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Texas A & M University-College Station

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What are the academics like at your school?

Many of my professors did know my name. I made the effort to get to know many of them. Fave class: Theories of Persuasion (Dr. Quick) He was a fantastic guy. So easy-going and a great teacher, made it interesting. Least Fave Class: a management class I was required to take (Dr. Buenger was the prof). She was a horrible professor, picked favorites, honestly I dreaded that class. Class participation is pretty common in smaller classes (15-50) but classes that are over 300 people, its definitely harder. People still discuss things, though, and contribute. Sometimes there are intellectual conversations outside of class. Sometimes not. Most students are competitive but not to the point of rudeness. I think they just want to succeed. Most would feel great about others succeeding too. Most unique class: Bible as Literature. It was so much discussion and open-minded people. It was really great. My major: Marketing. Best major on campus. The classes were great. The professors were fantastic. My two minors were also great. English Dept and Communication Dept were great. I spent time with professors by whom I was employed. I also would see them at cultural events or university functions. One on one time was more between grad students and professors. I think the Academic Requirements are good. There is a variety in the core curriculum classes. I also like that degree plans are becoming more personal. The Aggie Network is how one gets a job. However, I think learning (in and out of the classroom) is so important. A&M is a great place to get both kinds of learning.

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The professors in smaller classes know your name, but in the big classes, forget it. My most favorite class has been regarding historic preservation in architecture. My least favorite was chemistry where I was just a face in a crowd of several hundred. Studying depends on the course. Some are spoon-fed, while others are certainly not. Most are not. Class participation is not as common as I'd like, and I feel like there is a stupid high school mentality that ostracizes those who do participate and relegates them to nerddom. There are some intellectual conversations outside of class but they often degenerate into talk of religion or getting drunk. I don't feel a strong competitive vibe from any of my classmates, but really more of an attitude of teamwork. The most unique class I've taken was again, the one about historic preservation in architecture. My major is Construction Science in the Department of Architecture. There have only been a couple of profs who have offered their free time to their students. The academic requirements at TAMU are straight forward and obtainable. I feel that my education is an overview of what's needed to get and keep a job. The real learning doesn't start until grad school.

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Some professors will learn your name, while other won't even attempt; it really depends on the size of the class. Classes are generally either immensely huge (300-ish students) or relatively small (30-40 students). My favorite classes are the interactive ones, where copying notes and simply listening to boring lectures day after day isn't the norm. Students study almost every day, usually taking breaks Thursday, Friday or Saturday nights to get out and have some fun. Class participation is common, as are intellectual conversations outside of class, though the intellectual conversations are usually begun with a purpose, such as understanding subject matter for a final, or finishing homework. Students aren't agressively competitve, and it's common to see students working or discussing in groups to help each other out. The most unique classes I have taken revolve around languages, like Latin or Spanish, or random subjects, such as Herbology or Music. I have not spent time with professors outside of class, though I have heard of T.A.'s occasionally meeting with students. The academic requirements are pretty basic and they seem to reflect a student's need to procure a legitimate job post-college.

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In the smaller courses (such as senior level seminar courses), the professors are very familiar with you. As can be expected when you sit in a class with some 200-300 students it is almost impossible for the prof to know who you are. The time spent studying depends on the course load and the content of the courses that the student is enrolled. There are many kinds of conversations held outside of class...some are actually intelligent while some are down-right stupid. The students are competitive in the more distinct fields of engineering, science, and government. I am a History major and the most unique classes that I took dealt with the foreign policy ideals and beliefs of the US. The era of isolationism in the US between WWI and the Great Depression were extremely enlightening and the prof. teaching the class was superb. I have spent time with the professors outside of class and some have been really interesting to talk to. TAMU academic requirements are similar to those of other big-name schools and at times, some of the requirements are more strict than one would expect, but that only adds to the credibility of this fine institution.

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A lot of freshman classes are huge - 250 students or so. But as you get further in your major, the classes become smaller and the professors learn your name. Even in the huge classes, though, if you make an effort (i.e. meet with your professor during office hours, ask intelligent questions, and work hard) the professors will bend over backwards a lot of times to help. Of course there are some professors who aren't very helpful, but the majority are teaching because they like it, and if you show an interest, they'll meet you half way. Many things vary from class to class, like: Is class participation common? Do you spend time with professors outside of class? Sometimes yes, sometimes no. It really depends on the subject matter of the class and on the professor. And the same goes with individual students: Some are really competitive, others aren't. Some don't have to study much, and some spend hours each day studying. The studying also depends on what type of class you're taking. Some students have intellectual discussions outside of class, and others don't

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competition is very high in the architecture program. some students get into the program as freshman right out of high school. when this gets full all other students that want to be in architecture get pushed to general studies. they then have to send a resume and portfolio of artwork to the department just to apply to get in. i know students who got rejected several times before making it in. by that time they had all their core classes taken care of, but needed so many architecture classes they couldnt take before being part of the program that it took them 5 or more years to graduate. i was lucky to get in after one portfolio and resume review. The students in the classes are very competitive with each other to see who can be the best. because not just anyone can get into the program every student thinks they are better than everyone else. with large classes most of the time, it is easy to get lost in the crowd and just become a number to the teachers.

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I started off as a general studies student. Most people take all the basics their first year, maybe year and a half, depending on how many hours you come in with. These classes are usually pretty large. Over my past 4 years, I have sat in classes of almost 300, to a class of 8. So it depends, and in the larger classes, the prof didn't know my name as I didn't take the time to speak to him, but yes I did kind of feel "like a number". But it is such a large campus and I wasn't expecting the intro classes to be small. Once you get more major-specific classes, the class size is smaller and the class participation is more conversational like within your class. Most of my business/marketing professors were amazing and I loved them. Texas A&M is a leading academic school, and there are so many opportunities, we don't just have one good college of... to go to. There are great programs in business, engineering, agriculture, medical sciences, etc.

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Yes they know my name; I'm loud and opinionated. Sociology is great, but I don't like math because the prof can't speak english. I don't know what other studnents do because almost all I do is study until six when I go out with friends. I go to every class because I feel like if I'm not diligent now I never will be. My friends and I talk about everything from politics to sociology to what's for dinner. Its not small enough to be competitive. We don't know anyone to compete against. The most unique class I've taken was Air Force leadership lab. Business is an interesting department, but I want to switch my major because its not a marketable skill. I don't spend time with professors out of class. I have no other school to compare its academic requirement to so I cannot tell you if it is fair. That is a very good question. As a lower classmen its more for learning for the sake of learning. It depends on the class I guess.

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The academics here definitely reflect a "big school" feel. My intro business and engineering lectures had 100+ people in them. I've only had one class ever with less that 40. I personally don't mind though. You aren't swimming in an ocean. Professors are very encouraging and constantly ask for people to see them in office hours. it's almost as if no one goes to talk to them. I've made a point to meet my professors individually and it has made a huge impact. They know my name, are willing to help with problems, and slightly more lenient in general. While the academic culture is very different in each college, no one ever seems to be competing for grades. We're not here to one up each-other, we all want to help each-other out and succeed together. This is very much a reflection of the Aggie Honor Code and the values instilled to help out your fellow Aggies. Not cheating, but realizing that everyone is struggling together.

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All professors are very helpful and willing to get to know you. They all want you to succeed. Most say "Howdy!" to get students attention at the beginning of class. Students study a little throughout the week, but mainly before exam days. Texam A&M holds high standards for all of its students, and you have to really earn your Aggie ring. The education is geared at learning and some classes are more specifically for getting a job in the real world. Students can be very competitive, but mainly against making themselves better, and not against other students. In all of my classes so far, you can always find classmates willing to help and form study groups with. A&M is also very strict about academic dishonesty; on every test you will usually have to sign the Aggie Honor Code: "An Aggie does not lie, cheat, or steal, nor tolerate those that do." Earning a degree from A&M is a huge accomplishment.

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