Academics here are very challenging. I have gotten to know several professors on a one-on-one basis, and I think learning is highly valued. However at the same time our moto is "That I may serve" and we all hold that very close.
I don't want to jinx myself but the classes I take are not hard at all. I think it all depends on your major. Architecture is number one in the nation and Engineering is up there as well, so those classes are definitely hard.
We have very strong academics. Of course my favorite classes have been boyer class but i think that it would be better if some teachers would takea step back from their class and understand that students have other classes
There are a variety of classes that are taught in a variety of ways. All the professors that i have had have been easy to talk to and there for help when you need it. they seem dedicated to educating.
The class size varies, some are really large and others are small. In the smaller classes the professors know my name but in the larger ones it is hard for them to get to know each of the students.
I came to Virginia Tech for engineering. I absolutely love tech's hands on engineering-style of teaching. I am very satisfied with my decision to come to tech.
School is ver challenging.
Do professors know your name? Class is what you make of it. Some class sizes can be quite large, especially in the early years of study. This sometimes makes it harder to get involved with your professor and build relationships with them, but it is not impossible. If you participate in class and go to office hours, the professors will know who you are. It seems daunting at first but professors want to know their students. They want to see kids come into their office and ask questions and get help. These things really pay off in the end. Tell us about your favorite class. I am a total design geek, so my favorite class was Advanced Techniques in Document Design. I actually ended up helping teach the class by my senior year. Least favorite? Accounting, for obvious reasons. How often do students study? With all the students running around participating in so many events and organizations, it may be tough to believe that we take our academics very seriously and spend a lot of time studying. I would say that at least two days out of the week, Tech students hole up in the library or Math Emporium and study for hours at a time. Is class participation common? Yes. Do the students have intellectual conversations outside of class? I don’t know that you will overhear students talking about the chemical make up of the solutions they processed in lab that morning over lunch, students do meet in study groups quite often, and that is where those discussions take place. Are students competitive? Yes and no. Every person is different. The higher you go up the class rank, the more and more competitive students become. Valedictorian is decided by .001 points around here so students take that very seriously. What's the most unique class you've taken? Mysterious Mushrooms and Malicious Molds. I highly recommend it. Tell us about your major / department. I had a very unique major here at Tech. While technically I was an English major, I studied in the Professional Writing track which is combination of communication, business, marketing, and graphic design study. I still had to take all the literature classes required by the major, and I learned how to write at the professional level, but PW kids are different in that we can do it all. A jack of all trades of sorts. Studying Professional Writing prepares students for a multitude of career paths. The English department is pretty small, as are most Liberal Arts majors at a big science school, but we have a large presence on campus because we have three different types of majors: Professional Writing, Literature, and Creative Writing. Do you spend time with professors outside of class? Because my department was so small and my classes were so small, I spent a lot of time with a few of my professors. I became a teaching assistant for 3 classes my senior year and was used as a guest speaker at many freshman level classes. How do you feel about this school's academic requirements? Tech is getting hard to get into – and for good reason. VT is a great school for a great price that you just can’t beat. Obviously, there is only so much room here so competition is getting steep but that is only to make sure that the students who come here actually want to study and get a great education. Is the education at this school geared toward getting a job, or learning for its own sake? Tech is all about making sure that its graduates get a job. There is an entire department devoted to helping students write resumes, prepare for interviews, and meet with specific advisors to coach them through the job hunt. The university puts on more than 35 job fairs for employers and students to attend each year, so we get a lot of experience going out and talking to potential employers.
Last week I walked past my English professor and he stared me in the eyes and said, "Hello Kelley, how are you". I almost yelled my response, I was just so surprised. These professors will get to know you if you want to get to know them. I have yet to have a professor that isn't fully open and patient with his students, and office hours are a really convenient way to get a hold of them. People here can't get away with slacking. Just because 'Ivy League' isn't stamped on our front porch doesn't mean that it is easy to get on the Dean's list. You HAVE to study, you HAVE to do well on mid-terms and fluff grades if you want to pass the courses. I cannot count how many times I have sat back after eating a hearty D2 meal, rubbed my belly, and started off on what I learned in my Geology course. It sounds completely nerdy but my friends and I genuinely are interested in most of our courses and will often casually chat about their highlight moments. When the conversation turns into debate about society, religion, and politics I can only smile because I can feel my mind growing and understanding more everyday. My least favorite course thus far has been sociology. It was a drag. Overheads and the occasional movie that our quickly aging professor couldn't ever seem to sufficiently play, rounded out a boring Tuesday and Thursday morning. What I finally realized though, is that it was the professor that made the course boring. The information was generally thought-provoking...professors just can't get by making us stare at power points all day. It makes it seem like my eyes are been dried from my skull. It will be the end of me. Honestly though, most seem to be learning this and my Geology professor this semester puts up overheads and stands in front of them to point and gesture and engage the class with his movement. My American literature professor takes this movement to a new level when he does personal theatrical productions, playing, by himself, up to three characters so we can better comprehend a situation we read about. He runs across the front of the room changing his voice and simultaneously creeping us out and teaching us how to 'see' what is happening with The English department, though some students still crinkle their eyebrows and wonder why I'm at a TECHNICAL school for English, is amazing. They don't think I'm weird at all. Every professor in the department seems to be passionate about their specific subject area. We had an Intro class that all majors are now required to take, and although the course is just getting off the ground the concept behind it is extremely important for English majors. We made a resume and learned in depth about the different tracks available in English and future internship, study abroad, and career opportunities for specifically English-inclined students. In my Geology lab we are correlating sediment samples. Boring? Maybe. Practical? Yes. That is an actual job in the Oil Industry (and who doesn't want to work for them?). It was the first time I really felt like I was doing something that could be a future career. Labs are where what we learn turns into something tangible. A friend of mine went into a forest and learned how to control a forest fire and route which houses would be threatened...on a Tuesday afternoon. How cool!
When I was trying to determine what college I wanted to go to, academics were very important to me. I always wanted to know: are classes too large, are they very hard, are they interesting, and so on. Now that I'm a student at Virginia Tech, I've learned that we have classes of 500 students and classes of 15. There are classes that require barely any work and classes that the majority fail. Some classes are fun and interesting and others make you cry from boredom. But all these things are what every college will tell you about their academics. I think that knowing the inside information will be most beneficial for you. This is what most people won't tell you. First of all, there is a core of academics here. You must complete roughly 15 classes in seven different areas of study. Some of those areas are boring and you feel like you're in high school again. Some of them are interesting and help you figure out what major you want to pursue. I will tell you that everyone's least favorite is the math area, because Virginia Tech does not offer very many formal math classes, but instead holds their math classes at an off campus computer lab. You must leave campus weekly to take quizzes on material you need to teach yourself. Everyone hates this. The math emporium, as we all it, is often crowded and can only be reached by car or bus, as it is too far to walk from the dorms. If you are not great at math, try and take your credits elsewhere or during high school, because it is difficult to get a professor taught math course that fulfills that math requirement. There is good news though that definitely offsets the negative aspects of the math emporium. If you like three day weekends, it is very easy to get a schedule void of Friday classes. In fact, in recent years, Virginia Tech has cut back on the number of classes they offer on Friday and is focusing on offering classes on Monday through Thursday only. There is even a rumor that VT will soon stop offering Friday classes, but that is just a rumor. The other piece of good news, is that early classes are easy to avoid. This year, my earliest class is at 11am and on Monday and Wednesday I dont start until 230pm. Most professors do not like teaching 8am classes and have multiple afternoon sections. If you are stuck with an early class because the later ones are full, there is a way around it, only if it is a large lecture class. Attend that same class later in the day, but be sure to go to your assigned class on test days.