If there is one good thing about Tech it is probably its academics. It is extremely rigorous. Class sizes are large though and my smallest class was maybe 40 students. Lecture halls with 150+ students are the norm. Most profs will definitely not know your name but that may be a good or bad thing depending on how you look at it. A lot of students are competitive and often strive for the best leaving those like me who look to ride the curve in big trouble. This school takes their honor code way too seriously. They even post plaques of the honor code in every room. The nerdy fag honest students are no help either ratting you out at any chance they get. The rigor of the level of academics practically promotes cheating and god forbid you get caught b/c their forsaken place will eat you alive. Master the art of cheating in HS before coming here. Professors are hit or miss. (Most of the time miss.) I can only count 2 profs which I felt truly taught and were helpful ppl and I am going into my 3rd year. What does that have to say? Most profs really don't care about you as a student. My diffy q prof apparently suspected me of cheating on my test and after numerous emails and attempts to visit him at his office, 3 weeks after the test he was a no show. I had to take it up with the Dean of Students and even still he never responded to the emails. Absolutely ridiculous. They are more concerned with their research than showing you how to do a Laplace transform. Some will actually seem to try to fail you at will. I once took the time to go up to a prof after lecture to ask him the final coverage. He just stood there and laughed and said everything even though in lecture he said hw coverage will not be included. This was just plain rude and I was quite offended. His final (CEE2300) was absolutely ridiculous. I attended almost every class and had not even seen maybe as much as 50% of the questions on the test. Taking the final was like playing a guessing game. Just sick since it was worth 45% of our grade. I ended up getting a B in the class after a huge curve which I assume was necessary since I guarantee at least half the class failed the final. Some of the big lecture classes require "class participation" through the use of a IR clicker which they force you to buy at ridiculous prices at the bookstore. This is more common in the physics, chem and bio lectures. Most ppl have their friends sign them in or take the random mini-quizzes but this is against the honor code but then again who cares.
Getting a professor to know your name is all about communicating with them. In a class of 100 people if you always sit in the back and never go to office hours it is hard for them to recognize you. When you sit closer up and make a point to talk to them it definitely helps you out! For most people, that is the difference of a letter grade! Everyones least favorite class is always Computer Science. It is a harder class that is required for most majors. You are basically looked at as God if you do well in there! Students study everyday. That's one thing everyone complains about. For most people at Tech, High School was a breeze and they never studied. The hardest thing about coming to Tech is learning how to study because in order to be successful here, you have to! Participation in class depends on the professor and class size. Usually in larger classes they will be more lecture based with no class discussion. Georgia Tech is full of intellectual conversations outside of class. Everyone at Tech is globally competent and up to date on all the happenings. A lot of this comes from the huge diversity in students and the 5 free newspapers students can get each day. Tech is also very politically active. Presidential Candidate, Barack Obama, came and spoke and had his largest crowd at Tech up until that point. Students are very competitive. At Tech all students try to do is beat the average in order to stay on top! The most unique class I have taken is Accounting I with Debby Turner. Not only is she the most animated and passionate professor I have ever had but she is the most gifted professor in her field. When you purchase your course notebook she puts in a "mini" list of her accomplishments that take up a full page. She makes a note to mention that is "just a few" and she is "not trying to brag". She's very personal and makes the class enjoyable for everyone. Georgia Tech has very hard academic requirements. It is hard to get accepted but that's what makes people love the school so much; the value of their degree.
It's definitely not a joke. If you want to goof off and party your whole freshman year and you got accepted to Tech, I suggest you go somewhere else and transfer in your second year. You can bounce back from that anywhere else, but there isn't such a thing as an 'easy A' at Tech. If you are one of those people who never opened your books and still got 5's on your AP exams, then you can afford to skip class sometimes. So my initial statement goes for the other 95% of students here. That being said, academic success is attainable. There are many tutoring programs on campus, but after freshman year nobody constantly reminds you about them. Math Lab, English Lab, OMED, and the Office of Success Programs are your best friends! The TA is your bestest friend--GO TO OFFICE HOURS! When (not IF, but WHEN) you fail a test, get someone to explain to you exactly where you went wrong so you can do better next time. And don't wait until right before the next test to do it either! Procrastination is your WORST ENEMY at this school. Whatever it takes for you to get organized, do it. Even if it means scheduling your day down to the hour. You'll thank yourself when you get your report card.
Since I'm in the school of Liberal Arts, most of my professors know my name. I love my Marketing classes and I always feel a sense of encouragement from them academically. Georgia Tech is very unique in that I hear people talk about calculus and physics problems over lunch and hold very intellectual conversations all the time. The most unique class I have taken was called Environment Ecocritic which dealt with the issue of the way things in the environment are placed and how that effects our everyday life. My major, STAC, is one of the most unique majors and the most flexible. I study classes anything from Literature to media to philosophy. I know my counselor by name and most of my teachers. I spend time with my professors outside of class through research and through the different organizations in which they participate.The requirement at Georgia Tech are very strenuous, time consuming, and difficult. The education at Georgia Tech is highly geared toward getting a job and companies from major corporations on campus are here many times a month and hire Georgia Tech students over other universities because of the quality of the student.
Most of the first two years' classes are your gen. ed. stuff, so there are about 250 students in each... in those, none of the professors knows you by name unless you go and bug them every day. Once you actually start getting into your major classes, you will continue to see the same profs. one a weekly, if not daily basis, and this does foster a sense of friendship. I think Tech encourages its students to interact with professors as much as possible because it is seen as a learning experience for both, and a way to expand upon concepts learned by the student. My major department is Chemistry. Chemistry isn't huge, but its not the smallest either. That being said, I think that all the Chem. majors know everyone else, with the exception of a small few. It's pretty unified. Education at Tech is geared toward learning, only, in my opinion. I think when you're accepted, you're expected to know how to apply the skills and concepts you have learned over the course of your degree in whatever field you go into. Tech is not about to hold your hand and do everything for you, but it will help you as much as possible.
Georgia Tech's academics are beyond amazing. The classes are hard, and some of the more common classes have big lectures, but there are also recitation classes where you can ask your TA any questions about the course that you may have, and they'll make sure you understand everything. The thing that most surprised me about our academics is the Freshman Forgiveness policy. Basically, the administration understands how hard classes are and how difficult it can be for some students to adjust to college life, so if you don't do well in one of your classes in your first semesters at Tech, you can retake the class, and have the grade that you receive the second time replace the one you received the first time in calculations of your GPA. It's definitely come in handy.
I'd be lucky to have 3 out of 4 teachers that speak English as their first language. Some can be very hard to understand, especially when they're the authors of the text book. Many are willing to help you 1 on 1 though which is handy (if you can make it to their office hours). A lot of my friends that go to other schools get to take a lot more electives that don't apply to their major at all (a P.E. type class like Bowling 1001 or something) but it Tech doesn't make room for any "useless" classes. It is nice to know you're putting in quality hours toward your degree but it would be nice to have a break from the engineering every once in a while. I am 100% confident that I will be able to find a job after graduation with my Tech degree.
Everyone thinks classes are hard, but professor...most of the time...won't let you fail. Apparently everyone who takes math here usually doesn't understand it, so the only way your going to get any help on your homework is that math major or the tutoring in the math building. If your coming here, you should definitely get a coop job, everyone loves Tech students...but only because they know how to work, so if your a slacker, your going to get fired. Everyone here is education oriented, so nerdy conversations are bound to happen. I transferred from Architecture to Physics and spoke with an adviser at Berkeley and she told me that Tech is recognized by other schools as being part of the elite, so don't discard Tech's reputation.
Classes are huge-especially freshman year. My smallest class was english 1101-over 40 students. Some professors will get to know your name; others will not. If you are struggling in a class-go see your professor during their office hours. Then they will learn your name and see that you are a hard worker and might even go easy on you when they grade your tests and exams (believe me, this happened to me in several classes, and all because I built a relationship with my professor). Classes are very tough, and keep you busy outside of class. I can spend anywhere from 3 days to 2 weeks preparing for a test. Don't get behind in any class-you won't catch up.
Some of the professors know the students by name, depending on the size of the class. Georgia Tech is known for its rigorous academics, so studying is very important. It's a very hard school, but it's also very prestigious and it will help you find a job. I am part of the psychology department, which is rather small at Tech. The department is geared toward research, since the school is science based. All of the professors at Tech know what they are talking about. They also love their field. The education at Tech is geared toward getting a job, not so much learning for its own sake.