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University of California-Riverside

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What are the academics like at your school?

Academics at UCR are what you make them. I know people who partied their way through college (Business Majors!) and I know students who studied all day 24/7 (pretty much anyone getting a BS). I, however, found a nice balance of work and play. As I mentioned earlier UCR has a large family feel to it, kind of like the Kardashians, functionally dysfunctional. The professors know your name, if you make the effort. Chances are you will spend more time with your teaching assistants, as lectures can be upwards of 500 students. In my experience the same handful of students participate in class lectures, not because other people cannot join more so because many student choose not to. The Psychology department is large, so do not expect a lot of attention from your academic adviser. The professors in the department are perhaps some of the most innovative on campus and will give you the opportunity to work alongside them on research projects. The Political Science Department is smaller, however the professors are very passionate about their field of study within the major. I had the opportunity, with the help of professors in both departments to develop my own research project merging the two fields for the first time on the UCR campus. I feel like this opportunity would not have presented itself at any other school. The faculty wants you to succeed. As with everything I have discussed so far, what you put into your time at UCR is what you will take away from UCR. There are any number of opportunities to work with faculty and gain real world experience that will help you when you enter the work force.

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Academics at UCR are very commendable. They are well known for certain majors, like for Business, Psychology, and the Sciences. I am a business major, with a minor in dance who is considering double majoring in Linguistics as well. The classes are generally geared towards educating the students for the sake of learning and retaining information, but most professors also put it into perspective for the real word as well. I have found the professors to be very honest, and generally pleasant to talk to. I have gone to many of my professors' office hours, and they are always glad to see students and have the opportunity to discuss things one-on-one and hear each individual's story. Many of the general education classes are fairly big, so it isn't often that a teacher will know your name, unless you make the effort to talk to them. In that case, they often remember you and are very helpful in any way they can be. They seem to highly enjoy being able to help a student in whatever they may need assistance in. The professors are also pretty good about getting students to participate in class, which is refreshing. Some professors are a little boring when it comes to lecturing, but what lecture isn't a little boring at times? The students are mostly open to all their education, and I have surrounded myself with students that enjoy having intellectual conversations outside of class. I'm sure it depends on who you hang out with, but if the student makes the effort, they will find the people they fit in with.

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Since I'm a total freshman, I've only taken three classes at UCR so far. Each class has a large lecture, ranging from 150 to 400 students, and an adjacent discussion sections with fewer than 25 students each. The discussion is led by a T.A and the lectures by a professor. I'm a Creative Writing major, and I took Creative Writing 56 this semester. It was by far the most helpful writing class I have ever taken, taught by an amazing professor. Goldberry Long improved my writing so drastically that I'm legitimately excited about taking more writing classes in the future. She is engaging and dynamic, and a perfect example of what a research university should strive for when hiring professors. On any given weeknight, most of the kids in my dorm will either be studying in their room or in one of the two huge libraries on campus. The Orbach Science Library is my fave spot to study because it's modernized and has tons of desk clusters and study carrels so you can study with your friends. Bonus: it has vending machines selling notecards, coffee, Monster, even Hot Cheetos, the holy grail of 2 a.m study sessions. Maybe I've just been lucky, but so far my classes have been filled with kids who seem to be there to obtain a degree and get a job. My advisor constantly e-mails me with job opportunities and theater auditions, so I think that as an alum UCR will be a valuable tool.

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Contrary to popular belief, UCR does host some unbelievably difficult academics. Many of my peers who are science majors sleep an average of 3-4 hours per night. However, we must also acknowledge the fact that some breadth courses, for example Computer Science 8, will feature the professor lecturing on how to turn on a computer, open a web browser, or search up topics on Google. UCR is home to some of the best social science classes, because we take our diversity seriously. Students are not too competitive here, but generally take their coursework and their grades very seriously. Unfortunately, something most students do is cram before major tests, then forget all of the material right after. The worst part of my experience here is that classes are so full and impacted that you will literally be crammed in a 20-student classroom with about 78 people (not even kidding. I'm describing my Creative Writing Poetry class, which actually should be more student-focused, one-on-one, and smaller in size). Another direct effect of this is a universal feeling of anonymity, because no way in hell will a professor of a 400 student lecture class remember everyone's name. The education definitely feels as if it is geared towards students' careers, because most professors don't seem to enthused or determined to make us love or embrace the material as much as they do.

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Its hard for me to say what the academics are like in general because I've mainly studied clases in the Humanities district. The amount you learn from our campus definitely depends primarily on you. There weren't many professors that I could truly consider as a "bad profesor." If you're the type of student that consistently attends class and remembers big due dates, then you should be fine in the academic department. Almost all professors and teaching assistants are free and willing to talk to students with any questions or concerns that they might have. The best way for me to describe the academics on campus is to say that it's fair. You honestly feel that you earn the grade that you receive. The marketing classes I took here were my absolute favorite classes. They were engaging, interesting, and just fun. In your undergrad year, you'll be taking classes of all different subjects. I've taken science classes, math classes, english classes, foreign languages, history classes, etc. So you'll definitely have time to find something that might interest you. Talk to your professors as often as you can. They can become such a vital network for you and they are always there as a resource for the class you may be taking.

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As a Creative Writing major, I can tell you that interaction with professors is extremely important in order to not only do well in the class, but also succeed outside of school. As a writer, being able to see someone who has become successful in their craft outside of academics helps you envision the possible paths you might take in your own life. For the most part, professors are willing to meet with you. It's their job, after all. My favorite professors have been the ones who, despite their busy schedules, make time to talk to students on a one-on-one basis. Professors are as varied as any other group of people. I've had some give me really great insights and have inspired not only my creative works, but my professional persona. And I've had others nervously keep staring at their watch as they wait for me to finish what I have to say so they can leave for the day. But I do know that when you find the professors who are willing to give you the time--even if it's only ten minutes--and really listen to what you have to say; those are the ones you want to latch on to. I found those professors at UCR; but once you get 'em, you gotta hold onto 'em.

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A lot of my professors know my name, but not in the larger classes of around 250 people. That's completely understandable though. My favorite class is my English class because it's a class of 23 people and the professor and I get along quite well. My least favorite class would have to be my Macro Economics class because there are just way too many people and I don't really find the material interesting. I have personally noticed that the students in my class participate only if they enjoy the teacher. If a teacher drones on and on, the students get bored and don’t want to interact with the teacher at all. I’ve had many intellectual conversations outside of class. I talk to people all the time about US politics and the amount of people in the University. Students seem to be fairly competitive with each other, which is always good to see. The most unique class I’ve taken would have to be my Intro to Creative Writing class. Goldberry is a great teacher and never ceases to make me laugh. Many professors spend extra time outside of their office hours to help any students with questions.

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Academics at UCR are like academics at any school. It all matters on the students. If you want a professor to know your name then make your voice heard. Attend class and participate. If a student wants to sit in the back on their cell phone, then of course a professor will not know they exist, but that is with any school. Students have intellectual conversations throughout campus, classes are competitive, and professors are approachable and helpful. My favorite class throughout my time at UCR was my intermediate fiction workshop with Professor Winer. To be able to sit in a class with only ten other students while a prolific author like Andrew Winer is teaching you what it takes to be a writer in this cold dark world is truly a gift. I learned so much from how to boost my writing to how to get a novel published. He prepared for what was to come after college. And it wasn't just Winer, I have had so many wonderful professors during my stay at UCR that I am forever grateful. UCR has truly changed me for the better

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The best thing about education at UC Riverside is that the professors want to see you do more then just get a degree. They really want you to leave with a career, a internship, or heading to grad. school. Its more about learning and then really being able to use what you have learn and apply it to the world. Of course don't get me wrong we do have some not so great teachers and classes, but you will find that at any college University or not. What helps when you find yourself in trouble with a class or two is that we have great support systems, like the learning center, where you can get free walk-in tutoring. Also there are different clubs whose aim is to support and help students who have the same major. Which people really use lol I know my friends surprised me when they would tell me they couldn't hang out because they were getting tutored or have a study group. At UC Riverside asking for help and support does not show weakness it shows that students are Determined to Succeed which only helps to push other students.

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Classes in UCR are huge. For undergraduate classes, it is usually 50 plus students. For upper division, the number is narrowed to between 20 and 40. The Professors have a hard time learning everyone's name- however, they do make an effort. They are also very accessible. They have specified office hours and they also make appointments with individual students. They are also welcoming of students coming up to them after class and conversing with them. One of my favorite classes that I have taken here, was my Baroque Architecture class. The Professor was very clear about the lessons, he was very approachable, and went out of his way to prepare us for exams. I will never look at buildings the same way after this class. My least favorite class was my Booms and Bust class- just because the teacher was a bit unorganized. I did learn a great deal about banking and economic bubbles! As you can tell, I am a history major. I love the classes that I have taken so far and would take them again in a heart beat.

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