Road Trip: "Aha!" Moments at Arizona State University

If you are looking for large...Arizona State University is it.  ASU is the largest university in the country that is not a system (like the University of California or University of Texas systems).  It does have 5 campuses with Tempe being the main campus. Tempe used to be the largest single campus but as the other four campuses grew Tempe has slipped to #2 in size with University of Central Florida taking its place as #1 with 60,000 students.

Each ASU campus is self-sustaining (meaning you can complete your degree at the single campus) but you can take classes at any of the campuses and there is a bus system to take you from one to another, with wifi! The campuses include a Polytechnic campus (Maker campus) with about 500 incoming freshman a year, and the Thunderbird School of Global Management campus.  Online ASU enrolled 30,000 students and offers 150 undergrad and graduate majors degrees plus minors.  It has six start dates per year and is ranked #4 by US News in online education.

Aha! ASU's honors program is a 5-Mortar Board (highest rank) honors program, Barrett, that appears to be reasonably accessible requiring a 3.78 unweighted GPA and an average 29 ACT or 1380 SAT. Barrett students live together, are offered scholarships and internships not available to others, have a separate application.  They must complete a senior year thesis and can major in anything -- no restrictions.

 ASU seemed surprisingly approachable given its size. They use a tool called a Major Map to help students graduate in 4 years by showing them all required classes for a specific program, including all of the online programs you have access to.  Checking out the required classes on the Major Map is a great way to confirm a potential major is something you are truly interested in.  The school's traditions such as protecting the whitewashed "A" on the mountain prior to UofA games by camping out overnight and the Lantern Walk announcing the homecoming royalty bring the student community together.  Over 1000 clubs, for those who find 100, 240, 500 or 750 clubs are just not enough, provide small groups of friends. Finally, sports on campus are free to all and the Fitness Complex for all students includes indoor basketball, soccer, track to avoid the heat and an outdoor Olympic sized swimming pool.

Two unique aspects of ASU are that Aha! It is recognized for its innovation and breaking down traditional barriers to access.  ASU's president talks about becoming a master learner enabling students the flexibility to deal with whatever changes occur in the future.  And Aha! Sustainability is a big deal on campus.  ASU intends to become energy neutral by 2020 and offers the comprehensive degree-granting program through the School of Sustainability to find real-world solutions to environmental and social challenges. ASU too has study abroad (250+ programs), is a tier one research institution (400+ opportunities), has multiple pre-professional tracks and 4+1 graduate school options.

Consider Arizona State University if you are not concerned about getting "lost" on campus and instead feel ready to embrace the opportunity presented.