People always told me that since I was going to a big school I would never have small classes or have to write papers. Well they were sorely mistaken. Although I do have classes with 350 people, I also have classes with only 20 people and both types of classes have taken attendance. And this past semester I wrote at least 4 research papers. Classes are hard, but most teachers are fair and if you work hard, you can get a good grade. I'm an allied health major and the P.A. schools in Texas are always half full of Aggies. (Which is really really good!) Also, most profs are really willing to work with you outside of class if you need help.
In response to 'do professors know your name?' My answer is yes, if you made an effort. An important caveat, merely attending class won't cut it at A&M you have to make time to talk to professors if you want the good recommendations. On the other hand, most of the Chemistry faculty were very generous with time and loved talking with students either during office hours and appointments. Another wonderful opportunity for students is participating in undergraduate research. You not only get to be in charge of your learning, you get a birds eye view on what scientific life is like even if you have no desire to remain in academia.
Some professors know your name if you make it a point for them to get to know you. Favorite class is History 106 (after the Civil War). Least favorite is Organic Chemistry and Molecular Cell Biology. Some students study more than others. It really depends on where you want to go in life. Class participation is not very common in my science classes because not many people actually understand what is going on. TAMU academic requirements are really good. Leads to more competition and brings the best out of the students. My education will lead me to a good job.
The academics of the engineering department are of the highest standards in Texas and in the US. I am a Nuclear Engineering major. The requirements of the academics here are challenging but extremely rewarding with opportunity and experience. My department leans more towards research in the various fields of nuclear engineering. It's well known that Texas A&M is a more research-oriented school, however, we have recently been recognized as one the top 5 school in the nation that companies come to in order to find future employees.
I am a Special Education major here at A&M so things are a little bit different for me. When I was in my basic freshman classes the classes were typically large lecture hall type classes. I had to actually apply to get into the "professional stages" of my major where only 30 people a semester are accepted. After I was accepted into the professional stages, the classes became a lot smaller. My professors know my classmates and I all by name and there has been only a couple issues throughout the couple years.
Some do, most dont. Favorite class was American Military History. Least favorite was Finance. I rarely study, most put in good hours. Not really. Depends on who you're talking to. Most students are fairly competitive. I do not spend much time with professors outside of class, but i have before. I feel for the size school we are, the requirements are good, but they're not great. The education is geared toward getting a job, it's pushed a lot.
It is a tough road, especially for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) students. However, you will come out of it very prepared and ready to tackle the challenges of the workforce. The classes are not exponentially hard, it is possible. If you are dedicated and motivated enough you should have no problem! It is enough of a challenge to have your degree mean something to you when you graduate.
Many classes are large and require a bit of work. It is all manageable and doable if you go to class, pay attention and take care of business. Almost all professors are more than willing to talk to you about their class, and many bigger classes also have a student lead study group that meets regularly during the week. and many
The classes are huge until you get into more major-specific classes. Also, most of the large classes are challenging so attending class and studying are necessary. However, graduating with a degree from Texas A&M is a big deal, so all the hard work will pay off later.
The academics of A&M are generally amazing. However I have found that most profs that teach freshman and sophmore classes really don't care about their students education. the smaller classes I have found teachers that care more and are willing to help students more.