What is UCLA Known For?

October 27, 2022
By AdmissionSight

What is UCLA Known For?

Why Is UCLA So Prestigious?

The State Normal School of Los Angeles, which later became the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), was founded in 1882. Its main objective was to prepare instructors. In 1919, it changed its name to the Southern Branch of the University of California, becoming the second college in the UC system. When UCLA’s athletic teams joined the Pacific Coast Conference in 1926, the term “Bruins” was legally adopted by the school. What is UCLA known for? UCLA is a 419-acre campus located in Westwood, a part of urban Los Angeles, five miles from the Pacific Ocean. The College of Letters and Sciences is one of many esteemed graduate schools at UCLA.

UCLA is one of the few “Public Ivies,” or public universities with academic standing and results comparable to those of the prestigious Ivy League institutions. UCLA has a long list of distinguished alumni and faculty.

With unrivaled training, cutting-edge facilities, cutting-edge research, and access to many job prospects through faculty and alumni, UCLA delivers the best education available. By training future leaders in science, industry, and the arts, UCLA aims to serve the State of California.

Signage of UCLA near the entrance of the school.

Now, you might ask “Why is UCLA so prestigious?” UCLA has ties to people who have won the highest accolades in the world, including five Turing Award winners and 27 Nobel Prize winners. Together with UC Berkeley, UCLA is ranked as the 20th best university in the country by U.S. News & World Report.

What is UCLA known for? UCLA performs exceptionally well in specialized lists. According to U.S. News, UCLA is the top public institution in the nation, the fifth-best school for veterans, the tenth-best school for nursing and computer science, and the greatest school overall.

Who Is the Most Famous Person From UCLA?

“Who is the most famous person from UCLA?” might be a common query among college applicants. Part of what is UCLA known for is the campus’ location within Los Angeles, which is a popular destination for celebrities and notable persons to attend due to its convenience. These are a few of the well-known UCLA graduates over the years.

Young woman using a laptop in a desk.

James Franco

James Franco, a well-known actor who starred in the popular film 127 Hours, is regarded as an A-lister. Although he left this college after his first year to pursue his acting career, he ultimately returned and graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles.

Jackie Robinson

Jackie Robinson is a real historical figure. This man established the segregationist sports culture. He was one of the first Black players on the UCLA football team in 1939 and also participated in baseball, track, football, and basketball.

Jackie Robinson assisted in removing racial barriers while supporting the Civil Rights Movement. Jackie ended segregation in professional baseball for the first time on April 15, 1947, but he did not go on to play in the NFL.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, one of UCLA’s most well-known basketball players, played for coach John Wooden. He ended up playing professionally in the NBA. He was an athlete while he was a student at UCLA, but also have been interested in academics.

Kareem competed in three back-to-back NCAA championships before turning into a writer. His writings cover politics, institutionalized racism, and the intersection of race and religion in sports. It all started when he was at UCLA.

Taylor Wang

Although he may not be well-known, he nevertheless made history. Taylor Wang became the first Chinese-American astronaut in 1985 after participating in the Challenger Spacelab 3 mission. Taylor owns numerous U.S. patents in a variety of scientific fields in addition to having earned three degrees.

Ralph Bunche

Students frequently get lost at Bunche Hall, which is a well-known location. You wouldn’t know this if you didn’t go to UCLA, but you ought to be familiar with Ralph Bunche.

The first Black recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize was Ralph Bunche. He received the top honors at UCLA and afterward received a Ph.D. in political science from Harvard. He finally rose to the position of principal secretary of the UN Palestine Commission. He also won the Nobel Prize at this time.

Steve Martin

Transferring in might sometimes be the simplest method to get to a new college. Steve Martin has done that. He changed majors to theater in 1967, but he ultimately left without earning a diploma.

Steve Martin is a well-known Bruin who gained notoriety for his roles in important films including The Pink Panther and Father of the Bride. Steve Martin has also won Grammys for Best Country Instrumental Performance and Best Bluegrass Album.

Mayim Bialik

The Big Bang Theory is a well-known and adored program. You would recognize the actress who plays Dr. Amy Farrah Fowler if you have ever watched the show.

She obtained a B.S. in neuroscience from UCLA. Additionally, she obtained dual minors in Hebrew and Jewish studies. She eventually went to UCLA to complete her Ph.D. in neuroscience.

Mayim now directs programs for girls to pursue STEM-related disciplines, taking inspiration from the show in which she had a starring role.

Susan Wojcicki

You may not be familiar with her well-known name but she is the CEO of Youtube. Susan first majored in history and literature at Harvard University before earning her Master of Science in economics at UC Santa Cruz. She finally enrolled at UCLA as a Bruin and graduated with a Master of Business Administration degree.

The founder of 23andMe, Anne Wojcicki, is one of Susan’s two sisters. She joined the tech sector after graduating from UCLA. Susan joined the team that created Google in 1999 and was hired as its first marketing manager. As of now, she assists with running Youtube as the CEO.

Francis Ford-Coppola

Francis Ford-Coppola was the director and producer of The Godfather, arguably one of the most well-known movies ever made.

He earned a master’s degree from UCLA film school before he rose to fame in the movie industry. Francis ultimately received numerous accolades for his work as a film producer, including six Oscars. He is a tremendously successful alumnus and even has his own wineries.

Randy Newman

Randy Newman, who may be one of the graduates who are better known based on a song, created the Toy Story score. With just one semester remaining, Randy was almost done with his music degree at UCLA.

Randy eventually won six Grammys in addition to other awards such as Emmys and Oscars. His melodies are famous and his voice is well-known.

Randy has been inducted into The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame as of 2013, despite not being a member of a rock band. He has contributed to eight Pixar films, making him a Disney Legend as well.

Russell Westbrook

Russell Westbrook, who is best known as a notable basketball player, participated in 75 games for the basketball squad. This is what ultimately made him one of the most well-known UCLA alums.

Russell was a member of the University of California Los Angeles squad, where he earned honors and a degree in sports communication.

He was initially selected by the Seattle SuperSonics in the 2008 NBA Draft. He also represented Team USA in the 2012 Olympics. This team was subsequently renamed Oklahoma City Thunder. Russell Westbrook holds the record for having the most triple-doubles in a single NBA season.

What Is UCLA Known For Academically?

If you are interested to get into UCLA, it’s important to know what is UCLA known for academically.

Group of fashion students talking in a room.

More than 125 undergraduate majors are available at UCLA in six academic divisions:

  • The College of Letters and Sciences
  • School of the Arts and Architecture
  • School of Engineering and Applied Science
  • School of Music
  • School of Theater, Film and Television
  • School of Nursing

UCLA offers great academics across the board as a highly regarded national research university, but the following programs deserve special mention:

  • UCLA’s School of Engineering is well-respected, rigorous, and cross-disciplinary, preparing engineers in the fields of bioengineering, civil & environmental, chemical & biomolecular, and mathematics. A tiny community within the greater UCLA student body, the Samueli School of Engineering contains roughly 4,000 undergraduates and another 2,500 graduate students in the 2021-2022 academic year.
  • UCLA’s School of Theater, Film, and Television (TFT) recently changed from a two-year program (the last two years of college after spending the first two years taking general ed classes, or transfers from community colleges) to a full four-year program that admits students as freshmen.
  • UCLA’s College of Letters and Sciences is the largest undergraduate institution where more than 85% of students major in one of the college’s more than 100 majors. There is no advantage to choosing one major over another within the College of Letters and Science on the UCLA application because UCLA examines all applicants to Letters and Science equally and does not segregate applicants by major.

Overall, UCLA excels in a range of majors that prepare you for graduate school, including pre-professional advising for pre-med and pre-law students.

In addition to what is UCLA known for, the School of Law’s Ziffren Institute of UCLA boasts one of the best entertainment law departments in the country. Students attend meetings with significant businesses like Microsoft and Warner Brothers to discuss issues like copyright and patent law. Additionally, Ziffren offers students internship possibilities with local production firms and talent agencies.

The David Geffen School of Medicine is a separate yet equally significant institution from entertainment. Future doctors are trained at Geffen, one of the top medical schools in the country, in its numerous teaching hospitals. Among these is the UCLA Medical Center, a level-I trauma facility for kids that is frequently rated as one of the top five in the nation.

What Are Some Traditions At UCLA?

As we’ve seen, UCLA must uphold its enviable reputation. But that doesn’t imply that everything is effort and study. UCLA offers a variety of customs to keep students interested in campus life, both formal and bizarre. We will now learn more about “What are some traditions at UCLA?”

View of UCLA campus at day time.

Midnight Yell

One of the funniest rituals is also one of the most significant. Students gather each year during finals week to perform the “Midnight Yell.” As the name implies, the gathered students shout in a cathartic manner at midnight in protest of the stress brought on by exams.

UCLA UniCamp

The UCLA UniCamp was created to assist young people in urban Los Angeles. Over 1200 kids take part in UniCamp every year, where they play and learn to read alongside UCLA students. Participants in UniCamp have the chance to truly impact the lives of others by playing on a fully allocated outdoor summer camp.

LA Hacks

There is the yearly LA Hacks competition for techies. LA Hacks is a tech conference and skills competition that lets students showcase their prowess. Over 150 multifaceted creative projects are finished during the multi-day hackathon, which is open to students of all majors. Participants are doing it to help the less fortunate.

What Are the Extracurricular Activities At UCLA?

What are the extracurricular activities at UCLA? The institution offers a wide variety of clubs in addition to its numerous traditions to encourage students to feel engaged and invested in their collegiate experience. These clubs range from social gatherings to ones that focus on personal development.

Students talking in the school campus.

An annual Enormous Activities Fair that fills Royce Quad presents students with over 1,000 groups from UCLA’s thriving extracurricular community.

The Student Alumni Association, one of its most prominent clubs, has been hosting Dinner for 12 Strangers for more than 50 years. Through this community tradition, more than 3,700 students, alumni, and faculty members host more than 500 international dinners.

What is UCLA known for? This “Public Ivy” is renowned for its thriving startup culture, which is supported by a wide variety of organizations and accelerator programs that assist students in coming up with ideas and carrying them out for their own businesses. Since 2000, startups created with the help of UCLA technology have been valued at more than $30 billion. AWAK Technologies and Sike Insights, the two notable firms that have grown out of UCLA’s startup culture and offer medical devices and AI-powered productivity products, respectively.

Anyone in the school is welcome to join the competitive ballroom dancing group known as the Dancesport Club. It not only provides tuition in ballroom dancing but also places a strong focus on teamwork. Although the organization works toward contests, its primary goals are to have fun and make new friends.

The Bruin Leaders Project is one of UCLA’s more significant student organizations. The goal of the BLP is to develop its participants into “better students, leaders, and citizens.” It accomplishes this purpose by establishing relationships within the neighborhood’s economic and political circles and through several volunteer endeavors.

The Disney Club at UCLA is an organization for folks who love everything from the Mouse House, so check it out if you’re still a kid at heart. Members like spending time together, planning vacations to Disney Land, and watching Disney movies.

In athletics, what is UCLA known for? UCLA is second only to Stanford in the number of NCAA team championships won with 118. There are 25 NCAA Division I sports offered at the university, with 14 for women and 11 for men.

The basketball teams for men and women are both successful, taking home 11 and 4 titles, respectively. It seems sensible that students would spend hours waiting outside Pauley Pavilion before basketball games or preparing for the yearly rivalry game with USC given that the football team is as successful.

The school also offers a wide range of club sports for students to choose from. The competitive intramural sports program, which features 30 leagues, tournaments, meetings, and other unique activities, attracts more than 8,000 students. There are numerous intramural sports, including rugby, table tennis, and even Quidditch, to name a few.

What is UCLA known for? Academics at UCLA are of the highest caliber, as shown by the stringent GPA standards, a wide range of average SAT scores, and admission data from the UCLA Class of 2025.

Make sure to submit all your materials well in advance of the UCLA application deadline if you decide UCLA is the school for you.  Keep in mind that there is no UCLA early admission option thus, you should start your preparations if you want to attend this prestigious university.

At AdmissionSight, we have over 10 years of experience guiding students through the competitive admissions process to get accepted to the top universities in the world. On average, 75% of AdmissionSight students are admitted to an Ivy League university, Stanford, MIT, UChicago, and Caltech, one of the highest track records in the industry. Feel free to set up an appointment today to book your initial consultation.


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