In 1869, the land-grant University of California enrolled its first 38 students, taught by 10 instructors. Fast-forward to the twenty-first century. Today, the public four-year University of California system maintains ten campuses, educating more than 220,000 students. Added resources at the University of California include three U.S. Department of Energy laboratories, five clinical medical sites, museums, performing arts venues, libraries, and facilities for scientific research. The University of California retains a mission focused on “teaching, researching, and public service,” through “educating students at all levels,” and hosting “a unique environment” that is designed “to expand fundamental knowledge of human nature, society, and the natural world.”
All campuses at the University of California are regionally accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges. In addition, a large number of individual programs retain programmatic accreditation.
For non-traditional students, the University of California partners with the California Virtual Campus to offer distance education degrees and coursework.
- UC Berkeley Extension supports 11 online certificates ranging from studies in accounting and marketing to the Paralegal Studies Certificate, in addition to 158 online courses.
- UC Davis Extension awards 13 online certificates and over 78 courses. Certificates include studies in autism, health information, and others.
- UC California Extension, Riverside focuses on 10 certificate programs extending from nursing and counseling programs to a Turfgrass Management certificate, in addition to nearly 100 online courses.
- UC California Irvine offers 36 online certificates and more than 50 online courses, while UC California Irvine Extension features 28 online certificate options and 250-plus online courses. Certificates include health, business, and marketing-related fields, among others.
- University of California, Los Angeles Extension offers a Master of Science Online Degree, in addition to more than 300 online courses.
- UC San Diego Extension provides over 300 online courses and 21 online certificate programs, some of which include Data Mining, Biostatistics, and Systems Engineering.
- UC Santa Cruz Extension supports the Online Teaching certificate in addition to hosting nearly 100 online courses.
Furthermore, hundreds of traditional on-campus degrees in over 150 undergraduate academic disciplines and more than 600 graduate degree programs are housed throughout the ten campuses.
- UC Berkeley supports over 100 undergraduate programs in the sciences, humanities, arts, social sciences, and natural resources housed in 14 colleges and schools. Graduate programs continue to rank among the nation’s highest, and Berkeley students lead as recipients of Graduate Research Fellowships. One of the earliest established schools, the campus features an extensive library network, 700-plus student clubs and organizations, in addition to 27 athletic teams. Berkeley enrolls about 36,000 students and maintains a 17:1 student-to-faculty ratio.
- UC Davis features 99 different majors focusing on 16 disciplines, including studies in the sciences, humanities, arts, social sciences, and natural resources. Programs are housed in four colleges, six professional schools, the School of Education, and the Graduate School of Management. The campus promotes an extensive internship program, with over 5,000 annual participants, and maintains Shields Library, an Arboretum, Bodega Marine Laboratory, Genome Center, the Food and Wine Science center, an experimental farm, along with added research facilities. Over 32,000 students are enrolled with a 17:1 student-to-faculty ratio. The campus hosts more than 500 student organizations, and 23 intercollegiate athletic teams competing in NCAA Division I sports.
- UC Irvine, located on 1,500 acres, provides educational opportunities for its more than 27,000 students extending across the United States, and from about 100 different countries. Students can opt for one of over 80 undergraduate degrees housed in twelve schools, and UC Irvine retains a 19:1 student-to-faculty ratio. Professional schools target studies, including medicine, law, business, education, and the arts. Students entering UC Irvine are encouraged to complete the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program that provides real-world experiences. The campus hosts 600-plus student organizations and 18 intercollegiate NCAA Division I sports.
- UCLA in Los Angeles awards degrees in over 125 undergraduate majors organized in four schools, including the most popular College of Letters and Science, focusing on majors in social sciences, life sciences, physical sciences, and humanities. Added resources include research programs and the Honors Collegium offering over 75 collegium courses annually. Student organizations engage students via publications, events, and a student-operated radio station, along with the well-noted NCAA athletic teams. Approximately 40,000 students attend UCLA and the student-to-faculty ratio is 16:1.
- UC Merced retains undergraduate and graduate programs in the School of Social Sciences, Humanities and Arts, the School of Natural Sciences, and the School of Engineering. Furthermore, UC Merced partners with nearby agencies, including Yosemite National Park, the Sierra Nevada Research Institute, and others to provide laboratory experiences for its students. The student-to-faculty ratio is 21:1. The approximate 5,700 students attending Merced have the opportunity to participate in a range of extracurricular and outdoor activities, both on-campus and in neighboring communities.
- UC Riverside enrolls about 21,000 students and supports more than 90 majors and about 60 minor programs of study, maintained through the College of Engineering, College of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences, College of Natural and Agricultural Sciences and the School of Business Administration. The University Library provides valuable resources for its students, with more than three million volumes and thousands of print and electronic databases. The school competes in NCAA Division I athletics, and engages students through clubs, organizations, and Greek life. The student-to-faculty ratio is 19:1.
- UC San Diego is located by the Pacific Ocean, and supports approximately 130 majors, housed in six colleges. Research remains a primary focus of the campus, and faculty members retain a number of honors, such as the Pulitzer Prize, Fields Medal, Guggenheim fellowships, and much more. Extracurricular activities give students the chance to engage in more than 550 student clubs and organizations, compete on one of the 23 intercollegiate sports programs, participate on recreational teams, or enjoy nearby beach, mountain, and desert activities. The student-to-faculty ratio is 19:1 and San Diego enrolls about 28,000 students.
- UC Santa Barbara provides its approximate 22,000 students the opportunities to opt from 80-plus majors in the College of Letters and Sciences, or pursue a degree program housed in the College of Creative Studies or College of Engineering. More than 1,000 faculty are employed on-campus, including Nobel Prize and National Medal of Science winners. The student-to-faculty ratio is 17:1. Extracurricular activities include over 400 clubs and organizations, and intercollegiate sports teams, some of which include basketball, cross country, and swimming and diving. The scenic campus is popular for its use of bicycles.
- UC Santa Cruz features ten academic colleges supporting an extensive range of fields of study that target “writing-intensive core courses” aided by student advising resources. The human biology major and computer science programs are popular degree choices for students, in addition to physics degree programs. Faculty are noted for their leading research to combat AIDS, Alzheimer’s and other debilitating diseases and the student-to-faculty ratio is 18:1. USCS sponsors intramural sports, in addition to 12 NCAA intercollegiate athletic teams. Students can also participate in over 150 on-campus clubs and organizations. Students have access to a number of nearby recreational facilities, including the Pacific Ocean, redwood forests, and Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. About 17,000 students are enrolled at the Santa Cruz campus.
- UC San Francisco maintains main campuses in Parnassus, Mission Bay, and Mount Zion, California that focus on graduate health sciences degrees and research. Faculty feature Nobel Prize winners, along with recipients of Albert Lasker Awards, Shaw Prize in Life Sciences and Medicine, and National Medal of Science awards. Students can pursue graduate degrees through UCSF’s four schools of Dentistry, Medicine, Nursing, and Pharmacy, and UCSF supports medical centers, including the UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital. More than 3,000 graduate students attend UC San Francisco.
Prospective undergraduate applicants should complete the online application, in addition to submitting a personal statement, official transcripts, ACT / SAT scores, and the $70 per campus application fee. Students can also submit Advanced Placement and SAT Subject Test scores during the application processes. Added criteria may be needed, and international students may need to submit English proficiency exam scores.
Tuition is based on state residency. Undergraduate tuition and fees for full-time California resident students is $13,200 per year while full-time undergraduate non-resident students pay $36,078. Furthermore, students may qualify for a number of financial aid programs, including grants, scholarships, employment programs, and loans. Specific programs include:
- Federal Pell Grant
- CAL Grant
- UC Grants
- Regents Scholarships awarded on need and merit
- Alumni Scholarships
- Restricted Scholarships based on specified criteria
- Federal Work-Study
Students can also apply for federal tax credits and tax-advantaged savings plans. In addition, the University of California retains partners with the California Veterans Education Opportunity Partnership, along with the state of California, Veterans Affairs, and other institutions to support educational benefits for qualifying veterans and military personnel, including the G.I. Bill and tuition and fee exemptions.
Sector Of Institution:Public, 4-year or above
Highest Level Of Offering:Doctorate degree
Adult Age Enrollments:Campus Specific, ranging from 546 - 13,680
Percent Admitted:Campus Specific, ranging from 22% - 80%
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