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Tuesday, July 20, 2010

University of Miami

In January 2010, I left the cold of New Jersey and visited the University of Miami, which by the way is not in Miami. It's in Coral Gables. I was greeted by warm weather and students in bathing suits sunning themselves out on the lawn. The 260 acre campus was filled with lush green lawns, palm trees and a lake.

This private college of about 9500 boasts small classes (three quarters of classes have 25 or fewer students) and excellent programs in Business, Pre-Med, Communications, Theatre, Marine Science, Biology, Film and Jazz.

The student body was diverse in terms of states and countries represented, as well as ethnicity.

The college has an outstanding career center with resume/cover letter feedback, mock interviews, many internships, and many prospective employers. With today's slow economy this is a big plus. My husband interviewed students there for a Fortune 500 company and they were well-polished. They also have many merit scholarships!

Popular student activities included:
· Cheering on Division 1 Football, Basketball and Baseball teams
· Club sports
· Going to Coconut Grove and Miami
· Sunbathing
· Greek Life social events
· Attending movies which are screened 2x a week
· Hanging out at the Ratskeller on the outdoor gliders
· Free live music outside on the patio on Thursdays
· Using the $14 million fitness center which has exercise classes, a juice bar, personal trainers, and indoor and outdoor pools

The school provides free buses to take students around campus, Coconut Grove, Miami, and the Key Biscayne campus (for Marine Science). I think students really enjoy the stores and restaurants in Coconut Grove. The bus service is especially helpful to freshmen who can't keep cars on campus and for those who don't want to deal with the heavy traffic to Miami.

If you are wondering if you can get in, know that the Middle 50% SAT scores were 1250 – 1390 (Critical Reading and Math); ACT scores 28 – 31. Their Honors program is open to those in the top tenth of their high school class with an SAT score greater than 1360. There is also a 7-year medical program open to those with an SAT score of 1400 or an ACT score of 32.

Freshmen housing is in air-conditioned doubles in high-rise dorms, with shared bathrooms in the halls. While the building is co-ed, the floors are not. One plus is that a professor and his family live in each dorm and serve as the Resident Faculty Master.

If you are a pre-professional student or student concerned with job placement after graduation who wants a diverse school of about 10,000 students with small classes in a warm climate, near a big city, the University of Miami might be your dream school.

If you visited or attended the University of Miami recently, does this jive with your impressions? Do you have something to add?

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