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Boston University

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What are the academics like at your school?

Some professors know my name, others don't. I've interacted a lot with professors in smaller classes, but otherwise I'm not one of the ones who goes out of her way to introduce herself. But the professors have always been approachable, so whoever wants to know them well, can. My favorite class has been organic chemistry. It's not terrifying and impossible to learn, and my professor is ridiculous. His 8am lectures always fill up quickly so I still have to get there 15 minutes early. His lectures are hilarious and fast-paced and he's backed this year by a TA who is very, very capable on her own in helping students more closely in discussion (some TAs don't make discussion worth it. She does). Least favorite are definitely any intro classes. You don't want to be there, the professors don't want to be there, and these are usually the classes that ask the trivial questions. Also, I took some unnecessary intro classes. BU doesn't really outline for you what is required and what's not. You have to be careful and can pretty much just hope you meet a few good upperclassmen who have figured it out and are willing to share. I have friends I haven't seen for a semester because they've been locked up studying, and I have friends who I've never seen study. It depends on how challenging your coursework is and how much you want to rock it. I hate class participation. It's somewhat common in the small classes. I think most people find friends who have similar interests and who can talk about intellectual stuff outside of class. Of course, there are also a lot of idiots. Competitiveness depends on the student and the program. Premed is definitely very competitive. People chase the professor, ask questions in class, and actually go to office hours. But I haven't had to worry about it reaching the level of sabotage or being cutthroat. Just a lot of people running very, very hard. Most unique class I've taken so far would either be Sympathy for the Devil and my Peoples and Cultures of Africa classes. Sympathy for the Devil is a WR150 course, the professor is funny and British, the works aren't so forbidden or evil, but it gets you a look into a lot of important classic literature, and you read Master & Margarita, one of my new favorite books plus other modern stuff. People and Cultures of Africa, the professor is amazing. We've referred to him as Mufasa. He's a passionate, humorous, approachable professor who is very informed (he wrote one of the books in the class, and it was my favorite out of about a dozen we read). Careful: the final assignment is a 30 page paper, which isn't so bad either. I was previously in international relations. I didn't like the intro course, but the upper division ones are definitely all amazing. Biochemistry & molecular biology (BMB) is a very difficult major, but it's put me with a group of students that are at a higher caliber of science-geared students than I've ever worked with. Premedical program here is known for being tough. It's competitive, the classes are very hard, but the premed students are definitely not as smart as the BMB students and can be frustrating to work with. French, I've only taken one class so far, but I loved the professor, and I've only heard good things about the others, so I'm excited to finish my minor. I wouldn't spend time with my professors outside of class, but I have run into them or ended up chatting with them before or after class, and I know a lot of people can relate to them as peers and have fun. Academic requirements are typical of a liberal arts education, luckily they took all my APs. They are manageable. Just the writing requirement a lot of people think is stupid. Depends on the department. My science classes, I feel like I'm just trying to get into med school, but the other ones have felt more like they really just educate me on the topic. You decide what job you want and what courses will apply, they'll make sure the course provides a lot of good information on the subject.

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Professors don't want to know your name but if you're obnoxious enough during class they'll be forced to learn it. I've had multiple professors get in front of my class and tell us that they hate teaching and that they only do it for the grant money from BU. My favorite class was psyche of learning with Fabio. It was actually intellectually stimulating, unlike many classes at BU. My least favorite were the CC 101 and CC 102 because BU pushes the classes so forcefully but the discussion professors are all remarkably bad and the courses are mostly review because most of the texts have been read by most decent high schools. Student seem to claim to study more than they actually do. They like to seem like they're swamped with material but the university, for the most part, is easy to coast through with a 3.3. Class participation is common among the two most annoying kids in your class. No one else will dare to speak. Student don't really have intellectual conversations outside of class (or in it, really) although they often think they do. Students are competitive academically to an extent but academics do not dominate their lives as much as extra-curriculars so while they're competitive in general it's not so much in academics as it is in other areas. The most unique class I've taken was a class on fairy tales and feminism and it was small, personal, and magical. It is one out of the two classes I've taken at BU and actually liked - and I've taken 16 classes! I feel that BU's requirements are normal and appropriate. They match most other universities requirements. The education at BU is neither about getting a job OR learning for it's own sake - it's about walking out of college with the most expensive and prestigious degree possible.

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I am a double-major in English and psychology, and I have to say that I prefer the way the English department operates. They have small classes and faculty that, aside from being simply passionate about and good at what they do, have a genuine interest in teaching. You can tell when they are in class that they want to be there, and English professors are I've found the most consistently available for office hours, to discuss and revise assignments, etc. Granted, this might have something to do with the small size of the school and the nature of the topics, but the system definitely works for me. I also like the flexibility of an English major at BU. There is a system of required courses, and some specific classes that you need to take (none of them insufferable) but for the most part a range of topics and course numbers is available, and you are able to pick those classes that most interest you. In one semester I took one class on the Contemporary American Novel (the main requirement for a book to make the reading list was that its author be still alive) and individual author courses on Emerson and Milton. I loved them, and the professors definitely brought the class to life with their passion about their subjects. Without personal experience it's hard for me to contrast this experience to other schools, but I've had friends from the College of Engineering for example tell me that they weren't even able to consider studying abroad because of the number of required classes and the frequency at which they were offered. One missed class put her off schedule, and she had to take summer classes just to get back up to par.

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I love my major, but I hate the business of it, so I won't be doing advertising after college. The professors are really great at bringing real-world senarios in to the classroom, and are wonderful at helping students find jobs, internships, etc. They are really dedicated to their students. It is a little cut-throat, but the business of advertising is, so that's to be expected. They definitely have the resources available -- in terms of clubs, professors, workshops, career centers and the like --- to help you become successful. SMG professors and students are all very stuck up about their program. The professors tell the students that SMG stands for "Sex Money and Greed" (it really means School of Management). They consider themselves better than the rest of the University, even though they're NOT the best program at BU. The College of Communication, School of Hospitality Administration, the College of Fine Arts, many programs in the Sargent College, BioMed in Engineering, and various other programs are all considered some of the best programs of their kind, while SMG is just breaking in to the top 30 management programs. They really need to get over themselves. Also grade deflation is way over-exaggerated. It may happen once in a while, but it's definitely not a rampant problem like some students complain it is. Everyone comes in to BU as an A student and not everyone can leave that way. BU puts tons of resources at your finger tips, you just have to take the initiative to use them. College isn't suppose to be easy!

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One of things that surprised me when I got to college at BU was the focus within the classes. I was expecting to make all my friends in my classes but no one tells you that everyone just shows up in 'class mode' and is really focussed and doesn't really talk outside of it. Of course you meet people later though. I've deffinitly had a mix of big lectures and really small specific seminar type classes. I'm only a second semester freshman and my largest class is probably only like 70 people. My smallest right now is 12. Professors are all different but going to office hours is deffinitly the key to good standing, it helps if they can recognize your face if the class is really big. Most the of the professors have led really awesome lives, just get them to tell their stories. Because BU has such a diverse student population in the sense of academic focus, you can really find your niche wherever. I got lucky on my floor because generally we're quiet so it's easy to get studying done. Other dorms tend to be crazier- it just depends where you are. I feel like the requirements aren't bad, but that is only because I got credit for all of them from AP/IB scores (soo worth it I promise!). College is obviously harder than high school, but the adjustment to BU really isn't that bad. There are lots of tutoring places and writing centers. Of course, we are right across the river from Havard so anything seems chill in comparison.

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The real reason students choose to attend BU is because of the great academics. The class sizes vary depending on the subject. Typically, you will have about 100 people in a lecture and about 20 or less in a discussion for the same subject (not all classes are run this way, but majority are). I am a psychology major and I must say the department is extremely welcoming available to guide you on your future plans as well as answer any questions you may have. If you choose to attend BU and you are taking a psych class I recommend Professor Mercurio -- she is amazing ! She wants all her students to do well and most professors at BU are like this. They enjoy their subject matter and want to make sure the students are understanding it not just memorizing information for an exam to later forget it and never think about it again. The most unique class I have taken was my first semester freshman year and it was Reasoning and Argumentation, which is a philosophy class, but I didn't know that when choosing it. After finding out I thought I would hate the class, I loved it and ended up doing really well. I feel that the requirements at BU are fair, although sometimes I feel annoyed with the language requirement. However, I know that in the future I will be happy to be fluent in another language as it will be beneficial in whatever career field I choose.

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BU is broken up into 18 different colleges and universities, so academics vary tremendously within each school and even within departments. Introductory science courses, for example, will take place in lecture halls seating 100+ students. However, individual discussions sections will be held with around 20 students, and professors are extremely approachable: they hold [multiple] weekly office hours, and are usually very correspondent to e-mails. Writing classes, on the other hand, are much more intimate and personal, with about 20 students per section. I'm currently majoring in computer engineering and enrolled in the College of Engineering (ENG), so I'll focus on my experience so far here. The professors in ENG WANT us to do well. They are all distinguished in their respective fields, and genuinely just want to help produce good engineers. The classes, like with any engineering program, are exceedingly difficult, but so much fun. ENG students have access to labs and opportunities to do research right from freshman year. ENG offers free tutoring 6 nights a week, a brand new imagineering lab (for us to just mess around a build whatever we want), and other opportunities specifically for engineering students. Another great thing about ENG@BU is the collaboration with other engineering students in Boston.

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Boston University has over 17 colleges and offers an extremely diverse range of classes and majors. Anything you can think about there is a class for. In addition, due to the diversity you meet a wide range of people that you never would have met otherwise and this results in extremely stimulating conversation. As a student of the College of Engineering we get the best of both worlds of a big University with all of its resources but the small school feel of Engineering. I have been in many classes of 200-300 students in a lecture. However, also have been in classes which there have been 15-20 students. I enjoy the variety of class sized. However, Boston University is a major Research Institution so as a result the most common way to have an opportunity to interact with your professor outside of the classroom is through office hours. All professors I have had are extremely approachable and friend if you attend their office hours. The engineering program at Boston University is really geared towards giving you the tools so that you can make an impact in whatever industry you desire immediately after graduation. They not only provide top notch academic environment but also a plethora of resources to enhance your portfolio and when looking for internships and jobs.

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Most professors didn't know my name, because I didn't really go to class much. I'm sure if I did, they would have. I took my favorite class my senior year, a creative writing seminar - my teacher was this incredible grad student who I've kept in touch with ever since I graduated almost-three years ago. My freshman year, I took only classes that were after 11am, so that would explain why I ended up as the only white and the only Jewish kid in a Chinese Literature class. Good course to take, though. I found that kids don't study until they need to. I think it was a requirement for people to participate in class - professors would say that it was 15% of a student's grade - although I talked to professors after the semester had ended, and they said it was all bullshit to have the classroom not sit silent for an hour. BU students can and will have intellectual conversations outside of class - that is, if you steer clear of the idiot sorority girls and frat boys. American Studies was the perfect major choice for me, as I was able to study whatever I wanted, as long as it fit into the American culture in some way. So, I studied rap music and hip-hop culture, and now I work in that industry.

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Yeah, professors know my name because I am a loudmouth kiss-ass in class. They will not know your name if you are not. Favorite classes have had tons of reading with professors who were willing to accept discourse. Least favorite class was statistics in which the professor could speak English poorly and on top of that was a horrible teacher. Some students study constantly others don't. Class participation varies. Most BU students don't have intellectual conversations, my friends very often do, so that is subjective. Some students are competitive, but typically more in classes that have curves... less so in film studies and english or the humanities in general. Every class was unique... that is a silly question. Film studies department I don't know much about. English department is pretty cool, but it has silly requirements and a limited number of classes and space in said classes. I spend time with some of them. Professors are known to sometimes have a beer or two with students of age. BU's academic requirements are ok. I learn for my own sake, in my department I don't think anyone cares about getting a job... SMG is a different story.

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