UW Madison has a fairly decent reputation due to the quality of research conducted at the large university. The professors and faculty primarily focus on research, and most only teach classes when forced to every few years. As an undergraduate, you kind of are pushed along through the factory. There are plenty of opportunities to get involved socially on campus, which is a plus, however making sure you involve yourself early is critical. One of my biggest complaints is the homogeneity of the student body; EVERYONE is white and upper middle class (so am I so I am not hating), and if you are not, you will have difficulty finding your niche. Also, contrary to what most reviews have been saying, Madison in a bit of a s*&t hole. There is really nothing to do other than bar hop on State Street, which gets old FAST. Granted, I did grow up in London, Manhattan, and Minneapolis, so I may be a bit bias. A typical day in Madison consists of trudging through the snow in frigid temperatures to go sit in a class with 200 other spoiled white kids complaining about how the disengaged professors don't speak English fluently, followed by going back to your apartment/dorm that you pay an EXORBITANT amount of money (for a small midwestern town) for each month.
Really evaluate course content before you take a course. Stay away from independent learning and online courses unless you are desperate. Poorly organized.In classroom experiences are fine. Watch class size you can really get lost in the shuffle.