- Class: Senior
- Major: Government
- Gender: M
- High School:
- Transfer Student: Y
The City of Riverside will try to tell you that it's a college town...don't be fooled, it's not! In reality, Riverside has four colleges in the city: Cal Baptist U., La Sierra U., Riverside Community College (a respectable JC), and UCR. In actuality, the only college in this town is UCR. The campus and student body are huge; compared to the others, UCR is closest to what most think of when they think "college." Academics at UCR is legit and respectable, whereas at LSU and Cal Bap. it's a joke...I'm being dead serious when I tell you that those who spend the outrageous $$ to attend these two private universities WASTED their time and money. As for the City of Riverside, if you're from SoCal, you may already know this, but Riverside is not for the majority of college kids. The town is run by old-timers whose favorite dream is to turn Riverside into little "OC" (that's Orange County for those of you in the Mid-West living under rocks). There are only five bars, three of which can, on occasion, be fairly dangerous; there is only one (yeah 1!) club that shamefully charges a 20$ entry fee; as for letting lose after exams at a college party, forget it! The cops here are run by those same old-timers, your party will be shut down before 10pm...I'm not kidding. BIG PICTURE: UCR good school for academics, although you will hear different from other students. The City, quite frankly, sucks...my best advice is to work or smooch from mom&dad so you can afford to escape to Palm Springs, the LA area, or San Diego.
UCR is actually geared toward both getting a job, and learning for its own sake. I can't speak for the hard sciences (but I hear they're strong), but as for my major, Political Science/Law and Society (closest thing to pre-law), it's great. The Humanities program here is among the strongest you will find anywhere. Poli Sci/Law and Society is the best option if you find yourself at UCR, and have already decided to attend law school after graduation. I say this because if you don't go for law school afterwards, the knowledge and experience from the degree is pretty useless > you won't get ahead in anyone's Graduate program, and because their is no emphasis on methods and stats, you can't really hit the job market and land anything resembling a decent job. Also I want to be able to advise anyone considering UCR, that things to get fairly competitive when you get into you upper-division studies (Junior and Senior years) around examination time, but if you work hard and read everything when you're supposed to, it doesn't have to...you can be enjoying college life and sipping a coffee with friends while classmates are stressed, pissed, and guzzling Red Bull.
The student body is, from my experience, slightly slanted to the political left..but just SLIGHTLY. Most are aware, few are active. The student body is one of the most diverse in the nation...seriously they've won awards for it. Racial lines are pretty blurred, which is great. But certain organizations on campus tend to reverse this, which sucks. Most UCR students are from SoCal. If you're not from the Inland Empire (anywhere within 30 miles of campus) you will notice the air quality. It's among the worst (if not THE WORST) in the nation. If you're new to it, it will sap your energy and probably make you sick at first. I would seriously weigh this one out if you're considering UCR and you're a health nut or suffer from asthma or something similar.
The Best Things
Academics, Nice looking campus, diverse student body, attractive student body, REC center activities.
The Worst Things
Air quality, boring city that shuts down at before midnight.