bit of background about myself: Arizona resident, Math & Economics
major, Barrett Honors student, lived on Tempe campus for 3
+ Academics: In general, it is what
you make it to be. If you are those people
who thinks “C's get degrees” then you can cruise by
your classes doing the bare minimal. On the other hand,
the university will also enable you to challenge and immerse
yourself in learning should you choose to. I found most
of my classes, even non-major related ones, very engaging. I
was able to challenge myself by taking graduate courses and
even courses from different majors without the pre-requisites. I find
that grading is fair and is reflective on how much
work you put into the class as opposed to how
smart you are.
+ Professors: Coming from Math where professors
are stereotyped to be self-reserved, I discovered the total opposite.
All of my professors were available during posted office hours
and enjoy talking to students granted the student do not
complain about grading. Email responses were generally quick and some
professors will go out of their way to make sure
you're keeping up.
+ Students: As one of the biggest
schools in the U.S., you will find every type of
student imaginable---from the typical bros & bras to the anime-loving
nerd. I found that most students are smart but some
are extremely lazy and do not show up to class
which negatively affects their grades. You can surround yourself with
academic-oriented or party-oriented friends or even a mix of both
like I did. The diversity here is great.
Very clean overall and well maintained. Of course you will
sometime run into a dirty bathroom here and there (especially
in the MU) but they usually get fixed very quickly.
Some buildings might be quite dated (e.g., Physical Science buildings)
but they are decent. I was among the first class
to stay in the new honors complex and must say
that it is extremely nice, especially the yard. The only
thing that the campus lack is space to park your
bike but it isn't a big deal if you don't
mind parking a bit further.
+ Research & Jobs: Again,
it is what you make of it. I was able
to do research since freshmen year and secured an internship
every summer. If you want an internship/job, try to get
in contact with alums from the Alumni Association. I landed
a Finance internship in SF and several other opportunities due
to the alums. Most of my friends in the business
school was able to graduate with full-time offers in Fortune
500 companies, including Wall Street firms while my friends in
engineering generally went to work for tech companies Intel, Lockheed
Martin, etc. and even start-ups in Silicon Valley. If you
want to do research and go to graduate school, email
professors and ask if you can get started on any
projects they might have. I found that 6-7 out of
10 professors responded positively to my emails asking to work
with them. There are also sponsored research opportunities like FURI
and NASA Space Grant available.
- Parking: Parking
is horrible! It is expensive and the fines severe for
a minor violation. I think the parking office is responding
well to the complaints by issuing more free warnings now.
Security is bad in open lots like Lot 59. I
found my car pelted by oranges once and some people
I know had their car broken into or damaged. If
you are going to park in open lots, don't have
valuables in your car and be sure to put up
some sun shades else you will burn yourself during the
- Administration: It takes FOREVER to get things done.
When I was applying for housing, I had to submit
a form 3 times since they keep losing it. It
took the school almost two months to reimbursed me for
scholarships and travel grants. I found the student workers to
be incompetent and the actual staff difficult to reach. When
you do reach a staff member, they are not very
understanding. I once complained about someone living in the dorm
next door playing loud music at night and the staff
blamed me for being to sensitive to noise! Academic advising
and staff is good though, it's just the general university
staff that is horrible for being too bureaucratic.
too easy: The easier admissions is the worse the overall
student body becomes and the reputation of the university. Some
people are just not ready for college. I know some
people that just went to ASU because their parents forced
them to. They end up flunking out in a year
or so with a huge bill to pay. The university
needs to make sure that the people they are accepting
actually want to go to college and are here for
the right reasons.
Future Outlook: I think the university is
heading in the positive direction by reducing the number of
administrative staff and hiring new professors. The current building projects
are a sign that the university really wants to beef
up its standing as a strong research institution. Barrett is
also continuing to attract the top students around the nation.
I believe that probably within the next decade or so
we will be on par with other top 50 institutions
like USC, NCSU, Michigan in terms of research output and
employer recognition. Student body reputation will remain bad unless the
university can make admissions stricter and aggressively promote the university
throughout the nation.