Sorry – I somehow missed the specific question you put up before. The social life at UCSD is not as barren as some would have you think – it won’t come out and grab you, but if you get involved in a subset on campus, such as a fraternity or a sport, there are lots of parties and lots of things going on. There’s also a really decent gym and weightlifting facility (RIMAC) on campus that’s free for students. I will say that although the average chick at UCSD is NOT a hottie, there are definitely attractive women around (unfortunately, most of them have attitude because of the relative quality of the rest of the choices).
Unfortunately, while the attractiveness situation improves off campus and in bars, the sheer number of military males in San Diego makes it so you almost always have a fuc*ed up ratio of males to females when you go out on the town. I’m not certain how old you are, but Tijuana is fun for awhile, but drinking in a dirty Mexican border town that’s a 35 min. drive from campus can get old pretty quickly.
I’m not sure if you know this, but management science is basically the UCSD degree that mixes econ and financial theory. The econ department is highly regarded, but it is more academic and less practically oriented than a business program. However, if you want to go into finance or management consulting, it’s not a bad degree at all.
As for the chemistry department, I would say it’s generally a very high quality program. The only annoying thing is having to deal with all of the pre-meds in the intro sequences (the annoying thing about UCSD in general is all the pre-meds, who at least on that campus are extremely anal about grades, love to kiss the professors’ asses, and generally know how to memorize but not how to think). I actually dropped biochem as a major because of the o-chem sequence, which they taught to pre-med preferences, meaning all memorization and no figuring things out or derivation.
Overall, I’d give the department probably a 4 our of 5, with the only complaints coming about big intro classes, and the classic complaints about bureaucratic red tape endemic to any large state school. You can get many good degrees, including chem, biochem (chem emphasis), and chemical engineering at UCSD, and my friends in those majors generally didn’t have problems getting jobs after graduation (although in my opinion if you want a good job with advancement opportunities you need at least a masters).
I also know something of UCLA, UCI, and UCSB generally – UCLA probably has the best rep in general, but in my opinion (biased though it may be) UCSD is better in the hard sciences. UCSB is definitely a party school (lots of hot chicks there too), but they have a good bio department and a really good marine bio department – not certain about chem or business. UCI is a step below, but not bad if you want to stay in Orange County. Stay away from SDSU (unless all you want are dumb hot chicks – lots to be said for them, but your degree won’t be worth a lot – actually, undergrad business degrees aren’t worth a whole lot generally, but are normally just kind of a step toward an MBA and a better job).
If you have any other questions or want something clarified I would be happy to assist you.