Academics

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Academics

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5 College Junior

Academics: The workload is more reflective of the work we do - rather than writing tons of papers, our work tends toward creating films, writing screenplays, etc. As a film major we have a selection of equipment (cameras, sound, lighting, etc.) for students to check out for free when they are enrolled in production courses. There is a computer lab specifically for film students with editing software. As a Media Arts & Culture major, you either choose a Production path or Critical Theory, or you can minor in Interdisciplinary Writing if you would like to do more screenwriting and things like that.

2 people found this useful Report
5 College Junior

Academics: Professors are awesome. Small class sizes (10:1 student to faculty ratio, average class size of 19) and very accessible professors. No TA's teaching classes! Classes are discussion-based, rather than lecture halls. Workload is tough but manageable. Plenty of room for extracurricular activities. The most popular majors are Economics, Diplomacy & World Affairs, Biology, Sociology, and Art History. Professors hold office hours and students are welcome to make appointments or just show up to chat, which professors are always open to and excited about.

3 people found this useful Report
5 College Sophomore

Academics: Professors are very knowledgable and willing to help students. Courses can be tough, but the workload is manageable.

4 College Sophomore

Academics: As a math major, the workload can be hard but it's manageable. The professors are very helpful. There are also many internship/job opportunities as a STEM major

4 people found this useful Report
4 College Sophomore

Academics: great profs, registration options could be better

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Student Author OverviewWhat's this?

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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
33
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: Yes
Life Experience Credits: No
Degrees Awarded
  • Bachelor's degree
  • Master's degree
Most Popular Majors
  • Biology and Biological Sciences: 4%
  • Economics and Econometrics: 6%
  • International Relations and National Security Studies: 5%
  • Psychology: 4%
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

How strongly do you agree or disagree with each of the following statements?    Based on 21 responses

Strongly disagree
Strongly agree
  • My Gen-Ed requirements are worthwhile and meaningful.
  • It is easy to get the classes you want.
  • The academic advisers are helpful.
  • Grading is generally consistent and fair.
  • There are a variety of interesting courses to take.
  • Students are encouraged to explore a wide range of courses and topics.
  • The workload is easy to manage.
  • There are plenty of good online course options.
  • Teaching assistants (TAs) are used effectively.
  • The course scheduling/registration process is efficient and student-friendly.
  • Classrooms/labs are up-to-date and incorporate new technologies effectively.

How strongly do you agree or disagree with each of the following statements regarding the professors at this school?    Based on 17 responses

Strongly disagree
Strongly agree
  • Professors are approachable and helpful when needed
  • Professors are engaging and easy to understand.
  • Professors are experts in their field.
  • Professors are passionate about the topics they teach.
  • Professors care about their students' success.
  • Professors put a lot of effort into teaching their classes.
  • Professors use teaching assistants (TAs) effectively.

Who are the most notable alumni from this school?    Based on 6 responses

  • 40% Barack Obama (transferred) - 44th U.S. president
  • 27% Ben Affleck - actor
  • 13% Terry Gilliam - writer/director
  • 7% Todd Garner - producer
  • 7% Jack Kemp
  • 7% Emily Osment
  • 0% Luke Wilson

How often do you:    Based on 6 responses

Never
Always
  • Attend class (lectures and recitation)
  • Do all of your homework
  • Do all of your assigned reading
  • Adequately study
  • Take advantage of office hours/study sessions
  • Take notes

Where did this school rank in your list of potential schools when applying?    Based on 5 responses

  • 20% This was my dream school.
  • 40% This was one of my top choices.
  • 40% This was a school I settled for (safety school).
4
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