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Texas Christian University

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Date: Jun 01 2010
Major: History/Histories (art history/etc.) (This Major's Salary over time)
I completed my Bachelor's in the History of Art at TCU last spring and am now pursuing my Master's in the United Kingdom at the University of Bristol.

Overall, I received an excellent education at TCU. My professors were very accessible and although not the greatest "scholars" in their field, are well respected and up on current scholarship. The requirements for my major were not as stringent in comparison to what many other undergraduate degree programs in art history require. This was, in some cases good, as it forced me to determine what I needed as far as foreign language study and research experience to prepare me for further graduate study. This ultimately encouraged me to be more enterprising from the outset of my studies.

Many of my peers did not meet some of the most minimal requirements as far as internships or foreign language requirements (having studied Spanish, rather than German or French), to even begin to compete for graduate admissions. That being said I am currently pursuing a Master's in the United Kingdom where I am specializing in British art and will begin doctoral study this autumn at the University of Virginia—a highly competitive program that only selects a handful students for admission each year. If you are a "self-starter" and don't need to be coddled so to speak, TCU does offer a strong curriculum and all of the resources in the world that you could possibly need to succeed as an undergrad.

One thing that surprised me is that although TCU upholds a strong reputation locally and even statewide, outside of its football associations, very few people esteem (or even know about) TCU elsewhere. If you plan to enter the workforce, particularly in Texas, this isn't necessarily an important consideration. However, if entering academia were your ultimate goal, I would ask you to bear this in mind and potentially look elsewhere for a program with a solid liberal arts foundation and a better reputation nationwide. I have found U.S. News & World Report's college rankings helpful for this.

Socially, I would have to agree with many of the other students who have commented about the university being pretentious and exclusive. The school is composed mostly of white, upper-middles from protestant backgrounds (although apparently Catholics maintain the highest denominational statistic). I found students to be, on the whole, very friendly. This could be because I myself come from a similar background and they felt comfortable with me. My biggest problem was finding other students that were interesting enough to befriend (in terms of similar interests, beliefs, etc). That being said, I did make a handful of good friends by the end of my studies and was able to maintain an active social life throughout my undergraduate studies.

If I had one piece of advice for those who are planning to attend or are currently attending TCU it is this: study abroad! Take advantage of the fabulous programs that TCU's Center for International Studies offers. I was able to spend semesters abroad both in London and Florence for scarcely any more cost than an average semester at TCU. Ultimately, when looking back on my decision to attend TCU, I am satisfied with my experience at TCU as I am not sure either of these incredible experiences would have been available to me if I had chosen to study elsewhere.

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