Occidental College

2014 Quick Stats
1600 Campus Road

Los Angeles, CA 90041-3314

Phone: (323) 259-2500
2013-2014 Tuition
tuition and fees
male /
Jan. 10
application deadline

More Information


U.S. News Rankings

Ranking score and category
U.S. News rank Category Name
#41 Overall Score: 73 out of 100. National Liberal Arts Colleges

More About U.S. News Rankings


Occidental College is a private institution that was founded in 1887. It has a total undergraduate enrollment of 2,176, its setting is urban, and the campus size is 120 acres. It utilizes a semester-based academic calendar. Occidental College's ranking in the 2014 edition of Best Colleges is National Liberal Arts Colleges, 41. Its tuition and fees are $46,270 (2013-14).

The Occidental campus is located in the suburban neighborhood of Eagle Rock, 8 miles from downtown Los Angeles. Downtown L.A. is brimming with opportunities for college students: internships, dining, nightlife and more. Freshmen must live on campus, and they are allowed to have cars. That’s a good thing, because the campus is within an hour’s drive of big-time attractions like Venice Beach, Disneyland and Sunset Strip in Hollywood. Parking on campus is free with a permit, and about two-thirds of students bring cars. Students can choose from more than 100 clubs and organizations to get involved in on campus. Occidental has a handful of  sororities and fraternities, and a coed organization. Even more students compete on the school’s sports teams, the orange and black Tigers, which are members of the NCAA Division III Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. Occidental students can also take classes at CalTech and Art Center College of Design, and can earn joint degrees at CalTech, Columbia University and the University of Southern California's Keck Graduate Institute.

This liberal arts college is notable for its diverse undergraduate student body; about 60 percent of students are Caucasian, about 15 percent are Asian American and another 15 percent are Latino, and about 5 percent are African American. Females make up a little more than half  of the student population. Occidental’s picturesque campus has been featured in many motion pictures, including "Clueless," "Orange County," "Jurassic Park III" and "Star Trek III: The Search for Spock." Notable alumni of the small school include Marsha Evans, former president and CEO of the American Red Cross; Andrea Elliott, a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter for the New York Times; and Robert Richter, a documentary producer whose work has been featured on major stations like PBS and the Discovery Channel. President Barack Obama attended Occidental for two years before transferring to Columbia University.

School mission and unique qualities (as provided by the school):

A nationally recognized, private residential college of the liberal arts and sciences, and one of the few located in a major city, 126-year-old Occidental is at the forefront of interdisciplinary, intercultural education that integrates the classroom with community-based learning. Our small size and strong sense of community, rigorous curriculum, superb faculty, diverse student body and access to the resources of Los Angeles make Occidental the best of both worlds: intimate in scale, but infinite in scope. Some 78 percent of Occidental students receive some form of financial aid. Occidental graduates thrive in a wide range of careers, from science, medicine, and the law to the arts, business, teaching, and public service.

General Information

School type private, coed college
Year founded 1887
Religious affiliation N/A
Academic calendar semester
Setting urban
2012 Endowment $330,719,886


When applying to Occidental College, it's important to note the application deadline is January 10, and the early decision deadline is November 15. Scores for either the ACT or SAT test are due January 10. The application fee at Occidental College is $60. It is more selective, with an acceptance rate of 39.4 percent.

For more information about the tests, essays, interviews, and admissions process, visit the Applying to College knowledge center.

Selectivity more selective
Fall 2012 acceptance rate 39.4%
Application deadline January 10
SAT/ACT scores must be received by January 10

More About Applying

Academic Life

The student-faculty ratio at Occidental College is 10:1, and the school has 64.1 percent of its classes with fewer than 20 students. The most popular majors at Occidental College include: Economics, General; International Relations and Affairs; Biology/Biological Sciences, General; Art/Art Studies, General; and Sociology. The average freshman retention rate, an indicator of student satisfaction, is 92.3 percent.

Class sizes
Class sizes
Student-faculty ratio 10:1
4-year graduation rate 80%
Five most popular majors for 2012 graduates
Economics, General 15%
International Relations and Affairs 10%
Biology/Biological Sciences, General 9%
Art/Art Studies, General 7%
Sociology 7%

More About Academic Life

Student Life

Occidental College has a total undergraduate enrollment of 2,176, with a gender distribution of 43.8 percent male students and 56.2 percent female students. At this school, 80 percent of the students live in college-owned, -operated, or -affiliated housing and 20 percent of students live off campus. Occidental College is part of the NCAA III athletic conference.

Total enrollment 2,178
Student gender distribution
Student gender distribution
Undergraduate men who are members of a fraternity
Undergraduate men who are members of a fraternity
Undergraduate women who are members of a sorority
Undergraduate women who are members of a sorority
Collegiate athletic association NCAA III

More About Student Life

Campus Info & Services

Occidental College offers a number of student services including nonremedial tutoring, women's center, health service, and health insurance. Occidental College also offers campus safety and security services like 24-hour foot and vehicle patrols, late night transport/escort service, 24-hour emergency telephones, lighted pathways/sidewalks, and controlled dormitory access (key, security card, etc). Of the students at Occidental College, 60 percent have cars on campus. Alcohol is permitted for students of legal age at Occidental College.

Students who have cars on campus 60%
Health insurance offered Yes

More About Campus Info & Services

Paying for School

At Occidental College, 57.2 percent of full-time undergraduates receive some kind of need-based financial aid and the average need-based scholarship or grant award is $32,985.

Paying for college doesn't have to be difficult or devastating. Go to the Paying for College knowledge center to get advice on raising cash and reducing costs.

Tuition and fees $46,270 (2013-14)
Room and board $12,940 (2013-14)
Financial aid statistics
Financial aid statistics

More About Paying for School

* Overview details based on 2012 data

College Rankings

Best Liberal Arts Colleges - Narrow your search with the U.S. News rankings of Liberal Arts Colleges, schools that emphasize undergrad liberal arts education.

More College Rankings & Lists
National Universities, Regional Universities, Regional Colleges, Best Values, more

U.S. News College Compass - My Fit

Find out how this school measures up based on your preferences.

Sign Up Now

Calculating this school's fit to see if it meets your personal preferences.

Save This School

Edit Your Preferences

Find out how this school measures up based on your preferences.

Save This School

Edit Your Preferences

College Search

Advanced Search

Students Also Applied To

Claremont, CA

Now Hiring

Now Hiring Powered by After College



See more jobs »

Top College Resources

Looking at colleges? Find out what you need to know.

Studying in the United States
Finding the Right School
Paying for College
Applying to College

Follow U.S. News Education

Like Us On Facebook