Academics

Location
Saint Paul, MN
Undergrads
2,035
Tuition
$43,693
Admission Difficulty
Hard
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Reviews

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5 College Freshman

Academics: Professors are kind, humorous and engaging. The workload is manageable if one budgets their time. There are numerous opportunities for volunteering, jobs, and internships both encouraged on and off campus.

2 people found this useful Report
4 College Junior

Academics: The professors in the psychology department are really great and I have become a significantly better writer and researcher from being a Psychology major. I considered biology and chemistry as well considering I want to be a Midwife, however, the psychology department has really great public health classes that were more applicable.

5 College Junior

Academics: It is very challenging and difficult but worth every penny you pay for. The professors are amazing and come from all over the world. Most attended an Ivy League at some point in their schooling. Registration can be stressful because there are not enough spots for everyone to get into the classes they need.

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Sophomore

Academics: I am a biology major and I love the biology department at Macalester. They take such a hard science and really make it applicable and challenging to all aspects of life.

5 College Sophomore

Academics: The International Studies department is excellent at Macalester. As a specialty of the school, professors take great pride in making courses interesting and demanding. I am constantly in awe of the brilliance of my professors as well as the students I take my classes with. International Studies is known at Macalester for being a particularly difficult major, but don't let its reputation scare you away. Professors are approachable, supportive and always eager to help. If you put in the effort, you'll be fine. International Studies is also one of the largest majors (most requirements) available at Macalester but this is partially because of its flexibility. Many of the general distribution requirements can be covered by completing the major and it's possible to pick classes that qualify for the major in almost every department on campus. If you want to satisfy your interest in international relations with depth and breadth, International Studies at Macalester is a good place to start.

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

  • 37th
    Most Flexible Curriculums
  • 49th
    Professors Most Interested in Classes
  • 74th
    Smartest Professors
  • 88th
    Best Course Variety
  • 113rd
    Best Academic Advisers

Student Author OverviewWhat's This?

Tatiana Craine
Hometown
Eden Prairie, MN
Major
English with emphasis on Creative Writing
View all previous student authors

At a small school like Macalester, where the average class size ranges from 10 to 16, students inevitably grow to know their professors as people rather than as distant specks at the head of the lecture hall. Likewise, most Macalester professors grow to know their students on a personal basis—even a lecture-course professor is likely to recognize his or her student outside of the classroom. Therefore, while personality clashes do sometimes occur between students and professors, the majority of Mac students agrees that, by and large, professors are not only amiable, enlightening, and engaging in the classroom, but they are also highly accessible and helpful outside of the classroom. In addition to having regular office hours, most Macalester professors will even give out their phone numbers and email addresses on the first day of class. This is one of the perks of going to a small liberal arts school where the profs can focus all of their attention on the undergrads.

Furthermore, students genuinely appreciate the opportunity to “shop around” for the right professor and class early in the semester. In fact, Mac students have a good two weeks to sit in on courses, read the class syllabus, or get some advice from older students before they decide to add or drop a class, without it going on their record. Students also have the option of taking one class per semester pass/fail, allowing Mac undergrads the opportunity to choose what classes they want to focus on.

Facts & Statistics

Student-Faculty Ratio
10:1
Full-Time Instructional Faculty
171
Part-Time Instructional Faculty
53
Total FT Faculty
171
Faculty with Terminal Degree
95%
Average Faculty Salary
$85,799
Full-Time Retention Rate
94%
Transfer-Out Rate
9%
Graduation Rate
90%
Programs/Majors Offered
40
Academic/Career Counseling?
Yes
Remedial Services?
Yes
Class Sizes
  • Fewer than 20 students: 64%
  • 20 to 49 students: 35%
  • 50 or more students: 1%
Instructional Programs
Occupational: No
Academic: Yes
Continuing Professional: No
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
Most Popular Majors
  • Biology and Biological Sciences: 5%
  • Economics and Econometrics: 4%
  • Geography: 3%
  • Psychology: 4%
Graduation Requirements
  • Arts/fine arts
  • English (including composition)
  • Foreign languages
  • Humanities
  • Internationalism
  • Mathematics
  • Quantitative reasoning
  • Sciences (biological or physical)
  • Social science
  • U.S. multiculturalism
Special Study Options
Study abroad
Other Academic Offerings
  • Combined bachelor's graduate programs
  • Cross-registration
  • Double major
  • Honors program
  • Independent study
  • Internships
  • Student-designed major
Best Places to Study
  • DeWitt Wallace Library
  • The Link (between the library and Old Main)
  • Ruth Stricker Dayton Campus Center
Tips to Succeed
  • Be open-minded and try not to be just another total idealist or staunch conservative.
  • Be prepared to work hard and be prepared to have to turn down a few party invites in favor of that term paper that's due tomorrow at noon. There will always be more parties, but fewer opportunities to hand in late assignments.
  • Be sure to hand in assignments on time.
  • Branch out of your normal social circle-there are so many people worth knowing on and around campus!
  • Commit seriously to no more than two to four student organizations.
  • Don't be afraid to ask a professor for help.
  • Don't be afraid to join a discussion or speak up in class.
  • Don't have such a good time at Mac that you forget to do your homework.
  • Go to the labs.
  • Go to the Macalester Academic Excellence (MAX) Center for help with academics.
  • If the class you want is full or requires a prerequisite that you don't have, talk to the professor before giving up.
  • Keep up with the reading.
  • Parties aren't the only way to let loose and have fun.
  • Study abroad-no matter what!
  • Take advantage of all that the Twin Cities have to offer; most people don't and end up missing out on incredible experiences!
  • Take notes.
  • Talk to students who have already taken the classes you're in.
  • Try to get ahead of classwork as early as possible; it will help in the long run-promise.
Did You Know?
Macalester was once named "America's Hottest Liberal Arts College" by Kaplan/Newsweek.

Student Polls

How strongly do you agree or disagree with each of the following statements?    Based on 16 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 17 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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