed, but they do provide general direction. Maybe you should check some more "accurate" sources.
Thanks to both of you for replying and offering your thoughts. My s and I have both read yours and warblersrule great information on the marine sciences and know that he will need to go on to grad school. He probably will no matter which route he takes, landscape arch, art or science. That is another reason why we are trying to get him to keep his undergrad degree costs down. He really is "torn" as he says about which direction to take,but it is to be expected for one so young. He is trying to get a part time job/volunteer at a landscape architect's office here in town so he can see what he thinks. Anyway, thanks again for helping and if anyone else has any advice, share away!
Katdawg, come down from your pedestal. Also, following the "garden path" of rankings really leads to nowhere as far getting an accurate appreciation of a college's assets, in my opinion. Finally, with the exception of St. Mary's of Maryland, I've been on every campus that I noted in my post. I am familiar with the Delmarva peninsula, where MSM is situated.