University of California (UC)

The College Student’s Guide to the University of California

Whether you’re a resident of California or have been a visitor, one thing is undeniable: the Golden State is unlike any other in the country. If you’re looking to spend your college years in an area that appeals to your personal and education preferences, the University of California should be one of the first places to consider.

The UC Campuses

With 10 campuses available, anyone can find a University of California campus that suits their tastes, regardless of what type of degree program they wish to major in. College bound and transfer students have the following campuses to choose from:

UC Berkeley

With its well known history and reputation for students voicing their opinions at publicly organized events, UC Berkeley continues to be one of the most popular campuses in the state. Touting the largest number of highly ranked graduate programs in the country, UC Berkeley offers 7,000+ courses and 350 degree programs. Its most popular majors include but are not limited to: Computer Science, Electrical Engineering, Environmental Science, Economics, Policy and Management, Political Science and Molecular and Cell Biology.

UC Davis

When it comes to research, no University of California campus is better known for its accomplishments in this category than UC Davis. Near the San Francisco Bay Area and Sacramento, California’s state capital, students attending this campus will enjoy the traditional, tight knit, small college town feel, while being close enough to larger cities to explore new surroundings. Students will want to check out what UC Davis has to offer if their interest lies in any of the school’s popular majors: Sociology, Communication Study, Human Relations, Neurobiology, Agricultural Business and Management, History and Psychology.

UC Irvine

UC Irvine combines its reputation as a research university with the latest in technology, leadership and academics, to provide its students with one of the most dynamic University of California campuses. With an ever expanding number of graduate and research programs, UC Irvine is noted for producing three Nobel Peace Prize Winners. Some of the university’s most popular degree programs include Business, Managerial Economics, Government and Political Science.


Out of all the University of California campuses, UCLA is among one of the most instantly recognizable. The university has National Academy members, Nobel Laureates, MacArthur fellows and Pulitzer Prize winners, among other notable professionals in its faculty and is noted for promoting a 91% success rate for freshmen and transfer students. The most highly sought after degree programs at UCLA include Film, Psychology, Biology, English, Political Science, Economics and Business.

UC Merced

Although UC Merced is one of the newer campuses added to the University of California system, it hasn’t taken long for students and the public to recognize the potential that this particular school has, especially for those interested in attending a research university. UC Merced currently has three schools (School of Natural Sciences, School of Engineering and School of Social Sciences, Humanities and Arts), with two more scheduled to open soon (School of Medicine and School of Management). With its unique location in the Central Valley, students are only two hours away from San Francisco and Sacramento, one hour away from Fresno and 90 minutes from Yosemite National Park. Its most popular majors currently include Biology, Psychology, History, Social Sciences and Engineering.

UC Riverside

UC Riverside is the only University of California campus housed in Inland Southern California. Its popularity over the years has resulted in massive remodeling of its existing facilities and the implementation of new buildings to accommodate the university’s growth spurt. 50 miles from downtown Los Angeles, students have the best of both worlds and enjoy accessibility to all climates, from coastal and desert to mountainous regions. Marketing, Business, Social Sciences, Biology, Psychology and Interdisciplinary Studies are among the most popular degree programs at UC Riverside.

UC San Diego

When it comes to So-Cal, UC San Diego stands out as one of the gem campuses for the University of California. Committed to instilling a sense of community and global awareness, as well as implementing rigorous academic programs and resources, UC San Diego offers an expansive number of facilities: six undergraduate colleges, five graduate and professional schools and five academic divisions. The university houses scholars that have played significant roles in many technological, scientific and medical breakthroughs. Its most popular majors include but are not limited to: Communications Studies, Biochemistry, Management Science, Anatomy and Biomedical Engineering.

UC San Francisco

Out of the University of California campuses, UC San Francisco continues to earn a name for itself within the Bay Area as being a leader in the healthcare industry. Students hoping to change lives and take part in the new trends and discoveries in biomedical research will feel right at home. As the only school on the University of California campus list dedicated exclusively to health sciences, this university enjoys a steady number of applicants each year. Popular majors include Pharmacy, Nursing and Dentistry.

UC Santa Barbara

Santa Barbara isn’t just known for its beautiful, scenic landscapes, it is also home to UC Santa Barbara. Voted twice by Newsweek as one of the country’s “hottest colleges,” this University of California campus offers 200+ majors, credentials and degrees. With five schools dedicated to undergrads and graduates, students won’t have a hard time finding their calling and the proper academic resources to help them reach their career goals. Social Sciences, Marketing, Business and Interdisciplinary Studies are among some of the most popular majors.

UC Santa Cruz

With its rich history, dedication to the arts, beautiful surroundings and the winning combination of being a liberal arts college as well as a research university, UC Santa Cruz remains one of the most sought after campuses on the list of University of California schools. Boasting 60+ majors and 30 fields of study, students are able to benefit from the university’s roster of world-class teachers and academic facilities. Some of its most sought after majors include: Social Sciences, Biology, Psychology, Business, Marketing, Visual and Performing Arts and Environmental Science.