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University of North Carolina Wilmington

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What are the academics like at your school?

As a Freshman this past year, I've been taking mostly basic studies courses that are slightly meaningless. However, I've thoroughly enjoyed all of them. I have only two lecture hall classes and one of those is a geology class. The class is prehistoric life and even with 100+ students the professor knows almost everyone's name. All of my professors are very accessible after class and love to help out with any questions you may have on the material. Club Randall (the library) is quite a popular place to be. It's fairly full at all times of the day to the extent that it can be almost impossible to find an open computer. But that's ok, because even if you don't bring your own laptop and can't find a computer you can rent a laptop for a few hours.

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The average class size at UNCW is only 21 students, which allows for students to get tons of one-on-one help from their professors. All classes at UNCW have at least one professor assigned and you will NEVER encounter a class taught primarily by a TA. All the professors in my major not only know my name, but will also approach me with opportunities and ask me about my life outside the classroom. I have never felt like a number at UNCW in any class that I have taken, whether it was a basic studies or a specialized course in my major.

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Most of our professors get to know the students and spend the time to help our students out. I have had some of the most amazing and influential professors while I have attended UNCW. All of them have been willing to help with questions that I may have or concepts that I haven't understood. Even in the introduction classes, my professors have always been concerned with making the best environment for us to learn in and understand the information.

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Professors are really student centered. Many have given me their home or cell phone numbers to get in touch with them outside of class. My Ichthyology professor in the Marine Biology department in particular is so passionate about giving students research and field experience opportunities. Many people do not realize the level of excellence our academic departments hold, so do not let the pretty campus and beachy feel fool you!

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Professors and other faculty and staff stand out because they are passionate about teaching and research which is infectious to students. They really try to gear assignments around current events and the most up-to-date information.

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I love how all of my classes are small so that my peers and professors know me by name.

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Professors: Yes, they will know your name--as long as you make the effort to be noticed. Classes: My favorite classes were in my major (writing). I also enjoyed classes in poli sci, cultural film and global history. My least favorite class was biology, ironically enough, is what UNCW is known for. Intellectual Conversation: Are few and far between outside of the class. A lot of students do advertise their beliefs, but that's not to say that they can articulate them in fruitful, constructive way. Competition: There is competition among small cohorts of students, but is nowhere near prevalent among the student body. Most unique class: Francophone Film. Creative Writing: I loved my time with the CRW faculty. However, I wish there was more preparation upon graduating. I felt as though I had no assistance in terms of job placement. In fact, I had a little resentment (although short-lived) for what little guidance I received during my senior year. Outside of class: Yes. I developed a strong rapport with one of my professors. I had dinner with a few professors, but I remain in close contact with my LED professor--I attended her church, got together for dinner and send e-mails--after three years! Academic Requirements: I believe they are pretty standard. I've been told by people in the Admissions office that it is getting harder and harder to get in though. Education: I honestly feel like UNCW is broadly geared towards equipping you with professional skills (which is still very useful), but they don't advertise the traditional virtues of higher education. Don't get me wrong, I saw lectures ranging from John Updike to Chuck D, Charles Franzen to Ousmene Sembene, but you have to stay alert, because a lot of the BEST parts of UNCW will pass you by! Also, the Professors truly want you to learn!

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