Santa Monica College
Santa Monica, CA, USA

Reviews

Santa Monica College
3.18 Average Rating

Jesus from Los Angeles, CA

a current student here
2 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
Am learning a lot
Santa Monica College is a very good school where learning is easy and fun. The teachers are very good and they are willing to help you when you need it. There is plenty of help and one-on-one counseling. I really am learning a lot of what is expected from me and that there really is no reason for missing out work and failing because, your work is given to you on a syllabus at the beginning of class. I am really learning that as long as i put dedication to studying and in-class assignments, the classes can be very smooth and easy.
Am enjoying being here
I am enjoying being at Santa Monica because It really is a very good school. there is a lot of interaction and campus events going on. It is a very quiet and helpful environment where one can study outdoors without disruptions and if preferred indoors where staff will make sure that you have a quiet place to study. The campus consists of a many computer labs and a big library with a variety of books for research.
Bang for the buck
To pay for school doesn't have to cost you an eye outta your face. Classes are very cheap at only $26 and tuition is not going to hit you in the face. Taking at least two years at Santa Monica College will save you a lot of money as for you wont have to pay thousands like in 4 year universities. Although, there is plenty of financial aid available for students that qualify for it. This will make it easier for you and wont have to spend your money on books witch do cost a lot. By the way you do not have to buy the books straight from the student book store as you can buy books from your fellow students and classmates. You can also sell your books back to the book store or to other students that need it.
Tips for prospective students
A very good tip for prospective students would be to not give up half way when things are looking bad. That you should not give in to pressure because where there is a will there is a way. Having good grades and maintaining them is not very hard because there is a lot of help available for you. The most important thing that you have to remember is that you should learn how to manage your time. If you do not know how to manage your time, getting things done will be very difficult. Things will get clamped together and you will miss out assignments, tests and important events. You can avoid all of these things if you are able to manage your time and student planners are a vary good way to do so. Also, a very good tip would be to visit a counselor at least twice per semester as this will help you keep in track with your goals.
Great for these types of students
Santa Monica College is a great school for all types of students. Race, religion or age will not affect you in any way. SMC is has a good environment for all types of students regardless of who you are. What matters is that you are willing to sacrifice your time to get a good education to have a brighter future. Having a variety of students is very good because you learn more about other races and that there are many people out there who think and are just like you. SMC has a variety of programs and services that will help you out, give you benefits and make school be a lot easier.
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Michelle from Los Angeles, CA

a current student here
1 person found this review useful
Categories Comments
In three sentences
Santa Monica College is the best place to be if your goal is transferring. The biggest plus for this school is how close it is to the beach. Everyone is very friendly and welcoming.
Tips for prospective students
I would suggest that you go to a counselor in the welcome center and then after you are in enrolled, go to the counselors within the counseling center. If one counselor you see is not the right one for you, don't give up, just make an appointment to see another. Most importantly research this college to see if it is the right one for you.
Academic Rigor
Passing classes are easy if you stay focused and get all the help that is offered. Free tutoring is offered in almost every subject that is taught here at Santa Monica College.
Food and Dining
SMC has a great selection of food on campus. There are lots of healthy choices. The best deal for your budget would be at Abbot's Pizza Company on Pico across the street from the college. They are always offering student deals for delicious meals.
What to do for fun
I love going to the beach in between classes on sunny days. I set my class schedule so that I have time to squeeze in a trip or five(lol) to the beach. I also enjoy club row in the Spring and Fall. I have gotten free food for solving math problems.
Bang for the buck
The biggest bang for your buck is the Associates Students Sticker which is only $19.50. It gives you access to free rides on every big blue bus, cheap movie tickets, and more. Even though books are expensive at school but SMC has the option of selling back your books for almost half of what you paid for it. Students are always looking to sell books for way cheaper than what the book store sells it for.
Great for these types of students
Santa Monica is a school for every type of student.
Clubs and Activities
The best clubs are here at SMC. They all get together to promote their club at an event called Club Row. Best event ever! All i can say is free food and lots of fun!
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Jessica from Los Angeles, CA

a current student here
1 person found this review useful
Categories Comments
In three sentences
I am so very pleased with all of my instructors at Santa Monica College. While providing a wealth of information and support, I can see how greatly they are helping to shape my future in an incredibly positive way. The classmates that I am surrounded by are an important factor, as well, when considering my overall happiness at school; they are generally great team players and help make learning fun!
Tips for prospective students
Stay well-informed on current requirements in the fields you are most interested in. Always keep your eye out for new, diverse opportunities; be willing to explore!
Academic Rigor
The professors will push you toward excellence, helping you tremendously, to grow as a student, but they don't tolerate those who create distraction, which draws crucial attention and energy that could otherwise be utilized by another student who shows that they are there to achieve.
Dorm Life
I live off-campus, but I hear it's splendid!
Food and Dining
There are plenty of vending machines spread around the campus with some healthier options, in addition to the typical selections. The cafeteria offers a wide range of quick, on-the-go bites and many hot, tasty meals which can satisfy various ethnic cravings or a simple traditions of American dishes.
What to do for fun
Go to a football game, see a lecture, or visit the Broadstage!
Bang for the buck
I have not been to many other campuses, but Santa Monica College does seem to be top-notch. SMC has gorgeous landscaping throughout, fountains, state-of-the-art sports facilities, and a successful theater. The massive library, architecturally and administratively, seems to promote a healthy study habit among all students.
Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus
SMC's campus has an extensive recycling and earth-friendly policy which seems to affect students' personal habits on campus and away from school.
Great for these types of students
California relaxed lifestyle, hanging out with people who tend to have a sunny disposition, BUT willing to put forth a strong dedication to studies.
Clubs and Activities
There is an incredible range of activities to suit the interests of any student, visitor, and/or staff member.
Greek Life
Greek life does not seem to be a strong cultural influence at Santa Monica College, in my experience so far.
Campus Safety
I have never once felt unsafe, or threatened in any way.
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Christina from Los Angeles, CA

a current student here
1 person found this review useful
Categories Comments
In three sentences
smc is topnotch. the teachers really care about your success. smc is the #1 college to transfer to the uc's.
Tips for prospective students
sign up as soon as possible for classes. buy used books to save money.
Academic Rigor
smc has high standards. you really learn a lot, whichever class you choose.
Food and Dining
there is a food court with food for every taste.
What to do for fun
watch or participate in sports. go to the planetarium. attend plays or musical performances.
Bang for the buck
classes are so much less expensive than at uc's or other colleges.
Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus
nice grassy areas to study outdoors.
Great for these types of students
beach lovers (many great beaches nearby)
Clubs and Activities
too many to list
Campus Safety
pretty safe
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Harshana from Westwood, CA

a past student here
1 person found this review useful
Categories Comments
In three sentences
Professors with Masters or professional experience

Attractive modern buildings

Attractively dressed girls
Tips for prospective students
Classes fill up very soon. Sooner you add, the better

Don't completely depend on the counselors on
1. Completing requirements for a specific university.
Solution - Contact your major's Dept. of the University you are transferring to, to get 'all' the information you need or there's about a 50% chance you could be wasting 1 or 2 more semesters in SMC.

2. Don't expect the counselors to know anything specific about your major except for what is at www.assist.org and www.csumentor.org/com
Partial solution - Contact an appropriate professor. Partial because I got most helpful information off the internet's reliable sources than what I got from a couple of professors. Now don't get the wrong idea. Most of the Professors I've had are top-notch. But they might not be up-to-date.

e.g: I want to be a computer hardware engineer. So I kept looking at monster.com and craigslist.org for job listings. Many of the positions mainly required that i know Verilog. I asked a couple of my professors and they did not know what it was. From internet I learned that it is an HDL (Hardware Descriptive Language) and that SMC does not offer it but many universities in my hit-list do.

Moral of the story- Do your own research about what you want and how to get it!
Food and Dining
3 Coffee shops.

Cafeteria with 3 outlets offer a varied selection.
What to do for fun
I just keep my Boogie Board in my trunk and hop in the ocean between classes (in summer). Or head to the Venice Skatepark.
Bang for the buck
International Student's pay about $3700 (in 2011) for a semester. Good deal compared to 7k, 10k and 25k of CSU, UC and USC.
Campus Safety
It's a great, nice campus and a neighborhood.

BUT

There has been many instances of robberies of Purses, cell phones, bikes and a few auto thefts. Just follow SMCPD's guidelines and you shouldn't have a problem.
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Amanda from Los Angeles, CA

a current student here
6 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
Am learning a lot
Every school has its pros and cons, especially when it comes to the faculty. Fortunately most of the professors at SMC are top notch, many have taught and still teach at great schools such as UCLA. I recently took a business course and it put me at ease with choosing to be a busness major. My professor gave interesting lectures as well as memorable ones. Many students from junior colleges fear that once they transfer to a university the coursework will be alot harder, but based on myexperience, I don't think the transition will be impossible.
Am enjoying being here
I do get to see many of my high school friends, but sometimes I wish I could meet more new people. Of course this is something that one has to take upon themselves to accomplish. It was easier in high school to talk to people in class, but not so much in college. Once you are in class you have to be prepared to listen to the tecaher speak non stop through the entire period, there isnt much time to socialize. If you get to do group projects, then you have a chance to make new friends, or if you join a club. There are diverse people all throughout the campus, you meet people from all ages and from different countries as well. You just have to take the initiative if you really want to meet new people.
Bang for the buck
I get financial aid, but I still have to pay for my books, which tend to be worth an arm and a leg. Still, I believe that SMC is one of the best junior colleges in Southern California. The location is amazing, who doesnt like an ocean breeze?, the facility is overall maintained well, many teachers leave a great lasting impression, and the school boasts about being #1 in transfers to UCLA. This definitley is a great school to choose to attend if planning on transferring.
Tips for prospective students
I made sure to lookup my professors on ratemyprofessors.com before deciding to stick with the particular professor I chose. Of course everyone has to take it upon themselves to get a good grade, but you still need to make sure you have a professor who is willing to help you when you ask for it and who genuinely loves teaching.
Great for these types of students
Independent, self-motivator, struggling financially, students looking to transfer to a university.
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Caroline from Santa Monica, CA

a current student here
3 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
In three sentences
Who wouldn't love a nice campus, in a great location, with great teachers, green buildings and students from all over the world ? I love SMC and would recommend it to anyone who wants to attend a community college. No, it is not perfect but no school on Earth is.
Tips for prospective students
Good teachers are more important than a good schedule but classes fill up quickly so be fast ! Crashing classes is also very effective way to get in if you did not enroll fast enough.
Also, make sure you check out the clubs ! SMC has a lot of great clubs ! Eco Action is my favorite but we have tons of other clubs (they're even starting a surf club this year ).
Academic Rigor
SMC might not be a 4 year university but they're here to get you ready for it.
If you want good grades, you can get them but you're going to have to work for them, at least for most of your classes (I heard everyone had an A in Japanese 1 last semester...). If you are planning on attending SMC, be ready to work and to learn lots of useful and interesting things with great professors. Trust me, it will be worth it !
Dorm Life
No dorms at SMC but you can easily find a room close to campus.
Food and Dining
The cafeteria is a bit expensive but there are lots of choices and it is pretty clean and spacious. My advice: bring your own food ! Homemade meals are always better and healthier, and you'll save a lot of money !
What to do for fun
As I already mentioned, join a club ! Santa Monica is also a great place for students, you can go to the beach, learn how to surf or how to skateboard, ride your bike around town, go hiking in the Santa Monica Mountains, go on the roller coaster at the Santa Monica Pier, go shopping on Third Street promenade or visit Venice, Malibu or Downtown Los Angeles.
Bang for the buck
Santa Monica College is, in my opinion and according to several sources, probably one of the best community colleges in California and even in the US.
But you probably already know that and would like to learn things that you did not already read 200 times, I will try to help you with that.
If you are looking for the best teachers in California or the most beautiful school in the area, this is not the place. Why so ? because it is a community college, not a 4 year university. However, lots of people who come to SMC for the 1st time say things like Duuuuude, your school looks like a 4 year university, that's awesome , Wow they have like clubs and stuff happening like all over the place, that's insane or Free pizza ? Really ? Hell yeah !. So, as you probably understood, SMC tries to make the students feel as if they were already in a 4 year university. Teachers also do that in class by making their tests similar to tests you would take in a 4 year university. My history teacher said we don't want you guys to freak out when you arrive at UCLA or CSUN and see all of the homework you have to do and all of the research papers you have to write, that's why we'll start this right now. This might sound a bit scary but, since most students are here to transfer, I believe this is definitely a plus.
If you're reading this as an international student, you might like to know that most of the international students are form Korea, China and Korea but you can meet students from I believe every single continent. They're always happy to meet other international students since most of them got here on their own and did not know anyone else either when they arrived.
Even though we do not have dorms on campus, it is pretty easy to meet people and make friends here. Lots of people hang out at the quad, which is right in the middle of campus, clubs are also pretty popular and most teachers will ask you to work in groups at some point so you will necessarily end up meeting people a...
Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus
The CEUS is one of the little houses on Pearl St next to campus and if you're interested in doing something good for our planet, don't hesitate to go in, they have lots of resources ! The Eco Action club also meets in the back of that house in nice and well organized little area in the shade.
You can also check out the Organic Learning garden next to the Art Building, a really cool little garden that club grow takes care of !
Also, it is not official yet but they are about to create a surf club so, if you are into surfing, you might want to give a try ! Don't worry, you can join even if have never caught a wave before.
Great for these types of students
If you are into environmental science or if you just feel like we should take care of our planet, SMC is the place. They lots of eco friendly clubs, green buildings a great center for Environmental and Urban Studies (I know, I keep mentioning it) with lots of resources and they are really trying to be more and more environmentally friendly. I actually believe they're one of the greenest campuses.
Clubs and Activities
If you're an AS member ( it costs 19.50$/year) you get to join as many clubs as you want form a long list of clubs that get really get funding and that organize a lot of activities. If you're not sure what club to join, wait for clubs week in October or just go to different meetings and see which ones seem fun and interesting to you.
Most clubs will organize activities to which everyone can participate and they are usually really fun.
SMC also organizes lots of events for students. For instance, August 29th was welcome day; they offered free In N Out to every one who came, they had raffles, workshops, fairs and lots of other things to help students get ready for the semester.
Campus Safety
Campus Police is all over campus, especially since last year's shooting (yes, there was a shooting but the school was actually not the target, Google it for more infos) and I feel really safe on and around campus. Some classes end at 10PM and students who get out of class this late feel safe too.
If you have evening classes and don't feel safe walking to your car by yourself for any reason, you can call campus police and an officer will walk you to your car.
But, honestly, SMC is extremely safe, especially for a community college in the middle of a city.
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Eun from Suwanee, GA

a past student here
3 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
Did learn a lot
From Santa Monica College (SMC), a student can learn many things: academically and socially. I didn't expect much out of this junior college, but the education level at SMC proved to be good enough to earn the outstanding reputation it has. The math and science courses at SMC are not easy and truly prepares students for harder level courses at UCLA or Berkeley. Also, as an out of state student, I did not expect to make lots of friends, but there are many clubs on campus to get you involved and learn many things from the students and teachers. The professors here are from other great schools in the area like UCLA and USC, so I am positive the students will learn a lot and have a great network to be connected to the neighborhood and even the world!
Did enjoy being here
I loved being at SMC. It was a great experience and I wish that I didn't have to leave. This school helped me to get into UCLA, UC Irvine, UC San Diego, and UC Berkeley. It was a great stepping stone to prepare me for upper level classwork at UCLA. This school has a lot to offer to the students. I know many people are sad to leave the school because SMC became another home away from home. The many sponsored events and seminars on campus help build up school spirit and passion to learn and succeed in life. The only regret I had with spending time at SMC is not using the short time to to take advantage of all the things the school had to offer.
Bang for the buck
The only problem I had with the financial part of this school is that I was an out of state student and it was hard for me to be classified as instate. The out of state tuition is about ten times more than the instate price so I did not think that it was fair. Although, if I were an instate student, I think this is the best deal for a junior college because of the great education at a good price. Even though it was more expensive for me, I still think that SMC has the value to be worth the out of state tuition. Another negative is that the Santa Monica/ West LA area is expensive in general. Therefore, the living expenses to go to this school is not fair.
Tips for prospective students
Before prospective students go to SMC, I suggest that you make a clear plan to take as many units as you can while at SMC. Also, I suggest enrolling in classes as soon as you can because the classes fill up quickly. Finally, study hard and take in as much information and life experience as you can while you are a student here.
Great for these types of students
Great for students who are instate residence because you are getting a GREAT education while saving thousands of dollars. Also great for students who want a second chance at getting into top universities in the country. I know many people who came to SMC with a bad high school record and got into USC, Berkeley, UCLA, Columbia, NYU, ect. This school can be your hope for a better future!
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Maxwell from Los Angeles, CA

accepted here and planning to attend soon
2 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
In three sentences
A beautiful campus. Easy to find offices. Friendly learning environment.
Tips for prospective students
Use all the resources you can to maximize your learning experience.
Academic Rigor
Great classes and lots of learning oppurtinities.
Dorm Life
Not currently living in a dorm but wonderful from what I hear.
Food and Dining
Great healthy delicious foods!
What to do for fun
Beach is nearby as well as a great mall and places to workout and play sports!
Bang for the buck
Absolutely worth every penny!
Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus
None that I know of yet.
Great for these types of students
Entertainment technology!
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A California

a current student here
2 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
Am learning a lot
I think based on your major this college really does provide a lot. Santa Monica College is especially great for international students. They give a sufficient amount of homework which really helps students prepare for transferring to universities. Santa Monica College also has the highest transfer rate to UCLA. The only problem is that sometimes they are tough with their schoolwork but that is because so students don't slack off, because in colleges students have that tendency to do so.
Am enjoying being here
Santa Monica College has a very welcoming environment and because there students from all over the world you are always learning something new. There are a variety of clubs and organizations that help you become more involved in the school. The teachers and counselors are also great. I think because they have experience with so many different cultures and situations they take every student as a individual, and not generalize them.
Bang for the buck
Personally because I am not an international student I think the prices are great. Although recently because of the budget cuts the prices have increased dramatically I still believe its reasonable. For international students I cannot say the same thing. Santa Monica College is a really expensive school for internationals. They pay more than 3,000 dollars.
Tips for prospective students
I say if you are not ready for a 4-year university than you should definitely consider Santa Monica College. Also, it has the highest transfer rate to UC's One thing I would give advice on is that you should definitely speak with a counselor before starting because you don't want to be stuck at SMC forever.
Great for these types of students
Santa Monica College is great for all kinds of students and international students who are willing to pay some money for their education. It is also great for adults who work because there are night time classes and even weekend classes.
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