Everything You Need To Know About The UC Schools

By Eric Eng

By Eric Eng

View of the campus of the University of California, Berkeley.

Everything You Need To Know About The UC Schools

About the UC System

Nine universities in the University of California system provide undergraduate and graduate education (UC San Francisco is only a graduate and professional school). UC Berkeley, UCLA, UC Santa Barbara, UC San Diego, UC Irvine, UC Davis, UC Santa Cruz, UC Riverside, and UC Merced are the nine UC schools that make up the University of California system.

The universities that make up the University of California system are large public research institutions. They are widely regarded as among the best public universities in the United States. More than 280,000 students and more than 227,000 faculty and staff make up the University of California (UC) system.

The vast majority of UC campuses are large, with more than 20,000 undergraduates enrolled. The most recent of the University of California campuses to open was UC Merced in 2005; however, it also has the smallest student body.

It has somewhere in the neighborhood of 8,000 undergraduates. Over 30,000 students are enrolled in UCLA’s undergraduate program, making it the school with the most students overall.

The Regents of the University of California are a 26-person board that was established by the California Constitution and is responsible for the governance of the UCs. All of the University of California’s campuses share several similarities, including similarities in the advantages they provide and similarities in the potential drawbacks they may present.

Because they are all affiliated with the University of California, they are all highly regarded educational institutions that strongly emphasize research. In general, they excel in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) and the humanities and social sciences.

In addition, students at the University of California tend to be diverse and accepting of diversity, even though students of African-American and Latinx descent are underrepresented on most UC campuses.

Why study at the UC schools

There are many reasons why studying at a school in the UC school system can be an excellent choice for students. Here are some of the most compelling reasons:

Academic excellence: The UC schools are known for their academic rigor and excellence, with many programs consistently ranking among the best in the country and world.

Wide range of programs: With ten campuses and a wide range of undergraduate and graduate programs, there is a program to fit almost any interest or career path.

Access to world-class faculty: The UC system boasts many world-renowned faculty members, many of whom are leaders in their fields.

Research opportunities: The UC system is a major research institution with many opportunities for students to engage in cutting-edge research and make significant contributions to their fields.

Diversity: The UC schools are committed to diversity and inclusion, and students from all backgrounds are welcomed and supported.

Professional networking: With a large and active alumni network, students can build critical professional connections to help them in their careers.

Location: The UC schools are throughout California, offering students access to a wide range of cultural and recreational opportunities and some of the world’s most innovative companies and organizations.

What universities are part of the UC system schools?


UCLA has one of the most competitive admissions processes for public universities in the United States and boasts the most culturally diverse student body on the planet. According to the number of degrees awarded, social sciences, biology, psychology, engineering, and mathematics are the most popular areas of study.

View of UCLA signage

As part of the UC system schools, the departmental rankings are incredibly high across the board, particularly in computer science, engineering, film, the fine and performing arts, mathematics, political science, and many more. Disney, Google, EY, Teach for America, Amazon, and Oracle are the companies that ultimately hire the greatest number of recent graduates from Bruin.

2) UC Berkeley

Many of the university’s departments, such as computer science, engineering, chemistry, English, psychology, and economics, have top reputations on an international scale because of the university’s equally prestigious graduate schools.

UC Berkeley campus

Regarding admissions, 96% of applicants were ranked in the top 10% of their high school classes, and their unweighted average grade point average was 3.9. Looking at what happens after students graduate, thousands of former students work for companies like Google, Apple, Facebook, Oracle, Amazon, and Microsoft, which currently employ more than 500 former Golden Bears.

3) UC Irvine

The University of California, Irvine, awards degrees in social sciences, psychology, business, and biology. The Samueli School of Engineering and the Bren School, the only independent computer science school in the University of California system, have earned a strong reputation in their respective fields.

UC Irvine building

In addition to that, very high marks are given to programs in the fields of public health and biological sciences. Boeing, the Walt Disney Company, Google, Ernst & Young, and Microsoft are among the companies that employ the greatest number of recent college graduates.

4) UC San Diego

The percentage of students majoring in biology is the highest among all other fields, followed by the social sciences, engineering, and computer science. UC San Diego’s computer science and engineering programs are extremely highly esteemed in the business and technology sectors.

The university’s biology, economics, and political science courses are widely regarded as being among the best available anywhere.

UC San DIego Health building

As one of the UC schools, alums of the University of California, San Diego, make up a significant portion of the workforce at Google, Qualcomm, Amazon, and Apple, each employing more than 500 people. Across all fields of study, the early career salary median is set at $65,000.

5) UC Santa Barbara

The students who were accepted into universities had an average high school grade point average of 4.25, and 96% had a GPA higher than 3.75. Programs in communication, computer science, engineering, physics, environmental science, and the performing arts are among the most highly regarded at this institution. Google, EY, KPMG, Oracle, Amazon, IBM, and Adobe are some of the most prestigious companies in the world that hire recent college graduates.

6) UC Davis

Biology, the social sciences, psychology, and engineering were the fields of study that conferred many degrees. The highly regarded engineering, computer science, and animal science degree programs at the University of California, Davis, draw many prospective students each year.

UC Davis signage propped to a red brick wall while a school building is at the back

In a recent year, 86% of accepted applicants were proud owners of an unweighted grade point average of 3.75 or higher, indicating that most accepted applicants have nearly perfect academic transcripts. Genentech, Apple, Cisco, Meta, Oracle, Amazon, Microsoft, Salesforce, and LinkedIn are just some of the companies that employ 200 or more former University of California, Davis students.

7) UC Santa Cruz

The social sciences, computer and information sciences, and psychology are the next most popular majors at this university, but biology is the most popular field of study overall. Being one of the UC schools, the computer science program at UC Santa Cruz is widely regarded as among the country’s best.

UC Santa Cruz signage

The proximity to Silicon Valley helps open doors to companies such as Google, Apple, Meta, Genentech, and Cisco, all of which employ more than 250 graduates. There is no mistaking how competitive the admissions process has become at Santa Cruz: 94% of students accepted into the university ranked in the top decile of their graduating high school class.

8) UC Riverside

The University of California, Riverside, is among the most diverse schools in the United States regarding students’ backgrounds and socioeconomic situations. More than eighty academic programs are available to University of California, Riverside students.

These programs are housed in five colleges, including the Bourns College of Engineering, the College of Humanities, Arts, and Sciences, the College of Natural and Agricultural Sciences, the School of Business, and the School of Public Policy.

University of California Riverside

More than 100 of the school’s alums now hold positions at major companies such as Kaiser Permanente, Amazon, Wells Fargo, Apple, Microsoft, Meta, and EY.

9) UC Merced

The ever-increasing interest in attending here as one of the UC schools, which opened its doors in 2005, is demonstrated by the staggering number of people who have applied for a spot in the Class of 2027. Despite already being ranked among the top 100 national universities by U.S. News, UC Merced maintains an exceptionally high acceptance rate for students interested in enrolling at its 815-acre campus.

New programs continue to emerge annually at this rapidly expanding research university, which is still in its formative years. An exceptionally varied and gifted student body is drawn to strong academic programs in engineering, the natural sciences, the social sciences, and the humanities and arts.

As you choose the UC schools you want to enter, it is equally important to learn how to enter those schools. At AdmissionSight, you will be guided as needed in that step. You can get all the right information and guidance from experts at AdmissionSight. Start your journey today with an initial consultation.


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