I figured since the last thread seemed to be dying down, I'd create a new one. Ask me any question you like about any topic and I'll try to answer it (including questions about the greek system)! I'm bored and there's nothing quite like procrastinating or avoiding finals week.
pumpkins: I'm a Speech and Hearing Sciences major and Ling. minor. I'm a junior with senior standing after this quarter. Overall, it's a fantastic research school (2nd highest funded public research university in the nation) and it seems the main focus of every department is on its grad programs. I think that's where it gets its "prestige" and public ivy status. Don't get me wrong, the undergraduate programs aren't too shabby, but they probably aren't what you think they are. My first impression came from staying in the dorms. Your first year, unless you know the people living with you, don't live in McMahon. I heard Lander was chaotic, but some people like it. I would stick with McCarty. You get a good combination of space, proximity to the middle of campus, U-Village, the Greek system AND the IMA, plus they have a kickass convenience store in the basement called Ian's domain, where they have couches, computers for gaming, consoles to check out, food etc; My impression now: I was a little reclusive when I first lived in McMahon, then I met a guy, who is my good friend now, who convinced me to rush a fraternity. I do not regret it in the least. As someone focusing on academics, I made sure the fraternity was in high academic standing, didn't haze and had reasonable quiet hours. This isn't a shameless plug for fraternities but there are fraternities for every type of person out there, plus the UW's greek system just won a national academic award for it's greek system having a 3.29 avg. GPA, which happens to be higher than average across the country. All I'm saying is, when you are enrolled, don't plan to be surrounded by savants like I did and don't have too many expectations because you'll find that your low as well as your high expectations usually won't hold through freshman year. College is a time for change and transition into the real world and I think the UW is a great start to being successful. And maybe, depending on the science major. Majors have different curves for class averages so it all depends. But in general, it's fairly rare.
iloveuw: I don't know about all majors, but I applied for mine after I had 60 credits (which was the requirement). Depending on how many credits you have coming into the UW, you can expect to apply anytime from fall to spring quarter sophomore year. Contrary to popular belief, it isn't a wise idea to splurge on elective classes during your first two years. Be proactive and start knocking away those pre-reqs for your major, and if you can help it, start taking major classes early. This helps keep the workload even across three years as opposed to two and will generally make your life easier. With most science and engineering majors, this is a MUST. It is possible to get into courses that require you to have major status, however, you usually have to apply in the 3rd registration period, which is after everyone else applies, which means you get last priority. If it's something you're planning on majoring in, there's no harm in going to schmitz hall and changing your major. All you need is a signature and application filled out for the departmental advisor of that major to turn in. Or, you can simply email the professor for an add code into the class (which also usually takes place 3rd reg. period) and, depending on how generous they are, they may or may not give you one. But you can always fudge a little bit and tell them you're applying to the major that quarter and need to take the class so you can graduate on time. I did it plenty of times with classes in the Ling department that required you to be a major (but I'm a Ling Minor). There are many options. Another wise idea, if you want to register for a popular gen. elective class your freshman year, is to ask an upperclassman to reserve you a spot by registering ahead of time. Once the registration frenzy dies down a little bit, they can take it off their schedule and you can add it immediately after. Guaranteed spot.
A-Punk: Partying is great, if you're a girl. Anyone who's female from the dorms can get into any frat at any time (for the most part). If you're a guy, you need to know someone from a frat or be in said frat to get into the party. Or you can be in a group with 5 girls, that usually works too. Being in a frat, I can say that around 50% of our parties have mostly open admittance where you simply need to know someone in the house to get in and the other 50% are guestlist only (using facebook). So get out there and make some friends, or go through rush. If you don't like hazing and a bunch of crazy sleep deprivation stuff but still want to be a part of the greek community, ZBT and SigEps have a national policy against hazing. There are also house parties as there is a TON of offcampus housing in and around greek row. Again, you have to know someone, but usually you can get lucky and find one with open doors. You can also just hang out with your friends. That's the glory of college, the world is your oyster, make what you want of it, create your own experience. As for the drug scene, it's kind of looked down on, but there is a niche for it. If you're just talking about marijuana, there's plenty of access to it and users of it all around campus. I'm guessing the same is true with other drugs. As for drug based parties and raves, I haven't heard of any around the UW campus for a while, but there are plenty of them around Seattle.
How feasible is a double major in the sciences (chem, biochem or something else) and a minor in, say, math, coming into UW with many AP credits with which I can waive lots of graduation requirements and the such?
Kironide: It's actually very doable. In fact, I think with a major in chem, biochem or any of the "hard" requirements, a minor in math is about 2-3 additional classes away. In fact, if you'd like me to send you a DARS form that has all of the class and credit requirements/ pre-reqs to get into and graduate from a major you're interested, let me know. I figured out very early that it was very very easy to get a minor in Linguistics while majoring in SPHSC, in fact, it only required 3 additional classes. Why was this? Some classes in the Ling minor counted as core classes in Linguistics, the rest of my SPHSC core classes fulfilled the Ling minor elective requirements, and my Linguistics core classes fulfilled the SPHSC elective requirements. But like I said, and this goes for everyone who doesn't yet have access to myUW, if you're interested in a major/minor and would like to see how your AP credits would apply towards it, go ahead and post and I'll post a DARS sheet for it. Or if you're just interested in how many credits a major is and what classes you should plan on taking almost immediately, that's fine too.
This was very generous of you and let me just say for new people like me, this is very useful. Thank you so much!
A couple of questions that I am hoping you can answer: for engineering majors, do they have to go through Pre-Engineering first and then select which type of engineering they want to go to? I signed up for Computer but they put me as Pre-engineering so I'm assuming I have to fulfill some requirements first. If this IS the case, when exactly do you decide which type of engineering you have decided to go to?
In your opinion how are the facilities that UWash provides? This includes library, computer labs, photo labs, etc.
For now I'll just start with those. Thanks a bunch!
I've been doing more research, and I've decided on a chem/biochem double major. I noticed that a major in microbiology basically required courses that my double major would cover plus around 35 credits' worth of microbiology classes; how feasible is a triple major and how useful would it be at all in terms of undergraduate research (I could apply biochem to microbiology, perhaps) and admittance into graduate school?
I was also wondering if I should even bother trying to get into the Honors program--although it waives the Areas of Knowledge requirements, those are already satisfied by the credits that I get through my AP scores, and I would be forced to take six Honors Civilization courses (which is quite a bit). I plan on going to graduate school at NYU or Berkeley; would graduating with College Honors be helpful, considering that those six/seven honors classes could easily be major-relevant courses?
Sorry for the long response, I got stuck in the midst of finals week and didn't have a lot of time. But now that I'm on spring break, I can answer any questions I'm able to.
Videopro: No problem, I was given a lot of help, and I just feel like I should give back. I asked some engineers in my house about your question. I believe you are registered as pre-engineer, then based on which field you want to go into, you take the appropriate pre-reqs. If you know you want to go into computer sci. engineering, then take the pre-reqs for it. I'm not entirely sure and you'd be best suited talking to an engineering advisor (or any general freshman advisor). This is why it's always beneficial to know which field you want to go into early. When do you decide? I guess either when you can't wait any longer (at which point afterwards it would take longer than 4 years to graduate) or once you know for sure. It's your choice. Sorry I couldn't help more.
Facilities: Great, I believe we have one of the largest library systems west of the mississippi. Odegaard's your 24 hour undergrad library. It has three floors. It has private study rooms that are reservable, Mac computers to work on on the second floor, as well as video/audio editing stations, a media center on the mezzanine level with stations to watch videos and dvds, places to print out documents, etc; and that's only one library. I think there's also a recording studio room upstairs as well. I've been in there once, but lacked the expertise to operate it. Not to mention that there are camcorders, laptops, and tons of other devices you can check out from the library. There are plenty of computer labs in Mary Gates Hall, which I assume is where you'll be a lot for Comp. Sci & Eng classes, but I haven't ever used them. From what I've seen, everything is kept quite neat and up to date (where needed). The gym is awesome as well. Racquetball courts, rock climbing, basketball courts, tennis courts, etc; you name it. Plus, on the waterfront, you can rent canoes or paddle boats to take out on lake washington on nice days (good for dates).
Kironide: That seems very doable, in fact, I have a friend who is working on a triple major in chem/biochem and political science. As vastly different as these fields are, he's only going to be graduating one quarter later than a normal student. If you wanted to do a microbio major as well AND there's overlap, I see no reason why you wouldn't be able to. Undergrad. research is one great thing about the UW, that is if you can get a highly coveted position in a paying lab. The same friend I mentioned earlier works in a chem lab and is paid for it. He's working on trying to create bacteria strains that break down plastics into a usable fuel. Now, there are plenty of volunteer labs too. For example, one of the labs I looked at involved zebrafish and their ability to regenerate lost hair cells in the inner ear (something humans can't do). I contacted the lead researchers via email and they responded very quickly and said there were numerous positions they could have help with. However, it turned out I didn't have the biology and chem. background required for many of the research positions. The point is, no matter where you look, if you have the background, you'll find your niche, somewhere you'll love to work. That was just one of many fields they're researching, all of which are cutting edge. In fact, here are the links to the lab home page and the fields currently being studied. Undergrad research like this, even volunteering, will GREATLY impact your chances of getting into grad school, as anyone will tell you, as will three majors, as that will separate you from around 90% of other students in similar majors.
The Honors program is up to you, however if you're applying to NYU and Berkeley, it sure can't hurt. If you have the drive and ability, I would urge you to do it. Going to a school like the UW separates you from other college students. Three majors would separate you from other college students. And graduating with honors would distinguish you even more. In most cases, Honors gets you straight on the research track with professors (at least in Speech and Hearing Sciences) and probably more specialized attention. Don't put too much on your plate though. 3 majors and honors is a lot. Although from what you've said, it sounds like you can handle a lot. What grad programs are you looking to apply to?
If you're looking for someone to show you around the main parts of campus or want someone to talk to (I was a Husky Mentor to this years freshman class), feel free to add me on facebook: Jon Mahaffie
Last edited by mahaffie; 03-26-2010 at 08:16 AM.
Reason: forgot something
I'm not entirely sure how it works, as the UW was convinced our family was overflowing with money due to our fafsa form, which wasn't true, however, I believe the work study program is basically the same as you getting a job on campus normally, you just get higher priority over other students that aren't federally qualified. It's fairly simple. Most work in the cafeterias, some are lucky enough to work at the bio and biochem labs.
Im looking to get into the biology department and i was curious as to how competitive/ how much work it entails? i dont know how much you know about the biology department though... I was also curious about how bad the undergrad classes are, i know they are huge classes i just dont want to get lost in the crowd, when you were a freshman did you feel like 'just a number?'