Los Angeles, CA
Occidental College


47 Ratings

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Recent Reviews

Sarah
What is your overall opinion of this school?

I absolutely love Occidental. It has given me more opportunities to do explore the surrounding communtiy, to engage in inter...

What is your overall opinion of this school?

I absolutely love Occidental. It has given me more opportunities to do explore the surrounding communtiy, to engage in interships around Los Angeles, and to delve into a deeper reflection of my own self. I find it to be an incredible school and I think that a lot of students do not take enough advantage of our possibilities.

Is the stereotype of students at your school accurate?

While there is a strong core of the student body that strongly believes in these values and works towards their realization, the college as a whole is lacking in awareness and there is a counterpart of the student body that is extemely apathetic.

What are the academics like at your school?

The faculty at Oxy is always willing to help me outside of the classroom. I have had past professors help me edit papers for current classes. Professors are always willing to give excellent reading recommendations and ways to follow up on research projects. I have never had trouble with getting recommendation letters and my professors have always known me well enough that they can direct me towards programs that fit my interests.

What is the stereotype of students at your school?

Occidental boasts a strong dedication to multiculturalism and diversity.

Laura
What is your overall opinion of this school?

Occidental is a small school with a close knit community. Yes, some people say it is too small but there are advantages and d...

What is your overall opinion of this school?

Occidental is a small school with a close knit community. Yes, some people say it is too small but there are advantages and disadvantages to the size of school. Academically the small size is a great thing, giving each and every student the full attention they need. But, socially the small size can allow for gossip and drama.

Describe the students at your school.

somewhat diverese...could be better but it is a small school...you have your uper white middle class students...then everyone else on financial aid

Is the stereotype of students at your school accurate?

most of the time, yes. But some of the time def. not.

What are the academics like at your school?

The academics are amazing, that's really all there is to say

What are the most popular student activities/groups?

lots of clubs...tings to do...small greek life though

Andrea
What is your overall opinion of this school?

Oxy cares 100% about the students who attend. It is a private school so you get what you pay for, an amazing faculty with stu...

What is your overall opinion of this school?

Oxy cares 100% about the students who attend. It is a private school so you get what you pay for, an amazing faculty with students who expect to be treated well. I felt Oxy was too small for me but at the same time I realize that if it were any larger the personal attention would drop and then it wouldn't be the same school. Unfortunately, because it is so small, no one knows about it and that is a bummer. Hopefully as time passes it will become recognized but until then I can only hope that the people at various institutions that matter, will know and recognize it. Oxy has its own bubble and without a car, most of the students stay there. With 70% living on campus they try to provide fun things to do but it's nothing compared to the million other things to do in LA, so trying not to get sucked into the bubble is preferable if you attend Oxy. I grew up in a college town and Eagle Rock is nothing like it. It is a town, but if you want to get any real experiences you should branch out, really make a point of it. Occidental's administration is supposedly a bit of a mess but I have never had any personal problems with it, so no complaints there. School pride is definitely lacking, but it's what you make of it. My friends and I dressed up for football games but we were defintiely one of the few, but realize there are only about 1800 students to pull from for games. Other than that we have to have pride to stay at a school no one knows of to prove to others that it is amazing...

Describe the students at your school.

A mix of everything really. My hometown was predominantly Caucasian and I come to Oxy and LA and am blown away, in a good way, by all the variations of people.It is impossible to feel out of place at occidental unless you don't want to make friends, because then you won't. If you do want to meet people and make friends though you are in luck because that is what oxy is all about; setting up connections and working with each other.

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

Occidental is amazing and if you're into everything liberal Arts and really want to learn, you have found the place. Despite my personal issues with the school and my desire to transfer, I have nothing but good things to say about it, my situation is just messy.

Is the stereotype of students at your school accurate?

Sure, the students at Occidental have no choice other than to be dedicated to their work, the teachers are there for you and almost every student chooses Oxy for that very reason. Well, that and the beautiful weather in LA.

What are the academics like at your school?

Academics at Occidental is amazing. Teachers know your name, research opportunities are available immediately after starting school, internships and study abroad opportunities are readily available, everything is set around the individual student. Amazing. Classes aren't always the best but that's how it is at every school, some teachers are good, some aren't. Students study a good amount of time, but nothing unmanageable, just a bit more than high school. Class participation is must because the classes are so small but because there is no cutthroat competition, participating is not intimidating. Unfortunately the Biology program at Oxy isn't as great as I wouldn't hoped so I am facing possibly transferring, but many of the theater and international programs are amazing. I hated the Core requirements and the world areas we had to learn only because I wanted more classes I was actually interested in if I was paying for a private education that was supposed to cater to me. Education at Oxy is split between job prep and actual, conceptual learning, so whichever your choice is, you will be happy. I struggled with the actual class options at Oxy for students just starting out but the setup of registration and everything was always smooth for me.

What are the most popular student activities/groups?

There are a bunch of clubs on campus and you can always make your own too. Pretty boring... let's see dorm rooms are crazy and fun and always alive. Doors are left open and people go from room to room. The dating scene is funny, but not too serious when college first starts out... typical "hooking up" at parties and meeting a ton of different people is what it's all about at this stage in the game. My closest friends were my roommates in my quads that just sort of happened from meeting each other the first day of school and just sticking together. On a Tuesday at 2am I am trying to go to bed for an 8am class but the odds are one of the guys is trying to sneak into my room (the door is always unlocked) to try to use my microwave, which is not only loud but lights up, and once I am awake again I am forced to gossip and talk until I finally am too tired and HAVE to go to sleep for that class. People party every weekend if they're into it. I was into partying and was never really let down by a lack of partied because your friends are always right there with you to take some shots and chill in the dorm. Other theme parties and such are fun and sometimes thrown by the Oxy Programming Board and those are always fun as long as there is some pre-gaming involved, and there almost always is. If you don't drink you can: go out to dinner, watch movies, go to Santa Monica, go shopping in Glendale or Downtown Pasadena, get ice cream, go to farmer's market, or just hang out with friends which is as good as anything else already listed. Off campus the options are endless really, we're talking Eagle Rock/LA here.

What is the stereotype of students at your school?

Not too sure about stereotypes, to be completely honest I never bothered to notice them I guess. I feel there must have been some but I never thought about it. Smart students who care more about personal attention and learning the material than anything else, hence wanting such a small, liberal arts school.

Jessie
What is your overall opinion of this school?

Occidental is a small, liberal arts school located in the fascinating city of Los Angeles. Occidental is ideally located at a...

What is your overall opinion of this school?

Occidental is a small, liberal arts school located in the fascinating city of Los Angeles. Occidental is ideally located at an arm's length from the well known West Hollywood, the up-and-coming Los Feliz, and the small city of Pasadena. Besides the surrounding communities, Occidental offers a diverse and unique on-campus experience. Often described as an urban oasis, the campus is pristine and ideal. Located on campus is a mailroom, two dining facilities, a new residence hall, a renovated gymnasium, as well as a non-denominational church. Although small in numbers, Oxy offers many opportunities for their students. The small numbers mean small class sizes leading to strong student-professor relationships. It is not uncommon for students to eat dinner with faculty or babysit their professor's children. With a strong science department, many chances for research are provided as well as a large academic support network.

Describe the students at your school.

The student body at Oxy is small, yet varied. In general, the students are accepting, positive, and forward-thinking. Many are environmentally conscious and active. Diversity is prevalent and highly emphasized. with just above 50% caucasian, the students at Occidental are exposed to people of many backgrounds (racially, religiously, and socio-economically). There are organized groups open to everyone, but focusing on a certain ethnicity. These groups allow for a group of students, all passionate about a certain history, to join and discuss. Most students are ambitious and have certain goals with their lives. Their goals, however, are not all focused on making the most money. Many students want to better the society, whether it is financially favorable. Students enjoy open discussions about controversial issues, including our highly debated "mulit-cultural" residence hall, which houses a majority of the minority students (out of the student's choice).

Is the stereotype of students at your school accurate?

For the most part Oxy is very diverse by numbers. The students are accepting of all different kinds of people. And we do fit the typical "liberal arts persona" of a well-off (financially) student body.

What are the academics like at your school?

The academics are rigorous but doable. Depending on the class schdeule, ranging from classes everyday to classes only on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, the amount of work every night varies. Students are not competitive and focus more on collaboration, despite the curve. Almost all professors will know your name by the end of the class. Some professors ask to take your picture in order to learn names, others take surveys to get to know their students. As part of the CORE requirement, freshmen have to take 2 semesters of a writing seminar. I took Challenges of College and Food Justice. Challenges of College was a psychology class focusing on issues faced by college students, including personality, depression, eating disorders, and stress. In Food Justice, we examined food deserts, organic and local foods, and food policy. My Food Justice class also took multiple field trips to talks at the California Endowment. We also ate an all farmer's market meal. We were asked to write a research paper in which we were required to do some original research. My specific topic, the Farm-to-School program, brought me to the Santa Monica School District in which my professor started the program. This was an amazing opportunity which has been extended to many students. At Occidental, the focus of the education is to produce students who will make a change. Their goal is to give students the knowledge to know what they want out of life and to have the ability to get it done.

What are the most popular student activities/groups?

Occidental offers numerous clubs and activities encompassing various interests, including outdoor experiences, organic and local cooking, mentoring programs, and bad movies. Musicians, authors, and organizers are frequent guests on campus. The social life generally consists of off-campus parties and school functions. Every year there are many dances including "Nurses and Doctors (put on by Delta)," Sex on the Beach, and the Winter Formal. Although present, the Greek Life is not intimidating in the least. About 20% of the campus is involved in Greek Life. With LA at our fingertips it is not uncommon for the weekends to consist of day trips to either the Huntington Gardens, various museums, or the ever popular beaches. At night, however, the campus is active, often consisting of off-campus parties or on campus events. For those who prefer a low-key social life, there are plenty of locations available for get together. For those who prefer not to drink, there is no pressure.

What is the stereotype of students at your school?

Since Occidental is not widely known, many assume it is not a highly qualified school. Those, however, who do know of Oxy would likely typify the students as diverse and accepting. Students would also be stereotyped as being upper-middle class and sophisticated.

Andy
What is your overall opinion of this school?

Its a great place to get in diversity. Ultimatly college is what you make of it and if this school doesnt feel like it fits. ...

What is your overall opinion of this school?

Its a great place to get in diversity. Ultimatly college is what you make of it and if this school doesnt feel like it fits. It probably doesn't. Go somewhere else where you will be happier. I am happy here so I stay.

Describe the students at your school.

meet as many people as you can. never be satisfied.

Is the stereotype of students at your school accurate?

you may feel like you know every one but try branching out and doing something you have never done before and you will meet oxy people you have never even seen before. There is a tendancy for information to spread fast.

What are the most popular student activities/groups?

its what you want it to be. you can party or stay in or watch movies. it really is what you make it.

What is the stereotype of students at your school?

that it is a highschool and that you know every one.

Molly
What is your overall opinion of this school?

The campus is absolutely stunning. Many of the buildings, especially the old wing of the library are beautiful and create wo...

What is your overall opinion of this school?

The campus is absolutely stunning. Many of the buildings, especially the old wing of the library are beautiful and create wonderful environments for completing school work. The fact that the library is open 24 hours a day is incredibly beneficial. As far as the school's reputation, anyone who has heard of it immediately comments on what an amazing school it is. Unfortunately, it seems like many people don't know what it is. Hopefully the school's plans to promote Occidental better will remedy this. One downside of the school being small is that their are fewer classes than you would find at large schools and they can be difficult to get into.

Describe the students at your school.

As a transfer student living off campus I struggled with connecting with students my first year, but this had more to do with my choices than any sort of rejection. Students were always very nice, conversational and open. My connection to the student body changed dramatically when I decided to join the sorority Delta Omicron Tau. It was through this experience that I was able to develop strong friendships and a closer bond to the student body.

Is the stereotype of students at your school accurate?

Personally, I found neither of these stereotypes to be accurate.

What are the academics like at your school?

I loved almost every teacher I had. They are insightful, active both in teaching and furthering their own academics through research and writing and very willing to challenge students. Mediocre will be graded as such. Teachers make great efforts to help students, provide them with feedback and support their growth as both students and individuals. Occidental will truly push you beyond what you believed to be your intellectual capacity.

What is the stereotype of students at your school?

The school is comprised of a bunch of rich kids who don't really care about their schooling. The school is too small, too much like high school.

Blake
What is your overall opinion of this school?

I am very glad I chose to go to Occidental. I have a great resume because of it (I was one of the people who decided to take ...

What is your overall opinion of this school?

I am very glad I chose to go to Occidental. I have a great resume because of it (I was one of the people who decided to take advantage of all the internships and jobs in the area). I have learned a lot in my classes and there were numerous opportunities to get funding to do undergraduate research (i traveled to 3 continents for free!).

Describe the students at your school.

Oxy has all types of students but the majority of the people are your average middle-upper class white folks. you'll be able to find your niche.

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

oxy was a fuckin experience that i thought i wasnt gonna make it thru at some points (challenging in all sorts of ways), but now that I'm at the other side of the tunnel, i feel that it has made me a better and stronger person. i pushed myself to new limits and grew a lot. who knows if it was just oxy that did this, but i know that it was very influential in my development the past four years.

Is the stereotype of students at your school accurate?

for the most part. many students do not take aadvantage of the fact that the school is located in Los Angeles and dont realize until senior year that they still hardly know the city.

What are the academics like at your school?

I have met a lot of great professors here at Oxy that really know me. they are always passing along opportunities they hear about and are always writing great reccomendation letters for me. the senior comprehensive requirement is difficult (it really varies by major). The urban and environmental policy comps is super difficult but a rewarding experience (think a 70-100 page research paper).

What are the most popular student activities/groups?

a good amout of drinking, etc. (if it was more, i dont know how you would handle your academic load). after junior year you are ready to explore the off campus social scene (over the oxy party scene) and luckily we're in la, so theres lots of stuff to do

What is the stereotype of students at your school?

that we live in a campus bubble

Kristin
What is your overall opinion of this school?

People are very focused on current issues and actively promote awareness of world and social issues. One thing that could be ...

What is your overall opinion of this school?

People are very focused on current issues and actively promote awareness of world and social issues. One thing that could be changed is the lack of consistant active participation in organizations or groups that work in social justice. Some students get involved, but the majority do not. People either know or do not know about Oxy. Those who do know about the school usually are impressed or enthusiastic about students who currently or have attended the school. I spent most of my time at the library, in my room, or with my friends at the dining facilities. It is a small school and very close knit community. Very accessible.

Describe the students at your school.

Oxy prides itself on diversity, but there are small groups of various ethnicities. Students are from a range of economic backgrounds, but since Oxy is expensive, many are on either financial aid or can afford to attend. While there is some conflict between groups, people generally interact well. People are very casual in attire. I have seen some students wear pajama pants to class.

What are the academics like at your school?

Professors are very accessible during and after their office hours. Most professors are easy to converse with and take an interest in their students' studies and lives. My favorite classes were usually my history classes, particularly my class that focused on the American Revolution. Other great classes were Islamic Thought, History of Medicine, Arabic classes. Students often discuss theoretical issues outside of class, particularly about the Race and Theory classes. The history department is a good size for the school and consists mainly of female professors. There is an emphasis on more current history, from the 1700s onward, and fewer classes on history before this time. I tried to take classes outside the department for history before the 1700s.

What are the most popular student activities/groups?

The most popular clubs on campus are BSA and Mecha ALAS the black and Latino clubs. They consistantly hold the most members. There are various other clubs, such as LGBT club, religious groups, theatre clubs, volunteer groups, and others. Students are pretty social and hang out within their dorms and off campus at houses rented by students. People usually party on Friday and Saturday, with music blasting throughout the week. There are about 5 frats and sororities and are relatively present on campus. On the weekends people either party or go off campus throughout LA to a variety of venues.

What is the stereotype of students at your school?

liberal political leanings; politically correct; focused on social justice; focus on race, gender, class theory

Chelsea
What is your overall opinion of this school?

Occidental's administration is effed up, which makes everything else rather unstable by definition (we've had two presidents ...

What is your overall opinion of this school?

Occidental's administration is effed up, which makes everything else rather unstable by definition (we've had two presidents in the past 2.5 years). No one's ever heard of Oxy, although the school is ever-boasting about it's ranking on the "Top Liberal Arts Colleges" list. Eagle Rock is a nice place; it's close to Old Town Pasadena, Glendale, and Highland Park, although there's really nothing to do in Eagle Rock itself. The school is extremely small (1800).

Describe the students at your school.

Mostly upper-middle-class white kids. It's funny that Occidental preaches about diversity because most students of color (myself included) tend to group together anyway and many live in the Multicultural Hall (Pauley). The student body is way too small, giving it a high school atmosphere and making it difficult to meet new people and get out of the "oxy bubble." I'd say about 60-75% of students are from the West Coast, specifically Northern California and Washington (Seattle). I've only met like 5 students from the midwest.

What are the academics like at your school?

In general, classes at Oxy are very hard/challenging. If you aren't a math or science person and are forced to take one of the classes to fill a core requirement, you're basically screwed. Every class has a ton of reading but you can sometimes get out of doing a lot of it, given you understand basic concepts.

What are the most popular student activities/groups?

Parties at Occidental are all the same and generally occur on or around campus. Student government sponsored events are always lame, although not for lack of effort (more to do with lack of funding). There are tons of clubs though, and being involved in clubs is a great way to get active on campus and participate in events off-campus.

Alex
What is your overall opinion of this school?

Occidental is extremely liberal and quite diverse for a private college. The campus is BEAUTIFUL and a great location. The ne...

What is your overall opinion of this school?

Occidental is extremely liberal and quite diverse for a private college. The campus is BEAUTIFUL and a great location. The neighborhood is quiet and residential but very close to fun neighborhoods for food, shopping, etc. Because LA public transit sucks, it's a good idea to bring a car.

Describe the students at your school.

A lot of Oxy students are from CA and the west coast, but there is a good representation from across the US. Students are really active in a wide range of causes. Politics is a major topic of conversation, but skewed heavily to the left. I think students of all socio-economic backgrounds are welcome. For a private college, Oxy is very welcoming to all types of students.

What are the academics like at your school?

Professors are very accessible and easy to talk to (for the most part). If you make the effort to see a professor in office hours she/he is very willing to help. Class participation is very common and all of my professors have known me by name.

Details

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

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