Academics at Gustavus vary, depending on the student and the department. While some students rejoice in the silence of the third floor library and love to waste away in a book on a Thursday afternoon, some (most) students are more likely to study a bit and then speak their mind in discussion the next day. Depending on your major, classes can be small (sometimes with you being the only student) to large (where there are 40 other students in the lecture hall). The 11-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio is nice if you're looking for individualized attention, but if you didn't do the assigned reading for that day, you'll stick out like a sore thumb. Resources that students can easily turn to are professors, reference librarians, TAs (for labs only), and an academic counseling center. Double majoring can be tricky, but it works well depending on your major and how many incoming credits with which you enter.
Gustavus is unique because most students honestly are not fervent believers in grades. They understand that while the person who gets the "A" will earn recognition from the College and maybe from the employer, they know it's the "B" students who can hold meaningful conversations and understand truly how to interact with people who will be able to stand on the stage of "world citizens." Gustavus' strongest academic departments include the traditional liberal arts disciplines such as those found in the humanities, but also biology, chemistry, physics, Scandinavian studies, nursing, and health fitness. Gustavus is filled with excellent professors and some not-so-excellent professors, but almost all push their students and are grateful for the student who sticks out and tries to get the most out of his or her education.