kid112, lots of people say that. idk what baolong is talking about. dartmouth and w&l are both great academically and have similar student bodies- preppy and traditional. both schools also have great social scenes.
With W&L and Dartmouth you are really comparing apples & oranges cause Dartmouth has a graduate school, which will automatically give more opportunities for depth of study. It's not a valid comparison at all.
Obviously they are not the same. And I don't think the comment is meant to suggest they are clones by any stretch. Thus, it doesn't make sense to pick out one or two specific things to suggest no broader similarity exists.
The statement relates to the fact that both are private, highly selective, and benefit from similar outdoor landscapes (i.e. nearby mountains, wilderness, rivers, etc.). They are in small towns that are fairly remote, and are among the very few LACs that have a law school and a business school. Both are also among the 10 oldest colleges in America. Thus, while they are not the same in numerous ways (as some are quick to point out), W&L shares some very distinctive and unique qualities with Dartmouth to an extent beyond that of others on its side of the Mason Dixon.
We visited and saw the course listings. It was very surprising to my son. In many areas he would have run out of courses to take after sophomore year.
W&L offers something in the neighborhood of 1,000 courses for only 1,700 students. And considering all the distribution and gen ed. requirements, it's very hard for me to imagine anyone exhausting the courses in his/her major by the end of sophomore year. Can you comment more specifically?
Also, as I heard in the interview I had yesterday, to get a full look at some of these offerings, look at the past few years of course catalogs, not just the latest. Some courses are offered every other year, or a teacher is on a sabbatical, but I belive they have some great options.
They also keep things very current. Right after 9/11 (they had a student in WTC and one in the Pentagon killed) they brought in some professors for courses or lectures about that area, the history of it, etc. And they have a lot of great people come in to give talks
drc09--yes, it does make a difference if you look over several years! But that is a problem with smaller schools--the courses are offered irregularly so if something doesn't fit into your schedule, or you are off campus that semester....too bad.
My understanding of engineering coursework is admittedly incomplete and from an outsider's point of view. But it did seem some areas did not have the depth of a school with a graduate program. I know my son at Illinois took engineering & CS courses that were for UG or grads, which would not have been available at a smaller school such as W&L.
Some areas of math for instance, were only touched on in a survey course (judging from the course description), whereas at other schools they would have had their own quarter or semester course. Sorry if I don't have the expertise to be more specific...this is just what my boys noticed.
Which is why some people prefer to go to a school with a larger engineering dept. and/or grad school. You have to decide whether the small school's personal attention is worth the tradeoff.
Oh I completely understand that. The school has to fit in with your interests. Although I'm planning on studing math, another passion is International Relations, so I will be focusing on things along that line and W&L has a lot of offerings there. But yes, if engineering or whatever is what you want to do, another school may be better.
Well yeah, if one is interested in specific areas of engineering that person should attend a college or university with an engineering school. W&L doesn't have an engineering school, thus, not many engineering classes.