Academics

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Academics

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4 College Sophomore

Academics: The classes are challenging and the professors are amazing. They care about individuals and want to help us become successful in our field by learning and getting research jobs/internships. However, Middlebury's one class = one credit system makes it difficult to be a science major with a lot of labs compared to non-science majors.

5 College Sophomore

Academics: Middlebury is a difficult but supportive academic environment. Students are driven but not overly competitive with each other. There are work environments on campus for every type of person - from quiet spaces no one will talk to open spaces where you're likely to run into a whole host of friends in a the course of a few minutes. Campus is designed for people to be focused on learning but also to be social. Professors are usually available for individual meetings and happy to help those who ask. The workload can be overwhelming at times, but with some hard focus and coffee from the dining hall it all gets done.

1 person found this useful Report
5 College Sophomore

Academics: There's a lot of majors, a lot of qualified professors, professors always teach their subject, not TAs or something. most professors prefer being on first name basis with students, everyone's very intent on helping the students be the best that they can be.

5 College Freshman

Academics: I love the academics here - they were one of my main reasons for choosing Midd. Professors are deeply interested in both the students, and their subjects. Classroom environments are small, friendly, and really foster intellectual growth. There are TAs, but never in the classroom. Rather, TA's tend to grade papers (with the professor's guidance) and run tutoring sessions outside of class time, which are really useful. Professors themselves are busy, and do have their own lives outside of school, so they're not on call 100% of the time (not that they could be expected to be), but, if you're responsible and don't set yourself up for a situation where you need an answer immediately, they're very helpful.

2 people found this useful Report
5 College Freshman

Academics: Not every class is exceptional, but the academics here overall are pretty spectacular. Professors love their jobs, and are here to focus on the students. Pretty universally, they want their students to learn, and spend as much time as needed in and out of class to make sure that happens. Most are very passionate about their field, and are great people to learn from. There is a lot of work, but its manageable - if you're smart enough to get in, you're smart enough to get by fine.

1 person found this useful Report
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Student Author OverviewWhat's this?

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Speaking in general terms, the professors at Middlebury College are incredibly intelligent people, but sometimes too intelligent for their own flowering egos. Some are quirky, most have led extremely interesting lives, all are published, and a few cloud their accomplishments with preening tales of Harvard Law School and the RAND think tank. However, due to the fact that they have led such lofty academic lives, they know all the right people, and as a result, students often have the chance to listen to renowned scholars, poets, politicians, and scientists from home and abroad. Don’t get the wrong idea, though—most professors don’t spend the entire time preaching from the soapbox in medium- to small-sized classes, so be prepared to participate in discussion.

The primary reason that most students come to Middlebury is for the academics. Although introductory classes tend to be a bit overcrowded, this is cured early in your college career. Even in the biggest classes, the professors are approachable—and you’ll want to approach them. At Middlebury, you’ll even find economics professors who have led intriguing lives. You will be disappointed, however, if you thought you might have a rich and ripe social life, especially on the weekdays. Middlebury's strong academic reputation is not achieved by a light workload.  

Facts & Statistics

Student-Faculty Ratio
9:1
Full-Time Instructional Faculty
264
Part-Time Instructional Faculty
20
Total FT Faculty
268
Faculty with Terminal Degree
94%
Average Faculty Salary
$95,073
Full-Time Retention Rate
97%
Transfer-Out Rate
1%
Graduation Rate
94%
Programs/Majors Offered
47
Academic/Career Counseling?
Yes
Remedial Services?
No
Class Sizes
  • Fewer than 20 students: 67%
  • 20 to 49 students: 30%
  • 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: No
Life Experience Credits: No
Degrees Awarded
  • Bachelor's degree
  • Doctorate - Research/scholarship
  • Master's degree
Most Popular Majors
  • Economics and Econometrics: 4%
  • English Language Studies: 4%
  • Political Science and Government, General: 3%
  • Spanish Language and Literature: 4%
Special Study Options
  • Study abroad
  • Teacher certification (below the postsecondary level)
Other Academic Offerings
  • Accelerated program
  • Berea College and Swarthmore College exchange programs
  • Double major
  • Exchange student program (domestic)
  • Honors program
  • Independent study
  • Internships
  • Oxford University summer program
  • Student-designed major
  • Three-year international major
  • Williams College - Mystic Seaport Program
Best Places to Study
  • Axinn Center
  • Battell Beach
  • Bicentennial Hall's Great Hall
  • Bicentennial Hall's lounges
  • Grille
  • Juice Bar
  • Ross Commons lounge
  • Thesis carrels at the library
  • Wilson CafĂ©
Tips to Succeed
  • Check your voice mail and email at least five times per day.
  • Communicate with your professors and never be afraid to ask for help.
  • Do your homework yourself to learn the material. This isn't high school anymore.
  • Don't panic if don't get all of your reading done-you never will.
  • Get involved-there's more to Middlebury than academics!
  • Keep on track with your major by staying in touch with your adviser.
  • Maintain contact with at least one or two professors for reference purposes.
  • Network as a graduating senior if you expect to find a job!
  • Never cheat; you risk being expelled.
  • Seek off-campus and on-campus employment as soon as you arrive!
  • Take a variety of classes to probe your potential interests.
Did You Know?
  • Middlebury accepts approximately 110 more incoming students during the month of February. Termed "Febs," these newcomers have the opportunity to take the semester off after high school to work, travel, do volunteer work in a foreign country, study, or participate in a score of other interesting activities. Under this tag, by default, they also become members of an elite "cult" of students, where each Feb is presumed to be unique, gifted, and experienced (even if he or she stayed home and drank 40s from September to February!). There are, however, drawbacks to being a Feb. Among them, you will always be confused about your incoming Feb class, and graduation is an informal celebration in February, where you will not receive your diploma until the spring.
  • A local student website offers online course evaluations. You can use this site to reference classes you're thinking of taking, so you can see how other students have rated the teacher and material. You can also post your own ratings to help out other students. Check out http://www.middkid.com/eval for more information.
  • The first black graduate of any United States college was Alexander Twilight, who received his diploma from Middlebury in 1823. Twilight Hall was renovated and named after him in 1986.
  • Middlebury's summer English program is actually located outside of the school's regular Middlebury campus and in sight of one of Vermont's Green Mountains, strangely named "Bread Loaf." The Bread Loaf School of English, on the land donated by Joseph Battell when he died in 1915, is therefore named after the mountain.

Student Polls

How strongly do you agree or disagree with each of the following statements?    Based on 25 responses

Strongly disagree
Strongly agree
  • My Gen-Ed requirements are worthwhile and meaningful.
  • It is easy to get the classes you want.
  • The academic advisers are helpful.
  • 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.
  • 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.

Who are the most notable alumni from this school?    Based on 5 responses

  • 24% Steven Hauschka - Kicker for the Seattle Seahawks
  • 18% Eve Ensler - playwright of "The Vagina Monologues"
  • 18% Ari Fleischer - former White House press secretary
  • 12% Jim Douglas - politician
  • 12% James Cromwell
  • 6% Vanessa Branch - former Miss Vermont, Orbit gum spokesperson
  • 6% Donald M. Elliman, Jr. - former director of Time
  • 6% Ann Jackson - founding publisher of InStyle
  • 0% Roger Easton - developed TIMATION, basis of GPS

How strongly do you agree or disagree with each of the following statements regarding the professors at this school?    Based on 25 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.

How often do you:    Based on 5 responses

Never
Always
  • Attend class (lectures and recitation)
  • Do all of your homework
  • Do all of your assigned reading
  • Adequately study
  • Take advantage of office hours/study sessions
  • Take notes
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