At the University of California, Merced, our students are welcomed into a nurturing and diverse community that reflects the tapestry of our nation and beyond.

Our inclusive excellence to , fostering a sense of , and access to is ingrained in our mission as sure as the sun sets across our neighboring lake.

Drawing students from across the globe, our campus is a hub of cultural wealth, unlimited possibilities, and where lifelong friendships bloom in a tranquil setting in the view of the magnificent Sierra Nevadas.

쿪 is renowned for its innovative spirit and continuously leads the way in cutting-edge , , and on sustainability.

Here, we prepare our students to blossom into their , develop a developed sense of self, and prepare for what their futures bring personally and professionally.

Our episode of The College Tour, featuring ten amazing students, clearly demonstrates our “why”. We hope you enjoy this series as much as we enjoyed working with our students to bring you this engaging feature.

As we say, “Once a Bobcat, always a Bobcat.”

Go ‘Cats!

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Featured Students

Explore the 쿪 experience through The College Tour student segments.

the college tour highlighting uc merced student Alexandra Lee

Alexandra Lee


Alexandra shares her journey in discovering 쿪 as the ideal university for her undergraduate biology program. Her experiences include being immersed in enriching learning environments and connecting with students who share her passion for biological sciences, making it a perfect fit. Hear more about the research opportunities and various organizations at 쿪 that help set students up for success.

the college tour highlighting uc merced student Antoinette Lee

Antoinette Lee


Antoinette has an inspiring story as a transfer student at the University of California, Merced, who found a sense of community and resources to pursue her dream of becoming a Pediatrician. With challenges that led her to drop out of her first college and move across the country, she transferred to 쿪 and found the school meant for her. With the help of academic counselors who evaluated her transcript to ensure she was on track with the courses she needed for her intended major, she was ecstatic to receive her acceptance letter from 쿪. As a transfer student, she found her sense of community at the Transfer, Returning, and Veterans Student Services or TRV, where she met fellow transfer students and enjoyed various activities.

the college tour highlighting uc merced student Braydon Hart

Braydon Hart

Computer Science and Engineering

Braydon shares that from the moment he stepped on campus, he felt immediately welcomed by the faculty and students he met. As a member of various organizations and clubs on campus, he has developed lifelong friendships and a profound sense of belonging. Being involved in his fraternity and his job as an RA on campus, he feels like he is a part of something bigger than himself and has a mission to move forward. With his leadership position as the president of his chapter of Sigma Chi, he is learning invaluable leadership skills that he can take with him for the rest of his life. His is a story of personal growth, community, and leadership at 쿪.

the college tour highlighting uc merced student Ellis Tom

Ellis Tom

Global Arts Studies

Ellis shares his exciting story about a student who found a unique college experience at the University of California, Merced. As a creative individual, he wanted to go somewhere he felt needed and could contribute to the university community. 쿪 provided him with countless opportunities to express his creativity and recognized his talent to reach students and tell stories through his YouTube channel. The university staff even asked him to help reimagine the university's official Admissions YouTube channel, giving him access to campus resources, professionals in his desired field, and professional equipment. With his dedication and innovation, he created a short film about his experience living in the Central Valley and attending film school. His is a story of personal growth, innovation, and a unique college experience at 쿪.

the college tour highlighting uc merced student Erika Escalante Miranda

Erika Escalante Miranda

Public Health

Erika’s story as a first-generation student pursuing her dream of studying Medicine is truly inspiring. As an immigrant from El Salvador, education has always been her top priority, and she is grateful for the amazing peers, tutors, and academic advisors who have supported her academic journey. One of her biggest resources has been the Fiat Lux Scholars program, which provides learning support, transition programs, and individualized scholar plans to empower 쿪 students to be successful in their academics and personal development. With extensive financial support and access to resources like the STEM Center, the Calvin E. Bright Success Center, and the Writing Center, he has enhanced the knowledge and skills he needs for advancement and leadership in STEM careers.

the college tour highlighting uc merced student Favour Nnaji

Favour Nnaji

Mechanical Engineer

Favour shares his experience as a student who refused to give up on his dream of running track despite the challenges of the pandemic. Even though many D1 colleges heavily recruited him, he decided to come to 쿪 to prove to himself that he was more than just an athlete. With the 쿪 community's support, he challenged himself academically by pursuing a mechanical engineering major. He became heavily involved in the campus National Society of Black Engineers chapter. Thanks to the empowering environment at 쿪, he’s not only graduating as an engineer but has become one of the newest captains for the brand-new track team.

the college tour highlighting uc merced student Isaac Fuerte

Isaac Fuerte

Human Biology

As a young student who grew up with a single mother and a little sister, Isaac shares his journey of overcoming medical problems and making sacrifices to pursue his passion for human biology. With 쿪's fantastic research opportunities and educational clubs like the Field Curious Research club, he is getting the right exposure and experiences to help him achieve his goals and make a difference in the world.

the college tour highlighting uc merced student Michaela LoPresti

Michaela LoPresti


As a chemistry major, Michaela has thrived in the university's research-focused environment and benefited from the state-of-the-art facilities and dedicated faculty. She emphasizes 쿪's commitment to academic readiness, particularly in their chosen field of pre-dentistry, where specialized programs have guided their path towards a career in dentistry. The vibrant campus life, with its diverse extracurricular activities and commitment to sustainability, has provided her with an enriching experience beyond academics. They highlight the practical preparation for the real world through internships and research and express gratitude for the supportive community and diverse experiences that have shaped their future.

the college tour highlighting uc merced student Letha Jarman

Letha Jarman


Letha expresses gratitude for finding a place with the right resources and a supportive community. Her story highlights the significance of student clubs in discovering new people, experiences, and opportunities. They specifically mention being a Black Student Coalition (BSC) member, which provides a safe space for Black students on campus and focuses on mental health. Letha shares her thoughts on the welcoming community they found through clubs and the opportunities to connect with other organizations, faculty, and the wider Merced community. They mention various events hosted by BSC and other organizations, such as live music and student performances. She shares her appreciation of the priority given to students at 쿪, focusing on fostering connection and support.

the college tour highlighting uc merced student Nancy Ooi

Nancy Ooi


Nancy expresses gratitude to 쿪 for a rewarding academic experience and abundant growth opportunities. She credits her increased confidence and passion for marketing and content creation due to her involvement in clubs and organizations. Nancy also highlights the unique environment of 쿪, where individuals can create their own place rather than trying to fit in. Her conversations with professors and campus engagement led her to change her career path and pursue Sociology, which she finds fulfilling for its impact on the world. Nancy's experiences include serving as Vice President of the Marketing and Sales organization, participating in internships and research, and engaging in the Yosemite Leadership Program. She emphasizes the real-world experience provided by 쿪 and attributes her achievements and personal growth to her time at the university.

More 쿪 on The College Tour

Navigating Financial Aid

Ask Admissions

Coffee with the President