Academics

Location
Bryn Mawr, PA
Undergrads
1,309
Tuition
$42,246
Admission Difficulty
Average
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Reviews

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4 College Sophomore

Academics: Classes are hard! I am an English major and challenged every day. Workload is A LOT! Don't expect to always finish all of your homework.

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Sophomore

Academics: I have not declared my major yet, so I do not know the specifics; however, from speaking with upperclassmen friends, many choose their major based on the people in the department, over the subject matter. Departments are typically close-knit, with students and professors being very open and personal. Often times, major advisors and students hold a tight bond that lasts beyond college. Each department offers different perks, but overall, students really fall in love when they declare their major and learn from a specific department.

1 person found this useful Report
5 College Sophomore

Academics: Bryn Mawr has many requirements, from general graduation requirements to department-specific ones, but they provide plenty of different classes to fulfill the requirements. I took a Magic in the Ancient World class to fulfill my cross-cultural requirement, and I had a blast. Often, people do not like history, so they take a class in another department to fulfill the requirement, but to enjoy the experience at the same time. Overall, people love their professors, and pick classes based on who instructs the course. The curriculum and workload ranges in difficulty, depending on the 100, 200, or 300 level scale, but it is always interesting and forces students to think from multiple perspectives. Lower level classes tend to have a lot of little assignments and readings, while higher level classes tend to have long essays that count for a higher percent of the grade. There are a bunch of visiting professors, so you are bound to find someone to bond with, or to get along with very well. Registration is done completely online, but your deans are always available to consult if you are having difficulty picking a schedule. The lottery process is a little annoying, as you may not get into a class you really want to take if it is overenrolled, so it is always good to have a backup plan.

1 person found this useful Report
College Freshman

Academics: I haven't declared yet, so i'm not sure

4 College Freshman

Academics: I'm an archaeology major and its a great program here at Bryn Mawr. Teachers are very responsive and the classes available are exactly what I wanted. I can't complain!

7 people found this useful Report
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Rankings View more rankings . . .

  • 17th
    Smartest Professors
  • 23rd
    Most Flexible Curriculums
  • 24th
    Professors Most Interested in Classes
  • 61st
    Best Registration Process
  • 73rd
    Most Caring Professors

Student Author OverviewWhat's This?

Kaitlin Menza
Hometown
New Brunswick, NJ
Major
Sociology
View all previous student authors

Bryn Mawr is known for its strong academics. That said, your academic experience here really depends on your own interest in what you study, your own hard work, and more of your own hard work. Professors are typically characterized as helpful, encouraging, and enthusiastic, but you are pretty much also guaranteed to encounter several professors who are aloof or impatient. One unifying feature of the Bryn Mawr professor is his or her open door. Professors usually have very accessible office hours, and most will stay with you until you understand how to integrate byparts or until your chat about Virgil ends.

Do not assume that accessible professors mean easy grades. Professors will not cut you any slack at the end of the semester, even if you have debated Dostoevsky over dinner at their house. Students credit their fellow students, as well as their professors, for the high quality of discussion that many classes offer. Students also welcome the opportunity to add classes available through the Tri-College system, as well as majors at these other institutions, especially in majors not formally offered at Bryn Mawr, like linguistics, religion, and music.

Facts & Statistics

Student-Faculty Ratio
8:1
Full-Time Instructional Faculty
170
Part-Time Instructional Faculty
86
Total FT Faculty
174
Faculty with Terminal Degree
81%
Average Faculty Salary
$84,156
Full-Time Retention Rate
90%
Transfer-Out Rate
3%
Graduation Rate
82%
Programs/Majors Offered
44
Academic/Career Counseling?
Yes
Remedial Services?
No
Class Sizes
  • Fewer than 20 students: 69%
  • 20 to 49 students: 25%
  • 50 or more students: 3%
Instructional Programs
Occupational: No
Academic: Yes
Continuing Professional: Yes
Recreational/Avocational: No
Adult Basic Remedial: No
Secondary (High School): No
Special Credit Opportunities
Advanced Placement (AP) Credits: Yes
Dual Credit: No
Life Experience Credits: No
Degrees Awarded
  • Bachelor's degree
  • Doctorate - Research/scholarship
  • Master's degree
  • Post-bachelor's certificate
Most Popular Majors
  • Anthropology: 3%
  • English Language Studies: 3%
  • Pre-Medicine Studies: 7%
  • Social Work: 9%
Special Study Options
  • Study abroad
  • Teacher certification (below the postsecondary level)
Best Places to Study
  • Canaday Library
  • Carpenter Library
  • Collier Library
Tips to Succeed
  • Appreciate the little things-the note your HA leaves by your door on your birthday, and your laundry that someone else has folded.
  • Don't stress about room draw; all of the dorms have their advantages.
  • Find professors you love and then take all of their classes.
  • Go to problem sessions, and get a tutor if you need help with an introductory class.
  • If you have the slightest inclination to travel, consider study abroad.
  • Make friends outside of your Customs group freshman year.
  • Participate in Traditions.
  • Stay on the activities listserv.
  • Support student productions and go to sports games.
  • Take plenty of trips to Philly.
  • Take the swim test during Customs Week.
Did You Know?
  • Don't have a clue what you want to major in? Bryn Mawr requires students to take divisional requirements, including two classes in the sciences, social sciences, and the humanities. By the time you meet those requirements, you will likely be ready to declare your major.
  • When times are tough, the tough seek Athena. The statue of Athena is adorned with flowers, food, pennies, articles of clothing, and candy offered to the goddess of wisdom in times of need.
  • About 50 percent of juniors study abroad for a year or a semester. Bryn Mawr sponsors academic year programs in Russia, as well as summer programs in Florence and Avignon. Students can also choose to go on over 60 approved programs or have a new program approved.
  • Bryn Mawr's academic climate is intense, but not competitive; at least, not in the domain of student grades. It is considered a breach of etiquette to discuss grades in public.
  • Bryn Mawr is part of the Tri-College Community, a feature that allows students to take classes and even majors at Haverford and Swarthmore, and vice versa.

Student Polls

How strongly do you agree or disagree with each of the following statements?    Based on 26 responses

Strongly disagree
Strongly agree
  • The academic advisers are helpful.
  • It is easy to get the classes you want.
  • Grading is generally consistent and fair.
  • There are a variety of interesting courses to take.
  • Students are encouraged to explore a wide range of courses and topics.
  • My Gen-Ed requirements are worthwhile and meaningful.
  • The workload is easy to manage.
  • There are plenty of good online course options.
  • Teaching assistants (TAs) are used effectively.
  • The course scheduling/registration process is efficient and student-friendly.
  • Classrooms/labs are up-to-date and incorporate new technologies effectively.

How strongly do you agree or disagree with each of the following statements regarding the professors at this school?    Based on 21 responses

Strongly disagree
Strongly agree
  • Professors are approachable and helpful when needed
  • Professors are engaging and easy to understand.
  • Professors are experts in their field.
  • Professors are passionate about the topics they teach.
  • Professors care about their students' success.
  • Professors put a lot of effort into teaching their classes.
  • Professors use teaching assistants (TAs) effectively.

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