UCLA Class of 2027 Official Thread

I am not sure it’s mandatory— but you are meeting with advisors and registering for classes. It’s a time to get acclimated and learn about the school and traditions. He had a great time and probably didn’t get a lot of sleep!

Importantly, they register for classes the last day of this orientation. My son was worried because he was one of the last orientation groups. He was working over the summer and also was taking CC classes so he had to wait until CC classes were done. He was worried that not registering for the earlier orientations would disadvantage him for class signups. But I think they hold back slots for every orientation signup. He was able to get every class/time he registered for. I think they also get their student ID card during this time.

We are CA residents, but for those that are OOS, there are orientation days just prior to the student starting and the student can then just stick around before the dorms open, so you don’t have to travel back and forth. And again, I don’t think those kids will be shut out of classes when it’s time to register.

My son is in Engineering and it seemed like the group he was paired with were mostly STEM kids. So he was able to meet a lot of kids which I think was nice. His roommate for the 3 days was also an engineering student.

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They definitely hold slots in popular first year classes so that those in later orientation sessions are given equal opportunity. But do make sure to sign up for an orientation session once that is available (in May or June the signups start I think). The slots fill up quickly but it doesn’t matter which one you sign up for. I also recommend new students look into the freshman Cluster program. It can be a good way to take care of GE classes that are not related to your major. And they are smaller and more personalized than many first year lecture classes. Our son took the one on Evolution and it knocked out all of his science GEs (plus the final writing one).



Yes- that is great advice! With all his CC classes, he couldn’t do that. He had a Final exam last night (quarter classes ended this past Friday and a Final exam Saturday night). He is very intent in trying to have each quarter with 3 classes. This summer he is doing “C-Sesh” to knock out a GE and also an online A session to do another class.

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Summer sessions can be great for knocking out requirements that are hard to get otherwise. Our son did that last summer and might again this year since he couldn’t get some pre-requisites he really needs in order to declare his major. One nice thing for families who are OOS is that there is no OOS extra tuition for summer session.

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My daughter was accepted for Psychology. 3.99 UW 36 ACT. Sectional figure skater, Jr board president of her figure skating club, figure skating judge, figure skating coach, principal harpist 3 years in youth philharmonic, published author, has 2 articles published.

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My D was accepted to both UCLA and Cal Poly, and putting aside the prestige factor and considering the importance of community and prioritizing her social/emotional well being, I am encouraging my daughter to accept Cal Poly over UCLA (though ultimately she will make the choice) from what I have read and heard from parents whose kids go to both, Cal Poly is a very collaborative environment, while UCLA is more competitive. Graduates from both tend to be in demand, so unless your kid works best under pressure and thrives on competition, your kid is would likely be better off at Cal Poly.


Without commenting on the specifics of these schools, I confess I’ve never understood what this means. In every top school, there is always competition - for everything. From scholarships to internships to research opportunities. And if it’s an impacted major, also competition for classes. In every school, kids will have to work in groups for projects and outside of classes in clubs and other activities. May be people are more perceptive and sensitive than I am but personally I find this a questionable way to differentiate between the schools.


I have several friends whose children attend both schools (5 at CP and 4 at UCLA) and have asked students (random kids, not the tour guides) whom we encountered when visiting both campus’s who have described the overall vibe of the schools and attitudes of their classmates as such. In a nutshell the consensus is that the students at Cal Poly are more about “we” whereas kids are at UCLA are more about “I”.


My daughter is trying to decide between the same schools!

I think she will end up at Cal Poly, she likes that it’s a little smaller.

There’s definitely pro’s and con’s to both.


My engineering son would concur. He has never said anything about competitiveness.

Son Accepted
Major-Business Economics

Unweighted GPA: 3.851
UC Capped Weighted GPA: 4.227
UC Fully Weighted GPA:4.409
ELC (top 9% CA HS): Yes

Number of UC Approved Honors courses: 8
Number of AP courses/exams : 6

Extracurriculars:JV captain/Varsity Basketball, couple clubs

Volunteer/Community service: tutoring

Summer Activities: 3 CC classes

Personal Insight essays (details): Pretty good. Story of leadership as captain of JV team and story about passion for chess.


State/location of HS (if domestic applicant): CA, San Fernando Valley

First Generation? NO


Strengths: Good academic

Weaknesses: Not many extracurriculars

Where else were you accepted/waitlisted/denied: Accepted UCSD, UCD, UCSC, UCR
Denied UCI. Waiting UCB, UCSB


Can give you one example that I have heard of: If you miss a class, classmates do not help you out. Sharing notes taken in class etc. That is a “we are all in this together” mindset. Versus, not sharing, being self centered in the fear that if I share the other person may outperform me…

Collaboration is not just about working on projects together. When there is a super competitive environment, humans tend to get self centered, that’s just the way we are wired. Survival of the fittest mindset.


In my view, one of the more “competitive” elements at UCLA is getting into clubs. There is an application process to most of them, and certain types of clubs especially (business related, for example) are just very hard to get into. I imagine it’s similar at other UCs. It’s also just an absolute challenging race to get the classes you need. But again, I don’t know how unique that is to UCLA. Feels like a large CA school kind of an issue.

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I have another kid at USC. She is not a business major but has many friends in Marshall who say it’s very competitive for certain clubs. I think for clubs- it’s widespread. My son went to an engineering club at UCLA- they were very welcoming.


That is the reason people will not help each other. In the longer run, this becomes the culture of a place.

I was referring to the collaboration aspect. Collaboration is not just working on academic projects where all parties have vested interests.

I was going to say the same thing. I think business clubs are notoriously selective. It seems to be a problem at many schools.

This long thread discusses it: Competitive Clubs in Colleges


I think this may depend on your major. As an engineering major, every single class I have taken thus far at UCLA has been extremely collaborative in this way (we use a communication platform called Discord amongst the students in a class). Generally, many students will be willing to help if you reach out on the class Discord, and sometimes students will even be kind enough to post their lecture summaries/notes for the general understanding of the class.

I can’t speak to the humanities, business, or pre-med tracks, but all of the hardcore math/science/engineering courses have been very much an “us against the material” vibe, despite the fact that most of these classes are so difficult that they are curved (think 60% medians on tests).

Another part of the UCLA culture is that no matter how hard students work and how late into the morning they stay up, they always put a smile on their faces the next day. Sometimes, the laid back culture can mislead people about the difficulty of certain UCLA classes.


Does UCLA offer a summer transition residential program for engineer admits?

I work in high tech and from my perspective, there are two different unconnected things happening. Universities, especially public ones, independently create their own major offerings that are sometimes not aligned or are slow to respond to industry and job market trends and demands. Add to that, CS instructors are in short supply. As a result, CS programs cannot expand fast enough, so the number of U.S. CS grads remain constrained and have not yet caught up with the current demand. Visas are needed to fill the gap.

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There is a program called College Summer Institute (CSI), but it’s not specific for engineers. It allows incoming freshmen to take first-year level classes and get a residential college experience.

For engineers in particular, it usually isn’t the most useful, because STEM offerings are limited to pre-med chem (which doesn’t count for engineering degrees) and single and multivar calculus (which most incoming engineers have placed out of). I believe general biology is also offered, but that only counts towards the bioengineering degree.

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