I have yet to visit a college that I dislike. From Connecticut to New York City to Pennsylvania, each college that I tour has its own unique offerings that greatly detract from any potential flaws. Drexel University is just one of the many colleges that I am visiting this summer on my grand Northeastern tour, and it has certainly been one of my most memorable experiences to date.
Drexel University is a fast-paced urban academic institution of higher learning, situated in the heart of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, an utterly charming city. Its student body comprises over 26,000 students, including 14,800 undergraduates, 4,600 graduates, and another 5,000 online students. It is a huge, thriving university. Approximately 200 degree programs are offered by the institution, and there are over 15 individual schools distinguished by the student’s choice of major. Almost every major under the sun is available for study at Drexel, but perhaps the school is most notable for its prominent science and engineering programs.
Drexel especially emphasizes the participation of the student in scientific research, as it pertains to his or her major. Over $110 million is donated in sponsor support each year toward research. This facet is just one of the highlights of the university’s offerings.
My Drexel University information session was led by an articulate and persuasive education major who was currently employed in Drexel’s admissions office. He demonstrated nothing but passion and enthusiasm toward his alma matter, which certainly left a positive impression upon the audience.
Firstly, Drexel offers top-notch academic programs that provide the student with hands-on learning outside of the classroom walls. Perhaps Drexel’s most notable program (which encouraged me to visit the university) is the co-op, a term that stands for cooperative education. A co-op is basically an internship opportunity available exclusively to Drexel students. The co-op can be paid or unpaid, depending upon the specifications of the companies at which the students intern. For companies such as MTV, there are just too many interns working that payment cannot be provided, whereas at smaller firms, payment is usually possible. Most internships average around $15,000 to $16,000 per year, which is quite a good sum of money for a college student. All students are required to participate in this particular program, which extends the traditional 4 years of college into a total of 5 years! I find that this is the ultimate educational experience, especially for someone who is looking to network in college to attain easier connections to jobs.
All Drexel students are required to co-op at three different time periods during their years at the university. The co-op will typically pertain to the student’s choice of major, so as to gain the student some experience in that particular field of study. For example, a pre-law student hailing from California spent her first year interning in her home state for Jails to Jobs, a pro-bono service that helps former prisoners in the search for employment. Another student (my tour guide), who was studying criminology, was taken by her professors to grisly crime scenes (a la CSI), murder trials, and even a functioning jail. After that firsthand experience, the student later traded criminology for the much less ghastly communications. This hands-on experience that Drexel University provides to its students is indispensible to helping students decide whether or not a certain major or career is right for them. It is this direct experience that urges me (and hopefully you too!) to apply to the college.
There are myriad subjects to study at Drexel University at each of their 15 individual colleges. A few of the institutions include the Center for Hospitality and Sports Management, the School of Education, LeBow College of Business, the School of Law, and the College of Medicine, amongst several others. I found that Drexel’s academics were comprehensive and diverse. Just imagine the cross section of people you will meet and the uncontrollable spread of ideas that will flow between you and other Drexel students! The possibilities are endless.
According to The Insider’s Guide to the Colleges, there are about 136 extracurricular activities offered by Drexel, and of course, students can always start new ones (as long as they garner interest). The most popular activities at Drexel are the ones involving the fine arts: band, orchestra, dance, and musical theater. Music and dance are offered only as minors by Drexel, and theater is not offered by the university for study at all. But don’t let that stifle your creativity! Drexel’s extracurricular musical theater program is quite distinguished, and goes well beyond the college level. In fact, all fine arts professors and organizers are professionally trained in their fields. Students have even traveled as far as Singapore to perform in concerts, festivals, and shows!
According to my tour guide, most sports offered by Drexel revolve around the school-wide intramural level rather than a national level. As I stated several times before, Drexel is mainly a science school, and most of the extracurriculars will revolve around that subject or the fine arts. Currently, Drexel University does not have a professional football team, but they do have most other sports, including cheerleading, basketball, and rowing. Athletics is not something emphasized by the institution, as it may be at many other colleges.
My final part of my Drexel adventure included a tour of the campus led by the aforementioned communications major. In truth, the campus is not exactly spectacular. There is no style of architecture unifying Drexel University; it’s more of a conglomerate of random buildings grouped together into one entity. The biology building was absolutely stunning, however! It was newly constructed and very contemporary, and featured a spiral wooden staircase modeled after DNA.
I had my first ever opportunity to visit a college dorm room, which was certainly eye opening. I had no picture in my head of what a dorm looked like, but it was quite small. Again, as with the university, the dorm rooms have no similar architectural structure. Roommates can be grouped my major, amongst other credentials. The particular dorm room that I visited was for honors students only. It was in a skyscraper-like building that provided for pretty fantastic views of Philadelphia! Overall, I felt that the dorm rooms were very basic housing arrangements. The showers were the size of a small closet, and the actual room was tiny. But I do understand that this is all a part of college living, and I’ll stay open-minded.
Despite its select drawbacks, I really do like Drexel. I still hold my views that their academics are top-notch, and will provide me with the tools that I need to hopefully become a registered dietitian. I like the idea of the co-op program and the invaluable firsthand experience that I can obtain outside of the classroom. The fact that there are over 15 schools at which I can study is enough for me to apply alone; there is much diversity in the academic realm. Drexel is a solid college for all students, because there is something to suit each and every person who applies. You can most definitely go above and beyond with your Drexel education.
For more information, visit http://www.drexel.edu.