Considering the UA? Excellent Choice!

Yara Askar and La Monica Everett-Haynes
Dec. 6, 2013

We've done the research on Generation Z. And now that we know a little bit about you, we would like to help you get to know us.

For those of you who have applied early and are beginning to receive your acceptance letters from the University of Arizona – and those with letters forthcoming – you have probably become even more curious about what the University has to offer.

We’ve got the answers right here.

The UA sits right in the middle of Tucson, a city pegged by U.S. News & World Report as one of the top weekend getaway locations and by Greatest.com as one of the best U.S. cities for people in their 20s.

Calling the UA and Tucson home means that you will have access to sunshine almost every day of the year. You also will have access to an expanding tech community, a vibrant arts community and a region recognized for its cultural heritage centers – not to mention a university community that is highly regarded nationally and internationally.

And what makes the UA distinctive?

In addition to its academic heft and faculty who persistently advance important research that serves to improve the lives of people around the world, the UA has hundreds of active student clubs and organizations including some centered on cultural education, leadership, social justice and service.

In fact, the UA is among the nation's top producers of Peace Corps volunteers and Fulbright Scholars. Service and action-oriented involvement is a priority at the UA; UA President Ann Weaver Hart this year announced that the University is committed to ensuring that 100 percent of students will be actively engaged in real-world experiences, where they can apply what they've learned in class outside the classroom.

Why is that important? To ensure that UA students are workforce-ready. The UA already has received kudos. The Global Employability Survey named the UA among the top universities in the world in producing employable graduates.

Also, a number of teams and club sports, like the wheelchair tennis team and the ballroom dance group, compete nationally and, at times, internationally. And the UA football and men's basketball teams are high ranking in the country with recent softball and baseball teams taking national championships – but you probably already knew that. 

And there's more. So much more.

Hundreds of Programs to Choose

Whatever your interests – whether they're in the sciences or the arts or somewhere in between – the UA has countless opportunities to offer. Our undergraduates can be part of Mars exploration or help out on teams involved with NASA missions. Some of them get to work in the largest controlled environment in the world, the UA-run Biosphere 2, or at the UA Center for Creative Photography, which holds North America's largest collection of fine art photography, including original prints of some of the most renowned American photographers.

If any of that sounds interesting, then the UA is the right place for you.

The UA is known nationally and internationally for programs in dance, business, anthropology, optical sciences, biomedical sciences and psychology.

The University offers more than 300 undergraduate and graduate degrees and is ranked 78th worldwide and 49th among American universities by the Center for World University Ranking. A few more notable rankings:

  • The Eller College of Management's Department of Economics ranked 36th overall and 16th among public programs by the U.S. News & World Report; the MBA program was ranked No. 57 by Forbes magazine among graduate business programs. 
  • The graduate program in optical sciences is ranked No. 7 by U.S. News & World Report.
  • The University of Arizona Medical Center has been ranked No. 33 among the nation's best hospitals for the care of older adults and as high perfoming in 11 other medical specialties in U.S. News & World Report's Best Hospitals list. 
  • The UA is ranked the 22nd greenest campus by Sierra Magazine.

Living on Campus? Good Idea

Do you worry that you won't know anyone at the University? Wondering who your roommates will be? Looking for a place to call home while away from home?

Residence Life data shows that first-year students who live on campus have a higher grade point average and a stronger four-year graduation rate compared with those who never live on campus.

Also, those who live on campus are more likely to engage in study activities. 

Why? Living on campus gives student unique opportunities to be involved in UA activities while making lifelong friends who will help make the first few years easier. Combined, research shows these experiences help students to be more successful.

Don't Feel Lost; UA Has Help Everywhere

Now, keeping up with all the homework, research papers, exams and presentations can get hectic and stressful.

But UA students have a lot of resources that can help with managing the load.

The Think Tank, a tutoring center, offers help in math, science, English and various languages. It's also the place to chat about classes or shore up your study habits.

Need a bit more structure? Academic Success and Achievement facilitates programs lasting several weeks to several years. Depending on the program, students can get paired with a mentor, attend workshops, receive leadership training or get financial assistance.

And for those students who need accommodations and additional support, the Disability Resource Center and the Strategic Alternative Learning Techniques Center are nationally known for their programs and services.

For example, the DRC works with students with disabilities, providing them with access to lecture notes, priority seating or extended time on exams, among other things. 

And don't forget about your mental health.

For that, Campus Health Service offers a full suite of services. Need help managing your weight? Need to fill a prescription? You can handle all these things right on campus.

TMI? Let’s Take a Quick Food Break

Do you love to snack in-between meals?

The Arizona Student Unions has you covered.

Whether you're looking for a quick bite on the go, a tasty lunch or a meal that tastes like home cooking, the Arizona Student Unions offers multiple choices, from deli sandwiches to salads to sushi. It also has several meal plan options, recommended for students living on campus.

And don’t worry, with more than 20 different restaurant options to choose from you’ll never get bored having the same thing.

Between the Student Union Memorial Center and Park Student Union, you have access to several salad bars, vegan/vegetarian and gluten-free options, locally sourced food, buffet lines and gourmet coffee shops. You’ll never go hungry – even at night, since several eateries are open late. And a new app and website, Tapingo, will allow you to place food orders via your mobile phone and online.

Debuting this year is the Bear Down Kitchen, located inside Arizona Stadium's new Lowell-Stevens Football Facility. In addition to serving UA student-athletes, the restaurant is open to the public, serving breakfast and lunch for an all-you-care-to eat experience.

Also, students can use their meal plans anywhere on campus and at more than 350 campus vending machines. 

Now a Word About Safety and Other Concerns

College can be a scary experience for many students, and parents.

In order to help students transition into higher education, the Dean of Students office is committed to assisting students.

This doesn’t have to be a scary experience. In fact, it's a great start toward a successful future.

So take pride when you get your acceptance letter. And when you arrive on campus, take the effort to get to know your professors, attend lecture discussions and participate in as many school events and activities. We even have a list of the top 12 things you should do as a UA freshman.

It's a unique lifetime experience, so be ready to make the most out of your time here at the UA.

Photography credit: Patrick McArdle, Beatriz Verdugo and Norma Jean Gargasz of UANews

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