• Jawed Bensalah

Ranking UTSA's Main Campus Buildings

Updated: Nov 24, 2020


We’re in quarantine and I’m bored, which means y’all get to read my rankings of UTSA’s buildings on Main Campus. I am not including parking garages or dorms on this list, nor am I going to include ALL of the buildings on campus. Just the ones that I deemed worthy of ranking. (Sorry Tobin labs and other misc. outskirts of campus buildings.)

How did I come up with these rankings? I have 4 different criterion that I am using to decide my rankings:

1. Visual appeal. This is pretty self explanatory, it is just how visually appealing the building itself is. Each building will get a score between 1-10.

2. Location. How optimal is its location on campus? Is it making use of its location? Does it have close access to parking and/or other buildings? I will give buildings a grade that is the same used by the USDA to grade beef. For those that are unfamiliar ( I’m gonna assume most of you) The grades go in order from best to worst: Prime, Choice, Select, Standard, Commercial. There are more but I’m only gonna use these 5.

3. Amenities: What does the interior have to offer? (vending machines, pods, couches, computers, etc.)

4. Rowdyness: This is extremely subjective and is basically my personal feelings of how great the building is. I will give each building a % score out of 69% (nice) since the university was founded in 1969.





16. Multidisciplinary Studies (MS)

Visual Appeal: 0/10

Location: Prime, Choice, Select, Standard, Commercial

Notable Amenities: Nothing

Rowdyness: 0%

A COMPLETE WASTE OF SPACE. This is without a doubt the worst building on campus. There is absolutely NOTHING redeeming about the MS. It’s completely boring and sub-par inside and out. “Multidisciplinary studies”??? It can’t even decide what kind of building it wants to be! Don't even get me started on the interior! It's like something out of the Twilight Zone. It is so confusing and convoluted and you almost always get lost. The MS has a PRIME location and it does absolutely nothing with it. It’s combination of being in a great location, while also being the worst building in an area surrounded by other great buildings, reminds me of Dallas. Dallas is a waste of prime real estate and is the worst part of the Greater DFW area. I hate the MS...and Dallas.

We at The Bird Podcast also hold the belief that the MS is sooo bad that it must be a cover for something super secret. Is there a portal to the downtown campus inside?? Is the basement of The Alamo hidden in the MS??? Is it hiding my 4.0 GPA because I sure as hell can't find it!?!? WHAT IS THE MS HIDING????



Photo Courtesy of UTSA

15. Engineering Building

Visual Appeal:1/10

Location Comparison: Prime, Choice, Select, Standard, Commercial

Notable Amenities: 0

Rowdyness: 5%

Unlike the MS, I’m not mad,I am just very disappointed with our engineering building. You would think it would be one of the nicer and more respectable buildings on campus but alas, it isn’t. Now I am aware there is the BSE and AET and I will get to those, but this is THE Engineering building. I just expected more from it. The only reason it doesn’t get a 0 for visual appeal is because I didn’t want to put it equal to the MS. It’s a very ugly building. It matches the rest of the original buildings construction but manages to still be uglier than the rest. While the exterior is ugly, the interior is not much better. Besides outdated classrooms/labs it has nothing else to offer.


Photo courtesy of UTSA


14. Mickinney Humanities (MH)

Visual Appeal: 4/10

Location Comparison: Prime, Choice, Select, Standard, Commercial

Notable Amenities: POD, outdoor seating, plaza seating

Rowdyness: 36%

It pains me to put the MH this low since I have so many classes in there, but it just isn’t that great of a building. In terms of visual appeal it is one of the nicest of the original buildings but still pales in comparison to our newer additions. It has the cool outdoor overhang where people table, along with an interesting roof and its location is great. It’s right next to the Sombrilla and has direct access to the student union and business building, as well as being close to the North Paseo building and Bus stop. The interior doesn’t offer all that much however. It has a Pod and seating in that main plaza area but that’s about it. Plus, the daily traffic in there is ridiculous. It’s location, history, and use by almost every student to have ever come to campus is why I deemed it 36% rowdy.



Photo courtesy of UTSA.


13. Business Building

Visual Appeal: 6/10

Location: Prime, Choice, Select, Standard, Commercial

Notable Amenities: Badass “POD”

Rowdyness: 24%

I’m gonna be honest, I really don't like the business building. If I was going purely based on my feelings towards it, it would be second to last on here. It’s so… boring. The interior has a pretentious air to it along with an ugly green theme that makes it feel like you’re in an office building constructed in the 80’s.That being said it is still one of the nicer buildings on campus which is why I gave it 6/10. There are only two things that I like about the building and these two things are the sole reasons it is as high on this list as it is. First off, the restrooms are great. They’re kinda hidden, always clean, and almost never have people in them, especially on the upper floors. Second, and the last thing I like, is the POD. The POD in the business building is so badass. It’s pretty much a little convenience store. It has a bunch of snacks and drinks you can’t find anywhere else on campus, AND it has frozen yogurt machines! And if that wasn’t already great, there is a restaurant there run by the sweetest ladies that serves burgers,breakfast tacos and crazy good curly fries. I honestly didn’t even know it was in there til like the second semester of my sophomore year. Besides these two things there’s nothing special about the Business building.


Photo Courtesy of UTSA


12. Bioscience Building

Visual Appeal:7/10

Location: Prime, Choice, Select, Standard, Commercial

Notable Amenities: Echo chamber, glass cross bridge that makes you feel cool when you walk across it.

Rowdyness: 42%

The Biosciences building only has one thing going for it and that’s the echo chamber. The exterior is super cool and unique but that’s not why it’s this high on our list. The echo chamber is decorated very eclectically and has a neat fountain in the middle. If you don’t know what I’m talking about the next time you go to campus stop by the bottom floor and yell, clap, stomp, do whatever but make some noise and you’ll see what I’m talking about. I’ve never done psychedelics and I’m not gonna condone drug usage but if you have done any psychedelics and gone into the echo chamber I’d like to know how that went.



Photo courtesy of Sobre Sound


11. Arts building

Visual Appeal: 3/5

Location: Prime, Choice, Select, Standard, Commercial

Notable Amenities: Art Gallery, Recital Hall, GIGANTIC Elevator,

Rowdyness: 69%

I am very biased towards the Arts building. As a member of SOSA I spend a lot of time here. I’ll admit it isn’t the most visually appealing of the buildings but It’s Rowdyness level is off the charts. It being the home of SOSA is what gives it its perfect 69% Rowdy rating. The recital hall is also housed here and while compared to other recital halls it isn’t that great, it still is one of the more beautiful places on campus. It's also home to probably the biggest elevator on campus!!! That's a bit of an inside joke but watch this quick video and you'll understand.



Photo courtesy of GigaPan

10. Applied Engineering and Technology Building (AET)

Visual Appeal: 9/10

Location: Prime, Choice, Select, Standard, Commercial

Notable Amenities: Library/Study rooms

Rowdyness: 15%

The AET building is not very special, but what it lacks in specialness it makes up for in beauty. The AET offers a second “library” with study rooms which are very nice, and… well that’s about it. I don’t know very much about the building other than that and the fact that it is very nice inside and out.


Photo Courtesy of UTSA


9. North Paseo Building

Visual Appeal: 9/10

Location: Prime, Choice, Select, Standard, Commercial

Notable Amenities: Beautiful classrooms, POD, outdoor patio, indoor seating/study area

Rowdyness:45%

The North Paseo Building is beautiful. It’s on the outskirts of campus but it’s right next to the Bus stop which makes it easily accessible. Unlike some other buildings the interior is just as great as the exterior. The classrooms are state of the art, the design is masterful and the seating area is great and comfortable. The reason this comes in at #9 and not higher is because of its rowdyness score. While it’s a beautiful state of the art building, it’s boring and doesn’t have that Rowdy factor that I’m looking for.


Photo courtesy of UTSA


8. Main Building

Visual Appeal:9.5/10

Location: Prime, Choice, Select, Standard, Commercial

Notable Amenities: POD, seating/study areas, Great view

Rowdyness: 48%

I believe the Main Building is severely overrated. It’s a beautiful, grand building but it’s boring. All it really has to offer is nice classrooms and a great view. Students don’t even get to utilize a majority of the building since other than the first two floors everything else is offices. I honestly contemplated leaving it out of the top 10 but ultimately decided that would be too harsh.

Photos Courtesy of UTSA


7. Flawn Science Building

Visual Appeal: 3/10

Location: Prime, Choice, Select, Standard, Commercial

Notable Amenities: POD, Outdoor courtyard, roof access, observatory, green house

Rowdyness: 50%

While the Main building is the most

overrated, the Flawn Building is the most underrated. The namesake building of UTSA's second president Peter T. Flawn is admittedly not at all visually appealing but it makes up for that in it’s amenities. The outdoor courtyard is small but a great chill spot if you just want a place to relax, or study. The classrooms while old are still of high quality. Most don’t know but there is a Green house on the fourth floor that has a great view. AND there is a MF observatory! Once or twice a month the astronomy department hosts a star gazing night and provides telescopes and equipment for you to stargaze. This Building is great. If it had a nicer exterior it would definitely be top


Photo Courtesy of UTSA


6. The Historic Convocation Center

Visual Appeal: 7/10

Location: Prime, Choice, Select, Standard, Commercial

Notable Amenities: Sports

Rowdyness: 69%

Let me make one thing clear right off the bat. This is the HISTORIC convo. Not the “convo” or “convocation center”. This is the place where the magic happens. This is where comebacks happen. Where students go from college athletes to professional stars. Where school spirit is born and cultivated. If you actually attend games and events, the Historic convo is where some of your best memories at UTSA will be made. If you haven't heard of "The Comeback", do yourself a favor and watch it.



Photo courtesy of UTSA


5. HEB Student Union

Visual Appeal: 7/10

Location:Prime, Choice, Select, Standard, Commercial

Notable Amenities: Ballrooms, Subway, Student activities center, piano, the Roost, SU Tower

Rowdyness: 65%

The HEB student Union is great but it wouldn’t be this high up if it weren’t for the roost. If you are unaware, the roost is on the second floor and is essentially a game room/arcade. There’s air hockey, ping pong, chess, Xbox, PlayStation, etc. It’s a fun place and they usually have different tournaments that you can participate in. Along with that, the HEB SU has one of two subways on campus, and an area outside the ballrooms with a piano that everyone likes to chill at. It’s use and location are what make it crack the top 5 but arguments can be made to have it lower on the list.


Photos Courtesy of UTSA


4. Biotechnology Sciences and Engineering Building (BSE)

Visual Appeal: 10/10

Location: Prime, Choice, Select, Standard, Commercial

Notable Amenities: Einstein Bros, seating/study area, beauty, the feeling of attending a legit university..

Rowdyness: 50%

The only Academic building to crack the top 5, the BSE is hands down the most beautiful and grand building on campus, even more so than the Main building. No photo can doe the BSE justice. It is one of the few buildings on campus that actually makes you feel like you are at a big university. While the outside is just *chefs kiss*, the interior is just as great. The ground has all these crazy designs of bacteria and other sciency gooblygop, while the floors above have words wrapping around that say...something. Idk, I read it once but I forgot what it says. This is also one of my favorite places to study. I love you BSE.



Photo courtesy of Jones Carter Civil Engineering Firm


3. Recreation and Wellness Center

Visual Appeal: 8/10

Location: Prime, Choice, Select, Standard, Commercial

Notable Amenities: Work out equipment, indoor track, pool, sand volleyball, basketball courts, showers, Ping pong, Air hockey, XBOX/PS4, Indoor rockwall, dance studios, racquetball courts, turf fields, clinic, counseling services.;

Rowdyness: 68%

The top 3 on this list are all extremely OP. They just have so much going on that nothing else can compete. If you have not been to the rec you are missing out, especially if you are into fitness or sports. This place is better than any other gym you’d pay to have access to.The facilities are state of the art and there’s something for everyone. Pro-tip: If you like an empty gym go to the rec either early, late, or during peak class times so you can avoid a packed gym. I personally either go super early, and shower there before going to my class, or I will go a couple hours before close.



2. Student Union

Visual Appeal: 9/10

Location: Prime, Choice, Select, Standard, Commercial

Notable Amenities: Meeting rooms, bean bags, school store, Retama theater, UPS store, roadrunner pantry, career center, food court, piano, ski lodge, chili’s, barbershop, Rowdymart.

Rowdyness: 69%

Everybody should know what the student union(“UC'' for the OG’s) is. It’s visual appeal is realistically a 7 or 8/10 but I'm giving points for originality. The student union offers so much to students. It houses the career center which is perfect

Photo courtesy of UTSA for students looking for resume help, or help applying to jobs and planning their lives after graduation. There's also the Retama which shows different movies every weekend for free. Of course there is also the school store where you can buy your $80 Adidas shirt. There's a UPS store with mailboxes for all your shipping needs. One of the cooler features is the Roadrunner Pantry which is basically a collection of different food items that's free to students who may be having trouble affording food or certain household products. Now the Food court and ski lodge are technically a separate building but for the sake of not having to write a separate paragraph I just included it as a part of the SU complex.

A little insider info for ya: With Aramark out as UTSA’s food service provider, the chili's will be replaced soon, most likely with something similar to the roadrunner cafe.



Photos courtesy of UTSA


1.John Peace Library (JPL)

Visual Appeal: 7/10

Location: Prime, Choice, Select, Standard, Commercial

Notable Amenities: Food Court, Books, Computers, tutoring, study areas, study rooms, roof courtyard, One-Stop, Fiscal services.

Rowdyness: 69%

Ah yes, the piece de resistance! What can I say, the JPL has everything. Place to study? Got

it. Food? Got it. Couples making out in between bookshelves? Got it. Couples “making out” in study rooms? Got it. If the buildings at UTSA were One Direction, the JPL would be Harry Styles. Similar to the MH, Every. Single. Student. has used the JPL. From the very beginning it has been the backbone of the university. Included in the JPL is One Stop which is your best friend. Literally any question you might have can be answered at One Stop. Of course there's the food court with plenty of great choices including a chick fil a that's open till like 2am for those all nighters. And then there's three more floors filled with study areas, print spots, and computers. It may not be the prettiest building but it is without a doubt deserving of the #1 spot on this list.

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