Riverside, CA
Tuition (in-state)
$35,838 ($12,960)
Admission Difficulty
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Reviews 2140 total reviews with an average rating of 3.4

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5 College Junior

Off-Campus Housing: For california, Riverside has amazing housing. Sometimes you can even get utilities included - very helpful for the summer. Houses are cheap as heck. I highly recommend grabbing four friends and getting a 3 or 4 bedroom house. You can pay as lil as 450 per month. Try getting your own room at another college for that price... maybe at UC Merced lol.

3 College Junior

Local Atmosphere: I can't explain why but I liked living in the Inland Empire. I didn't like how unsafe it could be, or how conservative the area was. The city of Riverside hates students. They continually pass laws that negatively effect the students. They will give you a ticket if you have too many people at your house. There are some parks, museums, and shopping. Most people only go to the mall but there are some nice coffee shops, bars, and museums.

5 College Junior

Diversity: I came here for the diversity and wasn't disappointed. It's way more realistic than studying abroad. It's a unique microcosm of diversity. Never in your life will you live in a place as diverse as campus.

2 College Junior

Health & Safety: Student volunteers on campus are nice... But I have a friend who was wrongly accused of sexual assault and kicked off campus. I also have friends that reported rape and the school and Riverside PD couldn't do anything about it. The campus police are not very friendly and wouldn't help with the investigation of a stolen PS3 and other valuables. One time we had a protest and they brought in riot police and started hitting students. The school is still going through growing pains, learning how to handle situations.

3 College Junior

Athletics: The administration is making the students pay for a new gym, even thought the old one is fine. Good news is that if you are applying that means you'll be using it.

I remember one time the school had a competition to break the attendance record. We had a really good soccer team and we didn't make it. We only needed 2000 people.

4 College Junior

Off-Campus Dining: Man lemme recommend some places: Lollicup, The Burger Boss, Jilberto's (plz avoid Santana's), Gus Jr, Boba Cafe/Boba Fiend, The Getaway Cafe. If you don't try these places you are dumb.

3 College Junior

Overall Experience: I have huge classes and tiny classes. Really intense professor and relaxed teachers. Most are very academic even if they are welcoming. A lot of great majors which will determine your class size. Expect to work extra hard in impacted majors (like psych and business) if you want personal attention.

3 College Junior

Overall Experience: I don't think we have a very big alumni network because we were a small liberal arts college for a long time. Only in the past 20 years have we really transitioned into a research university. No one seems to look down on the UCR compared to Santa Barbara, Davis, Irvine, Santa Cruz or Merced. More important is whether UCR has a better or worse program in your major than other comparable UCs.

3 College Junior

Majors: The counselors weren't bad. They weren't great either. As a UC you have to stay on top of everything yourself. Sometimes your friends are the most helpful resource because you might only see your academic advisor for 20 mins a quarter. CNAS college is a lot more strict than CHAS.

4 College Junior

Majors: Underrated geology school. If you are interested in research, it is very easy to get involved in my program. Some of the professors aren't the focused on teaching, but they are bad. It just depends if you want to be involved in research or if you want a more traditional college. I think I would go to Northern Arizona University instead if I could do it again. Nothing wrong with UCR, it's just a research focused school.

3 College Junior

Greek Life: Lived with some greek guys. Must say that everyone in the greek system seemed to like it. Some were kinda of tired from the partying. Greeks are pretty exclusive. If you are a guy you either have to join a frat or host your own parties. My own friends couldn't get me in unless they planned it way in advance. At UCR, you should probably either go greek or be really involved in a club. Otherwise the weekend can be boring.

3 College Junior

Nightlife: I did it all and I can say that you are it totally depends on who you live with. If your RA is never around, you can probably drink and not get written up. If you have a designated driver you can drink downtown. If your friends are organized you can plan clubbing in LA. If you are part of greek life, you'll have exclusive parties and have kickbacks. The one thing you should do is mess with Riverside PD. They don't like college students and will do everything in their power to shutdown your party. I've met people who have 4,000 tickets for hosting a party. People who have gotten kicked out of school. Rumor has the FBI was notified about a club on campus when police found a minor (student taking a summer class) at a party. The City of Riverside wanted to prosecute them for "contributing for juvenile delinquency." Hosting a party is extremely stressful and I don't recommend it. Sometimes the best parties are at apartments because security gets called instead of police. School concerts are probably the best time to drink.

1 College Sophomore

Scholarships: What financial aid? The school is cheap. I have applied to practically everything that I qualified for or that I earned, yet, I got nothing. They always find an excuse to deny students money.

2 College Sophomore

Off-Campus Housing: Some off-campus housing is close to campus, but is inconvenient. The housing lack parking and safety.

3 College Sophomore

Facilities: The buildings are old, and they are worn down. The college builds too many recreation centers, and foots the bill on all students, even those who do not support or use them.

3 College Sophomore

Nightlife: Some find expelling their insides to be a positive student experience.

3 College Sophomore

Athletics: People seem to go there just to avoid studying, hang out, and free stuff.

2 College Sophomore

Health & Safety: Crimes, ranging from assault to theft, are prevalent. One can often find shady looking characters lingering around campus.

3 College Sophomore

Campus Dining: Food is manageable. During some holidays, the food is great. There is variety at certain times of the day, and few on other days. The meal plan/swipes/dollars have to be micromanaged unless one has the unlimited plan.

2 College Sophomore

Local Atmosphere: There is little to nothing of interesting things around the campus. The school is sandwiched by railroads, mountains, freeways, miles of desert, and pollution.

4 College Sophomore

Diversity: There is a diverse student population. While I am not sure of how many people openly display their beliefs and orientations, there certainly seems to be many people, who openly display their beliefs. Additionally, the school is the most ethnically diverse college is the UC system, which can be a problem, because people do not always understand other peoples' cultures, which can cause people to unintentionally offend others.

College Sophomore

Campus Housing: I commute from my home and thus have little experience other than orientation.

5 College Sophomore

Guys & Girls: The people here are kind, friendly, and usually willing to listen. Those in power are typically genuine.

5 College Sophomore

Overall Experience: You really have opportunities here. It's just the strength and willpower needed to take advantage of all these!

3 College Sophomore

Overall Experience: The employers range from average to decent. Many startups and major companies, but the process is not easy. This is to be expected, but it does take time.


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A. Gary Anderson Hall
A. Gary Anderson Hall
A. Gary Anderson Hall A. Gary Anderson Hall
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Overall ExperienceWhat's This?

Hayley Cruz
Grad Year
View all previous student authors

Contrary to popular opinion, UCR can be, and is, a place where students are extremely happy. Both the scenery and community give the University an excellent welcoming feel, especially within the smaller campus atmosphere. The administration is hands-on and treats students less like a set of numbers and more like a human being. Those who are not excited and attached to the school from the beginning usually are pleasantly surprised by how much UCR grows on them. The sheer quantity and quality of academic programs, social clubs, and organizations offer a personal touch and endless opportunities. The level of diversity and tolerance allow for a general feeling of acceptance, along with the peacefully beautiful landscape and the classes that invite innovative thinking.

Like any school, UCR does have a downside, namely its lack of a social scene. Riverside is not exactly "Party Central," and there is not a significant amount of clubs or bars in the immediate surrounding area. The fraternities and sororities do feature parties for those interested, though they are few and far between. Most students take the time and expense to drive into parts of Moreno Valley, Orange Country, Los Angeles, and San Diego in order to have weekend fun, despite the 20-minute to two-hour travel time. However, with the lack of entertainment in the neighborhood, students quickly learn how to make their own fun (and also find more time to focus on their studies). When given the chance, UCR becomes a great place for students to enjoy and gain a meaningful college experience.

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

Applicant Status At University of California - Riverside

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