The academics at my school are based on the sciences and engineering. As a media and communications major I get to see a different side of it and in my experiences, a little over half of the professors will know your name. Many times class participation is a requirement and the students are very competitive. But even with the competition, students help each other in and out of class and you can even get extra help from professors during their office hours.
Professors at UMBC are required to do research, this means that there are a ton of opportunities to get to know more about what your teachers are interested in. I’ve really had great professors at this school (although I’ve never had the computer science professors; I’ve heard bad things) For the most part, all my classes were great, with interesting material and enthusiastic professors.
The academic aspect is suppose to be challenging, but it definitely helps you to gain better study skills, organizational skills, and networking. It's almost imperative that you quickly learn how to manage your time for studying as well as your social life. Learning how to work with others in your class to form study groups exercises our abilities to successfully work with one another.
Academic is rigorous at UMBC. Everyone attending UMBC including the undergraduates, graduates, professors and staff are all dedicated to providing an excellent education. There are so many opportunities for internships and research (for which UMBC is well known). If you are really dedicated in and outside of class to what you study, there are endless opportunities for you at UMBC.
At UMBC the grading is very hard if you are not use to it. The professors teach as if you are at an Ivy League University. There is a lot of studying required in order to pass your classes at UMBC. The library is always packed because students are studying of all of their classes. The professors give work as if you only have their class to take for the entire semester.
All the science classes are very difficult. If you are not doing well in a science class and needs to talk to your professor, some of the science professors may come across as being too intimidating. However, if you open up yourself to criticisms and admit to your professor that you really need some extra help, all the professors will be more than happy to help you.
There are not that many "easy A" classes, especially in the sciences. You definitely have to work for your grades, no matter what your major is. Some professors make classes much more difficult than they need to be. Students work hard, but are often willing to help each other. There is a lot of tutoring available for freshman and sophomore classes.
The campus focuses mainly on the sciences and the arts seem to get short handed much of the time. Being a biology or chemistry major is hard on campus because you are in the majority and are lost in the sea of all the others. I am squeaking by easily in the English major, not too pressured by campus life in succeeding there.
Except for GFR courses which are usually lecture style, most of your classes for your major are very small. I know all of my professors personally. I have never had a bad professor, either. All the classes I've taken have been pretty great.
Academics are taught by people that are innovators in their field and very passionate about their work. I enjoy my classes and I also appreciate the teaching techniques that are implemented