Impressions Of
University of Richmond

Academic Experience

Female Rhetoric and Communication Studies Major C/O 2021

Can you describe the weekly coursework for your major?
A lot of the classes I’m taking right now are media-based. I have a lot of videotape projects, especially in my class, Media Communications. I have a lot of readings on making videos and I’m working on a video essay right now. My other class this semester is a research communications class which is more writing-based.

How accessible have the professors in your department been?
It’s a really approachable group of people and they’re available for questions all the time in class and outside of class. They have office hours and if you can’t go to those they’re willing to work with you.

Do you think people are open to multiple schools of thoughts in the classroom?
I do actually. An example is last week we were talking about a really controversial subject and one class was completely on one side and the other was completely on the other side. The teacher’s whole thing was in order to reach a common ground you have to say what you mean but also listen to the other side, so the professor did a good job of getting people to hear each other out.

Male Business Administration and Legal Studies Double Major C/O 2020

Is there anything you feel either of your majors’ departments do especially well or poorly?
The Jepson School of Leadership Studies does a really good job. Not many people want [to major in] Leadership Studies, but it’s cool because it has a wide variety of classes and it’s pretty interdisciplinary. They do a good job at developing soft skills, working with other people, and teaching us about past and present leaders. It’s cool to learn these soft skills and then combine that with technical skills learned in my business classes. The business school at Richmond does a really good job of getting students involved and is career-focused. The professors genuinely care about you. They provide you with internship opportunities, and in my experience, if you go to office hours they help me study for a test, then part of that conversation is the teacher asking what I think I want to do. They genuinely care about working with you to determine what you want to do after graduating.

How accessible are your professors?
Super accessible. It’s all about what the student makes of it though. In the past, I’ve been good at going to teachers for office hours or shooting them a quick email with questions. Every teacher has office hours at least twice a week, probably for two hours each day. It’s easy to pop in, but I don’t think all students take advantage of that.

Male Philosophy, Politics, Economics, and Law Major C/O 2020

Can you describe the weekly coursework for your PPEL major?
It’s more readings than anything else. I’ve actually taken all the elective and non-core classes for my major. I’m taking the first core class right now, and through all the political science and economics classes I’ve had, I’ve already read the core text. I expect it to get a little more in-depth with the next couple of classes. From what I’ve heard from my friends, it’s mainly readings and a couple of papers.

Is there anything you feel the PPEL department does especially well or poorly?
The PPEL department is really good at letting students find what they’re interested in, compared to some other majors like accounting where you’re locked in on that path. I know people come here for the PPEL degree, and after they take a philosophy course or two, they [change course and] decide to major in that. I wish the core classes were easier to get into. It’s a very popular major, and most of the time the core classes are the first to go on course registration day.

Do you feel that people are open to multiple schools of thought in the classroom?
I’d say so. This may be because I’ve taken discussion-based philosophy classes, but there’s definitely a pattern in the classroom where professors will assign a reading, and they’ll ask the class what they think about it. It’s not the professor pushing an idea. Everyone read the same thing, so now you can argue your view on it.

Social Opportunities

Female Rhetoric and Communication Studies Major C/O 2021

What kind of weekend activities or nightlife do you like to participate in?
My friends and I will go out two or three nights a week. Usually, we go downtown on Thursdays, Fridays we have house parties, and then Saturdays there is a day party or something. When we go downtown a fraternity will rent out a bar and we go down there and it’s nice because you can go in as an under 21 and pay a slightly higher cover.

What’s an alternative to going to a party or a bar that you like for a night out?
There’s a lot of stuff you can do in Richmond. There are some really awesome restaurants. We also will go to the James River when it’s nice out.

How happy are you with the weekend options? Is there anything you would change if you could?
I’m very happy with it. It just gets repetitive and if you don’t go out all your friends are going out and you’ll just be bored at home. There’s not really an alternative to the main thing that’s going on because everybody else is going to that. It’s also repetitive in that you see the same people all the time.

Male Business Administration Major with concentration in Finance C/O 2020

What kind of weekend activities or nightlife do you like to participate in?
On Thursdays, each fraternity rents out their own bar in the Fan District or Shockoe Bottom and people are welcome to come. On Fridays, we have parties at Fraternity Lodges or off-campus houses that are usually themed parties. On Saturdays, people will throw parties at their off-campus houses but I’d say they’re a little bit more exclusive in that because the house is owned by somebody they are more inclined to turn down somebody who they don’t know. Usually, it’s just girls that we know end up going rather than guys that aren’t in the fraternity.

How do you feel about the new Lodge regulations?
It depends on who you’re talking to on campus. Some people think it makes it more exclusive, but, as somebody who’s in the fraternity, I like having a better idea of who’s coming into our lodges. People who are not in Greek life are annoyed because they now have to get on this list and make sure they’re on the list in order to get in. It mostly affects guys in general because they end up at the bottom of the hierarchy of who ends up on the list.

What’s an alternative to going to a party or a bar that you like for a night out?
My friends and I have been going to a couple of concerts in Richmond that have been really fun. It’s really relaxing going to go see live music.

Male Business Administration and Legal Studies Double Major C/O 2020

What kind of weekend activities or nightlife do you like to participate in?
The social scene at Richmond is really driven by Greek life. I have fraternity events on Thursdays, and we’ll usually go downtown into Richmond. On Fridays, there will be parties at night in the lodges, and on Saturdays, there is usually a day party going on through the fraternities. That’s been a lot of fun and probably a big part of the college experience. A lot of students tend to go out Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. The social scene is shifting off campus, so a lot of parties and events take place there. Richmond just installed new regulations about lodges. The lodges aren’t fraternity houses because you can’t live there, but people traditionally throw parties there on Fridays, and they are all in a row. The whole idea is you can bounce around different lodges, but in terms of the school trying not to be liable, now you have to have a guest list, and the fraternities can’t provide beer. You can bring beer in if you’re 21 and have a wristband. As a whole, lodges haven’t been as much of the social scene this year. [See The Collegian article, “Students react with mixed feelings to new lodge regulations.”]

Campus Culture

Female Rhetoric and Communication Studies Major C/O 2021

To what extent do people of different races and sexual orientations mix socially?
You do see people who are of other races and sexual orientations out, but the school is overpowered with White people. Especially in Greek life, there’s not a lot of people of color. In my sorority, there are only a couple of [people of color]. When the athletic teams host stuff is when it gets more mixed. It’s not like anyone gets treated differently, I just think people of color stray away from Greek life because it’s kind of overwhelming, which I think is understandable. [9% of undergraduates are international students, 29% are students of color, and 20% of students come from Virginia.]

How would you describe the student body?
It’s very competitive, not even with school, people are perfectionists. It’s like everybody has to be working out, eating healthy, have great clothes, and going out. It may be more of a Greek life thing, but there’s a way you have to hold yourself that I can only describe by saying perfectionist culture.

Male Business Administration Major with concentration in Finance C/O 2020

How would you describe the social scene at Richmond?
There are nicer ways to put it, but it reminds me a lot of high school. A lot of the U or R social scene is a lot of guys trying to one-up each other and make themselves look cooler so that the girls will decide to go hang out with them. I think it’s way too close-knit of a community where everyone knows everything about each other and there are a lot of petty issues that occur weekly through the social scene.

To what extent do people of different races and sexual orientations mix socially?
In the scene that I’m in is unfortunately mostly White people. There are some African-American and Asian people who end up in my social life, but like 80%-90% of people are White. [9% of undergraduates are international students, 29% are students of color, and 20% of students come from Virginia.]

Male Philosophy, Politics, Economics, and Law Major C/O 2020

How would you describe your social scene at Richmond?
It’s pretty good in general, but the parties are definitely dominated by Greek life. If it’s not Greek parties, several other groups like the international or minority students generally have their own organizations or clubs that will host parties. It’s not that you can’t go to those, but they will hang out with themselves for better or worse. The majority of students who go to Richmond aren’t minority or international, so freshman year it’s a little hard for them to relate. If there’s an institution set up that has similar views than them, they’ll obviously hang out with those people. By sophomore year those friendships have already been entrenched, and then we don’t really reach out to one another. [9% of undergraduates are international students, and 29% are students of color.]

Richmond, VA

Pros of

  • “It’s close to the city. Downtown Richmond is 15-minutes away and a lot of students go on the weekends.”
  • “I like that it feels like a campus community rather than being in the city.”
  • “It’s in the state capital. If you want to get involved with politics, it’s so easy to lean into that. Last year I was a legislative intern for a state delegate, and I ended up picking which bills they would co-sponsor.”
  • “Richmond as a city itself is changing. It has the historical sights, being the capital of the Confederacy, but the city tries hard to shed that image. There are lots of coffee shops, restaurants, and microbreweries opening up.”

Cons of

  • “Public transportation is my biggest one. Not only is it hard to get off campus if you don’t have your own car, but a lot of other universities will have their dining hall open until midnight. Ours closes around 8 or 9. This is because the public transportation for the workers stops going to the university around that time. We have a convenience store open until midnight, but it would be nice to be able to swipe in and grab some food.”
  • “Some juniors and seniors live off campus, and those houses are in random residential neighborhoods. I live 9 minutes away from campus, so sometimes it’s a pain to commute.”
  • “Sometimes I’d think there was a lot of divide between cultures and political parties. There are some very far right leaning people and far left leaning people. I’m not sure if this is a pro or con because you get to see both points of view.”

Advice for Prospective Freshmen

Female Rhetoric and Communication Studies Major C/O 2021

What is something you wish you knew about Richmond before entering as a freshman?
I didn’t really understand how big of a deal Greek life is here for girls. If you want to go out, have a social life, and be really included I think it’s really important to be in a sorority. I also didn’t understand how good of friends I would make here. I didn’t expect everyone to be so nice here. There is a really strong sense of community which is nice. People are really welcoming here and people who transfer in are always surprised how quickly they’re accepted. [About 54% of females are in sororities and there are eight fraternities on campus]

What is something a prospective student may miss on a visit that’s worth checking out?
If you visit I think it’s really important to visit a class so you can see how strong the relationships are with the professors. You also won’t get the vibe of social life or Greek life. If you visit and stay overnight you’ll get to know the type of people that go here which I think is really important and something you wouldn’t see on a tour.

Male Business Administration and Legal Studies Double Major C/O 2020

What is something you wish you knew about Richmond before entering as a freshman?
I wish I knew how admissions really downplay Greek life, which I think is a common theme around a lot of different schools. I wish I knew how big of a role Greek life played in the social scene. For me, it’s been one of the highlights of my time at Richmond. I came into school not knowing if I was going to rush, kind of having an open mind to it. After being here for two weeks, I decided I definitely am going to rush somewhere because it’s kind of dominant of the social scene, and I wanted to have some of that aspect in my college life. I think students can get blind-sided coming in when they hear the admission stats that [about 54% of females are in sororities and there are eight fraternities on campus]. It feels a lot bigger than [what is advertised.]

What is something a prospective student may miss on a visit that’s worth checking out?
Go to the performance center. It’s an awesome facility that they don’t hit on the tour. Surprisingly, they don’t go to the library on the tour either, which is important to check out.

Male Philosophy, Politics, Economics, and Law Major C/O 2020

What is something you wish you knew about Richmond before entering as a freshman?
I wish I knew about the different financial opportunities that were offered. I didn’t pay too much attention to the cost of the colleges I was applying to, and it’s definitely high at Richmond. They also have lots of programs to stipend you for jobs, or they can pay for a lot of things you want to do if you know where to ask. We were able to get funding for the National Young Democrats of America convention through various departments, and the organization that leads over the clubs. That was helpful for networking, and several of us got positions on the national board. We also went to the College Democrats of America convention and the University of Richmond was the only college from Virginia that was represented. This summer I’m doing a research project that my professor and I came up with. She said I can apply for funding for housing and anything I’ll need for the project. [The total estimated cost to attend Richmond is $69,750.]

What is something a prospective student may miss on a visit that’s worth checking out?
The beauty of the campus is something a lot of students like when they visit. The university plants a lot of the flowers and cleans up the lake before these tours. I feel like the social scene on campus is different than a lot of other universities. If they get the chance, try to visit a lodge, a pig roast, or even just a house party to understand that’s going to be what most of the social events are.

Reasons to attend and not to attend University of Richmond

To Attend

  • “The small class sizes. It really gives you the chance to know your professors well, and they are approachable outside of class.” [The student-faculty ratio is 8:1.]
  • “They do a really good job of placing people in jobs after college. All my friends are employed in not even 6 months after graduation.” [Richmond has a 97% six-month employment rate.]
  • “If you’re interested in Greek life.”
  • “It’s not too difficult to be a big fish in the small pond, that is the student size here. If you involve yourself in an organization your freshman year that you know you’ll be passionate about, you can be president of that organization by the time you’re a junior or senior. The amount of resources available to you as the president of an organization means you can really put your own initiatives into place.” [The undergraduate population about 3,000.]

To Not Attend

  • “If you’re looking for a college town, it’s super difficult to leave the campus. We have a shuttle and bus system, but they’re unreliable at best.”
  • “If you’re uncomfortable with the lack of diversity of the student population.”[9% of undergraduates are international students, and 29% are students of color.]
  • “It’s a small campus so it can feel like a high school at times. If you end up [romantically involved] with someone, there’s a 70% chance you’re going to see them tomorrow, or they are going to be friends with one of your friends.”
  • “If you don’t like Greek life.”
Notice: University of Richmond is a trademark. Induck uses it for descriptive purposes, not to imply affiliation with, endorsement from, or sponsorship by University of Richmond.

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