The department's mission is to offer a wide range of high-quality athletics and recreation programs to enhance and enrich students' educational experiences.
UC Merced is a member of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) and competes in the California Pacific (Cal Pac) Conference. The campus sponsors eight varsity sports including men’s and women’s basketball, men’s and women’s soccer, men’s and women’s volleyball, and men’s and women’s cross country, and continues to add more sports.
The Joseph Edward Gallo Recreation and Wellness Center and the Student Activities and Athletics Center feature a full complement of fitness programming along with cardiovascular machines, strength-training equipment and drop-in recreational activities such as basketball, badminton and volleyball. The intramural sports and sport club programs also provide structured recreational opportunities including offerings such as soccer, basketball, archery and much more.
Students, faculty and staff members can explore the great outdoors through the Outdoor Experience Program, which offers trips for all skill levels throughout the year. With UC Merced’s close proximity to Yosemite National Park and the coast, day trips are popular.