Hi all, this is my first post on this site. Thanks for the great resource. I really have questions that are quite specific to UW, so I'm hoping to hear from someone who either goes there or went to the visit weekend.
I've been accepted to UW, but fell sick and was unable to attend the visit weekend a week ago. I'm going to visit on the "backup" date of April 10th, but think I'll go crazy not knowing the answers to a few of these questions.
I'm mainly curious what the atmosphere is like at UW. I've heard it's pretty good, but wanted to make sure. Specifically, the "happiness" level of grad students there. Is collaboration encouraged? Professors approachable? Research groups super difficult to get into? Your interests allowed to change? Specifically, I'm interested in experimental condensed matter and am curious to the environment within these groups.
I'm also a bit worried about the financials. I got what seems to be the typical award package with the typical recruitment amount. This package is a bit on the smaller side of other awards I've been offered, despite UW being in a relatively big city. Is it possible to scrape by with this stipend?
Thanks for any information. I realize I have a lot of questions.
Edit: Another concern I also have is the failure rate. An information packet led me to believe that the average incoming class is ~20, with an average PhD graduation rate of ~10. The 50% failure rate scares me, but this might be a skewed statistic (it could be that graduating class happened to be a small year, not 100% sure if those stats are averages or anecdotal).