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Virginia Commonwealth University

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The biology and chemistry department sets students upQuite BrightBiology
The biology and chemistry department sets students up to fail. For example, the practice questions in lecture or homework will be 1+1= (not difficult), and the questions they ask you on exams will resemble derivatives in calculus. There are professors that add additional chapters to exams without notifying the students, and will claim that the students were responsible for reading that chapter on their own. There are multiple mid/upper level courses that have a 40-60% fail rate, and exams where the class average is less than 50% and the professor wont curve. Ultimately, if you are a science major, odds are that you will have to take Organic Chemistry. The O-Chem professors at VCU are absolutely terrible to the point that half of them don't even lecture, they assign group work and you do worksheets together during class time. If you want to be a science major and go to grad/med/dental etc afterwards, do yourself a favor and avoid VCU.
5th Year Male -- Class 2015
Friendliness: B-, Innovation: D+
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There are just so many things right hereAverageBiology
There are just so many things right here and so many things wrong. It should be noted that I'm not bashing VCU. It's a very good school with decent programs, But I feel it just hasn't been a very positive experience for me. I really wanted it to be. I love this school, I really do. But there are too many problems. Let's start with the actual program I'm in. The gen eds are absolutely useless and they do nothing but waste your time. The foreign language requirement is horrible and I'm struggling to keep up in the second half of it. It is in no way relevant to my major and I feel like it should be optional not required for graduation. Speaking on the subject, there are too many here. I understand the co requisites. They make sense. Science overlaps and Biology requiring a bit of Math, Chemistry and Physics isn't a problem. But the gen eds are nothing but busywork and you don't learn from them. Also 45 upper level credits when there are barely even enough classes for it is nightmarish for graduation. I'm finishing my junior year this spring and I expect to graduate in 2016. That isn't right. This school focuses on money. The tuition is a bit higher than some other schools instate and the coursework is very difficult despite VCU not having too great of a reputation. My adviser has done virtually nothing for me. Even during scheduled appointments I feel as though I am wasting my time. Sure there is a great social aspect here but I didn't come to a university to make friends. I want an education that will follow me for the rest of my life. Now I'll name out some of the positives. The biology department here is very friendly and the professors I have had are very helpful. They really want you to succeed and if you show interest in what is being taught they will notice. Apply yourself here and you'll pass with flying colors. My major courses are really the only ones I have enjoyed at VCU. Also, it should be noted that the diversity here is wonderful. People from all walks of life are here. There are plenty of research opportunities and labwork or internships here so if you say you can't find them in the biology department then you're just not applying yourself. I would highly recommend that every biology major get extremely involved in research opportunities. I suppose the only thing I have left to talk about now is Richmond itself. It's not a bad city I suppose. The buildings are old, and there are definitely pockets of crime, but it's no more dangerous than any other city I've been to. In the end the reason I'm not quite satisfied with my choice is because this school doesn't do enough for it's students. You become a number assigned to a clicker very quickly and you are nothing but cash. Also, I think there is too much focus on a basketball program that isn't even in the top 25. Things can be fixed here. It's not irreversible damage, but for now, if you are considering attending here, I'll just go ahead and tell you I wouldn't recommend it. The negatives outweigh the positives
3rd Year Male -- Class 2016
Innovation: A+, Collaboration/Competitive: D+
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Super BrilliantEnglish
Disorganized, unhelpful, uncaring, irresponsible, degrading.
3rd Year Female -- Class 2015
Scholastic Success: A-, Faculty Accessibility: F
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