More Attention on Grads than Undergrads?

<p>I was talking to my brother and he told me that I should consider whether Stanford is more focused on its grad program than its undergrad program. I know they have significantly more graduate students than undergraduate, but do undergraduates still get a fair amount of attention? Or: are professors willing to really devote time to their undergrad students, or are they more focused on their research/graduate students?</p>

<p>while it is true that stanford spends a lot of time and money on graduate students. and some would say they see them as more important. but the fact is, the resources that are available for undergrads still makes it a great school for undergraduate students</p>

<p>U.S. News ranked Stanford fourth (of the national universities) in undergraduate teaching. <a href=""&gt;;/a&gt;&lt;/p>

<p>i personally have little faith in the US news ranking</p>

<p>but the point is the same</p>

<p>stanford definitely has more graduate students than many and the undergraduate classes are not huge in comparison</p>

<p>nonetheless, i have never heard from a stanford student that they do not receive enough attention. actually, i have heard many times that having grad students around makes the experience even better. many of the grad resources (including being able to assist grad researchers, etc.) are available to undergrads</p>

<p>you will always see grad students on campus but the undergrads are the people that direct campus life</p>

<p>I can't absolutely about this, but I would venture a guess that stanford takes undergraduate teaching WAY more seriously than some of its immediate peers. There's an end of quarter review that students fill out for every class they take. from what a couple of professors have told me, it's taken seriously and could get you into trouble (not sure what exactly that means) if they are consistently bad enough. In fact, a lot of professors (most of mine) actually reach out to students independently and ask them to fill out the reviews carefully/thoughtfully, because they really do want the feedback. Some classes even have mid-quarter formal feedback sessions where they stop the class a little early to talk about what is/isn't working so far.</p>

<p>All in all, i think they try about as hard as you could expect at a place where so much research is also being down.</p>

<p>hahaha they do that at my school! the anonymous review surveys...</p>

<p>bigmike I think one of the reasons teachers care so much about the reviews is that they help determine payroll. I remember reading that somewhere. </p>

<p>Grad students to me are practically nonexistent. In regards to physical capital, I'd bet that more is invested in the grad programs. That's where a lot of groundbreaking innovation is made. But in regards to concerns about education, teacher quality, and lifestyle, it feels as though Stanford is more undergrad focused. Just a hunch.</p>

is more focused on its grad program than its undergrad program.


<p>I am curious -- what does this even mean? I think an important thing when you're asking this question is to know what you're even asking and/or afraid of. </p>

<p>The role of a professor towards a graduate student is fundamentally different from the role towards an undergrad, who often is trying to get a good foundation in certain materials and figure out what to do afterwords. Some undergrads are primarily motivated by research in a narrow area, with an intent to attend graduate school, and blur these lines. </p>

<p>I feel this is a general point to keep in mind, and the actual Stanford students can tell you more about how exactly undergraduate teaching is good. But to the immediate question as to how "grad vs. undergrad" pans out, I think there is an answer that is quite general -- it is up to the professor. Some professors will do the bare minimum towards undergrads because they simply only care about specialized research, and others recognize their dual role. I've even heard of the other case, where professors like teaching undergrads, like their own research, but are hardnosed about taking grad students to do research under them. </p>

<p>There are very small classes at Stanford, as students here have posted -- the ratio of smaller to bigger classes is very favorable to an undergrad. It is certainly a research university, so professors won't be able to meet with you at your whim -- they'll have lots and lots of responsibilities, including continuing their work and meeting with their own grad students. This is all to be perfectly realistic. But just like they have a responsibility towards the grad students, they have one towards undergrads too, and there's no reason to think they wouldn't take that seriously.</p>

<p>Chances are that in many cases, a grad student may find time being taken away by undergrads -- the grad student probably gets a select time to meet with the advisor once a week, but the undergrads see their professors in classes frequently, and also will have designated times to meet them outside of class.</p>

having grad students around makes the experience even better


<p>To highlight, this is good to keep in mind. Professors at Stanford will often be scholars and the experts in their fields. There is something healthy about talking to someone with significantly narrower interests than you, but who still remembers what it's like not to be an expert (in particular, likely the graduate students are on their way, and not experts yet). This could give you insight into what certain fields are like that may not have occurred to you.</p>