Gonzaga is a relaxed, moderately difficult, student-friendly university, which has its benefits and drawbacks. Gonzaga's focus is on teaching rather than research, so you won't be rubbing elbows with "leading lights." Professors are teaching because they want to, not to fill quotas as they work on their next paper. Students are taught mostly by professors, not TAs or adjuncts. This fosters a relaxed and non-competitive attitude. Students help their fellow students, and cutthroat competition is unheard of. The difficulty of classes varies. Engineering and science classes are more time-consuming and intense than liberal arts, business, or education.
Perhaps Gonzaga's greatest academic strength is its core curriculum. One of the most substantial and thorough of its kind, it includes 11 courses students are required to take. It is oriented toward philosophy, religious studies, and thought and expression, but also includes English literature and math. This helps students become well-rounded and versed in different approaches to studying and thinking, and it gives a broad base of experience and knowledge to draw upon when learning and interacting with others. That being said, few of the departments here merit high praise. Engineering, business, and philosophy are solid, but most departments are undermanned and lack specialization.