I loved UCSD! I would absolutely recommend this school for anyone who wants to study at a top-notch college and have access to the best weather & beaches at the same time. If I had to do it all over again, I would. UCSD was a great place to go to college. It's a big school but it doesn't feel that big because of the college system there. You can choose which college you want to be a part of (Revelle, Muir, Thurgood Marshall, etc.) depending on their core curriculum requirements and what your interests are. You take your core curriculum classes with only other students in your college. And then you take the more general classes (like chemistry or calculus) with students from all the colleges at the university. Each college has their own provost & dean of students & team of advisors. If you live on campus, each college has their own housing & dining areas so you get to know people that way too. It's a great system...you get all the advantages of a large university without feeling like you're lost.
PROS: college system, close to the beach, lots of sunshine
CONS: not good for those who are easily distracted by the beach!
There are some really fun traditions like the Sun God Festival (for the whole campus) & the watermelon drop (at Revelle College). And cool outdoor art installations all across campus too. I'm starting to wish I could go back!
I really enjoyed my experience at UCSD. The academics were excellent - fantastic professors and interesting/challenging courses. The campus and surrounding area is gorgeous. You are close to everything you could want. There was, however, a lack in "social events". If you are looking for a college to party at, this is not it. The quick quarter system means there's always a midterm or final coming up soon.
If you want to be a doctor or an engineer and are solely concerned about the prestige of the university you attend, than UCSD is for you. Otherwise, stay far away from UCSD! There is absolutely no community or school spirit at UCSD and it is a very emotionally cold place to be. People are not very friendly and the off-campus living situation is a nightmare at best. The six college system is absolutely terrible and really divides students. If I could re-choose the school I went to, I would NOT have chosen UCSD. Don't be blinded by the school's reputation, it's not that fantastic and isn't a nice place to be if you are a student!
UCSD is a place that you can really get lost in, even with the different colleges (5 when I went there). But bigness comes with the advantage of many options. Do not be afraid to seek out what truly interests you and pursue them.
As with any college choice, decide what type of career you are most interested and suited for. In particular, get real work experience (paid or not) in the field you are considering. There are programs at UCSD to help in this - take advantage of them. This is an excellent school for those students truly engaged in their area of study, but you must be motivated to use the resources available.
UCSD was a great learning experience. While it tends to be very academic and research oriented, there are many opportunities to expand outside your boundaries. I found the Study Abroad program to be especially good at helping me to excel and gave many priceless memories.
The university is a research university meaning most professors teach for a second job. Their main focus at the univerisity is to research and thus many of the teachers do not focus on their quality of teaching. The university is not very social friendly. We have an acronym here that UCSD stands for UC social deprivation. However, if you like a quiet school without all the excitemetn of sports, this is the right school for you
this college is not a party school. Some people consider UCSD to be second or third in the UC system. And it is a hard school. This is not a slack of school. The SD stands for Socially Dead. I am glad i went here because it looks good. the school was founded in 1960 or so, meaning, the school is continuing to grow each year/decade. It's not like SDSU!
If you are planning on attending UCSD you should famialize yourself with the different colleges there. They all have different requirements for general education (classes everyone needs to take regardless of major). If you are not a science buff try Roosevelt or John Muir since they require no science at all if you take math. If you want to be in a science field try Revelle as some of your gen ed classes will count towards your major and mean you overlap a few classes and help you graduate in four years.