Kenyon College Top Questions

What are the academics like at Kenyon College?


Academics here are extremely important. Everyone takes their classes seriously, there hasn't been a single day that I've been on campus and haven't studied or done homework in some way. We just care a whole lot about learning our subject material and learning it well, not necessarily because we want to do well (which we do, obviously), but because we love it. It is considered cool to be a nerd here, so pretty much everyone is cool. We do have some really awesome extracurriculars, sports, and parties, but if you aren't going to college for the education, then Kenyon probably isn't the place for you.


Great! If they have your major you're set.


Small class sizes mean that your professors all know your name from day one. Some professors know them before you even come to class from the face directory and the community choir prof is known for naming all 100+ students in his class from memory at the beginning of each semester before having met his future students. Professors are one of the best parts of Kenyon, they love you if you show a desire to learn. Office hours allow students to get help out of class and hold intellectual conversations out of class. Students frequently debate topical issues out of class and continue discussions late into the evening. The Kenyon education is definitely geared towards learning for its own sake rather than towards getting a job but the excellent alumni network takes care of that for you in a lot of cases. Students are a lot more collaborative than competitive at Kenyon and often spend time they should be studying helping out friends or classmates that need help with something. All in all, you couldn't ask for a more enriching academic experience than that offered by Kenyon


Professors know my name, but keep their distance. My least favorite class has been into to philosophy, but that's a personal opinion (and the teacher was TERRIBLE). class participation is less common than i expected. kenyon students rarely have intellectual conversations outside of class, this has been my experience anyway. the level of intellectualism outside of class has been extremely disappointing for me. not to say that kids aren't smart--they just have other interests that consume their free time when not studying.


Kenyon's academics are great. Most of my classes have been challenging and provocative, though there have been a few that have bored me to tears. (Don't take Early African History, for the love of all things sacred.) The professors for the most part are fabulous, I've even become homies with some of them. They're extremely friendly, always remember your name, and I find myself often stopping to chat with some of them when I'm bopping around campus. Kenyon students do have intellectual conversations outside of class that can be interesting. However, because Kenyon is now a new ivy, some students fancy themselves Rhodes scholars and shit can get a little pretentious. ESPECIALLY WITH ENGLISH MAJORS, many of whom feel that they are future Chaucers or Faulkners. Some conversations you overhear, or may be apart of will induce a lot of eye-rolling, but for the most part, people present their arguments in ways that aren't so irritating. Students aren't really competitive.


I already wrote about this above, but I can elaborate on some things. Yes, all professors know your name, and class participation is very common, and encouraged. Professors office hours are always open and I often see students milling around just chatting and asking questions. Professors and students are friends as much as they are in professional relationships, and I love this so much, because that is what makes it so efficient! When you participate in class and also get to know your professor as a person through conversations out of class, or taking part in an organisation they are involved in, it makes classes so much more fun, and makes it easier for them to grade you I think. Imagine it, they can construct their own syllabus, teach it as they wish, assign the assignments that they think are the most interesting, and give the grades they think people deserve and have worked for. That is freedom that high school teachers generally don't have, which is why I think liberal arts-ness is so perfect for someone like me. There is such a huge list of classes, and mostly all of them are open to anyone (except high level ones with prerequisites). People are SO SO encouraged to take a wide variety of classes (but I think that too many students don't make any huge leaps for fear of not doing well), and it is such a fantastic idea! Really, I took classical mythology, and before I think I knew who Zeus was from the disney movie, but now I read Ovid in my free time. The academics at Kenyon are my favourite part about it. I am raving now, but only because I really want people to know this.


At kenyon, it is inconceivable that your teacher may not know your name. The school is small, the classes are small, and the professors give a shit. I have spent time at professor's houses and of course talking to them outside of class about work or not. Since we are in the middle of nowhere, the professors live not more than 10 minutes away so you see quite a lot of them and their families, it's really nice. Of course academics extend beyond the classroom--really what's the point of spending four years at school if you stop caring about your work the second you leave the classroom. But probably you could find some people at Kenyon who disagree with that, it's a very diverse campus and people find a myriad of ways in which to live.


All classes are taught by brilliant professors who know their stuff and want you instill their knowledge in you. They are so nice and always willing to work with students.


Professors do get to know your name. One of the things that I like about Kenyon is that I run into my Professors as I am walking down Middle Path, or going to the KAC, or grabbing a bite at Middle Ground. They are definitely part of the community. We always stop and chat for a few minutes when we run into each other. If you take a seminar class (7-15 tudents) there is a good chance that you will go to their house for dinner. I have found that my most intellectual conversations happen at the oddest times: close to MIdnight surrounded by a group of friends.


The academics are top notch, personal, and challenging. Every professor I've had knows my name, has been available for office hours, and showed a lot of respect for my work. My favorite classes were those in my major--political science-- because they involved great discussion and research of my own choosing. For example my Junior Honors Seminar was discussion based on a number of political theory texts and then an independent research paper of about 30 pages; I chose Hezbollah. For most of my classes there were only 3 grades, midterm, final and a paper--I like it simple. My least favorite class was the intro bio class I took, but it was probably just a bad choice of topic for me personally. It was really easy for me to schedule my classes between 9am - 1pm so I had most of my days free, but like most students did spend a good deal of time studying outside of class (but never on Friday nights or Saturdays). If you want to have intellectual discussions outside of class there is plenty of opportunity to do so. The overall atmosphere of learning is not a competitive one, but a collaborative one, and I never had someone ask what my GPA was. The polisci deptarment is fantastic. The professors are somewhat conservative, especially compared to the students, but it doesn't come across in their teaching. There are a number of activities, like the chili contest, end of the year picnic, and such that really give you a chance to get to know your professors and other students. Its one of the larger majors with about 40 or so in my senior class. There is a very liberal arts feel to the education at Kenyon, with requirements in all the different subjects, but I didn't find it restricting. There is also a strong focus on writing and fundamental philosophies of each area. The education is more for learning's sake than career oriented, but the Career Development Center is getting better at finding jobs and internships for students.