You’ve got questions—we’ve got the answers (or can at least connect you with the offices that do)!
- What is the deposit deadline?
- What if I want to defer my admission or take a gap year?
- Can I request more financial aid? Can I appeal my financial aid award?
- Can I request additional merit awards? Will Occidental match my merit awards from another school?
- Am I required to be vaccinated against COVID-19?
- Now that I am committed to Oxy, what's next?
- When is Orientation? What should I expect during Orientation?
- When should I plan to arrive to campus?
- I am a new Oxy family member. What should I know?
- How do you match roommate(s)? When will I find out my roommate(s)?
- What will my room be like? What should I bring with me? What should I leave at home?
- What are the residence hall rules?
- How and when do I register?
- What if I don't get the classes I want?
- Do I need to take any tests before starting at Oxy?
- Who is my faculty adviser? How are they assigned?
- Do I need to prepare for my advising appointment?
- When do I buy textbooks for my classes? Where and how do I find the ones I need?
- How do I pay for textbooks at the Occidental Bookstore?
- What if I want to change my major?
- How many classes do I have to take each semester?
- How do I see which courses are being offered?
- What is the Core Program?
- How many credits will be awarded for my AP or IB tests? What AP/IB scores do you accept?
- How do I get credit for courses taken at another institution?
- Can I take courses during the summer?
- Where can I find resources for students with disabilities?
Billing and Student Accounts
- When will I learn my financial aid award?
- How do I access my bill?
- Someone other than me will pay my tuition bill. How do I add them as an authorized user to my account?
- What is tuition insurance?
- My first bill shows a charge for a double room. Does that mean I've definitely been assigned to a double?
- What is student health insurance?
- How do I complete the health insurance waiver?
- I want to bring my car to campus. Is this allowed?
- I'm not going to have a car. How can I get around?
- How can I get to Oxy from the airport (and vice versa)? Is there a campus shuttle?
- What is there to do on campus?
- Where do I go if I'm not feeling well? How do I make an appointment with the Wellness Center?
- I have dietary restrictions. Will there be enough food options in the cafeteria?
- How important is my ID card?
- How do I ship my belongings to school? Where will I get my mail?
- What paperwork do I need to bring if I want to work on campus?
- Is there an ATM on campus? What banks are in the area?
- What cell phone carrier should I use?
- Where can I find information about campus events? The academic calendar?
What is the deposit deadline?
Deposit deadlines differ depending on the day you were admitted. Students who are still working with the Office of Financial Aid on need-based assistance may request additional time by submitting an Admitted Student Reply Deadline Extension Request. These extension requests are only granted for a few days beyond the deposit deadline. Students must submit all required financial aid documents and need-based appeals prior to requesting an extension request, otherwise extension requests will be denied.
What if I want to defer my admission or take a gap year?
At this time, Occidental College is not offering deferred admission for transfer students.
Can I request more financial aid? Can I appeal my financial aid award?
Occidental College is committed to meeting 100% of the demonstrated financial need of its students. Due to this commitment, the majority of Occidental’s financial aid budget is allocated to need-based grants. When financial situations change, families can submit an appeal letter to the Director of Financial Aid and, upon review, may be eligible for more need-based grants.
Families can submit their appeal letters here. Please note that appeals are only granted to families who have documented changes in their financial status from what was reported in the FAFSA and CSS/Profile. You typically must provide supporting documentation for your appeal letter. Additional information about what kind of supporting documentation is necessary for your appeal, and what types of appeals are honored, is available on our Special Circumstances page.
This appeals process is exclusively for families whose information has changed in regard to their need-based financial aid award. Students are considered for merit-based awards at the time of admission. Decisions regarding merit-based scholarships are final and there is no appeals process for merit-based awards.
Can I request additional merit awards? Will Occidental match my merit awards from another school?
There is no appeals process for merit-based awards. Occidental's merit-based awards are made independently of merit scholarships awarded at other institutions. Students are considered for merit-based awards at the time of admission. All decisions regarding merit-based scholarships are final.
Am I required to be vaccinated against COVID-19?
Yes. Occidental requires all students to be vaccinated for COVID-19, including a 6-month booster shot, with proof of vaccination. For more information, you can visit our Vaccination Information page. Requirements are subject to change. Please continue to check for updates.
Now that I am committed to Oxy, what's next?
In the coming weeks, you’ll receive additional information regarding required forms and important deadlines. At that time, it will be important to begin taking care of them in a timely manner; these forms should be completed by you (the student).
When is Orientation? What should I expect during Orientation?
Spring Orientation will be held from January 19-22. First-year students entering Fall 2023; dates coming soon. Visit the Orientation website for the tentative schedule. Orientation is designed to help make your transition to Occidental frictionless. During the program, you will meet new and current students as well as faculty and staff, register for classes and learn about the many resources and programs available to you at Oxy. We create a schedule that balances required activities with free time so you can get settled and begin to feel at home before starting classes.
*Note that international students will receive more information from the International Programs Office (IPO) about this program.
When should I plan to arrive to campus?
Students entering Spring 2023 should plan to arrive to campus on January 19. 2023 Fall move-in day to be determined.
Student athletes should contact their coach directly to confirm arrival dates. International students should refer to information from the International Programs Office regarding arrival dates.
I am a new Oxy parent or family member. What should I know?
Welcome! We are glad to have you. As a family member, you probably have different types of questions. We encourage you to check out the Parents and Families page for information specific to you.
How do you match roommate(s)? When will I find out my roommate(s)?
After you submit the incoming student Housing Application, Residential Education and Housing Services (REHS) will match you with a roommate(s) based on your responses and preferences. To get the best match, be sure to complete this form on your own and to be completely open and honest. This process takes some time, so please be patient. Housing assignments will be sent out to your Oxy e-mail. Once you have received this info, be sure to reach out to your roommate(s) to talk about who will bring what, etc. Spring transfers; housing will be determined on a first-come, first-serve basis. Check your email for communication from REHS.
What will my room be like? What should I bring with me? What should I leave at home?
Each room comes equipped with one bed frame, extra-long mattress, desk, desk chair and dresser per roommate. Rooms are also equipped with a shared microfridge and microwave, one large window (minimum) and shared closet space. Consult the “What to Bring List" for suggestions and talk with your roommate(s) so you don't have duplicates of items; for example, you don't need multiple clothing irons!
What are the residence hall policies?
Though you will have more independence in college, there are still “res hall" policies in place to promote safe and respectful living environments for all students. For instance, all first-year res halls are substance-free. You can review the full list of res-hall policies here. These policies should answer a wide variety of questions, from whether you can have guests (or pets), to what to do if you are locked out and how to request a room change.
How and when do I register?
2023 Spring transfer students will receive additional information about class registration over the winter, with class selection taking place during Orientation in January. If you have questions related to the academic program, contact the Advising Center (email@example.com).
Transfer students will need to fulfill the First-Stage Writing requirement. For more information, see the “First-Stage Writing Requirement for Transfer Students” document on the Writing Program page.
What if I don't get the classes I want?
We try to keep class sizes small to allow for high-quality in-class discussions and lots of interaction between students and professors. This means that occasionally a class that you want to take will be fully enrolled. When you're planning your schedule, be sure to find several back-up classes in case you don't get into all of your first choices. Most classes have a waiting list you can join in case a seat opens up, but you'll want to make sure you enroll in another class so that you have a full course load. (During the first week of classes you can easily drop a course if a seat becomes available in another course you would rather take.) Keep in mind that you'll have more opportunities to take these classes in future semesters throughout your Oxy career. Furthermore, the liberal arts curriculum is designed so that you can explore a wide variety of classes; keep an open mind and take a course from a department you've never really considered before—who knows, you might just love it.
Do I need to take any tests before starting at Oxy?
Online placement tests are available for math, chemistry, music theory, and several languages, including Chinese, French, German, Japanese, Russian and Spanish.
Spring transfers should reach out to their academic adviser, once assigned, to determine if they need to take any placement exams.
Who is my faculty adviser? How are they assigned?
Transfer students are assigned to a faculty advisor who is connected with the major you indicated on your application. You'll meet with your faculty adviser during Orientation and connect with them periodically throughout the school year. You can change your faculty adviser at any time by filling out an adviser change form, getting a signature from your new faculty adviser and submitting it to the Registrar's Office. If you have questions related to the College's academic program, please contact the Advising Center (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Do I need to prepare for my advising appointment?
To get the most out of your meeting with your adviser, you should come prepared with some general ideas of what classes you want to take and how you will fulfill your Core requirements.
When do I buy textbooks for my classes? Where and how do I find the ones I need?
Once you've registered for classes, you can visit the Bookstore to buy the books you need for the classes on your schedule.
If you'd like to buy your books online in advance, visit the Oxy Bookstore website. Click on Buy/Rent, then choose "Will Call - Textbooks" to have them available at the Bookstore when you arrive on campus and avoid shipping costs. If you prefer digital books, some titles are available in digital format both in-store and on our digital book website. In rare cases a book may be of stock; if this happens, let our Bookstore staff know, and we can check on the status for you. If the book is sold out, ask the Bookstore staff to order it for you and it will be delivered quickly and without shipping charges.
The Occidental College Bookstore is conveniently located on the first floor of the Johnson Student Center. The Bookstore is a non-profit; when you purchase from the Oxy Bookstore and sell your books back there, you are helping your fellow students by keeping used books on campus and helping to keep the Bookstore prices down. One of the perks of buying from the Bookstore is an easy resell process during finals week when the Oxy Bookstore hosts a textbook buyback. Any books adopted by the professor for the following semester will be bought back for up to 50% of the price paid.
How do I pay for textbooks at the Occidental Bookstore?
The Occidental College Bookstore accepts cash, check, debit/credit card, Voucher or Bengal Bucks.
When you purchase on the Oxy Bookstore website or in-store you may choose to use your Student Account Voucher. This allows you to quickly and easily charge purchases to your student account to pay later. Your student account is only charged for the amount of money you spend in the Bookstore. The maximum you can spend is $600. You need your Oxy ID to access your Voucher.
If you need to purchase items in the Bookstore and want to charge it to your Student Account when the Voucher is unavailable, or if your books exceed $600, there is another fund called Bengal Bucks.
Bengal Bucks must be loaded to your account by adding funds prior to use. You may deposit funds in the Bookstore using cash, check or debit/credit card. You may also go to myOxy and choose to add money to Bengal Bucks and have the money charged to your student account to pay back later. Please allow 48 hours for funds to appear in your Bengal Bucks account. Don't forget to follow up and check that the funds have been added. You can check your balance on the "GET" website. Bengal Bucks do not expire and do roll over from semester to semester. When you leave school you may ask for leftover funds to be returned to your student account
What if I want to change my major?
Transfer students matriculating to Oxy with junior standing are expected to pursue the first choice major listed on their Common Application. The Registrar’s Office and corresponding department chair must approve any exceptions.
How many classes do I have to take each semester?
Most courses earn 4 units of credit. There are also courses that meet less frequently and earn either 1 or 2 units. A typical full-time enrollment is 16 units (generally four 4-unit courses). Students need to average 16 units per semester in order to reach the 128 units needed to graduate.
How do I see which courses are being offered?
To see what courses are being offered during a given semester, visit Course Counts.
What is the Core Program?
All Occidental students must complete a Core program of required courses in order to ensure a broad education in the liberal arts and sciences. Visit the Core program website for more information about the requirements. Transfer students complete the same Core requirements as first-year students, except the First Year Seminar requirement (which is only for first years).
How many credits will be awarded for my AP or IB tests? What AP/IB scores do you accept?
Students are typically awarded 4 units of credit for subjects in which they have completed Advanced Placement examinations with scores of 4 or 5, or International Baccalaureate scores of 6 or 7 in Higher Level (HL) courses only. In some cases an exam score will allow a student to enroll in a more advanced class (e.g. math and chemistry). Earning an Advanced Placement test score of 4 or above on a foreign language exam will satisfy the college's foreign language requirement. Students must have exam scores sent directly to the College in order to receive credit or to use their test scores for placement.
How do I get credit for courses taken at another institution?
The Registrar's Office oversees all transfer credits. Students who have completed coursework at a previous institution should have their official transcripts sent directly to the Registrar's Office from the institution where the course was taken. We will accept hard copies and/or electronic copies of official transcripts, but cannot accept personally delivered transcripts from the student. A minimum grade of “C" or better is required to transfer credit to your academic record. The Registrar's Office evaluates each submitted transcript based on Occidental's curricular standards, and in some cases specific courses may not receive transfer credit. Occidental will accept credits from a regionally accredited college or university only. For more questions about transfer credit, please contact the Registrar's Office.
Can I take courses during the summer?
For continuing students, Occidental offers a limited number of courses during the summer, as well as the opportunity to participate in internships, independent studies and faculty-guided research projects. Additionally, students can take courses in the summer from other regionally accredited colleges and universities in order to earn credit and fulfill some requirements. (Note: Using summer transfer courses to fulfill college requirements requires approval in advance.)
Work taken elsewhere during the summer may be accepted for credit toward a degree from Occidental, subject to advance approval from the chair of the department with which the course would be identified, the student's adviser and the Registrar
Where can I find resources for students with disabilities?
Should you need academic or housing accommodations, you can begin the process by completing the Request for Accommodations form, found in myOxy. You'll need your myOxy login to access it. Once you have completed it, the Dean of Students Office will send you an email. If you did not attach your documentation to the online form, please e-mail, fax or mail the documentation to the Dean of Students Office. For addresses and contact info, visit the Disability Services webpage.
Billing and Student Accounts
When will I learn my financial aid award?
If you applied for financial aid, your award letter should be included with your admit packet. If you received an incomplete letter, please submit the required document(s) as soon as possible so we may review your financial aid application and determine your tentative financial aid award.
How do I access my bill?
You will be able to access your eBill by logging into your myOxy account, but not until you get your account info. Once logged in, select the Student Services tab and locate the eBill channel. Electronic Billing (eBills) is the official means of providing student account statements to all Oxy students. Notifications are emailed to your Occidental email address and any authorized user's email address. More information about this is available from the Student Business Services Office.
Someone other than me will pay my tuition bill. How do I add them as an authorized user to my account?
If you would like to authorize someone else to view your account and pay your student account balance, you can add an authorized user, but not until you receive your account info. Authorized users may be added and deleted as necessary, but only by the student. It is the student's responsibility to set up authorized users for their student account.
To add an authorized user to your student account, log in to your Student Account, click the Authorized Users Tab and follow the prompts. The authorized user you have specified will receive an email notification that contains an initial eBill password and login instructions. An email notification will be sent to each address provided when a new eBill becomes available
What is tuition insurance?
Occidental offers an optional Tuition Refund Plan, administered by GradGuard, which protects your educational investment by reimbursing tuition, room and board charges should you need to withdraw from school due to a personal illness or accident. This plan extends and enhances the College's published refund policy. This plan is optional, but if you wish to participate, you need to submit an application with payment directly to GradGuard before the first day of classes. Please click here to learn more about tuition insurance.
My first bill shows a charge for a double room. Does that mean I've definitely been assigned to a double?
The "double room" charge on your bill is only a holding charge, and does not guarantee that you will be placed in a double. Your bill will be updated accordingly when final room assignments are made. Questions about housing assignments or this charge on your bill can be directed to Residential Education and Housing Services.
What is student health insurance?
All enrolled students must have healthcare insurance that covers primary care services in Los Angeles County. Occidental offers a student health insurance plan through United HealthCare Insurance that covers primary, urgent, emergency, pharmaceutical and behavioral health care locally, nationally and internationally. There are no breaks in coverage, so you will be covered while on winter and summer breaks. Full details on Oxy's student health insurance plan through United HealthCare are available on the Emmons Wellness Center website. The Occidental Student Health Insurance Program (OSHIP) may be waived for students who are covered under a parent's policy or have other health care coverage. If you do not waive the student health insurance, you will be automatically enrolled in the student health plan and the full amount will be billed to your student account. You can view the Emmons billing and insurance frequently asked questions or contact email@example.com for more information.
How do I complete the health insurance waiver?
A student may waive the student health insurance plan by filling out an online waiver and providing proof of active health insurance that covers primary care services in Los Angeles County. A plan that only provides urgent and emergency care is insufficient to waive the student health insurance. Typically, plans that meet the minimums for the waiver are most PPO and POS plans, California-based HMO plans and Kaiser plans. Depending on your individual plan's rules, you may need to secure Away From Home coverage to qualify for the waiver. Insurances that usually do not meet the minimum requirement of the waiver include out-of-state HMO plans, Medi-Cal plans and state-sponsored Medicaid plans.
If you are not planning to waive health insurance, please visit the waiver website to “opt-in" to the health insurance plan. By doing this, you will be able to access and print your health insurance card. If you do not waive the student health insurance, you will be automatically enrolled in the student health plan and the full amount will be billed to your student account.
I want to bring my car to campus. Is this allowed?
New students are able to bring a car with them to campus. For more information about parking permits, rules and regulations, visit Campus Safety.
I'm not going to have a car. How can I get around?
While you may have heard the stereotypes about L.A. traffic, do not fear—there are several ways to explore the city without a vehicle, including the options below.
On foot: Oxy is located in between two highly walkable neighborhoods (Highland Park and Eagle Rock), so it is easy to get a feel for the city through York, Eagle Rock and Colorado Boulevards.
Public transit: You can access public transit buses from the main boulevards, which will take you to the Gold Line station, Downtown, Glendale and Pasadena. You can stop by the SLICE office to inquire about, and obtain a TAP card. Plan a trip on the metro here.
Bengal Bus & Bike Share: In addition to public transit, you can take advantage of the Bengal Bus to run local errands, or rent a bike from BikeShare.
Ride Shares: Uber and Lyft are popular choices in the local area.
Asking a fellow student in your res hall for a ride to Target is also a great way to make friends!
How can I get to Oxy from the airport (and vice versa)? Is there a campus shuttle?
Traditionally, the Bengal Bus offers airport shuttles at the beginning and end of fall break (roundtrip), Thanksgiving break (roundtrip), winter break (roundtrip), spring break (roundtrip) and the beginning of summer (to airport only). As space and schedules are limited, you may also want to checkout the SuperShuttle (discount code: OXYED) and Prime Time websites, or consider a rideshare service at your discretion.
What is there to do on campus?
Tons! Whether it be one of the many events hosted by our 150+ active student organizations or campus departments, there is always something happening on campus. If you are looking to get more involved in campus life, check out the Office of Student Leadership, Involvement and Community Engagement to see a list of all active clubs and learn about the free campus events they host regularly. Additionally, once classes start, stay up-to-date about what is going on by reading the daily campus email digest that includes information about events, field trips, job opportunities, etc. In addition to campus activities, many students choose to use the weekends to explore L.A.
Where do I go if I'm not feeling well? How do I make an appointment with the Wellness Center?
The staff of Emmons Wellness Center provides Oxy students with easily accessible, high-quality medical care and psychological counseling services. Should you need to take advantage of the offered services, call (323) 259-2657 to make an appointment or check out their walk-in hours.
I have dietary restrictions. Will there be enough food options in the cafeteria?
The Marketplace (Oxy's cafeteria) is allergen, vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free conscious. Vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free offerings are available at every meal. Standard labeling at meal stations includes the following: vl: vegetarian lacto/ovo, a vegetarian offering that contains dairy or egg products; v: vegan, a vegetarian offering that contains no dairy or egg products; gf: gluten-free. Should you have other dietary restrictions, check out the Campus Dining resources guide or contact campus dining.
How important is my ID card?
Very. Your ID card serves multiple functions, including your res hall/room key, your student ID and your debit card for your meal plan, laundry and vending, just to name a few. It will also provide you access to campus events and some buildings after hours. Therefore, it is very important that you treat it just as you would your driver's license or bank card. Your first ID is free, but each replacement is incrementally more expensive, which can eventually add up.
How do I ship my belongings to school? Where will I get my mail?
Student mail is important, and having it arrive in your hands in a timely manner is much more likely when mail is addressed correctly, using your newly assigned box number.
Your box number can be found by accessing your MyOxy account, then selecting "Update Addresses and Phones" under the Student Services tab. Please be sure you share this box number with your family and friends who may wish to write to you.
All students receive mail at the Postal Operations Center (aka "the mailroom"), located on the first floor of the Johnson Student Center.
Mail throughout the year
Below is an example of how your mail (including packages, magazine subscriptions, express items and general correspondence) should be addressed. If having items shipped by UPS or FedEx, use the word "Unit" instead of "Box" to ensure it will be delivered.
Your first and last name
1600 Campus Rd
Box # (put your box number here)
Los Angeles, CA 90041-3314
Please address your packages as follows:
Your first and last name
Your class year (e.g. Class of 2025)
1600 Campus Rd
Los Angeles, CA 90041-3314
You can pick up standard-sized mail in the mailroom; oversized packages will be available for pick up at the Facilities Stockroom.
What paperwork do I need to bring if I want to work on campus?
There are several employment opportunities available to students on campus through the work-study program. You can see all job postings here. Should you plan to work on campus, you will need to bring original approved government-issued identification with you to campus so that you can complete the I-9 and W-4 forms in the Human Resources Department. You must bring original documents—copies will not be accepted.
Is there an ATM on campus? What banks are in the area?
An ATM is located on the first floor of Johnson Student Center, near the Postal Operations Center, and is available when the building is unlocked (daily from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.). Within the neighborhood there are also Wells Fargo, Bank of America and Chase Bank branches. Many students also frequently use the cashback feature at local retailers when making purchases in place of having a local bank branch.
What cell phone carrier should I use?
Being a major metropolitan area, most U.S. carriers service Los Angeles. Given the unique geography of L.A., however, some offer spottier reception than others. We find most of our students have the best experience with Verizon or AT&T.
Where can I find information about campus events? The academic calendar?
Upcoming campus events are listed on the college calendar. You can also use the academic calendar as a helpful tool.
Oxy's social media accounts are another great place to keep up with the latest Oxy happenings.