As the first American research university of the 21st century, UC Merced's graduate community is built upon the foundational pillars of diversity and interdisciplinarity.

Innovative academic programs, close working relationships between students and faculty, and a commitment to research excellence facilitate exploration of sustainable energy, antibiotic resistance, genomics, nanotechnology, language acquisition, robotics, social movements, and more.

UC Merced is home to the University of California Advanced Solar Technologies Institute. UC Solar, along with the Sierra Nevada Research Institute, the Health Sciences Research Institute, and other signature research institutes, provide opportunities for students to work with internationally acclaimed researchers and access to powerful research facilities. In addition, the Center for the Humanities offers stellar lectures by prominent public intellectuals and cultural events.

Campus life

At UC Merced, the diversity in backgrounds, experiences and perspectives of faculty, students and staff contributes to the vitality and richness of the campus and the wider San Joaquin Valley. The campus is deeply committed to sustainability and environmental stewardship, with innovative facilities and operations, and unprecedented conservation of surrounding wilderness areas.

The city of Merced offers a low cost of living and high quality of life, with plenty to do on campus and in the downtown area, with its emerging arts and cultural centers. The campus and city are surrounded by streams, parks and an extensive bike path system. It’s also close enough for day trips to San Francisco, Sacramento, Yosemite National Park and local wineries.

Campus snapshot

  • Student body: 6,268 total;
    384 graduate students
  • Graduate programs: 10+
  • Setting: Small city

Undergraduate research programs

Completing a research project before you apply to graduate school can help you be a competitive applicant. UC Merced has several structured research programs to choose from.


Learn more

UC Merced Graduate Division

Contact: or (209) 228-4723