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University Of Wisconsin Madison -- What's your opinion?

nikiniki Registered User Posts: 2 New Member
edited December 2004 in College Search & Selection
Now, I'm biased because I'm from Wisconsin. My parents tell me it's known throughout the nation and is up there with the private schools. What's your opinion on the school? Where do you think it stands?
Post edited by niki on

Replies to: University Of Wisconsin Madison -- What's your opinion?

  • TheDadTheDad Registered User, ! Posts: 10,228 Senior Member
    I think it's a just-below-first-rank public U, with all the good and "eh" that that implies.
  • kfc4ukfc4u Registered User Posts: 3,415 Senior Member
    i wish i knew more about it, i think its a school that is overlooked and probably underrated. i compare it to UCSD, as in, its not nationally recognized in terms of popularity and prestige, has very good programs, but nevertheless, is overshadowed by other more popular/better publics in the region (UCSD vs cal and ucla; Wisconsin vs Michigan).

    quite honestly, my parents thought wisconsin was just some other typical public university, like a maryland or a colorado or an iowa (just throwing out random names, no offense). it was only until i saw its rankings on usnwr did i begin to try to realize that perhaps wisconsin is better than what my parents thought it to be.

    again, i wish i knew more about it. that way i could make a better judgement (i dont always agree with usnwr)
  • hnbuihnbui Registered User Posts: 562 Member
    it not known throughout the nation if you include the general population, but for most people in academia like us it is know and it's an excellent school. If i was instate and got accepted i would go.
  • joevjoev - Posts: 2,924 Senior Member
    UW-Madison is around #8 of my favorite schools. Those people can party. Here how the list goes (fave schools)
    1. OSU
    2. ASU
    3. UT-Austin
    4. Kent State (mi alma mater)
    5. Iowa (those Iowa girls, yeah baby)
    6. Penn State
    7. USC (CA girls)
    8. UW-Madison
    9. BGSU (nice guy-girl ratio)
    10. UMd (crazy Terps)
    11. Duke
    12. Nebraska
  • tsdadtsdad Registered User Posts: 4,035 Senior Member
    I work at UW as an administrator. I have only been there several months. I was working in the Federal government when they offered me a position. I jumped at it even though it meant leaving my wife behind in Virginia. I felt that I couldn't turn a place like UW down.

    I do not regret the decision. It's a great place to live for both adults and students. It's congenial, liberal, filled with nice Midwesterners. I can't really comment on the academics, and I tend to see the worst side of the University, but I am very happy there.

    I think your parents are right about Wisconsin having a national reputation, but I think that it's not quite up there with other publics like UNC, UVA, UCLA, UCB, or Michigan. Considering the academics, sports, politics, and the quality of life in Madison you can't go wrong there.
  • mackinawmackinaw Registered User Posts: 3,000 Senior Member
    UW Madison is among the top 6 or 7 public universities in the country (along with UCBerkeley, UMich, UNC, and UCLA, and a couple of others) and among the top 20 universities generally based on the quality of its research faculty.

    It also has a history and reputation of "great teaching" of undergrads. More than many large schools, it puts teaching into the equation for evaluating faculty performance.

    Madison itself is a quintessential college town. None are better for the street life, restaurants, bars, entertainment, and other measures of quality of life. Only the cold cold winter months take something away from that.
  • jrparjrpar Registered User Posts: 2,135 Senior Member
    I think Wisconsin is very similar to Michigan. Michigan appears higher in polls, etc., but I think they provide very similar academic experiences.
  • barronsbarrons Registered User Posts: 24,947 Senior Member
    Wisconsin belongs in the middle of the top rank (6 or 7 schools) of state universities. Yes it is a little easier to get into than the other top schools at the undergrad level but on all other quantifiable factors it is in the top 4. It is 4th in the number of highly ranked depts after UCB, UM, and UCLA which it virtually ties with. It has more NAS members than all but UCB and UCSD. It is second in research funding after UCLA. The academic facilities and libraries are excellent and the science facilities are right at the top. Also the campus setting and town are equal to any.
    I think if had been as interested in tooting its own horn as Michigan, it would be more of a national name among the common folk.

  • NJresNJres Registered User Posts: 6,126 Senior Member
    OK, I am heavily biased. UW Madison is a great school, and the graduate schools are especially good. For all you ranking-obsessed people, UW was tied with Harvard for producing the most corporate CEOs, and aside from the university, the city of Madison routinely pops up at the top or near the top of lists of best places to live in America.
  • barronsbarrons Registered User Posts: 24,947 Senior Member
  • TransferTransfer Registered User Posts: 740 Member
    I agree mostly with what has been said.

    It's clearly one of the top 6 or 7 public universities in the nation, it's no UVA or UC-B however I frequently compare it to Michigan. I am an out of state student who chose Madison like 35% of the population there (quite large for a public) and can say it draws a lot of the top students from the upper midwest/north-central (hard to see why it's overlooked now?) along with a fair amount from California, New York City, Boston, Atlanta, etc. It's very true nationally people don't recognize it along the same lines as the other top publics but guess what? Very few "lay people" understand what a good school is verse their local college/state school so it's quite pointless to take that into account. Graduate school/employer perception is most important and I think the US News and World Report peer rating along with the number of top ranked programs and top rankings in reserach give you the answer.

    As for what I said above, Michigan is a very comparable school except one key factor that this website almost never takes into account: Over four years you will spend around 35 thousand dollars less if you attend Madison from out of state. If you're from WI then going to Michigan is a financial disaster.

    One more thing. If you're looking for a small LAC community type feel, you're not going to find it here. You need to be a big boy or girl and find the opportunities yourself.
  • TransferTransfer Registered User Posts: 740 Member
    Let me eat my own words for a second. You actually can find the LAC type atmosphere in a few programs that they offer here, however speaking from my own experience I have found the university to be large yet manageable.
  • barronsbarrons Registered User Posts: 24,947 Senior Member
    Actually Uva is no UW. It is a much smaller school and does not offer the depth of excellent programs and resources that UW does. It may offer a better undergrad experience in some areas but overall UW is a much stronger and powerhouse university.
  • TheDadTheDad Registered User, ! Posts: 10,228 Senior Member
    I would like to take a mallet to the unshod toes of anyone who suggests that those who prefer an LAC are not a "big boy or girl."

    The top LAC's are not a sheltered collegiate version of Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood.
  • barronsbarrons Registered User Posts: 24,947 Senior Member
This discussion has been closed.