About UC Irvine

Since 1965, the University of California, Irvine (UC Irvine) has combined the strengths of a major research university with the bounty of an incomparable Southern California location. UC Irvine’s unyielding commitment to rigorous academics, cutting-edge research, and leadership and character development makes the campus a driving force for innovation and discovery that serves our local, national and global communities in many ways.

With more than 28,000 undergraduate and graduate students, 1,100 faculty and 9,400 staff, UC Irvine is among the most dynamic campuses in the University of California system. Increasingly a first-choice campus for students, UC Irvine ranks among the top ten U.S. universities in the number of undergraduate applications and continues to admit freshmen with highly competitive academic profiles. Orange County’s second-largest employer, UC Irvine generates an annual economic impact on the county of $4.3 billion.
The UC Irvine Campus

UC Irvine is in the heart of sunny Southern California, famous for it’s perpetually sunny and spring-like weather. UC Irvine’s location offers students an unlimited number of local spots and activities to enjoy. The campus is five miles from the Pacific Ocean, so students are moments away from swimming, surfing, sailing, fishing and sunning. Local deserts and mountain resorts are all within driving distance, as are local museums, sports venues, concert halls, zoos, and theme parks, including Disneyland, Knott’s Berry Farm, Sea World, Magic Mountain, and Wild Rivers. Beautiful Catalina Island is just offshore and a short boatride away. 

The UC Irvine campus itself is also designed to provide a dynamic environment for students. The circular campus design integrates natural open space with the modern architecture of the academic, research and administrative structures. Buildings encircle the 21-acre Aldrich Park, and the campus itself is a natural arboretum planted with trees and shrubs from all over the world. Ring Road, a mile in circumference walkway circling Aldrich Park, is the pedestrian thoroughfare that connects the classrooms, eateries, libraries, laboratories, and housing. The Ring also serves as the outdoor staging for a full calendar of cultural and social activities. Bike trails connect UC Irvine to student housing and to the beach, and pedestrian bridges connect students to local movie theaters, restaurants, shops and businesses.
The UC Irvine Research Environment

UC Irvine has built a reputation as a top-tier research university that attracts the nation’s brightest students and faculty. Times Higher Education ranked UC Irvine Number 1 among U.S. universities under 50 years old. U.S. News and World Report consistently ranks UC Irvine among the best public universities across the nation, and it was one of 63 universities elected to membership in the prestigious Association of American Universities. In 2005, U.S. News and World Report ranked UC Irvine as having one of the top Academic Programs focused on Undergraduate Research and Creative Projects. UC Irvine’s graduate programs were also ranked among “America’s Best Graduate Schools.” 

One of the distinguishing factors in UC Irvine’s rankings have been the campus’s prominent faculty. UC Irvine’s faculty is continually recognized on international levels for their contributions and research. UC Irvine was the first public university with faculty who received Nobel Prizes in two different fields—chemistry and physics—in the same year. A third Nobel Prize was granted in 2004 in the field of chemistry. 

Programs like the I-SURF are among a multitude of research opportunities for undergraduate students at UC Irvine. The university has a strong history of involving undergraduates in faculty-mentored research, and nearly half of all graduating students have participated in an independent research or creative project. UC Irvine students successfully compete for career and graduate studies opportunities, which is due in part to the skills and knowledge they acquire as a result of their active involvement in faculty-mentored undergraduate research and creative projects. 

The university also has a strong commitment to promoting diversity. The Princeton Review’s Best 345 College Ranking for 2003 placed UC Irvine as number 15 in the Diverse Student Population category, and UC Irvine ranks 50th nationwide in the Hispanic Outlook in Higher Education magazine’s “Top 100” for the number of academic degrees awarded to Hispanics. Black Issues in Higher Education ranked UC Irvine fourth in the nation for awarding bachelor’s degrees to minority students in the 2002-03 school year. UC Irvine awards more than $1 million dollars in internal diversity fellowships directly to qualifying students each year, and administers a number of programs relevant to this application. The California Alliance for Minority Participation (CAMP) facilitates laboratory research as a path toward graduate school, and has been funded by NSF since 1991.