Webb Institute Top Questions

What are the academics like at your school?


The workload is as rigorous as the curriculum. This statement sums up the Webb expectations in academics. Students typically take 6-7 courses a semester, that are all mandatory and every student must pass each course with a minimum of 70. Oftentimes, Webbies may work 18 hour days, 5 hours in class with the remaining hours for homework and projects. All nighters are definitely not a rarity. Though procrastination is sometimes at fault, the workload makes Webbies disciplined, which contributes to the stereotype of hardworking. Webbies are well trained for any challenges in the future because of the curriculum as well as the workload.


The class size is rather small so the professors are well acquainted with us, assuming the make an effort. Some professors do avoid addressing students in class, but anyone that ventures to the professors office will likely be greeted by name. My favorite class is statics, because the class is incredibly interactive. The labs are also a great opportunity to get hands-on experience and enjoyment. My single most enjoyable lab was “Applied Hydrodynamics”, which is a fancy way of saying “lets go sailing!” Students study often, but do homework much more often. Given that most other colleges have optional homework for study, one can conclude that Webb students study a great deal.


First and foremost, Webb is rigorous. Students must juggle seven challenging, fast-paced courses every semester. There are only four classrooms: one for each year of study. Students remain in their classrooms and the professors rotate. With class sizes around twenty, there is nowhere to hide. Webbies necessarily have very personal relationships with professors—and in fact each student is assigned one professor in particular as an advisor. All students are on a full-tuition scholarship; as such, there are strings attached. Attendance is controlled. Webb’s academic standards exceed most other colleges’ criteria—the minimum grade is 70—and failures must be promptly remediated. The curriculum is almost entirely fixed; difficult classes cannot be avoided. There is usually one laboratory-based course each term, where students get hands-on exposure to engineering concepts. All seniors must prepare a thesis: this might involve design, research, testing in the model tank, foreign travel, or the construction of scientific apparatus. Winter internships are integral to Webb’s curriculum: freshmen work in shipyards, sophomores crew on merchant ships, and juniors and seniors work in design firms. The library, parenthetically, is well appointed for a school of Webb’s size.