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University of California-Riverside

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I am a part of CHASS, which is short of College of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences. As an upperclassmen who is pursuing a Creative Writing degree, a majority of my creative writing professors know my name since most of my upper-division classes have no more than twenty students. At a lower-division level, it is more likely for your teaching assistant (TA) to know your name more than your professor. This makes sense since a usually TA-instructed discussion class has about 20-30 students whereas a professor-instructed lecture has about 150+. However, if you really make the effort to introduce yourself to your professor during the first week of class and participate in lecture regularly, they'll learn your name soon enough. My favorite class so far was Entomology 10- History of Insects. This was the first class where my science and math skills (or lack thereof) did not have to be put to the test and I was able to enjoy a required science breadth requirement. The class was interactive and very informative not only because the professor was interesting enough to motivate me to come to class every day, but because our Entomology department is one of the stronger departments at UCR. The amount that students study really depend on what they're studying for. I myself rarely have to study because of my major. However, I have teammates who are biochemistry majors or psychology majors who will student for hours nonstop so that they can do well on their midterms. Despite all the studying they have to do, I have never heard of them complain about being left in the dust with the material they have learned. In fact, many of them talk about the availability of their TA's and the study sessions that are held outside class hours just so the students will have extra help before exams. If that fails, UCR has a student learning center where students can schedule appointments with tutors who specialize in the classes that students are having a difficult time in. I love my major, plain and simple. The class sizes are small so there is more one on one time with the professors who are all published authors and are almost always working on a new story. I feel blessed to be in the presence of seasoned writers who are willing to share their experiences with beginning writers. I don't usually spend time with professors after class mostly because of my schedule with sports and classes. However, on the rare occasions that I needed extra assistance with my stories, my professors were ready and willing to help. I think that the school's academic requirements are fair and that it's very possible to complete them in four years. The education at this school is geared towards a job because not only am I gaining the writing experience I need in order to pursue my career as a journalist, but my professors also refer me to potential employers who are looking for students that have learned what I am currently learning at UCR.

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I am really proud of the academics at this school so far. This was my first quarter, and all of my professors were great. They all knew my name because I'm one of those students who always raises their hand in class to ask a question or to make a comment. I'm always participating because I take my education serious and I really want to make the best out of my experience here. My favorite class this quarter was my Environmentalism course. I learned so much just in those ten weeks than I've learned my entire high school career. I couldn't believe how oblivious I was to what was happening in the environment around me. I learned how to be open and receptive of different arguments when it comes to the many opinions about the ecological crisis happening today. My professor was very engaging and her words were always very clear and loud. She was a great professor, hands down. Students in my resident hall study a lot. They're always in the study lounges or computer labs. The most unique class I've taken would have to be my Creative Writing course. It really opened my eyes as a writer and I've learned things that I thought I was already aware of but I actually wasn't. It's really helped me enhance my writing skills. My major is Creative Writing because I am an aspiring song writer. I'm proud of my major. Writing is one of my many talents and I am always willing to learn new things and better my craft. I definitely spend time with all of my professors after class. I'm always in their office hours asking questions or getting help. I spent the most time in my English Professor's office this quarter. I was always asking her questions about my essays and getting clarity on the things that I didn't understand. The school's academic requirements are very practical. I like them because it allows students to change their major if they want to do so. For example, say a student comes to this school with the intention of becoming a Business major, but because of the acadmeic requirements he/she has to take one of the courses offered in the Fine Arts department and decides to take an acting class. That student might fall in love with that class and realize he/she would much rather major in Theatre. It provides students with the opportunity to make their own academic decisions and try new things. I believe that the education at this school is honestly geared towards learning for its own sake. Of course the material students learn here will help them get a job, but I don't think that is UCR's main objective. I believe education is truly valued here, and the courses they off here prove that it's not just about getting a job.

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Because of the huge class sizes, it's hard for professors to know your name unless you go and introduce yourself. You will find this to be especially true in introductory classes, which are required by nearly all majors. This is what makes a professor's office hours - time they specifically set out to interact with students - so crucial. As you advance further in your major, you begin to take specialized, smaller classes. These upper-division classes will also be more enjoyable, because they will be focused on topics that you (presumably) are interested in. Different professors will have different styles of teaching, so it's important to learn how to accommodate. Professors will, in general, be willing to talk to you. If you continue interacting with them, it's possible to build a relationship that will last beyond just one class. Graduate students sometimes teach courses as well, but don't forget that letters of recommendation are written by professors, not students. Student studying time will vary - it's said that for every one hour in class, two-four hours should be spent studying. This is often not the case. My favorite class has been an Honors Creative Writing course. Because it was an Honors course, the class consisted of no more than 12 students. We sat with our desks in a circle, and engaged in discussion about topics that truly interested me. Some of the best learning experiences you will have will come from outside the classroom, but academic curiosity can only help your GPA. Attitude about academics will depend on the students you interact with - you will find intense competition (as well as intense group studying) with those pursuing medical or graduate school. I've taken classes that have been taught merely to fulfill requirements, and those classes have not been fulfilling. Other courses, those that have a professor who cares about teaching students about concepts that go beyond what will go into a resume, have been far more satisfactory. Unfortunately, the advising for the science and creative writing department seems to care less about maximizing student experience and more about getting students to graduate on time. That being said, the professors for both departments have been, in general, passionate about what they teach.

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The STEM subjects are what UCR is the best in. The professors, if they see you a lot, will take the effort to know your name. As a computer science major, with each passing year, I get more comfortable with the faculty. Half of my professors and TAs know that I have test anxiety. More than three have actually taken the time to send me a long email, with more than two paragraphs, trying to help me with my testing anxiety. And my grades improved after that. It isn't hard to find caring professors if you apply yourself. Visit their office hours. Get to know them. If you just want to pass with the bare minimum, don't expect them to care about you so much. As an engineering major, students tend to study a lot. There is an excellent study atmosphere. There aren't a lot of things to distract you from studying besides video games. At UCR, students are very cooperative and NOT competitive. In fact, so much so, that the CS department has ruled "direct collaboration with programming assignments" as cheating to encourage students to come up with their own unique solutions instead of working with their classmates. The academic requirements for engineering are rigorous. It also takes a lot of creativity. Curves might be given for subjects and areas that are known to be especially challenging but don't count on it. The CS/CE department definitely doesn't "hand out degrees". You have to earn it, and it is hard. It will require dedication and sacrifice. Most engineering majors drop out of the university or change majors to either humanities, business, or sciences to escape the requirements. If you are not dedicated to being an engineer, they will weed you out. But the rewards are great. The education is definitely leaned toward getting you a job. Within 6 months of graduating, 9 out of 10 CS students get jobs. The other students either go to grad school or take a year off before entering the job market. So, if you get a degree from here, you will get a job so long as you don't forget everything you learned.

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Most courses are rather small. Even the lectures will have about 300 at most.. In those situations, professors may not know your name. But I HIGHLY recommend you take the extra half hour every 2 weeks to attend office hours.. It is CRUCIAL to befriend your professors/TA.. not only for help on your schoolwork.. but also if you apply to grad school, or need letter of Recs.. you need that relationship. My favorite class was randomly chosen my first quarter of college "Cultural Anthropology" - Everybody take it!!!! It's what made me choose my major! My favorite professor of ALL TIME is Peter Graham.. he teaches Philosophy courses.. Do take a class from him even if that is not your major. Also, another GREAT professor/TA is.. I think her name is Alexa?? She teaches Religion courses.. absolutely the most eccentric, intelligent young individual you'll meet.. I feel that the academic requirements were fair. I think the education at UCR, or any university for that sakes.. is really geared at building a deeper foundation in individuals that wouldn't be earned elsewhere.. Depending on the career path one wishes to take.. it may or may not benefit them to have a college degree. But I can say from observation, 2 years out of college.. Those that have attended college, VS those that haven't.. regardless of their income now, are so much more open-minded and insightful than those that haven't (statistically speaking). It is due to the interactions students have in the dorms, living with, next to people they would have otherwise not befriended.. it's the random subjects you learn in courses you wouldn't have otherwise taken. In high school, they teach you basic a,b,c things that don't require much thinking/analyzing.. rather things to memorize, as in math, history, English.. But in college, one learns, analyzes and applies.

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There is a wide variety of academics at UCR, in almost area of expertise. It was quite fortunate for me that UCR happened to be one of the only UCs to offer Creative Writing as a major, and as an undergraduate and graduate student in that department, I can say with confidence that it is an amazing department with an amazing staff. It offers specialties in fiction, non-fiction, poetry and even journalism. The department is comprised of numerous well-acclaimed and brilliant writers. What I truly appreciated is that all of my professors know me by name and are very supportive of myself and of everyone in the program. They offer office hours in which we can visit them if we need their counsel. The majority of the professors at UCR are often well acquainted with their students. Classes are very enjoyable because each student participates in the class discussions. The most enjoyable and unique class I took at UCR was a fiction and film class with Andrew Winder. It was an incredibly enlightening course, especially with insight as intriguing as the well renowned Andrew Winer. I studied novels that were translated into films and I learned so much about craft, structure and theme. Students fill the libraries every week at UCR, and I would say that the majority of the students are studious and have intellectual conversations outside of class frequently. UCR is a highly academic campus and I think the academics are elevated as well as challenging, but still enjoyable all the same. In regards to the academic requirements, I feel that they could use some adjustments. Often times, more seminars were offered than workshops, while most of the requirements were workshops rather than seminars, so it was a bit challenging to fit the requirements into a framed amount of time. Other than that, they were tolerable and achievable.

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UC Riverside is made up of three colleges: College of Humanities and Social Sciences (CHASS), College of Natural and Agricultural Sciences (CNAS), and Bourns College of Engineering (BCOE). Each student chooses which major he or she would like to take and is then placed in the college that corresponds to major being taken. There are a total of 65 majors available for undergraduates who wish to attend UCR. Despite UC Riverside being known as the University of California Rejects, the university is surprisingly competitive. The professors can be thoroughly challenging, but usually in ways that develop a true understanding of the subject at hand. One of my favorite classes was "Biomedical Ethics" and involved discussing the difference between what is moral and immoral as well as what is ethical versus what is legal in medicine. What made this class so interesting was that your opinion was an integral part of class. Like many other classes on campus, "Biomedical Ethics" involved the use of clickers, remote control devices that allow the teacher to record student multiple choice answers. Every class the professor would ask for our opinions on controversial subjects, that would be answered anonymously, ranging from abortion to assisted suicide. At UCR the average class consists of three lectures comprised of 100-500 students as well as a discussion run by a teacher's assistant with 30 or less students. Lectures usually involve a professor going over lots of information. The discussions tend be where the teacher's assistant goes over the information in depth to better explain it to the students and answer any questions needed. If a student every has further questions or wants more clarification, every professor and teacher's assistant has office hours by which the student can get any additional assistance.

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As a Creative Writing major, I’m limited to a small score of professors, but from the breadth courses I’ve taken, I have had just as much good experience with others outside of my major. I took an Anthropology class as a G.E., and although the subject matter was not my favorite, I came to class everyday to hear the professor speak. He was passionate and inspirational, and opened my eyes to a more global perspective. He also had this to say: he chose to work at UCR, not because he had no other offers (he had plenty!), but because he admired us. He admired out spunk and our grit. He knew that with a reputation like UC “Rejects” that we were a hard-working student body. The rumors only spurned us on to achieve more and prove the world wrong. I will never forget what he said, and I have come to learn that he was not alone in that way of thinking. The professors I’ve had share the same vision: that we are just as good as any students from an Ivy League or private school. They thrive on the commonality that most of us come from under-privileged lifestyles, and in the Creative Writing department, that is a wellspring of inspiration. Everyone loves the stories of the under-dogs, the Cinderellas, and comedic heroes. Adversity breeds the best creativity, and the professors understand that. They listen and they teach with passion. You will very rarely find a professor who hated the class they were teaching. From a 300-seat lecture hall to the intimate workshop settings, they actually care. It’s why they teach, and from what I’ve heard, our “unique-ness” inspires them just as much as they inspire us: it's a cycle of creativity that can only move forward.

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There are professors who know my name because I do research and being in engineering allows me ample time to spend with professors since class sizes are generally smaller and the same professors teach the classes, so you get to know each other on a one-to-one basis. My favorite classes would probably be Organic Chemistry (CHEM112A-CHEM112C or the whole series), Biochemistry (BCH100), or Women's Studies (WMST100) because they were all classes I did well in and I think if you put enough effort in classes, you will reap what you sow. My least favorite classes would be Computer Science (CS010), Electrical Circuits (EE01A), and Physics (40A, 40C) because they are generally classes that required a lot of logical thinking and problem solving. Although I did okay in these classes, they were a struggle to get through and took a hit on my GPA quite hard. People may not think it, but with like-minded peers, I do tend to have many interesting, intellectually-stimulating conversations about various subjects ranging from politics to quantum theory to global poverty to pathology to health. Generally, students are not really competitive with each other but rather with themselves for the hard working types. Others who skip classes generally do not care much for competition either because they are brilliant or just want a passing grade and to have fun in college. I am in the Bioengineering Department, which I heard has only been established just recently (within a decade), so there are still improvements that could be made, but it is a great major! I feel like the classes are all geared towards learning for one's own sake and that is why I chose this major.

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Professor access is one of the coolest things there is at UCR most of them you can easily talk to and get feedback from, there are some lecturers but many are full bore professors with ongoing research which is nice to have in the classroom. Favorite classes at UCR have been philosophy as we have a very good department there and it is heavy on modern social theory-Rawls as the head of the department did his PhD at Harvard under Rawls. There are many chances to have intellectual conversations after class, but if you don't wanna have one there is still places for you, I like discussing the material and do so with friend in honors and PAD-my co-ed frat and it is quite nice, but I know those who just want a degree and just party so either way it is up to you. Competition is almost non-existent I cannot remember a class where I didn't have ample opportunity to study with others and get along fine. I would say it is a good atmosphere overall of working together. Academic requirements depend on department but there are many who get into the school who must take remedial classes and who stay quiet in the classrooms, but I usually ignore them and focus on the ones who speak as I do. Me department is History and it is ok but not bad, there are good professors but it has few strengths and low requirements, I would have changed it but went abroad for year and making it work would have been difficult. I minored in Philosophy but if I had the time and money I would have majored in that as I loved it. General requirements are extensive-bio, math, liberal arts-nearly a year of class for me, but more for some depending on CC and AP transfer units.

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