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UC Merced Seeks First Undergraduate Student Applications

October 29, 2004
Opening Day of Classes on New Campus Site Set for September 6, 2005

MERCED, CA. — Calling all students: UC Merced is seeking applications from prospective freshman and transfer students who wish to be the first to enroll at the new University of California campus opening next year.

Students are strongly encouraged to submit the University of California's Application for Undergraduate Admissions and Scholarships during the priority application filing period, which runs from Nov. 1 through Nov. 30 for Fall 2005. UC Merced's fall semester officially begins on Aug. 29, 2005, with the first day of instruction set for Sept. 6, 2005.

“UC Merced represents a unique opportunity for students, ” says Chancellor Carol Tomlinson-Keasey. “Our first class will help shape the university, founding and leading campus activities and programs. Simultaneously, they will have unprecedented, personalized access to world-renowned scholars.”

With a special mission to serve the students in the San Joaquin Valley - defined as the region from Stockton to Bakersfield and including Sierra Nevada foothill communities - UC Merced also will expand access to the University of California for UC-eligible students throughout California.

“During the first year, we will admit all freshmen applicants who have achieved UC's Eligibility in the Local Context (ELC) designation,” says Encarnación Ruíz, UC Merced's Director of Admissions and Relations with Schools and Colleges.

ELC students are those who have been recognized by the University of California as being in the top 4 percent of their graduating class.

“Serving transfer students also is a priority at UC Merced,” Ruíz adds. “As a new campus, we're in a good position to assist UC in fulfilling its commitment to offer admission to all eligible applicants.”

For students interested in graduate-level study, UC Merced will offer master's degree and doctorate programs during the 2005-06 academic year. Applications for graduate admission will be accepted only for Fall 2005 and must be submitted by February 1, 2005.

In its inaugural year, the 10th UC campus will give students a choice of degree programs with undergraduate and graduate-level concentrations in approximately 20 disciplines. Initial academic programs will be offered through the Schools of Engineering; Natural Sciences; and Social Sciences, Humanities and Arts. The number of courses, majors and degree programs is expected to expand rapidly as additional faculty members are brought on board and enrollment grows to a Phase I target of 5,000 students by the 2008-09 academic year

Opening with about 1,000 students, UC Merced will serve approximately 600 freshmen, 300 transfer students and 100 graduate students. About one-third to one-half of the freshman class is expected to come from high schools around the San Joaquin Valley. UC Merced admissions officers have also seen strong interest from other regions of the state, including the Los Angeles basin and the San Francisco Bay area.

The first major American research university to be built in the 21st century, UC Merced is expected to admit an additional 800 students each year. Full development of the campus is anticipated within approximately three decades, at which time UC Merced will serve 25,000 students.

Located in the center of California, the 910-acre campus is under construction just outside the city of Merced and adjacent to Merced County's Lake Yosemite Park. The UC Board of Regents authorized planning for a 10th UC campus in 1988 based on projections of long-range enrollment demand and targeted the San Joaquin Valley - one of the fastest-growing regions in the state and one of the most distant from existing UC campuses - for its location. Merced was selected as the site for the newest UC campus in 1995.


University of California Application for Undergraduate Admission and Scholarships

Application for Graduate Admission to UC Merced


  • November 1-30, 2004 Priority application filing period for undergraduate admission (freshman and transfer) to fall semester and scholarship
  • January 2-March 2, 2005 Financial aid priority application filing period for students applying for fall or spring semester admission to submit Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and a GPA Verification Form
  • February 1, 2005 Application deadline for graduate student admission to fall semester
  • March 1-31, 2005 On-time applicants for freshman admission to fall semester notified of admission decision
  • March 1-April 30, 2005 On-time applicants for transfer admission to fall semester notified of admission decision


UC Merced Office of Admissions/Relations with Schools and Colleges
(Information for prospective undergraduate students)
Toll-free: (866) 270-7301

UC Merced Graduate Division
(Information for prospective graduate students)
Phone: (209) 724-4429
E-mail: Vice Chancellor/Dean Keith Alley at

UC Merced Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships
Phone: (209) 724-4384

UC Merced Office of Student Life
(Information about student life, housing and health services)
Phone: (209) 724-4482