West Virginia University Top Questions

What are the academics like at your school?

Umang

The Academics are great as long as a student takes interest in it because the teachers can teach but ultimately at the end of the day it's the students who have to work hard as get good grades.

Dominique

The academics are challenging but not impossible. You just have to actually apply yourself

Kirsten

There are a lot of classes that are completely useless and the professors suck. I've had more bad professors than good ones. The professors are all old school and expect you to do all work without any help. I would recommend this school for programs in business, engineering and teaching. The wildlife management program does not help you at all.

Cheryl

I pretty much covered academics before but academics are either hit or miss. You'll love the class or you'll hate it. Most 100-200 level classes are complained about but once students get in their major they love it. The only hassle is dealing with a bunch of bs classes like the general eds that are required. Some classes are ridiculously easy (soc 105, theatre 101) and some are notorious weed out classes (like chem 115, physics 111, math 155, etc.). Most classes are large and unless you take initiative, professors or TAs won't know you. Or, in my case, a professor will know you the semester they have you and by next semester, won't recognize you at all unless you really try to form bonds. This is a research university so keep in mind professors are not solely here to teach you.

Danielle

Academics here are great! Classes range from underwater basket weaving to scuba diving and to physics. The professors are very welcoming and helpful. Despite having large lectures, the teachers interact with each individual student. I feel like they are personally talking to me. Professors reach out and offer many ways of contact.

Kasey

The academics are a little bit different than what I am used to, growing up in a small town. The average class size as a freshman and sophomore is about 300; therefore, the professors don't really know who you are or your name until you are a junior and senior. Because the class size is so big, class participation is usually uncommon. Personally, I spend a lot of time on my school work. My major requires a lot of out of class studying and reading. I think overall, this school could be a little more stricter with the academic requirements because it would push students to work harder and limit the number of drop outs.

Cheyenne

The academic requirements here are fair. The amount of studying you need to do depends on the GPA goal that you have. Teachers will get to know your name (in large classes) if you participate and ask questions. I'm in the Honors College and all the classes I take through it are pretty small. My teachers in those classes have always gotten to know my name. I suggest the Honors College to anyone interested. It provides a broad range of interesting courses not available to other students. As a pre-pharmacy major, I have also taken many science courses at the university and have always felt as though my teachers were there to help me with anything I needed help with.

Gary

With WVU being a large institution, many people would automatically assume that you are jammed into a large auditorium with 300 other kids listening to a professor who has no interest in getting to know all of his students. While many General Education Requirements are somewhat like this, after Freshman year class sizes are reduced to anywhere from 10-45 kids. My Professors always make the effort to learn the names of every kid in class and they are always available for help or advice. I can honestly say that I haven't had a bad Professor yet. They have all been extremely knowledgeable and helpful.

Elizabeth

I am a double major in Exercise Physiology and Athletic Training. Exercise physiology is considered mostly as a pre-med major, it is the only undergraduate major in the school of medicine. It is a larger major with majority if classes on the health science center campus. With it being a nearly 200+ people per grade, you are challenged to present yourself in a way that will stand out to your professors. On the opposite end of the spectrum, I was accepted my junior year as an athletic training major with on 13 other students selected. This major is more intimate and required no more than 20 clinic hours per week in your assigned athletic training room. You work one on one with your assigned team providing rehabilitation and prevention of injuries throughout your clinical assignment.

Austin

The greatest advice I can give about the academics is to choose your professors carefully, if you can. People wake up at 6 in the morning to wait for the class signups to open. Who your professor is makes all the difference in how much you will learn, and what grade you will get in the class. Almost all the teachers are available after class time during the office hours. If they are not available they are willing to make an appointment to meet with you.

Danielle

Academics at WVU are what you make of them. There are a lot of different kinds of classes and different kinds of students who go to WVU. Some students choose just go to sit in the back of the class and only do the bare minimum to get by, but this is not something I would recommend. In most cases, if you show your professor that you are interested and willing to learn, they will show you the same respect back by getting to know you and helping you out when needed. And if for some reason you still need help, the university offers free tutoring for a variety of subjects. I am currently an Agriculture and Extension Education major. I have taken some really neat classes for this so far. Not only have I taken the basics such as English, Math, and Biology, but I have also taken a class where I learned how to weld, and a class where we went to the university farm and worked with the animals there. I have been thinking about switching my major and my advisor along with other advisors I have met with are really helping me through this process.

Josh

Having the party school reputation that it does, WVU is often seen as a school where the students party more than they study. However, WVU is a terrific academic institution with top of the line professors. In your first few years of study it is likely that you will be in larger classrooms ranging from 50-150 students. As you go deeper into your studies the class slim down and you develop more of a personal relationship with professors. WVU is the flagship University of the state of West Virginia. The requirements to be admitted as an undergraduate student are very low but the drop out rate is very high as a lot of students do not focus on their studies nearly as much as they should. WVU has one of the best libraries in the country and you will almost always find it crowded. WVU certainly prepares its students for life after college as professional classes are a requirement for most majors. These classes help to make sure each student is prepared for finding a job following their graduation. My favorite classes were always the larger ones as it is a great way to meet other students. It is not likely to hear intellectual conversations outside of class as it is more likely that students will be talking about their upcoming plans for that night or the weekend.

Erika

Since many undergraduate classes are lecture-based, I have to reach out to my teachers but once I do, they know my name and say hi to me when they see me in between classes. My favorite class is biology because it is challenging and interesting. My least favorite class is physics, my teacher is awesome but I am not a good physics student. Students study mostly around test time and during the week. Class participation is common but attendance is sometimes off with lower undergraduate classes. If you go to the book stores or clubs, students will be having some intellectual conversations. Most students are not competitive but those that are, really are. The most unique class I have taken was Women in Movies. I am a double major with Forestry and Wildlife & Fisheries. The teachers know their stuff and I absolutely love my majors. The academic requirments coming into WVU are low but that is because WVU provides help to students who have had a hard time with school thus far.

Matthew

I won't say academics are considered the best at WVU, however, I believe that we have amazing educational experiences to offer. With the business college, pharmacy school, and engineering schools all being among the top in the country, it is no wonder why over 28,000 students call WVU home. There are tons of different colleges and hundreds of majors and minors. As a political science major, I can say that the advising done by the university to make sure you graduate on time and with high grades and strong classes is great.

mike

good, the school has very good academics and they have only become more important to the school in the past few years

Jessie

I am a physical education/teacher education major. All of my professors know my name. Class participation is very common in my major. There are a lot of professors that spend time with students outside of class, bowling, basketball, etc. The requirements for my major are great. WVU really prepares you for a job, at least in my major they do.

Sarah

My favorite class has to be the Service Dog Training class. I mean who doesn't want to spend an entire class period with a Golden Retriever. The best part of it is is that we actually place these dogs with clients who have mobility problems. It's so awesome. Classes at WVU can be really big, but most of the teachers are fantastic. I've learned a lot from each of my classes no matter what the subject. I've yet to have a boring class. I would definitely say that most of the education at WVU is geared towards getting jobs. Most of the professors I have had relate all the material to real life. It's a great experience. As far as the students go, it's probably 50/50. Half of the students study very hard to work and get great grades, the other half party and drink a lot. They don't really care about getting assignments in on time. So it's about half and half.

Sam

It's a big school and entry level classes can fill up auditoriums. If the student takes the time to get to know the professor, the professor will take the time for the student. WVU really has a big mix of professors. There are some quality professors and some that are far from being quality, but they do have one thing in common, they care about their students. A WVU education is a great education, especially in the engineering department. Most departments in the engineering college have 100% job placement ratings to any student who chooses to enter the field upon graduation.

Jenn

I have had a good experience with academics here at WVU. Same with mostly everyhting in life, what you get out if it depends on how much you put into it, but learning and broadening your horizons can certainly be done. My one complaint is that coming in as a freshman I had no idea what I wanted to do and I had difficulty trying to change my major. But I found that professors and administrators are all very helpful and knowledgable. My most unique class happened to be my honors class last semester - Puppets, Masks, and Magic. It was a theater class and a fun release from all of my other more typical classes.

Ryan

academics are competitive and challenging -- no matter what the program.

Julie

NO, they don't. It is my fault because they could but there are too many people in all the classes. Favorites... hmm. Least favorite.. statistics. It was the only class I failed and had to repeat. BLAH just thinking about it. Depends on the student, most are average studiers. Like I said its a party school. Educations is geared at learning. I feel in no way ready to get a job. I learned a bunch of random things that hardly tie into my major. We got to chose all but 4 classes in my major so of course, before I knew better, I took the easy way out. My mistake now but I think there needs to be more required classes.

Cassie

I'm an art major and I really enjoy it. Im usually on a personal level with my teachers and don't see them so much as authority figures. I've even been to the bars and seen them there a few times. It is definitely time consuming, but if you work hard in class then you won't have so much out of class work. My favorite classes have been print making and ceramics. My favorite non-art class I've taken is geology, which even though it might sound lame, was pretty interesting. Human health and nutrition was a very hard class that if I could go back I might not have taken.

Lauren

The professors are great and want to get to know you.

Heather

Again, academics vary at WVU. 100 and 200 level classes are extremely easy and very easy to get an A. Professors vary as well. I've had some really good ones, but unfortunately the number of bad teachers/ professors have out numbered the good ones. Students are far from competitive and study only on the weekdays or monday-wednesday. There is a lack of passion at this school and students are definately more interested in partying than studying or planning for their future.

Jackie

The academics here are pretty strong. I've been pretty limited to science based classes, but the physics department and the chemistry department are very strong. The freshman biology teachers are a little weak and if you aren't dedicated can very easily make you decide to choose another major (I'm not always sure this is a bad thing). I'm also in the honors college and have found all of my honors classes to be really good. The teachers have be excellent and really taught their respective subjects well. My honors classes have been ranging from Biology to history to an ecology movie class. Students really aren't that competitive here, so it's really easy to ask a classmate for help. There is also something known as the first year experience for freshmen which is a tutoring center in certain dorms where you can go and speak to upperclassmen if you're having trouble in a class. Also, if you're having trouble in class there are many resources you can take advantage of even if you aren't a freshman. There is a chemistry learning center run by ACS students, as well as many professors are very easy to get ahold of for help.

Kyle

Some professors learn your name and some others do not. It depends on whether or not you want them to and how large the class is. If you want the teacher to know your name you simply have to participate in class and introduce yourself after class. I personally do not spend any time with my professors outside of class but i see many people who do. The education at the university is geared towards getting a job after graduation. Professors and advisors try to pursuade their students to go out and get experience in their individual career tracks. For example, within the school of journalism here at WVU there are many clubs and organizations that students can join to get experience in areas such as advertising, editorial writing, and broadcast news.

Casey

I've had more professors at WVU that I really liked than ones I didn't like, but that may have to do with the classes I have to take for my major.

Sara

Class is just like any other class. You have ones you like and ones you hate. Some take attendance, and others don't. Sometimes you study and sometimes you don't need to. It really depends on what you are taking. All classes, however, challenge you in some fashion.

Phil

At any big school, you're going to have classes with up to 400 people in them. in this type of class, it's really completely up to the professor how much the class participates. For instance, i have a Political Science class with about 200 people in it, but the professor makes scenarios for his examples using students in class to make his points, then lets other students comment on the topic and make a point on a side of the argument. Math Classes are awful at any big school. it's just a big lecture hall with one professor doing examples over and over. They are by far my least favorite classes.

Jenna

I am a Fashion Merchandising major and all of the professors know our names in those classes. Once you start your major you tend to be with the same people, so everyone knows each other's names. The fashion program is geared toward getting a job because that is the ultimate objective of most people. Many of the professors have formally worked in the fashion industry, and like to use their real life experiences to better prepare us for the real world.

Jimmy

the academics are pretty good we are no harvard. the freshmen classes are huge usually 100+ but as you get into your major the classes get smaller and professors begin to learn who you are

Ashley

Nearly all of my professors know my name now. I am on a first name basis with most of them. It wasn't always like that though. My first 2 years, I was only a number to my professors. Hmmmm...I love all of my classes except Theater 101. Stupid electives. It's kinda hard for me to say how often "students" study. I study every night..but that's because my classes are very difficult and I have to work hard to get good grades. Class participation is common if the professor encourages it. Some of my teachers say they want you to participate, but if you say the wrong answer, it can be embarrassing because they aren't very considerate of personal feelings. Many intellectual conversations take place outside of class...even at the bars!! haha. Students are competitive, but it's also one of those "i'll scratch your back if you scratch mine" situations... I have a cross cultural nutrition class right now that is probably the most unique. There are no exams, but I probably learn the most. I LOVE my major and all of my professors in it. Everyone is helpful. All of my classes are interesting and I love going to class. I visit my teachers offices if I ever need anything. They are very helpful and have an open-door policy. I feel that WVU's academic requirements are fair. Education at WVU is geared toward both getting a job and learning for its own sake. We visit various facilities to see how they operate, and we also spend time in the classroom just learning...

Erika

Some of my professors know my name, it all depends on class size. The bigger classes don't know my name, but they don't treat me like they don't know my name. I think the education at WVU is geared toward both getting a job and learning for its own sake and I think they do a good job at combining both.

Brittany

It depends of the class size whether professors will know your name or not. Probably your first year you will have many lecture style classes, and unless you go to their office hours they are not likely to know who you are. However, as you move up and take more of your major classes, you will get to know your professors much better. I like my advertising classes the best because it is what I am most interested in. My least favorite classes were some of the general education classes you are required to take such as science and math. How often I study varies weekly. Some weeks I will be in the library almost every day, and some weeks when I don't have any exams or papers, I might not be there at all. I am an advertising major which is in the Perry Isaac Reed School of Journalism. Everyone is really helpful and many of them have a lot of experience in the advertising industry. The only thing I don't like about the academic program is the general education requirements that you have to take, but this is pretty much standard in any state school.

Jay

The first year you are taking basic classes and you sometimes have classes with 200 or so other people. In this instance you don't really know your teachers and they don't know you, unless you make an effort to get to know them, which is some of the best advice I've gotten while I"m here, "Make sure you know your professors." As you progress into the 200-300-400 level classes the sizes continue to get smaller. I am now in classes with sizes of about 20-30 students and I find that to be perfect. My favorite class was Comm 404, persuasion, my teacher, Dr. Avtgis, taught using current events and that was a great way to learn. My least favorite class was statistics, for obvious reasons. Even though the Princeton Review ranked badly on how much students study it's not true for all. I am trying to graduate early and I study a lot. Not having a first-person perspective on other schools I can't say that we study more or less than other schools. Class participation is smaller classes is usually a part of your grade, but in the bigger classes, if they grade participation, it is done with in class handouts. It all depends on the classes you take in your major. If you are concerned with this, you can check out the syllabus before you sign up for a class. My major is Communications with a minor in Advertising. The professors seem to love their job and really do a good job of teaching. Most are very accessible outside of class with their office hours. Occasionally, you'll see some of your teachers (usually masters/phd students) out at the restaurants and bars, they are just like you, just a few years ahead of you. The academic requirements to get accepted aren't too strict, but they are getting stricter as time goes on and more people apply. Most classes are taught in order to learn for your own sake. The lower level classes (100/200) will throw in tidbits about how this subject will help you get a job. We have an amazing career center that will help you with getting a job and to find out what careers fit your personality. There are also "orientation" classes that focus around getting a job, finding out what you want to do, and learning how to survive in the real world. Having taken two of these orientation classes I can wholeheartedly suggest that all students at least look into taking one.

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