This has to be one of the big draws of the U. Virtually every program has its idiosyncratic flaws to it, but the overwhelming majority have excellent professors that do a good job enabling and even forcing students to not only think outside of the box, but to incorporate other fields of study into their own methods of teaching. What that mouthful means is, the U does a wonderful job of preparing students for the real world because they don't teach in little bit-sized fragments, but rather teach across the whole breadth of knowledge. There are some amazing professors in every field of study, whether you're talking about the School of Business, Science, Humanities, etc. It always amazes when I look for my professors, how many of them have doctorate degrees from some of the most esteemed universities in the country. Utah also has almost everything a person could ask for. Utah has a School of Medicine, a Law School, a School of Business and everything in between. Being that I know the area of journalism and communication a bit better than most, I will say that a School of Journalism is one thing the U does lack, although I think the learning environment at The Daily Utah Chronicle, KUTE, and other media-based environments do a good job of compensating. When you talk about Utah's academics, it would be wrong to skip over the fact that their are well-known professors in just about every field of study, but it is rare for a university to have a Nobel Prize laureate. The U has Mario Cappechi, who stands as an example of one of the things the U values most, and that is research.
- The U is BIG, compared to smaller, private liberal arts schools. Outsiders may complain that it's so big, that you don't get any contact with the professor/instructor. But it's the very opposite that is true. If you approach your professor at the end of class or during his office hours and you show him how interested you're in his class, not only will he know your name, he will care a lot about you. Besides, for example my in Chem class tehre are about 200+ students. But it has been split up into approx. 30-people discussion groups which meet at different scheduled times during the week for quizzes and to review the hw. A T.A. is assigned to a couple DG's and when they meet, the T.A. is in close contact w/teh fewer students, thus making it easier on both him AND us to comprehend the topic and get less intimidated when asking questions. - Class participation is NOT required (only a few classes mandate it), but some professors definitely go out of their way to make it seem so. Some may provide incentives that make it less "tempting" for us to miss class. Again in my Chem class AND DG meetings, for example, I get to have 1 lowest test score + 2 lowest quiz scores dropped ONLY IF I miss less than 3 classes of each. On the other hand, a few classes are so small (~20 people) that the instructor is pratically mandated to regulate attendance.
The University of Utah is a large school that has a ton of different majors and departments to choose from. The business school, law school, and medical school are all nationally ranked. There's pretty much something for everyone. My major is mass communication with a print journalism emphasis, but I have also taken a few "technology/arts" courses and am pursuing a minor in creative writing. (By the way, the U's Creative Writing Program happens to be one of the best in the country.) While there were a few classes that were primarily lectures in an auditorium, the vast majority of my classes have had 20-35 students with a fair amount of attention from the instructor and an active dialogue in the classroom. A few of my classes were taught by adjunct professors who were still active in the newspaper industry. For example, my political reporting class was taught by the political editor at The Salt Lake Tribune, my sports reporting class was taught by the Associated Press sports reporter assigned to Salt Lake City. Not only were these professors able to convey their knowledge about their respective craft, but they have proven to be good contacts when networking for internship and job opportunities.
Class participation: Class participation is not common. It seems that in every class I've taken, and I'm a junior now spanning multiple departments, there are maybe 3 people who ever speak up and everyone else just sits there like a zombie hoping for an edible brain to stumble by. My professors that like a lot of class participation have seemed frustrated and have resorted in many cases to bribes and punishment to get the deadwood to speak up. When they do, it's just to parrot back something that has already been said. Getting a job or learning for learning's sake? I think that it is definitely geared for the workforce. This is evidenced by popular opinion of graduate degrees in any field other than law, business or medicine and the liberal arts entirely which is, "Why bother?" I think people here are so focused on starting a family and getting to be "Adults" (whatever that is supposed to mean) that they've lost curiosity and ingenuity. People here, instead of taking courses they are interested in but are ignorant about, take courses as easy as possible and as similar to previous courses as possible.
With the University of Utah being a school of over 28,000 students, it is hard to find classes small enough to get some one-on-one relation with the professor. However, if you are a student who gets good grades, and who actually cares about the quality of his or her education, yet one who desires a big school feel, there is an answer. The Honors Program at the University provides a fantastic way to get some one-on-one relationships with some of the best professors on campus, in classes that are capped at 40. With regard to the attitude of your average professor on campus, I must say it is one of incredible pride. With the University of Utah being a research university, oftentimes the professors at the U become so caught up in the stigma of their own work that they forget they are fallible human beings just like everybody else, and it often shines through. However, if you will be a student in the School of Business, as I am, I would highly recommend Professor Calvin M. Boardman. His attitude is one quite contrary to that which was aforementioned, and he is quite an excellent teacher.
Most of my professors know my name; I enjoy all of my classes, I learn different and unique things in each one. Some students study a fair amount, while others don't really give a fuck and are more concerned with partying and sex. The most unique class I've taken is probably evolution and diversity of life lab, a microscopy lab where we follow the theorized process of evolution, beginning with simple bacteria and ending with complex mammals. I am a biology, psychology and chemistry major, I love science if you can't tell lol. All 3 programs are great, lots of research and field application opportunities. I frequently spend time with my professors after class, which has made my academic experience much more enriching. I like the academic requirements, theres a lot of freedom in the classes you can take; The great thing about education at the U, is you can learn for its own sake or become more involved and do more applied activities such as research or field experience courses.
I have been impressed by the business school. The professors have taken the time to get to know me and take a personal interest in my life. One of my favorite classes so far has been my intro to accounting course because of how amazing the teacher was and how good it felt to succeed in her class. The classes that I have had have been very interactive classes in which students are commenting and participating often. I am majoring in accounting and was just recently given a unique opportunity to explore accounting jobs because of my professors. The professors that helped me get this opportunity helped me along the way and spent a lot of extra time helping me get prepared. I really like the accounting department and feel like it is preparing me to work.
Yes. Most favorite--Power Basics--it's about the understanding of power in politics and business. Great class. Least favorite--Chem 101 Yes. Yes. Very. Most unique? Film Festival Workshop--it's a class based on the Sundance Film Festival. Film studies is growing in Utah. Utahns go see more movies and buy more dvds per capita then any other place, so we have very strong perspectives on film. The program is a division of the College of Art, but it's becoming bigger all the time. Not so much. Good. It's a great mix between both.
there are some professors that know my name. yes. my favorite class is gymnastics, becuase i teach it. my least favorite class is foundations of analysis or my multicultural education class. i try to spend time with professors outside of class but some of them are not very inviting. they think their research is more important than an undergraduate student. i feel some classes more than others are geared toward getting a job.
Professors do know you and remember your name which is nice. People get involved here, but it may still be referred to as a commuter school. One of our professors just won a Nobel Prize for his work in Genetics. We have a huge research and Development dept. We are also sought out by other Graduate schools because of the Mormons and the great reputation that they have in the academic and business field.