#14 Best Public Universities in California

University of California Merced

Merced, California

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University of California Merced overview
Location Merced, California
Online ucmerced.edu
School Type Public 4 Year
Setting Rural Fringe
University of California Merced overview
Size Mid-size
Status Non-profit
On Campus Housing Yes
Level of Study Undergrad/Graduate
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The University of California, Merced, established in 2005 as the tenth campus of the University of California system, is a modern public research university located in the heart of the San Joaquin Valley, a short drive from major urban areas such as Fresno and the San Francisco Bay Area. UC Merced?s campus is recognized for its contemporary architecture and commitment to sustainability, with several buildings meeting LEED certification standards. It provides a variety of undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral programs, with notable strengths in Environmental Engineering, and Biological and Agricultural Sciences, reflective of its Central Valley setting. The campus offers on-campus housing options for students in its multiple residence halls and apartments. While UC Merced does not have an athletic program renowned for its intercollegiate success, it does participate in a range of sports at the collegiate level. The university maintains a selective admissions process, seeking a diverse and accomplished student body.

In the most recent statistical year 29,920 prospective students applied, and 26,766 were granted admission.  Of those admitted 2,392 enrolled in the school.  8,957 students are enrolled on a full time basis, and 146 attend part time. In-state tuition for 2022/2023, excluding room and board, is $11,564 plus fees of $2,227. UC Merced is ranked 605 nationally in the CollegeSimply.com 2024 U.S. Colleges Ranking.












UC Merced is rated within the lower 49% of four-year colleges nationally and earns a CollegeSimply grade of 5 out of 10. Learn how ratings are calculated


Rankings for University of California Merced within the 2024 CollegeSimply Best Colleges Lists.

View the CollegeSimply ranking methodology.

Getting In

Admission Standards

Very Easy
University of California Merced overview
SAT 960/1140
ACT 19/24
GPA 3.55

Applications Accepted

University of California Merced overview
Applications Due Nov 30, 2023
Applicant Competition Very Low
Application Fee $70

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Annual Cost to Attend

California Resident Tuition

In State Costs for University of California Merced
Fee Cost
Books and Supplies$1,094
Other Fees$2,227
Room and Board $19,340
Budget for Other Expenses$4,682
Total One Year Cost$38,907

Out of State Resident Tuition

Out of State Costs for University of California Merced
Fee Cost
Books and Supplies$1,094
Other Fees$2,227
Room and Board $19,340
Budget for Other Expenses$4,682
Total One Year Cost$68,979

Tuition and financial aid details


Average Salary After 10 Years

Data Not Available

Bachelor's Degree Graduation Rate

58% within 6 years

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Popular Areas of Study

Popular subjects studied by University of California Merced students
Subject Percent of Class
Psychology 22%
Biology 21%
Engineering 14%
Social Sciences 13%
Business 12%

View All 20 Majors

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Primary data source, U.S. Department of Education https://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/?id=445188 IPEDS survey data for University of California Merced.

Current students may use the University of California Merced GPA calculator to determine their current college GPA.