University of California-Los Angeles
Los Angeles, CA, USA

Reviews

University of California-Los Angeles
4.25 Average Rating

Elizabeth from San Pedro, CA

a current student here
9 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
Am learning a lot
I can definitely say that being at UCLA for about a quarter and one half has literally changed me, and my study habits. This school is competitive and tough, in no light manner. At the same time, if you work hard, the rewards are tremendous, and that's what people are here for (or they should be) above everything else; to learn. Everything is really fast-paced like another student said, you have 10 weeks to learn all the material! There;s no time to slack off, feel lazy, because before you realize it you can fall behind, and once you fall behind it's VERY hard to get back on track (trust me, I should know!)
However, classes are great! You have classes with professors who thoroughly know their material, they do not just read a teaching manual and memorize it,they actually do research,experiments,etc. on these things! First-hand accounts! I had this really cool physics teacher who did all sorts of wacky experiments in front of us,and his passion for physics really motivated me. Apply! It's totally worth it :)
Am enjoying being here
Yes! I really am! It's a love.hate relationship. I have met tons of really cool different people from all sorts of backgrounds, and I've grown up so much in just one year. However, UCLA really sucks all of your extra-social time out of you! It's really hard to schedule both joning clubs/sororities and the like AND school. I'm still trying to figure it out.
Bang for the buck
Sure, it's a public school but due to budget cuts,the costs just keep increasing. Boooo!!
Tips for prospective students
STUDY! Study, study! Make your own outlines on all the reading you do, you are your own teacher. Professors do not give hand- outs, review sheets, homework, etc. YOU do. But then you learn so much if you do these things and develop great work ethic.
Great for these types of students
looking to be challenged academically but also wanting to enjoy the overall college experience.
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Gina from Modesto, CA

a current student here
8 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
Am learning a lot
The quarter system is fast but it is nice not wasting time in school. Be prepared to work hard for ten weeks and the adjustment is easy. Classes are mostly manageable. Professors are always willing to help you.
Am enjoying being here
Coming from Northern California, the weather is wonderful. I love wearing shorts and a t-shirt in December! Making friends is definitely easy. Residential Assistants plan events for the floor at the beginning of the term which helps for making friends. There are tons of activities always happening which makes things easy to get involved.
Bang for the buck
Even with the recent tuition increase, UCLA is still cheaper for California students then going to schools of similar stature.
Tips for prospective students
Start on your application early! Make sure you spell check it and have others read your personal essay. Also, come visit campus and take a tour!
Great for these types of students
academically motivated, excited to get involved
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Joanna from Carson City, NV

a current student here
47 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
Am learning a lot
The amount of knowledge you will gain during your first year at UCLA will be more valuable than any previous experiences. First, there is the academic aspect. Essentially, the material being taught in college is the same for any school, so self-motivation is a must. Being surrounded by other students who work hard all the time, you can't help but study hard as well and strive to learn and soak up as much knowledge as possible. On top of that, each of the professors add their own flair to their lectures, providing a different and memorable experience to each course. In addition, each course is so unique, the variation in courses offered will keep you interested and never bored. You will also learn a lot of life lessons at UCLA. You will learn a lot about different people, about what passion, dedication, persistence, and hard work truly mean. Most importantly, you'll learn a lot about yourself. The moment you step onto the campus, you'll feel the potential you have inside and instantly gain this I-Can-Do-Anything attitude.
Am enjoying being here
The dorms are so homey and comfortable. One fear high school graduates have about college is being homesick. The connections established within a floor, a building, the Hill (which is what all the dorms are called) are so personal and genuine that you will be having too much fun with your new college family to even remember you miss having your own room. Every day, the weather in LA is amazing. It is never too cold. There is almost always a light breeze, so it doesn't feel too hot either. This school also offers a wide variety of extracurriculars, for any ethnicity, any religion, any type of athlete. The diversity here is truly astounding, with people from all types of backgrounds, and you truly gain a more global perspective. What's also great is that you are in LA, and everything is so close. In your free time, you could just walk to Westwood and get some Diddy Riese (cheap ice cream for broke college students) or take the Big Blue Bus to Santa Monica to shop or just hang out by the beach. UCLA promises an endless amount of opportunities for its students.
Bang for the buck
While the benefits and advantages of UCLA are priceless, having to pay out-of-state tuition is excruciating. As long as you remember to work hard and study hard, you should be able to make this investment worth it.
Tips for prospective students
- Apply for every type of financial aid, especially if you feel that you won't get any. You never know how many other students feel the same way, and your persistence will show.
- Take advantage of your professors' wisdom. Ask them questions and visit them during their office hours whenever you can.
- Meet a lot of people. Just talk to everyone you meet. Meet their friends. Networking is SOOO important, and you never know who could help you out in the future.
- Get involved with some type of community service. Not only does this look great on a resume, but you also learn a lot about human nature and about yourself through it.
- Make a schedule and stick to it. This will really prove your discipline.
- Form good habits. It takes 21 days to form a habit, and it's always hardest at the beginning, but if you can stick it out, the rewards will definitely outweigh the hardships you went through.
- Study every night. This is the biggest difference between high school and college. You are your own boss. Make sure you spend a large amount of your free time refreshing yourself on that morning's lecture. Even if you don't have homework, the information will start to pile up, so it's good to use that free time at the beginning to ensure you know the course information as best you can.
- This is especially for the girls: take it easy in the dining halls. Be sure to eat slowly and get one plate at a time. GO TRAYLESS! Even though you think you're getting enough exercise going up that hill every day, a couple slices of pizza and a few burgers can add up to the freshman 15.
Great for these types of students
Students who want to learn more about other cultures; students who have a work hard, play hard philosophy; students who are school-spirited; students with a positive outlook on life; ambitious students ready to learn about anything and everything.
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Kate

a current student here
19 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
Am learning a lot
All of the professors that I have had, so far, have been knowledgeable about their subject and the majority of them can also teach. I have only had two professors from whom I learned very little, and I believe that my inability to learn anything from the second was mostly the fault of the first's.
The TA's are somewhat less stellar, however, I would say about 50% of them were actually quite good. (note: Most large lower division classes are taught by a professor, therefore once or twice a week there is a discussion where a TA teaches and takes questions from a much smaller class). On the whole, regardless of the quality of TA I've found discussions quite useless, however if the TA prepares a lecture they can be helpful.
Am enjoying being here
The campus and the weather is beautiful. Everything is within walking distance, which I absolutely love. It is quite difficult to get parking permit, but the only time I regret this (and not having the car to park with it) is when it comes time to visit home. It takes a 2 hour bus ride just to get to the train station. The public transit in LA is not amazing, but it works if you want to go to the mall, or the beach.
Because the school is so big there is something for everyone. There are plenty of partyers if that's your thing, and if it's not there are plenty of other fun people (like me!).
Also the food is quite good for being dorm food. Though I haven't had much other dorm food to compare it to I can say without a doubt that our food tastes better than UCSB's. There's also a good amount of variety, and there are always hamburgers, hot dogs, pizza, and fries if you're a picky eater. The turkey burgers in particular are divine.
Bang for the buck
The education you receive is definitely worth the price, especially if you're a California resident. However housing is a tad pricey.
The dorm rooms are tiny, of course, but there is free air conditioning and heating (if your building has it). There is also free cable, and internet in every room (most buildings have wireless). There is also free maintenance, all you have to do is to request it. In the plazas (the rooms with a attached, private bathrooms) a maid comes once a week to clean the bathroom.
Tips for prospective students
Go to class -- except maybe not discussions. But definitely give your discussions a few tries before you stop attending (and definitely attend if attendance is mandatory). I had one TA who gave us huge (HUGE) homework hints which actually annoyed me, because I kind of thought the homework was... I can't believe I'm saying this... fun. But it would have been helpful if I had been struggling.
Give professors a chance. I had one professor who didn't seem like the greatest teacher at first, but as soon I got used to his teaching style I realized that he is actually an amazing, nice, and funny teacher. He's become on of my favorite teachers, and his classes ( I took two) one of the deciding factors in determining my major.
Choose your meal plan wisely. Are you going to eat out a lot? Are you going to go home? Are you really going to get up and go to the dining hall before 9 for breakfast if you don't have class? If you do have class? (note: there are to-go places open until about 11 for breakfast ) Somehow, there are people who end up with more than 20 meals swipes left at the end of the quarter-- I don't know about you, but my parents would not pleased.
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Jessica

a current student here
14 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
Am learning a lot
I am learning so much at UCLA and it is all thanks to their wide range of studies. I came to UCLA because I didn't know what I wanted to study specifically and I figured going to a school that had so many options would be best. Over the past two years I have found it really is. I have had very good experiences with Professors and TAs who really do care about their students and their performance and mastery of material that in turn inspires my academic endeavors. Also there are many different resources for outside internships, volunteer opportunities, and work experiences that are extremely crucial post-graduation.
Am enjoying being here
I love being here. UCLA is exactly what a person expects college to be. Academics is important, but there is also much more. People are friendly, our sports teams are the best in the country (we have the most national championships out of any other college: 106), we live in LA so there are tons of things to do off campus, our dorm food is the best, and our campus is beautiful. Overall I am really happy with my choice to attend UCLA.
Bang for the buck
For a school that is known around the world, UCLA is definitely a cheaper option than attending many other such schools that are often private. Although you must be a California resident in order to get the reduced price, otherwise you will be paying about the average amount for a private institution.
Tips for prospective students
#1 is to take high school seriously and get good grades. For extracurriculars, do not swamp yourself with tons of things. Choose a few that you really enjoy, and try to gain leadership experience. As for the application, use your essays to portray who you are. If you are true to yourself and to admissions, they will respond well to your application and understand if you are a right fit for the college. As long as you are truthful to yourself, you will end up at a college that fits your needs and interests. Good luck!
Great for these types of students
Students who seek a college that has top-ranked academics, a large student body, a metropolitan city, school-spirit, sports, social life, great resources for internships and volunteer work, and a strong alumni-base will love UCLA.
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Jazmin from Los Angeles, CA

a current student here
14 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
Am learning a lot
For once in my life, I have learned to be more independent. Although I am not going to remember everything professors say, I always have something in the back of my head that allows me to keep those words of wisdom. Also, being from South Central, I was always used to a certain type of group. Once going to UCLA, I learned that there is so many things that I don't know about other cultures that I should discover.
Am enjoying being here
I LOVE IT HERE! It is my home away from home. I just can't get enough of it. Westwood is the place to be! Currently, I am back home from the summer, and I just feel a little out of place. I am not saying that I can't identify with the people here, but I just feel like I don't belong anymore. I am used to another type of environment, and that is Bruin World.
Bang for the buck
Well, compared to other schools, UCLA is middle priced. Obviously, it is going to cost way more than a community college and a state university. However, compared to private colleges and ivy leagues, UCLA is way cheaper. As far as spending money at school, the UCLA Store and UCLA Hilltop over price their things a little.
Tips for prospective students
Have Fun. Don't bite more than what you can chew: schedule wise. Freshman fifteen does not happen to everyone, but if you're not careful it will happen to you. Stay on top of your homework because sometimes you'll have midterms in 3rd week!!!
Great for these types of students
Hard working, competitive, studious people would do great in UCLA. As a whole, the school is very competitive. When they mean they hate Trojans, they hate them. Also, if you're somewhat or are athletic, you're going to love this school because of all the hills and the Janss Steps. Just be mindful that wherever you're dorming, be mindful that some classes might be half a mile away (maybe more).
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Stephen from San Diego, CA

a current student here
13 people found this review useful
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Am learning a lot
Here at UCLA, each quarter only lasts 11 weeks (10 weeks of instruction and 1 week of finals). In these short quarters, it feels like information is being constantly crammed into your head by three or four different professors. Most of the time, it isn't enough just to attend lecture; it takes a lot of studying throughout the week to make sure that you understand the lecture materials. You really need to make sure you have a good grasp of the concepts because professors really like to check that you do via midterms and finals that make you rack your brain. While difficult, these examinations really help you gauge where you are in the class and how much more time you should be spending reviewing that material.

Most importantly, I am learning how to study and how to be a student at a bustling research university, not just facts about organic chemistry or equations and steps to solve differential equations.
Am enjoying being here
While most of the classes that I take for my engineering major tend to make me miserable during the day, the rest of the day is absolutely enjoyable. There are plenty of club and intramural sports to partake in, and if sports aren't your thing, there are even more student organizations to be a part of. I am personally involved in an organization called Grace on Campus (GOC), and it is absolutely amazing. The number of good friends (as opposed to acquaintances) that you make is astonishing. This is because of how easy it is to get together during the week since everybody lives on or around campus.

UCLA's proximity to Santa Monica is also a big bonus. Beach trips are the highlight of my week, especially when you take them with a large group of friends. The fun you can have at the beach and at the mall afterward is unmatched.

While getting off campus has its merits, fun can be had while staying at UCLA. You can play badminton, volleyball, and other sports in the John Wooden Center (our gym). The gym also offers a myriad of classes such as hip hop, surfing, and hiking adventures.
Bang for the buck
Unfortunately, the cost of attending UCLA (even for California residents) is on the rise. The worst part is that they charge you outrageous fees and you have no choice but to pay them. If you do decide to protest a certain fee, expect your account to be put on hold. There are a lot of executives getting paid astronomical amounts while a lot of students are taking a hit to the wallet.

Another aspect that detracts from this Bang for the buck category is that you're paying to take classes with professors that barely speak English. It's frustrating and absolutely annoying, but it's the sad reality. Especially if you're an engineer, expect to take classes with professors that only picked up English after they graduated from their respective universities.
Tips for prospective students
Apply for external scholarships aplenty! Your chances of getting awarded from the financial aid office are pretty low since there are a lot of students enrolled.

It also helps if you already have good study habits established. I didn't establish them until the end of my first year, and it's reflected in my GPA. It's best if you can study the material throughout the quarter and spend the time before the tests reviewing. The best students aren't the ones that memorize the most, but the ones that can draw connections between the concepts they learn in class and use these connections to recall the facts they need to know.
Great for these types of students
Great for the dedicated student--a lot of classes you will be taking in your first/second years will be weeder classes. A determined and dedicated student will tough these out and it'll be smooth sailing.

The student who wants to have fun on the side: if you're really uptight and set on graduating in two years, UCLA might not be for you. There are many other schools in the nation where you'll be surrounded be people such as yourself. However, if you're the kind of student that can study hard and play hard, UCLA is where you want to be.

The undeclared majors: UCLA excels in so many fields, that it's okay to be admitted as an undeclared. When you finally do make up your mind, UCLA will pull through and you'll still have an awesome experience. It's also nice because you have two years to declare your major, and until then, you can go around the board and get a taste for them all.
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Liz

a current student here
12 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
Am learning a lot
UCLA offers a great balance between being a challenging school and not being impossible. The classes are tough, and the quarter system makes it absolutely essential to stay on top of things. Classes last only ten weeks, so a missed lecture or a skipped homework assignment put you very far behind. That being said, the quarter system also has its perks, as it lets you take a wider variety of classes and get through the boring pre-reqs to your (much more exciting) upper-division classes that much sooner.

UCLA offers a great balance between being a challenging school and not being impossible. The classes are tough, and the quarter system makes it absolutely essential to stay on top of things. Classes last only ten weeks, so a missed lecture or a skipped homework assignment put you very far behind. That being said, the quarter system also has its perks, as it lets you take a wider variety of classes and get through the boring pre-reqs to your (much more exciting) upper-division classes that much sooner.
The basic, general education classes that nearly everyone take are a little rough - they often have upwards of 300 students in a lecture, and the extremely competitive ones set curves very high. Weekly discussion sections with TA's, however, let you go over the material in a group of about 20 and discuss any questions you have. By attending these sections and pursuing the wide range of academic services – there is free tutoring in nearly any subject, as well as a writing center – you can succeed in even the more difficult classes.
The teachers at UCLA are usually pretty great, and often at the forefront of the research in their field (the advantages of going to a big research university!) They are usually very approachable, and many go out of their way to hold extra office hours before big tests. The downside of UCLA’s size is that students have to be very self-motivated. While some teachers give credit for homework, attendance is hardly ever take in lecture...
Am enjoying being here
The balance between academics and student life is what makes UCLA so beloved to its students and alumni. It is partially a factor of the type of student that is drawn here – the kind of student who cares equally about succeeding in school and having a really, really good time while doing it. The school’s location in the heart of Los Angeles gives students the opportunity to do literally anything they can imagine – from spending the day surfing at Venice Beach to going to concerts on the Sunset Strip – but UCLA is, ultimately, pretty self-contained. While most students leave Westwood on occasion, there is almost everything you could ever need within walking distance of campus. Social life for first- and second-years focuses on the frat houses, which offer parties most Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights. They’re exactly what you’d expect from frat parties – loud music, lots of people and lots of not-so-innocent fun. Older students enjoy the variety of nightlife that Westwood has to offer, as well as the famous bars and nightclubs that the greater Los Angeles area has to offer.
While nightlife is a big part of life at UCLA, the beauty of such a large school is that there is always something going on which involves literally any interest you can imagine. From club Quidditch practice to playing volleyball at the gorgeous recreation center to watching world-class plays and performances (often for free!), there is literally something for everyone. Many students take advantage of the Southern California weather and the school’s gorgeous campus to work, play and nap on any of the school’s many lawns. While the coursework is definitely challenging, I’m not exaggerating when I say that many of my fellow students refer to UCLA as one big, counselor-free summer camp.
Bang for the buck
Public schools across the country are feeling the pressure from ever-decreasing state and national education budgets, and UCLA is no exception. Tuition rates are rising, despite the best efforts of the student association. Out-of-state costs are nearing those of private schools, while in-state tuition is still a really good bargain. For a school as renowned as UCLA, however, the increased cost is still worth the experiences you get at this school and the prestige you acquire once you graduate. There are still a variety of free services offered to students – from academic assistance to a world-class gym to a truly awesome recreation center with three pools, a sand volleyball court, a garden, and gigantic lawns strewn with lounge chairs.
UCLA also does a pretty good job of offering students chances to make their education as cost-efficient as possible. There’s a great variety in dorms and meal plans, but even the cheapest option - living in a residence hall (as I currently do) – is bearable, and honestly an unforgettable collegiate experience. There’s also plenty of employment opportunities on campus, particularly if you have work-study eligibility. All in all, UCLA is still one of the nation’s greatest public universities, and it offers a top-tier education without (quite) the top-tier price.
Tips for prospective students
Succeeding at UCLA is all about balance. There are so many activities and things going on 24/7 that you have to really focus on being organized and getting done everything you need to. This means finding time to study, explore the incredible variety of activities UCLA has to offer, and enjoy the once-in-a-lifetime social opportunities college affords. Classes are tough, and it’s important to realize that it’s not like high school – it’s ok to get a B. Almost everyone does. With this in mind, it’s important to not get too overwhelmed with school. Don’t forget to take time to relax and have fun. Get outside and enjoy that California sunshine. And last but certainly not least, DO NOT PROCRASTINATE. If you slack off for a week on the quarter system, you will literally never catch up.
Great for these types of students
Self-motivated, outgoing students who appreciate a balance between academic excellence and serious fun.
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Katie

accepted here and planning to attend soon
11 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
In three sentences
First of all, UCLA is in one of the most amazing cities by far! Los Angeles has so much to offer within its grasps and if you think Los Angeles is boring then that is your fault. I would give UCLA a 9 out of 10 just because it is so diverse and everyone is so accepting in the Bruin Family.
Tips for prospective students
Don't be afraid to shake your tail feathers weather they be blue, green, spotted, or striped, or if you don't even have any! No one will judge you at UCLA. There's a group, a club for nearly everything. Be true to who you are and at UCLA you will found out more of who you are.
Academic Rigor
Just because UCLA is a fun and amazing place doesn't mean it's easy to get A's. People are accepted because of the brilliant minds they have. Students earn the A's. It's only hard if you don't put the effort in. You can miss a lot in one day.
Dorm Life
The dorms are where you can start a new social life. People usually get really close to those living on the same floor as them--like really close. Having a hall is the best way to be more social. Everyone just seems so friendly already.
Food and Dining
The food is amazing! It's like a buffet and the lines are not bad, they're practically ephemeral. I do hear for some people that the food gets tiring, but it's not the same thing every day. If you love waffles for breakfast and Italian for dinner, and even a variety of Asian food, you'll love UCLA food. There's even Jamba Juice and a Carl's Jr. and lots of other fast food restaurants and cafes.
What to do for fun
Explore Westwood, LA! Go to the beach, there's so many choices--Venice Beach, Santa Monica Beach, Malibu. You can get to the beach by hopping on a bus for just nearly 35 cents. Los Angeles is home to several artists and museums are only a few bus stops away.
Bang for the buck
Westwood, which is rest next to UCLA, can be pretty expensive. However you have access to nearly anywhere in Los Angeles. Downtown LA is a place where you can find treasures at a cheap price.
Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus
There is an inverted fountain in South Campus where at your UCLA Freshman Orientation, you get Bruintized by saying a little oath and extending your right hand into the fountain. However, anytime you touch the water before you graduate from UCLA, it adds an extra quarter for you to graduate. The best part is when you finally graduate and just jump in the fountain with all your friends who just graduated with you! People are just sitting in there as if they're in a hot tub. Some even go snorkeling!
Great for these types of students
LGBT
All types of Asian
Sports (fans and athletes)
Campus Safety
The only big thing to worry about is theft which is preventable.
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JOANNA from Fullerton, CA

a current student here
11 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
Am learning a lot
I have learned the most interesting facts of my entire academic education. College has opened up new interests for me and has made learning more interesting and more enjoyable. Not only am I learning new exciting information, I am able to remember what I have learned.
Am enjoying being here
The campus is beautiful and the atmosphere is great. You feel extremely comfortable. The classes are interesting, the professors are helpful. The college experience is great and I actually enjoy college alot!
Bang for the buck
College in general is a bit expensive and this university is no different. L.A. is expensive as well so be prepared to spend. Most professors try to cut down on student spending by not requiring so many books. Financial aid is extremely helpful and works well with the students who need help. But in the end it is all worth it.
Tips for prospective students
You need to come prepared to work at a faster pace than high school. You need to learn to manage your time wisely. Procrastination will be your enemy so you must force yourself to keep up with all your classes and the work that it demands. You must always study even when you think that you don't need to and always get help when you are confused.
Great for these types of students
This school is great for students who don't mind huge classes with hundreds of students. It's great for students who are a bit more independent and can push themselves to work hard and go out of their way to seek what's necessary to be better.
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