Is UCLA a good school? This is a common question among young high school graduates seeking tertiary education in a public institution. The University of California – Los Angeles is a prestigious university that has maintained excellent education standards alongside other top national and global academic institutions in addition to its active student life and extracurricular activities.
The University of California – Los Angeles, located in southern California, is considered the best public school in the US, making it no surprise that the university receives nearly 200,000 applications yearly. This article breaks down UCLA’s ranking, what UCLA is known for, and looks at UCLA reviews to help you determine whether or not UCLA is a good school for you.
- Campus Location(s): Los Angeles
- Accreditation: WASC Senior College and University Commission
- Acceptance Rate: 11%
- Graduation Rate: 92%
- Annual Undergraduate Tuition: $13,258(in state); $43,012 (out of state)
- Annual Graduate Tuition: $11,442 (in state); $26,544 (out of state)
Founded in 1882, the University of California – Los Angeles is a public research university that rivals the best the US has to offer. UCLA is part of the University of California system and is the second-oldest member after UC Berkeley. Furthermore, the university offers its approximately 45,000 students over 250 academic programs out of its 13 schools and colleges.
UCLA is home to several student societies and organizations, including over 70 sororities and fraternities, multiple sports teams, and numerous clubs. The National Center for Education Statistics states that 92 percent of UCLA students graduate to join its alumni network. This association provides benefits such as graduate scholarships and alumni travel.
Where Is UCLA?
The University of California – Los Angeles, as the name suggests, is located in the Westwood neighborhood of Los Angeles, California, minutes away from Beverly Hills and Santa Monica beach. The school’s official address is 405 Hilgard Avenue, Los Angeles, and its campus sits on a 419-acre complex, one mile east of the San Diego freeway.
What Is UCLA Known For?
UCLA is known for its School of Theater, Film, and Television, among other things. Due to its proximity to Hollywood, it has heavily influenced the film industry. Several high-profile actors, including James Franco and former US president Ronald Reagan, have affiliations with UCLA, in addition to other famous alumni. UCLA also has a fantastic medical school and law school.
Is UCLA Ivy League?
No, UCLA isn’t an Ivy League school. The Ivy League is made up of eight private research universities, including Columbia University and the University of Pennsylvania, known for their academic excellence. UCLA is considered a member of the Public Ivy, an association of prestigious public schools providing a college experience comparable to Ivy League schools.
How Big Is UCLA?
UCLA is very big, with over 31,600 undergraduate students and 14,300 graduate and professional students, out of which 5,400 are international students representing 118 countries. This makes UCLA the second-largest college in California in terms of its student body. While the school’s average class size is quite large, its student-to-faculty ratio is only 18 to one.
Is a Degree From UCLA Good?
Yes, a degree from the University of California – Los Angeles is good. According to US News & World Report, the programs offered at UCLA are some of the best in the country. Many factors determine if a degree is good, including the school’s prestige and employability. UCLA ticks all the right boxes in this regard, with a 98.6 percent graduate employment rate, according to QS World University Rankings.
How Much Does UCLA Cost?
UCLA costs $13,258 for in-state and $43,012 for out-of-state undergraduate students while graduate tuition costs $11,442 for in-state students and $26,544 for out-of-state students. Additional costs such as transportation, housing, and health insurance average around $23,644. While expensive, the costs are quite fitting, considering it’s one of the country’s most elite universities.
UCLA Financial Aid
UCLA’s tuition and fees are pretty affordable compared to other schools of the same caliber. Nonetheless, the university offers many financial aid opportunities for students, including federal government grants and student loans like the FAFSA and DREAM act. Students can also apply for a wide range of scholarships or work part-time jobs on-campus.
- UCLA Freshman Regents Scholarship. This scholarship awards between $2,000 and $9,000 to up to 40 students each year. These students must be first-year students or transfer students and must demonstrate exceptional promise, academic excellence, and leadership.
- UCLA Alumni Scholarships. The UCLA Alumni Association sponsors several True Bruin scholarships. These scholarships can be applied to all kinds of students, including graduates and honors students. Moreover, they provide annual awards of $6,000 to $20,000 to freshmen and community college transfer students with financial needs.
- Rose Hills Foundation Scholarship. This scholarship is awarded to undergraduates in any engineering, life sciences, or natural sciences program. The exact amount varies from one recipient to the next, depending on their financial need. In addition, this scholarship prioritizes students in a research program with a GPA of 3.5 or above.
- Don Shepherd Endowed Undergraduate Scholarship. This scholarship awards $8,000 to freshmen who are US citizens and permanent residents of San Diego enrolled in a program at the College of Letters and Science demonstrating financial need. Renewable for up to four years, awardees must maintain a GPA of 3.75 or above.
- Acacia Fraternity Endowed Scholarship. This renewable $5,000 scholarship is given to members of the Acacia Fraternity or Freemasons, their children, or grandchildren. Candidates must show proof of membership, maintain a GPA of 3.5 or above, show financial need, and be participants in at least one extracurricular activity.
UCLA is a nationally and globally renowned university. Several college reviews and rankings organizations, such as US News & World Report, Times Higher Education, and the Center for World University Ranking, firmly place UCLA in the top 20 of whichever college list it appears in. The following breaks down UCLA’s ranking across numerous ranking bodies.
UCLA US News & World Report Ranking
US News & World Report ranks UCLA as the 14th best university in the world and 20th among the best national universities. UCLA is also first among all public universities in the US, making it the dream school for many. These rankings are based on 17 different factors, including academic quality, financial aid, graduation and retention rates, faculty opinions, and student reviews.
UCLA Times Higher Education Ranking
According to Times Higher Education Rankings, UCLA is the 20th best university among global universities, surpassing top private schools like Cornell University and Duke University but falling just behind the likes of Johns Hopkins University and Harvard University. Times Higher Education Rankings uses five criteria for its ranking, with UCLA getting an overall score of 86.7 out of 100.
UCLA Center for World University Rankings
The Center for World University Rankings ranks UCLA as the 18th best university in the world and 15th in the US. CWUR uses four criteria in its ranking methodology, namely, education, faculty, employability, and research. With an overall score of 88.6 percent, UCLA does exceptionally well on this scoring system, again surpassing Duke University.
UCLA QS World University Rankings
The QS World University Rankings place UCLA in the 40th position among global universities for the 2022 academic year. As of 2012, the school has consistently maintained a position among QS’s top 50 universities worldwide. QS World University Rankings uses nine ranking categories, within which UCLA scores highly, including a 99.9 percent employer reputation score.
UCLA Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU)
According to Shanghai Ranking’s Academic Ranking of World Universities, UCLA ranks 14th among world universities globally and is the 11th best university in the US. Shanghai Ranking prioritizes universities that have Nobel Laureates, Fields medalists, and other academic awardees among its faculty, which UCLA has in bunches.
Top Programs at UCLA
UCLA provides a unique education experience unlike any other public or private school in the country. Its learning structure offers students multiple paths to earn their degrees, including dual enrollment and study abroad programs. The following sections examine the top undergraduate, graduate, professional, and extension programs offered at UCLA.
Bachelor’s Degrees at UCLA
The University of California – Los Angeles offers 130 world-class undergraduate majors and 90 minors. These programs are among the country’s best and most popular bachelor’s degree programs. Moreover, they provide excellent internship and undergraduate research opportunities. Below are UCLA’s three most popular majors offered at the undergraduate level.
Bachelor of Arts in Political Science
This program has six concentration fields, including political theory, comparative politics, and international relations. In this program, students learn to apply critical, logical, and mathematical reasoning to various political processes and contexts. Furthermore, they learn to make written and verbal political arguments and back them up using concrete evidence.
Bachelor of Science in Biology
Students in this program can borrow courses from other physical sciences programs, providing each student with a unique learning experience. Furthermore, it includes research courses that enable students to conduct their own undergraduate research. Students in this program gain a broad foundation in science that prepares them for further studies or careers in health science.
Bachelor of Arts in Psychology
According to US News & World Report, this is the best clinical psychology undergraduate program in the country. It teaches students various theoretical and practical approaches to analyzing human and animal behavior. Students can specialize in several areas of clinical psychology, such as cognition and psychobiology, and can work on individual research or partner with graduate research students.
Master’s Degrees at UCLA
Offering over 40 graduate programs, UCLA is classified as an R1: Very High Research University. Students have the opportunity to work with renowned faculty members, including Nobel Laureates and Turing Award recipients. UCLA’s master’s degree programs are among the highest-ranked nationally. The list below examines the best master’s programs at UCLA.
Master of Science in Electrical and Computer Engineering
This engineering program offered by the Samueli School of Engineering provides three academic paths to graduate students. Students can either take a course-based path and complete nine four-unit courses needed for graduation, complete seven courses and a capstone project, or finish eight courses and a research dissertation.
Master of Arts in Mathematics
This program has a strong focus on research and offers its students the choice of seven different research concentrations from its curriculum. Taught by a team of excellent professors, it prepares students for a wide range of careers across the areas of business, government, and entertainment.
Master of Fine Arts
This program encourages students to work independently and explore other aspects of fine arts beyond its six main concentration areas. Students learn in small classes that enable them to receive direct instruction from their teachers. The curriculum includes courses across all forms of traditional and digital arts, including sculpting, photography, and ceramics.
Other Top Programs at UCLA
UCLA isn’t just limited to bachelor’s and master’s programs. It also offers several PhD and professional degree programs which benefit greatly from the research status UCLA has obtained. In addition to its traditional academic options, the UCLA Extension Boot Camps provide top-notch courses and certificate programs.
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PhD in Nursing
This PhD program offered by the UCLA School of Nursing aims to provide fundamental knowledge of practice in the nursing profession. Students learn to test and develop theories based on biological and psychosocial healthcare research. The admission process for this program allows both master’s degree and bachelor’s degree holders to apply.
Master of Business Administration
This two-year professional program trains students to become leaders in the field of business and is designed for those coming from a myriad of educational backgrounds and academic disciplines. Offered out of the Anderson School of Business, its students develop relationships with several leading organizations in the country, including AT&T and Goldman Sachs.
Data Science Certificate
This certificate program is designed for professionals looking to apply data analytics in various sectors of the economy. The curriculum contains several online classes that teach students how to use statistics, data management, and machine learning to analyze data, as well as how to build predictive models and communicate their results using data visualization tools.
How to Apply to UCLA
- Create an application account. To begin the application process at UCLA, you’ll first need to create an online account on the University of California’s application system. Creating your account will require an email address and a password. You should use a non-school email account whose inbox you check regularly.
- Select a term and level. After creating your account, you’ll need to select which term you plan to start on and specify whether you are a freshman or a transfer student. You’ll still be considered a freshman if you complete summer college courses after high school.
- Fill in each application section. The application portal contains several sections for you to fill in with the relevant information. These sections include Academic History, Campuses and Majors, Test Scores, and Personal Insight Questions. Make sure to fill these sections honestly and accurately and save your information regularly.
- Review your application. After filling out your application, follow the instructions on the last page to review the information you entered and make any needed corrections. Once you’ve confirmed that you’ve entered the correct information, finish any sections labeled ‘To Do.’
- Submit your application. Upon reviewing your application, click the ‘Submit’ button to send it to the admissions officers and go through the confirmation pages. Indicate if you want your application to be shared with relevant parties and pay your application fees or apply for a fee waiver. After doing so, you can choose to print out your application and receipts. Make sure to meet application deadlines.
How Much Do UCLA Graduates Earn?
According to PayScale, UCLA graduates earn an average salary of $86,000 per year, well above the national average salary. Its highest-paid graduates are software engineers, who have an average annual salary of over $104,000. UCLA equips its students with the skills they need to become industry leaders, setting them up for more lucrative salaries and compensations.
Is UCLA a Good College?
Yes, UCLA is a good college because it offers an exceptional educational experience. Students at UCLA have access to pristine learning facilities and plenty of financial aid opportunities. In addition, the numerous internships, research programs, and study abroad programs offered at UCLA prepare students for successful careers upon graduation.
UCLA has developed a solid reputation among employers across various organizations of all kinds and is respected among its contemporaries. Admission to UCLA is highly sought-after by prospective students across the country, and learning how to get accepted into UCLA can greatly improve your chances of admission.
Is UCLA a Good School? FAQ
Yes, UCLA is hard to get into. The university receives hundreds of thousands of applications yearly. Admission into UCLA is very competitive, with only 11 percent of applicants being admitted into the school. UCLA is an elite school and a member of the Public Ivy. As such, it has a very low student-to-faculty ratio, with nearly half of all classes having fewer than 20 students. Attending UCLA’s pre-college programs may also be a good idea if you want to know more about the college.
Yes, you can attend UCLA online to access the high-quality education programs it has to offer. The university provides several online engineering master’s programs in addition to some of the best paid and free online courses through its extension school. That being said, there are no online undergraduate or PhD programs at UCLA.
If you are a resident of California, you need a minimum GPA of 3.0 on a four-point scale. On the other hand, if you are a non-resident, you need at least a GPA of 3.4. That being said, having a good GPA that is above the required minimum does not guarantee acceptance into any of its programs.
Yes, you can get on-campus housing at UCLA. The university provides accommodations in several residence halls for affordable prices. These halls also include an optional meal plan. UCLA on-campus housing features apartment-style accommodations perfect for single or shared occupancy.
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