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University of Central Florida

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What are the academics like at your school?

The academics here are pretty great. Some programs are much more highly revered than others. The engineering and scientific research programs are particularly active and have a very respectable staff. The foreign languages and liberal arts, not so much. Still, my favorite class is definitely categorized as such because of my professor, despite my being a member of the school of Arts & Humanities. The teacher was passionate about what she did, loved to involve students, and qualifiably improved my ability to perform the tasks she asked of us. I don't know that I *have* had a least favorite class, but if I had to choose one it has to be my first history class... ZZzzzZZzzzZzZz There are a multitude of students that are particularly studious. The library is full just about open to close, with familiar and new faces daily. I don't know that the school is more known for its studious population than its fun-loving one, though. Class participation is not exactly common, but that also allows that those students who *do* participate are highly regarded by their professors, giving them an edge when it comes to letters of recommendations and such. The class participation issue also likely reflects the competition amongst students. My particular department - English - is not very competitive because it is designed to create intellectual communities, so there is more cooperation than competition. Still, I've yet to have many intellectual conversations outside of class, though my experience has not been entirely devoid of them. Sadly, I have not taken many "unique" classes because of the nature of my major and minor not allowing for much leeway or diversity in subject matter. That is not to say that there are not interesting classes for each major, just that I have not taken them. Against my advisor's and parents' advice I was able to take a History of Hip Hop class, though, which was fairly interesting and rather unique. The professors are very much available outside of class, despite the ever-growing number of students. Again, competition is not exactly rampant, so it is possible to visit a professor with questions at just about any time during their office hours, and they are most often than not incredibly thankful for the company and very eager to help. After all, how mundane would a life of planned conversation and paper-grading be? The school's academic requirements are definitely fair and reasonable. The education is certainly geared towards jobs, so their requirements are basic, and establish a need for basic understanding.

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I can say with confidence that I have the best situation at UCF being a language major. I have small class sizes for my major and all of my professors know my name. That's what everyone wants- a professor that knows their name and they are satisfied with the school. However, in the language department at UCF, the professors not only know your entire name, they know multiple things about you and really encourage you to learn and expand your cultural horizons and push you to develop your own point of view. They are always there to help, while at the same time giving an academic challenge and sincerely care about your state of being. I remember after my grandmother passed last Thanksgiving, my spanish professor came up to me after class and made sure that I was doing okay and even said she was there for me if I ever needed someone to talk to. That is going above and beyond their job description, and I know that if I ever needed anything I could turn to my professors. Although I feel significantly challenged learning a second language, I feel like most classes at UCF aren't challenging enough. I feel this way for one reason- I can't recall a single intellectual debate outside of the classroom. I am originally from PIttsburgh and when I return and visit my best friend at her university I am able to participate in various intellectual conversations with substance that have nothing to do with tanning, the beach or working out. However, without a doubt, I believe as UCF continues to expand it will be harder to become accepted into such an amazing university and the conversations will transform into modern day politics and intellectual topics.

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The academics at my school is very rigorous, generally you are suppose to spend anywhere from 3 to 5 hours of study time per lecture hour. Most professors are truly passionate about their fields, they see themselves as scholars and researchers first then teachers second. My favorite class has to be management of organizations because the professor speaks about how the theories we learn are and have been applied in the real world. The least favorite would have been calculus I, I don't even remember the professor's name but he assumed that everyone completely understood calculus I material even if you have never taken it before. I generally tend to study pretty often since I'm in higher level courses now. In higher level courses class participation is not only common but encouraged by the professors. Some students form study groups outside of lectures in order to better understand the topics discussed to ofcourse to cram for exams. Most students are competitive, especially when considering sports. The most unique class I have taken would have been intro to marketing in which I found a lot of interesting information regarding some very well known companies. I am a Finance major in the college of business at UCF. UCF's academic requirement are very good, they want students to graduate and be successful in order to brand the UCF logo out into the world. I am part of DECA and we work hand in hand with some faculty members. Education at UCF is all about getting students into their careers before they graduate and having them be successful in their careers. UCF even offers assistance with starting your own business.

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I am a junior and a Criminal Justice major now so I have had experience with both general education courses as well as major courses and I can honestly say that they are all great. I love the psychology classes they are awesome and everyone loves the professors especially Negy and then my personal experience with Sinatra and Sholar. General Psychology (PSY 2012) had to be one of the most unique and interesting courses I have taken at UCF. One of the requirements of this course was the opportunity to participate in SONA research studies and I participated in a few that were extremely fun (one dealing with a game that tested your communication and skills while being part of a military operation and one dealing with memory exercise). The Criminal Justice courses and professors are great as well I have not met one that I did not like. The class sizes depend on your preference and availability if you like small, large, or online lectures there are all kinds of opportunities. I have taken many online classes and although there is usually more work, they are great for self-motivators and people that need the luxury and flexible time schedule. Professors always tell students their times and means of availability like office hours, email, and office phone numbers and sometimes their cell numbers as well. The Professors are also always willing to help with any issues or questions you may have. There are also many certificate programs like crime scene investigation, victim advocacy, criminal profiling, and more that allow students to learn about more specialized fields and knowledge of the criminal justice field.

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The majority of my professors have taken the time and made the effort to learn my name, and I've always appreciated that. There are some cases where teacher's haven't cared, but that is the minority. My favorite class was "The Science of Literature," and I've never liked a class that much. There was an overwhelming amount of class participation and personal involvement and the professor played a large part in facilitating that. I haven't seen students be too competitive, but I know it definitely exists. The amount of studying depends on the student. Some people don't need to study as much as others, so I would say it ranges from none, to several hours a week. I have had several intellectual conversations will people outside of class, and made several friends doing so. There are so many different people on campus, so you always have the opportunity to run into someone interesting. I'm an English major, and my department is excellent. The advisers have always been helpful and there to answer any questions I had. I really feel like they want everyone to succeed. They care, and I think that's a rarity in this world. I think the academic requirements of the school are good, as they cover a wide variety of areas. All of the required classes are necessary in making you well rounded for your future career. That being said, I think the education is definitely geared toward getting a job, at least in my department. My professors had people working in our fields come in and talk to the students, and advise us on what the real world was like. As the advisers seek to help us, so do the professors.

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Classes tend to be larger (in the thousands) and online. Depending on the subject or major classes range from 20 students to 3,000. In some of my earlier classes, I got to know my professor very well, but in others, the professor had not a clue who any individual student was (which I didn't mind in some occasions). UCF is stereotyped as a college where students study the least, but personally, I know this to be false. I've seen engineering majors study for a test for 5 days and barely get a C. College is college. For smaller classes (which get more prevalent junior and senior year), attendance and participation is am must. For online classes, the importance of participation is dismal. Students at UCF, or any college, have many intellectual conversations, considering that these individuals decided to continue their education past the basics of grade school. Students are not competitive, unless they are engineering majors. While many students change their major atleast once in their first two years, I have continued my studies in Business Marketing since my freshman year. Business majors consist of many online classes and many very large classes until senior year. Despite having large classes, much is learned and retained in the business program at UCF. Evvery professor has office hours and students are encouraged to attend them. The professors are always very helpful. From what i've heard from friends at other Florida institutions,the academic requirements are easier at UCF, but that is quite subjective. UCF is definitely more geared to getting a job after graduation.

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I like the way academics are governed at UCF. In terms of classrooms of small size, I always feel welcomed by my instructor, getting to know him/her on a personal, first-name basis. Professors are generally warm, speaking as if it was just two people sitting in the room. All of the professors I have had in both my major and minor know me by name, which is good because I feel that there is always open lines of communication between teacher and student. My favorite classes are those that are in my minor--mass communication. I say that because the teachers and students in that college are so inviting, and the subject matter makes it necessary to meet together to study, which can also give birth to wholesome association. In these and all the other courses I am enrolled in, I always find class participation to be the norm, with a few shy students opting just to listen and take all of the information in. As for my major (English) I feel much the same way. Being an English major is different from most other majors because there are no exams; which, in turn, makes studying almost invalid. Thus, it is not often that I spend time with those in these classes unless it is to do peer review or similar assignments. Still, I love being an English major because I love to write, and what is more, I feel that I am pretty good at it. All things factored in, I am satisfied with the academic portion here at UCF. I feel that it has improved in the three years that I have called this school my home, and I believe that it will only continue to get better!

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In my experience, the academics at UCF have so far been wonderful. Although you general education classes will be large, most of the professors are able to teach to the magnitude. However, the large class-size of lower-level classes does mean it is more of a one-way lecture rather than a student-participating discussion. Upper level classes are smaller, but still about 70 students to a class in many of them. All professors have office hours, but a really neat program is called SI, or supplemental instruction. SI is a study-session of sorts, for a class that has a typically high ratio of failures, so a class such as Biology or Statistics, offers SI. These study sessions are taught by a student that has previously taken the class and received an A, thus ensuring that this student is knowledgeable and competent within the subject. SI sessions typically run about 2-4 times per week for a class depending on how many different sections there are per class and also how many credit hours the class is worth. It is also pretty amusing how empty the SI sessions are in the beginning of the year, but how jam packed they are towards finals. I remember my Bio1 SI sessions at the end of the year, we were in a small auditorium for approximately 300 students and there were still people sitting on the floor. My suggestion?- Go to SI from the beginning of the class so that you're only reviewing, rather then re-LEARNING, come finals.

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All of this really depends on the class. Large general education courses seem to have more students that don't care about the subjects. But major classes are much better, smaller, and professors almost always make the effort to get to know students. The best classes I've taken have been Introduction to Women's Studies and Third Wave Feminism. These classes, especially the intro. class, introduced me to so many new concepts and made me a feminist. They are also why I joined NOW. I would highly recommend these classes to anyone. Another class that I am really enjoying is Survey of Rock and Roll. It's hard to get into but the professor is great, and everyone in the class is really interested in different kind of music. The journalism major here is great, although very competitive. I was just accepted into it - it took me two tries. There are few faculty members, but it's very in depth, which is why it's so selective. So it's a great opportunity for anyone that really wants to make a career out of journalism. The professors are great and always willing to help students and share opportunity with them. Otherwise it seems like UCF is too easy to get into, but it's getting better. They are beginning to accept only 30 - 40% of applications. They aren't too selective, but I think it's great to give more students the opportunity of an education.

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"Scholarship" is an important part of our UCF Creed. It stands for cherishing and honoring learning as a fundamental purpose of membership in the community. Needless to say, academics are taken extremely seriously at the University of Central Florida. Over the years, our admissions GPA and SAT/GRE/MCAT scores have been steadily increasing, which shows the standard of competition in our programs. I have never had a professor who was unwilling to help me after class or during their office hours. There are also organizations like SARC on campus, where students tutor other students for free. UCF has also been successful in integrating technology into academics. There is a variety of online and hybrid courses in the catalog which makes learning available to all kinds of students. In addition, we have been excelling in the research arena with multiple active labs such as Minds in Technology, Institute for Simulation and Training etc. I am psychology major myself. Psychology is one of the most popular majors at UCF. Besides core courses, the program also offers internship placements, career seminars and research opportunities, all of which help us in achieving our career goals. Students are also encouraged to do their best academically through numerous scholarship incentives and advanced programs like LEADS.

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