Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Wisconsin chapter.

What do floor 13, coffee, and lofts have in common?

The best study spot on campus depends on your preferences. Some need absolutely silent spaces while others need background noise and dramatic stories from friends to work on their homework. Sometimes, a person may want both. Maybe you have a really stressful physics midterm and need to trick yourself into believing the only thing that exists is you and your notes, or perhaps your friends are really helpful resources for a paper you need to write. No matter what your circumstances are, UW-Madison is stocked full of areas to complete your schoolwork. Since it is my third year here, I have had the opportunity to explore much of the campus, and I think I am qualified to offer advice. However, even I have not scoured every inch of campus, and a few of your favorite hidden study spots may still remain private.

The Chazen Museum of Art is a great study space for those who need a busy bustle about them. The front rooms, which are very accessible, feature floor-to-ceiling windows facing East Campus Mall and a coffee shop for those who need a mid-study pick me up. There is seating of all sorts around like booths, tall chairs, and cushion seats. Some have space for four people to study together and other options are more for those who prefer studying solo. Caffeine and sculptures await you at the front rooms of the Chazen.

Another great study space for those who prefer tranquility is in the Science Hall. To reach this space, you can walk up the grand staircase or breeze on up with the elevator and take a left. The space seems straight of the set of “Friends.” The ceilings are high, and the space is large with lots of trinkets around. From couches to long wooden tables, you will find a spot to philosophize or craft an architectural plan. It is typically not full of people, and when there are humans around, they tend to be silent. Large windows look out onto Bascom Hill, so you can have the entertainment of watching people trudge up the path if your homework progress begins to fade and your brain needs some rest.

Lastly, Upper House is an amazing study space for those who need life around them. Located by Valentia on East Campus Mall, all you need to do is open the door and take the staircase or elevator up. Here, you will find a huge open space with new-age furniture done right. Large circular tables, booths and even private reservable study spaces fill up the room. A religious organization runs this space, and they occasionally provide food for students who use this space, especially around midterms and finals. 

In my humble opinion, the best study spot on campus for those who need silence so loud you can hear your pen move on paper is the 13th floor of Educational Sciences. This quiet space requires taking twelve floors up the elevator and one flight of stairs. The elevator does not continue up to the top floor because the number 13 is haunted or unlucky. Windows surround the room offering a beautiful view of each side of Madison. You can see from Lake Monona to Lake Mendota. The tables are small with four seats to one. Other seating is offered facing the windows or on cushioned chairs next to the windows. If you need a break from crunching numbers or reading Proust, just take a look out the window to ground yourself in beauty and reality. Sometimes there is light chatter, but most of the time, even when every chair is full, silence encompasses the airy room.

Whatever type of space you need to complete your essays, labs, readings, or any other work you are assigned, UW-Madison has it, even if it is not in an obvious location. We all love College and Memorial Library, but sometimes, adventuring through campus is a fun and necessary way to effectively finish your work. Traveling to these spaces can feel like a sort of field trip away from the ordinary, and there are many more study spots other than these. My favorite yet unmentioned spots are the Journalism Reading Room and the Art Library. Hopefully, this inspired you to explore campus to find more things to love about being a Badger.

Libby Lambdin is a junior at the University of Wisconsin-Madison majoring in English on the Literature track and Journalism and Mass Communications on the Strategic Communications Track. She is also getting a certificate in Digital Studies. She is passionate about fashion, culture and period dramas (especially Downton Abbey). In her free time she loves dance, pilates, listening to music and spending time at Lake Mendota with her friends.