My major is astronomy...my minor is spanish. The students are very competitive, 'cause all are from the tops of their respective high schools and/or community colleges. Time with professors outside of class...somewhat limited, professor office hours are somewhat limited, but professors are willing to accomodate if one requests a special meeting with them. The astronomy department is small one. UVA's astronomy department is some and somewhat unique in the fact that it is independent and not incorporated within the physics department.
The best. I'm honored.
UVa has everything in terms of academics. There are hard classes and easy classes. I think it best to try everything before you settle on any one track. Take advantage of the learning community and really push yourself intellectually. Learn about things that you would never encounter anywhere else. Take a Gender Studies class, fail a Calculus class, learn about poetry. My goal is usually take four classes I need and I take one class for fun or that I wouldn't ever consider. Work hard, play hard is very truly. But what is most important is working smart. Only you know what works for you. Before you get here figure that out and you'll be okay. So long as you give you best you'll be okay. You'll definitely not be that smartest person in any of your classes, in fact sometimes you'll sound like an idiot, but what matters is going for it! In the true spirit of capitalism UVa is about input and output. SO put in time and effort and you will do great here.
.Academics at UVa are rigorous and respected with self-motivated and engaged students. You will walk by students discussing politics, science, and business and have exposure to hundreds of academic CIO's to exhaust your intellectual curiosity. Maybe of your suite mates is interning for an investment bank and the other traveling to South America to study abroad. Moreover, the professors are internationally recognized and the school is ranked near the top as a public university with an undergraduate business program and school of Public Policy and Leadership.
The academics are beneficial and rigorous. Professors can be invited to lunch or visited in office hours. Their knowledge of your name depends on class size and your personal participation. Students study all hours at various libraries on grounds. Class participation is common during discussion sections and less common during lectures. Students often engage in intellectual conversations outside of class. Competition varies from field of study and student by student. The most unique class I have taken was Arabic language. I intend to major in commerce and minor in foreign affairs. I often attend professors office hours. The school's academic requirements are just and ensure the educational quality of the university. You can tailor classes to a job or explore intellectual curiosities because the university offers opportunities to do both.
One of the best things about my education at UVA is that it occurs both in and out of class. Most of my favorite classes have been small discussion based classes, but even my 500 person Economics class was awesome! What's even better is that we have these great class discussions and as we make friends in class, the discussions continue outside of lecture. Some of the best conversations I've had with people here have been intellectual. Because UVA's academic reputation is so high, the caliber of student here is unmatched. I've learned so much from my professors and my peers, and I think that is something unique about UVA.
I'm an Economics and French double major and my experience has been incredible. The economics department is stellar, and my French professors have been some of the most engaged that I've ever experienced. What's great about the French department in particular, is that because the classes are small (usually 15-20 students) we tend to connect with each other and the professors on a really personal level. I've been to lunch with a professor, and many are very adamant that we stop by their offices even when we are no longer in the class.
As for academic requirements, I feel that professors expect a lot of us, but that is a great thing! We all work really hard to meet those expectations and I think that enhances our educational experience. My best classes have often been my most difficult classes. What I love about UVA is that although the professors want us to learn certain quantifiable skills, they all seem really invested in our personal growth and education for its own sake. Group assignments are a pretty regular thing and most professors are always willing to recommend other classes or outside reading if you show interest. Academics at UVA are a very student driven experience. You as a student have to show interest and approach professors to grow from their experiences. This is highly encouraged and I think most students take advantage of the excellent faculty here.
Looking at our rankings, we're an academically strong school. Our East Asian Language Department is one of the most effective in the country (as a Chinese learner, I can attest to that). We have one of the highest African American graduation rates among major public institutions in America. It's hard when you're humble to imagine yourself attending one of the best schools in the nation. I feel a majority of the students wonder how they got into UVA when their peers have published books or have interned with presidential campaigns. Yet, everybody who goes here beat out other competitive applicants. They're here because they deserve to be here. I think the students here are incredibly motivated and engaged. When Secretary of State John Kerry came to speak here, the battle over tickets was ridiculous. People hosted viewing parties in their apartments during the 2012 presidential debates. Needless to say, the students here really care about being involved outside the classroom. Of course, they're involved in the classroom too. I've witnessed a good amount of people staying after class to ask questions, and I've received emails about forming study groups. The courses here are hard, but the students work harder.
Although some of the introductory courses are large, the professors are eager to have discussions and get to know their students. UVa even offers a free student and professor lunch! The classes here are challenging and force you to think outside the box. Academics at UVa stimulate you to think deeper and learn more than you ever though possible. Being a psychology major, all of my favorite classes are within the psych department. The professors int his department, and all over the school, are renowned and brilliant. And as our founder Thomas Jefferson believes: learning never stops. UVa is not just geared toward finding a career, but towards learning as much as you can and continuing your education even after your 4 years at the university. There is no better place to get an education.
Thomas Jefferson designed UVA around the concept of an "academical villiage": a place where learning is continual. UVA is exactly that. I talk about the same things outside class as I do inside class. I regularly socialize with professors in casual and formal settings. Some of my closest friends at college are the professors I've met in class who I've adopted as mentors. They sense passion and are genuinely concerned with inspiring you to create goals and helping you make the connections to achieve them. Our professors genuinely care about helping you find your calling -- and they have the networks to get you there.
Students are highly competitive. There is a reason we are a top recruiting school for investment banks and consulting companies: we love to win and we are willing to work for it. Competition is not cutthroat, but you have to be willing to work for the grade. You need A's to get in, but you have to learn how to function when B's and C's are the norm.
If you cheated your way through high school, don't come here. UVA is famous for its honor code: if you substantially lie, cheat, or steal, you'll be expelled. We take it seriously and it's something most of us prize.
UVA is serious about letting its students lead the institution. We have a multitude of interdisciplinary majors -- like global development studies or bioethics -- which developed from students creating independent majors. Exceptional students are admitted to the Echols Scholars Program: a program which exempts you from all prerequisites, gives you priority registration, and provides the option of creating an independent major.
Again, one distinct aspect of the University of Virginia is the wide range of experiences you can have, depending on the academic choices you make. For me, in a small, specialized major, most of the professors know me, there is a great deal of competition, students get together to chat about classwork, and sometimes we meet the professors for dinner or coffee. However, many of my friends are in some of the bigger programs, like pre-med, pre-law, business and political science. In these types of programs, it is harder to stand out, the competition is incredibly fierce, and the class sizes are huge!
My most unique class was a graduate class in Theories of Language. It was held in one of the professor's homes on the Lawn. There were about 6-7 of us, and we often sat around the table discussing language, linguistics, and philosophy. The professor would sometimes order food, so it was a great experience!
I also enjoyed the many opportunities to have independent studies with professors. I took one in Tunisian Arabic in which I most often met the professor for coffee while we chatted in Arabic. I am currently taking an independent study in Pragmatics with a philosophy professor. We sometimes take his humongous dog for a walk around Grounds while discussing what I have been reading.
I somewhat answered this question in my previous answer. I am in the school of nursing at UVa and pretty much most professors get to know you by name. Almost all of the students can walk through the halls at the nursing school and have their professors say hi to them. And what is really nice is that most of the professors truly care about their students. If there is a family emergency or problem they make sure to check up on the student and provide emotional support as appropriate. Also, several of the students in our class shaved their head for St. Baldrick's (a fundraiser for kids cancer research) and one of our professors came to the event! It is great how involved the faculty are with their students. And they are more than helpful when it comes to getting jobs. We have had mock interviews, a list of contacts at hospitals and several tips about applying.
As for more personal academics, students definitely have to work hard at the school. Typically I spend 10-30 hours a week outside of class doing work. Honestly, it varies by semester, the classes you are taking, and what time in the semester it is. As a nursing student, spring semester third year and fall semester fourth year are very busy. The workload is quite ambitious and there is a lot to do. But it is nice because most of your friends are also doing the same work and you have people to empathize with you. Most of the work includes one large paper per school year (there will also be several mini papers as well), studying for tests, and reading (for select classes). Also, nursing students are required to do what is called "prep" before each clinical experience. At first this can take students up to 10 hours to complete. However, as time goes on and you get more proficient it can take as little as 2 hours.
Another nice thing about the academics at the school of nursing is that students are not competitive with one another, but rather they are helpful. All of the time students will share notes if another misses a class, answer questions when studying for exams, create study guides together, etc. We work together as a team and it makes for a great community within our class.
Academics at UVA are, not surprisingly, very rigorous and challenging. But that being said, you get out of your classes exactly what you put into them. Professors make themselves accessible with their office hours, you can take classes of virtually any size in virtually any subject or topic area, and students do take their work seriously. We offer a special program called "Take Your Professor to Lunch" where--surprise, surprise--you take your professor to lunch, but the catch is that the University will pay for it. Majority of the professors here are extremely personable and VERY knowledgable in their respective areas. What I like most is the fact that they a.) strive to find innovative and engaging ways to make you learn the material, versus just memorizing it and b.) genuinely care about fostering a relationship with their students beyond a merely academic basis. It's common to find review sessions at professor's homes or pizza shops, and I can honestly say that every faculty member I've taken the time to get to know, has more than reciprocated those feelings. You'll find that the student-faculty relationship here is one that can be extremely beneficial, if you are willing to make it so.
The academics at the University of Virginia are top of the line. UVa is consistently rated as one of the top public universities in the United States year in and year out. Moreover, the different schools (Engineering, Commerce, Medical) are always rated high as well and are extremely competitive to get in to. Classes and schedules at UVa vary according to one's major. Engineering students usually have most of their schedules and courses strictly outlines while the liberal arts degrees have a little more rang to choose their own classes. The professors at UVa are really nice and friendly. They are also extremely competent in the respective fields. With the amount of students at UVa it is up to the students to make an effort to get to know their teachers. However, it is not hard to get to know them. They have specific office hours for students to visit, and if they cannot be reached during that time they will usually accomodate the students to meet at another time. As a foreign affairs major I generally have two types of classes: lectures and discussions. A lecture class is the main class taught by the professor with around 200-300 students in that class, and lectures usually meet twice to three times a week. With the lectures one will also have a discussion class. The discussion class meets once a week with a teaching assistant (TA) from the lecture class. Here the class is usually around 20 students so participation is a lot more involved. Discussions are a great opportunity to ask questions about the lectures and readings that one does in the course.
There are a bunch of different classes with varying class sizes. The language classes that I have been in, varied from 5 to 25. The Psychology classes are always huge (up to 300) unless you're in one of the concentrated classes (around 60). I've really enjoyed the USEM and COLA classes which are a nice break from the major courses that you have to take. Some professors are more accessible than others but from my experience, they've always been available if you send them an email prior to meeting up. My language professors have been absolutely amazing. They have been really helpful and not only have helped me in my Spanish studies but were ready to answer any questions that I had in general.
The academics at UVA are top notch. When I came to college I was worried about having massive classes with hundreds of people in them and was quite intimidated. But, for the most part my classes have no more than 120 people in them. In fact many of my classes are rather small and personable. Either way the professors at UVA are great. They are passionate about their subject, effective teachers, and always try and get the students to participate during class. The professors also are always available for help outside of class, which I find invaluable since most professors are more than willing to help you out. Classes at UVA tend to be challenging and a lot of work and the students there are very competitive and work extremely hard. I feel that the combination of talented professors, challenging coursework, and competitive classmates provides an excellent learning experience and prepares you for a tough job market after graduation.
The academics at UVA are challenging. Once you fall behind, it is hard to catch up. Due to this reason, it is important to keep up with your daily readings and assignments. Most professors will not know their students names unless if you visit their office hours. This past semester all of my professors knew my name as I took advantage of their office hours to ask additional questions or clarify something I did not understand in class lecture. My favorite class was my Biology class as the professor did visual demonstrations to help me understand the topics. In big lectures such as Chemistry and Biology class participation is common through the use of the Iclickers. The students are very competitive and even on regular weekdays the Clemons library is full. Many students even come to the library after 12 am to study. The most unique class I have taken is my ENWR class as I got to write papers on environmental and aesthetics. My best paper that was also submitted for a scholarship prize was on Dubai's architecture. This is one of the requirement classes in the College of Arts and Sciences at UVA. I thought this class was useful as it strengthened my writing skills for other classes in which I may need to write long papers.
The professors all know my name, even in a 100 person class. Students are really serious and focused on their work. Any school night, you'll see a lot of students studying. Students almost always participate in class. Intellectual conversations outside class are somewhat common, I've even heard some political talk at a few parties. The level of competition though is pretty intense. A lot of the super hard classes are graded on a curve, so you really have to stay on top of your game.
The academics at UVA are definitely difficult. One common misperception is that the hardest part about UVA is just getting in and once admitted, the classes are very easy. This is far from true. Professors and teachers assistants expect a lot from students. It is a very competitive learning environment. Grading curves are prevalent in math and science type classes. One of my least favorite qualities about UVA is the continual focus on curves and grading work based on other students' work.
On the contrary, UVA is a school very strong in academics and therefore intellectual conversations are even encouraged outside the classrooms. It is nice to be able to learn from my peers and to partake in debates going on in the world. Even Professors usually make time to talk with students after class. I have never had a problem with receiving help from Professors. The "take your teacher out to lunch" program is a great opportunity for all students. Basically, each semester students can take up to three students out to lunch. This includes grabbing a meal on campus or even off campus at some restaurants at the Corner. A student receives $30 to split with the Professor. I took a Professor out to Mellow Mushroom (a popular pizza restaurant chain here) last year and learned a lot about his thoughts in his particular discipline.
The academic programs at UVa are diverse and vast. There are so many different majors to pick from and so many classes to choose from within that major. The professors at UVa are amazing. I cannot say enough good things about the UVa professors. Like any school, there are the few that you want to stay away from but, overall, they are fantastic. I'm an English major concentrating in Women's Literature. It's not an actual declarable "concentration," but there are so many classes about it that I can focus on exactly what I'm interested in. There are so many amazing classes that I've taken at UVa, but my two favorites (I couldn't just pick one) were an Appalachian Literature class and a 19th century literature class concentrating on Charlotte Bronte and Elizabeth Gaskell. Class participation in all small classes is mandatory, but it's really not hard to do because the material is so interesting and the students and professor are so interested in the subject as well that it's very easy to join in. The professors in these smaller classes always make a very conscious effort to learn everyone's names. In the big, 200 people lecture class that is very difficult, but the professors are still very easy to talk to and remember your name if you approach them outside of class. The students are kind of competitive, but in a very good, healthy way. The students challenge each other to do better, but also help each other out in any and all ways possible.
UVA is hard. The professors expect a lot from you, and most of the students expect a lot from themselves. It is a competitive academic environment, which is great, if you are actually trying to prepare yourself for the fabled "real world."
I guess the most important thing to realize is that professors are actually people, too. Going to office hours can be a really scary event for many students (I don't think I went to office hours at all my first year), but, once you work up the nerve to have a little chat with Prof. Whatever, you'll realize just how helpful and, well, nice, so many of them are. And, if you are having trouble keeping the conversation going, just ask the Prof. about his/her research. You may spend the whole day in that office:-)
As far as what a UVA education will prepare you for--job market, academia, homelessness, etc--it's just like any other school. You can major in underwater basket weaving and have bleak (and blurry) job prospects, but if you major in a field that you are passionate about, you can find a way to get a job doing what you love. It's very important, however, not to fall in the trap of believing that your degree will get you a job. This is NOT TRUE! No matter where you go, you have to make sure to take on some extracurricular job preparation activities. Work in a lab, intern at a local business, work in retail--just do SOMETHING that will set you apart, aside from taking relevant classes.
The academics are incredible. People say that all you do is sit around in 500 person lectures in big state schools, but every professor I've had knows my name. It's true that you have to go out of your way to do that, but I think in a large way that's a good thing. It encourages me to be vocal in the academic community.
Outside of class, I think I have a great balance of intellectual and non-intellectual conversations. It's college, you know.
I'm majoring in English. I visit each professor multiple times a semester, and I try to build a healthy report with all of them. The academic requirements in English are tough but fair. The department encourages its students to understand literary studies as a multicultural discipline.
There's a balance between the "I want a job" route and the "experience of learning" route at UVa. UVa has competitive programs that put out many accountants and big money makers, but also has strong departments that encourage learning for learning's sake.
The best thing about UVa is the level of scholarship it offers. The academics are quite rigorous and UVa students work hard. There are many smart students at UVa, and it certainly shows. Competition, however, seems hardly present, and is certainly not stifling. Students are interested in academically assisting each other. The professors tend to be extremely intelligent and possess expertise in their fields. They all have Ph.Ds and relevant academic publications. Although there are many large classes and a few are required, it is possible to avoid large classes completely once the basic requirements have been fulfilled. In these smaller classes (10-15 students), the discussions are rich and elucidating, and the professors and students have an opportunity to develop personal relationships. Even so, the larger lecture classes can be equally valuable. Professors ensure a dynamic usage of media--film clips, music, art, etc.--in their lectures to keep the topic fresh and apply it to various other areas. It is common to hear students having intellectual conversations outside of class, but of course it depends on the students. Some students have no interest in academics and are at UVa simply for the degree and to start a career. However, this tends to be the exception. Many students are intellectually engaged. The education at UVa can be shaped specifically by the student. Some choose to apply it towards getting a job, whereas others choose to learn simply for the sake of learning. I study in the English department, and I tend to find many creatively-oriented colleagues in my classes.
If I could sum up academics at UVA in a few words, I would say "you get what you put in." Here, the sky is the limit if you want to work hard and learn a lot. There are so many incredible, talented professors here, and every student can tell you who the top dogs are in his or her major. One of my favorite classes was an English seminar taught by an Oxford-educated man who is also a priest! Not only are the professors amazing within each major, but there is also a lot of academic life outside of class. Constant guest speakers (such as foreign leaders and famous intellectuals from every academic field) and drop-in, one time lectures are available for anyone who wants to take a break from their usual course of study. You can meet incredible scholars here, and many times I have looked at a textbook or bibliography and found my instructor's name among the authors. UVA hires very prominent people in the field, and the awesome community of people and strong academic atmosphere keeps these people here year after year. Some subjects are actively tied to the economy and getting a job, but others share in a tradition of learning simply for the love of knowledge. Students here ultimately love whatever they choose to study, because with such good people and peers, it is hard to ignore how great academic life is at UVA. Also, there is so much balance between life inside and outside of class, that people are genuinely happy, focused, and committed to their studies in a healthy way.
The professors know my name but it all depends on you I would say and what classes you have. You may have a class with just 20 people depending on the class and major and some lectures are 450 people, yet in all my classes I make sure my professors know my name. My favorite class was Business in the Workplace because it had guest speakers who have worked in business telling us their experiences, and as I have learned experience is everything. My least favorite class would be Statistics, maybe it’s just because I don’t get Statistics, but also because it was dense material and the teacher really couldn’t relate to the students as must do at UVA. Students often study a good part of the time, right now I actually studying for finals and people have their coffee and tea mugs and some food from the Corner and have locked themselves in study rooms with groups of friend or by themselves.
Class participation is very common on average its about 70% of classes and 30% are not at all, but most of the business classes are participation based. Well my friends in my Hall have intellectual conversations ranging from politics to how colleges can be run, to philosophy principles that we may relate to silly things or things which we find interesting with college life. Students are very competitive, but they are also willing to help you, it’s not like they are just competitive and only care about their well-being so hoard information, if you ask they will help all the time. The most unique class I have taken is Buddhism 2100 we actually went to a local temple and meditated at night it was interesting and really gave us an insight to the Buddhist doctrine and meditation techniques.
My major is Pre-commerce (Must apply second year to get into the Commerce School). Yet there are many events to spend time with professors outside of class, such as bring your professor to lunch and professor dinner/receptions, and office hours of course. The schools’ academic requirements are challenging but reasonable of course, I feel the requirements fit perfectly to helping you be prepared for the real world. The education is actually geared to learning and having great Human capital and intellect as Jefferson wanted. Yet as for the Business school it is also based more on learning, but has heavy emphasis on preparing you to either owning your own business or working at a big firm.
The academics at my school are fantastic. McIntire has one of the best undergraduate programs in the world and the classes are small. There is always a lot of discussion that involves the entire class so everyone knows each other and the teachers know everyone. Students study frequently enough, but much of the work involves projects with groups. The students are very competitive, but are not nasty to each other because of it. The professors are frequently available to talk to, though I don't usually visit. It was difficult to get into the business program, but the academic requirements are reasonable considering what I am getting out of it. The education is about learning but also towards getting a job. My school gets almost everyone a job or into grad school.
We have an honor system whereby you will be expelled if you are caught either lying, cheating or stealing. Yet this system puts a lot of trust in students. We can take many exams and evaluations alone and we are trusted to the point that it is our responsibility to not cheat. Academics are challenging but nor to the point where you will be extremely stressed all the time. The classes you take and the amount of credits you take will decide how your academics will be; it is in your hands basically.
The classes are tough, but the teachers are nice. It's easy to fall behind, but if you are organized and do not procrastinate, you will be just fine.
The architecture school is a very challenging education. As a student you are expected to work for long periods of time and your class schedules often entail for longer hours. It is a smaller group of students and we all knew each others name. The teachers also have smaller groups, between 13-14 students per studio and they get to know you quite well. My favorite class was Lessons in Making, one of the core classes where you learn the principles of making things and discover your strengths in drawing or model making. At the end of the semester your critic will invite you to dinner at his or her house, and you get to see what they have done :)
Academics at UVa are fantastic, For the most part, the professors here really care about their students. I wans in a 500 person class one semester and the professor took the time to memorize everyone's name. I saw him memorizing at the beginning of classes. When people asked questions, he called on them by name! Of course, as with any University, there are some teachers who only care about their research, but from what I've heard, UVa has some of the most caring teachers. All professor's are required to have office hours and most of the time, students actually go to them. My economics professor provided free food to people who came to his office hours!
I don't spend a lot of time with professors outside of class, but I know the University encourages that sort of thing and that a lot of professors welcome it. They have a program here called take your professor to lunch, but I've never used it. Of course, sometimes your professor takes the meal to you. For my Iranian Lit class tomorrow, my professor is treating us to dinner while we have class (a really nice dinner too). And one of my seminar professors catered Afghan food for us while we all sat around and discussed our research papers. These classes are/ were very small. Though the Middle Eastern Politics professor gets everyone in his (150 person) class baklava on the last day of class.
Class participation is common in some classes and not in others. In upper level seminars, participation is required and most students participate to the best of their ability. In other classes (esp. the big ones), participation is less common though people still ask questions during class quite often. Outside of class, I would say that intellectual conversations are semi-common in everyday interaction. Of course, there are clubs where intellectual conversation is all you're going to get. If you want stimulating conversation, you can find it.
Students here are competitive to a degree. Everyone wants to do well, but other students are willing to help their peers. I'm in the humanities, so we aren't really curved and therefore don't have to fight it out like I've heard kids in the sciences have to do, so I don't know about their experiences. But everyone in my classes are generally willing to share notes and collaborate on study guides to the test. It's common to have someone e-mail out to the list serve before a big test and ask if other students want to put together a study guide of all the readings.
Learning here is learning for its own sake. At least for me (I'm a Foreign Affairs and Middle Eastern Studies major). I think that people in the Comm school probably think a little more about life after college than we poly sci people do. But in every major, the requirements are quite rigorous and the general requirements are nothing to sneeze at either. Whether you're an engineer or an English major, you will work while you're here if you want to get good grades. But classes here are fun too. Students can even make their own classes! One of the kids in my Arabic class set up a course on demography for next semester. Most of the classes here are fun in my opinion. I've had a few boring classes, but I've been entertained for the most part and I always learn a lot.
The classes at UVA range from 300 people to less than 20. I have generally have had very good experience with all the classes I have taken at UVA although a couple have been annoying with poor professors. I have been very fortunate in that I have had a couple good relationships with Psychology faculty (which is normally really hard to do because most of the Psychology classes are 300 people classes), and they are extremely intelligent, nice, and caring guys who are happy to talk to me about interesting studies or to help me with my Honors Thesis. My favorite classes have all been Psychology classes and they are really funny, interesting, and entertaining. I feel that everyone that goes to UVA should take at least 1 course in Psychology, and it should be Social Psychology which blew my mind.
The courses here are pretty challenging because most of the students here are very intelligent and very competitive. Class participation is common for smaller classes.
The academic requirements are pretty straightforward. It is probably better to have some credits before entering college from AP or IB classes.
The education at this school is evenly distributed between learning for its own sake and geared for professional careers in business, law, etc.
UVa is not an easy school to get into, and it is academically rigorous. Students do spend a considerable time in the library (of which there are 16 to choose from around grounds), but the academic environment is not cutthroat and the professors are wonderful, always available to students outside of class. It is a very intellectual environment, but as I said, it is not about out-smarting each other by any means; students are generally interested in their classes and we are encouraged to take classes we know we will enjoy as well as those which will broaden our knowledge and viewpoints.
My classes are amazing. Most of my professors know my name and are always available for help. I always walk by one of my professors everyday and she says hi to me. In one of my lecture classes of 300, child psychology, my professor even made the effort to learn my and other peoples' names. This child psychology teacher is probably the best teacher I have and I plan on taking another course with him next semester. The professors truly get into what they teach and it's really cool because so many of them are published and have done their own research which they can expand upon in class. I'm in the nursing school so the nursing school in particular isn't competitive and I don't believe that the other schools are either. It is very easy to get a study group together and study with friends. Nursing is absolutely amazing. Our assistant dean is the best ever. She's super fun and knows close to all students because there are only 67 of us the first year. She knew who I was during orientation. In regards to academic requirements, I feel that the academic requirements are as much as it takes to get in. I believe that college is a new chapter in your life, so it will be hard no matter where you go, but it all depends on the rigor of the schedule you choose.
I won't sugar coat academics at UVA. Yes, they are hard there. You have to remember that people who apply here graduated near the top of their class in high school, and were highly involved in sports, music and clubs, so there is that drive common to all students here for excellence. But because of the high standards and expectations set by the school and professors, the type of discussions and material taught are at a higher level in order to stimulate your mind, even cause controversy.
The notion of perpetual learning is a fundamental to Thomas Jefferson. The reason he founded UVA was because he believed that there was always room for improvement intellectually. There is a diverse selection of classes offered here at the University ranging from material science engineering to intellectual property to history of jazz music (all classes I have taken/plan to take here before graduation). And if you cannot find a class you want to take, make your own. The University allows students to create their own courses, with a faculty advisor's support.
I love my professors. Most get to know you, not just your name but also your personal interests and goals, as long as you make the effort to reach out and meet them. My favorite class was an English seminar my first semester. The teacher was enthusiastic, encouraging, and so personally invested in the material AND the students reading it, that I unquestionably declared my major, and her as my mentor. As I do with many of my professors we still keep in touch and get together for lunch/coffee periodically.
Studying varies between students. A few are geniuses who don't need to study and still ace all their classes. However, for the majority the work is hard, but everyone is talented, so you get out what you put in. I would say it's split: half the students study very hard and do very well, and the other half don't study as much, and do okay. Either way, every student cares a lot about his/her work, and it is always a very studious atmosphere.
It's definitely on a tougher scale than high school. The classes are great and rich, but the tests and finals will get you. Study groups are common and very helpful if you work with the right people.
Most entry level classes are large lectures, but once you get into your major, or specified college, it is a more intimate setting and you can get to know your professors and gain valueable suggestions and advice from them. Participation is always encouraged, recognized, and appreciated. Most classes are tough, but it is not too uncommon to study with friends or by yourself until all hours of the night in ¨Club Clemons¨ (one of the many, many libraries on grounds).
Here's a tip: Don't take 101 classes! They're rarely required and never as interesting as higer-level stuff.
I've been able to take a good mix of larger lecture classes where I can sit in the back and blend in and smaller discussion classes where I can really get into the topic. I like the mix, especially since the larger classes are easier to slack off in -- and skip when things get really hairy (just don't do it too often -- going to class really does improve your grade.)
Sometimes I feel like everyone picks their classes based on which ones give the highest percentage of As or what will look best when they apply to grad school -- which can be disheartening.
Academics at UVA is certainly difficult. I'm sure somebody could take the easy route and get by with A's without hardly studying, but for the most part the classes will challenge you. I made the mistake of thinking big classes would be easier, which really isn't the case.
THe professors are awesome! Most professors (in a small class) try and learn all of their students' names and they are very helpful. They actually care about the students (but of course I can't say that for every single professor). They also ask you to call them by Mister or Misses because they want to create a comfortable relationship.
The engineering course are pretty rigorous and difficult, but the professors and TAs are always available to help out.
I've taken only large lectures thus far and haven't established any solid relationships with my professors, but to do so would not be a challenge. Professors and their TAs are generally very willing to guide you, but you must be able to make the effort and stand receiving the constructive criticism. UVA students are very academically competitive, but they tend to leave the intellectual conversation in the classroom. I myself prefer unwinding with my friends with light conversation, saving the deeper topics for discussion sections or individual chats. UVA students are, generally, very well read. Everyone in my circle of friends reads for pleasure regularly. Some students seems to study only in preparation for a career, but many more study simple out of love for the field.
I had a very close relationship with all of my professors and my program felt like a little family. It was particularly close in my program, Jewish Studies, because we students would see the professors outside of class either for dinner together or even at the local synagogue. The classes are usually small and the professors take the time to learn everyone's name. A lot of my professors also encouraged me outside of academics with my film work and other interests, which really meant a lot to me.
Some good classes, but there are some awful teachers. Class participation is exactly the same in high school -- people may know the answers, but just don't feel like talking.
Some professors do know your name, others don't. It depends on how well you try to get their attention, though some do try to learn everyones name. My favorite class so far was Biological Psychology. It's a mouthful, but it's extremely interesting, and the professor is anything but boring; he's actually pretty funny. My least favorites have got to be chemistry and physics for engineers. I was so happy when I was through with them! Students study most days out of the week; it really depends on the class. Participation in class is common, although in some lectures it doesn't really happen. And of course UVA students have intellectual conversations outside of class! They can actually get pretty interesting, and sometimes their not even based on a subject for any class. The students are competitive, especially in classes where there isn't that much of a grading curve. The most unique class I've taken so far has got to be the History of African American Gospel. There's so much to learn, and the class goes by incredibly fast. And we listen to at least one or two songs each class! My major is Computer Engineering. I'm not sure if it's easy or hard yet since I'm only just becoming a second year, but the engineering classes I've taken have really been a challenge. The E-school is an intense department which requires a mass amount of work, but you would be surprised at how many "normal" people you'll meet; I came in thinking it would be me surrounded by nerds, and now I know that's definitely not the case. Education can be geared toward getting a job or learning. Many engineers graduate with really good paying jobs, while others go on to graduate school.
Academically, there is a giant spectrum of professors. While I know for a fact that all of them are brilliant in their own way, in my experience intelligence doesn't necessarily translate to teaching ability. I've had some really engaging lectures where I have walked out of lectures and called my parents to discuss, but at the same time I've had other teachers who have made me want to poke my eyes out due to boredom. UVA is definitely a challenging school academically, but I'd like to think I've finally struck a balance between a GPA my parents are pleased with and a social life I will remember long after I've graduated.
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