What is it Like to Attend Bucknell University?

Jared earned his bachelor’s degree in biomedical engineering from Bucknell University. He specializes in geometry tutoring, biology tutoring, and a number of other subjects. Below, he shares his experience at Bucknell University:

Describe the campus setting and transportation options. 

Jared: Bucknell is a pretty rural campus. There’s a beautiful, historic, and quaint downtown. Both the campus and the town of Lewisburg, PA are extremely safe. There’s a bus that takes you to certain places around campus and to grocery stores and medical centers. There’s also a late-night bus that circulates between the upper part of campus and downtown. Luckily, at Bucknell you will never need to drive from one place on campus to another or to downtown; everything is within walking distance.

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

Jared: Professors, advisers, and TAs are all available. All of the professors are primarily there to teach, not to do research. So, their favorite part of their job is teaching you during class or office hours. Advisers are professors in your department, so they will be equally available. TAs also always hold office hours.

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

Jared: Dorm life is good. Bucknell works really hard during orientation to connect you with your peers and your RA. Buildings have tight communities that end up being groups of friends. If you join a residential college, you’ll have two upperclassmen in your hall that you’ll live with all year long and a class that you’re guaranteed to have with a lot of your hallmates. Bucknell is a small enough campus that none of the first year dorms are in bad spots. Socialization is also easy. There are common areas in every dorm, and each dorm hall has its own programs that connect you with other people.

Your first year, you have an unlimited dining plan in Bostwick Marketplace, or the cafeteria with an open buffet, which is great because you can socialize with people you know all of the time. Some people like the food there so much that they get the unlimited meal plan all four years at Bucknell.

Which majors/programs are best represented and supported? 

Jared: Every major and program is really well supported. Some are smaller than others, and some have more or less funding, but they’re all supported.

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?

Jared: Greek life is huge on Bucknell’s campus; around two thirds of the campus joins. The good thing about it is that you can’t join a Greek organization until your sophomore year, so you have a lot of time to decide whether or not it’s something that fits with what you want out of your college experience. I chose not to get involved in Greek life, even though many of my friends did. There’s a lot of other ways to make friends aside from Greek life.

I didn’t have a hard time making friends at Bucknell. Orientation does a great job at breaking down the awkward barriers of making new friends. At Bucknell, almost everyone is in the same boat as you; they know almost no one and they want to find friends. I found sports a good way to make friends, but other people have made friends through video games, the arts, their major, and other avenues. I continued to meet people all four years by joining different clubs, my on-campus jobs, and through other chance interactions.

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

Jared: The career center works really hard at Bucknell. Some really awesome companies, like Deloitte, Merck, General Electric, Microsoft, and many others recruit at Bucknell. I’ve heard of people getting offers from other companies, too, like Amazon, Google, and Morgan Stanley. The career center does a great job of connecting you with alumni in your industry to get you internships, jobs, and mentoring advice; all you have to do is put in the necessary effort.

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

Jared: Study areas at Bucknell are great. There is a gorgeous library, a cool coffee shop, and buildings on campus open all hours of the day so you can just camp out and do homework in them. I went into computer labs in certain buildings during the evening hours and they were usually empty because other people didn’t think to go there. The places are never so overcrowded so that you can’t find a spot, but if you’re looking for a quiet spot during certain peak times of the day or the year, it can be challenging.

Describe the surrounding town.

Jared: Downtown Lewisburg is a true gem that far too few people take advantage of during their time at Bucknell. It has great places to eat, cute places to shop, and quaint places to hang out.

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

Jared: There are about 3,600 undergraduate students at Bucknell. My biggest classes were my introductory chemistry, physics, biology, and engineering classes, which were around 60 people. I had a total of eight classes with over 50 students in them, and the rest of the classes I had at Bucknell were around 20-25 students per class. Every professor I had still remembers my name; so, even if you have bigger classes, they will still get to know you if you put in the effort.

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

Jared: Three years after my introductory biology course, I went to a campus event called “Chrysalis,” which is attended by most of Bucknell’s students and faculty. It’s a semi-formal event with hors d’oeuvres and a concert. The band never played their most famous song, so it was obvious that they were going to come back out for an encore. A minute later, a music video of their most famous song came on. Then, as the chorus came and they walked on stage, I started looking around, making ridiculous faces, pretending to be surprised. I caught the eye of my favorite professor from my first year at Bucknell while making a ridiculous face. He made an equally ridiculous face back at me also pretending to be surprised. I laughed for the rest of the song.


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