College Tours: UCLA

Kim will be traveling all over Southern California touring and learning about some of the best universities California has to offer. Follow her here for her insights into the various colleges -- what they're like and what it takes to get in! 



Kim in front of Powell Library

Why is this school awesome?

Kim: UCLA has the largest student body population among the colleges in the UC system and the campus is rather large, yet you can walk from one end of campus to the other in about 10 minutes. While the population at UCLA is large, students receive individual attention and can easily find ways to stand out on campus. There's definitely something for everyone here. Not only that, but professors are seriously top notch. Math professor, Terence Tao, scored a 760 on the Math Level 2 Subject Test at age 9, had a PHD by age 21, and was tenured by UCLA by age 24. How'd you like to take math class from him? And The Big Bang Theory is fact-checked by Professor David Saltzberg. At UCLA, students truly learn from the best.

Favorite spot on campus?

Kim: Too many spots to choose from! Some of my favorites included:

  • Bruin Plaza (the central hub): It had so much going on! I was approached to register to vote, buy homemade baked goods, and join multiple clubs all within just a few minutes.

  • Kerckhoff Patio: Fun fact: this area is where many parts of Legally Blonde were filmed! Our tour guide told us that UCLA is actually filmed more as Harvard than Harvard is filmed as Harvard.

  • Powell Library: All I can say is wow!

  • Sculpture Gardens: Located on the north campus and very beautiful!

5 words to describe campus?


Royce Hall, the most Instagrammed building at UCLA

The typical student is...

Kim: Is there a typical student? As mentioned above, UCLA is very diverse-- I think partly because it's so large. I would say that while students are very different, they all share one thing in common: they are leaders. UCLA students are passionate and have demonstrated that they're looking for challenges. 94% of students graduate within 4 years, so that also says something about the type of students that attend UCLA. Students are very passionate about their sports teams-- go Bruins!

What housing options do students have?

Kim: One of the first questions you might ask about UCLA is, is it safe? And the answer is definitely yes. The college is located in one of the nicest parts of LA and is surrounded by the three B's: Beverly Hills, Brentwood and Bel-Air. On-campus (and most off-campus) housing is extremely secure, most of the time requiring 2-3 security points before a student can enter their room. There are so many options for housing that students are bound to find a place that will suit their needs. If I were a student I would definitely look into Greek life because not only is it the least expensive housing option, but it's hands-down the best option. Greek students live in Bel-Air mansions. For real. No matter where students choose to live, though, all housing is no more than 20 minutes (walking) to anywhere on campus. And fun fact, in 1984, UCLA's campus housing was used to house the summer olympians!

International perspective?

Kim: It was really interesting for me to hear that there is theme housing at UCLA, and there are many global themes to choose from! Also, many UCLA students choose to study abroad. In fact, when graduating seniors are asked what their one regret is while attending UCLA, the number one answer is not studying abroad. If you're interested in studying abroad, there are many ways to do so. For example, one student recently lived in Italy for a semester doing research on the best gelato. Wouldn't you like to live in Italy for a few months doing nothing but eating gelato? Me too.

Special programs/offerings applicants should consider?

Kim: Starting your own club is really easy at UCLA! You just need are a few members to believe in your cause and to fill out some paperwork. For example, some clubs that currently exist include: The Shorts Club (students commit to wearing shorts 365 days of the year) and The Grilled Cheese Club (members are dedicated to eating grilled cheese). Also, look into taking a screenwriting class because James Franco may be your teacher and take a Klingon language class because...why not?

Tips for the application process?

Kim: UCLA is looking for future leaders and for quality over quantity. Our guide mentioned that if a student joins a club freshman year and sticks with it through senior year, gaining more leadership in that club, that's better than being apart of 5 different clubs each year. UCLA is looking for longevity and commitment and growth in leaderships roles.

Fun facts?

Kim: All new freshman take the "True Bruin Oath" at the inverted fountain while touching the water. Students vow not to touch the water in this fountain again while at UCLA, or they will be cursed and have to extend their graduation by at least one semester! On graduation day, seniors go absolutely crazy in this fountain, often bringing kayaks and other flotation devices to the fountain to celebrate graduation. Seniors can be found trying to get water from the fountain on underclassmen during their celebration, so anyone not graduating should beware and steer clear of this fountain on graduation day!

Also, the internet was born at UCLA! Watch Internet pioneer and UCLA computer science professor Leonard Kleinrock explain it all in a video here.

The inverted fountain

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