Life on Campus
Just six miles from the ocean, UCLA lies in one of the most attractive areas of Southern California. It is bordered on the north by the protected wilderness of the Santa Monica Mountains and on the south by Westwood Village. Besides lecture halls and classrooms, campus facilities include libraries, studios, theaters, and a planetarium; athletic fields, famed Pauley Pavilion, and recreation/exercise space; gardens and outdoor spaces accented by the Inverted Fountain and Janss Steps; the Hill, home to campus residence halls and common spaces; and its renowned medical center.
UCLA is nestled in the hills of Westwood, with the Romanesque architecture of its early buildings a backdrop for diverse campus settings. Bruin Walk continually echoes with the chatter of students and vendors, but nearby, the botanical gardens provide a serene escape. While a hip-hop band energizes lunchtime crowds in Bruin Plaza, a classical recital may be taking place in Schoenberg Music Building, and students contemplating a Rodin or Lachaise in the Murphy Sculpture Garden may be unaware of a political rally organizing in Meyerhoff Park. With its traditional appearance and temperate climate, it is not unusual to find campus locations being used for filming television and movies and hosting large events.
To give a feel for the dynamic atmosphere at UCLA, tours for prospective undergraduates are offered by Undergraduate Admission.
Large Campus with a Comfortable Feel
The general campus population, some 41,490 students, is enriched by an additional 3,938 in the health sciences schools of dentistry, medicine, nursing, and public health. While such numbers sound daunting, UCLA offers orientation sessions and innovative academic assistance programs to help acclimate new students. Through a range of services and social programs, new students quickly meet people with common interests in their academic departments, residence halls, or clubs and organizations. Even athletic events help to cement relationships as the campus comes together to celebrate Bruin victories.
Large lecture groups exist, especially in introductory courses; however, 85 percent of lower-division lecture classes in 2016-17 had under 200 students, and UCLA is striving to further reduce class size. Large lecture classes typically include discussion sections of about 25 students, or smaller seminars and laboratory classes. There is an overall ratio of one faculty member for approximately 17 students.
Most UCLA faculty members set aside office hours for students and appreciate the opportunity for informal conversation. Professors are often aided by graduate student teaching assistants (TAs).
Retention and Graduation
Retention and graduation rates in undergraduate programs at UCLA are consistently among the highest in the nation. At least 97 percent of all students entering as freshmen and 95 percent of all students entering as transfers regularly return to enroll at UCLA for the second academic year and beyond.
For entering freshmen, 79 percent graduate within four years, and 91 percent within six years. The average time to degree is 12 or fewer quarters (i.e., four or fewer years). For entering transfer students, 68 percent graduate within two years and 94 percent of all entering transfer students eventually graduate from UCLA.
More information on campus statistics is available from Academic Planning and Budget.
Dynamic Student Body
Students at UCLA pride themselves on academic excellence. The fall quarter 2017 entering freshman class had an average high school GPA of 4.36, with an average SAT Reasoning Test composite score of 1,321 out of a possible 1,600.
One of the highest UCLA priorities is to advance the diversity of its students, faculty, staff, and administrators. The UCLA student population — nearly equally divided between men and women — yields the wide range of opinion and perspective essential to a great university.
Although most students are from California, they come from all 50 states and 120 foreign countries to study at UCLA. Ethnic minorities comprise 73.3 percent of the undergraduates and 66.4 percent of the graduate student population, and international students and scholars presently number over 12,000, making this one of the most popular American universities for students from abroad.