The tutors behind Varsity Tutors are not just here to teach—they’re sharing their college experiences as well. Michael earned his bachelor’s degree in psychology from University of Miami in 2012. He currently specializes in biology tutoring, algebra tutoring, and more. See what he had to share about his experience at University of Miami:
Describe the campus setting and transportation options.
Michael: The University of Miami is located in a beautiful and affluent suburb fifteen minutes outside of Miami. The campus is extremely beautiful and very reminiscent of a tropical resort. It is very walkable, as it can take roughly fifteen minutes to walk from one end to the other. The university provides a shuttle that will take you around campus, as well as to local markets, malls, and other social venues. Freshmen are not allowed to bring a car to campus, but the majority of upperclassmen tend to have a car. The campus is very bike-friendly, and ZipCar is available for those who don’t have a car but would like to rent one for the day.
How available are the professors, academic advisers, and teaching assistants?
Michael: Most classes at UM are fairly small, with the largest being around 120 students. Advising is integrated throughout your undergraduate experience at multiple levels, and students are given as much guidance as they desire. The university cares about ensuring students graduate on time, and there are many advisors to help you achieve your academic goals. Teaching assistants usually help with workshop sessions and laboratory segments of courses. They are usually graduate students at UM and are very approachable.
How would you describe the dorm life — rooms, dining options, location, socialization opportunities with other students at University of Miami?
Michael: The dorms are like most other college campuses, with a good mixture of single and double occupancy rooms. Upperclassman can live in beautiful on-campus apartments (ranging from a one bed, one bath to a four bed, four bath). There are many dining options available with convenient hours. Dorm life is what you make of it. Freshman year in the towers is a great social experience.
Which majors/programs are best represented and supported?
Michael: The College of Arts & Sciences is probably the division of the university I am most familiar with. I was a psychology major and it was one of the largest departments at the university. The guidance, faculty, and support staff were phenomenal, and I still keep in touch with many to this day. I also took pre-med courses, and the university has a very comprehensive pre-health advising system to help students gain admission to highly competitive graduate fields in medicine.
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?
Michael: Making friends is an integral part of the college experience. At UM, students come from all over the US and the world, making for a very diverse community. There is a strong sense of family amongst the students, and making friends that share interests in common with you is not hard. Greek life exists, although it’s not huge. It’s there if you want it, and can open the doors to many life-long friendships and networking opportunities.
How helpful is the Career Center and other student support services at University of Miami?
Michael: The career center at UM is top-notch, and they will make individual appointments with you to help you with your resume, CV, and interviewing skills. They provide excellent career guidance and host many networking events and career fairs. Students at UM do very well finding postgraduate job placement.
How are the various study areas such as libraries, the student union, and dorm lounges?
Michael: If you haven’t seen pictures of the campus, you need to check them out online. It’s beyond beautiful and many of these picturesque areas are devoted to academic studies. Overcrowding is never an issue, as UM is a relatively small university.
Describe the surrounding town.
Michael: Coral Gables is an affluent suburb of Miami that is exceptionally safe and beautiful. There are outdoor malls, concert venues, public parks, and waterfront dining — all within a five-minute drive from campus. Downtown Miami and South Beach are only 15 minutes away via car, and there is a metro station right by the university.
How big or small is the student body? Were you generally pleased or displeased with the typical class sizes?
Michael: I found the size of UM to be perfect. There are about 10,000 undergraduate students total. Typical class sizes were around 20 for me, with my largest being in introductory science classes (usually around 120 students). I never felt overwhelmed by the sizes of my classes.
Describe one memorable experience with a professor and/or class. Perhaps one you loved the most or one you regret the most.
Michael: I loved my academic experience at UM, and really fell in love with a course on abnormal psychology. The professor was outstanding and was really passionate about serving the community. The classes at UM are small enough to get to know your professors, which opens doors for many great networking opportunities.
Check out Michael’s tutoring profile.
The views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent the views of Varsity Tutors.