What is it Like to Attend the University of Tulsa?

Catherine earned her bachelor’s degree in economics and English from the University of Tulsa. She specializes in algebra tutoring, GRE tutoring, and a number of other subjects. Below, she shares her experience at the University of Tulsa:

Describe the campus setting and transportation options. 

Catherine: The University of Tulsa is a lovely campus in an area of town that’s rapidly revitalizing (the university is a big force for that). I never felt unsafe on campus, even late at night. Unfortunately, Tulsa is a car town; there aren’t a lot of public transit options. It’s a quick bike ride or drive from campus to many of the fun neighborhoods and areas of town. If you do use your bike, be sure to be careful—it’s best to use the neighborhood streets, as many drivers aren’t used to seeing bikes.

How available are the professors, academic advisers, and teaching assistants?

Catherine: I never had a problem meeting with a professor or an adviser; it’s a small school, and people are generally available and happy to talk with you. Also, it’s a small enough campus that you can find people easily. For instance, if you needed to talk to a certain professor, everyone knew you could always find him outside at a certain time taking his break.

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

Catherine: The freshman and sophomore dorms and cafeteria are fairly standard. In your junior and senior years, it’s likely you’ll be able to get into one of the on-campus apartments, which are spacious and convenient (living room, dining room, full kitchen, etc.). The dorms and apartment communities do host events, but there are plenty of other opportunities to socialize—especially if you’re involved in one of the many clubs.

Which majors/programs are best represented and supported? 

Catherine: I studied English and economics. I found the faculties of both programs to be extremely knowledgeable and passionate about what they did. The English department is larger, and probably has more opportunities for working in the field as a student (literary journals both student and professional, a few enviable special collections of original material from authors like James Joyce), but the economics department also supports students’ original research and opportunities for sharing or publishing. The bigger majors include various engineering persuasions, especially petroleum, and some business majors, like energy management. (Tulsa is an oil town.)

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?

Catherine: Greek life is fairly significant, though I never participated. Faith groups also make up a big component of social life on campus. Personally, I made most of my friends via the student newspaper which I worked for as a reporter and eventually as editor-in-chief. As long as you take a chance on a group—whether it’s a sorority or a club like the newspaper—you shouldn’t have too much trouble.

How helpful is the Career Center and other student support services? 

Catherine: Student and career services staff are friendly and helpful. Energy companies, large corporations, and engineering firms have an especially large presence among recruiters. It’s more difficult for liberal arts majors; however, I believe that is symptomatic of the larger job market, and not a fault of the school. Plenty of my peers were able to make great connections in the worlds of graphic design or the nonprofit sector. I went into public radio by way of an internship I did at the on-campus NPR affiliate.

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

Catherine: The library is probably the top choice for a study area, especially when the weather is nice and it’s possible to use the tables on the terrace outside of the library. It also has several great reading rooms, as well as rooms and various nooks down in the stacks. Generally, it’s not too hard to find a good place to camp out and study—except for during finals!

Describe the surrounding town.

Catherine: Downtown Tulsa, just a couple miles away from campus, has boomed in recent years. There’s a lot of fun to be had there at art galleries, restaurants, shops, and parks. A fair number of TU students hang out there, though that tends to be more popular with the people who’ve grown up in Tulsa. And if you want to learn to two-step, Tulsa is the place for you.

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

Catherine: The undergraduate student body is about 3,000 students. I found the class size to be small and comfortable, especially in the liberal arts classes. Class size tends to run larger in the sciences, for classes like statistics and calculus.

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

Catherine: One of the best things I did while at TU was participate in the Tulsa Undergraduate Research Challenge. The program supports undergraduate research, both traditional and unconventional. I opted for the unconventional side, and used the program for support in helping my old high school create a student literary journal. I got to work with a group of students at the high school to help them shape their vision for the journal, solicit and select work, and publish a final product, which continues to this day.

Check out Catherine’s tutoring profile.

The views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent the views of Varsity Tutors.