is awesome. The professors are spectacular teachers (which is their
first priority) and often famous scholars in their fields. Personal
attention is there for the taking, I often find myself
chatting up a professor for so long that I become
the one who has to cut conversations short so that
that I can make my appointments!
Academics in general
are an awesome experience, there are many venues for intellectual
discussion with peers and the speakers that the college brings
in are often quite inspiring and thought provoking.
that I love most about Vas (well, if you leave
out our awesome campus which is a must visit) is
the academic freedom. There is no core here, only three
extremely loose requirements, 2 of which are so easy to
fill they shouldnt be considered required.
1) Freshman Course:
Each year there are a colelction of about 20 to
30 courses which are limited to 19 freshmen and provide
an introduction to college level work through a specially selected
course plan designed to introduce students to an area of
major intellectual importance.
This year I took Markets Institutions
and State: an Introduction to Political Economy. This covered an
introduction to varied forms of political economy (socialism, communism, capitalism,
interventionism pretty much all of the good “isms” :) )
in a great round table format which was great for
lively discussion and debate.
Other freshman courses include (but are
not limited to) The Dark Ages, Problems of Philosophy (the
description was really cool), Literature of the Underground and many
many others covering just about every department at the college.
2) Quantitative Requirement: Easily fulfilled if your doing anything math/science/econ
related, and also there are some classes like “Physics for
Poets” which can be used here if you are really
averso to math.
3) Foreign Language Requirement: There are about
10 different ways to pass out of this (sat 2's,
ap scores, on site test ... yada yada) and if
you cant you need only do 1 semester of an
intermediate/advanced language or 2 of a beginner language.
these three there is absolutely nothing you need to take
during your career! (tho some majors have certain requirements ie.
linear algebra for econ). And to top it all off
you can (as i am) take your requirement and up
to a quarter of your classes NRO (non recorded option)
where you set a minimum grade of say... A- and
anything below that (excluding an F) will not be shown
on your transcript and will not count towards your GPA!!
The only bad thing about the big V is that
poughkeepsie really sucks. There is basically nothing going on -
one needs to hop an hour and a half long
train to get to new york for major cityish excitement.
Dont let this discourage you however, because vassar students
rarely venture into poughkeepsie (save perhapps for a haircut or
some groceries) as there is a quite alot to do
on campus. We are innundated with theate related productions (this
is a very competitive thing on campus and many people
are involved on some level) and have a nice assortment
of clubs for all types of people (intramurals, Frisbee team
(oh yeah), computer gaming/anime club, outdoors club, all sorts of
Also, because we have no frats the parties
are not always the greatest. There is a good amount
of drinking tho and some of the parties can be
a hell of a good time.
Overall, I heartily
encourage you to apply - It will be the best
descision you ever make if you are looking for an
awesome education at a small, laid back school with both
an intellectual and friendly atmosphere.