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Santa Clara University

How this student rated the school
Educational QualityC Faculty AccessibilityA-
Useful SchoolworkB Excess CompetitionB-
Academic SuccessB Creativity/ InnovationB+
Individual ValueB+ University Resource UseB
Campus Aesthetics/ BeautyA+ FriendlinessA-
Campus MaintenanceA- Social LifeB
Surrounding CityC Extra CurricularsB-
Describes the student body as:
Approachable, Snooty

Describes the faculty as:
Friendly, Helpful

Lowest Rating
Educational Quality
Highest Rating
Campus Aesthetics/ Beauty
She cares more about Educational Quality than the average student.
Date: Feb 04 2010
Major: Psychology (This Major's Salary over time)
Size: Once people know who you are, they know everything about you. A lot of unnecessary gossip and drama. People usually know your reputation and judge you for that. However, the small size is nice because it's easy to make friends. At larger schools, with larger class sizes, it can be weird to make conversation with people in your classes, but at SCU it's fairly normal to befriend your classmates.

Student Body: I know people who are here on full ride as well as people who have buildings named after them. The majority of the students are on the wealthier side. It seems that the majority of the students went to private schools (apparently the figures are almost equal, but it seems like most students are from private high schools). The student body is overall pretty diverse and accepting.

School Spirit: Sadly, most students only come to the televised men's basketball games. Almost every other sport has a weak attendance, even though they're all free if you're a Ruff Rider (pay $50 freshman year and you can go to all the sports games free).

Partying: Most parties are held at off campus houses (most of which have names) or at one of the (also off campus) frat houses. There are nearby bars, which a lot of upperclassmen frequent. Living in the dorm makes drinking difficult, and the dorm staff can be strict with drinking in the dorms (3 alcohol violations in a year and you can be kicked out of housing) and they can be completely unreasonable. Best to know people off campus (which is hard as an underclassman) and to drink there if you intend on drinking. The big party days are Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday, but the first week of school there is stuff going on everyday and the first week of each quarter are usually pretty active in terms of the number of parties.

Greek System: You can attend SCU without being in a fraternity or sorority, but they are a good way to meet people you otherwise wouldn't meet (campus can be divided, I know most of the people on the east side of campus because that's where I lived and fewer people on the west side). If you're transferring to SCU, rushing is a great way to meet people. If you're a guy it may be more worth it to rush, sometimes the frats only let girls and people in the frat into their parties. The fraternities and sororities all have different reputations, but naturally not every member should be judged based on their frat/sorority reputation. All the fraternities have pretty big parties at the beginning of the year, the only one that isn't as party-oriented is Sigma Chi (no hazing either, some of the other frats can be brutal to rush)

Frats: Pike, Sigma Chi, Sigma Pi, Cal Phi (SAE..kind of)

Sororities: Delta Gamma, Alpha Phi, Kappa Kappa Gamma, Kappa Alpha Theta

On Campus Housing: SCU housing is actually pretty good, unless you don't have a cool CF. I'm currently a sophomore and have lived on campus freshman and sophomore years. I would recommend Swig as a good freshman dorm, it's the biggest dorm and is sometimes dubbed the "party dorm" but because it's the biggest dorm building, you meet more people than if you live in one of the smaller dorms. Dunne is another dorm I would recommend as a freshman. However, if you like your peace and quiet then one of the suite-style dorms (Casa or Sobrato) are good for that. Campisi, SF and Graham are also quieter than Swig and Dunne, but it can be harder to meet people there). I don't know too much about McLaughlin and Walsh, but those are the dorms you will stay in during Orientation (they're not as nice as some of the other dorms, I'm not sure about how social they are though)

If you're transferring, I would check to see if anyone living off campus needs another roommate rather than living in one of the upperclassmen dorms (Nobili and St. Clare), because they aren't very social and make it harder to meet people if you're new. Most juniors and seniors live off campus either on Dark Side (quieter, fewer parties, closer to Lucas) or Light Side (more party houses and closer to campus), and some live way farther away because it's cheaper. Living on Light Side is typically more expensive than living on Dark Side, but if you're living within walking distance of campus, you will be typically be paying no less than $500/mo and can be paying up to $1000/mo. (usually big single rooms, close to campus).

Food: As far as college food goes, SCU has a pretty good dining hall. There is just one dining hall, which is nice because you will almost always see someone you know in Benson. The coffee is decent, but there's a Starbucks across the street from the main entrance and several other coffee shops in the area. Benson can get a bit boring, and you will definitely get sick of weekend Benson. Breakfast is the best meal Benson has, hands down. It's definitely worth waking up a little bit earlier to get an omelet before class (or wait until the weekends, they make omelets until 2pm). Other breakfast food includes cereal, oatmeal, waffles, eggs, bacon, french toast, tater tots, sausage, pancakes, or fruit. For other meals, there are different stations: Ole (Mexican food, and breakfast burritos on weekends), Exhibition (Build Your Own Pasta, Mongolian BBQ, and other made to order things like that), Grill (burgers, grilled cheese, fries, etc), Roma (usually has a vegetarian option), At Home (things like fried chicken and ribs), and Verde (make your own salad). Each station has a special (which are repeated) which they are either exclusively serving (Roma, Exhibition, and At Home) or have a special in addition to the regular menu of items you can get all the time (Grill and Ole). There's also a salad bar (this is your assemble yourself) and a sandwich place. The food does get old, but there are plenty of nearby places off campus to eat at, and a good amount of them accept FLEX.

Psychology: Since I have the most experience in the psychology department I can be more helpful here. I've taken 7 classes in the psychology department with 5 different professors. In the lower division classes it's easy to get lost in the class (PSYC 1 (more bio based) and PSYC 2 (I never took this one because I did well enough on the Psychology AP test to get credit for it) have class sizes between 35-40 students) but once you're out of those (PSYC 40 and 43 are the only lower divisions left before you can take upper-division classes, and tend to have smaller class sizes) you get to know your professors much better. There are some upper-division psychology classes you can take without taking 1, 2, 40 & 43, but you'll find that it's much more worth it to just get the lower divisions out of the way before taking the upper-divisions. 40 & 43 are statistics and research methods, which are useful for every single upper-division. It's also good to have a good sense of the basics of psychology, so if you haven't taken 1 & 2 you may also find yourself lost at some points.

Overall, I enjoyed my time at SCU but whether it's worth ~$50,000/year (tuition, housing & meal plan, textbooks, transportation, etc) is questionable (I didn't get any financial aid). To make the most of SCU I would recommend joining clubs, rushing, and getting to know your professors (actually attend office hours, they help more than you would think!). SCU does have a pretty friendly and knowledgeable faculty (although I have yet to experience a good English professor…I have taken two lower division, required English classes..both with two different professors who were equally awful). There are good and bad professors in every department, I recommend using one of the professor rating websites when registering for classes, as they are fairly accurate (however I have taken a few professors who everyone else hated but I loved and excelled in the class, despite the online reviews).

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