The University of California, which is known as UC, is one of the largest and most successful university systems in the country. The University of California boasts 10 large campuses, so there is a total of 250,000 students, 21,000 professors, 145,000 employees and almost two million living alumni. Six of the ten campuses are members of the Association of American Universities. The library boasts a collection of 34 million items. Every year, the State of California invests almost three billion dollars into the university system. The University of California has some of the country’s most advanced medical labs and centers. The UC Davis campus operates the University Airport that acts as air shuttle service and a public general aviation airport. The UC San Diego campus owns a seaport called the Nimitz Marine Facility. The University of California was originally founded in the late 1860s and opened their newest campus in 2005. Nine campuses enroll undergraduate and graduate students, but the UC San Francisco campus enrolls graduate medical and health science students.

The University of California has the most distinguished faculty of any college system in the country, so they are considered to be one of the best international universities. Faculty and graduate researchers have won over 60 Nobel Prizes, created over 1,750 inventions, contributed to over 940 startups and created over 12,200 active patents. The faculty includes Nobel laureates, Fulbright Scholars and many distinguished academic researchers. The university has produced some of the most recognized names in the world. This includes many Academy Award and Pulitzer Prize winners winners. It also includes hundreds of notable names in academia, arts and media, politics, science, athletics, religion, writing and entrepreneurship. Technology icons include Steve Wozniak, co-founder of Apple, Gordon Moore, co-founder of Intel and Doug Engelbart, who invented the ubiquitous computer mouse. Hollywood notables include actor Gregory Peck, costume designer Edith Head and James Cameron, who directed Avatar, Titanic and Terminator II.

University of California Accreditation Details

The University of California is accredited through the Western Association of Schools & Colleges (WASC). Most academic programs at UC Berkeley Extension are accredited through national organizations.

University of California Application Requirements

Freshman applicants must complete at least 15 college-prep courses. These include two years of history and social science, four years of English, four years of mathematics, three years of laboratory science, two years of a foreign language and two years of visual and performing arts. The minimum GPA is 3.0 is required for residents and 3.4 for nonresidents. Resident students who do not meet these minimum requirements may qualify if they rank in the top nine percent of California high school students. Approximately 10 to 15 percent of students are sourced through this open admission pool process. Graduate admissions are directly handled by the college or department. The university automatically accepts public high school students from the top eight percent of classes. Even though they are accepted to the university system, they are not guaranteed the campus of their choice. The specific admissions process depends on the target campus. For example, the Santa Cruz and Santa Barbara campuses use a point system comprised of GPA and standardized test scores, but Berkeley, San Diego and Los Angeles use a comprehensive academic achievement criteria that include the high school background and surrounding community context.

Tuition and Financial Aid

Resident students at UC Berkeley Extension who live off campus will pay $13,500 for tuition, $1,500 for books, $2,300 for health insurance, $9,800 for lodging and $3,200 for transportation. Resident students who live off campus will pay a total of $30,300 and residents living on-campus will pay $34,200. Residents who live on-campus will pay a total of $40,182 and those who live off-campus will pay $40,182. University of California financial aid includes gift aid, such as grants and scholarships, and self-help aid, such as loans, work-study and part-time employment.

Online Degrees Available

The university offers hundreds of undergraduate and graduate degree programs, some of which can only be found at UC. For example, the Canadian Studies Program is one of the only American based programs that supports policy, research and teaching about Canada. This program focuses on Canada-US relations, immigration, the environment and Canadian culture. This program includes conferences, guest speakers and sponsored research opportunities. For students interested in more exotic cultures and locations, the Celtic Studies Program gives students a broad understanding of Celtic peoples, languages and cultures in the world. Part of the program focuses on linguistics, so students take at least four semesters in an ancient or modern Celtic language like Gaulish, Cornish, Manx and Scots Gaelic. Students select a disciplinary area for methodological research related to anthropology, art history, literature, history and rhetoric. Typical classes include Irish mythology, medieval Celtic culture and modern Irish literature.

The university has some of the best STEM programs in the world, For example, the UC Berkeley Extension’s Ocean Engineering program explores the 70 percent of the earth’s surface covered in water. Ocean Engineering students study the design, development and analysis of man-made systems that operate in offshore and coastal environments. These systems may be used for recreation, fisheries, transportation, thermal or wave energy and petroleum or mineral extraction. Students learn about bottom-mounted systems used in shallow depths and mobile systems like floating drill rigs. Students are trained to create systems that can withstand extreme weather and hostile environments that include ice, wind and waves. This program strongly focuses on operational efficiency while remaining sustainable and environmentally friendly. The Ocean Engineering major is offered through collaboration with the Mechanical Engineering program that teaches students about marine structures, dynamics and hydrodynamics.

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The University of California is one of the world’s leading research educational systems that also offers some of the best liberal arts, cultural studies and social science programs. The University of California’s global popularity means that the competitive admissions process is extremely difficult to pass and that almost all campuses have long program wait lists.