Boston College Top Questions

What are the academics like at your school?

Kyle

Professors Know Your Name: if you participate, most often, yes. Some teachers actually try to get to know all their students-somewhat rare. Favorite Class/Least: Creative Writing with Kim Garcia, Spanish Culture and Civilization with Kathy Lee How Often do you study: As an English/Economics major, I have substantial reading and writing for English. Economics is mostly administered with lectures and exams. You find a balance, although a large part of it is what major you are Class Participation Common: If you want to get a good grade then participate, teachers hate awkward silence just as much as we do. Intellectual Conversation Outside of Class: Depends on who you hang out with, for the most part no. However, I would not like to spend all my free time discussing Kant and James Joyce either. Students Competitive: Depends on the major. Most are competitive but for the sake of high grades not necessarily for knowledge. Unique Class Taken: Microeconomics with Zhi Qui Major department: English is good, need to diversify literature courses beyond African American literature though. Economics is a good program but has a detached faculty. Time with Professors Outside Class: Very rare, unless you are really want to. BC's Academic Requirements: Rigorous curriculum, students balance it out by taking joke classes though. Education-Getting a job or learning:

Andrew

Professors are great - the discussion is great. I have had intellectual discussions with many peers, though of course there are still some idiots.

Megan

I am a nursing major, so I have a different academic experience than most students at BC. I have clinicals in the Boston hospitals at least two days a week and then have classes one or two of the other days and therefore I am not on campus very often. I only go to the library for finals, otherwise I study in my room or in Lower dining hall. I like how I am able to have many one on one experiences with instructors in clinical because it helps me to apply the information that I have learned in class.

Andy

Professors are great! I would say that if you want to be in the business school, get in as a freshman. It is extremely hard to get in as a sophomore.

Paul

Professors were by and large pretty attentive. My favorite class was Psychobiology of Mental Disorders; the subject matter was extremely interesting, and the professor really cared about his students. I also really enjoyed Nihilism and Pop Culture, extremely engaging professor. Class participation seemed pretty common in the classes I took, though it was often easily facilitated. I think that the education is more geared toward learning for its own sake, which I prefer. I think that learning prepares you well for a job, but not necessarily for getting a job.

Cameron

Unfortunately, BC is a much better school than it gets credit for in the public eye. Last year, for instance, the Carroll School of Management was ranked the 14th best undergrad B-school, but this has gone relatively unnoticed. With the exception of some lectures and seminars (Intro to Bio, etc.), the classes are typically very small, with close interactions between students and teachers. Speaking from experience in the School of Management, the professors do a phenomenal job of mixing realty/experience with theory, and they absolutely take a vested interest in their students' success. As a Jesuit, liberal-arts school at heart, BC has a 15-course core curriculum that must be taken in the School of Arts & Sciences, regardless of the school in which they are enrolled. Within CSOM, there is an additional 11-course core curriculum that each management student must take (finance, marketing, accounting, etc.), regardless of their major. The mix of breadth and depth leads to some of the most well-rounded undergraduates in any business schools, and the jobs BC students are receiving reflect as much.

Kaitlin

I'd say 50/50 as to whether they know my name, depends on class size. Favorite class was Freshman Writing Seminar, great professor, free writing, had fun. Students study frequently, but less and less when you're a senior. Class participation is very common, especially because it is required as part of our grade. Yes, many intellectual conversations arise outside of class. Yes, VERY competitive. Most unique class would be Sports Marketing. I'm majoring in Finance and Marketing in the Carroll School of Management. Not a lot of time spent with professors outside of class, only to clear a grade up or an understanding problem of subject matter. Academic requirements are good, goes to show students have a lot to bring to the table, almost too good though-I feel like it's difficult to get in here now. Both.

Lawrence

i think most professors ive had know my name. my favorite class was my third year honors seminar. least favorite was my first semester physics class sophomore year. class participation varies by class size, type, teacher. ive only had a few intellectual conversations outside class, id say they happen very rarely. yes some students are competitive. third year honors seminar was been the most unique. the cs major is a good one, but our department is not very strong. we dont have enough students in cs to justify spending more money on professors, grad classes, etc. i occasionally meet professors in their offices. i think the requirements are good, forces students to be well rounded in a good way. csom is about getting a job, my experience in a&s has been that the emphasis was on learning to better ourselves as humans.

Whitney

Professors do know your name here. However, there are the few exceptions of when you have a bigger than usual class. Even in these classes, the professors try to reach out to you. I was in a lecture class with over 300 kids and my professor knew my name and I even went to office hours. The most unique class I've ever taken is PULSE which combines the philosophy and theology course requirements. In that class, you have to volunteer off campus for 10-12 hours a week. Although it is time consuming, it is definitely worth it. For both of my majors (English and Communications), teachers are always ready. Some teachers have even given me their cellular and home numbers so I can have access to them anytime. The academic requirements appear to be overwhelming at first but they aren't too bad. I'm pursing a double major and as well as fulfilling the core requirements and I will graduate on time. The education at BC goes along with the Jesuit tradition in trying to make its students well-rounded individuals who will be ready to change the world. I believe that when I graduate I will be able to get a job at ease and I will be a more-rounded person.

Ruth

As far as classes go, everyone has cores that they have to fulfill. I recommend getting those out of the way first so that you have junior and senior year to learn about what you love. The cores themselves aren't really that bad... they try to make them interesting. Some classes are the kind where attendence is taken and others are the kind where the teacher puts everything up online (the latter is the one where on the day of the exam, the attendence rate grows exponentially). I recommend going to class because you are spending money on it. There are alot of study space, with more than 5 libraries and study lounges in almost every dorm (some of the freshman dorms such as Koska doesn't have a lounge but you can always go to the library or caf).

Riley

Freshman year its very difficult to get to know your professors because the classes are so large. As a biochemistry major, I was in all of the basic classes that premedical students have to take, so they were held in the largest halls on campus. However, professors are very interested in their students and if you seek them out they will gladly meet with you and get to know you. By the time you are in upper level classes, professors will know you by name and stop you in the hallways to say hello. My favorite class may have been Recombinant DNA Technology with Professor Hoffman, who is the jolliest man with the largest mullet I've ever seen. He's an amazing professor and really challenged us to learn. My other favorite was the Challenge of Justice with Stephen Pope, which is a theology/philosophy class. He really challenged us to live consciously, which I think is a message I've learned at BC. My least favorite class? I can honestly say I have liked every class I've taken at BC so far...I guess that makes me a nerd! Students at BC are very academically motivated, and tend to spend a lot of time studying both individually and in groups. They participate in class, meet outside to discuss issues, and meet with professors. Its a very positive atmosphere, until you enter the realm of the premeds, who are incredibly cut throat and scary. I have really loved the core and I reccomend that students take full advantage of the wide array of classes you can take. I took a painting class, an Irish step class, philosophy, and my science load one semester and the liberal arts classes definitely helped me balance out my heavy science classes.

Abby

Other than in one very large class, every professor I have had at BC has known my name. My favorite class was probably Mass Communication Theory. My professor was extremely interactive with the class, making sure that we all understood new concepts by having us discuss the material and apply it to real-life situation. Rather than simply talk at us in an hour-long lecture, the professor made the class interesting and fun. Students definitely work hard and get their studying done during the week, but they make sure to unwind and have a good time on the weekends. BC is a "work hard, play hard" kind of place. BC students have intellectual conversations outside of the classroom, but they have just as many conversations about celebrity gossip and arguments over what Boston taqueria makes the best burritos. One of my favorite things about the conversation at BC is that I can make an otherwise nerdy reference to biology while telling a story, and my friends will know exactly what I'm talking about. I am a Communications major, which is known to many as "the major of college athletes". Communications is vastly popular at BC, so many of the core requirement classes for the major are large. However, the professors still take these classes seriously and take attendance to make sure that student are not just gliding through the courses. No matter how many students are in a class, the Communications professors are still effective teachers and are still open for extra help and questions from individual students.

Tim

for the most part classes/learning can be bullshitted away or taken seriously. if the former is the case, you're likely to play into a lot of stupid shit that goes on here, eating up some if not all the delusions of college and of BC culture. if the latter, then you're like to feel alienated from everybody and have a tough time coping with the reality of things. i think a healthy number of people try to achieve a happy medium, but it's the extreme cases that produce more interesting life events, so try it all out! the theology, philosophy, and literary courses offer a fair amount of self-questioning (we'll say continental rather than analytical) and lend themselves to good conversations, sometimes. many at BC come from high-achieving backgrounds, so most are inclined to be somewhat competitive. fortunately, there's a fair amount of denial that goes on at this school, so if you try to balance and try to think for yourself, life will be a lot simpler.

Meg

Students can be competitive in CSOM, but I've never heard of people giving the wrong answers to classmates or ripping pages out of books in the library. (which I have heard of from friends at other schools) There is competition to do well but it is based on individual achievement and doing the best you can. Professors know your name if you want them to. Obviously if you sit in the back and never speak you will be invisible. This is college, theoretically you are here because you want to learn, some self-motivation will be required. Students study very different amounts, I probably spend 1-2 hours a week per class unless there's a big project, paper, or test. It depends on the individual and how efficiently you spend your time. The work load is definitely manageable if you stay on top of it and make sure you don't have all hard classes in one semester. Right now I'm taking a class (new this semester) called Economic Development: The El Salvador Experience. Only 10 students are in the class and we had to apply and interview, but it is amazing. We study development and El Salvador with Fr. McGowan who is great in and of himself. Then for spring break the university pays for all of us to go down to El Salvador. I'm a double major and a minor, in three schools at once. Human Development from school of ed, Economics from A&S and then a minor in Organizational Studies from CSOM. It is the perfect combination of subjects for my future plans. The univeristy has been flexible in allowing me to create this rather unique combination. I wish that I had been required to become fluent in a language - one regret about core requirements. Other than that I think it's great to experience different subjects and learn about things you wouldn't otherwise even try. People have found majors that way.

Stacey

I have absolutely loved my academic experiences at BC. But, I must say that my encounters are not the norm--as an English and Studio Art major, I have never had a class with over 25 people (in my majors), and I have become very close with a great deal of professors. Instructors are really here for you, and I'd advise you to make your connections early--asking for letters of recommendation for jobs and grad school came so easily because of the fact that I keep in touch with my professors over the years.

Madeline

As an English major, I've had the privilege of having much smaller classes. While some of my core classes are 80+ students, none of my major classes have been more than 35 people. My English professors get to know all of us, especially through our writing. I love my writing classes. I get a chance to get to know the other people in the class in a way I wouldn't normally. I think the relationship with a professor is what a student makes it. There are some teachers I have put in the effort to get to know on a personal level, and those are the people I will stay in touch with once I graduate. Yet I also have professors that I've never had a personal conversation with, and don't know anything about me. But that doesn't mean that the professor never made him/herself available for me to start that conversation. I think what the classes are geared to depends on your major. CSOM's classes advance in a specific way, and are geared towards job experience. My classes, on the other hand, are more for all around development. English majors are helpful in so many fields that the experience is how you apply it in a job situation.

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