By Ryan Luse
I have been to almost 20 colleges and universities in the Sunshine State, but logistics and timing never put me close to the University of Miami – until recently.
Speaking of location, this is an important point. Despite its name, the main campus is not located right in Miami. It is not located downtown. It is not located by South Beach either (which is probably for the best!). The campus is located in a suburb called Coral Gables, which has kind of an Edina vibe but with palm trees. Being located a little bit away from the city is a bit of a blessing – Miami traffic is some of the worst I have experienced in this country. Fortunately for students, there happens to be a Metrorail right on campus so you won’t be stuck in traffic like I was.
My day started with an information session at 9 am packed with so much info there was no time for questions before we were sorted into our tour groups. Since I am too old to be a student and may not immediately seem like a parent, I’m a bit of an enigma when touring solo. My two tour guides, who happened to be girlfriend and boyfriend (which was kind of cute and kind of weird), were energetic and it was obvious they loved their college. It was also obvious how all of us were enamored by the sheer beauty of this campus.
This is one of the biggest selling points for the U of Miami. This campus has made my list of the Top Ten of the most beautiful campuses I have toured so far, which perhaps needs to be a future blog. It’s like learning at a tropical resort with the stunning Lake Osceola as the focal point. This is no ordinary pond or pool to jump into like those you find at other colleges; this natural lake has real wildlife and even used to be a home to alligators! While gators are no longer allowed in the lake (I wonder why?) there are manatees, turtles, ducks, exotic birds and even snakes. Read more about it here.
Some of my favorite highlights of campus besides the lake were: The Fountains of UM, The Courtyard at the prestigious Herbert Business School, the Statue of the Rock (not named after Dwayne Johnson!), and Fate Bridge, which goes over the lake connecting to the student center. I kept thinking how majestic this would all look at sunset.
I also learned about The Rosenstiel School of Marine, Atmospheric, and Earth Science, which is located on an 18-acre waterfront campus on Virginia Key in Biscayne Bay. I had no idea! This would be ideal for students interested in marine biology.
I ended my day at the popular on-campus and student-run restaurant The Rathskeller, which everyone on campus calls the Rat. I also got to talk to a former student who is a Sophomore and super happy here. He also gave me his Pros and Cons for you to take into consideration.
Pro’s: the classes, the students, the campus, and internship opportunities.
Cons: Housing was a problem for the most recent incoming class, Miami traffic, merit scholarships are not easy to get.
It was a great experience finally spending time at the University of Miami. Here are some final takeaways.
Good news and bad news. The good is that this is a really good school! A top research university and the most selective college in Florida, which keeps getting more selective… Over 50,000 thousand applications, 19 percent admission rate (with a huge number going to Early Decision 1 & 2), average unweighted GPA – 3.8, 31-34 ACT, will stay test optional through 2026.
Some of U Miami’s most popular majors are Marine Science, Music, Business, Architecture, Latin American Studies, Finance, Economics, and Biology
The Fit: who would be happy here?
– Students looking for fun, sun and school spirit.
– Students looking for a diverse private school in a diverse city, especially Hispanic/Latina/Latino
– Students looking for a bougie campus, preppy, fashion-oriented, Influencers and entrepreneurs.
U Miami reminds me of these non-Florida colleges:
University of San Diego
Other fun, random facts about U Miami
1. Tough guys Dwayne Johnson and Sylvester Stallone both went to the University of Miami.
2. UM’s colors are green, white and orange, representing Florida’s orange tree! Green for the leaves, white for the blossoms and orange for, well, the orange.
4. The mascot was originally named “Icky” but was renamed after San Sebastian hall which became a university dormitory in 1939. Read more here!
5. One of my tour guides had rescued a parrot and was allowed to keep it as a pet. I also saw more dogs than usual, which are allowed if they are service pups.
6. The Richter Library has the largest collection of Cuban resources outside of Cuba.
7. As a football tradition, Miami players and fans hold up four fingers at the beginning of the 4th quarter.
8. The Miami Hurricanes Men’s Basketball Team was in the 2023 Final Four.