Students Say

An “intellectual, accepting, beautiful” liberal arts college in northeast Los Angeles, Occidental is “perfect for hard-working and involved students who not only want to be challenged academically, but also want to be pushed to learn more about the world around them.” At this small school, classes are “intellectually stimulating,” spearheaded by professors who “encourage critical analysis, ask interesting questions, and allow students to create informed opinions about the subject.” The faculty and staff “really encourage students to take a proactive role in their education,” giving them the freedom to “experiment with a wide range of courses.”

Overview

Applicants
6,071
Acceptance Rate
42%
Average HS GPA
3.65

GPA Breakdown

42%
Over 3.75
32%
3.50 - 3.74
17%
3.25 - 3.49
6%
3.00 - 3.24
2%
2.50 - 2.99

Test Scores

SAT Reading
600 - 690
SAT Math
610 - 700
SAT Writing
610 - 700
ACT Composite
27 - 31

Deadlines

Early Decision
November 15

Early Decision II
January 2

Regular
January 10

Other Admission Factors

Academic

Rigor of Secondary School Record
Non-Academic

Extracurricular Activities

Overall

Students Say

An “intellectual, accepting, beautiful” liberal arts college in northeast Los Angeles, Occidental is “perfect for hard-working and involved students who not only want to be challenged academically, but also want to be pushed to learn more about the world around them.” At this small school, classes are “intellectually stimulating,” spearheaded by professors who “encourage critical analysis, ask interesting questions, and allow students to create informed opinions about the subject.” The faculty and staff “really encourage students to take a proactive role in their education,” giving them the freedom to “experiment with a wide range of courses.” A current undergrad enthuses, “I love the interdisciplinary aspect of academics. I can really tailor my coursework to what I am interested in.” In the classroom, Oxy professors “find ways to connect the lectures to the real world,” and many are “very willing to have students help them with their research,” providing valuable hands-on experience to undergraduates. Students further augment their coursework through numerous extracurricular and offcampus opportunities, including study abroad, academic conferences, and the school’s popular “UN internship program.” “Courses are challenging,” but Oxy “professors want to see you succeed,” and the favorably low student-to-faculty ratio means “there are plenty of opportunities to get extra help on the tough material.” In fact, most professors “go the extra mile to make themselves available” and “are invested in cultivating real relationships with students.”

Faculty and Class Information

Student/Faculty
10:1
Total Faculty
266
with Terminal Degree

135
Women
131
Men
86
Minority

Most frequent class size
10 - 19
Most frequent lab / sub section size
10 - 19

Graduation Rates

Graduate in 4 years
80%
Graduate in 5 years
85%
Graduate in 6 years

Majors

  • Area, Ethnic, Cultural, and Gender Studies

  • American/United States Studies/Civilization
  • Latin American Studies

  • Biological and Biomedical Sciences

  • Biochemistry
  • Biology/Biological Sciences, General

  • English Language and Literature/Letters

  • English Language and Literature, General

  • Foreign languages, literatures, and Linguistics

  • Chinese Language and Literature
  • East Asian Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics, General
  • Foreign Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics, Other
  • French Language and Literature
  • Japanese Language and Literature
  • Spanish Language and Literature

  • History

  • History, General

  • Leisure and Recreational Activities

  • Music

  • Mathematics and Statistics

  • Mathematics, General

  • Multi/Interdisciplinary Studies

  • Cognitive Science

  • Natural Resources and Conservation

  • Environmental Studies

  • Parks, Recreation, Leisure, and Fitness Studies

  • Kinesiology and Exercise Science

  • Philosophy and Religious Studies

  • Philosophy
  • Religion/Religious Studies

  • Physical Sciences

  • Chemistry, General
  • Geology/Earth Science, General
  • Geophysics and Seismology
  • Physics, General

  • Psychology

  • Psychology, General

  • Social Sciences

  • Economics, General
  • International Relations and Affairs
  • Political Science and Government, General
  • Sociology

  • Visual and Performing Arts

  • Art/Art Studies, General
  • Drama and Dramatics/Theatre Arts, General


Degrees

Bachelor's
Master's

Career Services

On-Campus Job Interviews Available
Yes

Career Services

Alumni Network
Alumni Services
Classes
Internships
Regional Alumni
Opportunities at School

Experiential
Internship

Prominent Alumni


Andrea Elliott '96
Pultizer-winning NY Times reporter

Terry Gilliam '62
Film director and producer

Jack Kemp '57
Congressman, HUD secretary, athlete

Barack Obama '83
U.S. President

Joanna Hall Gleason '72
Tony Award-winning actress

Robinson Jeffers 1905
Poet

Dr. Sammy Lee '43
Two-time Olympic gold medalist, diving

Dates

Financial Aid Rating
96
Application Deadlines
Feb 1
Notification Date
Mar 25

Required Forms

FAFSA
Forms CSSProfile
Forms Divorced Parent
State Aid

Bottom Line

About three out of four Occidental students receive some form of financial aid, including need-based aid and merit scholarships. The average need-based financial aid package is $41,535. Oxy actively seeks out talented students from all backgrounds: 24 percent of Oxy students are Pell Grant recipients, and 19 percent are the first in their family to attend college. There are more than 300 student scholarships available. “They gave me gave me extraordinary financial aid,” says one undergrad.

Bang For Your Buck

Internships for academic credit are available for sophomores, juniors, and seniors through the Career Development Center; the CDC also offers a limited number of paid summer internships through its Intern LA and Intern PDX programs. The CDC also offers a career-shadowing program with alumni professionals (the Walk in My Shoes program), Occidental emphasizes experiential learning. “I’ve gotten a broader sense of self and have been able to fulfill my learning goals,” said one student appreciatively. The admissions team at Occidental is adamant about not adhering to formulas. They rely heavily on essays and recommendations in their mission to create a talented and diverse incoming class. The college attracts some excellent students, so a demanding course load in high school is essential for the most competitive candidates. Successful applicants tend to be creative and academically motivated. A stellar total of 80 percent of students graduate within four years.

Financial Aid Statistics

Average Freshman Total Need-Based Gift Aid
$36,924

Average Undergraduate Total Need-Based Gift Aid
$35,661

Average Need-Based Loan
$6,282

Average amount of loan debt per graduate
$30,427

Undergraduates who have borrowed through any loan program
58%

Average amount of each freshman scholarship/grant package
$30,945

Financial aid provided to international students
Yes

Expenses per Academic Year

Tuition
Required Fees
$570
Average Cost for Books and Supplies
$1,252

Tuition / Fees Vary by Year of Study
No
Board for Commuters
$0
Transportation for Commuters
$990

Available Aid

Financial Aid Methodoloy
Institutional

Scholarships and Grants

Need-Based
 

Need-Based College/University Scholarship or Grant Aid from Institutional Funds
Need-Based Federal Pell
Need-Based Private Scholarships
Need-Based SEOG
Need-Based State Scholarships

Non-Need-Based
Institutional non-need-based scholarship or grant aid is available

Federal Direct Student Loan Programs
Direct PLUS Loans
Direct Subsidized Stafford Loans
Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loans

Federal Family Education Loan Programs (FFEL)
College/university loans from institutional funds
Federal Perkins Loans

Is Institutional Employment Available (other than Federal Work Study)
Yes

Direct Lender
Yes

Overall

Students Say

Oxy students are “well rounded,” “socially and politically conscious,” and “excited to be at Occidental.” Though they take academics seriously, “people at Oxy are concerned with much, much more than their education. They are focused on academically succeeding, sure, but they are also concerned with social issues, identity, meeting new people, having fun, and gathering a variety of other skills to help them succeed in life outside of Oxy.” Many note the “overwhelmingly left-wing atmosphere” on campus, admitting that the people and their viewpoints can feel a little “homogeneous” at times. However, “every student at Oxy treats all persons equally, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, or religious views,” and most are readily “accepting of different opinions.” With such a tiny enrollment, it’s easy to find “a good niche of close friends at Oxy,” and “if you’re involved on campus, expect your friend group to continually grow.” Despite the rigors of the academic program, “there is a communal desire to help each other succeed.”

Student Body Profile

Total Undergraduate Enrollment
2,117
Out of State
48%

International
6%
Foreign Countries Represented
33

Demographics

13.08%
Asian
4.76%
African-American
15.74%
Hispanic
53.68%
Caucasian
2.21%
Unknown
6.07%
International

56% female
44% male
48% are out of state
99% are full time
1% are part time

Overview

Students Say

“People are really passionate about their extracurricular activities and internships” at Occidental, where most students are “busy from dawn to dusk, and loving it.” Clubs and intramural sports, “from quidditch to women’s rugby,” are popular across campus, and “Greek life is getting bigger and bigger every year.” On campus, “there are frequently guest speakers, dialogues, and workshops,” and on the weekends, the school organizes “dances, trivia nights, movie screenings, fashion shows, concerts, food tastings, beer gardens, and many other events.” When it comes to parties, the alcohol policy is “strict” (even students of legal age are “forbidden from drinking in their dorms”), so most campus gettogethers are small and subdued. Off campus, “house parties are a huge source of fun on the weekends,” as are “music shows, bars, and clubs” in surrounding L.A. When they don’t have anything planned, students “listen to and make music, watch movies, have impromptu dance parties, and do wacky things.” You can’t beat having the “intimacy of a small college with Los Angeles as your backyard,” and students love the fact that Oxy is “not isolated from the surrounding community like many other college campuses.” In their free time, many take advantage of the Southern California setting to “go to the beach, go shopping in L.A., go out to eat in Eagle Rock, [and] go hiking.” “Having a car definitely helps” if you want to explore the surrounding city, though “the school has a ‘Bengal Bus’ system that provides free rides to areas close to campus.”

Campus Life

Undergrads living on campus
81%
Help finding off-campus housing
Yes

Quality of life rating
89
First-Year Students living on campus
100%

Campus Environment
Large Urban
Fire safety rating
67

Housing Options

Dorms Coed
Dorms Female
Frat Sorority
Theme Housing

Special Needs Admissions


Director
Raul Villa

College Entrance Tests Required
Yes

Interview Required
No

Documentation Requred for LD
psychoeducational evaluation

Documentation Requred for ADHD
psychoeducational evaluation

Special Need Services Offered

Calculator allowed in exams
Yes

Dictionary allowed in exams
Yes

Computer allowed in exams
Yes

Spellchecker allowed in exams
Yes

Extended test time
Yes

Scribes
Yes

Proctors
Yes

Oral exams
No

Notetakers
No

Distraction-free environment
Yes

Accommodation for students with ADHD
No

Reading machine
Yes

Other assistive technology
Yes

Student Activities

Registered Student Organizations
131
Number of Honor Societies
8

Number of Social Sororities
4
Number of Religious Organizations
9

10% join a fraternity
13% join a sorority

Sports

Athletic Division
Division III

5% participate in intramural sports
22% participate in intercollegiate sports

Men's Sports (Tigers)
11 Sports

Baseball
Basketball
Cross Country
Diving
Football
Golf
Soccer
Swimming
Tennis
Track Field Outdoor
Water Polo
Women's Sports (Tigers)
12 Sports

Basketball
Cross Country
Diving
Golf
Lacrosse
Soccer
Softball
Swimming
Tennis
Track Field Outdoor
Volleyball
Water Polo

Student Services

Health
Womens Center
LGBT Support Groups
Minority Support Groups
Army ROTC Offered at cooperating institutions: USC
Air Force ROTC Offered at cooperating institutions: USC

Sustainability

Occidental College takes advantage of its sunny Los Angeles location and utilizes a solar array that provides for 11 percent of the campus’s needs, one of the largest of its kind in the area. In addition to the cutting edge research from the school’s physics department, the art department also collaborated to create a unique curving design based on a mathematical expression. In the dining hall, students compost their food waste following meals. To cut down on plastic water bottles, Campus Dining and several other departments teamed up to provide students with reusable water canteens; this cut the sale of plastic bottles by 26 percent. Not all the environmentally friendly initiatives are as visible but they’re just as important: the college now installs low-flow toilets, motion-sensor lights, and requires that all new construction and renovation projects meet LEED Silver certification standards. Since 1997, when Oxy’s Urban & Environmental Policy Institute (UEPI) helped launch one of the country’s first farm-to-school programs, the college has been dedicated to helping local communities by supporting small farms. Food in the dining hall is often locally grown (and the utensils are compostable). Student clubs like Food, Energy and Sustainability Team (FEAST), which grows food and raises poultry on campus, and Well Fed, which brings students and faculty together over small, locally sourced meals, offer Oxy students opportunities to help make an impact on the environment on an everyday basis. And while Los Angeles is known for its car traffic, Oxy students are encouraged to ride bikes and have them serviced at the student-run Bike Cage.

Green Rating
93
School Has Formal Sustainability Committee
Yes

Sustainability-focused degree available
Yes

School employs a sustainability officer
Yes

% food budget spent on local/organic food
25%

Available Transportation Alternatives

Bike Share
Yes

Car Sharing Program
Yes

Carpool/Vanpool Matching Program
Yes

Condensed Work Week Option For Employees
Yes

Free Or Reduced Price Transit Passes And/Or Free Campus Shuttle
Yes

Incentives Or Programs To Encourage Employees To Live Close To Campus
Yes

Indoor And Secure Bike Storage, Shower Facilities, And Lockers For Bicycle Commuters
Yes

Reduced Parking Fees For Car And Van Poolers
Yes

School Developed Bicycle Plan
Yes
Data provided by Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE), STARS®, as of February, 2014.

Campus Security Report

Campus Security Report

The Jeanne Clery Act requires colleges and universities to disclose their security policies, keep a public crime log, publish an annual crime report and provide timely warnings to students and campus employees about a crime posing an immediate or ongoing threat to students and campus employees.

Please visit The Princeton Review’s page on campus safety for additional resources: http://www.princetonreview.com/safety

The Princeton Review publishes links directly to each school's Campus Security Reports where available. Applicants can also access all school-specific campus safety information using the Campus Safety and Security Data Analysis Cutting Tool provided by the Office of Postsecondary Education of the U.S. Department of Education: http://ope.ed.gov/security


Other Information

Campus-wide Internet Network
Yes

Email and Web Access Available
Yes

% of Classrooms with Wireless Internet
100

Number of Computer Labs / Classrooms
35

Average Number of PC's per Lab
10

Network Access in Dorm Rooms
Yes

Network Access in Dorm Lounges
Yes

Fee for Network Use
No

Student Web Pages Permitted
Yes

Student Web Pages Provided
No

Partnerships with Technology Companies
No

Online Class Registration Available
Yes

Personal computer included in tuition for each student
No

Require Undergraduates to Own Computers
No

Undergraduates that Own Computers
100%

Discounts Available with Hardware Vendors
Yes

Description
IBM, Dell, Apple, Gateway

Webcasting, Digital Audio or Video-Streaming of Courses
No

Webcasting, Digital Audio or Video-Streaming of Campus Radio / TV Stations
Yes

Campus Visits Contact

Contact
Vince Cuseo
Vice Pres., Admission and Financial Aid

Address
Admission Office
1600 Campus Road
Los Angeles, CA 90041-3314

Phone
800-825-5262

Email
admission@oxy.edu

Experience College Life

Most Popular Places On Campus
Green Bean Coffee Lounge
Quad
Samuelson Pavilion
Clapp Library
Alumni Gymnasium Fitness Center

Most Popular Places Off Campus
Old Pasadena
Venice Beach
Taco Trucks
York Boulevard
Little Tokyo

Campus Tours

Campus Visiting Center
Mon-Fri & Sat (9/1-12/7, month of April)
8am-5pm M-F and 9am-1pm Sat.
800-825-5262

Campus Tours
Appointment Required: Yes
Dates: Varies
Times: M-F 10:15a & 1:30p, Sat 10:45a & 12:15p
Average Length: 1 hour

On Campus Interview

Campus Interviews
Yes

Information Sessions
Available

Times
Immediately following campus tour

Faculty and Coach Visits

Dates/Times Available
Academic Year

Arrangements
Contact Athletic Department

Advance Notice
2 weeks

Contact Email Address for Visit
http://www.oxyathletics.com/Recruiting/R

Class Visits

Dates/Times Available
Academic Year

Arrangements
Contact Admissions Office

Overnight Dorm Stays

Overnight Dorm Stays
Available

Arrangements
Contact Admissions Office

Limitations
Mon-Thurs, but not during exam periods

Transportation

Types of Transportation Available to Campus
Burbank Airport is 10 miles from campus. Super Shuttle and taxi service is available from the airport to campus. Los Angeles International Airport is farther from campus, but close enough that buses run from the airport to hotels in the Pasadena area not too far from campus. Amtrak trains and Greyhound/Trailways buses serve Los Angeles. Rapid Transit District bus service (public transportation) to campus is available from downtown L.A.: take either line 83 (on York Blvd.) or line 84 (on Eagle Rock Blvd.). Call 213-626-4455 for bus information and schedules.

Driving Instructions to Campus
From downtown L.A., take I-110 N. (Harbor Freeway). Follow signs for Pasadena. Take I-5 N. (Golden State Freeway) toward Bakersfield. Then take Rte. 2 (Glendale Freeway) going toward Glendale. Exit at Verdugo Rd.; turn left at the end of the off ramp onto Eagle Rock Blvd. Continue on Eagle Rock Blvd. for 5 traffic lights to Westdale Ave. Turn right onto Westdale and follow it until it ends at Campus Rd. From the Ventura Freeway (Rte. 134) heading east, go through Glendale to the Harvey Dr. exit. Turn right at the end of the off ramp and then left at the light onto Broadway. When Broadway merges with Colorado Blvd., continue on Colorado Blvd. to Eagle Rock Blvd. Turn right and continue for 4 traffic lights to Westdale Ave. Turn left onto Westdale and follow it to Campus Rd. From the Ventura Freeway (Rte. 134) heading west, exit at Colorado Blvd. Take Colorado Blvd. to Eagle Rock Blvd. (approximately one mile). Turn left onto Eagle Rock Blvd. and continue 4 traffic lights to Westdale Ave. Turn left onto Westdale and proceed to Campus Rd.

Local Accommodations
In the moderate range, about 15 minutes away, is Sheraton Pasadena (303 East Cordova Street, 626-449-4000. Ask for Occidental College's special rate). This property has a pool and exercise room. Also available, Westin Hotel (191 North Los Robles, Pasadena, 626-792-2727). This hotel has a full health club, exercise room, pool and jacuzzi. The least expensive place we suggest is also the closest to campus: Welcome Inn (1840 West Colorado Blvd., 323-256-1673). The California Institute of Technology entry also has suggestions for accommodations in Pasadena.
Occidental College campus - Image 0
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Key Stats

6,071
Applicants
2,117
Size
42%
Acceptance Rate
1300
SAT Scores

Rankings & Lists