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The University of Texas Dallas

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Overall the engineering and computer science department isBrightComputer Engineering
Overall the engineering and computer science department is competent and has plenty of great professors. The material is decent and the lab work is satisfying. My major complaint, and not necessarily a negative if you are aware of it, is the lack of communication with the student if a problem arises.

Twice now I've had my graduation time pushed back a semester or two simply because critical problems were relayed to me vaguely or just once then forgotten. Students are busy and don't have time to sift through worthless emails every day to find that one gem we need. It's easy to accidentally miss extremely important correspondence like a single email warning you of a problem. They have your phone number and address but don't bother making an effort to contact you if their email seems to slip by unnoticed. Unfortunately, an email slipping by you is pretty easy because they love using your student email as a place to constantly direct what could only be considered spam. This drowns out the 1 in a 100 or so that you may actually read. Watch it like a hawk and you should be fine.

5th Year Male -- Class 2018
Innovation: A, Individual Value: B-
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While I tremendously enjoyed the learning experience atBusiness - Management and Administration
While I tremendously enjoyed the learning experience at UTD, the real life outside of the school is a different story. The Graduate Programs at the School of Business is out of touch with current industry needs and labor market.

All you get is good theoretical knowledge, a degree, and a tuition bill (including loans). Don't forget, your student loan will show on your credit report which could potentially impact your borrowing power for your other life needs, etc. What you don't get is a job, career advice, networking, or camaraderie in professional life. Don't expect that other alumni from UTD will be open to connect and network, unlike other schools. Once you get a graduate degree, you may have harder time finding jobs. (strange phenomenon).So, the bottom line, you are making a decision to incur expenses (including international trips that are mainly for fun) and knowledge which doesn't necessarily translate into career advancement.

Alumnus Male -- Class 2000
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JSOM - FinanceQuite BrightFinance
JSOM - Finance
Bottom line: I can only speak to the JSOM but UTD is a nerd school. Everything you have read on that topic is 100% correct and there's no getting around that fact. To that end, you will be surrounded with very smart people who are a fair mix of 25% Dallas-locals and 75% other. There is a very large international student population at UTD and they are incredibly competitive. It is generally accepted that UTD is the "smart" school, SMU is the "religious" school, and UT Arlington is the "dumb" school in Dallas. There are a few others but none really of consequence.

Social life: yep, it's nearly zero. I made some great friends at UTD but it's mostly a gamer, numbers-nerd, very-academic focused culture. I probably fall into the numbers-nerd category.

Campus Aesthetics: Most of the buildings are newer and the JSOM building is very new. There is tons of construction going on and every semester the roads into and out of campus change direction in some way. It's not a huge deal after the first couple of days but it's a pain in the beginning. But, if you're more worried about what the buildings look like than what you're going to learn, this isn't the campus for you anyway.

Security / Police: The campus is very safe. Nerds don't generally commit violent crimes outside of the video game world. They're very thorough -- to a fault. You will get tickets. They're (mostly) unavoidable. Make sure that you pay them or settle them with the parking police folks or you will have trouble doing anything in the student services building (registering for classes, getting grades, etc.) It's important to note that there are four different "law enforcement" departments that you will have to content with from time to time: Richardson Police Department, UTD Police, Event Security, and the Parking kids. Richardson Police *WILL* give you a criminal ticket if you encounter them. The easy work around is simple: don't give them a reason to encounter you. The UTD police are, generally, pretty laid back. Unless you're being immature with alcohol, drugs, etc., they'll leave you alone. The Parking kids are exactly that. They're 18-25 year olds that have been hired by the university to ticket every infraction in sight. Don't be intimidated by them, they have no authority outside of their ticket machine. The last "department" is event security. Think: mall cop with a grudge. They're not very nice people and tend to think that they exert way more authority than they do. I encountered them several times and never was it a positive experience. One got physical with my friend while we were walking from the garage to the JSOM and immediately regretted the error in his ways. As with the parking kids, should they try to act in an inappropriate or unprofessional way, call the real police.

Homework / Exams: Exams are HARD. You will have to study for them most especially in math, accounting, or finance. The library is open 24/7 which is nice for those 3am study sessions. The study rooms at the JSOM are open 24/7 also. During finals week, you're equally likely to see a line of papa johns delivery drivers at the library as you are students waiting to get into the testing center. Many of the higher level business courses will have finals worth 50%+ of your final grade. Plan accordingly.

Students: There is a very large population of international students at UTD. By very large, I mean that, in some classes, you may be one of two or three Americans in the class. I loved it. I learned a lot about India, China, Europe, and the middle east straight from people that were from there. Though again, international students are MUCH MUCH MUCH more competitive than their American counterparts. If you're in a class that with grading on a curve, you may find yourself at the lower end if you don't study. There are nation-based cliques of every sort but if you're smart and can contribute, you'll get along with everyone.

You will have opportunities for international study -- take them.
If you are in a program with internships readily available (everyone in JSOM), take them. Do more than is required. The internships definitely help you understand the material in class much better. Do your partying in Uptown or the gayborhood. They're much more fun than the immediate area around UTD.

2nd Year Male -- Class 2015
Useful Schoolwork: A+, Social Life: F
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The University of Texas Dallas
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