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Old 10-01-2018, 02:59 PM
 
Location: North Phoenix
6 posts, read 2,349 times
Reputation: 15

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My senior in high school is considering various schools, including this one, to pursue engineering degree. We live in the western US and I thought he'd be interested in a larger university and Alabama is not a state he'd normally consider for college, but he is impressed with the engineering program and links to internship programs for students and hands-on experience.
Are many of the students commuters? Does the school attract many older students or are a good number of freshman right out of high school? Is there a strong sense of community among students to help make the college experience a positive one? Is the area around the school nice and are there things to do? He won't have a car so will be "stuck" on campus. Have never been there so am just trying to get a sense of the school and town (yes, ideally would be nice to visit, but easier said than done!)
Thanks!

Last edited by SunnyInAZ; 10-01-2018 at 03:01 PM.. Reason: typos are bad!
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Old 10-01-2018, 03:25 PM
 
4,743 posts, read 8,539,072 times
Reputation: 4053
Welcome!

Are many of the students commuters? About 85% of the 9,500 students are commuters.

Does the school attract many older students or are a good number of freshman right out of high school? Yes and yes.

Is there a strong sense of community among students to help make the college experience a positive one? Yes, there are fraternities and clubs and the school has made some great improvements in campus life (Greek housing, dorms, gym). Note that students are generally pretty serious about their studies (this may be a positive to you as a parent).

Is the area around the school nice and are there things to do? Nice? Um. There is plenty to do in the Huntsville area, even somewhat close-by. However:

He won't have a car so will be "stuck" on campus. Huntsville is not really a friendly town for non-drivers. That said, I 'commuted' to UAH on my bike (sometimes) from just outside downtown (an area known as Five Points). Else, there is a campus shuttle and limited public transit. It can be done.

You did surface a good point and major draw for UAH engineering students - the opportunity for internships and hands-on experience. Huntsville / Redstone Arsenal (Army and NASA installation, among other tenants) offers many opportunities to work on space, missile, radar, software, drone, and helicopter projects. Not only with the Government, but with associated contractors (like Boeing et cetera). This is also helpful when looking for a job after graduation.

Disclosure - I'm an alumnus.
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Old 10-01-2018, 03:31 PM
 
4,269 posts, read 1,757,851 times
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My son is considering UAH as well. His best friend is very good at programming and likes there a great deal.
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Old 10-01-2018, 05:28 PM
 
1,100 posts, read 1,065,081 times
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UAH is an excellent engineering school and would be a good choice.
But for another option is Auburn University, the top engineering school in the state.
https://www.eng.auburn.edu/
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Old 10-01-2018, 09:22 PM
 
Location: North Phoenix
6 posts, read 2,349 times
Reputation: 15
Thanks for the prompt feedback. Much appreciated.
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Old 10-01-2018, 10:09 PM
 
3 posts, read 1,342 times
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I just received these answers a few months ago from the UAH Dean of Students. Maybe they will help and also lend some accuracy to your questions (such as the 85% of students being commuters):

1. What is the percent of the total full-time enrollment at UAH?
According to the common data set posted under https://www.uah.edu/academic-affairs...mmon-data-sets the calculation of FT enrollment is 71% . This includes total headcount, undergraduate and graduate.
2. What percentage of undergrad students live on campus?
25% of the total undergraduate population lives on campus, but we are adding 400 beds to increase that number.
3. What is the percentage of first year students living on campus?
We have approximately 62% of the new freshmen living on campus.

__________________________________________________ _______________________________________

By the way, regarding Auburn--"top" engineering school in the state is arguable. How are you defining that?
I can certainly understand a student who prefers a big-school experience with D1 football etc. But there are a lot of good large-school engineering programs in the country that offer much better scholarships than Auburn does. In fact, I didn't even have my children apply to Auburn because their scholarships are so paltry.

I have two boys at UAH from out of state, and they both have had good experiences. Good luck with your research!
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Old 10-01-2018, 10:43 PM
 
Location: Somewhere in northern Alabama
17,066 posts, read 52,031,245 times
Reputation: 28209
Tech engineering - UAH
Bio-med - UAB
Agriculture/bioscience - Auburn
Alabama politics and football...

There are a number of engineering degrees. Which one is he shooting for and where does he plan to go after graduation? It makes a huge difference.
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Old 10-02-2018, 08:14 AM
 
2,455 posts, read 3,102,227 times
Reputation: 4786
I also graduated from UAH with an engineering degree. I agree with everything Reactionary posted.

The percentage of commuters vs. on campus housing students has been shifting for the past 10 years or so. More students are living on campus. More and more are from other states. They have been actively building more on campus housing to meet the demand as they become fully occupied.

There is a mix of young and older students at UAH. Many of the older students are pursuing Masters and PhD's though. There are older students going back to school to attain their bacherlors though just like any other University.

The campus is nice. There are things to do around Huntsville. The campus is not far from Bridgestreet Town Center, Downtown and a brand new development under construction called MidCity. There are restaurants located on campus at UAH including a Chik Fil A and Papa Johns among others. They have activities for students on campus. I will note though that engineering students at UAH do not have time to do much outside of school. There will not be time for clubbing/partying and general all around goofing off. At least not for those that will make it and get their degree. The sophomore year is especially difficult as that is when they really put it to them to find out who really wants to get a degree from UAH.

I will give some advice to anyone considering UAH. DO NOT and I mean absolutely DO NOT take your math classes at a junior college and then transfer to UAH. You will be lost when you jump into your math at UAH. I saw that time and time again. Many of them had to go back and take calculus over again at UAH just to catch up.

There are many opportunities for internships and hands on experience including coop opportunities. Many of the professors at UAH are active engineers on Redstone Arsenal, at NASA, Marshall Space Flight Center and also for the defense contractors that you will know by name.

I would recommend visiting UAH and Huntsville. I think you will like them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AU HSV View Post
UAH is an excellent engineering school and would be a good choice.
But for another option is Auburn University, the top engineering school in the state.
https://www.eng.auburn.edu/
Now this post^^^, I have to disagree with. I had classes at UAH with students who transferred from Auburn to UAH to be closer to home and for intern/coop jobs available in Huntsville. Each and every single one of them made comments about how much harder UAH was compared to their classes at Auburn and asked if the classes we had at the time were the norm. A couple of times we laughed and said this is one of the easier classes we have had, be glad you didn't have to take XYZ class here. I have a friend and a cousin whose sons are currently at UAH and they have said the same thing. So while Auburn is good, I would not say it is a better engineering school than UAH and Auburn definitely does not have anywhere near the opportunities available to students as UAH.

Last edited by dijkstra; 10-02-2018 at 08:24 AM..
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Old 10-02-2018, 10:06 AM
 
12 posts, read 21,773 times
Reputation: 28
Ignore the AU people. They can't help themselves when Engineering is brought up. In fact the entire state has great Engineering schools. UAH is in my opinion the best due to the internships available and the job market in the area. If your kid decides to stay in Huntsville after college he/she will work with people from schools such as: Purdue, Georgia Tech, UAH, Auburn, Alabama, Mississippi State and several others. This is a great city for Engineers
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Old 10-02-2018, 01:01 PM
 
4,743 posts, read 8,539,072 times
Reputation: 4053
gertyberty = "...lend some accuracy to your questions (such as the 85% of students being commuters)"

I try to keep up to date on statistics, however I was sloppy in not providing a link:

"Commuter students make up about 85% of the entire undergraduate student population."

https://www.uah.edu/dos/resources-st...muter-students

Seems fairly accurate.

Regarding the statement that Auburn is "the top engineering school in the state". This is objectively true. According to USNews, Auburn is #75 in the nation and best in the State. UAH ranks #95 and Alabama ranks #106.

https://www.usnews.com/best-graduate...s/eng-rankings

I agree with those that say that UAH provides hands-on experience through internships and jobs that may not be available at other schools.
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