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Arizona State University

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What are the academics like at your school?

Academics are pretty good at ASU. One of the biggest issues though is class sizes, and some registration issues. If you're in a fine arts major, or design major chances are the majority of your classes will be pretty small--around 24-40 students. Professors will know you and actually have a legitimate opinion of you through interacting with you on a normal basis. However, if you're in business, or any of the other majors classes tend to be mostly lectures, and can number from 150-300 students. Participation is encouraged, in some courses it is considered extra credit (there's a record system for this). For bigger classes like this it's dependent upon the student to show their drive to success, by participating. Professors know those who respond, or come to office hours. Education is less taught and more learned. So the students who want to learn will learn, and those who think it's going to be handed to them won't. The libraries at ASU are always in use, and packed depending upon the time of day, and which libraries. So many students study at ASU so often, that our main library, Hayden Library is sometimes called "Club Hayden" because people spend more time there than clubbing. Conversation is everywhere. I don't mean this in a geographical context. I mean this in the range of things people talk about. It's very common to run into people speaking on intellectual topics, all the way to just normal conversation. I've had many talks with people (some random, some not) over transcendentalism, all types of philosophy, religion, politics, everything. There's no limit. At the moment I'm studying Business with an emphasis in Sustainability. What does that mean? My major is hybrid major, between the business school, and school of sustainability. I focus on the tenets of how sustainability affects business in terms of resource allocation, logistics, resiliency, and self-sustainability. Originally I spent two years in design, both graphic design, and industrial design. Both subjects are pretty different, however both schools handle their respective disciplines well. In design school there is a strong emphasis on detail, and revision. Because, in the career world for design these are the two principles we live by. In business school, competitiveness, and ambition are valued. The school is very helpful in bringing in tons of key individuals from all aspects of the industry to speak, and lead seminars. My favorite class so has been SOS 111, Sustainable Cities. The idea of sustainability is to, "meet our current needs, without destroying the capability of future generations to do the same". Sounds easy, right? Not at all. In SOS 111 we studied, analyzed, and debated the role of cities, and their futures in respects to sustainability. The course was interesting and significant to me, because first off, it was run by two professors who were the founders of our school of sustainability (the first in the country). Second, their mindsets weren't just focused on biology and sciences (like most people imagine sustainability), but also on design, economics, politics, psychology, etc. They understood and showed us that sustainability is in every facet of life, it affects everything. Third, we actually had class twice a week. The first day would be lectures, and debate, class participation was a must but not required. The second day would differ, it would be a movie / documentary, or most commonly be a guest speaker. These speakers came from all over the world. They weren't just experts on sustainability, but also professors, scientists, architects, businessmen, and others from institutions around the country, and world. We saw sustainability's wide-reaching arm is it intertwined with every career and path in life. For instance, the last speaker we had was a famous architect from Egypt, who had done work in the UAE. He discussed the design philosophy behind the UAE, their solutions, issues, and future. Education at ASU is geared towards both a future career, and learning. ASU provides all the resources, but a student must grow in maturity, and show their initiative to take advantage of which path they want more of.

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Academics at ASU might be a little unnerving to those who don't go in expecting large class sizes. That, I think is the scariest thing, walking into a lecture hall and seeing over 400 other students, some sitting together, some not. You starting thinking, "Am I going to sit next to anyone in this class more than once?" "Will the professor know my name?" "Is the professor hard?" So many thoughts go through your mind all at once and it can be a little stressful. The truth is this, most professors in those large lectures aren't going to have any idea of who you are unless you make contact first. That is a key thing if you want your professor to know who you are and it makes for a great resource later on if you need held studying or if you need a letter of reccomendation for grad school. Not all classes are huge lectures though, most of the math and english course offered at ASU are generally smaller class sizes with no more than 25 students. And if you're a science major your labs will have no more than 14 students because the labs can't handle more than that at a time. At ASU the students are very competitive, especially in the majors in which you have to apply for upper division after your first year. In those majors, if you want to succeed and move forward it is crucial for you to be competitive with your peers and make your best effort to stay on top. Out of class, many students have very intellectual conversations with one another. Whether its classmates discussing the days lecture topic or just two friends talking about each other's majors there's always some sort of intellectual conversation going on between students all the time. ASU offers a very wide variety of classes for students to choose from. I think the most unique class I have taken thus far was a Forensic Anthropology class this past spring semester. It was a very interesting course that I would reccomend to anyone who is interested in forensic science. I am a Biochemistry major at ASU, mainly because there is no Forensic Science major offered. It involves a heavy load of math and science but its not bad if you enjoy it like I do. I make it a habit to meet with my professors outside of class, just so that they can get to know me and I can get help where I need it and show them that I am interested in their course, which helps a great deal if you miss a class because your sick or if you really don't understand what was taught one day in lecture. I think that ASU's academic requirements are pretty easy to meet. Personally I think the university should have higher expectations of it's students because I believe that most students would be able to meet those requirements without much more effort. The education itself at ASU is mainly geared toward learning for its own sake, at least in the science department. Professors aren't worried about what kind of job you're going to get once you graduate, they just want you to learn as much as you can about the subject they're teaching and for you to figure out how to apply it to your everday life. Personally I think this is a great method of edcucation because students learn a lot about the subjects they're taking and then have to use their own minds to apply what they've learned to everyday life. I think that this allows for a much more personalized education.

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do professors know your name? if you want them to. i've never had a problem talking to a teacher before or after class, over email, or during office hours. or if not a professor, at least a perfectly nice and knowledgeable TA. my favorite class? this semester, MUE 310: music in early childhood education. we play with rhythm sticks and crayons and do clapping patterns and sing silly songs. but i also feel like i learned a LOT, especially with regards to becoming a teacher. last semester it was probably POS 160: Global Politics. who knew something as boring-sounding as political science could be such a blasty blast (props if you just went "ahaha dane cook yay!")? least favorite? DAN 194: Latin/Ballroom/Swing I. i could go on and on about that class, but just for one example: the teacher stood up and said he had no patience for beginners. and me...well let's just say the hokey pokey is pretty challenging for me. class participation common? actually, yes. even i, famous in high school for giving death glares if teachers tried to make me talk and for being the girl who stands up to give a presentation and hears "has she always been in this class?", find myself participating in my classes. do ASU students have intellectual conversations outside of class? well some of them. remember that 60,000 students part? yeah...it depends on who you're talking to. many of them do. are students competitive? i...don't really know. i avoid any hint of competition. most unique class i've taken? ballroom dance, music in early childhood, children's lit, service learning (tutoring at-risk kids)...there's a lot of awesome classes at ASU. my major is multilingual/multicultural elementary education. basically it's elementary education, with a bilingual/ESL endorsement. you finish your general ed and a few required education classes your first two years, then you apply for the ITC - initial teacher certification, the professional program. then you're in a four semester block where they give you the classes to take, which ends your last semester with student teaching. i've gotten to take a lot of fun classes so far, like MUE 310 and RDG 311 (music and children's lit). there's also a fine arts requirement for education majors, which i think is AWESOME! i switched my major on a whim when i was registering for second semester (i started as spanish). i'm so glad i did! do i spend time with professors out of class? well i don't...but i think some people do. i know lots of people go to TA's and peer tutors and suchlike a lot when they need help. is the education at ASU geared towards getting a job, or learning for its own sake? well both and neither and everything in between. the great thing about ASU is that it's so big, with so many choices and resources, that you can make what you want of your education. i chose a path that is geared more towards getting a job. my sister is on a path (the double major in japanese and creative writing path) that is more geared towards learning for its own sake.

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ASU is full of choices, choices, and more choices; at the university each major gives students the opportunity to make their own education. You can choose to sit in enormous lecture halls, where the professor is a tiny dot on the stage with a voice so overwhelmingly loud it is almost impossible to fall asleep. Or you can be in a small classroom environment, surrounded by like-minded peers and a teacher who engages in one-on-one conversation. It all depends on the class choice, and of course, your major. I am pursuing graphic design at ASU and love the program. I am one of twenty-five people in my Principles of Graphic Design class, and I love every second of it. My teacher is an intelligent, insightful, and interesting mentor who knows me by name, and speaks to each student with care. She motivates us all to move along with our studio assignments as we move through different projects. The class runs very smoothly as we speak to each other, discuss whatever we would like, and yet pay attention and finish our work. This unique class is one that I love, and my professor is someone that I speak very highly of. The entire graphic program is perfect for someone who wants to come out of the university with opportunity, as it is set up to help students receive jobs after graduation. Students go on mandatory internships their junior or senior year that the university helps promote, and most come back with their skills perfected, ready to take on the world. Networking is huge within the Herberger Institute of Art and Design, and ASU helps get each student connected with the big design corporations all across America and the world. I am going on a trip put on by the ASU graphic club to a design paradise, New York City, to visit the many important graphic, advertisement, and commercial firms. The opportunities are endless. Each major is different, and I can go on and on about all of them; I have enough friends in engineering, business, education, and other fields to tell the world about the wonderful programs at ASU. We are big on combining disciplines and collaborating on big projects across fields, something extremely unique. Teamwork is essential after college, and ASU is a great place to build those skills.

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I'm a Special Education/ Elementary Education major so my class sizes are perfect. All the classes that are focused towards my major have less than 40 people. In my smaller classes my teachers do know my name, and I know most of my classmates names. One thing about classes that I love is the clusters. ASU offers clusters to incoming freshman which means that there are reserved seats in a few classes only for people in your major. By the second week you start realizing some of the same people and learn that they have the same major as you. Last semester I was in a cluster and made two really good friends in the Education field and we made our schedules similar this semester so that we could stay together. In the smaller classes participation is common, however in my general education lectures participation is not as common. Students do still ask questions during lecture though and professors definitely encourage it. Students at ASU typically study a couple nights before a test. Tests in college are a huge deal and everyone knows it. Failing a test can hurt your grade in the class very badly. Most students take studying seriously and Hayden Library is always packed. At Hayden you can look around and see study groups, tutoring sessions, or just friends just studying together talking about school, it's very motivating. The most unique class I've taken is Understanding the Culturally Diverse. It's an education class and you learn so much about other cultures and how to approach different types of students as a teacher. I feel like I've learned so much about becoming a good teacher through this class. In this class our teacher did dedicate outside time to us. The class was split up into groups and assigned a chapter of the textbook and would present the material to the rest of the class every Tuesday. While preparing for this our teacher offered us many ways to contact her. Through e-mail, video chat or even over lunch. The professors I've encountered at ASU so far are very passionate. When you have passionate professors, you have students passionate about learning. As a future teacher, I love this about ASU.

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The academics at ASU are fantastic. Many professors will learn your name before the class even starts (for the smaller classes). Even in the large classes your professors wil learn your name if you take time to talk to them after class or during after hours. Many professors were happy to talk outside of class and I took advantage of this with many of them. The professors enjoy having intelligent conversations with students. Other students also enjoy having conversations like this and some professors set up discussion groups with groups of students outside of class to encourage learning for learning's sake in addition to the usual career-oriented education. In terms of students, they are competitive, but most students are willing to help others and enjoy working together with other students. I was a Bioengineering major, so most of my experience was within the School of Engineering, but I was also a pre-medical student so I have a good amount of experience with the Pre-Professional advising office as well. Everyone in the Bioengineering department is fantastic. The advisors are probably to most helpful and knowledgeable advisors at ASU and go above and beyond. The faculty loves to help students as much as possible, including providing a number of research opportunities. The pre-professional advising office will be able to answer every question you could possibly have about your future profession. In addition, ASU offers an incredible variety of classes. One of the most interesting classes that I had the opportunity to take was the Sociology of Health and Illness. We studied the history of diseases, advancements in healthcare, and discrepancies of the two among different groups of people. There are a number of other interesting classes offered regularly, including the Serial Killers course. All in all, the academics at ASU are great and you can take a class on almost anything you find interesting.

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Since ASU has such a large student body its is hard to define its academics, since it depends from one department to another. I double majored in Global Studies and Political Science and there was a significant difference between these two departments. In the first case, students and professors knew each other rather well, as most courses were under 30 seats. In Political Science, classes were rather big and thus it was hard to get to know your professors. However, in both cases students were really involved in class discuses and would often have outsider class debates as well. My first choice was Global Studies and as such I spent more time around that department and I got to know some of the professors there rather well. In fact, I still keep in touch with some of them. I think ASU has courses tailored for everyone's needs. If one is interested in having a good time and is less focused on academic achievements, one can take lower level courses and still graduate in time. However, if is one is interested in gaining as much knowledge as possible while in college, one will find challenging courses and fascinating professors at ASU. I was definitely part of the second group and I opted for higher level courses that were more of a challenge and even for individual instruction courses mainly because I wanted to work side by side with my professors but also because it allowed me to focus on subjects that were more pertinent to my specialization.

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In the small classes, especially my studios I take for art, all the instructors know who I am, my name, as well as a small background. Because the art community is a tight knit one, and you frequently run in to people you've had classes with before, it seems every one knows every one. The grad students are also extremely helpful and nice. I haven't had one grad student who was teaching one of my classes act like they were better than us or treat us bad. Professors in big lectures, and I've only had a few due to my major, are usually helpful if you email and talk with them frequently. In large classes, (350+ students), it's difficult to get to know other students, the T.A.'s and the instructor. Because of the sheer volume of students, some professors are very short with their students. You usually have to email frequently to get something resolved. Thankfully, I've only had one of those types of instructors. Generally, professors encourage students to get to know them, as it's the only way to form rapport with students in a class that big. Art majors vary, but every major map I've looked at (a list of pre-reqs and classes needed to take to graduate in a major) haven't had obnoxious amounts of mindless classes. General studies are still required, no matter what, so you just need to take care of those early on so they don't hold you down from the classes you need to take for your major.

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Do professors know your name? Depends on the size of the class. · Tell us about your favorite class. Least favorite? My favorite class this semester is one led by a very acclaimed professor, he is extremely devoted, and truly excited about his subject and engages the class. My least favorite, is just a boring requirement for graduation · How often do students study? Depends on year and major. · Is class participation common? When warranted, · Do ASU students have intellectual conversations outside of class? I hope so, and yes, I have been witness to some, which may be to some people's disbelief. · Are students competitive? For the most part, probably not academically. · What's the most unique class you've taken? Have not had time to take unique classes that do not count toward graduation. · Tell us about your major / department. I am in the College of Education, majoring in Secondary Education Social Studies. I feel the college often times discounts their students abilities, and many of the required courses are very boring, tedious, and a waste of time. · Do you spend time with professors outside of class? Most definitely not. · How do you feel about ASU 's academic requirements? Pretty easy/nonexistent. · Is the education at ASU geared toward getting a job, or learning for its own sake? Getting a job for the most part.

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Because ASU is one of the biggest schools in the country, it offers a vast amount of majors throughout its four campuses. Since there are so many majors available, there are also so many classes accessible to all students. An interesting class I am currently taking is called Homicides and Serial Killers. It has nothing to do with my major- or most majors, for that matter- it is just one of the numerous unique classes they offer for students who are interested in learning more about a particular topic. Now, because the school is so big, there are lecture classes with 400 students in them, but there are also many classes- math, English, and more concentrated classes- that have fewer than 50 students. Whether you are in a class of 300 or 25 students, the professors always have time to answer questions. All professors have office hours where they are glad to further your understanding because after all, they want to teach you. Also, there are tutoring centers throughout campus if you need help. Some classes even offer study programs led by past students. This is a fun way to study with your peers and boost your grade. Students want their peers to do well. Many students will form study groups with friends before a big test. I have utilized all of these tools, and it definitely has shown from my grades.

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