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Student Reviews

Occidental College Reviews

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

  • 05/16/2011

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

    12 out of 12 people found this review useful. 1 of 24

    Categories Comments
    Great for these types of students

    Those interested in liberal arts and humanities. People who enjoy a small, close-knit community should research Oxy.

    Tips for prospective students

    Speak up! Don't be afraid to introduce yourself to someone, or speak your mind in a class. The whole point of the Oxy experience is to improve yourself and further your education.

    Bang for the buck

    This school is very, very expensive. Applying for outside scholarships will be necessary.

    Will enjoy being here

    The small size of the campus leads to a close-knit community of students who really enjoy learning and each other's company. Shyer students may be forced to open up more to new people, but it is all for the best. Clubs are very active on campus, and hall spreads lead to much bonding.

    Will learn a lot

    The professors here really care about their students and offer as much help as they can. Doors are almost always open, and since each student receives an advisor, the relationship between professor and student is on a more equal level than most schools.

  • 08/01/2011

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    9 out of 9 people found this review useful. 2 of 24

    Categories Comments
    Great for these types of students

    Occidental is great for students who are self-motivated and are looking for a smaller campus lifestyle. You have the ability to participate in smaller classes and organizations. Wonderful for students who want to get involved in campus life, whether it is joining a club or working in an office! Great for students who love the city-life: Los Angeles is such as diverse and large city!

    Tips for prospective students

    Be proactive! Take multiple classes that interest you to start finding a major you would like to focus on. Join clubs and local organizations to become involved in the community and causes that inspire you. Do research, study abroad, and above all, make connections! There are so many wonderful professors and students at Occidental that you can make long-lasting friendships with. Keep on track! Don't forget that college will get harder every year. Multiple people told me that too, but I didn't realize what they really meant until coming here. Don't be scared, but just make sure you are on top of your classes. If you ever need assistance there are staff members and professors that can help. Start to think ahead about career options and definitely visit the Career Development Center as they are extremely helpful and kind!

    Bang for the buck

    Being a private college, Occidental is expensive. However, there are many financial aid opportunities available. It is possible to attend Oxy because of institutional scholarships and outside donor scholarships. However at times the food, rent, books, and other on-campus items are over-priced, which happens at many colleges! Don't forget that you can buy toiletries, school supplies, and books off campus! Living off-campus is less expensive, however, Oxy requires students to live on campus for at least 3 years, which is one downside.

    Am enjoying being here

    Occidental is a wonderful campus because of its diversity and energy that the students, faculty, and staff bring. There are numerous events and clubs on campus so that everyone can find someone who shares an interest with them. Living on campus is fun and a great way to meet new people! Going to school in Los Angeles allows for multiple opportunities and experiences if you like city-life! For example, you can dance in the yearly Dance Production, audition for Glee Club or the Occidental/Cal Tech Orchestra, or volunteer at a local homeless shelter. You can enjoy cultural events, student performances, dances, and weekly events on the Quad to help brighten up your day! The opportunities on and off campus for Oxy students are endless and really up to you!

    Am learning a lot

    I am a Biology major and I am entering my last year at Occidental, or Oxy, as many call it. The knowledgeable professors and small class size really make the difference. I have gained hands-on experience in laboratories and undergraduate research, which is possible here because of the size of the student body. There is always someone available if you have a question or just want to get to know a professor more. Occidental has several programs to help students build and expand their learning. The Summer Research Program lasts 8 weeks and sponsors students with research proposals from all majors. There are weekly seminars and meetings that introduce students to potential careers and global events. Each major usually has department-specific talks that cater to students and possible careers that they may be interested in. Oxy has academic support, including tutoring in many subjects, student-led study groups, and professional staff that can help you with essay organization and improvement. Be aware of all these resources as a student as they are very beneficial!

  • 03/28/2011

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    4 out of 4 people found this review useful. 3 of 24

    Categories Comments
    Great for these types of students

    All types of students can succeed at Oxy.

    Tips for prospective students

    Really go into detail for every aspect of a school. Don't immediately write off a school because it doesn't have the name recognition as some of the larger schools. Decide what kind of school is right for you, for me that was a liberal arts school. Work hard throughout high school so you can be competitive and have no regrets.

    Bang for the buck

    The school is very expensive, like any other private school, but I was offered 20,000 in scholarships and a no-interest student loan. In all would have cost me about the same as a UC school and quite a bit more than a Cal State.

    Will enjoy being here

    I absolutely loved the school on my visit

    Academic Rigor

    I have already learned so much in my short time at Oxy. I am now an International Relations major and Latin American Studies minor, which is a path I never expected but am very excited about.

  • 04/23/2012

    Reviewer is A past student here.

    4 out of 4 people found this review useful. 4 of 24

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    Despite being in a semi-urban setting, campus safety is a constant and reassuring presence. Once, when I was living off campus there was an intruder in our yard. We were very frightened and called campus safety. Not only were they at our house in less than 3 minutes, but they thoroughly checked the property and made frequent drive-bys for several days after.

    Greek Life

    Very small presence on campus. There are maybe 6 greek organizations, with less than 5% of students participating. With 2,200 students total, there really isn't a need to join a frat or sorority to make friends. It's easy to get to know people!

    Clubs and Activities

    Lots of clubs and activities all year long. There is always something going on!

    Great for these types of students

    Intellectual, introspective, hard working, outdoorsy, friendly, open-minded, and involved. Oxy is a great place to come if you don't want to disappear into the crowd.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    Everyone gets thrown into the fountain every year on their birthday.

    Bang for the buck

    I think Oxy was worth every penny. They made sure to meet my full financial need. I was even given a no-interest loan.

    What to do for fun

    You're in LA! You can go to the beach, the mountains, and the desert all in one day! Or you can stay in Eagle Rock and shop the boutiques, eat at the Oinkster, and catch a show at the Echoplex. The Eagle Rock/Highland Park area is very up and coming, and there are tons of art galleries and cafes opening nearby. Not to mention all the events happening on campus all the time. A great part of Oxy's campus culture is that you have options: there is more to do than just party.

    Food and Dining

    This is no all-you-can-eat low quality buffet. The marketplace serves truly delicious food all day long. You can come and go as much as you please, because you only pay for what you want to eat. There's no way to gain the freshman 15 if you don't feel like you have to gorge yourself only once a day to save on meal money like at all you can eat schools! Plus, the marketplace workers are the friendliest people on campus, and they'll work to make you the food you want to eat!

    Dorm Life

    Oxy invests heavily in making on-campus life lively and enjoyable. Just last week they put on a founder's day carnival with free games, food, and a Ferris wheel. Events like this happen all year!

    Academic Rigor

    Oxy requires a high GPA to get in and continues to expect high quality work from its students. However, they realize that some students have high potential that hasn't been tapped (especially in students coming from public high schools). They make every effort to help students improve basic writing skills in their first year if they are struggling with college-level writing assignments.

    Tips for prospective students

    Apply early decision and talk about what makes you unique in your application. Oxy especially values well-rounded individuals who will take advantage of the liberal arts atmosphere-someone who will study hard, play on a sports team, and remain passionate about a cause.

    In three sentences

    A small liberal arts college in southern California, Oxy is great for anyone looking for a personal college experience. I loved knowing almost everyone on campus, from students to professors to facilities workers. Also the quality of instruction from professors in classrooms of 15 people or less is fabulous.

  • 04/11/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    2 out of 2 people found this review useful. 5 of 24

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    Campus Safety is top-notch at Occidental College. Each officer will get to know you by name, and engage in friendly conversation. They escort students to and from parties without judgement or a heavy hand, and are willing to take the time to listen and understand a situation before they take action. They are attentive to the goings-on of the campus, and are aware of each vehicle so that they are better able to recognize strangers or threats. Campus Safety is one of the best resources on campus.

    Greek Life

    Although Greek Life at Occidental College is not as thriving as in other public universities, a majority of students choose to enlist in any one of our 10 fraternities and sororities. Members of these societies are not in any way exclusive or derisive, but rather include and invite non-members to join their efforts, whether through volunteer services for the community or off-campus parties.

    Clubs and Activities

    There are over a hundred different clubs at Occidental College, including cultural, academic, and service types. Each club can choose an advisor, and has several mediums from which to apply for funding. All activities from all backgrounds are supported, and programming is easy with the help of various offices on campus who are enthusiastic about creating diverse options for student involvement.

    Great for these types of students

    Self-motivated, curious, and engaging leaders will love Occidental College. To make the most of the experience, and all the opportunities available, students who enter this school must be wiling to take charge in their education.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    Mount Fiji is one of the highest peaks on campus, and just a 20 minute walk from the furthest point. Students can go there to enjoy the beautiful Los Angeles view and breathe fresh air.

    Bang for the buck

    Very expensive as a school, but Occidental College's Financial Aid department is always ready to answer questions and concerns on a personal level. With the recent economic crisis, however, funding has become more scarce and tuition may be rising even more than its current $50,000 annual fee.

    What to do for fun

    Students can take rides to local Los Angeles hotspots on the Bengal Bus, or walk to nearby Eagle Rock eateries and venues. On-campus life is also thriving, with movies features weekly and regular dances like Toga. By visiting the Student Activities Center, students can buy discounted tickets for places like Six Flags or the Laemmle Theater. Sports are also encouraged, with a public pool, tennis and basketball courts, as well as other intramural activities.

    Food and Dining

    Organic and healthy living is a priority at Occidental College. Several vegetarian/vegan options are set aside each day in order to ensure that all students have a diverse menu from which to choose. The servers are always friendly, get to know you as a person, and will even talk to you about your weekend plans. Occidental College is a top institution for food and dining with local and fresh-grown ingredients.

    Dorm Life

    Students are required to live on campus for the first three years, with exceptions given to those who display strong academic achievement. The dorms are great places to build community at Occidental College. There are weekly events with snacks and fun activities which are organized with the residents' interests in mind. The funding for dorms are better put to use to cater to residents' needs, since smaller populations in each building mean a more intimate and friendly surrounding.

    Academic Rigor

    Class sizes of a maximum 16-40 students are strictly enforced to support Occidental College's promise of individualized learning. However, instruction could be a little more challenging and more comprehensive. Many departments struggle with keeping a relevant and logical succession of topics within their class offerings, leaving students overcome with information without a general structure of foundation on which to build.

    Tips for prospective students

    Prospective students will thrive on this campus if they are engaged with their community. They should be open to discussion, and free from bias if they truly want the Occidental College experience. If learning leadership skills is a priority, then prospective students will find no better place than this institution.

    In three sentences

    As a private liberal arts establishment, Occidental College's main focus is on undergraduate study and research. With a smaller student body of under 2,000 students, there are many opportunities to become leaders and participants in cultural clubs, abroad programs, independent studies, and other programming. However, diversity does not suffer from these numbers, but rather equally thrives and is nourished, since Occidental College values voices of different perspectives and encourages communication of all types.

  • 04/14/2012

    Reviewer is Researching this school. Reviewer has been to campus.

    1 out of 1 people found this review useful. 6 of 24

    Categories Comments
    In three sentences

    The campus is really nice ( a bit small) but self contained). The baseball coaches are informative and well rounded.

  • 07/16/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    1 out of 1 people found this review useful. 7 of 24

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    Excellent

    What to do for fun

    Explore L.A. or join a campus club that interests you.

    Food and Dining

    Good quality and variety. Make-your-own pasta station is my life. And the brunch on the weekends is the best meal on campus. And the Cooler pizza is really good. Really good. And the fries.

    Dorm Life

    Everyone's chill and respectful! -1 star because ResEd is not the most friendly or helpful group on campus... room draw can be your worst nightmare (which is absurd since we're required to live on campus for the first three years).

    Academic Rigor

    Depends on your major. Professors expect a lot, but hardworking students should have no problem with the workload.

    In three sentences

    Oxy is everything I wanted from a college; the perfect size, close to a big city, liberal arts. The weather is gorgeous and it's a nice day 95% of the time. Everyone is really happy and are all-around swell people.

  • 08/07/2013

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    1 out of 1 people found this review useful. 8 of 24

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    Campus safety patrols twenty four hours, so you can always feel safe. They can even give you rides back to your dorms if you feel unsafe at night.

    Bang for the buck

    Financial Aid is amazing, so what you do end up paying for, it is worth it.

    What to do for fun

    There is a lot to do for fun! The school is fifteen to twenty minutes outside of downtown LA and places like Dodger stadium. Not to mention the surrounding area of Eagle Rock, Glendale, and Pasadena.

    Food and Dining

    The food is good, and is actually better than most school's dining. Despite this, the food may get tiresome after a while due to a repetitive menu. Students have the ability to influence the menu though if they write in to the dining staff.

    Dorm Life

    The rooms are good. First year is awesome because you are housed with only other first years so you make friends fast. It is nice to be able to make a short walk to your friends dorm and hang out there. The RAs are also all incredibly nice and welcoming.

    Academic Rigor

    To be considered full time a student needs to take at least 12 units, but most all students take 16 units. Most classes are four units. Students are expected to come to class and participate. There is work to be done outside the class outside as well. And students will become great writers by the time they leave Oxy.

    Tips for prospective students

    Visit the campus if you can! That is what made my decision. I felt as if I belonged there after only a few hours of being there and talking to the students and faculty. If I had not visited the campus I believe that I might have made a different decision. Also, make sure that Oxy offers majors that will serve your interests!

    In three sentences

    Occidental College is an excellent school that has many opportunities for its students. The student body and faculty is warm, supportive, and friendly. The academics are rigorous and rewarding.

  • 03/25/2014

    Reviewer is Researching this school. Reviewer has been to campus.

    1 out of 1 people found this review useful. 9 of 24

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    On call campus safety service- the tour guide said she felt VERY safe in the surrounding town and on campus.

    Greek Life

    They mentioned about 20% of students participated and that there were no houses on campus for sororities. It seems like a fun experience but isn't really emphasized here.

    Clubs and Activities

    Sounded like they had a LOT of clubs, and intramural/club sports.

    Great for these types of students

    Probably really focused students looking to push themselves academically, athletically and socially.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    Freshmen get dumped in a fountain on their birthday (not a fan of that)- but a lot of TV shows also film there. Arrested Development, Glee, Parenthood- the list goes on.

    Bang for the buck

    Like all private colleges, very expensive. They seemed to say they would give out a lot of financial aid and mentioned the net price calculator on their website was being updated constantly and was very accurate.

    What to do for fun

    The surrounding town (in my opinion) didn't look that promising, however- LA is very close and the students said campus life was very exciting, especially in the evenings.

    Food and Dining

    Meal plans, but you have to pay individually for everything you buy (I.e. You buy an apple, you only pay for an apple). They had 3 different dining halls and seemed to really cater to any specific food tastes.

    Dorm Life

    Dorm rooms seemed super super small, and you have to live on campus for 3 years which is a downside. Our guide said their match up system for roommates was very accurate and she had met most of her friends in her dorm.

    Academic Rigor

    They have a 40% acceptance rate, according to the admissions officer- it seems super rigorous. You have your required courses such as basic English math, science classes- but the tour guide mentioned that you could do those a number of different ways (I.e. Math credit could be women in mathematics).

    Tips for prospective students

    They mentioned they loved diversity in extra-circulars, and I imagine that they also look for good test scores as well as a good GPA & recommendations.

    In three sentences

    The campus was really beautiful, and all of the students seem like family. The school strives to offer many unique academic opportunities such as internships, research abroad and grants for students to do undergraduate research. The students really love the school.

  • 04/23/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    10 of 24

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    Crime doesn't exist on campus, maybe because campo kicks out anyone who looks like they don't belong.

    Greek Life

    Very small, but those involved take themselves very seriously.

    Clubs and Activities

    Runneth over.

    Great for these types of students

    Strongly-political minded, engaged, want individual attention from teachers, want a liberal arts education.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    Throw your friends in the fountain on their birthdays!

    Bang for the buck

    Educational-wise, absolutely. Bullshit-wise, I don't understand where my money goes.

    What to do for fun

    GET OUT. It's so easy to stay in the Oxy bubble but LA awaits! Go somewhere!

    Food and Dining

    After four years, I'm pretty sick of the food, but it is certainly better than most schools. Always vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options, and the kitchens even make an effort to buy from local farmers once a week.

    Dorm Life

    Most dorms are in bad need of facility updates, but usually kids find a way to bond and make it through.

    Academic Rigor

    You will find at least one professor who inspires you, and if you choose, you can work your butt off. You can also find a way to do as little work as possible, but then why bother paying a buttload of tuition?

    Tips for prospective students

    Do an overnight stay, the school will fly you in if you let them know you want to.

    In three sentences

    Extremely liberal-leaning liberal arts college. Very small class sizes, passionate teachers, less than passionate administration, which in turn impassions students to get passionate.

  • 05/22/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    11 of 24

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    You will always feel safe on campus. Occidental has a 24/7 escort service that shuttles students to and from campus if you don't feel safe or if it is late at night (works for locations up to five miles from campus). We do have a strict alcohol and drug policy.

    Greek Life

    We have a small greek life - only three sororities and two fraternities.

    Clubs and Activities

    With more than 80 student-organized clubs, there’s a group to appeal to almost any interest, from sign language to the stock market. Each club is organized around shared interests such as culture, sports, languages, intellectual pursuits, or political and social issues.

    Great for these types of students

    - Students who want to play division III college sports - Students who want to study abroad - Students who want to go to a small school (Occidental has under 2,000 students) or like small class sizes (30 max students in a given class)

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    Watch out on your birthday because there is a huge campus-wide tradition to throw students in the fountain on your birthday!

    Bang for the buck

    No college is perfect. Every college has some flaws. Occidental is no exception. However, it cannot be denied that this college offers its students a more than exceptional academic opportunity. It has been a privilege to learn and grow from this institution the past three years. I feel more than prepared to graduate and continue my education at law school. This is because I took advantage of every experience I could. Playing college basketball, working on-campus, interning for the government, and making close friendships have given me new perspective and excitement about my future. So, essentially, you will get your money's worth from Occidental if you remember the phrase carpe diem.

    What to do for fun

    Explore the eateries in Eagle Rock, and head over for shopping or movies in Pasadena or Burbank. The Griffith Park Observatory, Venice Beach, and Hollywood are close if you have a car. Students should take advantage of living in Los Angeles because there is always something to do!

    Food and Dining

    We have a make-your-own omelette bar in the mornings, and pasta bar for lunch and dinner. There is a grill that always serves tasty chicken, salmon, or steak with an array of sides (e.g. veggies, potatoes, beans, rice). Occidental College also works diligently to provide a vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free option at every meal time. The food here is above and beyond the standard cafeteria-style meals at most other schools

    Dorm Life

    Occidental requires students to live on campus the first three years. The dorms are all good, but most rooms are triples. Rangeview dorm is the newest, and I really enjoyed living there last year (all rooms were either doubles or singles and each room had its own shower and bathroom).

    Academic Rigor

    The more work you put into your academics, the more you will get out of your overall college experience. All majors are intense and require a good deal of studying, and it is especially important to be prepared for every class for smaller, seminar-style courses. Occidental does have a great library that is open 24/5 and also on weekends. The library has group study rooms, quiet cubicles, and comfy lounges to meet a variety of student study needs.

    Tips for prospective students

    Take advantage of small class sizes and seek one-on-one counseling and advice from your professors. My sophomore year I did this and was able to obtain an internship at the U.S. Attorney's Office with the help of a professor. I am also doing summer research currently on a stipend under the mentorship of another professor. Take advantage of clubs, greek life, and intramural sports programs. They are a great way to stay active and involved on-campus. Also, take advantage of the schools study-abroad programs - nearly 50% of the student body will go abroad at some point during their college experience at Oxy.

    In three sentences

    Occidental College has given me not only a unique liberal arts education, but also the opportunity to play Division III NCAA Women's Basketball. This college encourages students to pursue both academic and extracurricular interests and grow within a tightly-knit community.

  • 06/06/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    12 of 24

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    They are pretty helpful.

    Clubs and Activities

    Really balance clubs and all with your academics, because there are endless amounts of clubs, it gets really easy to get distracted by all the social activities.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    Join OTeam! OTeam is the freshman orientation organization that rings in the new freshman each year. Super fun and so worth it. You get to be a huge part of campus and meet endless amounts of your peers.

    What to do for fun

    You are in Los Angeles, and what better way to experience your school than to engage in its community.

    Food and Dining

    GREAT food service! Better than most all other schools I have ever eaten at.

    Dorm Life

    Braun Hall was awesome, I think that you become familiar with those around you quite easily.

    Tips for prospective students

    Really indulge yourself in all the opportunities that Oxy's small liberal arts environment offers. I wish I would have taken more advantage of all the opportunities and programs that Oxy offers because it would have made my first year a greater experience than it was trying to maneuver myself in my academics.

    In three sentences

    For new college students, the small campus allows for such an easy transition. Generally a great environment both socially and academically. Without a doubt a great decision to accept Oxy as your new school.

  • 06/18/2012

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

    13 of 24

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    Campus safety is important and well thought out. I have always felt safe there.

    Greek Life

    Greek life is available for those who want it.

    Clubs and Activities

    Clubs are a popular part of campus life. A club can be created by students if enough members are gathered and the campus approves of it.

    Great for these types of students

    Occidental is great for the student who wants a small school environment and a challenging curriculum in an urban environment.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    Small class sizes and a small campus mean I will know many of my professors closely enough to ask questions about my classes. Oxy boasts about this relationship with prospective students. The students have a tradition of throwing students in the fountain on their birthdays.

    Bang for the buck

    While Occidental's tuition is pricey, many students receive financial assistance of some sort. The students I've met seem content with their choice to attend Oxy. Many internships and research opportunities exist due to its location.

    What to do for fun

    Since Occidental is located so close to Hollywood, Pasadena, and downtown Los Angeles, the possibilities of things to do are seemingly endless. I am looking forward to going to the beach and visiting Disneyland regularly!

    Food and Dining

    While I have not yet eaten there on a long term basis, the food choices I've seen look good.

    Dorm Life

    Several dorms are available at Occidental. Also, several room types are available from single to triple arrangements. The students seem active in their dorms. While I have not yet lived in them, I have stayed overnight and the room was comfortable. The single room of course provided the most room. A microwave, refrigerator, and internet access are provided in each room.

    Academic Rigor

    Shoot for as strong a GPA and test score as possible.

    Tips for prospective students

    Occidental looks for a diverse group of students with strong GPA and SAT scores. It is helpful when applying to Occidental to have a well-rounded application. Building a relationship with the admissions office in an interview or with someone like an athletic coach may be an important factor.

    In three sentences

    Occidental immediately impresses due to its cleanliness, attractive grounds, and the friendliness of everyone I met. While the classroom I viewed seemed old-fashioned, they are currently undergoing construction to create new buildings,etc. I am excited to attend Occidental due to its urban location, the attention they have given me so far, its potential future opportunities, and Oxy's involvement with the surrounding metropolitan area.

  • 07/19/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    14 of 24

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    Helpful, but slightly too strict. I do feel safe on campus.

    Clubs and Activities

    A lot of clubs to choose from. Most students also play a sport, intramural or varsity.

    Great for these types of students

    Studious, driven, student-athletes

    Bang for the buck

    Although I've enjoyed my experience, and I'm definitely getting a good education, Oxy is a bit overpriced.

    What to do for fun

    All the activities of LA are accessible.

    Food and Dining

    Great food! A lot of healthy options.

    Dorm Life

    Alcohol policies are ridiculous and unrealistic for a college campus. Most rooms are designed for two residents, but, with each incoming class getting bigger, many people find themselves in forced-triples. ResEd is also difficult to deal with. It's difficult to get approval for off-campus living as a Junior.

    Academic Rigor

    Although there are a few easy A classes, Oxy, in general, is very academically rigorous. The library is always pretty busy, even on Saturday nights.

  • 08/18/2012

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

    15 of 24

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    Thats one thing I love about the school. The campus guards can walk you to your home after dark and always protection. I feel very safe there.

    Greek Life

    There are a few sororities and fraternities. They say that Greek life is big there but I have yet to find out.

    Great for these types of students

    great for anyone that wants to go into liberal arts. Alright for kids that want to go into medicine or science. Most kids so political science, english, diplomacy and world affairs, or film

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    I dont know of any yet. I guess i'll find out soon enough

    Bang for the buck

    No. Its too expensive. Not even all the dorm rooms have AC. Health care doesnt cover dental, hearing or eye care. I have to do that outside of school. They didnt offer much at the new student parties. They barely gave me financial aide. not satisfied

    What to do for fun

    Its close to LA, so I can hike to the Hollywood sign or take a bike ride along Venice beach. Great night life.

    Food and Dining

    Wonderful, gourmet food. From all around the world. I never get bored. Alright prices

    Dorm Life

    I have yet to live on campus yet but I will move in in a week. There is air conditioning and heater in select dorms. There is a common room for students to gather together.

    Academic Rigor

    I have yet to take any classes but so far they seem like they are going to be alright. The placement tests were fairly easy to find and take but then picking the class gets sort of complicated.

    Tips for prospective students

    Make sure you volunteer at different places. Express yourself and show your real attributions in your personal statement. Study and take SAT 2s and the ACT.

    In three sentences

    Its very pretty and modern, newly renovated, up to date school. Councilors are not very helpful with picking out classes. Mostly everything is done online and notifications are always prompt on what needs to be done next.

  • 09/20/2012

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    16 of 24

    Categories Comments
    Food and Dining

    The food at Oxy is amazing! You will enjoy the various cafe's and food options while you live on campus.

    Dorm Life

    The dorms are really nice at Oxy. They offer a great deal of space, and the people are genuinely nice here.

    Academic Rigor

    At Oxy, the classes challenge students and the professors are a good tool for students. There are many academic programs provided on campus that allow students to be successful in their academics here at Oxy.

    Tips for prospective students

    Make sure you are willing to take the courses needed at Oxy to satisfy your core requirements. Be brave and take the big leap and actually get away from home. Learn from your peers, and make the best out of your orientation experience at Oxy.

  • 12/31/2012

    Reviewer is Researching this school. Reviewer has been to campus.

    17 of 24

    Categories Comments
    In three sentences

    The campus seemed really nice and cozy. I've heard that having a car is sort of a necessity if you want to get places easily, since it is in downtown LA. Its Urban and Environmental Policy major is pretty interdisciplinary and unique.

  • 01/19/2013

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    18 of 24

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    No real issues with campus safety! Relatively safe area.

    Greek Life

    Greek life is a comparatively small part of campus. I believe around fifteen percent of the campus is a part of Greek life, but I could be wrong.

    Clubs and Activities

    Many, many clubs and activities.

    Great for these types of students

    Liberals, social-justice types, those conscientious about the environment, those who are not looking for a party school.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    We have a tradition of throwing the birthday boy/girl into our school's fountain on their birthday.

    Bang for the buck

    Prohibitively expensive. I'm having an absolutely wonderful time, though.

    What to do for fun

    There aren't big party scenes, but you can find them if you look for them. Activities in Los Angeles are often planned on the weekends, but it's easy to feel cooped up and bored if you don't keep busy with extracurriculars or friends. Fortunately, there are plenty of both.

    Food and Dining

    Great food! Different selections every day that generally do not disappoint. Meal plan costs are a little high and sometimes go unspent, however. Dining options tend to get a little sparse on weekends.

    Dorm Life

    Each residential hall seems to have a distinctive theme; I am very fond of my residential hall, which is filled with wonderful and friendly people.

    Academic Rigor

    As with most colleges and universities, academic rigor rests on the classes you take. Bad at science? Take an easier science course.

    Tips for prospective students

    Occidental College tends to place an emphasis on the story you can bring to the student body, as opposed to purely academics. Put some personality into your application!

    In three sentences

    The environment is strongly liberal and a little too stringent when it comes to political correctness. That being said, it is also a very supportive environment in which individuals like myself can push themselves to become who they want to be. This is a school that cares about diversity, the environment, and equality.

  • 02/09/2013

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    19 of 24

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    Will give you rides and all in all makes the campus feel pretty safe. Even got my car jumped by them one time.

    Greek Life

    Im not familiar with Greek life but I know we have it.

    Clubs and Activities

    There are clubs on campus for anyone who wants to join them for any kind of activity. And starting a club is easy for those who want to branch out.

    Great for these types of students

    Serious academics and those who want to enjoy the college life both have a place here.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    The library is a labyrinth with plenty of computers and quiet places to study and group discussion rooms.

    Bang for the buck

    Expensive to say the least but the caliber of the professors here rivals IV League.

    What to do for fun

    Explore the city, go to a party, there's something for everyone here.

    Food and Dining

    Takes some getting used to but better than what you'll see at other colleges.

    Dorm Life

    Has something for everyone. From parties to gaming with buddies.

    Tips for prospective students

    Get your books early if you can, and use all the resources on campus for school really helpful.

    In three sentences

    The professors here are GREAT. Great place to make friends. Opportunities abound on this campus.

  • 03/15/2013

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    20 of 24

    Categories Comments
    What to do for fun

    There is so much to do at Oxy that is fun! There are always fun activities and dances going on on campus. The lovely thing is that Oxy is so close to LA that there is always the opportunity to explore Los Angeles.

    Food and Dining

    There is one main cafeteria on campus called the Market Place with a lot of diversity in their food. There is also a snack diner place called the Cooler with fried foods. There is also the coffee shop called the Green Bean and a coffee cart in one of the dorms.

    Dorm Life

    The dorms on lower campus are much closer to food and other attractions on campus. Also, only some of the dorms have AC which is important in California, but the overall dorm life is very nice.

    In three sentences

    Occidental is a small community where you get to know other students and professors on a very in depth level.

  • 03/17/2013

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    21 of 24

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    While the area around Oxy isn't always the safest, Campus Safety officers are constantly patrolling the campus and are willing to drive students around at night within half a mile of campus.

    Greek Life

    There are some fraternities and sororities on campus, although the college doesn't encourage their presence.

    Clubs and Activities

    There are a large variety of clubs on campus. There are active clubs (Zumba, Yoga, Hiking), science clubs (biology, birdwatching enthusiasts), writing groups, and much, much more. A full list can be found on Oxy's web site. The college is also good about trying to organize activities (on and off-campus) for its students. This includes organized trips to plays and operas in LA, trips to Griffith Park Observatory, as well as trips to other areas in the city. They also organize on-campus movie screenings and other fun activities.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    Oftentimes, people are thrown into the main fountain on campus on their birthdays. In addition, many tv series and movies have used Oxy as a setting. If you're on campus over school breaks, you'll often have the opportunity to see the crew sets (and sometimes the actors!) for various tv series. I'm only a freshman, but I've seen Michael Cera on campus filming Arrested Development as well as Cory Monteith filming Glee's version of the Harlem Shake.

    Bang for the buck

    Oxy is expensive, but offers great financial aid for students in need. It really is a fantastic school - it fosters a sense of community that other larger schools can't nurture.

    What to do for fun

    Oxy is located in Eagle Rock - which is right in the middle of Glendale (the Americana, movie theaters, a shopping mall) and Pasadena (Old Town Pasadena shopping district). Oxy is also a quick car ride from downtown LA, and is about half an hour to an hour drive from the popular beaches in the area. (Cars make getting to these places easier, although it is possible to go there via the bus system.)

    Food and Dining

    Oxy has 4 meals plan ranging A through D, with A being the largest of the meal plans. A is generally used by athletes, while C (the smallest meal plan allowed for freshman) is often not used up all the way by many students. There are two main dining facilities on campus, as well as a student-run coffee shop (very good!) and a food cart in one of the dorms.

    Dorm Life

    Singles, doubles, and triples are available on campus. Rooms have one dresser, desk, and bed per person. The height of beds can be adjusted. Some rooms have sinks and bathroom-sized mirrors. There are dorms on lower campus, close to classrooms and the dining halls, or on upper campus which is a little farther away. There are some dorms that are considered to be more of the party dorms than others are.

    Academic Rigor

    Classes here are hard. No matter how well you did academically in high school, be prepared to be challenged at Oxy. There are a lot of reading homework assignments, as well as papers to write. Tests are difficult, and there will be weeks when you have large assignments and tests in all of your classes. Be prepared to work hard.

    Tips for prospective students

    Come visit Oxy before you decide to come here. The campus is gorgeous, and you won't regret getting to see the campus and talking to some of the current students before you come.

    In three sentences

    Oxy is a close community of students who are academically driven, but enjoy spending time with their friends in the sun. The weather is great, the people are even better, and you'll find classes and professors here that speak to you. You'll be treated well and will be given the tools you need to succeed.

  • 03/18/2013

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    22 of 24

    Categories Comments
    Greek Life

    Small, but it exists.

    Great for these types of students

    Academics, Musical people

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    There is a place called Sycamore Glen where kids just play music.

    What to do for fun

    Explore LA, go see shows in Hollywood

    Tips for prospective students

    Be sure you know what major you would like to pursue at Occidental college.

    In three sentences

    A small school in the heart of Los Angeles, great physics department, a challenging academic program.

  • 04/22/2013

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    23 of 24

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    Very prompt but often too strict.

    Greek Life

    Limited but not exclusive.

    Clubs and Activities

    Intramural sports, various clubs on campus that travel

    Great for these types of students

    Students willing to put in hard work with the books.

    Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus

    On a person's birthday they get thrown into the water fountain in front of the campus.

    Bang for the buck

    Faculty members are almost always available and everything is well kept together.

    What to do for fun

    Athletic facilities are always available, and parties are pretty laid back.

    Food and Dining

    Food here is suppose to be one of the best!

    Dorm Life

    Meet great people and everyone is friendly.

    Academic Rigor

    School here is challenging but if you study enough you'll be fine.

    Tips for prospective students

    Stay focused and become involved. Get out and keep busy!

    In three sentences

    Great environment and students are all nice. Study environment is balanced and there aren't as many distractions. School doesn't get enough credit for how hard it is.

  • 05/29/2013

    Reviewer is A current student here.

    24 of 24

    Categories Comments
    Campus Safety

    Occidental is located in Eagle Rock, so you get used to falling asleep to sirens every night. Campus Safety is only a call away if you ever feel unsafe walking back to your dorm at night (which I never have). They patrol the campus regularly and you can call them for any noise disturbances if you want to. I've called them about jump-starting my car, too, so they help with pretty much everything. They are sticklers for ticketing cars that are parked in the wrong spots, so be careful about that.

    Greek Life

    Occidental doesn't focus much on Greek Life. There is only one national sorority here, so it doesn't give you a lot of options if that is what you are interested in. Oxy has two local sororities, which means they are Oxy-only. There is a co-ed fraternity, as well, and maybe 3-4 fraternities. Greek Life is pretty exclusive at Occidental, but the whole process itself is definitely more laid-back than the schools that take Greek Life really seriously.

    Clubs and Activities

    There are lots of options as far as clubs and activities go. We have clubs ranging from languages, to yoga, to UNICEF, to intramural sports. You are bound to find something you are interested in, and if you don't, then you can get granted permission to start your own club.

    Great for these types of students

    Great for extremely liberal students, and students wishing to major in something like Domestic and World Affairs. Great for hardworking students who care about their school work and education.

    Bang for the buck

    Occidental is extremely expensive, but they seem to pull through with the financial aid. The academics are awesome, but the dorm and food expenses are too much. For the prices you pay, the dorms should be much nicer and the food should be cheaper and less boring. Sometimes, I wonder where our tuition dollars really go. However, the school itself is beautiful. Your opinion on if it's worth it really just depends on what you care most about in a school.

    What to do for fun

    Los Angeles is full of things to do: concerts, sporting events, conventions, etc. The city is only about 15 minutes from campus in a car, and Pasadena and Hollywood are close by as well. Pasadena has good food and great shopping, and Hollywood has a lot of nightlife or daytime tours. Eagle Rock itself can be a lot of fun: there are taco trucks, other restaurants, shopping, and farmers markets.

    Food and Dining

    Occidental caters very well to people on specialized diets: vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free. Their meat isn't the greatest (sometimes it would not look fully cooked), so you always have to be aware of that. For the best food, there are always long lines unless you eat at weird times, but it's usually worth it. The food options can get pretty boring and repetitive.

    Dorm Life

    The dorms vary a lot. My freshman dorm wasn't the greatest: the bathrooms really needed a renovation, the rooms were small (for triples), there wasn't air conditioning, and the linoleum floors got dirty really quickly. However, we did have sinks in our rooms, which was nice, and we lived on lower campus, so we were close to the Marketplace, the gym, etc. Not all dorms have air conditioning, and a lot of them are on upper-campus, so they are far away from all the main parts of the school. Rangeview is the nicest dorm: it has carpeted floors, a coffee cart, its own gym, classrooms, and Saturday night dinners. Other living options include themed living and group housing.

    Academic Rigor

    Be prepared to spend a lot of time on your school work. Occidental holds high standards for their students, and they give rewards for people who uphold those standards. The school has scholarship opportunities for good students. The class sizes are small and you receive a lot of individual attention from professors, which is extremely helpful. Sometimes Oxy's core curriculum seems extensive, especially if you know what you want to major in, but the classes they require you to take help you become a more well-rounded student.

    Tips for prospective students

    Get involved! It is a small school and getting involved helps you get to know a lot of people. The academics are great and you really should get to know your professors, and they will reciprocate. Sometimes the teaching is very biased (it is an extremely liberal school), so be prepared to hold strong in your opinions if it feels like people are shutting you down.

    In three sentences

    Occidental College is a beautiful school. It has great academics and is a place for hardworking students. In Los Angeles, there is always something to do.