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Miami University-Oxford

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What are the academics like at your school?

Miami's academics really are just more a testament to the quality of the school. For the two years I've been at Miami I can honestly say I am very pleased with most every class I've taken. There is a miami plan that every student has to take. It's a list of requirements you have to fufill, such as 4 hours of a math course, or 9 hours of humanities, etc. The requirements differ for students in the business school or the western program, but everyone is required to complete a few courses like this before graduation. At times it is tiring, people complain "I'm not doing anything with science, why am I taking microbiology." or they have to take spanish until their junior year to complete the language requirements, but really I personally don't mind it. I'm a nerd in the sense that I love knowledge, and it cools to learn about things that may not be your forte. Sure I struggled through math but it also helped me decide I wanted a minor in marketing--lo and behold I needed that math class as a pre req. The students are pretty 50/50 in the sense that some are 100% sure they're going to be pre-med (as so many do originally..) or a CEO, etc, and the other half are like "oh hell, I hope I even have a clue by junior year. I think the Miami plan helps you to explore this. Whether it's to make sure for certain that you want to forever have a scalpel in your hand or it gives you the chance to see hey, I really like music class. Maybe I should go into something with that. The Miami plan classes tend to be a larger lecture, but every teacher that I've had manages to make a class of 100 feel as though it is about 20. My favorite class as a freshman was PSYCHOLOGY 111-the introduction to psychology. It had about 100 students in it but the professor was so engaging, fun, and knowledgeable on the subject that even though attendance wasn't taken, I attended every class. He had me laughing, he had me studying to do well on his test, and he had me retaining what he taught. At the end of the semester he shared with us personal stories of his battle with Aids which he had recieved from a blood transfusion years before. It was so moving and so touching to see a professor letting us into his life like that that a year later when he passed away I wrote his wife a letter letting her know how he had affected me. Because of him and that class I decided to double major in psychology. I've had a lot of good-humored professors, in another Miami plan class about music my professor is short and bald. When he asked us what kind of music we thought he may like, someone shouted out "Phil collins!" He laughed it off and joked that he'd meet the kid after class outside. Not all the classes are large, in fact only a few of mine have been held in lecture halls. My spanish class feels like high school all over again in the sense that we all became friends because there was only about 20 of us. My journalism classes, as I begin to take more and more for my major are fun because there are a few people I consistently see in the classes and it's nice to have someone you can call when you sleep through that alarm. Even classes that I don't enjoy the subject, such as philosophy, I manage to pull through because the professor is still respectable as a professor and it makes the material a little easier. A downfall to Miami's academics is that bad news seems to come at once. At about four weeks in most students have 2-4 classes all with a test that week. Professors also really enjoy group projects, so you'll be studying for a chemistry midterm and trying to plan a time to meet with your marketing group to get you case study done. Life gets a little hectic. Our King Library is really great in terms of having a writing center in the middle of it, a starbucks cafe, and an abundance of printers, computers, helpful librarians and research material. For this reason it's usually utilized consistently throughout the year, but come test-week or finals time, it literally looks like a mall the day after Thanksgiving. I feel that Miami kids are good at getting their assignments done so that they can party for the night or weekend. They literally work hard and play hard. Class participation really depends on the class. Go to an 8 a.m. and it's doubtful you'll see many students raising their hand. But in smaller classes when questions asked by the teachers are more common, students are willing to offer their opinions. It's like highschool. You're going to have loud-mouths, shy kids, and sleepers. Students outside of the classroom have intelligent conversations or sometimes really really unintelligent conversations. There's a facebook group "overheard at Miami" where ridiculous things overheard (hence the name) are posted. Sure ditzy comments are said but also we have newspapers available to us everywhere. As the election draws near talk of politics reigns through the air. Professors make themselves really available. I am a huge fan of office hours. The personal attention and extra help is sometimes really needed. Every teacher has made a point to say "these are my hours, but let me know if they don't work for you and we'll set up another time." Whether it's through e-mail, a few of my professors have Facebooked me, one even handed out her cell phone, or just their office hours, the professors are great at being there for you. But YOU have to take the initiative and put in the effort. One of my teachers had two "spaghetti dinners" during the semester in which she invited all her students too. We recieved home cooked meals and just had a chance to relax outside the class setting with her. It was wonderful. I feel the workload is pretty fair. You probably have at LEAST an hour-2 of something to do every night but with more free hours in the day you can always find time to do it. Miami is great about subscribing to an abundance of websites needed for research, or having every copy of Time or Newsweek, or having their librarians on AIM to answer questions, they even have their own websites they made to help your create a resume or search for internships or find a book you're looking for. THey make sure everything is available and there for us. I think the academics are geared towards preparing you for the real world as well as the next test coming up. You are given real life experiences sometimes, but you learn about it by reading it from a book and discussing it in class. They do a pretty good balance between the both.

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Miami University is a state school that prides itself on the personal attention it gives to its undergraduates—a statement that seems to ring true. I personally have taken classes that are smaller, comprised of twenty some students, and larger, lecture-hall classes. Regardless of the size, professors make a genuine effort to know their students, and be readily available concerning any questions about course material. Office hours are adequate, but professors are very flexible in meeting outside these times as needed. In small classes, professors not only make it a point to know a student’s name, but also to follow that student’s progress and address concerns. Some lecture halls make personal attention difficult, but I personally was impressed with the methods professors use to make such classes more engaging. My psychology professor, in particular, assigned group work and encouraged small group discussions when possible, making the class both more interesting and more intimate. Admittedly, large lecture halls can become disruptive and monotonous, but this is a small problem because lecture halls are mostly for Miami plan requirements. Once a student is inside his or her major, classes rival the small size seen in private schools. Class participation varies dependent on the course, as I have witnessed both ends of the spectrum. Lower level courses tend to have less participation, as many students are simply taking the course for credit as opposed to interest in the material. Likewise, upper level courses tend to have very active participation, but it depends on the professor itself. One of the negative experiences I’ve had concerned a professor that discouraged students because the professor shut down answers he/she did not agree with, rather than encouraging new lines of thought. On the other hand, I have had a professor that had such enthusiasm and open support of her students, that the whole class participated often. Fpr the most part, Miami University promotes student participation. In my experience, students tend to be very different outside of class. Except for students purposely meeting for a group project, it is not common to hear anyone students leading intellectual discussions. Admittedly, many students are too concerned with social affairs to discuss their classes, unless it is to commiserate on a heavy course load or difficult professor. While students at Miami are serious about their academics, this does not usually translate into their daily lives. Many students study diligently on Sundays, spending their weekends engaging in social activities. Cramming for tests is common, and students tend to think about course materials more in concerns to their grade then how it applies in their life. Miami University has a strong academic program; that is fairly certain. Perhaps the greatest weakness is translating that success into passion. Students are very successful, with high job placement rates upon graduation, but I see few that learn for the sake of the love of learning. It is of course, difficult to blame a school for this, in the difficult current economy, but it is still a challenge the University should consider. As for my personal experiences, I am in enrolled in the College of Arts and Sciences, pursing a degree in English/Creative Writing. My least favorite course I’ve taken was a lecture hall science course, which I took to satisfy Miami Plan general requirements. Partially this was due to my lack of interest, but it was more so the manner the course was taught. Tests were written so as to question a student’s confidence, and, I feel, were not accurate to a student’s knowledge and dedication. My favorite class, on the other hand, was an introductory literary studies course. The professor was extremely enthusiastic, exceedingly encouraging, and creative. Every class consists of open discussion, and I truly believe my writing and analytical abilities were fostered over the semester. The course required hard work, but it also helped students grow, and welcomed many ways to go about succeeding and developing one’s one voice.

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When it comes to academics, Miami has a great reputation especially in the Midwest area. The Richard T. Farmer School of Business is definitely a strong point for the campus and employers recruit kids from the program all the time. They have an excellent career fair that brings in the top accounting firms and companies like Proctor and Gamble. Because of this, the program is very competitive and requires a lot of hard work and long hours of studying. The reward is having a good chance of landing a job often before you ever graduate. The down side to this is that if you choose to go for another degree at Miami you can find yourself feeling a little ignored. The classes and professors are still great in other departments but the business school is by far the university's golden child. Other programs like architecture and engineering thrive at Miami, and a lot of development is going on around campus to renovate and build better academic facilities for the numerous other departments. Your curriculum at Miami is divided into two main parts: filling requirements for your major/college and completing what the school calls the "Miami plan." The "Miami plan" requires students to take a few classes from a variety of academic fields including science, math and English. This is meant to give students an opportunity to study a little bit of everything. It can at times be annoying to take such random classes that have nothing to do with what you are studying, but it can also be life changing when you take that art history class and discover your new life calling. And even though the classes are usually 100-level courses, they are often some of the largest and toughest. Requirements for your major will be spelled out for you by the college and will be pretty straightforward. These classes will tend to be smaller, and you will get to know both professors and other students in your major quickly. Take advantage of getting to know your professors — they are great for recommendations and are way more lenient with absences or late assignments, ect. if you are a familiar face. If you don't know what you want to study right away, don't panic. Start by knocking out your Miami plan classes first and hopefully those will provide you with a little direction. Don't be afraid to major in something other than business or a medically oriented field. No matter your major you WILL get a job after college, and chances are your GPA will be a lot better if you are taking classes you truly enjoy. Education at a college level is a whole new ballgame, and if you follow heart you will find yourself enjoying class, which will make life exponentially easier. In terms of studying you will quickly figure out what is crucial to being a good student. Your professors will tell you that for every hour in class you should study 2 or 3 outside of class. This may be true, but especially as a freshman, is not very feasible when everything is new and there is a lot going on. When the reading starts to pile up prioritize what needs to be read and what doesn't. Often time professors will tell you the important stuff in class, so going is essential and is like automatic studying. Also, Miami has an amazing study abroad program. You can go almost anywhere in the world. We even have a campus in Luxemborg. This is the opportunity of a lifetime and is usually more fun than academic. If you are worried about missing out on a semester with your friends, anyone that stayed in Oxford will tell you that you didn't miss anything and anyone that has gone abroad will tell you it is worth it!

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Academics at Miami are definitely at a different level than other universities. This really is not to put them down, but more of a warning. This is a place where many of the top people from different schools all over the country come, and we are one of the Top Seven Public Ivys in the nation--so naturally, that comes with a bit more than the usual pressure. Luckily, I was kind of ready when I came here to work hard, but some of my friends had a tough transition from high school work to college. Miami is fast-paced, and its professors often expect a lot of you, but they push and get results. I have learned so much--and I really do feel that my "liberal arts education" is well-rounded. I started out a Mass Communications major and switched midway to English Literature--something I'm really passionate about, and many ask me what it will amount to after graduation. Honestly, I'm still not sure, but I love my classes--and I find that my friends who are in majors they love really learn so much and have so much passion for whatever they will do with it. That being said, we also have a really top-notch business school, and the pre-med program is pretty tough, but very good. I have had mostly great professors, some really amazing, and most of my classes have been small enough that I am able to get to know them. In fact, I have taken some professors a few times, because I liked them so much and learned so much from them. Most of the professors I have come into contact with are really willing to help students, and many actually want to get to know you. I haven't spent a ton of time with them outside of class, but the ones I have are really great people. It's cool because you feel more comfortable in classes where you like the professors, and tend to get more out of them. Even President Hodge seems pretty nice; I have actually been to his house, where he let Campus Crusade for Christ have a holiday party. He is also really interested in what students have to say, and when he came to visit us in Luxembourg, he told us to call him, email him and tell him what we want, what our concerns were, and he seemed really willing to listen and help. All of this being said, I have to say that everyone here, myself included, complain, seriously despise the "Miami Plan." This is the creation of the administration, in an attempt to give us all a well-rounded education. It's basic education requirements, only there are a lot of them, and it takes a long time to finish, so long in fact, that it can begin to interfere with the classes you want/need for your major(s) and/or minor(s). For instance, I am a junior, and I still have Miami Plan requirements that I will be fulfilling next year, as a senior. It, very simply, sucks. However, to be fair, every college has some form of basic education requirements, and many of your major/minor classes can fulfill some of these, and visa versa. However, it is still the bane of every Miami student's existence.

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Professors know your name, especially when you don't attend class. This was the case when one of professors called me out on not coming to class regularly my freshman year. She sat me down, and explained the importance of education towards a better future. It took me by surprise, because i didn't understand why she cared so much. These are the type of professors that you will experience at Miami. They are invested in your success and have no problem in helping you, even networking with you outside of the classroom. My favorite class was Contemporary American Fiction so far. I thought this class was interesting, because we read amazing American fiction books and had discussions regularly about the book and what it meant to literary world. It made me happy to be an English major, because it engaged me in the material that I will soon make my profession. My least favorite is any science class, just because I dislike any sciences. This is the case sometimes, you end up taking many classes in the beginning that you either dislike or are really hard. This is the result of the Miami Plan, a liberal arts collegiate system that forces the student to take classes in different areas of the arts to be a well-rounded student. Also, most of your pre-requisite classes for your major are made to be extremely hard to "weed students out" of their academic capability. This can be a good and a bad thing. Good, because Miami has no problem in challenging students so you will be prepared to leave Miami. Bad, because sometimes it can be too much and discourage students from their majors, or even from college itself. But this is when services like the Rinella Learning Center come in, providing free tutoring, Supplemental Instruction, disability modification, study sessions, academic counselors, and etc... The typical Miami student studies most of their time and is well-knowledgeable, just because of the liberal arts education that Miami is rooted in. You learn so much in different areas, in not just your own, but outside other classes you take. I like this because it makes you well-rounded in the world. You attend Miami, not just to get an education, but to be a productive citizen in the world.

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Academics like any school can be hard, but professors at Miami really want their students to succeed. All of my professors know my name because I make a point to ask questions and actively participate in class. Even in my lectures, which have more students than other classes, I go to office hours to introduce myself so the professor knows who I am. Students study all the time, to make sure they understand the information to prepare to tests and quizzes. Students at Miami realize how important these classes can be and want to do well in them. Class participation can be very active, lectures typically not as much participation. Overall, the more you participate in class, the more you will understand and remember the material being taught. I don't think or notice student competition as much as I did in high school. Everyone focuses on doing well and doing the best that they can do, competition isn't the first thing on their minds! I am a business major with a theater minor. Being in two departments is challenging, but so much fun! I get to take a variety of classes to complete both majors. One day I can have two business classes and an acting class - this is the best part about my major/minor. I try to spend time with my professors outside of class, but only when necessary. If I have questions or need study tips for an exam, I go to office hours to get help! I like the academic requirements at Miami. Since we all have to complete the Miami Plan, classes and credits we have to take in order to graduate. These classes can open your mind to new majors or minors. You can also explore interests that you never knew existed! Education is taken very seriously at Miami. They gear the curriculum toward getting a job. They provide many opportunities to market yourself and even help with resumes and interviews. It is ultimately up to each person to understand the material being taught in order to get a job after graduating!

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Classes at Miami are great. One of the greatest aspects of academics at Miami is the student-professor relationship. I have known every one of my teacher's names and they have known mine. It's very impressive that Miami has been able to create and maintain the great student-professor relationship. Students take studying and classes very seriously at Miami. Miami isn't a "geek" school, as in students only study and study all the time, but academics are very important to most Miami students. Class participation is common and is usually factored into a student's grade in class. Participation ranges from attending professor's office hours to talking in class. Students are very competitive at Miami and are always looking to go above and beyond the basic requirements. The library is always full at the end of the day and rarely are students seen blowing classes and work off. Students also participate in very intellectual conversations and activities outside of the classroom. Miami offers many opportunities to apply your knowledge in a real-world atmosphere. Students don't really spend time with professors outside of class unless they are meeting to go over subjects in class or there is a project to be completed outside of class. The school's academic requirements are rigorous and a bit much but the classes they ask for are essential to receive a quality education. The education students receive at Miami gears them towards both getting a job and learning for their own sake. Miami does a great job balancing the two well so students get the most out of their college careers. I am currently in the professional writing program at Miami. This is a new major and focuses on modern day writing such as social media, business writing, and publications. I really enjoy this major and even if you aren't in the major, students should still look into taking a few of the classes to improve their writing skills.

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Like most things in life, getting what you want usually involves an aspect of luck, and that's how it works here. There are fabulous professors at this school, and there are not so good ones. Make sure to sign up for classes as early as possible so you have the best possible chance of getting the professor you want. Note: the lines at the academic advising office are usually horrendous. Declaring a major as soon as possible (as long as you're 100% sure about it) will help you get settled in a more exclusive academic community with professors you can receive more one on one attention from. At this school, the definition of studying goes something like this: "laying in the grass by the on-campus Starbucks, wearing $500 bikinis with a latte in one hand and a very profound literary publication called The Enquirer in the other, studious University of Miami students contemplate pressing global issues exemplified to them in their reading material...intently studying these issues, like Britney Spears' latest bipolar episode.. and Angelina Jolie's tenth adopted child. yes, academic endeavors are tough at the university of miami.. but at least they can be proud that they are tanning in natural sunlight, rather than baking at the local tanning salon." The University of Miami has some great attributes; a spectacular campus and top of the line facilities. BUT, once the palm trees, hot bodies and swarovski encrusted blackberries stop distracting you, it may not be the most intellectually fulfilling place to spend four years of your life. Basically, if you're looking for an intellectual or politically active student body, I would not suggest going to the university that believes Ms. Ashley Dupre, Elliot Spitzer's call girl, should "run for president."

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Starting answering!I think that the academics at Miami are really great. The professors really care about how the students are doing and they try to make the class as interesting as possible. Most of the classes I have had have been relatively small and the professors have been pretty good about remembering names. The education is focused on learning to use logic in order to think outside the box as well as figuring out how to deal with the problem at hand. I feel that this is perfect for life outside of college because not everything is going to be straightforward and easy to solve. My least favorite class and my favorite class were both Art History classes. The first time I took it, I really hated the grade I ended up with and retook the class. The first professor was very demanding. For exams she required us to memorize on hundred paintings. We had to know the name of the piece, the artist, and the date it was made in. It was just so much memorization. The class was purely lecture and I just didn’t feel like anything I learned in there would be retained after the final. The second time I took it the professor engaged the class. We had to do small projects on the pieces and when we learned about architecture she had us go out and photograph specific styles that are still used today. I feel like the second time around was a much more Miami education experience. It was challenging but fun and rewarding as I still remember a lot from the class. The classroom environment at Miami is pretty laid back but it’s a lot of work. Professors expect students to be fully prepared and ready for discussion. I think that Miami’s academics are amazing and I feel confident that when I’m done with my education I will be prepared for my career.

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The academics at Miami probably differ on the major, but I'm sure there are connections all across the board. Students definitely study a lot...at least, near midterms and finals, ha ha. The majority of students at Miami are dedicated to their studies, more than I've ever seen before, and make sure that they have plenty of time to study. Class participation in the English department, which is the one that I'm in, is constant--whether it's literature review or discussion about a nineteenth-century novel, students always have something to say. It's less of a competition in this field because there's very rarely a right answer, it's about perception and interpretation. Every professor I've had in the English department has learned all of their students names. Granted, the biggest class I've been in was about thirty five students, but still. Professors are on a first name basis with their students, always willing to meet outside of class (or come in early/ stay late). The education within the English department is geared just as much towards learning as it is for getting a job. The basic design of college is to get one prepared for the job that they wish to have. Since there are a plethora of outcomes for someone with an English degree (not just teaching, as most people assume), learning for the sake of learning is one of the best ways to go about it because, instead of "teaching to the test," it encourages students to think on their own, enjoy learning, and find happiness in what they do.

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