school spotlight: occidental college

There are over 4,000 colleges and universities in the U.S. And while the media tends to focus on just a handful of schools, we at College Coach encourage students to think outside the box during their college selection process and explore a wide range of colleges. As such, we are highlighting a new college each week in our School Spotlight series. Check out the college below, along with the other posts in our series, and you may just stumble upon your dream school!

School Spotlight: Occidental College
Los Angeles, CA

It’s rare to find a small, liberal arts college in the heart of a metropolis, but LA’s Occidental College is unique on many fronts. The 2,100 undergraduates at Oxy are known for being focused on both rigorous academics and greater world issues. All graduating students are required to complete a comprehensive examination in the spring of their senior year, or produce a “senior comp” that might entail a major creative project that demonstrates mastery in their particular field. For students passionate about world affairs, there’s no greater opportunity than “Oxy at the UN.” For an entire fall semester, Oxy students get to live in New York City, take two diplomacy-themed classes, and complete a full-time internship with a UN-related organization. Off campus, students can take advantage of astronomy or engineering classes taught at nearby Caltech, or soak up LA’s famous arts and music scene. With a 10:1 student-to-faculty ratio, classes at Oxy are small, and no class will ever have more than 50 students. Good to know: Oxy has long been committed to diversity, and over 40 percent of the student body identifies as students of color.

Image credit: Top, courtesy of Occidental College


Written by Elyse Krantz
Elyse Krantz is a member of College Coach’s team of college admissions experts. Elyse received her BA in linguistics from Dartmouth College and her MA from Teachers College, Columbia University. Prior to joining College Coach, Elyse worked as an admissions officer at Barnard College and Bennington College. Visit our website to learn more about Elyse Krantz.