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Drexel University

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What are the academics like at your school?

The professors in my major know my name. I am in a small department (MatE) which doesn't have a large amount of students and professors. I think my least favorite class was freshman calculus with Jim Donnelly. He tried to think he was being ingenius by using PowerPoint to do calculus... which doesn't really work. He would turn off all of the lights in the lecture hall and expect people to stay awake and take notes in the dark. So to offset everyone falling asleep he tried to make obnoxious sound effects when changing slides occurred which were extreemly loud and annoying. They would abruptly wake up the soundest of sleepers. A favorite class of mine was ballroom dancing and advanced ballroom dancing. I know a lot of students who study frequently. I'm in my senior year and doing just abotu the bare minimum of work to pass because I've been here for 7 years and I'm done with school at this point. Class participation in my major is mandatory. You can't get away with not saying something when there are only 10-20 students in every one of your classes. I do believe we have intellectual conversations outside of class. There are a lot of conversations about elections and the most recent polls going on currently. With such a small major students are definitely competitive. Our professors usually only give out a small amount of A's. So to get that A, it is sometimes very hard to succeed in the courses without having some type of competitiveness within you. I think the most unique class I've taken was an Honors class on American cooking over time. We learned about different times throughout the years of America's kitchens. Each week we would be recreating a meal from that timeframe with traditional ingredients and sometimes cooking methods. The culminating event was a presentation given by each person on a specific topic. We had a few students with international backgrounds and they ended up preparing some of their international delights for everyone to share. I think Drexel is geared twoards getting a job. I am a Materials Science and Engineering major who has been taking classes in the Education department to help aid in acquiring my Masters in the Science of Teaching as well as my secondary mathematics certification to teach. My major is very small. The classes are very close knit. Everyone usually knows everyone else. We do converse with the professors outside of class. Currently I have been frequently visiting my senior design coordinator getting his aid on our project. He is skilled in electrical work and my project was having electrical issues which he is helping us resolve.

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Academically, Drexel is an intense school, since we operate on a quarter system (which means we switch classes every ten weeks as opposed to every semester). As an English Major and French Minor, I have had very small classes. None of my classes have been over twenty-five people, even my Psychology course. All of my French classes (and other foreign language classes in general) are under twelve people, which is great for getting involved in discussions. In every one of my classes my professors not only know my name but have met with me outside of class just to talk. Whether it is about a paper I'm writing or casual conversation, the professors (at least in the College of Arts and Sciences and the Pennoni Honors College) are very caring and accessible. Drexel is a fairly competitive school but not so much so that you'd rip your hair out trying to get an "A." If you are dedicated student, you will thrive.. So far, my favorite class has been English 102, because I had an incredibly dedicated professor who offered a lot of insight into my writing. My least favorite was probably CO-OP 101, which basically just explained the process. I didn't hate it or even particularly dislike it, it was just one of those you-have-to-get-it-over-with kind of things. One of the most extraordinary classes I have taken was "Criminal Investigations," because my professor was actually the Philadelphia Chief Inspector of the Detective Bureau and is involved with the FBI and Vidocq Society. He taught the material from his own experiences, which made mine in his class very interesting. I'll probably never forget it. All in all, Drexel is an excellent balance of learning for the love learning, acquiring the practical tools necessary to get a job, and networking with a variety of people and companies.

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Some professors know my name, some do not. It depends on the subject and how the course is divided (recitations, lectures, labs, etc.). It also depends on the professor. Some professors for Biomedical Engineering courses refuse to know names as to grade as fair as possible. Others you will only know if you use their office hours. Others, will learn your name. Most of the TAs will definitely know your name. My favorite class has been CHEM 101 because they really do a lot to assist you. They are awesome professors to begin with, but they also give tons of mock exams, run review sessions, and have online problems to do. My least favorite class has been ENGR 210 (Thermodynamics) because my professor is extremely picky over format and the way a student does each problem. He tends to be kind of arrogant and a know it all as well. I would say that most students here with the exception of Pre-Med students are not very competitive, although there are few Business majors that are very competitive too, most are not. My major is Biomedical Engineering and with that you have to choose a concentration. I chose Biomedical Systems and Imaging because I enjoy more electrical and non-biology things. You have to get a C in every class within Biomedical Engineering. If you're more of a biology person you can also concentration in Neuroengineering or Tissue Engineering. If you enjoy more of the mechanical aspects you can concentrate in Biomechanics. Drexel's academic requirements for the engineering majors is challenging and most semesters will require you to take the maximum amount of credits, 20. However, the co-op and even the courses gear you toward getting a job. The opportunities are endless after graduating from here.

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Academics at Drexel are pretty tough, at least in my experience they have been. I am a Design & Merchandising major, and for anyone who is looking to major with something in the Westphal college you have a lot of projects headed your way. I prefer large projects rather than studying for exams though, so it worked out in my favor. Most of the "arts" students do need to take some general studies, such as math and english courses, however in my experience most of my core D&M classes have been project based. Depending on your major and your class size you do have the opportunity to have great relationships with your professors. All of my core classes for my major were very small, 25 people max, so we all formed great relationships with each other as well as the professors. But with that does come competition, and by the end of sophomore year everyone knows who the hard workers are and who to team up with for group projects. I can say that almost everything I have learned at Drexel (at least within my major specific classes) will help me out someday whether its with getting a job or while I have it. We are so lucky to have a great portfolio of projects to show possible employers by the time we leave here. You also do have a lot of free range with choosing electives, I chose to do some film studies classes and music studies classes which were a lot of fun. One disclaimer for any student looking to join Westphal: you may not be spending as much money on books as say, business or nursing majors, but you will be spending a LOT of money on art supplies for your design classes. So start asking for your Blick gift cards now!

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Most professors know my name. In your freshman year, some of the very general classes are big (Chemistry 101, etc.), but after that, all of my classes have been very small, 10-20 students. Favorite classes are my specialized computer science classes, and my least favorite was Calculus. Students study fairly often. The library is always packed and students asked for a 24/7 place on campus to study and Drexel just renovated a wing of the library to be 24/7 and it has a food cafe. There are many organizations such as the Drexel Democrats and Republicans who hold intelligent debates off campus, etc. I think students are competitive with themselves, but I do not feel a lot of competition against other students, which is really nice. My major is Computer Science. The department is really nice and my advisors have been very good to me. I've been able to get close to a lot of my professors and I also have a job through the department in one of their labs, and it pays very well and I can make my own hours. I do not spend time with professors outside of class, except in my job at the lab. Drexel's education is definitely geared towards getting a job with the co-op system. When you tour Drexel the first thing they show you is where you will work on co-op, the percentages of students who graduate with a job, the percentages of students who work for a former co-op after graduation, and your starting salaries. The school is very geared towards getting a job and I think that is unique and very good.

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I have some professors that know my name, the ones where the classes are smaller then thirty students. My favorite class are my labs, I love being able to do things with my major and since my major is chemistry, the chemistry labs are my favorite. I really get to do things on my own and experiment. My least favorite are the large lectures just because it is harder to get the personal experience. Most students study a little each night. Yes class participation is common in the smaller classes. Professors want to know what you think. Yes intellectual conversations are held outside of class especially when there is a hot topic left over from class. Students want to the best that they can but they are always willing to help a fellow student. The most unique class that I have taken is my education classes. My major is a rather small one which is nice. Everyone knows each other and more then willing to make a recommendation or help if you need it. All the professors take the time to help you if you need it as well. I don't spend time with my professors outside of class but I know students who do. I feel Drexel's academic requirements really make you a well rounded student and you get more then the average college student since we take many more classes then the average college student. The education at Drexel is about learning what you want to learn and how you want to learn which really does prepare you for life after college just simply has a consequence but that is not the main goal of it all.

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Small class professors know my name, but teachers of large lectures don't know who I am. Usually this translates to humanities teachers knowing who I am, but most science teachers have no idea. My favorite class was Creative Writing with Lynn Levin because it was generally fun. My least favorite class was Cellular Biology with Elizabeth Gardner - her tests come out of nowhere and do not cover the material she claims they do. Students here study a lot (at least in the biology department, not so much in the arts or humanities). Class participation is common in smaller classes. Students here do have intellectual discussions outside class in extracurricular settings etc. Students are very competitive in biology. The most unique class I've taken was regarding stem cell research. It explored the science and frontier associated with stem cells. The biology department at Drexel is pretty good; there's loads of electives to choose from. The professors are pretty good too. I don't spend much time with professors outside class. Drexel's learning style is geared toward getting a job, especially when coupled with the co-op program.

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Some professors do. Engineering (cause it's more hands on). Least favorite...would be university...it's a bs course and a waste of time. Most classes work on group projects and your grade depends on that. If you want good grades go someplace else because u cannot control other peoples participation and most are happy to let someone else do all the work and don't care about their grades. Drexel takes anyone and on top of that gives them scholarships and grants. Being in honors is no different than being in the generic system. I'm not actually sure which it's geared toward. Yes, it has a co op program that sounds fantastic, but you also forfeit vacations. Yes, it offers you the opportunity to get your master's degree in 5 yrs, but do outside companies see that as a REAL master's degree or just what drexel is calling a master's? Just being in the co op does not guarantee someone a job for life.

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Drexel has a policy of making you take a lot of classes you won't care about. Still, a lot of the professors are smart, nice people who can make the subject a little more appealing. There are also bad apples with completely useless lectures who do not care about you at all (PHYS 201 comes to mind). I wanted to like the third freshman engineering class (ENGR 103) where students work on projects they design. My instructor was very helpful (i.e. critical), but the other students in my group were entirely incompetent and ruined the experience. I talk to some professors occasionally out of class - many of them are sociable and I have one professor this term that regularly chats with students before class. The vast majority of classes are not hard enough. Some classes are as hard as you make them (ENGR 103) and that's fun, but way too many classes feel like review.

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My major, Behavioral Health Counseling, is one of the best programs available in my opinion. Everyone talks about how big their major is and that they don't get individualized attention, but when I started Drexel, there were only 127 students total for my major. The professors are on the older side and after taking a few of their classes, the stories start to repeat and get old, but the content is always interesting. Everyone seems to be enjoying themselves both inside and outside of the classroom. The program offers many opportunities to meet other students in the major by providing lunch or dinner gatherings. The course load is also very manageable, which is saying a lot because I know friends in other majors who are always complaining about the massive amounts of work they have. Overall, I would recommend it highly to anyone.

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