Wesleyan University Top Questions

What are the academics like at your school?




The academics, especially liberal arts, are excellent. Professors are highly intelligent and lecture well. It is easy to find favorite classes and favorite professors, and you'll still find new ones every year. My personal favorites included a wide range: Medieval European History, Modernism in Literature, and Classical Film Theory. As a film major, I think the film dept. is too small but very solid. Although some of the professors there are not so talented, at least two are brilliant. And it is very well funded (for example, Michael Bay, an alumn, donates some of his riches regularly)- the cinema is massive and brand new, and taking 10 person classes in its 400 seats is a joy. As for getting a job, I do feel a little left in the wind, but maybe that's cause I'm a junior struggling to find my career path anyway.


Do you thrive on competition? Because if you do, forget about Wesleyan. Here, everyone has their own intellectual agenda, and usually don't give two-hoots about fighting it out with another competitor. The best part about Wesleyan's liberal education is that you can stick your thumb in every academic pie there is available, time willing. In my freshman year, I got to sample music, theater, anthropology, dance, astronomy, art history and German literature. And what about advanced academics? If you have the capacity to strive for what's out there, a simple email to a professor will suffice. It's not uncommon for students to participate in Graduate level seminars and major forums. As a sophomore, I had already done 2 music major seminars and 2 graduate level seminars that had an immense bearing on the way in which I conceived my major topic. Most of the Professors here are incredible thinkers who have produced bodies of work that continue to shape the international intellectual landscape. A quick roundup of who has taught at Wesleyan: Hannah Arendt, Haydn White, Judith Butler, John Cage ... the list is purely jaw-dropping. Wesleyan also has a knack for sourcing out visiting professors ready to bloom, so you just might be there to catch them before they become the next big thing in the academic world. All my classes with visiting professors have been intellectually engaging, fun and exciting. Although professors have predetermined office hours, they are more than willing to challenge you to a brain duel on the latest issues concerning politics, Iraq and anything that gets your mind ticking. Quite simply, Wesleyan was the best educational choice I could have made given my diverse intellectual interests in almost everything!


Academic opportunities at Wesleyan are varied and extensive, but it takes work to find the right classes and professors. Some introductory classes are disappointing and fairly large, but they vary based on professors. First-year initiatives sound like a great opportunity to be introduced to college courses, but again can be very disappointing; a class with all first year students is prone to turn in to free-for-all discussion. The system of registering for classes and adjustment is a bit complicated, but often Professors are more than accomodating during drop/add with letting more students in. Students are serious about their work but generally non-competitive.


Had really close relationships with two professors. Most of my classes were seminars, and had less than 20 people. The creative writing program is too small. The east asian studies program, history, art history, film and studio art departments are great and allow you close contact with professors. Education at wesleyan is definitely geared toward learning for its own sake. My favorite class was "The Problem of truth in modern china", "Empire and erotica: Indian painting," and a short fiction class. My friends do have intellectual conversations outside of class.


professors know my name--I have tea with them, play with their dog... etc. the other students are the best part--there's a awesome culture at wesleyan filled with creative minds and dedicated social action. they participate a lot in class. There no competition among students. Feminist Gender and Sexuality studies is an awesome way to study social justice at wesleyan--so are the african american studies program and american studies. Great professors and are interested in helping you learn and dedicated to social justice. The administration, however, could be more helpful and work with students more. Wesleyan is geared toward learning. not getting a job (unless you're a science major). The opportunities for science majors are unlike any other i've seen. Most are doing undergraduate research by sophomore or junior year (I do stem cell research as a junior)--this is unheard of at most colleges.


I personally have had a terrible academic experience at Wesleyan. While I have learned a lot from certain classes essentially every class I have taken has had a major flaw. My view is definitely biased, most of my friends have had excellent academic experiences where they find their work and classes extremely engaging and rewarding.


The reason I go to Wesleyan. It is also the reason I would never leave it, even if one of the only. Wesleyan can, and should, boast of strong departments in both the humanities, sciences, and social sciences. Classes can be very small, around seven students, or as big as 100. However, professors are wonderfully responsive to student inquiries, inside and outside of class. They do, after all, offer excellent intellectual and scientific backgrounds to discussions and lectures, and more often than not provoke students not only into unexplored territory of consideration, but demand an exactitude in dealing with such considerations. One would need willingly, forcefully, to relinquish one's mind in order to be 'bored' in, though this is my view, any of Wesleyan's classroom settings. Professors truly serve as models for students, though it is certainly up to the student to decide how hard they want to work to get there and farther.


Double-majoring, class participation, and a lack of course requirements or prereqs make the classrooms here exciting and diverse. Most students take academics fairly seriously and are personally involved, though there are of course exceptions, and it's not too competitive. I've been in a small department and there's a very familial feeling about it, which I love. Academics are definitely not job-oriented, they're liberal arts all the way. Study abroad is very popular.


classes range between large lecture classes of a few hundred students and small discussion classes of less than 15. either way, most teachers strive to establish a good student-teacher relationship and get to know your name or at least your face. with no core cirriculum requirements, it's nice to be able to take any classes you want without having to take certain classes to cover requirements. the credits system is basic and fair. i would have to say that the classes are generally geared towards learning for its own sake over getting a job, but that's not to say that they don't prepare for the real world.


The classes are small, the professors brilliant, and the discourse demanding. If I had to distill my academic experience into the most essential element, I'd say that Wesleyan taught me to examine a point from every angle before constructing an argument. This skill has served me very well in real-life. Who knew that a science class would tackle identity politics, or that an English class would teach me so much about marginalized groups? I wouldn't trade the education I got at Wesleyan for anything.


My professors all know me by name. Most of my classes are 20 people, and even in my 200 person intro biology lecture, my professor knows my name and the name of almost everyone in his class. Wes is great like that. Office doors are always open. Intellectual conversations are always taken out of class, until it's three in the morning and you're trying to articulate something that respectably resembles the positions of your friends. And my friends all have very different academic interests from me, so there's a lot of cross-disciplinary learning that helps to share and explain various perspectives. My psychology professor is my new role model in life. She invited me to her research team after I'd been at school here only 3 weeks, and although she works me incredibly hard I've never learned as much from anyone in my life. Professors here are simultaneously brilliant researchers and teachers - and because of the very small graduate program, we have research funding that goes to undergrad students.


Very good. Students to professor ratio is very low. This means that each class is taught by the professor, not some random TA. This also means that professors are very easy to contact and discuss and problems with. I have met kids who turned down Oxford to go here, so there are defiantly very smart people.


I transferred to Wesleyan because I wanted a more intellectual school, and I got what I asked for. The academics are very good - small, engaged classes, professors know your name, everyone works hard but it isn't competitive at all and you feel that the degree is worth something. On the other hand, Wesleyan is a liberal-arts college in the truest sense of the word: here you will learn about things, rather than how to do things. All my science-major friends rave about that, but I wouldn't really know. The academic requirements are easy to fulfill. Getting the classes you want can be tough - unlike the University of Vermont, where if I really wanted a class, I could usually get it. Here, everyone will be putting in the same amount of effort to get into that class.


Academics at Wesleyan are all top notch and retain the small community feel that the school is based around. Professors will call on you by name, and foster a competitive, but friendly enviornment. While students are able to focus on education based strictly on acquiring a future job, they are incouraged to indulge in their passions and interests, as well as discover some new ones along the way.


The greatest benefit of Wesleyan is that the classes are small, but because its larger than most liberal arts schools there is still a level of anonymity. Students study a great deal, but don't always pursue intellectual conversation outside class, though that depends on your friend group. In terms of getting a job, it depends on the department. For example, the film studies department is more geared toward getting a job whereas science is more geared to academia.


Classes at Wes are mostly small and intimate, with professors making a big effort to include students in the intimate details of the subject matter. Discussions are never less than engaging, and the feel of class is a collective learning process rather than a competitive one. Students don't feel pressured to be in the top X{4a082faed443b016e84c6ea63012b481c58f64867aa2dc62fff66e22ad7dff6c} of the class, and it's enjoyable to take fun classes and explore the curriculum. The Gen Ed requirements are pretty easy to fulfill, and aren't even required if you don't want to write an honors thesis. The learning at Wes is geared towards learning to be a functioning citizen in society; the materials covered in classes are generally able to be applied to real life and are intriguing.


Small classes, close relationships with professors, and interesting classmates.


The classes start off big when you begin the major (50-150), but they get nice and small by the time you start doing more specific classes in the field (8-30). The professors will know your name if you talk, and they are open to appointments for the most part. My favorite class was the History of Rock & RB, where we chronicled music from the 1950s till now. We had lots of great videos and the final project was to compose your own song/music video. The least favorite class would have to be Calculus. Not only was it a dry subject, but the teacher was at least 80, and was really strange. Wesleyan students do have intellectual conversations outside of class, but for the most part they take things to seriously, and it's hard to have fun conversations. Wesleyan's education is definitely geared towards learning for its own sake. I've had a very tough time finding courses that would really benefit me in life after school. Too many courses step back from reality and ask philosophical questions. While that's great for talking to someone over a glass of wine at a high class French restaurant, good luck using it to fill out your tax returns...


Their real good.


Wesleyan academic environment is very open. There are no true requirements, only general expectations about what classes students must take, and most students easily fulfill them. Students are extremely intellectual and class discussions often carry over outside of class. Classes are small, professors are very engaged with their students and students take academics seriously but without being competitive with each other.


Academics are good, though sometimes the non-artsy classes can be a bit dry. Students are not competitive at all, which is nice, and grades are not really discussed. Film Studies is a great department, although film majors have been accused of being elitist and separate from the rest of Wesleyan. The academic requirements are not that tough, but the classes themselves may be.


Take classes that have great teachers--it doesn't matter what they're on. C. Miller, R. Cameron, K. Kolcio, D. Moon, I. Karemcheti, S. Bachner, S. Mccann, K. Tololyan, C. Crosby are a few. Students are quite engaged. The dance department is better for academic dance than a rigorous physical training.


Academics are not universal in any sense. That is to say, the amount of work that people do, how seriously they take it and how they view their efforts in that arena changes from major to major, class year to class year and even seat to seat in the same class. People here are smart and generally work really hard at something. It just may not be their academics. This is also generally accepted and appreciated. you don't have to be a study nerd or a bookless meathead to fit in. There are communities for both and neither is penalized to seriously for their choices. (Though jocks certainly get the short end of the stick from the largely unathletic and stereotypically comptetive student body) (And I am not a jock either) Certainly education at wesleyan is for education's sake. Learning and enlightenment are virtues beyond their application to a specific job or career. That said, a lot of people take the opportunity to do lab work, make connections and co-write papers that will assist their resume later on. Professors are always graciously available. Its so complete that I forgot that there are schools where seeing professors is an ordeal. No classes are taught by TAs. CSS is awesome. I have forgotten the millions of pages I read. In it's place I have been gifted with a keen and critical analytical brain that can process massive amounts of information, form arguments and format them in a remarkably short period of time. (I think this may have been their goal all along) Students constantly have intellectual debates out of class to the point that it can get really irritating. Politics often plays a role in these debates and leads to heightened tensions and tempers.


Most professors I had know my name. I even had dinner at one of my professor's house with her family. I know that is totally cliche, but it happened to me (I was her TA for semester, but it was still cool). Students study a lot. It's challenging. Classroom participation is encouraged in most classes. Most of the education at Wesleyan is geared toward learning for its own sake. The students at Wesleyan try very hard, but they're not competitive, which I loved!


Wesleyan professors are awesome. They're intellectually stimulating and very eager to help with any questions about class material. They're concerned about students not only as students but also as people. While Wes is an elite institution, students are not competitive amongst themselves, but rather learning is a community experience.


For the most part, I felt that I had good academic experience. Some exceptional classes, some mediocre. It all depends on the professor. My favorite class was a small psychology class that met once a week for three hours in the retired professor center. The professor was an inspiring man: he was intelligent, non-judgmental, enthusiastic, and incredibly caring about his students. The class taught me about everything from literature to psychology and became close with every other student in it.

Wes Lady

Professors definitely know your name, and they make a point to be available whenever you need them. They have tons of office hours and are very accommading. My favorite class was probably one of my Psych classes, maybe Research Methods in Social Psych with Professor Carney. It actually really surprised me because when I thought of taking a class on Research Methods, I wasn't too excited. But it turned out that we created our own survey and actually conducted it, which was really great. The class was only about 15 students, so it was a very comfortable atmosphere. But all the Psych classes I've taken have been great. I wouldn't recommend ECON 101 with Professor Rayack. It was probably the most boring class I've taken at Wes. Students definitely work hard, but you can pretty much make it as hard as you want for yourself. When you buckle down and work hard, you can do extremely well. And that's not to say that you can't have a social life as well. Wes has the perfect balance between school, social life, and athletics. It is really doable. Class participation is very common, especially in smaller classes. But even in lecture classes, if Professors encourage it, many students will participate. I've found that in some of my language classes, participation is not as common because students are intimidated by speaking another language, but there is still participation. And if the professor is teaching the course correctly, there is a great deal of participation. Students are not all all competitive with one another, which is great. Wes is definitely not a stressful environment. You can tell that other students work hard if you see them in the library all the time, but it isn't really talked about. In terms of academics, everyone kind of does their own thing. The General ED requirements are perfect because there's no core curriculum, but you're still encouraged to take a wide range of courses. Definitely geared toward learning for its own sake.


Professors know your name if you make sure they do. In big intro classes, obviously that's difficult, but if you make the effort professors are happy to work with you. My favorite class was in an FYI (First Year Introductory) in the English department called "American Autobiographies."The professor was incredible, it was a class capped at 19 so it was very intimate, and was also engaging and thought-provoking. Outside of class conversations are... plentiful. I'll leave it at that. I'm a double major in the College of Social Studies and Psychology. The College of Social Studies is one of three interdisciplinary majors you can take. It involved Economics, Government, History and Philosophy, and I'm currently in it s most intense year: sophomore. It is one you apply to as a freshman to be accepted as a sophomore. My main class that I take has only 7 people in it, which is amazing, and it's with some of the best professors on campus (in my opinion). It's a lot of work with a lot of reward. Psychology is much more straightforward, and it's nice to have the contrast. I'm a Teacher's Assistant for the Intro class which has given me some interesting perspective on the whole testing and teaching practice. I don't think it's common in a lot of schools to allow undergrads to TA -- that has been amazing.


I've been consistently impressed by professors who know my name, even in larger classes. And certainly by the time you're a senior the professors in your major and professors whose classes you've taken more than once will know you by name. Film classes are really good for the most part, but then I'm a film studies major. But anyone can take the intro courses, and the one taught by Scott Higgins is one of the best I've ever taken - anyone who can make 150 students love him and the subject while talking about silent film for a month's worth of three hour classes is just brilliant. I've been in some really legit history classes, especially 20th century U.S. History, taught by a tenured professor, and Medieval Spain, taught by a visiting professor. The latter was an anomaly, though, because my general experience with visiting professors has been TERRIBLE. My opinion may be skewed by how much time I spend in the library, but I would say that most students study every day. If someone says, "I didn't do any work today/for the past two days," it's pretty significant, but also not like apocalyptic. I know this sounds trite, but one of my favorite things about Wesleyan is that people's intellectual engagement extends outside the classroom. I regularly have good conversations with friends about intellectual, political, artistic, and social (as in, societal) topics. I would say that people here are generally and genuinely interesting and interested. Film Studies is a pretty polarizing major, both within the department and at Wesleyan in general. It's really hard to get into the major, which only adds to the elitism that people who are interested in film - not "movies" - already possess. People who like to study film from an analytical, historical and theoretical standpoint are generally very happy in the major, but it's tougher if you're mostly interested in production because that's not really favored as much as it should be. There's a lot of blatant favoritism and some pandering to students whose parents are either famous in the industry or ridiculously wealthy. Also, it's a ridiculously well-funded department, but only because Jeanine Basinger, who for better or worse is pretty much the queen bee, has done all of her own fundraising among the alums who constitute the "Wesleyan Mafia" in Hollywood. Wesleyan has no formal academic requirements, and it's awesome. Most of the classic liberal arts majors don't really prepare you for a job in the real world, but all the econ majors seem to find six digit jobs fresh out of college. But isn't that always how it works when you go to a school that offers majors in "Feminist, Gender and Sexuality Studies" and "Science in Society"?


I found Wesleyan academics to be extremely rigorous. My friends and I who are in grad school now (many at really elite institutions) all agree that our Wesleyan courses were a lot more challenging than our grad school courses. People work really hard. Olin library's nickname is "Club O" because it's actually a really fun social scene - there are always tons of people there, and you can always find somebody to go take a coffee break and gossip with. I was an anthropology major, and that department pretty much epitomizes the stereotype of Wesleyan academics in that my courses were almost exclusively focused on questions of identity and power. As a white student in those courses, I learned a lot, but they were often really emotionally grueling (white guilt is standard issue). The campus is very consciously non-competitive about grades. In my four years at Wesleyan, I was only asked once what grade I got on an assignment (and in that case, it was by a fellow student who was known to have Asperger's Syndrome and have trouble with social boundaries). In fact, I dated my boyfriend for two years before we found out what kinds of grades we each made.


The good professors are great, the bad ones are horrendous. A professor's standing in the academic world is unrelated to how good a teacher he or she may be, so there's a lot of trial and error. All the profs I've liked have given lots of work, but I've learned a lot. Not sure what that means. The education is "liberal arts" to an extent I consider unhealthy. For example, I tried to sign up for a copyright law class at my semester abroad in Australia, but Wes vetoed it. The reason? I quote my department head: "It's too practical." As far as the students, well, we get out of it what we want. If you don't want to work hard at Wes, you don't really have to, but most students feel some internal need to put in a little effort. You'll probably spend as much time on homework at Wes as you did in high school, but it'll feel like more because you spend so little time in class. Some students have intellectual conversations, but by and large, they're just freshman or College of Social Studies students engaging in mutual intellectual masturbation.


It is the last night of midterms week right now, those who have work are packing the libraries, those who dont are out partying. Students here are frustraightingly non-competitive, coming from a very competitive high school this was very unexpected. I am not sure if I like it or not, since I, myself, am still very competitive.


I love the academic environment here. My biggest class here had about 200 students in it and my professor still tried to learn all our names! The professors always encourage students to come to their office hours and i've met very few who weren't easily approachable. Most students take their work seriously here. the library is often as much social hour as study time. at the same time, i think mostly everyone has a nice balance and i don't know very many study nerds. I like the flexibility of the requirements and the ability to take interdisciplinary majors, but i hate the fact that there are no minors available--although that may be changing for the future.


academically, wesleyan has been great. ive gotten to take amazing and interesting classes but in and outside my major. psychology is a huge major but i have become close to several professors and they are very accessible. wesleyan is much more geared toward "learning for its own sake" than getting a job- in most majors. psych tries to help set students up in research labs, but that's not really what kind of psych everyone is interested in. teach for america and ibanking kind of dominate the wesleyan job market. which is really really too bad. i def dont think wesleyan majors should try to be more "vocational" at all... but i think a better job needs to be done in terms of keeping in touch with alumni in different departments and finding out what kind of jobs they have ten years down the road.


Some professors go the extra mile to learn your name, your interests and help you if you struggle in their courses. Some do not care. I think it varies by department and professor. I'd say the science departments tend to be the one with less hand-holding while the humanities tend to be better in assisting students along their academic progress.


1. Most of my professors know my name. 2. My favourite class is an improvisation class with Professor David Jaffe (who is unfortunately leaving at the end of this year since he is a visiting professor). In it, we act out various scenarios and play numerous games to deepen our creativity and bring out our instincts. My least favourite class is probably the intro to psych class which is just enormous. I feel a lot less engaged simply because it's a straightforward lecture class. 3. Students spend a good deal of their time studying because many are genuinely interested in every course that they take. There is a general love of knowledge on this campus and it is obvious in the amount of work people put into their academics. 4. Students most definitely have intellectual conversations outside of class. 5. Competition here really isn't an issue. Students are motivated but they are not cut throat. In fact, the atmosphere among the students is very supportive. 6. I do spend time with professors outside of class. Many invite students over for dinner as a bonding experience. This is very helpful in fostering a supportive atmosphere in the classroom. 7. Wesleyan's general education requirements are not at all extensive. In fact, they're not even really requirements, just suggestions. 8. Education here is more geared towards learning for its own sake.


Academics are great. I have not had a bad class yet. My first semester of college, my average class size was around 15 or 16 students, which is amazing. I met some great professors. At Wes, professors teach the clsases. My favorite class thus far has been American Sign Language. I find it really neat. Students study a lot. While I have been blessed with a light workload, it isn't uncommon for friends of mine to pull all-nighters. Our awesome libraries provide good places to study. Students are not very competitive. It's a laid-back environment where we help each other. I feel that most students are learning because they want to learn; liberal arts education isn't as career-focused as many more cutthroat technical universities. Intellectual conversations outside of the classroom are quite common and feels very stereotypical of college. A day without Tolstoy being mentioned in everyday conversation is rare among my friend group. The computer science department is very small. I think there are only a dozen or so computer science majors every year. Wesleyan has absolutely no academic requirements. Let me repeat that: Wesleyan has absolutely no academic requirements. There is no "core" set of classes. There are requirements for majors, of course. While Wesleyan offers a liberal-arts education which feels like education for education's sake, it has a very extensive alumni network to help find jobs, coops, and internships, or so I've been told.


Wesleyan academics are great. Classes are challenging and stimulating and teachers expect a lot out of their students. However, most are still able to keep their head above the water and most students are involved in a wide variety of extracurriculars and addictions. Perhaps the hardest part of being a Wesleyan student it reconciling yourself to the fact that you can't take all of the courses offered- they all sound so good.


Except in my lecture classes (Psych 105 and Econ 101), professors know my name. my favorite class first semester was on Chinese philosophy, which was way cool...I got a TON out of it, and it seemed like even the people (of which there were many) who had a better grasp on the subject before entering the class liked it a lot too. In my English and COL classes the discussion is great and the reading interesting, though it's a little overwhelming at times, like right around midterms. we study fairly often...though I haven't been as stressed out, on a whole, as my friends at Columbia, for example. and yeah, class participation is common. most of my classes both semesters have focused on discussion, so if you haven't done the reading closely enough, you're less likely to get something out of the class. intellectual conversations pretty common outside of class. they're interesting, though, because we have no core curriculum so we usually don't talk about a specific book that we've both read on philosophy, or about a specific teacher. the discussions are pretty wide-ranging, though. last week I had a long discussion on the basic tenets of eastern vs. western philosophy, and then a couple days later, about the direction feminism is headed in America. so yeah, intellectual conversation, but not generally about classes. students very not competitive, at least from what I see. everyone wants to help each other out, and no one really discusses grades or feels the need to do better than other people, which is so much nicer than high school. academic requirements...I like that they're kind of bullshit. so I have to take a couple math/science classes (not really my area of interest), but that's probably good for me anyway. the other ones I will definitely fulfill without a problem. our education is definitely not geared towards getting a job, but I like that...at least for my personal interests, I'm not sure how striving to get a major in literature or philosophy will be incredibly helpful in terms of the real world besides helping me learn how to think and write better...but what else is college really for, besides opening your eyes and inundating you with a lot of information?


Some departments are stronger than others, but the professors are dedicated and here for the students, not to do research and let TAs do the teaching. Students study hard and not competitive, but often helpful to their fellow classmates. The education at Wesleyan is learning for learnings sake.


Students are surprisingly pathetic. They are very full of themselves and enjoy pretentious musings. There are definitely unique classes at Wesleyan but I do NOT think that is a good thing. What will future employers think if they see classes like "Chicana Lesbian Literature," "Delicious Movements for Forgetting, Remembering, and Uncovering," "Writing as a Cultural Performance," or "Introduction to Puppetry." I mean, seriously, what kind of people take useless, ridiculous classes like these? The student experience is really varied because of the very lax general education expectations. Note that these are expectations, not requirements. Some students are able to coast through their entire experience taking BS classes, but others have serious courseloads and these latter students have to work very hard. I've taken a serious courseload every semester and have to study at least 3 hours a day every weekday. Preparing for tests is intense. One weekend I spent 24 hours studying in the library. That is definitely not to say that everyone works this hard but if you take serious classes and want to do well in them, you will. But it is easy to get away with not doing either of those things. The crazy liberal-ness on campus also pervades the classroom. Professors are very liberal and always assume that they are speaking to an entirely left-wing audience. I've been in science classes where professors have mocked President Bush and have had to tell government professors that their comments about conservatives are offensive. Most people will be very poorly prepared to get a job outside of college but there are enough good classes and extra-curricular opportunities that if you are really motivated, you can prepare yourself effectively for a good career. The one positive thing I have to say about Wesleyan is the research relationships that I've had with professors. I have had the opportunity to get deeply involved in primary research projects and form strong personal relationships with a few professors, which has been incredibly valuable. The sciences at Wesleyan offer a great mix between the intimacy of a small, liberal arts school and the research opportunities of a larger university.


Professors usually do know names, the exception to that would be intro. science courses. My favorite class has been Modern African American history with Renee Romano; My lease favorite is the Archaeology of teh African Diaspora class, which is slow. Students seem to work hard Sunday through Wednesday and then party hard from Thursdays through Saturday. Students do often have intellectual conversations outside of class. Students do not tend to be as competitve here as at other schools. Wesleyan's academic requirements-- there are none, so it is easy for students to take classes that interests them versus something that is required. The learning seems to be geared toward learning for its own sake, versus in preparation for employment, which can be viewed as either good or bad.


The professor/student relationship depends greatly on the student. Generally speaking, I found it was up to the student to initiate the relationship. In an environment with so many people seeking up-close interaction, if you did not do the same, you could easily remain anonymous whether you wanted to or not. I certainly found it easier to get to know professors in the smaller classes, particularly once I declared my major. It was through a Psych seminar that I met the now-retired Karl Scheibe, who advised my thesis and remains an important figure in my life. This experience will vary greatly depending on the student and the department.


Academics at Wes are the best I could have imagined. My classes tend to be on the small side (around 20 students), although I've had a few big lectures. In any setting, the professors are incredible. Taking advantage of office hours is a great idea. The film department is great--well known profs, great lecturers, and lots of famous alums! I'm currently taking Westerns taught by Richard Slotkin. He's pretty legendary, but unfortunately he'll be retiring after this semester.


My academic experience at Wesleyan has been a largely positive one. It's certainly an environment of "co-learning," meaning I honestly think I've learned as much from my fellow students here as I've learned from the professors. Not that I haven't learned a lot from my professors, but so much of the learning I've experienced at Wesleyan has taken place outside of the classroom; the late-night discussions I had in the study room of my freshman hall are now late-night discussions in the kitchen of my senior house. The setting may have changed, but the tough issues that members of my class have been grappling with since we got to Wesleyan in 2004 are still pervasive, and we still work through them with discussion and discourse.


As a government major at Wesleyan, my biggest frustration as an underclassman was just getting into high-demand classes. I think that this is a common complaint - while class sizes are capped to be small, it is hard to get into courses in really popular majors, especially as an underclassman or non-major. One cool thing about Wesleyan is that there are hardly any requirements outside of your major, so I was able to take a lot of really varied courses (ie. Theater and Music of Indonesia, Westerns) Students study pretty hard/often, I think, but generally also manage to balance having a social life. Intellectual conversation definitely happens outside of class, but students aren't particularly competitive. Most Wesleyan students are really excited about whatever they're learning, which results in a culture that cares more about the education that we're getting rather than on how we'll use it to earn money in the future.


A lot of professors knew my name, even though I was only around for 2 years. I don't know if they'd remember mine now, but I wasn't that big into academics. I didn't do a thesis, although I still find that I learned a lot of advanced stuff at Wes. I enjoyed having the academic freedom to take a lot of cross-disciplinary classes, as someone who never really knew what they wanted to do with their life, I enjoyed that. It helped me discover that I liked Poetry, and also that i am very very good at Logic problems. One of my favorite classes was a seminar of Religious and Philosophic readings of Kafka. It was taught by a visiting professor who looked like Santa Klaus with a Jarmukle. He was really great and intellectually stimulating. I was a pretty crappy student, trust me, and he said that he gave me the first A+ he's given in 20 years. That's how great that class motivated me to be. It is extremely typical college fare, I know, KAFKA! Get over it. And obviously take Richard Slotkin. Believe the Hype.


CLASSES ARE AWESOME. Profs all knew my name. I e-mailed one recently (he was my professor in a 30-person class that was outside my major) to tell him that an article in the Times reminded me of him, and I was surprised and flattered to learn in his response that he actually remembered me. I used to get coffee with one of my music professors, and drinks with another. Wes's academic requirements are great. Ars gratia artis. Most look at the Wesleyan experience as their last joyous and educationally-hedonistic pursuit before they have their soul sucked out of them by the working world.