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How does WSU really compare to UW now?


Replies to: How does WSU really compare to UW now?

  • LasMaLasMa 10768 replies138 threads Senior Member
    Seattle, Gonzaga, SPU, PLU, and Whitworth are all religious

    If you mean Seattle University, yes it's a Jesuit school, but it's not a school of religion. Students are not required to attend mass, take religion classes, or for that matter, even to be Catholic. Don't rule out these schools on that basis alone.

    Both of my brothers went to WSU (graduated late 70's), and they both have said for the record that UW is the superior school. However, they're both having successful careers; one got a degree in business and is now a manager at Boeing, the other took his ME degree to Stanford and got a PhD there.

    It's good to hear that WSU is beefing up its academics; UW needs the competition. But it will take many years for these measures to affect perception. Wazzu's reputation as an isolated party school is too well-established to be changed during your son's tenure there.
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  • jwilluwjwilluw 3 replies0 threads New Member
    I know several WSU grads who are successful professionals...they didn't have a problem getting and keeping a job in their field.

    Congrats to them. I certainly hope that there are people who can get jobs with a degree from WSU, but what does that have to do with UW being an academically superior University to WSU? UW is one of the leading research universities in the world, that's not my opinion, it's a fact.
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  • MrCheezleMrCheezle 1 replies0 threads New Member
    I really don't understand the issue people have with community colleges, to say they are easier is a serious misnomer. They definitely offer an environment that is more conducive to learning than Universities. Students are assigned homework more often, and have more one on one time with professors at community colleges than at universities.

    School ranking systems are pretty broken. UW is going to be ranked above WSU because they have both a medical and law school which WSU is lacking.

    This is fairly anecdotal, but I have heard of many students at UW wasting most of their first year on unnecessary classes. There are too many students and too few classes, so it is nearly impossible to get in classes for your major unless you are a sophomore or higher, or your degree is in general studies.
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  • noimaginationnoimagination 6953 replies101 threads Senior Member
    Congrats to them. I certainly hope that there are people who can get jobs with a degree from WSU, but what does that have to do with UW being an academically superior University to WSU? UW is one of the leading research universities in the world, that's not my opinion, it's a fact.
    This is true. But it is questionable whether a prospective student or parent should care.
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  • crittercritter 452 replies3 threads Member

    Hope you have a great visit in April! You have five great schools on your list. We are taking our son to see Whitman soon as he does not remember much about Walla Walla from being dragged along with his sister.

    It is good that you are keeping an open mind. We have had family and friends at both the UW and WSU and I would never say that one is better than the other. It depends on what you want to do and other factors, for sure. We know many WSU students/grads that turned down the UW for WSU for various reasons. Common pluses for WSU are the residential community...the more traditional student body (age-wise, UW has an unusually high number of older students), size, non-city environment, college town feel, honors program, wanted to experience something different but stay in state, scholarships/finances, specific major, Ferdinands...(the ice cream...that's my favorite), the list goes on.

    We know many successful/happy recent WSU grads- an accountant, physicist, architect, engineer, teacher. Our youngest D (a college freshman) applied to WSU as her only PNW school and would have happily attended. Our girls preferred WSU to UW for some of the reasons above and to WWU because of the wider variety of majors-drawing different types of people. (I really like Western and we know many grads/students there as well.)

    Our son was just at the UW last week and informed me that he would prefer to apply to WSU as well because of size and location. There are many that would feel the exact opposite for the same reasons. Aren't we lucky to have so many good choices?

    We also know other that attend or happily attended UPS and Whitman. Can't get my kids to bite on UPS but maybe Whitman this time around. Both have very nice campuses. I think the surroundings tend to be the deal breaker, though.

    Anyway, have fun and let us know your impressions or if you have any more questions.
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  • CougGirl12CougGirl12 2 replies0 threads New Member
    I am a WSU undergrad and I think that WSU is trying to improve its reputation. WSU has some great programs, including the zoology/pre-vet program that I am in currently. I was considering attending UW, as I am from Seattle and both my parents went there, but they do not have a zoology program. I was also drawn to WSU because they are trying desperately to attract more academically driven students and I got a full ride there.
    That being said WSU does live up to its reputation as a party school and I do feel like some of the early sophomore and freshman classes are "dumbed down" to account for all of the party students on campus. Once you are working in your major, the classes are more difficult and the professors are much better. WSU also has great opportunities for undergraduate research and internships, especially if you are pre-vet. I am currently in raptor club on campus and work as an intern at the vet school clinic. The journalism and engineering departments also seem to present many opportunities on campus.
    I think that UW probably still has more prestige, but WSU has some really great programs and tons of opportunities to excel.
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  • ScopesScopes 2 replies0 threads New Member
    My son is choosing between WSU and U of MT , and Montana State. Any thoughts on comparisons between these 3? He favors the MT towns over Pullman. While I think the setting is important, I want to focus more on thenactual schools. Major unclear.
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  • elPadreelPadre 9 replies0 threads New Member
    Scopes - I am not familiar with the MT schools and their surrounding areas. However, I can only say that my D who is attending WSU from OOS loves it.

    Biggest challenge has been getting use to the weather (we are from CA).

    Pullman is pretty mello and there is not a lot around other than WSU (and U of ID), but it is amazing how busy and how much fun he can have as it relates to the WSU campus and related activities.
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  • mantidguymantidguy 61 replies7 threads Junior Member
    This may not be relevant to this argument, but WSU's vet school is ranked quite high. Also, if you are looking into graduate school, rank isn't everything. Quality of research and your ability to be successful (high impact publications, conferences, etc) within that subfield of research is much more important than a rank number.
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  • PanzrwagnPanzrwagn 3 replies0 threads New Member
    OK, so you were miserable in Pullman - wrong place for you. My son is studying architecture and is in the Honors College. In his senior year internship - in architecture and city planning - he asked his employer to compare UW and WSU architecture programs. It was easy, they wouldn't even consider hiring a UW Graduate because the UW program is all architectural theory and history, with very little real-world (AKA job-related) skill emphasis. On a program by program basis I'm sure you'll find other examples as well. Want to study Viticulture and Oenology? UC Davis or WSU - no such animal at UW. Want to go to Medical School? That one goes to UW. The fact is both are excellent schools, and will remain that way as long as they get the support they need from the sate legislature. The other fact is they are very different (urban vs. small town) experiences. My son is very happy at WSU and could not imagine going to the UW, even afte spending his first day of holiday visiting his friends at UW.
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  • XaviFMXaviFM 904 replies48 threads Member
    This is insane that I have to re-post this in the WSU forum. If you're trying to make people think that you're a serious human being, you should not make fallacious arguments that are easily proven false. Here you go, a Husky defending WSU:

    Okay, I have to try to catch my breath. That uwrejects.com was hilarious though.

    There's a lot of bogus stuff on here so let me just try to address this briefly. WSU is a legit school. It's not as good as UW, but then again for you to find a school as good as UW you have to head east to Chicago or south to the San Francisco Bay. So that's not as strong a slight as others make it out to be.

    I know that most people will not make Phi Beta Kappa, but PBK has to certify the Gen-Ed liberal arts curriculum in order to grant a chapter to the school. To wit there are 4 such schools in the State of Washington. UW, WSU, University of Puget Sound and Whitman College.

    Tuition at UW and WSU? Roughly $10,000 for in-state.

    Tuition at UPS and Whitman? Roughly $40,000

    So basically if you don't get into UW and you do get into WSU, you had better go there and have a good time and get your degree. There is no other school in the state which is of the scholastic rigor and value as these 4 schools. As a result, any claim that WWU holds the same regard as WSU is fallacious. WSU is a legitimate high research doctoral institution which makes significant contributions to science. The fact that it is significantly inferior to UW should not count against it because: ALL OF THE REST OF THE SCHOOLS ON THE PLANET ARE ALSO INFERIOR TO UW EXCEPT FOR 15-20 OTHERS!!!

    We have fun watching our football team beat theirs and saying "they all have one thing in common, since they were first learning football they all dreamed of playing in the Purple and Gold." But that doesn't mean they aren't a legit school. They are, big time.

    Also, for the record, WSU does have a Nursing college and they also run a joint project for medical school in their Spokane campus with UW. They're also a fine Vet School and they have an elite Economics Ph.D program and they're one of the best programs for Criminal Justice study in the nation. They also have an amazing College of Communication with fully functional TV station and all that.

    If you can get into UW and you're not trying to major in Communication, Criminal Justice or Agriculture then you need to go to UW. If you don't get into UW then you're probably not getting into UPS or Whitman either. So the only other school I would ever recommend someone going to in this state is WSU.
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  • XaviFMXaviFM 904 replies48 threads Member
    Let's be clear, WWU, Seattle U, Gonzaga, Pacific Lutheran, Whitworth and Evergreen are all vastly inferior schools to WSU. Bet on that.

    Also, UPS is a LAC.
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  • edu12345edu12345 1 replies0 threads New Member
    I know this is an old post, but I find it very interesting as a student who considered both schools. Personally, UW is a better fit for me, but the real decision making factor was admittance into my major. My brother chose WSU because he knew he could get into his major-computer science-and that he would be higher above average at WSU than he would've been at UW. In all honestly, if I did not receive admittance into my program, I would not have chosen UW because of the high level of rigor and competition. I think I would be equally happy in both schools, but more challenged here at UW. Also, I really enjoy being in Seattle but that is a very personal preference that applicants should consider
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  • ReadyandwaitingReadyandwaiting 58 replies3 threads Junior Member
    edited October 2015
    @edu12345 Well said. As a transfer student and former computer science major, it was demotivating for me to see that no matter how well I did in my classes, the likeliness of me being accepted into the UW's CS dept was very low, even if I was accepted into the university. I eventually changed majors naturally and thus attended the UW in the end, but I've seen many CS hopefuls forced to take on alternative CS-related majors and transfer students qualified for UW general admissions but deniable for CS transfer to different universities.
    edited October 2015
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  • FireBallsDJFireBallsDJ 278 replies65 threads Member
    What do both UW and WSU students have in common? They all applied to UW.
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  • IheartENGRIheartENGR 11 replies2 threads New Member
    I went to WSU. I toured UW. It is a pretty campus, but I would not even apply there. The teachers at WSU care about students. When I went there i had a TA who skipped her own class to help me understand how to do an assignment. I had a teacher find some research for me when i couldn't find what I was looking for. I changed my major when i was at WSU, I had an un-diagnosed learning disability as as such had a hard time in school. Since being diagnosed, i have talked to many schools trying to determine where I want to attend schools. I would go back to WSU, but my GPA is not very good and I was advised not to return and to start over with my GPA. But as I was talking to schools I spoke to many admissions people and professors at UW. I am not kidding, these professions start to lecture me about how irresponsible I was, how they would never take someone who didn't take their education seriously. Umm the Doctors did not know I had a learning disability, how was I suppose to know. These admissions "professions" were rude and had totally uncalled for behavior.

    And just to compare. I applied to UO and wrote a personal statement explaining my situation. They had no problem with this issue and I got accepted into their biology program, you know a top ranked program. When I applied a woman from the office of admission called me and asked me if I knew about their disability office and wondered what other accommodations that she could help me find. Humm, kinda of consider UW and UO similar academically, but apparently, not professionally.

    You could not pay me to attend UW, I personally think they all have a stick up their proverbial a holes cause they think they are so awesome. No, no they are not.
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  • cocomango33cocomango33 2 replies1 threads New Member
    Okay so I am going to WSU Honors College for a double major in mechanical engineering and business, so I DEFINITELY have a bias, but here is my two cents:

    Both are great institutions for very different reasons.

    My mom went to the UW, and I have a lot of respect for the institution, but for me personally, it was definitely not a good fit. I was accepted to both UW honors and WSU honors with full rides, and this was my experience in both. Keep in mind of course, I most definitely am biased towards WSU. Take what I say with a grain of salt, but know that I do highly respect both schools.

    My experience at WSU was extremely positive. It's kind of funny actually. When I was applying for schools I never, I mean NEVER was considering WSU. Both UW and WSU were safety schools and I was set on UW and honestly didn't even want to go tour WSU. But I totally fell in love with it. I loved the positive culture on campus and the endless academic resources available to kids on campus. The honors college has an extremely high output, and sends kids to grad schools like Stanford, Harvard, Yale, and even across the globe every year. The output for engineering is significantly higher than that of UW, and my father who works at Boeing has confirmed this. More engineers are being hired out of WSU than UW and they start at significantly higher salaries in my specific area of mechanical engineering. I cared way more about the output of the school than the input. I don't care if I'm "elite" because I can get in. Anywhere can make smart kids smarter. I wanted to be a great engineer, and I felt like WSU honors would get me there.

    Here is my experience touring UW. Everyone has a different experience, and I have many many friends that attend UW and love it. This is how I knew it wasn't right for me. This isn't to say that it's not a good fit for other people, but this is just my personal opinion. I recommend touring both and coming up with your own conclusion, because both are good in their own ways. That being said, here is what happened and what I thought of it personally.

    I decided to walk around campus by myself with just my dad at first. I wanted to get a feel for campus. I really liked it at first. The campus is stunning, (actually I think it's prettier than WSU. Shh.) but what I noticed is that students seemed more independent. This made them come off kind of cliquey, but really I think it's because kids at UW kind of walk to their own beat. A lot of kids commute, and in the back of my head I thought, okay, this might be harder to make friends because when you're at Pullman, everyone is stuck together, so you really get to be tight with everyone around you. I didn't get that sense of community and family like I did at WSU. At WSU, I was able to meet with the dean of the honors college and the dean of engineering and both spent hours talking to my family and I. At UW, I was able to meet with an engineering advisor, but it was not a positive experience for me. I started talking to him and asking him basic questions, but as my questions became more detailed, he started getting frustrated. They were important to me, though. I asked what kind of undergraduate research UW has for engineering students. He circled around the question. I asked where kids from UW go to grad school. No answer. I asked what the benefit was of going to UW over the other schools I had been accepted to. And here's where I was shocked. He bashed all of the other schools I got into, even those that were significantly better than UW, but especially WSU. When I went to WSU, they had nothing but positive things to say about every other school. I was really disappointed in the crass behavior. To me, this showed me that the advisors not only do not know their kids or take interest in them, but think so highly of themselves and their program that they can do nothing but tear everyone else down. (Keep in mind, just my personal opinion and experience! My mom loved being a husky, and I know many many people with positive experiences!) I felt like a number not a person, and like I would not get access to the resources to be successful.

    Bottom line, UW seemed to care more about ranking and appearance when I toured, where WSU cared about the students on a personal level. And they can do that because it's a smaller school. I cared more about the output of my school than the input (which is how schools are ranked; grades, test scores and acceptance rates versus output being how many kids are hired, what kind of money they make, and where they go for grad school, where statistically, WSU honors mops the floor with UW honors in engineering.) side note: my dad is at Boeing and even he has said he chooses not to hire UW engineers as much because they're smart, but ineffective. They do the job to show how smart they are, but bottom line, companies want effective engineers. I wanted to be effective. This did play into me choosing WSU. I knew WSU had tight, personal connections with Boeing, SpaceX, and NASA, (I plan to do aerospace), I felt at home at WSU and I knew it was the right place for me. And that's just it. If you let go of the appearances and rankings and just look for where is the best fit, it will be the right place.

    Best of luck to you in your colligiate pursuits! Hope this provided some insight, and if you are thinking about WSU or UW, I recommend you visit both and experience both cultures to see what is the best fit. :)
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  • bfedwardsbfedwards 23 replies0 threads New Member
    Thank you for your input. My daughter will be visiting WSU campus this winter ( better to find out now if she can tolerate the NW winters) with interest in the Honors and neuroscience programs. I have not attended any NW schools but have spent some years at UNC/Tulane/ LSU/ Emory in that order and can state with confidence that it is not the school but the student that determines the student's outcome. The student must learn to make opportunities happen and not expect them to be a given. School choice is best made when based on which can facilitate that student's learning process, i.e. "the fit"...... I would appreciate any additional information you would like to share regarding your WSU experience and in particular the Honors program.
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