So what sparked all the commotion, the editorials, the petition, and the libretto? Fast At-Home COVID-19 Tests Are Coming. A bigger worry than financial-aid cutoffs among many students, and also among some faculty and administrators, is how BU’s uninflated grades are interpreted by graduate school admissions officers, fellowship selection committees, and potential employers. Then there is the question of what people are buying in higher education. Attendance. Last year, 11 percent of merit-based scholarships were not renewed because students were not making “satisfactory academic progress.” However, students with any predetermined financial need who lose a merit-based scholarship will have that need covered by the University so long as they achieve a 2.3, something 91 percent of BU sophomores were able to do in 2005. For instance, in one large introductory psychology class, 82 percent of one section earned A grades while another could manage only 15 percent. They’re useful skills to know but the professors and exams are really tough. The second trend she noted in her memo was a grading disparity between colleges and between different sections of large classes. When taking classes here, beware of chemistry, biology, and math. Harvard campus workers came out of the dining halls, security stations, and custodial offices to rally in the yard Thursday, asking university President Lawrence Bacow to save their livelihoods by … A few universities issue some kind of contextual transcript, the most well-known being Dartmouth, which began the practice in 1994. 1. On this issue, the opinions of BU faculty and administration are mixed. One Silber Way, Boston, MA 02215. This article was originally published in BU Today on September 14, 2006. New comments cannot be posted and … 93% Upvoted . What I Can Contribute To BU: College Admission Essay Sample. save. “They’re just weenies,” says Snyder. Watch out for this one, ladies and gents. A closer look reveals that claims by students like Kornfeld are not pure fantasy. Currently, the average GPA of a BU undergraduate is 3.04, with about 81 percent of all grades earned in either the A or B range. “These are top students,” says Shea. This grading system is used at Boston University (BU) Letter Grade: Honor Points: A: 4: A-3.7: B+: 3.3: B: 3: B-2.7: C+: 2.3: C: 2: C-1.7: D: 1: F: 0: Information Source: Boston University (BU) - Grades & GPA. One possible solution has been discussed among BU’s deans for several years — a contextual transcript that both reports a student’s grades and provides information such as the median grade in each class. As a result, says Henderson, students and their parents expect this top-tier performance to continue into college. Spare a thought, then, for those who are … share. Also, because I really didn’t want to study at all, I decided to make it a list of 100. It’s the story of rising expectations colliding with the pressures of a university bent on holding a line. By Lindsay Silberman. Boston University's Center for Professional Education offers only non-credit, non-degree programs. However, several did say that GPAs are important for graduate school admissions, and that BU should do a better job of making its rigorous grading standards known. Whatever steps BU officials take next with the University’s grading policies, he hopes they’ll do it as publicly as possible. This is probably one of the biggest weed-outs there is at BU. 3. During her freshman year at Syracuse, Talia Kornfeld, now a School of Hospitality Administration junior, earned a 3.5 GPA while admittedly doing “almost nothing.” She transferred to Boston University in search of a more urban campus, a social scene less centered on sororities and fraternities, and greater academic challenges. Why should he get a B– at BU?”. Profile, Pioneering Research from Boston University, © Boston University. “It’s extraordinarily rare for somebody to come into the University and fail to achieve the bare minimum required for need-based aid. From the initial pressures of studying and meeting exam grades to the potential minefield that is choosing the right school, it can be a truly daunting experience. Average Rank in High School: Top 7%. Learn the languages of computers, but at great mental and emotional expense. Students sometimes say they’ve been told by faculty members that their grade would have been higher but for a distribution mandate from above. BU Provost David Campbell says that while avoiding grade inflation has been one motivation for distributing grading data, “the most important reason is to promote fairness by decreasing grading disparity,” particularly in large, multisection courses. Boston University Application Essays — EST. 2. Consider yourself warned. The final tallies still left grade distributions significantly higher than they were in the mid-1990s. Well, is that what people want, or do they just want credentials?”, In Henderson’s opinion, rigorous standards should be part of the undergraduate experience. This NYU school offers many fields of research, including sciences, social sciences, languages, arts… Of course, it is not equally easy getting into all of these programs, since the acceptance rates vary. The thing about grades is that their meaning depends largely on context. He never got a B– before. Grades A, C and E all have different requirements and the requirements for A are, naturally, the hardest to reach. Furthermore, because the trend has been more pronounced in humanities classes, it is surmised that grade inflation might be driving students away from studying sciences, where grading has remained relatively strict. “These are only guidelines based on historical performance of students,” says Arnold. Bad weed-out class is usually having C+/B- … When pre-meds getting a C or less in pre-med classes, it is almost a death sentence. The university now has more than 4,000 faculty members and nearly 34,000 … Then I stopped … Shutterstock Applying for university is a nerve-wracking process. Students … This article about how the UK university grading system was updated by the Great British Mag content team on 5 September, 2019. Students can find additional information in the Undergraduate Student Guide and Graduate & Professional Student Guide. For example, the Department of Environmental Medicine has a 44% acceptance rate, while Program in Historical and Sustainable Architecture has a 100%acceptance rate. Stanford University. ; coeducational; founded 1839, chartered 1869, first baccalaureate granted 1871. “When you look at a bunch of grades, you say, ‘Gosh I’m way at the top end here. Norfolk State University is a 4 year historically Black college that is known for its immaculate STEM and athletic programs. Chris Berdik As a student at Norfolk State, you can always expect to be doing something … Boston University (BU) is a private research university in Boston, Massachusetts. Similar to the introductory courses, this class is still a weed-out, but now you get to add in NMR too. www.bu.edu. When taking classes here, beware of chemistry, biology, and math. It was founded in 1839 by Methodists with its original campus in Newbury, Vermont, before moving to Boston in 1867. “And then the kid comes here and gets a B–. With the simple AND multiple linear regression, weighted and generalized least squares, polynomials and factors, and so much more, this class is bound to give you at the very least a bit of a headache. In the late 1990s, while BU officials were hearing these tales of runaway grades, the provost’s office was preparing for a University accreditation review. Systems Phys teaches you about the different body systems. Close. “As the BU student body gets better and better,” he says, “this would remain fair, because it would rank you in comparison with your peers.”. Letter Grade: Explanation (honor points are not applicable for these grades) AU: Audit, no credit CR: Credit, course acceptable for degree ... Boston University uses the honor point system in which each letter grade has a numerical value. One problem is the fact that the university grades on a class curve. Break Up Twitter? “They can go up and down depending on the performance of students in any particular class.” He adds that professors are not required to follow any particular grade distribution. He was a brilliant student, at the top of his high school class. For example, after the embarrassing revelation that in 2001 more than 90 percent of its graduates earned Latin honors, Harvard capped the number of honors graduates at 50 percent and pledged to bring grades under control. The top grades go to the people who excel and get very high percentages and the pass grades are given to anyone who manages to achieve the minimum grade … Application and modeling of real mathematical phenomena will really challenge you in this course, and that’s just the start of it. And BU’s grading commotion was even riffed on in the blog of an English professor at George Washington University who wrote a grade-deflation operetta. You’ve got voltage, circuit laws and theorems, inductor circuits, and a foundation on almost everything else to do with circuits. Contact your school or institution for an exact determination. However, all courses are academically rigorous, and students must meet certain requirements to earn a certificate from Boston University. Yeah, it’s a lot. Thresholds for merit-based scholarships, such as the half-tuition University Scholarship and the full-tuition Trustee Scholarship, are higher — 3.2 and 3.5, respectively. If you’re like me, trying to get an A+ in a college class is like trying to win the lottery. But How Good Are They? While there’s debate about exactly how severe and widespread grade inflation is, the consensus seems to be that wherever it occurs, it has the potential to rob students of the motivation to excel and to dull the shine of extraordinary accomplishment. Among its notable re That being said, when you take a look at things from a strictly statistical view, we can take a look at which degrees are mathematically the toughest. “We say we’re upholding standards and challenging students and giving them a first-rate experience in the classroom. However, he also thinks students are owed “an adult conversation” about grading. First, as a policy, Latin honors were limited to the top 30 percent of a college’s graduating class. Here are the 16 colleges and universities that grade the hardest. A recent study found that where you attend university will impact your overall Grade Point Average, but not by much. Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by email. “The number of schools that use them seems to be dwindling,” he says. 1839 — 33,355 Students. This tool is intended to be used as a guide only. Of course, all of those things might factor into which school makes it “the hardest to get get grades”. BU charges “top dollar for tuition for a good education,” he says. Indeed, while much noise has been made about grade inflation at American universities, very little real progress has been made. For instance, about two thirds of BU undergraduates receive some financial aid from the University, usually contingent on meeting a GPA threshold. At least one prominent university, however, has recently enacted a very public grade deflation policy. All degree plans are not created equal. Here are 10 of the Hardest Classes at Boston University. Post was not sent - check your email addresses! Maybe I’m not intellectually rigorous enough,’” he explains. And one of the biggest changes in that context at many universities has been rampant grade inflation. Had that pace continued, it would have put the average GPA at 3.6 by this year. The BU admissions statistics are as follows: Total Applicants: 61,006. So, how can BU lessen student and parent worries about how the transcripts of its graduates are weighed in a grade-inflated world? The rise continued unabated at almost every school for which data were available. Study hard, give time to your pre-lab and post-lab, and do your best. In a class where every rule has an exception, the labs are three and a half hours long, there’s a pre-lab and a discussion, and resonance is involved, confusion will ensue. This class is for the fairly advanced, and should definitely not be taken lightly. This class on fundamental concepts of computer systems and systems programming will quite possibly become a nightmare. In the 2005–2006 academic year, 62 percent of all BU undergraduates received a 3.0 or better, and 47 percent scored above 3.2, the highest percentages in seven years. “They don’t have the guts to say, ‘No, you deserved a D. Your work was substandard.’”. My open-mindedness, good sense of humor and diverse talents give me much to contribute to Boston University. The bottom line: there is no Boston University policy requiring a certain median grade or grade distribution. Boston University can be a pretty tough school, what with college life in general and grade deflation. The professors design the course so that anyone … Or Ban Trump? Or, as Kornfeld, the SHA student, puts it, “Nobody wants to feel mediocre.” And here’s where the grading issue leaves the relatively solid ground of statistics and takes a philosophical turn. Brown might have the highest GPA on paper, but their No. This one will really need your thinking cap. 1 spot is likely due to their extreme grade inflation. The abilities and preparation of BU students have also increased in the last two decades. Those students fear there’s a University policy to hold down their GPAs in order to enhance the University’s prestige by a display of academic rigor built on rigid curve grading. Firstly, congratulations on the scholarship as BU is not only a great school but also quite an expensive one. An additional university grading system currently utilized in India is the eight-point GPA introduced by University of ... F denotes failure. And it’s not just the inflation of grades at other universities that affects how BU students perceive their GPAs. By March 2003, I had collected data on grades from over 80 schools. Remembering Former BU President Jon Westling, BU Takes Another Step to Advance Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, President Biden’s Inaugural Address Gave America Reassurance and Hope, Change Arrives in Washington: What It Could Mean for Higher Ed, POV: Creating a Healthier America—The Challenges and Opportunities for the Biden Administration, This Presidential Inauguration Will Be Unlike Any Other, but It Isn’t the Only Exceptional One, BU Community Writes Joe Biden’s Inaugural Address, Sujin Pak Appointed New Dean of BU’s School of Theology. Career and Entrepreneurship Expert. “I’m very much in favor of contextual transcripts,” says Arnold of SMG. In this post, we will highlight 7 ways to improve grading online using two particular platforms: Turnitin Feedback Studio (TFS) and Google Assignments (GA). Whether it’s the lecture, discussion, lab, or pre-lab, you’ll learn everything from balancing equations to mass spectrometry to Hess’s law and it’ll make your head spin. Then, maybe you’ll have a chance. In the first year of these distributions, CAS data were accompanied by recommended grade distributions, centered on a B. If you’re an engineering major, you’ll probably have to take this class and to say that it’s challenging is an understatement. Grades also carry plenty of weight outside the classroom. Great expectations: when everybody’s above average. This thread is archived. Campbell says that contextual transcripts were discussed again at this summer’s Council of Deans meeting, but that concerns remain. That’s the rub, says Wells: “Students live in the context of their friends who are at other universities, and they know what their friends are getting for grades.”. This summer, the University’s grading policies received national attention in a New York Times article headlined “Can Tough Grades Be Fair Grades?” In 2004, grade deflation made the front page of the Daily Free Press, which also featured an editorial in 2005 decrying the practice as a “crime against students.” Meanwhile, an online petition circulated to protest BU’s grading standards has garnered more than 800 signatures. CollegeVine’s Top 10 Hardest Majors . In CAS, between 1994 and 1998, the average GPA climbed from 2.84 to 3.1, and the percentage of A grades went from 29 percent to nearly 36 percent. Boston University, at Boston, Mass. Boston University School of Law ranks as the 23rd hardest law school to get into. It is composed of 16 schools and colleges. The World's 10 Hardest Universities to Get Into. When she arrived here, Kornfeld says, she worked much harder, but her grades, ironically, were a lot lower: she had a 2.2 last year. In fact, the GPAs of BU undergrads and the percentage of As and Bs have both risen over the last two decades. Everyone at some point will likely feel their own degree is the hardest out there. Where Does Social Media Go from Here? Salaries posted anonymously by Boston University … The data includes all courses taught at UMD in the Fall and Spring from 2012 – 2017, and Spring 2018. Henderson believes BU could become a national model for dealing with grade inflation. You’ll learn about the cellular organization and function of biological molecules which is pretty cool, but the exams don’t want memorization. For CAS freshmen, those scores jumped from 1119 to 1315 over those same years (a mid 1990s SAT recentering accounts for a portion of these increases). “And they’re up against students from equally prestigious schools who have higher GPAs due to grade inflation.” While many universities don’t disclose average GPAs, here’s a recent sampling for comparison: Emory 3.3, Dartmouth 3.3, Notre Dame 3.4, Harvard 3.4. From digital logic to memory systems to processor design, this class will throw a lot at you and expect you to give it all your time and energy. report. So, what did all those distributions of data and grading discussions accomplish? Anne Shea, BU’s vice president for enrollment and student affairs, often hears these types of concerns, but, she says, they are exclusively from students receiving merit-based aid, about 10 percent of all freshmen. One study looked at these factors to determine the hardest and easiest subjects in which to earn a university degree. In addition to publishing the policy details and progress reports, every transcript issued by the Princeton registrar includes a letter explaining the new policy. “If you pay high tuition to go to a top private school, do you deserve a good grade?” Henderson asks. Henderson concurs. Siôn Phillpott. Steer clear, unless you have to take it, in which case… have fun? We used a combination of lowest average GPA, highest number of hours spent studying, and lowest return on investment to determine which majors are the hardest to pursue. This is what I came up with. Does BU deserve to be known as the hardest grading college? The tests are unforgiving – they’re only about 35 questions, which doesn’t leave a lot of room for error. All courses are academically rigorous, however, and students must meet certain requirements to earn a certificate from Boston University. Using the SATs of entering freshmen as one measure, the mean score went from 1115 in 1984 to 1278 in the fall of 2005. The nervous system is so incredibly complex as it is, and this class takes going in depth very seriously. “Some courses in the college do have curves, but that’s up to the professors.”. In the short term, between 1998 and 2003, they led to some “grade compression” around the B. However, in engineering, you can get just about any job you want if your GPA is over 3.5, and you can get many other good jobs as long as your GPA is above a 3.0. In the process of writing that article, I collected data on trends in grading from about 30 colleges and universities. Students at public universities have an average GPA of 3.1 while those attending private universities have a 3.3. Campbell also believes that more openly stating BU’s grading standards is an idea that merits discussion. In response, Wells’ committee proposed two University-wide actions. Niche, a company that researches and compiles information on schools, analyzed its data to find the colleges where students work the hardest. It can be interesting learning how circuits work and building things, but this class will definitely need you at the top of your game all the time. Auditing is not an option with CPE courses. “Fairness in grading is something students should care about tremendously,” he says. I always have been courteous to people regardless of their … “If students come here and aren’t challenged, then I think we’re cheating them.”. The grades B and D are given when a student has met all the requirements for the grade below (E or C) and a majority of the … Boston University did not follow the example of Cornell and Dartmouth in including not only individual grades but class averages on a student's transcript, putting each mark in context. In order to find out the facts, we interviewed students, faculty, and University administrators and reviewed spreadsheets of average grades and grading distributions at BU, covering many years, schools, and departments. The bulk of Wells’ review focused on CAS, the largest college on campus, which enrolls more than 40 percent of BU undergraduates and provides liberal arts courses for most of the rest. One would expect, after all, that the number of top grades would rise as better students enroll in the University. The UK grading system is not terribly different to the grading systems in China, India, USA or the EU. All of the body systems. Although not all the schools listed below are in the city center (notably MIT and Harvard are in the neighboring city of Cambridge within Greater Boston), they are all part of the shared … “As the parent of a very bright man,” writes one signer of the online petition protesting BU’s grading policies, “I am very, very disappointed after his first year at BU. “There are lots and lots of ways of getting to the average,” he says. Stanford has a pretty standard grading system, but also gives students the chance to receive above a 4.0 if they receive an A+ in a class. It's a really big school and it's easy to get lost in some of the initial large lecture courses. But Henderson stresses that in subsequent years only data were sent, as they continue to be every spring. Determining which university or college degree is the most difficult requires analysing a number of factors, including average grades, the rates at which students drop-out or fail classes and the distribution of grades across degrees during a span of time. Indeed, while plenty of other universities face charges of grade inflation — professors flooding student transcripts with flabby As — BU is encountering claims of “grade deflation,” a belief that the University mandates a certain median grade in classes or a predetermined curve of grade distributions. The data and the discussions that follow are meant to spur dialogue about grading standards and what Wayne Snyder, a CAS computer science professor and associate dean for students, refers to as a “self-regulation process” among professors. “[These grades] indicate either that the standards aren’t high enough in the courses, or As are being given for less than outstanding work,” concluded Wells. Nevertheless, a straight B average like BU’s is lower than that of many other selective universities, where grade inflation has gone relatively unchecked. Currently, the average GPA of a BU undergraduate is 3.04, with about 81 percent of all grades earned in either the A or B range. These Are the Hardest Colleges to Get Into Ranked. For years, BU officials have said that this isn’t the case, but the claims have persisted. Does BU deserve to be known as the hardest grading college? It’s never quite certain how the professor manages to get all of the information into lecture, but it happens and you end up studying half of a notebook for one midterm. In fact, the GPAs of BU undergrads and the percentage of As and Bs have both risen over the last two decades. At 3.68, the average GPA of Stanford students is high, hovering around a solid A-. Grades, Grading, & CEUs. The average GPA in 2003 was 3.01, down from 3.1 in 1998, but up from the average a decade earlier, which hovered around 2.84. Good luck to you! Boston University’s Center for Professional Education (CPE) offers only non-credit, non-degree programs. “We certainly could do more in terms of taking a principled stand that we distinguish between excellent, good, and subpar performance,” says Campbell. BU’s Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Policy. You're going to need more than a perfect SAT score and a 4.0 for these elite universities. Tread very carefully with this one. “The problem is that our students come from a responsible school, where they’re really challenged and have to work for good grades,” Henderson says. 24 comments. This is probably one of the biggest weed-outs there is at BU. If they do, that’s the case of a crash and burn.”. More accurately, this is a battle of perceptions resulting from an attempt to combat grade inflation and grading inconsistency. Indeed, according to Campbell, every undergraduate college at BU follows the CAS model of providing grading data but allowing departments and professors to determine their own grading standards, with one exception — the School of Management maintains target GPAs, adjusted annually, that vary between lower and upper division courses (where grades tend to be higher). The 79 percent A and B grades in 2003 in CAS was down slightly from 80 percent in 1998, but well above the 72 percent achieved in 1994. “There’s no policy in the College of Arts and Sciences, period, without qualification whatsoever, of imposing quotas, curves, bell curves, or any other kind of grade distribution,” says Jeffrey Henderson, dean of Arts and Sciences. To help you start thinking about which major is best for you, we put together a ranked list of the ten hardest majors. Only the rate of increase is down from the pace of the late 1990s. It has a very rich and diverse culture within its student body campus. As a result, the syllabi of all CAS classes are reviewed every year, and, he says, “we tell departments to keep an eye on the courses that they offer to make sure that they’re current and challenging.” Naturally, such raising of the bar is a drag on GPAs. Students must maintain a 2.3 to keep University grants for need-based aid. The university has implemented a policy of grade deflation, where most, if not all, classes curve or award grades so the average course grade lies in the C to C+ range, and only sometimes in the C+ to B- range. “They want to know if you have a degree, and then they want to know what kind of work you can do.”. hide. “They tell more of the tale and allow students to point to an additional dimension of the grading data.”, But others aren’t so sure. “If BU wants to restore grade integrity, fine,” says Liz Spellman (CAS’07), a history and classical civilization major. Shutterstock. Leo Reyzin, a CAS computer science assistant professor, discusses grading with other faculty in his department, he says, to ensure “there’s some reasonable consistency, and that our grading makes sense to each other.” Reyzin happens to grade on a modified curve — meaning that rather than aiming at a fixed median or percentage of any grade, he looks for “clustering” in the final scores from student work and exams and assigns the top cluster an A or A– and the next cluster Bs, and so on. Most agree with Wells, who has doubts about how important GPAs are to prospective employers. Attendance at all classes is expected and necessary. 1902-365 Bloor St East, Toronto, ON M4W 3L4, 3. Exams are really tough Biden Learn Anything from Trump about how Presidents use Social Media grants! Also thinks students are owed “ an employer may never even ask your. 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