University of Iowa Top Questions

What are the academics like at your school?


I have a nice mixture of classes in terms of numbers-some are held in a huge lecture hall, and some are in classrooms with under twenty people. The nice thing is that all of the really big classes also have smaller discussion sections with about twenty to thirty people in them so you are able to get extra help and ask questions. The professors are almost always available outside of class during office hours or by appointment. I suppose it depends on the major, but I feel that for the most part the students are very competative. I was in biology, physiology, and chemistry classes with a lot of pre-med students and it was pretty tough.


Most huge lecture hall classes (anywhere from 100 to 600 students) have a small weekly discussion group that meets with a teaching assistant. This is where you are able to ask questions, turn in homework, take quizzes, etc, with only about 22 students in each discussion section. I am an English major here at Iowa and we are known for our English department and our highly recognized Writers workshop. Many famous writers have received degrees from the UI as well as certificates through the writers workshop. I also know that the UI hospitals and clinics are at the top of national ranking.


The professors will take time to get to know each and every student if the student is willing to get to know the professor. My favorite classes are marketing, with Advertising Theory being my favorite with Nancy Abram.


I think students are competitive but also can learn a lot from eachother studying in groups. The Pomerantz Center is wonderful. That is where anyone could go when wondering where they are going in life and how do they get there.


Iowa's academics range dramatically from your first semester. During your first semester, or first couple semesters, Iowa's classes are very large with lectures with around 300 people and total class size of around 1000 students. Once your specific major starts, classes get smaller and range from 25-70 people which offers more attention from professors.


Everyone in the philosophy department is amazing. James Duerlinger is retiring unfortunately and you guys are losing out huge, it will be very hard to find someone with his unique approach to philosophy. Fales, Fumerton, Landini, and Cunning are all always there to answer any questions, and they all know my name. Iows students have intellectual conversations out of class, we are just few and far between. As I said above, I do wish that the philosophy department required at least one of each of the following classes, metaphysics, and epistemology, in addition to what is already required. My department is more geared towards learning for its own sake, but it should be, and that should never change.


I have only a few professors who know my name. It is hard awith so many students but I will go to office hours and get to know them too. All of my teaching assistants for my smaller discussion classes know my name. I'm in the Honors Program so I definitely see and experience intellectual conversations outside of class. Most people go to class and participate to some extent. Once you get into your major classes and have people are really interested in the subject, participation will go up. This is also a very political campus so debates and quite common.


I would say that there is a wide variety of classes and difficulty levels for people to choose from here. A big concern of a lot of people when they go to college is that the classes will be too big. For the first couple of years when you are taking mainly gen eds there will be some really big classes. My psychology lecture last semester had over 500 people in it, but then I also had a philosophy class that only had 19. So it all depends. Also once you get into your more major specific courses the size drops down dramatically. Next semester I will be starting my actual Nursing classes and will never have a class larger than 75 people (unless I take a large gen ed again).


The professors here are awesome. Very accessible and always willing to help. The most unique class I ever took was Plants and Human Relations with Ken Jensen. It satisfied my sience without a lab pre req. It is a class I would never haven taken otherwise and Ken was such an amazing professor. He knew so much about all different kinds of plants and really cared about what he was teaching. Every week he would bring in things for us to look at, taste, and smell. We even made paper!


Academics at Iowa are as hard as you make them. If you want A's and B's you need to actually put some time in at the library. If you want C's then just go to class because if you don't you'll find out that your grades will be terrible.


I actually have 3 professors this semester that know my name (out of 4). Although it's true that there are several larger classes, the professors DO want to get to know you. Office hours are key. Also, a lot of classes are smaller since they are discussion based. Not every class has hundreds of students!!! Favorite class = Microbiology/genetics Least favorite = Organic Chem Students are pretty competitive but also helpful. It makes me a better student.


I chose Iowa academically because their Journalism programs is great and selective. On top of that, I have had several friends go to the University and felt that it was a good fit for me. Teaching Assistants are helpful, but professors really always do have their doors open to students needing help or just wanting to chat. While I would be lying if I said I wasn't intimidated my first lecture (because around 200 were in it) I would be lying if I said that I ever felt lost or wasn't accomedated.


The academics at the University of Iowa are very important. After all, we are first and formost students. My favorite class so far is Biostatistics. I went into that class thinking it would be extremely hard and boring. By the end of the first day, I knew that class would be my favorite. The material is hard, but the professor is great. He takes the time to get to know the students and identifies with them. All professors here at the university have scheduled office hours, which are times set apart from class to give the students the opportunity to ask for help. It's also a time that we can meet up with some other students from the class and learn off of one another.


If you put forth the effort, professors will know your name. They are required to hold office hours each week and if you go in there and get to know them they will remember you when you are in class. My favorite class is Consumer Behavior and me least favorite class was Managerial Accounting. I am very happy in the business school and within the marketing department. The requirements are good for the most part, but I feel that some of prerequisite and core classes for the college of business are unnecessary. The education here is a mix of wanting students to get a job when they graduate but also wanting them to be knowledgeable all around in aspects unrelated to future employment.


The professors are nice, they want to help you out. TAs are knowledgeable and know who you are. They are more flexible with meeting times and where to meet. One of my TAs holds office hours at Starbucks, it is more relaxed and they seem more approachable. A lot of classes are tolerable, however a lot of students take math or science classes at local community colleges or over the summer because they can be challenging. A lot of people are turned off by the foreign language requirement at Iowa, but they make it manageable.


I feel like I have gotten an above average education while attending Iowa. It is nationally accredited in many different areas and we have a University Hospital that holds MAGNET status. Any major a person decides to pursue, they will benefit from attending Iowa. I know I have a major in Communication Studies, so I am in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. The classes I have taken that count towards this major have been awesome classes. I have loved my professors and teaching assistants. The content of my classes has been different every time. I have been privaleged to take courses that range from Television Criticism to Nonverbal Communication to a class on Family Communication. I have taken a lot of technology based person, and I am not a technology person - but they have been such interesting classes that I have grown to appreciate technology more. I have also taken interpersonal communication classes that have opened my eyes and helped me see my relationships and interactions with others in a new light. Now that I am a senior, I have taken classes with highly ranked and published professors. Yes, they know my name and yes, they'll say hello to me if I pass them on a street. I have also taken large lectures with upwards of 300 people, and the professors constantly encourage the students to come see them outside of the lecture hall. Every professor and teaching assistant is required to hold office hours and I constantly hear, "Come to my office hours, even if you don't need help, if you just want to talk." I think that is such a positive thing to hear as a freshman, that the teachers do want to help you and do support you. I have had a lot of classes that I have truly enjoyed. My favorite class last semester was my Nonverbal Communication class. It was so interesting and I was constantly entertained and excited in that class. I don't know whether it was the teacher or the content that I loved more. My least favorite classes would've been when I came to Iowa as a Business Student. I am not cut out for the statistics or economics that went along with being a business major, so I was pro-active and found a major that suited me and my career goals. Everyone is different, everyone learns different and studies different so it is hard to say what all 30,000 of us do, because we are all unique and that is what I love about Iowa. Obviously, during mid-terms or finals week it is A LOT harder to find a table at the library than the first week of classes, but I think that is true of a lot of schools. The most unique class I've taken was a Western Civilization course. I don't have much to say about it but it was definitely interesting. I don't find myself socializing outside of class with professors, but I know a lot of other students who do. I had one really close teacher my freshman year, who constantly encouraged me and helped me change my major. He was always there for me, unfortunately he retired, but I still keep in contact with him. Before he left he wrote his phone number and address on a piece of paper, he asked me to update him periodically. I still do that.


The diverse choice of classes-- from Law in the Muslim World to Art of the Netherlands has allowed me to gain a vast understaning of international cultures. My professors have encouraged students to attend office hours, participate in class discussions, and invest in a research project involving a certain aspect of the class. I regularlly attend my professor's office hours-- it is a chance to talk to a leader in the field of their study. The education at Iowa is geared toward expanding and challenging one's ideas of the world-- a true liberal arts education. However, the UI has oppurtunities for career fairs and employer outreach. Depending on a student's major-- such as political science or international studies, one may have to do a lot of the leg work in finding a job for post graduation. However, if a student has a goal, focus, and determination to "hit the ground running" to find a career, then there is nothing that will stop a student from finding the job of their dreams. I must say, Iowa students have to work hard to break into other markets-- such as DC, New York, or L.A., mostly because students are competing with all of the highly regarded/local schools in that area. Therefore, jumping on a plane to do interviews, network, intern in another part of the world, or contacting leaders in a career field thousands of miles away is a necessity!


I love my social psychology class, because it is interesting material. My professor has a passion for what she teaches, and that makes the class better, because then her loving it makes you more interested in it also. I love the pre-medicine department and the psychology departments; both have very knowledgeable and friendly people that I can always go to for help if have questions. I feel comfortable around everyone, and it's great. However, sometimes I feel frustrated or discouraged in pre-medicine, because so many smart students decide on that major, and you must compete against them in all of your classes.


Depending on the class, some classes are lecture style (literally with hundreds of students) and others are a more traditional "classroom" setting with around 20 people. Professors are always very nice and willing to help. They are more than willing to meet with a student outside of class to provide extra help or have an interesting conversation. It is recommended that students study about 2 hours outside of class for every hour they spend in class, but this is only a guideline. Some classes take much less time, while others take much more.


I think for the most part professors do try to remembers peoples names as it is very important. Class participation is common as its usually counted in most classes toward the final grade. My major is History and I've spent some time with professors outside of class especially with my Colloquium class that was very interactive and is a great class that all History majors are required to take.


Professors only know your name in smaller classes Least favoritee class is Chemistry Academic requirements for athletes are much higher than any other Big Ten School and this makes it harder to manage time Overall, Iowa is a very tough academic school, the medical program is tops in the nation


I know every one of my professors and i feel welcome in the classes. My least favorite class was Human Geography. It was just not enjoyable.


The most unique class that I have taken was Modern Dance. I took it with two other football players. I figured it would help train my footwork in a different way. The teacher was cool, he said we are all gunna look stupid and ugly out here so dont worry about laughing just try and have fun.


Yes some of my professors know me by name. I do not have a favorite or a least favorite class. In my building, students seem to study at least 5 hours each day. Class participation varies from class to class. I seem to always become engaged in intellectual conversations throughout the day. Students are very competitive in my department. I am unfamiliar with Iowa's academic requirements.


Yeah, my professors know my name in both the small classes and big lectures...Within the first two weeks of classes, it was required to us, my teammates and I, to introduce ourselves to our instructors...Field hockey is a fall sport so there were times when we had to miss a class or test...the professors were much more willing to accomdate you if you introduced yourself to them...they could put a face to the name. I like all my classes...I didn't think I would like the big lecture classes but I've grown fond of them. Yeah, one of the main things that probably drives students, at least athletes, is their competitivness- in a good way. Yeah, Iowa's education is geared towards preparing its students for the future, getting a job, and the desire to learn and become a better person.


I feel I have recieved a great education at Iowa. Students are def. competitive with grades, but you have to find your own way to study and be sucessful, which is easy to do here because of all the great resources. I have had a lot of great teachers as well.


A few of my professors know my name -- or at least recognize me. My favorite class at IOWA thus far has easily been my Elements of Art class -- it's a relief to have a class that I can totally relax in and enjoy. I have liked my classes more or less -- I couldn't really pick my least favorite. As for how often do students study, I know that I study about 2 hours a day..I have friends who study more and less than that. Coming from an extremely competitive high school, IOWA seems to have that same competitive edge. I am majoring in Speech and Hearing Sciences -- Audiology to be exact. I feel that the education program here at IOWA is preparing students for the business world.


I think that you get back what you put into it. If you put effort into your schoolwork you will be successful and professors will be more willing to work with you as well.


My Psychology lecture has 1000 people spread out between two lectures; the professor doesn't even know the names of all of the TAs. Teachers are much more concerned with a politically correct, formal learning environment than actually teaching anything. If you read the textbook and listen to lecture and memorize powerpoints, you'll ace the exams; actual comprehension or learning through experience or seeing the empirical process the stuff we 'learn' comes from is pretty rare.


A lot of freshman and sophomore gen-ed courses are definitely weed-out classes, and so are the pre-med and pre-pharmacy classes. There are so many people in the lectures that the professors make them extra hard, to make sure that only the top 5{4a082faed443b016e84c6ea63012b481c58f64867aa2dc62fff66e22ad7dff6c} of people get an A. Some classes though are really small and intimate. Classes like Interpretation of Lit. and Rhetoric (Classes that ALL undergrads have to take.) are no bigger than 20 students, so you get to know eachother really well. Class participation is encouraged and required, and teachers are supportive and open about everyone's different opinions. Definitely one of the perks of the required gen-eds at Iowa. Competitiveness ranges from major to major. For example, communication and sports studies majors are notoriously lazy and can pass classes with just doing the bare minimums. Highly ranked programs at Iowa, such as Pre-Pharmacy and Speech Pathology,are incredibly competitive, and some students live in the library during midterms and finals.