StudentsReview :: The University of California - Riverside - Extra Detail about the Comment
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The University of California - Riverside

How this student rated the school
Educational QualityC Faculty AccessibilityB
Useful SchoolworkB Excess CompetitionB
Academic SuccessB Creativity/ InnovationC+
Individual ValueA- University Resource UseA-
Campus Aesthetics/ BeautyC- FriendlinessA
Campus MaintenanceB Social LifeC
Surrounding CityC- Extra CurricularsC
Describes the student body as:
Friendly, Approachable

Describes the faculty as:
Helpful, Self Absorbed

Quite Bright
Lowest Rating
Campus Aesthetics/ Beauty
Highest Rating
He cares more about Campus Aesthetics/ Beauty than the average student.
Date: May 10 2004
Major: Physics (This Major's Salary over time)
It's true that there is a stigma about attending UCR, probably due to the connotation of scorching heat and smog. However this is unfortunate because the school itself is pretty decent.


  • Faculty are top-notch. Nearly every professor in my department has a PhD from Cal-Tech, MIT, Harvard, Brown. The least qualified have PhDs from Berkeley. Despite what others have said, UCR is still considered one of the top schools in the country. It depends on how you look at it: If you had your sights set on Harvard, then UCR would be a dissapointment. But as mentioned earlier, US News and World Report ranked UCR #84 which is not bad considering it's competing against about 400 other schools.
  • Small campus. This is probably UCR's greatest asset. You get to know other people easily. Making friends is relatively easy. It's a very casual, laid-back atmosphere. It seemed like faculty and staff bent over backwards to make sure I was getting the most out of my college experience, from the academic advisors to the secretary in the student affairs office. I felt like I got personal attention from advisors and professors, in contrast to what I hear from students at UCLA or Cal. Upper division class sizes are also very small.
  • New dorms. The new dorms are probably the nicest in the entire UC system right now, however the old ones are mediocre.
  • Cons:

  • Location. This is the main drawback. Riverside has some nice areas, but they are few and far between. The climate in the winter is great, but temperatures can hit 100F in April and last until October. The scenery on campus leaves much to be desired compared to other schools. Many buildings look old and outdated, relics of the 1950s. I'm sure that kind of arcitecture was in vogue back then, but in this day and age it's unappealing. It feels as if you're walking on a large community college campus. The good or bad news (depending on how you see it) is that there is a lot of renovation going on. Furthermore, there is very little to do in Riverside. You'd better have a car so you can drive to more interesting places.
  • Stigma. I wasn't thrilled about attending UCR in the first place. Most people who apply to the UC system view UCR as a consolation prize, although I think that attitude is slowly changing. I don't know yet how this will play out in the real world when I start looking for a job. Also, students don't seem to work as hard as their counterparts at other UC campuses, but because everything's graded on a curve, this may help you out.
  • Food services. The food service on campus leaves much to be desired—in fact it's atrocious. There are only a small handfull of places to get lunch. I heard that UC Davis, however, is worse when it comes to food.
  • My advice: Check out the campus and see if you like it. If you do decide to attend UCR, make it work to your advantage. Take time to talk to your professors outside of class and get to know them. These are the people who will be writing your letters of recommendation when and if you decide to go to grad school. Also, when you apply to any UC, don't apply for a very popular major. I applied to be a Computer Science major back in 1999 in the midst of the Dot Com boom when everybody wanted to go into Computer Science, and although my grades and test scores (3.8 GPA/1380 SAT) were decent, I had no choice but to go to UCR or Cal State. It's much easier to choose a less popular major and then change once you get in.

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    The University of California - Riverside
    The University of California - Riverside
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