California University of Pennsylvania
California, PA, USA

Reviews

California University of Pennsylvania
3.77 Average Rating

Tina from West Mifflin, PA

a current student here
3 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
In three sentences
The campus is a beautiful place with friendly people. California University of Pennsylvania has a a campus that is easy to walk around, and get to classes on time. Also, the college is challenging, interactive, and fun.
Tips for prospective students
A tip for any prospective student would be to know what you want to do before you attend here, because if you do not know, then it makes it more difficult to decide.
Academic Rigor
The academic rigor here can be challenging but it is still fun because the classes are interactive. Also, if you do not like what you are learning, then it will not be fun to learn.
Dorm Life
The people in my hall are friendly and very out going. They welcome all new people and are fun to have around. Although the walls are thin and you can smell what every one else is cooking, you get to know people better.
Food and Dining
Food is something everyone must have to survive, and at this college campus, you will have no problem finding something you like. They have a range of foods, drinks, and snacks that are open at all different times of the day or night.
What to do for fun
Something that is fun to do on campus is being outside when it is nice and hanging out with the different people here. Or, going to sporting events, hanging out and getting food, or going tanning off campus.
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Daeshawn from Pittsbugh, PA

a current student here
3 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
In three sentences
a very rewarding experience for a relatively low cost. a small yet beautiful campus with everything you need relatively close by. a school that does more for you outside of the classroom as well as in.
Tips for prospective students
be sure to go on a visit, i visited several times before going and talk with the academic counselling staff when you do. also if your looking for work, apply for work-study as soon as you get there. p.s get involved!
Academic Rigor
i believe the academic rigor is tough for people who cannot manage their time well, other than that calu offers a great curriculum
Dorm Life
the best dorms you probably ever see and or get to live in.
Food and Dining
the food is great for awhile but gets old pretty quick, but the plus side is they are soon remodeling and changing all of that.
What to do for fun
there are countless clubs to be involved in and a great greek system. as well as plenty of friends and an activities board( i am a officer) that provides amazing trips, novelties and live shows of all kinds and there is an open mic cafe. i
Bang for the buck
this school has provided me with great friends, opportunities( intership with pepsi, my roommate with google) adventures and memories that i will never forget and it's only my 2nd year. i love it!
Great for these types of students
great for all types of students whose major is available!
Clubs and Activities
they are plentiful and amazing! over 200 i believe to get involved in.
Greek Life
there are plenty of greek live chapters and as well as a few new editions!
Campus Safety
i will forever feel safe and secure in this environment, the safety is something i can depend on here at calu
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Jennifer King

a current student here
2 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
In three sentences
California University of Pennsylvania is located in a rural area. It has a wide selection of majors and programs to study from. CalU is a great choice for either undergraduate or graduate levels.
Tips for prospective students
Like any college, be prepared to spend money. Nothing is cheap even down to food. Sign up for as many clubs and organizations as you can, as long as you have the time and the commitment. There isn't anything near by in terms of recreation so also be prepared to be either driving or relying on the FREE public transportation provided.
Academic Rigor
CalU takes academics very seriously and the professors are fantastic. The professors encourage being engaged in the classroom and being proactive with both assignments and grades. Professors offer as much help as possible between their office hours and even scheduling appointments outside of their office hours to accommodate the students' needs.
Dorm Life
The dorms here are one of a kind. With many dorm buildings to choose from, the dorms include: carpeted bedrooms, AC/heating conditions, and a variety of bedroom types. While staying here you can choose what type of room you want to stay in: two person one bath, four person one bath, four person two bath, one person one bath, etc.
Food and Dining
Also like any college, the food here is decent. No type of food is going to be like mom's cooking. Be prepared to buy food from other places off campus.
What to do for fun
There isn't much to do on campus besides clubs/organizations or attend sporting events. Most of the recreational activities are located in Pittsburgh or farther away depending on the activity.
Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus
The first night on campus all incoming freshman or transfer students attend a candlelit ceremony followed by some fireworks.
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Jay from pittsburgh, PA

a current student here
21 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
Am learning a lot
At California University of P.A. you will come across many professors that push you to not only learn but understand what you are learning and apply it in your everyday life. Cal U professors are among the best I have ever come across and seem to truly care about their students and there individual success.
Am enjoying being here
One word comes to mind when describing my feeling of being here at Cal U-Love. It is tucked in a rural area of western P.A., far enough away from the hustle and bustle of a big city, but close enough to Pittsburgh for a weekend visit. California University of P.A. has a beautiful campus that is complimented by a nice small town where there is always something going on. The people at this school are always very friendly and making friends here is one of the easiest things to do, just make sure you remember to study!
Bang for the buck
You will get you monies worth here. At Cal U you can really see your money being put into action. With the new dorms, which are some of the best I Have ever seen, the brand new gym, scheduled to open this school year, or the parking high rise and convocation center that are currently in construction. Anywhere you look at Cal you can see you money being put to work.
Tips for prospective students
Be prepared. This is college now, if your not used to lots of people be ready for some culture shock. But remember everyone else is going through the same thing you are.
College is fast paced. There is going to be more work, harder tests, lots of reading, and many new concepts thrown at you even in the first few weeks of school. Remember to try to enter with an open mind and that your professors are always there to help you.
Don't be scared and have some fun. While college can be scary at first, coming in with an open mind will really help you make the transition. Sometimes college can seem overwhelming in those first few days or weeks but you will get through it with support from friends, family, and professors. Do not forget to lean on the people who can help you, no one can go at it alone.
Great for these types of students
Great for students who like a relaxed atmosphere. People who do not want to be too far or close to the city. Great for people who are ready to work hard and succeed. Cal U is a great place for anyone that wants to accept the schools values and have the best four years of their life.
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Amanda

a current student here
9 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
Academic Rigor
As with any Gen Ed's, you can expect some repetition from information you learned in high school. You can definitely expect to be exposed to new information, ideas, and opinions at Cal. The teachers in upper level classes are challenging but they are always willing to talk and answer any questions you have.
Am enjoying being here
People are really friendly on campus, and though there isn't much in town, there are plenty of clubs to be involved with. Also, the Student Activities Board comes up with activities and people who visit the campus to perform. We've had many comedians visit campus including Bob Saget. The gym is also another way to keep busy if you're worried about being bored. The campus is absolutely beautiful. Sometimes the food in the Gold Rush dining area could be better, but the Student Union offers other food options.
Bang for the buck
The cost is excellent compared to other schools I was comparing. You definitely get your moneys worth in paying for a dorm. When choosing a meal plan consider how many meals you think you will eat each day.
Tips for prospective students
Choose the best meal plan that fits you and your lifestyle, you don't want to be wasting money on meals you aren't using.
Definitely look into scholarships, it's worth a shot and it's free money. What more could you ask for?
Consider what type of living arrangement you want. Cal offers many types, some are more expensive than others. Don't try to live above your means or what you are comfortable with.
Great for these types of students
Those who like to be involved in clubs/organizations, this will keep you occupied. If you're not one of those types of people you will probably find yourself bored.
Those who have the motivation and desire to learn. This is college, the professors aren't going to push you every step of the way to complete homework, go to class. etc.
Those who like meeting new people from many locations.
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Colleen from Pittsburgh, PA

a current student here
7 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
In three sentences
I love the campus life at California University of Pennsylvania because there are always people all over the campus. There is no limit of what you can get involved in on campus or off campus. The University gives opportunities to their students such as 7 habits of highly effective people training that I think really help prepare students for life after college.
Tips for prospective students
For prospective students I would say treat your Cal card like gold, never lose it because it's how you get into your dorms, it has your meal plan, helps rent books and allows access to events on campus. I would also say, learn where the buildings are and explore the campus. A must is to make time to make friends that way even in a small town, you will never be bored. Take advantage of opportunities on campus, such as leader for life programs, the different clubs, find where you belong and build off of your interests.
Academic Rigor
Some general classes are easy, they sometimes won't challenge you as much as you would like them too, where others do give that challenge. When doing classes for your major I feel that it is difficult, but with the right amount of time given to the work it will not be so bad. It's challenging but not impossible.
Dorm Life
I loved living in the dorms during my first year on campus. I met some of my best friends living on my floor. It was exciting to meet new people. The dorms felt more like apartments with our own bathrooms and windows. My roommate and I got along really well. I spent many nights with my friends hanging out in the lounges where we would have movie nights and make food in the kitchen at three in the morning.
Food and Dining
The food at Cal U is a huge variety. Wraps are a big thing on our campus, people love eating wraps either grilled, or cold wrapped. But you can get burgers and fries if that's just what your craving too. There is an area by the gym which is strictly healthy foods. Finally the cafeteria which offers four different bars to eat at giving a large variety of different kinds of foods you may want. I enjoy eating there because of the variety. One of the other great places to go is flatz, which is like a convenience store on campus. I love eating at all the different places, and grabbing a cup of coffee in the morning at the coffee shop on campus. I think the food is great, and whatever I'm craving I usually am able to get it, no matter the time.
What to do for fun
There is a movie theater on campus showing current movies, and there are always events going on whether they are on campus or off campus. Students buy tickets for events in Pittsburgh and Cal u will have a bus available to take students downtown, and bring them back. Student Activities Board brings comedians in on Friday nights, and seminars and events. Usually every night of the week something is going on somewhere.
Bang for the buck
Cal U is an affordable university because it is part of the state system school chain in Pennsylvania. And they help give you as much financial aid as you qualify for which helps a lot when you're like me and struggling to pay for college.
Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus
Students used to put bagels on this one statue's finger. Another tradition, which is suppose to give luck is hitting the Vulcan's hammer on the statue outside of Herron Fitness Center. Neat locations on campus are the fountains, the one by Noss, and the convocation center, the courtyard behind old main and the quad, where there is turf instead of grass.
Great for these types of students
I think Cal U is great for any type of student. If you're not a really good student there are tutors available on campus, the professors for your classes are always reach able, there is a writing center, and math lab to help improve writing skills and help in math classes. For advanced students, Cal U has a lot of opportunities to expand your resume and find internships in order to see if the major chosen is what's right for you.
Clubs and Activities
There is a club and activity for any interest on campus. There are over 150 majors on campus and over 200 clubs and organizations on campus. There is a place for anyone to find themselves and where they belong here on campus.
Greek Life
There are social sororities and fraternities on campus, as well as service fraternities and academic fraternities for some majors. Greek life is one way to find a way to fit in with a group of people and a way to get more involved not just on campus but in an organization such as the national kidney foundation, or the Alzheimer's foundation. there are 5 sororities on campus and 5 or 6 fraternities. Each have a philanthropy and have their own rituals that they do.
Campus Safety
Public safety is constantly circling around the campus. They are available whenever by just calling them. Their constant patrolling makes the campus feel safe.
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Shaylun from Rices Landing, PA

accepted here and planning to attend soon
5 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
Will learn a lot
All of the teachers I've met are friendly and ready to help. The admissions and financial aid staff are patient and listen well if you have a question or do not understand something. Talking with them is like having a conversation with a friend, and the environment is relatively relaxed.
Will enjoy being here
Teachers seem to always be willing to dig into their extra time for their students, even those that are extremely busy. Service to the school and the community are both important to the faculty and staff at Cal U, from the grounds keepers to the higher ups in old main. The food at the goldrush and other places around campus is great.
Bang for the buck
For such a widely known university, Cal U has reasonable tuition. As the parking situation is relatively new though, it may take the campus a while to get it worked out, which is perfectly acceptable. There is always construction going on, which is a great sign for any university. It means that they are constantly upgrading facilities to better serve their students. The residence halls are so nice, not cinder block prison walls with no windows. You get your own bathroom! No community showers. And, you get air conditioning too.
Tips for prospective students
Take a tour of the campus first, I would say that Cal is a small campus in a rural area, and that may not be right for everyone. Talk to people who attend or have attended, ask them questions. If you come here, take the Covey class! It's called the seven habits of highly effective people, and it can be a mind altering class, if you let it be. It's free to everyone, as all the people who teach it are volunteers, so it is a great experience.
Great for these types of students
Students who want to live in a relatively calm setting that is close enough to a city to go and have fun on the weekends, but not so close that it is distracting to academics could really enjoy it here. Cal isn't about just one thing, be it just academics, or just sports, or just parties. A lot of great things about this school come in equal amounts, which makes it well balanced, so anyone looking for a well rounded experience would find it easy to acclimate to this school.
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Amanda from Monongahela, PA

accepted here and planning to attend soon
4 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
In three sentences
California University of Pennsylvania is a great small, hometown college with many different academic choices. The faculty interaction with the students is unsurpassed and it is more than apparent that everyone involved in your educational journey is there to help you do your best and become the best at what you do. California University, or Cal U, is a superb university for those wishing to instill the values of integrity, civility, and responsibility.
Tips for prospective students
My number one tip for prospective students is to take advantage of all the oppurtunities available at California University including clubs/organizations, honor socieities, student art exhibitions, and athletics.
Academic Rigor
Every professor and faculty member, with the exception of only a few, works hard to help students acheive and become the best in their chosen field of study.
Dorm Life
The dorms are spacious, clean, and roomy. They are cozy for students and a welcome change from neighboring colleges and universities.
Food and Dining
There are many dining options, including a food court, an all-you-can-eat buffet, coffee shop, hoagie/sub shop, and various sandwhich shops. Most of the food here is very good and there are many options for different types of diets including vegan and vegetarian dietary options.
What to do for fun
There are countless activities, events, and activities - all of which are listed in the complementary California University of Pennsylvania daily planner given by the University. Special events are posted in various places around the university - the most common place being the Natali Student Union.
Bang for the buck
Although tuition costs have gone up for every college student in the state of PA, Cal U is quite reasonable with the costs. It is much less expensive to find an apartment off-campus as housing can be quite pricey.
Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus
There are many sculptural forms across campus along with beautiful brick buildings and a serene and picturesque landscape. In the fall semester, it is common to see students complete homework assignments in the grassy areas, under the big Sycamore trees.
Great for these types of students
Students who thrive in small classroom environments, one-on-one time to speak to advisors and professors, and those who are in need of accomodations and modifications. This campus consists of many departments such as The Office of Students With Disabilities who help each student find what works for them, if need be. Faculty members in all departments I've experienced have been more than helpful.
Clubs and Activities
Read above.
Greek Life
There are many sororities and fraternities to pick from. Usually during the first few weeks of the semester, these organizations will host a Student Rush Week in order to sign new members.
Campus Safety
I believe that this is the only factor where the campus lacks a bit in its duties. With new renovations and new campus policies, Cal U appears to still be adjusting. There are no cameras outside of the buildings on campus and the shuttle service to different parking areas is outrageous and potentially dangerous at night. There is a public safety department on campus, but it is not always the most reliable source for help.
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Madison from North Canton, OH

a current student here
3 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
In three sentences
California University of PA is a well known division 2, outgoing, small college that is willing to build relationships with the students attending it. The campus is improving with a new convocation center that was just built in the Fall. Almost every sports team is ranked in their conferences, and are amazing to watch.
Tips for prospective students
It is a small school, but not too small. There isn't much near the campus, but most malls and other fun stuff are approximately 30 minutes way including the city of Pittsburgh.
Academic Rigor
The academic part of the school is not very hard. It is great because there are so many classes that are able to be taken online for students who commute or are involved with sports teams. The schooling is not hard, as long as you get your work done and the professors are always willing to help you if you need help.
Dorm Life
The Dorm life that I experienced my first year was excellent because there is a bathroom and shower in each room so you don't have to walk down the hallway to a community one. The dorms are pretty much brand new and very big for college dorms. They are not your ideal dorms when you think of college. You have a choice of being in a quad with 3 other people and each quad also has 2 bathrooms and 2 showers within it.
Food and Dining
The food and dining is delicious, and there are many different options. There is different places throughout the student center such as, a cafeteria/ buffet, a place called Taylor and burnes that sells breakfast sandwiches and coffee, another place that sells different kinds of sandwiches, and a place called flatz that sells about everything you could imagine and is open late for students.
What to do for fun
There is a lot to do for fun around Cal dealing with the many events that are always going on at the turf in the middle of the dorms. There are always plays going on in the theatre, and also a movie theatre that has different movies playing at different times. There is a gym open to anyone that wants to go work out and inside the gym is a swimming pool, a track, and two basketball courts.
Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus
The campus is very pretty, and always clean. There are two gorgeous fountains around the campus. One lights up different colors and is just beautiful. There are also statues around campus that make it more interesting.
Great for these types of students
Cal is great for students that want one more attention from the professors and don't like huge classes. You get more one on one with the professors and they are always willing to assist you in anyway. I would recommend this school to someone who likes a small town and a smaller school.
Clubs and Activities
There are clubs and activities for almost every major you can think of. We even have a quidditch team that gets together and gets to express there interest for Harry Potter. You can get involved in anything that interests you!
Campus Safety
The campus safety is not a problem. There are always cops around and you can call for public safety is there is ever a problem. There is a health center on campus also.
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Abbey

a current student here
3 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
In three sentences
CalU has a lovely smaller size campus and your teachers will get to know you by name. The online program CalU offers is great and is one of the best in the nation. Living on campus is fun and safe.
Academic Rigor
All of the professors that I have had are reasonable and not too harsh with their class work. It depends what level class you are taking, but that is how it is at any university. If you work hard you will get an A in any class.
Dorm Life
The dorms at CalU are really nice. All dorms have a bathroom in them and they're spacious compared to a lot of other schools. The dorms are relatively new and safe to live in.
Food and Dining
There are a few different dining options to choose from at Cal. I think they could use a few more places because students get sick of eating the same thing all year.
What to do for fun
There are plenty of clubs to join on campus. Most students choose to join sororities and fraternities. If you enjoy working out the gym offers plenty of different classes to take. The Student Activities Board hosts several activities a week including comedy shows, concerts, game shows, etc. There are also movies played daily that have not yet been released on DVD.
Bang for the buck
Although the tuition for public state schools is going up, CalU is still a lot cheaper than most private schools.
Great for these types of students
If you are looking for a relatively laid back and smaller campus this is a great choice for you.
Campus Safety
There are plenty of CalU public safety that you see on campus keeping us safe.
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