Impressions Of
University of Alabama

Academic Experience

Female Advertising Major C/O 2019

Can you describe your weekly coursework for your major?
Advertising has a mix of Public Relations classes, so some of the PR classes are digital and some are specific to a certain thing. In the Advertising classes there are a ton of group projects. There was one class where we split up into groups and spent the entire semester working in that group. We’d give weekly or biweekly presentations on what we found. Most of the digital classes are mostly are on your own. The creative classes, which are all Photoshop and InDesign, are not my forte. I think a lot of people either click with it or don’t. I’m going to be more in the client relationship portion of advertising, so that is not what I’m going to be doing.

Can you describe the learning environment? Do you think it’s competitive or collaborative?
I think it’s great. I transferred from a small school to a big school and, yes, there are larger lectures but I never feel that it’s not intimate enough. You can ask questions, you can meet with your teachers. I never feel like my professors are distant because of the larger classes. A lot of my classes, especially in Advertising, will have a large lecture, but then for your more specific classes will be only 20-30 kids.

Female Advertising and Art Double Major C/O 2017

Can you describe your weekly coursework for your major?
Fall semester junior year you start your creative specialization. You start with concepting, so you make 100 thumbnails 3 times a semester and every week you have to come up with 10 ideas for ads in rough form. You draw up an ad with a sharpie and the professor critiques it. At the end of the semester, you end up executing your ads. You have to know Adobe programs, and that comes earlier on. You’d probably take that at the same time as your first concepting class, making thumbnails and also doing Adobe. You still have tests and stuff, like I have about 3 tests throughout the semester in my 300-level class.

Is there anything that the program does especially well or poorly?
If you want to be a creative in advertising that program they started is a huge deal. If you graduate in the general advertising track you wouldn’t be able to do creative work. It prepped us for having a portfolio for interviews. That is an advantage that Alabama has over other schools.  You graduate with a portfolio and that is rare from a non-art school. The Capstone Agency is also a huge deal because you have client experience before you graduate. One thing that’s bad was all of our ads we graduated with were print and everything is leaning towards digital now, but that I think is changing. The new professor will be leaning towards digital and interactive [material].

Male Marketing Major with specialization in Sales C/O 2019

Can you describe your weekly coursework for your major?
It’s usually just going through different consumer activity as well as creating sales pitches, like creating sales scenarios with the sales program at the University of Alabama. You prepare for a week or week and a half and you go into a room with a fake client and you try to sell a product. For instance, we did a scenario for a new turf field or a new Lay’s potato chip. We have to come up with different sales projections in terms of price, etc.

Can you describe the learning environment? Do you think it’s competitive or collaborative?
I think it’s a mix of both. It’s competitive in the sense of there’s always people you are competing against, whether that’s your fraternity brother who is in the same major as you or it’s some guy in your class that you’ve been with since freshman year. I think that part of it has competition. But, at the same time, there are those who don’t care too much about school, so you kind of feel a little bit better than most if you are doing well at Alabama like I am.

What has been your favorite class in your major?
Marketing 337, which was the sales specialization class where we did different sales scenarios. It taught me a lot about how to talk to a potential buyer. It was fun for me because it was a different type of class that I’d never really taken before. It wasn’t test based but it was performance-based, which I really liked.

Social Opportunities

Male Mechanical Engineering Major C/O 2018

What kind of weekend activities or nightlife do you like to participate in?
I go out quite a bit to the bars. Freshman year I went to more fraternity parties.

Was it difficult going to fraternity parties as somebody that is not a part of Greek life?
Not if you’re social. It’s difficult if you’re not a very social person. If you’re social it’s fine, it’s a lot of fun. It’s pretty easy to get in because you’re bound to have friends in Greek life who can bring you to events.

What have been your favorite times at Alabama?
Tailgating and going to football games.

How happy are you with the nightlife at Alabama? Is there anything you would change if you could?
I love it. I’ve loved every part of it.

Male Biology Major C/O 2018

How exclusive are fraternity parties?
I’ve been to plenty of parties where I barely knew people at the fraternities, but one of my friends that I was with knew somebody. If you have a connection, it’s not hard to get in. I’ve never had trouble. If you just stroll up and not know anybody you might have problems.

What is an alternative option to going to a bar or frat party that you like to do?
There are lots of low-key bars and breweries. One of my pledge brothers used to perform stand-up comedy at this place called Loosa Brews. There is a theater that does Broadway shows in Tuscaloosa. Then there are the more adult bars to sit at with TVs. There’s also the Tuscaloosa Amphitheater that has outdoor concerts on the weekend.

What is the impact of Greek life on nightlife? Do you think you could have fun without being in Greek life?
Yeah, you can 100% have fun without it. I mean it also kind of depends on the kind of person you are. If you are a really outgoing person you’ll have fun. My freshman year roommate wasn’t in a fraternity and he went out more than any of our roommates and went to more sorority date parties than any of our roommates. He killed it and he wasn’t in a fraternity. It’s all about what you want to make of it. Not being in a fraternity is not going to hold you back from having fun or doing anything.

Male Marketing Major with specialization in Sales C/O 2019

What kind of weekend activities or nightlife do you like to participate in?
When I was a freshman and sophomore I was more interested in the fraternity scene and went to the 19+ bars occasionally. But [when I turned 21], the bar life was what I really participated in. I think the bar life is the best part. You’re with all your friends and it’s different than a club. You’re at a casual bar where there’s great music and you’re talking, rather than being stuck in a club where there’s loud music and you can’t even move an inch. That’s what I like about it. Now everybody that is in my grade is turning 21, we all go to this bar called Gallette’s. Everybody goes on Wednesday nights so you see everybody from your classes, you see your friends of friends, you meet new people, and it’s a lot of fun.

How exclusive are the fraternity parties?
You have to know somebody to get in and that can be difficult depending on what fraternity is having a party that day. I would say if someone’s a girl and they go to an SEC school, they’re set because all girls are allowed to go in. It’s just more difficult for guys to get into other fraternity parties.

Campus Culture

Female Advertising Major C/O 2019

How would you describe the overall social scene at Alabama?
I would say it doesn’t really matter if you’re in a sorority or not. I think that’s a big, big thing. At southern schools I feel like the sororities are built up to be this thing where if you’re not in one you don’t have a social life, and that is simply not true. A lot of people drop by the time they are a junior. It’s really for freshmen who get to school, get their feet in the water and make friends, and then they drop because it’s so expensive. I don’t think that being in a sorority defines your social life.

What is the impact of Greek life on social life?
It’s pretty big when you’re just joining because there are certain sororities that hang out with certain fraternities and that kind of thing. Once you join and meet your friends and drop it doesn’t make any difference because you still have those close friends. It’s not a big deal I think, at least not for me. [There are more than 11,500 students involved in Greek life, making up 34% of the undergraduate population.]

Do you think people are happy with their choice of Alabama by senior year?
I do, especially because most of my friends don’t want to leave and a lot of them stay throughout the summers to take extra classes and be there.

Female Advertising and Art Double Major C/O 2017

To what extent do you feel people of different races and sexual orientations mix socially?
I think they do in certain social circles, but in others definitely not. In terms of Greek life, no, but it’s getting better. I’ve seen a gradual change in my four years there, but for the vast majority of Greek life, no. Outside of that, it can be diverse. My major is very diverse in terms of both race and sexual orientation and we all hang out as friends. It depends on where you look to find diversity.

How would you describe the social scene? 
I think it’s too big to get cliquey. Freshman year it has a lot to do with Greek life. People immediately ask you what frat or sorority you’re in and you make friends that way. People make judgments based on what Greek organization you’re in. People stop caring about that Junior year unless they’re trying to see if you have a lot of mutual friends. Freshman and sophomore year people care a lot about Greek life. But unless you’re a girl, it doesn’t really matter. It’s weird. It also depends on what bars you go to regularly, you run into the same people a lot. You also have the people that never get over being Old Row. I never felt that there was a hierarchy. It’s pretty open, you just have to do what you want to do and you’ll find the people want to chill.

Male Marketing Major with specialization in Sales C/O 2019

To what extent do you feel people of different races and sexual orientations mix on campus?
Pretty well. I think if you’re in an all-Black fraternity or a White or a Jewish fraternity everybody respects each other. I haven’t seen any racial tension or racial issues on campus or anything discriminatory towards any race, gender, or sexual orientation. I do think that, compared to all the universities in the south, Alabama is very progressive in that type of way. I know that if there’s any racial issue they will go into a full investigation and take action. They recently kicked out a girl for racial issues.

What is the impact of Greek life on the social scene?
It’s huge. All the parties are at Greek houses, even the block seating at football games is based on Greek houses, and when you go out to a bar you see everybody in Greek shirts. It’s a huge part of Alabama.

How would you describe the overall social scene?
Crazy. You have a mix of different people from all over the place. You have the country scene, you have the club scene, you get a mix of everything. Each aspect of where people want to party, whether that’s the laid-back bar, country music, the club bar that has Migos playing. Everybody is just always having a good time.


Pros of

  • “There’s a good atmosphere whether it’s football season or not” 

  • “It’s a college town.” 

  • “It’s small and realistically you could walk places.”

  • “The college does bring a lot of cool things to Tuscaloosa. There’s cool culture if you look for it. Like, the first Friday of each month the art galleries are free to the public.” 

  • “People are very nice down here. Almost too nice.” 

Cons of

  • “It’s in Alabama.” 

  • “It’s far from a major airport.” 

  • “There’s not great restaurants. There’s not a good variety of healthy choices, it’s a lot of fast food chains.”

  • “If you’re from the North, it’s a large cultural change. The college campus kind of creates a bubble, but sometimes it’s noticeable that you’re in the deep south.” 

  • “Football ruins the first semester because everything gets so expensive and hard to get to because people flood the town.”

Advice for Prospective Freshmen

Male Mechanical Engineering Major C/O 2018

What is something you wish you knew before entering Alabama as a freshman?
I wish I knew more about the Greek life. I wish I knew more people in Greek life going into it because it’s easier to make your initial friend group that way. If you go in like me not knowing a single person it might be difficult. I got lucky meeting my core group at the very beginning.

Male Biology Major C/O 2018

What is something you wish you knew before entering Alabama as a freshman?
I was worried that I was going to a really southern school, but it really wasn’t. It’s the perfect mix. It can be southern if you want it to be, but it doesn’t have to be. There is a huge population of non-southern kids, and that was the base of my friends. Yeah, it’s in the deep south in Alabama, but it’s more about who is there that makes it what it is, and who’s there is 60% out of state kids. I wish I would have known that there were so many non-Alabama kids like me.

What is something a prospective student may miss on a visit that’s worth checking out?
The Bryant Museum is a cool place to go. It’s a football museum. Then off-campus, the only thing to see would be downtown, which is only like one or two streets so I think it would be hard to miss that.

Female Advertising Major C/O 2019

What is something you wish you knew about Alabama before entering as a transfer?
I guess I didn’t think about how far it is. It’s a pain to come back for Christmas and Thanksgiving and you might not have the opportunity to go back for quick breaks. Sometimes there aren’t direct flights and I have to fly out of Atlanta. That’s something that I wish I considered more.

What is something that a student may miss on a visit that’s worth checking out?
The Strip. Go check it out and look at places. I also suggest talking to a student and if you can stay with a student for a weekend. I don’t think you understand the experience until you spend a weekend and see what life is like. That’s what convinced me to go.

Reasons to attend and not to attend University of Alabama

To Attend

  • “Football. Gameday is unbelievable down there. It’s a totally new world. ​

  • “The bar scene is unbelievable”

  • “They are heavily increasing the out of state population, so you get to meet people from all over.”

  • “If you’re looking for a place with a strong alumni network and school pride that lasts their whole lives.”

  • “You’re going to have a really good time. You won’t have to worry about finding things to do at night. You can find something no matter what.”

To Not Attend

  • “The state of Alabama is very [messed] up. Its history shows.”

  • “If you want a big city, Tuscaloosa’s not that. You won’t get a city experience.”

  • “It’s kind of a party school, so a lot of people end up dropping out because they can’t handle it. You’re going to be in trouble if you’re not good at self-control.”

  • “It’s difficult to go home and expensive to fly out of Birmingham.”

  • “If you don’t want a southern school, I wouldn’t go to Alabama because there is a strong southern presence. It isn’t overwhelming, but it’s there.”

Notice: University of Alabama is a trademark. Induck uses it for descriptive purposes, not to imply affiliation with, endorsement from, or sponsorship by University of Alabama.

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