Skip to content

University of California


At a glance

The University of California has nine campuses which accept undergraduate exchange students. It is important to understand that you are applying to the University of California in the first instance and, if you are accepted, UC will allocate your campus according to the classes you wish to take. St Andrews does not determine campus allocation. Each campus is different and offers students a variety of unique opportunities. Of these nine campuses, St Andrews students tend to attend the Berkeley, LA, San Diego, Santa Barbara and Santa Cruz campuses. It is important to discuss your campus choices with your Study Abroad Coordinator prior to making your Study Abroad application.

Please check the impacted majors a the UC before starting your application.
Established : 1868
Student Population : 199000
History : 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.

Overview of Facilities and campus : There are nine campuses which accept undergraduate students UC campuses :

  • Santa Cruz
  • Santa Barbara
  • San Diego
  • Merced
  • Los Angeles
  • Berkeley
  • Davis
  • Riverside
  • Irvine

Website and links

Website : UCEAP Homepage

Academic information

Who can go

Students on degree programmes in the following subject areas may apply to study abroad during their Junior Honours year at University of California:
NB: Single Honours Economics and Psychology students are unable to select UCLA or Berkeley. Mathematics & Statistics students are unable to select Berkeley. Students wishing to study Biology, Psychology, Economics or Management should ensure they meet the pre-requisite requirements before applying.

The UC exchange is available to students in the Faculties of Arts, Divinity and Science. However, please ensure you research your options carefully and check the California website for details of their impacted majors. Joint Honours students who are studying subjects which are both listed as impacted at California should not apply. Entry to modules can be competitive and students should be flexible.
  • Arabic
  • Art History
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Classics
  • Comparative Literature
  • Divinity
  • Earth and Environmental Sciences
  • Economics & Finance
  • English
  • Film Studies
  • French
  • German
  • Geography and Sustainable Development
  • History
  • International Relations
  • Italian
  • Management
  • Mathematics & Statistics
  • Neuroscience
  • Persian
  • Physics & Astronomy
  • Philosophy
  • Psychology
  • Russian
  • Social Anthropology
  • Spanish
Semesters Available
  • Full Year
Note: Joint Honours students may only apply for a full year abroad if BOTH subjects are listed above. Joint Honours students applying for one semester must seek permission from both Schools.

Study abroad coordinator

Each School has a designated Study Abroad Coordinator.

Your studies abroad

St Andrews academic requirements
  • Minimum Credit in Academic year : 27
  • Minimum Credit in Semester : -
  • Maximum Credit in Academic year : 30
  • Maximum Credit in Semester: -
  • Module Weighting : 3,4

Partner Course Catalogue : You must choose a ‘major’ for their year at UC. Please ensure you research your options carefully and check the California website for details of their impacted majors. You should also consult which majors are offered at each of the UC campuses.

St Andrews expects students to take the equivalent of a full course load while they are at UC, and this will range between the various campuses. Please note that the credits outlined above are for the semester system only.

Attendance at, and participation in, class is mandatory. Assessments will consist of regular homework, class tests and quizzes.

See our Credits and modules abroad webpage for information on the number of credits we expect students to take at our partner institutions. St Andrews expects students to attend all classes as part of their programme abroad. Assessment methods may vary across partners and could include class participation, continuous assessment in the form of homework and final exams. All courses must be agreed with your Study Abroad Coordinator. See Academic information for further details, as well as information about credit and grade conversion.

Application and selection

Application and selection

This institution is part of the St Andrews Abroad Programme. .

Places available

Places available : 5 full year places

Places available may vary from year to year depending on the exchange balance. Numbers for the following academic year will be confirmed at the information meeting.

Living there

Getting there and getting around

Airport pick-up services will vary depending on the campus you are attending. The UC website has information about how to get to your university.

Where your campus is located in California will determine if there is good public transport or not. Each individual UC website will inform you about the travel opportunities available.


Accommodation at the University of California is not guaranteed.

As soon as you receive the information about your campus allocation, you should immediately research your housing options and apply as soon as you can.

Housing options at each specific UC campus can be found under the ‘Pre-Arrival instructions’ section.

Please note that St Andrews is unable to guarantee housing at any of our partner institutions. Guidance on finding accommodation abroad is available on the Global Office webpage.

Student services and orientation

The student guide outlines the support available for exchange students.

You can follow the UC on social media:

  • Facebook
  • Pinterest
  • Twitter
  • Instagram

    Please be aware that student support services will be different across all of our partner universities.

  • Finance and insurance

    Living costs

    The UC website gives the minimum amounts needed at each UC campus for immigration purposes.

    Estimated living costs range from $14,000 – $20,000 per academic year, depending on location.

    This does not include travel costs.

    The estimated living expenses for a year in California vary greatly depending on the campus you are allocated to.


    Students studying at the University of California should enroll in the UC SHIP insurance programme. Please note that the cost varies from campus to campus.

    St Andrews students authorised to study or work abroad as part of their degree programme will be covered by the University’s insurance policy. Please reference to our travel insurance pages for further information.

    Passports and visas

    Please refer to our passports and visas page for further information.

    Student experience

    See profiles and photos of St Andrews students who have studied abroad.