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Macalester College

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Overall, Macalester has been an amazing experience forBrightBiology
Overall, Macalester has been an amazing experience for me, and I wouldn't want to be anywhere else. I'm going to break up this review into three sections: Student Life, Academics, Environment.

Student Life: Macalester has a really friendly and engaging student body, and I really feel like I fit in. I have met some of my best friends here and hope to maintain these friendships for life. Almost everyone I know is very passionate about their major and education, without there being a sense of competitiveness. My only complaint would be that there is sometimes a lack of diversity of ideas. Macalester is a very liberal college, and I can imagine that someone who is conservative might feel a little excluded. However, I have been friends and roommates with some very religious christians and Jews and I feel like religious people are respected by the student body overall.

Academics: Besides a few courses I've been required to take (French/Chemistry), I've really enjoyed the classes I've taken and found them very engaging. I'm a Biology major (interested mostly in ecology), but I've taken all sorts of classes such as Islamic Studies courses, a history on American agriculture, urban geography, etc., and have learned so much. For the most part the teachers are wonderful. My one complaint about the Bio department is that it's mostly catered to pre-med students, and that there aren't enough high level botany and ecology courses. Environment: Most of the Macalester buildings were built in the 1960s, so don't expect too much out of the architecture. That said the campus is clean and well maintained, and after a semester feels really homey. The campus physical size is also pretty small in condensed, but that can actually be a positive, especially during Minnesota winters. Being able to walk from the underclassmen dorms to classes/library/cafeteria in 10 minutes or less is really convenient. The cities of St. Paul and Minneapolis are really nice, though they might feel a little quiet if you're from NYC/LA/Chicago. Still, living in an actual city that's not a college town is really nice, and allows you to escape the college bubble when needed.

2nd Year Male -- Class 2018
Faculty Accessibility: A+, Extracurricular Activities: B+
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Macalester College is a truly stellar institution forGeography and Geosciences
Macalester College is a truly stellar institution for those who want to learn for the sake of learning, are politically engaged (and generally progressive), and who want to attend graduate school. If you have any intention of only attaining an undergraduate degree (only B.A. is offered at Macalester) and do not intend to go to graduate school at some point, I say good luck to you, because honestly: a Macalester degree by itself does not seem to matter much in the work world and if you manage to start a high-paying career without a graduate degree, it means that you either have a degree in either Economics (and work in finance or consulting), Mathematics/Computer Science, or managed to get especially good internships. Nevertheless, the quality of education really is tremendous and the focus on writing means that by the time you leave Macalester, you will almost certainly be an excellent writer (as if you don't become one, you are likely to fail). In contrast, graduate schools seem to hold Mac graduates in high esteem, as the vast majority of graduates end up going to graduate programs within 5 years of graduation - moreover a large number of alumni end up attending highly prestigious programs (regardless of academic field). Furthermore, the focus on internationalism, multiculturalism, and progressive values means that while Macalester is certainly not for everyone, there is a great deal of campus cohesion amongst the many students who feel a bit like outcasts elsewhere. Intellectualism permeates the student body to a much greater extent than at most other institutions and most Mac students have a deep passion for solving the numerous issues we face as a species, a nation, and a society. If you don't care about solving societal issues, this probably isn't the college for you (and there are many other colleges that are). While Macalester hasn't helped me much in getting a good job (in part because I moved back to Oklahoma with my parents and the economy here sucks), it has helped me greatly in navigating through life and further education.
Alumnus Male -- Class 2000
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Macalester gave me theAnthropology
Macalester gave me the critical thinking and time management skills that I can use in any field in the future, but it also gave me a wide range of academic experience that helped me find my own passion.
Alumnus Male -- Class 2000
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