Academics

Location
Portland, OR
Undergrads
1,395
Tuition
$44,460
Admission Difficulty
Hard
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Reviews

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5 College Junior

Academics: Reed is well known for its academics.

4 College Junior

Academics: It is challenging and rigorous and you will become a better student for it.

3 people found this useful Report
4 College Junior

Academics: For a small college we have a pretty broad selection of courses and every department is pretty great in their own ways.

2 people found this useful Report
4 College Sophomore

Academics: Tradtional Structure at an Untraditional Environment – If one is truly interested in their studies Reed should be at the top of their list. Reed provides a classic liberal arts education including a hellish workload, a diversity of subjects, and excellent professors. Reed is not for the light of heart. Students work to the bone, and would work more if there was any time. Professors are all PhD's and love their subjects. Students must interact closely with professors due to the conference system, in which there are classes with as few as four or five students. Reeds curriculum is very traditional, and to some may seem limiting, with many requirements and a somewhat small offering of classes.

4 College Junior

Academics: Brilliant Professors – I am in the Biology department, studying soil microbiology. The professor are extremely responsive, keeping track of my progress and making sure everything is ok. They respond to emails and support my independent research. When I took a year off to work, I didn't have an adviser. One of the professors helped me through the whole process of choosing classes and getting ready to come back.

1 person found this useful Report
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Rankings View more rankings . . .

  • 38th
    Smartest Professors
  • 109th
    Professors Most Interested in Classes
  • 160th
    Most Caring Professors
  • 178th
    Most Available Classes
  • 342nd
    Best Use of Teaching Assistants

Student Author OverviewWhat's This?

Ben DuPree
Hometown
Los Angeles, Calif.
Major
English
View all previous student authors

As any good college informer will say, Reed does not have any student teaching assistants; a professor (almost always with a doctorate in his or her possession) leads every lecture, conference discussion, and seminar. However, what often gets overlooked in an analysis of Reed is our penchant for first names. Our professors are not simply professors: They are Pancho, Natalia, Steve, Bill, and a slew of other friendly-faced first names. All students agree that before they are scholars and instructors, professors are friends and educators. At Reed, no professor is an ivory tower; every person who educates at Reed College works to further the comprehension of any student in need. Accordingly, each professor devotes numerous hours each day to aiding students that require assistance.

As an academic institution, Reed revolves around the concept of the conference system. Each class runs in a conference setting, in which a minimal number of students (10 to 25) and a professor critically discuss the subject of the class. In the conference setting, most Reed professors attempt to guide the conference of students without dominating the discussion. Although some professors may stray from the conference style by either over-guiding or under-guiding a conference, most Reed professors genuinely want to discuss what students think. In the end, Reed professors are no different from Reed students—they simply want to pursue knowledge with the help of others.

Facts & Statistics

Student-Faculty Ratio
10:1
Full-Time Instructional Faculty
139
Part-Time Instructional Faculty
13
Total FT Faculty
140
Faculty with Terminal Degree
97%
Average Faculty Salary
$87,837
Full-Time Retention Rate
92%
Graduation Rate
74%
Programs/Majors Offered
29
Academic/Career Counseling?
Yes
Remedial Services?
No
Class Sizes
  • Fewer than 20 students: 79%
  • 20 to 49 students: 18%
  • 50 or more students: 3%
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: Yes
Life Experience Credits: No
Undergraduate Schools/Divisions
  • The Arts
  • History and Social Sciences
  • Literature and Languages
  • Mathematics and Natural Sciences
  • Philosophy, Religion, Psychology, and Linguistics
Degrees Awarded
  • Bachelor's degree
  • Master's degree
Most Popular Majors
  • Biology and Biological Sciences: 6%
  • English Language Studies: 6%
  • Physics: 3%
  • Psychology: 4%
Graduation Requirements
  • Arts/fine arts
  • English (including composition)
  • Foreign languages
  • Humanities
  • Physical education
  • Sciences (biological or physical)
  • Social science
Special Study Options
Study abroad
Other Academic Offerings
  • Computer science
  • Double major
  • Dual enrollment
  • Engineering
  • Exchange student program (domestic)
  • Forestry/environmental sciences
  • Independent study
  • Internships
  • Liberal arts/career combination
  • Pre-medical and pre-veterinary
  • Student-designed major
  • Visual arts
Best Places to Study
  • Dorm rooms
  • ETC (Educational Technology Center)
  • Front lawn (in good weather)
  • Library
  • Social rooms
Tips to Succeed
  • Be humble and take your intro-level classes. Reed isn't any old school where a slight working knowledge of a subject qualifies you for upper-division courses. Reed's intro-level classes are both challenging and thorough. Take them or else face being lost in upper-division courses. However, professors simply might decide to not let you take upper-level classes, anyway.
  • Despite that, know when you need a break, and use those times to not study. Combining a slight degree of slacking with any Reed career is essential for sanity. Know when you have reached your limits and take some time for yourself.
  • Do almost all of your reading. At many schools, students can get away by only doing some of the reading and winging the rest; try that at Reed and you'll be on a one-way road to failure and academic probation.
  • Don't be afraid to ask for extensions on assignments if you both really feel that you need one and will be able to complete the assignment to a greater and fuller degree if you receive an extension. However, don't always ask for one or your professors will quickly tire of you and drop your grade accordingly.
  • Don't lie to your professors. They know when you don't know what you're talking about.
  • See Portland as much as you can; it's a beautiful city.
  • When the time comes, party hard.
  • When the time has yet to arrive, study hard, but with breaks.
  • You can fail out of Reed. Be warned.
  • You can succeed at Reed. Good luck.
Did You Know?
Reed is considered one of the toughest academic institutions in America. Beyond working the students to the bone both freshman and sophomore years, Reed juniors must pass a qualifying exam in order to be accepted into senior study. When accepted, Reed students must complete a year-long thesis, which serves as an incredibly in-depth investigation of a topic or topics in the student's major. Some theses turn into books, while others propose novel ways to approach age-old problems or conceptualize novel theories developed by students. Essentially, the thesis is a proving ground in which Reed allows its students to explore both themselves and their academic field. If Reedies survive the four (or more) years, they usually are more than adequately prepared for whatever graduate school has to offer.

Student Polls

How strongly do you agree or disagree with each of the following statements?    Based on 11 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 14 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.
4
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