University of California-Merced
Merced, CA, USA

Reviews

University of California-Merced
3.78 Average Rating

Alberto from Orosi, CA

a current student here
6 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
Am learning a lot
Well, I can really say that learning and getting your education is great at any school, but some people are better suited for a particular learning enviroment. UC Merced makes it easy for those that come from a small town or city. The professors are great and come from all over the University system, working one on one with students. Some classes are small enough to call it your Home Room and others are big enough you can call it my High School (a student body of 900).

Over all I have learned allot about Psychology, Sociology, Writing, Stats, Music, Planets, the Environment, Plato, Pluto, and the list goes on and on...........
Am enjoying being here
Its a great place to spend outdoors and and relax when your not cramming your head with studying and work. Other than all the other good things that come with college, the mall... no more than a small strip of nothing. Restaurants are OK, but if you have a sensitive stomach forget about it (some are good though).

Campus is great and the lake is truly beautiful at sunrise and sunset. Love clearing my mind there.
Bang for the buck
Hey Its college, believe me, it ain't cheap were ever you go. The good thing about UCM is the work opportunities are fantastic.
Tips for prospective students
Work hard, get plenty of sleep and exercise, smile everyday whether you mean it or not and your day will fly by.
Great for these types of students
Great place for those that love the smell of fresh air, who come from small towns and are terrified of culture shock, those who want something different and those who are ready to face the challenges of life.
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Jensen from Cottonwood, CA

a current student here
5 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
Am learning a lot
The teachers at UC Merced are very knowledgeable in their fields, and are always open to questions. Most teachers will set up appointments if you can't make it to office hours. The library is a good place to study, and the fourth floor is a strict quiet zone for people who like to study without distractions.
Am enjoying being here
There's not much to do in Merced, unless you like going to the cinema, eating out, or riding a bicycle (there are over twenty miles of bike trail in Merced). Our Office of Student Life and our registered clubs put on a lot of neat events, and we have job fairs, organisation fairs, etc., at least once a month.
Bang for the buck
I got a full ride scholarship to go to UC Merced. I live on campus this year, and so I have over a thousand dollars to spend on food per semester. I'm not a heavy eater, and I do get food from home, so I ended up with a couple hundred dollars at the end of the semester that will roll over to Spring. It's also a really nice school, being only six years old, so the equipment is still fairly new. Overall, it's not a bad investment for a college.
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Alexandra from Antelope, CA

a current student here
5 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
Am learning a lot
Although this school doesn't have exactly the classes I want to take for my major, I am getting a lot of learning done. I am working extra hard on my minors, just in case they become majors before I graduate!
Am enjoying being here
I love the small town vibe and the hugely diverse student population. I meet people from all over in Merced and I have made some amazing friends. Not only that, but I have been able to help start quite a few clubs and traditions as a student here because the school is so new.
Bang for the buck
The school doesn't offer British Lit classes right now which is a bummer because that is the major i wish to pursue. However, I am working on my minors, too, so I don't really mind waiting to see if the classes I want will be offered.
Tips for prospective students
Prepare to have to find ways to alleviate boredom. This is a small town.
There is plenty to do, you just have to find it. Or create it!
There are lots of opportunities to succeed and create and fail and learn and have fun. Take as many as you can, but don't spread yourself too thin.
Great for these types of students
If you like a small town environment, this school is for you.
If you like a low student population (currently we have around 4000 students here), this school is for you.
If you want to do research as an undergrad, this school is for you.
If you want small class sizes, this school is for you.
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Israel from Modesto, CA

a current student here
4 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
In three sentences
This school is looked down upon for being so new to the UC System. It is a great school thriving. All the current students are pioneers of something big. UC Merced is expanding and will eventually highly prestigious. It gives the students who were at a disadvantage, a chance to prove themselves that they are worthy of a college education.
Tips for prospective students
Get ready to have fun and but be prepared for a challenge. At UC Merced you will have an adventure of a lifetime.
Academic Rigor
There will always be easy and difficult classes. Anything is manageable when you put the time and effort into it.
Dorm Life
UC Merced is the extension of your family. Imagine living with a bunch friends and constantly having fun even if it is playing games or studying.
Food and Dining
There are various food options. You are responsible for making your menu so don't complain when tired of the food when you always get the same thing.
What to do for fun
In all honesty you can have fun if you have the right people.
Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus
The freshman tradition is to walk through the beginnings Also there are a bunch of raccoons and if you see the raccoon with the missing tail then you will do good on your final.
Clubs and Activities
There are so many options all you need to do is find your passion.
Greek Life
Lots of frats and sororities. Each one is fun and interactive.
Campus Safety
There are plenty of people patrolling and keeping an eye on student making sure they are safe.
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Sarah from Castro Valley, CA

a current student here
4 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
Am learning a lot
UC Merced is the smallest UC, and is fortunate enough that it is so small that if students attend office hours enough, the professors can easily get to know you on a first name basis. They also have a wide variety of courses available in the sciences, history, social sciences, and languages. The course curriculum helps students gear specially to their majors and emphasis.
Am enjoying being here
I love attending UCM. They make fun of themselves by having UCM Cow Tipping Team t-shirts to buy. They have LOTS of clubs and activities on campus and off. While living on campus, it is easy to get to town because they have an incredible bus system that can get you just about anywhere the students need to go. Plus the dorms are so close together, it is easy to befriend people in the other dorms.
Bang for the buck
Academically, this school is solid. I am getting a UC education without the competition for classes like I would have to at any other UC. Also, I am not just a number to my professors. In fact, Mr. Lambert, a writing professor, has become a mentor and friend to me. Though, it is cheaper to live off campus and the pain of eating at dining common hours is not an issue. Otherwise, between the bus system, the two concerts a year, multiple social, academic, and other events, this school is much better than anyone really thinks it is.
Tips for prospective students
1)If you will be living in the dorms, watch what you eat. It is to just go to the grill in the DC (dinning commons) all the time. But, its no always the healthiest.
2) Everyone should make use of the gym! It has a lot of equipment and tons of different classes for everyone to take. I personally love taking Yoga with Carrie. Its so calming and a real workout. Phew!
3) Go to as much as you can! Everyone is friendly and loves to meet new people at events. Almost every event has free food and no (if any, minimal) cost! No excuses. Just go!
4) Make use of the Peer advisors! They are helpful with your studies and where you want to go with your major and career. Totally nonjudgemental. They understand that just because you are a UC student, you don't know everything.
5) Have fun! UCM is a great place to be even if Cal, UCLA, or UC Davis was your dream. There is a lot to do and tons of people and opportunities for your to succeed. Don't forget to take pictures!
Great for these types of students
Fun, loving academically engaged students. Its a diverse campus and just about any student can feel comfortable and at home while attending this school! Come and join the Bobcat family :)
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Rafael from Los Angeles, CA

a current student here
4 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
Am learning a lot
Yes, i am learning a lot at UC Merced. UC Merced is new but it has a lot of tutoring for about any subject you can think of. If your writing skills suck (like mine) they can help you out. In each course the student will get out of that class learning something new.
Am enjoying being here
I love it here. Everyone at school is super nice. The campus itself is super clean. The cleaning people, clean the campus and the halls every single day. The school is far from the town of Merced but theres free buses taking students every single hour, sometimes in less than 10 mins at a time.
Bang for the buck
I had to pay 29000 dollars and its a lot of money but its worth it. Each student is given about 1000 dollars in something called Cat Card and the we can buy pretty much anything we want on campus with it.
Tips for prospective students
The school is new but great. There are students who got a G.P.A of 4.0 or higher and are coming here because its the school's location. On campus there are many clubs like the Democrats club or the Republicans and they (me included) campaigned for candidates.
Great for these types of students
If the student is smart, wants to learn and wants a school where the location is perfect, then UC Merced is a perfect match.
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Sharai from Merced, CA

a current student here
4 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
Am learning a lot
When I used to think of college, I thought of eight or nine hundred people crammed into a lecture hall listening to one man or woman ramble for hours. However, at UC Merced, the classes are much smaller than most public universities which results in a more hands-on learning experience.
Before I entered college, I was sure that half of the material would be in one ear, memorized for a test, and then out the other ear. But even from my first semester of classes at UC Merced, I noticed that most of the professors are passionate about what they are teaching and care more about what is learned than what is regurgitated onto a test. This technique of teaching has caused me to learn more in one semester than I probably did in a year or two of high school.
Of course, you cannot expect to barely pay attention, ignore homework, and still expect to learn more than ever simply because you are in a hands-on environment. However, if you take advantage of this type of atmosphere, you can expand your education and learn more than you ever thought possible.
Am enjoying being here
Merced is still developing into a college town. Knowing this, the students and faculty put on hundreds of events each month in order to provide entertainment, fun, and social stimulation throughout the campus. There really is not a day that goes by where there is not at least one event that anyone can participate in and it really makes the college experience more exciting. Personally, I am really enjoying being at UC Merced and I am very happy that I have had the chance to attend this college before it expands into a huge, over-populated university.
Bang for the buck
It seems that tuition prices are on the rise all over the country. UC Merced is no exception to this. However, obtaining a degree from the University of California school system is one of the most worthwhile and rewarding things a person can do for their future.
Although tuition rates are up, UC Merced is great at providing financial aid to its students. Many students enjoy the benefit of receiving aid and/or scholarships to help pay for their education. UC Merced is also fabulous at answering any and all questions that students have concerning aid opportunities. This school really does all it can to help get you through college with the least amount of debt possible.
Tips for prospective students
-Do your FAFSA!!
-Be open to new experiences and activities
-Do not be afraid to meet people
-Start something new...UC Merced is a new college and any student can begin a club or other activity for present and future students to enjoy for years to come
-Don't under-estimate the power of a small classroom. Get to know your professors and take advantage of the one-on-one learning
Great for these types of students
There are many different personalities and types of students on this campus. I believe that UC Merced is great for anyone who likes a smaller environment and enjoys getting involved in what is going on around them. Really anyone can fit in at this school.
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Gabriel from Hercules, CA

a current student here
33 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
Am learning a lot
Obviously, just like any other school, if you put your mind to it, study, and do the work, you'll learn. Putting in effort to what you want to accomplish is the key. I am currently a freshman and am about to finish my 1st semester here. I'm taking 4 class (16 units) and it's fairly difficult, but manageable. All of my professors are great. I have no complaint about any of them whatsoever. Also, they are very reasonable, and depending on the professor/t.a., will give you some slack if you have any trouble with turning in assignments (compared to high school where if you turned in the assignment late, you got a grade down, or the professor wouldn't accept your work at all).

Overall, the education here is truly top notch and a true UC education (whatever that really is).

If you want to come to school to learn, this is the place for your.
Am enjoying being here
This section all depends on the person and what your preferences are. Obviously, as mentioned earlier, if you simply want to learn, then there's no problem at all.

However, UC Merced has some perks..some that can be good and some bad. I don't want to spoil everything for you and chase you away/convince you--I want you to form your own opinions based on facts.

- UC Merced is in the middle of NOWHERE. There's really nothing to do here. Sure, there are clubs and stuff, parties here and there, the typical (if this is what you were concerned about don't worry haha). The university is about an 8 minute drive to downtown Merced, which is where all the fun is.

There are a lot of places to eat in downtown Merced. From In N Out, Carl's Jr., Jack in the Box, and Sonic to Jamba Juice, Apple Bee's, Hometown Buffet, Chinese Buffets, great Indian food places, Steak Houses, BBQ places, and other Merced exclusive food places.

The most popular non-partying/drinking thing to do here is go to the movies. There are 2 theaters here, one significantly bigger than the other. The bigger theater has In N Out a 5 minute walk away, while the smaller theater has the Merced Mall a 5 minute walk away and Carl's Jr a 10 minute walk away.

Merced Mall is disappointing. It's not your Great Mall or Sunvalley Mall in Concord, or any other big mall. It's more like a medium sized strip with the main shopping stores. I've only been there 2 or 3 times so I can't really remember what they have, but they have some good stuff, and a food court.

One troublesome thing is the transportation between UC Merced and downtown Merced. Merced has what are called CatTracks which is basically the free bus system provided for UCM students. (btw if you didn't know already, the UCM mascot is the bobcat) The problem is, it takes approximately 45 minutes to get from UCM to downtown Merced and vice-versa, when a car ride takes about 8 minutes. I've ridden the CatTracks at least 10 times this se...
Bang for the buck
If you live on campus, you have a $2500 balance placed on your CatCard. Your CatCard is your ID card that is used for, of course, identification purposes, and for everything else on campus--to access some doors, the key to your room (some rooms), to check out things from the library, and of course, for your meal-plan.

So again, you have $2500 for the entire year, $1250 per semester. The leftover money from the $1250 from the 1st semester gets carried over to the 2nd semester, but you have to use it all up by the end of the school year, as the leftover money from 2nd semester doesn't carry onto the next year.

Most people end up with a lot of money by the end of the semester (I still have $400 and there's 2 weeks of class left before the end of the semester) while others like my roommate have $47 left for the next two weeks.

I ended up with a lot of money left because my parents always brought me food from home. My roommate, however, only ate the DC food, plus he spent about $30 per day worth of food.

To make sure you spend just the right amount, a typical day of food should consist of only 2 meals per day, usually around $10 per meal. Meal prices can vary, but it's about $10 average.

$10 for a meal...doesn't seem bad right? But in fact, it's terrible at times. Knowing that most students have no other choice but the DC food, they over-charge things. A small bag of Kettle Chips is $1.75. String cheese is $0.97. A banana is around $0.75. An English Muffin, yogurt, string cheese, and Raspberry Candied Almonds costs $8.

Many people complain about the price of food here, but you just have to accept the prices.

Education-wise, you pay to attend school here (assuming you weren't completely covered by financial aid) and you really do get a bang for your buck. You get a great education here. Many class sizes are restricted to 20 people per discussion section, and lectures usually consist of only 250-300 people max. It's a really small enviro...
Tips for prospective students
If you want a fairly small populated school, UC Merced is the place for you. Of course, research more about the school and look to see if it provides the major/minor/classes that you want to pursue in your college career. Since UC Merced is still developing, new classes are being added every semester, new majors introduced yearly, and more opportunities are provided. The school expects to be double the size it is now by 2020ish.

Again, do your research, and see if UCM provides things that you are looking for.

Also, UC Merced is a great back up school. If you don't apply to UC Merced and have at least a 3.0 in high school, you will be requested to join what is called the Count Me In program, which is basically a request from UC Merced, saying that We noticed you didn't apply to UC Merced. How about this: We'll pay the $60 application fee for you with no strings attached, but you have to submit an application to apply to the school

The program saves you $60, and pretty much guarantees your acceptance into the university.

Another thing I have discovered through experience is that if you don't do the Count Me In program, and you are rejected from all the other University of California schools that you applied to, you will automatically be accepted to UC Merced and UC Riverside. Just something for you to keep in mind.
Great for these types of students
UC Merced is great for students that want to help professors do special studies and want research opportunities. Due to the small but growing population, it's fairly easy to get what you want. There's also less competition when trying to apply for a job.

You have a better chance to get to know your professors due to the smaller population, and going to office hours is really helpful.

Again, this is a great backup school. I am attending UC Merced because I wasn't accepted to UC Berkeley, UCLA, or UC Davis. Surprisingly enough, many of my friends have been accepted to these three schools that I was rejected to, but chose to come to UC Merced for various reasons.

Finally, UC Merced is great for students that like nature. The recent Leonid Meteor Shower was great to view here because there are no tall buildings like in San Francisco. The scenery is nice, and you can see mountains a 50 miles away in clear view.

UC Merced is like the alternate, smaller, and newer version of UC Davis, so if you didn't get accepted to Davis, UC merced is a possible option for you.
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Kristen from Fresno, CA

a current student here
8 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
In three sentences
the housing on-campus is very new, every building is made of good quality. the library is huge, you can eat in it, and some areas are actually quiet. the whole campus is wireless, i can get text to my smartphone when my laundry is done washing.
Tips for prospective students
try to get on campus-housing, i recomend a double room. start with the most basic meal plan, you can always add money on latter. try to explore the town of merced. there is a downtown, a mall, and a lake within really close distance.
Academic Rigor
the classes are not that hard; just try to go to every lecture, that is where most information is shared. do not be afraid to go to professor's office hours, many are really nice and want to help you.
Dorm Life
you definitely want to try to request a double room. the triples cost less, but they are the exact same size as the double so it gets a little cramped to have an extra person in there.
Food and Dining
the dinning commons or dc is good. i would recommend the grill which makes cheeseburgers and onion rings. also, there is a salad bar, sandwich making station, as well as a soup of the day.
What to do for fun
there is a completely free, bus service for all of merced. go downtown there is two movie theaters, a billiard hall, and a lake walking distance from the school where you can swim.
Share any unusual traditions or locations on campus
you have to hang out at the latern, on the first floor of the library between classes, a sip a mocha latte.
Clubs and Activities
since the school is so new, you can start a club even as a freshman. there is a swim club, gardening, robotics, and so on.
Greek Life
there are many greeks on campus that are always active in fundraising in creative and fun ways like kickball tournaments.
Campus Safety
the school has its own police task force, and every student can request an escort anytime anywhere on campus. i feel very safe here.
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Jaelyn from Los Angeles, CA

a current student here
7 people found this review useful
Categories Comments
Am learning a lot
Student to Professor ratio is great; I chose UC Merced over other universities I got accepted into because of this. To be honest though, it all depends on what type of person you are. We're all adults here, it is a matter of personal choice and responsibility in whether you choose to show up to classes, focus, and take that extra initiative to get to know your professors. Just because the classes are smaller here do not expect your professors to automatically take notice of you.
Am enjoying being here
I come from a very busy city [DTLA] so with that said, anything aside from The Bay and LA in California is pretty much slow pace for me. But Merced is very chill, it can get boring at times but if you hang with the right people any place can be fun. The sushi places are legit, and J&R Tacos is cool too. The best part of it all is that you can rent a whole house w/pools and big yards here for the same price as a tiny *butt bedroom apartment in LA. Trust. * Apparently I can't use language that is deemed inappropriate
Bang for the buck
Yes, the houses here are hella cheaper than any other place, but tuition fees will kick your butt. . . well at least it kicks mine. Like any other UCs, Merced is no exception, it's getting expensive here too. So prepare yourself, if you aren't getting a full ride scholarship, make sure you take advantage of the job opportunities they offer here. Don't hesitate or wait, get an early start and start building up your resume.
Tips for prospective students
-Do NOT procrastinate [this is where most of us falter]
-Time Management IS important [there's a reason behind why they keep emphasizing it during Welcome Week]
-Grades are important but remember it is also important to network and get to know staffs and other students on campus
-Enjoy college but remember you didn't pay $25,000+ to party hard and then be put on academic probation.
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