Academics

Location
Los Angeles, CA
Undergrads
2,154
Tuition
$44,570
Admission Difficulty
Hard
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Reviews

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4 College Freshman

Academics: The professors are amazing, very knowledgeable and supportive. I love my liberal arts education here, I think I'm very lucky to be able to read Harry Potter for class and choose what I want to write for my papers.

1 person found this useful Report
College Freshman

Academics: Haven't been able to specifically focus on my major yet.

4 College Freshman

Academics: Workload is usually manageable, but can be a little tough sometimes, especially if you're in a course with a difficult professor.

4 College Freshman

Academics: All the professors I've taken courses with are really passionate about their areas of study. They're always willing to help students with any questions and accommodate any problems. Registration can be a stressful, but professors are usually willing to let you in courses that you didn't get in during the initial registration process.

4 College Freshman

Academics: The biochemistry major extremely challenging and a 3.0 is something to be proud of. It's hard to get A's here.

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Rankings View more rankings . . .

  • 160th
    Smartest Professors
  • 168th
    Most Caring Professors
  • 225th
    Best Academic Advisers
  • 390th
    Most Available Classes
  • 435th
    Professors Most Interested in Classes

Student Author OverviewWhat's This?

Occidental truly has some incredible degree programs, and it can be an excellent place to study for certain programs such as theater, diplomacy and world affairs, and English. The emphasis on creating a diverse liberal arts education allows students to earn a degree in a certain field while being able to pull in classes from as many different areas as possible. There is an excellent support network available for all students from professors and advisors, and the options for study are amazing, especially considering the ability to create individualized patterns of study. However, many students did complain from other majors, saying that their programs often felt slighted, especially for the number of students involved. Oftentimes, it seemed that certain majors got less in funding, or were overlooked when it came to expanding to deal with the increase in demand. Along with this, many students complained of not being able to take the classes they wanted because of overcrowding in registration. While many classes are offered, the desire to keep class ratios down has left many students on waitlists for classes, especially pre-requisite classes for majors.

It is also important to note the Core program that all freshmen must take. In the Core program, students take one class the first semester and two classes the second semester of their freshman year that are devoted to emphasizing writing skills. Many students enjoy this because it helps them learn how to write for college, something not everyone learns in high school. The topics available for classes are always broad, and very interesting as well. Overall, Oxy has a lot of strength in its programs. It's an incredible place to study with strong academic programs and an incredible diversity in options.

Facts & Statistics

Student-Faculty Ratio
10:1
Full-Time Instructional Faculty
183
Part-Time Instructional Faculty
73
Total FT Faculty
183
Faculty with Terminal Degree
89%
Average Faculty Salary
$87,960
Full-Time Retention Rate
94%
Transfer-Out Rate
11%
Graduation Rate
84%
Programs/Majors Offered
35
Academic/Career Counseling?
Yes
Remedial Services?
No
Class Sizes
  • Fewer than 20 Students: 62%
  • 20 to 49 Students: 37%
  • 50 or More Students: 1%
Instructional Programs
Occupational: No
Academic: Yes
Continuing Professional: No
Recreational/Avocational: No
Adult Basic Remedial: No
Secondary (High School): No
Special Credit Opportunities
Advanced Placement (AP) Credits: Yes
Dual Credit: No
Life Experience Credits: No
Degrees Awarded
  • Bachelor's degree
  • Master's degree
Most Popular Majors
  • Art Studies: 3%
  • Biology and Biological Sciences: 4%
  • Economics and Econometrics: 7%
  • International Relations and National Security Studies: 5%
Special Study Options
Study abroad
Tips to Succeed
  • Don't wait for things to come to you; they never will.
  • Eat well.
  • Get a lot of sleep.
  • Get involved with anything that interests you.
  • Go to as many orientation events as possible. You'll learn a lot and meet new people.
  • It's okay to admit you're wrong.
  • It's okay to defend yourself when you think you're right.
  • Know your limits.
  • Talk to your professors as much as possible.
  • Try new things! If it scares you, do it twice!
Did You Know?
  • Occidental has one of the largest international study abroad programs in the country, which has recently had an increase in its budget to allow for even more students to study abroad.
  • The school also has an extensive summer research program that allows students to work on self-chosen research projects with faculty throughout the summer while supplying them with room and board. This project has also recently received another $1.5 million from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.
  • Occidental has one of the most diverse campuses in the world, with acceptance rates of minorities that are far higher than the national average.
  • Occidental is part of a consortium of schools including the Art Center of Pasadena and the California Institute of Technology.
  • Occidental has a tradition of community service that dates back to the mid-1960s, when the College's Community Literacy Center and one of the country's first Upward Bound programs were established. Community-based learning is now a central part of Occidental's curriculum.

Student Polls

Rate your school's academic environment on the following topics    Based on 20 responses

Very poor
Excellent
  • Academic advisers
  • Class availability
  • Consistency in grading
  • Course subject variety
  • Curriculum flexibility
  • Gen-Ed requirements
  • Manageability of workload
  • Online course options
  • Quality of teaching assistants (TAs)
  • Scheduling/registration process
  • Technology in the classroom

Rate your school's professors on the following topics    Based on 16 responses

Very poor
Excellent
  • Accessibility
  • Communication skills
  • General knowledge
  • Interest in class subjects
  • Interest in students
  • Time spent in classroom
  • Use of teaching assistants
4
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