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Occidental College is a small, private college founded in 1887. It is located in Los Angeles, California, near Pasadena, Glendale, Dodger Stadium, and Griffith Park. This liberal arts college is fully integrated in both the arts and sciences in a cosmopolitan setting. The school is known for its demanding curriculum and supportive instructors who also provide mentorships. Students of the nearly 2,000, highly diverse undergraduate population are encouraged to explore their passions and innovative thinking. They also benefit from small class sizes with a faculty-to-student ratio of 1 to 9.
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Overview of Occidental College
Over 40 majors and minors exist, as well as prestigious and unique programs and resources, such as the senior comprehensive, the Undergraduate Research Center, and the Kahane United Nations Program and Campaign Semester. Internships and partnerships are widely available. A balanced life is also important at Occidental and there are over 100 student clubs and organizations, community service opportunities, student leadership, athletics and wellness options, and intramurals.
Yet another appeal to the school is the fact students are able to live on a campus offering highly-ranked cuisine and a student-run coffee house. The LA and near-campus culture appeal to many students as well, including Koreatown, the ocean, the city of LA, and much more. The school is also home to collegiate athletics such as baseball, softball, soccer, basketball, golf, track and field, tennis, swimming, and many others.
|School Type||Private not-for-profit|
|Campus Setting||City: Large|
|Student Faculty Ratio||9:1|
Occidental College Reviews
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|High School GPA||Considered but not Required|
|High School Rank||Considered but not Required|
|High School Transcripts||Required|
|College Prep Courses||Recommended|
|TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language)||Required|
|Application Deadline||January 10|
|Common Application Accepted||Yes|
Tuition Cost & Financial Aid
The quality of an Occidental education is reflected in its price tag. Both in-state and out-of-state students can expect to pay around $56,600 each year. This is even higher than many Ivy League schools. In addition to tuition fees, students will require another $20,000 or so for basic living expenses, books, supplies, classroom fees, and more. And, for students who would like to explore all LA has to offer, additional finances will be necessary for entertainment, dining, and activities off-campus.
Roughly 75% of students secure some form of financial aid through the college as a way to lower the cost of higher education. With help from grants, scholarships, and student loans, the average net price was reduced to $35,362 in a recent academic year, which is around the cost of out-of-state tuition for top, state public colleges and universities. One of the premier financial assistance programs is the Barack Obama Scholars Program. This scholarship is awarded to students who embody leadership in the next generation with actions and plans geared toward public good.
|Average net price||2018-2019|
|Average Total Aid||$38,770|
|Students Receiving Financial Aid||75%|
|Room & Board||$16,034|
- Tuition In-State - $56,576
- Tuition Out-of-State - $56,576
- Books and Supplies - $1,240
- Room & Board - $16,034
- Other - $2,750
An Occidental education provides over 40 in-demand majors and minors, along with specialized programs to enhance employability upon graduation. Courses will challenge students and offer a number of multi-disciplinary emphases to best prepare students for full-time, professional employment. Experiential learning, research, and theory will be at the center of all programs. Practical, hands-on experience is at the forefront. Students are also encouraged to think creatively and communicate exceptionally.
Programs are available in various capacities of the arts, sciences, and humanities including health, law, biochemistry, computer science, critical theory and social justice, economics, education, marine biology, kinesiology, mathematics, media arts and culture, neuroscience, politics, Spanish studies, theater, writing, and more. Throughout each program, students will have mentors, be able to participate in internships, and will complete capstone projects. Students can also participate in exchange and co-op programs.
Occidental College maintains remarkable four-year and six-year graduation rates of 80% and 86%, respectively. It also has an exceptional 93% retention rate. The reasons for these superior figures is, in large part, due to the small class sizes, small student-to-faculty ratio, and a healthy combination of challenging work, support systems, mentorships from professors, and a highly selective admissions process.
Student Population Total
Student Population 1,985
Most Popular Programs & Majors
(# of Diplomas Awarded by Subject)
|All Social Sciences Majors||159 Total Graduates / 34%|
|Economics, General||74 Graduates|
|International Relations and Affairs||37 Graduates|
|Political Science and Government, General||18 Graduates|
|All Biological & Biomedical Majors||58 Total Graduates / 12%|
|Biology/Biological Sciences, General||42 Graduates|
|All Physical Sciences Majors||42 Total Graduates / 9%|
|Physics, General||16 Graduates|
|Geology/Earth Science, General||13 Graduates|
|Chemistry, General||13 Graduates|
|Visual and Performing Arts||38 Total Graduates / 8%|
|Film/Cinema/Video Studies||15 Graduates|
|Drama and Dramatics/Theatre Arts, General||12 Graduates|
|Art/Art Studies, General||6 Graduates|
|Music, General||5 Graduates|
|All Psychology Majors||30 Total Graduates / 6%|
|Psychology, General||30 Graduates|
|All Other Diplomas||31%|
Outcome & Salary
It should be no surprise that Occidental graduates are recruited by employers rather than graduates having to search for jobs upon graduation. The Hameetman Career Center assists to ensure these recruits secure the best jobs. Students will have access to services, resources, and support throughout their academic careers, including career development, internships, and one-on-one assistance.
A wide array of personalized advising is available for all students in various areas including career services, pre-health, pre-law, and fellowships. It’s possible to access these services and resources both in-person and online. The center also hosts over 200 annual events along with alumni connections, career seminars, and campus recruiting. Both graduates and alumni work for some of the most reputable and exciting companies and organizations in LA and beyond including Amazon, Boeing, CBS, Microsoft, NASA, Paramount, Princeton University, Goldman Sachs, the Peace Corps, Los Angeles Dodgers, Mexican American Legal Defense & Educational Fund, Cedars-Sinai Hospital, and many others.
|College Grads Early Career Salary||$57,400|
|College Grads Average Salary||$69,764|
|College Grads Mid Career Salary||$119,400|
|Return on Investment (ROI)|
|10 Year Salary Earnings Potential||$697,640|
|20 Year Salary Earnings Potential||$1,891,640|
|Cost of Education (Net Price) 4 Year||$141,448|
|10 Year Projected ROI||$556,192|
|20 Year Projected ROI||$1,750,192|
|No College Education Salary Comparison|
|National Average Salary||$38,792|
|10 Year Projected Income||$387,920|
|20 Year Projected Income||$775,840|
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