University of California, Merced (UC Merced or UCM) opened in 2005 as the first American research university of the 21st Century. Its campus, which sits northeast of the city of Merced in San Joaquin Valley in California’s Central Valley, is the 10th of the University of California campuses.
Bounded by Lake Yosemite on one side, the campus has made a Triple Net Zero Commitment that intends to see zero net landfill waste and zero net greenhouse gas emissions by 2020. All UC Merced buildings are certified by the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design LEED) green building certification programme.
In 2018, the undergraduate population was 53 per cent Latin students, closely mirroring the demographics of California, the US’ most diverse state. Nearly three quarters of students were the first in their families to attend college and almost none were from other states or countries.
There are three undergraduate schools: engineering; natural sciences and social sciences; humanities and arts. The school of medicine and school are management are in planning stages.
First Lady Michelle Obama gave the commencement address for the university’s first full graduating class.
UC Merced academic terms operate on a two-part semester system rather than the quarter system that most other UC campuses use.
Special research institutes and centres at the university include the Health Sciences Research Institute, the Sierra Nevada Research Institute, the University of California Advanced Solar Technologies Institute (UC Solar), UC Water, Blum Center, Center of Excellence on Health Disparities and the Center for the Humanities.