Ask questions about UAlbany here!

Hi everyone!

I’m currently a student at UAlbany and I thought that it could be nice to hear about the school from someone who actually goes there. Whether you are for sure coming here in Fall 2017 or you are going to be a high school junior/senior in the college process, I am open to any questions you may have about the school!

A little about me:
I got into UAlbany with a 99/100 GPA and a 1290 (Math + Reading Section) SAT score and received a $4,300 In-State Presidential Scholarship. Albany was definitely not my first choice, I actually wanted to go to school down south, but it was too expensive so I ended up at Albany. I’m glad I did end up here though. I’m now a Biology/Psychology double major, Neuroscience minor, on the Pre-Med track. I also am in the Honors college and live in the honors dorms (State Quad), however I have friends that live on Indian Quad too. I have friends in pretty much every major and we are all involved in completely different clubs and activities too.

Ask me anything! I’ll answer ASAP.

MODERATOR’S NOTE: Anyone is free to ask or answer questions in the thread. Please note that the OP hasn’t been on the website since August.

@JustaGemini are you around?

@JustaGemini Thanks for offering to help. My son will be a Sr in high school this year and we have visited many schools. My son liked Albany very much. We have done alot of research over the last 3 years believe it or not Albany has an excellent business school and my son wants to major in Accounting. So he thinks anyway. My son has a 94.5 gpa and got a 32 on his ACT.

I guess my first question is: How do you like Albany? By that I mean the general atmosphere around campus. Is is a big party school? My son likes to socialize, do not get me wrong, but he is not a big party animal.

Second, can you go into a little depth with regard to the honors college. I have read up alot on it and I do see the perks, but I just feel that college is hard enough. And with accounting, the big firms like to see a good gpa so do I really want my son to take honors courses in English? (which he is not a big fan of) or honors Accounting? Do not get me wrong, I think the benefits are nice, however, I believe you have to write a thesis at the end of the program, am I correct? That is not my son’s thing to tell you the truth.

If you can shed some light on the program pros and cons that would be great.

Thanks Again

@euve69 It’s no problem whatsoever!

Personally, I love Albany. It’s a pretty big school but it feels like home very fast. Many people believe that the students here only care about partying, but that really just depends on who you surround yourself with. The school does have a big party atmosphere, but I know plenty of people (including myself!) that have made groups of friends that don’t go out often or at all. The main way people socialize to make friends is in class and in clubs, which there are tons of. Parties are just ways to have fun and let loose a little; rarely do people actually become friends at parties. When I was looking into Albany I was terrified of the party atmosphere, but it is so easy to just not be a part of it. Other than partying, the campus itself is very welcoming. The student body is incredibly diverse & most people you meet are friendly and happy. The professors are pretty much always around and always willing to help. There’s something on campus for everyone, no matter what type of person you are.

The Honors College for me personally has been great. Compared to the kids that weren’t in the honors college that I became friends with, I think that kids in the honors college transition into college a lot easier than the ones that aren’t in the honors college. We move in two days early and have a special orientation, we all live in the same dorm building and we all have classes with familiar faces so it was a lot easier to make friends in that way. We also are all like-minded in that a lot of us want to focus more on school than on anything else, although we do love to have fun. As for the 6 required honors classes, yes they seem pretty pointless, but if you plan them out well it works out fine. A lot of the honors classes can also double as a general education requirement, so you get an honors requirement and a gen ed out of the way at the same time. It may seem stupid to take honors English if your son is a accounting major, but it really helps students to figure out what they actually want to do and to take classes that they may be interested in but wouldn’t get to take depending on their major. It seems useless, but it really does help in deciding what we want to do and being more well-rounded. Being in the honors college also gets us into research faster and easier, which makes writing the senior thesis much easier. A lot of people are scared of the thesis, including me, but from honors seniors I have talked to they said it really isn’t as bad as we all think.

I guess the pros of the honors college are: priority housing & class registration, surrounded by like-minded people, easier to make friends (in my opinion), research is easier to get into. One con of the honors college that I have is that sometimes you get sick of being surrounded by the same people. This is more likely to happen if you live in the honors dorm building, as you are constantly surrounded by all honors kids. Another is no one actually knows how having this distinction on your diploma actually helps with getting a job or getting into a graduate school in the long run. Nothing has been said or proved or anything, so I cannot help there.

I hope this helped a little bit! Let me know if you have any more questions.

@justagemini Thanks so much for your help. With regard to partying, I think all and I mean all colleges have parties. What, the Binghamton or Cornell student does not like to party? I just think that some schools have more of it than others. Heck, Lehigh and Bucknell are known for being party schools, yet, they are top universities.

What you laid out with regards to the honors college is exactly what I thought. The pro’s are what I have researched and the cons are what I expected as well.

You brought up a good point when you mentioned that no one really knows how the honors college helps with grad school etc. My opinion is simple. NOTHING, LOL. That goes for any honors college at any university. I think at the end of the day believe it or not employers and grad schools go by the GPA. If you want to go to med school, my opinion is that it is better to get a 3.5 gpa in the regular curriculum than a 3.25 in the honors college. Like I said, that goes for any university in the country. But, I have not conducted a study on that!!

That is where my son comes in. I think that accounting is a hard curriculum to begin with. I just think the last thing he needs is to do research and write a thesis. In some cases if you are a science major, the research comes in very handy, for business, especially accounting, I just do not think the big 4 accounting firms care.

I do have one question though. When you applied to Albany, did you automatically get into the honors college, or did you have to actually apply to the honors college?

Thanks Again

@euve69 I completely agree with what you said about how being in an honors college does nothing when it comes to getting a job or getting into graduate school. At times it seems pointless to me to even continue being in the honors college, but I LOVE the perks so I’m seeing if I can just keep going.

I applied to Albany regular decision. When I was accepted, I got a letter with my acceptance that basically said “Respond to this prompt in essay format to secure your space in the Honors college.” So I wrote the essay and secured my spot, which you can back out of if you decide you don’t want to be in it. However, you can apply to the honors college in spring of freshman year or during your sophomore year.

@JustaGemini Thanks!! I did not mean to discourage you LOL I think the honors college is a great thing for some folks. My son is a very good student. ACT OF 32 GPA OF 3.9 BUT he is not a writer!! Don’t get me wrong, he can write when he wants to but it is not his thing. As a parent, you have to know your child, and in the end, I just do not see him wanting to do a thesis on a topic in accounting. I believe he wants to do his thing and move on to grad school to get his masters and then his CPA hopefully.

Like I said in my previous post. GPA is where it is at. And I just believe that a med school will not say hey, Billy got a 3.0 in the honors college, that is equivalent to a 3.5 or a 3.7 etc in the “REGULAR” COLLEGE. I just do not think that grad schools or med schools think that way unfortunately so you better do well in that honors college and not sacrifice that gpa.

Hey, my son my very well do great in the honors college and have no problem doing a thesis. But why take that chance?

All in all, I think honors colleges are great for some folks. But for others, I believe it is better to just get the highest gpa you can and move on.

Anyway, I am glad you like Albany, and it will be interesting to see where my son winds up.

Thanks so much for the info!!

Can you tell me about the core curriculum? Is foreign language a part of it and if so, how many semesters do you have to take. I have always heard that the bulk of students at SUNYA are from Long Island, is this true? Were your freshman level classes huge? If so, how big? Do you have any small classes as a freshman? If a student needs help, is it available?

@Empireapple Hi! I can definitely tell you about those things.

UAlbany has general educations requirements, meaning that before you graduate you must complete certain classes. This includes one class (one semester) from these subjects: natural sciences, social sciences, mathematics, humanities, international perspectives, foreign language, challenges for the 21st century, arts, U.S history and writing and critical inquiry. If you have taken APs, some APs will fulfill the requirements. If you haven’t, it is easy to fulfill the requirements because the school has something called “Maps” that map out your major & when you should take certain classes. They have gen. ed. classes on the maps too. It seems like a lot, but it isn’t too bad.

Many people at UAlbany are definitely from Long Island. In a group of 10 of my friends, I think 4 or 5 of them are from Long Island. To me, it doesn’t matter much though because who cares where they are from as long as you have great friends.

My freshmen level classes were mainly huge. Introductory level classes are in the biggest lecture halls for the most part. They can hold 300-400 kids. However, math, english & writing classes are usually smaller. Classes in the morning or at night are usually smaller. Honors college classes are also smaller. It all depends on the class. Small classes are usually 25-30 kids. If a student needs help, there are so many resources available on campus. There’s office hours with the professor (kind of like staying after school in high school), tutoring, group study sessions, stuff like that. There’s also a whole office based on academic success which holds study sessions.

I hope this helped!

Why does everyone hate Alumni quad? I got assigned for housing today

@NASA2014 Sorry for the super late response, I for some reason never got a notification for this.

A lot of people hate Alumni because it is downtown and not close to the main campus at all. I don’t know about the conditions of the dorm, as I have never lived there, but I know that most people that live there hate having to drive or take the bus to the main campus every day just to go to class.

I hope that helped a bit!

Do you know how the printing policy is? Like if I want to print the course content is it free?

@JustaGemini I wonder if you have any friends there that can tell you what the out of state costs look like? I have a fam income of 110k in New Jersey. I have a brother in another college in NY. I have no savings and my parents who both work are willing to put in atleast 10k for college but not sure if they can handle more than that. The NPCalculator doesn’t seem to be anywhere near correct so I wanted to ask if anyone with first hand acceptance offers might be willing to shed some light. My intended major is Computer Science or Computer Information Science. I have an expected 1320 combined sat score, at minimum 1300. My gpa currently stands at 3.7 unweighted.
Also, are there wheelchair access to most buildings? I can also use crutches but just want to know about wheelchair access.

I have a similar question to the above post. Do you know much about what kind of academic awards are offered to students? Is there some listing of scholarship awards given for certain academic achievements? Also, does getting into the honors college also get you an additional merit award to lower the costs? I know that some schools like NJIT gives a few thousand dollars off the cost of admittance if you are accepted into their honors college.

@JustaGemini I am in a similar situation to you. I was just accepted to UA and was awarded Presidential Scholarship. I am also planning to go pre-med. I wanted to know if you have looked into and applied for the early assurance program with Albany Med. If not, can you tell me why you did not. I am trying to find out how hard it is to go that route. I have many more questions if you don’t mind, but I figured I would start with that one. Thank you for taking the time!!!

Can you give a list of things that an incoming freshman should know about ualbany? Dorm life, how to handle classes and party life, rules, etc?

Are there alot of asians??

@classof2028 There are 7% asians according to UAlbany stats. You really shouldn’t worry a lot about being racially isolated here though. People are normally friendly if you approach them.