Texas A&M University

Texas A&M University (yes, those initials are the actual name) is one of the largest universities in the country, with over 50,000 students enrolled.

The university’s main campus is located in College Station, a city about 100 miles northwest of Houston and 175 miles south of Dallas. Their students are known as the Aggies.

Texas A&M is a strong school for several reasons. First off, the school is strong in several academic fields, especially engineering. They have the largest ROTC program outside of a service academy. Their sports program is incredible, with their varsity sports playing in the NCAA’s Division I. You probably already know that Johnny Manziel, the 2012 Heisman Trophy winner, is the current quarterback for the Aggies.

Personally, I’ve never been within a thousand miles of Texas A&M. I don’t even watch college football. However, one of my oldest friends, a UC Davis grad named Sergio Waqued, is about to begin working on a PhD in biomedical engineering at Texas A&M this fall. I spoke to him briefly about his initial thoughts on the school.

1. Why did you choose to go to Texas A&M for grad school?

Sergio: It has a good department that is also pretty old. It has good facilities, as the school has recently just built new buildings for the department. The faculty is great and really I want to work with them. Most of the academic papers that come out of their [biomedical engineering] department are written by multiple professors from inside the department and from other schools, so they like to collaborate a lot, which gets a lot of experts in the field. The good department was the initial reason I chose to go there, but their financial offer was good too. They gave me enough fellowships that it funded five years of my education there.

2. What are some interesting things about Texas A&M?

Sergio: It’s very similar to Davis, since it’s like an agricultural school in a small town. The funny thing about it is that they have airport in the city that only goes to two places: Dallas and Houston. It’s a very small airport. They also have the George HW Bush Library on campus, which is cool because not many universities can claim to house a presidential library.

3. What did you think was the coolest thing about that school?

Sergio: It has a nice sense of community, which the school actively promotes. I saw it when I was applying as they were really happy to help me out and get me to be a part of their community. In fact, they did most of the work on my application for me!

4. Why should students attend this school?

Sergio: It’s a big school with funding and new buildings. It’s also one of the best schools in the country in regards to networking. The big thing about a PhD program as compared to undergraduate studies is that if you’re interested in going to a school, you have to be interested in that school’s faculty. It’s very important to like who works there. A big piece of advice is to like where you AND interact with them during the application process so that you have that relationship when you get there.

Fast Facts About Texas A&M

  • Student Population: 53,337 between the main College Station campus as well as the branch campuses in Galveston and Qatar
  • USNews College Ranking: #65
  • Tuition: For the 2013-14 year, estimated at $21,581 for a Texas resident taking 15 units a semester and $38,701 for a non-Texas resident. Tuition is variable based on major and units taken
  • Strongest Undergraduate Programs:
  • Biological & Agricultural Engineering (#1 nationally at the College of Agriculture and Engineering, #5 at Dwight Look College of Engineering)
  • Plant Pathology and Microbiology (#2 nationally among public universities)
  • Entomology (#2 nationally among public universities)
  • Landscape Architecture (#2 nationally)
  • Business (undergraduate program as a whole is #22 among public schools and #36 overall according to USNews)
  • Engineering (undergraduate program is #9 nationally, any engineering major is strong here)

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John Kesler

John Kesler

John Kesler is a senior studying communication at the University of California, Davis. If he is on campus, he can be found in the basement offices of the newspaper or the radio station. At home, he enjoys listening to whatever music he can, reading whatever books he can, and taking walks wherever he can.
John Kesler

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