Location
Santa Clara, CA
Undergrads
5,141
Tuition
$39,048
Admission Difficulty
Average
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Reviews 1078 total reviews with an average rating of 3.6

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3 College Freshman

Campus Strictness: Don't Break the Rules of the Dorm! The strictness levels in the dorms pertaining to drug and alcohol use are very strict. If caught with either, a write-up is issued, along with a hearing in some cases, and a third-strike-you're-out policy. However, off campus is slightly more low-key. The police are mainly interested in breaking up the parties, not taking legal action. You have to be cautious, especially if you are underage, but if you are smart you should be fine.

3 College Freshman

Campus Dining: Not Too Bad for Only One Dining Hall – Because of the small size of the campus, there is only one main dining hall, with some scattered cafes around campus. The food is generally well prepared, with some variety, but as time goes on I find it a little repetitive. However, there are many options for food on-the-go. I have heard the dining hall is being upgraded next year, so I am looking forward to that.

5 College Student

Weather: Beautiful Sunshine – There is plenty of sunshine and very little rain. It never gets too cold during the day and the weather seasons are great.

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Student

Nightlife: Bar and Club Scene – The students study hard during the week and party hard on the weekends. The party scene typically kicks into gear on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday

4 College Student

Local Atmosphere: Social Life and Location – The Cal train system helps students travel to San Francisco. Santa Clara also provides concerts and comedy shows that students can afford.

4 College Freshman

Campus Housing: Housing is nice – The dorms are very nice, and the atmosphere is very welcoming.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Sophomore

Overall Experience: Santa Clara has a very open student body, but it's sometimes a bit cliquish and it can be a bit intimidating with so many skinny, beautiful people. Sometimes when it's warm out, you can see lot of girls sunbathing in bikinis in the Graham quad. It can be a little weird.

3 College Sophomore

Off-Campus Dining: Far Away, but Tasty – Since Santa Clara is such a small city, you generally need to take a bus or drive to get to most places. There is Stuft Pizza across the street from Graham, but most places take awhile to get to by foot. I highly recommend Spice Hut in Sunnyvale if you are a fan of Indian food. It's inexpensive and delicious. It's about a 10 minute drive, but one of my favorite places to go.

1 person found this useful Report
Niche User

Campus Strictness: They're really strict about drinking on campus, which is kind of lame. It's college, though, so plenty of it still goes on. When you get caught, the actual punishment usually isn't bad, but Campus Safety can be real jerks about it when they bust you.

Niche User

Academics: People say the workload at Santa Clara is just as hard as at Harvard or other Ivy League schools, and that it's just getting in that's harder. I don't know if that's true, but SC is definitely a tough school.

1 person found this useful Report
Niche User

Academics: In general, I've made it a rule to avoid Jesuit teachers. They seem a little more judgmental and less open minded than the other professors. I also try to avoid the overly feminist teachers, as they tend to be more critical of male students. All in all, however, the teachers are great; with such small classes you get a lot of personal attention from them.

1 person found this useful Report
Niche User

Academics: The classes are really small, which is good, but sometimes I wish they were bigger so the teacher wouldn't notice every time I skip class.

1 person found this useful Report
Niche User

Academics: Overall, the professors are good, but I've had one really, really bad one. I guess I should have known better than to take a class about the Bible from a Jesuit professor. I've had some really good Jesuit teachers in other subjects, though, so maybe it was just the one guy.

Niche User

Academics: I don't like the quarter system. I don't know why they can't make the schedule closer to the way other schools are. It also kind of sucks to have to take three sets of finals every year.

1 person found this useful Report
Niche User

Academics: Classes are not easy, but if you are having trouble, go to the teacher's office hours and stuff. They will help you out a lot, and showing them you're serious about it always helps.

Niche User

Academics: The teachers at Santa Clara take a special interest in making sure that students are engaged with the subject matter. Most will take the time to sit down personally with a student and address any confusions or concerns the student might have, or even just discuss a particular concept in more depth. Classes are structured to encourage participation and dialogue between peers, making them far more interesting and beneficial.

1 person found this useful Report
Niche User

Academics: Most of the teachers I have had are really good, and they always have plenty of time to meet with you.

Niche User

Academics: If it weren't for the great academics, I would say that Santa Clara University is more like a summer resort than a university.

1 person found this useful Report
Niche User

Local Atmosphere: The campus is somewhat isolated, but there are lots of cool places to go to not far away, like San Francisco, Santa Cruz, and parts of San Jose.

Niche User

Local Atmosphere: Santa Clara is a small town shared by residents and students. Weekends and Wednesdays seem to be happening times, but the action tends to be brought to a close rather early compared to many universities, thanks to the `curfew conscious' SCPD.

Niche User

Local Atmosphere: El Camino Real is a disgusting assault on the eyes. It's not like it's run-down, or an industrial area or anything. It's not Detroit ugly. It's this weird kind of California ugly, where everything is light-colored and kinda Spanish-looking, but nothing really goes together, and it seems like a constant stream of Chinese restaurants, liquor stores, and porn shops. Not that I have a problem with Chinese food, booze, or porn. But El Camino is really ugly.

1 person found this useful Report
Niche User

Local Atmosphere: The town is friendly, but it can be boring. San Francisco is not too far, though.

Niche User

Local Atmosphere: There's a lot of outdoor stuff to do-hiking, camping, surfing. But if you don't have a car, you're limited to campus and San Fran on the Caltrain.

Niche User

Local Atmosphere: The campus and right around it are cool, but then there is a big dead zone. If you're leaving the immediate area, you have to pretty much go all the way out of San Jose to do anything cool.

Niche User

Local Atmosphere: Santa Clara is definitely not a college town or activity center, but there are many interesting things to do and see within driving distance. There are tons of bars, restaurants, and music in San Fran. If you like the outdoors, there's camping in Big Sur, skiing and snowboarding in Tahoe, and the beach in Santa Cruz.

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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
Hometown
Bainbridge Island, WA
Major
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 . . .

Applicant Status At Santa Clara University

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