Pre-requisite classes are very full and difficult to get in to (200-700 ppl), but once you are admitted into your department the classes get much smaller (30-60 ppl).
The professor are full of knowledge and the TAs are almost always very helpful. Take advantage of the TAs and explore research options with professor you like.
The academics at my school are rather diverse. The classes can range from actual lectures to discussion classes, from studios to workshops. In general it is best to just find your interest and stick with those types of classes. I prefer to engage in my academic courses and discuss the material and readings at hand and also to design work withing studios and workshops.
half academics and half social life
From what I've experienced, our education system seems to promote both getting a job and learning, but slightly more geared toward learning for its own sake. Pretty much everyone has found classes that they found genuinely interesting, and for the most part, professors want the students to truly understand course material, and why and how the world works. I hear many conversations going deeper into course material outside of class, with other students as well as with the TA's and professors. Our class sizes are pretty big (depending on what classes you take, but I'm taking many pre-health science classes), so it's hard to stand out from the crowd and connect with the professor unless you're the type of person who always asks questions and stays to talk to the professor after class. Going to office hours helps a lot!!! Not only to help you understand material, but to build a relationship with the instructor, which will pay off to be VERY useful. I would say the competitiveness of classes really depends on what class and what field you're in, but overall I've found it's pretty competitive. Most classes are curved so you're competing with other students for a good grade. I've found that in the lower level classes, there's always going to be more people who are slacking off or just (unfortunately) simply don't understand the material so it's not too difficult to do well. However, as you go into higher level classes, the "bad" students are weeded out, and you're with people who are more motivated and smarter and it becomes a lot more difficult to get a good grade. The students who study really hard succeed in these classes (but remember to always balance out your life), but there are definitely many students on campus who spend very little time studying because they're just hanging out or are extremely busy.
The professors don't know your name but it is a very competitive and intense academic environment. Academics are taken very seriously at my school.
So far I have only had one professor, who I choose not to mention, who I, nor the class, agreed with or had a good experience with. Beyond that, I have really enjoyed all my teachers and most of my TAs. I find that they are more personable than I would have imagined, especially when I am in a lecture class of 500 students, and I still get to know my professor. For students who complain it is too impersonal, I feel that it is due to lack of effort on their own part. A student must make the effort to get to know his teacher, go to office hours, etc.
I do homework every night, and do most of my study review on the weekends or nights before the exam, not to cram, but to review. I have a lot of friends here, and we all have different methods and schedules that work for each of us.
I don't know about unique, but my favorite class thus far is "Mapping of Global Capitalism on Local Levels". It is an Honors Dept. class, and it changed the way I view the way the world interacts and what it means to cross a cultural border. Beyond the interest that I had in the class, the teaching method used by the professor was the least conventional I have come to know, but also the most effective, and I wish that most teachers tried to think outside the box when trying to relay information to students.
My current intended (though undeclared) major is Business Administration.
The academics is very rigorous at my school.
If the class size is around 20-40 professors know most of the students name. All the professors or TAs are required to hold office hours so students are also given the opportunity to receive extra help or get to know the professor.
My favorite class are VLPA classes, the social science or liberal arts classes. My least favorite classes are big lecture classes such as Dinosaur class with 500-600 students or entry level classes for science fields such as chemistry 142. Classes are crowded and you get screwed over for registration for these entry level science classes if you are freshmen or sophomore and once you are in, you get very limited help.
Study hours vary based on students. Some students study a lot and some don't study at all. But the school recommends you to study two hours per one hour lecture.
Class participation is common if you take liberal arts classes. If you take science, there is very limited class participation.
Students do have intellectual converstaions outside of classes. They voice their political perspectives especially. Most students are not competitive unless you are in classes that are curved, meaning your grade is given based on a curve and the average score of the class. It's usually science classes that are very competitive becuase you need to do well to advance to the next sequence of class.
The most unique class I have taken is French Fairy Tales. It was a lot of fun.
Education at this school is geared towards learning, and less on getting a job, although lots of hlep is provided when you start your job hunt.
Academics at my school are great. Although class sizes are fairly large in entry level classes, you always have a “quiz section” that has around 20 students. This is to make a large class feel smaller. These sections meet about once a week. During my junior and senior year, class sizes were much smaller once I got into my major. My major is Early Childhood and Family Studies. I want to be a teacher, so I am currently applying to the Masters in Teaching program at UW. Students are competitive, but usually tend to themselves. There are many interesting classes offered. One of the most interesting classes I took was Sport in Society. We had people from professional sports team come and talk to us and learned many interesting things. I don’t spend time with professors outside of class, but there are definitely opportunities to do so. To go well in classes, studying is required.
At this point in my education, I can say with confidence that I am happy to be at the University of Washington. A year ago, my answer would have been different. UW is a big school so discovering your unique place can be a challenge. There are so many different directions to take, groups to join, and opportunities to be had that some times it is overwhelming. Once I found a solid group of friends and got involved though, my college life did a 180. There are still times that I am annoyed with the size of UW but I am glad to have had a lot of choices when creating my small, personal community within the bigger scheme. I also really like the location of UW. The Pacific Northwest is magical if you love the outdoors. We have two lakes right next to campus, mountains nearby, and the sound is just a quick bus ride away. Being near a big city comes with the benefit of a great music scene too and a diverse mesh of cultures. More importantly though my educational experience at UW has been superb. I was very indecisive when choosing a major but with the help of some very informed advisors, I am now on a path to a future that excites me. Being such a large research school has also given me the opportunity to interact with professors leading cutting edge research who are among the most respected in their fields. I am proud to tell people that I attend the University of Washington and they are always equally impressed.
People try their best to achieve their goals most of the time. Busy and challenging, students at my school are expected to perform well on tests and academic life.
At the University of Washingotn, there will be the biggest classes you've ever seen in your life, and there will also be 15-20 person intimate classroom studies. As a freshman, everyone will take classes in the 100-500 person lecture halls and each student will feel like the professor has no idea who they are. To make up for this feeling, most classes have Quiz sections, which are small (20-30 person) classes with a Teacher's Assistant (usually a Grad Student), that teaches the quiz section and reiterates what the professor covered in lecture. My biggest complaint with the academics at the University of Washington is the large majority of TA's that do not speak English very well and seem as if it is their 3rd or 4th language that they learned only a couple of years ago. This can be very frustrating and can make choosing Quiz sections a huge gamble and game of luck.
I am in the business school and have loved everything about the facilities and teacher's there. The TA's that I complained about above are mainly in the business school prerequisite classes (Pre-calculus, calculus, micro/macro econ, etc.). Once I started taking mid-level business classes, the teacher's and TA's have improved a TON and have had some of the best teacher's of my life recently. In addition to the great teacher's, the new Foster School of Business facilities (Paccar Hall), are amazing! Paccar Hall is brand new (finished construction in 2010 and they are expanding it even more currently). The classrooms are state of the art with large projectors, huge desks (unlike the liberal arts' classrooms desks) and comfortable chairs.
Lastly, the teacher's I have had have been very available to helping students when they are struggling and being there for students who do not understand concepts and need extra help. Currently, I am having a problem in managerial accounting and my professor scheduled an hour-long appointment with me outside of her office hours to discuss future goals for me in the class and study strategies.
The academics at University of Washington are like any other big school. The only difference between us and say ASU is that our reputation as a good school gets us the best teachers and biggest grants. This school is highly competitive! Once you get into the school, you must complete the required credits with a high GPA to get into your major. There are nearly 30 thousand undergrads here, and the minute you step into your first stadium style lecture class you'll know what that feels like.
Due to the fact that the class sizes are very large, the UW has secondary classes or "quiz sections" where you meet with your TA in a smaller class setting to review the lecture material. It is in these classes that you will do most of your learning as well as being the place where you will get to know your teachers.
The U of W is a place where people are serious about their education. We have so many students trying to get spots in programs with high competition, such as the medical school, engineering school, or (Bill Gates) computer science school, that education becomes much like a job. The people that attend the University of washington have high goals and dreams, and are a very driven bunch of people. It's not uncommon to see people fired up over something they learned in class, and often they are quite eager to share it with you. I'm just an average joe and I find myself staying after class to talk about things with my TA on a weekly basis.
Getting to know your professors can be a challenge but the opportunity is there. Professors will host hours each week where you can meet them one on one and discuss whatever you like. They are often very busy people and in the midst of writing some academic journal that they hope to publish, so it's a nice way to talk to the seemingly distant figure you see in class. On a couple of occasions I have gotten to know my professors and they still know me by name, so it's very possible to make valuable connections on campus.
Before applying and getting into my majors, I felt kind of like a number in the crowd. Where some professors try to get to know you by name and really make an effort, others could careless. Depending on the size of the classroom, it sometimes is impossible for professors to reach out to 700+ students. You have to be realistic, and if you really want to get to know a professor, sometimes you need to make the first step by taking advantage of their office hours and making the effort.
Class participation is most common in quiz sections (smaller, usually once a week classes to review the material from lecture). It's a much more comfortable, at ease environment most often lead by a TA.
Some majors are much more competitive than others. There will always be at least one competitive student but it should only push you to work harder yourself.
The great part about classes at the University of Washington, is that professors and teachers on the whole sincerely care about whether you learn. So if you are looking to get a job/internship related to the class material, you trust that you won't leave classes devoid of preparation. Even if you're just looking to soak up some knowledge, you won't be unsatisfied. If you can't connect to teachers that well, you're sure to find classmates who are willing to discuss and converse about material outside the classroom. It's an environment sure to bring out the best in you and perhaps even induce a little fun-filled competitive spirit!
The academics at the University of Washington are of the highest standard. You don't have to go to a private ivy league school to get the level of depth, knowledge, and intellectual challenge offered at the UW. It's diverse range of courses paired with the professionalism of professors offers it's students not only excellent in-class academic experiences but carries the conversations outside of class. Professors are often seen walking with students after class continuing the discussion that was occurring only moments before in class. From large scale lecture halls where TAs become your best friends to intimate 400 level courses where you are constantly in close communication with your professor, the level of education offered is always detailed and stimulating. Challenging every aspect of your education, from practical courses to creative classes. The diverse curriculum, vast departmental and major choices, alongside the competitive nature of the school will take your learning to new heights.
Some of the courses are down right difficult, but if you study and learn how to manage your time (this is key!) you will do fine! We have some amazing professors! I really enjoyed Psych 101 and Bio 180, they were very interesting courses and the professors were funny and made the class that much more enjoyable.
The school can be pretty challenging at times, but I think you get your money's worth because of the academics. The classes are a lot more interesting and in-depth than high school classes. I've taken classes on the Holocaust, Art History, and even 21st Century Poetry which were pretty unique classes in my opinion. Art History has to be my absolute favorite class I've taken at my school. The class was learning about all the different types of art throughout history. We started thousands of years ago and only made it up to 1,000 AD. We learned all about art in different countries like Greece, Egypt, Italy, and England. Buildings, statues, sculptures, vases, and even pillars were discussed in this class and it was a completely new topic to me. My favorite thing I learned about was about Italian homes in 79 AD because I learned the significance of each room and why the rooms were placed where they were in the house. It was a very interesting class and since taking it, I've searched for information to learn more about "art history." Some classes are lecture classes where there can be hundreds of students in the class which makes participation almost impossible. However, these lecture class usually have "quiz" or "lab" section that goes with the class which has around 20 or so students where the class is taught by TA's who are usually grad students at my school. In all of the quiz sections I have had, the TA's heavily encourage class discussion and participation so while you miss out in the lecture classes because of the amount of students, you make up for it in the quiz sections. In the classes I've had that aren't lecture classes, there are around 30-40 students and again, all of the professors I have encourage participation and some even include it as part of our grade. Lecture classes were difficult to deal with at first because you never really seem to get to know your professor. If you have any questions or concerns about your class, you have to go through your TA which is something hard to adjust to. Also, TA's grade your assignments when you have a lecture class. This is understandable since your professor can't grade hundreds of things, but that takes some getting used to because every TA has a different grading method and you don't know how your actual professor who taught the information to you would have graded your assignments. I'm an English major and I have really enjoyed the variety of English classes that are available for me to take. I've taken an English class solely about plays before the 1700's which has probably been my favorite class I've taken. I thought I was a good reader and writer before I was in college, but my knowledge of English has increased exponentially and I haven't even graduated yet. The most challenging thing about the academics is that they are hard. I got excellent grades in high school and was basically shocked to see how different college was in that regard. It is very important to study for tests! I can't think of a single class where I haven't had to study for a test. And you have to spend a lot of time studying because professors will quiz you on anything in the class. Also, notes are necessary for every class which means you should have good attendance if you plan on going to my school. When I've discusses the academics with other people at my school, they've all agreed that they find the classes challenging and much different than high school. Every freshman I've known has said that they have found the school to be harder than they anticipated. However, I don't see this as a negative. I didn't feel like I was challenged in high school, but now, I feel like I really have to make an effort to learn which is something I appreciate and enjoy because I'm learning and I'm learning things that weren't available in high school. Another benefit of my school is that fact that it also has a graduate school. A lot of people I've talked to plan on going to graduate school and it is easy to make that transition into it when my school already has a program. The students are very focused on their grades here and my college is considered a great school for education so this is the one to go to if you want to learn and want to use these skills to get a job.
The school can be pretty challenging at times, but I think you get your money's worth because of the academics. The classes are interesting and in-depth. Some classes are lecture classes where there can be hundreds of students in the class which makes participation almost impossible. However, these lecture class usually have "quiz" or "lab" section that goes with the class which has around 20 or so students where the class is taught by TA's who are usually grad students at my school. In all of the quiz sections I have had, the TA's heavily encourage class discussion and participation so while you miss out in the lecture classes because of the amount of students, you make up for it in the quiz sections. In the classes I've had that aren't lecture classes, there are around 30-40 students and again, all of the professors I have encourage participation and some even include it as part of our grade. Lecture classes were difficult to deal with at first because you never really seem to get to know your professor. If you have any questions or concerns about your class, you have to go through your TA which is something hard to adjust to. Also, TA's grade your assignments when you have a lecture class. This is understandable since your professor can't grade hundreds of things, but that takes some getting used to because every TA has a different grading method and you don't know how your actual professor who taught the information to you would have graded your assignments.
Science and math classes are competitive and usually larger, often broken up into smaller sections for more student-TA interaction. Many humanities classes are smaller (language courses, for example), are more discussion-based and the students develop a closer relationship with the teacher.
The classes at the University of Washington (Seattle campus) can range from being small to big, depending on what class, the popularity, and also if it's a core class. Depending on the size, the professor may or may not know your name or even recognize you. If it's a big class for instance, Concert Season (It's a musical class, probably one of my favorites) it's most likely the professor will not remember your name or even what you look like if you sit far away, but if you attend class everyday and raise your hand and say something a few times, I'm sure that they will remember you. In small classes, the professor will remember your face and know your name and that's what I love.
But let's talk a little bit more of the students and a little bit less on the class size. The students here are either really studious or just... average. Some of those average kids however, I don't know how, do better than those who study most of their time. It just depends on the person. That also determines the participation, competitiveness, and conversations that take place inside/outside class. There are your usual shy kids that probably never raise their hands or speak in class. Then there are the kids that sit in the back and then the kids who sit at the very front. Those who sit in the front usually participate in class, but I think over the years they're starting to mingle and people are just sitting wherever now. Class participation doesn't seem to be much of a problem in any of the classes I've had as some classes, if you didn't do the reading or study, you would get called on and well, some shy people have a lot of meaningful things to say. Honestly I wish they would speak up and answer more questions but most don't. I've learned that they're really fun to hang out with outside of class though and when it comes to talking about the homework and topics for class, they're great. I believe it's just being put on the spotlight that gets to some of them but overtime they adapt and the classroom atmosphere becomes lively as ever. Competitiveness stems from this lively atmosphere. Though they may be competitive, it does not mean in any way that they are heartless. They will help those who need it, even if it means they are helping their rival.
These stories, however, are coming from an English major. I love classes that involve reading, writing, and communication with other people. The people in my classes/department are very intelligent and when it comes to topics about history, books, or anything, there's also a very interesting and intellectual conversation. I contribute most of my learning and conversation skills however, to my professors. Speaking with the professor about things you don't understand, is a great way to learn and bond. I love professors who want to regularly gauge how the class is going and then afterwards, slow down or speed up the course. I can't say much about the other majors or departments, but judging from my friends who are in those departments, they're happy to be there and I'm sure they would say the same things I am saying about my own department: once you find a department you like to study, you will find that the people there are people you like to be with.
The schools academic requirements are, reasonable and very well built. However, there are some times where you can't get into the classes you want or need, but the professors will almost, always let you know if there's space available if you just go and ask, or even if you email them. The advisers and counselors are always there to help you if you get lost, and the best part is that most of the are on a drop-in basis so between classes if you have a break, just go in and say hi. They're just like the professors and, with regular visits, will remember your name and face. The education at the university, will, depending on your choices, get you a great job at Boeing or Microsoft, or it will land you in an intellectual conversation with Bill Gates or even the president of the United States. Depending on how you choose to study and go about your way in college will determine your pathway. The university offers all the resources and facilities that you need to succeed. If you choose correctly what you want to do, you can even, do both: Work at a prestigious company and also have the opportunity to speak with a famous and prestigious person.
Many of the "important" classes (ie chem labs and math classes) are large and difficult. They are believed to be weed-out classes and you should expect only an average grade, if that. Don't be disappointed, no one expects you to have a 4.0 in college. In fact, the median grade by the Economics department is set between a 2.8 and 3.2.
That being said, there are some wonderful BA classes in the English and Drama departments.
You should definitely take the time to take a wide array of classes your freshman year here, teachers vary, and sometimes they might not even speak English.
My freshman year I took a Biological Anthropology class. It ended up having nothing to do with my major but to this day is still one of the most interesting, informative classes I've ever taken and I just feel like a better person having only the vaguest of understanding of where human beings came from.
No matter your field of interest, there is someone who is willing to talk to you and teach you, if you're willing to seek them out.
General education courses at the UW are truly a wake-up for an incoming freshman. Large lectures can draw up to 700 students on untraditional topics, like the Sociology of Sexuality, or Anthropology of Rock and Roll. These classes are always worth taking at the beginning of your college career - they are huge, really display the size of the UW on an academic level, and can be fun and interesting. Yet there is definitely a place for the serious student at the UW as well. As you age and chose a major, classes get significantly smaller, more serious, and the level of expectation rises considerably. All departments are different, of course, but as a general rule, academics are taken seriously at this large, public school. Students are generally hard-working, want to succeed, and want to get the most for their money. The sciences are strong, due to the fact that the UW is an R-1 (tier 1) research school, but that high level of research extends to other, less quantitive departments as well. Any student can attend office hours of their professor - teachers here are almost always reminding students to come to them. Professors will know your name if you put in the effort. Asking a professor for a research position is an easy way to get more involved and integrated into your area of study.
I was an English student, and liked and respected the majority of my professors. What I enjoyed most was the sense of community that developed within the Creative Writing majors. When I had found these outspoken, more creative students, everything seemed to click for me. Before that occasion, however, I did have moments where my classmates seemed sullen or quiet, unwilling to speak up in class, or participated rarely. Like any big school, however, you will find the super stars at UW who get as much out of each class as possible. Be one of these people, and you'll find that most everyone will meet you halfway!
In my second year here at the University of Washington, I have yet to take any higher level courses. So far, the majority of the classes I have taken have been in large lecture halls with little personalization. All entry level math, science etc are formatted this way. In a way, this is very difficult. Professors offer office hours and lots of help, but the majority of the work one does is outside of class and without the instructors help. I know that as classes reach higher levels, they become smaller. Particularly within departments. For instance, I have met many people in my intended major, Chemical Engineering, who are a year or two ahead of me and they laud the personalization and tight-knit community that has developed in the department. I look forward to this as my college career continues.
It really depends on the professors. Most of the professors are great. Some... not so much.
Surprisingly, even though my classes are from 300-700 students, professors make the effort to remember your name. My biology teacher knows who I am despite the fact that the class is about 700 kids! Even though lectures are large, the quiz section makes up for it. The quiz section ranges from 15-25 students and usually one teacher's assistant (TA). All my TA's were great! They go over the material efficiently and clearly, and always has a smile on their face when they teach.
Classes can get pretty large where the professor won't know your name unless you make an effort to go to his or her office hours. But they are all very friendly and approachable. Other classes are smaller where the professor will know your name and you'll have more intellectual conversations. Students are pretty competitive because the UW is a prestigious school and everyone wants to do the best they can but there is also a sense of community among groups of students and everyone encourages everyone. There is the largest and most unique range of classes a student can dream of. You can study math, science, and English, but you can also study, dinosaurs, geology, Shakespeare, religion, European history, painting, jazz, world languages, and the list goes on and on. This is a great school if you know or don't know what career you want to have in the future because there is so much to explore in every topic.
Since we have some of the top rated graduate schools in the country, such as nursing, medical, and dental schools - the undergraduate experience is very competitive. The class sizes are LARGE for the first couple years and it's hard to get to know your professors unless you put in the effort yourself to go to office hours, introduce yourseld, etc. The psychology department, my area of focus, is also one of the best in the country. Again, anyone who is more scientifically oriented would love UW.
There is a noticeable increase in challenge as you go from freshman to senior year. This might seem obvious, but it's something you should keep in mind. Your general education classes are mostly very straight forward. Go to class, stay awake, and don't sleep through your exams. No problem. Upper division classes are quite different, and involve a lot of drive to get through. Since they are applicable to your major, motivation is easier to come by. Just really put in the effort. There is a strong correlation between the difficulty of the class and the competitiveness of the students. Students frequently skip 100-level classes, but when it comes to a 400-level, attendance is pretty consistent.
You'll have your share of lecture classes, and chances are, you won't really get to know your professor. However, UW has quiz sections taught by TA's. These are useful, as you will get to know your TA. Most people are too shy to ask questions in front of 500 people, so quiz sections are great for getting answers. TA's are mostly eager to help you out, so don't be afraid to ask questions.
Once you are in your major, the class sizes are much smaller. You will have a chance to get to know your professor, and vice versa. Some professors will cold-call you, so make sure you are awake and prepared for class. I've had some grad students teach my upper-division classes, but on the flip side, I've had some very knowledgeable professors who are willing to spend time with you so that you fully understand the material.
Academics are extremely important to the University of Washington. It is one of the main things that the UW prides itself in. Our worldwide ranking has continued to grow and that is something that is of immense importance to us. Academics are extremely important to everyone who attends. This means that people study a lot. People are studying on weekdays and weekends. The professors at UW are some of the top research professors in the world. It's amazing to see what they have accomplished. Because UW is such a large school, classes are also large. That being said, some classes that are over 50 people large make it hard for professors to get to know student's names. It really takes the imitative of the student to get to know the professor in large classes. If you are intent on attending office hours and participating in class, professors will definitely remember who you are.
There are so many classes offered at UW that it is easy to find ones of interest for any student. I am a Political Science and International Studies double-major. Because I am extremely interested in law school, a lot of the classes that I've taken are geared towards that. Some cool classes that I've taken are: Europe Today, Cultural Interactions, Criminology, and US Congress. In my US Congress class, we actually simulated congress and ran every class like a meeting! We got to be representatives from different states and wrote our own bills. It was so cool. As long as you are on top of your studies and you take initiative of all the programs and help being offered, then you will get so much out of all the programs offered. UW is mainly focused on academics and they want you to succeed. Since it's such a large school, it has so many opportunities to get internships and jobs, but also graduate schools and working towards getting a PhD.
Biz school classes aren't all that hard, it's just there are so many group projects that all stack up. You do eventually bond with business school people and it becomes more fun. I'm very very glad I studied business, I had to get through a lot of dull classes but it really gives you a good way to approach life, projects, and future work.
Psych classes are generally just regurgitation based. Some professors are cool, some not, many TAs are uninterested and disengaged, but some aren't...
The intellectual atmosphere at the University of Washington, I guess, varies between departments and majors. Let's face it, the UW is not MIT or Caltech, where even an 'average' student is as intellectually driven as the top of the cream. Regular students here are, well, regular. Some departments (such as engineering, the medical school, music, architecture, etc) are more competitive than the others. My department has a really close-knit and small student body. We help each other. But I heard that in some of the larger departments (such as Electrical Engineering), the competition is cut-throat.
Professors obviously know my name. I'm a research assistant, and I have to interact on a regular basis with my advisor. Our department is actually quite strong in research. As far as teaching is concerned, however, it depends on the instructors. Some professors seem to make research their only purpose being a proffesor that they could care less about teaching. Some professors care about teaching, but, most, especially non-tenured ones, don't. It is also important, I think, for me to mention that teaching quality is not at all considered when the board is making a decision whether to give tenure to a faculty member. It's all about the number of papers they've published and the amount of money they have brought to the department during the non-tenured period (the first six years).
Thus, I think it's just natural that they want to save their own behind by putting as much effort as possible into research and bringing grants... most of the times at the expense of the students of the classes they're teaching.
not as good as they want you to think
My program is Urban Studies, and we have really accessible professors. We call all of our professors by their first names in my program. Class participation is always encouraged. University of Washington is a reputable college, so we are held to a very high academic standard, the work is not easy.
DO THE HONORS PROGRAM IF YOU CAN. I did not apply when I had the chance, but I did squeeze into the honors portion of Calculus last year. The classes are smaller, the prof is amazing (at least mine was, and that is the general consensus of all honors teachers), and the students are ALIVE and willing to learn much more than your average lecture. If I could do anything over again, it would be to apply to the Honors Program. After all, what harm can come from just applying?
At the University of Washington, academics is what you make of it. You can take the easy road or you can really challenge yourself. The choice is up to you as to which classes you take and how involved you are with your classes. I've taken some "easy" classes at the University of Washington. One in particular, ESS 101 or "Rocks for Jocks", is deemed to be incredibly easy; however, I learned far more in Rocks for Jocks than my physics classes. I participated in class, actively took notes...participated in lab section. For me it was a fun experience and i learned a lot. Physics, on the other hand, was a painful experience. I did barely enough to get by. In the end, I attributed how much I learned in each class to the professors. If the professor is dull and reads from a text book, as in the physics classes, I found that I did not learn nearly as much...I didn't engage in class. Luckily, at the University of Washington, there are several sections of each class so you can choose which professor you want. You're kind of on your own in the large freshman-sophomore pre-req classes, but on the plus side, there are plenty of students who have taken our class before and can recommend professors and help you along the way.
Once I got into my major, the picture changed dramatically. The professors were infinitely better and there is a general feeling of comradery. In the Aeronautics and Astronautics department, it doesn't matter which professor I have, they are all great. Class time is usually filled with active discussions and the professors pose interesting questions to fuel discussion and provide insight. They are extremely helpful and you can come to them anytime you want for additional help or just to chat.
Like i mentioned above, i thought that i would never meet my professors, but i actually went to their office hours every single time they had one and they ended up knowing my name. During the first quarter i went to my math professor about three times a week, and we became really close. At the end of the quarter, i gave her a warm hug good-bye, and with all her help, i ended up with a 4.0 in the class! i never thought it was impossible to ace a class in college, but she helped me believe in myself; she encouraged me every time i saw her and i ended up doing well in her class. So far i thought math class was ok, i don't love math, but it's not as bad as we all think it is. i feel that calculus in college is WAY easier than in high school! (i never took calculus in high school but a lot of my friends complain a lot back then and now a lot of them say they understand it better...). i also thought i would dread the three hour chemistry labs - but i ended up enjoying labs the most in my chemistry class. My least favorite class is probably the english classes because i had to write a paper every week! it was tiring and each topic was not in my interest so i had a harder time writing. Although you may think that you finally get away with participation once you go to college, you are WRONG!! english classes are based on participation. Large lectures don't require any participations, but smaller classes of about 40 and under are based on participation.
The academics at UW is challenging yet rewarding. Our proffesors pushes us to understand the topics and how it may work in the real business world. I really like all of my classes. Even in certain classes where my GPA was damaged not from my lack of understand but from working with classmates who did not fulfilled their part. But working on the right team does enhance my knowledge.
Classes are huge in terms of lecture but with the broken down quiz sections with T.A.'s you can get a personal feel. It really shrinks down the campus size.
I don't like the class sizes of the sciences. Too big, and most of the teachers suck. Apart from the foreign language teachers (who really do care) the other teachers have barely any interaction with the students. :(
most departments are pretty competitive to get into
Professors rarely know the names of their students in the introductory classes but once you start taking classes within the major then the class sizes decrease and the attention from the professor is increased. Class participation is common within quiz sections with the TAs which, depending on the class, occur once or twice a week. I tend to prefer classes that have quiz sections because it gives you a chance to ask questions you wouldn't be able to otherwise in a lecture sometimes as large as 700 people. I feel that the education at UW is geared towards application versus learning it for the sake of learning it.
At UW, you need to be a proactive student. If you want to get to know your professor, then go to office hours and introduce yourself. I really enjoy my political theory classes, which have about 50 students in them. They are more like discussion sessions than letures. Students are often very interested in class material. My roommate and I talk about interesting things we have learned in class. Not everyone is like this, but most students are very inerested in learning, and show this by participating in class. Washington has great academic requirements, that help you to sample man subjects and get a well rounded education. Washington really is a competitive academic institution. When you have a degree from UW it means something.
Academics at UW are overall wonderful. As a freshman, many of my classes were very large, consisting of about 200-500 students. One of the best classes I had would definitely be my Math 125 class which is Calculus. My teacher was great and really knew her information. My least favorite class would have to be Linguistics 200. I found this class to be incredibly boring and the teacher was also very boring. Her voice was very monotone which made everyone fall asleep everyday. Half of the class never showed up half of the time. The information was also very simple and not at all challenging. In the larger classes, class participation is very limited. In the smaller classes like English 131 (expository writing) there is more room to express yourself and participate. Students are very competitive; especially those who strive to major in engineering, business, or the medical feild. I am hoping to major in Journalism which means I have to apply to the Communications School this year. This school is very competitive. Overall, the academics and classes are great. The professors have been great so far. Some of the TA's have been a bit troublesome to me. Sometimes it's hard to understand what they are trying to say and it makes it very difficult.
The University of Washington holds an excellent academic standard. With one of the top medical schools in the nation, it is no small feat to gain admission to UW. Class sizes can range from 15 to 250, depending upon their content. Naturally, large seminar-style entry level classes are held in large lecture halls, but many more specific courses have smaller and more intimate settings.
The best class I have taken was called "Religion, Violence and Terrorism: Patterns of Peace Across Time and Tradition." I took the course in the university's Early Fall Start program for freshmen, which takes place in the month immediately before the start of fall quarter. The class was made up of 20 students, and was strongly discussion based.
With a big school like Washington (40,000+) you may think it is difficult to get hands on with your learning, but it's the complete opposite. Not only do quiz sections allow you to voice your opinion but I have found large lectures of 400 people or more to be prime time to make yourself heard and participate in discussions with your professors and classmates. UW has a very strong academic program and great future preparation available.
Never knew TAs were that important till I got a bad one. Upper division classes get smaller and sections give you that small class feel when you need it. But some classes are dependent on how good the TA is at explaining the lecture topics. I would say 1 out of every 4 TAs is abysmal. I am double majoring in Political Science and Law, Societies, and Justice. Both liberal arts with a sociology bias since UW has no Pre-law. Way too many gen-reqs, a lot of people get screwed by having too many college credits from high school and then not being able to get into upper division courses locked off for freshman. I had 20 when i came and i was alright though. Education is geared towards knowledge for the sake of it.
Professors know your name or at least your face if you talk to them from time to time after class or during office hours. They'll know you if you take the effort to get to know them.
Favorite class: upper division classes! Once you get out of the introductory courses, you start to bond with other students in the course more. My best upper division course was Muslims in America-- there were only 20 students. On the last day, I brought cookies and as a class, we stayed around talking for hours after the last bell rang. It was a great experience.
Political Science: FANTASTIC once you get into the upper division courses. A few of the professors are amazing and UW is lucky to have them. It's easy to double major or add multiple minors to a Political Science major since the requirements aren't as bad as other majors and the classes often overlap with other majors. I took a lot of classes that fulfilled requirements for the Poli. Sci. degree and my minors- International Studies and Near Eastern Studies.
i'm in the honors college and the classes seem a lot easier than those offered outside the school. there are few people of color in the program and that's what makes me stay. but, professors/lecturers that lead the classes often have the expectation of quality work and good work ethic and don't grade too hard or expect too much. generally, classes in the sciences and medicine are fairly competitive because this is the mentality encouraged and continued on through the years until these people hit graduate school and are expected to take classes on "bedside manner..." that's beside the point, usually the intro classes are considered "weeder" classes and are pretty large but as you become more focused in your area of study the class sizes are generally smaller and could be as large as 10-15 people, depending on your discipline.
the academic requirements are a joke at times. there needs to be a whole separate requirement for "diversity" and cultural acceptance (not to be confused with tolerance) and competancy because white male students are not aware of their privilege nor of history and often believe it doesn't affect them.
If you go to the Seattle campus there are a lot more students and classes are much larger so professors usually don't know names. If you choose to go to the Bothell or Tacoma campuses it is a lot smaller and a lot more personal and the professors definitely know you're name. Students are constantly studying. Every time you go into the library you see people everywhere, and even sitting on the floor if there are no more tables. Students are very dedicated. There are a lot of intellectual conversations outside of class, I've been engaged in many thought provoking conversations with other students about what we learned in class and our opinions on everything. The requirements here are very fair and very much the same as everywhere else, it's definitely challenging but that's what helps you learn. The professors here are very dedicated to making sure students learn and understand everything.
Depending on your major academics at UW can be really easy or depressingly difficult. My major puts me through nearly every weed out class there is, so I find myself frustrated more times than not.
Most classes you don't know your professor on a personal basis, but you often have quiz sections where you get to know TA's on a personal basis. They usually know what they're talking about, but if they don't you're screwed.
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