Skip to main content
Global Opportunities

University of California

As an exchange student, there are a few things you need to know about going to the University of California. Learn more about the location, the courses and student life! 

Visit their website for more information about studying abroad at the University of California!


Consistently ranked among the world’s top public research universities, the University of California attracts the best and brightest students from more than 100 countries. The commitment to support an ethnically and culturally diverse student population helps UC deliver one of the finest learning experiences to 1,500 reciprocity students every year. Each UC campus offers an exciting educational environment in which to explore, learn, research and develop the skills needed to excel in a global workplace.

For over 50 years, the University of California Education Abroad Program (UCEAP) has invited international exchange students on a Californian adventure. Enhance your education by learning alongside UC students in one of the most diverse states in the US.


There are several campuses: Berkeley, Davis, Irvine, Los Angeles, Merced, Riverside, Santa Barbara, Santa Cruz and San Diego. Any student wishing to apply should be open to going to any of the California campuses. The central exchanges office at UC will select which campus students attend. 

Level of competitiveness

Competitive **

The level of competitiveness (Less competitive * / Competitive ** / Very competitive ***) refers to one's chances of being allocated an exchange space at this partner. This is an approximation determined by the number of applications received for this destination during the last academic year versus the total number of exchange spaces available to Queen Mary students. 

Academic Calendar

Please note some campuses operate on quarters and others semesters. More information on important dates can be found on the University of California's academic calendar


The below students must have calculus to ‘A’ level (or international qualification) standard, a pre-requisite for California:

  • Any student wishing to study Business
  • Students from Queen Mary's School of Biological and Chemical Sciences

Explore courses that meet your academic needs and open doors to new areas of interest. Plan to enrol in two or three courses in your major department each term, with the remainder of your classes in other academic subject areas. Attend courses in other major departments if you meet the course prerequisites and space is available in the course.

Drama and Film students: if you apply to study on the UCLA campus and are interested in studying Theatre, please note that if allocated a space on this campus, you would not have access to Theatre major courses (only perhaps Theatre minor courses).


University of California Berkeley: 14 to 16 credits (usually four courses) per semester (two semesters in the academic year).

The University of California – all other campuses: 12 to 16 credits (usually three or four courses) per term (three terms in the academic year).

Find out more about credit transfer and grade conversions.


California is a desirable place to live and housing will likely be your highest monthly cost. UC students are accustomed to living together, sharing common spaces and sharing a bedroom. Beyond cost savings, there are many advantages to having roommates. Your roommates might introduce you to student life, the cuisine of their culture, welcome you in their family and be an important part of your study abroad experience.

Explore the variety of housing options that are available and choose the one that fits your budget and lifestyle.

Cost of Living

Study abroad requires some financial planning and costs may differ from those in your home country. Find out more about the cost of living.

Support Services

For information on accessibility, please visit the University of California's Student with Disabilities webpage.

Campus Life

It's easy to get involved. With hundreds of clubs and volunteer opportunities, the UC campuses offer a mosaic of culture and activity. From arts and music to sports and recreation, find your passion.

Social Media

UC Education Abroad Program: 

Additional Resources

Discover UC flyer