I'm really smitten by the University of Oregon. Not only is it well-situated in a state having the highest concentration of schools I'm interested in (CA being so much bigger, it doesn't make up for the quantitative lead), but it also has an array of programs that I'm really drawn to.

Interestingly, it's $17,445 per year for non-residents, compared to $5,610 for residents. That's an enormous delta.

Their art department has a huge selection of digital art courses (more, including a digital art MFA), with a smattering of photography and sculpture. ...I totally want to do this stuff. : )

The CS program seems relatively weak... but it's hard to say with only three pages of marketing spiel to go on... oh, wait, I found the page. Okay, so it's better than the spiel made it out to be. ; ) The focus I'm most interested in from their list is the languages one. I haven't actually seen a program like that before. (Granted, I haven't yet looked too hard.) They've also got a few projects on eye-automation, which is cool (but I probably wouldn't do well at).

They've got a strong music program, too. ...Mind you, I wouldn't dare major in music: too much work. But I dread the idea of being on a campus without a music program. It's part of the University experience, for me. A big part.

They've also got the kick-assiest linguistics homepage ever. Their focuses include descriptive linguistics, which totally appeals to me (like, big time--I wish U-Mass had that focus, but they were more theoretical), and cognition (which is a nice tie to CS). The department is about half the size I'm used to, but that suits me fine.

"Some of the most active areas of research at the University of Oregon are in the fields of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology." That suits me just fine. That's where research should be most active. ; ) Check this out:

The research in the Barkan laboratory focuses on two areas: protein-facilitated RNA catalysis, and the molecular cross-talk between the nuclear and chloroplast genomes. The two projects are synergistic, in that the chloroplast serves as a useful model system for the genetic analysis of catalytic ribonucleoproteins, and the control of catalytic plastid RNAs by nucleus-encoded proteins provides a molecular link between the nucleus and plastid. Both projects are grounded in genetic screens that identify nuclear genes that influence chloroplast gene expression.
...Doesn't that just make you want to go open a biology book?!? I wanna talk like that! : D And the clincher:

Hormones and other excreted signaling factors regulate growth, differentiation and survival of cells, and ultimately control, the development, metabolism and behavior of higher organisms. We are interested in the cellular actions of steroid and thyroid hormones. These hormones are involved in the cause or treatment of a wide range of diseases including arthritis, artheriosclerosis, diabetes, osteoporosis, and cancers.

That is exactly what I want to be studying. ...Not to mention, that Professor is cute. : )
In short, UO is about as close to a U-Mass as I've yet found... and the fact that it's in the Pacific Northwest makes it more appealing than U-Mass, anyway.

I'd love to end up here. I'm actually tempted to stop looking, I'm so satisfied with this school... (But will that stop me? Heh...)

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