Bryn Mawr College Top Questions

What are the academics like at your school?


Most classes are small, and with highly trained and very intelligent professors, many of whom are at the top of their fields. Students participate in class and do their homework responsibly, and the expectations are high but you'll have plenty of support from staff, faculty, and other students. There are very limited requirements, so there's a lot of room to either explore the curriculum or avoid certain disciplines. Many students major in the sciences, but overall the student body is well-rounded. Although we have certain very strong departments (Classics, Art History, Geology, etc.), the school is small and so course offerings are limited. You can go off campus to take classes not offered at Bryn Mawr, but it's a bit difficult if you have to go further than Haverford.


Bryn Mawr academics are incredibly challenging. Classes here will work you harder than anything. Professors are amazing; they know your name even in big lectures (but the biggest is only 50 students). Assignments are interesting and hard, but they really make you learn and think about your subject in new ways.


If this gives you an idea, we were placed on the Daily Beast's list of most rigorous schools in America (above Stanford). Bryn Mawr academics are TOUGH, but also very rewarding. The plus side is that classes are tiny, discussion based, and really geared toward the goals of the students. This year, I've had professors who not only know me by name, but also know about my family, academic and life goals, hobbies, name it. Professors here have a seriously genuine concern for their students and really make an effort to connect on a more personal level with them. As for class size, I have had classes with anywhere between 5 and 35 students (as a freshman with intro level classes, this is great!), which has given me an opportunity to get a lot of personal attention from my professors. Students are also invited to their professor's houses for dinner from time to time or are invited to outings with professors (looking at architecture in Philadelphia, going to various conferences, etc.) Students take academics here very seriously. We're given a TON OF READING (in my first semester, I was asked to read over 100 pages a night for an Intro Sociology course!), and are expected to work extremely hard. At the end of the day, the work is doable, and students support each other throughout our studies. Even though there's a lot of work, there is a surprising lack of competition due to our honor code system which frowns upon talking about grades and academic standing. My favorite class so far has actually been my intro writing class called "In Class/ Out-Classed: The Uses of a Liberal Education." The class had about 15 people and was focused around the topic of social class and how it affects our education. We had the chance to go on multiple field trips to local middle schools, work with middle school students, plan campus events that revolved around alleviating issues of social class, and, of course, learn about college level writing. The class was SO MUCH MORE than simply a writing class, and students were held accountable for actually creating a change within the college. For example, one event we held gathered students, faculty, and staff to address issues of social class grievances of campus and actually took steps forward to solve some of these problems--talk about a unique and rewarding experience!


The academics at Bryn Mawr are very intensive. You are expected to read a great deal every week, be active in class discussion (as the classes are usually pretty small), attend meetings with your Professors regularly, and keep an active, open mind. I often feel like I'm overwhelmed, but I've learned a lot about time management. Students have intellectual conversations in class, outside of class...pretty much all the time.


Very challenging and a tough workload. That is what Bryn Mawr is known for. Academics are number one, and although it can be intense and intimidating sometimes, it is pretty amazing to be around such brilliant women and profs. One thing that I don't think anyone talks about much is that the majors and requirements are really loose and fluid compared to most other schools. No one could say that this makes Bryn Mawr easier, but it really gives you the freedom to study what you want to. I chose political science because you can almost do whatever you want within the major, which is pretty awesome.


the classes are super small. so the professor will notice if youre not in class. the profs make themselves VERY available and have office hours. The consortium, specially with haverford works really well, because even within each department each school has diff specialties. and haverford has the music and astro departments, while bryn has the dance and cities departments.


The best thing about Bryn Mawr is the academics. You don't come here for the social life. But after one semester studying in France and another studying in Cairo, I've come to realize that Bryn Mawr truly does grant its students a world-class education. Nothing I did at either of my foreign universities began to compare to the work I've done and the things I've learned at Bryn Mawr.


amazing- supportive and helpful yet challenging staff, numerous resources, and many options for majors, studies, even just random interests. competition can be quite annoying, even with the honor system in place.


There's a 50/50 split of male and female professors. Classes range from about 8-20 students though the intro science classes can be as large as 42. (I love that 42 is such a big number here!!). Most classes are discussion type and in a round table format so the participation of students in class is really high. I was actually pretty quiet in high school until I got here. Coolest classes: Cultural anthropology, Forensics Anthropology, Organic Chemistry (I mean it, really) and a Memo writing class. There loads more, it's just that I'm a science person. Discussion of grades doesn't happen and if it does, the students taking part in the discussion must consent to do so and further more do it in private. Not in a locked room or anything, just in a space where it is assured that you are not making another person uncomfortable. This brings competition amongst students way down, one of the reasons I love the academic environment here. At the end of the day, the only person who knows your grade is you and your professor. The chemistry department is really cool! There are loads of research opportunities and your professors are everything from Guinness World Record holders to Presidents of National Chemistry clubs! Pretty awesome. Generally speaking, across all departments, the professors make a point to avail themselves to the students as often as they can. So far in all the classes I've taken, the professors have provided us with their home phone numbers "just in case". I've had A LOT of "just in case" moments, especially right before a test!


Professors absolutely know my name. I only had one (foreign) professor who thought my name was something other than Dawne. Class participation is very common and is generally one of the most important criteria in grading a students performance throughout the semester. Students are competitive however the Honor Code states that grades are not something to be discussed unless both parties agree upon discussion. This means that you won't know the grades of everyone else in the class unless you all consent to share and know. Professors will often post the low-mean-high grades for classes with 10+ students, but otherwise, your grades are the sole business of the student and the professor. The most unique class I took was Paleobiology. The professor was an excellent lecturer and the class covered millions of years in an engaging yet incredibly comprehensive fashion. I came away retaining more information than I ever have in any other course.


99% of the time, professors will know your name -- but what makes the difference is the approachability that the faculty offers. Students are studying all the time. But there is always time for play, somehow-- even when about to pull your hair out over a paper. You'll always be stressed. ALWAYS. You'll never EVER be completely finished your work until the end of the year.


Where to begin? Well, Bryn Mawr was founded to be academically equal to its brother school, Princeton. Now, I'm not claiming that Bryn Mawr is ANYWHERE near Princeton in any way. But suffise to say, its tough. How tough depends on your major of course, and how well you really want to do. If B's are ok for you, it may be a breeze. But don't expect straight As. It probably wont happen, not until your junior year if at all. A lot of people say they NEED to go abroad, to escape the academic rigor and the social scene. I don't really know if thats true, so far, BMC is working for me! We're not competitive at all, only with ourselves. We honestly do NOT discuss grades. It just doesnt happen, seriously. And, its great...sometimes you want to know how everyone else is doing, but you can kinda get and idea without flat out going "Whadya get??" Bryn Mawr is about learning for learnings sake. Its such a nuturing environment, even if it is insanely intense


Since Bryn Mawr is a small school, your professors will defiinitely know you, most of the time they'll know your name too. Professors are really accesible and are very very very understanding. Depending on the type of class, participation is highly encouraged, especially since the class size is usually small. At Bryn Mawr you better study study study because classes are tough in general. However, in spirit of the Social Honor Code you don't feel the competitiveness (though keep in mind that some girls do choose to talk about grades). In general I would say that the Bryn Mawr community is intellectual. I have had and heard intelligent conversations outside of class.


The professors get to know you as a person, especially the math department.


Again, there's a lot for me to write about. I'm sort of just going to go down the list of recommened ideas, so excuse me if this is a little choppy. Yes, many professors know your name. In my last semester, I would say that 3 out of 4 of my profs knew my name. My favorite class (at Bryn Mawr): Females at Risk, by Prof Briggs. How often do students study: Everyday, every weekend, a lot. Intellectual conversations: My friends and I talk about politcals, religion and other "intellectual" subjects alot, but that's not to say we haven't had intelligent conversations about Harry Potter or characters from North and South. Students aren't really competitive: we have a social and academic honor code. The academic honor code highly encourages students to not discuss grades with any one other than your teachers. Some might say that it doesn't work, but I feel that it is generally very succussful.


At Bryn Mawr, students rarely have intellectual conversations outside of class. Also, at Bryn Mawr students are encouraged to compete with themselves, rather than with others.


Wow. I often feel like I've had the wind knocked out of me after a particularly rough exam or a singularly intense class. Bryn Mawr is a tough place to navigate academically. Students should be prepared to work their asses off, to listen, with jaws agape, to their brilliant professors, and to take cat naps in classes that are naturally dull. The college is great in this way: women get a feel for the highs and lows of the academia while learning to be organized and self-disciplined. One of the most unique things about Bryn Mawr is that grades are not discussed openly. On one hand, this is a great system; students are able to concentrate without worrying about the opinions of their peers. However, this set-up forces women to push themselves harder and to prove their abilities to their inner-critics.


Too much work most of the time... but within the classroom, no one asks any questions. I just dont understand but everyone is just so accepting and no one thinks critically. Its such a linear learning process. No one probes deeper into things


There are many excellent, eccentric professors, and many fall all over themselves to be available whenever we need/want them. I feel that I have been able to explore all of my areas of interest (Though many of my friends in the sciences do not feel this way). The academics are definitely geared more toward learning for its own sake; almost everyone I know seems to want to go to grad school right after they finish here, and many of them want to eventually go into academia as a career. Though I really believe that learning for its own sake is very valuable, I have found that it is not really the right atmosphere for someone who does not want to stay within academia for an extended period.


Bryn Mawr is just small enough that you really get to know your professors. That does make it very difficult to sneak in late or shirk, but few mawrtyrs would do that anyway. Most of the students here are very serious about their work--which there is a lot of. It's not unmanageable, but it requires some very serious time management. "Mawrtyr" isn't just a cute epithet; a good deal of students seem to really enjoy the strain and pressure of the workload, since the reward is that it forces you to become a better, more intense intellectual. The professors are brilliant overall and usually very approachable and accessible. Mawtyrs are very personally competitive. It's against the honor code to talk about grades, and after freshman year most students don't even suffer from the impulse to do so; you stop caring. That doesn't mean mawtyrs themselves aren't very concerned about their GPAs, though. Everyone I know is a very driven, hardworking intellectual.


The academics at Bryn Mawr are amazing. The professors know all our names. The largest class I had was an Anthropology class with maybe 40 students. It was a lecture with powerpoints and almost every day I'd end up falling asleep. My professor would always say my name to wake me up. My favorite class was a creative writing fiction class that I took in my freshman year. The professor was really intelligent and invested in our class and in return all the students took the class really seriously, yet still had fun and learned a lot, we all wrote great work and had really amazing class discussions. Outside of class, students can have intellectual discussions, but, like any school, this doesn't apply to everyone. I think that students don't really talk about what they've learned in their classes, though. And I think this is because of the honor code. At Bryn Mawr you aren't supposed to be competitive and discuss grades (though you can if both parties agree to, though this is slightly awkward). And I think this taboo on grades kind of translates to class material as well. I've been approved to do a Creative Writing Independent Major. There is currently only one other Creative Writing major in the school. So I guess you'd have to admit that our department is really small. But our faculty advisors -- Karl Kirchwey and Dan Torday -- are excellent. They seem to really care about our work and our growth as writers. Outside of class, I don't spend too much time with professors. I've been to professors' houses and had barbecues and such, but this is a little rare. Bryn Mawr's academic requirements aren't that bad. I mean, I got a math and science requirement finished by taking a purely conceptual physics class (no math at all; all we had to do was keep diaries). Because I took a high level French course in high school, that requirement was really easy to complete. All I have left to finish is the history-like requirement. It's true that there are many women who attend Bryn Mawr with the goal of getting a job. They've structured their course work in order to achieve this goal. But I think there are an even greater number of women who attend Bryn Mawr because they want to learn -- about academics and about themselves.


Academics at Bryn Mawr are fantastic. As a French major, I can honestly say the French department is simply a GEM. I feel completely prepared to tackle anything now that I have graduated. Do not come to Bryn Mawr if you aren't serious about your studies. Yes, people study a lot. But it's all about finding that balance between studying and partying. All of my professors knew me personally, and in some cases I spent time with professors outside of class. They're always willing to help, and in this day and age I feel as though this is a rarity.


IT'S INTENSE. Students study ALL THE TIME. No exaggeration. Class participation is part of the final grade in most classes and while not mandatory, very very highly recommended. Bryn Mawr really tries to make an all-around woman. Not only do we have academical requirements (liberal arts) in areas other than our majors, but also physical education requirements, swim test, etc.


I feel that the education at Bryn Mawr is geared toward learning for learnings sake. I am an English major. Yet, the career I want to pursue is teaching elementry school. Bryn Mawr doesn't even have an elementry education department -- it is at Swarthmore in combination with Eastern College. So, to graduate able to teach at the elementry level I must major in another subject and fill the rest of my schedule with education courses so that I can take the Praxis and student teach senior year AND write my English thesis. So, minus the title, I am a double major. I understand that in doing this, Bryn Mawr wants me to receive a well-rounded education and not concentrate on only learning the necessary skills for a later career. I like to think that when I graduate, I will be more than just a teacher. Yet, sometimes it is frustrating because it seems that I am being discouraged from pursuing such a traditionally female dominated position where I can get a job by the time I graduate. Very few liberal arts colleges don't have a full education department...


I have never met professors so involved with their students as they are here. I studied abroad at the University of Sydney and it wasn't until I was there that I really realized how special bryn mawr is. At Usyd I couldn't get extra help for assignments, professors didn't know or care about how I did in their class and that was awful. As soon as I got back to bryn mawr I made an appointment to meet with my dean just to remember how efficient our administration can be. I've had dinner at professors' houses, I know their spouses and kid's names, and I know they care about my life too.


Academics at Bryn Mawr are quite hard, but even if you are in a "big class" meaning 50 maximum, the teacher still wants to get to know you. They encourage anyone and everyone to participate in class.


One of the major good things is the small size of the classes. The biggest classes I took were my math classes, which had about thirty people. My physics classes last year had only 5 people. In the physics department the intro classes are large by Bryn Mawr standards, but the higher level classes are extremely small. You get so much opportunity to talk with your professors that way. And a lot of students in the physics department do research over the summer with the professors. The professors are willing to talk to you and they take you seriously. Class participation is sometimes common, sometimes not, depending on the class. Sometimes I wish the professors were better about centering the class more on class discussion. My college seminar was all discussion; my math classes were almost no discussion. Students are not competitive, which is so nice. The people I've met do not discuss their grades at all as part of the honor code, although you are certainly allowed to as long as the people around you feel comfortable with it. The academic requirements are not very restricting. Besides the requirements for your major and minor if you choose to have a minor, there is a language requirement (but at least for some languages a certain SAT II score will exempt you from it); you must take a quantitative class and some class with a lab component; you must also take two humanities and two social science courses. I'm not sure if this is a good or bad thing if you want a complete liberal arts education.


The education at Bryn Mawr is geared toward learning for learning. I am an Art History major and all of my classes have been on the small side. I think my biggest History of Art class has been around 22 students. I always know my professors name and they know mine. I have enjoyed many of my classes and do not have a favorite, but the most unique class I have taken is "The Stuff of Art," a chemistry art history class. Students do study a lot, since Bryn Mawr is a rigorous institution. Students are mostly competitive with themselves since we do not talk about grades. Students participate in class along with have intellectual conversations outside of class.


Our class sizes are small, but mighty. Students come to class prepared (although, we run ten minutes later than advertised, which we call "Bryn Mawr time"). Student- professor ratio is 8-1, so he/she will know each students' name. With the Honor Code, there's no competition, besides personal competition. And we have take-home exams, self-scheduled exams...The academics may be difficult at times, but totally worth the degree at the end.


I know all my professors and they all know me. I have been to all of their houses for many occasions. I have never had a class larger then 15 people. I love the personal attention. Professors have all been wonderful.


Professors all know your name. Classes are small, unless it's a science lab, but even then you are likely to have one on one time with professors if you want it. Class participation is common and encouraged. Students are competitive, but no one talks about grades because of our Honor Code. Professors are known for having students over at their homes and for bringing their kids to major picnics and other social events.


Classes here are usually small and discussion based, especially at higher levels of study. THere is an academic honor code that prohibits students from speaking about their grades in public, so no one knows how they are doing in comparison to others. WHile this is supposed to be a good thing so that students dont feel bad if they dont do well on an assignment or whatever, it fosters an underground competetiveness that is sometimes detrimental to a student. Professors are usually very available for help outside of class. As a small liberal arts college, Bryn Mawr has many areas of study that are not geared so much toward actually getting a job, but often a graduate from here will be prepared for many different kinds of jobs because of the wide variety of classes students often take.


The academics are rigorous here. There's a saying "Bryn Mawr: where your best hasn't been good enough since 1885." Although not fact, there is a grain of truth in that statement. The professors push you to think deeper and work harder than you ever thought possible. Comfortingly, though, they are always available outside of class and are more than willing to clarify and help. You really get to know the professors, especially the ones within your major.


All my professors know my name and make an effort to address me using it when I ask questions in class or see them outside of classes. Even in large lecture classes, my professors have made an effort to learn all of the students. One unique academic experience offered at Bryn Mawr College (BMC) is the chance to participate in undergrad laboratory work with professors in almost any science or social science. There are tons of opportunities for research or internship positions on and off campus, during the school year, breaks and summer. Students maintain an academic and social honor code and therefore do not directly discuss grades, but rather work together to understand their studies. You can often hear BMC students discussing class lectures, readings, lab work, and other intellectual topics that they are learning about all over campus.


I have not gotten to know my professors as well as other students, but that is only because I havent tried. Professors are always available. Often times they will complain that no one ever visits them during office hours. Students are not competitive amoungst each other. If a student wishes to push herself that is her choice and many do, but it certainly is not a requirement of every Mawrter.


Not the cream of the crop but very, very good. Some really good departments here are chemistry and geology. Biology, physics, and the arts are not so great, though. The upside, though, is that Bryn Mawr students can take courses at Swarthmore and Haverford at no extra cost (and there is a free bus to take you there that runs pretty regularly, going from campus to campus). What you can't get at Bryn Mawr in, say, astronomy or visual arts, you can get at Haverford, which is a 7 minute or so bus ride away. It is a solid college, though I would be surprised if there were any students here who didn't get As, except of course for the slackers who don't show up to class etc.


Academically, Bryn Mawr is intense. In freshman year students do have a fair amount of free time, if they want it, but even then there will be weeks in which students do not sleep or relax. Upperclassmen have a worse time of it. It is not uncommon for them to have six or seven hours of homework each night. That being said, students usually do manage to carve out a social life for themselves, but this is not the school to come to if you want to spend four years going to bars and goofing off with friends. It will not happen here. Bryn Mawr is also not the place to go if you want a highly tailored course program aimed specifically at getting a certain career. Bryn Mawr is a liberal arts school, so business courses or majors do not exists. This is a great school for those interested in graduate study. Many, but not all, of the students hear are deeply intellectual, but in different, often quirky, ways. You will find talk of philosophy and history over coffee, but you will also find entire parties planned around renting Disney's extremely inaccurate version of Hercules and showing it to Classical Studies majors. Most students are not competitive, and because of the Honor Code, do not discuss grades or GPAs to people not interested in hearing about them. Some students do find the school to be competitive; I just find it stressful. The professors here and at Haverford and Swarthmore expect a lot out of their students, but will not hesitate to bend over backwards for even the least talented among them. Any student at Bryn Mawr, Haverford, or Swarthmore can take a course or major in a department at any of the three schools, which supplements our own course catalogue nicely.


Professor often know your name, and are normally very interested in what the students have to say. They want to help you learn, it's really nice. Classes are normally small, barring a few intro classes. There is however a lot of work, and people are often rather stressed. Dinner and meal conversations are often very intellectual, though they can be completely silly like any smart person.


Bryn Mawr's academics are great. The professor's are friendly, accessible, and accommodating. Everyone at Bryn Mawr is very intelligent and passionate, so it's easy to find intelligent conversation.


The classes are a great size (about 15 students usually). The small size is nice, but if you skip class a lot your professors will notice. Also, the academic requirements are fine except the physical education requirement. By the time we enter college most of us work out on our own and don't need to feel forced to work out like we had been in high school.


Small classes are definitely a major strength of academics at Bryn Mawr. The size of the school is about 1300 or so, and that's just about right for me. It makes it so that even introductory science lectures, which are the largest at any school, have less than 100 students in them. The biggest class I've ever had was Environmental Geology freshman year, and it had 80 students despite being capped at 40, but the professor changed the lab schedule to accommodate everyone. The small classes are great, although lotteries can be frustrating, and everyone tends to be eliminated from a few classes while here, but luckily there are enough good classes that you can find something else, or talk to the professor if you really want or need the class, and they will often let you take it. After you finish these introductory classes, most have fewer than 20 students. Professors always know your name, especially in major classes, and discussion is the norm, when appropriate. Many majors have very close student groups, which is nice and makes classes much more comfortable. As a geology major, I can tell you that it is an excellent department. It's really close and has a strong sense of community. There are four permanent professors and few part-time lecturers, lab professors, and emeriti professors. The professors are all excellent and are real experts in their subject areas, and students are challenged to engage with the material and really understand how different processes work. This kind of dedication and quality are characteristic of most departments on campus, and the classics, archaeology, computer science, geology, and chemistry are particularly highly regarded nationwide. Outside of class, academics still tend to dominate. People spend a considerable but usually not unreasonable amount of time preparing for class, studying, or doing homework. Most weekends you can spend Saturday not doing work for classes without any problem. People are very interested in their studies here, though, and this comes out in conversations and Mawrtyrs' view on the world. People are interested in doing something truly meaningful with their life after college, and so while many students tend to have one eye on the long-term, that trajectory is formed by academic and social passions. A Bryn Mawr education prepares you for that world by teaching you the knowledge and fostering a sense of curiosity and confidence, because you know what you're doing.


Academics at Bryn Mawr. what to say. It's hard. It is demanding, it is time consuming. Is it rewarding? very much so. It's one of the few places that somehow napoleon and luke wilson managed to be compared through a historiographic lens over dinner (really I have no idea how it happened either), or how german words you found particularly entertaining in class get mixed in to every day language and all your friends understand. The professors are wonderful, take time out of their schedules to meet with you. They are interested in your life, academic or other wise, and how you are doing in your adventures and desires in and out of the class room. They will keep jokes running through the entire semester or year. I've had professors make us dinner on more than one occasion. It really is wonderful, and I wouldn't want my relationships with my professors to be any other way. It is just amazingly supportive and amazingly effective. Bryn Mawr has limited general requirements, which allows for a lot of exploration within fields. I picked up an extra major while at it! The work load is large. The work is difficult and everyone knows exactly what the word 'thesis' means and entails. Normally a shudder or groan accompanies it. but everyone survives! The academic work load and the culture surronding it is a big part of bryn mawr, and I think we all secretly love it deep down, once we've all slept enough, eaten enough and no longer are being forced to watch hours upon endless hours of fascist film and decides its effects on the european community.


The classes are all small and all of my professors not only know my name but know me as a person. I'm a double major with English and Education Certification. The education department is amazing, every professor in it is super inspirational. It's not really a competitive environment since part of the honor code is that you can't talk about grades, so mainly you compete against yourself and just try to do your best.


All of my professors know my name, which is awesome. However, it's not that unusual since my largest class right now, a lecture course, has about 20 students in it. The students study a lot because there's a lot of work. However, we still take time to chill and socialize, so that it's not all academics. Intellectual conversations outside of class are the norm... they sort of just happen without you realizing it. The students are definitely not competetive. This is because it is against the Honor Code to discuss grades unless it's in a private setting and all parties are comfortable with the discussion. No one knows anyone else's grades, and so there's no academic competition. However, the students here are kind of perfectionists, so they set high standards for themselves and tend to not be happy when they don't meet their own standards. The education here is geared toward learning for its own sake. Bryn Mawr has resourced geared toward careers, such as the Career Development Office and the different pre-professional advisors and clubs. However, the classes themselves, and the professors, are focused on just how this material is important to life.


Academics are HUGE part of a Bryn Mawr student's life and studying is a frequently reoccurring fact of life. Classes are usually small and your professor usually knows your name. My favorite class was a computer science class that studied robots, even though I'm an anthropology major. Students love to discuss and debate all kinds of intellectual and non-intellectual material. Because of the Honor Code competition is not as present as it is at other schools because it's not acceptable to discuss grades and things in a public forum. The academic departments do tend to be small, with a few exceptions, which reflects the size of the school overall. Professors are often accessible, but it varies from person to person. The academic relationships with Haverford and Swarthmore Colleges have definite advantages in terms of course and major opportunities.


Class sizes are small, which is really nice for getting to know your professors and classmates. However, the academics are rigorous. This will probably be the hardest you will ever work in your life, but after Bryn Mawr, everything else will seem easy.


Professors will know you by name. They will teach in a Socratic method - be prepared! Favorite classes of all time were Constitutional Law, and Politics in Mass Media. Least Favorite - Any language class (spanish/latin) and computer science Class Participation is a must - it is expected by professors - the mantra being "BE PREPARED" Bryn Mawr Students do have intellectual conversations outside of class - sometimes these conversations are far more meaningful then class discussion. Students are competitive even when they can't discuss grades. We find loop holes. We are tricky. There is both personal and interpersonal pressure here all the time. The most unique class I have taken was Women, Work, and Family - a class which culminated in our own field research. Interesting stuff. I HATE THE ACADEMIC REQUIREMENTS. I think they are outdated and a ridiculous push towards a "liberal education" let us focus on what we need to - and get meaningful degrees - who cares about Yoga and a lab requirement in law school? Education is about learning for learnings sake - and unfortunately it is the few and far between who can do something meaningful with their degree post-graduation without any further academia.


Bryn Mawr is known for having excellent professor-student relations. Almost every prof makes a huge effort to learn every student's name and make sure that they are 100% accessible to students. Without the dedication and compassion of the professors here, the level of difficulty in the classes might be too much for some people, but they make it a lot easier to balance everything and get help when you need it. That being said, the academics are extremely challenging. People spend a lot of time studying, but as much as we complain about it, we're all happy we came here. Also, because of the Honor Code, students do not discuss grades (unless it is within a safe space and everyone has agreed to it), so the only competition is with yourself. It's all about performing to the best of your ability and learning as much as you can.


One of my favorite aspects of academics at Bryn Mawr is the small class sizes. The professors really get to know you. Every class is taught primarily by a professor and many have had Ivy League educations. Each professor is required to have office hours where you can go and ask them questions, and many of them encourage you to go to just hang out, even if you don't have a question. At Bryn Mawr, the courses are a lot of work, and you work hard for your grades. However, because of its honor code, the environment is incredibly non-competitive. According to the honor code, students cannot discuss grades with each other unless all parties in the conversation are comfortable with it. Even then, most students do not give out actual numbers but rather generalizations. For example in describing a course, instead of saying that she got a 4.0 a student might only state that she did well. This eliminates competition among students so that the only competition you face is with yourself.


I am best friends with my entire major department (so ofcourse they know my name). They know whats going on in my life, they come see my plays, they ask about the other things they know I'm working on. it's a great connection/bond. My favorite class was a History of Art class I took. The professor was amazing, and I dont think a day goes by where I dont use or think about something from that course. My least favorite course was my Chinese History class. It was really boring, and even the professor seemed bored by it. Class participation is very common. infact, sometimes, in some classes, its annoying how much the students want to talk. Bryn Mawr students are ALWAYS having intellectual conversations outside of class - either the students continue the conversations right after class, when they meet up for coffee, or when they pump into eachother at 1:30am brushing their teeth in the dorm. We are ALWAYS intellectualizing. Because of the honor code, we are not alloud to talk about grades, so it is hard to be verbally competitive. I think there is a little bit of competition, but it is not as competitive as other places - usually people are more hard on themselves because they feel like everyone is doing better than them (since we cant talk about grades). I am a geology major, and it is my favorite thing about Bryn Mawr. It was started in 1895 by the first woman in the US to have a PHd in Geology. The geology department has given me so many opportunities to grow as a student, scientis, teacher and leader. We spend some time with our professors outside of class - we'll have a potluck dinner at someones house atleast once a semester (and the professors are all amazing cooks...)and sometimes we'll have dinner for a course at someones house, or go on an outing together. Also, their doors are always open so we can always drop by to chat (they encourage us to).