BUTLER UNIVERSITY (visited 9/18/14)
If you want a top-notch education in Dance, Butler is your place. Students here have turned down acceptances to Julliard to attend Butler instead. In fact, their music and arts programs in general tend to be excellent.
Butler’s campus is spacious (about 300 acres) compared to the student population (about 4200 undergrads). Most of the buildings are attractive, much of it made from stone. One of the prominent buildings on campus is the planetarium; the Astronomy and Astrophysics department is well-regarded.
Unfortunately, I didn’t walk away from the tour feeling like I knew much more about Butler than I did when I started. I visited as part of a Counselor event; we didn’t get any sort of info session so we tried to get as much as possible from our tour guide. She worked very hard and was definitely perky, but it was almost impossible to get her “off script” from what she learned for the tour. She had a hard time answering questions such as what her favorite traditions were, her favorite classes, etc. Even getting her to tell us about the numbers of students in her largest and smallest classes was difficult; she reverted to telling us statistics about averages. We did learn, however, that Butler has an “8 Before You Graduate” program: students are expected to go to 8 cultural events over their time there. “It’s pretty easy – it’s only 1 per semester and there’s a ton of stuff happening.”
Many people know Butler because of its sports teams; they have 19 DI teams competing in the Big East and generally do well for themselves. We weren’t able to go into the gym, unfortunately, due to some refurbishing, but the building itself is impressive (and we did get to meet the bulldog mascot). Not surprisingly, they offer a Sports Media major!
Butler is offering some interesting Interdisciplinary degree programs such as Psychology combined with Anthropology, Criminology, PoliSci, Philosophy, or Sociology; (Anthropology can also be combined with History, and History can be combined with PoliSci). The Engineering Dual Degree Program allows students to major in Math, Physics, Bio, Chem, CompSci, Econ, or Science, Tech, and Society at Butler, and then earn an engineering degree in Biomedical, Computer, Electrical, or Mechanical Engineering at Purdue.
The Pharmacy program is direct-admit, and in 2011, they ranked #6 in pass-rates on national exams. The pass rate for the Physician’s Assistant program is also higher than the national average.
About 70% of students live on campus; they have a 3-year residency requirement unless the students commute from home. There are 2 traditional-style freshmen dorms. A large new dorm is in the works.
This will also have a parking structure. Affiliated upperclassmen can opt to live in Greek Housing, which is considered on-campus for residency requirements. A little over 1/3 of students are affiliated with Greek Life. The tour guide said that it’s “Prominent but not Dominant.”