They are regarded as first-class research universities in the USA and belong to the Public Ivies – those state universities that are named in the same breath as the private elite universities of the Ivy League. We are talking about the universities of the University of California Systems (UC System). Alongside the California State University System (CSU), this university network is the second state university system in California. The member universities of both university associations are among the most renowned universities in the country and are internationally known.
Facts about the University of California System
The University of California initially consisted of ten faculty members and 38 students. Today the University of California system includes more than 238,000 students and 190,000 employees. The university network is made up of
- ten universities
- five medical centers
- three national laboratories.
In addition, numerous museums, concert halls, art galleries, botanical gardens and marine centers belong to the UC system.
All member universities have been accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) – an indication of the high quality standards that prevail at California’s universities. The universities of the UC system attract with study programs from more than 150 academic disciplines. Nine of the ten colleges offer programs at both undergraduate and graduate levels. There are around 600 different graduate programs to choose from.
History of the University of California
The foundation stone for the UC system was laid in 1862 with the Morrill Act. The law gave rise to a wave of so-called land grant universities. It offered the US states the opportunity to sell public land and use the proceeds to set up universities. Learn more about USA and North America on constructmaterials.
As a result, the Agricultural, Mining and Mechanical Arts College was founded in California in 1866. The college lacked land, and the private College of California founded a few years earlier lacked money for regular operations.
Therefore, the College of California proposed to the state to merge the two universities – on one condition: It should result in a ” Complete University “, at which both humanities and agricultural and engineering disciplines such as mechanics or mining are taught. So it finally happened that on March 23, 1868, the contract establishing the University of California System was signed.
Specifics of the University of California system
Research traditionally plays a major role at the University of California. The UC is known both nationally and internationally for its research strength. Six of the ten universities are members of the Association of American Universities, an association of the most important research universities in Canada and the USA. The professors at the University of California are often renowned experts in their field who, in many cases, conduct internationally visible research.
The high quality of research in the UC system is also evident elsewhere. The member universities regularly have top placements in internationally significant university rankings, such as
- the Academic Ranking of World Universities
- the QS World University Rankings
- the Times Higher Education World University Rankings
- the US News and World Report Best Global Universities Rankings.
The university network is also ahead in the “Nobel Prize Ranking”: the University of California System has already produced more than 60 Nobel Prize winners, mostly in the physics and chemistry categories.
Transfer agreement between the UC system and community colleges
The UC system has another special feature: the so-called Transfer Admission Guarantee. Six of the ten UC locations have a transfer agreement with the California community colleges. Students who acquire an associate degree at a community college in California can then switch to a bachelor’s degree at a university of the UC system.
The prerequisite for the change is that students meet the specific application requirements of the university and the degree program. With an associate degree, students can get hold of one of the coveted study places on a UC campus.
The University of California Extension
A unique selling point of the University of California System is the so-called University of California Extension. The term summarizes the continuing education institutions of the individual universities of the UC system. The UC Extension is one of the largest providers of further education worldwide and provides the largest selection of further education programs for international students. Around 17,000 courses are offered throughout the year.
As part of the UC Extension, specially developed study programs are offered, which are primarily aimed at working people with an existing university degree. The range of courses includes
- Postgraduate courses: They enable students with a bachelor’s degree to acquire further qualifications in a specific field.
- Further education programs: The participants acquire new knowledge in a specific subject area over a period of several weeks.
- US semester programs, summer sessions and, in some cases, language courses: At some member universities, the UC Extension is also responsible for supervising and handling these study programs. This is because the institutes usually have the greatest experience in working with international students.