Parents & Family FAQs

Parents & Family FAQs

Answers to commonly asked questions from parents & family

When is Orientation?  What’s happening during Orientation?

Fall Orientation happens in late August. Spring Orientation is typically the Friday before school starts in January. Each Orientation has special programming for parents and families--we encourage you to attend. Visit the Orientation website for more information. 

Describe the Registration Process. When do classes start?

New students begin by creating an Oxy account and will first register for the required CSP course over the summer. If students would like to take French, German, Spanish, Math or Chemistry while at Oxy, a placement exam is required. Students must take the online placement exam during the summer prior to their first semester at Oxy. If students would like to take one of these courses in the Fall, they may pre-register by taking the placement exam and contacting the Advising Center over the summer. Students may make an appointment either by phone or online. During Orientation, students will meet with their academic advisor and register for all other courses.  The college reserves seats for new students in many classes that are eligible to first-year students. Students may continue to add and drop courses through the first week of classes.

Does my new Oxy student have a checklist of things they need to accomplish in preparation for their arrival on campus?

Yes, the new student mailer and new student website will provide a list of to-do's for your student. Information for incoming students will be available in late May.

Do you recommend any local lodging options for visiting parents and family members?

View a list of local hotels. 

Can my student bring a car to campus? If my student does not have a car, is there public transportation available?

Students can park for free on campus, but must register their vehicle with Campus Safety. For more information visit the Campus Safety parking page.

For students who do not bring a car, there are many transportation options on and near campus. Visit the Getting Around Town page to learn more. 

Does the college close at a certain time?

The college is always open, but not all entrances or offices are open. Please call (323) 259-2500 or call Campus Safety (323) 259-2599 after hours or on holidays.

Where can I learn about meal plan options, locations for food on campus and my student’s special dietary needs?

Campus Dining offers a variety of meal plan options, locations to grab a snack or enjoy a full meal. Options to accommodate special dietary consideration are available at every meal. To learn more, visit the Campus Dining website.

May I direct my philanthropy in support of my student’s experience?

We are grateful to have the support of many alumni, parents, friends and foundations. A gift to the Oxy Annual Fund joins their support to enhance your child's unique liberal arts education. The Oxy Annual Fund provides unrestricted support for the current year's most needed priorities on campus. These include career services, athletics, international programs, research opportunities and faculty hires. Visit the Giving website to learn more.

Where can I find information about campus events? The  academic calendar?

Campus events are listed on the college calendar. The current Academic Calendar and upcoming year academic calendar are available under the Academics tab. 

Oxy's social media accounts are another great place to keep up with the latest Oxy happenings.

Do the college residence halls have a curfew?

The residence halls are open to student residents of that hall 24 hours a day.

My student is having trouble making friends. What can be done? 

There are countless opportunities for students to make new friends, join clubs and participate other extracurricular activities. The Office of Student Life can offer ideas on how to get socially connected at Oxy. Encourage your student to contact them at (323) 259-2918 or stop by the office which is located in the Johnson Student Center.

How may I see my student’s grades?

The Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) protects the privacy of your student’s record. Once your student grants you access via their FERPA waiver, which can be found online in your student’s gateway ( You may contact the Registrar’s Office at (323) 259-2686 for additional assistance.

What accommodations do you offer for students with different learning styles and disabilities?

Information about requesting accommodations is available on the Disability Services website and by contacting the Disability Services Coordinator, Luci Masredjian at or (323)259-2669. 

I haven't been able to reach my student and I am concerned. Can someone check on them?

For assistance, please call the Dean of Students Office at (323) 259-2661 or Residential Education at (323) 259-2531.  After hours, you may contact the Campus Safety Department at (323) 259-2599.

My student is struggling academically. What help is available?

Please encourage your student to connect with their Academic Advisor or the Advising Center if they don't have an advisor assigned yet.  If your student needs additional support or resources, encourage them to contact the Dean of Students Office at (323) 259-2661.

My student is struggling emotionally.  What help is available?

Emmons Wellness Center provides psychological support. Emmons provides a list of local facilities for mental health emergencies on their website. 

The Dean of Students Office at (323) 259-2661 is also available to offer support to students struggling with a variety of issues. If your student should seek emergency care, the Campus Safety Department should be contacted at (323) 259-2599.   

My student is having roommate issues. What can I do?

Encourage your student to speak with their Resident Advisor (RA) as a first step. If additional assistance is needed, Residential Education and Housing Services can be reached at (323) 259-2531.

My student is going through your conduct process. Who can I talk to about my student’s issue? 

The Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) protects the privacy of your student’s record. In order to speak with someone, your student must grant you access via their FERPA waiver, which can be found online in your student's gateway ( Once your student completes their FERPA waiver, you may call the Office of Student Conduct at (323) 259-4063.

Can I deliver a cake to my student’s room on their birthday? 

Deliveries cannot be made to a student’s room for security reasons. However, we know how important it is to wish your student well on their special day.  Our Campus Dining department can suggest a local bakery you may use to order a cake or cupcakes for pick up in the Marketplace. Contact Campus Dining at (323) 259-2629 for assistance. You may also check with your cake vendor to see if they are able to deliver to your student’s campus post office box via the Oxy Mailroom.  

What are my student’s study abroad options?

Complete details about International Programs Office (IPO) advising services, eligibility, timing, programs and finances are at the IPO webpage.  Your student may participate in a semester, summer or faculty-led study abroad for credit as long as it is approved by IPO. We also offer innovative learning opportunities such as internship, research and academic projects abroad. For more information, have your student contact the International Programs staff at or 323-259-2533.

Where can I find information about Commencement?

Please visit the Commencement website to learn the latest information. You may also call the President’s Office at (323) 259-2691.

How many students are employed when they graduate?

The Hameetman Career Center conducts an alumni career survey of graduates each summer and have found that 85 percent of alumni find employment or enroll in graduate school within six months of graduation, and less than eight percent of alumni are unemployed beyond those six months.  As trusted experts and counselors, our staff serves more than 1,000 students annually to support each student to take on life after Oxy and begin their career path. Each year, students come to Oxy full of ideas and energy, but are unsure where to begin. We help them explore their options through individual career counseling, professional development programs, and internships. Are you interested in providing internships, offering career mentorship or hiring Oxy students or alumni at your organization?  The Career Center would love to hear from you. Please contact the office at or (323) 259-2623.

What services are offered to Oxy students to support them in their job search?

The mission of the Hameetman Career Center at Oxy is to employ students to become active agents in their careers and leaders in their field.  The core of our service is to provide individual career counseling to students at any time during their four years at Oxy by discussing career and major discernment, job search strategies, application and interview preparation, etc.  In addition to this individual support, the Career Center offers over 200 programs each year, including donor-funded internships, job shadowing, workshops, and networking and recruitment events with employers seeking to hire Oxy students for jobs and internships.

Where do Oxy grads work?

Oxy grads work across all sectors - business, law, entertainment, medicine, art, tech, policy, government, and more.  We have alumni at major corporations including Google and Nestle, as well as organizations like NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory or the Los Angeles Unified School District.  Oxy sends many alumni into social justice and service careers, with many graduates getting their start with Americorps, City Year, Teach For America, as CORO Fellows or with the Peace Corps (over 220 alumni have served in the Peace Corps since its founding), as well as grassroots organizations such as The Fund for the Public Interest, USPIRG, and Environment CA (note that President Obama worked for the USPIRG organization in Chicago as a young graduate).  Beyond Google, we have alumni working in the tech and startup arena at companies including NationBuilder, Liftoff, Amazon, Yelp, Dropbox and Laserfiche.  Our alumni in the medical field range from doctors who own their practice to leading infectious disease and cardiology professionals at Huntington Hospital and Kaiser.  Our graduates work for large and small investment management firms including Goldman Sachs and Payden & Rygel, as well as economic consulting firms such as Litinomics and Resolution Economics. We also have a strong history of graduates in the arts, Tony Award winning and nominated producers and set designers, noted actors, and musicians, producers and industry executives.

How many Oxy graduates attend graduate school?

70-75 percent of Oxy alumni receive a graduate degree following their time at Oxy, although not always immediately.  We see many alumni pursue a Masters or PhD either a few years after graduating from Oxy, up to 10 or 15 years later.  Overall, the Oxy average is 20-25 percent higher than the national average for graduate school enrollment.  In 2015, Oxy ranked 26th among all American colleges and universities in the rate at which we produce Economics PhDs (PhDs per graduate).  We are in good company with Dartmouth, William and Mary, Williams, Chicago, Swarthmore, Harvard and MIT.

Where do Oxy alumni attend graduate school?

Graduates schools place a high value on a liberal arts education and Oxy's academic strength prepares students to succeed at top programs around the country.  We currently have Oxy alumni enrolled at schools including:

  • Columbia University
  • Duke University
  • Georgetown University
  • Harvard University
  • Johns Hopkins University
  • Lewis and Clark
  • Loyola Marymount University
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • New York University
  • Queen's University Belfast
  • Stanford Graduate School of Business
  • Stanford Law School
  • Stanford University
  • Syracuse University
  • Rhode Island School of Design
  • University of Chicago
  • University of California, Berkeley
  • University of California, Los Angeles
  • University of Southern California
  • University of Washington
  • Yale University

Contact Us

Office of Parent Engagement
Phone: 323.259.2601