University of Oklahoma-Norman Campus Top Questions

What are the academics like at University of Oklahoma-Norman Campus?


As with any educational institution, there are some good teachers, some bad teachers, some easy classes, and some difficult classes. I started out my freshman year as an engineering major, which for me was extremely difficult, so I struggled somewhat in my math and chemistry classes. The problem with those, as well, was that the professors and graduate assistants weren't exactly the best and didn't give out much individual help. Anyways, I'm now an International and Area Studies major, which is quite interesting and my experience so far with the professors in this department has been very positive. As for the general student population, I feel that study habits vary quite a bit, but I would say that most people do still spend at least a few hours in the library every week, prepping for tests or doing reading for class. Once we're actually in class, I've found that students really only participate and get involved in honors classes, where the class is smaller and the professor actually facilitates discussion. Otherwise, most people are satisfied to let the professor talk and just take notes. All in all, we have a pretty good educational program at OU, in my opinion.


Our academics are one of the top public universities in the nation. We have the highest number of National Merit Scholars per capita and one of the most rigorous programs in the nation. As a business student, we have a national ranked energy management and a top 10 entrepreneurship program.


As a part of the Honors college, I'm in a few really small classes: I took honors calc 2 and I'm in honors calc 3 right now, and both classes had fewer than 15 students. This semester, my professor knows all of our names and because he's not stressed by a large class, we really get time to just talk to him, which is really nice. I came to college with most of my basics out of the way, but I've been told that classes like Comp 1 and Comp 2, which are required, typically have over 200 people in them, but if you take the honors classes, which are capped at something like 30 students, you'll have a much better class experience. My favorite class is Intro to Design and Graphics, which the students call studio. It's an architecture class that I'm required to take as an architectural engineering major, and although it's a lot of work and I complain about it whenever I'm given the chance, it's very different from the rest of my classes, and extremely interesting. My least favorite class so far has been Intro to CEES (civil engineering and environmental science). We talked about bridges and dams all semester and everyone just played on their laptops through all of class. It was mind-numbingly dull. It depends on who you're friends with--I live on the national merit floor, so sleeping is less something we need and more something we do in between studying, tests, and classes--all of my friends made 4.0s last semester, and our majors are engineering, pre-med, math, and pre-orthopedic. But my roommate was in a sorority and she was really busy, so she studied a lot like once every two weeks, keeping me up to all hours. It really depends on who you're friends with. Same with intellectual conversations--you can find those kinds of people if you want to, but if not, then you can find those kinds of people too. Competition definitely varies by major--architecture students can be pretty competitive, but the Arch Es (architectural engineers) are more like a community. It's clear who of us excels in certain areas, but we're not very competitive. Again, studio is the most unique class I've taken. I've hand-built structures from chipboard (sort of like cardboard) that have taken me on average 15 hours, and my final took over 40 hours to construct. I've used a laser cutter to make a screen, built projects in wood shop, and even used playdough and duct tape for a project. My major is Architectural Engineering, which is a part of the Civil Engineering and Environmental Science department in the College of Engineering. Honestly, I'm not a big fan of my department here. There are only, at most, 15 other people in my major that are freshman, and less than 10 people graduate from my major every year. So while I'm content at OU, if you can afford to go somewhere else for architectural engineering, I would strongly recommend that you do--I'm currently planning on transferring to UT, where my program has almost 200 undergraduates. I do not spend time with my professors outside of class. OU is not known for it's strong academic requirements, but you can find good academics if you look for them. One current professor who I met at Camp Crimson (sort of like orientation), Professor Kyle Harper, did his Bachelor's here then went on to Harvard for his master's. I also know we have a Rhodes scholar this year, so good academics can be found here. I would say that this school is geared toward getting a job--there are a ton of career fairs every year, and I'm constantly bombarded by emails from career services. '


some are good


Academics at OU are spectacular. Professors are friendly, and they strive to know all of their students by name. Students are encouraged to study on a daily basis, and especially to participate in class. Students usually always meet in the library or other places to communicate and have intellectual conversation. While all students are competitive, OU students do so in a friendly atmosphere. The most unique class I've taken would have to be my current Music in Culture class. My current major is Psychology, but I plan to double major in Music and Letters soon. All students have office hours, and love to meet with students outside of class. While the academic requirements of the school are difficult, they are kept constant so as not to lower standards for future generations. The education at this school is both geared towards a job AND learning. Again, it all depends on what you want to get out your classes.



Academics are a large focus here. There are students who are only taking classes to get by and get a degree, but a majority of my peers truly care about learning. OU has some awesome professors and they generally very personable. Dr. Rufus Fears is one of my favorite professors, and he is known throughout the nation for being a phenomenal lecturer. I took two classes of his about Greece and Rome and they really have broadened my view of how a class can be taught. He generally only lectures, but he is very interactive and is never boring. All English classes at OU are capped at 19 students, so you will always be able to get personal advice from your professors. That is actually part of why I became an English major. Although I don't spend time with my professors outside of class, I've loved getting to know them in a classroom setting while learning from them and my classmates.


I am a student in the Price Business School majoring in Energy Management. So far my academic experience has truly made me proud to be a sooner. I know I will be prepared for whatever career path I choose when I leave this university. Professors are more than willing to help you outside of class and give you extra attention you may need. They're all friendly and easily approachable. My favorite class is actually an economics class called Govermental Relations to Business. I loved this class so much because the professor LOVES what he does and it shows through every lecture he gives. It's a challenging class, but he pushes you and explains it all in detail, so that when you finish a case you feel accomplished and feel like you really learned something instead of just going through the motions. The professors expect you to interact and engage in class discussions, they want to know your thoughts and opinions on topics they go over in class. There are also a lot of outside opportunities, such as free tutoring, that can enhance your academic performance and help you learn more from the courses. I am an Energy Management major and it's great! OU's EMGT program is nationally ranked and it's easy to see why. We have some of the best professors and this major gives you an opportunity to intern, do workshops, field work, and other things to expand your knowledge outside of the classroom.


All of the classes I've ever taken at OU were either taught by experts in their field or hold doctorates in that subject. Those professors also have Teacher's Assistants who are usually working on their Masters Degree at the time. Talk about resources! Honestly, each school is different. I couldn't tell you what the business students or the theater students are like but I have classes with a lot of pre-med students and, yes, they are competitive. There's no way to generalize the classes you take during undergrad because every class, every professor, every major is different. There are classes that are brutally difficult and are meant to push you and there are some that students just breeze through. The point is, there are always resources like Action Tutoring, the Writing Center, Project Threshold, etc. that exist solely to help you with classes no matter their level of difficulty.


Good professors know your name. Even better, some professors offer you opportunities to get involve in research or internship if you're doing well in school. They guide you into the right path in pursuing your major/career. Students study, get their work done, and have fun too. The life as a student here is somewhat balanced. If you're lucky, you'll get good professors throughout your college life, and easily get 4.0 every semester. The education is geared toward getting a job and apply your skills and knowledge in your career. My major is Petroleum Engineering and OU has a great program if you want to pursue in this career.