The University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) has a rich history, dating back to its founding as a small college in 1882, before its inception to the University of California in 1919. Since then, the university has grown and developed into a campus that is home to more than 38,000 students. According to the Office of the Registrar, undergraduates may earn a bachelor of arts or bachelor of science degree in one of 118 different disciplines; graduate students may choose from 200 programs.

University of California

UCLA is one of the nine campuses of the University of California. In 1868, the governor of California, Henry H. Haight, signed the Organic Act which was the impetus for the first University of California. In 1873, the Berkeley campus opened and was followed by campuses in Riverside, Davis, San Diego, Santa Barbara, Irvine, San Francisco, Santa Cruz and Los Angeles.

College Facts and Stats about University of California-Los Angeles


UCLA's humble beginnings were as a small teacher's college called the Los Angeles Branch of the State Normal School. It opened in 1882 in a Victorian-style building, which now houses the Central Los Angeles Public Library. Funding for the building included donations from community members, ranging from $2 to $500. In 1919, Governor William D. Stephens signed the bill that allowed the school to become the "Southern Branch" of the University of California. The university offered two-year studies in letters and science. Four-year degree programs were soon added, and the first graduating class of 300 students received diplomas in 1925. The name, University of California at Los Angeles was given to the school in 1927. In the 1940s, the schools of Medicine, Nursing, Engineering and Law were all founded. In 1955, UCLA Medical Center opened, and performed the first open heart surgery in the western United States one year later.

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Notable Alumni

Over the years, UCLA has produced many successful graduates, including Martin Sherwin, a Pulitzer Prize-winning historian, athlete Jackie Robinson, basketball great Kareen Abdul-Jabbarand and band members from The Doors, Maroon 5, The Fifth Dimension and Linkin Park.

UCLA Today

UCLA occupies a campus of over 415 acres, with more than 38,000 students from all over the world. The university is home to many distinguished professors, including Fulbright Scholars, Guggenheim Fellows, a Nobel Prize Winner and many other members of the faculty who have won prestigious awards in their fields.

Fun Facts

In 1969, the UCLA band appeared in the film "Hello Dolly!" The UCLA library houses more than eight million volumes, making it one of the largest libraries in the United States. UCLA athletes have won Olympic medals in every sport except golf.

About the Author

Cate Rushton has been a freelance writer since 1999, specializing in wildlife and outdoor activities. Her published works also cover relationships, gardening and travel on various websites. Rushton holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Utah.