University Profiles

Did you know that there are thousands of colleges and universities in the U.S., Canada, U.K., and Australia? We will feature different schools on a regular basis so that you can become familiar with them.

University of Ottawa (Canada)

posted Mar 28, 2012, 8:33 PM by Berta Liao   [ updated Mar 28, 2012, 8:35 PM ]

Report prepared by Cassandra Wang '13

The University of Ottawa also known as Ottawa U is a bilingual (which is English and French - the nation language of Canada), research-intensive, non-denominational, international university in Ottawa, Ontario. It is one of the oldest universities in Canada. It was originally established as the College of Bytown in 1848 by the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate.  It is formerly a liberal arts college, it has been teaching pure and applied sciences in both English and French since the 19th century. The institution re-
ceived university status in 1866 and in 1889 was decreed a pontifical university by Pope Leo XIII.  The university has been conferring Bachelor's degrees since 1872, Master's degrees since 1875, and
Doctorates since 1888. Saint Paul Universit
y is federated with the university and is also located in the city of Ottawa. The enabling legislation is The University of Ottawa Act, 1965.  The University of Ottawa is ranked 5th in research-intensity, and 9th in total research funding in Canada. It is a member of the U15, a league of the most research-intensive universities in the country. It is known for its areas of studies in Medicine, Sciences, Law, Political Science and International Affairs.

Background Info:
The University of Ottawa was founded in 1848 as the Roman Catholic College of Bytown by Monseigneur Joseph-Bruno Guigues, OMI. The college was originally for boys only and taught a classical liberal arts curriculum. Morning classes were taught in French and afternoon classes in English.  Women began attending classes on campus in 1919.

The average entering grade as of the Fall 2008 was 81.6%, of which 33.6% of students had an average of 85% or higher. However, the admission requirements only state that a minimum grade of 70% is required for prerequisite courses.  While other universities in the area provide tables of entrance averages considered to be competitive, there is no comparable table currently available on the University of Ottawa website.

The university has consistently been ranked one of Canada's top universities. The 2011-2012 Times Higher Education World University Rankings placed the university 185th in the world, and ninth in Canada. According to the 2011 Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU) rankings, the university ranked 201-300th in the world. The 2011 QS World University Rankings ranked the university 256th in the world. In terms of national rankings, Maclean's ranked the university 10th in their 2011 Medical Doctoral university rankings. The University of Ottawa was ranked in spite of having opted out—along with several other universities in Canada—of participating in Maclean's graduate survey since 2006.

Where is the Campus?
The university is situated near downtown Ottawa. It is within walking distance of the Rideau Canal, Sandy Hill, Rideau Centre, Byward Market, National Arts Centre, Supreme Court of Canada, Government agencies, and Parliament Hill. The university is also serviced by the OC Transpo transit system which links the campus to a wide range of amenities in the City of Ottawa.

University of Massachusetts, Boston (Boston, MA)

posted Mar 28, 2012, 8:27 PM by Berta Liao   [ updated Mar 28, 2012, 8:37 PM ]

Report prepared by Jacky Chuan '13

At the University of Massachusetts, Boston there are about 800-900 teachers and 14500 students over a campus of 1.7km2. There are lots of subway and bus stations around the school. It’s very easy to go to the school for the people that are not living around the school. It’s a public school, but there is no dormitory in this school. So there are lots of houses around the school that are working with the school. There are lots houses that sell or rent to the students and those houses are all very tall.
U Mass Boston
About Boston:
It snow and rain a lot in there. It’s a very famous, important and big city for the U.S.

Famous Alumni:
Harry Trask, B.A. 1969, (1928-2002) 1957 Pulitzer Prize in Phototography (Andrea Doria sinking)

University of Washington (Seattle, WA)

posted Mar 15, 2012, 2:06 AM by Berta Liao

Report prepared by Fisher Shen '13

The University of Washington is a large public research university in Seattle, Washington. There are about 42,900 students, of which undergraduates number about 30,790 students. 

Seattle is the capital of Washington state in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States. Both Microsoft and Starbucks have their headquarters located there.

The school has over 500 buildings, covering over 200 million ft sq. It is the largest school on the NW coast and the oldest. The university is divided into 3 campuses: the largest in Seattle, other 2 in Tacoma and Bothell. Part of the movie Dan in Real Life was filmed at the university.

UW offers degrees in 140 different departments that fall under nine different schools and colleges.

Suzzallo Library, UW's central library.

Student Body
The University of Washington is the most populous school on the west coast in the autumn of 2006-2007. 33% of the students are from “minority groups.”

Admissions Information
In 2007, the average GPA of the incoming freshman class was 3.75. The average math and critical reading SAT score was 1,251. In 2009, UW admitted 61% of its applicants.

The school is the top public school recipient in receiving federal research funds, and 2nd among public and private schools.

“Harry the Husky” replaced “Sun Dodger” in 1922 as the mascot, in response to the abstract reference to the weather. Harry performs at different sporting and special events, and traditionally led the football team onto the field. The school colors of purple and gold were voted by students back in 1892

Duke University (Durham, SC)

posted Feb 29, 2012, 8:18 PM by Berta Liao   [ updated Feb 29, 2012, 9:06 PM ]

Report prepared by Rosalind Hsu '13

Duke University is a midsize 4-year private research school located in Durham, North Carolina. Duke is organized into two undergraduate and ten graduate and professional schools. There are around 15,000 students at Duke, under 7,000 of which are undergraduates. The student faculty ratio is 8:1. Duke offers several awards, such as the Bachelor's degree, the Postbaccalaureate certificate, the Master's degree, and a couple Doctor's degrees. In 2012, Duke was ranked among the top 12 in the US for its medial, law, public policy, nursing, and business graduate programs. 

The university's campus owns 220 buildings and spans over 35km^2 on three campuses (West, East, Central). The most famous building at Duke is the Duke Chapel at the main campus' epicenter and highest point of elevation. Duke is surrounded by forests (which are used extensively for research); having visited Duke several times myself, I can guarantee that the weather and environment are quite lovely (it doesn't snow!). 

[fun fact: the Duke Lemur Center, located inside the Duke Forest, is the world's largest sanctuary for rare and endangered prosimian primates.] 

Student Body
In Duke University, about 10% of its undergraduates are international students. According to the 2010 enrollment, almost 50% of the students were white, 20% were asian, and the others were mostly black or hispanic. 

Tuition & Admissions Information
The tuition and fees for the enrolled class in 2011 were around 40,000 dollars. Financial aids are offered, ranging from various scholarships to student loans. 
Duke accepts both the SATs and ACTs, but more people submit the SATs. The midrange of the SAT scores range from the higher end of 600 to nearly 800 on all sections. Last year, more than 25,000 students applied, but only 16% of it were admitted. 42% of the admitted students enrolled. The retention rate was 97% in Fall 2011. The graduation rate ranged from the high 80s to mid-90%. 

Duke has a wide range of science-related majors, given that it is a research school (although there are still other categories such as arts). The most popular categories are the Social Sciences, Engineering, Biological and Biomedical Sciences, Psychology, and the Public Administration and Social Service Professions. 

Student Life
Duke's students are required to live on campus for the first three years of undergraduate life (with a few exceptions). Around 35% of the students are members of fraternities and sororities. There are more than 400 student clubs, including numerous student government and service organizations. According to The Princeton Review, Duke is one of the 81 institutions in the country with outstanding community service programs. 

Duke University is also very well-known for its athletic department, specifically college basketball. The school has 26 varsity sports teams, known as the Blue Devils. (track, base, hockey, swimming) They have won twelve NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association) team national championships from the woman's golf team (5), the men's basketball team (4), the men's soccer, women's tennis, and men's lacrosse. In 2010, however, the most popular sport – or the sports with the most varsity players was football (whose teams have also won seven ACC Football Championships). 

Duke was tied for third in alumni giving rate in 2008-09.

Campus Personality "Color" Type
Orange-Green: orange for the social life, and green for the academic focus.

Macalester College (St. Paul, MN)

posted Feb 1, 2012, 8:11 PM by Berta Liao   [ updated Feb 1, 2012, 8:22 PM ]

Macalester College - also known as "Mac" - is a small liberal arts college located in the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota, which is in the Midwestern part of the United States.

Although many people may think, Midwest = boring, the Twin Cities is quite a vibrant place to live. There is a population of about 5 million people, and while most people are white (and mostly Northern European following the Lutheran faith), it is also 15% non-white. There is a sizable Asian population, including the largest urban Hmong (an Asian ethnic group from the mountainous regions of China, Vietnam, Laos, and Thailand) community and the largest Somali population in the United States. Many top U.S. companies including Target, 3M, and  General Mills make their headquarters there. The world-famous Mayo Clinic is also nearby.

Mac is unusual in its urban location, since most liberal arts colleges are found in rural areas. The school has a total student population of just under 2,000 students. Despite the small size, the school is ranked #18 among U.S. liberal arts colleges in the number of doctoral degrees in all fields awarded to its graduates between 1996 and 2005. The school is known for having an international focus, being politically and socially active (on the liberal end of the scale), a strong campus community, and being very intellectual. The Class of 2011 included 3 Fulbright scholars. 

Famous Alumni
Kofi Annan (former UN Secretary-General), Walter Mondale (former Vice President of the U.S.)

Campus Personality "Color" Type
'd say this is a "Blue" campus because the students are known for being socially aware and caring.

Photo source: Macalester College

The school also has a pretty good sense of humor. Check out this YouTube video featuring the Macalester President!

Marymount College (Los Angeles, California)

posted Mar 23, 2011, 2:13 AM by Berta Liao   [ updated Feb 1, 2012, 7:49 PM ]

Marymount College is located in the posh Palos Verdes Peninsula suburb of Los Angeles, overlooking the Pacific Ocean.  Check out the view from the academic buildings! 

The school is one of the top feeder schools to four-year universities such as UCLA, USC, and Loyola Marymount. In fact, Marymount has transfer articulation agreements with many private and public universities in California. What this means is that certain classes taken at Marymount can transfer over and be credited or fulfill academic requirements at the university with the articulation agreements. Besides offering a wide variety of Associate degree programs, the school also offers Bachelor degree programs in Business, Liberal Arts and Media Studies. Distinctive features of Marymount include a commitment to the success of its students through small class sizes and close faculty-student interaction, along with a learning center.

Here are some photos of campus resources: Apple Macintosh computer lab:

Bulletin board with different activities and events outside the Advising and Career Services Office:

Rack of magazines at the library - everything from Nutrition Action Newsletter to Marie Claire:

The student center with tables for dining, sofas for lounging, pool table, foosball (air hockey) table, and large screen TV (not pictured):

The swimming pool - look at the student who is studying in her laptop while sunbathing! The campus also has tennis courts and a grassy athletic field that overlooks the ocean for lacrosse and soccer.

The school operates 3 shuttle buses that run hourly to take students to and from school housing and the campus. The shuttle bus driver will also drop students off at stops along the route, such as the supermarket and gym, by request and pick students up an hour later.

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