University of California–Riverside is a public institution that was founded in 1954. It has a total undergraduate enrollment of 16,996, its setting is urban, and the campus size is 1,200 acres. It utilizes a quarter-based academic calendar. University of California–Riverside’s ranking in the 2011 edition of Best Colleges is National Universities, 94.


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Despite its setting in Southern California, UCR has a distinctly Scottish feel. All residence halls at the University of California-Riverside are named for landmarks in Scotland, including Aberdeen-Inverness and Pentland Hills. Student athletes compete as UCR Highlanders in the NCAA Division I Big West Conference. The school’s original mascot was a live Scottish terrier; today, sports teams are supported by a kilt-clad bear named Scotty. Members of the student Pep Band don plaid berets and sashes as they play the “Brave Scots” fight song at sports matches, and students who play the bagpipes or drums can join the school’s Pipe Band as well. More than 70 percent of UCR students are commuters, and freshmen do not have to live on campus. Students may want to hang around after class, however, for notable annual events like the fall Block Party and Spring Splash. There are more than 300 student organizations to check out, too, including about 40 fraternities and sororities. Freshmen can ease into college with the help of the First Year Success Series, a combination of seminars and workshops that teach students study and time management skills. Riverside is in an ideal location for roadtrips, with Disneyland and Orange County within a 40 mile drive and Los Angeles about 60 miles away.

UCR is one of 10 schools in the public state system, and was the official UC Citrus Experiment Station before becoming a university. In the years since, faculty researchers have bred several new types of fruit, including the Melogold grapefruit and the Golden Nugget orange. Today, the university offers well-regarded graduate programs through the Bourns College of Engineering and Graduate School of Education. Notable alumni include Pulitzer Prize-winning editorial cartoonist Steve Breen, best-selling mystery novel author Elizabeth George, and Nobel Prize-winning chemist Richard Schrock.

With a population of more than 19,000 students, UCR is the most diverse campus in the prestigious 10 campus UC system, and is the fifth most diverse university in the nation. UCR has a history of giving first-generation college-goers a jump-start toward achieving their dreams, enabling social and economic mobility. We inspire our students to expand their horizons, and we equip them to succeed. Whether they’re aiming for graduate or professional school or they plan a career after college, UCR is the right place to help students achieve their goals. With an annual statewide economic impact of nearly $1 billion, UCR is actively shaping the region’s future.

Our recently opened satellite in Palm Desert includes an innovative entrepreneurial MBA, and graduate programs in the arts. Plans include opening a medical school that will bring a higher level of care to our community and carry UCR’s tradition of applicable innovation into the realm of health care. More than just a place of discovery, we’ve earned a reputation for translating fundamental knowledge into actionable solutions. By applying our distinct strengths and advantages strategically, we carry forward the UC system’s tradition of public service. Whether in entomology, engineering, or new voices in literature, UCR is contributing to the wider world.

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