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Wake Forest University

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What are the academics like at your school?

Yes, many professors know my name. Students study constantly, although I think a lot of people just aren't very good at time management and sit in the library doing nothing. Also, people LOVE to complain about how much work they have. Not a ton of intellectual curiosity on campus outside of class. I'm an Econ/Psych double major and I really have enjoyed all my teachers, but don't really spend time with them out of class. Students are competitive but it is not at all cutthroat, not a lot of relative curves so students aren't really directly competing against each other. Students are very willing to have study groups, help out if someone doesn't get the material, etc. We had a lot of divisional requirements, which they've since cut down, but I liked them all because it opened me up to a lot of subjects I wouldn't have thought to take, like Econ, which I ended up loving and majoring in. Education is geared for learning for its own sake, maybe should be a little more focus on helping students look for and obtain jobs. Career services could do more alumni networking, etc.

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All of my professors know my name and a lot about me because I haven't had a class with more than 30 students in at least 2 years. The departments (at least the ones I'm a part of--Psychology and Religion) are very intimate, with faculty-student dinners and socials at least once a year or semester. Students work very hard, study a lot, and are usually very vocal in classes, especially in classes of 10-12 people. All my Wake friends are very intelligent and political, and engage in disciplines outside of their majors...constantly fostering a well-rounded education. If you want to be prepared for a specific job, you can definitely do that with Wake's pre-med, pre-law, accounting program, and business school. I chose to approach my education with a more liberal arts focus, studying primarily psychology and religion, but dipping into other disciplines and classes that have interested me. This hasn't necessarily prepared me for anything specific, but has prepared me instead to be continually interested in learning for the sake of learning.

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I loved having a first-year seminar. I had a really hard topic (gender and racial identity) and was mentally exhausted after every class, but it was very fulfilling. There are so many fascinating topics to choose from (a friend's a seminar was on pirates), and they are led by a number of cool professors. This is definitely a gem of wake's academic program, and i wish that i could take some of these seminars even as an upperclassman. Registration will make you want to set yourself on fire your freshman and sophomore year. It is really hard to get a spot in a lot of classes (e-mailing profs before registration and asking for a spot usually helps, though). Wake is great about encouraging students to study aboard. The school has some pretty amazing houses. I went with a non-wake program, and the international studies center was so helpful with recommending programs, guiding me through the process and answering all my questions. I had no problem receiving credit for the courses that i took while abroad.

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Class size ranges, and obviously gets smaller as you delve deeper into your major requirements, but even my Psychology 101 class didn’t feel too large for me to feel uncomfortable asking questions. Just like everywhere else, your relationship with your professor is pretty much up to you. Most professors make a big effort to get to know names and they all encourage students to come by during office hours. If you’re struggling in a class or just displeased with a test grade, it is so easy and helpful to stop by the prof’s office to let him or her know you’re really trying. Class participation is usually a must, even in large lectures. Like I said, Wake is filled with a lot of driven people, and internships and job opportunities are a frequent topic of conversation. But let’s be honest, seeing as it is a school of mostly elites, these internships are generally gained through familial connections. Nevertheless, the stress level and the pressure to get work done are usually very high.

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I have loved the academic world at Wake. I feel very close to my teachers and have felt very comfortable seeking them out for help. Students are pretty competitive and it is an acadmically stimulating campus. I have had my share of classes and professors that I don't like; however, this happens on EVERY campus! Student's do study a lot and the library is hot spot, but we also know how to let loose and have a good time. I used to think that I wanted to come into a curriculum picking and choosing exactly what I wanted, but the liberal arts education allows you to experiment with a core curriculum. In other words, you can take a bunch of classes that you may not have initially been interested in and find a potential major. I've really enjoyed some classes that I've taken even if it was just to fulfill a requirement. I definitely think that a Wake education will get you far in the job world. People are often impressed by a Wake diploma!

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Academics? Tough. But not impossible. It's how I imagine it to be at most top-tier schools. Wake continually 1-ups itself in academic significance - the Dean's List requirements were raised my junior year to make sure the students have to work harder to earn such distinctions. Students are competitive and will leave you in the dust. But it's rarely a personal matter. Good minds inspire others, so being surrounded by a diligent student population causes the one-time slacker to often evolve into a hard-working success story. The size of the school is important. An average of about 16 students per class means high personal interaction with the professors. I even helped a professor edit a book she had published, and having dinner with professors isn't far-fetched by any stretch of the imagination. They love to help, and they most often have the ability to help because they only have to deal with 16 kids per class and not 200.

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I'd say about 1/2 my profs know me by name; my favorite class was Shakespeare with Valbeuno - that woman is one of the smartest people I've ever met, my worst class was chemistry; students study in the library, benson, and obscure places; class participation is common but always the same people; wake students have tons of intellectual conversations outside of class; students are very competitive; most unique class is psychopharmacology (and one of my favorites); psychology does not have advisers which is ridiculous I think but the English department does which makes like a lot easier (I'm a double major); I only spend time with my research methods teacher outside of the classroom to get extra help; Wake's requirements are fair but they should have a sample outline for possible majors to help them balance their schedules throughout their four years; I'm learning for the sake of learning but I feel that I am the minority

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I love the small classes I have at Wake. All of my professors know my name and I feel like I have relationships with many of my current and past professors. Some of my favorite classes so far have been outside of my major, my divisional classes, like Philosophy and Theatre. Students here study a lot, some people keep crazy hours and don't sleep. The workload is definitely not impossible though, especially if you choose your classes wisely and use good time management. The psychology department here is great. I got to know a professor my first semester here who has helped me out a lot planning my classes and giving me other advice. I started helping with her lab's research for class credit spring semester of my freshmen year and I have continued up until now. I am now the only student investigator on a project with her and another professor that will probably become my honors project next year.

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My professors do know me by name. My favorite class is Spanish 319 because it is a small class and the professor works hard, which makes the students work hard. My least favorite is Computer Science because it is hard to stay awake. Class participation is not very common in most of my classes, even though the professors encourage it. Wake students have intellectual conversations outside of class on occasion, but usually conversations consist of gossip and personal stories. Some students are more competitive than others, but on the whole, students are not highly competitive among each other. I do not spend time with my professors outside of class, although they are willing to. The education at Wake is geared both to getting a job and learning. The divisional requirements are a good way to learn a variety of disciplines and provide a good base for any student.

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Professors within my major knew my name and a handful would still remember me now (3 years out). Didn't study as much as I should- but still did decent! Classes are normally small and set-up to encourage class participation. Students within the Business school were definitely competitive. Wake is liberal arts, meaning that you are forced to take classes outside of your major. I would suggest taking what interests you and really try to enjoy those classes because you will most likely never have an opportunity to take those classes again. If you aren't good at science/math/reading (insert your weakness), make sure that you do not get in an overly difficult class because you do not want it to ruin your GPA. The career development center was very helpful, but I think the Calloway Business School was more geared towards helping people get jobs.

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