The University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) is a public land-grant research university in Los Angeles, California. UCLA is considered one of the country’s Public Ivies, and is frequently ranked among the best universities in the world by major college and university rankings. The university has a vibrant student body and alumni network that is active in communities around the world.
With 15 Nobel Laureates, 15 MacArthur Fellows, 119 NCAA championships and more Olympic medals than most nations, UCLA has become a household name synonymous with academic and athletic excellence.
UCLA’s academic roots were established in 1882 as a teachers college then known as the southern branch of the California State Normal School (now San José State University). This school was absorbed with the official founding of UCLA as the Southern Branch of the University of California in 1919, making it the second-oldest of the 10-campus University of California system (after UC Berkeley).
UCLA offers 337 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in a wide range of disciplines, enrolling about 31,600 undergraduate and 14,300 graduate and professional students. UCLA had 168,000 undergraduate applicants for Fall 2021, including transfers, making the school the most applied-to university in the United States.
The university is organized into the College of Letters and Science and 12 professional schools. Six of the schools offer undergraduate degree programs: the School of the Arts and Architecture, Samueli School of Engineering, Herb Alpert School of Music, School of Nursing, Luskin School of Public Affairs and School of Theater, Film and Television. Three others are graduate-level professional health science schools: the David Geffen School of Medicine, School of Dentistry and Fielding School of Public Health. The School of Education & Information Studies, Anderson School of Management and School of Law round out the university.
As of October 2021, 16 Nobel laureates, five Turing Award winners, two Chief Scientists of the U.S. Air Force and one Fields Medalist have been affiliated with UCLA as faculty, researchers or alumni. Among the current faculty members, 55 have been elected to the National Academy of Sciences, 32 to the National Academy of Engineering, 41 to the National Academy of Medicine and 156 to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. The university was elected to the Association of American Universities in 1974.
UCLA student-athletes compete as the Bruins in the Pac-12 Conference. The Bruins have won 119 NCAA team championships, second only to Stanford University’s 128 team titles. In total, 410 Bruins have made Olympic teams, winning 270 Olympic medals: 136 gold, 71 silver, and 63 bronze. UCLA has been represented in every Olympics since the university’s founding with one exception (1924) and has had a gold medalist in every Olympics the U.S. participated in since 1932.
The campus includes 163 buildings across 419 acres (1.7 km2) in the western part of Los Angeles, north of the Westwood shopping district and just south of Sunset Boulevard. In terms of acreage, it is the second-smallest of the ten UC campuses. The campus is approximately 1 mile east of I-405 (the San Diego Freeway).
The new UCLA campus in 1929 had four buildings: Royce Hall and Haines Hall on the north, and Powell Library and Kinsey Hall (now called Renee And David Kaplan Hall) on the south. The Janss Steps were the original 87-step entrance to the university that lead to the quad of these four buildings.
The Romanesque Revival style of these first four structures remained the predominant building style until the 1950s, when architect Welton Becket was hired to supervise the expansion of the campus over the next two decades. Becket greatly streamlined its general appearance, adding several rows of minimalist, slab–shaped brick buildings to the southern half, the largest of these being the UCLA Medical Center. Architects such as A. Quincy Jones, William Pereira, and Paul Williams designed many subsequent structures on the campus during the mid-20th century.
More recent additions include buildings designed by architects I.M. Pei, Venturi, Scott Brown and Associates, Richard Meier, Cesar Pelli, and Rafael Vinoly. To accommodate UCLA’s rapidly growing student population, multiple construction and renovation projects are in progress, including expansions of the life sciences and engineering research complexes. This continuous construction gives UCLA the nickname “Under Construction Like Always”.
The campus is in the residential area of Westwood and bordered by Bel-Air to the north, Beverly Hills to the east, and Brentwood to the west. The campus is informally divided into North Campus and South Campus, which are both on the eastern half of the university’s land.
North Campus is the original campus core; its buildings are more traditional in appearance and clad in imported Italian brick. North Campus is home to the arts, humanities, social sciences, law, history, and business programs and is centered around ficus and sycamore-lined Dickson Court, also known as the “Sunken Garden”.
South Campus is home to the physical sciences, life sciences, engineering, mathematical sciences, health-related fields, and the UCLA Medical Center. The campus includes sculpture gardens, fountains, museums, and a mix of architectural styles.
Ackerman Union, the John Wooden Center, the Arthur Ashe Health and Wellness Center, the Student Activities Center, Kerckhoff Hall, the J.D. Morgan Center, the James West Alumni Center, and Pauley Pavilion stand at the center of the campus, bordering Wilson Plaza. The campus is bisected by Bruin Walk, a heavily traveled pathway from the residential hill to the main campus. At the intersection of Bruin Walk and Westwood Plaza is Bruin Plaza, featuring an outdoor performing arts stage and a bronze statue of the Bruin bear.
One notable building on campus is named after African-American alumnus Ralph Bunche, who received the 1950 Nobel Peace Prize for negotiating an armistice agreement between the Jews and Arabs in Israel. The entrance of Bunche Hall features a bust of him overlooking the Franklin D. Murphy Sculpture Garden. He was the first individual of non-European background and the first UCLA alumnus to be honored with the Prize.
The Hannah Carter Japanese Garden is located a mile north of campus, in the community of Bel Air. The garden was designed by landscape architect Nagao Sakurai of Tokyo and garden designer Kazuo Nakamura of Kyoto in 1959. The garden was donated to UCLA by former UC regent and UCLA alumnus Edward W. Carter and his wife Hannah Carter in 1964.
Explore UCLA’s beautiful campus, tradition of academic excellence, vibrant student body and vast array of resources and opportunities, discover an incredible academic community with a vast array of resources and opportunities. An inspiring setting full of collaboration, optimism and imagination.
A tour narrated by current UCLA student tour guides. It will be focused on resources, programs and opportunities specifically for students that will transferring to UCLA from a college or university. Tours will be online and in-person. This tour is designed for students 9th grade and above.
UCLA’s library system has over nine million books and 70,000 serials spread over twelve libraries and eleven other archives, reading rooms, and research centers. It is the United States’ 12th largest library in number of volumes.
The campus is located near prominent entertainment venues such as the Getty Center, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) and the Santa Monica Pier. UCLA offers classical orchestras, intramural sports, and over 800 student organizations. UCLA is also home to more than 70 fraternities and sororities, which represent 13% of the undergraduate population.
Phrateres, a non-exclusive social-service club for women was founded here in 1924 by the Dean of Women, Helen Matthewson Laughlin. Students and staff participate in dinghy sailing, surfing, windsurfing, rowing, and kayaking at the UCLA Marina Aquatic Center in Marina del Rey.
UCLA’s first contemporary a cappella group, Awaken A Cappella, was founded in 1992. The all-male group, Bruin Harmony, has enjoyed a successful career since its inception in 2006, portraying a collegiate a cappella group in The Social Network (2010), while the ScatterTones finished in second-place in the International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella in 2012, 2013, and 2014, and third-place in 2017 and 2019. In 2020, The A Cappella Archive ranked the ScatterTones at #2 among all ICCA-competing groups. Other a cappella groups include Signature, Random Voices, Medleys, YOUTHphonics, Resonance, Deviant Voices, AweChords, Pitch Please, Da Verse, Naya Zaamana, Jewkbox, On That Note, Tinig Choral, and Cadenza. YOUTHphonics and Medleys are UCLA’s only nonprofit service-oriented a cappella groups.
There are also a variety of cultural organizations on campus, such as Nikkei Student Union (NSU), Japanese Student Association (JSA), Association of Chinese Americans (ACA), Chinese Students and Scholars Association (CSSA), Chinese Music Ensemble (CME), Chinese Cultural Dance Club (CCDC), Taiwanese American Union (TAU), Taiwanese Student Association (TSA), Hong Kong Student Society (HKSS), Hanoolim Korean Cultural Awareness Group, Samahang Pilipino, Vietnamese Student Union (VSU), and Thai Smakom. Many of these organizations have an annual “culture night” consisting of drama and dance which raises awareness of culture and history to the campus and community.
Most undergraduate students are housed in 14 complexes on the western side of campus, referred to by students as “The Hill”. Students can live in halls, plazas, suites, or university apartments, which vary in pricing and privacy. Housing plans also offer students access to dining facilities, which have been ranked by the Princeton Review as some of the best in the United States.
Dining halls are located in Covel Commons, Rieber Hall, Carnesale Commons and De Neve Plaza. In winter 2012, a dining hall called The Feast at Rieber opened to students. The newest dining hall (as of Winter Quarter 2014) is Bruin Plate, located in the Carnesale Commons (commonly referred to as Sproul Plaza). Residential cafes include Bruin Cafe, Rendezvous, The Study at Hedrick, and Cafe 1919.
UCLA currently offers three years guaranteed housing to its incoming freshmen, and one year to incoming transfer students. There are four type of housing available for students: residential halls, deluxe residential halls, residential plazas, and residential suites. Available on the hill are study rooms, basketball courts, tennis courts, and Sunset Recreational Center which includes three swimming pools.
Graduate students are housed in one of five apartment complexes. Weyburn Terrace is located just southwest of the campus in Westwood Village. The other four are roughly five miles south of UCLA in Palms and Mar Vista. They too vary in pricing and privacy. Approximately 400 students live at the University Cooperative Housing Association, located two blocks off campus.
UCLA’s official charity is UniCamp, founded in 1934. It is a week-long summer camp for under-served children from the greater Los Angeles area, with UCLA volunteer counselors. UniCamp runs for seven weeks throughout the summer at Camp River Glen in the San Bernardino National Forest. Because UniCamp is a non-profit organization, student volunteers from UCLA also fundraise money throughout the year to allow these children to attend summer camp.
True Bruin Welcome begins the fall quarter to introduce new students to clubs and activities. The week includes the Day of Service for all freshmen, the Enormous Activities Fair, and the Sports Fair. At the end of move-in and the beginning of True Bruin Welcome, UCLA holds Bruin Bash, which includes a concert, dance and movie pre-release. Bruin Bash was created as a replacement for Black Sunday, a large-scale day of partying including all fraternities in North Westwood Village.
The Pediatric AIDS Coalition organizes the annual Dance Marathon in Pauley Pavilion, where thousands of students raise a minimum of $250 and dance for 26 hours to support the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation, Project Kindle, and the UCLA AIDS Institute. Dancers are not allowed to sit (except to use the restroom) during the marathon, literally taking a stand against pediatric AIDS, and symbolizing the suffering of affected children around the world. In 2015, Dance Marathon at UCLA raised $446,157.
During Finals Week, UCLA students participate in “Midnight Yell”, where they yell as loudly as possible for a few minutes at midnight to release some stress from studying. The quarterly Undie Run takes place during the Wednesday evening of Finals Week, when students run through the campus in their underwear or in skimpy costumes.
The Alumni Association sponsors several events, usually large extravaganzas involving huge amounts of coordination, such as the 70-year-old Spring Sing, organized by the Student Alumni Association (SAA). UCLA’s oldest tradition, Spring Sing is an annual gala of student talent, which is held at either Pauley Pavilion or the outdoor Los Angeles Tennis Center. The committee bestows the George and Ira Gershwin Lifetime Achievement Award each year to a major contributor to the music industry.
Past recipients have included Stevie Wonder, Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, James Taylor, Ray Charles, Natalie Cole, Quincy Jones, Lionel Richie, and in 2009, Julie Andrews. The Dinner for 12 Strangers is a gathering of students, alumni, administration and faculty to network around different interests. The “Beat ‘SC Bonfire and Rally” occurs the week before the USC rivalry football game.