Where do students have the most freedom to hang out in other departments?

<p>Or departments that aren't their own?</p>

<p>I love learning from all sorts of different departments (not just taking classes, but also interacting with professors). Here, I do it with astronomy profs, atmospheric science profs, pathology profs, and ecology/environmental profs. I'd like to do this for statistics and computer science profs too.</p>

<p>A liberal arts college is the place where I imagine you'll most likely find that kind of environment. </p>

<p>Of course, one reason that student tend to interact among their own departments' faculty and students are because they share similar personalities (See Smart, Feldman, & Ethington 2000). Academics form tribes. The question is how the relations are among tribes at any given campus.</p>

<p>Wow, very good points there.</p>

<p>As for the relations among tribes at any given campus - wouldn't they be warmest at a place like Caltech/MIT? Since pretty much everyone is expected to have some level of rigor there? Alternatively though, people might be more introverted at those places too.</p>

<p>Or what about Chicago?</p>

<p>A school doesn't have to be a LAC to allow for that. Frankly, many majors will allow for that. Engineering and maybe a few other sequenced majors won't, but many will.</p>

<p>There are schools that let you Design Your Own Degree by mixing up a few majors into one "Self-Designed Major".</p>

<p>If your school won't let you do that, then often a student who comes in with AP credits will have the space in his/her schedule to take extra classes for fun.</p>

<p>As for the relations among tribes at any given campus - wouldn't they be warmest at a place like Caltech/MIT?</p>

<p>I wouldn't think so.</p>

<p>I will agree that a school doesn't <em>have</em> to be a LAC to allow for strong relations among the tribes. The reasons that I believe it is most likely at a LAC are that LACs are generally smaller and there is a mission and identity centric incentive for the tribes to interact. At a small school, all the faculty will know one another and are, I think, more likely to socialize with one another in social settings (e.g., lunch). The nature of a liberal education also implies that there is respect for the connections between disciplines and the personalities they attract.</p>

<p>Then again, I haven't tested any of that, so it is purely conjecture.</p>

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<p>big</a> problems curriculum in the college | the university of chicago</p>

<p>I was very impressed with USC (SoCal) when I visited in August because they actively encouraged cross registering in the various colleges. Very unusual IMO to see Engineering students taking courses at the film school.</p>

<p>Of course LACs are known for this.</p>

<p>It is not unusual for engineering students to take courses in other divisions. It is perhaps less common for students in other divisions to take engineering courses.</p>