If Illinois Wesleyan were a standardized test, it would be equal parts multiple choice and short essay. There are just as many business major jocks as there are pretentious philosophy students. IWU is renowned for its nursing program and its preparatory work for students seeking graduate degrees. The liberal arts approach is apparent in the wide range of general education studies required for graduation. The fine arts programs are strenuous, and most students enrolled in music, art, or theater overload on courses every semester. Students here definitely work hard. Pressure to perform can translate into perfectionism and anxiety, but the professors' expectations are generally more accepting than students' personal standards.
Most classes are small, which is conducive to intimate conversation and enthusiastic debate.The academic work at IWU is at the core of students' lives. The liberal arts expose students to different approaches and fields but can hamper students' progress in their specified major. This can be frustrating for students right out of high school who are looking forward to dedicating their time and effort exclusively to their major. Exposure to many fields can also illuminate options that might have gone overlooked by first-year students who are undecided. The amount of coursework and expectations of professors make IWU a respectable institution for higher learning. However, the required general education classes are a burden and can sometimes foster a sense of ambiguity.