Occidental College Campus Life Reviews

On-Campus Housing
Excellent

15%

Very Good

49%

Average

28%

Poor

4%

Terrible

4%

Off-Campus Housing
Excellent

0%

Very Good

31%

Average

48%

Poor

14%

Terrible

7%

Campus Food
Excellent

33%

Very Good

37%

Average

19%

Poor

7%

Terrible

4%

Campus Facilities
Excellent

22%

Very Good

40%

Average

25%

Poor

11%

Terrible

2%

Class Size
Excellent

58%

Very Good

35%

Average

4%

Poor

2%

Terrible

2%

Activities
Excellent

22%

Very Good

42%

Average

24%

Poor

7%

Terrible

5%

Local Services
Excellent

42%

Very Good

33%

Average

18%

Poor

5%

Terrible

2%

Academics
Excellent

25%

Very Good

47%

Average

18%

Poor

5%

Terrible

4%

Overall Review for Occidental College

Excellent

0%

Very Good

73%

Average

18%

Poor

9%

Terrible

0%

We Asked Students, What's your overall opinion of this school?

Ashley

This college would greatly benefit from a larger applicant pool; the student body would be more diverse not merely in terms of race but also in political ideology and overall academic achievement. I feel that this campus has a very liberal slant; in many instances, politically correct language is held to the utmost importance. As a result, discussions about political issues tend to be one-sided both inside and outside of the classroom. I feel that this stifles dissenting voices which are important to fostering diverse viewpoints which is one of the important things this college wanted to promote. (the irony...). Even the clubs in this campus have a liberal slant (take a look at the list of clus; you will see a trend or repetition). However, this campus does have a Republican club (albeit a small one) which I hope will help to serve as a haven for students with dissenting views. The professors, in my experience, are generally very knowledgeable and helpful both inside and outside of the classroom. If you make an appointment with them outside of their regular office hours, they will meet you, help you with study strategies, and get to know you personally. The classes are generally small and the level of participation varies among classes. I find that there is always that one student who is always enthusiastically participating which can be intimidating. It is very important to make some acquaintances in your classes; you will need them for notes. The CAE is helpful but has its limits; it needs to have more student tutors for each subject. The students in the writing center are generally able to help you polish your essay's grammar and flow but are often unable to provide feedback for thesis statements and the content of the essay. The social scene tends to be sluggish on fridays and the weekends. It is important to have a friend that can drive and transportation since pasadena is a short drive away. In my experience, it is very easy to become isolated in your dorm or the library if you are not careful but I suppose it is partially my fault for not joining enough clubs. The food here is generally very good; the portions are gigantic and it is easy to overeat even with Meal Plan C. If you want to watch your weight, avoid the cooler unless you are trying to get fruit, yogurt, and coffee. After a late night study session, the pizzas and candy will be tempting. This school is very expensive even for a private. Generous financial aid is required for most students to attend.

Rich

So may kids are depressed, or afraid to go to social events because of the rape culture. This school puts on a great show before you arrive, but they are completely unsupportive of students, the professors are generally unavailable outside of class, and the fees are endless.

Selasi

This is a pretty typical liberal arts college. Not too much of a heavy greek or sports culture, but there is still the active presence on campus. Certain sports are more heavily represented than others - football, track. The academic atmosphere is pretty standard, no emotional breakdowns every night, but not something you just glide through. Finally, there are plenty of extracurriculars, ways to start your own clubs, and opportunities you can take advantage of in the neighborhood and the city.

Masamu

It is a great school that has small classes that benefit individual students. Since Professors are always available outside of class, I regularly meet with them to discuss class work or research opportunities. I recently was accepted to work in an organic chemistry research which is truly exciting.

Selah

I really like my school. I had other college options, but Occidental College was the best pick for me! I recommend the school. I really like the campus feel, the many clubs and activities you can get involved in. There is also little to no drama on campus. I have been able to make friends easily, too.

Hope

Occidental College as an educational institution strives to establish an environment where individuals learn from each other with regard to race, political identification, sexuality, gender identification, class background, and cultural heritage. Further, it strives for and exceeds this goal. Occidental College is a place full of bright, kind, hard working individuals that work to make the world a more accepting and better place.

Kristine

It is a good school, but it is very expensive. I really enjoy the theater program and the accessibility to the greater Los Angeles area. The food is great too. There is always something to do in the area or at school as there are lots of events for a small school. Classes are small enough that you get personal attention.

Ashley

It is a very liberal school which is not a bad thing. There are many opportunities for discussion and discovery. The subjects being taught are vast in variety and all very interesting. The way in which the graduation requirements are set up require students to explore and for that reason the people on campus are all very well-rounded. The staff are all very helpful and kind. They do much to make sure the students are doing well and develop into people ready to interact with a globalizing world.

Molly

A great school for those who want a small learning environment and easy access to professors. With small class sizes, discussions are easier to manage and gear towards different topics within the subjects. There are various clubs and activities for people to participate in among the arts, social sciences, and STEM subjects. The food is better than those at most schools. The garden grown on-campus provides fresh vegetables used for various meals served and overall variety in daily meals allows students to eat something new everyday. The various places to study and do work allow for changes of scene for students who do not wish to be stuck in their dorms such as the library and quad. There are different programs and events which help students prepare for future jobs and careers after college. Being close to a variety of places California is known for, students are able to spend time outside of school at iconic places such as Universal Studios Hollywood. Overall, Occidental College is an excellent school for those who want a tight-knit community with easy access to other students, professors, and staff.

Jack

I was unsure about Occidental when I entered and I still am. In its benefit, Occidental is a writing-heavy school with challenging classes and has a good reputation for those who know what it is. Academically, the curriculum is very focused on social justice, especially in the Urban & Environmental Policy (UEP) department. Class-wise, the size is really nice. Unfortunately, even many people in LA don't know Oxy exists and I worry if future employers will understand the rigor and meaning of an Oxy degree. I would recommend this school to people who are looking for a very personal and somewhat unconventional college experience (no massive parties, tailgates, school pride, etc.). There is quite a range of personalities on campus and a number of students come to Oxy to find a safe space for self-expression. With that, it is very accepting of the LGBT+ community. One can most definitely find a niche, but due to the size, it can sometimes be hard to find people you connect with. You see everyone too often and it is extremely easy to get sick of people around campus. If you have any issues with anyone, you have no chance to avoid them. Also, because of the number of students, there is only one dining hall and one complimentary food hall, making the options limited and repetitive. The campus itself is gorgeous and extremely well maintained, but many of the residence halls do not have A/C, which is frustrating for such an expensive school. Location-wise, it is advertised to be primely in LA, but in actuality, is annoyingly far from everything. There is no college town and without a car, students most definitely feel trapped on campus. LA is an amazing city for many reasons including impeccable weather and picturesque landmarks​ but is very hard to travel in without the proper means, making Uber a necessary expensive (and it will add up). Overall, people either love or hate Oxy and it can really range from person to person. It is important to recognize one's own personality in relation to the schools before making a decision. Either way, the education provided is not one to be taken for granted as it provides a strong undergraduate degree, especially for those seeking to attend grad school.

Madeleine

Occidental College and the students that attend it aren't interested in having hard conversations. They don't want to feel uncomfortable, they don't want their viewpoint challenged, and they're fairly certain that what they believe is the only "right" thing to believe. It provided me with a quality education, but I wish I could have had more discussions that could broaden all of horizons and points of view, and taught us how to be citizens in a world that fosters such intense feelings of hate, without letting that feeling overtake us. I wanted an environment that helped me learn how we could get both sides of the table sitting down and talking to each other, and this wasn't the environment I found at Occidental.

Alannah

I think that Occidental is a great college where someone could easily continue to learn in a great environment. Everyone there seems to be super helpful and there is a positive atmosphere of people who actually want to learn. the class sizes are pretty small which I think is better because it provides you with a more interactive learning experience. Therefore, I think Occidental is a great place for someone to continue their education.

Oxy

Choosing a college is a big deal, that said in my opinion Oxy is extremely liberal (UCB has nothing on us). We support protests, marches, have a huge LGBT community. With that said, we are not a school for athletes (our sports are HS level) or possibly hetero guys as we've had a big problem with sexual misconduct accusations, guys can be nervous coming here as many have been written up and suspended over consensual stuff - scary. Its a good school otherwise. A nearby school that is less liberal but with a great student life that I would visit a lot is Chapman, should check that out.

Avery

Occidental College was a good experience. With that being said there is a more realistic and blunt run down of Oxy that I need to share. One of the biggest things I realized going to Oxy is that you get stuck in this college bubble where everything's sunshine and games verses if you had gone to a bigger university such as Ucla or Usc. The Liberal arts campus is tiny and located in an affluent, predominantly white suburb. The school claims to be diverse but the majority of the students who go here are rich and privileged white or asian kids. Many of them carry around this vice of being economically disadvantaged and ethnically picked apart but when in reality most of them have grown up in fairly privileged environments and haven't had many issues with money growing up especially if their parents are paying for the majority of the tuition. On that note the tuition may not be worth it depending on what you are looking for. It's also a liberal arts school so alot of kids take it easy unless you are a STEAM major. Other than that foods great, you don't really have to go out of your comfort zone since the school is as big as a highschool. I did like the size of the school however. Many of my friends who went to larger schools had to fight to even get into extracurricular activities. Although I will say they are more prepared to handle real life competitiveness than I am. In the end undergrad is just a way for colleges to skin you of your money.

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