All of my professors know my name. One semester, I got an internship and my hours conflicted with one of my Tues/Thurs courses. After telling my prof I was going to have to drop, he made another suggestion: come to class on Thurs (which were test days) and go see him on Wed. I had my own personal class on Wednesdays with him! We became really good friends. Studying is relative. I am an electrical engineering major and I'm not a genius: I study a minimum of 20 hours a week. I would say that is definitely on the high end of the scale. All of my profs have been really great helping outside the classroom, spending hours to make sure i understand things. Most intense academic memory: In my circuits course, the final was two days for 3 hours each. It was during an ice storm so not everyone did great. We all got incompletes and had to go finish in Jan. We went in individually and the two profs who taught the course together would put a problem on the white board and you had to work it out with them commenting on your methods, etc. It was the most intense thing ever! On the other hand, I really know my circuit theory now! TU (especially in engineering) is really great about helping students get internships, locally and in their home town. Also, I have spoken and had meetings with numerous TU administrators, including the president. They are eager to hear from the students and work with them.
Since TU is so small with an undergraduate population of about 2,500, my class sizes are pretty small as well with around 30 students in one class room. My professors do know me by name and that was one of my critias when choosing a college. I like talking to my teachers. When I have a problem with understanding any materials, the professors are very approachable and assessible. Students here must study to earn a good grade. Some classes have less work than others but that depends on the professor. Some students don't realize this until they start filing for dismissal from the university. The students are not too competitive like many of the other schools however, there are opportunities for leadership and scholarship which can become pretty competitive. At the beginning of the year, I was a finance major but then realized that coming into TU with 15 hours allowed me to pick up a dual major in accounting and finance without making my time at the university extend so I changed it a few months into the semester. Then I noticed that it was also possible to get a psychology minor. Since TU is a liberal arts university, we get to explore curriculms outside our college (mine being the business college). And graduate I need some general education credits which brought me to psychology. It's really fascinating. I enjoy the classes a lot.
All of my professors know my name and know something about me. They are very personable. My favorite class has probably been American Sign Language or Math. I didn't love Math in HS but I love it now. The teachers are amazing. My least favorite class was a Geology class and that's just because it was unusually big, early, and boring. Students study a lot, but you also don't really see that impacting your social life. Students are really responsible because the "cool" thing to do is study and then hang. It's great. Students are competitive in terms of athletics but I haven't really noticed much in terms of academics. The most unique class I've taken was probably Intro to Oceanography. I am a Deaf Education Major and the department is just AMAZING. If that is what you're thinking about going into, you will love it from the very start. I spend time with one of my professors because I work under her. Most of my other professors I will see at some Deaf events but I don't reallyt "spend time" with them. The academic requirements are great. They provide you a solid foundation and really are top notch compared to most schools. TU's education is geared towards learning all that you can the 4 years and then going out into the real world and being happy and successful doing something that you are passionate and knowledgeable about.
Classes are very small, and the professorial faculty is exceptional. The problem with being such an insular school, however, is that some professors are able to get away with doing a very pisspoor job. In my least favorite class, Genetics & Human Diversity, the professor taught exclusively from PowerPoint. I think that there is a community of pretentious people who make it a point to seem intellectual and aloof, but in general, people are fairly down-to-earth, yet still very intelligent. The music school is fairly middle-of-the-road in terms of quality, although I am happy to be a part of its strongest suits, its piano and composition departments. Performance standards for TU musicians are very low, especially among vocalists, and one can expect to dread most of the Wednesday recital classes because of the horrible performances that tend to dominate. TU School of Music's weakest attribute is its seeming unwillingness to direct people toward other careers; some very untalented, lazy, completely incompetent students have graduated under the pretense that at some point they would actually have a chance at becoming working musicians. Leadership of the music school has been anemic for the past couple of years, but the end of this school year signals a change in leadership that should be much for the better.
I have found the academics at TU to be phenomenal. I was used to having all A's in high school and at TU the classes are really challenging and if you receive an A you know you have really worked for it. The class sizes are small and every professor I have had knew my name when I was in class and some of them still know me today. All of the people I hang out with make good grades and so we all study quite often. You cannot blow of classes and still do well here, so if you're hoping to just party and have school on the side TU isn't the place for you! While you must have a little bit of a competitive attitude to do well the people here are NOT completely crazy and competitive like at some schools. People in your classes always want to form study groups with you and are usually willing to swap notes. I feel like it is a group effort where everyone in the class wants to do well--no one will hope for you to do poorly. Overally I have learned SO much while being at Tulsa. I have been particularly amazed by how much I have learned about art history (my minor) and how my drawing and studio art skills have improved (fine art is my major).
At TU, it's very easy for you and your professors to know eachother on a first name basis. Some of my professors even know me by nickname. My favorite class was probably Abnormal Psychology; I got to psychoanalysis Darth Vader for a class project. Not only was it fun, but I learned a lot. Students definitely have their fair share of intellectual discussions outside of class. We have a lot of intellectual student groups for political causes that many students are a part of. If that isn't your thing though, there are plenty of students who would prefer to talk about other things. TU academics are geared towards attaining a general knowledge necessary for success as an adult as well as learning the proper material for your specific field. Some of the core classes are a little trying or boring, but once you get them over with, you can focus on all of the interesting stuff you like. On the whole, TU definitely mixes the need for getting a job and the need for learning for the sake of itself very very well.
My professors definitely know me by name, probably due to the fact that my class sizes have ranged from about ten to fifty. In the College of Arts and Sciences, in which I am enrolled, a large focus is placed on writing. Essays have ruled my life since freshman year, but I think that it helped me to realize my future dreams of becoming a film critic. Professors often encourage class participation and discussions, sometimes with grades depending upon it! Since I cannot speak for other colleges, I am not really sure how TU prepares you for life beyond college. Being a senior a week and a half away from graduation, I am entirely unsure of my future. I feel that college prepares you for life twenty years from college, not immediately after. However, I feel that I have gotten a very well-rounded education at TU, considering I accidentally stumbled into another minor without realizing it!
TU is definitely an academic school. Class participation is common. You always have some annoying people who won't shut up, but there's a good proportion of the class who participate at a good level. I am part of the College of Business Administration, where the advisers and faculty are amazing. I have heard that at state schools, you are basically given a list of classes you should take to get a degree. My advisers meet with students every semester to talk about how stuff is going and what they should be taking. They care about making sure students take the classes they need, and that they're getting the most out of their education here. Several of my professors have arranged meetings with every student to get to know them and their goals. I have spent time with professors outside of class, sometimes for help, and sometimes just chatting.
Professors are usually well-informed, courteous, and encouraging, but it really depends on what you want to study. My favorite class was Telecommunications, which taught me a lot that I apply during my summer internship. My least favorite class was Road Films because a first-timer teacher taught the class and had little idea how to manage students. The business school does a fairly good job instructing their students on major-related matters. Some of the basic classes that everyone has to take can be mind-numbing, but the class size never breaches 40. There is also great emphasis on finding an internship to complement your studies, but the career center can't help you if you want to do anything outside of the Tulsa area.
Class sizes are generally small and so far almost all of my professors have made a point to learn everyone's name. I think a lot of students study an amount above average for Oklahoma schools, at least. Class participation is higher than I expected. Students do have intellectual conversations outside of class, but I don't think that students are overly competitive. Compared to my high-pressure private high school, TU seems very relaxed. The most unique class I took was and advanced English class based on magazines, mostly from the 20's. I do not spend time with professors outside of class, but I know some people do. I think TU's education is geared toward learning for learning's sake. TU has high academic requirements.