With a 15 to 1 student, teacher ratio, you will not get away with not knowing your professor by the end of the semester. The general classes (such as general psychology, economics and humanities) are usually larger and easier classes, but that is because every student has to take them. Once you complete those classes, you start to work on your major specific classes. Major specific classes tend to be smaller classes, have the same or similar teachers and most of the same students. Personally, I was an undecided major for longer than what is recommended, so I took classes of all different majors. My favorite classes were the art classes, from graphic design to drawing. I enjoy the amount of work that the projects involve (which ranges from 2-10+ hours on a signal project). Since I am a media arts major I have experienced the smaller major; I have the same teachers for different classes which allows you to get comfortable with your professor. Although it is nice having similar teachers and classmates I do wish students thought more about their work outside of class. No, students at RMU do not have intellectual conversations, mostly they debate the actions in the most recent Pittsburgh game. Students at RMU are focused about getting the work done and finishing their education. Many of the students do the minimum of work. But overall the small classes forces you to attend class and partake in the lessons, which will be more beneficial than a lecture in a gargantuan lecture hall.
RMU is the perfect academia in my opinion. The professors have all been very kind and supportive and I feel that I have made personal friendships with many of them. My least favorite classes are my hardest classes; the teachers may be great but math is still math. Some students don't study at all and some spend 8 hours a day in their rooms or the library, it really depends on you. The class size is perfect, 30-40 for the general requirements and typically 12-20 in major-specific classes resulting in great interaction between the teacher and student and time for questions being answered. I am an Actuarial Science major and RMU is in the top 10 schools in the nation for the major. Dr. Hudak was an actuary for seven years prior to coming to RMU and he has completely revamped the program into a career builder. Overall, this is an excellent college to learn at because the elective requirements allow you to learn more within or outside of your major while the degree programs are excellently tailored to each job's workplace requirements.
Class sizes are small, even in some of the more general classes. Professors (even ones I haven't had) know my name, or at least recognize my face around campus. One complaint from students is that there are a lot of part-time instructors, but I haven't personally had any trouble with having a part-time professor. I like how RMU sets up classes on an online "checksheet" so students can easily see what classes they've taken and still need to take. Depending on the class/major, I would say RMU is easier than most schools, with a smaller workload (exception: the communication skills classes) and lots of opportunity for tutoring and help outside the classroom if needed.
Once again, unless you plan on being an actuary (whose latest results show that actuarial science majors have 0% unemployment in America) you might want to be somewhat worried. I am personally worried about the credentials of this school. If you are looking for a guaranteed job around Pittsburgh then come to RMU. However I am someone who would like to get a job somewhere that isn't western Pennsylvania and I am somewhat worried about my degree stacking up to others.
As a private university, academics tend to be the number one priority. This does not mean that other things are not important. Robert Morris is not a school that you can get away with not going to class or not participating in class. Our largest classroom seats 60 some students. All the teachers will know your name.
All of the professors know my name. It is a very student-oriented university