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The University of Rochester

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I majored in Environmental Studies so my commentsAverageGeography and Geosciences
I majored in Environmental Studies so my comments in the 1st half will mostly critique the EES department and the curriculum. So only some of you might find the 1st half of this critique helpful.

Half 1:

Do not come here for the BA in environmental studies but if you really have to be part of the EES department, get a BS.

Truthfully, you will probably be most successful if you are an engineering major. My impression is that BME, Optics (they have new and beautiful buildings) and Chemical Engineering (though they have an older, crappier building) get the most resources.

The EES department is terribly small, invisible, and research-oriented so if you're ambitiously research-oriented/analytical/scientific/math/science wizard, the EES department might work for you and you'll get to nab at the few research opportunities available. Other than that, don't bother because the EES department won't bother with you.

I simply didn't have a clue about ANY of this when I decided on this. My degree definitely wasn't worth the $$$ paid for it. That's definitely my own fault in many ways. I wish I was goal-oriented and career-focused.

But the EES department won't help you develop in these respects AT ALL (unless, of course, you're selected for research). I wish my EES academic advisor (that's Karen Berger) had considered my situation and done more to counsel me. None of the professors will bother to notice or take any real action if you are on an unemployable track (aka Environmental Studies- don't do it, major in the sciences or geosciences) or struggling. They're not even managing a big pool of students, but they just won't care.

You need to have strong science skills, you need to do well in chemistry (<- especially chemistry) and geology (intro chemistry here is quite tough).

Half 2:

Rochester as a city: Cold, cold, cold, cold. You will be spending December-April in ice (note that summer break starts in May so most of your academic life is spent in the snow-despite what the brochure pictures show). It will be perpetually gray. Unless you have a car or know people with cars, you'll be locked on campus. The city is spread out and there isn't a hub of urban nightlife. There are pockets of nightlife dispersed throughout. Mostly, the city feels rather dull and tired (but UR isn't in the dull and tired city, it's in the dull and tired suburbs, good for you!). In the fall and spring, it's wonderful but both seasons together literally last a month while you're in school.

Clubs: Everyone says you have to join clubs in college. That's somewhat true- you need to be in clubs/sororities/frats to meet people. I met some great people, but the club's demands began to consume me (event planning). I began to pour tons of time into event planning. Don't ever feel you need to do that. Academics absolutely come first. Bail if you have to. Sidenote: The performance/dance clubs seemed the most fun and cohesive.

5th Year Female -- Class 2015
Campus Aesthetics: A, Education Quality: F
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This is the worst place on earth.Business - Management and Administration
This is the worst place on earth. The weather makes you depressed, the work load makes you depressed, the social life sucks, this school is filled with a bunch of weirdos. I had fun in high school, I went out - drank, smoked. This school is for weirdos and people who are experimenting partying for the first time.I unfortunately applied to this god forsaken place. I am advising you who are reading this not to. If you want the "4 Best Years of Your Life" to suck and be a waste of time, please come here! Rochester will only make you regret your decision every damn day that you are here. Every time you want to believe that something good is happening, something bad happens. Nothing can go right in this stupid motherfucking hell hole of a school. The president is way too conservative and is actively trying to squeeze every ounce of fun out of this place. D-Day, the school's huge "party" day used to be a top-15 college party in the country. Now, it is a stupid family day where we should celebrate the community and the douchebag school that makes us want to jump of the bridge to Phase or jump in the Genesse River everyday. Why would I want to spend the "best" day of the year celebrating this school when I should be getting so black out drunk that I completely forget that I go here. When I look back on my life this is the only regret that I ever had - attending this school. If you have the opportunity to never ever drive through Rochester, please never come here. This place sucks balls.
Male -- Class 2000
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School has one of the worst career centers.BrightChemistry
School has one of the worst career centers. The counselors have no real experience and act more as a therapist than a helpful guide. The alumni network is also not very strong. Most students are very self driven and have goals for professional degrees after graduation. Much of the science faculty seem more interested in their research than helping the students. Name of the school is not that well recognized and paying the enormous tuition is not justified.
4th Year Female -- Class 2012
Faculty Accessibility: A-, Individual Value: F
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The University of Rochester
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