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

How this student rated the school
Research QualityC Research AvailabilityB-
Research FundingD Graduate PoliticsD
Errand RunnersB Degree CompletionD
Alternative pay [ta/gsi]B Sufficient PayB
CompetitivenessB+ Education QualityC+
Faculty AccessibilityC Useful ResearchA
ExtracurricularsC Success-UnderstandingD
Surrounding CityB- Social Life/EnvironmentC
"Individual" treatmentF FriendlinessD+
SafetyA+ Campus BeautyD
Campus MaintenanceB University Resource/spendingC+
Describes the student body as:
Friendly, Broken Spirit

Describes the faculty as:
Helpful, Self Absorbed

Lowest Rating
"Individual" treatment
Highest Rating
He cares more about Campus Beauty than the average student.
Date: Dec 31 1969
Major: Mechanical Engineering (This Major's Salary over time)
Everything depends on you at UCSD.

I did my undergraduate degree here, and (in hindsight) only came here for grad because undergrad didn't prepare me well enough to know what I wanted to do with my life (!!!). I was lucky to find a researcher with funding (which ran out) and the will to support me for a PhD, however once I realized what I wanted to do with my life I applied elsewhere (getting m.s.).

If you know exactly what you want to research and who to do it with, or you are a professional triathlete/swimmer/surfer, or you already live in SD and treat Grad school like a job, UCSD is for you. These are the people that succeed here more often.

Social life is entirely self-generated—there's a lot of people doing stuff but you have to put effort into meeting people. Everything is spread out in all of San Diego, UCSD is no exception—the physical separation makes social life more difficult. You NEED a car (or friend with one) if you plan on having a life on the weekends. La Jolla itself is an overpriced summer home location—i.e. nothing to do. Hillcrest/downtown are cool, but 30 min drive. Miramar One apartments have a more social atmosphere, but the only social scene there is a small coffee house. Don't take apt's that face the sun or upper floors—no air conditioning. Oh and you can hear rush hour on the 5 freeway. Coast apts and Mesa apts are ideal but in limited supply (2 year wait list).

As has been mentioned, UCSD has bad weather, just not AS bad as other places. June is overcast the whole month; summer can get pretty hot; Fall/Winter it rains (not usually heavy).

Housing is a pain in the butt. You might move around several times before finding a place you can call home—demand housing on arrival if you can, if not I don't recommend moving into a place off-campus until you visit the apt and meet the roommates.

The plasma program in engineering is simply not suited to someone coming from an engineering background. Only study this if you have a strong physics background, as the courses weren't designed for engineers (I learned this the hard way…). Of course, if you studied engineering and graduated in 4 years with 3 majors, go right ahead…and just because a course is listed doesn't mean anybody actually teaches it…

I'll repeat that if you are a TA, expect little guidance, little pay, lots of work, and clueless undergrads. Some profs are great, some not-so great. There's a TA Union for a reason…join it.

Alcohol policy on campus makes department gatherings a pain to organize. There's no central social place for TGIF's and the offices in EBU 2 are small and packed. Most buildings on campus look really cool, but weren't designed for human's convenience. While you're getting underpaid and overworked, you'll wonder how the university can afford to build masterpiece works of architecture.

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