University of California in Riverside

About the University of California in Riverside

The University of California - Riverside (UC Riverside) is a public research university located in Southern California, about 55 miles east of Los Angeles. UC Riverside was originally established as the Citrus Experiment Station for agricultural research in 1907, until the University of California Regents granted it college status in 1948. Today, the campus is one of ten universities in the University of California system, and UC Riverside serves more than 20,000 students. The university's 17 athletic teams, part of the Big West Conference, participate at the NCAA Division I level.


UC Riverside is comprised of three colleges and two schools, which offer students bachelor's, master's and doctoral degree programs; there are also 17 California teaching credential programs. In 2010-2011, the most popular undergraduate programs included business administration and management, psychology, and biology. The most popular master's degree programs were business administration and creative writing. At the doctorate level, the most popular degrees awarded were in electrical and electronics engineering and chemistry.

The university has four libraries on campus offering more than 2.3 million volumes, as well as microforms, serial subscriptions, and government publications, to meet the research needs of students and faculty. These four libraries include the Tomás Rivera Library, which houses the Eaton Collection, which is the largest collection of science fiction and fantasy in the world. Other libraries include the Raymond L. Orbach Science Library, the Music Library, and the Multimedia Library.

There are also over 20 research centers and institutes at UC Riverside operated under the Research and Economic Development division and the university's three colleges, including the Bourns College of Engineering; the College of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences; and the College of Natural and Agricultural Science. These centers and institutes incorporate research opportunities across a broad range of disciplines from nanoscale engineering to conservation biology to California native nations.


Prospective undergraduate students can apply on the University of California application website starting on October 1 for the fall quarter of the following year. Applicants must meet or exceed the University of California admission requirements, which include taking a minimum of 15 college preparation courses and maintaining at least a 3.0 GPA (3.4 for nonresidents) while in high school. ACT or SAT scores are also required.

California high school graduates are guaranteed admission to a UC school, space permitting, if they meet certain GPA and test score requirements. These requirements include being in the top nine percent of their graduating high school classes or being in the top nine percent of California high school graduates, based on a combination of grades and test scores.

UC Riverside does not give college credit for College Level Examination Program (CLEP) scores; however, it does provide college credit for qualifying Advanced Placement (AP) scores.

Tuition & Financial Aid

As of fall 2012, an in-state undergraduate student paid about $3,740 per quarter in tuition and a nonresident undergraduate paid $3,740 per quarter in regular tuition, plus an additional $7,626 per quarter in supplemental tuition. For both residents and nonresidents, the estimated cost for books and supplies was about $1,800 per year. The cost of estimated living expenses ranged from about $8,500-$12,100 per year, depending upon a student's living situation.

UC Riverside offers a variety of need- and merit-based scholarships, including the Chancellor's Scholarship, the Regents Scholarship, and alumni scholarships. For the 2010-2011 school year, the university awarded over $21,583,000 in grants and scholarships to first-time freshmen.

School Type 4-year, public research university*
Degrees Offered Bachelor's, master's, doctorates, state teaching credentials**
Religious Affiliation None*
Academic Calendar Quarters**
School Setting Large city*
Student Body 18,522 undergraduates and 2,378 graduate students in fall 2011*
Student Housing Residence halls, apartments, and family housing are available; a statement of intent to register is due May 1, and the first month's payment and deposit are due May 10**
Schools and Programs Three colleges and two schools; 80 bachelor's degree programs, 46 master's degree programs, 38 doctoral degree programs, and 17 California teaching credential programs**
Student-Faculty Ratio 19 to 1*
Most Popular Fields of Study by Degree Level (Number of Recipients) In 2010-2011:
Bachelor's: Business Administration and Management (572)
Master's: Business Administration and Management (84)
Doctorate: Electrical and Electronics Engineering (23)*
Undergraduate Graduation Rates 39% in four years
65% in six years
67% in eight years*
Admission Rate 76% in fall 2010*
Entering Class Size 4,458 full-time, 11 part-time in fall 2011***
First-Year Retention Rates 88% (full-time students)
45% (part-time students)*
Average ACT Score of Admitted Students Middle 50% range in 2010: 19-24*
Application Due Date November 30 the year prior to desired fall admission**
Decision Notification Date: Rolling notifications begin February 1****
Tuition $12,924 per year for state residents, $35,802 per year for nonresidents (estimated cost for 2011-2012)**
Financial Aid Sources Available (Percent of Students Receiving it) In 2010-2011: Federal grants (57%), state and local grants/scholarships (52%), institutional grants/scholarships (73%), federal students loans (59%), other student loans (1%)*
Percent of Students Receiving Some Form of Aid 86% in 2010-2011*

Sources: *College Navigator, NCES, **University of California-Riverside, ***IPED, National Center for Education Statistics, ****College Board.

School Contact Information

  • Address: Undergraduate Admissions, University of California - Riverside, 3106 Student Services Building, 900 University Avenue, Riverside, CA 92521
  • Phone: (951) 827-3411
  • Website:

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