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| The term "smaller classes" is what attracts students to come to Oxy. Smaller classes mean heavy loads of writing, tough exams, and high demands of the professors. I left Oxy because it was too hard. If you absolutely need to transfer out of Oxy, your better off transferring to a public university that is on semester schedule. The freshmen CSP courses are difficult to transfer unless if you have the syllabus and writing samples. Dropping classes at Oxy is not easy. Since there are fewer classes to choose from, you may have to wait the following year to retake the course or enroll in summer classes at another institution in the event you drop a class at Oxy. The amount of writing that the professors assign is ridiculous and unnecessary. I felt some of the exam questions did not relate to what the professors discussed. The professors do not like to curve because they feel students should compete for themselves. If you expect senior year in college to be relaxing, this school is not the right fit. You must pass comps and thesis to graduate. If you plan to go to law school or medical school straight after graduation from Oxy, then anticipate a chaotic senior year since you have comps and thesis in addition. Students are friendly, but can be moody if they are stressed and overwhelmed. Even though everyone knows each other, most of the students' niche are in the dorms and fraternities. To all you prospective college students out there, GOOD LUCK in the most important decision of your life. Do careful research prior to deciding. |
|May 21 2013|| Alumnus Male --
Class 2000 |
| I respect Oxy for its challenging academics and it is a beautiful campus, which is used for filming and even weddings. I even attended a wedding at Oxy and it is funny that the couple were not Oxy grads, but they wanted a beautiful location.|
As for academics, I think the writing assigned to students is way too extreme and overdone. Some professors assign lengthy papers to be submitted on the day of the final exam. They even admitted that they seldom give out "A"s. Exams are difficult and can significantly lower the grade. I left Oxy due to its difficulty. When I was there, 20 freshmen could not handle one semester. I learned that freshmen retention is 90%, meaning 40-50 students do not return for sophomore year mainly due to difficulty, tuition increase, or fewer majors to select from. Students are cool, but can be too nosy or caring sometimes. That is expected in any tight knit community. Admission standards need improvement. For my class, some unqualified students were accepted because they submitted a stand out application and recommendation. Some of these students did not have a strong academic and writing background in high school or at a community college. Oxy should accept students who have a strong academic history if they choose to hold itself as an institution with a "rigorous curriculum." Or else they will be at risk of losing students from academic difficulty.
|May 19 2013|| Alumnus Male --
Class 2000 |
Speaking as someone who graduated with a technical degree, I can say with certainty that Occidental gave me with a well-rounded education that provided a competitive edge over others in my field. |
The Senior Comp project, if fully taken advantage of, should provide you with a real accomplishment that you can tout to potential employers (or grad schools) as a way to gain an edge over any competition. The ability to work directly with a Professor-mentor on this project is amazing, and prepares you well for collaborative efforts you'll be engaged in later in life.
As a math/science grad at a liberal arts college, you will be required to develop strong, polished writing skills. I can't tell you how many of my colleagues lack basic writing skills. Being able to demonstrate the ability to write well is, sadly, an easy way to distinguish yourself in technical fields.
Small class sizes and opportunities for undergrad research are excellent. Take advantage of these; talk to your professors, ask them for help. If you move on to grad school, you'll miss those opportunities. Most of your grad school classmates will have never had that opportunity.
Occidental is somewhat unknown outside of academic circles or outside of Los Angeles proper. If you intend to stay in Los Angeles after graduation, the degree will be meaningful and respected by most employers.For someone with conservative or moderate views, the atmosphere at Occidental could be uncomfortable. When I attended, the slant of most courses and on-campus dialogue was very liberal. I'm not sure how much has changed in that respect. I arrived as a Freshman with liberal views, but Occidental showed me that even the liberal philosophy can be taken to extremes that I'm not willing to adhere to. For me, that was a lesson worth learning, in retrospect. At some point, you will have your ideology challenged. That challenge is much more likely to occur early and occur often for someone with conservative or moderate views.
|Oct 01 2012|| Alumna Female --
Class 2000 |