Texas A & M University-College Station Top Questions

What are the academics like at your school?

Stephanie

Academics are very tough here especially in the corps. Everyone always strives for excellence! It's pretty tough getting into this school, so you'd see my point in how much they want you to be academically successful.

David

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.

rohit

They are hard and challenging but that makes the class more interesting and easier to pay attention.

Bryan

Despite the rigorous work (especially freshman year, which I'm in right now), the professors helps us actually learn something. This is rare in most high schools across the nation. So take advantage of what Aggieland offers from its academia.

Riyal

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Ashley

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.

Brandon

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.

Brandon

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.

Roy

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

Colb

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.

Nicole

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.

Ryan

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.

Britney

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.

difficult in subjects you might not be great at, but there's help available and if you care you'll be ok.

aggie

gig 'em aggies

Alex

I won't lie to you, classes at A&M are hard. They want the best, but they are willing to help. There is no reason to fail a class when so much tutoring, supplimental instruction, and interaction in the classroom is all available to you. Get to know your TA in the big classes, and you will certainly have some large classes. Get to know you professor in the classes that are required for your major. Not only will they help you with the material, but they really want to see you succeed in life, so they will bend over backwards to help you elsewhere. Like I said, everyone here is so welcoming, and willing to help. I suggest you meet a friend in every class. Sit next to them, exchange phone numbers or friend each other on Facebook, because if you miss a class you can copy their notes, or you guys could study together. I have met some of my best friends this way!

Tori

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.

Alex

Personally I careless about school tradition, I really care about tuitions. I was very dispointted about how this university treated their students. The way I think about what universities should do is that they should give good quality education to their students. Universities shouldn't be a institution which only care about money. The A&M which I believe turn into the school only cares about money and not students. First of all, I was disappointed about quatilies of professors. I was transfered from the Blinn college and I've met with good professors. I learned so much stuff from them. However, here in A&M, I have met with profesor who doesn't know how to teach. Some professsors are goog but some are bad. Maybe this is a bigger institution so this is the reason. Maybe it is true. However, I expect this universtiy at least should try to improve quality of those profesor. Some them only care about their research and doesn't have time for students. what I think about most unfair of all about this university is that all full-time students force to pay 15 hours tuitions. If students take more than 15 hours, they only have to pay for 15 hours. However, if students take less than that they still have to pay for 15 hours. Why are they doing this? They said they want students to graduate early that's the reson they are doing this. What a ridiculus reason it is. If they really want students to graduate early, why don't they just say, students have to pay for 12 hours and if students take more than 12 hours the fees are still same as 12 hours. That is understandable. Like I said they care about money more than students. They force students to take more classes than before and they what us to graduate early. I don't see any other reason than they simply wants to make more money. I thought the univeristy is the place where students are learn more stuff and become a person who would contrabute to this socity. I thought this place is a sacred and nothing to do with making money from students. I was disappointed and I guess i was wrong.

Sophie

I absolutely love my classes. Some are more difficult than others, but they're all very interesting. Most Professors really want to see you succeed so they help out in any way possible.

Kristine

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.

Phil

A&M academics are career training as well as learning. Almost all classes will outline careers and learning through the semester. There are lots of career training courses available, with opportunities to gain certifications in many fields.

Katelyn

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.

Eric

We're a quality school with high academic standards. This means classes can be challenging and frustrating, but they can also be rewarding. We have several programs which are ranked among the best in the nation, but it is not a liberal arts school.

Katie

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

Megan

Beginning classes are very large, but, if you make an effort to get to know a professor, they'll make the same effort towards you. In my experience, science classes are a killer. The most unique class I've taken is History of Rock Music, it was very entertaining. I feel the education requirements at Texas A&M are very reasonable and provide you to have another interest other than your major. I think the education at the university is geared toward getting a job AND learning for its own sake.

Lauren

Okay so classes are big so i would suggest using pickaprof.com to find the easiest prof your first year because you dont want to be in a class that is hard...i made that mistake. academics are awesome and you feel like ur getting a very good education!!

Amie

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.

Aliesha

Academics here are fairly rigourous. I can't believe how easy I had it in highschool. But that's what you get when you come to such a prestigious school, such as this university. Professors truly care about your education, but you have to show them that you care too. Professors know your name if you take the time to get to know them on a personal level in their office hours. Students are highly competitive here. It's what makes academics such a huge deal here

Kristen

I am currently a kinesiology major aiming to become a physical therapist. This particular department has been very helpful in assisting me in achieving my goals and setting a plan for my future. Core classes have been my least favorite because they are very impersonal. There are more than 300 people in most of the core science or math classes because almost everyone has to take them. In these classes, professors do not get the opportunity to meet students unless the student approaches them and maintains contact with them throughout the semester. Once you get into upper level classes that are more major specific, the classes become more interactive, and the professors are more likely to remember your name and face. My favorite class so far has been a kinesiology class required for all kinesiology majors. It was not a regular PE class as most would think. It combined every aspect of physical fitness (cardio, stength, flexibility, agility, etc), and it contained a solid lecture base as well. This class forced me to push myself to reach my goals. Getting an A in that class is very difficult because the professor wants to you work towards improvement throughout the semester. It was great reflecting on my progress at the end of the semester. I accomplished things I never thought I could do. Although I did not get an A (granted I was very close), I still felt like I had accomplished so much more than just earning a grade. It seems like most professors at A&M want you to succeed, and they want you to improve. Most of my classes have been based on improving throughout the semester. The professors want you to leave your college career feeling ready for the real world, and that is exactly what they do.

Jessica

The english department is one of the smallest on campus. There are only about 600 students as english majors, but this way we all get to know each other. It is like a close knit family of sorts!

AJ

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.

ross

Name - in my upper levels they do. favorite - 2 of them, hort 201 with reed, greatest prof ever, and mgmt 466 with carr, sarcastic and awesome. least - any polisci class, so boring. study - you can never find a spot to park at wcl, so i guess a lot. participation - some students talk too much. intellectual - my friends do; talk about politics, business, stocks, classes, also video games. competitive - very.

Torry

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.

Alex

My major professors know my name and maybe some others depending on the size of the class. my favorite class would be in poultry class and least favorite is either stat or genetics. i study a few hours a week. class participation really depends on the professor. i would think that we are all competitive but we are always willing to help too. poultry science is the best and the profs are great. i do spend time outside of class with the profs.

Lex

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.

Roxanna

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.

Julianne

I think that my professors all genuinely care about the students and want to do what they can to help them.

Brett

I never really got to know my professors because the classes were fairly large.

Melissa

Most of the time the classes are really large but once you get into the small classes the professors know your name. A lot of the times professors will remember you if you happen to take more than one class with them. If you miss class because you were sick, most of the time they've noticed that you were gone. My major was history and the classes that I took within the department were really interesting. There weren't any classes that I came away from and felt like I hadn't learned anything that I didn't know to start with. I even had some classes where I thought I knew everything and then I got into the class and it changed the way that I thought because there was so much that I didn't know. In some of my classes, we were learning things that you learn in high school and some of the historical concepts that they teach you in high school aren't really the truth. For me the most unique class that I took would have to I can't pick just one class there were so many that were great classes to take. It's just one of those where you look at the title and it makes you want to take the class. I've taken History of Building Technolgy, Life & Literature of the South, The Old South, History of American Seapower, there are just so many different options that you really can't take every class that you want to or you'd be here forever. I think that the academic requirements are pretty good. I think that the new emphasis on the writing requirement is great for the future.

Katelyn

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.

Jesse

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.

Parker

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.

Charlie

this is a tough school, but, you will be one smart dude when you get out of here...your basic classes are huge (300+) students. but now that i'm in upper level, there is anywhere from 10-30 students in my classes now.

Rebecca

Class sizes at A&M are dependant on what class you take. Upper level classes are generally small, thus letting you have the chance to get to know your professor and other students. I personally have had amazing professors and met some wonderful people from classes alone. Being an English major at a university that is not known for its Liberal Arts college is interesting. The classes are wonderful because students and professors want to be there learning and discussing what we have read. My Medeval Literature professor used to be a child actor in a famous movie, however, he didn't like to discuss it very much. And it turns out that he knows my mom as well! College Station has this small town feel, and just happens to be a slightly large city. I believe that the education of students is geared at understanding the material and gaining something from the class. My Shakespeare professor told us after the first paper that he was more concerned about how we finish up in the class, how our writing has grown rather than how we are graded.

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