University of California – Merced (UC Merced)

5200 North Lake Road, Merced, CA

Campus image of University of California – Merced

University of California - Merced, located in Merced, California, was founded in 2005, and has the distinction of being the first American research institution built in the 21st century. The school is the most recent of the 10 schools that comprise the University of California System. The school was built in California's San Joaquin Valley, which was the state's most populous region without a UC campus. The school technically falls outside of the boundaries of any city, community or county, the school is addressed as Merced, CA. The schools recent construction and expansion is continuing, most recently resulting in new student housing.The school currently enrolls nearly 11,000 students annually.

UC Merced offers a variety of degrees that allow students to pursue the education and career that best reflects their desires and goals. bachelor degree programs take approximately four years to complete and require a combination of upper and lower division major courses, general education courses, and electives that allow for study outside of one's major. Additionally students may pursue a secondary area of study through a minor degree that requires additional courses, though less so than those of one's major. Graduate level studies are also available, requiring a separate criterion for admission, including GRE scores, a undergraduate degree, and a strong academic record.

Currently UC merced has a smaller number of undergraduate and graduate programs due to the recent establishment of the campus and facilities. Though with anticipated increased enrollment and the expansion of the campus, the addition of new programs are inevitable.

Programs offered include:

Admissions and Financial Aid
Students may apply to UC Merced through the UC application, which allows student to apply to one or more campuses within the UC system. Students applying to UC Merced must supply an application, test scores, transcripts, recommendations and any other information requested by the school. The received information will be reviewed and notification given regarding the students admissions status. If admitted additional information will be provided to prepare the student for life on campus. Priority for admission is given to California residents.

Financial aid is available in the form of loans, grants and scholarships. Students in need of financial assistance must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), the information from which is used by the school's financial aid office to determine a student's needs and aid program eligibility when constructing an aid packet. California residents may also be eligible for state issued CalGrants which are offered for academic excellence and need. Aid must be reapplied for prior to each academic year, and students may be asked to supply additional information in order to determine the accuracy of the FAFSA prior to disbursement of funds.

Admission Requirements & Details

The information regarding admissions below may give you an idea of the applicants UC Merced accepts. The details may include application requirements and recommendations, as well as any college or dual credits that may be transferred.

College Credits Accepted

  • Dual Credits
  • AP Course Credits

Student Enrollment

Total enrollment at University of California – Merced is around 6,700 students. The enrollment breakdown by academic level is 27% enrolling as graduate students and 93% as undergraduate students.


Estimated Costs & Financial Aid

The average "out of pocket" cost of attendance, after any grants and scholarships are considered, is around $13,400. To calculate a more personalized cost visit the net price calculator. There is also a $70 application fee for students applying to the school. The figures listed below are for informational purposes only and do not represent current or future tuition, fees, and expenses.

Tuition & Fees Information

  • Annual tuition range estimates:
    • State Residents: $11,000-$13,000
    • Out-of-State: $36,000-$43,110
  • The estimated cost for on campus housing and meals is around $19,000

Financial Aid Details

The table listed below helps break down the types of financial aid students receive and the percent receiving aid, as well as the average amount of aid per student per year.

 Percent of StudentsAverage Amount
Any Financial Aid94%-
Receiving Grants & Scholarships91%$20,669
Receiving Student Loans55%$4,852
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Academics & Student Services

Student Services

To help students and recent graduates, University of California – Merced may provide services like:

  • Online course work available
  • Academic counseling for students
  • Employing students to lower education costs
  • Assistance to find work
  • Day care for children

Graduation Rates

University of California – Merced has an overall graduation rate which is approximately 57%.

Number of Year to GraduatePercent of Entering Class
Students Graduating in 4 Years27%
Graduating in 5 Years22%
Graduating in 6 Years8%
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Programs Offered

The program list below is organized by areas of study. The programs that have a link will direct you to the program's profile page where you can learn more about education requirements and career pathways.

Get more information about the programs offered by University of California – Merced by clicking the request information to the right.

(C) Certificate or Award | (A) Associate's | (B) Bachelor's | (M) Master's Degree | (D) Doctorate (PhD,...)

Biological and Biomedical Sciences

Business and Marketing Studies


English Language and Literature

Foreign Languages and Literature


Interdisciplinary Studies

Mathematics and Statistics

Natural Resources and Conservation

Physical Sciences


Social Sciences

Other 4-Year Public Colleges

The list of schools below have been selected by researching which schools offer similar programs to University of California – Merced.

Also, check out our college lists below, which can help students compare schools to one another:

Contact Information

General Contact

Admissions Office

Financial Aid Office

Virtual Tour of Campus

Virtual Tour of University of California – Merced

College Video

College Video Tour

School Map