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UCLA vs UCSD engineering

toxic_wastetoxic_waste Registered User Posts: 500 Member
Hey, I discovered these forums a few weeks ago and have been reading around a bunch, but I'm still stuck on choosing a college. So here's my situation:

I have been accepted into UCSD at Warren college as a mechanical engineering major, and I have received the informal acceptance from UCLA. Both schools have highly (and nearly identically) ranked and selective engineering schools, so picking the "better" program goes nowhere. I have been advised to visit both campuses, and I have visited UCSD, but my spring break is already tied up and I'm not about to jeopardize my AP scores by missing class to visit UCLA. So I'd like some info about how LA compares to SD in terms of the campus, general atmosphere, and how the engineering programs differ. Or any other reasons why I should pick one over the other other than prestige. Thanks.
Post edited by toxic_waste on

Replies to: UCLA vs UCSD engineering

  • ucsd_ucla_daducsd_ucla_dad Registered User Posts: 8,573 Senior Member

    I have a daughter at the engineering school (CS) at each Uni. So far they seem pretty comparable. They're both quite rigorous.

    I think you really need to make a trip to UCLA somehow so you can get a better feel for it as well as the area surrounding it.
  • DeucesDeuces Registered User Posts: 1,501 Senior Member
    Both are great programs, like yourself I had the decision between the two schools last year. However, my major is bioengineering/biomedical eng. UCSD had the higher ranked program, but i chose UCLA in the end. Why did I choose UCLA? I felt it was much more like home to me and that I could connect more with other people. There's amazing sports and there will always be people you can go out with to cheer on the Bruins if that's your thing. I also feel like I have more opportunities to go out here at UCLA (where Westwood is a short 10 minute walk away). I chose the way the dormitory system is set up (High rise buildings) over UCSD's suite system which is much further spread out. I also think that UCLA's campus is the most beautiful, although it may never beat the ocean view at UCSD. It's really up to the experience you want in your four years. Good luck!
  • swamyismyguruswamyismyguru Registered User Posts: 151 Junior Member
    i would definitely go with ucla engineering. its more prestigious than ucsd. but then again, ucsd engineering is also quite strong. it depends what your personal preference is.
    ucla= westwood, great sports, santa monica, hollywood, one hour from mountains, 10-15 minutes from santa monica beach, HUGE school,great social life
    ucsd= la jolla, much quieter and more mellow, beach is closer than ucla, beaches are nicer- rated by sports illustrated as #1 place to surf, sports are not very big, not as social as ucla
  • flopsyflopsy Registered User Posts: 8,368 Senior Member
    I have visited both UCLA and UCSD. I can say, hands down, that UCLA has a better campus and surrounding community. I didn't stay long enough at UCSD to compare the student populations, though, and I only looked around the Computer Science building. What I could discern, though, was that UCLA had more happening on-campus and an overall more comfortable atmosphere. :rolleyes:
  • PeppersPeppers Registered User Posts: 1,772 Senior Member
    I trust flopsy on UCLA, but I would like to say that the Jacob's School of Engineering is reaaaally pretty, a lot prettier, I would say, than the UCLA buildings. The surrounding environment in La Jolla is, at least, comparable to Beverly Hills and Santa Monica for UCLA, and it IS next to the beach.
  • BoelterHallBoelterHall Registered User Posts: 2,929 Senior Member
    Santa Monica and Westwood for UCLA gets tiring after a month. Same places to see, same places to eat.

    Analogous for UCSD, the beach is a pretty boring place after a while.
  • mikemacmikemac Registered User Posts: 9,580 Senior Member
    there was a recent thread about UCSD, including comments by UCLAri. See http://talk.collegeconfidential.com/showthread.php?t=314737
  • bruinboybruinboy Registered User Posts: 1,448 Senior Member
    id say it depends on your personality. if you like a quiet campus go to SD. if you like a louder, more exciting campus then go to LA.
  • zero786zero786 Registered User Posts: 266 Junior Member
    Man I am in the SAME exact situation as you except I am in for electrical engineering. I got into Warren at UCSD and received the letter from UCLA. They are my top two choices... I am just not sure which one I want to go to!!! AHHH!!! It's killing me!!! I am finding this decision to be incredibly difficult for me, but I think it is partly because I don't know enough about each school. I need to do my research and balance out everything to see what is really important to me. I think once I take the step of laying down all the cons and pros of both schools, my decision will be simplified. This forum and all of you guys are a great help for letting me know the facts. Thanks everyone =].

    I feel like the quality of the education that I am going to get will be very similar at both schools, while my college experience is going to be VERY different. I think campus life, classes, students, etc will be very different. I need to find out what experience will suit me. I need to see which school I can see myself at for the next four years... AHHH!!
  • csquarecsquare Registered User Posts: 474 Member
    Hah, Warren bioengineering major and UCLA likely letter here. My situation is a lot like the one Deuces faced, actually. I'm still waiting to hear back from a few more schools, but I know that if the decision comes down to UCLA vs. UCSD, I'll pick UCLA for sure. UCSD's bioengineering program is extremely well-known (#3ish in US News), but after visiting UCSD twice and UCLA once, I definitely have to say that I found the UCSD campus kind of boring. UCLA has much more of a city-culture feel, while UCSD seemed more laid-back and beachy.
  • SQLSQL Registered User Posts: 239 Junior Member
    Santa Monica and Westwood for UCLA gets tiring after a month. Same places to see, same places to eat.

    Analogous for UCSD, the beach is a pretty boring place after a while.

    So I guess that leaves Telegraph/Durant for college-town entertainment?

    Personally I'd choose UCSD over UCLA, as HSSEAS is kind of bland and LA is too hot.
  • moldaumoldau Registered User Posts: 1,375 Senior Member
    UCSD also has an amazing civil program. Theyre probably one of the best places to go if youre interested in marine structural engineering. Currently lots of projects from LA port.
  • PeppersPeppers Registered User Posts: 1,772 Senior Member
    Oh yeah, cross the 5 and head over to the Scripps Aquarium for fun if you're bored.
  • BoelterHallBoelterHall Registered User Posts: 2,929 Senior Member
    I definitely have to say that I found the UCSD campus kind of boring. UCLA has much more of a city-culture feel, while UCSD seemed more laid-back and beachy.

    After a month, the hot spots for UCSD students are:
    - the local mall (quite closeby)
    - Beach
    - TJ

    For UCLA students:
    - Westwood
    - Hollywood
    - Beach
    - Chinatown
    - MPK
    - Other areas ..
  • cbf88cbf88 Registered User Posts: 479 Member
    BoelterHall, for UCSD you forgot the library. I think that's the most popular place of all.
This discussion has been closed.