All Questions for

Wellesley College

« See more reviews of Wellesley College

What are the academics like at your school?

I love my classes at Wellesley. There has never been a question in my mind that I came her for my classes and they have never failed me. My professors know who I am, not only by name, but also my interests, other pursuits, directions. I meet a few times a semester with my advisor, but I've also adopted several other "advisors", whose strengths, weaknesses, and personalities complement one another beautifully. And beyond helping me choose courses, I think that there's no question that Wellesley professors will go above and beyond for their students. I took two courses on Chaucer and other Middle English literature, and at the end of them, my professor offered to teach a small Old English group. So there are three of us who have been learning to read Old English together this year. Likewise, I have struggled to find courses which match my interests in our relatively small German department (nice, but very small), and my first professor has been an advisor for not one but two independant studies, above and beyond his normal teaching load, so that I can pursue the topics I'm most interested in. In terms of most unique or interesting classes (because I have a zillion favorites!), I think I have to mention one I'm enrolled in right now, EXTD 240: Papyrus to Print to Pixel. The course is co-taught by the Special Collections Head Librarian and the director of the Book Arts Lab. Every week we look at different phases in the history of textual transmission, looking at examples in special collections (Wellesley's special collections are AMAZING! AMAZING!), and then we have a "lab" in the book arts lab to try things out for ourselves. I've made papyrus, I've made hemp and rag paper, I've set type by hand, I've tried my hand at calligraphy on parchment, I've bound a book - it's really an incredible class. And on top of all of that, we have guest lecturers from all across campus (from the Classics to History to English to Computer Science) and professional artisans (the man who lead the carving on the WWII memorial in Washington, D.C.? Yeah, he came to our class, gave a carving demonstration, let us give it a go.). The course is absolutely amazing, and I think it just wouldn't be possible somewhere without the combined resources of our special collections, book arts lab, and generous alum donors. And on one mroe note, working from the prompts above: I think that the student body at Wellesley is really interesting because I think we're very split on why we're here. I came for myself, and I was fortunate that that was possible, for me to take four years and study what I love without having to gear up for a particular position. But our law, medical, and graduate school placements are quite good, as are our recruiting relationships with big firms - and of course the alumnae W network - so there are people who choose Wellesley because it is a school which can enable them to move towards later professional goals.

was this helpful? loading... loading...

Yes, professors know all their students' names. My favorite class is biology- I feel that the professor is REALLY passionate not only about the subject, but about teaching it so that we can understand. At office hours, she will explain everything until you say, "Ohhhhhh!" My least favorite class is my writing class, which every first-year must take. I don't like it because I feel that a great portion of our class is dedicated to talking about how our professor went to China and has a Chinese adopted daughter, and how he is a Fulbright scholar. Class participation is common. Wellesley students, of course, have mind stimulating conversations outside of the classroom. Be it politics, religion, cultural, philosophical- we talk about it. Competition is high, but that is expected- we all strive to do our best. The most unique class I have taken is a religion class on the religion (Goddesses, Queens, and Witches)of the Ancient Near East. We learned about the laws and myths and religous practices of the Ugarit and Babylonian people. My major, biology, I chose because i love science and it is my favorite science course. I love the professors- I feel like I develop a life-long relationship with them. I have spent some time with one certain professor outside of class and office hours and it is because we both are interested in ancient religions that revolve around nature. I feel that Wellesley has great requirements because it allows us to explore every genre of courses- science, math, writing, literature, cognitive studies, etc. there are other schools that don't have these requirements, thus making it easier for students to double major, even triple major but I feel that they are less well- rounded. From the classes I have taken, I feel that the education is geared towards learning for its own sake. That is not to say that there aren't programs thar are geared towards helping students find a job and apply for a job.

was this helpful? loading... loading...

The academic experience at Wellesley is truly phenomenal. It is so empowering to be in classes that are taught by women and to know that the smartest person in each course will be a woman, the person who participates most will be a woman, the one who gets the incredible government grant to research willbe a woman. I don't think there are many places in the world that tell women that they can be everything (and more) than men can be. What other school has a woman alumna who is running to be the first female president of the United States? Because there is this sense of empowerment, class participation is extremely advanced and often evocative. No one is ever afraid to speak out and to voice her opinion. And the fact that the professors here greatly respect students is absolutely incredible. I have spent a lot of time discussing the latest world news, the latest celebrity gossip, the buzz on campus or just my own stress level with my professors. I have had several meals at my professors' houses and it isn't unusual to get an email from a professor if you missed class to see if you're ok. Of course, this has its downside too. There just isn't any inconspicuous way to skip a class. Your absence will certainly be noticed. Wellesley students spend a lot of time studying- and they definitely spend some time in deep dinner conversations. There is definitely an intensely intellectual atmosphere on campus- and it can get almost suffocating at times. But the environment can also be stimulating...I have found myself dreaming of a future that I never imagined would be possible. And of course, having incredible friends makes the intensity that much less, well, intense. Wellesley women get the jobs they want. period. There are Wellesley women working on wall street, in the best medical and law schools, in business or academia. At home or abroad. The alumane network is truly one of the best in the country.

was this helpful? loading... loading...

Professors usually know students' names by the second week of classes. Classes are small -- the smallest class I've had so far is 10 people, the largest 30 -- and not only do professors know your name, but a trend towards class discussion (especially in the social sciences and humanities) ensures that you often get to know your classmates fairly well too. There is a stereotype that Wellesley students (the most hardcore of us are called "Wendy Wellesleys") are cutthroat with regard to competition, but I have yet to encounter this. Classmates are friendly, approachable and helpful. If you miss a class, you can ask a complete stranger and she'll give you her notes. Like at any educational institution -- including both high schools and colleges -- there are a range of study habits outside of the classroom, where some students never leave their rooms while others have inhumanly active social lives. Classes at Wellesley are definitely demanding, but if you learn time management there's no reason why you shouldn't have lots of free time for Netflix, parties and friends. I'm double-majoring in history and biology, both of which are fantastic departments at Wellesley. I shopped around a lot before settling on these majors (throughout my first three semesters I considered majors in philosophy, political science, Spanish, English, and biochemistry), but Wellesley's flexible graduation requirements enabled me to try out lots of departments without falling behind. My favourite class to date is a history course I took on Alexander the Great, which detailed the life and death of the greatest conqueror the world has ever seen -- the class was awesome and the professor who teaches it is now my major advisor. Next year I want to spend a semester biology (especially genetics) in Dublin.

was this helpful? loading... loading...

The professors are highly touted at Wellesley, and for good reason. They care so sincerely about their students, and the tiny class sizes make it almost impossible to not become close with most of your professors. This is NOT a sit-in-the-back-of-the-lecture-hall type school. Classes are engaging, and there is generally a lot expected of students. As a moderate-conservative in ideology, I am almost scared to venture into the Women's and Gender Studies department (one that is quite popular here). My political theory class was very liberally slanted, and it made me dislike the department, although it is mostly the doing of the student body and less of the professors. My favorite departments are French and Theater. French is a fairly large department, and the opportunities to study abroad are amazing (one program in particular sends about 30 students a semester to Aix-en-Provence, France). The theater department is really tiny, but I know of many students ranging from seasoned professionals to complete newcomers who love the intimacy of the department. The professors almost always care and are there to help you. There are a lot of academic requirements; in fact one of the few schools left who has so many. Personally, I didn't think skimping out of my lab requirement by taking Geosciences will be that helpful in the grand scheme of things, but I do love that there is some structure and it forces you to look at departments you'd never usually consider. Education is DEFINITELY geared toward learning, however I think many people really reap the benefits of that through the means of getting great jobs as well.

was this helpful? loading... loading...

The academics is truly amazing. Professors not only know my name, but they do care! I can easily make an appointment with any professor, or go to his or her office hours, even if she doesn't teach me. Some professors you can even get to know them on a personal basis. I am a prospective architecture major, and I find all the professors in the art and architecture department are so charming. Each one has particular characteristics and they are all marvelous in their courses. Class participation is common, because most of the classes are small. But I also enjoy lectures, which normally have 20 to 30 people. Students study really hard here. I mean, really hard. But they are all very smart! You get to know really wonderful people here. Last semester I took introduction drawing class with Daniela, and she is the most charming professor I've ever met! She does not teach, but she INSPIRES you to draw. At the end of the semester, I found that I have grasped most of the drawing techniques and know how to draw from the inside and what it means to be an artist. Other professors are also amazing. It is a small liberal arts college, but you will be amazed at its abundant academic resources and the diverse courses that it provides. Because it is near Boston, students usually get wonderful internship and jobs. The courses are mostly for its own sake, but students care about internships and jobs so much that it is almost a peer pressure that you get an internship over the summer, even if you are just a first-year...

was this helpful? loading... loading...

As Wellesley is a Liberal arts college, learning is mostly geared for its own sake. Of course Wellesley has the Center for Work and Service to help guide students with jobs and internships, but I feel that Wellesley requiring students take, for example, foreign language, math, science, multicultural class, etc. is a great way of learning about everything, and not just sticking to science courses if you plan to be a doctor or something. Wellesley is really competitive. The grading policy, of which I was not aware of until after I accepted Wellesley's offer to attend, also makes competition a little higher. (The grading policy states that the class average cannot be greater than a B+) Just about everyone is up at 2-3 in the morning studying or completing assignments or some other ridiculous hour. In particular, science majors, like me; science course are like a two courses in one- one lecture and one lab so it requires more time. Another thing I absolutely love- even as a first year- all my professors know me and my name. This is why I preferred going to a private school- smaller campus. Had I gone to a state school, I'm sure I would not be able to say that all my professors know my name. I've even gone to a professor's house for something not academic, I keep in touch with professors even if I am not taking any classes with them. It's great to have this kind of opportunity available to students.

was this helpful? loading... loading...

Academics are the heart and soul of Wellesley. Academics are the reason that we are there, and it shows. People study like crazy everywhere, all the time. Each one of my professors knows my name and my interests (a few even know my life story). I am on a first-name basis with quite a few of my professors. My favorite class has probably been econometrics, but that's because I love economics and I love practical statistics- I guess you could say that I am a typical geek. In class participation is what classes here are made of. Almost everyone participates in active in-class discussions all the time. Even outside of class, students are constantly having academic discussions...we love to use our brains! Academic competitiveness is apparent in some departments, but for the most part, students are very helpful and supportive of one another. The distribution requirements can be annoying sometimes, but I honestly think they are for the better- I would never have discovered my love of economics if it weren't for the distribution requirements. All in all, an education at Wellesley is about the love of learning, but you will get such a good education in whatever major you choose, that you will be able to do almost anything you want after you graduate! It's the best of both worlds!

was this helpful? loading... loading...

As I said earlier academics at Wellesley are nothing less than amazing. Ive enjoyed every class I've taken till now. Some more than others, but I have no complaints. Professors here definitely get to know you by name. They are very generous with their office hours and get to know you personally. We even have some departments which choose to have dinner with their students in a less formal environment. Alot of professors even go as far as enviting their classes to their homes. Class participation at Wellesley is VERY common and intellectual conversations outside of class are even more common. Wellesley students definitely have to do alot of studying. As great as the classes can be, there is NO easy A at Wellesley. However, it depends on the student and her courses, but I cannot say that one can slack and make it at Wellesley. In addition, students here can be competitive. Like every other school there is always THAT girl that's trying to hog all the attention in class, already looking up law schools in her first year, and refuses to share her notes. Another thing about Wellesley is that its very "learning for its own sake". Its not very career oriented, and students learn to learn not to get a job. Although, again, there are exceptions.

was this helpful? loading... loading...

Academics at Wellesley are very rigorous; classes are not easy. But, the Wellesley faculty is so approachable and friendly and helpful that if there were a problem in terms of not understanding something, they'd be the first to help in the classroom and outside in office hours or even in the student center. They are willing to assist you in any way you need help, within reason. Classes are small which provide a very intimate learning environment where professors know their students' names and classmates know each others' names. The sciences are very strong at this particular college and it has turned out a disproportionately large number of women scientists. This being said, I am a humanities person and I feel the social sciences are equally, if not stronger, than the hard sciences. My favorite classes have included Art Histories, Political Sciences, South Asian Studies, Spanish, and Economics. I feel that Wellesley's academic requirements are reasonable, and truly encapsulate the essence of a liberal arts college. This institution really stresses the well rounded individual who has taken courses in a wide variety of subjects.

was this helpful? loading... loading...