Los Angeles, CA
Occidental College


47 Ratings

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Recent Reviews

Ryan
Describe the students at your school.

Most people tend to be priveleged. This is definetly a liberal campus that is generally politically aware but everyone once i...

Describe the students at your school.

Most people tend to be priveleged. This is definetly a liberal campus that is generally politically aware but everyone once in a while you get that idiot football player who doesn't know a damn thing about a damn thing. There's some really ignorant people here, but that's going to be a problem absolutely anywhere in this world. There's also the problem of students being SO politically active that it gets out of control. It's hard to find a balance here.

Here's your chance: Say anything about your college!

The people are pretty sub-par but the academics are outstanding.

What are the academics like at your school?

The academic climate is pretty competitive, but only if you make it that way. Certain students really push themselves to do well while others don't. So you can make it what you want. Most classes are pretty tough but not impossible. If you work hard you can get an A, but it generally won't be given to you. The professors are outstanding and I admire them so much. They are inspiring and truly make the academics at Oxy so strong. Of course some profs are idiots, but for the most part the profs are really impressive. I love the Art History and Visual Arts department and I think that we have some of the most brilliant people teaching our art classes. Same goes for English and Comparative Lit Studies.

What are the most popular student activities/groups?

I think the students at large are the biggest draw back. Greek life is supposedly only 10% of the student body but it seems like the whole social scene is sorority girls and frat boys. I wish people appreciated LA more and actually got out into the city. Everyone just stays on campus all weekend and it's totally stupid when there's so much to do in LA.

Leigh
What is your overall opinion of this school?

The best thing about Oxy is the small size. There is some sense of community which doesn't exist at larger schools. Most pe...

What is your overall opinion of this school?

The best thing about Oxy is the small size. There is some sense of community which doesn't exist at larger schools. Most people who aren't from Southern California have never heard of it. Our administration is kind of shaky. We can't seem to keep a president. There is always a lot of controversy surrounding race at our school. Oxy is obsessed with race.

Describe the students at your school.

People who want to be out and proud Republicans would face a lot of opposition at Oxy. There's actually a terrible atmosphere surrounding race. Pauley Hall is supposed to be a diverse dorm, but it's more like a fortress into which students of color and a few radical white students can go to talk about how much they hate white people, especially rich white male Republicans. Most Oxy students are from the West Coast, like Oregon, Washington, California, Hawaii... but there's people from all over.

Is the stereotype of students at your school accurate?

yes, but diversity is usually simplified to racial diversity when there are other forms of diversity

What are the academics like at your school?

Professors usually know your name, especially if you talk in class. There aren't really any classes taught by TA's. It's all real professors. There are some competitive students and some who are less competitive. The school requirements are pretty simple and easy to fulfill unless you're a science major.

What are the most popular student activities/groups?

Athletic events, aside from football games, are that popular. There is a dance every weekend. People drink a lot. There is also a drug scene... mostly pot, but some students do harder drugs too. The theater department is pretty good, always putting on strange, but good shows. You can make your closest friends through the freshman required CSP classes. Lots of people go to Old Town Pasadena for meals and other fun activities.

What is the stereotype of students at your school?

very politically active (radical left-wing), Republican-hating, diverse

Kendall
What is your overall opinion of this school?

Small, liberal arts, private school. Most people have not heard of it when mentioned. School might become recognized when peo...

What is your overall opinion of this school?

Small, liberal arts, private school. Most people have not heard of it when mentioned. School might become recognized when people hear that 2008 Democratic Presidential candidate Barack Obama spent a year of undergraduate study here. Community is very close, very small school, everyone knows each other. I spend most of my time either in the classroom, at the baseball field, or studying in my room. Occidental is in the community of Eagle Rock, which is an up and coming community off the CA 2 Freeway between Glendale and Pasadena. Occidental's administration is good some areas, subpar in others. Professors are awesome, intelligent, and passionate about subjects they teach. Other administrators could be more helpful. Biggest controversy is the relationship between Board of Trustees and the recent Presidents. Newly elected President seems to be doing well. Not a lot of school pride, but alumni database is outstanding.

Describe the students at your school.

Every type of minority group is represented on campus. Diversity is extremely encouraged. Student that would feel out of place is a very right wing, conservative person who has never been in a socially diverse setting. All different types of students interact, sports team greatly help this cause. Students are very politically active and aware. Predominantly left.

Here's your chance: Say anything about your college!

Small, small, private liberal arts school! If you are interested, a visit is highly recommended, (preferrably overnight). Great education, academically rigorous but you will learn!

Is the stereotype of students at your school accurate?

Does cost a lot of money to attend the institution. Occidental has been referenced as an "Ivy League West" school. Called "Princeton of the West" when orignally founded. Most students do come from privileged backgrounds. Diversity is enforced dramatically compared to other educational environments. Athletic teams are competitive and overall successful within the conference. NOT a dental school.

What are the academics like at your school?

Small professor to student ratio. Professors know you on a first name basis, and they are available anytime for office hours. Liberal arts education, so not many exclusive majors. School is known for its Diplomacy in World Affairs program, which the CIA has been known to recruit directly from the department. In class environment is very intense, students are very competitive and intense. Cheating of any form is a zero tolerance policy. Professors have social events outside of class (ex. BBQ's, field trips). Academic requirements are challenging, but rewarding when accomplished. Education geared for career opportunities but also for learning on an equal priority.

What are the most popular student activities/groups?

Football and basketball teams most popular on campus. Students who can prop their doors usually leave them open in the dorms. Basketball/football games are most popular athletic events. Guest speakers are constant, and usually on very informative topics. Dating scene is ok, easy to find people because you know everyone. 2am on Tuesday I am studying. People party every weekend. Frats/sororities do exist, but none really have a good reputation. Off campus, there is a Farmer's Market every Friday, and plenty of shops and malls close. Dodger Stadium/Hollywood/Downtown LA/Staples Center/Old Town Pasadena/Rose Bowl all within 15 minutes.

What is the stereotype of students at your school?

Wealthy, private school Good academics Diversity is extremely important Students are wealthy Good Athletic Dept. Possible dental school?

Jennifer
What is your overall opinion of this school?

The size and closeness students feel with each other and their professors. The intellectual diversity and dialogues that I co...

What is your overall opinion of this school?

The size and closeness students feel with each other and their professors. The intellectual diversity and dialogues that I come across everyday are astounding. Occidental is an oasis in a seemingly desolate urban LA slum. Which actually isn't desolate at all, but teeming with character.

Describe the students at your school.

Diverse, outgoing, driven. Politically aware, predominately left. Always open to debate and discuss.

Is the stereotype of students at your school accurate?

Yes. I run into diversity not just racially but more interestingly intellectually.

What are the academics like at your school?

The relationships built with the terrific professors is astounding. Every professor knows my name and is never hesitant to come to watch me dance in dance shows and sporting events. Students have a lot of drive but because of the size we help each other and unhealthy competition is very rare.

What are the most popular student activities/groups?

Party scene not HUGE, but it is good so you don't get burnt out. Mostly off-campus parties and very chill hangout atmosphere.

What is the stereotype of students at your school?

That the community is very diverse

Max
What is your overall opinion of this school?

Overall, Oxy provides a tigh-knit community, but this is one of its key setbacks. In itssmallness,Oxy can be very suffocating...

What is your overall opinion of this school?

Overall, Oxy provides a tigh-knit community, but this is one of its key setbacks. In itssmallness,Oxy can be very suffocating, limiting and over-bearing at times--you see everyone everywhere. But this is where Academics really flourish because there is so much direct communication, etc. There's no college town, just freeways that take you places. Eagle Rock, the city surrounding Oxy,is okay but kind of limited as well. Activism is popular but often in a pseduo sense.

Describe the students at your school.

Lots of different groups and cliques. Athletes, artists, activists, musicians, Greek peoples, intellectuals, religious folks, intersections between them, etc. But if I were to sum up the idea of a typical Oxy student, I'd say he/she would be relatively leftist, progressive minded bu may or may not do something about it, and then they could either be really into school or sports or a frat, etc. There remains a lot of sugar coated bigotry on campus, but for the most part, everyone is pretty tolerant and easy going.

Here's your chance: Say anything about your college!

It's an interesting place. Why? Because it's a bubble that preaches breakingout of social bubbles. Because students have cliques but still aren't afraid to openly shout out against racism and sexism. Because professors care even when students don't.

Is the stereotype of students at your school accurate?

Not necessarily. There are many Republicans and even Libertarians that make their voices heard on campus; but, at the same time, there is certainly a left-winged bias on campus.

What are the academics like at your school?

Classes are consistently small.The largest classes are in the Diplomacy.. department because its so popular. All of my classes this semester are 15 kids or less. It's very nice. There are a lot of radical, critical and progressive courses offered on campus, but at the same time, departments lack options and depth, leaving out ancient history and latin american art, etc. Professors are, from my experiences, very very good. I've followed the advice of an uperclassmen who suggested I pick classes based on the prof and not the title. They make themselves accessible too--good stuff. A lot of students don't give a shit about school and skip, while others have deep discussions about theory outside of class. Students aren't too competitive, just determined....some of us.

What are the most popular student activities/groups?

Staff and friends really try to make Oxy a spot to actually have social events/outings.... they succeed in some respects, but through way too many dances where kids jsut get crazy drunk and grind up on each other. There have been some amazing lectures and speakers, though. A lot of kids drink a few times a week, while others are just strictly weekend partiers. You have some that don't party at all, others that do way too much.... and yes, a lot of kids smoke... 420 is a big deal here. Most student debauchery is somewhat tolerated. Dating scene is very awkward, though..... hit or miss, always see them around, etc.

What is the stereotype of students at your school?

Some stereotypes may be that Oxy students are very liberal yet may also be spoiled--tuition is expesive.

Matthew
What is your overall opinion of this school?

I feel that they school is a little too small. Everyone seems to know everyone, which can be nice at times, but it could be ...

What is your overall opinion of this school?

I feel that they school is a little too small. Everyone seems to know everyone, which can be nice at times, but it could be a little larger. Most people I talk to that do not attend Oxy have not heard of it. It seems to be more well-known back east then on the west coast. It woud be nicer if there were more things to do that were closer to campus. The surrounding area is not tha great/entertaining. Bu it is in southern California so there are plenty of activities close by. Overall, my experience has been good so far and I am enjoying myself a lot.

What are the academics like at your school?

The academics are fairly tough. The small class sizes allow you to get to know your teacher and seek out extra help. Most teachers are more than willing to help out you on the side. The classes though seem to be geared more toward getting a good and well-rounded education, instead of preparing you for a job once you graduate.

Emma
What is your overall opinion of this school?

The best things about Oxy is the people and the location. The people are generally really friendly and interesting people wh...

What is your overall opinion of this school?

The best things about Oxy is the people and the location. The people are generally really friendly and interesting people who are enticing to get to know. And Oxy is near to many LA destinations like the beach. The worst thing about Oxy is the social scene can be not as exciting as other schools because of the small size and some nerdy kids. The best places on campus are the lawn in front of the cooler where they play music and stewie beach where people tan and play frisbie. Pasadena is really near by and that is where people mostly go to go out to dinner and to the movies. There is not that much school pride but people definitely show up to the games and wear oxy gear.

Describe the students at your school.

Very liberal people and most republicans feel very out of place. Not many highly religious people. A big LGBT community that is very accepted by others.

Is the stereotype of students at your school accurate?

Oxy definitely does not have that much influence from LA. While other schools in the area's stereotype of stuck-up people is actually true, Oxy kids for the most part are more down to earth.

What are the academics like at your school?

Academics at Oxy are what you make it and what classes you decide to take. I have friends that have hours of homework and others that do virtually nothing. In class, the size is really nice. I was never someone who talked during class but now I feel really comfortable because it is so small and the teachers know us all pretty well. I had a really good collegiate sexualities class that was really interesting. Some people do complain about some teachers and you kind of know who to avoid once you come here. But, for the most part, the classes are interesting and people get pretty passionate in debates.

What is the stereotype of students at your school?

A southern california feel with stuck-up and bitchy rich kids.

Daniel
What is your overall opinion of this school?

Occidental tries to pride itself on diversity. it is, but not as diverse as it could be. the one thing that connects us all, ...

What is your overall opinion of this school?

Occidental tries to pride itself on diversity. it is, but not as diverse as it could be. the one thing that connects us all, i think, is that every single Oxy student is passionate about something. we represent LOTS of different interests, but everyone loves what they do. that creates a great "collegiate atmosphere." when i tell people i go to Occidental College, they are usually perplexed: oxy doesn't have very good name-recognition. people ask, "is that a dental school?" UGH. NO IT IS NOT!! We are a small community of people who genuinely love to learn. And learn we do! The professors here--for the most part--are excellent. There are some, of course, that i don't think are that great at teaching, but usually the profs are great.

Describe the students at your school.

all races and ethnicities are represented at oxy. we have religious groups, LGBT organizations, etc. i think that everyone could find people here who share experiences, histories, and morals with. We are mostly democratic/liberal, but there are a few republicans too. everyone at oxy is very easy going about most things, so we don't pick on the republicnans too much...as long as they know they are a minority and are wrong. HA. And people are EXTREMELY politically active. every single day at lunch in the quad there are tables set up where people are representing their causes and beliefs, handing out flyers, promoting events on campus, etc. The politics department is prolific in bringing speakers and guests to campus. most of those lectures are great, too.

Here's your chance: Say anything about your college!

Occidental (Oxy, as we call it) is GREAT! Seriously, great.

What are the academics like at your school?

The professors at Occidental are great. professors ALWAYS know your name, as class sizes are small. participation is common in class, and is usually vital to the class' momentum. I suppose I can tell you a bit about the music department. First of all, there is ALWAYS something going on at Booth Hall, the music building. there are concerts almost every weekend, and often on weekdays too. the professors are fun, intelligent, and good at teaching. i've spent time with some of them outside of class time too, going to concerts that they put on in the community, etc. they are really cool people. I think that is an aspect about most of Oxy's professors: they are are professors AND real people, with real lives and families and interests. What's great is that they are willing to share that with you, and to get to know you.

What are the most popular student activities/groups?

We have frats and sororities here, and those are pretty popular. however, there is NO requirement or pressure to join one. I didn't. There are usually not too many parties on campus on the weekends; sometimes a couple dorms have been know to hold big parties, but they usually get broken up by campus safety pretty quickly. the weekend party scene generally happens off campus at the frat houses. Luckily, these are not far at all from campus (like, across the street). because the party scene is mostly removed, though, if you don't want to party, you definitely not pressured to.

Erin
What is your overall opinion of this school?

While attending Oxy, I have come to realize that one's college education is really what you make it. My best experience by fa...

What is your overall opinion of this school?

While attending Oxy, I have come to realize that one's college education is really what you make it. My best experience by far on this campus has been my participation in the Undrgraduate Research Program. While there are strengths to learning science in the classroom, to make it come alive one ought to find something that they are truly passionate about and find a professor to help you study your passion. The real world is not about test scores or even really all the terms and such you learned for class. The real world of science is about discovery, making mistakes, and studying some aspect of life that truly fascinates you.

Describe the students at your school.

As a member of the LGBT community on this campus, I mst say that it is not the most welcoming campus for LGBT issues. While very few people here are out right homophobic, the majority of the campus is very unconcerned and unresponsive when it comes to LGBT issues and events on campus.

Is the stereotype of students at your school accurate?

I think that for the most part they are. There are always improvements to making diversity more of a priority on this campus, but I think that when compared to some of our sister schools, Oxy offers the type of environment where concerns and change are more likely to occur.

What are the academics like at your school?

My professors allknow my name. This can be both a blessing and a curse. For me, I attend all of my classes and give my best effort at all of them. The appreciation I receive from my professors is reward enough for me, no matter what my final grade is. If you are someone who is looking for a college where you can skip classes or get good grades really easily, this school is not for you. Every grade I have earned has been the result of really hard work. Some of the classes I have worked the hardest in have been the ones in which I have gotten the lowest grade. But I also learned the most in these classes as well. Oxy is not the type of college you can just cruise through. The education you receive here is worth every penny it costs to go here.

What are the most popular student activities/groups?

Partying here seems to be a must. Though most people don't party on the week nights, over the years I have seen a definate increase from when I first came here. Weekends, the only thing to do usually is get drunk and even at school dances at least 95% of the people there have parted somewhere else beforehand.

What is the stereotype of students at your school?

Occidental students tend to be some of the best and brightest this country has to offer. Over the years, Oxy has become more and more competitive. In addition the school prides itself on diversity among its student body, both in terms of race, religion, sexuality, and hometown.

Grace
What is your overall opinion of this school?

People are friendly, the weather is perfect, you are in a major city but in a small community

What is your overall opinion of this school?

People are friendly, the weather is perfect, you are in a major city but in a small community

Describe the students at your school.

Occidental strives to be diverse but like many small liberal arts schools is a majority white, middle class students. There are great cultural clubs on campus and many students who identify as LGBorT. Many students are from California (LA and Bay area) but there are people from all over including many Hawaiians, people from Seattle and the East Coast. The campus is predominantly liberal.

What are the academics like at your school?

Classes are small and it's great. Lectures are personal and you will participate in discussion a lot. Students are competitive in that they care about succeeding but like to work together, cooperate on stuff, and are willing to help each other out. Students spend a lot of time studying and doing school work

What are the most popular student activities/groups?

Doors are almost always open in the dorm, people are very friendly and social. Oxy is not know for being a party school but it is not hard to find one on the weekend. Most athletic teams are very successful, so games are popular especially football and basketball. There are great guest speakers and performers all the time. Amazing programs put on by different clubs happen weekly. Dance production is a popular event that happens yearly. Oxy has a few frats and sororities but they are not a large part of the social scene and they are not your stereotypical Greek life.

Details

  • Enrollment
  • 1,969
  • Tuition & Fees
  • $51,070
  • Acceptance rate
  • 46%

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