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Reviews 411 total reviews with an average rating of 3.6

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4 College Sophomore

Campus Housing: Beautiful campus and closeness is unbeatable.

2 College Sophomore

Greek Life: Not a huge part of campus life.

3 College Sophomore

Athletics: As a Division III school, sports are overshadowed.

3 College Sophomore

Overall Experience: More opportunities for science students.

5 College Sophomore

Overall Experience: I love the campus, the weather, the small class sizes, the variety of classes and subjects, the welcoming community, the acceptance of all interests and people, and the engaging professors.

5 College Sophomore

Overall Experience: Because the community is pretty tight nit there are opportunities for networking. Being in Los Angeles is also a big plus.

4 College Sophomore

Health & Safety: Campus Safety is constantly patrolling. Students have complained about their bullet proof vests and weapons, but they carry them because there are sometimes shootings off campus. When that happens everyone gets an email and text about what areas to avoid until the situation is over. I don't know of any students who have ever been harmed by the violence off campus. Campus Safety also will give rides to any student who calls and asks because they feel unsafe, or even are too drunk.

4 College Sophomore

Campus Housing: Depending on what dorm you're in, there can be a great social atmosphere. It happens that the dorms with the worst amenities (no AC, communal bathrooms, etc.) end up having the most social dorms, so it evens out.

2 College Sophomore

Greek Life: Very small, and their parties aren't that fun.

3 College Sophomore

Athletics: I don't participate in athletics so I don't know that much about them. That's pretty standard I think for most non-athletic students, but the people I know who do varsity sports seem to really enjoy them.

5 College Sophomore

Overall Experience: I love the diversity of interests that the student body has and the willingness of professors to help students achieve their greatest potential.

3 College Sophomore

Drug Safety: Drug/alcohol usage is not non-existent, but students are generally very self-educated and know not to get themselves into hazardous situations. Much like in any other school or environment, there is peer pressure to use alcohol to be more sociable, but no one treats you any differently if you don't.

4 College Sophomore

Health & Safety: Stuff definitely still gets stolen, and once in a while there is an incident near or off campus with theft or robbery. Campus safety is always patrolling, and will provide services to students who need rides back to the dorm. I generally feel really safe.

5 College Sophomore

Overall Experience: The classes are small and professors are willing to listen to opinions and allow for participation from each student. If you don't like speaking up in class, it's totally fine too (though professors prefer people who speak up). Office hours are always super flexible and helpful. My only issue is course selection. It's a difficult process, and the classes you want can be really limited. Other than that, you can pretty much take classes from any department, and really explore throughout your college career.

2 people found this useful Report
4 College Sophomore

Overall Experience: Many alumni speakers have returned to speak about their experiences with their post-college lives. Many are doing work not directly related to their majors. Essentially, it won't be that hard to find a job with a degree from Oxy, but you might not be doing what you want, at least at first. The internship programs and on-campus jobs here are great, and offer great opportunities.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Sophomore

Campus Housing: It really depends on where you live. Some freshmen housing options can be way below what it's worth. Also, the lack of air-conditioning in some dorms can be hell on earth in the early months of the Fall semester.

3 College Sophomore

Greek Life: Greek life pretty much dominates the social scene, despite many students saying that it is a negligible aspect of Oxy. It is also regularly criticized by many students for its institutional history and lack of diversity, which is seemingly unsolvable, given their fatalistic attitudes towards Greek organizations at Oxy.

2 College Sophomore

Overall Experience: There are a fair amount of good points for Oxy, most of which you'd have already heard or seen in other reviews repeatedly. I can't deny most of them. But then again, the disadvantages have stood out more to me over the past two years. Small and tight-knit is good, but not when it's small and cliquey, with people rarely leaving the vicinity of the campus, the neighborhood, or their social comfort zones. Diversity is just a statistic; people have passive-aggressive attitudes towards dissenting ideologies. Overall, Oxy is academically outstanding, but can be very socially demoralizing for a minority of students.

1 person found this useful Report
2 College Sophomore

Athletics: Sports here has almost no attendance, nor attention given. They exist, and people talk about it, but no one actually cares.

4 College Freshman

Athletics: Oxy is a D3 school so while the teams aren't the best, everyone knows someone who's on the team and so will go out to support their friends.

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Freshman

Health & Safety: The area around Oxy is not the best however Campus Safety is pretty on top of anything going on around campus and is sure to notify the student body to make sure they all stay safe.

5 College Freshman

Overall Experience: Oxy was the perfect school for me, it's a small liberal arts school in a metropolitan center and there's always something to do there or in the surrounding area.

2 people found this useful Report
4 College Freshman

Overall Experience: The Career Center here is great and really helpful at preparing you for the future. They're always having events inviting employers to campus to network with students and have events such as free linkedin headshots and help with resumes.

4 College Freshman

Campus Housing: Depending on what dorm you're in housing can be great or not. For the freshman dorms only 2 of them have air conditioning, however both of those dorms don't have great communities. The 3 dorms without AC have really tight knit communities and always have stuff going on there, and a lot of people from the other 2 dorms spend their time at those dorms. A lot of freshman end up in triples, which is not bad if you're fine with your roommates. All the rooms have laundry in them and each room has a microfridge in it, which is really convenient. A few of the freshman dorms are on lower campus, meaning they're closer to classes, while the majority of them are on upper campus, which is a bit of a walk but definitely fosters a close community of those who live there.

4 College Freshman

Greek Life: While there are few choices in Greek life it is really fun if you get involved in it. Sorority wise there is one national sorority and one national multicultural sorority, however the local sororities are actually bigger than the national ones. All of them have a lot of on campus history and are a great way to get involved in campus life.

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Johnson Student Center and Freeman College Union
Johnson Student Center an...
Johnson Student Center and Freeman College Union Johnson Student Center and Freeman College Union

Overall ExperienceWhat's this?

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For a small liberal arts college, Occidental does very well. The academic programs are strong, the support network for students is huge, there is a lot to do both on and off campus, and the diverse community really brings people together. Most students who go to Oxy love the school and are incredibly glad that they came. There are some who did not like it because of the kind of school it is, and others who disliked the way certain programs are treated at the school. It is a highly diverse school in terms of those who attend as well as the multitude of academic and extracurricular options available to all students. It also has a very tight community, both between the students amongst themselves as well as students and the administration. Many students have received direct assistance from their professors in ways that could never occur at a larger institution where there are 300 people in one class.

There is a plethora of things to do on and off campus as well, and for those looking for a change or looking for a variety in culture or entertainment, there is nothing lacking in Los Angeles. There are some problems, though, and overall, Occidental is a good school that, if it fixes some of the more major problems it currently has, could be even greater. The administration is working to rebuild the endowment and balance the budget, which will hopefully, in turn, lead to even better facilities than are already available and more money for academic and student life programs. As for right now, take a look at the school and see if the programs it currently excels in may be right for you. If they are, definitely take a chance and visit the campus. It's certainly not for everyone, but you'll know if it will be a good home for you as soon as you finish your tour.

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