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5 College Freshman

Academics: Reed has a great reputation with great grad schools, so if you're into that, Reed will help you get into a fantastic graduate program after you leave Reed. Freshman year isn't difficult, but gives you the building blocks to deal with the upcoming storm that is compromised of your later years at Reed. Class get harder and more interesting. Truly, only come here if you are interested in learning and can work hard, otherwise you will have a terrible time. The science, history (including art history) and english departments are particularly respected.

7 people found this useful Report
5 College Freshman

Academics: Professors are highly-educated and highly-respected, most have PhDs, and no classes are taught by TAs. But, given the variety of professors, there's a chance that you'll have teachers whose styles you don't like, and that's a fact at all schools. But, they will respect you if you talk to them and try to work with them. They are always willing to hear counterpoints and arguments, and don't mind questions. You'll get the nice teachers and the more intense teachers, the harder graders and the more lenient ones, but one thing they all have in common is their desire for you to truly understand the material. There are many tutoring opportunities, and you're surrounded by so many smart people who are willing to help out, and not be pretentious about it. You can study in the beautiful Performing Arts Building (PAB), outside, anywhere outside, Commons, the cafes, etc. Many picturesque options, lots of quiet options. Curriculum gets exponentially harder, especially junior and senior years. Come here expecting to work hard. Make a point to make lots of friends freshman and sophomore year, and learn how to study.

6 people found this useful Report
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.

5 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.

3 people found this useful Report

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Student Author OverviewWhat's this?

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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
Full-Time Instructional Faculty
Part-Time Instructional Faculty
Total FT Faculty
Faculty with Terminal Degree
Average Faculty Salary
Full-Time Retention Rate
Graduation Rate
Programs/Majors Offered
Academic/Career Counseling?
Remedial Services?
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 21 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.

How often do you:    Based on 10 responses

  • 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

Where did this school rank in your list of potential schools when applying?    Based on 10 responses

  • 50% This was my dream school.
  • 40% This was one of my top choices.
  • 10% This was a school I settled for (safety school).
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