University of California, Riverside

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UC Riverside Overview

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UC Riverside is at the crossroads of Southern California – and at the major issues of our time. Our student body of 21,000 is the most diverse in the University of California system; these high-achievers reflect the sweeping demographic changes that have marked the California Experience in recent decades. Almost 60 percent of our undergraduates are first in their families to earn college degrees. Our faculty of 700 scholars is distinguished by more than a century of impactful research, and today UC Riverside is a living laboratory for the exploration of issues critical to communities at home and abroad.

Ours is one of the fastest growing regions in a state whose economy ranks among nations. From our roots in 1907 as the University of California’s Citrus Experiment Station, to the opening of the College of Letters & Science [1954] and then designation as a general UC campus [1959], our growth has mirrored the growth of Southern California. Once a small university in a small town, we are now the premier research and educational institution in the thriving Inland Southern California region. With the current implementation of a new ten-year plan to move the campus to a higher level of excellence in every aspect of campus life, we are seeing our faculty and students gaining greater recognition on the national and international stage. The opening to students of our new School of Medicine [Fall 2013] and School of Public Policy [Fall 2014] will further propel the campus in prominence. The campus has excellent town-gown relations with the City of Riverside, which was named 2012 “most intelligent city” by the Intelligent Community Forum.

Strategic Plan

UCR 2020: The Path to Preeminence guides the future growth and development of the University of California, Riverside. The ten-year plan, adopted in 2010, established four key goals: Academic Excellence [seeking a research and campus profile consistent with AAU member institutions]; Access [expanding the national and international presence of undergraduates and growing the graduate population from 2,500 to 5,000, or 20 percent of total enrollment; Diversity [serving as a national exemplar for diversity, inclusiveness, and community]; and Engagement [service learning, K-14 pipelines, economic outreach and growth, cultural and athletics programs]. The initiative aligns with “Living the Promise,” a broad image campaign that highlights transformative research by faculty members, and which features national advertising placements. UCR’s Living the Promise communications campaign this past year resulted in 74.1 million impressions, mostly in East Coast and national media.

UC Riverside Mission Statement

The University of California, Riverside serves the needs and enhances the quality of life of the diverse people of California, the nation and the world through knowledge – its communication, discovery, translation, application, and preservation. The undergraduate, graduate and professional degree programs; research programs; and outreach activities develop leaders who inspire, create, and enrich California’s economic, social, cultural, and environmental future.

With its roots as a Citrus Experiment Station, UC Riverside is guided by its land grant tradition of giving back by addressing some of the most vexing problems facing society. Whether it is assuring a safe, nutritious, and affordable food supply; stimulating the human mind and soul through the humanities and arts; or finding solutions to the profound challenges in education, engineering, business, healthcare, and the environment, UC Riverside is Living the Promise.

Academic Portfolio

UC Riverside encompasses seven main academic units: The College of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences; The College of Natural and Agricultural Sciences; The Marlan and Rosemary Bourns College of Engineering; The School of Business Administration; The Graduate School of Education; The School of Medicine; and The School of Public Policy [opening to students fall 2014].

The campus offers: 80 bachelor’s degree programs, 46 master's degree programs, 38 Ph.D. degree programs and 17 California teaching and administrative credential programs. The campus had 27 doctoral programs ranked in the National Research Council 2010 assessment, including 16 that rank among the top half of programs surveyed, five programs in the top 20 percent, and two programs in the top 10 percent nationally. UCR has ranked No. 54 in the world in papers published in Nature or Science, and is No. 26 out of 926 institutions in that regard as rated on a per capita basis.

Specialized campus resources include:

  • The Bourns College of Engineering — Center for Environmental Research and Technology (CE-CERT), which leads a broad program of research and technology development on the relationship between transportation and air quality.
  • The SEARCH Family Autism Resource Center, which is the first center in the UC system to focus on education and advocacy for parents who are trying to navigate the maze of autism services, including those who are low-income and Spanish speaking.
  • The Institute for Integrative Genome Biology, which capitalizes on the genetics revolution to improve human health, develop sustainable agriculture, and help clean the environment.
  • The Center for Nanoscale Science & Engineering, which focuses on technologies and applications expected to lead to advances in electronics, computing and medicine.
  • The Sloan Center for Internet Retailing, which applies research promoting best practices to boost the effectiveness of online retailing.
  • The Citrus Variety Collection, a world resource for citrus, with about 1,000 varieties in conservation.
  • UC Riverside Extension, which annually serves 30,000 students through 1,800 course offerings. 

Faculty and Staff

The exceptional quality of UC Riverside’s 700 faculty members is reflected in the range of faculty honors among the campus faculty, including: California Poet Laureate, Bardeen Prize, J. G. Gregor Mendel Medal, National Medal of Humanities, E.O. Wilson Prize, MacArthur Fellow Guggenheim Fellow. Faculty members from UCR are represented on six national academy and institute organizations.

UCR has 4,453 executive, management, professional, support and clerical staff who are dedicated to supporting the university's mission of excellence in higher education.

Campus and Research Reserves

Located on nearly 1,200 acres in Riverside, the park-like UCR campus is at the heart of the Inland Southern California region, which hosts a population of more than 4 million. The university is located 60 miles east of Los Angeles and 88 miles north of San Diego. Nearby Ontario International Airport has daily flights to most of the nation’s major cities.

In addition to the main Riverside campus, the university operates the UCR Palm Desert Center, a facility that provides educational programs, research, and outreach to meet the needs of the greater Coachella Valley region. Another asset, located in downtown Riverside, is the UCR ARTSblock, which includes the Barbara and Art Culver Center of the Arts, the Sweeney Art Gallery, and the California Museum of Photography.

UC Riverside also administers six major research reserves: The Box Springs Reserve [160 acres], The James San Jacinto Mountains Reserve [29 acres]; The Sweeney Granite Mountains Desert Research Center [9,000 acres]; The Phillip L. Boyd Deep Canyon Desert Research Center [6,100 acres]; Emerson Oaks Reserve [241 acres], and The Motte Rimrock Reserve [715 acres].

Campus Statistics

Students and Alumni

In Fall 2012, UC Riverside enrolled a total of 21,000, with approximately 18,500 undergraduate students and 2,500 graduate students. About 30,400 students applied to UC Riverside for Fall 2012 undergraduate admission.

Once they graduate, the 90,000+ UC Riverside alumni live around the globe. A total of 80% live in California.

UCR is designated as a Hispanic-Serving Institution, and is a member of the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities.

Budget 2012

  • Permanent Budget: $546 million
  • Extramural Funding: $115 million
  • Private Support/Fundraising: $36 million
  • Endowed Assets: $140 million (approximate market value)

About 40 percent of the university’s operating budget comes from State of California funds for education.

Comprehensive Fundraising Campaign

In Fall 2012, UC Riverside received approval from UC President Mark Yudof to begin the quiet phase of a comprehensive fundraising campaign, with a preliminary goal of $400 million, ending by 2019. For FY12, private support exceeded $30 million for the second year in a row, after a decade in which average annual gift support was just over $20 million.

Economic Impact

UC Riverside is Inland Southern California's only public research university. Its annual economic contribution to the state of California is more than $1.4 billion (FY 2009-10) through research, teaching and community engagement. UCR is the largest employer in the City of Riverside, fourth largest employer in the county, and spending by UCR, its students, visitors and retirees generates more than 13,300 full-time jobs statewide and 16,335 nationwide.


NCAA Division I. The “Highlanders,” whose mascot is a bear named “Scotty Highlander,” compete in 17 sports and are proud members of the Big West Conference. [Highlander refers to the fact that UCR is, at a minimum elevation of 1,100 feet, the highest-altitude campus of the UC system.]

Campus Rankings

The Shanghai Jiao Tong has consistently ranked UCR among the best universities in the world, with an average ranking of No. 115 in the world.

U.S. News & World Report (2012) ranked UCR highly in several categories:

  • 8th in the nation in diversity
  • 25th on "Great Values, Great Prices" list
  • 44th among national public universities
  • 97th overall among 262 national universities, public or private

Washington Monthly (2012) ranked UCR 9th in the nation in contributing to the public good and 1st in the nation in student service participation.

The Times Higher Education World University Rankings (2011–12) ranked UCR as the 143rd ranked university in the world.

Leiden University (2011) ranked UCR 29th in measurement of per capita scholarly impact in its survey of the 500 top universities worldwide.

More Information 

General Campus Information

University of California, Riverside
900 University Ave.
Riverside, CA 92521
Tel: (951) 827-1012

Office of the Chancellor

4108 Hinderaker Hall

Tel: (951) 827-5201
Fax: (951) 827-3866