University of California-San Diego
La Jolla, CA, USA

Reviews

University of California-San Diego
3.90 Average Rating

Ronald from San Diego, CA

a current student here
5 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
Am learning a lot
Many of the classes are challenging and I was able to learn alot from chemistry to ethnic studies (which I took this year). Some teachers can seem impersonal, but there is a program called dine with a prof to meet them outside class. Most lectures that I went to I was able to follow along in the required reading and everything came together and made sense.
Am enjoying being here
I really liked my roommate and suite mates they were always hanging out watching television and finding things to go and try to do on the weekends. Most of us were the same year and all understood the difficulties that each of us had. I had alot of help from my classes from my roommate as well and we got things done together. I joined the Role Playing Games club and went to that every Wednesday night. I liked that part so much that I'm hosting some games for friends of mine over the summer. Any time I wanted to get a question about academics, I would just go to the necessary office and ask. They were very friendly and understood what I needed.
Bang for the buck
The education is really good and not a bad price for California students. The dorms are nice and they give you enough space for dorm activities. The food was good for being dorm food and they have a really nice variety over the time that I was there this year. There are also really helpful programs that allow people to try to find jobs, many of which are in laboratory based positions.
Tips for prospective students
As for all colleges, it is important to talk to a counselor early. I made the mistake of waiting until my third quarter to find the degree that I really wanted to get into and now I have to take an entirely different math series. Another thing I found that I really liked was joining a group, even though it took me a long time to find one. I am usually a very shy person, but once I joined I found that I really liked everyone there that I was in contact with. I found that I really liked being able to ride my bike even when it was just for a ride. I was also able to share my bike with my friends. Its also really nice when you have to go across campus or don't want to walk when you have a few hours between classes. Study groups are nice especially with roommates or suite mates because they usually have good insights and can collaborate with everyone else.
Great for these types of students
So many of my friends were pre-med students, and I myself am now going into pharmacological chemistry, so it is great for anyone interested in the natural sciences. The whole campus is surrounded by bio-tech industries and many different jobs that are offered are laboratory position. The different colleges all have different focuses and are also stereotyped all differently too. There is only one big party during the year, but there are always smaller ones at the end of the week, but most of the focus seems to be on academics (especially the pre-meds).
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Student from Tucson, AZ

a current student here
4 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
In three sentences
A beautiful campus that challenges you to do well academically. There is a non-competitive atmosphere and students are willing to help each other do well. The quarter system is extremely fast paced and requires focus and dedication.
Tips for prospective students
-Don't procrastinate
-GPA is important, but not important enough to take over your life
-Take a breather, you'll do fine
-Everyone here is smart, get off your pedestal and accept criticism
-Try to go off campus once in a while
-Use your bus pass (you have it for a reason)
-Don't bring your car, parking is a little crowded
-Meet people, there are more people like you than you think
-Never hesitate to ask questions
-Be nice
-Pick Muir and not Revelle if you want to keep your sanity
Academic Rigor
The classes are hard, especially with the pace of the quarter system, but everyone is working hard to finish. People will help you if you just ask for help. Each professor has expectations for you to do well and they are there to help you, not destroy you.
Dorm Life
Dorm life is what you make it. If you are social, then actively participate in house activities and events, make yourself known. At the same time, if you're introverted, you can still find a quiet place to read. It really depends on what kind of roommates or suitemates you have, but dorm life here is pretty great, especially if you're close to class. Lock outs are a hassle, so remember your keys and your id.
Food and Dining
There are 6 dining halls, so you have a huge variety to pick from. Be cautious, there are some that are better than others and just be prepared to really hate eating at the same place all the time. Pines (in Muir) is generally regarded as the best dining hall, but its always good to try them all.
What to do for fun
The beach is a short walk or a bus ride away, you can go there between classes if you want. There's a bus to Gaslamp District in San Diego if you want to explore the city a bit more. The cliffs are a great place to see the sunset. The recreation centers hold various classes that go from fencing to archery to kendo to scuba diving. These classes are a little extra, but there's a huge variety.
Bang for the buck
I'm really happy to be here, but as an out-of-state student, the tuition is ridiculous.
Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus
The Primal Scream. 9:55 to 10:00 every night during finals week, you can scream your heart out with everyone else in Muir.
Clubs and Activities
A lot of Asian clubs on campus, but there are tons of other clubs pertaining to any sort of interest. There is the Anime Club, various environmental groups, chess clubs, and even a croqueting club. If you can't find one that fits your taste, just find a few friends that enjoy the same activity and make your own club.
Campus Safety
The campus has emergency phones everywhere and offers an escorting program. If you ever are lost or feel unsafe on campus, you can call them and they'll send a person to walk with you and guide you to where you need to go. I rate safety at four stars only because there's a dark part of the eucalyptus forest that is dark and dimly lit.
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Isabella

a current student here
4 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
In three sentences
UCSD is everything I wanted out of a school -- I love it here! The campus life is definitely present, but decentralized enough that you are free to participate however much you wish to. The location is wonderful and the opportunities are endless -- the perfect place to start your adult life and college academic career!
Tips for prospective students
For any prospective student, my biggest advice would be to do your research! Look into the 6 college system and rank them carefully, based on your major and academic patterns. Do not rank them based on what sounds the coolest because you may choose one that is less suited to your path than another. Research the housing options for the various colleges and apply for any themed housing that interests you. Research scholarship opportunities and on-campus clubs before you get to campus. And most of all, VISIT! Go to Triton Day if you have the means! Seeing your campus in real life, walking across it, and imagining yourself there will be the most helpful and inspiring thing you can do to prepare. And if you do know your major, contact your major's undergraduate advisor and ask what you can do to prepare yourself for your field of interest.
Academic Rigor
The academic rigor here is very demanding, but in the best way. You are required to meet the professor's standards, but it is definitely manageable. As a social science major in introductory classes, I found my classes to be appropriately difficult, but also incredibly fascinating. Finals week of my first quarter was as stressful as I expected, but anyone with focus, self-discipline, and optimism should see this as a good challenge rather than an indomitable threat. The knowledge you gain through your classes is well-worth the work you put into them. Also, freshman seminars are an excellent way to sneak a quick peak at a major while gaining some helpful knowledge.
Dorm Life
I am currently in Cultural House in Muir College, and I am having the time of my life. I have never felt more accepted and supported by a group of people, and I am glad to be where I am every day I wake up. I originally was skeptical of dorm life as a whole, but House activities and my House Advisors have made life at UCSD the best experience of my life. For freshmen in particular, UCSD dorm life is a great way to meet people like you and people who aren't like you and have much to teach you about the world. I firmly believe that the people I am meeting are as much a part of my education as any class I will take here.

As for facilities, I have always found the living conditions to be clean, safe, and well-maintained.
Food and Dining
The food here is way better than I had expected. As a Muir student, I spend most of my meals at Pines, which has an excellent selection of food such as pizza, chicken tenders, salads, burritos, quesadillas, pastas, sandwiches, stir-fry, and sushi. All the other dining halls have similar varieties, and on-campus markets make up for any snack-foods, frozen meals, or coffee one might need. And if the dining halls get a little monotonous or the markets seem too expensive, there are third-party food vendors at Price Center and restaurants and markets very close by to the school. You won't go hungry all year!
What to do for fun
Most people will say the beach is the go-to for fun around UCSD (and it is!), but there is also much more to discover. Downtown La Jolla is gorgeous year-round and downtown San Diego is only a hour away by bus. Between on-campus fun (which the student body organization ensures there is a lot of), and the nearby towns, any creative student will have a lot of things to do. Having a car is useful to access these things, but the bus system is reliable and wide-spread enough that you can more than sustain yourself on it (plus, the bus is free with a student pass!).
Bang for the buck
No matter what school you attend, college is what you make of it. But UCSD is especially appropriate for carving out a unique experience because of its diverse focus and modernity. There is always something new to do, fascinating classes to take, and helpful facilities to use and check out. Any of the UCs are a world-class education for what you're investing.
Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus
While it may not be an official tradition, watching the sunset from the cliffs around Muir/Revelle College is a must for your first quarter of school. The vantage point is high enough to watch the sun set over La Jolla Cove -- a sight which will remind you how lucky you are and make you glad to be alive. The Loft in Price Center is also a key place for concerts and events that occur every week. Check out the 5 resource centers on campus: the Black Resource Center, LGBT Resource Center, Women's Resource Center, Raza Resource Centro (for the Latin@/Chican@ community) and the Cross-Cultural Center. These places are great for volunteering/job opportunities, study places, and friendly faces.
Great for these types of students
UCSD is perfect for the independent, self-motivated student. The campus life can seem at times to be a little centralized with the 6-college system. And while this can create amazing smaller communities, independent types may thrive more easily in the long run. A hard-working nature is also a must, because the rigorous academics demand someone who can be self-disciplined as well as involved.
Clubs and Activities
There are a tons of clubs on campus with all kinds of focuses, varying from academic, major-focused clubs to fun ones such as movie-making clubs. Paying attention are organization fairs during the first few weeks is key, but the clubs are active year-round and advertise throughout. Getting involved is the single best way to meet people at UCSD, so joining clubs is a huge priority.
Greek Life
Greek life exists and is pretty active for those involved. But because of a lack of a Greek Row and no football team, the greek life is more subdued and contained. This has a lot of benefits to campus culture, as I find the school safer, calmer, and more mature because of it. If you want to join a greek organization, it is very easy at UCSD. But if you do not, its culture is not imposing on your day-to-day life.
Campus Safety
Some areas on campus are a little dim, but on my numerous 2:00am walks, I have never felt unsafe. The campus police is diligent and the lighted paths get brighter when you walk by. The area surrounding campus seems very clean. As a very cautious person, I was especially worried about coming to college and staying safe. But at UCSD, that doesn't ever seem to be a problem!
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Claire from San Diego, CA

a current student here
4 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
Am learning a lot
My first year at this college I took a large variety of interesting classes. The Muir college gives students an especially large amount of freedom in choosing classes to cover general education requirements. All the teachers I have had have been extremely knowledgeable in their subjects. Classes are difficult; however, if you attend class, take notes, and study, it is possible to do very well ( while also maintaining a strong social life).
Am enjoying being here
I just finished my first year at UCSD, and I absolutely love it. There is a six college system, that includes six different colleges within the larger university that focus on different ideas. I am in the John Muir College, which focuses on the free spirit, independence, and nature. I have met so many great, similar-minded people through my first year experience. I especially recommend living on campus, as then you can really receive the full experience. I am aware that UCSD can often be considered socially dead, however, I feel that people are giving it a bad rap. I was able to find a great community that was very sociable and fun. Just like all other things, life is what you make of it, you just have to have an open mind and look in the right places.
Bang for the buck
Compared to the cost of Junior colleges, UCSD is rather pricey. However, I believe it is entirely worth it, especially to live on campus. I think that I truly was able to experience college life, discover things about myself, and become truly independent, because I was able to live on campus with other students my age. This is where I found my community and friends that I know will last. Not only is this community worth the money, but the education is exceptional. I had such a great year that would not have been possible in another environment.
Tips for prospective students
Keep an open mind about everything. Remember that everyone is different, and you should not let people pressure you into going somewhere because they think it may be better or more fun. The right college for one person does not mean it is the right college for you. Make sure to get involved your first year, because making friends your first year is how you will get through the rest of your time in college!
Great for these types of students
UCSD is great for students that enjoy learning, but also love to be involved. This is not a party campus, but there is something for everyone, if you look in the right places. Also, it is in San Diego, which is absolutely gorgeous. It is right next to the beach, so if you can't imagine living without a beach, this is the place to be.
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MiraMesa from San Diego, CA

a current student here
3 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
In three sentences
The campus is huge and nice.
The academic environment is strict, compared to the free campus environment.
The location is pretty great, as it is located in La Jolla, near a beach.
Tips for prospective students
Buy a bike or skateboard. The campus is too large and it will take you long time to get from this side to other side.
Academic Rigor
Economics.
Econ is not pretty famous in UCSD.
However, the instructors are very nice and will spare no effort helping you. Also, office hours allow you to make a come-in conversation with professors, which will be beneficial to your studying!
Dorm Life
Remember to select the apartment rather than the residential hall.
Apartments are huge and comfortable, with sofas, fridge, oven......
Also, the activities inside the dorms are various, allowing you to make new friends and enjoy your life!
Food and Dining
Restaurants vary a lot.
64 Degrees is one of the most famous restaurant insde the campus, with a variety of western and eastern food. Pretty delicious!
Others like Canyon Vista are not so good, because the chefs and waitors here are mostly part-time students. Therefore, food here is not so deli.
What to do for fun
Sports.
Games.
Making friends.
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Angela

a current student here
3 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
In three sentences
Upon attending the University of California-San Diego, it has become more than an academic institute for me, it is a new home, a place of self-discovery, as well as a foundation to a strong and bright future. UCSD provides a welcoming environment for its students, returning and new, and it pushes you to reach your potential with its inspirational messages and morals around spread throughout the campus amongst its six colleges. The campus's endless resources and eager professors and counselors are a relief to have with me every step of the way, and I am grateful to be part of the UC San Diego experience.
Tips for prospective students
When entering UCSD, it is important to keep a positive outlook and to stay true to who you are. To become successful in not just UCSD, but anywhere, it is crucial to know who you are and what kind of person you want to be. Do not conform to fit any type of social standard or to develop any relationships, because ultimately you will not succeed and end up unhappy with who you've become. The key to success is good old-fashioned honest hard work and determination. Go to your lectures, don't oversleep, keep up with your courses, ask questions in class, stay healthy, give yourself time to socialize and relax, but most importantly, know the balance between work and play. These are the steps to success.
Academic Rigor
Every student is unique, and each and every person works in different ways. As for me, I believe the academic rigor at UCSD is challenging. Coming from the top of my high school, I found myself as well as other students struggling to keep up in classes and working extra hard to understand certain material. The professors and their courses challenge the students so that they can reach their full potential, and because UCSD is composed of academically excellent students, this intensifies the academic rigor and makes the environment even more competitive.
Dorm Life
The dorm life at UCSD is extraordinary in that it creates an environment for the students to interact, grow stronger together, and develop long lasting relationships. Living on campus gives the students a sense of community, as we interact with each other on a day to day basis. The residential advisors are excellent in helping new students adjust to their new environment, and the suite format of the dorms really allows students to connect in a deeper bond. Resources are magnificent, the housing facilities are commendable, and the staff is nothing but welcoming and helpful. I could not have asked for a better dorm experience than my first year at UCSD.
Food and Dining
The dining halls and markets around UCSD do not disappoint. Sure it's no five-star restaurant with a million reviews, but it's as good as it's going to get when it comes to dorm food. There are many options in the six UCSD dining facilities, satisfying your vegetarian needs, meat cravings, and sweet tooth. If you grow tired of the dining halls, UCSD also has a sit-in restaurant called The Bistro, where you can order gourmet dishes such as a sauteed salmon, glazed chicken, bbq pork loins, and more. UCSD was also recently voted the #1 vegan-friendly college campus in the United States.
What to do for fun
Settled in the astoundingly beautiful beaches and natural reserves of La Jolla, students at UCSD are extremely lucky to have access to endless amounts of outdoor activities. From surfing lessons, hikes along preserved trails, hang gliding on the outskirts of campus, and so much more. Not an outdoorsy person? That's not a problem, there is plenty to do around the San Diego area. Hit the clubs in San Diego's Gaslamp District. Visit the world-famous San Diego Zoo and Safari Park. Go shopping in the large variety of stores provided by the Westfield UTC or Fashion Valley Center. See if your favorite artist is performing at Porter's Pub or RIMAC. Catch a baseball game at the grand Petco Park stadium. There's a never-ending list of things to do on and off campus, it's up to you to find them!
Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus
One of the most celebrated traditions on campus is the annual Sun God Festival hosted by the Associated Students for Concerts and Events department. On this day, the campus comes alive as students unite for a music festival with the top artists and performers of the year.
Great for these types of students
If you like to be challenged academically, take part in nature activities, enjoy athletic pastimes, or just LOVE the California weather and environment, the University of California San Diego is the school for you.
Campus Safety
Campus safety is above average throughout the year. At night, there are Campus Security Officers patrolling the school and escorting students back to their residences when called. In addition, there are Residential Security Officers patrolling the residential facilities throughout the school to ensure the students' safety throughout the night. The RSO staff is extremely friendly and they give the students a feeling of security in their homes at night. The only thing I would say is that the campus could be a bit better lighted in the night time.
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Current Student from San Diego Area

a current student here
75 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
Am learning a lot
Teachers can be great, but you must go to class to actually learn. I never thought I'd be skipping classes, but it happens and I learned the hard way that this is NOT smart. Discussions with TAs can be incredibly helpful as well. I had a math class where I learned more from the TA than I did from the Professor, so it definitely helps to go to both to become a successful student at UCSD.
Am enjoying being here
I do feel the 6 college system is sometimes a burden when I have friends in other colleges. It makes it difficult to meet up as often as I'd like, but I manage. You will meet a ton of diverse people from different backgrounds, and there is always something fun to do as long as you keep your mind open and actually attend events. Don't forget to look online at the cheap concerts that UCSD holds every so often. The Loft usually has some pretty good ones!
Bang for the buck
Although its cheaper to get general classes out of the way at a community college first, I feel like I would have really missed out on the transitioning with other freshman on campus. It is a learning experience that takes living in the dorms and struggling to get priorities in order with others at the same time. Its totally worth it, in my opinion :)
Tips for prospective students
The 6 college system may seem daunting at first, which one will be best for you? Definitely read up on the colleges' general ed class requirements and your major requirements, some will match up perfectly and will be convenient. I, on the other hand, did not do this. I'm an engineering major in Thurgood Marshall College (which is geared toward humanities) so I'm taking many classes that will only make my stay at UCSD longer. Nonetheless I've made the most of my situation and am enjoying myself. Also look into financial aid, because I've had my need almost completely met each year, and they are always a big help. Oh and if living on campus: bring a bike, the campus is HUGE.
Great for these types of students
This school definitely provides a great study environment. If you are looking for a crazy party school, this isn't for you. UCSD does have its fair share of parties, and not everyone is a social retard, so don't buy into the stereotypes and come visit for yourself! (I knew I wanted to attend the minute I walked on campus: many pros such as super close beach, great people, some great teachers - others not so much so ask around before picking classes or go to ratemyprofessors.com). We have a ton of extracurricular activities and clubs available, so its easy to keep yourself involved and meeting people through these is also rewarding. I'd like to recommend Ultimate Frisbee for a great time :)
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Sidney from Menifee, CA

a current student here
35 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
Am learning a lot
UCSD provides excellent professors to optimize learning for its students...for the most part anyway. Like any other school, it has it's off professors, but for the most part, all of my professors have been very enthusiastic and passionate about what they are teaching. Class sizes are very LARGE. My chemistry class for example has over 400 people in it. However, discussions are very helpful and offer a little more intimacy. I would highly encourage you to attend them! Try to get to know your TA, it can help when you have to take quizzes and whatnot and they are on-the-fence on how to grade a particular problem. In addition there are several very helpful, FREE tutoring services such as OASIS (for lower division classes) and others for upper division classes, which is very beneficial. Another thing I've found helpful are the Chem Help Room and Calc Lab, two centers that offer a lot of help for those darn general ed classes, that may be tough for students like myself. There are also plenty of students who know what they are doing trying to tutor for cash if you don't mind paying. I definitely feel like the professors and faculty here want to see me succeed. The students here are crazy smart so there can be a lot of competition, however it is not impossible to get an A in most classes if you put in the effort. Professors like Christina Johnson, who teaches Gen Chem, are absolutely AMAZING and show the deepest concern for their student's success. I particularly recommend taking her if you need to take the Chem 6 series.
Am enjoying being here
I am not just enjoying being here, I am LOVING it!!! What can I say, I instantly fell in love with the campus when I toured it. It's a given that the SD weather is always perfect, no more needs to be said about that. Being here just makes me happy. The vibe you get from everyone is just so amazing. It makes me sad to see spirit lacking in some people, I don't think they realize what a great school UCSD is. However, you can definitely find that spirit if you look. Plus, there is some SERIOUS TALK about us turning all our sports teams into Division I, and a possibility of a Division I football team. Both of these are going on the ballot next year, and you can bet this will definitely come with some spirit, major! Join clubs! No matter who you are there is an organization for you!!

There is truly a nice balance between academics and the other important college stuff, like being socially involved and and taking a part in the community. The college sends out student event fliers to let us know what's going on around the campus which is really helpful in deciding what you're going to do if you're feeling a little antsy. There are plenty of dances strategically planned around midterms and what not to provide a little extra entertainment. La Jolla is a beautiful area too, so a beach trip is never out of the question. One of my favorite things last quarter that we did was walk out to the beach (like a 20 minute walk depending where on campus you are-we were on the farthest side). It was like midnight when we left, it was so much fun walking out in the middle of the night together. We went to the cliffs where it was dark and you could hear the waves crashing. That night there was a GORGEOUS meteor shower. It was the perfect location, HUGE bright streaks filled the sky, I'll never forget that night. I would definitely say your college experience is what you make of it. If you want to have fun, trust me you will.

Perhaps one of the greater things abo...
Bang for the buck
With all I've said so far, I would hope that you would feel like you get your bang for the buck. Personally, I was astonished at how easily I transitioned into the college life, and that in itself is worth it to me. The life experiences I will gain here could not be duplicated anywhere else. Besides, who isn't in debt these days, and isn't that why we go to college in the first place? To make money to pay off our debts? That's what loans and scholarships are for.

So one of the reasons I feel like UCSD is worth the pain of reaching deep into our wallets is HELLO! it's one of the top research institutes in the nation!!! We have multiple Nobel Prize winners just walking around the campus everyday. We are one of the top nationally funded research schools and you should definitely take advantage of that! Personally, within the third week of my Fall freshman quarter, I had a lab training position where I got PAID to learn how to work in a lab, and by Spring quarter, I will be helping a PhD with his graduate level research!! Where else can you get such hands-on experience. San Diego is such a diverse city, culturally and scientifically, it is rich with job opportunities, so what better way to get a head start than in La Jolla! Port Triton (our mascot is King Triton) is a useful site that can help you with your resume and applying for jobs, and don't worry, if research isn't your thing, there are other jobs too =)

So doing the research isn't the only cool thing here, you can also be a SUBJECT by participating in research studies. Because there are so many studies going on, they are desperately looking for college students' help! And more often than not, this means COLD, HARD CASH in your pocket! A friend of mine got 90 buckaroos for answering some questions about how she doesn't smoke cigarettes! Like a forty minute interview, and a couple of short surveys, and BAM! If that isn't as easy as it gets, then I don't know what is! There is also the beauti...
Tips for prospective students
Definitely tour the campus, and if you have an interest APPLY!!!!
Utilize the resources this school has to offer. There are plenty of tools and opportunities, no excuses to not be having the time of your life in all respects!
Great for these types of students
Students who like to get the most out of education and life itself and want to be happy and feel at home in a great community.
Nothing comes easy, but if you work hard enough, this university can definitely help you out!
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Siyang

a current student here
13 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
Am learning a lot
Overall, the quality of UCSD's education system is exceptional. By offering a large variety of classes and majors, one will definitely find a specific major with classes oriented for the individual or have the privilege to sample everything that is out there. In addition, the majority of the professors (especially those teaching in upper division courses) are outstanding, taking a keen interest in the success of a student not only in the course but also in the student developing into a complete scholar. Furthermore, class structure and content are usually engaging, which helps a great deal with the learning process. However, there are a few minor issues. If one wishes to participate in additional educational programs such as a class for Emergency Medical Technicians or perhaps have a taste of the military life, this is a campus that offers no such services. But aside from this minute inadequacy, this is undoubtedly a university that will teach the necessary knowledge and skills for success.
Am enjoying being here
Absolutely, UCSD is, by far, a place to be enjoyed. The integrated six-college system in this rather large campus caters to both students wanting the large campus experience or a small-town college feel. Regardless, the six-college system (especially for incoming freshman) creates a sense of community helping to create a very positive atmosphere where students learn, work, or even pass around the Frisbee. Moreover, the campus infrastructure and location offers the convenience of providing everything a student needs at a high level of quality -- work, food, or a good wave at the beach before a Friday-night get party -- right at one’s fingertips. UCSD is, then, the perfect place to be, right? Not quite. You see, there are a few problems one would encounter here, especially if one is looking for school spirit. With the absence of a football team and an incredible drive for academic excellence from a majority of the students (which isn’t a bad thing at all), UCSD pride does suffer a bit. However, that isn’t to say there is no spirit at all as evident in the number of events held by the athletics department as well as student organizations to promote school spirit. Overall, then, UCSD is a great place to be.
Bang for the buck
As for quality of education as well as housing, the university offers it at a very reasonable price. In fact, nearly all of the mandatory fees paid towards to university are reasonable with much of it coming back to benefit the student in the forms of organizations, additional programming, and rock concerts. For instance, gym membership and access to all other recreational facilities are guaranteed to the student at prices that are quite reasonable as compared to other campuses. In addition, after the student activity fee referendum ran by the ASUCSD passed last year, entering students will not see another fee increase for four years. The only place that students will have difficulty in handling financially is dining. This is partly because Housing and Dining is not under the direct jurisdiction of the campus but is rather an affiliated business operating within UCSD. In terms of business, then, there is a certain amount of profiteering is expected. The most troubling thing is the allocation of two meals a day (or eleven dollars) and the separate food items contributing towards a full meal costing sixteen dollars in total. The result is many students not being able to eat a full meal (that is, an entrée, drink, and a dessert) and running out of dining dollars early; the dining halls do not operate buffet style. Moreover, certain dining halls such as Plaza Café in Revelle College frequently run out of items towards the end of the academic year and occasionally have slight issues with hygiene such as having fruit flies in the salad bar. However, that is not to say that there is not quality food on campus. Most other dining halls offer quality food and, even for Plaza Café, the issue of insanitation is only an occasional problem.
Tips for prospective students
The most important thing is to communicate with your counselor and ensure all of the transcripts, financial aid applications, and other sorts of paperwork are submitted before the deadline to avoid future headaches. In addition, those interested in impacted areas of study (e.g. the entire biology department) should prepare to submit an additional application for the consideration of matriculation into their intended major. Those who are still undecided, no worries -- you will have plenty of time (until spring quarter of the second year) to declare you intended major. Also, visit the campus to get a feel of what it’s like to study at the university. Once accepted, be sure to get involved with the campus and the community through on or off-campus organizations the experience is very rewarding both in terms of service to the community and personal fulfillment or future career preparation. In addition, since UCSD operates on the quarter system, classes move incredibly fast. Before you know it, you will be taking your first midterm. A particularly useful strategy is to push hard during the first couple of weeks and then ease off afterwards; and, go to the library! The result is a high level of academic achievement in the beginning that will give you the momentum you need to finish off the quarter strong. Above all, remember that even though you are in a competitive university with even more competitive peers competing for highly competitive degrees in order to matriculate into competitive careers or graduate schools, take a break once in a while and grab coffee, run out to the cliffs and watch the sunset, or just have some pain old fun. If these years are truly our best, then it’s equally important to enjoy ourselves and make the most of our college experience.
Great for these types of students
As I’ve mentioned earlier, UCSD is a large research university. Although exceptionally good at catering to all sorts of students, students with a particular interest in research, the sciences, or Humanities will find that this university is especially outstanding in those areas -- the reason being that UCSD is such a powerful, powerful university in the sciences and arts. In addition, students pursuing graduate or professional degrees will also enjoy the large number of opportunities for involvement with their particular field of interest as well as the numerous faculty members that are available to aid with the process.
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Bridget

a current student here
10 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
Am learning a lot
I applied for the Phage Genomics Initiative Course offered to only freshman, while I was still a senior. Those of you who are enrolled in this freshman research class should be stoked because it is truly an exciting class to take. It opened my eyes to the much needed research in not only microbiology but other science fields as well. I learned about electron microscopy and about different dna annotating programs. It was truly a once in a life time experience and it further encouraged me to pursue my goal of becoming a researcher.
I pretty much only took math and chem courses my freshman year. I learned a lot not only in lecture, but from the TA office hours and Professor office hours. I also took advantage of the Summer Bridge Program and Academic Transition Program which extended throughout the whole year. Here I took math and chemistry workshops in addition to going to lecture and discussion. There are tutors available even if one is not enrolled in the workshops. These workshops are like extra classes and are two hours long two times a week, so you can see that I was very busy. The truth is one is going to need help some day and if studying with your best friend isn't going to get you anywhere go to OASIS which is located in Center Hall third floor and go early because spaces fill up fast!
I don't want to scare you but in these tough times one must know in advance what field one wants to focus on. I personally don't like wasting time switching majors from one field to an entirely different one where the classes won't overlap or transfer to the new major. That's money and time we're talking about and if you are completely clueless on what you want to major in, go to the Career Services Center as early as possible for tips and help on choosing the right field.
Am enjoying being here
UCSD is a particular place where one gets what one wants. In other words if you want to join a sorority or fraternity then you can, and with it all the good stuff that you want, if you know what I mean. If you want to live a calm, relaxed life, then you can as well. One makes college what one wants. There are organizations that will appeal to everyone and the more one is involved the happier one lives. The social climate is quite peaceful; for some it's boring, but for others it is perfect. When one wants to study without having to be interrupted then one has no problem in doing so. We have to find where all the commotion is. I personally love to dance, and close by there is Tango Del Rey for 18 and over. I went for the Folklorico Social and fell in love with it. For those who appreciate ethnic music and dance, this is the place to go and it is only about 10 minuates away from campus. And I restate that you just have to look for it. But the good thing is that if you want to have fun, there is no problem looking for it. And when you want to study and focus, there is no problem either. It's that simple.
Bang for the buck
Yes, the financial issue is getting tougher each year and this year I find myself getting a larger loan than the one I did last year. I predict that for the years to come those loans will get larger. To save money I did take my social sciences classes at a community college this summer. I am nearly finished with my general education classes and am looking forward to taking courses for my major this next fall. I am big on money saving and always find ways to do things economically but nonetheless I value my education very highly. Of course college is expensive but UCSD is the best choice for me because of my interests in career choices and because of the vast amount of educational opportunities offered. Yes, I worry about how much money I'll owe once I graduate but one must look for scholarships, grants, and other forms of aid. Though I must say I've been blessed with the amount I've received both this year and last. If you got in already don't give up this grand opportunity, trust me, you will not regret accepting.
Tips for prospective students
Ok so first things first, check out all the colleges! Before picking your top 3 do your research. You don't want to be taking classes that don't really interest you or those you think won't interest you. I'm in Muir College and I picked it for its Environmental Theme, thus my major Environmental Systems, Chemistry. I like that it is also the college closest to the beach and with the most beautiful view of the ocean. I like the intimacy and comfort that it brings and the convenience of the main gym next door. But in terms of the general education classes, they are the most flexible so if you want to double major or major and minor then there should be no problem, in my opinion. Choose the right college for the right focus. ERC focuses on international studies and like studies, Revelle focuses on science for the most part, if you want to be an engineer choose Warren.
Now for other things, bring a bicycle, or if you skate, bring a skateboard. The campus is pretty large and unless you want to speed walk like I had to do the entire winter quarter, bring some mode of transportation.
Bring a little refrigerator if you are living in the residential areas. The apartments already have a fridge, but the residential dorms do not. If you are going to be living in a triple a mini refrigerator is essential. It'll make your life easier; it made my life a lot easier.
Go to class! There is not point in skipping class, what else are you going to do! Unless it's SunGod then you have no excuse. Or if you have an 8 am class and it's already spring quarter, then maybe I'll cut you some slack. But seriously go to lecture and office hours and discussion. You might have a question to ask and it is very important to get it answered so you won't fall behind.
Great for these types of students
People who are truly committed to growing as leaders, learning as much as possible, and being involved through the countless organizations. People say that UCSD is boring and anti social, but folks, the truth is the total opposite. First quarter I admit that I was pretty lonely with nothing much to do, but I got involved in organizations and in my phage course and things changed a lot. Like I mentioned before I love to dance so I joined the Folklorico club. I also wanted to do a sport so I joined Women's Crew. UCSD is a great place for meeting those who share so so much in common with you while having tons of fun at the same time. I'd say UCSD truly defines what the ultimate college experience should be, one just has to open the doors.
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