Providence College Top Questions

What are the academics like at your school?


Providence College, a liberal arts Catholic institution, has small classes, and the professors almost always know their students by name. Students at PC value their education, and study fairly often. All professors have office hours, and are available to their students. The most unique class I've taken is Introduction to Acting. It was a nice change to usual curriculum. I'm a Creative Writing major, and a Studio Art minor. I plan on studying abroad junior year, which many students opt to do. The Career Services department is very helpful in helping students find jobs and internships. Providence College emphasizes learning as a means of finding one's passion and purpose.


So far, all of my classes (with the exception of Civ) have been very small and intimate. You definitely will be known and acknowledged in class. I've had some mediocre professors and some really good professors, but not bad ones. PC students definitely have that "work hard play hard" attitude. They go out on weeknights, but not until the civ readings are done. Classes are challenging, but not unbearable, and there are a lot of resources to help you out. The Office of Academic Studies offers tutors, and professors make themselves available outside of class for help. Civ is totally the center of academics for freshmen and sophomores, and while it seems awful, it really isn't all that bad. Everybody is in it together, so it kind of provides a bond between the entire class. Depending on your team and professors, it can be really easy or really tough. I won't lie: it can sometimes really SUCK, but what I'll remember about PC is not how much I'll hate civ.


PC's students take four classes per semester their first two years and five classes per semester the final two years. Freshman and sophomores must take Development Of Western Civilization, known as just CIV, for their first 4 semesters at PC. This class is 50 minutes, everyday, worth 5 credits. Some sections are easy and could make if seem like a student only has 3 classes but other sections are extremely hard and can be a real GPA killer since it is weighted as close to 2 classes. The course is a great idea, but in many cases, students are just forced to memorize facts and spit them out on an exam. Additionally, each student needs to take a certain number of classes in theology, philosophy, art and science. I think these "core classes" are good for students because it gives them a well-rounded education.


The classes are small enough that the professors learn your name. It really depends on your level of dedication to the class whether you talk with the professor a lot and ask questions, that is how you get the most out of it.


Professors try to get to know you. It's common that they will recognize you outside of class and say hello, and most professors give out their home and cell phone numbers and are more than willing to meet students outside of classtime for help. Class participation is very common in classes because the average class size is 20. I had an Italian class (my minor) of 5, so the entire class was participation and we all got to know each other really well. PC has a lot of core requirements, so my advice would be to definitely get them done early if you can. Otherwise, they'll haunt you in your senior year as you try to take easy classes for your last semester and you end up taking Biology and whatnot. PC has a great career center and a shadowing program for winter break, which students should take advantage of more than they do- I participated twice and got some really good information about careers.


Be prepared to work hard in all of your courses. You are required to take the development of western civilization for the first two years five days a week. The earlier sessions of that class are generally the easiest, however you would need to wake up at an earlier hour. That is probably the largest class you will have at PC (about 100 students in a lecture). There are a lot of other core requirements on top of CIV, and that needs to be looked at as an incoming student if you are considering double majoring. Class participation is very common, and professors know everyone by name. You are definitely not just a number at PC. The Education department at PC is like a family. The professors support you in everything you do and always have their doors open for you to pop in. By the time you are a senior you will find yourself just as sad to leave the Education department as you will to leave your friends and the school. PC has a nice balance of developing careers as well as giving you the opportunity to learn for the sake of learning. Since you have to take so many core requirements, you may find that you are interested in something that you never thought you would be interested in. PC is also very supportive of study abroad opportunities. I went abroad to Spain and was able to take a theology course designed just for Providence College students when I was there. While PC wants their students to expand their education overseas, they don't just hand it to you. You can't go unless you maintain a specific GPA, have your core requirements planned out so that you can graduate on time, and you have to take five courses while abroad that are pre-approved by the Dean for transfer credit back to PC. PC requires organization and planning if you want to go abroad. It is not something you can decide a semester before you leave.


Teachers are extremely accessible to thier students. The honors program is a great option for students who are looking at IVY League schools. Not only do you get a scholarship, but you get the top professors from each department.


Education program is well known. The department needs to work more on helping students who are confused about what requirements they need to teach out of the state of Rhode Island. Some professors want to know you and set up outside activities. The CIV program is awful and brought down my average tremendously. I think it is ridiculous how on top of that you also need to take 2 more theology classes and philosophy classes.


I've had classes on either end of the spectrum, with some extremely difficult classes and others that felt easier than high school. The difficulty level generally depends on the professor. However, I will say that registration at PC is one of the biggest complaints, as students are required to wake up at the crack of dawn to punch in their registration number at 7:00 AM on the dot along with every other student in their class. This results in the computer system freezing up altogether as 1,000 students simultaneously attempt to log into the system, which is pretty much the dumbest idea PC has come up with. I've had multiple friends who have been locked out of the system for literally 45 minutes, only to emerge with none of the classes that they needed or wanted to take. The system is stressful, primitive and a downright waste of time.


Small classes, great professors. I loved all of my major classes, but liberal arts school so I had to take some classes I did not enjoy with professors who may not be the best at the school. They are always willing to help you out though, and give you extra help or advice whenever and whereever. I still e-mail many of my teachers throughout my four years on a first name basis. I love elementary education and so many of the professors have first hand experience on the topic.


Classes are small so all of my professors have known my name and have shown interest in every student's class performance. I have really enjoyed all of my classes thus far exept the dreaded DWC- a class that meets everyday for your first two years of school. For a requiremnet, this class is rediculiously time consuming and difficult. BUT you do learn a lot of interseting things that could make it exciting to travel to Europe someday. It includes an indepth study of art,music, theology, history, philosophy, and literature. The "done with civ" t-shirt that I just recieved was the best purchase I've ever made.




Because of the size of PC, academics are very personal and much more discussion based rather than lectures. The professors and advisors get to know you and your major becomes a close group of colleauges and friends. The library will always have people in it, even on the weekends and tends to be a bit too small during exam period. In my major, Political Science, it is entirely based on class discussion and paricipation is necessary and usually more than 50{4a082faed443b016e84c6ea63012b481c58f64867aa2dc62fff66e22ad7dff6c} of you grade. The classes offered do not tend to be very experimental or interesting, so pick a major that will hold you attention, the electives are lacking. PC has a large amount of requirements and religion takes up alot of them. Many people find the Catholic religion classes, which there are 2 semesters requirements for, boring and repetitive becuase many PC students come from atleast 4 years of previous Catholic education. The ethics core is also religiously based and there is a component of Civ that is religious. Civ is what PC is notorious for, a double credit class that meets 5 times a week for 2 years and focuses on the start of civilization to modern times, broken up into history, philosophy, literature and religion. While many complain about it, it was my favorite part of PC- it is lecture based 4 days out of the week and easy to coast through, it summarizes everything you have learned since elementary school and makes the transition to college easier, since only 4 classes are required a semester when Civ is taken.


Great teachers who care about students' success


All professors learn their students' name, except in DWC which is too large to know EVERYONE. Extra help is always offered and almost always extremely helpful. My favorite class has been Music Theory I and II, because the professor is hilarious as well as knowledgeable, allowing her class to be laid-back and have fun while still maintaining the syllabus' requirements and giving fair exams. Students are always in quiet lounges, the library and the chapel basement work area. There are plenty of places to study no matter whether you're the kind of student that needs absolute quiet in a secret place or a good study group. My favorite part of PC is the music department. I love almost all the professors - my voice teacher and I are close, and I love to chat with my theory professor and my advisor in the halls. I've found more than half of my friends at school in the music department. I relate to them so well and they're the greatest group of people.


I love the classes I took at PC. My favorite classes were Intermediate German, Music and Society, and Survey of British Literature. class participation is very common and students are competitive but not overly so. i think that it's not all that common for students to have intellectual conversations outside of class or outside of studying. i'm majoring in English and minoring in Music. I really wanted to minor in German as well but with all the requirements I don't think it's feasible. i think PC is geared toward leaning for its own sake but, at the same time, it gives a well-rounded education so students are well prepared for any job.


The professors at PC are very impressive. I am frequently reminded of the quality of the academic side of PC-institution. Most of them are personable and willing to meet with students outside of class.


Almost everyone of the professors at my school has known my name. My favorite class, well I have two. My African American Women seminar this semester was amazing. It was a discussion based class where we dealt with the issue of race in today's society, relating it to issues that have been dealt with for years. There were only like 10 kids and the class and I could discuss anything that was on my mind. I also really enjoyed my Logic class where my professor really made the topic interesting and easy to learn. My least favorite class probably had to be the Theology classes that we were required to take for the first two years of school. I would say that kids get their work done no matter what. There are some students who put a lot more time and energy into their work while others get by. I would say that I study a fair share but it also depends on the week because there are some weeks where I have much less work than others. It is important that you participate in class and there are many times where students have intellectual conversations outside of class. If we take interesting classes where there are issues that we feel like talking about, I would say that we discuss it with our roomates and our friends. I don't think that the students are that competitive but they do care about their grades. The most unique class that I've taken was probably the class that I mentioned before. My African American Women class was unique because it was a seminar where the student lead the class. We talked about the diversity issue on campus and got to discuss what is going on in the world today. My major is History. The department does a good job of communication to the people who are in the department. There are many talented professors who know a great deal of history. Outside of class, my professors will acknowledge me but as far as spending time with them, I personally don't see this happening. The academic requirements are a little unfair but you get them done. I wish there were more gen. ed classes that we could take and you weren't in competition with everyone to actually get into the classes. The registration system definitely needs some work. I think that PC education is absolutely geared at getting a job but is also geared at learning it for our own sake. It is a very good Liberal Arts school so you learn a lot of stuff, including what you are going to go into when you graduate.


Every single one of your professors knows you and your name. Even in DWC you are assigned one of the four professors to meet with once a week in a smaller seminar. Participation is counted in your final grade, and teachers will call on you if you don't speak up. If you skip class, you are expected to email the teacher and makeup the missed work on your own. Many classes have attendance policies. Students are studying 24/7. Even when kids go out- and they do very often- they get their work done before so they can really enjoy themselves. Students are not competitive with anyone but themselves. Everyone is a high achiever and expects to do well regardless of how other students do. The most unique class I've ever taken was a Religion & Magic anthropology class taught by a nun. The class studied Native American, Mexican, and Asian cultures and their beliefs. They class was interesting because it was not compared against the Christian religion or judged as right or wrong. PC's academic requirements are pretty over-the-top. Although you take DWC for 2 years you have additional lit, philosophy, and theology requirements. It is possible to test out of lit , though. It may seem overwhelming but it is manageable with careful planning. Although you are told you do not need to declare your major until Junior year, that is really inadvisable. I declared a Psychology major at the end of Freshman year and was advised to take classes over the summer in order to catch up. The administration does help, a little, in providing example four-year-plans for certain majors. Undeclared advising can be pretty bad. I got a computer science teacher for mine when I was interested in anything BUT that. Declaring as soon as possible has an advantage in getting better guidance in choosing courses, and getting to register for classes in advance. PC education is learning for it's own sake; the combination of faith & reason to find the truth. A friar told my class at orientation that they will challenge us to find reasons to back up our faith...and to develop faith in facts, not merely accept them.


The great thing about PC is how intimate the learning experience is. Teachers get to know you--well, you're not just a name on a roster. Most classes are built off of class participation, enriching each class. Students are very competitive, spend a lot of time studying and engage in intellectual conversation outside of the classroom. My major and department are quite small at PC (French and the Modern Language Department) so not only did I get to know my professors on a personal level, I was close with the entire department including the department chair!


Quality of academics depends on your field of study. There are GREAT teachers here, and there are horrible ones. Civ is a useful course, but there is way too much religion involved, particularly Catholicism. As a student at PC, expect to be treated like a 5 year old kindergartner. Lots of quizzes, frequent tests, a bunch of busy work, and even “attendance taking” at class. Not saying “no one should go to class” just saying that at 17-22, students should be MATURE enough to deal with the consequences of missing class on their own without someone taking attendance for them. Maturity and self actualization of the student is something that is frowned upon at PC. There are rules and you follow them, unless you have the gumption to convince someone otherwise. Expect a final exam in every class (the exam or paper option is usually nonexistent). That said, there are some very good programs here, but the overall position of the administration on making academics more “rigorous” has in fact failed to do so by instead incorporating more busy work. They are not more “rigorous” as they foster mere short term memorization rather than long term understanding, so they are rather “annoying.” Also the bookstore is a ripoff. They will sell you a book for $150, buy it back for $20, then resell it to someone else Used for $120. All in the name of more profit.


Academics at PC are are really great. The core curriculum is a very strong program that challenges students with all different strengths to think outside of their comfort area. For example, I am a math major and through my core classes I have had to study poetry and art which was quite difficult for me. So I can say that PC's core, especially the Development of Western Civilization program, has challenged nearly all students intellectually. In addition, the professors on campus are really encouraging students to challenged themselves. Professors not only get to know your name, but they get to know your interests. They want to be able to help you challenge yourself in new areas, while continuing to build your strengths.


All students are competitive in one form or another. Because its a competitive school, the students that attend are intellectual and capable of understanding the classes offered. The core requirements are demanding, espicially because of the 4 semesters of Western Civ that most people do not like. The teachers i have had so far are all great. The classes are small so they allow for one-on-one interactions with the teachers.


Overall, my experience with academics as PC has been overwhelmingly positive. Most professors are more than willing to accomodate and problems you have and really want you to take something away from their class, and not simply go through the motions. Many students gripe about the famous "DWC program"; however, if you approach the course with an open mind it's actually a great course, and the amount of knowledge you learn is pretty great. The core courses also get a lot of complaints, and I agree that there are too many, they're even talking about adding some more.


CIV!!! Your arch nemesis for your first 2 years and then your long lost security blanket after it's over.


The Development of Western Civilization course is mostly a waste of time. While it is nice for the whole campus to be well versed in philosophy and theology, this required 20 credit course is usually poorly taught and involves a cumbersome amount of reading. Certain teams of professors can make the course very rewarding, especially the honors teams. The rest of the classes are small, well-taught, and interesting, but be prepared to wait for the really good professors until your junior and senior years.


The majority of professors here are great and more than willing to help students, with the exception of a few but all schools have their bad professors. The entire CIV program is being redone because of the complaints about it so that should be fixed by 2012. I enjoy my classes here and I feel like I am getting a good education. The thing lacking is some sort of system for grading so that students who don't get the "easy" professors they wanted won't get hurt academically compared to the students that did. There is a problem with that concerning the various CIV teams, and also many of the different departments have professors that are more or less demanding than others in the same department, which makes it very difficult to judge a student's final grades.


Civ sucks if the program is so great why arent there any other colleges with it in the nation? just wondering, otherwise classes and teachers are fine


Academics are very strong at PC. Professors are very interested in those students who are interested in them. Least favorite class is DWC. Class participation is a must in almost all courses. Majority of the students here are extremely competitive regardless if they were "trashed" the night before, they will pull through for that grade. The education here is more geared to getting that right internship and/or job and then learning second.


Development of Western Civilization is tough but worthwhile. The class is rigorous but you feel very accomplished after completing two years and you know youre walking away with a great education.


I love my small classes. I'm the type of person that would never talk if I were in a 300 person lecture hall. I have really liked all my professors and have gotten to know all of them. They always learn our names and make an effort to give you any extra help you may need. It's hard to say how much students study because it really depends on the type of person you are and how much you care about your academics. Personally, I feel very lucky to be able to go to PC therefore I try very hard in school and put a lot of effort into my grades. My major is Elementary/Special Education. It is a great department. I have enjoyed all my classes and professors. My ed. professors have been very loving and caring and are fantastic role models for all of us teachers-to-be. As for DWC, first semester I didn't really like it, but second semester I grew to appreciate it and can walk away saying I cannot believe how much I learned! All of the knowledge I have gained from that class is so unique from any other college and truly defines what it means to get a higher education.


They need better teachers and new library. PC do not nor never have had intellectual conversations outside of class. There is nothing intellectual about the student body here at PC.

Lauren Migliacci

I think overall, my school year went 50/50. I had over a 4.06 coming into the college, and I have definelty tried as ahrd as I possibly could. Im undecided tso I took alot of courses in different areas of study so like some of my professors the epitome of a college teacher being terrible. And I also had some teachers who knew me, knew i worked hard etc. Its a crapshoot if the teacher like you,, but i think in that respect it would be the same at any college..You will always ahve good and bad teachers.


good quality


The professors you take typically strive to know your name, and so far in my experience here they succeed, usually within the first 6 classes (depending upon class size it can be as few as 2). Class participation depends upon the subject, whether or not the students are prepared, and even what time of day the class is. The best time of day for class participation is the middle of the day.


Academics are solid. The school is strong in the liberal arts.


Some professors know my name, but not all. Favorite classes are theology ones, they are great. Civ is OK, but not that great. Some kids are competitive in class. I am a philosophy/theology major. Both departments are relatively small, and the advising staff has been great. The academic requirements are fine I guess.


The classes are interesting and you learn a ton. The work is hard but it is not overwhelming. Civ can be annoying but for the most part you do actually get alot out of it. You can get a great overall education at Providence that will prepare you for lifelong learning.


One major problem with PC is the Academics. Now Providence makes a valiant effort at releasing students into the real world with a good insight on their future life, and the knowledge of where they came from. However they seem to have missed the boat on attaining this. Students are forced to balance a major and a multitude of isolated core classes along with 5 credit 4 semester Western Civilization class which is intended to guide a student to the next step. That just doesn’t make sense. Now I'm just a freshman but it seems very difficult to find a field of interest and fill all of that majors requirements while still balancing all these core classes, confused, me too. There is no blame on Providence because it’s not this great schools fault, but rather the system itself. The whole concept of education, business and personal growth need to be reevaluated entirely whether in a “Liberal Art, Undergraduate” Catholic college or not.


the development of western civ class that all students must take 5 days a week for 2 years is a joke. Most of the material taught in the class we already learned in high school. The course is a good idea, but it is executed very badly. It is a complete waste of time, considering you don't really need to put much effort into the class. The core requirements are also off. Being forced to take 2 theology courses seems unfair. Even though it is a catholic school, I don't think its right to force religion on students. Class sizes are very good, Usually about 18-24 in a normal class. Civ is the only lecture class.


Many old tenured teachers may steer freshman students away...once past entry level courses the professors are more professional and easier to learn from. Get ready to teach yourself your freshman year.


PC Acedemics will challenge you, there are some proffesors who will know your name, but there are others who wont care at all. The Western Civ program is a pain, seeing as you have to go to it everyday for freshman and sophomore year. The acedemic requirements are broad, and will expand your horizions.


Very strong academics with professors who take an active interest in your life. They want to know more than just academic stuff and really care about you. Can best be summed up by CIV. This is development of western civilization...two years, every day of the week. A pain, but everyone's taking it so not too bad. Some profs even give cell phone numbers. Registration is a bitch, but oh well, I don't know of any school that has it down perfectly. Challenging classes...


The Academics at PC are great. There are a fair share of awesome and horrible teachers at PC, you just have to know who to take. But there are so many terrific teachers that have a lasting impact on students. PC's academic requirements are ridiculous. There are so many core classes that it feels like high school all over again. First of all, there is the Development of Western Civilization (CIV), which meets five days a week for four semesters and covers the theology, philosophy, english, & history of the last 2000 years. Besides that, students are required to take 1 Social Science, 2 Science, 2 Philosophy, 2 Theology, & 1 Fine Arts. It's a blast! (If you liked high school....)