Chat Transcript

Topic: Academics at Wes
Monday, September 23, 2013 

Dean Evan: Good evening, everyone, and welcome to this evening's Academics at Wesleyan chat.

Dean Evan: Current Wes students, if you could please introduce yourselves with your name, hometown, major, and extracurricular activities.

Adi Slepack_2016: Hi! My name is Adi Slepack, class of 2016. I'm from Long Island, New York. I'm (probably!) going to major in Film Studies but I'm also very interested in social sciences. My extracurriculars include Wesleying (the student blog), WESU - our radio station where I have a late night talk show - and very soon I will be involved in our sophomore film collective, WESFLIX. I'm really excited to answer you guys' questions and get you super pumped about Wesleyan!

Savannah_2016: Hello, I'm Savannah and I'm a sophomore here at Wes. I'm planning on majoring in Math, and I'm also on the premed track. I'm from Warren, VT. I'm currently a TA for an Intro Physics class, I work at Olin Library, and I'm involved with the Homelessness and Hunger efforts on campus, which involve a food rescue program. Oh, and of course I volunteer with the admissions office through the WesAmbassadors program so I can participate in these chats with all of you.

Dean Evan: To our guests - please feel free to ask any questions you may have.

Liam Tran: Hi everyone, I'm Liam and I'm a freshman here at Wes. I'm planning on becoming a music major and possibly neuroscience. I'm from Houston, TX and I'm currently in two a cappella groups, the Wesleyan Spirits and Notably Sharp. I also do plays and musicals on campus.

Dean Evan: Also, my name is Evan Carney and I'm Assistant Dean of Admission at Wesleyan. I'll be moderating tonight's chat.

Olivia Shay: For people considering pre-med are there a lot of research/internship opportunities?

DeborahKim: Do students at Wesleyan generally graduate as a double-major? Is it a common thing to do?

Palmer Taipale: I’m interested in both science and art. Is it hard to duel major in both fields.

Adi Slepack_2016: Olivia - Courtesy of my friend, Sarah: Wesleyan is one of the top liberal schools for the sciences and focuses on Undergrad research opportunities

Liam Tran: Double majoring is very common at Wes, and when you come here about 30% of the people you meet will be double majors.

Savannah_2016: Absolutely, Olivia. I knew people who were helping with research as early as the second semester of their freshman year. Once you get to know a professor, it's very easy to ask if they know of any research opportunities at Wesleyan that you would be able to assist in. As far as internships and off campus research, the Career Center here is a huge asset that can help you apply for positions during the summer and such.

Liam Tran: I personally want to double major in Music and Neuroscience

Olivia Shay: How are the neuroscience professors and classes?

Aaron Kirshenber : Hi, this is Aaron In NYC.  If there is any student on the chat who can speak a bit about environmental studies as a major, that would be great. Specifically, if the major more heavily focused on quantitative analysis or more policy oriented?  Also, has it been an established major at Wes for quite a while?  PS:  this chat is a great idea, great approach.

Adi Slepack_2016: Deborah & Pamela - YES! Lots of people double major, and frequently in varied areas. We're all about exploring different areas and finding ways they overlap

Palmer Taipale: When do people usually declare their major if they want dual majors?

Talia Borofsky: As part of the research opportunities, do students research their own projects or mostly act as lab assistants?

Anthony Dean: Hey Palm, I'm also interested in arts and sciences. I am having a great time doing both! It's totally manageable; I have plenty of time to do my music/theater and my physics

DeborahKim: I'm very interested in Chemistry and Biology. I'm not quite on the Pre-Med track, but does Wesleyan have any programs regarding both those sciences?

Adi Slepack_2016: Olivia - My friend Sarah was able to get involved doing lab research with the MB&B department during her freshman year

Savannah_2016: Olivia, from what I've heard from a good number of my friends who are in Neuro right now, they believe that the class is rigorous and it's recommended to take into Biology beforehand, but it's a very interesting and thorough class

Claireokane: For double majoring, would you have two separate advisors? I am interested in double majoring in Environmental Science and East Asian Studies.

Liam Tran: Palm, majors are declared usually spring of your sophomore year, and there are requirements to fulfill for each major. If you look on our website for each department it will tell you a bit more about which classes you'd have to take to be in a certain major.

Talia Borofsky: I'm also interested in the Environmental Science major--how is it? What does it focus on (ecology, energy...)?

Hanna Park: How are the foreign language programs at Wesleyan? And using the study abroad programs, is there a way to study math or education in addition to benefiting from the cultural immersion in a foreign country?

Palmer Taipale: Anthony, I'm interested in physics and sculpture, how's physics at Wes?

Savannah_2016: Deborah: There is an MB&B major, which is microbiology and biochemistry, which sounds right up your ally if you enjoy both of those sciences. The requirements for the major are different than the pre-med requirements.

DeborahKim: How does the MB&B major differ from double majoring in Chemistry and Biology?

Mackenzie Kwok: Hi! I'm Mackenzie from SF. I have a question for Liam. Do you plan on combining music with neuroscience in some way? I'm interested in combining music & other performing arts/writing with social sciences, and want to learn more about how students put together seemingly different areas of study

Nicholas Hawkins:  I know none of you put sports as your interests, but in terms of time management are Professors willing to work with students involved in sports or in other demanding extra curiculars?

Anthony Dean: Palm, physics is quite good here! Obviously there aren't as many courses here in relation to a large research university, but the professors here are INCREDIBLY nice and smart. The group of physics majors and the teachers is pretty close because there’s so few of them.

Savannah_2016 : And Talia, to answer your question, I have mostly heard of people collaborating with professors, but if you propose a project you are interested in looking into, you may be able to receive funding/space to conduct your own research.

Liam Tran: Hey Mack, yeah I do, and there actually is a professor at Wes who specializes in combining music with neuro that's really awesome. You can totally combine performance with sciences. It's very doable, but you just have to be creative about it.

Savannah_2016: I second Anthony's statement, this is my second year being involved in the Physics department, and the staff (and majors) are incredible!

Anthony Dean: So to sum it up: I love the physics here and the small liberal arts school is a fun interesting way to approach science

Adi Slepack_2016: Palmer - my apologies for calling you Pamela before! My friend who has taken physics says it's a small department so you can get lots of individual attention. Also, if you are interested in taking physics but not majoring they have "intro physics" - if you do wanna major it's "general physics"

Dean Evan: Wes Students, could you talk about your experiences with your advisor?

Savannah_2016: Deborah: For MB&B, there will probably be a few less requirements to the major than double majoring in both, so you have a little more wiggle room in other classes you would like to take. Furthermore, to my understanding, you focus primarily on the molecular level, wher as in the Bio major you might focus on a variety of aspects of Biology.

Mackenzie Kwok: Thanks Liam! Also, sort of echoing Hannah's question about language, could anybody speak to the Chinese program? What level/curriculum does Wesleyan offer?

DeborahKim: I'm also very interested in the arts. Does Wesleyan have any courses regarding ceramics, sculpture, or any art classes that focus on crafting and building?

Olivia Shay: Has anyone had any experience with study abroad programs?

Liam Tran: With the Chinese program, they have all levels from those who have never taken it before to more advanced levels up to native speakers. You can test out of the intro classes.

Adi Slepack_2016: Deborah - check out Wesmaps!

Hanna Park: Hi Liam, is that range of levels also available for all other languages offered at Wes?

Liam Tran: Wesmaps is a website that basically serves as our course catalog. So it helps.

DeborahKim: Ah, thank you. I'll be sure to check that out

Anthony Dean: I would love to talk about my advisor! I am in my advisor's class this semester, and he is not only a great professor, but he is also a great personable person. I have had some casual conversations with him, and he has helped me out very much with choosing classes in preparation for my tentative major. I have built a good relation with my advisor and I am really grateful for everything he has helped me with

Palmer Taipale: Are teachers open to cross discipline learning, for example, could I do a sculpture for a physics project?

Liam Tran: Hannah, that's basically how it works for all classes except some of the smallers ones like Korean and Sign Language. As for the romance languages, german, russian and japanese, they echo the same availability. For sign and korean it's generally only the beginning level. Higher levels are more self-taught seminars.

Hanna Park: Thanks! That was helpful.

Savannah_2016: Studying abroad is a great opportunity that is made MUCH easier by the Study Abroad office. They will have checklists and help you every step of the way to get everything set up. But in the bigger picture, Wesleyan can send you to many countries for either a semester or a year. Credits, if signed off on, do transfer, and I know some people who are currently abroad who are having the time of their lives. A basic requirement to study abroad is to take a year of language classes in the native language of the place you are traveling to.

Liam Tran: Of course! Feel free to ask to your heart's content.

DeborahKim: Liam, can you possibly opt out of those foreign languages, for example, Korean, through a placement test?

Anthony Dean: Cross discipline learning is very supported here at Wes! There is a class offered this semester connecting dance and biology. I am not sure about connecting sculpture and physics, but I'm sure there would be people willing to hear out the idea

Claireokane: Can one study two languages simultaneously? Like Chinese and Korean for example

Talia Borofsky: I have to go, but thank you for this chat. It was very informative.

Liam Tran: Deborah, placement test do not let you gain the credit. They only allow you to opt of lower levels to take higher level classes. Claire, of course!

Savannah_2016: Palmer: For almost every paper or project I've done, there has been an option to create my own prompt or idea, as long as you discuss it with the professor. As long as you can make a strong argument how the other subject ties in, the professor will probably be open to what you propose.

Nicholas Hawkins: Liam, can you talk about musicals and plays at Wes and the competitiveness of getting spots in the plays for students who don't have a solid background in theater?

Liam Tran: Nicholas, there is a part for everybody of any skill level. If you're super serious and have been doing it in high school like myself then you can jump right in with some of the crazier plays/musicals. There are smaller plays that don't require much experience at all, and allow you to keep doing what you love! If you want just check out Second Stage website for Wesleyan which is our student run theater.

Claireokane: I am also very interested in climate studies, are there many research projects in the area?

Anthony Dean: Nicholas, may I suggest you look up Second Stage. 2nd stage is the student run theater group on campus and they have shows and open auditions for people with none to a lot of theater experience

Olivia Shay: I have to go, but thank you so much for all the information!

Palmer Taipal : Great, thanks. I did a video for one of my labs last year and I hope could do things like that in college too.

Hanna Park: How popular/helpful is the Twelve College Exchange Program?

Mar: So sorry I'm late; I had trouble logging in, but I'm here now and I'm loving all these questions. They were exactly what I was going to ask!

Liam Tran: Hannah, It's not extremely popular, and I honestly haven't heard of many people taking advantage of that program.

Claireokane: Can someone explain what the Twelve College Exchange Program is please?

Adi Slepack_2016: Hannah - our study abroad programs and 3/2 engineering program is a lot more popular

Savannah_2016: Claire: it sounds like you might find the Environmental Studies a good place to start. I know very little about research in that field, but here's a link to the Environmental Studies page on the Wesleyan website to get you started:

Anthony Dean: If anyone has questions about 3/2 engineering, I will happily answer those questions!

Liam Tran: The Twelve College Exchange is basically the study abroad program where you study at another one of the other liberal arts colleges in that list of exchanges and you study there for a semester/year

Adi Slepack_2016: Claire - It allows you to do a semester or year at one of the following colleges:   1. Amherst            2. Bowdoin            3. Connecticut College            4. National Theater Institute            5. Dartmouth            6. Mount Holyoke            7. Smith            8. Trinity             9. Vassar            10. Wellesley         11. Wheaton            12. Williams-Mystic Seaport

Claireokane: Thank you. Are they all in the US?

Liam Tran: Yes, yes they are :)

DeborahKim: So for the Twelve College Exchange, you don't really go abroad?

Mar: I have a question about the Master’s program offered at Wes. I heard that you offer a program where you attend undergrad at Wesleyan and then stay an extra year for free on campus and do research with a professor. After that year is over and you write a Master’s thesis, you will receive a Masters' degree. May you please explain this program a little more? What do the people in the program tend to do for that year of research? Thanks!

DeborahKim: It's just abroad to a different liberal arts college?

Liam Tran: Deborah, basically. That's why it's not that popular.

Savannah_2016: No, but it's a great way to experience another school without leaving the country.

DeborahKim: Thanks!

Adi Slepack_2016: No. Like Liam said, it's not that popular of an option. There are abroad programs through those schools and other NESCAC schools that we can be a part of

Hannah Greene: Hi! Sorry I'm late, had trouble with my internet. I was wondering if anyone could go more into detail about the Classics department at Wesleyan?

Palmer Taipale: Thanks everyone, I have to go.

Adi Slepack_2016: Bye, Palmer! Thanks for coming!

Anthony Dean: Mar, the masters program is for students who have a LARGE research project that they spend basically their entire fifth year working on

Mar: What are some examples of past research projects?

Anthony Dean: I'm not sure, but theses of Wesleyan students can be found on Wescholar

Anthony Dean:

DeborahKim: For anyone who has taken any science classes,

Liam Tran: Hannah, the classics department is not a very big one, but that's not necessarily a bad thing! I don't know of many people in that department, but I have spoken to a couple of the professors and it's a strong program if that's what you want to do.

DeborahKim: I'm currently taking AP Biology right now, and I was wondering if I should take the AP exam and use the credit for it, especialy if I plan on majoring in some sort of Biology.

Hanna Park: What exactly is 3/2 engineering? How does it differ from regular engineering programs?

Adi Slepack_2016: You can use your AP credits as a credit but not to replace any course requirements.

Adi Slepack_2016: and you can only use 2 of them as pre-matriculation credits

Liam Tran :

DeborahKim: Do you recommend it, in my case?

Maret Rossi: Sorry, I just left. My name is Maret and I'm from SF. Anthony thank you for connecting me to the theses website. I am very interested in dance, and I would love to learn a little more about your arts program.

Adi Slepack_2016: if you're planning to pursue Bio, you should probably take the class at Wes regardless

DeborahKim: Okay, thanks.

Liam Tran: That link basically tells you about all the AP Credit policies but you can talk to any one of the departments because sometimes policies change

DeborahKim: Thank you!

Savannah_2016: For the most part, AP scores won't place you out of classes, but they will count as a credit towards your total class credits at Wes. There are a few exceptions of course.

Liam Tran: Hannah, the 3/2 program is where you spend 3 years at Wes and then you can transfer to EITHER Columbia, Cal Tech, or Dartmouth


Alys Ferragamo: Hi, I'm Alys from MN.  I am interested in research in either neuroscience or biochemistry. Are there fellowships (and housing available) to remain on campus in the summer to work with a faculty member?  If so, are those opportunities open to rising sophomores?  Thanks!

Liam Tran: AP Chem credits will test you out of Intro Chem.

Anthony Dean: Hannah, Wesleyan doesn't have an engineering program, so they have linked programs with Columbia, Dartmouth, and CalTech. For the 3-2 program (there's also a 2-1-1-1 and 4-2) you spend 3 years at Wesleyan completing certain math and physics pre-requisites, and then you spend 2 years at one of the other schools finishing your engineering education. You end your five years with two degrees- one for ANY major at Wesleyan, and one form the engineering school in an engineering discipline

Phuong Truc Dinh: hello everyone, my full name is Phuong Truc, but I go by Emma for short :) I'm interested in the 3-2 program at Wesleyan. Could someone please give me the statistics for that? Approximately how many people follow through with the program each year?

Anthony Dean: Columbia is a pretty direct transition for any Wesleyan student that completes the pre-requisites and maintains a certain GPA

Anthony Dean: very few people do the 3-2 program, there is usually less than five every year

Alexander Waxler: Hi, I'm Alex from San Diego. I'm interested in the social sciences, especially history. Could anyone provide some information about the history department?

Liam Tran: Phuong I don't really know of many people who actually go through it because most people actually want to spend their senior year at Wes

Anthony Dean: but it's a great program and everyone should do it! (I may be a bit biased)

Phuong Truc Dinh: Is it because the program is too rigorous?

Anthony Dean: It is rigorous if you don't plan ahead

Phuong Truc Dinh: Anthony are you part of the 3-2 program yourself?

Liam Tran: Not at all, It does require more coursework and classes for semester but it won't kill you.

Anthony Dean: there are some specific pre-requisites for each engineering discipline, but if you know you want to do 3-2 going into college, you will be fine and can even major in a non-science related field

DeborahKim: I don't know if this is the right place to ask this question, but does Wesleyan have only one supplement in addition to the Common App this year?

Liam Tran: Most schools if they do require a supplement will only have one

Dean Evan: Hi Deborah, yes, we have one supplement on the Common App.

Anthony Dean: Emma, I am well on my way to accomplishing my pre-requisites for 3-2 engineering

Hanna Park: What kinds of programs are offered between Wesleyan and other NESCAC schools? And of those, are there any that deal with math, education, or foreign language?

Anthony Dean: I plan to continue to Columbia for mechanical engineering with an environmental focus

DeborahKim: Okay, thank you. Just making sure, because it said it was optional (although recommended) on the Common App.

Phuong Truc Dinh: Anthony so you're a junior? are you excited to transfer to Columbia? I'm interested in Biomedical Engineering

Hanna Park: Also, how are the First-Year Initiative courses? And what do they exactly entail?

Hannah Greene: I'm interested in majoring in the Humanities (The Classics) but I do want to attend med school after I complete undergrad. Is that possible?

Dean Evan: Hi Deborah, we do strongly recommend it.

DeborahKim: Dean Evan, don't worry. I already have it completed!

Dean Evan: Great! Glad to hear it :)

Liam Tran: Hannah, they can be for a range of majors. But for a list of programs:

Liam Tran:

Liam Tran: If you want to study abroad

Savannah_2016: First Year Initiative courses are small classes that tend to focus on guiding you through part of your freshman year by giving you a small setting and a professor who you feel comfortable with. Many of them are writing intensive, with the goal of teaching students how to produce a college level essay.

DeborahKim: Oh, can someone please tell me how strong the support for the arts is at Wesleyan? Arts as in drawing, painting, sculpture, etc.

Antara Jaima: Is there a Study Abroad program?

Adi Slepack_2016: Yes! We have tons of study abroad opportunities

Liam Tran: Arts in that aspect is DEFINITELY supported here at Wes. There's even a house here on campus devoted to supporting artists and having them live together.

Anthony Dean: Emma, although I may sound like a junior, I am only a freshman. You apply into the program at the end of your sophomore year. I know so much about the program because I am so excited about it. The professor in charge of 3-2 at Wesleyan is a great guy and is also a great resource for information about the program. I am very excited to continue my engineering education, but I know that I will have a hard time leaving Wes

DeborahKim: Wow, that's great. Thanks, Liam.

Anthony Dean: The professor in charge of 3-2 is professor Huwel. His e-mail is

Savannah_2016: If you want to apply to med school, you just should complete the pre-med recommendations. With a little bit of planning, it's very easy to complete everything you have to do, and some people elect to major outside the sciences while getting the requirements done and do it just fine!

Phuong Truc Dinh: thank you for the email! I will contact him if I have further questions.

DeborahKim: Can anyone tell me where I can find a list of minors offered here?

Phuong Truc Dinh: I also heard about the 4-2 program, and it sounds like you can spend your senior year at Wes

Hannah Greene: Thank you!

BrittanyPalmer: Hi, my name is Brittany, I'm from CT and I was wondering what the theater program is like at Wes. Does it offer theater history as well as technique and theory?

Anthony Dean: Or if you want a continuing student's view of 3-2 feel free to contact me at I love talking about the program!

Adi Slepack_2016: Alex -  Here's the link for the History department. Sorry I can't be more helpful in that area - I can be a little more insightful with other social sciences like sociology, psychology, and religion, having taken at least on class in each dept

Anthony Dean: The 4-2 program is only with Columbia and it is when you spend four years at Wes with more pre-requisites, but then you go to Columbia for two years and get a masters degree in engineering

Adi Slepack_2016: Deborah-

Adi Slepack_2016: you can click on each department to see their offerings.

Phuong Truc Dinh: oh wow that's great, thank you, I wrote your email down :)

DeborahKim: Okay, thanks Adi.

Savannah_2016: Here is the link to the Theater department classes being offered at Wes currently:!wesmaps_page.html?crse_list=THEA&offered=Y. From the looks of it, there are definitely some history classes in there.

Alexander Waxler: Thanks Adi! I've been looking at the page. Do you know much about CSS?

Phuong Truc Dinh: so the main difference between the 2 programs is that the 4-3 one grants you a masters degree upon your completion of it while the 3-2 program doesn't?

Hannah Greene: Is it difficult for students who major in the humanities to find research opportunities?

Adi Slepack_2016: All I know about CSS is that you apply your freshman year and your sophomore year is mega-intense. I have friends in it now who had essays due the first day back at school. It's a very intensive program, but it is relatively popular.

Adi Slepack_2016:

Anthony Dean: Emma, that is the biggest difference. Also, the 4-2 program is only with Columbia

Antara Jaima: What languages are offered?

Antara Jaima: For majors, I mean

Liam Tran: I believe: All the Romance Languages, Russian, German, Japanese, Chinese, Korean, Portuguese, Hebrew, Latin, Arabic, and American Sign Language

Adi Slepack_2016: Anatara - you can use the same link I sent to Deborah to check that out

Phuong Truc Dinh: alright I see, thanks! are you familiar with the 2-1-1-1 program with Dartmouth?

Phuong Truc Dinh: would that be a better alternative since you get to spend your senior year at Wes?

Alexander Waxler: Yeah, it sounded really intense. My biggest concern is that I'm very involved in theatre and would like to participate heavily in 2nd Stage if not have a second major. How realistic/common would that be with a non-CSS social studies major?

Liam Tran: There are CSS Majors who do participate in plays and shows.

Liam Tran: It's just a matter of learning to manage your time

Adi Slepack_2016: Dang, Liam, you are too quick. I was going to say the same

Savannah_2016: One of your best assets will be to learn how to manage your time well, if you do, there are a lot of activities you can fit into your day. :)

Liam Tran: Rehearsals aren’t really that rigorous and everyone understands that you're a college student first.

Antara Jaima: What extracurricular activities do you have?

Liam Tran: Rule of 7 kids

Adi Slepack_2016: People here have a very hard time not being involved in a lot of different things stretching across varied interests. A CSS & theater kid is not uncommon

Liam Tran: Me personally. I do 2 a capella groups, i have 1 show this semester and a job

DeborahKim: How big of a role do the GenEd requirements play when taking elective courses and courses for your major?

Adi Slepack_2016: You only need to fulfill GenEd requirements for certain majors or if you want an honors certificate.

Anthony Dean: I know a fair amount about 2-1-1-1 because I am considering it as one of my options for engineering. The biggest difference with that (aside from the years) is that Dartmouth's approach to engineering is less focused than Columbia or CalTech. They require classes in many engineering disciplines, but it is a great program because it exposes you to engineering earlier and you get to spend your senior year at Wes

Adi Slepack_2016: but our GenEds are very easy - 3 humanities, 3 social sciences, and 3 natural science/math. I finished the first two categories my freshman year

Aaron Kirshenberg: Deborah thank you for asking that, I was wondering the same.

Adi Slepack_2016: personally, I'm having some trouble finishing natural science and math - both lots of people just like exploring a lot and find no trouble filling their requirements

DeborahKim: In that case, it shouldn't be a problem if I want some diversity in my courses.

Phuong Truc Dinh: Anthony yes that's the only thing I'm concerned about Dartmouth engineering, it seems to require students to have a broad understanding of engineering as opposed to a specific discipline

DeborahKim: Thanks!

Adi Slepack_2016: I will probably end up taking a cross listed psych class and then a science class for non-majors , like "Physics for Future Presidents" or "Biology of Sex."

Adi Slepack_2016: In short, I wouldn't worry about it too much :)

Alys Ferragamo: What are the science lab facilities like? Is there investment in keeping the equipment up to date?

Savannah_2016: The equipment is something that gets updated regularly. Some professors conduct their own research in the labs at Wesleyan, so they have to be kept up to date. My Bio professor shared at the beginning of this year that Wesleyan gets the highest amount of funding for sciences than any other NESCAC school.

Alys Ferragamo: Thank you! That is very impressive!

Adi Slepack_2016: Deborah - you will definitely not have a problem having a diverse course list!

Adi Slepack_2016: (didn't see that earlier, haha)

Savannah_2016: Sciences are one of Wesleyan's lesser known super strengths. :)

Anthony Dean: Emma, but a broad engineering education isn't necessarily a bad thing; so much engineering in the real world is very interdisciplinary

Alexander Waxler: You guys have been awesome. I have another question: what's the rough percentage of performing arts majors who double major in an academic study?

Anthony Dean: very high

DeborahKim: Savannah, is the science building newer than the other buildings at Wesleyan? I feel like I remember it having a very different atmosphere when I visited Wesleyan for a campus tour.

Adi Slepack_2016: I would say very high. I can speak from the Film perspective that lots of people double major in other areas. But, hey, let's not knock the arts, that's an academic study too

Phuong Truc Dinh: thanks Anthony, you've been extremely helpful!

Anthony Dean: No problem! If you have any more questions, feel free to ask!

Phuong Truc Dinh: I have a quick question, seems like there are a lot of students majoring in fine arts at Wes. What about math and science? Are they popular majors at wes?

Alexander Waxler: Well it does seem like Wesleyan takes an academic approach to the arts, which is awesome!

Savannah_2016: I don't believe the science building (Exley Science Center) is necessarily newer, but the labs (most of which are located in the basement of Exley and the adjoining Hall-Atwater) are very well updated. The building is usually very busy at all times of day due to the Science Library and Pi Cafe's locations inside the building as well.

Adi Slepack_2016: Alex - at least in film, everything is very theory based. I would assume it goes the same for other arts. And, yes, it is awesome :)

Liam Tran: Wesleyan is diverse enough that you will just as many science majors as there are art majors Emma.

Anthony Dean: There are many people who major in science and math. Wesleyan is one of the strongest liberal arts schools for science and math. Wesleyan does give off a very artsy vibe, but that blends perfectly with science people. I am personally a musician and I balance my loves of art and science marvelously!

DeborahKim: Haha, thank you. I was just wondering out of curiousity.

Adi Slepack_2016: I know a ton of pre-med people. Econ is also (sometimes surprisingly) huge here. We have people who do everything.

ArmanSmigielski: Hey I was wondering if you could tell me about the application process for the school of social sciences

Adi Slepack_2016:

DeborahKim: Does Wesleyan have an option to "Create-Your-Own-Major/Minor"?

Antara Jaima: Is Wesleyan in the middle of or close to a big city?

Adi Slepack_2016: Yes, we do offer a University Major, where you can work with professors to create an interdisciplinary major

elisacabral: Hullo! Just dropped in. Someone mentioned that a lot of people at Wes double-major. Would you say (anyone who wants to answer) that the workload is a LOT more difficult to handle for a double-major than for a single-major? (would I be able to do the extracurricular activities I’m interested in?)

Adi Slepack_2016: Wes is 2 hours away from NYC and 2 hours away from Boston. And - if you count Hartford or New Haven as cities, it is approximately 30-40 minutes from there as well

DeborahKim: Does that require a complicated process? Or does it sort of work out as long as you fulfill the requirements?

Adi Slepack_2016: I think it's more of a complicated process. Your learning plan really needs to check out as something that cannot be done in one department alone.

Savannah_2016: The process for double majoring isn't much more complicated than majoring in a single subject. You just end up taking fewer elective classes and more that pertain to one or both majors. However, if you are majoring in things you enjoy, the workload would be enjoyable. :)

DeborahKim: Hmm, okay. Thank you for your opinion.

ArmanSmigielsk : thanks for the information. What could you tell me about the certificate program in international relations? Does it prepare students for graduate school in international relations or is it more of a supplement to another major?

Adi Slepack_2016: I was actually just mulling over the idea of looking more into it. I can give you my e-mail and let you know what I find in the coming weeks

elisacabral: awesome! thanks, savannah

Adi Slepack_2016: In the meantime, here:

Savannah_2016: You're welcome!

Phuong Truc Dinh: can someone tell me what the most popular activities on campus are?

Adi Slepack_2016: It's hard to say what's the most popular activity on campus - people are involved in so many different things! We have lots of community outreach groups that do service in the Middletown community and beyond. Lots of political and cultural groups. A cappella is pretty popular and really fun to watch. So are the comedy troupes on campus.

ArmanSmigielski: What could you tell me about the certificate program in international relations? Does it prepare students for graduate school in international relations or is it more of a supplement to another major?

Savannah_2016: Second Stage and other theater endeavors are very popular, along with the many singing groups on campus. Beyond that, I know a good number of people who enjoy club sports like ultimate frisbee, and a good number of people (including Adi) are involved with the radio station.

Sarah Anderson: Is study-abroad still an option if you choose to double major?

Liam Tran: Emma: There are so many it's hard to list, but the film clubs, dance groups are really big

Liam Tran: And A Capella

Hannah Greene: What has been your favorite class at Wesleyan? And why?

Adi Slepack_2016: Also, being a DJ at the radio station is pretty popular - I do that and it's a blast.

Adi Slepack_2016: Ooh Savannah beat me to it! I can talk about that, if ya want

elisacabral: you both can talk about it :)

Adi Slepack_2016: Elisa, are you interested in radio?

Phuong Truc Dinh: Oh sounds like awesome activities! What do you guys think of the surrounding area? Is it generally safe? Does it have a lot of employment opportunities?

elisacabral: It always looked like something fun, but I never really had the opportunity. :)

Savannah_2016: My favorite class at Wesleyan has either been General Physics or Myth, Magic, and Movies. (I couldn't pick just one) General physics was a class that challenged me and through working together on problem sets, I made a lot of good friends in the class. Myth, Magic, and Movies is a class about the Harry Potter books and movies, so safe to say it was fantastic.

elisacabral: A class of HP!!!! That is the greatest thing I've ever heard. lol

Adi Slepack_2016: Hard hitting question from Hannah - I'd have to say I'm really enjoying the techniques of fiction class I'm currently in. It's a small creative writing workshop and it's incredible. I also loved the intro film class - The Language of Hollywood. I'd recommend it to anyone and everyone. The professor is hilarious and it allows you to think of movies in a way you never have before

ArmanSmigielski: What could you tell me about the certificate program in international relations? Does it prepare students for graduate school in international relations or is it more of a supplement to another major?

Savannah_2016: You could say the class was...magical.

Adi Slepack_2016: *comedic drum*

DeborahKim: This may sound like a random question, but what is Long Lane Farm? Is it just a place that Wesleyan students go to help out or do you have classes regarding the farm?

Anthony Dean: Hannah, my favorite class has been about something completely unrelated to my major interests. I plan to pursue music and physics, but I love my class on Islamic Civilization. It's taught by a fantastic professor who interacts with the students well, is hilarious, and honestly loves the subject matter

Adi Slepack_2016: I think Middletown is adorable - the town was once voted among the most romantic in America. The main street has a ton of nice food options and a movie theater. I wouldn't walk alone at night - but it's fairly safe. As for jobs, with the exception of Traverse Square, I think it's more common and more convenient to get a job on campus. However, it's certainly possible

Hannah Greene: Those classes sound amazing!

Hannah Greene: Did any of you attend the TAP program? I would like to apply but I fear my proximity to the campus (I'm from New Haven) may compromise my acceptance into the program

Antara Jaima: What are the professors like? Are they very involved in students' learning or do students have to struggle?

Hanna Park: Are there community service opportunities to help out at animal shelters or just animals in general? Also are there any clubs involved in animal rights?

Adi Slepack_2016: Arman -

DeborahKim: Hannah, thanks for asking. I am SO interested in animals as well!

Savannah_2016: The International Relations certificate draws from courses that apply to roughly 7 majors at Wes. So, I don't think it is necessary taken with a specific major, but it shows your interest in the international affairs area, especially if you want to pursue it in higher education.

Hanna Park: Haha no problem Deborah

ArmanSmigielski: Thanks!

Anthony Dean: Professors- in general- love their students; they will take time out for them and will help them through any struggle the student may have. I have some good relations with professors, and they have been available for help whenever I need them, and they all know very well what they are teaching

Savannah_2016: Professors really encourage students to stop by their office hours, and sometimes even admonish classes for not taking advantage of them. But usually, you can also make appointments with professors, or even drop by unannounced. They're very interested in their students doing well and will almost always spend time to clarify things for you.

Adi Slepack_2016: No problem, Arman

Antara Jaima: Thank you!

Sarah Anderson: How did you find the transition from high school to Wesleyan academics? Was it very difficult?

Liam Tran: The professors are exactly how Anthony and Savannah are describing them. They all generally want you to do your best and want you gain as much as you can while learning with them.

Liam Tran: Academically it is more independently driven just like college should be. It's in your best interest to do the readings and have a general knowledge of what the professor is going to lecture about before going into class.

Adi Slepack_2016: Personally, not really. I went to a pretty competitive high school so the work load was similar to me. However it was a lot more relaxing because people weren't at each other’s throats or working for grades. Most of the time, people learn here to learn and everyone helps each other. Although, freshman year I wasn't as involved. Now, with tons of extracurriculars, it's much harder than it was in high school to strike a balance between everything. That being said, it's a billion times more fun and rewarding.

Liam Tran: So start now with forming good study habits.

Savannah_2016: Because you spend less time in classes than you do in high school, that means you have to take it upon yourself to get more work done outside of class. You are really the one responsible for doing well. That being said, you adopt good study habits quickly because you have to. :)

Anthony Dean: The biggest difference I have found between high school and college is the amount of independent reading for college classes. There is a fair amount of reading for many classes, but they truly enhance the classroom experience

Sarah Anderson: Do you find there are enough resources if you need extra help?

Liam Tran: There are actually more resources that you can possibly use. Everywhere you turn there is someone there to support you and make sure that you can succeed

Adi Slepack_2016: Sarah - absolutely. There are math and writing workshops that are very helpful. TA sessions - some of which for sciences and maths are required. And professor office hours.

Liam Tran: There are writing workshops, TAs, tutors,

Liam Tran: Resources are everywhere.

Sarah Anderson: Sounds great! Thanks to all for answering my questions. :)

Adi Slepack_2016: No problem! :)

Liam Tran: (: It's what we're here for

Adi Slepack_2016: Elise - just looked back and saw your interest in radio.

Phuong Truc Dinh: I was gonna ask if the atmosphere is competitive at Wes, but it seems like you guys are very friendly and willing to help each other out with work!

Adi Slepack_2016: I had never been involved with it before also, but I got here and really wanted to try it out. WESU broadcasts to a good chunk of Connecticut which is super exciting. You go through a semester of training, which involves meetings, service hours, and internships (which is basically just sitting in on someone’s show). Then, the following semester you can have a show!

Adi Slepack_2016: I have a talk show called the "Late Night Format" At the end of my second show I got a call from a complete stranger that the show's energy was keeping him up during his late shift at work (my show is from 2am to 3am on Wednesdays). It was amazing.

Liam Tran: Emma: Trust me, our #1 priority is making sure that everyone is happy and while there is always stress we try make sure that the community has everyone’s back so that the stress stays at a minimum. No one is really at each other’s throats

Adi Slepack_2016: Phuong - Wes is not at all competitive and that's one of the things I love the most about it. We're here for ourselves and our futures, not for grades and ranks.

Anthony Dean: Everyone is so friendly! I work with friends all the time

Antara Jaima: What are the classes like? Are they lecture-based, discussion-based, or something else?

Savannah_2016: The most amazing thing about Wesleyan is that people aren't competitive about grades at all. Everyone genuinely wants their classmates to do well, and people just help each other out.

Adi Slepack_2016: Antara - All of the above. It really depends on the class.

Liam Tran: They all depend on which ones you take. Most classes that are huge (100+) will most definitely be a lecture. Smaller classses like your First-Year specified courses will be more discussion

Savannah_2016: It depends on what kind of class you are in. If it's a math or science class, chances are it will be lecture based, but most have TA sessions or problem based learning sessions that give you chances to ask questions and interact in smaller sections.

Anthony Dean: Every class at Wes is different; there are lecture classes for intro courses, discussion classes with few students, and particular class formats for particular classes

DeborahKim: Are the introductory Chem and Bio class sizes on the big side?

Phuong Truc Dinh: thank you everyone! :) are classes mostly taught by professors or TAs?

Liam Tran: Oh AND I know no one asked this but if you don't already learn to either use Google Calendar or something that keeps track of everything you do because more than likely it will become your best friends and makes scheduling things 1000x easier

Alys Ferragamo: Appreciated the comments on the collaborative spirit! Does most everyone find that they can register for the classes they want among the offerings?  Meaning, are there generally enough spaces available?

Savannah_2016: Deborah, my intro bio class is actually about 40 people because different professors took different sections, so it's a relatively small class feel!

Liam Tran: Emma- Professors do the teaching, TAs will run study sessions. Some study sessions are mandatory

DeborahKim: Ahh, okay.

DeborahKim: Do the classes get smaller in size in the higher level chem and bio classes?

Phuong Truc Dinh: alright got it, thanks!

Liam Tran: Alys- Some classes are so popular they will run out of spaces, but for SUPER popular classes like Intro Film, Bio, and Psych there generally seems to always be room

Savannah_2016: Also, generally in the sciences, when you get past the intro classes, they get a lot smaller.

Savannah_2016: Yes, exactly Deborah.

Liam Tran: Unlesss you're in Organic Chemistry

Savannah_2016: True

DeborahKim: There's a lot in Organic, too?

DeborahKim: Is that because of the people who used their AP Chem credits?

Adi Slepack_2016: Alys - Pre-reg can be rough. Sometimes it's hard to get into popular smaller, discussion-based classes. But (correct me if I'm wrong guys) even those classes are usually offered on a yearly or bi-yearly cycle. Persistence is helpful for those few must-have classes.

Liam Tran: Deborah- Generally freshman DO NOT take Orgo, (there's always a few though) It's mostly because the class is used in many of the science majors and is necessary for pre-med reqs

elisacabral: Cool, Adi. Could you give an example of something you talked about during a show?

Savannah_2016: Even if you don't get into classes during pre-reg, if you email the professor/keep coming to class through all of drop/add period, you will be admitted into the class 4 times out of 5

Adi Slepack_2016: I structured my show based on a talk show format. So i have a topical monologue, movie club segments, and a larger variable segment. And to close out the show, I play some music. I can also do you one better - check it out at

Adi Slepack_2016: #selfpromotion

DeborahKim: Ohhh. Out of Chem and Bio, which would you say is more popular and have more people in each class?

Liam Tran: Also certain classes are strictly with Permission of Instructor. So make sure you check the requirements

Adi Slepack_2016: Most people do music shows though. But you can basically do whatever you'd like (so long as it's radio appropriate)!

Savannah_2016: I think Intro Bio has more people in it, but because it gets divided by professors into sections, there will be fewer people per class in bio. Chem generally has about 150 people in the intro class.

Liam Tran: Biology is more popular but there are several teachers so not too big of classes. Chem on the other hand is still pretty popular and I think it's just one big lecture hall

elisacabra : cool, thanks

DeborahKim: So Chem doesn't get divided up like Bio?

Liam Tran: Nope there generally aren't that many Chem profs

Liam Tran: At least for the intro level

Savannah_2016: No, but that's because there are two intro Chem classes: intro and principles, which is a bit faster paced.

Liam Tran: Principles is for those with the AP Chem credit

Adi Slepack_2016: We have five minutes left! Speak now or forever hold your peace!

Adi Slepack_2016 : Good night! If you'd like to email me personally, you can - anytime - at

Adi Slepack_2016 : (that goes for all of you)

Liam Tran: (does that mean even kids at Wes)

Savannah_2016 : If anyone wants to email me for any reason, my email is

Adi Slepack_2016 : omg savannah that is amazing

Savannah_2016 : (right?)

DeborahKim : Wow, thank you so so SO much for everything. This was such a good way to learn more about the school. You guys were awesome! Good night! :)

Adi Slepack_2016 : (yes, I'm calling you smorehouse the next time you come into Weshop)

Dean Evan : Yes, a big thanks to all of our student volunteers.

Dean Evan : Thank you for taking the time out of your busy schedules!

Dean Evan : Prospective students, thank you all so much for your incredibly thoughtful questions.

Savannah_2016 : Good night everyone! Apply to Wes!!

Dean Evan : I hope you walk away with a clearer understanding of the academic scene at Wesleyan.

Dean Evan : Good night!