interviews are optional; the application includes an essay about why the applicant is choosing Macalester plus all the Common App materials; not many merit-based scholarship opportunities but tons of financial aid is offered for those who need itLevel
General Requirements: 4 semesters of a language, 2 social science courses, 2 natural science and math, 3 fine arts and humanities, internationalism, multiculturalism, first year course, senior capstone or honors project, quantitative requirement, writing requirement
All students have an academic adviser in their field of study
Average class size is 17
Professors are highly accessible, research is also very possible-80% of science majors do research before they graduate
60% of students study abroad and some majors require study abroadAdmissions
Use common application and then one additional essay on "Why Macalester." There is an optional interviewLevel
I applied through the Common Application website and supplement, had a non-mandatory on-campus interview, and was accepted regular decision.Level
It is a liberal arts based curriculum. Requirements include quantitative thinking, math, science, internationalism, multiculturalism, social science and art. There is a strong internship for credit program, and a very strong study abroad program.Admissions
Macalester is on the Common Application and has a fairly standard supplement. I applied regular decision, and received only need based aid. To my knowledge, Macalester only has merit based aid for international students.Level
To graduate a student must complete quantitative thinking classes (the classes must sum to a Q3, meaning you can take one Q3, or a Q1 and a Q2, or three Q1s, or more). You must also complete a writing course, a first year course (a course taken during the first semester one a subject of your choice), and general distribution requirements (including things like social sciences, hard sciences, fine arts, etc.). Major requirements vary by department. My English major requires ten credits, my chemistry minor requires twelve credits (I may have the twelve credits wrong). Academic advisers are assigned at the beginning of your first year according to your first year course, however you are free to change after your first semester. It is extremely easy to meet with teachers on a one to one basis. They all have office hours, and if their hours conflict with your schedule you are encouraged to email them and set up an appointment. Research opportunities are usually available over the summer to upperclassmen. The school is relatively hard to get into academically, and I think that the admissions officers look for more than academics. A great personality is valued almost as much as a great test grade. They look to see if you will fit in not only academically, but also socially. The grading is usually tough and fair, but that is slightly dependent on the teacher. Visiting professors tend to be the easiest graders. I do not know a huge amount about faculty, but the creative writing professor I have now was a candidate for the NAACP Image Award. It is nearly expected that you will study aboard, and while the workload is heavy most students join at least one on campus organization.Quality of Life
The dorms are comfortable, and the campus is gorgeous (yes, even during the Minnesota winter). Cafe Mac has amazing food and the Leonard Center (the gym, aka the 'nard) is really wonderful. Kudos to emphasizing eating right and exercising. Library is nice, and with the ability to get books from surrounding campuses, is a lot larger than it looks.Admissions
The mailings for the application process were really funny. The application process was fairly straight forward, standard sorts of questions. They offered early decision and early action, but I chose to apply regular decision. The Common App was an option (that I utilized to its fullest extent). The financial aid was pretty incredible, and the scholarships were really nice!Level
Macalester has general graduation requirements that students can fill with a variety of different classes, we do no have a core curriculum of specific classes every student must take. The requirements include taking a language and becoming proficient in it, taking 2 math/sciences classes, taking 3 humanities/fine arts classes, taking 2 social science classes, taking a class to fill the writing requirement, taking a class that discusses multiculturalism (one of Mac's pillars), and taking another class that discusses internationalism (another pillar).
Class sizes are small, almost always 25 students or less, the average is 16. Professors are always helpful, open, and interested in what students are doing. I got back from my semester abroad in Senegal and one professor and I spent over an hour just discussing my experience and looking at my pictures in a coffee shop when we were meeting to talk about something else.
Grading depends on the professor but usually they expect excellence to give out As. Academics are competitive but mostly students want to do well without putting anyone else down. Study groups are very common and everyone is helpful and contributes explanations and great attitudes.
There are amazing research opportunities in almost all the departments- professors receive grants every semester to continue exciting and notable research. Just this semester two science professors each received over $450,000 to do research!
Of course there are great study abroad options, many majors even require students to go abroad for a semester. Credit and tuition transfers easily and Mac makes it incredibly easy to go on the program of your dreams.Quality of Life
I love it all. For your first 2 years at Mac every student lives on campus in the dorms or alternative living options like the language houses, eco-house, or veggie co-op. The living options are comfortable, well-maintained, and very close to all the academic buildings. Our cafeteria and meal plans are great because the food is actually good and there is enough variety for everyone: vegetarians, carnivores, etc.
The campus is beautiful, safe, open, and natural. We have 24 hour security, a safe walk program and we live in one of the best neighborhoods in St. Paul.
The library has great resources and can be a really pleasant place if your not too stressed out.
Overall, the campus is happy, students seem at ease and very comfortable. When the weather is nice people are always outside reading, relaxing, throwing a frisbee, kicking a soccer ball, or napping. You can just tell that students are happy to be a part of this community.Admissions
You can use either the Common Application with a supplement or fill out Macalester's application. There are essay questions, you can have an interview, and you can apply for early decision I or II if that's what you want. Macalester offers to meet students' entire demonstrated need with financial aid.Level
Academics at Macalester are quite good. Class sizes average 17 students with I think an 11:1 faculty to student ratio. There is a required first-year course, which is writing intensive but offered on a variety of topics in almost every department. There are also internationalism, multiculturalism, writing, natural sciences, humanities and quantitative thinking requirements. Grades have seemed fair, meaning that I haven't witnessed grade inflation (and A is hard to get!) but that makes the students try really hard. There are many study abroad opportunities and resources to find out about these opportunities. Some department require study abroad in their major, while others don'tAdmissions
Two essays were required for the normal Macalester application (not common app.) and interviews were offered to each student who was able to visit the campus. I applied regular decision and received a great financial aid package consisting mostly of grant/loan/work study money.Level
There are general education requirements, 8 credit hours in social science, natural sciences and 12 credit hours in humanities and fin arts combined. There is a writing, internationalism, multiculturalism and quantiative thinking requirement. Major degress usually require 14 courses with additional courses from other departments. Academic adviors are highly available, class size is small, avg. 17. Research is availabe for the students over the summer and during the academic year for honors projects. Study abroad is higly encouraged and almost a third of the students does it. Workload is big, but with careful planning managable.Quality of Life
Housing guaranteed for first two years, highly encouraged for the other two. Nice facilites, a very nice neghbourhood with very low crime rates. Students are very happy, cafeteria food is one of the better ones.Admissions
There is an option o early decision I and II. Common application is accepted, with a supplement essay. Interviews are strongly encouraged. The school is not need blind, but meets the financial aid of all admitted students.Level