Impressions Of
University of Richmond

Academic Experience

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.

Female Business Administration with a dual concentration in Finance and Management C/O 2017

Is there anything you feel your concentrations’ departments do especially well or poorly?
They do a really good job getting the alumni network up and running. I had lots of good resources to reach out to. They also do a good job of giving you a fundamental knowledge of finance before you start interviewing. Something they didn’t do well is that you only need four classes to complete the finance concentration, so it’s pretty small. I’d like them to have a more workplace-oriented class because my Excel skills weren’t as good as they could or should have been when I graduated.

How would you describe the learning environment? Do you think it’s particularly competitive or collaborative?
It’s not competitive, but I wouldn’t say it was collaborative either. Within the business school at Richmond, you just do your own work and if you have questions you can reach out to people. We also didn’t do a lot of group projects.

How accessible were your professors?
Very accessible. Everyone knew your name and you could go in to see them whenever.

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

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.”]

Female Biochemistry & Molecular Biology Major C/O 2017

What kind of weekend activities or nightlife do you like to participate in?
Senior year when I didn’t have a lot of work it was a free for all. When I was in my hardest semesters it would be just Friday and Saturday, and maybe a few Thursdays mixed in. Everything is so planned out at Richmond. Wednesday’s are Cellar Wednesdays when we’d go to the bar on campus. You can use your dining dollars there. Thursdays, you go to a club downtown, like the Tobacco Company or Siné’s. There will be a bunch of people from a certain frat going to one place and another group going to another place and you see where your friends are going and go there. Fridays and Saturdays are house party nights. Frats have off-campus houses and also on campus chapter houses called Lodges. Lodge parties happen on Friday nights.

Female Business Administration with a dual concentration in Finance and Management C/O 2017

What kind of weekend activities or nightlife do you like to participate in?
I tend to go out on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays. Thursdays I’d go to clubs in downtown Richmond, Fridays I’d usually go to a house party at one of the frat houses on campus, Saturdays I’d either go to a house party at an off-campus house or a bar. Wednesday is also a big night where people will go to The Cellar on campus. The fraternities are pretty inclusive at the beginning of the year because they are rushing people.

How happy were you with the weekend options at Richmond? Is there anything you would change?
I was very happy overall. I really did go to a lot of frat parties, and what I didn’t like is that if you went you’d only see guys from that frat there. There could be a lot more events like mixers or have whole grade events so you could see more people in one setting.

Campus Culture

Female Biochemistry & Molecular Biology Major C/O 2017

How would you describe the social scene?
It’s very laid out. There are certain things you do on certain nights, and there isn’t room to expand out of that. If there are so many lodges happening on a Friday night and you wanted to do something else there wouldn’t be anybody else there.

What is the impact of Greek Life on social life?
While the school seems to want to downplay Greek life, I would say that’s not true. Greek life is pretty important at Richmond. It feels like almost all of your friends are in Greek life. It doesn’t necessarily mean that you won’t have friends from other Greek groups, though. While all of my friends are Greek, not all of them are in my sorority. [About 54% of females are in sororities and there are eight fraternities on campus.]

Do you think Greek life is separated from everyone else?
No, they are not necessarily separated from everyone else. Everyone else is such a small number that they integrate themselves with the people in Greek life. I had a bunch of friends who weren’t in sororities and they would hang out with everyone.

Female Business Administration with a dual concentration in Finance and Management C/O 2017

How would you describe your social scene?
I think there’s a little animosity between the frats, but that does not exist as much with the sororities. The girls mix really well. I know there is a clan of people that aren’t Greek or on a sports team, but I didn’t see them that much. I saw the same people every day and you’d start to think that you knew everybody on campus but you didn’t.

To what extent do people of different races and sexual orientations mix socially?
I think they do, but I’ve also heard of a lot of stories where kids that were gay or Black felt that they didn’t fit in. Richmond’s definitely very white and heteronormative. [In the 2017-2018 academic year, about 56% of students were White. See The Collegian article, “Diversity and exclusivity at UR: Part I.”]

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

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.

Female Business Administration with a dual concentration in Finance and Management C/O 2017

What is something you wish you knew about Richmond before entering as a freshman?
Just don’t take anything too seriously and try to relax. I think I got really stressed about school, especially freshman year. So, work hard but enjoy yourself. I don’t think I enjoyed myself as much freshman year.

What is something a prospective student may miss on a visit that’s worth checking out?
Try to go out on a weekend if you know anyone. The social scene ends up being pretty much the same thing every weekend so whatever you see would be an accurate picture.

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

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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