Mercer is often called the “Ivy League school of the South,” and this nickname is wholly justified. The University’s academics are undeniably rigorous—its engineering and music programs seem to be more celebrated than its other schools, but all of Mercer’s departments hold the same high standards for their students. Even though the professors give out demanding workloads, they are highly accessible to their students. Many students have the same professors multiple times in their undergraduate careers, so professors and students often get to know each other on a personal level (some are even Facebook friends with their students). These close-knit relationships create a comfortable and non-intimidating academic environment, which balances nicely with the often challenging coursework.
Many professors factor attendance and participation into their grades, so it’s important to take these things very seriously. The small classes make it nearly impossible for an unaccounted absence to be overlooked by a professor. Writing papers is also nearly inescapable—Mercer requires all freshmen to take a Freshman Year Seminar course, which usually includes reading and writing composition to help prepare students for their future coursework. Advising occurs once every semester. If your adviser is from another department, it is sometimes prudent to take the extra steps necessary to switch to an adviser who is in your major’s department.