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The University of California San Diego

How this student rated the school
Educational QualityD Faculty AccessibilityC-
Useful SchoolworkF Excess CompetitionC+
Academic SuccessD Creativity/ InnovationC-
Individual ValueC- University Resource UseC-
Campus Aesthetics/ BeautyB+ FriendlinessC
Campus MaintenanceB+ Social LifeC-
Surrounding CityA- Extra CurricularsC
Describes the student body as:
Friendly, Approachable

Describes the faculty as:
Helpful, Arrogant, Unhelpful, Self Absorbed

Lowest Rating
Useful Schoolwork
Highest Rating
He cares more about Useful Schoolwork than the average student.
Date: Feb 12 2008
Major: Economics (This Major's Salary over time)
Be careful of falling for the 'beautiful campus must be a great school' mentality. Alas, looks are very deceiving in this school. La Jolla is indeed gorgeous and it's a great place to live, but you can find nice places all around the United States, the thing you must realize about UCSD is that it is a COMMUTER school. Meaning, that on weekends, a very LARGE number of the undergraduate population goes HOME (SD, Irvine, LA, Riverside, etc). It's pretty dead on campus on weekends and even on weekdays, the student population is very studious overall. There are parties, there are good people at the school, but that can be found anywhere also. Be warned that the social life at UCSD is not the same as other campuses. You can find better than UCSD in terms of social life.

UCSD offers a good education for select majors, however, many other majors, it just gets by on. Overall, reputation is based on graduate school merit, not undergraduate merit. UCSD's undergraduate program prepares you for academia, not real life (i.e. working). Majors such as Economics, Psychology, Biology, they are all geared towards PHD programs, not business or applicable fields that you would imagine would be related to that major. The Computer Science and Engineering program as well as the Pre-Med program at UCSD is very competitive and you will find good rewards for pursuing these majors (i.e. large brand name engineering/cs corporations actively recruit here) but the other majors aren't so good in terms of placement.

As a graduate of UCSD majoring in Economics, I found UCSD's placement program for Economics to be very bad. It has gotten better over the years since I have graduated, however, it still is very poor in comparison to the other UC schools (Irvine, LA, Berkeley, etc.) and even moreso compared to the other more 'business-geared' schools. It is sad to say, but SDSU is a significantly better school than UCSD in business. Also, note, that those majoring in Economics should be prepared to learn nothing truly practical in the ENTIRE Economics program. Let me emphasize, there is ONE accounting class, there are very few financial classes and the majority of Economics classes offered are theory based classes that focuses on research and statistics. Placement in premier business major companies is rare if not impossible. The brand name consulting, investment banking and corporate finance companies for the most part, do not recruit here.

One last point, UCSD is very very very cheap to their student population. The meal points system is flawed in the sense that students spend a fortune on overpriced and poor quality food. The parking at UCSD is beyond pathetic as it is overcrowded and it is nearly impossible to find undergraduate parking after 10:00 AM unless you want to walk quite a distance or park at Regents parking lot (5-10 minute bus ride to the campus). Also, there are just many hidden fees and such in the tuition & fees you pay to the university.

Overall, before you consider UCSD, you should think about what you want in college. If you are an engineering, computer science or pre-med student, UCSD offers you all the tools necessary to land a top notch job or grad program. If you are a major besides those, I would do more research on your specific field. Specifically, for Economics, I can tell you that its not a very good school for business. Its a great school for graduate school Economics but very poor if you dont pursue that route. As far as the other stuff, such as student life, alumni programs and such. I personally think, you could do better elsewhere.

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