There is quite a mix of students at UO in terms of their study habits. I know a lot of people from the Honors College who make academics their top priority, but there are also some Honors students who party a lot. The same mix exists for "normal" UO students, but people generally get their work done. Personally, I like to space out my work so I don't have to cram, so I'm not the type to pull all-nighters. I spend around six hours total on each of my English essays, though, so the hours still add up when there are exams and homework assignments breathing down your neck as well. People at UO get to take classes from a lot of departments to fulfill their general requirements, so everyone has the chance to explore different subjects and learn what they really like. As a double major, I still get to do a wide array of assignments for my classes, so it gets interesting. Just last week, I was taking notes on human resources recruiting practices one night and writing a paper about Shakespeare's critique of Petrarchism the very next. It's a lot of work, but it's fun because I'm never bored with my classes for long. I like the English major because I have a lot of freedom to choose classes I want to take. There are certain categories to fulfill based on the time period of the literature being studied. For example, I have to take one upper division class dealing with Pre-1500s literature, so I could take a class about Old English or study Chaucer extensively (among other options). The only classes I can't get out of are in the yearlong introductory sequence. They're lower division, but they're actually much harder than most of the upper division courses I've completed. I'm taking one of the classes right now, and I'm putting in a lot of hours at the library just to get Bs on my essays. I would enjoy the classes a lot more if I could just go to lecture and listen. The Business Administration major is a lot more organized in terms of the curriculum. UO has its own business school on campus, so not everyone can graduate with a Business or Accounting degree. There are five pre-Business classes to take: one introductory business course, two accounting courses, and two economics courses. When I got into the business school, the minimum GPA requirement for these five classes was a 2.75 (a little better than C+ average), and I know a few people who didn't get high enough grades and had to retake classes. Once you're in, most people pick a concentration like Marketing or Finance, but some people don't. I currently don't have a concentration, but I still have time to decide. Both the English and Business departments try to get students prepared for life after college, but sometimes I don't feel like it's enough. Some English classes include a part-time internship; I'm a Writing Associate for a lower division English class and get to help students with their papers. The business school has their own career center, which is very helpful, but people have to go in on their own time. I think it would be more beneficial if we had to do an internship as part of our graduation requirements, because some students get left behind.
Starting out at the University of Oregon you usually take larger classes. My largest class freshmen year was of 500 students. It sounds frightening but it really was not so bad and the professors are still willing to help you if you need it. There are also smaller classes that you might have to take such as writing, a foreign language or math. These classes usually have around 25 students which makes the learning environment a bit more friendlier and less intimidating. Freshmen year you have the option of being in a FIG, freshmen interest group. There are different options for figs. I chose one called Breaking the Wall about Postwar Germany. When you are in a fig you take three classes with the same 25 people. This helps you make a group of friends and gives you easy access to study partners if you are having trouble in any one of the three classes. I would highly recommend it. I made one of my best friends through the fig. Some of the FIGs are residential, meaning that you even live with your other classmates. My favorite class so far has been History of Christianity because it was not a class that I had ever really thought about taking. It turned out to be very interesting and made me realize that I could be interested in something completely different than I had originally thought. My least favorite class was probably Mind and Brain, a psychology class that I used as a science credit, just because I am not a science person. Students typically study everyday. Because we are on terms it is very important that you do not get behind as the terms go by very fast and it is hard when you fall behind. But, you still have plenty of time to have fun with friends! I think that classes get much better the older you get at the University because you eventually end up taking classes for your major and the majority of people in your classes are very serious and interested about the topics. The classes also get smaller the higher level your classes are. I am a history major. My classes right now are around 30-35 people. Next term I take my last history class, the 407 seminar, where we sign up for a class (mine is the USSR in Wartime) and then we write a paper on a specific topic of that subject. The class only consists of about 12 people and we spend the term researching for our paper. This class focuses our studies on one specific time period and subject helping us figure out how to write a research paper that could potentially turn into a thesis. The professors at the University of Oregon are very friendly and are willing to help their students if need be. They all are required to have office hours where students can visit and ask questions. If you are not able to meet at that time they are usually flexible in scheduling appointments that fit your schedule. Their job is to help you learn. The University's academic requirements are tough but if you are studying a subject that you love then they are really stimulating. The University also offers a career center that helps students make resumes, plan interviews and find internships.
I am completely smitten with the University of Oregon. There is so much life on campus no matter what the weather may be like, or how stressed the students are with their finals. One of the greatest things about this university is its accessibility to any class or activity you may want to try. There are no restrictions based on what your major is, all classes are free game. Because most classes are open to any student, you have the chance to meet more people and interact with those you otherwise might not have a chance. The only thing I would change about the school is the location. It's not that Eugene isn't great, it is - gorgeous campus year round - but the weather can be discerning at times. However, the campus health center came prepared for students like myself and the numerous others, who thrive on sunshine, with a room equipped especially to help rejuvenate your body with Vitamin D. The school is the perfect size. There are enough people so you have the option of meeting someone new every day, but it's small enough that you can walk around campus at any given time and see a familiar place. The class sizes aren't too huge, with the exception of some of the lecture classes, but the professors of the larger classes make a valid effort in getting to know each student personally. You can usually find me somewhere on campus, whether it’s in class, at the library, in my dorm room, or just being outside with friends. Eugene is the definition of a college town. Even in the residential neighborhoods surrounding the school, everyone is boasting their school pride. Many of the local restaurants are aimed to please the students, their stomachs, and their wallets. It's a win win every time. The administration at the school works very hard to keep campus life moving smoothly. They make the effort to help students transition from life at home to life on their own. The most recent controversy on campus dealt with the firing of President Richard Lariviere. Throughout this controversy, the school's gigantic amount of school pride nearly tripled, to show our support to our president and to each other during such a strange transition of powers. On an everyday basis, you will see more than a fair share of students wearing their duck gear. My entire first year experience has been great. There isn't one moment that I can pick out to be my favorite because they've all been so fantastic. The only complaint I've heard among my peers has been the sizes of the dorm rooms being too small, but I find them cozy.
The academics at the University of Oregon (UO) are top notch. I am pre-med, and so I see a very unique crowd at the UO. The courses required for us are some of the hardest courses available at a university, and my classmates and I study diligently--we have to in order to pass. The science library is often full of students, bent over books, or sitting in front of computers. The library is able to check out not only books, but also laptops, and calculators. Taking organic chemistry was not my favorite (is it anyone's favorite?) but I loved taking biology. I loved it so much in fact that I got a job working in an evolutionary genetics biology lab (lots of science students end up conducting research themselves). One of the most important tools I learned for studying science is to study in groups. Every semester, we would organize study groups for problem sets, homework, and tests. The library not only provides room for quiet study, but also rooms and white boards for those of us who prefer to study in groups, and be loud. I also got to know my professors by attending office hours regularly. Participation in the smaller classes is quite common, but in the large lecture hall, it is not so common. The UO is competitive to get into, and it remains competitive throughout your time there. Especially the science classes! To be honest, I have never worked so hard in my life. But I enjoy the work, and the professors and teaching assistants (TA's) bend over backwards to help students. I am actually quite good friends with several of my TA's, and a few professors even accept phone calls to their homes if you need help. I have not been in any other area of the university, but judging by the time I have spent both in the science library, and the larger Knight Library, these students are doing their homework!
In most of my classes, my professors know my name, which is rare on a college campus as large as ours. I love our classes because we have a little bit of everything in terms of class size. There are 500 people lecture classes, Medium size classes containing about 75 kids, and smaller classes with 25 people. Because of this,, you really have the ability to choose what route you want to take and which classes you feel comfortable taking. Class participation is very common, and expected in classes as participation usually counts toward your grade. In addition, studying is a must at UO especially since we are on a quarter system. It always seems that right when you are getting comfortable in a class, it is time for finals! It is a fast paced class schedule that takes some getting use to, but as long as you keep up on your studying, it will should never get too overwhelming. UO really takes initiative in getting you ready for the real world. I am getting a Bachelor of Arts which requires two years of a language. Although some people don't like this aspect, it really prepares you for the outside world. In addition to language, all of the additional graduation requirements really prepare you, and force you to look into other aspects of education that you might not otherwise do. I really enjoy this because I am learning so much in not only my major, but other areas as well. UO is a great school, who pushed their students to ask question, learn, and branch out into areas you might not have ever thought. Through my education here, I have gained a stronger interest in the world around me.
The academics at University of Oregon are great. I am in the School of Journalism and Communication, and the classes that I have taken are great at staying up to date with current social media outlets, events, teaching methods, and more. Some of the entry level classes can be quite large (I took an Anthropology class that was about 200 people), however the classes become smaller and more personal as you get to the higher divisions. I have found that the professors make good use of their office hours, and if a student feels they are not doing things fairly there is a good Student Services office that can assist with that. Class participation is common if the class takes attendance, and if not it starts to become less by the end of the term. The most unique class that I've taken was an Anthropology class called "Monkeys and Apes." We studied the different species of monkeys and it was quite astonishing to see the similarities between humans and monkeys. The schools academic requirements can be challenging, but whatever a student is willing to put into it they will get out of it. I believe the lower division classes are more aimed at learning for the sake of learning, and when graduation gets closer students learn more about how to enter into the job market.
In larger classes (100+ students) it's kinda impractical for professors to learn everyone's name, so most of the larger classes are broken up into either lab or discussion sections (about 30 students) that meet up once a week. I absolutely love going to my discussion groups, it gives you time to better understand concepts that were taught in class, you actually get to participate in an intellectual discussion, they make great study review sessions, and it actually allows you to meet people in the class. My major is Anthropology, the main building is fairly small and outdated but the department is huge! In my first year, I met so many people through classes, going to department meetings and functions. The professors are great and always willing to talk and help you out. A clear theme that they do make clear is that as students we need to do more during our academic years than just sitting in class and getting A's. It's very important to get involved in the department or even around school. The receptionist (?) of the department, Betina, always sends out information every week about upcoming events, possible field schools, and just general information about whats going on.
Academics? Oh that's right, the OTHER reason I'm at UO! I came here to run track and escape the death grip of my parents, I didn't look much into academics. However, I did apply for the Architecture school and got in as an incoming frosh. The program was a HUGE dissapointment to me. My professor SUCKED! And mandatory studio was a nightmare. The main problem is that I was looking for Landscape Arch, and all students must take General architucture the first year, before going into specific categories. This was my downfall, as I could care less about building offices. So, I transitioned to business, and so far it has been phenominal. The UO school of Business is amazing, really top notch professors... a great place to earn a business degree, or even minor. Requirements are very fair, tons of class variation for different requirements. Online classes are also set up very well, and run smoothly. I LOVE the quarter system, if you have a crappy class, you only have to deal with it for 10 weeks!
The faculty in my program is amazing and I feel grateful for all the awesome and student-focused professors I have had. It's difficult to pinpoint a favorite class because I always love the class that I most recently took. Class participation is very common, especially in my upper level classes which tend to be smaller. Student's are competitive, but we all help each other out as well. You won't find someone trying to sabotage another's grade by giving them the wrong notes or something. My chief complaint is my advising department. I feel like the amount of time that I have spent figuring out how to complete my major with the emphasis and the minors that I want has been totally in my hands, and I have received no useful help from my advising department. In fact, I've never even seen my department academic adviser before. Overall, this major is great and the classes and professors are top notch, but I would like to see improvement in the advising department.
University of Oregon takes pride in the high level of academic success is achieves. The Business program is among the top ranked business school in the country. Many students also come here for Journalism school that can get you started in any area of communication. The classes range from large student lectures to smaller, first-name-basis classes. The professors are always willing to meet with students and help out in any way they can. There is a large variety of classes that can be taken from the basic major classes to some of the more odd-ball classes like Tarot-card reading! There is always an interesting class to take that fits peoples individual interests. There are also many connections that can be made at the University for success post-graduation through internships, company interests, and personal connections that can be made