Santa Clara, CA
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Reviews 1052 total reviews with an average rating of 3.6

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3 College Junior

Academics: Pride in Politics – I'm a political science major, and all of my professors have done such different things in their lives with a political science degree that I have really learned how diverse it is and the many things that I can do with it after I graduate. They are also very proud to be poli sci professors and to work in that field outside of the university as well, which rubs off on students in a positive way.

4 College Sophomore

Health & Safety: Campus is extremely safe. Campus Safety is available and on call 24 hours a day.

3 College Junior

Majors: Not Extremely Rigorous in the a&S College – I would say that I'm relatively happy with my program (Sociology). However, the academic rigor at SCU (with exceptions in engineering, business, and the physical sciences) is extremely lacking. If you're looking to truly be pushed and challenged intellectually, I would try to aim a bit higher in your college selection process. However, having graduate programs on campus makes it extremely easy to accomplish your future academic and career goals (in Law, Business, Engineering, and Education).

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Junior

Parking: Expensive, Not Worth It as an Underclassman – Because SCU is in the middle of a relatively accessible public transportation system, underclassmen usually find that having a car is unnecessary to get the few off-campus places they need to be (aka the movies, the mall, target, grocery shopping, brief outings to Santa Cruz/San Francisco). Freshmen aren't allowed to keep cars on campus except in special circumstances. Parking for other students is expensive, but accessible. SCU also has 3 Zipcars available for students of all ages to rent and use, which is extremely easy. However, once you get to be a junior or senior, it's much nicer to have a car, because there's not much to do in the immediate area (particularly if you're looking to hold an off-campus job or internship). So, it will be an investment that will need to happen probably before you graduate!

2 College Junior

Campus Strictness: Not as Strict as It Claims to Be! The campus is hyped up to be extremely strict, but it's really not. The CFs (essentially RAs) are quite lax, with very few exceptions. People smoke pot in the quads of some buildings, drink regularly in rooms, and CFs hardly ever tell people to quiet down. However, when someone is written up, SCU does have a solid program in place for consequences, and keeps track of offenses.

College Sophomore

Majors: Not on the Market Yet – I have not had the chance to start looking for internships though Santa Clara, however, I have not heard of any difficulty in getting them or complaints about those I know who have gotten them.

4 College Sophomore

Academics: Understanding and Tough – The campus is absolutely beautiful and the people are really laid back and friendly. This is also true of the classroom.The classroom atmosphere at Santa Clara is a hybrid between tough curriculum and easily understandable material, which is made possible by the great teachers that it has to offer. The teachers are very cool and work you hard but are very understanding and help you out a lot. The small, but not painfully small, class size helps make this possible.

4 College Sophomore

Local Atmosphere: Comfortable Atmosphere – Santa Clara is a relatively small town, but even still, it has a lot to offer. There is a mall close by, which is equipped with movies, great food, and a large area to hang out. You can also go to the city which only takes a small amount of time. Most activities take place on campus though, but there is nothing wrong with that because it is a great atmosphere.

3 College Sophomore

Majors: Bioenginneering Major – If you want to be an engineer, you should know from the beginning because it is really hard to catch up. Other majors it is less difficult, but not knowing what you want to do does set you back in terms of class availability and such.

4 College Sophomore

Academics: There is a lot to offer from being located in the Silicon valley; there are many internships available as well as professors and people available to help out the student in pursuit of a bioengineering degree. The workload is difficult, but managable. However, if you put in the time you will see results, and the professors are really instrumental in the results.

4 College Sophomore

Local Atmosphere: While there isn't much within walking distance of the campus, the public transporation system in the area is very useful, whic the CalTrain right across the street. Thus it is very easy to get to museums or other attractions. There is a lot to do on campus as well as off, if you are willing to search for what exactly you are looking for. The music scene this set up this way; if you know what you are looking for than it is very easy to find something.

5 College Sophomore

Majors: The course load for my specific program (public health science) is challenging, and it is imperative for students to learn how to manage their time and prioritize their work. There are opportunities to earn internships if you work with the Career Center, which is a great way to spend your summer if you are staying in the area. Public Health is a competitive major,and students will be taking science classes alongside biology and chemistry majors, so it is helpful to being open to getting a tutor!

1 person found this useful Report
5 College Sophomore

Academics: I chose Santa Clara because of the prestigious academics and high caliber students who attend. Our motto is "work hard, play hard". The staff at SCU have always been very accommodating and willing to answer any application and registration questions I had. Professors like to see students getting help at office hours, to know that you are trying your best in their classes. Classes are on the smaller side (about 20-30 per class), which is great for professor-student interaction, as well as student interaction.

5 College Sophomore

Local Atmosphere: Santa Clara University is located just 40 minutes south of San Francisco, and just north of San Jose, California. SCU is in a beautiful neighborhood, the surrounding areas are clean, kept up very well and add to the aesthetics of the university. The De Saisset is a museum which is also part of the university, and displays artifacts and details of the Santa Clara Mission. SCU is minutes away from the San Jose Airport, as well as from downtown San Jose where you can find fantastic restaurants, hotels and more. Santa Clara is a very safe neighborhood, students and residents are very amiable towards one another.

4 College Sophomore

Athletics: Supportive Fans – There are many dedicated fans for all university sports. The environment at sporting events is very enjoyable and the fans are dedicated.

3 College Sophomore

Off-Campus Dining: Small Town – Santa Clara has restaurants here and there, however few are within walking distance. As a student without a car, this is sometimes inconvenient. Student discounts are offered and prices are relatively average.

4 College Sophomore

Academics: Study Abroad – I have been very pleased with the various opportunities to study abroad through my university. Many programs are designed for my specific major. My advisors have been very helpful to inform and prepare me for my time studying abroad.

5 College Sophomore

Weather: Beautiful Sunny California – The weather is amazing here! You can't get much better than this! It is very moderate. When first starting school in Fall quarter it does get pretty hot, so make sure you have a fan for your room. But the winters aren't bad, a little rain but not bad. It's gorgeous! And in the spring, all the flowers on campus bloom and it is amazing! You could easily be out sun-bathing by the pool in February, the weather is that great!

4 College Sophomore

Campus Dining: Good but Gets Old – The dining center is very good, just remodeled a year ago. Bon Appetite is our food provider, which offers lots of fresh and healthy options. There is a good variety for food, but by the end of the year everyone gets sick of it. While living on campus you are required to have a meal plan either basic or preferred. As a general rule guys always run out of points while girls have extra. We have a point system where you pay per item you buy. Unlike other schools you are allowed to take the food to go.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Freshman

Parking: Your Vehicle and Where It Parks – Your vehicle does not require a parking permit on neither the weekends nor University holidays which is nice. I would say that a vehicle is not necessarily a necessity seeing that there is a train station extremely close to campus as well as an easy-to-navigate public transportation bus system. If you do require a car for any reason, there are plenty of available parking spaces in the on-campus parking structure located near the basketball stadium and business building. Trouble finding a parking space or walking to class from the parking structure on campus will never be a good excuse for being late to a lecture.

3 College Freshman

Off-Campus Dining: Around the Santa Clara University campus there are several places from which one may select to dine. There is an array of occasions as well. Whether is be a hungry stomach during a late night study session, or perhaps one is in search for a nice place to take a date. Simply stroll around the beautiful city that is Santa Clara and one may stumble upon exactly what they are looking for, from pizza, to coffee, to the romantic Santana Row.

5 College Freshman

Academics: Amazing Academic Resources and Places to Study – After visiting the Santa Clara University campus the summer before my senior year, I had decided that it was my first choice school. Not only did the beautiful campus, friendly professors, impressive sports facilities, and small class sizes entice me, but perhaps most importantly the massive amount of academic resources available to students sealed the deal. Free tutoring in any and all academic courses, several "quiet rooms" available for reservation by study groups, professors willing to aid students until late at night, and a top-of-the-line library filled with any book on can imagine, hundreds of Mac computer monitors, film rooms, and a museum.

3 College Junior

Transportation: Zipcars Run the School – There is seriously only one bus that people actually make use of and it only goes to the mall. People usually rent zipcars but it can get somewhat pricey if used many times. There's also the caltrain station to go to nearby towns however it's hard to know what to do in those towns if you aren't going with someone who has lived around the area. Overall, zipcars are the best option if you aren't too low on cash.

1 College Junior

Diversity: Diverse but Segregated by Race – There's a lot of ethnically different students at Santa clara however everyone pretty much stays friends within their own race. For example, all of the white people only hang out with white people and the same goes for the Asians, Blacks, and Hispanics. I think people aren't willing to extend beyond their own comfort level and therefore they stick to students who look/act/talk like them.

3 College Junior

Academics: Psychology Major – I honestly wouldn't recommend majoring in psychology at my school due to the fact that most of the attention is focused on business students. The psychology professors are very limited at Santa Clara and therefore it's hard to get a good teacher whom is actually passionate about the subject. Although psychology is an excellent and intriguing major, Santa clara would probably not be the best choice in trying to obtain a degree for it.


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Mission Santa Clara de Asis
Mission Santa Clara de Asis
Mission Santa Clara de Asis Mission Santa Clara de Asis

Overall ExperienceWhat's This?

Lauren Silk
Bainbridge Island, WA
English and French
View all previous student authors

Inspired by its Jesuit roots, Santa Clara's mission to educate the whole person by engaging the mind, body, and spirit encourages its students to maintain a healthy balance between work and play. Santa Clara's diverse academic, extracurricular, and community service opportunities make it easy for students to do what they love and to tailor their SCU experience accordingly. Though many students initially have a tough time adjusting (typical for most college freshmen), taking advantage of the resources provided by the strong campus community can help make the transition process easier. Thriving at Santa Clara requires finding your niche, which can take awhile, but is worth it once you do. 

Most students cite weather, location, and academics as Santa Clara's greatest strengths, and they appreciate the active and supportive community on campus. While many students agree that they would change certain aspects of the school if they could (the cost of tuition taking priority), most feel pretty satisfied with their Santa Clara experience. 

Admitted Students' GPA/Test Scores More on admissions . . .

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