Check out this array of content related to a multitude of components of the Oxy student experience—like food, resources, athletics and residence halls.
Welcome to Oxy! We are excited to share a sneak peak of your next steps as an Oxy student, including information about move-in and orientation.
Oxy will stay connected with incoming students throughout the summer to provide Oxy accounts and email addresses, to collect advising and housing forms, and more. Stay abreast of what’s to come by keeping your eye on your email and checking in with the new-student website on a regular basis.
The Fall Semester
At this point, no college can say for certain what August and September will hold, but the nature of Oxy’s learning environment—small, discussion based courses with student-centered faculty—allows us to be nimble. Be assured that the College is looking at every option for the fall and the implications for our learning experiences and residential community. Oxy’s senior leadership is considering all possibilities that we may need to pursue: returning to normal operations, remote learning, hybrid models, modified housing arrangements, staggered arrival dates and more. The safety of our community is paramount in these decisions, but rest assured, you will receive a superior academic experience in whatever format is decided upon. Oxy will update the community by June 15 so you can all plan appropriately for the Fall. You can learn more about how Oxy has responded to Covid-19 this spring at www.oxy.edu/covid-19-coronavirus.
Despite the coronavirus, the First Two Weeks at Oxy will be an exciting opportunity to connect with your fellow first-year and transfer students, and find ways to get involved on campus. Students come to Oxy from across the U.S. and abroad, and the semester starts with many opportunities to build community in and out of the classroom.
All first-year students will enroll in one of Oxy’s Cultural Studies Program courses during the Fall and Spring semesters, which is Oxy’s version of a first-year seminar and part of your Core Program.
Move-In & Housing
We can’t wait to welcome you to campus! Get a sense of what Move-In Day will feel like for you and your family. You can prepare for move-in by reviewing the packing lists provided by Oxy’s Residence Education and Housing Services and going inside the first-year residence halls through this virtual tour. And if you’re at all anxious about moving to sunny Southern California, plan ahead to beat the heat.
New students will be placed in a first-year residence hall or can request a room in one of Oxy’s themed living communities. Incoming students will be asked to complete a housing questionnaire and then the housing algorithm creates roommate assignments—kind of like a match.com for roommates! Oxy has had great success with roommate matches and encourages all incoming students to get in touch with their new roommate(s) over the summer.
If you require a specific housing accommodation, you will need to register your request with the Disability Services Office.
L.A Engage & Orientation
We hope you will consider joining us for L.A. Engage, the optional pre-orientation program that introduces new students to the vibrant city of Los Angeles. Upperclassmen facilitators lead trips to experience culture, film, food, nature, social justice, the urban environment and much more!
New-student Orientation is required for all students, first-years and transfers. Parents and guardians of incoming students are encouraged to attend Family Orientation. Orientation for Fall 2020 will take place on August 20-24 (August 20-21 for families) if the College is allowed to host students on campus.
Advice from Current Students
As you consider the advice of current and graduating students, think about how to make the most of your early days at Oxy:
We look forward to seeing you on campus!
Food & Sustainability at Oxy
Get to know campus dining at Oxy and the sustainability initiatives across campus.
Food Studies & Sustainability at Oxy
Oxy is one of the few liberal arts colleges offering Food Studies, an exciting interdisciplinary program that extends from farm to classroom. Additionally, Oxy’s student-run Food, Energy, and Sustainability Team manages a campus garden that recently celebrated its 10th anniversary, and also offers impactful programming such as Food Justice Month at Oxy and Oxy Iron Chef competitions.
Oxy’s faculty share this commitment to a sustainable Oxy and many work alongside students in applied research and advocacy through the Urban & Environmental Policy Institute. Additionally, exciting plans are underway for Oxy to be 100% renewable by 2022.
Oxy’s Food Systems Working Group (FSWG) is a collaborative effort to leverage the interdisciplinary knowledge and resources of various groups on campus dedicated to promoting equitable food policy and programs. The FSWG employs the resources of Campus Dining, the Food Studies department, Urban & Environmental Policy Institute, and students in order to oversee, update and execute the Occidental Food Resource Guide and its goals.
Oxy’s Own Campus Dining
At Occidental we take dining seriously, and our community consistently gives Oxy's on-campus dining high marks. Students, faculty and staff have dining options including the Marketplace, the casual Tiger Cooler Cafe, the student-run Green Bean Coffee Lounge and our evening Coffee Cart, which provides a place for a quick sip and takeout in upper campus.
See what students have to say about the Green Bean, going behind the scenes and from the point-of-view of a student barista. Discover dining options at the Marketplace and menu hacks for Cooler Classics with a Twist. Oxy has great vegan and vegetarian options as well. Take it from Erin Zhang ‘20 in What I Eat in a Day as a Vegan College Student.
Not only is the food delicious, but Oxy's Dining Services is also environmentally friendly. Campus Dining is a signatory to the Real Food Challenge commitment, and we strive to obtain as much of our food as possible from local and sustainable sources. Hear from the chefs and cooks of Occidental College's Marketplace about the food preparation, creativity and challenges of feeding thousands of college students daily.
Unlike other institutions, dining is not outsourced. Campus Dining is proudly "Oxy's Own," which allows us to be directly connected and responsive to our customers. And it shows! Oxy is regularly ranked at the top of national campus dining comparisons:
And on the rare occasion that students are looking for alternatives to campus dining, Oxy is proud to feature Food Trucks on the quad each week for more variety in the on-campus lunch hour.
Academics at Oxy
Hear from Wendy Sternberg, Occidental's Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of the College, as she describes the academic experience at Oxy. Then check out the links below to learn more about Oxy’s curriculum, faculty, student research and international programs
Even in a semester of remote learning, Oxy students and faculty are fully engaged in their courses. Small classes that offer both live and pre-recorded sessions, as well as individual faculty meetings and online group projects, allow students to build upon the on-campus relationships that were already established before leaving campus this Spring. Check out Explore Academics to tune in to real Oxy classes, read through senior comprehensives and see data from international research projects within Oxy’s academic disciplines: Arts and Humanities, Sciences and Social Sciences.
Oxy students are engaged members of the campus Community of Scholars, building relationships with faculty, many who have made themselves available to admitted students as well. Watch these videos to see seniors talk to their Oxy faculty mentors about the courses and academic experiences that inspired them.
- Mark Gad ‘18 and Associate Professor of Biology Joseph Schulz
- Nan Ma ‘18 and Professor of Physics Daniel Snowden-Ifft
- Alexis Morse ‘18 and Professor of Psychology Andrea Hopmeyer
- Naomi Navarro ‘18 and Associate Professor of Diplomacy and World Affairs Sophal Ear
- Explore profiles of professors from every discipline at Oxy
Student Research & International Programs
Students complete their own impressive research at Oxy through programs like the Undergraduate Research Center, its annual Summer Research Program and the Young Initiative. The International Programs Office sponsors research abroad as part of their many different programs of off-campus study.
Oxy is a top producer of Fulbright recipients and other national and international fellowships, with students regularly receiving these highly selective awards. This is in large part due to the individual guidance provided by the Office of National & International Fellowships. Learn more about what fellowship opportunities are available in this "Intro to Fellowships" presentation and explore their website for an in-depth look at how Oxy supports students and alumni in applying for these prestigious opportunities.
Student Life at Oxy
Hear from Rob Flot, Occidental's Vice President of Student Affairs and Dean of Students, as he describes the student experience at Oxy. Then check out the links below to learn more about clubs and organizations, varsity, intramural and club sports, and the visual and performing arts on campus.
Oxy Varsity, Club and Intramural Athletics
25% of Oxy students play a varsity sport and, when including club and intramural sports on campus, 45% of students are involved in athletics.
- Hear from student athletes about why they chose Oxy and what their experience is like playing sports at Occidental.
- Tour the new De Mandel Aquatics Center, which will transform the athletic experience at Oxy.
- Take a look Inside Occidental's Intramural Sports and club sports at Oxy. Read about one student’s surprise discovery of Womxn’s Rugby and learn how Spencer Raub ‘20 re-formed Oxy’s Ice Hockey team.
Oxy Arts programs span across mediums—film, visual art, performance, writing and music. It also serves as a gateway to Oxy’s five academic arts departments: Art & Art History, Interdisciplinary Writing, Media Arts & Culture, Music and Theater.
- Just a short walk off campus is the gallery and interdisciplinary performance space for Oxy Arts. View Oxy Arts’ Past Exhibitions and Events or follow Oxy Arts on Instagram. Enjoy a video tour of the current exhibition Intersections.
- Read about one student’s journey from drama in high school to Theater at Oxy and meet an Oxy grad whose path from Oxy Theater landed her on Broadway.
- Each year Oxy’s New Play Festival puts playwrights on center stage.
- Billboard Magazine declares Occidental’s music program among the top 20 in the nation, the only liberal arts college on the list.
- Love listening to music? Consider joining MAMA, the Music Appreciation and Musical Analysis Club, or step into the DJ Booth with KOXY.
- Occidental’s student artists are featured in campus galleries as well as given opportunities to explore their discipline through on-campus research and research abroad. Recent grad Dana Lim shares her experience Exploring Venice through Art and Research.
- Letterpress and typography classes are open to students of all majors.
- Oxy is known for its dance community, which comes to life in the beloved tradition of Dance Production, a student choreographed dance recital that is open to any student (with or without dance experience).
Occidental Greek Life is centered on academic excellence, leadership development, equity and respect for diversity and philanthropy.
- Go behind the scenes to see the gears behind Greek Life and the unique offerings of Alpha Chi Sigma, the national co-ed chemistry fraternity.
- Erin Zhang ’20 shares her Sorority Experience at Oxy.
Student Leadership Involvement & Community Engagement (SLICE) brings together programs focused on leadership, activities and community engagement in one office to foster a robust student experience on and off campus.
Get to know Oxy’s culture and campus-wide commitment to inclusive resources and spaces.
On-Campus Culture at Occidental
- Hear from current students about what the culture on campus is like at Occidental and what to look for in a college.
- Read about life as an international student.
- First in your family to attend college? Join the ranks of the First Gen Club.
Student Resources & Spaces on Campus
- Learn about the many inclusive communities and spaces on campus and listen to current students speak about their favorite resources.
- Read more about Oxy's Intercultural Community Center.
- Check out Oxy's Themed Living Communities, giving every students on campus a comfortable space to call home.
- The Lavender Lounge opened October 2019 as a space for LGBTQIA+ students. Read more about the resources available to support Oxy's LGBTQIA+ community in our Queer & Trans Guide.
- Hear from veterans at Occidental and learn more about student veteran housing.
- Learn more about Disability Services and community building for students with disabilities.
- Come along with Oxy's mascot, Oswald, as he checks out the resources available at the Emmons Health & Wellness Center.
Cultural Inclusion & Celebrations at Oxy
There is a wide array of student clubs and organizations focused on celebrating and sharing the cultures of all students on Occidental's campus.
- Get a glimpse into Rosh Hashanah traditions at Oxy and learn more about Religious and Spiritual Groups on campus.
- Read about how Black History Month is celebrated at Oxy, movements led by the Oxy United for Black Liberation (OUBL) student group, and how students come together for the biannual People of Color (POC) formal.
- Learn about Oxy's many active student groups, including the Armenian Students Association, Occidental’s Latinx dance group ¡Azúcar! and the Chinese Culture Club.
See Los Angeles through the eyes of Oxy students.
Life on Oxy's Campus
- See what a typical day at Oxy is like with Erin Zhang ’20.
- Emily Jo Wharry ’20 describes what it's like to work for The Occidental, Oxy's student-run newspaper.
Exploring Campus and Beyond
- Tour Eagle Rock and Highland Park, the neighborhoods surrounding Oxy.
- Join Oxy's bike share to explore the area around campus.
- Need to venture a bit farther? The Bengal Bus, Oxy's free shuttle, provides errand runs, safety escorts, airport shuttles as well as special weekly trips to beaches and museums.
- Hear from a student Bengal Bus driver: Quit Calling Ubers and Take the Bengal Bus for Free
- You might recognize our campus from one of dozens of TV shows, commercials and movies that have been filmed here. Learn more about the extensive history of filming at Oxy!
Get to know Oxy’s beautiful campus and unique programs.
Experience Oxy's Campus
- View our interactive campus map for photos, walking tours and 3D galleries of some of our most iconic locations on campus!
- Take a virtual campus tour with one of our student tour guides.
- Join Oxy's mascot, Oswald the Tiger, for a tour of upper campus and some of the sights not featured on our usual campus tour.
- Get an aerial view of campus in our Scenes of Occidental video.
- Learn about some of the unique opportunities available at Oxy because of its location in the heart of Los Angeles.
Build Career Opportunities on Campus and in LA
Oxy's Hameetman Career Center provides students with personalized attention beginning in their first year, helping to connect classroom learning with career-building opportunities before and after graduation.
- Read a student's perspective on career services for first-years.
- Learn more about InternLA, Oxy's program that gives students the opportunity to intern at various organizations in Los Angeles.
Explore Opportunities Abroad
The International Programs Office offers a multitude of opportunities for Oxy students to learn and research abroad.
- Watch a day in the life of an Oxy student abroad.
- Read more from our student blog:
Immerse Yourself in a Campaign
As part of Oxy's Campaign Semester—the only program of its kind in the nation—students venture to the trenches of political campaigns to gain hands-on experience and earn full academic credit.