University of California
The University of California (UC) is a public university system in the U.S. state of California. Under the California Master Plan for Higher Education, the University of California is a part of the state's three-system public higher education plan, which also includes the California State University system and the California Community Colleges System.Governed by a semi-autonomous Board of Regents, the University of California has 10 campuses, a combined student body of 238,700 students, 19,700 faculty members, 135,900 staff members and over 1.6 million living alumni as of spring 2015 The University of California was founded in 1868 in Berkeley, California. Its tenth and newest campus, UC Merced, opened for classes in fall 2005. Nine campuses enroll both undergraduate and graduate students; one campus, UC San Francisco, enrolls only graduate and professional students in the medical and health sciences. In addition, the UC Hastings College of Law, located in San Francisco, shares the "UC" name but is otherwise effectively unaffiliated with the UC system. The University of California's campuses boast large numbers of distinguished faculty in almost every field and it is widely regarded as one of the top university systems in the world. The University of California has won more Nobel Prizes than any other collegiate system. The universities within the University of California system are perennially ranked highly by various publications. Most notably, UC Berkeley, UCLA, and UC San Diego are respectively ranked 4th, 12th, and 14th worldwide by the Academic Ranking of World Universities.
In 1849, the state of California ratified its first constitution, which contained the express objective of creating a complete educational system including a state university. Taking advantage of the Morrill Land Grant Act, the California Legislature established an Agricultural, Mining, and Mechanical Arts College in 1866.Meanwhile, Congregational minister Henry Durant, an alumnus of Yale, had established the private Contra Costa Academy, on June 20, 1853, in Oakland, California. The initial site was bounded by Twelfth and Fourteenth Streets and Harrison and Franklin Streets in downtown Oakland. In turn, the Trustees of the Contra Costa Academy were granted a charter on April 13, 1855, for a College of California. State Historical Plaque No. 45 marks the site of the College of California at the northeast corner of Thirteenth and Franklin Streets in Oakland. Hoping both to expand and raise funds, the College of California's trustees formed the College Homestead Association and purchased 160 acres (650,000 m²) of land in what is now Berkeley in 1866. But sales of new homesteads fell short. Governor Frederick Low favored the establishment of a state university based upon the University of Michigan plan, and thus in one sense may be regarded as the founder of the University of California. In 1867, he suggested a merger of the existing College of California with the proposed state university. On October 9, 1867, the College's trustees reluctantly agreed to merge with the state college to their mutual advantage, but under one condition—that there not be simply a "Agricultural, Mining, and Mechanical Arts College", but a complete university, within which the College of California would become the College of Letters (now the College of Letters and Science). Accordingly, the Organic Act, establishing the University of California, was signed into law by Governor Henry H. Haight (Low's successor) on March 23, 1868.The University of California's second president, Daniel Coit Gilman, opened the Berkeley campus in September 1873. Earlier that year, Toland Medical College in San Francisco had agreed to become the University's "Medical Department"; it later evolved into UCSF. In 1878, the University established Hastings College of the Law in San Francisco as its first law school. The California Constitution was amended to designate Hastings as the "Law Department" of the University of California in consideration of a $100,000 gift from Serranus Clinton Hastings. It is now known as Hastings College of the Law. UC Hastings is the only University of California campus which is not governed by the Regents of the University of California.In August 1882, a southern branch campus of the California State Normal School opened in Los Angeles.The southern branch campus would remain under administrative control of the San Jose State University (California's oldest public university campus, established in 1857) until 1919, when by act of the California state legislature the school merged with the University of California in Berkeley, California, and was renamed the Southern Branch of the University of California. This Southern Branch became UCLA in 1927. In 1944, the former Santa Barbara State College—renamed UC Santa Barbara—became the third general-education campus of the University of California system.The San Diego campus was founded as a marine station in 1912 and, in 1959, became UCSD. UC established additional general campuses at Santa Cruz and Irvine in 1965. UC Merced opened in fall 2005. The California Master Plan for Higher Education of 1960 established that UC must admit undergraduates from the top 12.5% (one-eighth) of graduating high school seniors in California. Prior to the promulgation of the Master Plan, UC was to admit undergraduates from the top 15%. The University does not currently adhere to all tenets of the original Master Plan, such as the directive that no campus was to exceed total enrollment of 27,500 students in order to ensure quality. Four campuses, Berkeley, Davis, Los Angeles, and San Diego all currently enroll over 30,000.
Each UC school handles admissions separately, but a student wishing to apply for undergraduate admission uses one application for all UCs. Graduate and professional school admissions are handled directly by each department or program to which one applies. Before 1986, students who wanted to apply to UC for undergraduate study could only apply to one campus. Students who were rejected at that campus that otherwise met the UC minimum eligibility requirements were redirected to another campus with available space. Students who didn't want to be redirected were refunded their application fees. In 1986, that system changed to the current "multiple filing" system, in which students can apply to as many or as few UC campuses as they want on one application, paying a fee for each campus. This significantly increased the number of applications to the Berkeley and Los Angeles campuses, since students could choose a campus to attend after they received acceptance letters, without fear of being redirected to a campus they did not want to attend.The University of California accepts fully eligible students from among the top one-eighth (1/8) of California public high school graduates through regular statewide admission, or the top 9% of any given high school class through Eligibility in the Local Context (see below). All eligible California high school students who apply are accepted to the University, though not necessarily to the campus of choice. Eligible students who are not accepted to the campus(es) of their choice are placed in the "referral pool", where campuses with open space may offer admission to those students; in 2003, 10% of students who received an offer through this referral process accepted it.In 2007, about 4,100 UC-eligible students who were not offered admission to their campus of choice were referred to UCR and UC Merced, the system's newest campus. In 2015, all UC-eligible students rejected by their campus of choice were redirected to UC Merced, which is now the only campus that has space for all qualified applicants.The old Undergraduate admissions are conducted on a two-phase basis. In the first phase, students are admitted based solely on academic achievement. This accounts for between 50 to 75% of the admissions. In the second phase, the university conducts a "comprehensive review" of the student's achievements, including extracurricular activities, essay, family history, and life challenges, to admit the remainder. Students who do not qualify for regular admission are "admitted by exception"; in 2002, approximately 2% of newly admitted undergraduates were admitted by exception