Powering California’s economy: A catalyst for job creation and innovation
UC propels significant economic growth, plays a crucial role in employment, and makes vital tax contributions to the state and federal revenue streams.
Berkeley Lab and UC Merced are leading an effort to establish bioindustrial manufacturing in San Joaquin Valley.
“Our agricultural heartland is exactly the place to launch and scale innovative solutions in the bioeconomy that benefit workers, communities, and our food system while advancing the state’s climate priorities.”
Cultivating California’s exceptional talent
UC drives educational progress in California, shaping doctoral education, leading in health professional training, empowering teachers, fostering esteemed faculty, and cultivating STEM graduates.
75% of California public schools have UC-educated teachers
60% of California’s Ph.D.s come from UC
50% of California's medical students are trained by UC
50% of the state’s STEM bachelor degrees are from UC
Opening doors for students across all income levels
A UC degree opens our students to a lifetime of opportunity. And with one of the best financial aid programs anywhere, we make sure those opportunities are open to everyone.
54% of CA undergrads pay no tuition
“Because of these opportunities, I was able to attend, and afford to attend. I’m going to graduate debt-free, which is something that I would’ve never imagined.”
Empowering student success and broadening educational opportunities
UC serves more low-income, first-gen, and transfer students than any other top-ranked US research university.
Graduating students at much higher rates than the national average
89% University of California
86% University of California
Propelling transfer students to rise as top earners
Within a decade of completing their UC degree, most community college transfer students working in California count among the top third of income earners in the state.
First-gen students lead the way in the Class of 2023
“What surprised me most about my experience here was just how everything worked out,” laughs Zabdi Velásquez, looking back on his two years at UC Riverside. Velásquez grew up in the small desert city of Brawley in California’s Imperial Valley, just south of the Salton Sea. “Neither of my parents completed what’s equivalent to middle school back in Mexico. So when they immigrated to the United States, they instilled in me the importance of getting an education.”
For Velásquez, higher education was a primary goal from a young age. He began at his local community college, with his sights on eventually transferring to a university and attending graduate school. “I faced a lot of obstacles growing up and being first-gen and low income, the COVID pandemic,” says Velásquez. “Coming out of that and transferring here — I’ve been incredibly lucky with all the opportunities I’ve had.”
When Velásquez enrolled in Kim Yi Dionne’s Ethnic Politics in Comparative Perspective course, he not only loved the class, but also found a mentor in professor Dionne. At the end of the quarter, she asked him to join the Dionne Publicly Engaged Research Lab. The lab brought more opportunities — publishing a paper in a peer-reviewed scholarly journal, for instance — along with a supportive community of other first-gen, low-income and minority students.
Velásquez likes to call the community of family, faculty and students who cheered him through UC Riverside “my little village.” The support of this network was instrumental not only in navigating classes, financial aid and research opportunities, but also in dealing with transfer shock and impostor syndrome, which are commonly experienced by first-generation and transfer students. “I’m incredibly blessed to say this, but now I actually coach other kids,” he reflects. “I do presentations with incoming transfer students to guide them through the process. Giving back what you received — it’s awesome.”
With encouragement from professor Dionne, Velásquez applied to graduate school. This fall, he’ll start work on a Ph.D. in political science at UCLA, where he was awarded the prestigious Eugene V. Cota-Robles Fellowship and selected for the Competitive Edge Summer Bridge Program, a six-week intensive for newly admitted doctoral students from underrepresented backgrounds. He plans to study how the global resource extraction industry impacts local communities, like the lithium “gold rush” unfolding near his hometown. And thanks to UC’s generous financial aid package for low-income students, he’ll be starting his new journey debt-free. His ultimate goal: to become a professor and help other students, just as he was helped.
Making discoveries that change the world
UC’s research enterprise advances understanding of the world and improves lives, from curing diseases to developing new sources of clean energy.
Improving the health and well-being of all Californians
UC is an essential part of California’s health care safety net.
9.5 million outpatient visits
Providing high-quality care to those in need regardless of insurance status
Patient days by coverage type
Developing cutting-edge medical advances each year
4,700 Clinical trials
Through UC PRIME, UC is training a new generation of doctors who are committed to working in underserved parts of the state.
“I decided I was going to become a physician specifically for patients who come from marginalized communities and face barriers to being able to improve their health.”
Empowering communities statewide
UC is in communities across the state, offering practical research, hands-on training and community education:
- Expertise for every county: UC’s division of Agriculture and Natural Resources supports ranchers, farmers, and growers statewide.
- Community education at its best: Master gardener, California naturalist, and 4-H youth development programs help Californians thrive.
Meeting our greatest challenges with real-world solutions
Across our campuses, hundreds of researchers are working to help California and the world move away from fossil fuels and develop scalable solutions to drought, wildfire and the other catastrophic impacts of a warming planet.
UCLA researchers have developed a groundbreaking electrochemical process that could mitigate climate change by removing carbon dioxide from the world’s oceans.
“Ocean water contains 150 times more carbon dioxide than the air, which means if you want to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere one of the most effective ways to do it is by removing it from the oceans.”
Stand with UC
The UC Advocacy Network is a powerful force that is more than 50,000 voices strong, fighting for the issues that matter most to our UC community.
Join us and we can shape the way things work for people in UC, California and beyond.