Impressions Of
University of Washington at Seattle

Academic Experience

Female Education Major C/O 2020

Is there anything you feel your major’s department does especially well or poorly?
They do a really good job of teaching us how to communicate with kids of all different backgrounds and be sensitive to the fact that a lot of kids might not be comfortable with themselves yet. We’re learning a lot about different sexual orientations, genders, and races, so they do a good job of teaching us all the specific details of that.

How would you describe the learning environment? Do you think it’s particularly competitive or collaborative?
It’s very collaborative. I wouldn’t say it’s competitive. It’s a brand new major at the University of Washington, so we’re still learning together.

How accessible are your professors?
Very accessible. They have office hours at least twice and week and they are always communicating through email and are available to talk after class.

Male Computer Science Major C/O 2021

Is there anything you feel your major’s department does especially well or poorly?
Because [Computer Science] is so competitive and so many kids want the STEM majors, they make some classes especially hard to separate the pack, which is really annoying. Sometimes you’ll get a score you don’t feel is a representation of what you know, but it’s hard to argue against. The classes are set up with lecture three times a week, and there are TA sections with smaller groups of 20-30 students where you can ask questions. Because the lectures are so big, you don’t get to connect with the professor, so having these smaller sections is helpful. [In 2018, University of Washington started accepting high school students as direct admits to the Computer Science department because it was in such high demand that they could only accept about 33% of applicants into the program.]

How would you describe the learning environment? Do you think it’s particularly competitive or collaborative?
I would say it’s a little bit of both. There are definitely some majors that are more competitive. Especially early on it’s less collaborative because everyone is trying to figure out their path. Once you get older and settle down, it seems that people are willing to help and it’s more collaborative. If people are bonding, it’s usually because they are struggling together. Grading classes on a curve [adds to the competitiveness], opposed to people genuinely wanting to help each other.

Female Biochemistry Major C/O 2021

Can you describe the weekly coursework for your major?
I have a lot of problem sets, I have lab every week for three hours, and we have exams every two weeks. Around 70% of our grades are from exams.

Is there anything you feel your major’s department does especially well or poorly?
They do a really good job of picking their T.A.’s. The T.A.’s are very helpful. We have quiz sections once a week where we get worksheets and problem sets and have the opportunity to get information and ask questions that we couldn’t ask during office hours.

How would you describe the learning environment? Do you think it’s particularly competitive or collaborative?
I think it’s more competitive than collaborative. Creating study groups can be difficult because people want to get better grades than each other, so it’s harder as a group than work individually. It’s like that because most of the classes are graded on a curve.

Social Opportunities

Female Education Major C/O 2020

What kind of nightlife or weekend activities do you participate in?
Sometimes we like to go to Capitol Hill and go to the bars or clubs. I just turned 21 so that experience is a little bit new for me, but I would say that every weekend we find a day to go do something in Capitol Hill. Freshman year we would go to athlete parties. That would usually be on a Saturday night, maybe after a football game.

What nights of the week do you regularly go out?
Either a Friday or a Saturday night.

Are there certain places you like to go?
We like to change it up, but most often we go to Pie Bar which is a place that serves both pies and drinks and that would be our favorite place [laughs].

What have been your favorite times at Washington?
I love tailgates. That would be my favorite non-sports related activity is tailgating with my friends and the other athletes. My favorite activity would be getting ready to play games. I really, really like going on the light rail and going downtown and going to Pike Place Market and getting flowers. I take the light rail a lot.

Male Education, Communities, & Organizations and Law, Societies, & Justice Double Major C/O 2020

What kind of nightlife or weekend activities do you participate in?
I really enjoy going to sporting events, so that involves Husky football on Saturdays, basketball in the winter, and baseball in the spring. Also, with my house we’ll do hot chocolate nights. We’re on the same street as the Greek houses, so when the Greek community is throwing parties on Tuesdays and Thursdays we pass out hot chocolate and talk with them and build community with them.

There are a few other ministry things I go to. On Tuesdays The Inn Seattle has worship music and food. There are people from the Greek community, residential halls, and it is very open to anybody. Then at my house we have small group meetings once a week for two hours which [involves] five guys getting together and talking about our weeks. We have mentors that help us go through some scripture and we hang out together.

What have been your favorite times at UW?
Sports have been big. One memory is when we hit a three-pointer to beat Arizona and everybody rushed the court, that was really cool. Also, random spur of the moment nights when we’ve gone to Gas Works Park or the Montlake Cut, which is a swimming area, in the spring. Road trips for sporting events are big, we went to the Pac-12 championship our freshman year and we went to Oregon State for a basketball game. Some of my favorite memories have been road tripping with my friends as well.

Male Computer Science Major C/O 2021

What kind of nightlife or weekend activities do you participate in?
My friends and I go to the city a lot. It’s 10 minutes from downtown, and the transportation is free for students. We go to Pike Place Market and get some really good food, and there are lots of nice parks with cool sunset views. People go to Golden Garden Beach at night to have bonfires, and we go to football games on Saturdays in the fall. Tons of artists come to Seattle to perform, and there are parties around campus. I mostly enjoy outdoor events. Most of the parties are Greek affiliated, and I’m not in a fraternity so going to those are harder, not being in the Greek system.

How happy are you with the options for weekend activities around UW? Is there anything you would change if you could?
It’s what you make of it, but I’m pretty satisfied. There are lots of options in Seattle. Anywhere you go there is the typical stuff to do like going downtown to hang out with friends. On-campus restaurants close early around 11 or 12, which is annoying because college students stay up late.

Campus Culture

Female Education Major C/O 2020

How would you describe the overall social scene?
I would say that people who are in Greek life have their own community. I think they really like that community and I get that vibe through social media and having a few friends in Greek life. Athletes have their own community and we all get along really, really well. People who aren’t an athlete or through Greek life have their own community through the dorms and they get along as well.

How would you describe the student body?
I think we have a very studious group of students here. Everyone is studying at the libraries or doing something educational during the week. People like to take school seriously here, and that is something I really like about our student body.

Do you think people are happy with their choice of the University of Washington by the time they graduate? Do you think people leave loving the University of Washington?
Yes, absolutely. I think they are really happy that they got a really good education and that there is so much to experience around the University of Washington too.

Male Computer Science Major C/O 2021

To what extent do you feel people of different races and sexual orientations mix socially?
It’s pretty liberal in the sense that we have lots of clubs and organizations for underrepresented groups. I don’t see many groups with a wide range of sexualities, but everyone is very accepting and I don’t see many prejudices prevalent on campus. [About 40% of undergraduates are Caucasian, about 24% are Asian, and about 15% are international students.]

How do you like the size of your school in terms of undergraduate enrollment?
I like the size because there are a ton of people. Without a doubt, you will find friends. Compared to my friends at smaller schools, it seems like they are a lot closer with who they meet. Here, it’s hard to know a lot of people, but those you do know you become close with. [The undergraduate enrollment is about 31,000 students.]

Female Biochemistry Major C/O 2021

How would you describe the overall social scene?
There are a lot of opportunities to make new friends. Because it’s a big public university and there are a lot of diverse groups, I believe that everyone can find their own group or where they belong. [About 40% of undergraduates are Caucasian, about 24% are Asian, and about 15% are international students.]

How would you describe the student body?
I think the student body is very career oriented. No one cares about what you’re wearing because they’re more focused on school, themselves, and their career path. In terms of political views, the students are more liberal.

Seattle, WA

Pros of

  • “There’s always something to do. If you’re bored you can take the light rail downtown and be a tourist or find new restaurants.”
  • “You’re in the heart of a big city with lots of opportunities to find jobs, and to meet people.”
  • “It’s a good location in the sense that people can go up to Canada, Oregon, and there is a lot of good hiking around.”

Cons of

  • “The weather. It rains a lot, and during the wintertime it sometimes is never sunny out. For some people that affects them a lot, which sucks.”
  • “It’s getting more and more expensive. Gas is going up, prices everywhere are going up.”
  • “There is a little bit of a stigma around the Seattle Freeze, which a stereotype that people in Seattle are self-driven and not very outgoing. I don’t think it’s true from my experiences.”

Advice for Prospective Freshmen

Male Education, Communities, & Organizations and Law, Societies, & Justice Double Major C/O 2020

What is something a prospective Christian student may want to know that we haven’t touched on?
As far as being bold in your faith at UW, UW is very secular. There are not a lot of conversations in classes with the people you’re interacting with about your faith. I would tell someone to find your faith community because there are a lot of clubs that are faith-based. Don’t be discouraged if the people in your classes and your professors are not faith-based, you’ll have to hang on to that and find your community and build yourself up with them. It’s a hard place to be a Christian because there are not a lot of people around you that are.

What is something a prospective student may miss on a visit that is worth checking out?
I think the campus is beautiful. That was a huge draw for me. Check out the athletic facilities, like the basketball arena. Those are further down but are worth checking out. University Ave. has some great food. It’s a street with lots of different ethnic and cultural restaurants.

Male Computer Science Major C/O 2021

What is something you wish you knew about the University of Washington before entering as a freshman?
How competitive and challenging certain classes would be. I came from a challenging high school, so I thought going to college would be a little more of a breeze. The workload in college for the technical major I’m in is stressful at times. I wish I knew how stringent some of the little things are, because I had to learn that on my own.

What is something a prospective computer science student should know that we haven’t touched on?
Undergraduate research opportunities and getting involved with stuff outside the classroom looks good for students trying to get into [the technical] majors.

What is something a prospective student may miss on a visit that is worth checking out?
Keep the weather in mind. People typically visit in March, April, or May when the weather is nice. This doesn’t give you a good depiction of the winter when it’s cold and rainy. I would check out all of the dorms. I don’t remember seeing the one I was living in, but we did see a couple.

Female Biochemistry Major C/O 2021

What is something you wish you knew about the University of Washington before entering as a freshman?
Because UW was not a reach school for me when applying, I didn’t really know how competitive it is and how difficult it would be. I also didn’t imagine there to be 300 students in one classroom. I wish the year before I sat in a big classroom and got a feel for how it is. Especially in my science classes a lot of people want to go to med school, and the med school at UW is so good, so I didn’t expect there to be that competition.

What is something a prospective student may miss on a visit that is worth checking out?
Again, get a feel for the classes. Because it’s a big campus, I feel they should see how far classes can be from each other. They should get a feel for how big the campus is and that classes will be a walk or a bus ride away. I also really like the Suzzallo Library because it feels like Harry Potter. Next to the Suzzallo Library, there’s Red Square that is also really pretty.

Reasons to attend and not to attend University of Washington at Seattle

To Attend

  • “There are a lot of opportunities that we have with internships, jobs, and majors around Seattle.”
  • “There are a ton of clubs that can make the campus feel a lot smaller and where you can find a community.”
  • “They do a really good job of preparing you for your career. A lot of majors require you to do an internship.”
  • “The school is very diverse. Everyone finds a place to belong. There are many different races and types of people.” [About 40% of undergraduates are Caucasian, about 24% are Asian, and about 15% are international students.]

To Not Attend

  • “Getting into your major can be hard, especially if you’re not a direct admit to Computer Science, Business, or Engineering. If you’re not already in one of those programs when you get accepted, it can be very difficult to get in. A lot of people are frustrated after their sophomore year when they came here to study this one thing and they’re not able to because they don’t get accepted.”
  • “It’s starting to get expensive here in terms of cost of living and doing activities.”
  • “If you’re someone who likes a smaller classroom environment, where you can get to know the professor in a hands-on environment.” [45% of classes are between 20 and 49 students.]
Notice: University of Washington at Seattle is a trademark. Induck uses it for descriptive purposes, not to imply affiliation with, endorsement from, or sponsorship by University of Washington at Seattle.

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