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Date: Jan 29 2004 Major: Physics (This Major's Salary over time) UMD was a middling alternative at best to UM-Twin Cities(and a poor alternative to UM-Morris, which I considered as well). Its strengths are its campus—modern and accessible with a great hilltop location at the top of the city—and its location in Duluth, the "San Francisco of the Midwest" as I've heard it called. And the fact that it is the only mid sized(between 5,000 and 15,000 students) public, regional university, other than the MnScu schools, in the state! Unfortunately, UMD was not as selective in its admission of students as the other schools in the University of Minnesota system or even the private colleges that Minnesota has(the "Saint" Schools + Macalester, Carleton, and Gustavus). Thus, most student attending UMD were not in the top 10% of their high school class, at least while I was there. While many of the departments are great for professional/grad school preparation(Geology, Industrial Engineering, and Chemical Engineering are the standouts), many others can't hold a stick to their private college counterparts. This was due to a general apathy toward the University of Minnesota directed toward it by the governor, legislature, and citizens(I recall Arne Carlson directing several jibes at UMD students as "people who sat around watching soaps", which was actually true, as I later found out). While I was there, UMD's budget was cut twice and tuition raised 3 times! And for what? Why, new buildings and pay raises for administration, of course! Some of this money could have been used to bring in more faculty, expand course offerings, etc. Housing is all right is you're lucky enough to get one of the newer places—if not, be prepared to suffer from thin walls, hot rooms, and plastic silverware for Steak Night in the cafeteria. The campus atmosphere was very liberal, to the point of being too PC for some. Thus, a more hostile atmosphere pervaded the campus for the time I was there due to the conflict between very conservative people from more rural areas of the state pitted against more liberal people from the Twin Cities. The Department of Physics was rather limited in its scope, as I found out after attempting grad school at a more difficult school(University of Wisconsin). Teachers seemed to be more comfortable in their offices, and research opportunities seemed limited to engineering projects which had nothing to do with physics, or quantum field theory research being done by brilliant people. The fact that most of the students didn't care about physics that much eliminated the possibility of exchanging ideas and working on solving physics homework problems together. On the plus side, UMD and Duluth offer many opportunities to get involved in various cultural, service, and outdoor groups…pretty much something for everyone. Too bad I spent so much time studying, I would have done more. If you have above a 3.5 GPA in high school and have scored better than 25 on your ACT's(or 1200 on SAT's), I would recommend choosing a better school.