Should I Go to Drexel University?

Emily earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology from Drexel University. She specializes in English tutoring, biology tutoring, and a number of other subjects. Below, she shares her experience at Drexel University.

Describe the campus setting and transportation options. 

Emily: Drexel University is situated in the heart of Philadelphia. The campus and the city are very walkable, and public transportation is accessible and easy to use. Campus security has a strong presence at the university, and because Drexel sits right next to the University of Pennsylvania, students seem to feel safe. Like at many urban campuses, however, street smarts are emphasized and helpful safety tips are taught during freshman orientation. Since the city and campus are so walkable and public transportation is very easy to navigate, a car is not necessary and a bike is optional.

How available are the professors, academic advisers, and teaching assistants?

Emily: I can mostly speak from the perspective of the psychology and anatomy departments, but for me, professors were readily available during their office hours or by appointment. I found them eager to answer questions and help any student who needed extra assistance. Teaching assistants were typically seen at the introductory course level and were, more often than not, seniors who had done well in the course and enjoyed teaching. This makes for a nice intermingling of students from different years. The teaching assistants tend to act as mentors to the younger students and are quick with advice.

How would you describe the dorm life – rooms, dining options, location, socialization opportunities with other students?

Emily: The dorm rooms, especially within the freshman dorms, are typical of an urban college campus. The rooms are small and are typically two-person rooms. Each person has a desk, bed, wardrobe, and dresser. Since Drexel is an urban campus, dining options are extremely varied if one is willing to venture off campus. On campus, there is a dining hall, restaurants, and coffee shops. Many clubs are very active at Drexel and bring students together. Many students also tend to meet in their freshman dorm and in classes.  

Which majors/programs are best represented and supported? 

Emily: Drexel is very well known for their engineering, computer science, business, and health sciences programs. I chose to major in psychology. I also took a number of anatomy and physiology courses with the nursing students during my four years at Drexel. I found the psychology department to be warm and welcoming and very willing to get to know its students individually.

I was unsure as to what I wanted to do long-term; as such, psychology opened many doors for me and left me flexible to take a number of different paths. I ended up taking a health professions path and made this decision during the spring of my sophomore year.

How easy or difficult was it for you to meet people and make friends as a freshman? Does Greek life play a significant role in the campus social life?

Emily: I found the freshman dorms and my classes to be the place that I initially made friends. It was relatively easy for me to make friends, as everyone was in the same boat freshman year. After freshman year, I met people through classes and clubs. Greek life does not play a very significant role at Drexel. I didn’t join Greek life and didn’t feel like I was missing out.

How helpful are the Career Center and other student support services?

Emily: The career center is extremely helpful and very present on campus. Drexel is famous for its co-operative education program. Co-ops are essentially six-month-long internships that allow students real-world, paid, job experience before they graduate. Students can choose from either a four year, one co-op option or a five year three co-op option as their plan of study.

Many well-known companies such as Amazon, Microsoft, Johnson & Johnson, Merrill Lynch, and Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia recruit for co-ops on campus. Drexel has a very high post-college hiring rate due to the co-op program. Some students choose to leave the Philadelphia area for one or more of their co-ops. There are also many international co-op opportunities available.

How are the various study areas such as libraries, the student union, and dorm lounges?

Emily: The student center is typically used for club meetings and performances. The honors lounge is also housed in the student center, and many students in Drexel’s Pennoni Honors College make good use of the space. The library is small for the number of students who are typically there. During exam times, it feels cramped. Drexel has been building new study spaces over the past couple of years. Students who live in the dorms tend to use their dorm’s common room to study in groups.

Describe the surrounding town.

Emily: Drexel students tend to really explore the city of Philadelphia. Many students spend their off-time enjoying the city and getting involved in volunteer projects and programs. There is always something to do downtown, and the hustle of city life means that things never get boring. From festivals to parades to sporting events, there is always something to do on or off campus.

How big or small is the student body? Were you generally pleased or displeased with the typical class sizes?

Emily: The undergraduate population is about 15,000 students. It is a good size, such that I continued to meet people well into my senior year, but small enough that I saw many friends walking around campus on a daily basis. The typical class size (except for introductory classes) is about 30 students. Many of my courses within the psychology department were much smaller than that, with the average class size around 15 students. I really enjoyed this small-class feel and it catered very much to my learning style.

Describe one memorable experience with a professor and/or class. Perhaps one you loved the most or one you regret the most.

Emily: I have never been a math person. I have always struggled with numbers, and may or may not still use my fingers at times when asked to perform mental math without paper and a pencil handy. That being said, when I began a statistics course during my sophomore year at Drexel, my hopes were not high regarding my success. I am here to say that I was very wrong with my initial thoughts about the course. I had a fantastic professor who was finishing up her PhD in psychology and statistics. She broke down the material so that every concept was like learning a baking recipe. If I followed her clearly defined steps, I would come up with correct answers every time! Over the next two years I took higher level courses that she taught, and loved them. Who knew that I would come to really enjoy statistics? I sure had no idea!

Check out Emily’s tutoring profile.

The views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent the views of Varsity Tutors.