Occidental College is sometimes overlooked in Los Angeles in favor of schools like UCLA and USC, but it’s really a hidden gem: a liberal arts school located right here in the city. In its own words, Oxy is “a place of intimate scale and infinite scope,” and I don’t think there could be a more accurate description of what this university stands for. Known for its highly regarded professors and degree programs, Occidental is a quiet but powerful force in the academic community.
Occidental’s beautiful Mediterranean style campus is thrives in Eagle Rock, California, and is just eight miles from downtown Los Angeles. The student body is small, with just over two thousand undergrads in attendance. Students are required to live on campus for their first three years, which gives them a chance to really become comfortable and work closely with their peers. This close-knit community isn’t an accident; it’s something that Oxy students and professors are really proud of.
Despite its close-knit campus, Oxy puts a large emphasis on community involvement and global education. And with downtown Los Angeles just a few miles away, small and cozy goes right out of the window whenever desired. Not only can students participate in the booming day and night life of the city, but the opportunities for research, creativity, internships, and experiences in their fields are also endless.
The college is known for its Core Program, which was designed to help students achieve a more well-rounded liberal arts education. Students are required to accomplish certain goals throughout their time at Occidental. This includes writing seminars, foreign culture education, language study, and fine arts classes to name a few. Before graduation, each student is required to pass a comprehensive exam about their chosen major which could include anything from fieldwork to oral exams.
With 31 majors and 40 different departments and programs, students are bound to find a path that is perfect for them. Although economics is the most popular major, Occidental is highly regarded in many fields, ranging from fine arts to politics to the math and sciences. The school encourages a multi-faceted way of learning, so just sitting in front of a book for six hours a day won’t cut it. Students are pushed to research, question, experiment, and tackle their interests head on.
And if none of this convinces you that Occidental is one cool place, then what if I tell you that Ben Affleck graduated from here!? That’s right… Affleck. Yeah, I knew that would change your mind. Check it out: www.oxy.edu/life-oxy