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

How this student rated the school
Educational QualityB+ Faculty AccessibilityB+
Useful SchoolworkB+ Excess CompetitionB+
Academic SuccessB Creativity/ InnovationB-
Individual ValueD- University Resource UseD+
Campus Aesthetics/ BeautyB- FriendlinessA-
Campus MaintenanceB- Social LifeB
Surrounding CityB+ Extra CurricularsB+
Describes the student body as:
Friendly, Arrogant

Describes the faculty as:

Not so bright
Lowest Rating
Individual Value
Highest Rating
He cares more about University Resource Use than the average student.
Date: Jun 27 2011
Major: Math (This Major's Salary over time)
I received a bachelor's degree at UCLA, and I can't deny UCLA has a lot to offer. The vast majority of people who talk to you about UCLA will tell you how great it is. So, here is a very long, in-depth review of the (mostly) negative things many people won't bring up -
  • Note: Some of the things here are also issues at other schools. However, I'm sure that people would want to know which problems UCLA has too
  • *

    Theft - Its an issue at every college. However, it's a huge one swept under the rug at UCLA. Almost 1,100 thefts and burglaries were reported in 2009! (UCLA UCPD's "2009 Crime Snapshot") Oddly enough, the report is hard to find. I doubt any other UC has had more thefts. UC Berkeley, for instance, has less than half the number of thefts and burglaries (UC Berkeley's Statistics for Clery Compliance). Everyone I know at UCLA has either had their stuff stolen or know someone who had their stuff stolen.

    Parking and off-campus housing - The worst out of all the UC's. UCLA has the most students and the smallest campus. Therefore, you end up paying $$$ for apartments near campus. Five people sharing two bedrooms is not uncommon. Parking is awful (if you can even buy/find a spot). All I have to say is, read the parking signs carefully…

    True story - Everyday, right before 4 pm, I'd see a small fleet of tow trucks waiting at the west side of campus (Gayley and Veteran Ave). Park your car there, only to come back at 4:05 pm? TOWED.

    Commuting - Its LA. Be prepared to sometimes spend an hour driving 6 miles.

    Research - A ton of research opportunities exist at UCLA. What if you're not interested in research though? How does that affect you? UCLA's student newspaper polled over 1,000 people online. The survey was titled,

    Professors: Research or Teaching.
    A combined total of 71% believe that science professors (south campus), or professors in general, are too focused on their research. I.e. publishing papers can easily take priority over effective teaching.

    Pre-med - Unless you're a near-genius, your chances are cut in half. Seriously. Most science classes are graded on a curve. Everyone has 4.15 HS GPA's and high SAT's, so competition is fierce. I have so many friends who wanted to be pre-med. They were definitely smart enough to get into med school. However, a good portion didn't. Their science GPA didn't quite cut it, and the "UCLA name" didn't help as much. If you go to UCSD, which has a bigger Bio program btw, your chances are better.

    Undergraduate Business Major - Practically, non-existent. There's only Bus/Economics and Economics. The Bus/Econ major is difficult to get into and focused on the Economics side. Last I heard, they were working on some sort of Business minor.

    Undergraduate Engineering - The engineering school is separate from the main school, Letters & Sciences. The L&S school encompasses most of the non-engineering majors. Consequently, student resources are limited at engineering. The truth is - only half of the incoming engineering majors stick with it (I switched out of engineering). And only half of those who stick with it get a good job. A number of my friends graduated as engineers. The top half got engineering jobs while the bottom half didn't.

    Administration - They probably care more about the school's reputation than about students. For example, professor evaluations are given every quarter, but the administration never agrees to publicize them. UCLA's sister school on the other hand, UCSD, releases theirs all online (CAPE). If I had to say, I feel like the administration prioritizes: 1) Research and Image. 2) Div I Sports Program. 3) Undergrads.

    Undergraduate Math Department - Many of the professors were surprisingly caring and dedicated compared to their science counterparts. Even the small undergraduate advising office seemed to care about students. My personal theory is well, there is significantly less pressure to get funding in math. All you need is your brain, paper, and possibly a computer to do math research.

    What to do if you've already committed to UCLA and have second thoughts? Transfer. j/k. halfway. Hopefully, your good experiences at UCLA will far outweigh the bad, as was the case for most of my friends.

    Tips - Get the good professors if you can. You're paying the same amount of money for a good professor as a bad one, so why not choose the good ones? Also, always make sure someone's watching your stuff when studying in the library/dorms/apartments. Want to take a quick nap at the library while holding onto your cell phone? JACKED. This happened to my friend freshmen year…sigh.

    Final thoughts - I apologize for making this review so long. I just wish I knew all these things before choosing UCLA. If only ten people are better informed for their college decisions, then it was worth it. On the whole, most people come to UCLA having a decent time. I thought it was great at first.

    If having fun is the only thing you want from a big name university, then UCLA is for you. If you have a near-genius intellect and want to study science, then UCLA is for you. If you want something more from a university, then UCLA may not be for you.

    Random fact: UCLA is ranked #25 overall (US News College Rankings), but its alumni-giving rate is #102.

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