Florida State University
Florida State University - Graduate (MS/PhD) Ratings|
|Total Grad Surveys||28|
|Avg years at University||2.4|
|Research Quality||B- (6.4)|
|Research Availability||C+ (5.7)|
|Research Funding||C (4.8)|
|Graduate Politics||C+ (5.0)|
|Not Errand Runners||B (6.6)|
|Degree Completion||B (7.0)|
|Alternative pay [ta/gsi]||C+ (5.4)|
|Sufficient Pay||C- (3.8)|
|Education Quality||B- (6.2)|
|Faculty Accessibility||B (7.2)|
|Useful Research||B (7.0)|
|"Individual" treatment||C (4.8)|
|Campus Beauty||A- (8.2)|
|Campus Maintenance||B+ (7.5)|
|University Spending||B (6.7)|
|Scholastic Success||B (7.0)|
|Surrounding City||B- (6.3)|
|Social Life/ Environment||B+ (7.6)|
For starters, FSU feels more like a SEC school than an ACC one. The culture here is very warped around football and the southern life-style. There is some diversity here, but the diversity is mainly in asians, south americans and blacks that they imported from other countries to boost their programs. This isnt really a school for northerners/eastern europeans unlike other ACC schools.
The administration here is probably the worse I've seen at any school I've been to, but that could just be since it's a big school. Financial aid is ran by a bunch of idiots who you will have to call a billion times for them to process your paper work correctly since nothing online tells you if it's all correct.
Admissions was kind of a joke too since they tell you when they announce your admissions date, but then keep changing it on you. I found it kind of insulting to how I was unable to get into the communications program when I had the right experience for that but lacked a stupid GRE math score that isnt even relevant, but was admitted to a program that really has nothing to do with what I am really interested in.
In terms of academics, its really a mixed bag. I went into a graduate program that I did not think was really worth it. I definitely learned a lot, but it was not things that align with what I have already done. The professors range from decent to terrible. My program claimed it was #1 in the nation, but it was mainly due to the research they produced and not the way the teachers taught.
The job market in Tallahassee is pretty awful. I was able to find one job here after living in this town for three years. Getting a job at the school is next to impossible since there is so much bureaucracy that its not even funny. My grad department only offers TA/GA jobs to those with a PhD and trying to talk to anyone else on campus about employment is next to impossible since people are too busy here to give you the time of day.
Finally, the social life here is also a mixed bag. If your part of the greek system, you may have a good time, but that all depends on who your affiliated with. If you dont have any greek affiliation that is influential of the school, it's going to feel pretty awkward trying to get ahead here. The clubs arent very good since they are ran by people who dont really care about much of anything and they all try to charge you a bunch of money for useless garbage.
The best I can say about Tallahassee though is that it's a cheap place to live, the food is decent, people here arent very superficial, and it's fairly safe. I cant complain that I lived here in Tallahassee, even though it's lacking in terms of activities. The parks are nice and there are some decent hangouts, but nothing that I thought was exciting.Overall, do a lot of research before coming to FSU. Some people may really like this place, but I am not one of them. If you have some connection to this place already and know that you can do well, come here. If your an outsider who is looking to break through, I wouldnt waste my time.
The good about FSU is that its a very nice looking campus, interesting students, good football team, decent bus system, lots of places nearby to eat, cheap to attend/live by and there is a lot of people that go there. The bad about FSU is that its hard to find work here, the administration is really stupid, some of the classes are a waste of time, the surrounding area is kind of ghetto, there is no real bar on campus, the student organizations/activities are really boring, and the school is way too big.
I dont think the grad school is really worth it at FSU. Luckily my program is online and I can continue taking classes if I move, but going to class in real life is a waste of time. Even being at the school is kind of a waste since the jobs on campus are very limited and dont pay that great. Its also very hard to communicate with the faculty and staff here since people have a billion things going on and barely any time to spend with you.
I think going to FSU for undergrad is fine since it seems like its very fun to younger people. The problem with FSU/any major public university is that it kind of caters really hard to those who want to blow a bunch of money on bullshit and isnt really about education. You will do more learning on your own than in the classroom. The school feels more like a amusement park/vacation town more than a place that is about giving people opportunities and helping people learn. Overall, FSU is slightly better than your average university just because the social experience has a lot of potential to take you some places. I really wanted to go to FSU for a long time and am glad that I went, but to be honest, the place is fucking weird. I hope employers start to realize how overrated college is, since there is not much that people do at a university that is really essential to bettering society.
Now for the negatives. As much with any mega-public university, the university is overstretched when it comes to resources. Although we have a $500 million endowment, there are over 40,000 students to be divided up amongst. There is not enough assistantships to cover everyone in the Dept. even if they are qualified. And even with an assistantships, you still need to be prepared to take out loans. Secondly as for the faculty you will probably be impressed with half of them, world-renowned scientists and dismayed with the other half, who can barely speak English and worst yet is the politics involved, you will learn stay away from it. For the most part, I would recommend this school to undegraduates, most undergrads are friendly, respectful and have a lot of fun; or individuals obtaining a professional Masters such as MBA or MSW and are funded by outside sources. This school is also known for Law School. I would not recommend attending a full-time Ph.D. research program, a lot of students fall through the cracks due to funding. If you can get into a higher ranked, better funded school do so. The program itself isn't poor, if you work hard and finish your degree, you will get a post somewhere ... eventually. However it's the combination of amount of useless research and the amount of loans that you'd have to take in the end, which makes it seem the more worthwhile to spend more time and money to begin with applying to more schools around the nation.
Most of the students are collegial, but a handful are arrogant and competitive (probably true everywhere). In some cases students will try to use the existing political factions to their advantage and to the competitive disadvantage of other students. As long as you are aware of this, you can survive. At some point, you'll have to make a decision to fly under the radar or choose a political path .... choose wisely. Remember, aside from your department chair and dissertation chair ... trust no-one.
Surprisingly, for a flagship university in a well funded state, the doctoral programs are grossly underfunded. The stipends available for the doctoral students are ridiculously low meaning that you will have to go into major student loan debt unless you or a benefactor have a deep stash of cash to get you through. Sometimes you can teach extra classes for extra cash, but the end result is that you lose valuable research time.
Many little tangential issues can tend to drive you nuts. Parking is attrocious. The campus has three parking garages, all of them too small and most are occupied full time by kids living on campus or in dorms. The parking police are diligent and the surrounding neighborhoods are shady. Parking for College of Business is insulting. You might find a space if you arrive at the crack of dawn. Most likely, you will have to pay for it (in addition to campus parking fees) or park in a shady (dangerous) area. They sold half of the business school parking to the local Catholic church (who now charges ridiculous prices to park) and decided to build a luxury apartment complex for students over the remaining biz school parking lots. The result is that there is literally no parking unless you want to arrive an hour early to campus and park at the football stadium (where you get to either ride a bus, or walk a mile to class). That brings me to my next point .... all of the administrative buildings that you have to frequent are built around the football stadium. That means for every little thing you have to do with financial aid, test scanning, registrar, bursar, parking, forms, etc. all occur at the complete opposite side of campus. These two inconveniences seem minor at first, but they slowly eat away tons of your valuable time.
My final complaint is with regard to the undergrads. If you need to relive your partying undergrad days, you will love them. This bunch parties morning, noon and night on every day of the week. However, as students of classes that you will teach, they are a royal headache. They hate coming to class, hate doing any assignments, they hate studying and they hate working. They will NOT come prepared for class. They will spend enormous amounts of effort to try and cheat rather than just do the work. They will try to negotiate for grades rather than earn them. They will beg for extra credit and curves. They will beg for the answers to every test before the test. They expect you to be available to them at all hours of the day, every day. They believe that you do nothing but teach their specific class. They demand that you serve them NOW. They are lazy. They are disrespectful. They will roll their eyes at you and bring newspapers, IPods, mp3 players, cell phones and food to your class. They wonder why there degrees are worth little but don't want to work for anything. Maybe this is a generational thing. Maybe this is life at a party school. Maybe this is the college scene at a public university. I just don't know. I do know that I would never work here as a Professor because of the quality of the undergrad student.
The pizza's here are okay- to be expected, and they are constantly adding more clubs--So overall it is worth it--