University of Richmond Top Questions

What are the academics like at your school?

Kaitlin

Academics at Richmond are excellent. There are definitely blow off majors, but there are also extremely tough majors (like b-school for example). The professors definitely know your name because class sizes are kept on the smaller size, which is a really great plus. Class participation really depends on the dynamic of the class, usually the upper-classes have more participation because people are truly interested in what they are learning in the class. Richmond students generally do not have intellectual conversations outside of class and are not competitive with one another. However, there is a large amount of pressure to preform well. The b-school would be the most competitive school on campus as students are competing for the same internships. It is also known as one of the more difficult schools in Richmond, along side our science programs. The b-school also requires a large amount of credits for any degree.

Fred

I know all my professors names. The classes are very small and you build a great relationship with them. Students are not very competitive but we have to study all the time because of the heavy academic load. Conversations about academics outside of class our common and really contribute to the learning experience. Class participation is something that is very important because of the small class sizes. I'm a business major and the business school here is incredible. The professors are all amazing and very accomplished. They know there stuff and go out of thier way to help you succeed.

Colin

Richmond has a great student to faculty ratio and this allows for every professor I've had to know my name. So far I haven't had a class over 30 students and most have been right around 20. It's great because the small class environment lends itself to great discussion. Studytime at Richmond depends on the person, and the major. I'm not pre-med but I've got friends who are and they are, by far, doing the most work. I think the combination of Chemistry, Biology, and Calculus sets them up for a rough schedule. But as for me, I do a lot of things besides study or do work. I've got plenty of time, most often, to get my work done and enjoy a lot of free time (outside of finals week).

Cassie

The one great thing about Richmond is that the class sizes are small, thus there is a lot of teacher student contact. With such small class you get not only the opportunity to get to know your fellow class mates but you get to know your professors as well.

Kate

Academics at Richmond are top priority. Students come here knowing that they will need to work very hard to succeed. We are very fortunate to have such a small student to faculty ratio of 1:9. My largest class has only been comprised of 20 students. I even had a lab section that only had 6 students. The only drawback to this is that, well, you have to go to class. Don't be surprised to receive an e-mail from a professor asking if anything is wrong if you missed class that day. Trust me, they notice if you aren't there. Professors truly want to help us learn and will do anything to help us out. The first day of classes, professors already know our names and are interested in our lives and activities. Generally, teachers are understanding.

Rory

University of Richmond is not exactly a school for complete slackers. Academics here can be challenging. The size of Richmond is great though, because since it's so small, the class sizes are tiny as well. Most of my classes are about 15 people. Every single one of my teachers knows my name...and probably my favorite color. Nearly all teachers make themselves available for outside help. The teachers do expect you to do your reading assignments to get the best possible grade. If you're willing to put in a little work, Richmond will have great academic experiences to provide for you.

Kathleen

i've never had a class bigger than 25 people, and all your professors will know your name and who you are, it is a VERY competitive and difficult academics but worth it for the amazing degree and you'll learn so much

Michael

Each of my professors recognizes my face when I see them around campus and the majority of them know my name. I have had many conversations over dinner relating to the topics in some of my classes ranging from race representation to international health and trade. There is certainly a vocal minority in each class, but the small size means that if you are quiet the teacher will notice. There is no where to hide so if you don't intend to do the work then Richmond might not be the right place. I have met with many of my professors and had in depth conversations about research, classwork, and scheduling conflicts. I have never been penalized for missing class with an emergency, but class attendance is mandatory in most classes on account of the small class size. I have had the privilege of taking a course of twelve students taught by the president of the university, Dr. Ed Ayers, and he still knows my name. I took a trip to Peru in conjunction to my Global Health and Human Rights course that was paid for by the university (all except $150). Richmond is dedicated to connecting an education to real life experience, but except in the case of business classes, the education is not geared toward a profession.

Lee

Definitely a rigorous program especially being apart of the Business School. When looking for classes to choose for the semester, research the professor before selecting which class to take. Professor's vary significantly in their difficulty or ease of teaching. Grades can be skewed for different professors teaching the same course. Student to professor interaction is great! They are always willing to meet and conference with you. Often times you will be invited to their house for dinner or a meet and greet. Student's are very competitive especially come Junior year with the discussion of internships. The talk of summer for b-school students will be "who are you working for and where", rather than what are your summer plans. As a liberal arts college, not many choices in "fun" classes. A lot of your classes are chosen for you when you decide on a major. Education at Richmond is defnitely geared to getting you a job.

Tim

I am a business major and I love it. Richmond is very hard school academically and is just now starting to get the respect we deserve. Our business school is top 20 and is continuing to climb. I have encountered very few professors I don't like but there are a few bad apples that you have to be careful of. How much you study depends on the professor you have and the time of year. The last couple weeks of the semester you are going to study a lot and you're going to be stressed out, so, just accept it and deal with it. Richmond is a school that you sometimes don't like how hard the academics are while you are here but you are very proud of your accomplishment once you're done. It's all worth it when you're done.

Michael

Very tough and challenging unless you are smart about professor selection. Also, choose classes that you know you are strogn in, and don't try to do stuff you were bad at before, you'll only be worse at it here.

Emmerson

strenuous. seems to be harder than most schools. very rare to find a class that is an "easy a". classes are small, i've never had a class bigger than 20something people and i've been here three years. last couple weeks of semester are always hell work hard play hard

Katie

Richmond classes are generally capped at 25. It is both good and bad. It is good because the teachers are really able to get to know you - if you have a bad test grade or are doing poorly in class they can pull you aside and talk about how to improve the grade - be it independent projects or additional studying. You also get to know everyone in your class, which is helpful if you need help or a copy of the notes. The downside of having only 24 other classmates is that when you miss class the teacher definitely notices. There is a strict attendance policy in the business school of only 3 absences a semester. Some professors come up with their own attendance policy that reduces your grade by 5% every time you miss a class. As a senior, we are giving ample opportunities to spend time with our professors outside of class. I feel like this is the first year I have really done this. It's really nice to be able to engage outside of the formal academic stetting. Richmond's academic requirements are frustrating at times. There are so many introductory courses we have to take and core courses within the business school that you sort of decide your concentration based on a whim. The first advanced course I took in my concentration wasn't until the fall of my senior year. The system also doesn't allow you to take things for fun. I was interested in so many other classes that were not related to my major or minor, but I had no time to take them because I would not be able to graduate with on time. This is to be expected from a Liberal Arts College, though. Richmond's education is geared to getting a job. From the moment we step on campus we are made aware of the CDC ((Career Development Center) and are asked to make good use of it. I don't see this as a negative, but it does influence academic paths.

Colleen

I love academics- small intimate classes. All my professors know my name and care about how I perform. They are kind, and compassionate and awesome teachers! The problem is the competition at this small bubble tends to be quite overwhelming. Expect ivy league stress and pressure, without the ivy league rankings and resume. But awesome classes offered and great learning environment

Elizabeth

I love Richmond's small class sizes. Professors know my name and remember my name after I have finished a semester of class with him or her. Professors are extremely wiling to meet with students outside of class to help them with assignments or simply to talk about the lectures and materials. One thing that is a nice change from high school is that people do not judge you or call you a nerd for going to the library. Especially as finals get closer, the majority of the student body can be found in the library. Everyone spends a lot of times studying, and everyone can bond over their crazy amount of work during exam time.

John

I've been annoyed at the lack of history classes, but that's a personal peeve since they're offering numerically a lot, just very few in anything before 1700. There are good classes and bad classes, just like any other school. Use ratemyprofessor.com in conjunction with the class lists to try to maximize your good classes.

Lauren

The academic quality of this school is the top reason I've been satisfied with my decision to go here. Classes are small and professors are passionate. All of my professors know my name and even two years later continue to say hi and chat when we rendezvous on campus. Some of my professors could even tell you where I'm from, what I did over the summer, and what my hobbies and interests are. Most studying goes on in the library which could use some extra space but I think students successfully employ the "work hard, play hard" philosophy. Classes are tough but not overwhelming, depending on who your professor is. The business school is one of the most valuable assets of this University. As an Accounting major I think I'm probably graduating with the most valuable major the university offers. I can't imagine my professors being any better than they are. One of my professors was named one of BusinessWeek Magazine's top 22 favorite Business professors. He knows more about Accounting than anyone I could ever imagine. But more importantly, his command over the classroom is phenomenal. Who would have thought the Socratic method of teaching could be applied to something that seems as methodical as Accounting? That's the point- Accounting isn't methodical and requires as much critical thinking as any liberal arts course. And he forces his students to think critically and take his class seriously.

Dale

All of my professors DEFINITELY know my name. My biggest class has been maybe 20? My favorite class- McGarvie's Foundations of Leadership class. Definitely a must take. Class participation is common in most of my classes unless it's like really early in the morning. Students want to get good grades but they aren't competitive to the point where they won't help eachother. Professors have plenty of office hours and really WANT the students to use them. They love it when students come to talk.

Jordan

Most professors know students by name. Students study a lot on campus during the week, but very little on Friday and Saturday. Class participation is encouraged by most professors with most giving you a grade. Intellectual Conversation -- Yes Competitive -- Yes Unique Class -- Global IT or Enterprise Content Management All professors are accessible outside of class through both office hours, appointments, and email. Strong academic requirements Education in Business school at least is geared toward getting a job

Kelly

The students here are very smart. Everyone I meet seems to have a passion for something. I was able to make my own major in international public health through the interdisciplinary department and with the help of two professors. One of my favorite professors is someone who I feel I will stay in touch in with long after I am gone. This is not rare at Richmond. The liberal arts education at Richmond is great, and I feel like I have been allowed to explore everything I have been interested in.

Toby

If you want small classes, then you'll like this place. I know all my teachers and all are very available for help. Class selection is incredibly competitive because the administration is super concerned with keeping the student/teacher ratio down. So don't count on getting close to what you want every semester, especially in your freshman and sophomore years. Students are overly competitive here and think they're a ton smart than they are. Most kids here are the try-hard type who really aren't that smart on their own, just study all damn day to make the ever important A. The assignments here tend to reflect that, especially in English. I had a teacher who insisted that I work 20 or more hours on each paper he assigned us. Keep in mind these were 4-6 page papers. The teachers, for the most part, are pretty damn smart, but maybe a little too opinionated. The professors liberal slant is a stark contrast to the rich, aristocratic atmosphere of the students here.

AL

Academics at Richmond are amazing. Classes are very small and intimate; everyone participates and is actively involved. Attendance is mandatory for sucess and to pass. Skipping class is rare and has consequences. Professors know your name - always. They talk to you outisde of class, via email, around campus; some people are even friends with their professors and "hang out" with them. Students spend a LOT of time studying here. The library is the "cool" place to be on any given night; you'll see all yoru friends there. It's a social zone - do your work and see your friends at once. If you're not at the library or don't have work to do, you're the one who's out of place. The opportunities are awesome. There are field trips (one calss went on an airplane to new york this winter!), famous guest lecturers, and a multitude of opportunities for students. Lots of support and help getting internships, study abroad, and pursuing activities in the community. There are SO MANY great opportunities this school has to offer and it is an enriching, excellent learning environment in all ways.

Shannon

I definitely know all my professors my name and they know me for sure (which sometimes sucks if you want to slack off). Students study A LOT here... there's a lot of work. Of course it depends on the student and how much he/she decides to take on (unfortunately double majoring with all these minors is very popular on campus thus stressing you out even more... I'm a victim of the viscious cycle) and his/her time managment capabilities. All of students seem to pull things off pretty well. Others, don't, but get by. I would say there are definitely Richmond students who want to engage in intellectual conversations, but I wish there were more of them/more opportunities to get involved in such conversations. Students are definitely competitive here (how can any student not be when looking at grad school admissions, etc.?). I'm doubling in Spanish and French, and for the most part love it. I think the French department spends too much time on literature, and not enough time on the history of francophone countries, current events, etc. One of my French teachers once invited our 6-person class to her appartment to have lunch and make up a missed class. It was awesome. Definitley one of the more memorable experiences I've had a Richmond. I feel like education is definitely geared toward learning for its own sake, which is what's best (or so they say?) for the "real world" since, if you know how to think, you can adapt yourself more easily to different jobs/learn faster.

John

Classes are small and its easy to get a close relatinship with your professor. There are two types of students at campus. People who are working hard most of their time and then there are the people who are very good at doing minimum and getting satisfactory grades. Most students take their class work seriously even though those that dont seem to make this seem untrue. One thing i reccomend is to make sure u have a rough idea of your major and to start getting prerequistites out of the way for it.

Ale

The are not enough good things to say about the professors and administrators. They seem to genuinely care about the academic community. It is not uncommon for professors to invite their students for home cooked meals at their homes, or participate in community service with their classes. Students are highly engaged in their work inside and outside the classroom. They are not afraid to hold intellectual conversations about their school work or current events. Almost everyone competes for the best internships and grades, but professors are known for seeing a B as an advanced grade.

Chris

Every Professor I have knows my name. I am a good student, but not particularly outstanding. They know my name because the classes are so small. This is a huge advantage that Richmond offers. The individual attention gives almost infinite academic resources at his disposal. But be careful! The drawbacks of such small classes is that you are always under the watchful eye of a teacher. You will be expected to participate and discuss is virtually every class.

Suzanne

General education requirements are a hassle and waste of time, as is Core, the requirement for all first year students. Classes are small, which is great. I had a class last semester of 11 students which enabled me to feel more comfortable participating and to get to know the professor really well.

Chris

The credit system will make my hopes of getting in to medical school disapear.

James

The academics are very satisfying, however this is also due to the fact that I enterred before the drastic tuition hike and was thus unaffected. On the whole the faculty is competent, friendly, and concerned with their student's well-being.

Ben

Professors are fine. Students study. Participation is average. Richmond students sometimes participate in intellectual conversations outside class, but not too much. Students are somewhat competitive, but not very much. Professors seem to care about their students. Academic requirements are ok. The education can be geared toward whatever the student wants it to be geared towards.

Alex

Classes at Richmond are fantastic. I have never had a professor who didn't know my name. Small class sizes are the norm here (my personal largest class was 30 people in Microeconomics). Classes are very intense. Students are required to do significant amounts of reading and participate in intense discussion. Luckily, this allows conversation to move outside of the classroom. In the midst of high personal academic standards, students remain cooperative. This is one of the things I love most about Richmond. It is very easy for students with high standards to become competitive and ignore the needs of classmates. Instead, Richmond students are very willing to help each other so that all students can have the best academic experience possible.

Amanda

Academics at Richmond are really a major strength of the school. All my professors know my name within days, and remember me after I've taken a class with them. Classes are difficult, and you have to study a lot. Class participation is one of the largest portions of your grade in any non-math/science class. The professors are amazing, I've been to my advisor's house for dinner. They are always willing to help with anything and everything, and willing to take time out of their own busy schedules. We also get great visiting professors in the Political Science Dept-I've had two professors who teach at SAIS at JHU. Core is a major requirement that most students hate, but it's really not that bad. The only issue is that the workload can vary a lot depending on the professor you have.

Jordan

I am a Leadership Studies Major at Richmond and that alone is unique, I mean it wasn't even a choice on this survey! I absolutely love my major because it is unique and because I have learned so many different things. I always tell people that a Leadership Major doesn't teach you how to do one specific job, it teaches you how to live your life. My favorite class here has been Justice and Civil Society. The course examined social justice issues in our culture and what our responsibility as democratic citizens was in solving those issues. I spend a lot of time with professors outside of class. Two of my favorite professors I see almost every week even though I dont have classes with them anymore. Over the years these genious professors have become my friends and I go to them for advice or help on othe academic subjects.

Kate

Professors definitely know students' names. They will make conversation with you outside of class, and if you want to do research or work with professors they are easily accessible. Students study a lot. However, most students are great at time management and so while they may be in the library til midnight on Thursday night, they do it so they can have fun with friends over the weekend. Professors look for class participation. It makes students stand out, they can tell who has prepared the material. I've even been told that I couldn't participate anymore in a class so that she could challenge some of the other students to complete the reading and answer questions.

Melanie

Students take class work very seriously. They need to slow down and actually focus on learning rather than getting the grade and killing themselves in the process. I have great intelectual conversations, but I seek them or start them. And I love that my professors know who I am. I like getting to know my professors and learning from their experiences. My favorite classes have been, Marine Biology which was very hands on service learning. AMAZING and Women Gender Sexuality Studies with Dorthy Holland-she is amazing, and body sex world religion, and Human Strength and Positive function is great! I am doing a meditation project in there currently and its changing my outlook on life.

Stephanie

Note number 1: Richmond is much harder than I thought it would be. Note number 2: I'm still alive and still here. Even though I thought I wasn't going to make it last semester, I did. My professors were extremely helpful and I figured out that I can handle a lot more than I thought. Obviously I have had professors I do not like and taken classes you couldn't pay me take again. Yet I have discovered my passion here and the Journalism department is full of people who are just made of awesome. Seriously, the Department of Journalism (as they're officially called) is amazing. The professors are smart and experienced. They have amazing connections and internship opportunities. They are just fun people who know what the heck they're talking about. Getting a Liberal Arts education is also very nice and helpful. I am glad there is an eclectic class selection because I like a lot of different things and enjoy taking a variety of classes instead of being in the same thing all the time. Sometimes I need a break from writing and want to do a little music or art, etc. But that also means I have to take things like math, which I hate with a fiery passion. Thank God for Elementary Programming! I am irked by the URAware Wellness class requirement, which is an alcohol awareness class. Basically, someone talked to us for two hours about how many drinks we could have a day and how drinking is better for you than not. I walked out thinking, "why did I pay for this?" Overall the academics at UofR are tough but worth it. If you're ready for some serious library hours and intellectual and political conversations with friends, head on over!

Julia

Professors always know your name. It might take them some time to learn it but classes are generally so small that they are forced to learn your name quickly. Also, Professors want to know their students and so they do really try to not only learn the names of all their students but to keep up with their students in various other aspects of their lives here on campus. Students study a lot here. It isn't uncommon to find students working or in the library on a Friday or Saturday night and most students stay up late doing work. Additionally, around finals it’s practically impossible to find a computer in the library. Class participation is common but more so in the upper level classes. In a lot of the 101 or intro level classes students take, generally as freshman, a lot of the people are there to fulfill certain general requirements and, thus, aren't interested in the subject matter so, as a result, they don't participate in class. However, most classes are discussion based so student participation is vital to keeping the class moving and a lot of students do contribute their opinions and ideas.

Rachel

Since class sizes here are generally pretty small, professors tend to know students' names. That doesn't prevent them from calling you consistently by completely random name that's not yours, however... (as happened to me in a chemistry class last semester). Students spend about the same amount of time studying during the week that they do drinking on the weekends. The amount of in class participation really depends on how much students are getting graded on it: if class participation is part of the final grade, students are much more likely to do it regularly than if it is completely optional. Even then, some students never open their mouths (either because of shyness or apathy about the class). Sometimes conversations are spawned by what we discussed in class, but only occasionally are they academic. However, that again depends on the class. There might be more intellectual conversation matter provided by a leadership or literature class than by an economics course. Academic requirements here really range from being lax to being extremely vigorous, and that difference is made mostly by the professors. An easy professor means an easy A, while some A students cannot achieve more than a B- if the professor is challenging or unusually difficult to please.

Mary

All my professors know my name since my largest class has about 25 students in it. Generally, the professors here really care about students learning and they make it challenging enough to keep it interesting. Theres a decent amount of classes offered so you can dabble in different areas. The students here are very smart and pretty competitive. They know how hard they have to work to do well so the library will be packed during the week but we use the weekend to relax and release from all the stress. It is definitely a work hard, party hard kind of school.

Kristen

I've had some great professors, and I've had some really boring ones. Your academic experience really does depend on the professor. The one thing I really like about Richmond is the small class sizes. Lots of individual attention is available.

Quinn

I'm pretty sure all of my professors know my name. I see some of the professors I had last semester outside of class and they recognize me. It's really great. My favorite class was CS150. It was a decently easy class; I learned something I never studied before that I just happened to be good at; I stumbled upon my major; and I got a sweet job as a lab assistant. My LEAST favorite was definitely CORE. There are just no good teachers for CORE. The kids here study pretty much all the time. There were a good 50-some people in the library on a FRIDAY AFTERNOON once. It's very competitive here. I feel like most of the education here is geared toward making a career. Most of the kids here are trying their best to get ahead and lay a good foundation for whatever they choose to do in the future.

Mary

Yes, professors know their students, class size is small enough that you learn a lot. Some students study more than others. In the arts and sciences school the atmosphere is not too competitive. The music department has a good unity. Everyone knows each other and says hi to each other in the halls. It is not cutthroat as everybody is too busy trying to get through their classes. Plus you can feel confident that you have a community in which you can make stupid music jokes like A C and E walk into a bar and the bartender says "sorry, we don't serve minors here" The education at Richmond is geared toward learning for its own sake, but I feel like a lot of students feel pressured that they are never going to get a job, so there are a lot of art students who double major in premed or business. A lot of people double major on campus. If you are not double majoring, prepare to tell people that you feel confident your degree will show your qualifications without five billion majors on it.

Dylan

Professors definatley know my name and will know it for the next four years... it's not just me. It's amazing. Favorite class: Organic Chemistry because I find it fun and nobody else does because they can't do it. Leave favorite: CORE! Study habits: People are good about keeping up with their work. We are a top 25 school in the nation. We wouldn'tbe there if we didn't work. Class participation: In most classes, yes. BUT in CORE probably not. You can find people to have intellectual conversations with BUT the sterotypical richmonder probably won't. They are too busy getting fucked while they're drunk at the apartment or the Lodges. Competitive: YES Most unique class: American Lit, Radical perspectives... basically a class that is trying to stop capitalism from turning into fascism which at Richmond is big. My major is actually Biochemistry and Molecular biology. I love the department a lot. They are an amazing group of dedicated scientists. Time outside of class with Profs: For me it doesn't really happen but I know pleanty to people who hang out with profs other times. Academic Requirements: They're the usual... no complaints. Getting a job, or learning... Hmmmm probably getting a job. Actually yes, getting a job. I will not say that they sacrifice learning for its own sake but getting a job is very high on the list.

Becky

Yes, it's sad - ask many students here and they'll haughtily reply that they should have gone to Harvard or another such institution. Indeed, UR's often been called the safety school of the Ivy Leaguers, and admittedly it was a safety school for me and several of my friends. But okay, we're here now, and I know very few who are dissatisfied with the rigor of academic life at the school. In keeping with its liberal arts curriculum, Richmond has an extensive set of general education requirements - some students like this built-in opportunity to explore other disciplines but I believe most see them as at least somewhat of a nuisance. These include Social Analysis, Math, Science, Foreign Language, Composition, Arts, and History, I believe, although students can apply AP credit to these or test out of select classes. I didn't have to take a lot of Gen Ed classes myself, but was definitely annoyed to be stuck in Bio 100 last fall looking at algae under a microscope and writing a 6 page paper about a tree instead of taking Art History or a news writing class. My advice: definitely definitely take your AP or IB tests! They serve you well here. In addition to the Gen Eds, all freshmen students are subjected to the common bonding experience of Core class (it's currently a year long, but this may change). The reading for this class is your basic Nietzsche, Freud, Darwin, with a spattering of novels, but depending on your professor, experiences will vary widely. I'm an English and French major, and really love the classes within my departments. I know the lecture classes in the math and science departments are generally much larger, but for me the liberal arts classes have ranged between 8 to 25 students. I really appreciate the relationship I have with professors here - they genuinely care about their students and some that I haven't had for class since first semester will still greet me by name when I see them around campus. I haven't had a professor yet who wasn't accessible to his students - I was particularly impressed when a French teacher last fall came in on a Sunday to help the students in our class with technical difficulties on a project. I know that in the upper levels, this student-teacher relationship only continues to grow, and I know seniors this year who have lunch with their profs and who have travel plans with them after graduation! There are certainly many students here who are in school for a set career path - we have a Business School and a Leadership School, both of which have very good programs. Students within the Liberal Arts programs might not necessarily have a certain career in mind, but have several resources available to them in the career services center and the experience and support of their professors. Students in the Arts departments generally let their interests first determine their major, and then try to go from there in determining a career path. I feel there's a good balance here between learning for learning's sake and preparing for life in the real world. The involvement of students in academic and cultural events outside of classes attests to this.

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