- Class: Alum
- Major: Psychology
- Gender: F
- High School: Marian Catholic High School
- Transfer Student: N
The best thing about UC Riverside is the people. UCR has a very dynamic group of students, faculty, and staff which provide academic and social stimulation. If I could change anything about UCR I would build a bubble around the school and blast air conditioning, it is HOT! The campus population was the perfect size for me, it allows for the sense of family without everyone knowing your business. Even better than being the right size the campus population is very diverse. At the end of the day UC-Riverside is still a UC, one of the leading research universities in the nation. Which leads me to this statement, who cares what other people think! A degree is a degree is a degree, UC-Riverside has so much more to offer than so many other schools. Go Highlanders! the UCR campus has changed so much in the last several years, in particular the school developed and built a new commons. The new commons is pretty sweet, much better than what we had when I was going there. I spent a lot of time at the Starbucks in the University Village, which is part of campus "kinda." The city of Riverside is unique in that it has 3 universities within city limits, which you would think would make it a college town, but it is not yet. The city is making a number of improvements and slowly this is changing. The administration on campus is like the administration on every campus, a bunch of suits who are so worried about money nothing else matters. That is a bit of an exaggeration, but you get the gist. School pride at UCR is climbing. Part of the reason students are so apathetic is that they have been told over and over UCR is the reject UC and this is just not true! UCR is far superior to any number of the universities in California and across the globe, it is just in the middle of the desert. All UC campuses offer the UCDC program, which is something I participated in and would recommend to any student interested in exploring the nation's capital. Also, UCR offers a number of study abroad opportunities, which are less competitive because of the smaller population.
Academics at UCR are what you make them. I know people who partied their way through college (Business Majors!) and I know students who studied all day 24/7 (pretty much anyone getting a BS). I, however, found a nice balance of work and play. As I mentioned earlier UCR has a large family feel to it, kind of like the Kardashians, functionally dysfunctional. The professors know your name, if you make the effort. Chances are you will spend more time with your teaching assistants, as lectures can be upwards of 500 students. In my experience the same handful of students participate in class lectures, not because other people cannot join more so because many student choose not to. The Psychology department is large, so do not expect a lot of attention from your academic adviser. The professors in the department are perhaps some of the most innovative on campus and will give you the opportunity to work alongside them on research projects. The Political Science Department is smaller, however the professors are very passionate about their field of study within the major. I had the opportunity, with the help of professors in both departments to develop my own research project merging the two fields for the first time on the UCR campus. I feel like this opportunity would not have presented itself at any other school. The faculty wants you to succeed. As with everything I have discussed so far, what you put into your time at UCR is what you will take away from UCR. There are any number of opportunities to work with faculty and gain real world experience that will help you when you enter the work force.
There is something for everyone at UCR, we have it all and if we do not you can create it. I will say that UCR can be very "clicky", due to the diversity.
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