University of California

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University of California
motto Fiat Lux
founding 1868
Sponsorship state
place Oakland , California , United States
President Janet Napolitano
Students 270,112 (2016)
Foundation assets $ 10.274 billion
University of California locations and incorporation dates

The University of California ( UC ; German  University of California ) is, alongside the California State University system, the second California system of state universities with a total of over 192,000 students (officially the Community Colleges California are the third). There is a University of California in ten cities.

Although the universities are independent of each other, they share a good reputation for the quality of their education. Therefore, they are among the best US state universities, known as Public Ivy . Many of the universities have Nobel Prize winners and other top researchers as professors. In recent years, Nobel Prizes in Physics and Economics have been awarded to UC professors in Santa Barbara and San Diego, respectively.


Parking space reserved for Nobel Prize winners (Berkeley Campus)

The establishment of universities was prescribed in the California constitution of 1849 . In 1866 the legislature established the Agricultural, Mining, and Mechanical Arts College . Although it was well funded, it lacked the necessary land. In 1855, the pastor Henry Durant founded the College of California in Oakland . The College of California patrons bought 65 acres of land in 1866. Located on what is now Berkeley, this should allow the college to expand. However, the college lacked the money for normal operations.

So the College of California offered the state to merge the two institutions into one general university. The Agricultural, Mining, and Mechanical Arts College thus became a “complete university”. On March 23, 1868 , the University of California was finally founded by contract. UC Berkeley (UCB) is the oldest sub-university . The youngest offshoot was founded in 1999 in Merced , opened in 2002 and started teaching in September 2005.


University abbreviation place founding Number of students


Sports team / league
University of California, Berkeley UCB or Cal Berkeley 1868 40.173 California Golden Bears ( Pacific-12 Conference )
University of California, San Francisco UCSF San Francisco 1873 4,857 no
University of California, Los Angeles UCLA los Angeles 1919 44,947 UCLA Bruins ( Pacific-12 Conference )
University of California, Davis UCD Davis 1905 37,397 Aggies ( Big West Conference )
University of California, Santa Barbara UCSB Santa Barbara 1905 24,346 Gauchos (Big West Conference)
University of California, Riverside UCR Riverside 1954 22,990 The Highlanders (Big West Conference)
University of California, San Diego UCSD San Diego 1959 35,816 Tritons (California Collegiate Athletic Association)
University of California, Irvine UCI Irvine 1965 33,467 Anteaters (Big West Conference)
University of California, Santa Cruz UCSC Santa Cruz 1965 18,783 Banana slugs
University of California, Merced UCM Merced 2005 7,336 Golden Bobcats (California Pacific Conference)


The University of California has three national laboratories under the auspices of the United States Department of Energy :


The University of California has two observatories. The research centers are located in Santa Cruz but are used by all UCs.

Web links