Occidental College Admissions: Everything You Want to and Need to Know

Overview of Occidental College

Occidental College is a private liberal arts institution that is situated in Los Angeles, CA. The institution has a large selection of undergraduate and graduate degree programs for students to choose from. Students are backed by a robust 9 to 1 student/faculty ratio, and professors take a personalized approach to the teaching and learning process. Outside of the classroom, students will find plenty of opportunities to engage with the campus community via many clubs and organizations. The Occidental Tigers play in the NCAA Division III Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.


  • Total Enrollment: 2,036 (all undergraduates)
  • Gender Breakdown: 42 percent male/58 percent female
  • 99 percent full-time

Cost of Attendance Information

  • Tuition and Fees: $56,576
  • Books: $1,240
  • Room and Board: $16,034
  • Other Expenses: $2,750
  • Total Cost: $76,600

Financial Aid Information

  • Percentage of New Students Receiving Aid: 75 percent
  • Percentage of New Students Receiving Types of Aid
    • Grants: 73 percent
    • Loans: 48 percent
  • Average Amount of Aid
    • Grants: $35,931
    • Loans: $6,875

Academic Programs Offered

  • Most Popular Majors: Economics, General; International Relations and Affairs; Biology/Biological Sciences, General; Environmental Studies; and Biochemistry

Retention and Graduation

  • First-Year Student Retention (full-time students): 90 percent
  • Transfer-Out Rate: 11 percent
  • 4-Year Graduation Rate: 81 percent
  • 6-Year Graduation Rate: 85 percent

NCAA Athletic Programs

  • Men’s Sports: Baseball, Basketball, Cross Country, Football, Golf, Soccer, Swimming and Diving, Tennis, Track and Field, Water Polo
  • Women’s Sports: Basketball, Cross Country, Golf, Lacrosse, Soccer, Softball, Swimming and Diving, Tennis, Track and Field, Volleyball, Water Polo

Overview of Occidental College Admissions

Occidental College has a competitive admissions pool with a low acceptance rate. Students whose SAT/ACT scores and GPA are within the institution’s requirements have a good chance of being admitted. Applicants must complete an online application and send test scores from either the SAT or ACT and high school transcripts. Glowing recommendation letters can bolster your application, along with being involved with student organizations and attempting a challenging course load. Interested students should check out the university’s website, which has helpful tips and contact information for the admissions offices.

Admissions Data

During the 2018-19 admissions phase, Occidental College had an acceptance rate of 37%. For every 100 students who submitted applications, 37 students gained admission, making Occidental’s admissions process competitive.

SAT Requirements and Scores

During the 2018-19 admissions phase, 64% of students provided SAT scores. This admissions data reveals that most of Occidental College’s students score within the top 20% nationally on the SAT. 50% of students admitted to Occidental scored between 640 and 710 on the evidence-based reading and writing part, while 25% scored under 640 and 25% scored over 710. 50% of students scored between 630 and 740 on the math part, while 25% scored under 630, and 25% scored over 740. Applicants with a cumulative SAT score of 1450 or higher will have particularly competitive chances at Occidental College.

ACT Requirements and Scores

During the 2018-19 admissions phase, 46% of students provided ACT scores. This admissions data reveals that most of Occidental College’s students score within the top 11% nationally on the ACT. The median 50% of students admitted to Occidental received a cumulative ACT score between 28 and 32, while 25% scored over 32, and 25% scored under 28.


In 2019, the mean high school GPA of Occidental College’s freshmen class was 3.64, and nearly 75% of the class had a mean GPA of 3.5 and over. This information suggests that successful applicants to Occidental have A and B grades primarily.

Safety Net Schools: Easy to Gain Admission

If past admission data predicts that you would be a competitive candidate for Occidental College, it should be easy to gain admissions to the schools below. If Occidental College is currently out of your reach, then you are sure to be a competitive candidate for the schools below.

University of Connecticut, Rochester Institute of Technology, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Syracuse University, United States Military Academy, Penn State University Park, University of Cincinnati

Same Tier: Just As Hard to Gain Admission

If you’re a competitive candidate for Occidental College, you should have an equal chance of gaining admissions at these schools.

Binghamton University, Lehigh University, University of Florida, University of California, Santa Barbara, University of Texas at Austin, University of Miami, University of Texas at Dallas

Reach Institutions: Gaining Admissions Will be More of a Challenge

These schools are more challenging to gain admission into than Occidental College. If you improve your GPA and SAT/ACT scores, you’ll be a competitive candidate.

Tufts University, Northeastern University, New York University, University of Michigan, Emory University, Boston College, Boston University

Applying to Occidental College

Application Deadline: January 15

Undergraduate Admissions Website:


Undergraduate Application Link(s):


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