See what students say:


University of California—Merced is quickly building a name for itself as a cuttingedge research university with a focus on sustainability, and it has acted as a boon to the San Joaquin Valley since it opened. Undergraduates can avail themselves of twenty-four “new, groundbreaking majors” and twenty-five minors. The campus has several specialized research institutes and centers and plenty of further opportunities “for growth and creation since it’s such a new school.” Students find that “the school is great at supporting you on every single level.” In fact, “there are multiple programs to help support students mentally and educationally.” That educational support is nowhere more apparent than in the fact that “no faculty or staff will ever turn down a question, comment or concern.” As such, professors “are always there for students,” and it is “extremely easy to make an appointment when necessary.” One student comments, “They all go out of their way to make sure every question is answered.” Therefore, students find it’s easy to “connect with your professor on a personal level and get advice from them for your career path and educational goals.” Plus, “they bring their love for the community and the material into the class.” Overall, “class sizes are kept reasonably small” and “even in a lecture class, it’s a discussion.” More generally, the school “is always ahead of modern technology,” which “gives the students a feeling of importance and relevance to the growing research” at the school. UC Merced “always displays and announces any new project they are launching”; it “has all the benefits of a research school as well as the benefits of a small college.”

Student Body

There is a common “craving for knowledge” among this group of “people from many backgrounds that have come together to learn.” More than half of the student body is Hispanic, with almost three-quarters being first-generation college students. But regardless of background, students categorize their peers as “kind,” “curious,” and “motivated.” One says, “If you’re struggling you can ask for help and actually receive it.” This “incredibility unified and inclusive” bunch makes UC Merced feel “almost as if it [is] a party for intellectuals.” As evidence of this, “friends are easily made in and out of classes,” and they “are always willing to lend a hand, whether [it] be personally, academically, or financially.”

Campus Life

Students note that, because of the school’s rural location, there’s “not much to do on campus except study.” Because students are required to live on campus for their first two years, this leads “students [to] get creative.” It also means “there’s no need to force school spirit because everyone has it.” At UC Merced, “it’s extremely easy to get involved in things you believe in.” After getting back to the dorms from classes, “friends hang out on their [dorms’] lounge or activities room,” and “a lot of people head to the gym to work out.” Students who enjoy outdoor physical exercise note that “there are tons of bike trails and beautiful landscapes to see.” For those with cars (or friend with cars), long weekends offer even more outdoors opportunities, like a “drive to Yosemite for a nice hike” or a visit to Fresno and the Bay Area: “Merced [is] the perfect distance … from all major cities in California.”

Contact & Visit

Campus Visits Contact

5200 N. Lake Road
Merced, CA 95343



Experience College Life

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: 25,121
Acceptance Rate: 66%
Average HS GPA: 3.59



Tuition & Aid

Student Body

Campus Life

Articles & Advice