University of Florida Top Questions

What are the academics like at your school?

Brittany

Academics at UF vary greatly depending on your program. As a student in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, I must say that it is sad how our college is in so much debt and it is the students and teachers who are suffering the most. Other than that, I would say I have taken some classes that were wonderfully challenging and incredibly informative, but I have also wasted a lot of time in classes which were being taught at a high school level--powerpoint, open book quizzes, online tests, etc.

Alex

Although the entry-level courses are usually fairly crowded, due to the large number of students on campus, the sophomore-level and higher courses are usually much smaller and more manageable. The courses encourage student participation for the most part,and urge students to expand their minds. Although classes are demanding, I believe it pushes the students to excel.

Jerry

Since I've only completed two semesters at UFL most of the classes that I've taken are in big lecture halls with up 650 other students. In classes that big it's impossible for a professor to know your name. However, in the small classes I've taken, such as the two english courses and the First Year Florida class Professors did know me by name. My favorite class so far has been ENC1102 because my professor required creativity in his students. He geared the class more towards writing for a major, which I feel is important, compared to writing in general. I was required to write a research paper, dealing with my major, of my choice. My least favorite class was First Year Florida, I didn't find the information given in class helpful and it was alot of work outside of class for one credit hour. Class participation is common especially in smaller classes, but some participation can be seen in the other larger classes as well. It's actually surprising to see that students commonly do have intellectual conversations outside of class. I've found that students are personally ambitious and want to succeed but not neccessarily competitive as in wanting to be better than someone else. I'm a political science and I've taken two classes offered by the department so far and I really enjoyed them both. The CLAS has reasonable requirements for Poltical Science majors. However, I would prefer to not have to take so many science courses because when you add the two bilogical and two physical sciences plus a lab you end up with 13 science credits that just feel like a waste of time. The classes I've taken so far seem to be geared more towards actually learning and not focused on getting a job, although some of the things learned could be transfered into the workforce.

Chelsea

Professors at UF are very personable. They welcome students to come ask them questions, especially during the teachers office hours. Class participation is common in small classes, lecture classes usually do not have an attendance policy. UF students are intellectual and competitive. They participate in acedemic conversations and competitions in addition to their classes.

Chris

I've been satisfied with my classes at UF. As you go deeper into you major, classes tend to get better - class sizes get smaller, professors get more enthusiastic, and the coursework more closely matches what you're interested in. So much of the academic environment depends on your major - as a Computer Engineering student, classes are very project based. I spend a lot of time with group members in the computer lab, slaving away before the next big due date. But if you enjoy the subject matter, you'll enjoy the work.

nikki

i've had one or two small classes which are pretty awesome the teachers actually care about their classes. in the big lecture classes you generally just get screwed over by the teachers. sometimes we talk about stuff from classes.

Monique

yeah some of my profs know my name but not all of them. large gen ed class really annoying. there's always tons of people at the teachers not long enough office hours. the teachers are way less involved in their class and don't seem very in touch with the actual progress of their student i.e. doing something different if everyone is failing. people generally come to class alot unless you have a really awful teacher. some of the teachers and especially the TA's have accents that make them really hard to understand, i mean okay a little bit of an accent is fine but still when you can no longer understand what they say, like at all! that's not right. students study quite a bit it seems alot more than teachers give credit for sometimes. yeah i have intellectual converstations with my friends. its pretty cool if you get different majors in conversations about something

Alex

Students are competitive, but not to the extreme. There are way too many kids here to be the best. Kids do study a lot, however, they do have some down time to just hang out with their friends. I do go to my professor's office hours if I feel the need to. I do like to participate in class. I love having big class sizes!

Andy

The academics are great for the most part. I usually take all psychology, sociology, and gender studies classes. My teachers are really good about getting to know students' names. There are a lot of in-class discussions, and kids always volunteer information. From what I've seen, the kids take studying seriously. A joke floats around that you know you're at UF when you walk by kids in a conversation and overhear them talking about their lectures, their tests, and their fields instead of boys/girls, partying, etc. I would say that UF is geared toward teaching you how to get a job, but also learn about the world. It's not just one or the other.

Amy

I know all of my professors by name, and have talked with them frequently as I am a graduate student. Communication is key and having that open line between student and faculty is important the higher up you go in education. As a graduate student, I have learned that everyone is competitive, since there is limited room for error and limited spots for advancement. I study daily and continuously am working towards bettering my grades. Many of my friends in other majors do the same, and we frequently discuss what we are learning in our different classes.

Jenn

The degree programs are pretty flexible. For english, you just have to take 10 upper division classes. For psychology, you have to take a few out of different categories, but it's still open to exploring within the subject matter. In that sense, it's great for people who can deal with a lack of structure. However, you have to be a self-starter. There's no one to hold your hand or make sure you're on track. And academic advising is a joke. The CLAS advising department can't give substantive advice because they can't get to know students on an individual level. You'll get better advice out of a department professor you have a decent relationship with, or websites that give candid advice about the usefulness of different classes. But that's all geared toward upperclassmen. When you first come in, overwhelmed with information and unfamiliar with the catalog, there's really no guidance or suggestions. (And I was in the honors program, that purports to have more tailored advising.) For example, they push students that did well on the math section of the SAT into CHM 2045, rather than 2040 or 2041, without regard to chemistry ability. They need better guidelines (like a placement exam for science, not math) before they push students into classes they aren't prepared for.

alexis

lower division classes are huge and the professors never know anyone's name. When i took statistics 2, the TA wouldn't answer questions and told us to email her after class. however, in my upper division classes, things are a lot more personal. class size shrunk from 200 to 30 and participation was encouraged. i have had countless conversations outside of class that were intellectually associated to things we discussed in class. i love that! as a sociology major, i feel i am groomed to engage in intellectual conversations about a range of topics but usually centering around capitalism or consumerism. my professors make it easy to see parallels between my major and what is happening in the world today. though i love my major, the most unique class i took was tai chi. it was the best two credits i've ever earned! getting into UF seems harder than actually graduating. something like 17% of applicants actually get in...that is crazy.

stephen

Many professors will learn their students names. MY favorite classes have either been with professors Stafford, Moraski or Conley (in that ranking). Stafford will push his students to new heights, while Moraski will be very understanding toward his students. Conley is just a really great professor in a way that cannot be explained without experiencing his teaching style. As for intellectual conversations beyond the classroom, that is a topic that is subjective depending on who you talk to. Speaking with students who are in more political organizations (Students for a Democratic Society, College Dems/ Reps) will yield a greater amount of "intellectual" conversations.

Monica

Professors usually do not know anyone's name in a large lecture, but they have the possibility to in smaller classes. Students usually study everyday. My major is political science and the college of liberal arts offers many interesting classes in this field.

Kim

I am a pre-vet student taking science classes - so most of my professors donot know my name as it is mostly large auditorium classes. students are very competitive GPA wise and most students study a lot. most professors have 'clickers' where they can get feedback from students or ask students questions etc. my favorite classes are my science classes as that is what im most interested in, i do not like having to have mandatory writing classes as i do not like writing very much.

Dylan

Being an English major, my professors get to know my name a lot more than other classes. My classes are generally 30ish people, so the intimacy factor is there. I have been in class with an upwards of 600 people in them before. If you have a good TA in those classes, you can have a good bond with your instructors, however that is purely up to chance. The English department offers so many cool classes. My favorite courses have definitely been the children's literature classes. They are so interesting and definitely off of the expected path of English literature. I've thoroughly enjoyed all of my English classes though and the freedom that the professors have in choosing their topics gives the students an awesome selection to choose from as well. I spend a lot of time doing my reading for English classes, averages around a book a week. I have homework in my other courses and, most of the time, you can get away with not reading. More often than not, at least in my experience, professors are willing to help you with study guides or exam reviews if you ask for them. You can get out of doing a lot of the reading for classes by participating in classes. For my classes, class discussion is so important. If you don't know what you are talking about, however, you will sound like an idiot and professors will take note of it. You'd be surprised how many professors are willing to and wanting to hear from their students. Office hours are great if you use them wisely. Students here are definitely pretty competitive, especially within the various colleges and departments here. Grades are still very important to us. We do have intellectual conversations outside of the class - sometimes carrying on the conversations we had in class. I have sat in professor's office hours before and had hour long talks about the topics we cover in class on a much more personal level. If you put the time into your studies, you will definitely get a lot out of your coursework. Depending on your major and college, you get a different experience here at UF. For me, English is all about learning about the subjct and taking out of it what YOU want. In other courses, I know the courses are designed to get you hired. It depends on what your major is and how much you are willing to put into a course. If you take the time to do the work and talk to people about the subject matter, you will create an environment where you learn for learning's sake. I think most of UF can by summed up by saying: you get out of it what you put into it.

Skylar

Although research is the main advocation by administration for the faculty, in the college of HHP, the faculty cares about the students. They are what make the school work and I have not come upon a professor I have not liked. Classes are usually large, but the professors are very accommodating and try to help as much as possible. The academic requirements are a little slack. I would say my favorite class is prevention and care of injuries, which I have actually got to use in real life!!!

Allison

Academics are average at UF. Right now I'm in a lot of general class, i.e. the "weed out" classes. The sciences are held in large lecture halls for general science classes. Once you get to a higher level of science you get smaller classes. Profressors don't tend to know your name, but if you make and effort they will. Most professors are also really good about writing you back e-mails and sending you updates through the academic website of e-learning or even your gator e-mail account.

Ashley

At UF the classes are so large that professors and students do not really get to know each other unless students take advantage of the professors' office hours. So far at UF I have loved my Intro to Nutrition class that I took. I am a nutrition major and found the class to be really interesting and it helped me make healthier choices in my daily life.

Jessica

Education is geared toward the professor getting out of class as soon as possible and back to their latest research project. As long as the student is paying tuition, UF doesn't care about them.

Ryan

As a business student, I've taken many huge classes with TAs or teachers who don't really care. In many classes, I would prefer to just sit back and hear what my teacher has to say, rather than be involved in a classroom discussion. In many of the business classes (ECO2023) I've felt that we were not adequately prepared for the tests, nor given materials (we were not assigned a textbook) to help us prepare. I passed that class thanks to Tutoring Zone, for $25 per test. As a serious student, I dont think I should have to rely on Tutoring Zone to pass my classes. I study a lot, and every time I go to the library, I realize that I am not the only one!

Jonathan

Classes at Uf are no joke. You must read and do what is required to pass your classes. It iss very different from the high schhol days when you can blow things off and assume you would still do fine. Professors offer office hours and sometimes it is necessary to go there as you may not be allowed to ask questions in class. There are a lot if general education requirements that ensure you become a well rounded student and majors at Uf ensures a great futur for you. There are courses that give you work experience and internships.

John

As a college freshman the classes are large and impersonal, but due to the fact in many of my classes that provide online lectures, attendence is short and creates a personal class room. If online lectures are not included, usually there are TAs in the class like my intro to chemistry class (CHM 1025). Attendence is high, but the class actually is personal with the many TAs in the class.

Andy

i do have a couple professors who know my name, but it is only if you have a small class and take more than one of their classes. i do not spend time with my teachers outside of class.

Liz

UF academics is somewhat inconsistent. There are some classes that are really difficult and some that are a joke. Some professors will get to know you, and some won't bother. It's really difficult to classify UF academics into one adjective.

Liz

Professors here do not know your name unless you make a point of pestering them during office hours. My favorite classes are taught in the College of Journalism and Communications, although I did have a really fun Mythology professor but she doesn't teach the course anymore. There are some students that do nothing but study, and then there are other students who do nothing but party, but the most of us fit somewhere in the middle. Classes are very competitive because students here are very smart, but I think intellectual conversations outside of class are rare. I am in the Business college, and I have never spent time with my professors outside of class. Our classes are so large that most of them are taught online, and I only see the professors during exams. Classes of less than 30 students are rare, and more in the College of Liberal Arts. I would say that the education at UF is geared toward learning about current events within each career, and seeing ways that you might use this information later on.

Alex

The one downfall is the size of classrooms, but if you're an active participant in classes, it isn't a problem. We Gators are intellegent, so intellectual conversations are common. The most interesting class I have taken to date is American History with Dr. Noll. I just love it!

Elizabeth

Beginning level undergrad classes at UF are very large because of our huge student body size, and it can be very hard to get to know your professor so you have to put a lot of effort into it. The upper level classes aren't so bad and they can be very intellectually stimulating. My favorite class at UF thus far has been Social Psychology because it really made me think about what I want to do with the rest of my life.

Courtney

The class sizes can be large. The best way to get to know a teacher is to do research with them. I have found that the upper level classes are more intimate. There are lots of scholarships availible.

Laura

The classes here are taught by qualified professionals. But many times the classes are crowded and it is hard to get to know the professor. They are always available in their office hours and by appointment. Some classes, like in the English department are small and personal, however. Class participation is very common and most teachers include it as part of your grade. I actually had a teacher keep track of how many times I participated. The most interesting class I took was Russian Fairy Tales, where we read and discussed native Russian folk stories.

Erica

As you would assume all the classes are different and it just depends on the prof. you have. If it's a huge class (which most of you first semester will be full of) don't expect to get to know your teacher unless you go to their office hours.

Katie

The first 1-2 years, classes are big- up to 300 students. But by the 2-3 year, my classes were 20-50 students and all the teachers knew everyone's names. Professors in my college encouraged students to meet with them often and have done a great job keeping in touch after graduation.

Kate

Professors know my name. I liked cultural diversity a lot. Hated vampire stories, it was stupid and seemed to center on lesbianity. Which is retarded. Lots of intellectual conversations while walkign around.

Devin

The learning environment here is so chill because everyone came from the top of their high schools back home, and we all know we are worthy to be here, so there isn't much of the high school competitiveness to be the best anymore.

Shannon

Students at UF seem to study a lot, but they also know that there is a time for work and a time for play. They know how to budget their time and have pretty well developed time management skills. Students are not that competitive; most of the competition was when you were trying to get into UF, not when you are actually in. There is a lot of competition if you are Pre-Med or something like that though. The classes for the most part are not that bad, except for a few. I feel that the academic requirements are fair for the most part, except that in CLAS you have to take a foreign language because for me, it has nothing to do with my major and it will just be an annoying waste of time.

Rory

The academics at UF are very important. Most of my professors know my name. We like to get into study groups and the professors put us into group projects a lot.

Ali

This semester all of my professors know my name, but I'm taking unusually small classes. I take a lot of honors courses, which are kept at 25 students per class. But it isn't necessarily the norm to have your professors here know your name, no. My favorite class was this political science class on varying ideologies. The professor was AMAZING. Actually, I won a small scholarship writing about how he and that class changed my perception. Students surprisingly study a lot here--as can be noted by the extraordinary lack of breathing room and parking spots in and around the library (respectively) this time of year (it's finals week). Students are competitive in their own ways. There are a lot of people here so it isn't like everyone is racing to be a valedictorian or graduate first in their class of...um...ten thousand students. But it is competitive in that a lot of us strive to do well. I've taken a statistical analysis class that using poker to demonstrate concepts. It was a good class. Also, my forensic science class is out-of-this-world cool. Our professor is a pretty well-known forensic entomologist, and everything he says just blows my mind. My major...is kind of filled with a lot of pretentious assholes. Not gonna lie. No, I don't see a lot of my professors out of class, really. I think UF's academic requirements are pretty standard. My personal education here has been a lot about learning for its own sake. I am currently taking all electives...nothing for my majors or for the fulfillment of any requirements. But I think that might be somewhat looked down on here, yea. I had to declare a double-major to avoid being forced by an advisor to graduate before I was ready to end my education, if that says anything to anyone about the priorities here. To be fair, there are, like I said before, money issues.

Vick

The larger the class is, the harder it is to get to know the professor and feel connected to your class. I've found that my best success has been in classes with a limited number of students where I actually get to know my professor. I find that in big lecture halls the professors care more about the material than they do about the students, and I think it should be the other way around, because that's the only way to get the students to care about the material.

Anna

Most courses are pretty rigorous and require a great deal of time and effort. I'd say I spend about 4 hours per class a week studying. Most professors are very good, but there are a few classes taught my undergrad TAs that don't offer much help. Also, the relationship between teacher and student doesn't really exist unless you make the effort to visit the professor during office hours.

CJ

Most of my professors know my name. There are a couple of larger classes (anywhere from 300 to 600 students) where a professor doesn't. My favorite class so far is probably the one I'm in right now, Intro to Poetry (CRW1301) because there is no pressure of ABC grading on every little thing and we get to freely discuss our work and the work of great poets in a safe, intimate setting of only 17 students and one teacher. My least favorite was biology; it was too big and impersonal of a class that required you to know the most trivial and unimportant things -- when it was a BEGINNING biology class. Students sometimes have intellectual conversations outside of class. And they certainly are competitive. Most students will do whatever it takes to get an A. The most unique class I've take is the CRW1301 class I mentioned before. It's the only class I've ever taken (since kindergarten) that I've actually been able to enjoy and not worry so much about the grade. We get to thoroughly enjoy and appreciate great poets and even each other's works.

Rachel

The academics at UF are challenging. Lower level classes take place in big lecture halls, but break down into smaller groups atleast once a week. UF has a liberal arts curriculum which I enjoy. you are required to take courses outside of your main field of study.

Jamie

Academics at UF is an interesting topic. In most of the classes I've had so far, I was not able to have a personal relationship with my professors because the class was so big. A few, less popular classes, were smaller, but still had the big class feeling. My favorite class so far social psychology, which was good, since it relates to my major. Class participation is common in smaller classes, but not so much in bigger ones. Students here study a lot. The library is always packed, as it is a popular place to spend the late hours of the night studying. I think the education at UF is geared more toward getting a job than learning. Everything here is very structured and intense, as far as learning goes. In most of the classes I've taken, I have to try really really hard to actually learn and get a good grade at the same time.

Rob

Professors will get to know you if you approach them I believe. In my smaller classes (Honors Classes) the profs know my name. In lecture classes, you just have to go to office hours if you need them. My favorite classes are my chemistry classes, because there are some awesome professors. Very difficult profs test-wise, but very good. Students do have intellectual conversations out of class, but its not an everyday thing for most.

Alex

Only in small classes do i feel the professor know names. in big class professor stop going to their own office hours do to lack of involvement with the students.

Alex

I have taken several classes at UF that have had several hundred students enrolled. However, many of the large lecture classes have smaller breakout groups, which allows the student to establish a more personal relationship with the instructor or a TA. I study frequently, but I feel that what I put into my work is equivalent to what I get out. Since I arrived here, the classes have gotten much more impressive and competitive. Admission to UF is much more difficult than even 10 years ago, and I expect the improvement to continue. The structure of the academic requirements is very efficient for such a large college system.

Carly

Freshman year, many classes are between 200 and 400 students. As students move up academically, class sizes become smaller. Professors do not know students names automatically; Students must make themselves known by being active in class. A downside to academics here is that many professors were hired for research, and although they may be intelligent, they are not necessarily good at teaching the information that they know. Another downside is that many professors are tenured, and do not need to worry about performing well as teachers because they will still get paid. My major is Family, Youth, and Community Sciences; and I'm lucky because my department is small enough that I can meet with my adviser almost whenever I wish to. My classes are interesting and are preparing me for graduating.

Katie

The classes are very large and very competitive. Most exams are hard.

Ash

This school is so competitive. I thought maybe it was just me but I realized that others feel like me. There are so many brilliant minds here and it is hard to stand out sometimes when your grades are mediocre.

Jordan

Professors do not know our name. My least favorite class is financial accounting. Participation is common depending on the teacher. Many students have intellectual conversations outisde of class but many do not. I do not spend time with my professors outside of class. Academic requirements are all on our Audit

alli

Professors normally don't know your name unless you go out of your way to make them know your name; students study ALOT; very competitive a few classes are based on participation;

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