University of Richmond Top Questions

What are the academics like at your school?

Lisa

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Amy

Academics are tough. The professors know you so skipping class is not really an option. Most classes are discussion based so if you don't read you're screwed and it will show.

Emily

I am very impressed with the academics at UR. Classes are challenging, and students spend a lot of time in the library (it's open 24/7). The teachers really make an effort to get to know you, and they are more than willing to meet outside of class. My favorite classes have been my First Year Seminars (FYS). Every first year student is required to take one FYS each semester. In the fall I took "Education and Citizenship" which examined the history of the public school system in America and looked at the inequalities in education both here in Richmond and across the country. This semester I'm taking "America in the World, the World in America" which looks at how the U.S. is portrayed through film and literature. These classes are capped at 16 students, and they're the largest classes I've taken here so far. Participation is common across all classes, and because they are so small it's very difficult to hide in the back row.

Margaret

I think the two greatest assets of our school are the business schools and the science departments. These provide a level of instruction far above most other undergraduate institutions. We also have very solid liberal arts programs, particularly in political science and international studies. My favorite class so far was organic chemistry, but I also loved my English class and microeconomics, which are outside my major. Class participation is a must at Richmond, usually it is considered in your grade, and the classes are too small to be anonymous in. Teachers and students know each other by name and meet one-on-one frequently. The academics are difficult; you have to work hard to do well here. However, the professors are great and you learn a lot.

Emmy

Academics at Richmond are challenging but manageable. As a student here you should expect to be intellectually stimulated and challenged. All of my professors know my name, and I have gotten to know most of them personally outside of class. Students usually spend their days balancing classes, meals, clubs, and studying. You definitely won't feel like all you're doing is studying. Our most popular major is international relations, and we have a top-ranked business school.

Dani

Professors at Richmond are some of the school's greatest assets. With a 9:1 student to faculty ratio and the average class size of 17, there is a lot of student-professor interaction. Many classes are discussion based but even lecture style classes are heavy on class participation. Students are always expected to be prepared for class and a small classroom setting requires it. The work load is sizable but for students who can master time-management there is always enough time for fun. Classes at UR are unique because professors want students to be able to apply the theoretical material they learn in the classroom. As a result, students often work out in the community practicing the skills and utilizing the theories they have been taught. This includes performing leadership asessments of organizations in the community or being a part of the Student Managment Fund which has the opportunity to invest $300,000 into the stock market each year. Aside from tough academics that stress skills like critical thinking, students really are prepared to go out into the work place and the school provides a variety of opportunities to secure jobs. Job expos, practice interviews, resume reviews, and hosting large corporations on campus are the norm and it certainly pays off.

Amy

Academics are tough here at Richmond. People are always in the library working hard. But I think the atmosphere here seems to be work hard, play hard, which is nice because you don't want to burn yourself out! Professors will know your name here, and ask you where you were if you miss class or ask if you are feeling better if you were sick. The professors are for the most part outstanding. They really care about their students. For a macro-economics class, I was sick and missed a class and my professor, Professor Dolan, allowed me to call him at home so that he could explain a concept to me so that I could finish a problem set that was due the next class. There are always outside educational opportunities at Richmond as well including speakers, round table discussions, and clubs. Richmond requires you to get a full liberal arts background by taking different classes across departments (math, science, literature, visual or performing art, etc.) so you really get a broad education. The education here is a good mix between academia and teaching you things that will actually be applicable in your career field.

Elizabeth

Academics require a lot of hard work and teachers assign A LOT of reading and assignments. Professors will know your name and so will everyone in your class.

Jill

My smallest class here has been 8 people and my largest was about 24 people. With small classes, the professors really get to know you on a personal level which is great. Many classes will celebrate the end of the semester with a dinner at a restaurant or at a professor's home. Academics are tough, and students put a lot of time into their work during the week. I'm a Leadership Studies major which is a unique program here at U of R. Because the school is the first of its kind and one of the only undergraduate leadership studies programs in the country, all of the professors involved are the leading experts in their field and are really dedicated to both research and teaching. I like the Leadership School because it allows for exposure to a lot of really smart people from a lot of different backgrounds including economics, philosophy, political science, and history. Some people complain about the general education requirements, but ultimately, most are glad to have their liberal arts background no matter their major.

Julie

Academics are challenging for sure, but are invigorating. I certainly spend time in the library, but what differentiates academics at Richmond is the professors. The intimate atmosphere means office hours are encouraged to be taken advantage of. I may struggle with material sometimes, but there are so many resources to help me, that I never feel like it is a mountain I cannot climb.

Joey

The average class size is 17 students with a 9:1 student to faculty ratio. I know all of my teachers on a personal level and they all know me by name. I am a double major in Leadership Studies and Political Science but I would say that most people have the same positive academic experiences.

Ryan

The academics at this school are top notch. The largest class I have taken so far has been 21 students, for an intro level business course. I am pursuing a double major in both the Robins School of Business and the Jepson School of Leadership and I have loved all my teachers. They truly care about you and want to make sure that you know the material. Last semester I had a professor agree to meet with me at 10pm the day before the exam and he answered all my questions throughly for over 2 hours. I dont think there are many other schools where that will happen. If you are coming to Richmond expect to have a rigorous courseload. To achieve success, you will most likely be studying or doing homework every night. While students can skate by without that daily work, I usually find that an hour of work per class a night is a recipe for success. The classes are small and engaging so participation is important, especially since most teachers count participation in your final grade.

Nabila

Academics are great. The Math department and the Biology department need some improvement. The teachers are often not excellent teachers but they help you get through the class as best they can. Every other department is phenomenal and he teachers are so helpful and always to do whatever they need to to help you pass their course with an A. The academics are challenging but if you make good use of your time then it is manageable.

Brian

The University of Richmond has a very strong, serious academic culture. Students really have a passion for learning. Most classes are discussion based, under 20 students, and involve a diverse array of learning techniques. When admitted to UR, students can take classes in any of the 5 academic schools that make up our University: the School of Arts and Sciences, Robins School of Business, Jepson School of Leadership, T.C. Williams School of Law, and School of Professional and Continuing Studies. The University is great about including undergraduates in all of these schools, even though your main area of study may not be in more than one. As a result of the small class sizes, students really get to know their professors well. I have gotten to know several of my professors at UR very well, and have met their families, eaten dinner with them, and been funded by UR to do research with them. There are so many great majors and minors at the University of Richmond, and behind each of them are amazing professors, classroom environments, and out-of-the-classroom learning opportunities.

John

International studies is big with a Dean! Students from frosh year on have the opportunity to participate in research--real research! If published, the student's name goes on the work.

Cameron

Impossible. Their upssesed with their reputation so they limit the number of A's given out, so even if you work really hard, you still might end up with a mediocre grade. The workload is also rediculous.

Emily

One of the things I LOVE at UR is the small class size. When I was first applying to colleges in high school and I visited other colleges, the thought of having classes with 400 people absolutely terrified me. But last year, during my freshman year at UR, my biggest class had 30 people! I think this is great because 1) there can be more bonding and meeting the other classmates 2) the teachers ALWAYS will know your names and you as a person and 3) it is much easier to participate in discussions and get help in a smaller class. Like I mentioned before, the classes are difficult and no one should come into UR not expecting to study A LOT (even if you didn't need to that much in high school). Students are indeed academically competitive, but in a healthy manner, and there are often study groups and such that are organized among people. Also, UR really stresses that its kids receive a liberal arts education, so it is also stressed that, besides just being prepared for a future career, the kids also receive instructions on how to become a well balanced person that can succeed at life as a whole.

Misha

Richmond affords its students a great education, there is no doubt about that. Every class and every teacher are held to a very high standard, and as a result so are the students. There is a lot of work outside of the classroom that goes along with that, and as society continues to push its college applicants towards resume packing and overachieving, we college students are also just as sensitive to that pressure. Many Richmond students have a habit of overcommiting their schedules. I tend to study at least 3-5 hours a night. Professors know a great deal of their students names. Class participation is not common, to the point of awkwardness at times. When I first got to Richmond, this dismayed me when I tried to get students to talk to me directly instead of through the teacher, who will in that case act as a proxy for relaying different sides to the question. Once you get to the upper class levels though this problem is sometimes remedied by the more exceptional teachers. Business is universally a difficult subject that requires busy work, but Richmond perhaps offers more than most. A Richmond education in Business is extremely geared towards getting a job, and the whole campus does not lose focus with this goal either.

Toby

The undergraduate body of URichmond is approximately under 3,000 student so one can get really close to a professor and ask questions in class (or out of class) without feeling intimated by the large class size. Most professors are GREAT and are more than willing to help you succeed, as long as you make the effort. My favorite subject was actually Organic Chemistry (shocking right?) because I had such a great professor who pushes and works with you.

Kelly

One of the best things about Richmond is that you really can get to know the professors. I had several professors for my Chemistry classes that I got to know fairly well just because they were so readily available for help whenever I needed it (which was a lot). My least favorite class was probably the Cell and Molecular Biology class just because it was pretty hard for me with the way my professor graded and I didn't ever see how lab was all that helpful for the class though I liked the lab portion a lot more then class. My favorite class so far was either my intro Chem class solely because of my professor or Music Scenes which I found to be a lot of fun and opened my eyes to a lot of the music brought to campus. I have found in my sciences classes that while some people are fairly competitive and will refuse to help you if it benefits them, most of the time students are more than willing to help through study groups or just explaining a concept that I didn't understand. I was surprised at the willingness of some students to go out of their way for others.

Cameron

Professors are good about getting to know you and being available outside of class.

Maggie

The classes are fairly challenging. No matter what subject or class you take, prepare not to get much sleep and spent a lot of time sitting in the library. Students here are from the top of their class, so one can also come to expect a fair amount of competition--only because everyone here is an overachiever and wants to excel at everything they do. Also, if you are a fan of skipping class, Richmond should not be your top pick in colleges. Since the classes are so small, expect the professor to know your name--and also notice if you arent there. Class participation is a must. Group discussions are common so your opinion matters--and therefore your voice is required to be heard. I know a lot of students that have a very close and good relationship with their professors outside of class. It's not uncommon to see students and their teachers eating lunch together or office visits by students just for a chat. Academically, Richmond is very challenging. I know several people who sometimes spend the night in the library, and I myself am no exception. Most of the University is business oriented (Robins School of Business) so I would say Richmond is mostly geared toward preparing you for the workforce.

Rachel

Academics are very challenging. There is A LOT of work. It gets pretty stressful at times. Classes are small and professors know your name which is nice. Education is very geared toward getting a job for the most part.

Jessie

richmond prides itself on the relationships between students and professors. for me, that means that all of my teachers knew my name but the second week of class and were more than happy to help me out outside of class. i've heard from upperclassmen that they've just come back from going out to dinner with a professor, and my roommate's professor invited the whole class over after the final for a barbecue. the president teaches a class, so i have friends who know him pretty well too. richmond is definitely a school where the students study just as hard as they party- and they party hard. i've had classes where the debate has gotten so fierce that the teacher has had to ask us to break it up. the quality of students is outrageously high. that guy that you played beer pong with last weekend is probably on the dean's list as well. richmodn recently changed their requirements from credits to units. i'm not exactly sure what it means for me yet, but i know there are people who both love and hate the new system. basically, every class at richmond is going to be worth 1 unit as opposed to 3 to 5 credits. for some people, that means that a 4-credit spanish class that met 7 times a week is worth the same as a 3-credit that met twice a weeek, which is too bad. however, in the future, that means that the overall level of difficulty of classes should even out. it'll be harder to have an easy courseload, but hopefully also make ridiculously involved classes easier to manage.

Tony

Richmond's classes are challenging and most require attendance. This school does not offer the type of atmosphere you've seen at big state schools or in the movies with classes of hundreds of kids and people not showing up all the time. That said, if you're going to college because you at least have some type of intellectual interest and are curious about some major field of study, you'll do fine. Intellectual conversations outside of class are rare, but do happen. There are plenty of clubs, groups, meetings, forums, etc. that foster such dialogue. I know all of my professors well and have formed great relationships with many of them. This is one of the principal reasons I love the school. Students are generally helpful; group studying is common and the type of competitiveness you hear about at certain schools does not exist here.

Rob

Do professors know my name?: YES, this is great Students here study: pretty often during the week, not a lot over the weekends, a lot of the kids seem to be that kid that slacks off a lot but is pretty smart and can still get by I was a history major, secondary education minor -- I would definitely recommend history major, history classes; education -- I liked the program and I'm gonna be a teacher, but it requires more work than any other program on campus and is not for everybody

Jeremiah

Professors always know you name because the classes are small. The classes can be hard and you definitely have to find your way around that and the school definitely weeds out all of the easy teachers over time so it becomes difficult to try and find a "GPA booster" class. Class participation depends on the type of class, most classes require it for part of the grade, which sucks, but some classes it doesn't matter. As far as intellectual convo's, I don't know because most of the time when me and my friend's are out of class, we try not to talk about class at all, because who wants to do that? Professors usually offer lots of outside of class time for extra help. Richmond's academic requirements absolutely sucksssssssssss. Core, which is a class all freshmen must take, everyone that takes it generally hates it, so have fun with that one. Also the amount of gen. ed's required can be ridiculous.

Carrie

Professors know ur name. I liked my freshman chemestry class, and while the chemistry department has many very nice and fun professors, i never quite clicked with the more stringent biology department. One thing about richmond is you have to take 3 common sense wellness courses, while they are not bad, they can be a bit annoying. Do students have intellectual conversations? Sometimes, it depends who your talking to. Richmond claims that learning is for its own sake, and to pursue actual intellectual ability, but this is a blatant lie. Do not believe that weeding out does not occur in Richmond, it very much so does, making grades a focal point of education, instead of higher learning. Class participation is somewhat uncommon, but not completely unheard of. Overall the rigor is acceptable, but i feel too much of an emphasis is placed on weeding students out.

Scott

Surprisingly this is my favorite aspect of Richmond. The UR business school offers a top level education that prepares you so well for the working world. Most all of my teachers are very interesting, experienced and smart, and the best part is they know you by name because my classes had at most 25 students in them. The amount of time spent studying varies depending on personal strategy/intelligence, year, and major. As a undeclared freshman I studied about 3 hours a week and still managed a 3.3, however now as a Junior business-finance major I have to study maybe 5 hours per day on average to maintain about a 3.5. I can't speak for non-business majors and their workloads, but I think it is a little bit less, however still a good amount of work if you want a good gpa.

Ashley

I have great relationships with all of my professors. They really take the time to get to know you and to help you succeed. The courses are challenging, but very rewarding, and the professors usually do all they can to help.

Lauren

Professors are awesome, they honestly take the chance to get to know you, and are genuinely interested in your success, even after the semesters over. I'm in the business school, where I've found professors are more personally interested in your business career both in Richmond and after graduation. Students aren't competitive, we all know how hard the classes are, so we're all willing to help each other out. The academics are impossible and difficult, but so is getting into Richmond, so you're really only going here if you like a challenge anyways.

Ryan

ACADEMICS ARE STRONG BUT THEY DO NOT BACK UP FOR THE LACK OF DIVERSITY AND INSTITUTIONAL RACISM AT THE SCHOOL.

Chris

The academics at Richmond are great. I have never had a class with more than 25 people in it. That means that professors definitely know your name and who you are, but it also means that they know when you do not come to class. Richmond students don't skip class that much. Friday mornings there may be less people than normal, but a lot of professors have attendance policies. Classes are challenging, and students are always in the library Sunday-Thursday. Students are competitive and everyone wants to do really well. As a business major, the classes are very competitive and there is often a lot of work required. It is very easy to meet with professors out of class, because they generally have a lot of office hours. Richmond is definitely very goal oriented. People are always talking about the future and are working towards their next internship or job.

Blake

Expect a challenge! Every course is tough and will require your effort. At times it seems impossible to get more than two A's a semester, but it's not. You will just have to push your self, by studying A LOT more than you did in High School. Class discussions are VERY COMMON in most (if not, all) of Richmond courses. Some of Richmond academic requirements are a little OD. (like Core and Calculus for the Business school!) In addition to the hard classes, Richmond does offer free tutoring in just about EVERY subject! Our library is GREAT!! The class sizes are also small, which i personally think is better because the Professor has the chance to address all your questions, compare to a Big University where your hand and voice could not be heard or seen because the room is to large and filled with 300 students.

Rachel

Classes can be ridiculously hard, and sometimes unfairly easy. It depends on the department. There are amazing professors, and some that I think are nuts.

Dylan

classes are small, professors know your name, really good professors, smart students, fair amount of classes to choose from. Plenty of opportunities to spend time with professors outside of class.

Jenna

Richmond has small class sizes. In general, professors know your name and care about your success. Small classes mean a lot of personal attention, and most teachers are very available to answer questions. Richmond is a challenging school, especially the science departments. It is a lot of work, but a lot is gained from working hard. Some students are competitive, but no one is ripping pages out of books in the library to hinder others.

Terry

The academics at Richmond are fabulous. Even though I'm a lazy person who used to try and get by in high school barely gettting honor roll I definetly appreciate the way this school encourages me to work hard. This school is making me realize that it is important to get a good education not just to say I did but to actually expand my knowledge. The professors know everyone's name because classes are small and students are strongly encouraged to participate because it is usually part of their grade. The students are very intelligent here and sometimes intimidate me because I feel like I didn't prepare myself for this school well enough. I gaurantee that getting a degree from this college will find you a good job because it emphasizes the need to think critically and work hard.

Anne

Professors definitely know your name; my favorite classes are my Spanish classes; least favorite classes are ones where I don't like the professor. The professor either makes or breaks the class. Students study a lot; class participation is very common; yes UR students have intellectual conversations outside of class; students are moderately competitive, but not too much. My major is Spanish--I've loved every teacher I've had in that department except for one. I meet with professors outside of class if I have questions about anything. Richmond's academic requirements are hard but fair...you definitely leave here with a good education.

Charles

Small classes, hard classes from time to time. Feel that you really get your bang for your buck. Love the teachers and they all know your name.

Erin

Tough, but professors willing to help.

Katy

Due to the small class sizes at Richmond, all of your professors know your name. If you make an effort to get to know them, usually they know what extracurricular interests you have as well. Because of this, many professors ask students to help them with research projects, which they know the student is interested in. Every first-year student at UR takes and introductory writing and reading course called CORE. It's supposed to give each student the same foundation as they enter into the University. CORE is taught by professors from all departments and in a variety of ways. Class participation is pretty common. Since class sizes are small, you have a lot of opportunities to discuss reading and class materials in a close group setting. Even outside of the classroom, UR brings many distinguished speakers and scholars to campus, and students can attend for free. Part of my reason for choosing Richmond related to the academics. The curriculum at UR is challenging, but manageable. Because the University cross-lists many classes, most students have more than one major or minor. Watching seniors graduate, I know that a UR degree is a great foundation for obtaining good jobs.

Kris

Professors quickly and easily learn students' names because the class size is very small and intimate. Faculty and staff are very friendly and really make the effort to get to know you. Professors are very available to meet outside of class and frequently invite you over to their houses for parties/dinners, etc. Class participation is a big part of many classes, but it depends. I don't think students are very competitive with other students necessarily, but I do think that many have very high standards for their own work. The education at Richmond is not career-focused, especially my major in Leadership Studies. The focus is on broadening your mind and learning about the world from many different perspectives.

Daniel

The professors are generally caring about students, of course some more than others. The class sizes are kept small and there are no big lecture halls at all. Students study hard during the week, but the atmosphere is very noncompetitive, and students always look to help each other out. Professors often learn students name, and love talking outside of class. There is definitely no grade inflation, and A's are not easy to get in many classes, but B's are. There is a lot of help from the Career Development Center to get jobs, especially with our top 20 business school. Also the uniqueness of our Jepson School for Leadership Studies is a great and unique opportunity to study something very different.

Madison

The professors absolutely know your name. They're so understanding and will grant overrides and give you extensions on papers. I loved my history class with a visiting professor from the UK that had us do a simulation of Model European Union. We have even had classes outside before and I know some professors invite students to their homes. The professors are all so well qualified. Pretty much 87% went to an Ivy Leauge or equivalent for their PhDs. They are also respected researchers and writers in their fields. The academic requirements aren't bad at all. I met most of them with AP credit.

Ryan

Very hard, and take a lot of time if you're thinking about any A's

Kevin

Since I am an athlete that has done very well here athletically and academically, professor do in fact know who I am. My favorite class is a tie between foundations of Education and Journalism. My least favorite class was our mandatory CORE class. Students study here all the time, it is hard to find a time when the libraries are not packed. Yes class participation here is very common. Many teachers base large portions of grades on participation so that students get the complete fufillment from the class. I do believe students have intellectual conversations outside of class due to this being a private school with high standards. Students are very competitive. The most unique class I have taken is Theatre-Performance Ensemble. My major is Sociology with a concentration in Power, Inequalities, and Diversity. I am also minoring in history and business. I do not spend much time with professors out of class, but I do spend time with a couple professors and some occasions. I feel Richmond's academic requirements are ridiculous to some extent, but being a private school they feel they are necessary. The education at Richmond is definitely for getting a job. Businesses and job opportunities respect a person with a university of Richmond degree due to the prestigiousness of this school.

Alex

Since most classes are so small, teachers know your name very quickly. You also learn the names of people in your class very quickly too. This helps with class participation. Class participation is very common in all of the classes I have taken at Richmond and normally make up a significant portion of my final grade. Students do engage in intellectual conversations outside class. Core is the freshman english class which all freshman must take. Each class reads the same books at the same time, so outside of class it is really easy to talk to other freshman about what is happening in Core class. Whether it's complaining about how boring the book was or a surprise ending, freshman normally bring up class discussions outside of class. I have learned a lot of interesting things in my Sociology 101 class. I find myself saying "today in Sociology....." very often at the dinner table. It normally sparks more intellectual conversations amongst my friends.

Jeff

Richmond is very academically rigorous, although you can of course structure your own schedule to affect how much work you'll be doing. The professors here are excellent. They care a great deal about the education of their students and are all extremely intelligent. Class participation is big. There is a class called CORE that all Freshmen have to take where we study famous authors of fiction and nonfiction from all different regions and time periods. It's a really cool idea, but it can be a pain in the ass sometimes. Considering the school's small size there are many majors and classes to choose from.

Mel

The classes are small, meaning that professors know who you are. They push you to do your best but help you out if you need it. All first years are required to take is CORE: The Human Experience. Students read books from a variety of disciplines and discuss. Your experience with Core depends on who you have as a professor: some classes bond and have reunions over their four years at UR; other people get stuck with a computer science professor and get nothing out of it or have an English professor and have to work their butts off. No one really enjoys the course, however; the school keeps it on to make us look more "competitive" against similar schools. With all of my complaints about the college social scene here, my academic experience has been wonderful. I love my classes and have learned so much.

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