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North Carolina State University at Raleigh

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What are the academics like at your school?

The best thing about State are the people, they have been so welcoming and friendly. I found it easy to find a good bunch of friends to spend time with and study with despite my initial fears. Initially I thought it would be difficult because I was coming to the south and I currently still live in New York. One thing I would change would be some of the teaching staff. Sometimes you end up with a teacher who you really struggle with. Almost all of my teachers have been great teachers, helpful, clear, and friendly, but occasionally you get a teach or two who cannot seem to teach anything well. Although State is a very large school, I feel it is just right. It doesn't take long to find your way around. It's very nice to be able to see new faces every day, giving me the opportunity to make a new friend. People are usually surprised when I say I go to State when they know I am from New York. They often ask, "Why did you choose State? Why not a New York school?". Other people that have asked, that didn't know my hometown, were impressed with my decision to attend State. On campus I spend most of my time in the dorm or, when the weather is warmer, out in the Court of Carolina or Tucker beach. The campus is beautiful and I love to be outside enjoying the weather! I don't spend much time off of campus. I am not a big party person, and rarely go out to clubs or other places of the sort. Despite this, I would consider State to be located in a relatively good college town. Downtown is not far, you can walk, bike, drive, or take the bus into Downtown where there are museums, parks, clubs, and restaurants. Hillsborough, which borders campus offers several restaurants, a bank, bookstore, bowling and various other small shops and places to gather. The school administration is very reliable. They are willing to help me achieve my goals and have been very helpful in making sure I am finding it easy to acclimate to college. My advisor has been helpful in suggesting classes to make my course load as manageable as possible while still graduating in four years with a double degree. The biggest recent controversy on campus was a non violent hate crime in which a few students defaced the GLBT (Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender) Community Club board. The students and administration quickly addressed the behavior and rallied in support of the GLBT Community supporting them in the face of discrimination, letting the GLBT Community know that no matter their sexual preference, they were more than welcome to be a part of our Wolf Pack. There is a lot of school pride, Red and White, Wolf Pack all the way! One experience I will always remember was my first year at State. The girls in my suite were amazing! We had such a wonderful year together and grew quite close. I still keep in touch and see the girls on a regular basis. I met one of my closest friends in that suite. I also decided to room with my roommate again because we got along so well last year. We did a random roommate application, and I could not have asked for a better roommate! The most frequent student complaints are generally about physics and statics actually. I haven't found too many people who enjoy those classes, but it's all personal preference.

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Once I got into my majors I began enjoying classes a lot more. I would definitely not recommend starting out in First Year College as I did because I really felt like it was a huge waste of time. I'd suggest starting out in a major that you're somewhat interested in and go from there. Changing majors really is not very difficult. Once you get into your major classes you'll start having more of the same teachers and I've actually developed relationships with some of my professors on a level of going to grab a cup of coffee occasionally or something, which I like a lot. One of my favorite classes at State was Public Speaking. I actually took it before I got into the Communication major and I think it's a really applicable to class to any student. Teachers LOVE class participation and a lot of them tie it into their grading scales, which I think is kind of stupid, but class participation always helps. I was a Communication-PR and Spanish major. I loved both of them, but would definitely say the Spanish department is very laid back, which has its pros and cons. Overall, I think NC State's academic requirements are not so terrible. Obviously if you suck at math and don't plan on needing it with whatever major you choose, it's kind of a pain to have to get the general education requirements out of the way. But, I will say I think State's main goal is for every student to learn and the secondary goal is to get a job. On that note, the Career Center is really, really helpful in developing resumes and helping with job searches.

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Even though the school is large, it is still easy to get to know your professors. Each professor is required to hold office hours, and there are multiple ways to receive free tutoring in the basic 100 and 200 level classes for Chemistry, Physics, Math, and there is even a writing and speaking tutorial center. I study frequently for my classes since my course work is very rigorous. My major is Biological Sciences with a concentration in Human Biology and a minor in Nutrition. There are several challenging classes that are required for this major, but I never feel overwhelmed with what I have to do. I enjoy my classes, and I am always able to seek help through the tutoring center, or Supplementary Instruction tutoring. The academic requirements are challenging, but always manageable. Depending on the type of class, the participation of students varies. Students are always welcome to ask questions or seek help with the professors. The most unique and enjoyable classes that I have had would probably have been my gym classes. I think it is great that each student is required to take two gym classes because it keeps us active, and it provides a good break from the average lecture course. The gym classes range from swim condition and horseback riding to badminton and yoga. There is something for everyone. The education here at State prepares students for careers in the future through the career center to job fairs.

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If you want to challenge yourself, don't go anywhere but Raleigh. Professors, are absolutely amazing and will learn your name when you put the effort to get to know them. Calculus has always been my favorite course and class participation is always good. Granted, those 8 am's may not have 100% participation, but you know, we're in college. I'm in the Nuclear Engineering Department and absolutely love it. The people are smart and want you to push yourselves, both faculty and students. One of my professors caught me coming out of class one day and gets my attention. He wanted to see how I enjoyed class that day and if it was useful or a complete waste of time. Isn't that amazing? They are there to educate as well as create a relationship with their students. The curricula is geared for both the workforce as well as the material itself. Today, in my Nuclear Operations course, we learned about voids and positive reactivity about the core of a reactor. But, we also learned about Chernobyl. Even though we can learn about what went wrong and how to fix it, we talked about the timeline of when things went wrong. That won't necessarily help me on how to build a nuclear reactor, but it's interesting stuff and I'm glad I learned about it.

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Some of my professors know my name, but not all of them. I don't really care if they don't know my name or not. All I care about is my work and the grades. My favorite class was def. HS 100 (Home Horticulture)with Professor Bryce Lane. He was funny, and interesting, told us stories..it was great. My least favorite, MEA 135 (Weather and Climate) the professor is VERY rude, and the class just sucks. I wouldn't know how often students study, its really up to them. I can have an intellectual conversation outside of class. If it is an interesting topic, why not talk about it? Some students are really competative, but I don't pay attention to them. If you stress yourself out trying to do better on a test then someone else, you'll go crazy. NCSU's academic requirements...where to begin. I understand the gpa requirements. But, having to transfer from one department to the other is really frustrating. The gpa requirements differ from department to department, classes don't always transfer..etc. Its a lot of unnecessary work. If you have one bad semester your freshman year, it takes a LONG time to bounce back. I don't think they should split up the school like that. It makes life difficult for all of us.

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In my time here I have found that student to professor ratio here varies drastically by your class and department. As a freshman, I had some small classes and some overwhelmingly large classes; it really depends if you are in your core classes or starting to be in the upper level courses. When you get into your junior and senior years, classes become more concentrated towards your focus and therefore the class sizes are smaller. I would say NC State is very prestigious and I have noticed that there aren't that many students who slack off or never do their work. Mostly you only see successful students around campus and they all owe it to their own hard work. Currently I am in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and my major is Biological Sciences with a concentration in Human Biology and a minor in Health. The degree is not an easy one to attain and I would say that it is a very competitive area as most of us are planning on going to medical, dental, or some form of graduate school. Although we know we are all competing against each other for the slots at our next destinations, I have never come into contact with a classmate who is unwilling to help when they are asked!

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NC State University has thousands of faculty and staff and thousands of students on its campus. That being said, students have to take the initiative to get to know their professors, understand when to ask for help, and seek out resources and opportunities. When students take the time to be engaged with faculty and use all of the resources available, NC State University is an extremely valuable place for students to flourish and prepare for the professional world. NC State University has resources such as D.H. Hill Library, the Undergraduate Tutorial Center, the Career Center, and Supplemental Instruction with Teaching Assistants that can be accessed by all students. The courses at NC State University are challenging and engaging, but they are also relevant to the current research and technological advancements. NC State University has exceptional access to technological resources for students in the library, labs, and classrooms that make learning hands-on and engaging in every subject of study. There are resources all across campus that can help students study and learn more in every topic.

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Academics at North Carolina State are very challenging, but rewarding. Sometimes, I feel like my science classes are downright impossible. However, my professors have always been willing to help me after class hours. The tutoring center has been a great help in my academic career. Most of my classes are pretty big, as in 200-300 kids. This is only because I am a freshman though. Some of the tougher classes I am in are smaller, as in 25-50 kids. State is very competitive. You have to work very hard to be in the top 10 or 20 percent. I am majoring in Human Biology. I love my department. They look out for me. They send me information on scholarships and various jobs or internships. I think NC State does a good job of teaching you to get a job, which in our economy right now, I think is most important. However, the professors want you to learn for your own enjoyment. They try to make the longer and harder classes enjoyable and most of the time, they succeed.

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The academics at our school are very challenging. Classes require a lot of studying and dedication if you want an A. The professors are amazing and I never once had a bad professor. My favorite class I took at NC State was Social Psychology and I recommend it to all my friends. The best part about the class was the professor, Dr. Narcoste, who was incredibly creative and inspiring in his teaching style. The library on campus is constantly filled with students studying for their classes and trying to focus. Students are very competitive for good grades at our school, especially in the science and engineering majors. My major is biological sciences. I have to take a lot of biology and chemistry classes, which all require labs. I have enjoyed all the classes I have taken, but as I am about to end my second semester of Junior year, the science classes are becoming more difficult and more demanding.

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We don't get the Academic rankings we have by not being a difficult school. The classes are hard, but are more than worthwhile. And our classes prepare us for the outside world much better than classes at MIT and Carnegie Melon. I am still in lower level classes with a lot of students, so most of my professors do not know my name. However in my physics class and in my graphics class, both of my professors know my name, and my TA for my FORTRAN class knows my name, so at NC State you aren't a number. To quote a former coworker of mine, "You are only a number at NC State if you want to be." I am in Aerospace Engineering, which is part of the Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department (MAE) at NCSU. My department is the largest in the College of Engineering, but my degree is one of the smaller ones, because of its difficulty.

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