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The University of California - Riverside

How this student rated the school
Educational QualityC+ Faculty AccessibilityB
Useful SchoolworkB Excess CompetitionB-
Academic SuccessC Creativity/ InnovationB
Individual ValueC+ University Resource UseB+
Campus Aesthetics/ BeautyB+ FriendlinessB
Campus MaintenanceB+ Social LifeB
Surrounding CityC Extra CurricularsB
SafetyC-
Describes the student body as:
Friendly, Arrogant, Approachable, Snooty, Closeminded

Describes the faculty as:
Friendly, Helpful, Arrogant, Condescending, Unhelpful

Male
SAT1940
Bright
Lowest Rating
Safety
C-
Highest Rating
University Resource Use
B+
He cares more about Safety than the average student.
Date: Aug 02 2011
Major: Video/Media (This Major's Salary over time)
I went to UCR for 2 years before transferring to UCSB. I was like most of the UCR population - I didn't make it into any other UC's, so it was pretty much come here or be disgraced for not going to a UC (if you're Asian, you'll know what I'm talking about). Granted now that I've gone through the UC inter transfer process, I highly advise anyone planning to just treat UCR as a temp for your 2 years of GE's = DON'T. Go to a CC like most people and not only save thousands of dollars, but be GUARANTEED admission. UC intercampus transfer IS doable, but you're up against many odds, mainly the one being that CC's have TAG (transfer admission guarantee) with the UC system - thus CC students have priority over you and you'll only be accepted if there is space left, which is also becoming an issue due to continuous budget cuts. Unless you're a no life nerd or academically gifted like some fellow students I knew, you likely won't be accepted into many of your transfer choices. I'm pissed because I wanted to transfer to UCI but…that didn't happen. But that's the backstory of me and just some advice I'd like to give since I know MANY people go into UCR with the same goals as me.

So speaking of goals, let's move on to the actual school. Honestly, I had no expectations of this school. I was excited for college (who isn't as a 17/18 year old?), but knowing UCR's status, I wasn't smooth riding any horse on my way in. I was surprised by how much school pride a variety of kids had, some for whom which UCR was their goal or highest level school made. Honestly speaking, it disgusted me at how some people were so content with such a low UC. But over the span of my 2 years at UCR, I realized that pride was probably what made UCR the least bit appealing to some people. There are many other higher ranking UC's with NO pride at all, and UCR showed me what school pride really us (I came from a high school with no spirit as well).

A lot of people have bagged on the teaching system of UCR and I mean, a lot of it is true (mainly the fact that a lot of classes are just based on memorization, which doesn't necessarily equate to learning the material). Thing is, a large number of GE classes are structured this way. Upper division not necessarily. Also, it depends on your major - I was a Media & Cultural Studies major and I took an upper div (yes, only one, so not representative of all the classes offered in the major) but yeah, the class was not based entirely on memorization - a lot of application. Furthermore, professors differ by teaching style, so some teachers don't take the lazy path and really get you to learn.

The professors at UCR, just like at any college, differ. I've been blessed to have had some strict, but strongly rooted teachers (Elissa Weeks in the English department is an example), some very warm hearted and bubbly teachers (Kristen Noone, also of English), and some downright jokes (Janet Hill of Sociology, anyone? NO idea how that woman was hired by the university). Take advantage of the TA's if you can tell that they know their stuff (yes, some of them actually don't have a clue). Some just may be your key to passing a class (Example again; Ari Nandi for Econ 3. Great, smart guy - I learned more from him in section than I did from our thick accented professor who put everyone to sleep).

Student wise, at least from my experience…UCR is a show off school. I honestly think a lot of it comes from the fact that many students attending the school are at their back up school, so they feel the need to flash mom and dad's money to feel some sort of worth at the school. I know that's harsh, but it's really how I feel. UCR is nowhere near the OC, yet has all the characteristics of what you'd expect. I knew a lot of people who didn't give a rat's ass about studying and only knew how to flaunt their $50k sport cars and luxury brands. If you're gonna call me out on it - yes, I was jealous to an extent, but it more of disgusting to see how a lot of students treated the school as a playground of wealth. My sophomore year, some short freshman drove a Ferrari F1 Modena and had the balls to park it in Lot 14 of East Lothian (yeah, where else could he park, I know…but still). And Louis Vuitton is like the school's official school bags for girls. So typical. But while I felt a large number of the students were like this, there were of course, the normal, down to earth kids. You'll find them sprinkled throughout your lectures and sections, so befriend these people if you can.

Environment wise, UCR has a really ideal location…if you're gonna be off campus/out of Riverside a lot. Not too far from the desert escapes of Morongo and by Las Vegas (by a stretch), and you can venture within an hour to more civilized and alive places like Irvine, Chino Hills, and Rowland Heights. Weather is no joke - it's hot all year round and it's rarely freezing at night unless there's some freak change in temperature (I witnessed a FREEZING night in February 2010, but this was ONE night only). Get used to the heat and get used to the complaining about the heat.

Also, on a serious note, Riverside is not known to be safe. Lots of attempted and actual kidnappings and robberies occur every quarter. Some sexual harrassment occurs on campus at night, too. Past University Village Plaza on University Avenue, things turn ghetto and unsafe. A group of guys and I freshman year were harassed by a guy for blocks wanting money and bank account numbers to hire a hitman to off his ex-wife (I'm not kidding by any means). You definitely have to exercise extreme caution and also…just use your common judgment too (ex. walking along down University Avenue at night is NOT a good idea, whether you are a 6 ft tall buff guy or a 5ft tall glamor girl).

To lighten and start the wrapping up of this review, let me say that the campus itself is quite nice. Because UCR has a known engineering program, the engineering buildings on campus are architectural beauties. Very modern and technological feel, with metal, glass, and brick materials to give that new, clean feel. The HUB (main student center) has been renovated and upgraded considerably in the past few years and mimics this same architectural pattern. The HUB is bustling with activity and provides well to the student population with numerous study rooms and quiet corners where you can take a breather and enjoy the sunshine. A Coffee Bean opened spring 2010 and is a major hotspot (very hard to get coffee in a timely manner most hours of the day though, since it is ON campus and people rush in between, before, and after classes). And honestly, aside from the run down, unsafe, and ghetto feel to Riverside, there are a number of decent places to pass your time and enjoy your leisure, such as the Canyon Crest Plaza, Galleria at Tyler Mall, University Village Plaza, and Riverside Plaza. Numerous Targets and Rite Aids are near campus too.

Why I didn't give UCR such a harsh rating was because, well…I am exactly what my review states: Neutral. I'm thankful for having experienced my freshman and sophomore years and having made memories with some interesting people, but also…I was able to see flaws in some students and professors (which EVERY college, UC or CC, will have of course) and how poor of an environment Riverside is (the pollution is horrid).

I stand by my advice for people wanting to transfer and for those who've made other UC's (which are very likely way higher than UCR) - GO TO THEM INSTEAD. I feel the whole buzz about "college rankings" isn't bullshit - there are rankings for a reason because they DO MATTER. Sorry to say, but our world is still run on who is better, richer, and more powerful, and while richer isn't going apply for college grads, the school you went to does. I know people who've turned down UCSD, UCI, and hell - even USC to come to UCR. And while I know financial issues may be a concern for some, if you're going to be attending a UC already, you might as well go a little further and allow yourself education at a higher or more prestigious school (the turning down USC thing is still the most foolish thing I've ever heard of out of all my "What schools did you make?" encounters with students).

So think carefully. UCR isn't THAT bad as people make it to be, but if you have attractive alternatives, definitely opt for them instead of UCR. I mean come on, I transferred out for a reason.

     
Responses
response>>>and you can venture within an hour to more civilized and alive places like Irvine, Chino Hills, and Rowland Heights.

Rowland Heights??? WTF!

In spite of that ludicrous comment, a very detailed description, I enjoyed reading it.

responseIrvine is alive? Lol. Irvine is a safer, more upscale version of Riverside.
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Dude, what? Your entire speil was contradicting. You were disgusted by the people who had pride and wanted to be at UCR and you were disgusted by the wealthy that didn't. HA! Sounds to me like you're a self-righteous, bipolar, indignified and disdainful prissy. Yet in the end you say that you are "neutral" when writing about this. What is neutral about being DISGUSTED buy people who actually want to be at UCR? I'm disgusted by you. Have some respect man, good lord.
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