Seattle University Top Questions

What are the academics like at your school?

Juliana

Very challenging, but professors will definitely help you out if you have any questions.

MIMBOUABE

Seattle University is a very competitive college and for my major, it is very competitive. However, there are great teachers and advisers who go beyond their duty to ensure that all students who need help are got it. Class participation is commonly encouraged and my favorite part is lab where I can put into application what I read in books.

Maggie

They are fairly challenging. We have great professors who will not only met with students to address any class issues but are also excited to talk to students about future opportunities, majors, current events and life in general. Seattle U has an amazing faculty network of support. Last Quarter I took a really interesting course on Human Rights Leadership. The professor was awesome and extremely knowledge about the greater field of development. I have also really enjoyed getting to know professors in the Social Work Department, although I have only taken one course in my major. Seattle U puts a big empathize on the Core. The educational philosophy is on the “whole person” and is a pretty good mix of liberal and professional education.

Robin

One of the best things about SU is the small class size, although that's growing year by year which is unfortunate. You will most likely be familiar with every tenured professor in your department, and for the Comm dept, you'll probably take a class taught by your advisor. If you like your advisor/professors, it's a pretty sweet arrangement. Otherwise, sorry. The best class I ever took at SU was Human Rights Leadership with Therese Caouette. She is so involved in human rights issues and it really comes out in class material. Whenever possible, take classes for adjunct professors--they'll most likely be more connected to the "real world." I was in the new Strategic Communications major at SU, which was an interesting experience. The curriculum hadn't really been set so the classes I took were scattered, but the ones I have taken were really useful and beneficial. Utilize your professors when looking for a job--they have large and extremely useful networks!

Victoria

All of my professors throughout my time at SU knew me by name, and for the most part, took out time for me both in office hours as well as in going over my work. My conversations with other students have been inspirational. For the most part, they have given me hope for the future. As much as my classes within my major (psychology) have been incredible, two of my core classes are standouts: Philosophy 210 with Sven Arvidson, and History 121 with Father Strickland. Both have made tremendous impact on my life that I am eternally grateful for. They are examples of the educating the whole person.

Mari

All my professors knew my name this last year. i didn't have a favorite class this year, I was taking all core reqs or general biology or general chemistry; not much fun there. But now that I'm done with the general classes I can get onto the ones I actually want to take like Anatomy. Students study all the time and if they're not, chances are they should be. All I did freshman year was study, with a little procrastination and a little partying thrown in there. Class participation is usually required, teachers grade on it. But it's no different than high school. Some students have intellectual conversations, again same as high school. The science dept is really tough, the classes can be pretty difficult, but everybody wants to help you and see you do well. Education at Seattle U will get you a job right out of college and you will have a great deal of knowledge.

Arman

Professors know your name. There are a lot of studious people at SU. There's a big focus on class participation. It is quite common to spend time with professors outside of class. I've gone out to lunch with two of mine. The academics help achieve whatever you want to achieve. They're really good at helping you find jobs too. It's a social justice oriented school. Just wanted to mention.

Owen

Perfect class sizes, some wonderful professors.

Ryan

The greatest thing about the academics at Seattle U is that the class sizes are small, so you'll usually have a class with no more than 30 students (there are rare exceptions, like science labs, but you'll usually have around 20-30 students per class), which makes it much easier to approach your professor - and classmates - for help. The teachers (for the most part) really seem to know what there doing, and even if I don't particularly like a class - or a teacher - it's all laid out there for you, so you'll know how much is expected of you and when everything is. Also, the professors are all really nice people at heart and many of them will gladly give their own time to their students. While for the most part Seattle's academics are good, there are negatives. One big one is the school's focus away from them. With a new initiative to go division one, their shifting their focus away from academics (which is how it has always been) and more towards sports, which comes with budget cuts. The department hit the hardest has been the Modern Language department, which is nearly non-existent now. As someone who wants to pursue languages as a career, there isn't much to offer academically (although there are many resources throughout the city, as it is one of the most multicultural in America), with only 2 languages being able to study for 4 years while the rest are left at only two. This is true for the rest of the academic departments: their focuses are very narrow. Another negative (but a lot of students and faculty see it as a positive) is the CORE courses you have to take. CORE courses are courses from a variety of disciplines that are supposed to make you a well rounded student. For Arts and Sciences students (which is the biggest school on campus), you will spend half of your academic career on CORE courses alone, which can really hamper students who would rather double major or focus entirely on what THEY want to student, no study what the University wants them to.

Devin

My first year at Seattle Unviersity and every quarter I have been asked by my parents and other students at other schools, how big are your classes? Seattle U is a small school and none of my classes have been over 32 per class. Most of my classes have been 25 to 20 students per class because there is a expectation of class participation. We are on the Quarter system, which is like running a marathon for 11 weeks. Studying is part of college, but really depends on the classes and major your in. The most unique thing about Seattle U's academics is the Core and the requirements of the Core. Every student has to take english, math, art, and philosophy. Philosophy is not a subject that many have encountered before, but it is a learning experience and whether you love it or hate it, make sure you get a very good professor because that is the key in whether you love the subject or not.

kristy

The academics at seattleu are really great. class sizes are often small so you get more of a one on one with the professor. class participation is often required in the class but the classes are very easy to participate in. the professors are very approachable. they have office hours but will often make time to meet with you if there is a problem.

Olivia

professors know your name, and take a genuine interest in how well you are doing. Classes are indeed small, I had one with two students in it. This, in my opinion, is too much. I'd rather have larger classes than one where if two students miss the same day class is cancelled. Class participation is common. Classes can be rigorous, the Spanish department is weak. The chemistry department is overly meticulous. SU requires too much philosophy and theology core classes, its ridiculous. SU is all about developing "the whole person" which is good, but takes it too far with the religious classes. Students study, at least for engineering, 20 hours a week. Students are not competitive.

Alyssa

Class sizes are relatively small at SU and so it is not unusual for professors to get to know their students' names by the end of the quarter. My favorite class at Seattle U was a Renaissance philosophy and theology course that was supplemented by three weeks spent in Italy during the summer. Another favorite class was called Intro to E-commerce and Information Systems. It taught me html coding and web authoring as well as the importance of technology in the business world. Underclassmen as well as Nursing students and Engineering/Science students study more than other students. But as you get older, students often get internships and work experience so studying happens in a very different way. The education at Seattle is geared toward educating the whole person. The core classes cover a range of classes from math and science to philosophy and theology. But as a business student, I feel that my education has helped me learn how to prepare for getting a job and starting a successful career. Because Seattle U. is a Jesuit University, many of the professors are priests. So you will often see students sitting or walking with priests and talking about class over lunch.

Anne-Marie

Seattle's biggest perk is the academics in my mind. It has the best creative writing bachelor's program that I've come across in all of my college searching and comparison. It is also rather small, which gives you a much easier time getting around it, and fosters a sense of community. You can get to know people easily because of this situation, and the small class sizes, typically less than 30 people, and usually only around 20. The professors will actually know your name and expect you to participate in classes. Participation is almost always 10% of the grade or more. With these small classes, you really can talk to people and study outside class. In the dorms you're usually grouped with other people at your class level, so you can often have class together and then work together on school, and have discussions. Some professors are more open than others to outside discussion, but in general, you can have really good relationships with professors. Granted, not every professor is alike. You won't like all of them and they won't all be friends with you. But many will.

Nicole

The academics at Seattle U are different than the typical because of its small size. All of my professors know my name and encourage students to come in during their office hours to discuss assignments or any issue you are having. Seattle University students have academic conversations outside of class but especially talk a lot about politics or social justice issues. The Alber's School of Business at Seattle University is well known and respected in the area. Part of the reason I chose this university is because of the academic integrity of the institution.

Lizzie

As a nursing major, I couldn't be at a better school. The program is very competitive and microbiology and anatomy/physiology tends to weed out a lot of nursing majors. If you make it however, I've heard you can pretty much work at any hospital you want. We also have a good law program. Your teachers will always know your name, which on one hand can be annoying because they demand participation most of the time, but it also motivates you to actually go to class because they will definitely notice if you don't. SU provides a liberal arts education, meaning you will probably end up taking some classes you do not have any interest in, but you will be learning for the sake of learning. I was surprised first quarter by how much my worldview changed.

Alex

Academics are great. We have good programs, knowledgable professors who are also passionate. It is always good to be weary though, because i have almost not had a class where my prof is trying to convince me of their beliefs. It is easy to be in a situation where you feel alone in class, but you can always just tell your prof to be more unbiased, or try to stimulate thoughts from a different perspective.

Kelly

Overall, most students are pretty intelligent and really want to be here. People study hard during the week, but still know how to have fun, especially on weekends. I think all my professors have learned my name. The largest class I've had is Econ with 35, and the smallest was improvisation with 10. That was a unique class. Since it was so small, we really bonded. We learned all kinds of improv techniques, from theatre improv to dance and "contact" improv, which involved lots of movement, so it was a good break from lecture classes. We also went to performances outside of class, and our professor came with us. My philosophy class also took a couple of optional class trips outside of class. I feel like people are smart but not cocky. Even the athletes have some of the highest GPA averages out of other area colleges.

Jenna

The academics are great. Small class sizes makes it really easy to get to know your teacher and the teachers are always available for office hours. The classes are all themed which makes class discussions really interesting. For example, I took a writing course that was themed "Terrorism: The Balance Between Freedom and Security." This class really opened my eyes to current events and with the election right around the corner really got me involved with politics. Even though it was a writing course, I learned so much about the world and learned a lot about writing whilst writing about interesting topics. For my final paper I wrote a letter to the next President of the United States arguing why they should shut down Guantanamo Bay and through extensive research and proper argumentation, I felt like it was a valid argument. The teachers also like to spend time outside of class to see a movie or a play to experience the topic in the real world. The teachers are dedicated to educating the whole person and so they really incorporate all subjects into each class so that you're constantly being challenged, which is good.

Ginger

All the humanities classes are really interesting, Professors like Curtis and Madsen are institutions, known for a combination of shocking pop culture references and tough but fair grading. Students are not competitive, they're really helpful and laidback. Class participation varies

Elizabeth

Hands down, Seattle University is the best school in the Pacific Northwest. Classes are small (this quarter I'm taking classes with 14, 18, and 12 student in each class). You rarely see classes with more than 25 students. Professors quickly learn your name, and you'll get to know the professors in your department quite well. Seattle U is a competitive school, where most students excel at their students. That means we study, a lot. We talk "smart talk" with each other. While you will hear about Friday night parties in casual conversations, you'll also hear about Descartes' Giant and Einstein's theory of relativity. We're smart, and we're proud of it.

Ryan

SU is a smaller sized school and class sizes are very intimate. This is very dependant onyour major. For example my communications major has 45 students in it. I know all of my teachers by their first name. They offer great one on one help and also stimulate great active learning among peer groups. The best thing abotu the professors at SU is often you can forge a good relationship with many of them that can help you out in the long run, for example using them as a refference or even networking. Many prof's have great professional experience and share it with students. Getting good grades at SU is really not all that hard, I felt at times like i did more work in High School. Nice thing about knowing all of your Prof's is that you can easily ask for extesions on work. Most gradign is pretty subjective from my experience and teachers have been rather generous as long as you put your best foot forward. While most of SU is focused around a well rounded education, many new majors are sprouting up which emphasize work experience and include mandatory internships to prepare grads for the work right out of school.

Dale

I don't think I've personally been in a class with more than 25 students, most of my classes average around 20. The teachers know your name and pay attention to how your doing in respect to the material. My favorite classes have been my Humanities classes. One thing I love about them is that instead of reading out of one textbook we work out of 5-8 different books (some fiction, some art, some historical non-fiction). I've heard that this is a common practice outside of the Humanities program as well. The majority of the students here love sharing what they've learned in class with other students, especially from other majors. Besides lunch-table discussions of this nature, Residence Halls and student organizations such as SEAC host discussions on everything from sexuality to current events throughout the year. Seattle University is definately a liberal arts university in that it encourages students to learn for its own sake and to gain some sort of knowledge or insight into a wide range of subjects, not just those which pertain to one's major. The University designed its core to ensure that students have this experience. Nevertheless, from what I've heard the school actively involves itself in aiding students in finding and obtaining apprenticeships, work-study positions, etc.

Matt

Classes are very small, so discussion is really common. Much of that discussion spills over into everyday life, but not in an obnoxious way. The most frequent complaint is lack of variety in classes due to the size of the school, particularly languages.

Allie

Seattle U is mostly about academics. The class sizes are small, so you get to know your teacher well, and they get to know you. Also, because we're so small, there is plenty of oppertunity to talk with professors about the class. In the discussion classes (theology, philosophy, english, history, etc...) there is plenty of discussion and oppertunity for discussion. The amount of homework given is usually pretty comparable to credits earned and level of class. For the 100 levels, there's about an hour for each hour of class, if not less. For 300-400 levels, it's at least 2 hours homework per one hour of class. But even if it's hard to accomplish all the homework, the teachers are usually very understanding and willing to help to get you back on track, or even a bit ahead. There are plenty of help facilities around campus, like a math center, a writing center, and tutors. I feel like at the moment I'm working to get a background in education, but also to start building a foundation for future careers.

Haley

All my professors know me by name. My favorite class was US history last quarter, my professor was awesome!!! The class was interesting and discussion was thought provoking and challenging of assumptions I had of US history. Seattle students have intellectual discussions all the time, especially political ones, with the upcoming heated election.

Casey

Class sizes are generally small and pretty intimate. Students however, do a lot of their intellectual discussion outside the classroom. As a Psychology student, I've been fairly pleased with the quality of the classes in my major and the importance placed on qualitative rather than quantitative study. It's also important to note that all learning on campus generally has a social justice tie to it. Since we are a university that prides itself on diversity, social justice and empowering leaders for a just and humane world, many of the conversations in the classrooms and even in the residence halls are infused with these notions. Students aren't too competitive, generally academic success is defined by the individual rather than a general standard. Professors genuinely take an interest in their students and their academic success and learning is both geared to practical job-seeking and learning for enrichment purposes.

Bonnie

Professors know your name most of the time and are very willing to help. This means you should probably come to class. This also means that a lot of classes grade based on class participation. You'll be taking a lot of core classes no matter what your major. You'll be in 3 years of philosophy, along with religion, sociology, english, etc. If you get good teachers you'll get a lot out of these classes. If you don't care, then you can find some really easy teachers and just get through them.

Jesse

The class sizes are small and students get to know their professors well. It's a great educational experience as they are available to help you improve your academic skills on a personal basis. Some of the teachers are great--if you meet their challenge, they will raise you to the next level in your studies. Some are not so great--check ratemyprofessor.com to see. Great teachers are available. The courses can be either easy or rigorous depending on the instructor and the course itself. Some teachers lecture, some do seminar format, and the worst leave you hanging. Once again, the school is small enough to where you can find out what to take and who to take it from by talking to fellow students. If you find the right crowd, you can explore your intellectual interests outside of class. If you find the wrong crowd, you may be stuck reading shitty poetry in yuppie cafes with psuedo-intellectuals who rebelled from the mainstream after the mainstream gave them "B"s. The psychology department is one of the most unique in the country and I'm very happy to get to be a part of it. So far, the chemistry portion of the pre-med track has not been as good as my AP high school class. Depending on your major (practical v. artsy), getting a job won't be too difficult.

Chris

Professors know my name, but I stand out like a sore thumb. Kids are really smart, good academics.

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