University of California – Irvine

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The University of California – Irvine opened in 1965 under the California Master Plan for Higher Education to accommodate the post-WWII baby boom. The university sprawled across 1,474 suburban acres in Orange County on land donated by the Irvine Company for $1. As a “Public Ivy,” UCI became the youngest member of the Association of American Universities (AAU) in 1996. Endowed for $504 million, the public, land-grant institutions stands in the 10-site University of California system with RU/VH research status. Annually, UC Irvine enrolls over 25,200 undergraduate and 6,200 post-graduate Anteaters with a 93 percent retention rate.

According to the U.S. News, the University of California – Irvine is the 39th best national university, ninth top public school, and 23rd most veteran-friendly college. In particular, UCI houses America’s 25th best education school and 28th top law school. Kiplinger’s honored UC Irvine as California’s fourth best value. The Daily Beast chose the University of California – Irvine at #16 for “Happiest Colleges.” Graded A for academics, UCI was named the United States’ 114th hardest college to get into by Niche. The Princeton Review recognized UCI within the “Top 50 Green Colleges.” The ARWU Shanghai Rankings also place UC Irvine 58th globally.

University of California – Irvine Accreditation Details

Reaffirmed on March 11, 2013, the University of California – Irvine is regionally accredited by the Senior Commission of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). This 10-year approval is recognized by the Council on Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). Specific schools have pursued additional accreditation from:

• Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET)
• Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)
• American Bar Association (ABA)
• Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH)
• Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB)
• Commission on English Language Program Accreditation (CEA)
• Planning Accreditation Board (PAB)
• American Psychological Association Commission on Accreditation (APA CoA)

University of California – Irvine Application Requirements

Classified as “more selective,” the University of California – Irvine only accepts 39 percent of applicants. Freshmen holding a state-approved high school diploma must have completed minimum “A-G” course requirements, including four years of English. Ranking in the top 10 percent of one’s class is preferred. California residents must present a minimum 3.0 GPA, but out-of-staters are held to a 3.4. Honors and AP courses for academic rigor are weighed. On average, UCI students achieve an ACT score of 27 or SAT score of 1240 (from 1600).

Transfer to UC Irvine is reserved for students with 60 semester or 90 quarter units from regionally accredited institutions, including two English composition courses. Incoming transfers must possess a minimum 2.4 GPA, but a 3.0 is suggested for competition. International students on F-1 or J-1 visa must score above 550 on the TOEFL pBT or equivalent. Graduate admission will necessitate an accredited bachelor’s degree or master’s for Advanced Standing, yet requirements vary. Attaining a cumulative GPA above 3.2 in the last 60 units is preferred.

Application deadlines at the University of California – Irvine are November 30th for Fall, July 31st for Winter, and October 31st for Spring. Log onto your My UC account to submit:

• Payment for the $70 application fee (or certified waiver)
• Requests for high school and post-secondary transcripts
• Official standardized testing reports with Writing
• Short, 350-word personal insight question responses

Tuition and Financial Aid

Full-time undergraduates from California will pay $3,740 each quarter or $11,220 annually for tuition. Non-residents add $8,894 in supplemental tuition for $26,682 each year. Mandatory fees include the $358 student services fee, $88 recreation center fee, and $60 eTech fee per quarter. Part-time scholars receive reduced tuition at $1,870 (in-state) and $4,447 (out-of-state) each term. Remember that room and board adds approximately $13,661 yearly. Graduate program costs vary by discipline. For instance, the Master of Public Health charges $7,724 in-state while the Health Care MBA bills $15,702 for Californians.

Luckily, financial aid can cut the above tuition burden significantly. Around 65 percent of full-time undergraduates earn need-based assistance by submitting the FAFSA before March 2nd. The Pell Grant, FSEOG Grant, or TEACH Grant are prospective federal programs. Golden State residents could obtain the Cal Grant, Middle Class Scholarship, and/or Chafee Grant. The California Dream Act also helps AB540-eligible students. Federal Work-Study (FWS) jobs are awarded through the Career Center’s Zotlink for $1,500 per quarter. Institutional awards, such as the Rosa Parks Award, Engineering Dean’s Excellence Scholarship, and Judi Q. Luu Memorial Scholarship, are abundant. The Blue and Gold Opportunity Plan also covers fees for Californians whose family makes under $80,000 annually. If needed, Perkins, Stafford, Grad PLUS, and private loans are also accepted.

Student Experience

The University of California – Irvine is a large academic powerhouse divided into 12 schools, such as the top-ranked Paul Merage School of Business. Students have the freedom to select from 83 bachelor’s, 60 master’s, and 59 doctoral programs. Unique undergraduate degree offerings include the B.A. Chicano/Latino Studies, B.S. Cognitive Sciences, B.A. East Asian Cultures, B.S. Genetics, B.S. Pharmaceutical Sciences, and B.A. Quantitative Economics. The Master of Fine Arts (M.F.A.) is particularly renowned for producing authors like Alice Sebold and Richard Ford. UCI operates with three 10-week quarters and an 11-week summer session each year. The 19:1 student-faculty ratio ensures close professor interaction in every program.

Learning opportunities outside the UC Irvine classroom are unparalleled. New bachelor’s students participate in the first-year Freshmen Edge experience. Many scholars opt to join the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP) for year-long projects in cutting-edge centers like the Beckman Laser Institute or Institute for Virtual Environments and Computer Games. The SAGE Scholars Program gifts $8,000 scholarships with internships at local companies, including Merrill Lynch and Broadcom. Students in the UCDC Program intern with government agencies in Washington, DC. Service learning placements are available through the Cross-Cultural Center. The Study Abroad Center also has partnerships extending from Hong Kong to Morocco and Ireland.

Approximately 41 percent of UCI students live on-campus in 24 residence halls named after The Hobbit characters and locations. Therefore, campus life is extremely active with 650+ student-led organizations. That doesn’t even include fun intramurals like dragon boat, cricket, figure skating, and water polo. Sports fans can join the “Antourage” to cheer on the NCAA Division I teams in the Big West Conference, including the 2013 men’s volleyball national champions. Students gather around Anteater Plaza for exciting annual events like Shocktoberfest and Summerlands. The University of California – Irvine location also places students near Limestone Canyon, the San Joaquin Hills, and Newport Beach for recreation.