University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Top Questions

What are the academics like at your school?

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Ashley

They are very relaxed, and mostly liberal.

Lan

professors in my department are all very famous. I love them

Lane

This varies depending on your department. I would recommend signing up for a few honors classes if possible because they are usually 15-25 students and it's a lot easier to build relationships with peers and professors. Coolest classes I've taken: Coral Reef Ecology (spring break spent snorkeling in St. John), a dinosaur class in the geology department, a class on conspiracy theories, concepts of nature in the anthropology department, journalism and mass media in mexico (spring break spent in mexico city), gay & lesbian lit, chinese contemporary art etc. etc. Try finding classes outside of your major/minor and you never know what you'll end up loving!

Nick

There is a wide array of extremes among the academics here at Carolina. We have classes that range in size from 10 or 15 to 200 and even 400. Even in our biggest lectures our professors get to know the students who make an effort to be noticed, and theres always recitation and lab to build relationships in smaller group environments. In first-year seminars, about 15 students meet with a world-class professor during regularly scheduled class time to build an understanding about a topic of interest, learn about the university, and build a close knit relationship that will help them in the future. In the biology department, we have on of the premier programs in the country, and well as an amazing curriculum. I feel as though the course load in the biology program is fair, but more importantly extremely stimulating and effective. The meaning of a degree from Carolina is significant, and employers are looking for a great background like the ones that Tar Heels have to offer!

Nick

There is a wide array of extremes among the academics here at Carolina. We have classes that range in size from 10 or 15 to 200 and even 400. Even in our biggest lectures our professors get to know the students who make an effort to be noticed, and theres always recitation and lab to build relationships in smaller group environments. In first-year seminars, about 15 students meet with a world-class professor during regularly scheduled class time to build an understanding about a topic of interest, learn about the university, and build a close knit relationship that will help them in the future. In the biology department, we have on of the premier programs in the country, and well as an amazing curriculum. I feel as though the course load in the biology program is fair, but more importantly extremely stimulating and effective. The meaning of a degree from Carolina is significant, and employers are looking for a great background like the ones that Tar Heels have to offer!

Eric

The academics are pretty rigorous at UNC. Some majors are easier than others, as is expected, but overall there is a high standard of academic excellence at UNC. Many students were valedictorian/saludatorian of their High School before they came to UNC. Academic competition is something frequently talked about at UNC, and studies are taken pretty seriously. All that being said, you can graduate from UNC and party hearty all four years. However, to maintain a GPA over 3.0, you will be spending some weekends in the library.

Ashley

It depends on what your major is. The departments have different grants that they have earned and different expectations from students. For example, the analytical chemistry department is world-renowned. The professors in that department have been published and won awards for their discoveries and lab work. The bar has been set very high and that will transfer to the students, the next generation of analytical chemists. The UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy is ranked number 2 in the nation and commands a higher caliber of students. Most other programs and graduate schools at UNC are similar. Despite the difficultly students might have while trying to complete a degree, almost all of the students that graduate find jobs within 6 months of graduating. By difficulty, I mean challenging. The challenge is greater than one might find at another University, but the brand of the school calls for it. The students that UNC produces are desirable in the job market. Employers know how UNC molds and tempers its students. They become great leaders.

Mackenzie

Many of the professors are worried about grade inflation, and therefore try to grade "on the true curve." Aside from that, all the professors are really helpful and are very willing to get to know the students on a more personal basis. Professors often hold classes outside on nice days, or invite students for breakfast or dinners in groups. I am an Economics and Mathematics major. Economics is one of the most popular majors and has a great department head and great staff overall. The content of the courses is really interesting, and I feel that it is very applicable to real-life situations. The academic requirements are not too strenuous, and leave plenty of room to pursue a second major or a minor within the four year time-allotment.

Sarah

Many professors know students by name at UNC. They are always willing to help and tend to be understanding if something comes up to affect classroom participation. A lot is expected out of students here, and studying is absolutely a must. While the studying was not always fun, I have genuinely learned so much here. Classroom participation is expected in smaller classes, but large lecture classes do not require much participation. Larger classes usually have a recitation section where students' grades are largely based on participation. The difficulty of classes really varies by department and by a student's overall interest in the topic at hand. In my personal experience, science classes have been much more difficult than humanities classes.

Jonathan

Academics is a complicated process. Most of the early classes are large, and the professors probably won't know your name unless you are a constant troublemaker or a sycophant. If at all possible, stick to smaller, discussion-based classes as these are where the best learning can take place. Some of the professors of huge lectures seem like they aren't too excited to be teaching a 101 course, but if you get them into a small 30 person class about their favorite topic, it's like they are a different person.

Tiffany

The academics are pretty rigorous. Like in any college, there are smaller classes and larger classes, but the bulk of my professors make an effort to learn my name, regardless of class size. Many of my classes involve intellectually stimulating conversation, and it's always awesome to have discussions where we can get deeper into the course material - I feel like THAT is what learning is all about!

Emily

The academics are brutal, but manageable. You can definitely balance studying with a social life. Just be prepared to work really hard when it counts. I'm in the Journalism School which is one of the best in the nation! Any journalism prospects should definitely check out UNC. Students are very competitive and always vying for the best internships. All the professors are really open to office hours and meeting outside class. They'll often work with your schedule and see what is best for you. UNC prepares you for the outside world. They are always giving us information about career fairs, internships, resume building workshops, and more.

Sharon

As a Journalism and English double-major, I know about both regular major requirements as well as professional school requirements. UNC-Chapel Hill is a school based on the excellence of its students. The academics at UNC-CH are rigorous and really push students to think in virtually any subject. In the Journalism school, we are pushed to our limits to become better writers and journalism. In the English program, I am introduced to so many new books and themes, not to mention I get to meet a lot of the writers of the novels I read. Although the requirements of UNC-CH are strict, thus students are allotted less time to explore classes outside of your main concentrations, these restrictions allow students to immerse themselves more in their area of concentration, which will help them in the long run.UNC-CH is also equipped with University Career Services (UCS) which provides many great opportunities for students. UCS host networking nights for students to make connections in their fields of interest. UCS provides a website full of available jobs and internships in Chapel Hill and around the world. Plus, UCS has its own presentations from different majors and companies that it helps prepare students for by offering resume help and mock interviews. Students are given the best academic training in both their school work and their future careers.

Shannon

Unbelievably superior. I just went to the dentist and he couldn't stop talking about what a great school UNC is. He went to NC State. My professors call me Shannon or Ms. Smith. I have one professor for an 8 am class who always asks each person in the class what they did the night before. If you say you went out, he'll be like, "yeah, I thought that was you!" And you're like, oh no, oh please no. But he's just kidding. It's fun. The professors share the same friendly, upbeat passion for UNC that the students do. For an advertising class after a final, the professor invited everyone out for a beer on him. You get really close to your whole class after a semester. For that one class, I wasn't really friends with anyone outside of the class, but now that the semester is over, I have 18 more people I say "hey" to on campus. I haven't really had a professor I haven't gotten along with. I'm not exactly a science girl, but I thought my biology professor was so smart and interesting, I'd actually look forward to sitting in his class. He was funny, so I'd kind of tune out the chemistry stuff and wait for his little stories and puns he'd make throughout the lecture. He's really good at his job. Students are huge "studiers" here. It's very much a work hard, play hard, then work even harder atmosphere. Sometimes I'll be grabbing dinner with some friends and we'll wind up debating something we talked about it one of our classes. When we notice what we're doing we're like, "we're such UNC students." And whatever that means, it's true. But that's what makes us so different from any other school. I'm a studio art major, but the most unique class I've taken is an environmental science class called Estuarine Processes. We took a weekend trip to the beach and went out on the boat and took some water samples. We brought them back and our final was based on analyzing the data we collected. Very hands on, real life kind of stuff. I like it because it doesn't feel like I'm wasting my time in a class that doesn't have anything to do with my major. That's a good education.

Ilyasah

Carolina is a liberal arts school - with two years of general education requirements and two years in your major. If you already know what you want to do, the general education requirements can be annoying. However, the design of Carolina's curriculum is to give students the opportunity to explore something that they may not have had the time to do at a non-liberal arts school. Have you always wanted to taste foods from across the world, but you want to be a doctor? Just take a course on food studies. Want to learn how to ski? There's a course for that? This curriculum design allows our education to be focused on learning the material for your own sake versus throwing information at you that you may or may not use in your career. While gen eds spark your personal interests, once you enter your major courses, you can network with like-minded individuals and begin to take what you're learning in the classroom and discuss it in everyday conversation. There are no easy classes at Carolina, but there are a ton of rewarding ones.

Tori

Class at Carolina is what you make it. We have huge lecture halls, as well as small intimate classrooms. We are a very competitve school and take academics very seriously. But there are so many opportunities to get to know our professors and receive as much help if we need it. These opportunities included paid lunch trips with our professors, professor's office hours, learning center, tutoring etc. Carolina is preparing us for the real world through our academics, and the real world things are not always given to you on a silver platter, you have to work hard for what you want and use all the available resources to get it.

Chad

Although UNC is such a fun-filled and loving environment, the academics match this extreme. Long nights don't only come from partying too much, but also from late night studying, especially during exam season. There is not a minute of the day where someone is not studying. Whether it's the library, dining hall, dorm, etc., work is always getting completed. Many of the courses here are pretty tough, but there are many resources to help you succeed such as the writing center, office hours for professors, study groups, the math help center; the list goes on. It's important to have a good balance between your academics and social life.

Laura

We take academics fairly seriously here at UNC. UNC has a reputation as a member of the "public school Ivy League" for a reason. The academic course load is rigorous and professors expect you to perform up to par. But don't worry, there is still plenty of time to have fun and enjoy the social aspects of college at the same time. Everyone thinks that because UNC is so big, all of the classes must have hundreds of people. This simply isn't true. While some of the entry-level lecture classes do have several hundred students (Bio 101, Econ 101, etc.), all of these classes have a separate, smaller "recitation" section that meets once a week for discussion. Recitation sections are typically about 20 students. Higher level courses and language courses tend to have smaller class sizes as well.

Katherine

Do what you love, love what you do. This ideology rings true to my educational experience at UNC-Chapel Hill. I love all of the things I'm trying, learning, and doing for the first time in my courses. One rarely hears, "I don't want to skip class" coming from a college undergrad, but that's a phrase I've often uttered. I truly enjoy all of my courses in the school of Journalism and Mass Communication. I feel if I skip class, I'm missing out on so much. I often share the information I learn in class to my friends. So much of the content we cover is relevant to today's ever changing modern world. Each and every one of my professors brings enthusiasm and positivity to their subjects. Also, all of my professors are considered experts in their field of study, which is outstanding. My teachers encourage hands-on approaches to learning, so I feel prepared to utilize the knowledge and skills gained in the classroom in the workplace.

Katherine

Do what you love, love what you do. This ideology rings true to my educational experience at UNC-Chapel Hill. I love all of the things I'm trying, learning, and doing for the first time in my courses. One rarely hears, "I don't want to skip class" coming from a college undergrad, but that's a phrase I've often uttered. I truly enjoy all of my courses in the school of Journalism and Mass Communication. I feel if I skip class, I'm missing out on so much. I often share the information I learn in class to my friends. So much of the content we cover is relevant to today's ever changing modern world. Each and every one of my professors brings enthusiasm and positivity to their subjects. Also, all of my professors are considered experts in their field of study, which is outstanding. My teachers encourage hands-on approaches to learning, so I feel prepared to utilize the knowledge and skills gained in the classroom in the workplace.

Anna

Although some entry-level classes are large, the professors will make time for individuals to ask questions or chat during Office Hours. I have forged relationships with professors that will last a lifetime. The classes are challenging enough to keep me busy, but I always have time to go out. By no means do Carolina students hole up in the library on the weekends. We are involved, passionate in the causes we advocate and like to have fun. The liberal arts curriculum has helped me achieve a well-rounded education. I have thoroughly enjoyed my classes and professors while at UNC.

Lauren

The academic culture here is very pronounced. Students are highly intelligent and competitive, so the courses are very difficult. It's also very common for students to continue or start academic conversations outside of the classroom. The class size ranges from 500 to 15; it really just depends on what class you are taking. If it's a 100-level science class, there will most likely be 400-500 students. However, as you become more specialized in your major, your classes will shrink to between 15 and 40 students. The professors here are fantastic. I am a Senior now, and it's amazing to think about everything that I've learned (and retained!) from the past 3.5 years. I am a double major in Journalism and Mass Communications (public relations) and Global Studies (Global Health, focused in Latin America). My classes have been fantastic, and I've been able to experience a technologically-advanced academic culture.

Sean

The classes are challenging but they are all fairly graded. Some teachers are douche bags, but most of them are very willing to help you with any questions.

Devan

Do my professors know my name? YES! How often do students study? We have 13 libraries, and they're almost always full. Is class participation common? Professors love Jeopardy and love giving points for participation, so YES! Intellectual conversations outside of class? There are many other schools where you can walk through a common student zone and here conversations about regioselectivitiy, the 2nd actualization of the soul, and the end of history at any given moment. Are we competitive? To get in we have to be, but once we're in, we realize that we're all in the same position and love to help each other and form study groups to better prepare for exams. We're each other's biggest support system. It's not like high school whatsoever. Interaction with professors outside of class? We have a new program where you can meet up with your professors and converse while eating bagels and sipping coffee...mmmm!! Academic requirements? There are qutie a few, since we're a liberal arts school, but they're awesomeand help make you the well-rounded student. With our world being as diverse, complex, and advanced as it is, it's nice to have at least some basic knowledge in a variety of subjects! Plus, in your process of satisfying all of the general education requirements, you may just find a passion for a subjec that you hadn't previously considered...a big plus for those coming in undecided! Jobs after UNC? Businesses are knocking down the doors of UNC undergrads, and I along with many of my friends have already been offered a job...we've haven't even graduated yet. Employers know that if you graduate from UNC, you're going to have received a very thorough, high-quality education. A degree from UNC holds A LOT of clout!

joel

Academics at UNC are impeccable. Professors know you by name is small classes but in large lecture halls they are very friendly and remember you if you make it a point to visit them at office hours or speak to them on occasion. My favorite class was probably European Politics. My Professor was great and I really enjoyed the class. I would say that students study an average of 2-4 hours a day here. Class participation is good, not many people skip class. I feel that students are competitive here but unlike any other school. There is more of a friendly atmosphere and students are always willing to help each other. I am a history and political science major and am very content with those choices. My departments are very helpful and I can argue the same for many other departments. I feel that UNC does emphasis intellectualism and education but the Career Services department makes excellent strides in helping students land a job after college.

Zoe

Academics are definitely challenging at Carolina - the students here are motivated, smart, and work hard, and you've got to be ready for that. I think one of the biggest misconceptions about Carolina is that all of the classes are huge and that none of your professors will know your name: so not true!! I think every professor I've ever had here knows my name, and that's coming from someone who's taken all of the big intro science classes (Bio 101, Chem 101, Chem 102, etc.). The fact is, there are very few classes that are really that big, and you'll never have all large classes: it will always be a mix. For example, right now, I have one huge Bio 101 class and three ~30 person classes (including 2 lab sections), and two ~20 person classes. Almost all of your classes will be discussion-based - even those with more than 100 people! That's one of the things I love though. Another thing is that learning really doesn't stop outside the classroom: people have intellectual discussions everywhere all the time - in the Campus Y, in the cafeteria, in the Pit (center of campus) - and there are tons of events, speakers, and discussions going on in the evenings. You'll also see professors having coffee with students quite often (there's even a program where you can go to lunch with your professor for free!). It's also a liberal arts education, so everyone has to take different types of classes to graduate (one philosophical reasoning, one visual/performing arts, one science lab, etc.), although you can get out of a lot of those with AP credits. Also, take first-year seminars!! I got to go to California for a week and study geology - it was SO MUCH FUN. :)

Zachary

As a top university the academic challenge you to push your full potential. It is not uncommon to see students in the library on a sunday, but since you finally get to study subjects you are truly interested in students don't mind. The unique part of the academic experience is the inviting atmosphere in which it exists. Students, instead of tearing each other down in order to raise to the top, build each other up to make sure everyone reaches their potential. Our history department is one of the best in the country and I have yet to have a bad experience with it.

Matthew

Competitive and stimulating. Strong mentor's available if you seek them out.

Shanon

Everyone studies a lot at UNC--libraries are out of control during exam time. Class participation is quite common, and depending upon the group of people you hang out with, there are definitely intellectual conversations outside of class. Students are somewhat competitive, but I've never seen that be very intense (I'm sure it is in some circles). The most interesting and unique class I took was Environment and Society. I thought it was so fascinating because it was science and sociology and anthropology all at once--we just talked about so many different things, looking at the issue, how it fit into the big picture and what needed to be changed or what we could learn from it. Education at UNC is definitely geared towards learning for its own sake--it is an academic university, with lots of research going on and the vast majority of its graduates continuing on to graduate school of some sort.

Alex

Classes you'll take in your first two years (unless you come in with a large amount of credit) will probably tend to be on the bigger side, with up to a couple hundred if you're taking a class like BIOL or CHEM 101. As you progress in your major, classes will become smaller, usually between 15 and 35 students. The smallest class I ever took had four people, but that was third year Hebrew, and I don't think that's something that will interest most people! Depending on your major, class participation may or may not be essential. Some profs base a sizeable portion of your grade on how often you speak up in class (and the quality of what is said), while for others, "participation" on the syllabus means a free 10% for showing up and not missing more than 2 or 3 classes during the semester. Despite the fact that I was an English major (since one might think that English classes would be heavily discussion-oriented), many of my professors preferred to lecture the entire period, with maybe a few questions thrown in to make sure we'd been paying attention. The English department is quite hit and miss in my experience. Out of the ten required courses for the major, half of my professors bored me to tears and the other half were both knowledgeable and engaging. In my overall experience with classes at UNC, I am happy to say that I had more good professors than boring ones. And yes, it doesn't matter what the subject of the class is, the professor WILL make or break it, so sign up for pickaprof or whatever you have to do to find the good professors. Best class I ever took - Elementary Russian (RUSS 101 and 102) with Eleonora Magomedova. If you want to take something other than Spanish, French or the usuals to fulfill the language requirement, or if you just love languages like I do, TAKE HER CLASS! This woman is a phenomenal teacher and an amazing human being, and you will be all the better for knowing her.

Jessica

Classes at UNC are stimulating, challenging, and interesting. I have absolutely no complaints about the academics at the school because the classes and the professors are constantly encouraging students to raise the bar. Students are smart, the smartest in the world, and this makes the classes interesting because of all the amazing input people have. I am definitely prepared and ready for the next step in life thanks to the academics at chapel hill. Some professors are research-oriented and seem to have little interest in the students, however the Teaching Assistants are always very helpful and informative when the professors are unavailable.

joe

rigorous... if you are looking to skate by like you did in high school DO NOT APPLY! most people make the adjustment but i know plenty of people who let the freedom go to their heads. another reason i love this school is that pretty much everyone who goes here is intelligent and enjoys discussing things deeper than the weather or nba. i cant even begin to measure how much i have learned and how my opinions have been affected by just listening to people in the pit or talking in the union.

Jerry

Students are very very intelligent and competitive. I woud say it should have been also an Ivy.

Daniel

Due to the size of our student body, i have had the unfortunate experience of being in huge lecture halls. The professors doesn't know your name, half the students are usually asleep or on facebook, and the professor is probably glossing over the major facets of the class. Then because of these lecture halls, there are the recitations the accompany them. Small classes the Teaching assistants lead, which in my opinion is a waste of everyone one's time. Don't fret though, there are some large lecture classes, but there are many more smaller classes, and those are awesome. The ability to go into deep thought and discussion within your subject and relating it back to the class is a very unique experience.

Cate

Students study a lot, work hard, but again--play hard. You will always see someone you know at the library or out of Franklin St. Classes range from 300 students to 5 students--depending on your major or preferences. Getting to know your professors is really what you put into it. If you take the time than they will reciprocate.

Robin

it's amazing that at unc, women actually do speak up in classes and participate, which i did not expect at a coed school. there is definately a mix of students that take classes seriously and really try hard and make class interesting and those that just slack off. my suggestions on academics are listed above, but overall if you go to class, take decent notes, and read the material you will do fine. if you struggle, the professors are more than willing to help you outside of class at office hours or via email. or if they have a TA you can utilize them. sometimes, even if you just can't get the subject (econ, prehistoric life, and intro to jazz were like that for me), just talking with your professor and/or TA about the problems can make the difference between a D and a C or B. remember that it is a prestigious university and using the connections you make will take you much further post-graduation. make sure you develop a good repoire with some professors for later recommendations. Oh, and study abroad if you can. i wasn't able to because i had too many responsibilities at home, but the study abroad dept. is huge and the opportunities are many. almost every student goes at least one semester abroad and it is not only an amazing opportunity, but will look awesome on your resume.

Gene

Let me preface this by saying that your academic experience at Carolina is FULLY DEPENDENT on what your major is. Being a Biology major, I'm sure that my experience is quite different from, say, a History major's. A lot of people come to Carolina as I freshmen thinking of becoming a doctor/dentist/veterinarian/etc. Then, they drink four nights a week and pull out a nice 2.5 their first semester. Usually, they switch to something a bit less demanding. But, there are plenty of people who stick with it and perform well in the classroom, and we have many good candidates for professional programs. As a Biology major, I study anywhere from 3-5 hours a day Monday-Thursday, during the day on Saturday, and most of the day/night on Sunday, totaling approximately 25-30 hours a week in the library. But, I have friends who are Political Science majors who study 10 hours a week and make almost all A's. I can't really offer advice to those of you wanting to major is Economics, History, or Political Science, but to those who do want to enter some type of professional program after undergrad, I cannot stress enough the fact that you MUST choose your elective/perspective classes carefully. Taking easy perspectives is a great way to bump up your GPA if you aren't doing so hot in your chemistry or biology classes, and, if you do take hard perspective classes, it just adds that much more stress in your life. I would advise every single one of you to register and purchase a membership to Pickaprof.com--it gives grade distributions and student reviews of every professor for every class taught at UNC recently (within the past five years). Of course, there are other sites like this out there. But, definitely check them out.

Kai

The professors are very intelligent and hardworking, but they've allowed to get too comfortable with one way of teaching. You get tired of powerpoints very quickly and if that isn't your best way to learn, you have to make up for it yourself. Students are very competitive. Everyone tries to give the illusion that they are doing just fine in classes even the harder ones and few people will divulge their grades. It is considered rude, like talking about how much money you make. Some people have failed a class and had to have their curriculum changed and no one talks about why that person isn't in class with us anymore. It is a big stigma. I've read other students' writing while working on group projects and things and sometimes I can't believe I had such a hard time being accepted when these other students seem to barely know how to format a paper. It can be frustrating.

trevor

unc is not a heavily academic/elitist school. i think that at unc u get a healthy balance of academic and social life. the people here will talk to u about academic subjects, but they are also down to party. the focus here is definitely getting an education u can use in the job market.

Angela

UNC is very academically oriented, which is why it has such a great reputation throughout the country. But many of the majors that are offered don't really allow you to become close to professors unless you make a sincere effort to do so (participate in class, visit during office hours, etc.). In psychology especially, most of the classes I took were taught by grad students and not professors, and when I did have a professor, the class was so large (100+) that it was unlikely that I would form a bond with a prof. Overall, the more specific the class/subject, the likelier it is that you'll have a professor and a small class to become close to him/her. But there are several departments in which you can become really close to your professors, most of which are specialty schools within UNC (School of Business, School of Nursing, etc.) I'm a current grad student in the School of Social Work and am very close to all of my professors. Studying habits vary by individual, but most people do a lot of studying during the week, and a lot of partying on the weekends.

matt

It is very easy to get to know professors here, and as long as you're taking a class that you find remotely interesting you should do well, because the teaching staff at UNC is definitely one of the highlights here(there are some benefits to being one of the largest public universities in the country!). You can pretty much accomplish whatever you want in class as long as you put forth effort.

Alecia

Professors are nice and attentive. If the class is big, you need to make sure that you have the attention of the professor. This especially applies if you are not a major or are an underclassman. Professors always appreciate you coming for help or just asking questions.

Allison

There is a great selection of courses and challenging academics at UNC. The honors courses offer small classes with excellent, enthusiastic faculty. I never would have survived organic chemistry without the guidance of these great professors! I also surprisingly enjoyed my honors genetics course. The honors courses were the most exciting classes I took. The history of rock and roll was also a pretty popular course with an awesome professor. In my experience, the professors are as involved as you want them to be. They all hold office hours and encourage interaction, but it's up to the students to pursue this option.

Seth

UNC has a pretty good range of professors, meaning you get some great ones who are passionate about their students and get into your life, and some that are more focused on their personal research and are more disconnected. There's a pretty strong inter-professorial push to stimulate the student's thought, so you'll rarely see a professor who truly doesn't care. The most important thing is to find a mentor - someone who you can get into their field and care about their passions and who will temper and direct your own energies. This applies to every major, every practice. Get into the department, find a mentor, get serious, and fall in love with what you do.

Dylan

decent for the most part.

Erin

For the first two years, everyone is part of the General College and you mostly take intro classes and classes that fulfill your perspectives to give you a well-rounded education. One cool thing is that freshmen are encouraged to take a freshmen seminar, which caps at 20 students and is on a random interesting topic, so you really get to know a great professor and a great group of students. All language classes and intro English classes are also really small. Other classes vary, with the big lectures like Econ, Chem, and Bio having about 400 students in them. I had some great classes my first two years (The World Since 1945, History of the New Testament) and some not so great classes (Intro to Statistics). Some people hate having perspective requirements (i.e. a science w/ a lab, a philosophy, an old history, etc.), but I think it's important to be well-rounded, and there are a lot of course offerings to fulfill each requirement. Plus, you can get out of a lot with AP or transfer credit. For example, I never took a single science in college, because I got credit with AP Biology in high school. How much you study really depends on your major. Get ready for long hours in the lab and long hours studying if you are a science major. Get ready to write a lot of papers if you are majoring in some of the humanities like Poli Sci or History. My major at Carolina was Business Administration. Business is different from a lot of majors on campus because it is a professional school, and you have to apply your sophomore year to get into it. The average GPA is 3.5 to get in, so it's definitely pretty competitive. Once you are in, you take the vast majority of classes at the bschool on south campus, rather than on main campus where most classes are. A lot of people have a love/hate relationship with the bschool. Drawbacks of the bschool: it's a lot of classes and a lot of work, so you don't have as much time to spend on main campus any more; it tends to be frattier than most majors; it's slightly more competitive since a lot of people are out to get the top jobs at the investment banks and consulting firms. In general though I loved being in the bschool. For one thing, only about 330 people are accepted into the bschool, so over the two years, you get to know a lot of the same people really well. The business school is its own little community within UNC (its own cafeteria, computer labs, campus, etc.), which I loved. The facilities are great; it's definitely one of the most high-tech, comfortable places on campus, since the buildings have only been around for 10 years and because rich alumni give us a lot of money. The best thing though is the professors. I took 16 or so classes at the bschool over my junior and senior year, and only in corporate finance did my professor not get to know my name. In every other class, there's a lot of class interaction, and the class sizes are pretty small, so you get to know your professor pretty well. Plus, these are never TAs; these are real professors which awesome credentials. I seriously loved almost all of my professors. They are very encouraging and open to meeting outside of class, and they genuinely care about you, offering career advice and staying in touch with you after graduation. The business school is more oriented toward job placement than most majors, since a lot of companies come to recruit business majors. This is especially true for business students interested in things like finance, accounting, and consulting. The bschool offers workshops and mock interviews and all kinds of things to help prepare you.

Emmerson

The academics can be intimidating: most of your fellow students are VERY competitive, and the faculty tends to chum the waters with higher standards than elsewhere. But most folks are more than just book smart-- you'll find yourself talking about Schoepenhauer or the situation in East Africa with others, even casually! Most of the professors are very nice and very passionate about their work, which leads to discussions and meetings outside of class. Take advantage of it. UNC is a research university, so don't expect to be getting learning for learning's sake, or simple job training. The impetus to learn lies with you the student, so you will get as little or as much out of your college experience as you put in. (And your grades will reflect it).

TJ

UNC is a tough university. You work hard and you play hard. You've got to find that balance or you won't be successful. Work loads are hefty, but manageable. Professors are exceptional.

Casey

The Academics are challenging, but the professors really care that their students learn and understand the material, (In my majors anyways) They are most always avaliable for help outside of class. Participation in class is expected in all classes but a student rarely recieves any credit for it. Students here are interested in many things. Many student are involved in several different extracurricular activites and do engage in intellectual converstations outside class, particularly about the enviornment. When you leave UNC its unfortunate that most of the majors will not set you up to be prepared to send you straight into the job market. For the most part, further education is needed.

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