Academics at DU are a mixed bag. Depending on which classes you take and who teaches them, you’ll either greatly enjoy or miserably dread going to class everyday. Some teachers are engaging, energetic, and personable, while others seem bland, uninformed, and not particularly driven for teaching. A handful of classes, especially some of the core requirements, can seem like a waste of time that students must deal with to keep the administration happy. On the other hand, many classes are thought provoking and cover a broad array of concepts, events, people, and opinions. Some majors are harder than others. The business program is very fast pace and intense while the engineering and science majors are known for their commitment to a heavy workload.
The quarter system at DU ensures that even if students don’t enjoy a particular class or professor, they only have to put up with it for 10 weeks. Students also are able to take a wider variety of classes in their four years on the quarter system. However, unlike semesters, the quarter system is a bit less forgiving on students who don’t always make it to class. If you miss even one measly class, you run the risk of falling considerably far behind. Because classes generally move along pretty quickly, it’s difficult to ever fully recuperate. Also, 10 weeks doesn’t allow much time to really dig deep into any one particular issue. Most classes take a broad, sweeping look at the material, as opposed to an in-depth approach. The faculty-to-student ratio and small class size helps facilitate in-depth conversations and spirited debates. Many professors make an effort to learn each of their students’ names. One disadvantage of small classes is the issue of attendance. Although some professors don’t take attendance on a regular basis, some do, and not showing up can severely hurt your grade.