So let’s get this straight: The UA is a large public university. General education classes tend to be ridiculously large, and the instructors can sometimes be unapproachable. Hope you're not looking forward to starting your major anytime soon, either, because for most students, it takes nearly four semesters to get through all of your general education courses. Yep. Two years. You’ll get both good and bad professors, but the same could be said of teaching assistants, employers, and other University personnel. You just have to deal with it. Unfortunately, over the last several years, the UA has been steadily dropping in academic rankings all over the world due to budget cuts, scattered departmental support for students, awful advisers, and misuse of funds. In short? Not much has been going right for the UA in this way lately.
For the most part, students at the UA like most of their teachers and find classes to be somewhat challenging, but this isn't always for the right reasons. Often teachers will require attendance because the course material itself isn't enough to keep students in class. While the UA used to be a full-blown university, over the past several years it reflects more of an accelerated high-school mindset. It really seems to be worth the effort to do some research about particular instructors and classes by asking around, since students will remember both their good and bad instructors and can tell you which of them to either pursue or avoid. A recent student-created website, www.whichclasses.com, compiles all relevant information for every department, professor, and class at the UA—with data taken directly from required surveys taken by the student body at the end of each semester. In the end, while the UA has been in an academic freefall, it's still a worthwhile university to attend for the time being. Let's just hope it stays that way.