Skidmore College Top Questions

What are the academics like at your school?

Minh

Professors remember your name if you interact with them regularly. My most favorite classes are in the business and economics dept. while least favorite one was with music dept. Students do not study hard at least in business dept. Class participation is common. Students sometime have intellectual conversations but in a relaxing way. Students are not competitive at all. The most unique class was Dance experience in which I learned how to dance Ballet twice a week. I major in Business and we have a strong dept. here. I do spend time w/ professors outside of class and have good bonding with them. Academic requirements was too broad and not deep enough, in another word, too liberal. Both.

Aidan

The academics are rigorous and can be difficult. That being said, the professors are absolutely wonderful. Every single one of them is more than willing to meet with students outside of class. Every single professor I have had at Skidmore so far has known me by name. Student-professor relationships were very important to me when looking at colleges, and I could not be more thrilled with how these interactions work at Skidmore.

Ryan

It's the perfect mix of structure and freedom. I constantly feel pressure to do well and to work hard but at the same time I never feel drowned in work or that I cant go to my professor if i have any issues.

Reg

The academics are great here. We dont have many co-departmental opportunities, but other than that there are great departments here. Sociology, for example has great professors in professors Scarce, Brueggemann, Walzer and Berhide.

Leo

Skidmore students benefit from small class sizes and professors teaching every class, and are able to engage in one on one research opportunities with faculty that dont often happen on a undergraduate level. I have enjoyed being challenged by my classes at Skidmore and working closely with faculty- these experiences have certainly shaped my academic growth.

Dan

With the student professor ratio being 9:1, students get plenty of attention from professors. Students are competitive with themselves, not each other- which fosters a healthy academic environment for college students. The requirements are broad, allowing students to take classes they want rather than classes they might not enjoy.

Ben

As I mentioned above professors have a vested interest in your success and care about you even if you are not in their major. I spend time every week with professors not discussing any specific assignment. The academic requirements allow for a wide array of classes to be taken, while the school encourages certain areas of study with many choices for specific classes. Skidmore's education creates a great balance of learning to learn and preparation for the reality that we as students need to get jobs and earn a living after graduation.

Brendan

I came here to pursue Engineering, but quickly found an interest in the science of the human body, "Health & Exercise Sciences," and discovered the unique Management and Business program that is geared to prepare you to present and learn any particular discipline in which you would like to concentrate your studies. Most students out of the Exercise Sciences major end up going to grad school for the likes of PA, NP, PT, or medical school. The "Pre-Med" program here is second to none, and I have many friends in the major who took the five extra classes required to pursue this path. Most students out of the Business major end up either working in whatever city they prefer (usually NYC or Boston), and our alumni and parents of students are more than willing to help with the process. Many of these students pursue graduate studies.

Andrew

Perhaps the most worthwhile thing at Skidmore. Class work usually ranges from two to six hours a night, depending on what type of classes and extracurriculars you're facing. Class sizes are very small (my largest class was 30, and that felt big), and many professors exercise an attendance policy. My most stringent policy was loss of credit if I missed more than two classes. A lot of professors also require class participation, so you can't come to class asleep or hungover- you'll probably fail. The English department is one of the most solid departments in the school. There many accomplished writers who consistently publish in popular journals, newspapers, and genres. Professors are extremely accessible. This is definitely a reason to come to Skidmore. I recently was invited over to dinner at my professors house with a group of my friends- we ended up talking for hours.

jane

professors know me, classes are easy, most students tend to avoid intelligent conversations outside of class.

Megan

Professors know all our names. Have to participate. Great I feel like I make a difference in class, not just one of many. Professors are very personable. Challenging, encourages you to work hard.

Kate

The academics are great! The business program is really something else, in terms of real life preparation. I also took classes in art, history and English. I loved my art class, and my history class was my favorite so far, but I was a little disappointed by my English classes. I was not so fond of my professors and the way that they taught and therefore I was less eager to learn and absorb what they "taught" in their classes.

Alex

Professors usually remember my name because most classes are small and all students participate on a regular basis. I do not talk to professors outside of class unless I have a specific question and concern, but they are very open to talking with their students outside of class time and all professors have specific office hours for this purpose. Intellectual converations outside of class seem to be common because students are taking classes that they are genuinely intererested in. The psychology major has a reputation of being one of the easier majors because it has less requirements, but students are always encouraged to take numerous classes beyond the requirements anyways. I completely switched my academic track after my frehsman year, and I felt somewhat behind because the classes I had taken did not count towards any future requirements for my major. I would have planned better if I had realized how carefully you have to plan your courses starting freshman year.

Michael

I love the academic environment. The small classes allow students to understand what is going on in the classroom. The teachers get to know you (if you want) and if you have difficulties with a class, it is easy to go up to a teacher and set up meetings to see how to fix any problems a student might have in the clas or just to seek some help. Students are competitive, but on a friendly level. We are curious how our friends do, but no one is competing to do better that someone else. Skidmore's academic requirements are fair. I have no art skills, but managed to get that requirement out of the way and still managed a good grade in the class (unlike my brother who goes to a different school). The education at Skidmore is geared toward what ythe student wants. If a student's goal is to get a job, then he/she can set up his major that will be favorable to the job market, while on the other hand, stydents can set up their major to learn for its own sake without worrying about the job market

laura

I love that the professors know everyones names! It makes them more approachable. I've only had one big class where the teacher didn't really call us by our names; sure enough, I felt uncomfortable going in for extra help or sometimes even raising my hand to ask a question.

Chris

I know all of my professors by name and I have most of their numbers in my cell phone. My advisor Bob Turner is one of the most passionate teachers I have ever had. He has encouraged me to take difficult courses that will challenge me to work and think in ways I wouldn't otherwise. Students are highly competitive and carry intellectual conversations after class. That being said, there is always an easy way to skate by and take the easiest classes possible for the best grades. However, the academic community at Skidmore discourages this and looks down upon it. The education at Skidmore is geared to making students think intellectually and creatively, not towards helping them find a job.

Jess

Professors know your name in the smaller classes or inside your major. Students study A LOT. Class participation is huge and vital to the type of classes offered at Skidmore. My most unique and favorite class was Bharata Natyam, which is classical India dance, taught in classical Indian tradition - may sound like an odd class, but it filled very fast every semester when it was offered. During Senior year, I spent a good deal of time with professors outside of class on my senior project, and I am in close contact with my favorite professor who retired, and we e-mail all the time.

Krista

I am a Women's Studies/Business double major, which gives me a unique perspective. As a business major, I am exposed to talented professionals, who have chosen to incorporate teaching into their careers. As a women's studies major, I am exposed to multi-faceted scholars and activists. Professors know my name, and I feel comfortable saying "Hi" to them outside of the classroom. Class participation is not only common, it is often incorporated into the final grade. Unfortunately, I am not the most vocal member of most of my classes, but I enjoy visiting my professors during their office hours to discuss questions and my interest in the subject area.

Rebecca

professors are great

Ben

Tough! The classes level of difficulty depends on what teachers you get but for the most part the work load is heavy. For the English and History classes dont bullshit. You can get away with that a little more with the business classes.

Melinda

small, personal classes...intelligent but not too competitive

Michelle

The education at Skidmore is absolutely geared toward learning for its own sake. While everyone must declare a major, the essence of the liberal arts program is to give students the opportunity to explore a variety of different topics so they acquire vast amounts of knowledge, regardless of whether they pursue all of the fields they study. Most classes at Skidmore are about 17 students... so yes, professors know your name and class participation is required. I find that students study when necessary but it is not the sort of campus that has people in the library 24/7 .. or even more than they need to be there. The kids are not competitive and even if they are, their motivation is geared toward personal sucess - not cheating someone else in order to get in the lead. There are a lot of requirements at Skidmore, but that is really what a liberal arts education is all about. Once again, Skidmore is trying to stress the importance of global knowledge - not career based.

Hannah

I know my professors and call many by their first names. I like the small classes that allow me to participate in class. My classes are intellectually stimulating and I like the community atmosphere. Saratoga is a cool little college town with some cool places to chill. Environmental Studies is my major and I love it. We always get to go into the field and my professors are really easy going but invested in their work. I live that my major mixes the science and the political and cultural aspects of the environment. Skidmore has a few requirements which have helped me to expand my knowledge base. I had to take a non-western class and I took Religious Traditions of India which turned out to be amazing.

Phil

I came from a good public school, I have no problem with the classes, if you fail I think you pretty much earned that F. With that said you can also make it harder for you with honors forum and other things.

Ashley

Psycholgy is a great major and has excellent professors as do most of the departments. I loved my abnormal psych class and recommend it to all. There aren't many professors per department which can either work to your benefit or demise. Students aren't all that competitive and class participation is encouraged and often required. I'd say Indian dance and Japanese History were my two most unique classes. The education is much more geared towards learning in itself until senior year when people do theses. I have had many conversations about more than just class with professors.

Tate

The academics at Skidmore are challenging and rewarding. Nothing is "spoonfed" and professors definitely expect a lot. There is a decent amount of homework but classes are small and personal. Professors are always there during office hours and most are willing and able to make time for students with questions and extra needs. I love Skidmore's academics because they are interdisciplinary and most classes relate to various topics of study. I am an art history major but have taken classes that I have loved in physics, sociology, art, English, and so on. All academics are applied to real life and there are always field trips, fourth credit hours, and hands on learning involved.

Mel

The academics at Skidmore is spectacular. The staff truly cares about the students and want for the students to succeed both in classes and in the future. Though some are quite aged, this only leads to a greater learning experience with highly experienced individuals. Class discussions are rigorous, attendance is mandatory in nearly all classes, but they are worth it, for the amount of education that will be learned.

Emma

You wouldn’t think that this school is as difficult academically as it is. Everyone is really good at what they are good at, which makes it a lot more difficult to try things that you aren’t necessarily good at. That being said I don’t see the library packed every Friday and Saturday night.

Michael

Small class size, easy to have one on one interaction with your teachers for meetings, extra help, etc.

Rachel

Your professors know you. You will probably go to their houses on multiple occasions. It's impossible to hide in the back because, well, there is no back. The average class size is about 16, unless the class is a lecture like Intro to Psych or Management & Business 107. Students are academically driven, but not as much as in many other schools. There's a lot of competition, but outside projects take priority...shows, presentations, practical use of knowledge...over GPAs.

Emma

Skidmore academics are hard and competitive, but they aren't cut-throat - no one is going to be battling to get the few As that the teacher gives out because if you deserve an A, you'll get one. The classes are small and very personal (my English class only have 6 people in it!) and you really get to know the professors. The professors are great and very helpful - if you are the kind of person who can take the steps to start something, the professors will do everything they can do help you out. I love the class variety at Skidmore. Not only are there many more choices than you could ever pick, a lot of the classes blend two or more subjects together (like history and religion, or biology and neuroscience). I've taken classes on comic books, personal essays, history of a particular region and more, and that was only in my first year of school.

Stephanie

The academic life at Skidmore is very challenging, especially because many have coined us as an "up and coming" school (we're a "new ivy"). The professors and students take class seriously and all students are expected to excel, and the courses are mainly writing-intensive as opposed to exam oriented. The class sizes are small, probably falling in the range of 20-25 kids per class; therefore, professors will get to know you on a personal level which is definately a positive attribute of Skidmore and definately fosters a better learning environment. You are expected to attend classes (plus they'll notice if you're not there) and to do all your work. The classes, for me at least, have been really interesting overall and I've enjoying most of the courses I've taken. There are a bunch of requirements you have to take, but in my opinion its for the best, it allows you to dapple in each department and discipline before declaring a major. Plus, it makes you more well-rounded and it's what a liberal arts education is supposed to be.

Alexandra

Each department at Skidmore is very different. Make sure that you look into what you want to come to Skidmore for. The English, Theater, Psych, and Art/Art History are tops. Think again if you are a business major, don't waste your time with bad teachers and appathetic students. Classes are generally very small with attentive teachers. There is an open door policy with very flexible office hours for almost all professors. There are practically no T.A.s it is all direct interactions with professors. If you take the time it is very easy to cultivate longstanding relationships with teachers.

Casey

We are a very serious campus when it come to academics. Professors are very approachable and understanding if you want to discuss soemthing with them. There are college requirements at Skidmore, but some people end up declarring their major based of one of the classes they were required to take. I am a Theater Dance interdisciplanary major which allows me to combine my two interests and many other deaprtments do this as well to try and accomadate everyone and their interests.

Alicia

Skidmore is all about class participation, class dynamic, and the student teacher relationship. All of my professors know my name and I feel more than comfortable talking to them about class, my future at Skidmore, and really anything that is concerning me regarding the school or my academics. The requirements seem like a pain at times, but the purpose of a liberal arts school is to get a good foundation education, which is definitely a strength here.

Lindsey

I love to participate in class. in fact, there is nothing i love more than to raise my hand and give my opinion on whatever matters we are discussing in class. I have found that that type of class dynamic has been widely accepted and practiced all over campus. Even in my larger classes (lecture-size) my professor are always answering my questions, which is increibly helpful. I would say that overall, Skidmore academics are average-above average. i am not really what you would categorize a "book smart" person, In fact a i get by with about a 3.6 GPA by the semester. I work pretty hard but I definitely make time for myself outside of school a priority. I would say that I can do well in my classes with an average amount of work that needs to be put into it. I have a pretty close relationship with both of my advisors. I have house-sat for them and driven their cars, and while it is a little awkward at first, my professors on the whole are some of my best friends at the college. I would say the education at SKidmore is given and geared towards getting a job, but at the same time i feel like the majority of my professors put pressure on me to do better and learn more so I can go on to graduate school and then get a good job. I definitely feel like graduate is the new "college" of the century.

Vick

People need to get their acts together and read for the class. You picked it out of the Registrar , now do the freaking work.

Torry

the professors get to know you because of the small classes and its not unusual to get the same professor twice. most of them know what there doing. there's a broad range of classes to choose from. my favorite classes has been power and agiliy its a gym class, gym is not a requirement so don't worry if your unathletic, its a class i would recommend to anyone. the small numbers and common goals help you really feel like a team. this school has a broad range of liberal arts requirements so if your looking for a technical school this school is not for you. because of the liberal arts requirements students end up finding different things they like and most have double majors or multiple minors. the professors treat you like adults and equals. they don't baby you or annoy you to get work done, if you done want to do it thats your desicion. you can have intellectual conversations with some of the students. if you want to do well your going to have to study though. you can get by with barely passing grades if to don't study though.

Abbie

I like pretty much all the professors at skidmore. they really want you to do well in their class and they are all really passionate about what they teach. my favorite class was exercise testing and prescription. it was hands on and soooo interesting and fun, and the professor was amazing. Everyone participates in class-because the classes are so small, you cant get away with not talking. My major is AMAZING. the exercise science department has so many knowledgeable teachers, and they have so much to offer. There are a ton of classes offered in my major that are really interesting that i cannot wait to take. I dont really hang out with my professors out of class, except for when we have the ex. sci party after each semester. I find all of my professors really approachable. I think skidmore's academic requirements are alright--except some classes that i really want to take (especially in the art department) get filled by seniors who are getting rid of their last requirements--i find that very annoying.

Emmy

Some programs have proven to be much easier than others. However majors such as Art and the Sciences are extrememly involved and selective as well as difficult. Every so often you get an over achiever but in general people are just like you, trying to get through. The academic requirements are ridiculous and take time away from you major and what you really want to do.

Sara

The academics are pretty good, some classes are harder than others. Most professors are really invested in their students and what they do in the classroom. I hate how you have to take all these intro level courses to get into the higher levels, but I hear that Skidmore is actually a lot more free with their requirements than other schools. Although they pride themselves on small class sizes, Skidmore has over enrolled the past couple of years and classes are getting a lot bigger, and that SUCKS.

Blake

There are great classes in Social Sciences. However, people are not as liberal as they think.

Paul

The academics at Skidmore are great for many programs, such as the social sciences, the arts, and pre-med; however, due to the size of the school, some of the more specific programs are incomplete or non-existent. The faculty that I have meet have been great. All of my professors have been smart, fun, and interesting. I am a physics major, which is pretty uncommon at Skidmore, but this allows those who are in the field to really take advantage of what the college offers. The college requires all students to take certain courses to fulfill requirements across various academic disciplines. This enhances the liberal arts experience and exposes students to fields they normally wouldn't consider.

ari

all my professors know my name. they might not know much about my as a person, but they definetly would recognize me outside of class and say hi to me. most classes there is a lot of class participation. its more unusual to have a boring quiet class where no one talks. i would say people definetley have intelligent convos outside of class. even though i am a religion major, i hate the religion department here. they offer the 4 same boring classes every semester and none of them really sound that interesting to me. the core requirement classes really arent that bad. theyre just basic classes that arent that hard or annoying to take. its actually kinda cool having an art requirement cuz most schools dont have that. im really glad i had the oppurtunity to take a college art class (all my friends from home also think its really cool)

Ryan

I know personally all my professors; I am required to meet with them and they are contactually obligated to be available for meeting with students.

Dawson

I know all of my professor's names and they know mine. I do a lot of studying, especially now that I am taking upper level classes. Class participation is very common. You get a liberal arts education, which is great and helps you become a more well rounded person. Students are somewhat competitive, but not too much so it is a problem. It just pushes you to get better grades.

Alex

Students don't seem to be that competitive. I like the psychology and history classes for the most part (my major and minor, respectively). The teachers are generally good. I approve of the school's emphasis on writing. You have to write papers in most classes. Don't say "most unique." A class is either unique or it's not unique. You sound stupid when you say "most unique." Skidmore's academic requirements are good for the most part. The college encourages a liberal arts education by requiring students to take classes in many different disciplines that teach students any different kinds of thinking and that provide them with many different kinds of knowledge. Students must take art, foreign language, humanities, writing, math, natural science, non-western classes. (I'm probably forgetting a few of the requirements.) I think all of the requirements are legit except for the art requirement. This school's too fucking artsy. Let the hippies take art; let everyone else steer clear of it if they choose to do so.

Melissa

Challenging - but not too competative. A lot of tender love and care by the professors here. They'll coddle you all you need. Majors are easy to complete. A lot of performing and exhibition opportunities for artists.

Stephanie

All of my professors know my name. My favorite class at skidmore has been an environmental policy class. My least favorite has been ecology. Students study a lot junior and senior year. I would say freshman and sophomore year are easier than junior and senior year. Class participation is a must in small classes and the intellectual conversations carry from the classroom to outside of the class. My major is environmental studies. I have spent time with professors outside of class mostly for extra help.

Erin

The small class sizes are incredible, you really do get to know your professors, I have never meet a more devoted set of professionals, they really are here for the students, and for thier love of teaching. This school gets the name "artsy" but all of our academic departments are stronge. I am a double major in exercise science and biochemistry with a minor in dance and I am premed, and have had an amazing exeperience in my individual departments. We don't have any graduate students or TA's so undergrads get all of the research oportunities which is an incredible experience to have.

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