College of Charleston Top Questions

What are the academics like at your school?


The academics are incredible at the College of Charleston. College of Charleston's education is consistently excellent and constantly evolving. The college offers 130 majors and minors that empower talented students to explore every inch of the expanding intellectual universe.


Academics are decent here. The Honors College is a great way to take more advanced courses with smaller class sizes.


Academics are very poor. I am in the honors program and I do not at all feel challenged in my classes--I felt more challenged in high school courses. The professors are generally available to help. I had one amazing professor, but the rest were just okay. I had one horrendous professor, and I've talked to other students (juniors and seniors) who have said for the most part, they haven't had wonderful professors either.


As you walk around campus you sometimes may even see your professor and other students from your class and they will all know your name even the professor. This is unlike most colleges. My favorite class so far has been Chemistry, I really enjoy the lab's and equipment we get to use, it has been very interesting. Class participation is a must as well is attendance. Most of the time students study together or with the help of the school at the Libraries lab's. Such as the Math Lab, Foreign Language, Writing, etc. The students are very competitive and know each other most of the time making it even more of a competition making sure you don't fall behind. Students have very intellectual conversations out of class, people help you in your classes and with teachers, also people will talk to you about your plans for the future, maybe even helping you with the plans and themselves included. Idea's for the future and present are tossed are quite frequently. The most unique class I have taken would be this History Class I took during Maymester, it was by far the most interesting "topic," I have discussed in a class. I am a Bio-Chemistry major, the department is very helpful with help in any classes as well as schedule planning as well as planning for future goals. I think the school has very good academic requirements because it is a very difficult school to stay in, meaning that it should be challenging to get in as well. The education at this school can be tailored to either way based on what you want to get out of it. There are programs to help you find jobs and work your way towards getting your future dream job and there are also many programs and groups available for those learning for their own sake. The academics at this school are much tougher than they get credit for and are honestly preparing you for the future very well. In my opinion and of others who have to transferred into this school, it is much harder than other schools such as Georgia, South Carolina, and Clemson.


For example, I have taken both micro and macro economics. The professor for micro-economics was well educated, articulate, fairly engaging, and fair. He stuck to the topic and provided real world examples. My macro-economics professor was all but illiterate in English, constantly trashed Americans, calling them lazy and elitist, and provided more examples on how we are detrimental than helpful on the world economic scene. In addition, he was so completely awful at teaching the concepts that I learned what I did through reading the book and youtube videos. NOT worth the cost of the class.


The school overall is good for academics, but different departments are more rigorous than others and even in departments famous for being easy have at least one really hard professor. Physics is infamous for being incredibly challenging, while Communication is your stereotypical easiest way to a degree. The most unusual class I've taken here is a special studies class called "Hip Hop: Evolution and Impact," part music class, part history and part urban studies.


The classes are small..very student based. A lot Of students know each professor throughout their entire college experience. There are many different types of Classes, recently I believe there was a Harry Potter class that was being implemented. The school is tough and the professors expect a lot out of their students, but it is worth it for the beautiful graduation, Outside in front of the cistern built In the late 1800's- white dresses for the ladies, white cocktail Jackets for The men.


Semi-Rigorous academics. Can take challenges classes if you decide to, also can take easy classes. Classes are generally small so you can get to know your teacher.


Professors: Amazing. Available. Helpful. Clear. Friendly Courses: Not easy, not impossible. Adequate difficulty. Enjoyable. For those who wish to experience tougher coursework, the Honors College is an option. I am in the Honors College and it is a more challening, but not impossible, courseload that puts you into contact with many like-minded individuals that understand when to put studying before partying, while still having a very active social life. The Political Science department is well organized, made up of seasoned, experienced professors and new, up and coming professors. The major is not too demanding, but demanding enough to receive respect while allowing one to pursue a true liberal arts education.


There are not many instances where the professors allow for additional social time outside of class but some do. Most professors with normal classroom sizes know their students- the more you talk, show up to class, or speak with them after class, the more they know who you are. Class participation is a large portion of most students' grades...


Theres a huge variety of classes here, so that keeps it interesting. Also, since were a liberal arts college you have to take a large variety also, and even though some of us hate math and others language, its good to be sort of forcibly exposed to these things because, for me at least, ive definitely learned to appreciate things that i would have never thought i would (examples? philosophy, arabic, and ballroom dancing). As far as everything else, it really is what you make it. I know tons of people that have intellectual convos out of class, and i know a ton that dont. I know lots of people who study a lot and have are like uncomfortably cool with their profs, and i know a lot who never study and cant even remember all their prof's name without their schedule in front of them. I think its best to take CofC at a nice academic middle ground. I will say this though, ive attended college classes at four different universities, and i have friends with similar backgrounds, and we all agree that cofc overall has more challenging classes than a lot of other universities, take that as you will...


Because the classes are small all the professors know your name and pay close attention to you and your work. The professors are required to have office hours and are always available though office meetings and e-mail. It is a great advantage to have your professors so accessible and willing to help


The honors college has smaller class sizes so that the teacher definately knows their student's names, but most other classes are bigger and unless you make the effort to know your teacher and ask for extra help, he or she may not know your name. But the teachers are awesome for the most part, and you feel comfortable in class. Some teachers make mroe effort than others but most of my professors have made the effort to know me and help me out whenever they can. Students aren't too competitive which is great, allowing more group studying and a less stressful environment. MY physics teachers have been amazing... one being extremely friendly and comical, allowing studetns to actually enjoy coming to class; another teacher taking the effort to take us out to a class diner paid for by the school. Classes can vary from extremely challenging to really easy, and it usually just depends on the professor and how much they care about teaching you.


Because of the smaller class sizes, all of my teachers so far have known my name. They make it so easy to speak with them outside of class and often hold test review sessions. One of my teachers would host an online chatroom the night before a test to answer questions for an hour which was really convenient because I could do it from my dorm room. I study and do homework around 4 hours per night and find that I have many intellectual conversations outside of class. I have been really impressed by my classes and have yet to have a bad one. My favorite thing about one of my classes is that for my interpersonal communications class my teacher met with us at the begining of the year to really get to know us on a personal level to ask us our favorite quotes and most important moments of our life, etc. I really knew her on a personal level as well which gave me a lot of trust in her.


As a political science major, I can say that there is a strong department at C of C. I would recomend that you put in more effort than is required because most teachers are willing to match or excede the work you will. Gen Eds on the other hand are not worth taking at C of C for most students. The other problem is that Charleston is not wordly and will often not lend itself to an ambitious attitude.


I do not have in depth experience of all the various departments and the facility employed in them; but given my experience with the C of C Political Science Department, I would have also chosen a university since I don't get the "increased attention & concern" from the facility. On the contrary, I seen to get more of a headache from them. The best possible professors to get are part-time instructors who have first-hand knowledge of their respective fields. Full-time professors often allow their own personal political views and opinions to cloud their academic judgment; this aspect often puts students in a position of just "dealing with it," since their is little recourse. Yes, you can file a grievance, however this, in my experience, is construed as being trivial in nature. Unlike a 'hard' science or mathematics, political analysis, a better terminology than "science," is an open-ended issue and often debatable. I have written papers that have been given A+ and others that were barely D's, the answer is political science, at this college, is an at risk venture. Honors and academic achievements are often issued on who bows to the professor's beliefs and preconceived political views and not the student's exploration of a particular topic. You will never write a paper that will be given the exact same grade by every professor in the department (this is politics, not quantum physics or biochemistry where there is a more concrete "yes" or "no" answer...its completely open to interpretation...and thus the nebulous grading associated with it).


Classes can be challenging but rarely are they ever impossible depending on the teacher. The professors generally know your name. Figuring out your major requirements are easy, so you don't really need an adviser for your major, I have talked to mine once.




Whether or not a professor knows your name does NOT depend on the size of the class. Even though CofC has fairly small class sizes, I've been in classes of 15 and the professor didn't make the effort and I've also been in classes of 45 and the professor knew everyone's name and some funny story about them. I have liked all of the professors I've had in the Psychology Department. I really like that once a year they have a 'meet the professors' event where the professors talk about themselves and their research. It is so nice to have a face with the name when you are signing up for classes. Their web page is also full of great links.


The professors at the College are awesome! Class sizes are small so they all know your name if you participate, and they are more than willing to meet with you during office hours, and if you can't make office hours, they will make accomidations for you. We have a huge, brand new library where you can find hundreds of students each night.


the classes are Hard, even if you are a straight A student. Most Professors are laid back easy to talk to but there is always that professor you hate, most are in the French department. If you see a prof on the street they say hey and ask how u r.


The teachers at CofC are amazing. Everyone of them with maybe the exception of one were experenced, fun, kind, and knew what they were talking about. Some classes you will be taking just to get it out of the way but even those classes I find that one takes a lot of valuable information out of them. If you have an open mind for learning then you are going to have a blast here. I took astronomy as my science, a very cool class, and you have your lab at night where you find stars in the sky and you get to see jupiter and its moons. It is pretty sweet. My major is English and all the english teachers here have been awesome. They are always welcoming you to seek extra help outside of class. They usually treat you better if you do because they see you are tring and your work usually benefits from it as well. They also have a tudoring lab open for almost all the subjects in the library. Some tudoring isn't available for free but you can almost always find someone who is willing to help you are tudor you independently from the school for a fee or for free if they are really nice. They also help you out with your tuition by having jobs around the campus that also work around your school schedual. I know of jobs at the hungry cougar also the clydes convenence store and the cafateria. If you wanted you could also work as at the library or other surrounding places. Don't forget that you are in downtown charleston and that there are plenty of places just around the corner from the campus that would love to hire you and if you wait tables you can make a lot of money for there are a lot of nice fancy resteraunts downtown.


It's a definate liberal arts school. Prepare yourself for papers and research, because this is not an easy school. I'm not a fan of the plus/minus system for grading, but it does make CofC look more reputable.


The one reason why I did not go to a big school was because of the fact that the professors do not have time to get to know you. At C of C the professors take time to get to know you, to get to know your strengths and weaknesses academically. Once they do that they try to help you as much as possible. In the classroom setting the professors expect the students to participate in class discussions and tell their opinions. My current major is Corporate and Organizational Communication Studies with a minor in Spanish. The education at C of C is geared towards both making a career, and learning for its own sake.


Cofc is a libral arts college which means we recieve a very well-rounded education. The downside of that is there are a lot of general education classes that you must take which can be time consuming. The class sizes are extremely small.. usually about 20 kids which allows the students to become very close to there teachers. My favorite class at cofc was history of rock and roll, my least favorite was biology just because i'm not science minded. I usually go to the library for a few hours on week nights... however not everyone studies that much.. i have a 3.7


If I remember correctly, I think most of my professors knew my name by the end of the semester. I've been to many professors' offices for extra help. The classes I have hated the most have been many of my gen eds, but that's all part of receiving a liberal arts education. Some of the unique classes I have taken are Arabic and Latin American and Caribbean Studies.


Due to the fact that I transferred in during my junior year, I had already taken most of my general education class. The few classes I did need to take--- the teachers were horrible! I was not challenged, the teachers were boring, the tests were poorly constructed, the assignments were busy work and overall I did not learn much of anything. Most students did not even show up to class. My major was special education. Within the department, all my teachers new my name and I they were available to help me and answer any questions I had. Class participation was much more frequent in those classes because all my teachers were former school teachers and know best teaching practices. My teachers made themselves available after and before class. My field experience and student teaching experiences were extremely poor. During my clinical experience before I was to graduate, I almost left the teaching profession because my cooperating teacher was so horrible. I fought to have the department change my cooperating teacher. The previous teacher was not even certified in the US!! She was not a US citizen! If you are an education major--- you NEED a car in order to travel to the schools!


You get out what you put in-if you want to learn a lot and take challenging courses you can but if you want to slack off you can do that too. I've had plenty of work and have enjoyed my classes a lot. The gen-ed classes are kinda boring because they're like the classes you take in high school but the major courses are much more interesting and fun.


Every professor i have taken has known my name at least by halfway through the course. Most classes involve discussion and participation, which keeps things interesting and new ideas flowing. Because CofC is a liberal arts school, new ideas and opinions are treated with respect and openness. I often see my professors for runs or walks around the campus, and it is nice to see them as real people instead of just in the classroom. I think CofC, with its many internship connections, definitely gears students towards getting jobs after college.


because class sizes are so small, you really learn the material and are able to ask questions. classes are also a lot more interactive and fun because they are about 30 students. i was told that my ap classes would be harder than college classes but at cofc i have been challenged academically. professors expect a lot and academics here is very valued.


Class sizes are very surprisingly small for the size of the school (about 10,000). My smallest class this year was probably about 15, and the largest was probably about 35 (not much bigger than your average high school). It's great. It definitely facilitates closer teacher-student relationships. Class participation is extremely enforced. It really helps "wake the living dead" during lazy afternoon or early morning classes. I'm the type to always sit front and center and raise my hand too much, but it's really nice to have everyone around you trying to contribute something to the conversation. Most of my teachers would absolutely not put up with the class not participating- my history prof even made it count for {4a082faed443b016e84c6ea63012b481c58f64867aa2dc62fff66e22ad7dff6c}20 of our final grade and wrote down names during every class. Students are not competitive. I think that may come from the general lack of enthusiasm for academics among the students, but it also has to do with that "southern hospitality"- most kids are polite enough not to hound you about how you're doing in a class. The academic requirements seem reasonable and varied in a nice way. I'm taking classes that don't seem like they would directly contribute to my Creative Writing and French double major, but they are classes I still really look forward to (such as psychology and painting). I don't often come across intellectual conversations outside of class. But on the other hand, it really depends upon what group of kids you're hanging around. It takes all kinds to make up 10,000. But the majority of the groups of kids are probably less intellectual.


When I first thought about classroom size at C of C, I pictured the typical stereotype of a large college auditorium with 300 students. Turns out I was wrong. The average class size at the college is about 25-30 students. All of the professors I've had know me by name, and I feel really comfortable asking questions during and after class, very similar to high school. My major is journalism. Well technically speaking its Communication-Media Studies concentration. Communication is the most popular major at the college and its broken down into three sections: General Studies, Corporate Studies, and Media Studies. This major is perfect for me because not only do I learn how to write/broadcast for the media, I also learn about different theories, laws, and different forms of communication, which is vital in every aspect of life. I also only have to take two math and two biology courses, which is not my strong points. My minor is unrelated to my major, Russian Studies. It is a combination of language, literature, history, politics, and arts of the former Soviet Union. Because it is a small program, similar to other language programs on campus, student-teacher interaction is personal, and nonthreatening. A language/culture club, run by students, accompanies the program.


The administrators are great. Since I was a transfer student I took mostly spanish classes at CofC, but became close with many of them. The classrooms are small and personal which was a huge plus. Rare to see more than 30 students to a classroom. The spanish department was amazing!!! Most the professors knew me by name, face and probably my life too. The study abroad programs are great too. The most unique class I took was a Spanish Theater class by Professor Luis Linares-Ocanto. One of the best professors I ever had. I could go on and on about the department. Probably because I'm a Spanish major but I think its the best department. Lots of activities, fun people and great professors. I got to know the majority of my professors outside of the classroom, sometimes helping me with questions outside of the department. Jose Escobar is another amazing teacher. He can make any subject a blast. My biggest complaint is how much time is wasted with spanish literature. When will I need to talk about 16th century spanish, or poets, etc. I wanted and STILL need to learn spanish. I love the spanish culture and studying literature but I also want to learn to SPEAK spanish. All we did was read, read, read and write. The department needs to focus more on the students being fluent with their speaking. Its true I can read fluent and write fluent, but how does this help me in the real world. We need to speak spanish.


The college is becoming more challenging... at least in their acceptance rates, whether the material being taught is any more difficult is debatable.


Great hospitality and tourism department. I learned a great deal because the professors were very knowledgable


The library is great and alot of the students are very driven and do well. The teachers give the students a lot of opportunities to get extra help so if you are willing to take the initiative I believe it is very managable to do well. In smaller classes, usually only language classes, participation matters. You can only have 3 absences from each class, some teachers don't take attendence at all, some make exceptions, and some are very strict about the 3 absence policy. I spend alot of time with professors at office hours and help sessions because that is how I motivate myself to study and work hard. The general education requirments are a lot but I really like the language requirment of 4 semesters becuase it makes it very easy to get a minor in language. If you find your own advisors and develop relationships with teachers you will find that many teachers are very animated and love working with the students and finding them jobs, opportunites, and connections within the community and beyond.


Wide range of course difficulty but instructional staff more than willing to work with and help students through the course.


The professors at CofC are excellent- every single one that I have had in the past knows my name and knows me to an extent. The advisors are wonderful- I am a double major, and both of my advisors are great. There are a lot of opportunities to take unique and unusual classes in special topics- so far I have taken classes focused on Gandhi, the Irish Famine, Race and Violence in Africa, the Ancient Egyptian Empire, Shaman Religions, and the Religious History of Northern Europe with emphasis on Iceland. I have had a great experience with the academics at CofC, and I will definitely go to graduate school from the College although the education offered does allow graduates to get a job right out of college.


I have been lucky, I think. The anthropology and political science departments impress me more each semester. I find the faculty to be infinitely helpful and encouraging, and I am ecstatic to be able to work with these outstanding scholars. I really feel like all of my professors care genuinely about their students' success.


Most of the professors know your name, I had maybe 2 that never learned it, and 1 who never tried but refered to us by #'s. Students study a decent amount, but still have time for their lives. Class participation is very common, which is something I like about CofC, because lecture over and over gets very redundant. The Spanish Dept is great, all of the professors are very smart, friendly, and helpful. Occasionally students and professors do interact outside of class, especially on study abroad programs, which I recommend to everyone. The academic requirements are good, they should be stepped up just a little more to truly make it competitive with other top schools. It is a liberal arts schools, so most of the education is geared towards learning for the enrichment of learning, which is perfect for people who have no idea what they want to do.


Almost every professor that I've had so far has been a very good teacher. I always felt like I could ask for help from them with just about anything, from homework to a job reference to a personal issue. I learned a lot (even when I didn't want to) and I even found myself studying for the first time since middle school. I feel like the academics are pretty challenging; I had a few classes that I really had to struggle with, but I feel like I learned a lot.


Academics are great. It's not super easy cause we're located 10 min. from the beach but at the same time it's not impossible to get and maintain good grades. Some classes are large but as long as you put in the effort the teacher will know your name. You don't have to sit in the front of the class or have an office visit every week either.


CofC is great in that it does stress academics instead of sports. It encourages everyone to be involved and to enjoy their experience, but to not let your grades slide. The professors do whatever they can to help. There is a low student-to-professor ratio, so this is a great place for people who need or appreciate one-on-one help (like I do). The professors can be reached thru office hours, telephone, email, or sometimes by I.M. There is no way you can get 'left behind' if you are actually TRYING to keep up. I'm not going to sugar-coat it, though--you will do more studying than you thought you would ever have to do in your life. But teachers and fellow student tutors are always there to help. Its always a great idea to really get to know your professors as people. They will get to know you and will remember your name. CofC is a competitive community...but in a constructive way. Not rip-out-your throat, playing dirty, cards on the table, whatever it takes to get ahead competitive. We strive our best and bring out the best in each other, becoming inspired by our peers and our professors. Learning doesn't stop in the classroom. It's not uncommon to hear students and friends discussing lecture topics, politics, religion, or whatever around campus, at lunch or during free time.


academics is extremely important at cofc. it's a tough school academically, i mean, it's no harvard, but it's not a school where you just show up to class and get an A. class participation is highly encouraged, i haven't had a teacher yet or discouraged or who didn't try to make it happen. i study a lot and i know that most other students do too. it's college, you have to study.


The classes at C of C are relatively small, the largest classes I had were in the entry level sciences. As a member of the School of Education, I benefit from the focused attention towards teacher education. C of C has many different schools within the college so every student is able to find their area of study and become more acquainted with the professors in that school. The schools provide a support system as well as focused attention towards a major.


C of C has great teachers that are excited about teaching and giving their students everything they have. I have already had many mentors and "friendships" with my professors. The classes are hard and the professors make you work but they arent unreasonable. They understand that conflicts and situations are always occurring outside of the classroom that can affect our studies and they try to work with us. C of C prepares the students most definitely for a job but also making the students more rounded individuals.


the professors are all very nice and most are not uptight at all and fairly leanient if you talk to them. most know you name except for some of the larger classes of 80 -90 but thats expected for me. most professors do not give very much outside class work except for studying for quizzes, tests, and the occasional paper. i had a good amount of free time to do whatever i wanted and by going onto rate my im able to make sure that i like the professor that i will have teaching me.


Professors on the whole do make the effort to know their students by name. The smaller class sizes also help students to interact better with each other and professors and get individual attention or participate in discussions. lass participation is very common and encouraged by staff and other students. Students do have intellectual conversations outside of class; walking around campus, you can often find students talking with each other about class-related issues and topics. Some students are competitive at CofC, and depending on your major, you may feel more or less competition. My major was historic preservation and community planning, a relatively new field that is ideally studied in an historic city such as Charleston. The architecture was studied in the field in several classes, which was a better approach to studying books all the time. The professors were great, the best teachers I have ever had. They were always willing to listen and discuss projects, papers and general questions concerning the course or degree. They helped me to love the school more than anything, and I will miss all of them (even the "hard" ones). I have kept in contact with some of them even after graduation and hope to build upon these relationships for many years to come. The academic requirements at CofC were well planned, atleast in my major. We were required to have 2 full consecutive years of a foreign language and also had to complete an internship. These requirements turned out to be very helpful in the long run and helped to personalize my experience while providing me with what I needed. The education, in my opinion, is much more geared to getting a good education and getting students involved in their own college experience. I like this approach because there were obvious expectations and standards without the pressure-filled environment. People actually liked going to school everyday; it wasn't like high school where some days students just didn't feel like coming. At CofC, everyone wanted to be there, and it didn't take me long to figure out why.


Bob Haley teaches a course titled "Criminal Justice." I considered purposely failing so I could take the course again. Professor Haley is intelligent, patient and hilarious. A crowded classroom met him every morning at 8am absolutely enraptured. His advice helped me to choose a path, and I am extremely grateful for the time he took to share his wisdom. Professor Haley is the most influential teacher I have ever had, take his class. Dr. Parsons is an awe inspiring man. In his classroom you'll begin to love Africa, as if you too have seen it. Dr. Timothy Carmichael teaches with a contagious energy and interest. He also wants to see you succeed. Furthermore, he's brilliant. Professor Mark Long is very cool. He gives a hard test but his goal seemed to be giving us a greater understanding. In his geography/politics class he introduced us to the world and cared greatly what we thought and understood. Dr. Hinton is a genius. His intelligence is unreal and it is truly an honor to have studied with him. He surfs too, and had an affinity for carpentry. Among students there is a great deal of respect for him. Professor Taylor is the kind of teacher who makes you smile by entering the room, or by speeding by on her vespa, which she does quite often. Her classroom was one of mutual learning. She taught us a lot, and we taught her a lot too. It was like a friendship, and the easiest class you'll ever take.


A lot of professors have attendance requirements, which I think is a good thing because it makes me go to class more. A lot of kids don't like it, but I think that if we're paying so much to go to school, we should actually be going to classes. The class sizes are good, around 20-30 kids on average, which encourages participation. I know that I love all of the communication classes, they are all really interesting. Overall, there are a lot of different classes to take for any area.