Occidental’s rigorous academic programs offer plenty of opportunities to put ideas into action and theory into practice. Learn more about how it all works.

Describe the registration process. When do classes start?

New first-year students begin by creating an Oxy account and will first register for the required First Year Seminar over the summer. If students would like to take French, German, Spanish, math or chemistry while at Oxy, a placement exam is required. Students must take the online placement exam during the summer prior to their first semester at Oxy. If students would like to take one of these courses in the fall, they may pre-register by taking the placement exam and contacting the Advising Center over the summer. Students may make an appointment either by phone or online. During Orientation, students will meet with their academic adviser and register for all other courses. The College reserves seats for new students in many classes that are open to first-year students. Students may continue to add and drop courses through the first week of classes.

Where can I find the academic calendar?

Upcoming campus events are listed on the College calendar. The Academic Calendar is also available on our website.

When does my student meet with an academic adviser?

Students first meet with their faculty adviser during New Student Orientation. In June, new students are asked to fill out an advising form that asks questions about their academic interests. Based on the information provided, students are assigned a faculty adviser who will help select their classes for the fall and answer any questions about Occidental's academic program. Students meet with their faculty adviser during Orientation and periodically throughout the school year. 

Students can change their faculty adviser at any time by filling out an adviser-change form, getting a signature from your new faculty adviser and submitting it the Registrar's Office. Additional questions related to the College's advising program can be directed to the Advising Center.

How does my student declare a major?

All students are expected to declare a major by the end of their sophomore year. When a student declares a major, they must switch to an adviser in their major department (unless their existing adviser is already in the relevant department).

How may I see my student's grades?

The Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) protects the privacy of your student's record. Once your student grants you access via their FERPA waiver, which can be found online in your student's gateway (my.oxy.edu), you may view their records. You may contact the Registrar's Office at (323) 259-2686 for additional assistance.

What are my student's study abroad options?

Complete details related to advising services, eligibility, timing, programs and finances may be found on the International Programs website. Your student may participate in a semester, summer or faculty-led study abroad trip for credit as long as it is approved by the IP office. We also offer innovative learning opportunities including internships, research and academic projects abroad. For more information, have your student contact the International Programs staff at ipo@oxy.edu or (323) 259-2533. You can also watch a recorded webinar with the executive director of the International Programs Office about student opportunities.

What are examples of other experiential learning opportunities? 

Oxy's curriculum connects what happens in the classroom with current issues in the community. Across all academic departments, students and faculty take advantage of the resources in Los Angeles. Classes frequently take trips around Los Angeles to apply academic discussions to real-world issues. Occidental provides opportunities to engage deeply with experiential learning in Los Angeles, and unique programs like the Campaign Semester and our Kahane United Nations Program give students the opportunity to further enrich their undergraduate experience.

What are some community engagement opportunities for students?

Engaging with the city of Los Angeles is an important part of Occidental, where our students are actively involved in addressing social justice issues and learning from community partners. Unique programs through the Center for Community Based Learning, Student Leadership, Involvement and Community Engagement, and the Urban & Environmental Policy Institute, among others, provide opportunities to bridge classroom learning with lived experiences.

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Advising Center
Phone: (323) 259-1341 
Email: advisingcenter@oxy.edu

Dean of the College
Phone: (323) 259-2634

Center for Community Based Learning
Phone: (323) 259-1497
Email : castillo@oxy.edu

Student Leadership, Involvement and Community Engagement
Phone: (323) 341-4692
Email: slice@oxy.edu

Contact the Office of Parent Engagement