The following reviews are the views of students or alumni at this school and are unrelated to the school data and other editorial content on usnews.com. These reviews neither reflect nor impact a school's position within the Best Colleges rankings.
The area is nice...we need more school spirit. a football team, a GOOD basketball team or something....People always say UCI is a great academic school...and i think we are, so that's good. I spent a lot of time at the student center area. A college town requires food/bar establishments to be open past 9pm. I think there is school pride, but it's different from a school like USC, UCLA or even somewhere like Illinois...they have something to be proud of...i mean YES we did get fairly far in the College World Series..but other than that? no football team, since for some reason MR and MRS. Irvine think that having a football team will somehow destroy their utopian society. It's safe here in Irvine. That's very nice to have...i'm just glad I didn't grow up here. I'm glad I grew up around crime and more "ghetto" areas...it builds character and street smarts...something not many "Irvine-ers" have.....Complaints include too much amdin rules...how do you BAN skateboarding on campus? that was huge....you might as well ban walking on ring road. because of ONE incident, they ban it..i mean i remember hearing someone jumped off the parking structure building in a suicide..sad, yes. But should UCI blow up all parking structures more than 1 level high? it doesn't make sense...
Outside of academics, UCI's biggest strong point, particularly in busy southern California, is the beauty of Aldrich Park, which is in the center of campus. There are lots of trees and paths, creating a nice setting for walking across to your next class or for just spending time outside. Because of the large student body, it is difficult to get personalized attention for general administrative matters. However, some organizations like the Career Center, Counseling Center, Health Education do cater to students, which is nice. If you're a part of Campuswide Honors Program, it's really easy to get to know the staff, and they are VERY responsive to your needs. UCI is definitely a large public university, which is great in the huge diversity in academic offerings and student organizations. Along with that, though, come long waits in line for administrative things and anonymity, which can be good or bad. Most people do not know UCI outside of California. I generally say that I went to school in southern California or Orange County to not confuse them. In Cali, though, I think most people are familiar, but they think of UCLA or Berkeley first as their favorite UC. I was really fortunate to have awesome roommates and to have on-campus housing the whole time I was at UCI, so usually if I wasn't in class or something, I would be in my dorm or apartment complex. However, the student center, eating places, and the library were pretty popular during lunch. Although the school is UC Irvine, it's actually on the edge of the city and is practically in Newport Beach. Irvine is an upper-middle-class planned community, and Newport Beach is a pretty ritzy beach city. As a result, UCI doesn't really have a nearby ghetto area, and there isn't as much interaction with these areas as there could be with the exception of some pretty large donations from the rich businesspeople who live in the area. Some people are extremely involved in student government, but from the outsiders' perspective, it mainly benefits those who run it (e. g. boosting the resume or lavish spending for their personal use), especially since many of them are also involved in Greek life. UCI has no football team. Instead, we have a strong baseball team and a really nice science library. As a biology major who studied a lot, I had no problem with that, but it does kind of bring down school spirit as a whole. However, there is the enthusiastic Completely Insane Anteaters (CIA) organization that encourages people to go out to basketball games and such. Nevertheless, zot zot! Probably one of my most unique UCI experiences was participating in Alternative Spring Break where a group of us went to a new location to do community service over spring break. I met such a great, diverse group of people and accomplished a lot while having fun too. Since I've gone, the program has done even bigger and better things, including restoring an area in the South affected by Hurricane Katrina. As for complaints, everything is expensive: cost of living, tuition, parking, books, etc. Administration can be a hassle too.
My favorite thing about UCI is being close to Newport, Laguna, Corona del Mar, etc. I lived off campus my 2nd year in Costa Mesa and rode my bike to the beach when i didn«t have school. Something I would like to see changes in is the counseling.. everytime I go in to ask questions I feel like I get general answers, nothing too specific to my situation and that they dont really care.. I guess it«s hard to with so many students but it feels too impersonal. Not so much a college town except for the off campus housing around the campus. Another great thing about our school is that we have an AMAZING gym. The ARC is big, has everything you need from yoga and other classes to a lot of basketball courts, indoor and outdoor, a pool, indoor track, rock climbing wall, machines, etc. Sometimes it is hard to take advantage of when you live farther off campus but totally worth it and better then the 24hr across the street. There is good food options right around campus and now there are more on campus. I am studying abroad for my Junior year but I hear the Student Center is great. Speaking of studying abroad, the CIE office has a lot to offer although there are some issues with communication but, definitely study abroad.. I had to have a good GPA to leave for a year and when I was a little short, they worked with me and helped make it possible to go to Spain for the whole academic year. Ring Road is great, easy to get to classes, and I like the booths always set up and the events they have for students.. One thing that bothers me is they outlawed bikes on ring road because, rumor has it, the Dean got hit.. Well that is a lame excuse and now they give tickets out and actually have people enforcing it. I wouldn«t say there is an extreme amount of school pride, but we can«t all be USC right? I do wish we had more focus on sports and supporting our athletic teams because sporting events always create more school pride, maybe it«s because our baseball team and volleyball team are the only ones known, oh well, you should still go to the baseball games, they are fun, we are good and the field is beautiful. The Greek system is pretty big, although I am not into it at all because personally a lot of the frat and sorority students are so wrapped up in the Who«s Who and its really lame, especially their parties. I haven«t had too many issues with the Administration, and after switching majors from Humanities to Social Science, the SS faculty was very welcoming and I continue to get loads and loads of emails with updates, events and anything related to Social Sciences. I plan on getting more involved my 4th year, I do suggest that of everyone. There are more clubs then you know and I am eager to do so. It will be hard returning to Irvine after being in Barcelona for a while, but hopefully I can find more diverse opportunities when I do so.
The best thing about UCI to me is that the administration does an excellent job in making the students feel comfortable. Moving in my first year I felt like my RA truly cared about me and wanted to make sure I was happy. There are so many organizations on campus for the students needs and everyone of them shows full support for the students to strive for their goals and prepare them for their future. One thing I would change aboue the school is I would try and find a way to reach out to the students to have more pride in their school. The school has approximately 20,000 undergraduate students which is a lot of people. But I feel the more people on campus, the more people one can meet and network with. When I tell my friends I go to UCI, not too many of them know much about the school, they ask me what its like and if its known as a good university. I spend most my time on campus during the days whether it be going to class, studying, or part of an organization. One experience I will always remember at UCI is the first year living in the residence halls. The friends I made are some of my closest friends till this day. I learned a lot from my RA and am thankful for having an amazing group of people to live with. The most frequent student complaints I would say is that the social life is not that great.
I think the best thing about UCI is that the campus small, yet beautiful. It is easy to walk from one class to another since nothing is too far compared to UCLA or UCSD, and a huuuge park in the middle of campus is very relaxing and beautiful on sunny days. Also, UCI has a lot of resources to help students make the most of their college experience. One thing I would change is the location. Irvine is a pretty boring and quiet city. There isn't much to do if you don't have a car, and LA is about 45-1 hour away. A lot of the partying is done through sorority and frat events, unless you know people already. Not really a college town. Also, the cops suck here! I think the campus is just right to get to classes and you can take classes from other schools because they're all not too far from each other I spend most of my time around the art area or the student center because there are places to eat and hang out during breaks. The biggest controversy most recently is that robberies have happened twice in Mesa Court, which is one of the freshman dorms.
The best thing about UCI is probably its location. We're an hour away from LA and San Diego and right in the best part of Orange County. The area around UCI are beautiful, there's a nature preserve across the street from campus, and the beaches are some of the best in the country. It's one of the few areas that I've been where you can drive out to the boonies and feel like you're in complete solitude, and then head out to practically any chain restaurant, or chain store you can think of. When I tell people that I go to UCI they usually ask where Irvine is. When I tell them it's in Orange County people usually have the same reaction and mention something about "Laguna Beach" or the "OC" t.v. show. It makes for entertaining small talk. Sometimes I think that we should change the name of the school to UC Orange County, but then someone pronounced UCOC as a word and I quickly changed my mind. On campus I'm usually at our student center or at the pub. Both of these places just opened up this year after a two year construction hiatus. The pub is an awesome place to hang out on campus and they have really good food and a nice happy hour. Irvine is not a college town. Irvine is a suburban neighborhood with a high median home price. The closest thing to a college town here is in Newport Beach, where a lot of students choose to live because of the night spots, bars, and proximity to both UCI and the beach. The only thing bad about the situation is that it just contributes to the "commuter stereotype." The school spirit on campus is one thing that I wish I could change. There are a ton of students who are fired up about going to school here and our athletics program but it's suffice to say that the entire school does not share the same sentiment. Our sports program is amazing for such a young school and it's a lot of fun to go to the games and then head over to the pub for the after game happy hour.
Perry JuniorReviews provided by: Unigo