California University Transfers

Guide to University of California (UC) Schools

September 20, 2018

Would you like to attend a University of California school? Each is unique, but they all have one thing in common: they are part of the University of California system, which includes some of the best universities in the world. Which one is right for you? Perhaps you are choosing your college based on location; perhaps your decision is based on rankings . . . or maybe one university has the specific program you want to study for your career. The options the UC system offers are endless.

Guide to University of California Schools

The University of California (UC) system consists of the following 10 schools:

  • UC Berkeley
  • UC Davis
  • UC Irvine
  • UC Los Angeles
  • UC Merced
  • UC Riverside
  • UC San Diego
  • UC San Francisco*
  • UC Santa Barbara
  • UC Santa Cruz

*UCSF offers graduate programs only

UC Berkeley

UC Berkeley is located in Berkeley, which is a unique town in the San Francisco Bay Area of Northern California. It is often ranked one of the best universities in the world and is known for many of its majors including Social Sciences, Engineering, Biomedical Sciences, and Computer and Information Sciences.

Here are some facts and figures about the university:

Year founded: 1868

Approximate student population: 41,910: 30,574 undergraduates, 11,336 postgraduates **

Number of degrees and programs: 106 undergraduate degrees, 88 graduate (master’s) degrees, 97 research-focused doctoral programs and 31 professionally focused graduate degrees

On-campus housing? Yes

Mascot: Golden bears

Campus highlights: Location in Berkeley (close to San Francisco), South Hall (Berkeley’s oldest building, which is built in a Victorian style), a creek running through the campus, several museums.

**Fall 2017

UC Davis

UC Davis is located in Davis, which is a small and beautiful college town located about 20 miles from Sacramento in Northern California. It has one of the best veterinary programs and engineering programs in the world and is consistently ranked one of the best public universities in the world.  

Here are some facts and figures about the university:

Year founded: 1909

Approximate student population: 36,441: 29, 546 undergraduates, 6,895 postgraduates***

Number of degrees and programs: 104 undergraduate majors and 96 graduate programs

On-campus housing? Yes

Mascot: Aggies

Campus highlights: 100-acre arboretum, several museums, location in a safe and beautiful town, 20 minutes from Sacramento and close to San Francisco.

***Fall 2016

UC Irvine

UC Irvine is located in Irvine, which is a city outside of Los Angeles in Southern California. Irvine is conveniently located next to exciting Los Angeles, so there is always something to do or see, and it is consistently ranked one of the safest cities in California.

Here are some facts and figures about the university:

Year founded: 1965

Approximate student population: 32,443: 26,535 undergraduates, 5,907 postgraduates****

Number of degrees and programs: 80 undergraduate degrees and 98 graduate and professional degrees

On-campus housing? Yes

Mascot: Anteaters

Campus highlights: Beautiful tree-lined walkways and parks, five libraries, lots of wildlife on campus.

****2017

UC Los Angeles

UCLA is located in Los Angeles and is probably one of the most well-known UC schools. It is also one of the highest ranked and one of the largest in regard to student size. UCLA is known for its academics and its sports: UCLA student-athletes, coaches, and staff have won 251 Olympic medals (126 gold, 65 silver, and 60 bronze). In fact, UCLA student-athletes have competed in every Olympics except one (in 1924) and have won a gold medal in every Olympics since 1932. UCLA has the 7th highest population of international students and is one of the top producers of Google and Silicon Valley company employees.

Here are some facts and figures about the university:

Year founded: 1919

Approximate student population: 44,947: 30,873 undergraduate, 12,675 postgraduate*****

Number of degrees and programs: 337 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in a wide range of disciplines

On-campus housing? Yes

Mascot: Bruins

Campus highlights: Beautiful and expansive campus in Los Angeles with impressive brick buildings and classic collegiate architecture and incredible athletics facilities. UCLA has been used as a setting for many films.

*****2016

UC Merced

UC Merced is located in Merced, which is a small agricultural city in Central California. UCM is the newest addition to the UC system and continues to grow and add programs each year. Its specializations include Biomedical and Biological Sciences, Engineering, Psychology, Social Sciences, and Business.

Here are some facts and figures about the university:

Year founded: 2005

Approximate student population: 7,967: 7,375 undergraduate, 592 graduate******

Number of degrees and programs: 23 majors, 25 minors, 14 graduate programs

On-campus housing? Yes

Mascot: Bobcat

Campus highlights: Beautiful (and new!) campus located on the bank of Yosemite Lake. All buildings and facilities are new, since UC Merced just opened in 2005.

******Fall 2017

UC Riverside

UC Riverside is located in the suburban city of Riverside, which is near Los Angeles in Southern California. It is known for its entomology programs, photography department, citrus-diversity research, and its science fiction department. UC Riverside offers the peace of a suburban area with the opportunity to visit exciting LA.   

Here are some facts and figures about the university:

Year founded: 1954

Approximate student population: 23,287: 20,069 undergraduate, 3,209 graduate*******

Number of degrees and programs: 81 majors and 52 minors, 48 master’s degrees, 42 graduate programs

On-campus housing? Yes

Mascot: Highlanders

Campus highlights: Botanic gardens, expansive campus, unique architecture for its buildings (including the notable Carillon Bell Tower).

*******2017

UC San Diego

UC San Diego is located in La Jolla, which is a prestigious and beautiful city on the coast of the Pacific Ocean in Southern California. The university is consistently ranked one of the best colleges in the U.S. and it is known for its Biological Sciences, Engineering, Business, and Psychology programs.

Here are some facts and figures about the university:

Year founded: 1903

Approximate student population: 32,624: 25,587 undergraduate,8,037 graduate********

Number of degrees and programs: 200 graduate and undergraduate programs

On-campus housing? Yes

Mascot: King Triton

Campus highlights: Beautiful campus in La Jolla, California (located on the cliffs of the Pacific Ocean), large trees, impressive libraries, art throughout the campus.

UC San Francisco

UC San Francisco has locations in San Francisco, Fresno, and throughout the Bay Area. It is a unique school within the UC system because it offers only graduate programs in the health sciences. It is a major center for biological research and teaching and is ranked one of the best biomedical universities.

Here are some facts and figures about the university:

Year founded: 1864

Approximate student population: 4,904*********

Number of degrees and programs: UCSF confers a number of degrees, including Master of Science, Doctor of Philosophy, Doctor of Pharmacy, Doctor of Medicine, Doctor of Dental Surgery, and Doctor of Physical Therapy in a variety of fields.

On-campus housing? Yes

Mascot: Bear

Campus highlights: Impressive research centers at both of its main SF campuses (Parnassus Heights and Mission Bay), new facilities currently being built in Mission Bay.

*********Fall 2014

UC Santa Barbara

UC Santa Barbara is located in the beautiful coastal city of Santa Barbara, which is located in Central California (about 2 hours north of Los Angeles). The campus is located on oceanside cliffs and has stunning views of the Pacific Ocean; the university is consistently ranked one of the best in the world. Its popular majors include Communications, International/Global Studies, Sociology, and Experimental Psychology.

Here are some facts and figures about the university:

Year founded: 1891

Approximate student population: 25,057: 22,186 undergraduate, 1,871 graduate*********

Number of degrees and programs: 87 undergraduate degrees and 55 graduate degrees

On-campus housing? Yes

Mascot: Gauchos

Campus highlights: Pacific Ocean views, access to a lagoon that passes through campus, beach access, beautiful open spaces, clean and modern architecture.

*********Fall 2017

UC Santa Cruz

UC Santa Cruz is located in the fun and unique city of Santa Cruz, which is located in Central California (near Monterey and less than 2 hours south of San Francisco). The campus is located near the ocean but is also close to beautiful redwood trees and plenty of natural parks and forests. In 2012, the Princeton Review ranked UCSC as the #3 Most Beautiful Campus. Its popular majors include Psychology, Cell Biology, Business/Managerial Economics, Environmental Studies, Comparative Literature, and History.

Here are some facts and figures about the university:

Year founded: 1965

Approximate student population: 18,783: 16,962 undergraduate, 1,821 graduate*********

Number of degrees and programs: 63 undergraduate majors and 35 minors, graduate programs in 33 fields

On-campus housing? Yes

Mascot: Banana slug

Campus highlights: Award-winning architecture, a natural environment of redwood forests, scenic ocean views, and open meadows.

*********Fall 2016

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