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College of San Mateo Reviews

Check out reviews left by other students or leave your own review. You could win a free scholarship.

  • 09/13/2011

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    1 out of 1 people found this review useful. 1 of 23

    Categories Comments
    Bang for the buck

    Duh....$26 a unit....what could be better?

    Am enjoying being here

    Its not bad... Very secular campus...with overpushy liberal ideals at times...and there isnt a lot of shade anywhere!

    Am learning a lot

    I am learning as much as a communituy college would have to offer

  • 01/18/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    2 of 23

    Categories Comments
    Bang for the buck

    Getting help with financial aid is a cinch with the staff at CSM. They guide you through the process and help you get the most out of your educational experience!

    Food and Dining

    The new college center at CSM is fantastic! The views are incredible and they have a wide variety of great foods and drinks!

    Academic Rigor

    I thoroughly love going back to school! It is a great adventure and I am going at it with gusto!

    Tips for prospective students

    Never give up!

    In three sentences

    College of San Mateo is one of the greatest campuses on the Peninsula. As a returning student after being laid off three years ago, going back to school has given me new purpose and direction in my life. I would recommend going to this college for anyone searching in their life as it is a great place to start!

  • 03/05/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    3 of 23

    Categories Comments
    What to do for fun

    most people drive off campus, or maybe take the bus to hillsdale shopping center for fun. on campus, there are several clubs whose meetings you can attend, or simply hang out with friends in the college center which has a floor for seating.

    Food and Dining

    the college center has all of the basics, from a coffee shop with the pastries, and a grill which has its specials, to a deli with home-made sandwiches.

    Dorm Life

    there aren't dorms at csm, so no comment.

    Academic Rigor

    the teachers are well-versed and direct with what they expect out of you. homework isn't too challenging. midterms and finals are usually an essay, or a (sometimes take-home) project.

    Tips for prospective students

    as long as you show up for your classes and pay attention, life won't be too hard for you.

    In three sentences

    csm is the best of a community college and a commuter school. people go here to take classes, which are $36 a unit, and often have part-time jobs they drive to after class. campus has a couple things to offer, like the college center, which has food and wifi access.

  • 03/22/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    4 of 23

    Categories Comments
    Great for these types of students

    Students at other campuses who can't get classes at the other college & need to transfer classes and People of the community who want to learn more, at their own pace.

    Bang for the buck

    It's great education for community college pricing!

    Food and Dining

    I haven't eaten on campus due to the fact that most of my classes are in the evening here, and the food choices nearby aren't that great.... You'd have your run-of-the-mill McDonalds and similar you-can-find-everywhere food joints.

    Academic Rigor

    People I've been surrounded by mostly know their stuff, or work to be up to par with the professor's standards. Personally, I love it! I can strive to achieve while making friends and (if I need it) getting help without feeling bad.

    Tips for prospective students

    Have fun with your classes! Don't be afraid to ask your professors or peers for help/advice. We don't bite!

    In three sentences

    CSM is a clean and refreshing campus to be on. The professors there are amazing (at least the ones I've had) and work with you for whatever needs you might need. It's a community college in the San Mateo County College District (SMCCD) so if you take classes at Cañada College or Skyline College too, all of your classes will be bundled into one transcript... How convenient!

  • 05/04/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    5 of 23

    Categories Comments
    Tips for prospective students

    Take advantage of the resources.

    In three sentences

    CSM is a good school to prepare for a 4 year university. The class sizes are great for student-teacher interaction. They've built new facilities as well!

  • 06/28/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    6 of 23

    Categories Comments
    What to do for fun

    If I ever had time between classes I would meet up with some friends for coffee or bask in the sun on one of the many beautiful landscaped lawns. Mostly, I was working away in the library though.

    Food and Dining

    Great little cafe with amazing chai tea lattes :)

    Academic Rigor

    Honestly, I am yet to take any general ed classes or attend full time at this campus so, I feel I couldn't possibly rate this section accurately.

    Tips for prospective students

    My tips would be to use all the wonderful resources this college provides, get to know the campus before classes start and enjoy the view.

    In three sentences

    The College of San Mateo is a great college to attend. I am yet to have a bad experience at this campus; my classes, professors, counselors and peers have all been positive for me. I highly recommend this school to students who are either looking to get a degree, certificate or transfer to a four year.

  • 07/25/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    7 of 23

    Categories Comments
    Food and Dining

    love the new addition, haven't had lunch there yet, but Ive seen the food they serve.

    Dorm Life

    Im close to home...

    Tips for prospective students

    keep your eyes open and follow your intuition, talk to counselor when u feel things are not been fair..

    In three sentences

    I been having mix feelings about this school, i been going here for a few years. I have experience racism coming from some teachers.

  • 08/28/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    8 of 23

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    Police are all around. There is a sense of security and caution to obey the rules!

    Great for these types of students

    Disability is supported and one can feel welcome and not an outcast.

    Bang for the buck

    Great Certificate program to help boost your resume and job search for that high paying job of your future!!

    What to do for fun

    There is a gym, discounted for college students and residence in the area. Fun classes, art, exercise etc. if you take a certain amount of credits. I just love the free atmosphere, beautiful.

    Food and Dining

    I haven't eaten here yet but if it is like the care in the campus, I will be looking forward to try.

    Academic Rigor

    Listen to the Orientation, balance when starting is important. Don't get too much all at once. Consider, Work and credit load, leave time for the normal health and hygiene, exercise and rest.

    Tips for prospective students

    Register Early! Try the FASFA, You may get the financial assistance you need!

    In three sentences

    College of San Mateo is friendly, organized, Online communication, phone and in person is so convenient. The Campus is so beautiful on hills, with trees, and the perfect environment for study. Going from one class to the next is pleasant and organized, easy to find.

  • 10/04/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    9 of 23

    Categories Comments
    What to do for fun

    There is the mall that is near by and there are a couple of cool restaurants right by the college!

    Tips for prospective students

    You should meet with a councelor because they are a really big help. Take advantage of the office hours, as well as all of the labs and student centers!

    In three sentences

    I think that CSM is really helpful in having so many labs and students centers. It helps when there are a lot of teachers and tutors who are willing to help you through whatever you need. I really like the way the teachers teach at this school, as well as the class sizes.

  • 10/04/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    10 of 23

    Categories Comments
    Clubs and Activities

    I didn't join any

    Food and Dining

    There's a cute little cafe kiosk near one of the buildings where I used to have a keyboarding class. I bought some cookies there for my early morning classes, and I would totally give them 4 stars. Not 5 only because they charge you for water. Or they did, I haven't been there in a while.

    Dorm Life

    No dorms.

    Academic Rigor

    It's pretty good. Some of the teachers are a little hard to understand, but other than that everything is good. Most of the teachers are very understanding if you're running a little late, especially at the beginning of the year.

    Tips for prospective students

    Mae sure you bring a map. It's pretty easy to get confused about which building is which. It's kind of hard to see the numbers on the buildings as well. And also make sure you wear water-resistant shoes of some kind... It's not fun slipping on the tile floors after it rains... Trust me.

    In three sentences

    It's a great school for students that are just starting out. It's kind of like a beginner school to get you past all your general education and stuff.

  • 12/04/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    11 of 23

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    There is always a security guard on hand roaming throughout the campus at all times on a scooter. He can help you to your car or just give you directions. The security guard is there to keep the peace though the campus is always quiet, calm and serene.

    Food and Dining

    The cafeteria has recently been remodeled to accommodate a larger population of students and has been built to overlook the beautiful bay area/the city of San Mateo. The food service, flavor, price and variety is excellent. One could order a sandwich, pasta, burger, fries or pizza with every sauce, topping, flavor needed. The food is cooked right in front of you with clean cooking tops and utensils. The cafeteria also contains a small store with every type of small item snack you could find at a gas station for the same low prices and there is a coffee shop right next to it where you can order a Starbucks coffee throughout the day.

    Academic Rigor

    The difficulty of the classes are surely to enhance your learning, writing and reading schools but most importantly prepare you for transfering to a university or state college. Not all classes are of equal difficulty, however you will find your knowledge and time management abilities to be challenged from the beginning, adding a healthy amount of stress to your day.

    Tips for prospective students

    Learn as much as you can about your plans while it is still early in your college career at CSM. They will do their best to help you find your way and plan ahead, but they need your help to know your ideas, thoughts, questions and concerns.

    In three sentences

    The College of San Mateo is a wonderful place of education with a hugely supportive faculty. The College of San Mateo thrives on its ability to provide for it's students in every way they can such as a student's future plans, current education and financial aid. The student life is active as well, with a diverse choice of clubs, groups and activities to attend, join and enjoy.

  • 01/13/2013

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    12 of 23

    Categories Comments
    Bang for the buck

    It is a very wise decision to attend a junior college and transfer to a university. The class sizes are smaller, it is a lot cheaper, and it is a smaller transition than leaving home on your own.

    What to do for fun

    I highly suggest joining a sports team if you are athletic. If not, there are lots of clubs and the football team is pretty good. Maybe go to a game?

    Food and Dining

    Most of the food is sold in the college center, building 10. The hot food is good, when available.

    Academic Rigor

    Some courses are more difficult than others, but all of the teachers I have had are very clear that they are willing to help you if you feel lost.

    Tips for prospective students

    Take advantage of the learning center, library, and various labs for each subject.

    In three sentences

    The college campus is newly renovated, but there are still some buildings under construction. The teachers and staff are very helpful. It is a wise choice to attend if you are panning on transferring to a four year university.

  • 01/22/2013

    Reviewer is A past student here.

    13 of 23

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    Very safe. There are always security guards and police officers seeing the campus. There's even a section of the San Mateo Police Department on campus.

    Greek Life

    There is a limited amount of Greek life.

    Bang for the buck

    Show your teachers you're interested in the class and always ask for help when you need it.

    What to do for fun

    Since the campus is up on a hill, running is an option and there's always a friendly crowd in the dining room.

    Food and Dining

    The dining area is very comfortable and the food is great! There's even a Starbucks right on campus.

    Dorm Life

    No dorms.

    Academic Rigor

    Depending on the classes you take and the teachers you have, academically it's not as rigorous as other schools.

    Tips for prospective students

    Make sure to set up your classes based on your schedule and if you are a full time student try to spread out your classes; don't take four classes back to back in one day.

    In three sentences

    The College of San Mateo had a great environment to learn in. The teachers were willing to help students who needed the extra help. The campus is clean and provides a safe environment.

  • 02/27/2013

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    14 of 23

    Categories Comments
    Bang for the buck

    $60 units is very affordable compared to many other public colleges in the area.

    What to do for fun

    Spend time outside enjoying the view or participating in multiple student government sponsored activities.

    Food and Dining

    A newly renovated cafe with a salad bar, brick oven for pizza, and hot meals. There is also a convenience store as well as a Bulldog Coffee Shop.

    Dorm Life

    No dorms on campus.

    Academic Rigor

    The academic rigor is what you make of it; the harder you study, the more you will get out of the classes.

    Tips for prospective students

    Be sure to take advantage of the counselors who are willing to help align your classes for transferring or earning a degree. Professors are very welcoming and accommodating for office hours as well.

    In three sentences

    The College of San Mateo is a beautiful campus, filled with knowledgeable professors and abundant resources. The curriculum at CSM helps prepare students for a much easier transition to a four year university. The certificate programs are terrific as well.

  • 05/08/2013

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    15 of 23

    Categories Comments
    Food and Dining

    Great options for food and there is an amazing dining room. The campus has a coffee shop that sells Starbuck's coffee, many types of food to choose from and little convenient store for all your needs.

    Dorm Life

    There are no dorms on campus.

    Academic Rigor

    The academic curriculum is challenging but it prepares you for the future. The professors are extremely helpful and they are always available if you need any assistance. Stay on top of your studies, don't procrastinate and you'll do great.

    Tips for prospective students

    Take advantage of the learning center, math center, english center and any other source that will help become successful not only in the classroom but outside. Submit your FAFSA early and take advantage of applying for scholarships!

    In three sentences

    The college provides all the resources you need that will prepare you for the future. Brand new learning center, convenient parking and you're able to get in & out! Registering for classes can be tough so make sure you enroll early so you get the classes you need.

  • 06/05/2013

    Reviewer is A past student here.

    16 of 23

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    Campus police are always around

    Greek Life

    None.

    Clubs and Activities

    Active on campus.

    Food and Dining

    Expensive, but good.

    Tips for prospective students

    Make friends. Get active. Join a club!

    In three sentences

    Professors are encouraging. Try to stick with one counselor. Beautiful campus.

  • 08/12/2013

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    17 of 23

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    I always feel safe here. Even late at night.

    Greek Life

    Phi Theta Kappa

    Clubs and Activities

    Phi Theta Kappa

    Bang for the buck

    I feel like I am getting more than my money's worth.

    What to do for fun

    The campus is lovely, and I often show up early to take a walk before class.

    Food and Dining

    There is a lot of healthy, fresh food available.

    Dorm Life

    I have my own home.

    Academic Rigor

    The classes I have taken so far have all been challenging.

    Tips for prospective students

    Contact the professors you know you will have for the upcoming semester at least a month before the semester starts. Ask them what books you will need. Order the books online well in advance. If you don't do this, the professors won't let you know until the week classes start what books you will need, and you will be forced to pay the high prices at the college book store.

    In three sentences

    My experience so far has been so supportive and inspirational. The faculty and the other students pursuing my degree have all been just wonderful.

  • 08/17/2013

    Reviewer is Accepted here and planning to attend soon. Reviewer has been to campus.

    18 of 23

    Categories Comments
    Greek Life

    Sororities and Fraternities are prohibited on this campus due to it being a community college.

    Clubs and Activities

    Lots of clubs and actives.

    Great for these types of students

    If you don't know what you want to do. Get your general ed out of the way and test what you would find interesting as your electives.

    What to do for fun

    Lots of clubs and easy to start one if you like.

    Food and Dining

    Good food but a bit pricey, best to spend there sparingly if want looking to spend wisely.

    Academic Rigor

    Wide verity of classes but all support working underneath someone, best to use the school to transfer.

    Tips for prospective students

    Go into the offices if you want things done quickly and correctly.

    In three sentences

    They have a very beautiful campus, it is very spacious, and being on top of a hill makes it feel open and wonderfully sunny. The staff is very friendly but a little slow paced. The classes area place by building which makes for easy directions and location.

  • 08/27/2013

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    19 of 23

    Categories Comments
    What to do for fun

    Take a walk on the campus in the sunny weather.

    Food and Dining

    They have a nice Grill that serves breakfast and lunch along with a student store.

    Dorm Life

    There are no dorms.

    Academic Rigor

    It all depends on what you, the students, wants to achieve.

    Tips for prospective students

    Apply for Scholarships. Do your placement test and orientation as soon as possible so you can register for classes because they fill up quick!

    In three sentences

    College of San Mateo is a beautiful college with an amazing environment. The college has professors with dedicated office hours to assist students on a personal level. CSM is north of Silicon Valley and located on the peninsula of the San Francisco Bay Area.

  • 01/13/2014

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    20 of 23

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    Security is patrolling campus heights often enough for you not to feel uncomfortable, but safe. Always on time if there are any misunderstandings or someone is going out of their limits.

    Clubs and Activities

    Over 70 different clubs on the campus which helps people change the world. You can create, write, present, sing, dance, discuss, invent and much more on any topic you like!

    Bang for the buck

    Bookstore books can be pretty pricey sometimes, so a friendly suggestion - to check prices online first before coming to Bulldog Bookstore

    What to do for fun

    There are lots of on-campus activities held by a variety of clubs which are fun to participate in + there are music stations invited to the campus which makes an incredible mix of learning and enjoying main hits

    Food and Dining

    There is a Grill available in Building 10 (College Center) where you can purchase salads from the salad bar, hamburgers/sandwiches, and a variety of dishes of the day for reasonable prices. In Bldg 10 there is a coffee shop located (Paws for Coffee) which serves Starbucks Coffee + by purchasing every drink - you are getting a stamp on a special card, and after receiving 11 of them, you can get 2$ off your next order which is pretty valuable if you are a coffee lover.

    Dorm Life

    No dorms for CSM, although there are some at Canada, a sister college of CSM, which is located just in a couple of miles away. Besides that there is a home stay program that can match you to a specific American family according to your needs.

    Academic Rigor

    3 stars out of 5. Pretty easy to get along with teachers and staff members. Everyone is really knowledgeable and helpful.

    Tips for prospective students

    Try to apply for job on campus - it helps not only get some money, but gives you experience which is worth everything.

    In three sentences

    Amazing school to start your associate's program and transfer to a 4-year university if you are planning to receive a Bachelor's. Great teachers who are always there for you and willing to help you fulfill your dreams and become successful. A variety of people from different backgrounds which makes your students life full of learning new cultures, their traditions and differences.

  • 01/24/2014

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    21 of 23

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    We have amazing campus police and medical staff. Also since there is a fire and police academy on campus we are always prepared to take on any challenge.

    Greek Life

    There are 2 co-ed fraternities on campus: Phi Theta Kappa, and Alpha Gamma Sigma. Both of these are honors organizations and allow students ways to volunteer in the community and assistance transferring.

    Clubs and Activities

    There is a large variety of clubs and organizations on campus, and starting a new club is highly encouraged. In order to ensure club success ensure that the people in charge are willing to go the extra mile to make things happen due to paper work and long processes.

    Great for these types of students

    If you are motivated, willing to try new things, and looking to explore education this is an amazing place! If you need to work or have other engagements, this provides and amazing way to be able to accomplish both.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    If you are into computer games or fantasy card games there are locations on campus where groups of people gather to play these games for hours on end. As an outsider it might be a bit intimidating at first but everyone is very friendly and dressed in interesting clothing. For some reason, a lot of students like having barefoot days which are what they sound like. Random days people will simply not wear shoes the whole day for fun.

    Bang for the buck

    Not only am I paying a fraction of most universities, I am learning from professors who have previously attended and/or taught at UC Berkeley, Stanford and many other amazing schools. As a science major, I am learning the same math and science as most other students, and get to fulfill my general education with fun personalized classes. Lastly, the Honors Project on campus allows each student to perform independent research and present it at various symposiums. An opportunity most do not get until their graduate studies!

    What to do for fun

    Join a club! Even though I am an engineering major I have joined the salsa and art clubs and have had an amazing time. We not only have weekly on campus meetings, but a lot of fun off campus activities. Take an athletic class in something new such as yoga or swimming. Not only is it healthy, but it is a lot of fun, you experience something new, and you meet amazing new people. Lastly, go to the free concerts/movies/astronomy nights. It makes for amazing nights out without financial strain.

    Food and Dining

    Food is slightly over-priced and it can be a bit hard to get delicious healthy food sometimes, but overall I would say it isn't bad. Also, being so close to a small shopping center and Hillsdale Mall allows for some alternatives. A lot of the study rooms on campus do offer vending machines and microwaves!

    Dorm Life

    We do not offer student housing. There are a lot of students who live together near campus and become like one large family. Also, there are students who are on campus from 8am-9pm everyday because they work on campus as well. Although you do not live on campus, being in this community of students allows for very close connections.

    Academic Rigor

    As an engineering student I am learning material that is the same no matter where you attend. CSM engineering and physics classes provide a unique opportunity to learn challenging material, and be given rigorous projects that allow you to explore your personal interest due to the small class sizes. Furthermore, the Honors Project at CSM was an amazing experience that challenged me both as a student and as a person.

    Tips for prospective students

    Find a teacher and a club to act as mentors. Not only will you be able to explore your interests, but it can provide amazing networking opportunities. Also, take classes you know nothing about rather than the easy A, it might change how you view everything. Also, make study groups or go to the tutoring resources available! These are very helpful and you meet amazing people. Lastly, if you have a class that begins between 9am and 11am get to school earlier! Parking is not easy!!

    In three sentences

    Large booming college filled with many different types of people. A place filled with endless possibilities if one goes out and finds them. An amazing place to explore your passions as long as one works hard and takes chances.

  • 04/14/2014

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    22 of 23

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    The campus is very safe, especially because it is so small. There are safety patrol units driving around campus and in the parking lots constantly.

    Greek Life

    There is no greek life.

    Clubs and Activities

    There aren't as many clubs and activities here as at a university, but that also makes it easier to get leadership positions, which are useful in gaining experience. Everyone supports each other become great friends very quickly.

    Great for these types of students

    CSM is great for any student who is dedicated, willing to work hard, and wants more out of their life.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    There aren't really any unusual traditions, but our gardeners take their job very seriously.

    Bang for the buck

    CSM offers the same level of rigor as a four year university, at an extremely lower price. The professors will make sure you are prepared to move on ready to take on higher level education. CSM gives you all the resources you need to grow and do well. It is incredibely worth it to go here.

    What to do for fun

    The most important thing, especially for transfers, is grades, so make sure to focus on school first. However, that does not mean you can't have fun here. The weather is always warm and sunny, so spending time outside is a great way to relax. Being so close to San Francisco, it's an easy escape for an exciting day. There are around 100 different clubs here, and you can even create your own club!

    Food and Dining

    The food at CSM is quite excellent for a community college. We have a grill and usually other ethnic cuisine. Also, there is a shopping center just down the block.

    Dorm Life

    There is no dorm life at CSM, but living at home has forced me to become more responsible.

    Academic Rigor

    CSM will challenge you the same way a four year university would, if not more. Because the classes are so small, the teachers pay attention to each student, making sure they are working hard. The material will challenge you and push the limits of your mind, but I promise if you put the work in and talk to your teacher, success is very attainable.

    Tips for prospective students

    GET INVOLVED!!! Just because you are going to a community college does not mean there are no clubs or organizations for you to join. One of the most helpful I have found is an PTK, an honor society here at CSM. In this honor society I made many friends that were hard working and dedicated to their work, which in turn made me more motivated to do well. Furthermore, many of the friends I made ended up in my classes, and we were able to help each other out. Another wonderful thing about CSM is that the teachers truly care about you and want to get to know you. Go to their office hours!!! I made great connections with my professors by going to see them outside of class, and it definitely was a major factor in my success in class.

    In three sentences

    CSM is the a comfortable and affordable transition from high school to college, offering a wide range of classes, paired with extremely talented teachers. With its many support and outreach programs, its easy to get involved and put on a path for success. I personally have grown so much just in my first year, making many new friends and finding clear understanding in all my classes.

  • 05/05/2014

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    23 of 23

    Categories Comments
    Food and Dining

    The bulldog store and the starbucks cafe are both a good price, great choices, and fresh as many students come flocking to get a good lunch.

    Dorm Life

    Just below the school is some apartments that are great for students to go to have a good living space.

    Academic Rigor

    Academically the school challenges you to do good on your own but also be able to collaborate with fellow students and get help from teachers.

    Tips for prospective students

    get involved with the learning center and the people around to help you be successful

    In three sentences

    CSM is a great school with a newly