College Focus: The University of Cincinnati


The second largest university in the state of Ohio, the University of Cincinnati is a public research university that sits a mile uphill from downtown. UC receives more than $400 million annually in research funding which has supported archaeological research in Cyprus and discoveries that have ranged from the development of antihistamines to the first electronic organ. Psychology, marketing, and criminal justice are UC’s most popular majors. In 1906 UC invented cooperative education, where students alternate traditional academic semesters with semesters working full-time in their chosen field. Billionaire Nancy Lerner, Starbucks Chairman Myron Ullman, Unilever CEO Paul Polman, and NBA legend Oscar Robinson all attended UC. The Cincinnati Bearcats compete in the NCAA’s Division I.

We interviewed Vince, a recent graduate in Biology, to get his views on how he found like as a student at the University of Cincinnati.

Describe the campus setting and transportation options.

Vince: At the University of Cincinnati, the setting is just north of downtown Cincinnati, so it is a very urban setting. Most students live within walking/biking distance of campus and the campus itself is very compact, so it makes getting around very easy. There are multiple shuttles provided by UC that run routes in the surrounding neighbourhoods, which are free for all UC students. The campus has a reputation for being a little unsafe, but there have been many changes since I attended to improve campus safety.

How available are the professors, academic advisers, and teaching assistants at University of Cincinnati?

Vince: Professors and TAs are available regularly since they have scheduled office hours and I highly suggest taking advantage of them (building relationships with these people will make life a lot easier). However, academic advisors, in my experience, have been hard to get a hold of and many different advisors have given me very different advice during my time at UC.

How would you describe the dorm life — rooms, dining options, location, socialization opportunities with other students?

Vince: The living situations since I attended have changed a lot. It used to be that first-year students were required to live on campus, but now they can live in many places around campus that are very nice. Besides living situations, UC has many socialization opportunities and a wide variety of clubs to get involved in  

Which majors/programs are best represented and supported?

Vince: UC is traditionally known for their engineering, architecture, and business programs. When I attended UC I originally chose to study education, but found that there were a lot of hoops to jump through in order to get into a classroom. I heard about a program that was recruiting people that had a degree in science or math to teach and paid for a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction. I then changed my major to Biology and graduated with a bachelor’s in biology and pursued the graduate program. I was not the traditional Biology student because I still wanted to go into education, while most Biology majors go into a medical field, so I do not know how the university would support a traditional Biology student.

How easy or difficult was it for you to meet people and make friends as a freshman? Does Greek life play a significant role in the campus social life?

Vince: In college, it’s always easy to meet people and there are many clubs and activities to interact with new people. UC does have a Greek life and I was a part of it while I attended. I very much enjoyed being Greek and it was a great experience all around. I feel that going Greek enhances the social aspect of college, because each Greek organization has events, dinners, and socials that interact with other Greek organizations on a weekly basis which provides a wider social network than any other organization could.

How helpful is the Career Center and other student support services at University of Cincinnati?

Vince: The career centre did a great job on things like proofreading resumes, but as far as exposure to companies and possible job openings, students normally find more success through their specific colleges’ tribunal. Tribunals would organize meet-and-greet sessions with companies or alert students of upcoming job fairs. I do remember that the college of engineering had a very good tribunal that was known for bringing in many reputable companies to recruit UC students.

How are the various study areas such as libraries, the student union, and dorm lounges?

Vince: UC has tons of places that you could study. The most common is the library and can often be tough to find a place to have to yourself. However, I like to explore many other places to study where I could have lots of space. Many of the lecture halls and classrooms are open 24/7 so I would go into the classrooms and use the projector and white boards to help study. In addition, the engineering building just built a floor dedicated to studying and it is amazing. They even used a special paint that makes any wall a whiteboard. So, I suggest exploring campus to find your own private room to make your own.

Describe the surrounding town at University of Cincinnati.

Vince: The surrounding neighbourhood is called Clifton. Most of the fun places are in this neighbourhood because it's close to campus. Students who are over 21 tend to visit the surrounding bar districts where there are many establishments, such as Over the Rhine, Mount Adams, the Banks, Newport Kentucky, and Hyde Park. Regardless of your age, there are many fun places and great food within 15-20 minutes from campus.

How big or small is the student body? Were you generally pleased or displeased with the typical class sizes?

Vince: The student body is very large. When I attended, I believe that around 40,000 were in attendance. I didn’t mind the large size of the student body because there are always new people to meet and lots of things to do. The only downside to having a campus so large is that some of the classes that everyone must take can be over 100 students in a single lecture all, so it may be hard to get individual attention. However, like I said it will really pay off if you seek out your TAs or go to the professor's office hours to get the attention you need.

Describe one memorable experience with a professor and/or class. Perhaps one you loved the most or one you regret the most.

Vince: The hardest class I ever took was organic chemistry. While the professor was young and easy to relate to, he wasn’t the best with one on one help. So, in order to get more help, a few students and myself went to an open tutoring session and formed a bond. Throughout the three classes in the organic chemistry series, we all studied together and became good friends. We all bonded over the fact that it was a tough class and there were a few times where as a group we were able to have more influence with the teacher which bought us a few extra days to study or a few points on a test on questions we thought were unfair. It was a very tough class but having a group of people to bond with makes hard classes much easier to endure.


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Ryan Kelly

Ryan Kelly

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