Impressions Of
Bucknell University

Academic Experience

Female Animal Behavior Major C/O 2019

Is there anything that you feel your major’s department does especially well or especially poorly?
The major itself is very unique, it’s not very common for other universities to have it. It’s definitely more rigorous than it sounds. They make you take two research methods courses, so they improve your research skills. Something really cool about Bucknell is that they have a primate lab, meaning that they have four different species of monkeys in a lab that are mostly utilized by Animal Behavior majors. You can do independent research with them, and in the two research methods classes required you do research with them.

What I think the department doesn’t do well is that you really have to be on top of the course load because the advisers won’t help you as much as you think. You don’t realize how many other courses you have to take if you’re trying to go to veterinary school. If you’re planning on going to vet school, you have to make sure you’re on top of what you’re taking every single semester and possibly even taken some courses over the summer. I did two semesters of physics over the summer just to not be completely stressed out with all those classes during the school year.

Female Psychology and Political Science Double Major C/O 2019

Can you describe your weekly coursework for your majors?
I have a lot of reading assignments, especially for Political Science. Because I’m in the higher-level classes, Psychology is now very academic study based, so we’re reading studies and also writing them. Psychology also gets very statistical, so I’ve been working with SPSS, which is the statistics of Psychology. It’s a lot of reading, and that’s something I didn’t really expect during college. Like every night I have a reading assignment for each class.

How would you describe the learning environment? Do you think it’s competitive or collaborative?
I think it’s a good balance. I think it’s probably more on the collaborative side because you get really close with your class. The professor to student ratio is very strong, [it is 9:1]. I’ve been in Women’s and Gender Studies classes with like six people, so we were really able to collaborate and share ideas in a very positive and supportive environment. Even in then bigger lecture classes you feel very comfortable with everyone around you and the professor.

Female Environmental Engineering Major C/O 2019

Is there anything that you feel your major’s department does especially well or especially poorly?
The classes are taught very well, my classes are small and it’s an interactive environment. Instead of a lecture class environment, during the class sessions we are working through problems in partner groups or with the professor. The department is poor at integrating all the other engineers with each other. We are all separated.

What has been your favorite class in your major or minor?
Environmental Planning. It was about an introduction to sustainable development, urban planning and sustainable building and how it is all tied in.

What made you choose your major? And are you happy with your choice?
I chose it because I was interested in and good at math and science at high school. I wasn’t as interested in reading or doing papers. I’m glad I chose it, it seems to be the right path for me. I may not like all of the material, but it gives me a good foundation for problem solving. I don’t know if I want to be an engineer after college but I think it’s a good foundation for any career path.

Social Opportunities

Female Animal Behavior Major C/O 2019

What kind of weekend activities or nightlife do you like to participate in?
I go out a decent amount. You rush as a sophomore so you have all of freshman year to go out and do whatever and figure out your scene. Because we’re in the middle of nowhere, it is very Greek life-oriented. It’s a lot of frat parties. Another big thing at Bucknell is Super Saturday, which is a day party on Saturday. It’s guaranteed that there will be a day party every single Saturday during the day. The culture at Bucknell is work hard play hard. You’ll see students in the library all week but then you’ll also see a lot of people going out. People tend to be pretty responsible, so there’s not a big pressure to go out if you have work.

Can you describe a typical night going out freshman year?
We would get together with whatever friends I had on my hall. You do freshman orientation with your hall so it’s common for people to make their first friends on their hall. You’d get together in someone’s room and [have a small party]. You’d have to wait later to go out because you don’t rush until sophomore year and mixers between fraternities and sororities are a big thing. Those parties don’t open up until like 11:30, so as a freshman you have to wait until those parties are open.

Female Psychology and Political Science Double Major C/O 2019

What kind of weekend activities or nightlife do you like to participate in?
I’m part of Greek life and I would say that’s pretty much the dominating nightlife scene there because we are in a very small rural town so there are only like three bars but you can’t really get in underage. There are some nights of the week that are more popular than others and then we have a big party every Saturday during the day, which are called Super Saturdays.

Can you describe a typical night going out freshman year?
My dorm was uphill, and there is one downhill dorm which most freshmen are in. I just happened to be uphill. We would probably hang out with friends, grab dinner, then you’d have [a small party] with your friends uphill and then walk downtown to all the party houses. You kind of do the same things you do as a sophomore and junior, just jump around all the different houses.

Female Environmental Engineering Major C/O 2019

Can you describe a typical night going out freshman year?
During freshman year you can’t get involved in Greek life, only from sophomore year. Going out is very different for guys versus girls. As a girl you can basically get into every party. After 11:30, you can go to whatever fraternity party or mixer. Freshmen guys experience more trouble getting in because the fraternities don’t want to let them in.

What nights of the week do you usually going out?
The most popular nights are Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday and Sunday during the day. I go out probably one or two nights a week depending on the week.

What have been some of your favorite times at Bucknell?
Super Saturday, [a day party on Saturdays], on the first Saturday back at school. No one has seen each other and it’s great to see everyone in one place. It’s outside and open to the public.

Campus Culture

Female Psychology and Political Science Double Major C/O 2019

How would you describe the social scene?
I think it’s definitely work hard, play hard. School is always first for everyone, then when school is over and you talk about hanging out on a Wednesday night or on the weekend. But school comes first and social life makes that better.

What is the impact of Greek life on social life?
I think it has really transformed my experience because everything is centered around Greek life. Like, where you live and who you hang out with. My friend group freshman year was completely different than sophomore and up. I think the friends that I will be graduating with next year are all in my sorority and I didn’t know them at all before.

How would you describe the student body?
I think it’s very homogenous as a group. I think there’s one type of student who is in the majority, who is seeking frat parties or being in a sorority, but is also very conscious. I would say people are very into social justice and if there is an important speaker on campus everyone comes out to support them. Also, if there’s a football game everyone’s supporting them. So, it’s a very close-knit campus.

Female Environmental Engineering Major C/O 2019

How would you describe the overall social scene at Bucknell?
Work hard play hard. People like to go out a lot, but people are also serious about getting their work done and doing well in school. The library is empty on Saturday but super crowded on Sunday.

How would you describe the overall student body?
It is homogeneous. It’s predictable where somebody is from and what their background is. There is a reputation of preppiness, which I agree with. [The median family income at Bucknell is about $204,000.]

Male Economics and Psychology Double Major C/O 2019

How did you meet your closest friends?
The good thing about being an athlete is that I had a guaranteed group of friends coming in, so the majority of my friends are from my team. I think people are very friendly, especially going out, so a lot of my friends came through mixing with other teams and sororities.

To what extent do people of different races and sexual orientations mix socially?
I would consider our campus to be very accepting, so you will see other populations and they do mix. But, the majority is definitely the White population. [About 72% of the Bucknell population is White.]

Lewisburg, PA

Pros of

  • “It’s centrally located to major cities. It is three hours from New York, D.C. and Philadelphia. You can go anywhere, because it is not too far to get to any city.”
  • “Being in the middle of nowhere brings the campus closer together because everyone stays on campus and figures out things to do there.”
  • “In L.A. I don’t get to experience seasons, so fall is super pretty at Bucknell. Lewisburg gets the full experience of what seasons are.”

Cons of

  • “You don’t really leave the campus because it’s not a city. There isn’t much to do around town.”
  • “Traveling. If you are not from a neighboring state or have a car on campus, it’s hard to get to or from school if you use the shuttle. I usually fly out of Baltimore, which is 3 hours away.” [Bucknell to BWI is a 2.5-hour drive.]

Advice for Prospective Freshmen

Female Animal Behavior Major C/O 2019

What is something you wish you knew before entering Bucknell as a freshman?
I didn’t realize how difficult the work would be. I wish I knew how much time I would be spending in the library and how stressful things would be for me. I also wish I knew that it could be like high school sometimes in that there are different sororities and fraternities that are [perceived as being at different tiers].

What is something a prospective student may miss on a visit that’s worth checking out?
The prevalence of Greek life on campus. If it’s someone who doesn’t intend joining Greek life or being on a sports team I would [be cognizant] of its prevalence. Notice that Greek life is a big thing. [60% of eligible students are part of a fraternity or sorority.]

Female Environmental Engineering Major C/O 2019

What is something you wish you knew before entering Bucknell as a freshman?
How big Greek life is. [About 60% of students who are eligible for Greek life are in Greek life.]

What is something a prospective student may miss on a visit that’s worth checking out?
The library is cool. It has many floors and it gets quieter as you go up. It’s much bigger than you think it is from the outside. Also, I don’t know if they will show you all the dorms on a tour.

Male Economics and Psychology Double Major C/O 2019

What is something a prospective student may miss on a visit that’s worth checking out?
Before going to Bucknell I think it’s important to go out and see it as a social setting. After visiting other schools, I think a lot of the social scene is different because a lot of our houses are small and the is a kind of a small party feel where you know everybody. I think that plays a part in the cohesive nature of the student body and I think it’s important to do before coming. If that is something you’d enjoy, try experiencing it.

What is something a prospective athlete should know that we haven’t touched on?
Bucknell is a D1 school, so they expect high levels of performance. At the same time, Bucknell is a strong academic institution, so the coaches expect high levels of performance on the field and off the field. If you’re not performing off the field you might not see the field. They report team GPA’s every semester, and it looks bad on them if their team GPA is low.

Reasons to attend and not to attend Bucknell University

To Attend

  • “I feel that I’m getting a very high-quality education. I’m very impressed by the professors and the small class sizes. I feel like I’m learning and retaining the information.”
  • “It has amazing academics. What I’ve heard from the majority of people is that they love their classes and they love their teachers. People are so sad to leave at the end of the year because you’ve had such a great experience. People also love to learn at Bucknell.”
  • “The student body is really bright. I feel like you’re constantly having educated conversations and not just meaningless ones.”

To Not Attend

  • “If you are deciding between a city school and Bucknell, I think that’s a sign to not go to Bucknell because it’s so rural. You are in central Pennsylvania. If you want to be near stores and malls, rural Pennsylvania’s not for you.”
  • “Greek life is competitive and it is not for everyone. If Greek life is not for you, that makes your social life harder because the nightlife revolves around Greek life.”
  • “It’s not really that diverse of a student population, it is very homogeneous.”
  • “It’s really expensive.” [For the 2018-2019 academic year, the total cost was about $70,000.]
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