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Syracuse University

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What are the academics like at your school?

Professors make an effort to know each of their students’ names, and classes are usually small enough so that students can feel comfortable coming to professors with questions about class material. Class participation accounts for a significant portion of every SU class, so it is necessary for professors to know their students in order to accurately access their performance. Class attendance is mandatory, and more than 2 or 3 missed classes will result in at least a letter grade drop. Since classes are mandatory, students get to know and feel comfortable with their peers, and are able to have better class discussions. As far as my classes have gone, about half of my classes have been lecture-based, while the other half have been discussion based. A recent ethics class was almost completely led by intellectual discussions based on readings, and the professor only chimed in to pose a question or to quide the students back on track. I’m in the Renee Crown Honors Program at SU and would suggest applying to anyone who has the GPA and stamina to do so. Though it adds on a few additional class requirements, the courses offered are incredible. They are challenging, thought provoking and fun. I am taking an honors physics course right now called “Seeing Light,” and I get to learn about vision, colors and the philosophies of sight where the honors program provides strobe lights, prisms, and other fun optical illusion objects to make learning what I consider a droll subject interactive and fun. I mean, who doesn’t like to play with rainbows? The honors courses are taught by incredibly enthusiastic and compassionate professors and are composed of about 15 to 20 curious, but not overtly nerdy, students. As a magazine journalism and European history major, I am able to have both a vocational training experience and a general education. The Newhouse school is most certainly a school that is purely for students interested in snagging a career in communications. And if you are not interested in pursuing a career in at least one of the majors offered, stay away. From the get-go, the summer internship becomes the focal point. But a continuous stream of e-mail blasts from the Career Development Center will keep students on their toes and on the lookout for top-notch internship experiences. Newhouse continues to push the bar higher for students each year, and due to competitive acceptance rates, Newhouse students consider themselves campus elite. Students looking towards journalism will also be expected to create multi-media projects, stream video coverage and use the Web. Professors are experts in their fields, have great business contacts and applicable learning methods. Newhouse has been using the same formula for years, so that today’s professors are providing the same syllabi for present students. Whatever works! As far as European history goes, the professors are engaging and helpful. The work load is not unbearable, and the library database provides great primary sources. Each professor specializes in a particular time period, and sticks to it. Thus, I have had a couple professors several times already. Some professors are incredibly bias, however, and do not understand why a student does not possess the same passion for a particular time period. The TA’s are absolutely incredible within the history department. The TA’s are all graduate students, most of them working towards a PhD. They are well versed in the respective subjects and bend over backwards to make sure the students understand the class material.

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Academics at Syracuse are very highly regarded. My classes are very comfortable sized, with about 20 to 45 students which is enough that the teacher will learn your name and a little bit about your learning style or personality. I have had a few very large classes, up to about 180, but they were very basic-level classes that are required for all business students, and it was still easy to ask the professor personal questions. Class participation is very common, and is usually through the form of the professor asking questions, and usually it is enforced by participation points that count towards the final grade, which is really nice. Students definitely study during the day and in between of classes, and the library is always filled with people, but no so much that you can not get a seat or computer. Many students talk about academics outside of the classroom, and study sessions are a common thing when students have the same classes. I am in the Whitman School of Business which is very highly ranked in the nation, and I can see why. We are required to take many "general education" classes, which is great and makes you a more well-rounded student. Then you work your way into basic business classes, then begin to focus on your major(s). In Whitman it is very easy to double-major, and I believe that I am going to triple-major in Entrepreneurship and Emerging Enterprises, Marketing, and Accounting, and I can do that comfortably in four years. Whitman also has a required internship which means that they will work with you to make sure that you have an internship, and we have one of the best career services in the nation. They hold career fairs, workshops, mock interviews, and so many other events that will help you in the hunt for a career, and something is available basically every week. Whitman also has a community service requirement which is great and gets you involved and helping others, and an international requirement which can be filled by taking a world culture class of some sort, or by traveling abroad to one of many locations in the world. Financial aid from Syracuse is extended abroad, and many other scholarships are available, making studying in Italy or Hong Kong a great possibility! There is not one thing that I would change about the set up of academics at Whitman, it truly is my dream school!

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I've had classes ranging from 15 people to 200+. But in general, I've found class sizes to be very reasonable. Large lectures always have a smaller-size recitation that goes with them. I've liked the majority of my professors. Some have been bad - they don't teach the way I want to learn, or have a heavy foreign accent (here's to the math department), but in general the professors are very knowledgeable and reasonable people. I have yet to find one that is too focused on research to listen to a student talk/complain/question. Studying and being an academic is certainly expected among my peers, but it's something that's done on your own time and in addition to extra-curricular activities. If you're looking for an intense scholarly environment, this is not it. Which is not to say that Syracuse is a party school - it can be if you want it to be, but the vast majority of people place a high value on grades. The photography department at Newhouse is very good. The profs. have a wide range of experiences and we're working with the a lot of the latest and greatest gear. (As of this writing that means top of the line Nikons and Canons). Thanks to a partnership with Nikon (and recently Canon) this is likely to continue. Newhouse received several Nikon D3 and D300 bodies shortly after they became publicly available. Lens selection is very good too with a wide range of top-end glass. All of this of course is free for photo students to use. Newhouse also has phenomenal internship and career placement facilities. A lot of the professors are old industry insiders who can be of assistance as well. Maxwell, the polisci school has been educational. Classes have certainly taught be quite a bit about the field, and have been insightful for a new junkie like me.

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Professors do know my name. I took COM 107 with Dean Rubin, the ex-dean of the Newhouse school and he knew my name...all fall semester and then when I saw him in late April, he remembered exactly who I was. Professors in huge classes might not know your name, but it's likely that your TA will. Someone will know who you are. Favorite class: COM 107 (Rubin), SOM 122 (Wallin), ECN 203 (Evensky) Least favorite: GEO 155 (Bendix), Business Calc Class participation very common, students do have intellectual conversations out of class Students are competitive, but it's not like high school. I've seen individuals competing more against themselves than other students; it's not a really intense competitive atmosphere. Most unique class: REL 200 (Cavanagh) I'm a dual major in both Newhouse and Whitman. It's a challenge because my high school didn't offer AP classes when I was there, so I'm trying to complete 151 credits in 4 years whereas most other students only need to obtain 121. Thus, I'm taking 18/19 credit semesters and 9 credits this semester. At times I love Whitman and hate Newhouse, and at other times, I love Newhouse and hate Whitman. Either way, I know having a business major (even though my heart is in communications) will be an incredible asset- especially with the current state of the economy. I have spent time with professors outside of class, but only for academic reasons: I needed a letter of recommendation, I needed extra help, etc. I did see one of my professors in the dining hall once and we had a quick chat, but we don't hang out.

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Academics at SU are great. Professors are very aproachable and they offer flexible schedules to meet with students and get to know them personally. Some of my professors do know name especially in sections. It is a bit harder in large lectures but for the most part i try to develop a relationship with my professors and/or my TA's. My favorite class at the moment is Philosophy 363 Ethics in International Relations because it is a huge discussion lecture and the professor seems to enjoy the class. My least favorite class will have to be Honors Writing because it is just an extra load on all my classes. Even though i really liked my instructure and learned a lot , it was alot of pressure when one essay was worth 50% of my grade. Students are always studying you willl always see many people at the library, in the computer clusters and even in the quad when its warm. All students work hard because the level of competition is also high. There are many oportunities but only for those who are willing to work hard on their grades. The most unique class i have taken was LAS in was a Latin American Studies class that embodied gender, social classes, ethnicity, and sexual orientation. It was a class that was based on world realities. I think that the school's academic requirements are fair because they want to produce well rounded graduates. At SU there are always opportunities geared towards prospect employment and internships are always available. They do offer many oportunities, such as guest speakers, that are for our own learning sake.

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For myself, I believe that you can learn more teaching yourself than going to class and falling asleep in the lecture halls. That isn't the case for every class, but for the majority of mine, I'd rather get an extra couple hours of sleep than to waste my time struggling to stay awake for a Chemistry slideshow (especially when the professors give you the powerpoints online!). If you are taking a very popular class, such as psychology or general biology, you will have a large lecture class, along with a recitation class which is held once a week with a teaching assistant ("TA"). These recitations are lifesavers if you are not understanding something being taught or if you need an another way of picking up your falling grade; usually recitations are 10% of your overall grade which helps a lot if you can do well in them. I cannot say for other students whether or not they are competitive, but for myself, I live on the competition! I strive to do better than others because, in the end, this is a competition to graduate with the higher GPA and the better resume. I believe Syracuse's academic requirements are very fair and realistic. The different colleges in the University are very structured and ordered, helping you in every way to reach your goal and getting the degree you desire. The education at Cuse, depending on the major or program you are in, is geared towards what you need in order to get a very good job but to also broaden student's awareness of all the different things they can learn and get out of their college education.

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It depends on the class. I'm in Whitman, the professor's get to know your name. There are a few professors who think that they are the best person ever to live, so they don't care. Generally though if you are in whitman they know or at least try to get to know your name. A large lecture, no way will they know your name. My least favorite class is MAT 284. It's always taught by a non-english speaking professor. All math classes at SU are very tough and seem to be poorly taught simply because they are just entry level courses. The math professors who teach them are all specialized on such a higher level that they don't understand why they have to put the curve up so high in order for the majority to pass. There are a lot of smart people who go to SU as students. On the other hand, there are a lot of bratty, dumb girls who complain that's it's cold... As if that's what we need to hear... Everything at SU depends on the school you're in. I am a business student so I am in SOM. The professors are generally top grade and will try to get to know you. They all have some sort of experience or teach on the side. The requirements for SOM aren't ridiculous, but I really don't think I'll need to know calculus for the business world. I think that it really won't matter what I learn, but how I apply myself to the real world.

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I am a photography major in the school of Visual and Performing Arts, so I am on a first name basis with all of my teachers and I feel like they all know me very well. In my classes class participation is very common, and in most classes participation makes up part of your final grade. I have loved all of my classes except for the mandatory writing course. This was not a reflection on the teacher, but on the monotony of the subject matter. Since Syracuse is a big school, you will find all different types of people; people who spend all their time studying, people who only party, competitive kids, and apathetic kids, it all depends on who you choose to surround yourself with. The VPA department is very small, and an excellent learning environment . The other students in it do not tend to be competitive, instead they try to help you grow as an artist. The teachers push you, but are very supportive of your artwork and take a personal interest in you. Going into art school I found myself being skeptical about being able to find a good job after finishing with my BFA, however, after spending time with my professors and seeing how much I have grown as an artist, there is no doubt in my mind that I will be successful!

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I am still in the lower level classes so they are pretty big, but if you make the effort to get to know your professors and TA's it really makes a difference. As you get higher in course level, the classes get smaller, that's just the general rule of college. Syracuse is a big school and many people would be daunted by the class size, but I work well in a lecture setting where I can just sit and absorb information. Someone who needs to have a more active role in class to learn might not do well in the lectures. My favorite class was Historical Archaeology. The professor dressed up as Indiana Jones on the first day, including bull whip, and then told us that real archaeology is nothing like the movies. I have always loved archaeology and taking that class was really great because it exposed me to so much more information than I would have had time to research on my own as a hobby. I now have an independent study working in that professor's lab. It is very interesting to analyze all of the material found at a site all together. Surprising correlations can arise.

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In large lectures most professors do not know your name, in smaller classes the professor usually knows your name, and this is the same in recitation. My most favorite class had to be Sociology, It is a class of 30 and our professor gets really involved and its very interesting. My least favorite class was Calc 1 because our professor was terrible and didn't care about the students. Engineers do not necessarily need to study, but there is a lot of homework. Class participation is very common in most of my classes that are less than 30 people. People always have debates about their theories outside of the classroom. Students are very competitive in New House, but in LCSmith it is not as competitive but a lot of fun. As of now i am a Civil Engineer and i'm a freshmen. When i see my professors outside walking i usually walk along with them and have a nice conversation even if it doesn't relate to class. The academic requirements at Syracuse are reasonable and fair. The education at this school is geared towards getting a job.

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