See what students say:


The University of California—Merced’s 2005 opening greatly expanded the access of the public California system to students of the San Joaquin Valley and created a research hub for the region. In the short time since, specialized institutes like the Health Sciences Research Institute and Center of Excellence on Health Disparities have made groundbreaking discoveries, and the students of this environmentally focused school have learned a lot. The “emphasis the school has on teaching information as it relates to sustainability is amazing” and there are “good student employment opportunities” as well as research and internship positions.

Students find this modern school to be fresh and forward-thinking, “with progressive lectures that are outstanding,” and professors willing to “change up their teaching methods based on the particular class they are teaching,” and to incorporate innovative pedagogy “such as rap battles to convince audience members of their research thesis.” Both faculty and staff here are “warm and kind and understanding, yet challenging,” and “you’ll find yourself supported by the school, peers and the staff.” Research is a huge part of a UCM education; as one student puts it, “getting hands-on experience…and designing our own experiments was a key tool.” Additionally, the Learning Assistant initiative is a unique form of support where one “attends lecture with other students with the purpose of helping…fellow academics in their studies.”

Student Body

Almost 100 percent of undergraduates hail from California, and the school leads the UC system in its proportion of students from underrepresented ethnic groups, low-income families, and first-generation attendees. “The diversity and inclusivity that UC Merced provides for students, staff, and faculty is really nice to be a part of,” says a student. “Everyone comes from all over California and the vibes are good, everyone is just friendly and understanding,” says a student. These are some of “the most hardworking, culturally diverse, and most of all helpful people” in the region, and “most of the students are focused on their work and being successful.” Due to the size of the school (about 8,800 students in all), “it’s so much easier to collaborate with other students and nothing really feels like a competition.” There is “a lot of school pride and it is easy to meet new people and connect with others in your classes,” and students “really have school spirit when it comes down to any school event.”

Campus Life

If you’ve got a car, Merced is “in the middle of California, [so] every attraction site is available to students” from nearby national parks to San Francisco and Santa Cruz. As for within the quiet and “quite peaceful” town itself, public bus transportation is available, but accessibility depends on your location. Luckily, students find Merced to be an “extremely clean campus, kept in pristine condition all the time.” It’s the sort of place that naturally leads to athletics, and indeed there is “a solid group of skaters on campus” and “a lot of students hit the gym” or play pickup soccer and basketball; many are “young and athletic.” The school has more than 200 student organizations and “the student government hosts tons of events throughout the year,” so “life as a student here is never repetitive.” Attendees also note that the “student-hosted workshops we have throughout the year are quite helpful,” and there are nice communal lounge areas for gaming or “where anyone can hang out and talk.”

Contact & Visit

Campus Visits Contact

Juan Roman
Welcome Center Coordinator

5200 N. Lake Road
Merced, CA 95343



Experience College Life

Most Popular Places On Campus
The Lantern
Recreation Center
Kollgian Library
The Pavillion
Scholars Lane--Little Lake Amphitheatre

Most Popular Places Off Campus
Yosemite National Park

Campus Tours

Campus Visiting Center
Monday through Friday, some Saturdays
10 am, 1 pm, or 3 pm.

Campus Tours
Appointment Required: Yes
Dates: Year-round
Times: Varies
Average Length: 1 hour

On Campus Interview

Campus Interviews

Information Sessions
Not Available


Faculty and Coach Visits

Dates/Times Available

Class Visits

Dates/Times Available


Overnight Dorm Stays

Overnight Dorm Stays
Not Available


Types of Transportation Available to Campus
Fresno-Yosemite International Airport

Driving Instructions to Campus
Directions from northbound Highway 99 Head northwest on CA-99 North. Take exit 187A for G Street. Turn right onto G Street. Turn right onto East Bellevue Road. Turn left at Lake Road. Arrive at main entrance to the UC Merced campus. Directions from southbound Highway 99 Head southeast on CA-99 South. Take Exit 187B toward Martin Luther King Jr. Way. Turn left onto CA-59 North/Martin Luther King Jr. Way. Take the third right onto West 16th Street. Take the third left onto G Street. Turn right onto East Bellevue Road. Turn left at Lake Road. Arrive at main entrance to the UC Merced campus.


Applicants: 28,907
Acceptance Rate: 89%
Average HS GPA: 3.60



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Student Body

Campus Life

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